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Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: LaCrosse Drinks Brian Deer's Kool-Aid

Keep Calm Write OnBy Dan Olmsted

As an English major, I'm really disappointed to see the English Department at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse promoting Brian Deer's talks next week at the University. According to the department's blog, Deer "carried out one of the classic public interest investigations of recent times. He probed the controversy over vaccines and autism.  Based on this landmark inquiry, and 25 years of pursuing complex, contentious topics, he gives a reporter's inside perspective on how to break a difficult story." 

"Fears that vaccines cause autism has become one of the biggest health controversies in America. But where did the story begin, and what keeps it going?"

The truth, fellow English majors and would-be journalists, is that the story began when vaccines began causing autism, and what keeps the story going is that vaccines keep causing autism. That's my view, but I'm not alone, and the fact that I and thousands of others hold that view shows that Deer's presentation should be treated as one side of a controversy, not as a how-to session. The promo -- doubtless supplied by Deer or his enablers -- acknowledges it's a real controversy, but then immediately reverts to the idea that some nonsense abroad in the population is perpetuating this ridiculous idea of a vaccine-autism link.

That is the kind of subtle subversion of logic and language to which English majors, especially, should be alert. The medical and scientific community may be in the tank, but this is a story in which close attention to rhetoric and reality can point to the truth as directly as any other evidence.

There's nothing wrong with having Deer speak at an American university, although I can't see much point in it. But the issue needs to be presented as a debate, a dialogue, and prosepective journalists need to study the controversy, not slaver over the author because he has won some awards and the orthodox medical and media establishments are drunk on his Kool-Aid. Andy Wakefield shouldn't have to scratch around for a venue to hold his own press conference. He should be invited in to confront Deer, or to appear in a similarly respectable capacity. Or, if not Wakefield, I've written and presented on the problems with Deer's reporting and would have been glad to do so again (they wouldn't have to pay me, which I can only assume is another difference between myself and Deer).

The title of Deer's other talk, "An Elaborate Fraud: The MMR Vaccine and Autism," is not really holding up well, either, given developments since the series by that title appeared in the British Medical Journal in January 2011. According to the promo: "Over a period of seven years, Brian Deer investigated the story for The Sunday Times of London and now comes to LaCrosse to reveal what Time Magazine dubbed one of the 'great science frauds' of all time.  Launched from one British hospital in the 1990s, the scare took hold first in the UK, and then spread around the globe, leaving doctors baffled, children at risk, parents frightened, and lawyers with a lot more money. Deer shows how it was done, who did it, and why it will happen again."

The question to be asked is not how was it done, etc., but, What fraud?

Inconveniently, Wakefield's co-author on the 1988 "Lancet" paper, the renowned John Walker- Walker-smith.jpg.displaySmith, was exonerated of the British medical establishment's trumped-up charges this year by a British civil court with a thorough-goingness that directly discredits many of those breathless assertions against Wakefield, including claims that there was no regressive autism, no bowel disease, no genuine case series, no plausible link to the MMR. For instance, here is what Smith said under oath :


Q. What did you believe that you were finding?

A. Just like many times in my career before, we were finding a new disorder. … We were beginning to see a new syndrome, fairly clear features of children [with regressive developmental disorders] presenting with diarrhoea, very often abdominal pain which often was not diagnosed by other doctors. ...There is a characteristic symptom pattern. ... Clearly in the context of autism we felt something new was coming, and that is the motivation, of course, for us clinicians to feel that it was appropriate for Andy Wakefield to take the lead, and write these features for publication.

Q. Having gone through the histology reports, the synthesis of those reports in the histology meetings, it is clear that there are abnormalities there ---?

