Fiona Godlee: Editor with an Agenda?
UK Court Awarded Family for MMR Vaccine Injury

The British Medical Journal Shows Misjudgement, Bias in Further Attack on Andrew Wakefield

Dr. wakefield Managing Editor's Note: We have covered the MMR/Wakefield/Lancet story in dozens of posts. Please click to read the history.

By John Stone

The publication of new/old allegations of fraud against Andrew Wakefield in BMJ (HERE) follows on a succession of events in 2010 in which manifest editorial bias was shown, and in which the journal seemed to be falling over backwards to aid journalist Brian Deer in his crusade against Wakefield. The journal removed correspondence from its website questioning Deer’s prolonged access to confidential medical and legal documents, blocked correspondence from both professionals and members of the public questioning Deer’s understanding and representation of the evidence at the GMC hearing, and refused to acknowledge Deer’s competing interest (documented and established in a High Court judgement) as the complainant in the GMC case against the three doctors.

In the first episode Deer raised eyebrows when he posted a letter BMJ’s Rapid Responses questioning whether US paediatrician Ed Yazbak’s grandson was one of the 12 Lancet cases (which Yazbak had not claimed):

“ I know the names and family backgrounds of all 12 of the children enrolled in the study, including the child enrolled from the United States. I don't believe that Dr Yazbak has a family relationship with any of them.”

Yazbak had only claimed that his grandson was a patient in the department, but Deer had patently raised the issue of his access to medical and legal documents to which the authorities have persistently turned a blind eye. A number of posts followed which laid the issue on the line but which were eventually censored by BMJ. Without any further explanation letters editor Sharon Davies posted the statement (HERE):

“Following a legal complaint several responses have been removed.”

But remarkably BMJ not only removed claims they removed all questions about Deer’s access, even Yazbak’s mild remark:

“I must say I am troubled that Mr Deer was able to obtain the names and family backgrounds of the original 12 study patients”

A further eight posts were completely removed including one from eminent paediatric gastroenterologist Prof John Dodge (HERE). The final straw seems to have been the post of the present writer:

“The question of confidentiality has often arisen in Brian Deer's reporting of the Wakefield/Lancet affair. It arose implicitly in the allegations he made about the referral of patients (which seem to me to be of no account) at the outset of this affair but which involved the complicity of responsible parties, if only by their silence on the matter. It arose when Deer published names of patients on his website (links supplied), it arose last year when he made claims in the Sunday Times about the medical status of the children in the Lancet study, whch were unverifiable from published documents…and it has also arisen from his apparent access to legal documents on which he reports, for instance as here (some might think the rancorous tone inappropriate for a professional journalist):

“"Call me old fashioned, but I think JABS should know better than to invoke poor Mrs xxxxx saying - presumably out of ignorance - that "legal aid was mysteriously taken away". There was no mystery, as Jackie surely knows. It followed the exchange of reports. In fact, having read them, I defy anyone with an IQ greater than their waist measurement to study those documents and not come to the conclusion that the Wakefield case was a bust. Even I was shocked - and I thought I was past that - by the calibre of much of the work. For the huge sums paid - in amounts I revealed last Christmas - the material for the children was, well, shocking."

 “This is a real question for the government and the medical profession, when the confidentiality of patient records are already a major political issue. It cannot be right - and this would be a striking example - for everyone to turn a blind eye because it was considered politically expedient (which is exactly why we need patient confidentiality). And it surely poses a particular problem to Prof Greenhalgh, who has contributed to Deer's site and Dr [Evan] Harris who accompanied Deer to the Lancet offices to make his accusations and subsequently led a House of Commons debate on the matter under the cloak of privilege... People need to ponder this matter deeply, whatever their views on MMR and autism.”

Thus a succession of posts which had already passed BMJ generally tight inclusion criteria for non-establishment opinions were removed without explanation of what the legal issues were, effectively placing the matter of Deer’s extensive access to confidential documents outside the possibility of further discussion in the journal, or on its website. This was further complicated by his extraordinary website claim (HERE):

"For reference, with regard to Brian Deer's MMR investigation, almost all of the key facts and documents are not public domain, and, such is the culture of plagiarism, he will act against authors who represent his writing, interviews, documents, or other research, as the fruit of their own inquiries, whether referenced or not."

Thus BMJ have actively disallowed discussion of the provenance and context of Deer’s unusually privileged status as a commentator, and their bias continues to permeate their present coverage.

BMJ compounded their anomalous position by failing to get a proper disclosure of competing interest from Deer, including the fact that he was the author of at least three complaints about the three doctors to the GMC as stated in High Court ruling by Mr Justice Eady, and repeatedly refused to publish this information when it was drawn to their attention (HERE). Deer’s latest statement is a masterpiece of obfuscation:

“Competing interests: The author has completed the unified competing interest form at (available on request from him) and declares no support from any organisation for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organisation that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years; BD’s investigation led to the GMC proceedings referred to in this report, including the charges. He made many submissions of information but was not a party or witness in the case, nor involved in its conduct.”

This seems to be a tortuous admission of his role as the complainant against the doctors (and therefore as a journalist with a vested interest in a successful prosecution), but what about a complete résumé of his professional activities since he was approached by a Sunday Times editor in September 2003 to find something “big” on MMR (HERE). It is by now obvious that if his allegations were to come apart publicly (as many believe they deserve) he would be cast into complete professional oblivion.

Another aspect of bias was manifest over the publication of Deer’s last article in BMJ ‘Wakefield’s autistic enterocolitis under the microscope’ (HERE). There was consternation amongst both professionals and parents as BMJ blocked responses for days, ultimately allowing some of the professional responses to be posted. Only after the GMC proceedings were concluded, and a full seven weeks later, was a grandparent of one of the affected children allowed to respond. The letter by Jennie H Allen is worth quoting extensively (HERE):

“ Declan Fox asks 'What about the children?' What I would like to ask is why have neither the GMC and BMJ nor anyone else within the UK medical establishment asked this question before? Surely these twelve Lancet children should have been 'central' to any investigation about whether autistic enterocolitis or any other bowel syndromes exist as a condition specifically associated with autistic persons?

