Wakefield, Deer, BMJ: Facts are Stubborn Things
BREAKING NEWS: Statement From Dr. Andrew Wakefield: No Fraud. No Hoax. No Profit Motive.

The ‘ol Worldwide Vaccine panic of ‘98

Wowradio By J.B. Handley
 
1998, I remember it like it was yesterday. Just preparing to get married and have kids myself, the headlines were suddenly filled with the news of a British researcher who thought vaccines may be causing all this autism. My wife and I were riveted, we’d read the stories on our iphones every day, searched Google on our broadband internet connection, and shared the news with all our Facebook friends. It was a panic alright, and we parents now knew to learn everything we could before vaccinating our babies. I still thank God for Andy Wakefield alerting me, way back in 1998, to the potential harm vaccines could cause my children…which is why I never gave my boys ANY vaccines.
 
Yup, the mainstream media is happy to give us all a history lesson about the way this all went down. Of course, the truth is a wee bit different:
 
I got my first cell phone in 1998, it was the size of my right foot. At home, we were on a waiting list to get a DSL connection so we could peer at the web though our AOL account, and I was still 3 years from getting my first blackberry. My secretary still took my phone messages on a pink notepad and left them in my inbox. Have a work question on the weekend? It’d have to wait until Monday, because I left the office for the weekend and was completely off the grid. Iphone? Hardly, I’d be one of the first on my block to buy my first ipod, in early 2002. And, Google was still an idea being hatched in a Stanford dorm room.
 
Fast forward, six years later, to 2004. My ASD son is almost 2, and still getting his vaccines. I live in California, read the paper every day, and have only heard the tiniest whisper about autism and vaccines. Andy Wakefield? I couldn’t pick that name out of a 2 man lineup. What are moms talking about on the playground? It’s sure not vaccines, because everything is just fine, and most of the shots still contain mercury.
 
Folks, the media is having a fine time revising history right now. Someone send me a headline from 1998 in an American newspaper that discusses Wakefield and the MMR. Show me any evidence of a worldwide panic. None of it existed, and this is terribly important, as I will explain in a moment.
 
Here’s what’s really true, and I encourage all of you to fill in or amend my living history:
 
Barbara Loe Fisher and others at NVIC carried the first flame of truth about the downside to vaccines. Lyn, Sallie, Liz (rest in peace), and Mark, many years later, began to carry the same torch as SafeMinds. Lujene and her late husband Alan were also spreading the word, through their site NoMercury, and engineered many early sate laws banning Hg. And NAA was beginning to organize. Of course, Bernie was there chiming in, as he had been doing for decades, and was always a light for recovery. (Like many of you, I called ARI and Bernie picked up, and gave me all the time I needed to learn more about how I could help my son.) By 2004, these were the people that I know were carrying the torch, but their medium of communication was just getting started as Boadband, Google, and easy to develop websites were in early development, and I’d still never heard of a blog.
 
When my son was diagnosed, in the middle of 2004, the web was filled with message boards. Ann Brasher and chelatingkids2 were my introduction to the truth, and SafeMinds, ARI, and NoMercury were sites I used to do my research.
 
In 2005, the news picked up when RFK Jr. wrote his piece for Rolling Stone, Deadly Immunity. Soon after, David Kirby published Evidence of Harm, and I think the modern autism-vaccine movement was really born.
 
Still, the media was largely silent on the topic. I remember Katie Wright finally mentioning the word “thimerosal” on Oprah, Don Imus being our only public supporter, and then Jenny blew the doors off.
 
A worldwide panic since 1998? Not a chance. Things have only picked up since 2006 at the earliest, and Jenny’s first book came out in late 2007 (her first, and most famous appearance on Oprah was September 2007).
 
A week from now, all this Andy Wakefield news will be ancient history, part of the web of information parents are presented with. Meanwhile, every new parent has the remarkable power of the web at their disposal to do their own research. This crazy news has triple Generation Rescue’s web traffic, and our community grows after every single declaration by the other side of “Mission Accomplished.”
 
If anything, this particular media frenzy is more ridiculous than most. At least in 2004, after the IOM study was released, it was something fairly official sounding. This time, it’s the words of a single reporter. The story will die, as they always do.
 
I take comfort in knowing that more news to help our side will fall out of the sky, as it often does. Whether it’s a billionaire who just watched their child regress after vaccination, or another famous celebrity, or a researcher doing honest science to figure out what’s going on, truth prevails with time. Let the denialists dance on Andy’s grave today, and then wake up tomorrow to keep telling the truth.
 
They can party like it’s 1998 all they want, the parents know better.

Comments

Sandy Gottstein

Thanks, Hilary, for pointing that out! We will correct that asap.

Hilary

While Sandy Gottstein mentions our first book, called "Just a Little Prick" available from our website www.beyondconformity.org.nz , she doesn't mention the second one, called "From One Prick to Another." which has totally different material

I will be writing a third, - again with totally different material - but an acceptable follow-on double entendre title doesn't exactly spring to mind.

The few that do, would possible land us in court.

Sandy Gottstein

We also include a fairly extensive book list on the site, for anyone who is interested: http://www.vaccinationnews.com/books-topic-vaccination-or-related-subjects

And welcome recommendations that we might have missed.

Sandy Gottstein

What Hilary says is why I publish Vaccination News, which is the only site on the Internet that goes to a great deal of trouble, effort and expense, by publishing all sides of the controversy, to make it easier for parents (everyone, really) to educate themselves about vaccines and their possible/likely risks. It's too bad more people don't avail themselves of the site, since the time it would take for any individual to amass that amount of information would be many hours each day, if it were even possible. David Kirby said he couldn't have written "Evidence of Harm" without it.

But maybe this goes back to Hilary's original point. It would seem most of the research occurs AFTER vaccine damage, not before.

We have cut back on our expenses since so few seem to recognize the importance or need for an effort of this kind, which speaks again to the fact that so few recognize the importance of prevention through education (as opposed to alleged "prevention" thru vaccination). Unfortunately, that has meant we can no longer spend time reading the articles for quotes, don't include the source or author, etc. Perhaps one day we can include that information again.

But it all begs the question, what can be done to get parents to research before there is a problem, rather than after?