A. Yes.


Walker-Smith also knocks down Deer's claim that the cases were cherry-picked by Wakefield to create a bogus case series. In a letter entered into evidence, he wrote: "I deny the allegation that there was systematic bias in the pattern of referral for the children in the 1998 Lancet paper. No children were invited to participate in this study. Upon review of the Centre for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Royal Free Hospital, work book entitled ‘Biopsies Vi 4/9/95 to 21/7/97’, we confirm that the children who were reported in The Lancet paper of 1998 were the first 12 children consecutively referred to the university department of paediatric gastroenterology with autism and related disorders, who had gastrointestinal symptoms requiring ileo-colonoscopy to exclude chronic bowel inflammation.” …


And as for a possible relation to the MMR shot, another letter by Smith to a fellow doctor was entered into evidence:  “In relation to this department, we are all in agreement with the description of a new syndrome of ileal lymphoid nodular hyperplasia and non-specific colitis in a cohort of self-selected (ie parent selected) patients. We have sent a paper to the Lancet and I enclose a copy for you. In some there is a clear historic link to MMR. ... Like you I am very concerned at any weakening of MMR uptake in the community. However, I have personally seen all these ‘autistic’ children and in some at least there seems to be a strong presumptive evidence of an MMR link.”


The Lancet paper, then, according to Wakefield's clinical co-author, whose integrity has been formally upheld by a British court of law, offered "strong presumptive evidence of an MMR link," a link that, if anything, was underplayed in the "interpretation" section of the paper, which merely reported the belief of most of the parents that the MMR was the cause, and called for further investigation (since squelched with Deer's material help).

The truth, tragically: Something new was coming -- a new wave of very sick children who developed a characteristic gut disease and regressive developmental disorders, blamed in most cases by their observant parents on the MMR shot. The human toll since then, a toll Deer has helped to increase,  has been unfathomable, and it goes up every day. No wonder parents dislike Deer and are dismayed at the credence that he still gets, while Wakefield is forced to try to find a venue to tell the truth. I am sure there are Wisconsin residents, University of Wisconsin LaCross students, teachers, alums, who feel this way.

If the English Department wants to help it students, it should send them not just to Deer, but to those first-person sources -- to "the real world" -- and then to Wakefield, and then to George Orwell to see the trick that, in my opinion, is being played on them.

For more details, here's a news release from The Canary Party:

Researcher Wakefield & families of MMR-injured to speak in LaCrosse

ST. PAUL, MINN. – Researcher and patient advocate Andrew Wakefield, MB, BS, FRCS, FRCPath, will speak publicly next week to correct ongoing false reports about the 1998 Lancet MMR vaccine case series he co-authored with 12 other researchers.

Wakefield, an academic gastroenterologist and author of more than 140 scientific articles, will hold a press conference with Midwest autism families at 1 p.m. Thursday, October 4 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. The location will be provided next week.

Wakefield will rectify misinformation promoted by U.K. reporter Brian Deer, a Murdoch newspaper crony scheduled to speak Oct. 4-5 at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.

Wakefield’s 2010 book, Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines – The Truth Behind a Tragedy, chronicles his research on the MMR vaccine and bowel disease in children with autism. Of 13 scientists participating in the 1998 Lancet case series, Wakefield was singled out for abuse by industry and government to discourage other researchers from questioning vaccine safety. He lost his job, career, medical license and country.

Deer’s inaccuracies and unethical behavior are documented by former UPI investigative reporter Dan Olmsted in a nine-part series posted at the Age of Autism blog. Wakefield’s defamation lawsuit against Deer is making its way through the U.S. court system. 

In the U.K., parents whose children suffered adverse gastrointestinal reactions to the MMR vaccine have formed a group called CryShame. They’ve also written two books, “Silenced Witnesses” and “Silenced Witnesses II,” describing their mistreatment by government and media. A parent’s suicide is one of many tragedies that inspired Wakefield’s G.I. research.

In a YouTube video titled “Brian Deer and The GMC, Selective Hearing,” Deer claims children from the Lancet case series “didn’t have bowel disease.” But Lancet Parent 12, Rochelle Poulter, stated Deer “didn’t see the actual evidence… I’ve seen on the screen from the colonoscopy that he’s got bowel disease… he’s got the pain… the diarrhea.”

