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A (Brian) Deer in the Headlights: Allowed to Report on Self-Created Story?

A Deer in the Headlights’ two years on: why was Brian Deer allowed to go on reporting on a story which he himself had created?

With Brian Deer up for ‘Specialist Journalist of the Year’ tomorrow night at the British Press Awards, which are being held at the Savoy Hotel in London, Age of Autism re-visits the Spectator article of celebrated British journalist, Melanie Phillips. Phillips’s article documents amongst other things how Deer and the General Medical Council came to an agreement that he would not be named as complainant against Andrew Wakefield and the other Royal Free doctors so he could go on reporting the story unencumbered. Two years on the questions just go on multiplying: how for instance did it come about that the chair of GMC panels, Harvey Marcovitch, went out of his way to endorse Deer’s renewed allegations in British Medical Journal with key parts of the hearing still under judicial review (HERE )? How is it that the British state in all its manifold guises has turned a prolonged blind eye to how Deer obtained and used confidential medical and legal documents in presenting his allegations both publicly and secretly, and why the British Medical Journal and its editor-in-chief, Fiona Godlee, refuse even to allow the matter to be mentioned in it columns (HERE)?  How can the BMJ go on touting allegations which are not only flawed in detail, but in basic logic (HERE)? As the British Establishment’s Lord High Executioner arrives at the Savoy for his professional apotheosis, we ask whether the media have been following the real story in the Wakefield affair.

A deer in the headlights

Melanie Phillips (Spectator 16 February 2009)

Eleven days ago, Brian Deer renewed his onslaught against Andrew Wakefield in the Sunday Times. I wrote about it here and made the point that, since Deer’s allegations sparked the General Medical Council case against Wakefield which would not have occurred without his involvement, he was effectively a principal player in the story he was reporting — a clear conflict of interest and breach of journalistic standards.

After I noted this, an American TV show last week accused Deer of journalistic misconduct in reporting a story in which he was a major player without acknowledging this fact. Deer has been trying to deny this ever since.

First he threatened to sue the TV station, denying that he had laid the initial complaint which formed the bulk of the GMC inquiry and claiming instead that the GMC had approached him for information about Wakefield following his stories:

‘I did not lay the initial complaint against Wakefield. This allegation is a fabrication, albeit rather a small one in the MMR issue. The GMC asked me for my journalistic evidence arising from published stories. It was my public duty to supply my findings to this statutory regulator.’

Well, various people did think that Brian Deer’s complaint was the trigger for the GMC inquiry. One of those people, it appears, was Brian Deer…(continue reading HERE)

See also:-










No matter what we say or do about Brian Deer, he will "lap" it up!

Is that not what NARCISSISM-(excessive or erotic interest in oneself) is all about!



Hi John - I should have contacted Brian Deer to tell him Asperger's CAN be a regressive condition - at least in my son's case. Sure my son had symptoms when young but on reaching puberty they disappeared. I have been told that at that critical time, some people get better and some get very much worse. My son got better. He got 7 standard grades and we were told he was university material. Then - aged 15 - he was given 6 vaccines [including MMR] and symptoms started to develop within 10 days. Now it might not have been regression as such, but it was certainly developmental arrest. Aged 24 he told me he still felt [and acted] like 16 year old. He is now 31. The last time I asked what age he felt he was he replied " I don't know. I just feel lost."


John Stone

It should not perhaps pass comment that on the evening when Mr Deer announced that his award was an award for an industry that got things right the first police arrests took place in London of senior staff members in the News of the World phone hacking affair, which still threatens to engulf the Prime Minister's former press secretary Andrew Coulson (who was editor of the newspaper at the time of the events, and has already been forced to resign his government post). It may be that this was why Mr Deer did not look altogether comfortable during his short speech. Indeed, it is hard to see that his actions were ethically or legally much different, and certainly not better than a phone hacker. Nor will it have escaped many people's notice that the Sunday Times, in which Mr Deer's allegations originated, is a sister newspaper in the Murdoch News International empire.

John Stone


Yes, this isn't not about Asperger, since neurological, psychiatric authority Deer has decided that Asperger is a non-regressive condition - and some of the Lancet paper cases were Asperger. But he is putting off the day when these issues are understood scientifically, publicly, politically.