All the best,
Sandy
http://www.vaccinationnews.com

Hilary

@ Cynthia Cournoyer

In 1985, the National Network to Prevent Birth Defects, put out a huge report of the very long list of contaminants in breasmilk and petitioned the EPA for a "breast milk purity strategy".

Part of the report pointed out that vegetarians had vastly fewer contaminants than non-vegetarians.

A 1981 study in Michigan (Wickizer and Brilliant) showed that 50% of woman had PCB levels exceeding the FDA standards. EPA did a survey later on vegetable pesticides which was pretty shocking.

That research has been ongoing, but so far, no-one has gone on to blame toxins in breast-milk for autism.

Mustn't upset the agri-business - yet.

Perhaps they didn't think of incriminsting breastmilk...At some point, no doubt, that research will also be revisited.

Particularly by people who believe that breastmilk is bad for babies.


In our bookcase and filing cabinets are many books pre-1981, and articles, questioning vaccines. USA has a vast list of people who questioned and wrote throughout the ages. Sometimes those books come up for sale on ebay, but they are snapped up fast.

Once I started to look at who wrote about vaccines, I was just about buried under a huge mountain.

Sure, much of it was anecdote, but then that's pretty much par for the course, when science won't look at the issue in any other way than what suits them.

Hilary

JB: Your history time line is seriously deficient.

You say: "Barbara Loe Fisher and others at NVIC carried the first flame of truth about the downside to vaccines."

Wrong.

Like you, BLF knew nothing about this issue until she saw Marge Grant, who had been campaigning since 1974, talking about the issue on TV, with Dr Mendelsohn and Dr Anthony Morris.

That TV programme, apparently, switched on a light bulb in her head. Had it not been for them, she might not have woken up herself.

Which is pretty tragic, since Dr Anthony Morris had had very high profile coverage in 1976, with regard to the swine flu fiasco, and Dr Mendelsohn had had plenty to say. Sandy Gottstein is another who has been involved in the issues before BLF.

But before all of us who were around before BLF, there also exists a very long list of torch-bearers as well, who had written books and done their best to tell parents to investigate before they vaccinate.

The fact that your knowledge of pre BLF history is so bad, raises an important issue.

Why do parents vaccinate their children in total ignorance? Why do parents know so little?

JB, did you know about BLF before you vaccinated your child? Did the names Dr John Anthony Morris, or Dr Robert Mendelsoh mean anything to you before you vaccinated your children?

If not, why not?

Possible answer: Parents think that if there is something to know about vaccines that their doctors will tell them.

Parents assume that because their doctors say nothing, there is nothing to say.

Therefore parents assume that there is also nothing else out there to know.

This is the foundation of the ongoing problems we see today, for which there can be a very heavy price to pay.

This is why A of A exists. Because most of the people here with vaccine damaged children, for whatever reason, didn't know about or didn't heed all the material so many people had put out before them.

I'd really like A of A to publish a much more complete look at the world of thinkers who questioned vaccines in the past. Publish that. Then maybe more parents would start waking up to the idea that they need to do serious homework before they assume that their doctors will tell them everything they need to know.

Benedetta

Cynthia;
The companies that are making the new twisty lightbulbs with the mercury in them at this date and time are being very foolish, because they just could take the blame for the damage done away from the vaccine companies.

I don't know what they are thinking!

Cynthia Cournoyer

Since we are talking about the history of the "movement" I wanted to bring up today's headline:

"Nearly all pregnant women harbor potentially harmful chemicals" -- Washington Post 1-14-11
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/checkup/2011/01/httpwwwcdcgovncbdddbd.html

268 women were tested for 163 different chemicals including..... wait for it.....
heavy metals. Then the authors noted that some of the chemicals had already been associated with ill effects. Well Gollll-leee.

I would be interested if a chemist in our community would look at this list of chemicals and cross reference them with vaccine ingredients. Meanwhile.....

PREDICTION: THIS IS ANOTHER ATTEMPT AT DEFLECTING THE EVER-APPROACHING TRUTH that vaccines could actually harm people. Well, here it goes .... again (and again and again).

NOW, when vaccine promoters get pushed and pressured again, they will point to this study and say, "Well, even IF the vaccine ingredients are causing harm, it wasn't us! Look, it's those other list of bad chemicals, and after all, how could we possibly know it was the vaccine chemicals?...they're all mixed in... oh, so sorry."

Cynthia Cournoyer

Jen,
I also have 3 unvaccinated children, two on the spectrum, one Aspergers, one much more severe. We also all have immune problems with allergies and thyroid and celiac. I believe we have to look at our sensitive systems and how it is in the family, HOWEVER, I also believe that there will be a discovery of vaccine damaged moms (I believe I was) that contributed to the autism in their subsequent unvaccinated children. I tremble at the thought of what would have happened if I vaccinated them. If vaccines can make a perfectly fine baby become autistic (mine were ALWAYS odd from day one), then an autistic child born that way would become, well, .... really tragic ....

If people with certain existing conditions should not have certain drugs, then why not look at vaccines the same way? All other drugs state reasons not to give them. No one believes there are reasons in vaccines.

I have been asked, why don't ALL people get autism then, if it's vaccines? Well, why don't ALL people have heart attacks when given Vioxx? It took only a few exceptions to take it off the market. Does that mean that people who do not take Vioxx could ALSO have heart problems. Yes. Does it mean that there are different people reacting more and less severely after a vaccine? Yes. Does it mean that vaccine damaged women can later become pregnant and affect her fetus? Maybe. Do we seriously study these things? No.

Cynthia Cournoyer

Remember the 1970's questioning the DPT on 20/20, an ABC news magazine TV program? That was the target of "hysterical parents" back then. So I guess now they have Wakefield.

Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, through his writings, convinced me not to vaccinate in 1981. I discovered him in Mothering Magazine. Back then, no one heard anything about vaccines unless you were looking into home birth and breastfeeding and whole wheat bread and bean sprouts. THEN you could find people who thought vaccines were dangerous.

I am ever-impressed how MUCH attention the subject gets today! My book started with a pamphlet in 1983, then a booklet that grew with each edition. In 1991, it was picked up by a publisher, reprinted a few times, revised again in 1995, reprinted, and continuously sold used on Amazon for the past ten years. The 7th edition comes at a time when information is voluminous! Back in the 80's the book was known to Chiropractors and sold with classified ads!

So I am hopeful that many more parents will have the information that so many were surprised by in the 90's.