In the U.S., families of children suffering from MMR injury struggle to find effective medical treatments for the painful lesions from esophagus to anus, cramping, nutritional insufficiency, chronic diarrhea and constipation. Government, pharmaceutical companies and the medical trade unions they fund deny adverse vaccine reactions that strike a subset of individuals.

“Andrew Wakefield speaks for many families facing inhumane treatment due to the misfortune and misery of vaccine injury,” said Nancy Hokkanen, a Minnesota resident and Canary Party board member. “Media blackouts and Deer’s falsehoods discourage life-saving research, and ensure that vaccine injuries continue. We treat car consumers better than kids. This is an international disgrace.”

Contact: Patti Carroll (651) 785-5716 /





Jenny Allan says: "In the UK it is presently perfectly legal for young children to receive ear and body piercings and for boys to be circumcised for non clinical reasons. Dr Wakefield had permission from both the children and their parents,several of whom were medical colleagues, to take blood samples. The blood was taken by an appropriately qualified nurse at the party. This was neither illegal nor a reason for 'striking off' a doctor, although Dr Wakefield himself acknowledges he was unwise to speak publicly about this incident."

However, in the historical literature, we see:

"But the process of "cell culture adaptation" changes all of that. Natural mumps virus was first taken from a little girl named Jeryl Lynn Hilleman. Jeryl Lynn was the daughter of Dr. Maurice Hilleman, a scientist who, at the time, was working in the research laboratories of a company named Merck, Sharpe & Dohme. Dr. Hilleman then "grew" the virus in eggs. By growing the virus in hen's eggs it became less and less able to grow in human cells. This happened because the genes that tell mumps virus how to reproduce itself were changed. Now the mumps virus reproduced itself very poorly."

Why is one man applauded and the other prosecuted? Is it really so different?


Patricia- 'LBRBNB'- thanks that just gave me quite a good laugh which would normally be great but I'm having a bout of sciatica ; )

Angus Files

"A Wakefield win would have meant they could have reclaimed all their money!!"

As always seen do be doing something,(hence no blame on them) but doing nothing ... Insurance companies are just part of the day to day sting,positioning ,around the world..A Wakefield win would result in a landslide of claims against insurance polices whether it be , Government,Lawyers ,Indemnity or whatever...the day will come ..we just have to make it happen..


Jenny Allan

Patricia says:-
"AW must Appeal to the GMC."

As I understand it a 'behind the scenes' approach HAS been made to the GMC by Dr Wakefield and/or his UK lawyers. In view of the fact that 75% of the charges against Professor Walker-Smith were also made against Dr Wakefield, and JWS was completely exonerated by Judge Mitting in the UK High Court, particularly on the crucial issues of ethical permission and clinical need, the GMC have NO REASON AT ALL to continue to withhold Dr Wakefield's medical licence to practice. Issues specific to Dr Wakefield were the 'Kid's party' where some control blood samples were taken, and his failure to declare his expert fees for legal work undertaken on behalf of a group MMR litigation.

In the UK it is presently perfectly legal for young children to receive ear and body piercings and for boys to be circumcised for non clinical reasons. Dr Wakefield had permission from both the children and their parents,several of whom were medical colleagues, to take blood samples. The blood was taken by an appropriately qualified nurse at the party. This was neither illegal nor a reason for 'striking off' a doctor, although Dr Wakefield himself acknowledges he was unwise to speak publicly about this incident.

It is perfectly usual for doctors and scientists to prepare expert reports for litigation cases. Indeed the GMC's own expert witness, Professor Rutter, had also received fees and plane fares for appearing as an expert witness in US vaccine litigation cases. His evidence was used by vaccine manufacturers as part of their defences. Prof Rutter, condemned Dr Wakefield for not declaring his involvement in MMR litigation, but developed amnesia in relation to his own conflicts of interest.