“My Grandson was not one of the original Wakefield twelve; he was part of a later group of children treated at the Royal Free Hospital by Professors Walker Smith and Murch. My daughter was told that he had exactly the same bowel condition as the rest.

“My Grandson is now seventeen and will soon become a voting adult. Yes, he still suffers a lot of pain and discomfort from his bowel problems and yes he is still autistic. (Both of these conditions are life long ones; there is presently no cure). Fortunately he is a very high functioning Asperger's autism case and is now becoming only too well aware of the injustices that have been done to him by a very uncaring NHS system which seems less concerned with his wellbeing than in following a government imposed politically correct agenda.

“My Grandson now lives in Scotland and regularly attends both neurological and gastro clinics. His epilepsy is very well controlled and monitored by the neurologists; his autism needs have been left to the education department. The doctors in the gastro clinics take one look at his casenotes and run scared at the sight of the dreaded names 'Walker Smith' 'Murch' and horror of horrors, 'Wakefield'!! Officially his impacted bowel is 'chronic constipation' for which he is prescribed an assortment of laxative bottles. We have learned from experience how to best ameliorate his condition using dietary interventions. He is a lovely young man and we are all very proud of him.”

But all of this is only a matter of indifference to the BMJ’s editor-in-chief, Fiona Godlee, providing nothing ever impedes the vaccination programme.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


Autism Watcher

Hi Carol

Otitis Media is a classic sign of an adverse reaction from measles vaccine as well. MMR II by Merck certainly lists it ...



I'd like to see the section of the GP records talking about Child 1's hearing problem at 9 mos. Brian Deer characterized this as the "hallmark presentation of classical autism," thus putting the child's autism before his MMR. The problem for Deer is that the hearing problem was accompanied by discharge from the child's left ear (as noted in his medical records). That's a hallmark presentation of a childhood ear infection.

Child 1's hearing was normal by the time he was referred to the Royal Free.

I find it inexplicable that an ethical journalist would fail to mention the ear infection. If he wants to attempt to explain it away, fine. But he has to disclose it.

Miracle Healer

Well said John and everyone in ageofautism!

It seems that it is official. ALL doctors in the world are controlled by the lies. And it seems that the vaccine conspirators are behind ALL mainstream press and medical magazines.

That they managed to make Wakefield's study look like a fraud, by changing the complete reality of the study and hacking into the study's data to make it fraudulent and PAID ALL THE PRESS so that they don't point out of their altering of everything is telling of the control big pharma has over all of our lives.

Their control is so big that I would not be surprised if Oprah's support of the TRUTH and ONLY ABSOLUTE TRUTH that it is that vaccines cause autism was all part of the conspiracy to make us think that mainstream media is not controlled by them so that when we are distracted, they launch the ultimate attack on us and destroy Wakefield while we were celebrating new year! >(.

Make no mistake anyone, is the only source of TRUTH regarding this topic. Everything else is being controlled by big pharma. But they won't get us alive!


I can see you are far too invested in your internal squabbles and hair splitting defences in the divisive splinter groups to address outside concerns about the destruction your 'cause' has been to people outside of your organization.

I take comfort in the knowledge that the laws of Karma have control of us all. I wish you all the best.


Typo, meant to say very well said, Sue.


Very said, Sue.


CCCartoo and Merle,

Your questions and statements do nothing but reveal your general ignorance of this entire controversy.

Wakefield is NOT the source of this controversy. His study is NOT the cause of this controversy. Wakefield is NOT the charismatic leader of this controversy. The only people who think any of the above are folks who haven't bothered to read or listen to anything other than a few poorly researched, biased news reports, or interviews of the likes of Paul Proffit.

This controversy exists because thousands of parents have seen, firsthand, their very own children, some normally developing, some not, become sick, lose acquired skills, stop growing, develop behavioral problems, vision problems, speech problems, hearing problems, etc. etc. etc. immediately or in the weeks or months following the administration of various vaccines. Their observations and experiences prove nothing, but they certainly raise suspicions, concern, and a desire for credible research.

Since you have clearly researched this topic so little--in concert with nearly all the so-called journalists reporting on the topic--you are probably unaware that the MMR vaccine likely never contained thimerosal--and the use of that particular vaccine "preservative" is very much at the heart of this controversy--and has nothing whatever to do with Wakefield's 1998 case series report.

Rather Wakefield is a doctor who actually bothered to listen to some of the rightfully suspicious parents of very sick children, and not only tried to help their children, but in some cases--based on parent reports--actually has helped them.

There are very, very few scientists or doctors who have a similar record. Most have covered their ears, closed their eyes, and either kept their mouths (and often minds) shut or chosen the alternative indefensible path of lambasting any parent or individual who dares to express doubts or ask uncomfortable questions about vaccine research and safety.

Meanwhile US health agencies have held secret meetings, rewritten studies, "lost" data, paid for, and touted, clearly fraudulent studies, and have very clearly LIED (and in many cases continue to LIE) about the toxicity of thimerosal and mercury, the existence of mercury in various vaccines and basically committed fraud by claiming that mercury has been removed from all childhood vaccines while simultaneously mandating flu vaccines laden with thimerosal for pregnant moms, infants, and children. Such actions don't prove anything, but they sure raise suspicions and are cause for concern--outrage, really

Wakefield garners support here because he is not afraid to ask questions; he is not afraid to listen; not afraid of what honest investigation may reveal. And that is what most of those on this side of the controversy are asking for: HONEST INVESTIGATIONS.

An open honest study comparing the longterm health, iq, behavior, and development of children who have been fully vaccinated versus those who have never received ANY vaccines could resolve the important questions at hand. The other side claims such research would be unethical.

What is truly unethical is mandating vaccines without doing such research.

What is truly unethical is reporting on a controversy by relying on only one side's account without even bothering to carefully research, and report, the opposing viewpoints.

(TIC next 2 paragraphs) You may think folks here have drunk the kool aid, but I've got news for you. Those vaccines you've been taking so willingly...they may be the koolaid (mercury and aluminum-laced). I think the earliest sign of having had a few too many "swigs" is disordered thinking--the inability to question authority, the inability to listen to alternative viewpoints, the inability to actually recognize the difference between a case series and a study that actually requires random sampling, and apparently an inability to understand the sources and complexity of a critically important controversy. Deteriorating vision, failing hearing, loss of energy and gastrointestinal health are also signs of too much exposure. A serious deterioration in empathy and compassion also appear symptomatic in many individuals, imo.