I certainly don't think the position of Asperger people is less tragic than those further down the continuum.

Of course, there are many other issues to pursue beyond Brian Deer, but I don't believe it is time to drop him yet either.


Theodora Trudorn


I understand it is important. It just wears on my nerves some days. Deer and his nonsense, which ends up overshadowing the problem in the mainstream media. And when they DO focus on the problem, it's always the children and the more severe who get the attention. Those like me, who have Aspergers are dismissed, ignored, forgotten, or even charged with not having a REAL disability!

I just want people to remember that the severe are not the only victims in this, remember those with Asperger's too! That is all I ask of the general public. Don't dismiss us, don't cast us aside, remember us. In our persuit of Deer, I fear sometimes that the drama he creates will take the focus off the victims in his wake. If that makes sense.

John Stone


Of course, but the reason is the global "healh" industry hiding behind Deer and his account. They can all walk away because there are quasi legal rulings against Wakefield, and they can deny any responsibility for people's suffering, citing half-baked epidemiology, general received opinion etc.

We have to pursue it because the truth is a necessary pre-requisite of beginning to get things right.

Oddly, enough I find I have accidentally just paraphrased Deer last night. He clambered to the platform at the ceremony announced that his award was an award to an industry which "gets things right". Well, they don't remotely and staring at my computer at all those hard-boiled, cynical, frivolous journalistic hacks was quite disagreeable, even without Deer.


Theodora Trudorn

I tire of the blame game, I truly do. All I really want is for someone to NOTICE US!!! This Brain Deer vs Andrew Wakefield is tiring me. Brian's someone with an obvious mental problem. He obsesses after Wakefield in such a way that even an aspie would look at him and say "Dude, WTF?!?" I am pretty sure this is clear as day to the general populace.

He doesn't need an award, HE NEEDS HELP!!!! That said, once again, I tire of it. It doesn't seem to change anything. People like me still remain in the shadows. The only ones that matter are children and those with severe autism. Those with Asperger's aren't even mentioned in the debate anymore, unless an aspie like me is there to force the issue.



Brian Deer being publicly rewarded for his 'investigation' of the Wakefield/MMR debate, is just another deliberate slap in the face from the British establishment, to parents of vaccine injured children. It delays even further any possible research into vaccine damage, but that all part of the grand plan. They are playing for time. And the closer we get to the truth coming out, the nastier the 'establishment' will become - so be prepared.
And meantime children will continue to be damaged.

one Voice

I hope and pray that you Mr.Deer will get punished one day
for your lies,for your attacks and for delaying the progress to find solutions to this worldwide epidemic that
harming and damaging our children.So tell us, who payed you,
which drug company you are working for? Anybody who has information on Mr.Deer please come forward.

Jennifer S.

He won. I can't believe it!

Joan Campbell

There are humongous people out there in the world who might believe what Brian Deer has to say, well more fools them. I know in my heart and soul and every ounce of my being that he is a liar and a cheat and one of the nastiest people I have ever layed eyes and hands on.
Please view a video my husband and I made
I try and stay positive that the work I do and the work that John Stone, Bill Welsh and so many others who I know concerning vaccine damage will someday come to fruition. Cryshame and Jabs group were some of the first groups in the UK to show the plight of us parents whose children were vaccine injured and to support Dr Wakefield, Murch and Walker Smith.

Angus Files

All the lies from Deer and no answers which is why he remains silent its just a thing he can`t explain.

If he is so cock sure of not telling lies why dont we set up a lie detector on Deer ..forgot the machine can only record 200 lies per second ..need a bigger machine if we can find a big enough lie machine would Mr Deer accept the offer ?

Kelly's legs number eleven Mr Deer were you at the Bingo when you wrote that??


Isnt it dishonest for Mr Deer to receive an award for being dishonest i would say so



If it was not obvious to you why Mr Deer led his stories with the father of Child 11, might this help?

No one in the UK has any medical notes for Child 11. They are in the US with Child 11's father. So no one could check up on anything Mr Deer wrote. Child 11 was not included in the GMC hearing. There were no charges regarding Child 11 in the GMC. There were no Child 11 medical notes in the GMC hearing or in the UK libel litigation. There were no witnesses available for any charges regarding Child 11.