According to Dr Wakefield, his reason for not declaring his MMR litigation involvement was to prevent the GMC case from prejudicing the childrens' cases. Seems reasonable to me. Dr Wakefield's insurance company, having spent a huge sum on his GMC defence, refused to fund his High Court appeal. The insurers will be regretting this decision. A Wakefield win would have meant they could have reclaimed all their money!!


That Lilady sure is singing her heart out aint she Jen, down in the Last Chance Saloon. She is so desperate she is even quoting me now! Shucks.
I also see we have a supporter in Lookinglass, I like the cut of his jib.
So much vitriol, so much undisguised hatred for Wakefield. I have to say it reminds me, sadly, of the Mccanns. What is it I ask myself that inspires such division of feeling? It's no longer a science issue, it has become so personalised in that cesspit LBRBNB. If it isn't resolved soon it will become a Tragedy of Greek proportions. AW must Appeal to the GMC, he must raise enough funds somehow to proceed.


Jenny they certainly are being challenged! Well done. But at 94 comments and still rising I am not sure that the mods can cope. I have a feeling they are overwhelmed. When will they call a halt I wonder. Perhaps not until the end of the week. Some of the LBRB stuff is patently desperate now and the Deer inspired inflammatory defaming is becoming so repetative it is reminiscent of robotic moronic automatons. That's what they are of course. Good to read some interesting comments from ASD whoever he or she is.

Jenny Allan

Yes the LB/RB brigade are out in force, but they are NOT on 'home' territory in this comment thread and should be challenged. I have already reported one of Lilady's lying vindictive comments as abusive and will be interested to see what the mods make of this.


Yes Jenny and I see the latest load of loathsome lies and Deer induced vomit making rhetoric is also up there now, spewing forth from that well known saloonbar contributor Lilady of LBRB! Should expect it I guess. She really detests Andy because he "talks posh", that just about sums her up.

Jenny Allan

Patricia you asked -"So which department did invite Deer? I thought it was the English Department?"

Your provided link informs us:-
"It started when University of Wisconsin-La Crosse biology faculty invited Deer to present as part of a yearly life sciences lecture series.

“We’re just a bunch of geeky scientists,” said Michael Winfrey, UW-L microbiology professor. “But this is getting all this publicity.”

Methinks the 'geeky scientists' are beginning to panic. Brian Deer is a journalist with NO medical or scientific qualifications whatsoever. They really SHOULD have expected some controversy after inviting Deer to give a 'life sciences' lecture.
An interesting comment thread. Matt Carey aka Sullivan has weighed in!!

So which department did invite Deer? I thought it was the English Department?


Has anyone investigated the funding of this university ? Are there large funds coming from Pharma or some Pharma funded "foundation" in the med department for instance?


Dan's words are so true: "The truth... is that the story began when vaccines began causing autism, and what keeps the story going is that vaccines keep causing autism."


In the fall of the year when the veil of time seems thin.
St Paul celebrating October- fest will certainly begin.
It calls for booths, and Jack-o-lanterns with toothy grins.
The halls of LaCrosse, will hold something spooky within.
It’s a tall order, but this city will beat out its twin.
For in crawls Brian Deer, LaCrosse should be full of chagrin


Oops correction, I was in a rush:

Let's say that of these 10,000 vaccines half of them contain 250 micrograms of aluminum.
That means the baby would receive 1,250,000 micrograms of aluminum, which is 1.25 grams.


Offit's original claim referred to 100,000 vaccines... so what he actually said was that a baby could receive 12.5 grams of aluminum


According to Brian Deer, Father 11 said that he was told that his son was the 13th child to be referred to the department of pediatric gastroenterology. Deer makes much of this in the BMJ paper. Though it doesn't seem like a big deal to me, I'm curious about what the story is. Is Father 11 wrong? Did two children preceding Child 11 not meet the criteria?

Jenny Allan

* Brian Deer has requested no unauthorized filming of these events. (From the blog/flyer)

I expect there will be some attempts to prevent the use of recording devices and mobile phones during these lectures, but in view of the fact that they are apparently free and open to anyone, this is going to be very difficult to enforce. Anyone attending, please take pens and paper and write as many copious notes as possible.