It is becoming apparent to me that much of society, especially those inculcated in mainstream medicine, have had far too much of the koolaid--whether it was injected, installed in their teeth, ingested, or breathed in from the fumes of mercury-tainted latex paint, broken thermometers, sphygmomanometers, or fluorescent bulbs--I can't be sure. But there is sure a whole lot of disordered thinking going on and this "episode" is just the latest in a string of events indicating to me that serious things are going wrong with the intelligence of many people.

I am not anti-vaccine or pro-vaccine. I only want to know the truth as best as it can be determined, so that I, and others, can make wise, informed choices about our health and our families' health. So far, the truth, and honest science about vaccines upon which such decisions could be based, is in very, very short supply.

Given that, I have elected to become a vaccine dissenter. Should anyone wish to change my mind, show me the science! Or as JB has said, show me the monkeys!

Crucifying Wakefield has done nothing but create greater mistrust. When genuine scientists are discouraged from asking questions, making and reporting observations, and offering hypotheses for fear of suffering defamatory attacks, loss of livelihood, ostracism, and worse, we are all the losers. IMO this action by the BMJ, and the earlier actions by Elsevier and the Lancet, brings into question the validity of everything published in several journals.

Real scientists refute incorrect hypotheses, and conclusions, through careful, extensive, open and honest research, not through character defamation.


":@John Stone wrote:This isn't a matter of a charismatic leader, it is about the solidarity of people who have withstood and will continue to withstand the onslaught of the pharmaceutical lobby and its disreputable henchmen."

well, yes, there is always something to be over come that binds the group together and the more dastardly the villains, the more pure the heroes imagine themselves. Everyone likes a good Quest. There is no charismatic leader necessary when the ideal is the never failing beacon of hope.

Sorry, for my lack of empathy. I was a stark raving autistic _before_ I was vaccinated in 1954, so I have always had my own opinion about the 'vaccines cause autism' hubbub.

I just know that it sucked all the oxygen out of every room where people that _could_ have been working together with each other were torn apart with the controversy.
Old dear friendships in the social scene became sniping contests and spiky uncomfortable rivalries formed. Autistic self help groups became battlegrounds, parents groups losing their common focus and a great rift developed and ruptured trust and co-operation in each other.

Nothing else got done but people arguing their side - what a waste of energy and passion! And _none_ of this is going to be healed any time soon.

but, that is just my vantage point, I am certain you have your own.

Cynthia Cournoyer

You want parents to prove their children are vaccine damaged? How absurd. The second they assert anything, you accuse them of not being doctors! Wow.

The fact that Deer and medical people involved with BMJ can't let Wakefield go is, he's gotten under their skin! He's a credible doctor that just won't go away. They tried EVERYTHING to make it go away. It just won't go away.

Teresa Conrick

Nate- Your response here shows your complete and utter ignorance of what autism is and what these poor children have had to endure and continue to endure. If you are here to appear clueless, you have succeeded. --

"@Teresa: The one link you provide in that long list of replicated studies discusses the link between autism and gastrointestinal problems. As well, the titles of all the other replicated studies appear to address this same issue. What does any of this have to do with vaccines?"

Your other statement clearly defines your character and lack of humanity:

"What is the number...I think I read somewhere 4 or 5 out of a thousand are supposed to become autistic from vaccinations. Is it worth it to risk epidemics of deadly diseases to turn our backs on vaccines to prevent autism in a few?"

Like many in the camp of vaccine zealousness, you appear to have lost your ability to save all lives. Your one-sided view of the supposed saving of lives from disease with vaccines, yet throwing other lives off a cliff into autism is a problem, Nate. It appears you have made a decision that "a few", like maybe 1:110, is worth the illusion of having no measles, chicken pox, cancer, etc ever going to knock on your door.

What you have written is truly disturbing.


Nate, I have a question for you. The other day on one of those science blogs, a mother stated that her daughter collapsed 20 minutes after Gardasil vaccination. At least one of the posters stated that there was no way that her collapsing could have been due to the vaccine, it was too quick a reaction. Yet, on the other hand, you can only claim damages, If it's within a few days. So my question to you is, exactly when can a vaccine reaction occur and how do you specifically know that?


This letter of support from the majority of the parents of the 12 children in the Lancet study is totally inconsistent with Brian Deer's imaginitive ramblings.


Nate asked, "If I were to assume for a moment that Wakefield's study is 100% accurate and has demonstrated a definitive link between vaccines and autism, how does it follow that we should just stop taking vaccines?"

Good point, Nate -- that doesn't follow at all. Dr. Wakefield never said for everyone to stop vaccinating. That wasn't the point of the study. The major vaccine and autism groups don't advocate for not vaccinating. Yes, some parents no longer vaccinate because they have such big concerns about how our vaccine program is being run, loss of confidence in how problems are addressed, worry about their children's susceptibility to vaccine injury, and/or see that vaccine injuries are generally denied and ignored, not treated.

But basically the "no vaccines" thing is a smoke screen constantly brought up by vaccine defenders. When a parent says, "My child had xyz adverse reactions to a vaccine," the response is, "But diseases are dangerous -- we need vaccines," thus completely avoiding questions such as whether ALL of our vaccines are really necessary, whether it's safe to get 6 to 9 vaccines at once, what is the cumulative affect of receiving two dozen vaccines by the age of two, what are susceptibility factors for vaccine injury, and how to identify and treat a vaccine injury.

Nate said, "We've known for a long time that a small percent of children will develop the disease from the vaccine yet we continue on with the program because of the OVERWHELMING benefit vs. cost argument... What is the number...I think I read somewhere 4 or 5 out of a thousand are supposed to become autistic from vaccinations."