Funny, technology (artificial immunization) got us here, and technology (the internet) will get us out!

Cynthia Cournoyer
author,
What About Immunizations? Exposing the Vaccine Philosophy

Jen

Being here in the UK since 2000, i was fortunate to hear all the furore when the subject of vaccines came up for our first, who was born in 2003. She was due for vaccinating in early 2004 and we refused, asking for singles and asking for things on a different schedule. We were asked to leave the surgery because we'd (evidently) upset the nurse so badly by asking to do things differently than they were licensed for because of fears. So, since there were no options other than DTaP / 3-in-1 and MMR, we refused. Ordered Halvorsen and Cave's books and reassured myself that i was making the right decision by refusing.
Eldest was dx HFA/ASD in 2007, despite not having vaccines. Husband was also dx HFA 5 months after the eldest was.
Fast forward to late 2008 when the second was due to be vaccinated, and i wholesale refused. Told them to write it down in our notes and then don't bring it up again. Binned every computer generated reminder that popped through the box. Rang up and canceled all appointments made for me, refused swine flu vaccine.
Youngest was dx HFA/ASD in November.
None of the three of them have ever been vaccinated, but all three have ASD/HFA.
Do i still think vaccines cause autism? Hell yes. Do i think my own family history and personal history of autoimmune diseases, especially hashimotos and Crohns, means we should avoid vaccines/tampering with immunity isnt wise? Hell yes.
am i glad we don't have to live with the guilt of 'did we cause the kids' autism by vaccinating them?' HELL YES.
Dr Wakefield, THANK YOU. Professor Walker-Smith, THANK YOU. Dr Murch, THANK YOU. Dr Halvorsen, THANK YOU. Stephanie Cave, THANK YOU. Everyone who questions our being used as guinea pigs is a hero.

funny onesies

My son was born in 2004, and my journey began when he was 13 months old. We were lucky to have an observant doctor - because as our first, we didn't know what was normal and what wasn't. The first place I found online was Generation Rescue in 2005. Being a graphic web designer - I was immediately impressed with their professional presence and clean design :) - as well as their search engine ranking. I knew some money had been spent! And that the founders had worked hard to relay their message. I wrote an email asking some questions, and JB wrote me back personally. :) I was on the fence because I had been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at 17 years old (and had never paid attention to what that actually meant - a rebellious teenager that rejected anything the psychiatrist said, and never gave it another thought). My parents then revealed that they had suspected autism when I was 2 because of my stimming and lining things up. But I spoke normally, which didn't qualify me for the diagnosis. So, I had nothing until 17.

I brought all of these concerns up in my email (and was wondering if this excluded us from this "new" autism that some parents were recovering their children from - along with the fact that my son never regressed). But JB assured me with several explanations and was very thorough with his response. I couldn't have been more impressed!

From there I got in touch with a rescue angel and became a CK2 junkie as well.

Ah... the memories. Guess I just want to say - thanks JB!

Birgit Calhoun

I started a webpage about mercury aroun 2000. My hunch about mercury causing severe toxicity started when I got into googling my oldest son's depression, anxiety, terrible mood swings etc. I had no idea about autism before that although my youngest son who recently passed away was studies to see whether he had autism. That was in the 70s. He turned out to have what they called psycho-motor retardation. He didn't talk. To make a long story short I got really interested in the subject. I could not find enough material about mercury so I looked abroad to Germany, Sweden, England etc. I really got emersed. I read all the bogus studies about vaccines. The more I read them the more I realized how unscientific they were. Since then I have become thoroughly convinced that mercury does things that are nasty, and I do believe that it may cause autism.

Kristina

J.B., Not noticing the anachronisms in the first paragraph, I was nodding my head, totally relating to the story. Then I saw you were the author, and couldn't figure out what was going on.

I'm one of the lucky ones. In 1998, also soon to be married, I saw a short mention of Wakefield's case series on the news. For some reason, it sparked my interest. I dialed up to the internet, got on Altavista, and started what would become years of research into vaccines and the diseases. I eventually decided that my kids would never be vaccinated. It's a good thing, because they were born with gestational Lyme disease, and I know from their problems and their genetics that they would have become autistic if vaccinated. Because they were not, the Lyme treatment was relatively easy, and they are now perfectly healthy and normal kids.

So I am very thankful to Dr. Wakefield and that one little news story, for sparking my interest in vaccines. But I don't remember any of my subsequent research having anything to do with him. And I don't remember anybody talking about Wakefield or vaccines at the time, except for me, talking my husband's ears off about all my research.

Sarah

Huxtonpaul said: "what if vaccines merely lower the functionality of children born with autism, who until then simply did not show the condition?"

"merely lower the functionality???"

What a statement!

HP, are you serious? Did you even think before you wrote this?

Do you think it's acceptable that vaccine "merely lower the functionality of a person"? What if they do HP...do you think: oh well, no big deal, move along folks

... gmafb!!!!

Donna L.

@hoxtonpaul -
The day my son walks up to someone, introduces himself, and engages in a titillating conversation about heritability is the day I will (1), willingly concede that vaccines are perfectly safe, and (2), keel over in shock.

I don't know what disorder you're talking about and are so enthralled with, but it sure as hell isn't the autism we're all talking about.

Diane Farr

ladies and gentlemen....this Hoxton Paul is exactly the idiots that we are up against. The only way to protect vaccine policy is to sell us on the idea that autism is very cool to have; which is already being done. Next, they are going to defend that we have to have 1 in 100 autistic to save the lives of the other 99.

Theodora Trudorn

I always found the whole epilepsy and autism connection curious, particularly since so many people deny that it's there! When I was younger I use to have these staring spells, and still do when stressed where I have been told that I don't blink, talk, or move a single muscle, just stare. I have done this for six long hours before.

My mother, my uncle tells me, use to do the same thing when she was a little girl, and my dad had epilespy. I was told later that what I could of been having was absent siezures which wouldn't nescerily show up when being tested for it. What it doesn't explain is my boyfriend's strange case.

There is no one in his family who has any history with sudden siezures or epilespy. Zip! (He is AS, with frequent chair throwing meltdowns, my are not as frequent but bad enough that I black out and don't realize what was done till I come out and find my place trashed and furniture thrown across the room)

That aside, every month, on the exact same date every month he has siezures all day long! The most I have seen him have in a day was 14. They are all grand maul siezures, I have never seen him have any other kind! Yet the doctor's say that there is nothing going on in his brain to show that kind of activity.