So it was dead easy for Mr Deer to put to Child 11's father that he had spent all that money coming from the USA not for treatment for his son's benefit but for - as Mr Deer alleged - a scam by parents of British children who were not really sick to get windfall payouts in litigation for conditions allegedly caused by MMR vaccine which they did not really have.

Mr Deer also would have known that he could write anything he liked about Child 11 because no one publicly knew who the child is or where to find him and his parents. Mr Deer knew because he had seen the details in litigation documents.

If you check Mr Deer's quotes of what Child 11's father says, Mr Deer does not say what Mr Deer told Child 11's father to provoke the comments Mr Deer quoted in his news stories.

But of course the odd thing is that the GMC knew who Child 11's father is and where to find him [which was confidential information they would not disclose].

They no doubt asked for Child 11's father for the medical notes but because Child 11 is in the USA they had no power to compel the production of the medical notes - so they could not include Child 11 in the GMC hearings.

This raises more questions however. If Child 11's father was really so angry as Mr Deer makes out, how come he did not provide the GMC with the medical notes? Surely he would have done if he was that angry. And who would not be if it was put the way Mr Deer would have put it to him.

So why did Child 11's father refuse?

Another question which provokes the suggestion the GMC hearings were a show trial is that without Child 11, the GMC hearings would be about not "the Lancet 12" but "the Lancet 11" and people would ask, "where is the missing child" and "why was that child not included in the GMC hearings".

So instead of having "the Lancet 12", the GMC included another child, which they referred to as "Child JS". So we have the full 12 and no questions asked.

These details are also confusing so no one could work out what was going on with which child was which and the documents are not publicly available to work it out. So anyone who might try could become very confused.

They would also be confused because in the MMR vaccine injury litigation there were not 12 lead cases but only 8.

So "the Lancet 12" were not the lead cases in the litigatiion either.

What is more confusing is that none of "the Lancet 12" were actual litigants.

The UK MMR litigation was commenced on behalf of only one child and not any of the Lancet 12 children. The UK MMR litigation commenced with the case of Paul Sayers - Claim No 1998 - S1267 on 9th October 1998.

And only 6 of "The Lancet 12" had legal aid certificates issued at the time they were seen at The Royal Free Hospital. But none of them were litigants then and nor were they litigants when the Sayer's claim was filed in October 1998 two years later!!!

The issue of a legal aid certificate does not make someone a litigant. It only provides funding covered by what is specified in the legal aid certificate and that may not necessarily include all steps to commence and pursue litigation but to carry out initial work on a case.

So the best anyone could say is that half of "the Lancet 12" at the time they were seen at the Royal Free Hospital might have become later litigants but were not then.

So much for Mr Deer's scam.


I guess I'm belaboring this, but I think it's important. Mr. 11 is an engineer and a businessman. He's American and not an MMR litigant or Brian Deer would have told us about that. If Mr. 11's son's regression really occurred *before* MMR, why on earth would Mr. 11 think it was caused by MMR?

Isn't it more reasonable to suppose that by the time Mr. 11 came to the Royal Free many years later, he had forgotten the exact timing of the boy's MMR or his regression or both? Even those of us who aren't engineers or businessmen retain a good sense of "before" and "after" for important events.

It's odd that Brian Deer doesn't see fit to offer any sort of explanation because the incongruity of it sticks out like a sore thumb.


I keep going back to Deer's article and reading the part about Child 11. Maybe, I think, if I read it just one more time, I'll get it.

The part of the discharge summary Deer supplies us is paraphrasing the parents. They're the ones telling us that their son started regressing at 13 months. But according to Deer, they blamed the MMR which their son hadn't gotten yet. It's true that Deer says they "apparently" blamed MMR so maybe they didn't really? But they came all the way from the US to see this measles guy. Why would they do that? Brian Deer likes Mr. 11; he's not just a deadbeat looking to cash in like all the others. So what's going on? The simplest explanation, really, would be that the parents forgot which month their son got the MMR. Or maybe some doctor wrote something down wrong.

In the case of another child, Child 2, Deer tells us that did happen: "The [discharge] summary, like the Lancet paper, gives a wrong age (13 months) for child 2’s vaccination, taken from the mother by Mark Berelowitz." Here we see Deer claiming that incorrect initial information, the fault of either the parent or the doctor, got propagated through to the discharge summary.