Where did you hear that 4 or 5 out of 1,000 stat? Are you conceding that sometimes vaccines cause autism? Maybe that was the percentage back when we only gave kids 10 vaccines during the first three years of life, but now the rate of autism is 1 in 110. And we have escalating rates of a number of immune system disorders such as asthma, severe allergies, diabetes, and more. We also have huge increases in bipolar disorder and ADHD as well as autism. What could be affecting our children's immune sytems? What is the purpose of vaccines? To stimulate the immune system! If vaccines are causing even a portion of these conditions, the cost/benefit ratio is not so clear cut.


OMG! - "Reports by Deer in the BMJ were commissioned and paid for by the journal."

This is totally disgusting! The "reports" by Deer and BMJ are conflicted and should be completely disregarded. Is there more to this disclosure than meets the eye? An investigative journalist really should look into this. Generally speaking, fact patterns such as this one sure sound a lot like there was an indirect transfer of value from pharma via the prestigious medical journal to a pharmawhore. At the VERY least there is an appearance of impropriety here that demonstrates utterly shameless arrogance.

Why did BMJ commission Deer's reports? Whose agenda did such a commission serve? Follow the money! Does BMJ accept advertising revenue or other revenue from pharma? Motive, means, opportunity? Is there a "ghost" writer in the woodwork? Hmmmmm.


Merle says, “You guys are not envied your decade long stance that you now find collapsing around you.” Give me a break! Dr. Wakefield did not start the concern about vaccines, and the witch hunt against him will not end it! Large organizations such as the National Autism Association, Generation Rescue, Safe Minds, TACA, AutismOne, National Vaccine Information Center, and the Autism Research Institute – with thousands of members – have been founded by parents of vaccine-injured children. Many of these predated Dr. Wakefield’s paper, and they will all continue their work regardless of Brian Deer’s slander and whatever else the pharma-govt complex does. Nothing is collapsing around us. If our vaccine program continues as is unchecked, the number of outraged parents will continue to increase – many of whom have various kinds of power and expertise.

It’s not about “charismatic leaders”. This is a grassroots movement with unfortunately more and more members being unintentionally recruited due to the failure of pharma and govt and mainstream medicine to address the problems with our vaccines.


1) The Lancet study which Dr. Wakefield co-authored said absolutely nothing about the DPT or DTaP vaccines
2) Dr. Wakefield never ever said to stop vaccinating. He did suggest breaking the MMR into separate vaccines pending further research.
3) This is not about whether to give all vaccines or no vaccines. It’s about understanding problems better for the sake of prevention and treatment.
4) If someone said to you, “Maybe heart surgery could be safer if xyz practices were implemented. Maybe there are alternatives in some cases to heart surgery. And maybe adverse effects arising from heart surgery could be treated or avoided as follows…” would your response be, “Don’t even talk about that or people will stop having surgery!” Why is every investigation of vaccine problems looked at as treason, sacrilege, anti-vaccine, pro-disease, irresponsible?
5) The pertussis epidemic was not caused by the unvaccinated.
Many people coming down with whooping cough were vaccinated. Apparently the germ has evolved and the vaccine has become less effective.
6) Dr. Wakefield is given far to much blame for causing concerns about vaccines. These concerns arise from parents’ experiences with their children. Dr. Wakefield responded to these concerns; he did not cause them.
7) Babies with whooping cough should be treated. Effective recognition and early treatment can prevent death.



Surely you understand the implications of Brian Deer's deliberate attempt to mislead us into thinking that Child 1's ear infection at 9 months was a first symptom of autism.

Perhaps you should read my earlier post again.

John Stone


Why are you so prejudiced about this matter? What do you know about people's experience with vaccines, that you are so keen to dismiss them.

Nate Phelps

@Teresa: The one link you provide in that long list of replicated studies discusses the link between autism and gastrointestinal problems. As well, the titles of all the other replicated studies appear to address this same issue. What does any of this have to do with vaccines?

@Carol: If we are going to use the argument that one misstatement lets us disregard all statements, then we will never know the truth. It's this kind of logic that leads to these extreme, almost religious, ideas about cause and effect.

If I may ask you a question that I've raised in several other, and everyone else here. If I were to assume for a moment that Wakefield's study is 100% accurate and has demonstrated a definitive link between vaccines and autism, how does it follow that we should just stop taking vaccines?

We've known for a long time that a small percent of children will develop the disease from the vaccine yet we continue on with the program because of the OVERWHELMING benefit vs. cost argument. I know this may sound calloused and insensitive to those who were unlucky enough to be that fraction of a percent that suffers, but this question seems to get overlooked.

What is the number...I think I read somewhere 4 or 5 out of a thousand are supposed to become autistic from vaccinations. Is it worth it to risk epidemics of deadly diseases to turn our backs on vaccines to prevent autism in a few?

It's likely not that black and white for most opposed to vaccination, so I guess I'm asking you to tell me the rationale.



It's not a matter of charisma; it's a matter of character.

I suggest you watch this short video of Barbara Loe Fisher talking about the day she met Andrew Wakefield. Scheduled to give a speech at an NVIC conference, he was pondering what to do with a slide which identified him as an employee of the Royal Free. The previous night he'd received a phone call telling him that if he spoke at the conference, he might be out of a job. He decided to speak anyway. Would you have the courage to do that?

Cherry Sperlin Misra

To Nate Phelps, Most of the people here have read all about the Wakefield case many times and in great detail, so they wont bother to get into details at this time, particularly when we dont yet have any details of the new accusations and Wakefield has had no opportunity to reply to them. Meanwhile you might like to catch up by reading Callous Disregard and watching Dr. Wakefield speak at Boulder, Colorado and answer questions .

Cherry Sperlin Misra

To Merle, Nothing in the Wakefield story, true or untrue has anything to do with why I believe that vaccines cause autism. I was here in India when the pediatric association made a schedule with 9 mercury laden vaccines by 6 months of age. I was here when a few years later they decided that 8 or 9 mercury vaccines was better if given by age three and a half months. I was here in India to see the rise in autism after the first change and I was here to see a steeper rise after the second change. Today I visited a school which takes both autistic and spastic kids in New Delhi. The director told me that he saw precisely the same thing that I did, right to the years. Now he gets, every single week, two enquiries from parents of autistic kids and only one from a parent of a spastic child.
And his center is only one of so many. All of the centers are struggling with the number of applicants. Every private school for normal kids is struggling with the autistic kids that have been placed with them by parents who would like to think that their child is normal. They are not allowed to expel the kids, so they have to start special sections and hire special educators to cope with the new situation of the last few years . What happened here simply mirrors what happened in the US 15 years earlier. I am not an autism parent;I am simply a person with eyes. I strongly recommend the use of eyes.