I have learned that when in meltdown, particularly the more severe, an autistic's brain activity mirriors siezure activity!

Carol

I think I must have been born with a broken arm. It just didn't show up until I fell off the monkey bars.

Benedetta

hoxtonpaul
I meant stroke not stoke, I sure don't want you to be confused.

Plus I might add there are epileptic seizures, myclonic jerks, grand mals, petites, abstentees when no one in the rest of the entire family is having this problem.

Unless you are thinking that it was all there before and it just took a vaccine to make it worse ---- your thinking is all screwed up really, really bad.

Shelly

Hoxton Paul,

I'm not clear what point you are trying to make. You say "what if vaccines merely lower the functionality of children born with autism, who until then simply did not show the condition?" Do you think it is ok to "lower the functionality of children born with autism"? Would those children be better off without having their "functionality" lowered?

I glad that you have the ability to communicate, meet people and ask the questions. What do you think, though, about those who never will be able to do that? I'm speaking of children and young adults, still in diapers, nonverbal and self-mutalating.

You are correct that the science can be complicated and there are many profound comments and articles here. The only mystery to me, though, is why a vaccinated vs. completely unvaccinated study has never been done in the country with the most agressive vaccinate schedule. On second, thought, the answer to that really isn't a mystery at all.

Benedetta

"But I am sure that for Age of Autism, it is all much more complicated and profound and mysterious than that, eh?"

Posted by: hoxtonpaul
Really nothing mysterious about it, it is just that you have limited experience and knowledge of what you ans we are talking about.

We are not talking personalities here.
We are talking about witnessing severe adverse vaccine injuries.
I witnessed encephalitis - and since nobody seems to know what that really is I most often say Stoke.

We are talking about our children being sick more often, having higher fevers, and sick longer than all their classmates.

We are talking about gut trouble from the top of the esphogus with heart burn all the way to the exit place.

We are talking about heart problems, from swelling of the left venticle, swelling of the blood vessels leading to the heart, stiffening of the heart muscles, all the way to the electrical signaling messing up.

And we are talking about kids that have to if--- regressed later; learning to talk, walk again and ruined fine motor skills. And sometimes all three of these things are not there.

We are talking about kids sitting quietly for a long time watching something spin.

And you are talking about someone with a personality problem???

w

pass the popcorn

"When autistics meet each other, they often ask AH, WHICH SIDE DID YOU INHERIT IT FROM."

No one is discounting genetics as playing a major role in susceptibility. If you had 9 vaccines in one day at age 18 months, there's a very good chance you would not be capable of asking the above question.

Meadow Davidson

This article really hit home! My ASD son was born in March of 1998 and I often pondered why I never heard anything Andy Wakefield's research during that time. It wasn't until my son was already diagnosed at 2 that there was a small article in the local Newspaper stating mercury was to blame for Autism. I remember those early years well- the neurologist said he had read something about B6 maybe helping Autistic kids- he couldn't be sure. I remembered the shock when it wasn't covered by insurance...and then I think about now...10 years later, shelling out about $400 per month on vitamins etc.
Great and to the point! Thank you!

hoxtonpaul

My god.

What if you are all wrong? what if vaccines merely lower the functionality of children born with autism, who until then simply did not show the condition?

I read nothing at all save one single belief.

Has no one here, any capacity to believe anything else may be the case?

As usual, parent of autistic children with no experience of autistic teenagers or adults. People who have not grown up with the condition being who and what they are.

When autistics meet each other, they often ask AH, WHICH SIDE DID YOU INHERIT IT FROM. Either they know which parent, or they can see which side has the neurodiverse behaviour and traits on it.

But I am sure that for Age of Autism, it is all much more complicated and profound and mysterious than that, eh?

Jake Crosby

While I agree with this post's commentary about the media coverage of this topic, Brian Deer is not "a single reporter" - he is a smear campaigner backed by extremely powerful interests, and I feel we've spent too little time exposing his lies as well as the fraud he is.

That said, I was distressed to find that my short post from August was the only AoA post about Brian Deer since the GMC hearing ended prior to his latest allegations. I don't think nearly enough time has been spent exposing Deer in proportion to what he's done and the impact its had on this debate. Before mandates, before tobacco science, before even Paul Offit and his talking points, Brian Deer and his sham allegations should our top priority to exposé for what they are, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Steve

I know the ped gave my wife a piece of paper in 2003 claiming Wakefield's research had been "disproved" or however it said it. I don't think we paid much attention to it - even then we knew to consider the source. After my kid completely crashed and burned after is MMR, I found the Wakefield research because I was looking for some information. I knew the MMR was responsible - was nice to find someone who was making an attempt to figure out what in the hell was going on. It seemed to make a lot more sense then my son suddenly getting a genetically-based two-year case of liquid stools immediately following his vaccination - which was the explaination I was getting from each and every medical "professional" that was associated with my insurance network.

AutismGrandma

It is very interesting to read your timeline of events, J.B., along with all of the others you have inspired to write their own story today. We are all coming from a different place, but now we have all ended up in the same place.....

I have been "anti-vaccine" since 1975 when my chiropractor educated me about the mercury, animal virus and bacteria, as well as human aborted fetal tissue including foreign DNA used in vaccines. That was enough to convince me so I discontinued my daughter's vaccines at age 3, and have never received any vaccines since then myself. I had never heard of Dr. Wakefield, until reading Age of Autism in 2006.

Fast forward to 2006: My grandson is born and my daughter refuses the Hep B vaccine in the hospital. A male pediatrician goes into her room and screams abuses at her, but she holds her ground. Based on what occurred after this, it is a true blessing that she did not allow that Hep B at age ONE DAY.

My grandson has intestinal issues from birth, which is later attributed to his mothers C Section, and his exposure to the same intravenous antibiotics and narcotic pain killers. He develops mal-absorption, intestinal permeability, food allergies, asthma and eczema. He is severely allergic to every commercial formula there is so we end up trying a homemade formula and although this resolves his milk and formula allergy rashes, eczema, and life threatening asthma, he still suffers from chronic intestinal inflammation, diarrhea and constipation both. Finally after different doctor visits every single week, and online research we find two naturopathic MD's who both agree that Probiotics are desperately needed to re-implant the intestinal flora. Both doctors also agree that vaccines should not be administered due to his immune and intestinal issues. After giving him probiotics in addition to aloe vera (MPS Gold) a big improvement occurs, but by this time he has been suffering from mal-absorption resulting in malnutrition so he is hospitalized for testing.