Deer commonly uses threats and other devices to prevent his toxic comments from being repeated, but these are public lectures and there's nothing to stop anyone from reporting his verbatim comments. Deer is a fool, who imagines the high level protection he has enjoyed in the past will last forever, and he can do and say whatever he wants, whenever he chooses. Deer's 'sponsors', whoever they are, will disappear like 'snow off a dyke' if he says anything to bring them into disrepute or even public notice.

Deer's lecture at the Johns Hopkins University a couple of years ago was never transcribed or even accorded a report by the university. An unofficial account in AoA by an attender reported some outrageous allegations from Deer using card tricks to demonstrate how Andrew Wakefield got 'jackpots of money'. In fact, large tranches of cash have been thrown at discrediting Dr Wakefield and it is reasonable to assume that Deer is getting well rewarded for his part in the demolition process. He has very little other apparent visible means of support.

Another poster reasonably asks if Deer's lectures are being paid for or sponsored and organised by a third party, or if there have been any large pharma donations to the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse.


Oops correction, I was in a rush:

Let's say that of these 10,000 vaccines half of them contain 250 micrograms of aluminum.
That means the baby would receive 1,250,000 micrograms of aluminum, which is 1.25 grams.

Thank you to all who will attend this event!!!

Wayne Rohde

Those interested in attending the event, here is the complete schedule.

Andy Wakefield press conference 1:00pm at Myrick Park (Gun Club Shelter) across from the north side of the University. LaCrosse Street and Hillview.

Brian Deer presentation at Centennial Hall. This is on the south side of the university off Vine St.

Also, the town will be very chaotic. One of largest Octoberfest celebrations in the country will be taking place along with Homecoming for the university.

Need more information email me.

Anyone for La Crosse?

It looks as if Bernadette Taylor has been domiciled in the US for more than 20 years but why hasn't she published anything for 13?


I am a few hours from lacrosse and would love to make a drive next week if we can get some others to attend and ask home some HONEST questions!!!!

Proud Mom to Ethan, Alex, Megan, and Sega our Miracle Service Dog

Donna L.

Anyone else notice how Bernadette Taylor seems to be the one pimping this presentation...

and it looks like, from her bio here, she's either from the U.K. or at least completed her undergrad in the U.K.:

I don't know. I smell a rat.

John Stone

Of course, Offit's load of old codswallop is enshrined in the British Department of Health ideology:


The incidence of vaccine injuries from the DPT shots were high before they got the law passed.
Barbara Lou Fisher and a tons of parents first and second Congressional hearing -- and "60 Minutes" with James Cherry's big long face mug covering my television screen.

So, it is even more evil than what you think.

Already a load of kids being hurt and so they passed the law and full throttle ahead.

Yes, much worse



Paul Offit did originally claim that a baby's immune system could cope with 100,000 vaccines administered simultaneously.

This nonsense appeared in the October 2005 edition of Parents Pack Newsletter, from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

You can see it for yourself in either of the following two links:


RE: Dr Paul Offit's assertion that baby's can tolerate 10,000 vaccines, from the AAP paper by Dr. Offit which John Stone linked to:

Dr. Offit performs a mathematical calculation based on the number of antigens in vaccines and the number of B cells in blood, and concludes that, "each infant would have the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10 000 vaccines at any one time (obtained by dividing 10[to the 7th power] B cells per mL by 10[to the 3rd power] epitopes per vaccine).

"Of course, most vaccines contain far fewer than 100 antigens (for example, the hepatitis B, diphtheria, and tetanus vaccines each contain 1 antigen), so the estimated number of vaccines to which a child could respond is conservative. But using this estimate, we would predict that if 11 vaccines were given to infants at one time, then about 0.1% of the immune system would be 'used up.'”