John Stone


What possible motive could you have for writing this snearing nonsense? This isn't a matter of a charismatic leader, it is about the solidarity of people who have withstood and will continue to withstand the onslaught of the pharmaceutical lobby and its disreputable henchmen.


people get invested in their beliefs and find it difficult to let them go. I mean, if it were the other way, and it was found that Autism WAS caused by vaccinations, I know I would not be ready to throw out all my opinions and embrace the new science so easily. You guys are not envied your decade long stance that you now find collapsing around you.

I remember learning about religious groups with charismatic leaders that decided the rapture would begin one October 23, 1844 was the date and they all gave away their land and houses and all personal possessions and stood in thin cotton robes waiting to meet their Maker - and got rather chilled as the sun finally set and they were hungry for their dinner.

But they were undaunted, and the charismatic leader came up with a plausible story and the little group set up a new time and date. Eventually they became the Seventh Day Adventists.

Jenny Allan

Here's the link to the actual BMJ Article, Brian Deer January 2011


I am sincerely curious about a few things, and these questions are in the spirit of open dialogue and understanding, so please help me understand?

If vaccines do cause autism and other diseases, but the studies which suggested that were fundamentally flawed, should we defend those studies or fight for new studies which are not flawed?

If autism is on the rise (which it clearly is) and we suspect one cause--maybe we're even convinced of this one cause--but questions are raised, isn't it possible that a whole other culprit is at fault, and we could be ignoring a very serious unknown danger by continuing to believe in the original hypothesis? It's like if someone is convicted of a crime, we all want to believe justice is done--but if he IS innocent, then the killer is still out there.

Obviously this is a skeptical and critical crowd, so why is this evidence dismissed while weaker evidence is embraced? Forget the public health issues involved, isn't it epistimelogically inconsistent to privilege hearsay evidence (Wakefield's, which--even discounting the rest of the charges--was statistically insignificant in sample size and never replicated) vs. more reliable data (the Lancet evidence, the research in the BMJ)?

I guess I'm asking, do you want the truth, for real?



Wakefield was not one of the clinicians investigating the children. The only role he had was to collate the results for publication. (_Callous Disregard_, p.189, hardcover) That being said, I'll give you one example of the kind of reporting Brian Deer did on these children.

Child 1. Brian Deer's accusation is that at 9.5 months, Child 1's mother was concerned that he didn't "hear properly" and that this "hallmark presentation of classical autism" occurred before MMR vaccination. What Deer doesn't tell us is that Child 1 had a discharge from his left ear. That *isn't* a symptom of autism. In fact, Child 1 simply had an ear infection and his hearing was normal at the time of his referral to the Royal Free. (_Callous Disregard, p. 191, hardcover)

That should make your bullshit antennae waggle a little. Deer is trying to pull the wool over our eyes here. Falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus. All of his accusations should be viewed with skepticism.

I won't go on because I find long posts unreadable--much like Deer's writing, come to think of it.

Teresa Conrick

To Nate-

Findings have not been replicated?

Here's one study from a year ago-

Wakefield's Science Proven Valid Again In New Study That Replicates Findings

And here is a very good collection:

Papers Supporting the Original Finding

Furlano R, Anthony A, Day R, Brown A, Mc Garvey L, Thomson M, et al. “Colonic CD8 and T cell filtration with epithelial damage in children with autism.“ J Pediatr 2001;138:366-72.

Sabra S, Bellanti JA, Colon AR. “Ileal lymphoid hyperplasia, non-specific colitis and pervasive developmental disorder in children”. The Lancet 1998;352:234-5.

Torrente F., Machado N., Perez-Machado M., Furlano R., Thomson M., Davies S., Wakefield AJ, Walker-Smith JA, Murch SH. “Enteropathy with T cell infiltration and epithelial IgG deposition in autism.” Molecular Psychiatry. 2002;7:375-382

Wakefield AJ, Anthony A, Murch SH, Thomson M, Montgomery SM, Davies S, Walker-Smith JA. “Enterocolitis in children with developmental disorder.” American Journal of Gastroenterology 2000;95:2285-2295

Ashwood P, Anthony A, Pellicer AA, Torrente F, Wakefield AJ. “Intestinal lymphocyte populations in children with regressive autism: evidence for extensive mucosal immunopathology.” Journal of Clinical Immunology, 2003;23:504-517.

Papers Replicating The Original Finding

Gonzalez, L. et al., “Endoscopic and Histological Characteristics of the Digestive Mucosa in Autistic Children with gastro-Intestinal Symptoms“. Arch Venez Pueric Pediatr, 2005;69:19-25.

Balzola, F., et al., “Panenteric IBD-like disease in a patient with regressive autism shown for the first time by wireless capsule enteroscopy: Another piece in the jig-saw of the gut-brain syndrome?” American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2005. 100(4): p. 979- 981.

S. Walker, K. Hepner, J. Segal, A. Krigsman “Persistent Ileal Measles Virus in a Large Cohort of Regressive Autistic Children with Ileocolitis and Lymphonodular Hyperplasia: Revisitation of an Earlier Study”

Balzola F et al . “Autistic enterocolitis: confirmation of a new inflammatory bowel disease in an Italian cohort of patients.” Gastroenterology 2005;128(Suppl. 2);A-303.

As far as your statements-

"It's up to you to prove that it DOES cause it. If this is all you have in response to Deer's allegations, his stock just went way up in my book."

How about you prove that you really care about the issue at hand - children injured and dead from vaccines that parents trusted. That's the "stock" that we are talking about here.

Nate Phelps

Nothing is more frustrating then to come to a website that is supposed to provide evidence in support of a position. The arguments in this article don't say ONE WORD about the accuracy of Deer's or the BMJ's research.

To dwell on whether some rule has been broken by allowing access to information stinks of cover up. Do you have anything to offer about whether Deer's information is accurate?!?