Hospital staff doctors refuse to recognize the diagnosis of the previous naturopathic MD's, and claim that my daughter is a "bad mother" for refusing vaccinations which is "risking her child's life". She still refuses the vaccines on the basis of his health condition, so the hospital doctors refer her for investigation to Child Protective Services based on "medical neglect". The doctors and CPS threaten removal of custody if she does not comply with their demands. In no uncertain terms she will not be permitted to take her child from the hospital unless she agrees to vaccinate.

Meanwhile between the various doctors, "the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing": lab work is duplicated resulting in severe life threatening anemia. However they insist on the vaccines in spite of his condition of malnourishment now complicated by blood loss which THEY have caused. My daughter is scared to death that they are going to kill her son due to their ignorance and arrogance if she doesn't get him out of that hospital so she agrees to ONE vaccine at a time and they pretend to "compromise" at TWO vaccines. [Later on the vaccine record shows NINE given between the two injections]

Thankfully the one good outcome is a prescribed extensively hydrolyzed infant formula specifically designed for protein and fat mal-absorption; although at the same time the hospital doctors claim that he does NOT have mal-absorption of any kind. They also prescribe an anti-fungal medication, although at the same time they claim that he does NOT have a fungal infection. Instead their claim is that his malnutrition is the fault of my daughter and myself as his caretakers, including his severe anemia which was actually caused by THEM.

After complying with the demands for vaccination my daughter is then allowed to leave the hospital with her son. However, Child Protective Services orders my daughter to move out of my home immediately due to my "bad influence" since I am "anti-vaccine" and I gave her son vitamins and probiotics which were "not prescribed by a doctor", although both previous doctors recommended and approved of these natural therapies. Amazingly, the hospital staff pediatrician claims that I "could have killed him with the probiotics" since they have "bacteria" which was "dangerous". [Unbelievable] My daughter ends up in a residential motel with no assistance in caring for her son.

A few months later another "two" vaccines are given, the doctor all the while pretending that "it is only two" instead of nine doses, because my daughter is objecting in spite of her fears of loss of custody. No information is given to her, and they do not present the vaccine record to her to sign. Her son ends up with a 105 degree fever so she keeps him in a bathtub with ice all night long and calls the vaccine hotline; she is informed by a nurse that this is "normal".

Unbeknownst to my daughter, these doctors are conspiring to keep her son on a "catch up" schedule with nine doses at each vaccination since she refuses to vaccinate the first 6 months of his life until she is forced. We hire an attorney to help us but the case is still being investigated at the time of his next vaccination appointment. The pediatrician rudely tells her, "Don't be ridiculous, it's only the chicken pox vaccine" and makes "veiled threats" to get her cooperation. After administering the vaccines, the nurse shoves the vaccine record in front of my daughter instructing her to sign her initials all the way down the page, one after the other. She just wants to get the hell out of there so she signs, but this is the big clue that a whole lot of vaccines were given to her son which she was not aware of.

Consequently at age 12 months, after his last batch of NINE vaccines he immediately regresses into autism; after screaming all night which went on for many months afterwards, and massive diarrhea, by the next morning he could no longer walk or talk and had turned into a "screaming zombie". The intestinal issues which we had then resolved with probiotics and the prescribed formula returns with a vengeance much worse than anything he had previously experienced. Within 6 months he has received a total of 27 vaccines.

I am praying night and day and frantically researching online regarding "vaccine injuries", but have no clue regarding autism until a few weeks later when Jenny McCarthy appears on Larry King Live, a program that I have never watched in my entire life. My research goes in the direction of Jenny's advice and I discover Defeat Autism Now, TACA, Generation Rescue, Autism Research Institute, and finally Age of Autism. THANK YOU GOD.

The DAN autism therapies used by thousands of other families is recovering my grandson in a gradual and positive direction. Methyl B 12 and Glutathione gradually restores his ability to walk and reverses other neurological damages. Colostrum enables him to finally sleep at night. Probiotics, prebiotics, caprylic acid, enzymes, aloe vera and slippery elm greatly improves his severe intestinal issues although he still has ongoing problems which is attributed to the MMR. It is 3 years before he finally starts to say words; when after trying 10 different probiotics we are referred to Klaire Labs THER-BIOTIC Complete and that becomes the "magic bullet" for the restoration of his language. He is presently in special education pre-school, speech therapy, occupational therapy, ABA, etc. and continually improving although he has many issues which we are still working on. Our latest goal is pursuing an autism service dog.

My own beliefs regarding the dangers of vaccines, my daughter's beliefs, and the two doctors who advised against vaccines had nothing to do with Dr. Wakefield, however I believe he is definitely contributing to more parents now questioning the safety of vaccines, and for all that he has sacrificed for all of us, he deserves a medal of honor.


Carol

"More than any other modern American, author Rachel Carson is credited with giving birth to populist ecological awareness.

_Silent Spring_ also created a crisis--a PR crisis--for the powerful agricultural chemical industry which emerged after World War II....The agricultural industry hit back at Carson with the PR equivalent of a prolonged carpet bombing campaign....In their campaign to discredit Carson, [E. Bruce] Harrison and his cohorts used 'crisis management' including emotional appeals, scientific misinformation, front groups, extensive mailings to the media and opinion leaders, and the recruitment of doctors and scientists as 'objective' third party defenders of agrichemicals."

From _Toxic Sludge is Good for You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry_ by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton

Benedetta

Late 1960's -- when my mother received a flu shot, became very ill from it and never totally recovered. She spent a lot of time trying to get help from doctors with for GI problems and other problems with the immune system, but we all know how that went.

1978 - A nurse in my communicable diseae class in college, held up her hand in the middle of a lecture about how really safe that vaccines are , and said that was not true, the pertussin vaccine was horrible!

1979 was a big push on getting vaccinated for the swine flu because it was going to kill the whole human race. My professor of microbiology was telling us all to get that vaccine. Two months later the news reported some people had become paralazed by the required three inoculations of the swine flu, and it was being discontinued.