This is certainly not science, but merely a mathematical calculation. It ignores everything that has ever been reported regarding possible mechanisms for vaccine reactions, and has never been tested, e.g. by giving an animal 10,000 vaccines. The absurdity and impossibility of this scenario can be demonstrated by a few simple calculations:

volume of typical vaccine = 0.5 to 1.0 milliliters, so assume average volume of 0.75 milliliters
total volume of 10,000 vaccines = 7,500 milliliters, which converts to about 2 gallons!

Can an infant be safely injected with 2 gallons of anything?
Is it even possible to inject an infant with 2 gallons of anything?
For some perspective:
An average adult has about 1.3 gallons of blood.
An average 6 month old baby has about 1/6th of a gallon of blood.

Some vaccines contain between 170 and 850 micrograms of aluminum.
Let's say that of these 10,000 vaccines half of them contain 250 micrograms of aluminum.
That means the baby would receive 2,500,000 micrograms of aluminum, which is 2.5 grams.
Dr. Robert Sears tried to find research on safe levels of aluminum, and wrote about it here:

In summary, Dr. Offit's assertion about 10,000 vaccines is worse than preposterous, and certainly not scientific. To quote a vaccine court judge and Lewis Carroll, you would have to "believe six impossible things before breakfast" to think that he is making any sense here. He should start by injecting himself with 11 vaccines and see how he feels. If he makes it through that OK, he could do another 89 for a total of 100, and see if he survives long enough to start working on the remaining 9,900 vaccines. That would be an interesting experiment.

Angus Files

Thanks Dan if I write about Deer it isn`t usually fit to be printed I shall leave it at well done Dan...


John Stone


Yes, they might encounter all sorts of things but they are not injected into their bodies (by way of experiment).



cmo thankyou for that link. This article copied and pasted to them.


Oh, and I hope we will all get to view this talk....


So is there a way to contact that department and flood them with questions to pose?

Jenny Allan

John Stone
Thanks for the links to Offit's article. As I suspected this is NOT a piece of scientific research at all but a load of unproven baloney based on the estimated numbers of microbes which a newborn baby might encounter. How long is a piece of string?

Shell Tzorfas

Autism began to appear in large numbers after the US passed a law preventing parents from ever suing vaccine makers in regular courts, thus kids went from a few to more than 70. The biggest jump began when 3 -12 hour old babies started getting Hepatitis B shots rather than testing the mother to see if she had it, back in 1991-others acquired autism as a result of the DPT shot in the 80's. Wakefield had nothing to do with that. Brian Deer did not work as a journalist, rather he is a "DEJOURNALIST." He has added to the DEstruction of true journalism. That is why the public does not know how the US pays out billions to tragedies caused by vaccines or people do not learn that most diseases were nearly gone before vaccines. The public does not know that aluminum, antifreeze, aborted fetal cells, dog parts, dangerous peanuts are in those plastic and latex syringes-none are healthy. Wakefield did the honest ethical reports and he was scapegoated. The University is fast Losing credibility. 1 in 5 children now have Neurological Impairments, 1 in Developmental Disabilities only since the 70 vaccines. WHO is funding the Deer Experiments? Science and Journalism without Conscience.


Contact Information:

RE: Brian Deer

Department of English
433 Wimberly Hall
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
La Crosse, WI 54601

Phone: (608)-785-8295
Fax: (608)-785-8301


cia parker

John and Dan,
Have you seen that the Thompson Center's Mazurek has published a study, said to be first of its kind, finding that autistic children often have bowel problems which lead to anxiety? I looked up autistic enterocolitis on wikipedia to make sure, but it clearly stated that most professionals thought that the association between bowel disease and autism was just something that Wakefield invented. Is it just saying that the problems can cause anxiety that is new, or is it that Big Pharma has decided it can't deny it any more, and has decided to gradually let the cat out of the bag, letting one of their own claim credit for this particular point? The rest to follow. I wrote a letter to the editor, but of course they wouldn't touch that one!