I've read details from that article that are truly disturbing. What about those details. Is it true that Wakefield suggested autism appeared immediately after the MMR shots when in fact they didn't? Is it true that Wakefield claimed that no autism was indicated in some of the children prior to the MMR shot and they were?

You can be indignant at Cooper all you want. You can laugh out loud at stories on the news all you want, but that doesn't say ONE WORD about whether this study is a fraud.

And what about the FACT that these findings can not be replicated? Any one who understands the scientific process knows that any results that can't be reproduced are ultimately invalid. That's the beauty of science. It doesn't care whether you or I KNOW that something is relentlessly exposes bad studies.

One final thought about Jenny Allen's post. It seems to me that it's time to let go of a belief when you are reduced to making the argument that the other side can't prove a negative. Of course we can't prove vaccines don't cause autism. We can't prove that vaccines don't cause anything. Again, that's not how it works. It's up to you to prove that it DOES cause it.

If this is all you have in response to Deer's allegations, his stock just went way up in my book.

Autism Grandma

Great work as usual John Stone!!! Although I am not at all surprised by this ongoing persecution of Dr. Wakefield, I was shocked when I just read this article [below] on the AOL News homepage. I can't believe it but the reporter actually printed BOTH sides of the story with a positive headline:

Despite Controversy, Some Still Support Study Linking Vaccines to Autism

Here are some positive quotes from our side of the story:

But parents of autistic children, including actress Jenny McCarthy, continue to be some of Wakefield's staunchest supporters. And Wakefield himself stands by the study.

"These parents are not going away; the children are not going to go away and I most certainly am not going away," Wakefield told the "Today" show back in May.

Peter Nilsson, the father of an autistic child in San Diego, strongly believes that vaccines do play a role in the onset of autism. "I know a lot of families who have had experiences with vaccines," he told AOL Health. "The child is healthy, they get a vaccination or MMR, and they come out and they're different. It's unfortunate that kids have to go through this."

According to the National Autism Survey: Evaluating the Satisfaction With the U.S. Government's Investment and Approach To Investigating Causes of Autism by Beth Clay, 58.3 percent of survey subjects were not satisfied at all with the research regarding any potential relationship between autism and vaccines conducted by or funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I am in favor of safe vaccination practices," says Mark Blaxill, author of The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Manmade Epidemic and the father of an autistic child. Blaxill told AOL Health that vaccinations could be safe if the studies were actually controlled.

"We have been running uncontrolled experiments on children," he says. "We are in uncharted territory with respect to vaccine safety. In some cases, the government has conceded that a brain injury that included autism was caused by vaccines. People are overlooking important evidence."

As for McCarthy, her organization, Generation Rescue, posted this statement on its website regarding Deer's article:

"For years, the media has mischaracterized Wakefield's work as implicating the MMR vaccine in the autism epidemic. This was never true, as Wakefield himself wrote in the conclusion to his paper:

'We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described.'

"We hope the media will take the time to read the actual Lancet study, rather than repeating the message of a vaccine-industry funded media circus."

Word for word in this article the majority of text is from our point of view. The rest is the same old typical propaganda, such as this closing:

"The most important message is for parents to get vaccinations for their children," he says. According to Halsey, there is a very small chance that complications will arise from vaccines.

"Vaccines are one of the most preventative resources against neurological problems," he adds.

My questions/comments to Halsey:

What exactly does "small chance" mean? Is 1% of the childhood population considered a "small chance"?

Gee, my grandson and so many other children did not have any neurological disorders until after a vaccine episode. Are you confusing the word "preventative" with "causative"???


Wakefield, Murch and Walker-Smith have never said that MMR causes all autism or that MMR is solely responsible for the rise in autism.

Selective Hearing, Brian Deer and the GMC, Dr Andrew Wakefield Autism MMR Film

Jennifer Hutchinson

Oops! Just spotted an error in my last post. I'll try again:

Here's what I don't understand (among other things). How does the media say, in one breath, that a small study of only 12 children doesn't prove that vaccines cause autism and, in another breath, say that the fact that Dr. Wakefield's study has been discredited (which is hasn't been) proves that vaccines DON'T cause autism? They can't have it both ways.


Brian Deer has crossed the line into stalking. He is absolutely obsessed with Dr. Wakefield. Wakefield should get a restraining order.

Jenny Allan

John, the BMJ response you have quoted was one of four I submitted. The BMJ 'allowed' two of them. The others were both technical responses regarding the colon biopsies taken from my grandson. My responses outlined the comments from the histopathologists and clinicians at the Royal Free Hospital,(NOT Wakefield). Unlike Deer I would not presume to give an unqualified opinion on such technical matters.
The biopsies confirmed the existence of microscopic abnormalites also common to the twelve Lancet children and many other other autistic child patients treated for bowel disorders at this Royal Free clinic.

Jennifer Hutchinson

Here's what I don't understand (among other things). How does the media say, in one breath, that a small study of only 12 children doesn't prove that vaccines cause autism and, in another breath, say that the fact that Dr. Wakefield's study has been discredited (which is hasn't been) proves that vaccines DON'T cause vaccine? They can't have it both ways.


"A 6-week-old baby became the 10th child to die of whopping cough this year in California, which is experiencing a surge in cases...
Infants are particularly susceptible to complications from pertussis because they are too young to get immunized...
There have been 5,978 cases reported to officials this year...
it is the nastiest season since pertussis rates began a sharp decline, falling in the 1940s and 1950s after widespread inoculation efforts began."

Way to go! Keep standing by Wakefield!

Theodora Trudorn

As said in the Cry Shame article, this is getting beyond creepy!! Brian Deer just can't seem to LET GO!!! He's obsessed! Doesn't the man have something else to do than smear Wakefield 24/7?!


Fox News Live just had a segmen on Dr. Wakefield.

They built up to it by saying new information about a doctor linking the MMR to vaccine.

To the stupid 1000s that just listen to the headline and not the actually segment - well that is what they heard.

For those that heard this, caught their attention enough to wait around for the segment - it was very gooo!

Oh sure Meilello (not sure of the spelling) says it is now found that five of the 12 had developmental delays before which really messes up the study ----- I thought the study was linked to inflamatory bowl disease?????