1981 my daugther came down with something I I had never heard of called Kawasaki disease. My husband said that the talk he heard was it could be related to vaccines. But her last vaccine was a long seven or eight weeks pior.

1983 my husband passes out in the hallway of our house after receiving a tetanus vaccine at work, and seizes the rest of the night.

1986 My son was born two vaccines caused a heart murmur and passing out, My daughter received her Fifth DPT shot at age five then too and passed out. What in the heck is going on??? That was unknown to me at the time the same year that the federal vaccine compensation court was brought about by Congress. Well now - that really helped a lot now didn't it.

1987 my son had his third DPT shot and suffered encephalitis.I was told to get on with our lives, all was fine.

Trust me, if it would leave me alone, and everything would go back to normal then I would have forgotten it. But it is an on going thing that has a life of it's own.
Not a day goes by that there is something new, to pertaining to it by some of my family.

Loved the history lesson J.B. Handly esp of what happened in the late 90's and the 2000's because I was so very busy those years with myclonic jerks with my son hospital visit with my husband about blood in the urine, racing heart, checking the heart and for my daughter very weird things going on with mood and behavior.

I feel exhausted.

JenB

My daughter was born in 1997, and yup, it wasn't until 2005 that I began to be aware of this issue, but it didn't take me that quite that long to be aware there was a problem.

I guess I can thank Robert Kennedy and Joe Scarborough for starting me looking into the vaccine & environmental connection, but I also think I needed the preparation of having seen multiple regressions in my daughter that I couldn't understand and having been around children in a volunteer setting and seeing issues in concentration enough that I knew something was different, and not better, from when I was a child.

Reading the transcript of the Scarborough interview hurt beyond explaining. It was a horrible prospect, Hg exposure (probably more complicated than just Hg) in infants on a national scale through a program that was supposed to help them, but it fit what I was seeing in her peers ("The problem is the problem."), and in a very real way it would mean I chose this for her, not something I was quick to embrace as some parent "just looking for something to blame." That interview was really intended to focus on another book (I think?) that Kennedy had written, but Kennedy wanted to discuss the thimerosal issue and one of Scarborough's sons was also affected, and I believe that is why that particular thimerosal/vaccine discussion got air time (Again, "The problem is the problem").

Even with that, it took reading "Evidence of Harm," multiple internet sites, multiple reviewings and re-readings, trying to judge the character of people saying there were problems with the vaccine schedule--mostly reasonable sounding people, including Wakefield, not claiming to have all the answers, but they are concerned because of points A, B, C,...--, trying to find adequate responses to points A, B, C,... from the official "experts" and not getting any...going over the past, over and over, trying some of the interventions that the "crazy anti-vaccine deniers" were recommending and seeing positive results, before I became pretty certain that my daughter would be living an essentially NT life, and her peers and children also born this past decade would have been better off with safer, honest public health programs, particularly the vaccine program.

"The problem" is that a generation of children have more immune & neurological damage than ever before seen. Wakefield is not only NOT the problem, he is part of the solution, even at great personal cost, and I guess that makes those that have hounded him as well as others, allowing the damage to continue and preventing aid to those already harmed, part of "the problem," as well!

Dawn Turner

My heart aches for and goes out to all the parents and children who have been affected so harshly by the lies of the pHARMa and medical industries. Vax seem to be the "sacred cow" (to use my hubby's phrase) of these two entities. And the damage, suffering and death continues in its many guises. :-(

It wasn't until 2002-2003 that I heard about Wakefield and his study. I came to his research via a very different route than most I've seen on this conversation. I came through vaccine damage to my pets. I spent the late 90s and early 2000s delving into any research I could find (which wasn't easy to locate in those earlier days) about possible damage from vaccinations. They claimed ADEs to vaccines were "rare", but I had seen ADEs in ALL of my pets to one degree or another. That's hardly "rare". Gastric problems; immune collapse; autoimmune disease; behavioral changes (sudden onset excessive fearfulness or aggression); neurological damage (learning issues, spatial orientation problems, seizures). And this was all in my DOGS, not children! My then vets, of course, dismissed it as "coincidence" and "unrelated" to the vax they were given.

Needless to say, I no longer buy the party line of "vax are safe". Shoot, I don't even buy they are "effective" anymore, since I've seen WAY too many fully vaccinated puppies contract and die from things like parvo.

I know my experiences as a pet owner don't even come close to what parents of autistic and other vaccine-damaged children go through, but I do to some degree understand the fear, guilt and frustration of it all. I'm not a parent to children, as my hubby and I never had children, but I do what I can to share this kind of information and help educate parents AND dog owners about the dangers of vaccinations. Keep fighting the battle. You're not alone!

Theodora Trudorn

You know I have a pretty strong recollection of the year 1998, considering it was a year when alot of things were going on in my young life. I watched the news religiously, and was obsessed with the New York Times. I remember mentions of the paper, but I don't remember ANYONE freaking out over it!

My mom didn't, none of her fellow health employees did either. Being an aspie, I have a photographic memory. My recollection of events can be uncanny (probably why my PTSD is like it is). There was no panic!! Most revisionist history points to a date that is at least 100 years back! Most of us were around in '98!

They really don't think we are this stupid, do they?!

Anne McElroy Dachel

LOL...I first heard about the link between vaccines and autism from an article in the paper about 10 years ago where the CDC denied vaccines cause autism.

They got me curious and the rest is history!
Anne

Ginger Taylor

My vaccine/autism/Andrew Wakefield awareness timeline:

-1988 Saw Rainman. Wanted to give Dustin Hoffman a hug.

-1989 Heard that vaccines may be related to the development of autism in my undergraduate psych program at George Mason University. Decided to tuck that piece of info away and investigate further when I have kids someday.

-1999 Hear on the news that there is an assload of mercury in the vaccine schedule. Think to myself, "Huh... that makes sense that it would be a problem and might cause autism. They will get that out and all will be right with the world again.

-2000 Give birth to first baby, prematurely. Take baby reciently out of NICU to his first peds appointment and casually ask if the mercury is out of the vaccines. Pediatrician, small in both stature and character, gives me a tongue lashing for asking, "we don't use those any more!" (as if I asked if he was going to put leeches on my baby). I apologize profusely for offending him. He injects my baby with what I would find out later was a full dose mercury Heb B shot. Baby develops verbal appraxia and sensory issues (now recovered... yay!)