And did you see the article last month about gluten sensitivity on the rise? It said that comparisons of blood samples stored since the 1950's showed that blood markers for sensitivity were extremely rare then, much more common now. I wrote a letter to the editor that was published saying that this shows that many people getting vaxed are being sensitized to gluten by ingredients in the vaccines, and, while they may not go so far as to develop autism, they do go so far as to develop intolerance to gluten as part of their vaccine reaction, hence the explosion of gluten insensitive and celiac disease people.


Guy Ritchie fans will enjoy the Jasper Badun accent. Wonder if they'll ask him if he keeps pigs...


Dr. Wakefield was professionally destroyed by vaccine mafia, because he dared to conduct the PROPER study, investigating origin of comorbid diseases in autistic children. Vaccine mafia refuses to conduct similar studies, because they know such studies provide convincing evidence, that vaccines cause autism and many other crippling diseases in children.


Dr. Andrew Wakefield of the UK Speaks to the
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
The first 5 minutes covers quite a bit...

The Chinese director of pediatrics has an Autistic son, following a MMR vaccine....

The Wakefield medical complaint did NOT COME FROM the parents of children Dr. Wakefield treated.... but from a UK journalist.

Vaccine safety and wisdom in the United States & UK is based on
a UK / Murdoch "award winning" news reporter Brian Deer/ he has won one award so far....

Brian Deer has spent over 7 years trying to discredit a 5 page 1998 Andrew Wakefield paper on 12 children. 200 children with similar symptoms followed...


The Today show, January 2011 Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Matt Lauer & Brian Deer on the MMR vaccine
Dr. Nancy has no clue at to the cause of anything....

John Stone

It is of course La Crosse's annual Bavarian style beer fest so perhaps that's what attracted Deer to going there at that time. Will he be wearing his lederhosen?

John Stone

Hi Jenny

Here is a source for Offit's 10,000 vaccines:

Note that Offit and the UK's very own head of immunisation, David Salisbury, have repeatedly refused to be drawn on the fact that is both an implausible and busted hypothesis:

For them vaccines are just magic.



Hey Jake, will you be attending? Please??

Jenny Allan

From my post (below)
"the immune system is theoretically capable of responding to about 1010 antigens."
I should point out here that this number does not represent one thousand and ten but is actually ten TO THE POWER OF ten,( ten thousand million). I'm afraid this comment box does not transfer diminutive superscripts!!

Paul Offit's original comments stated publicly that a baby's immune system could cope with 100,000 different vaccines administered simultaneously. This was later commuted to 10,000 vaccines using 'Chinese whispers' media connotations. I have never heard the number ten thousand million used in this context, other than in this OU course material. I have also never tracked down the Offit et al research alluded to which was supposed to prove this assertion.

Perhaps more than anything else this little piece of pseudo scientific nonsense demonstrates beautifully how unwise it is for Arts Faculties in universities to attempt to debate complicated technical and scientific controversies.


Who is funding the talk? is there a donation by pharma or a pharma backed group to the university?


".This article should be made available to Wisconsin English Dept.Dan. I was quite shocked when I realised that this talk by Deer was not part of a far more open and thorough and educative discussion. Doesn't say a lot for the standards at this University.,,,"

I wasn't shocked at all. Disgusted yes, but not shocked.

MMR causes autism, and the medical community is fully aware of that. Dr Wakefield and his team were inching a little too close to that truth, and as such they HAD to be shut down.

You cant shut down a guy like Andrew Wakefield by ridiculing his science, because there is no ridiculing or discrediting his work. His scientific findings are REAL, and they stand as a truth that's as incriminating today as it was in 1998.

The only defence the medical community has, is to destroy the messenger. And that's why a mealy mouth propagandist like Brian Deer was brought in. And perhaps the only thing more fictional that garbage he writes, are the "journalistic" awards that were invented to make him look real.

Brian Deer is a hired propagandist, who will never engage in a honest debate with the people he's lied about. And any institution that gives this guy an unchallenged platform, is as bad as he is.