But Hammer (the reporter) got in all kinds of important messages:
1.) Thousands of parents takes their three year old for a vacciantion and the next day they have autism.
2.)Austism has gone from 1 in 100,000 to 1 in 100 in just the last 20 years.
3.)Wakefield got money to do what??? - Oh, to do this study.

Not bad, the words vaccines and autism was linked; used together, and that is a good thing.


I am sure as h*ll not going to watch anything on CNN. My husband and I heard something about this on the local radio this morning and both burst out laughing. Seriously desperate. Vaccines are a hoax and everybody knows it.

I think the number of anti vaccine people is way larger than they car to admit. In my own community, people are not only shunning vaccines but choosing home births and homeschooling. A good percentage have husbands in medicine. What do they know? Oh, the horror, healthy children with functioning brains.


You're right, lucky mom, the fact that Anderson Cooper didn't have the decency or integrity to read Wakefield's book before interviewing him speaks volumes. What a jerk. I loved it when JB told that Spitzer guy he didn't want his sympathy...

Harry H.

I watched the Cooper show last night and kept wondering, why all the fuss? Wakefield had his paper retracted last year, and his license revoked, and has been chased out of his home country. Now a "journalist" with a hard-on against him has written another article detailing the same old stuff?

And this article is worthy of almost every news outlet in this country attacking anyone who questions the safety of vaccines and parents who believe their child was damaged by those vaccines?

What about the case of Dr. Scott Reuben last year? This guy admitted faking dozens of drug studies for Pharma that were published in medical journals. One Journal, Anesthesia and Analgesia, was forced to retract 10 papers. (

So where was our intepid media when it comes to a Pharma shill publishing admitted fraudulent studies in support of questionable drugs? It appears they were doing what they do best, sitting on their collective asses.

Yet every few months they wake up to attack, like a pack of hyenas, anyone who dares to question the authority and infallability of Modern Medicine, especially anyone who questions vaccines.

Vaccines have moved beyond the realm of science and are now simply another religion. We need to be aware of the vaccine Fatwahs being handed down.


W. Blent -

Take the time to read this through:

A lot of concerns about the GMC procedure are outlined, and have yet to be answered.


"The allegations are essentially assembled on the basis of alleged discrepancies between the medical histories of the patients as taken down by Prof Walker-Smith - the senior consultant in the field - and random General Practitioner notes (as interpreted by Brian Deer). Not Wakefield btw. In the real world you would not expect there to be exact correspondence: indeed you would expect them to be different."

^^^ This!!
If Dr. Wakefield had "falsified" these children's medical records, why didn't the parents of these children stand behind Deer and back the assertions made in his articles? Wouldn't the parents of these children be supporting the GMC charges and findings against Dr. Wakefield if he is the monster that the media is portraying him to be? All any respectable journalist has to do is seek out and interview the parents of the Lancet 12 to discover the truth, which is that these charges against Dr. Wakefield are bogus and completely without merit.

Julie Leonardo

I have to say, JB SPANKED Spitzer's butt!!!! Brilliant!

John Stone


I take your point. The nature of my reaction is based on the fact that there is absolutely nothing new in the allegations: they have been recycled and countered so many times, so I thought it reasonable to pose questions about the source.

If there is one point which I should like to make, and should perhaps have made, it is this. The allegations are essentially assembled on the basis of alleged discrepancies between the medical histories of the patients as taken down by Prof Walker-Smith - the senior consultant in the field - and random General Practitioner notes (as interpreted by Brian Deer). Not Wakefield btw. In the real world you would not expect there to be exact correspondence: indeed you would expect them to be different.

You could show that any consultant investigation was a fraud on the same basis, because the consultant is there on basis of huge experience, the ability to ask shrewd questions which the GP would have no idea about etc. And the BMJ or the GMC could do this to anyone they took a dislike to. In this case it is very clear that subverting the sacred vaccine programme (a piece totemism whether socialist or commercially driven) is a cardinal sin.

You could get into more detail (150 days of evidence!) but this is why the allegations are fundamentally junk.

W. Blent

In the above comments I see lots of ad hominem attacks, blanket statements about conspiracies in the big pharma and big media, and (perhaps more substantial) concern about access to medial records, but I would like to see SPECIFIC counter-arguments against the journalist's research and conclusions. You have to admit that all the lather of socialist-this and sinister-bastards-that don't carry well in argument against a pretty extensively detailed piece of investigative journalism.


You know, I just reread _Vaccine A_ by Gary Matsumoto. It has nothing to do with Wakefield or MMR, but it tells you a lot about how the world works and who the guinea pigs are.

It's one of those books you can't put down. It's in your library.


Boy, that was a disgraceful display by Anderson Cooper. Mnookin lied and Cooper just sat there.

For instance, Wakefield did not create an alternate measles vaccine. The preparation was intended to help the body clear itself of measles virus after administration of a standard measles vaccine. It could not stimulate the creation of antibodies, therefore it could not substitute for a vaccine. Profits would have gone to the Royal Free, not to Wakefield.

Mnookin and Deer both know this.

I would not suggest that Cooper read a book. I'm sure he's much too busy to do something like that, but perhaps he could take an hour and watch this video of Wakefield talking about, not his own research, but the research of others:


Here is the contact information for the editor of the British Medical Journal that continues to publish "medical studies" by a "journalist." (What's up with that anyway?) Give her an earful:

Editor in chief
Fiona Godlee
[email protected]
T: + 44(0)20 7383 6102


I only saw a small part on youtube (missed JB, unfortunately). I have tremendous respect for how Dr. Wakefield stood up to the firing squad. I felt like they were trying to crucify him. Since when do you have someone on your show and NOT read is freaking book??? If you're too bored to read a paper, then could you AT LEAST read a book? I'm disgusted, in particular, by Anderson Cooper. I say we give Jake Crosby his own show, since he actually bothers to investigate information and he's way more pleasant than the pompous Cooper.

Donna K

With the latest B.D. attack on Wakefield through the BMJ, I'm suspicious of the widespread media coverage of it. Could it be a major pre-emptive strike at managing public perception of another more damning story about to break?