-2004 As I have continued to vaccinate errantly believing that all potential problems with vaccines have been addressed, and baby number two is diagnosed with autism. I know it can't be the vaccines, because docs say so, but this diet that the vaccine people recommend works magic on my son. And then the suppliments they recommend work more magic on my son. So I get out the video tapes and check his regression against his vaccine record and confirm that, yes... this started after his 18 month shots. Test for mercury in both boys and find it. Start chelating. Start a blog about Chandler's treatment in the summer of 2004. Name it Adventures In Autism, write about biomed and chelation. Find online groups talking about vaccine issues and hear about some guy in England and something about MMR, but ignore it because Chandler never got the MMR and had no measles titers from secondary exposrue to vaccine shedding.

-2005 have not yet written about vaccines, as my new pediatrician is also a friend and don't want to upset her. Read Evidence of Harm and Deadly Immunity and decide it is irresponsible of me not to discuss my son's vaccine reactions. Write the word "vaccine" on the blog for the first time. Pediatrician/friend yells at me on the phone and hangs up on me. Hear that the English guy who talks about MMR is going to be in town speaking at CARD, go to see him becuase while I don't care about MMR, I want to hear him talk about gut issues, which we have in spades. Think he seems like a cautioned, reasonable man. Reprint two articles that mention his name on my blog that year, but still don't write anything about him.

-2006 Post one reserach review on my blog that has his name in it.

-2007 Post two articles from others noting that his GMC trial was beginning. Once the media circus begins, notice Wakefield has a clinic in Texas, wish I could take Chandler there.

-2008 Write a few things about Wakefield, but not about the vaccine, about the media and the medi/pharma bullying. I guess you could say that this is when I actually took notice of anything Wakefield had said or done 10 YEARS AFTER THIS SUPPOSED WORLDWIDE PANIC STARTED. I guess I am just slow?

-2009 Same.

-2010 Wakefield is convicted and the lancet article retracted... so I FINALLY decided that I should probably read the damn paper to see what all the fuss is about.

So how does and obsessive vaccine injury blogger like me miss this world wide vaccine panic that I was supposed to be caught up in by the Svengali like powers of Dr. Andrew Wakefield in 1998?

Patti Devlin

I was actually living in the UK (outside of London) in 1998 while my Air Force husband was stationed there. I do not recall anything about Wakefield, vaccines, etc., and I did watch BBC, Sky News, etc. There wasn't much else on TV! My son was born 12/04 and was vaccinated through 15 months, which would have been the beginning of March 2006. He had completely regressed by 16 months in April 2006. I had still not heard anything about vaccine reactions or autism, etc. I started researching on the internet and came across a message board on a website that finally clued me in. By 11/06, we had started dietary intervention and biomedical. Dr. Wakefield's research could have saved us a lot of heartache and money as I might have thought twice about vaccinating a kid with severe acid reflux...if I would have heard of it.

E.T.'s Mom

Funny... The first I ever heard about a possible connectio between the MMR and autism never mentioed Wakefield. I was home, sick, from work. I was flipping through the channels and came across a hearing where a pediatrician and some parents in CA (I believe) were talking about it. I didn't even have kids ( not even on the radar at the time), but I made a mental note to look onto it.
Unfortunately, because of all the hype about that one shot, I didn't fully explore the vaccine schedule prior to the birth of my firstborn. I had no idea that all vaccines were questionable, not just the MMR. Also had no idea they gave ANY vaccine at birth. My son suffered severe injury from the one and only vaccine he ever got-the neonate hep B dose.
That said, the name Wakefield never entered my radar until I realized my son had autism in Feb 2007.
Interesting note: each of these media blitzes concerning Wakefield: the one last spring, the one last fall, and this one just happen to coincide with the release of books about the risks and dangers of vaccines. Coincidence? I think not. That realization is not my own. Ginger Taylor at Adventures in Autism connected those dots as well as noting all the conflicts of interest surrounding Brian Deer that are, rather conveniently, never mentioned.

Beth

I started web research on autism in 2000 after having some concerns about a friends child and hearing that the rate of autism was on the rise. I became worried by the online reports of parents claiming their children had regressed into autism after vaccines, but not enough to overrule what I was hearing from my own pediatrician that the claims were false and that vax are safe.

Then in April 2002, a major paper in the Northeast reported on the MMR-autism-UK controversy and my MIL put the article in front of me and said, "see, there's nothing to worry about, it says so right here."

Two months later at the next round of shots my own child had a terrible neurological reaction to her vaccines and the reaction was immediate and lasting. She transformed drastically before my eyes and suddenly those parents I had read about on the internet were of great interest to me. Been learning from them and supporting them ever since even though my daughter is NT today.

Back in 2002, my friends with children seemed to have very little concern even after my daughters reaction because they were reassured by their peds that all was okay.

Jeff C.

They keep trying to make this about one man and one paper. It makes sense from a PR perspective. If it was all caused by one person, simply discredit that person and crisis goes away. Look at what we have seen; at the start of last year we had the GMC ruling and the stripping of his medical license. That didn’t work, so now we have the fraud allegations this year. Of course that won’t work either, I expect we will see criminal charges next year; it is all they have left. I pray for the man and his family.

What they utterly fail to understand is the power of thousands of parents telling the same story. Every one of those parents tells it to their relatives, friends and co-workers. They try to dismiss this as some sort of a mass delusion, like we are some sort of Jonestown cult. Unfortunately for them, those we tell know we aren’t crazy. They know we are committed parents, educated, and knowledgeable. They take us seriously. That is why this won’t go away.

Sarah

Jen,

Speaking of Munchausen, I think the entire medical industrial complex suffers from Munchasuen..look at all the people today who are suffering from autoimmune disease, cancer and other chronic conditions who need medical help. In comes pharma with a new pill for this or a vaccine for that. Anyone see a pattern?

I also think Brian Deer has a form of Munchausen.. only Wakefield is his victim..look at all the attention he gets at Wakefields expense.. I think he is pathologically jealous of Andrew Wakefield hence ongoing nasty public attacks.

Barb Romkema

Hey JB, don't forget about the Iowans over here--Dana Halverson and her organization, Beat Iowa and the rest of us who came alongside her to pass the first law in the nation to ban thimerosal from childhood vaccines.