Jenny Allan

From Dan Olmstead's article (above):-
"There's nothing wrong with having Deer speak at an American university, although I can't see much point in it. But the issue needs to be presented as a debate, a dialogue, and prosepective journalists need to study the controversy, not slaver over the author because he has won some awards."

Absolutely!! and this gives us all 'food for thought' about what present day universities are actually trying to achieve? There was a time when students were encouraged to weigh up the evidence and make up their own minds. Radical thinking was encouraged. Now it seems students are being indoctrinated into what is called 'mainstream opinions and scientific thinking', and encouraged to use language and semantics to promote the establishment line. This is nothing less than fostoring the skills of 'spin doctoring' in order for graduands to obtain well paid jobs promoting often dubious corporate and political interests.

The following is from a now archived UK Open University course unit, which examines the Wakefield MMR issues in some detail. I apologise for the 'wordy' length of this excerpt. As a science graduate of the OU I was impressed by the excellence of their course material, although this is obviously from one of the 'arts' courses. I was fascinated to see they 'swallowed' Paul Offit's totally unscientific/unproven assertion about 'safely' giving a baby 100,000 vaccines at once!! I recommend reading the entire unit which I estimate to be around 10 years old:-
"The hypothesis that the immune system is overloaded by combined childhood vaccines has never had scientific currency, but in light of the MMR controversy, a team of researchers led by Paul Offit re-examined the issue (Offit et al., 2002). Modern vaccines contain fewer antigens than in the past. Collectively, the immunisation programme recommended for infants in Britain exposes them to less than 100 antigens whereas the immune system is theoretically capable of responding to about 1010 antigens. Other studies tested the hypothesis that if the MMR vaccine did damage the immune system, an increased level of hospitalisation for infectious diseases would occur following the vaccine. Again, no association was found (Miller et al., 2003). It is, however, worth reflecting at this point on the difficulty in collecting and interpreting trends where there are a multiplicity of interdependent variables – a situation which confounds many epidemiological studies.
The main stance of the Department of Health has been that single vaccines expose children to the possibility of infection while waiting to complete the immunisation schedule. Fitzpatrick (2004) associates the momentum of the single-vaccines campaign with the Labour government's policies which have continuously emphasised parental choice, especially with regard to schools and hospitals. By not making available single vaccines as an alternative to MMR, the government's stance has been seen as an active denial of choice, counter to the policy of patient empowerment.
In stark contrast to the unwavering stance of the government, Wakefield is often portrayed as the ‘listening doctor’ in the press – an image he has taken care to cultivate. In response to criticism of the Lancet paper, he said: ‘the approach of the clinical scientists should reflect the first and most important lesson learnt as a medical student – to listen to the patient or the patient's parent, and they will tell you the answer’ (Wakefield, 1998).
In the battle for hearts and minds that characterises the MMR controversy, the sympathetic Wakefield clearly trumps the perceived heavy-handed authoritarian approach of the health establishment.
5.2 Blair's babe
The ESRC report demonstrated the high awareness amongst the public of the Leo Blair issue, in spite of it not being the most prominent aspect of the media coverage. In December 2001, during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, Tony Blair was asked whether his infant son had been immunised with MMR. Mr Blair declined to answer on the basis that it was a private family matter. The perception in the media was that if Leo had been immunised, Mr Blair would have been happy to say so. His wife, Cherie Blair, had been the subject of media reports highlighting her interest in New Age alternative medicine which contributed to the suspicion that Mr Blair was promoting MMR in public but opting out in private. The impact of this issue on immunisation levels is hard to measure in isolation but uptake certainly fell in the wake of the publicity (Fitzpatrick, 2004)."


This article should be made available to Wisconsin English Dept.Dan. I was quite shocked when I realised that this talk by Deer was not part of a far more open and thorough and educative discussion. Doesn't say a lot for the standards at this University.

I suppose that's why Wakefield is also there on this specific date? Interestingly I see no mention of the venue itself yet.
Pity some enterprising students don't insist on hearng both sides of the great divide. especially in view of the ongoing court case. Now that is what I would call being "informative".

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