The reader craves an explanation for Mr. 11's irrational belief. Why didn't the award-winning journalist provide one?


No doubt that the "surprisingly small ruling elite" will want to publicly reward one of their minions for services rendered, in spite of the contempt said elite privately reserves for said minions.

Lisa Blakemore-Brown

Brian Deer should most definitely win an Award - Straw Man of the Year.


if you win don't forget to thank the person who supplied you with the children's medical records,

Deborah Nash

Mr Deer is the perfect example of self aggrandizement but he could not have succeeded without the gullibility or compliance of those in more powerful positions. One wonders whether the journalism awards will be a foregone conclusion. If the "powers that be" can orchestrate the GMC Hearing, they are capable of anything.

John Stone


Lots of questions but Deer's 'Father 11' seems only to have been told that his son was 'Child 11' by Deer, so it appears to be a question of Deer's word!!!!



Hopefully Mr Deer will get the award - confirming the state of modern journalism.

This is a journalist who publishes illegally on his website private and confidential medical and legal information belonging to very sick children, and in doing so infringes their human rights and rights to patient confidentiality - and so undermines those rights for everyone everywhere.

This is a journalist who has to this day withheld material documents from the General Medical Council hearings whilst:

1) being the original complainant [three times according to a judgement of the English Court];

2) claiming to have made his complaints to the GMC under a "public duty" whilst cherry-picking the documents he illegally obtained and used for the purpose;

3) and all the while knowing missing documents were a problem in the GMC case because he sat in attendance at practically all of the 200 or so days of open hearings and heard Counsel for the Defendant doctors referring directly to the problem of missing documents which would support their client's cases - whilst all the time withholding material documents.

This is a journalist who admitted openly [Gary Null Radio Show] to aiding abetting counselling or procuring the commission of contempt of court to obtain and retain information illegally [but it seems there may yet be more yet to come out on this].

This is a journalist who is unethical and dishonest about his own identity - using a false name when unnecessary to obtain a story and contrary to established codes of journalist ethical conduct.

This is a journalist who was routinely leaking confidential court and other documents to the US Department of Justice in a single-handed effort to provide unfair advantage to the US Government and to bring down the cases of 5000 sick US children in the US Omnibus Autism Proceedings.

This is a journalist who engages in abusing parents of injured children and others in writing and in public on his website and elsewhere.

This is a journalist who claims very sick children were not in furtherance of promoting himself and to sell his stories.

This is a journalist who has comprehensively broken numerous laws disregarding justice, fairnes and honesty in the process.

Nice guy - really.


I'm having some trouble following what Deer's saying about Child 11 in the BMJ article.

"Child 11 was among the eight whose parents apparently blamed MMR. The interval between his vaccination and the first 'behavioural symptom' was reported as 1 week. This symptom was said to have appeared at age 15 months. But his father, whom I had tracked down, said this was wrong.

'From the information you provided me on our son, who I was shocked to hear had been included in their published study,' he wrote to me, after we met again in California, 'the data clearly appeared to be distorted.'

He backed his concerns with medical records, including a Royal Free discharge summary."

And a little later in the BMJ article,

"But child 11’s case must have proved a disappointment. Records show his behavioural symptoms started too soon. 'His developmental milestones were normal until 13 months of age,' notes the discharge summary. 'In the period 13-18 months he developed slow speech patterns and repetitive hand movements. Over this period his parents remarked on his slow gradual deterioration.'

That put the first symptom two months earlier than reported in the Lancet, and a month before the boy received the MMR vaccination."

Um, so why exactly does Father 11 think the MMR caused his son's regression? If you believe Deer's report, Father 11 is virtually waving the kid's discharge summary in Deer's face saying, "See, he had symptoms before the MMR!" But Deer tells us in the first sentence that Father 11 blames the MMR for his son's regression.

Mr. Deer, is Father 11 stupid or lying or crazy?

Carolyn M

"Specialist Journalist of the Year"?! Absolutely disgusting.


I'm certain I'm not the only person who thinks Brian Deer is one shady dude who is in this for something beyond "journalism".

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