For some reason, we get forgotten--I was kidding David Kirby about jumping past the Iowans to the big state of California. Hey, we are here, we are here, we are here!!!!

Oh, and please don't forget my son's book of poetry-- Embracing the Sky--published in London, still available on amazon.com. He was typing his way into the world's consciousness and reminds us always, "I pray that it is not too late to discover the man I could have been."

Barb Romkema

Jen

The funny thing about the "Munschausen" piece is that most posters are saying that it's a bit of a bogus condition. I believe sadly , there may be a few cases where the parent has actually done harm to their child on purpose but it seems to be being used to scapegoat for bio-med progress. Casey, I'm with you. I am loving this.

Anne McElroy Dachel

JB, in the stories I've read over the years in the American press, the issue was overwhelmingly THIMEROSAL and autism, not the MMR and autism. The MMR was always the British contoversy.
Why single out Andrew Wakefield?
Why not blame Dr. Bernadine Healy, David Kirby, Robert Kennedy Jr, Peter Fletcher-former Chief Scientific Officer in the UK, or Dr. Richard Halvoren-another outspoken British doctor? Why not condemn the actions of the medical experts at HHS who conceded the Hannah Poling case?

One little piece in the Lancet years before this even became an issue in the U.S. caused barely a ripple.

Why Wakefield?

Anne Dachel
Media

Jen

Sorry, didn't know where else to post this but right now on Huff po there's a piece in health section on "Munschaausen by Proxy" syndrome. I commented as to this as a way to railroad autism parents.

GH

They can party like it's 1998.

I can't.

Sarah

Their PR strategy is backfiring big time.
Pharma needs a fall guy to offer up and Wakefield is the one. People aren't buying it though.

When my son was dxed in 2005, I had no idea who Andrew Wakefield was. I found that out later, after I started chatting on line with other parents. I had made up my mind about vaccines well before I heard of Dr. Wakefield.

It was because of the media circus instigated by Brian Deer that I learned of Dr. Wakefield.

They think they are ending the autism-vaccine debate but, by attacking Dr. Wakefield in the media, and they are raising awareness and getting people to question vaccine safety and raising more distrust. Foolish move on their part.

The truth is on Dr. Wakefields side and no PR campaign can deny the truth.

Parent

If only I'd had the internet when my children were born in '94 and '97. It is one of the great regrets of my life - having to rely solely on my pediatrician for information. NEVER AGAIN.

I agree with the "huh?" moment on Dr. Wakefield. When we began our biomedical journey for severe allergies/learning problems I had never heard of him. I went at least two years before his issues were even on my radar screen. That being said, I have tremendous respect for him.

Great article, again, JB.

Kevin

Funny, I STILL don't have a smartphone or iPod! (Call me old fashioned, my weekends are just that - mine).

In 2006, I remember doing my 'research' on vaccines before my son's 1rst round of shots (my wife was concerned). I concluded that you all were a bunch of quacks - there was so much rhetoric and conflict. Really. But my wife insisted we ask our 'trusted' pediatrician who said that the vaccines were safe. My son was running a slight temperature (that time and every time thereafter) but she gave them to him anyway.

I remember looking at my wife, she looked at me and neearly cried. I'll never forget the moment nor will I never stop feeling guilty about my convictions at the time. Hindsight really murders ya.

Anyway, flash forward to today and we tell everyone we know. We've alienated our families and our friends who think we are now quacks.

Until it happens to them. Denial is a funny thing isn't it?

But I pray it doesn't happen to anymore people I know, I pray for the advocates and I pray for the families 'weathering the storm'...

Holly M.

My daughter had 8 seizures after her 4-month old shots in 2001. I had heard in passing about mercury and combination vaccines. I assumed the reason why she had so many shots at her 4-month old visit was because the mercury was removed and single dose vaccines were now being used. I never thought she was getting newly recommended vaccines in addition to the same mercury preserved schedule. I thought it was safe to vaccinate. Afterwards as she plumetted into austism, I too dialed-up and started researching vaccines and joined the Yahoo mercury- autism group. I was one of the first 250 members. Now I think there are over 6500. We started chelating my son in December of 2001 and my daughter in 2003 with much success. Andy Cutler not Andy Wakefield was on my radar back then.

Casey

Brilliant. This has actually been great for getting the truth out. I've had more parents ask me questions in light of recent "reports" (cough b*llshit lies) than ever before. More are seeing the truth. Two of them are reading my copies of Evidence of Harm and another is reading Age of Autism. While they wait for those to get finished others are reading Kim's awesome new book and Mother Warriors. I am mass emailing websites to check out if they want to learn more. I am LOVING this. It's just a matter of time...

Mary

My journey began in 2000 after reading the paper by Sallie Bernard, entitled Autism: A Unique type of Mercury Poisoning. My son born in 1999 had nearly every symptom listed. Wakefield seems like a distraction to me.

RAJ

Despite the growing number of knockout genetic mouse models for autism, there are also many environmentally induced mouse models, the most recent published this month showing that neonatal exposure to thimerosal in newborn mice induces similar structural abnormalities in the hippocampus and cerevbellum as has been found in human autopsy reports.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21225508

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15749244

Bob Moffitt

JB .. as usual .. your comments are worth remembering.

I .. too .. have often wondered why Dr. Wakefield's 12 year old clincial study in the United Kingdom .. is constantly made responsible for creating and sustaining the widespread and growing numbers of parents who have become hesitant to vaccinate their children according to the recommended schedule in the United States?

After all .. your rememberance of events as they unfolded for your family .. coincides almost exactly to my own family's search for a reason that would explain why our little guy .. now eleven .. "regressed" so uexpectedly somewhere around the age of two.

To our family .. we began our journey looking for answers with David Kirby's "Evidence of Harm" .. not Dr. Andrew Wakefield's study.

So, if I were to write a history comparing these events to characters who played a huge part in Revolutionary America .. I would put Barbara Loe Fisher, Lyn, Sallie, Liz, Mark, Lujene, Alan and Bernie in the role of the "Minutemen" .. and .. Dr. Andrew Wakefield would be remembered with the same reverence history has given the courageous self-sacrifice displayed by "give me liberty or give me death" Patrick Henry.

Indeed, if Thomas Paine were alive today .. I like to think his "common sense" would find a home at AoA.

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