Not stupid

Conspiracy theorists all UP IN HERE.


What a despicable display. Sanjay Gupta should have his license revoked for being a moron. These sinister pharm whores are on a witch hunt. Something smells, the puppeteers behind these CNN idiots have a sinister agenda. The sooner AoA produces the evidence that unvaccinated children have scant autism the better.

Jeff C.

Our prayers go out for Dr. Wakefield and his family. He is a remarkably resilient man but one can only take so much.

I have to agree with Seonaid, this reeks of desperation. Uptake rates are dropping and they are scared shitless. They just can't understand why this won't go away. Here's a hint, adding ridiculous items to the schedule like Gardasil for boys and yearly flu shots for everyone ain't helping the cause. People aren't stupid. Anyone with half a brain realizes that genital warts or the flu aren't comparable to polio or smallpox. Yet the CDC, the AAP, and Pharma insist that if you deviate from the schedule in anyway, you are an irresponsible parent.

Check out this on the CDC website, its the "Flu ends with U Pledge". People sign up to pledge they are going to take the flu shot this year.

Out of a country of 300 million, a grand total of 421 people have signed up. No wonder they are scared.

Dan E. Burns

Great CNN interview, JB. You kept your cool, hit the relevant facts, and got the last word ("Parents, do you own research"). Wonderful job! You were Luke Skywalker today.

Autism and Anti-Vaccine Advocate


"Brian Deer works for the Murdochs, owners of Fox News. The corruption is in every political party and mainstream media outlet.
Don't trust anyone, especially primetime mainstream news media."

Posted by: dugmaze | January 05, 2011 at 07:59 PM

Yes, but the Socialist networks, ABC, MSNBC (NBC) and CBS are pushing this. I'm sure the Socialist print media NY Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, etc. will broadcast this crap from the BMJ and that jackass, Brian Deer, too.

The Socialists that care about our kids, my foot!!!


I gotta say it. They are calling Wakefield's case series an "elaborate hoax??" The BMJ has some fucking nerve. There is an elaborate hoax going on alright and it involves the health agencies, medical journals, all bought by pharma.


The greatest medical fraud in history was sponsored by the CDC in Simpsonwood, GA in June of 2000.

Was there ever a written news story at the time, (or on television) critically looking at this collection of secret bastard activity ??? How long did it take before someone knew they had called a meeting?

Dr. Wakefield wrote a simple paper on 12 children with the help of other medical professionals. Their parents still thank him for his help with their children.

Simpsonwood involved the vaccine records of tens of thousands of children which the CDC can no longer locate...

Evelyn Pringle

The MSM in the US is in the pocket of corporate America and all the outlets parrot whatever talking point "the industry of the day" tells it to.

The latest attack on Wakefield is a great example of the vaccine industry's dirty work.

And don't expect the assaults on vaccine safety advocates to let up anytime soon because more and more drug companies are jumping into the vaccine industry.


What part of that Wakefield paper are the media unable to read? The simplest part, no big words, no medical dictionary needed, plainly say, "We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described."

I don't understand the misrepresentation of Wakefield by a media who won't read the paper!


I'm getting more pissed off by the minute. How much more can they try and scapegoat this poor guy? Uptake of the flu vaccine is not great in Britain, it seems. Lots of distrust for the jab. They are clearly desperate.


Just watched JB on CNN. He was AWESOME! Thank you so much, JB. Dr. Gupta should be ASHAMED of himself and Eliot Spitzer looked like an idiot. Ironically, his niece has special needs and attends BOCES in the same county as my son.


This could actually be a good sign. Taking such action indicates the medical establishment is feeling threatened and vulnerable. Why? Are they perhaps not winning the ‘all vaccines are perfectly safe’ war? Or the ‘benefits outweigh the risks’ war? [Try telling THAT to the parents of vaccine damaged children!] Do they feel so much adverse public interest in the dangers of, for example, swine flu vaccine, has further weakened their stance? Or perhaps the recent BBC radio 4 programme about the LONGTERM dangers of vaccines will contribute to awkward questions being asked? [Long-term side effects – that is over YEARS – have yet never been properly explored by researchers other than Peter Aaby and his colleagues.]

What has unnerved them? If they felt they had won these battles, surely there would be no need for further cannons to be fired at these annoying people who question vaccine safety? The public are rapidly losing confidence in the protestations of the department of health. The truth is – they’re losing these battles – this is why they have to fight all the harder to protect their own interests and reputations. The hellish thing about it is – that they have to resort to using Andrew Wakefield, once again, as their scapegoat. As if he hasn’t suffered enough at the hands of the British establishment. I suspect this is not about Andrew Wakefield. This is an attempt to convince the public at large that vaccines are safe, and that anyone who says otherwise is misguided.

Additionally, it’s disgraceful that a random journalist should have been given access to medical reports of patients at the Royal Free. It’s disgraceful that no reparation has been offered on this issue. And it’s disgraceful that the once revered BMJ should publish this. It’s kicking over old bones – to protect a damaging vaccine programme – and quite a few reputations.

Leslie R.

ABC had a brief report tonight, too. WHY is the media so opposed to doing its own investigative reporting? Why does it continue to suprise me?


@Autism and Anti-Vaccine Advocate
" I'm glad I don't watch anything on that trash, pro-vaccine, Socialist TV station"

Brian Deer works for the Murdochs, owners of Fox News. The corruption is in every political party and mainstream media outlet.
Don't trust anyone, especially primetime mainstream news media.

John Stone

The case is infantile and mischievous. So the history as recorded by John Walker-Smith isn't identical to the NHS notes, but why would you expect any exact correspndence. He was the leading physician in his field: of course it would be different. That's why you have specialists. Only officious time servers (socialists or industry pawns) wouldn't understand that.

Autism and Anti-Vaccine Advocate

Our good friends at the left-wing, Socialist TV news outlet, MSNBC reported the following below. I'm glad I don't watch anything on that trash, pro-vaccine, Socialist TV station. The bastards love Brian Deer and love to pile on Andy Wakefield but this war is not over.

Study tying vaccine to autism was fraud, report says
Andrew Wakefield, colleagues altered facts about patients in their research, analysis shows

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