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Brian Deer at UW-Lacrosse "The future for investigative journalism is very bleak"

Brian Deer LaCrosse Oct 5 2012By Nancy Hokkanen

On Friday, October 5 UK reporter Brian Deer gave his second presentation at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, on “Stiletto Journalism: Busting the Vaccine Scare.” Ostensibly a primer on his coverage of the fallout from the 1998 Lancet MMR case series of Andrew Wakefield et al., in reality the presentation was part vanity schtick, argumentum ad hominem, and careful deception.

Seated in the unfilled room were students given credit to attend, and faculty positioned as if anticipating disruption. A muscular bald man sat in front facing the crowd, rather than the podium. Dr. Thomas Pribek, an assistant professor of English whose tweedy appearance came right out of central casting, mentioned having Deer in class the day before. In introducing the speaker, Pribek pontificated that stories garnering an “emotional response dissipate in the fog” but “facts remain in the light of day.”

Perhaps advised about the threatening implication of his chosen title, Deer stated that his use of the word “stiletto” only meant applying great force to a narrow area; he said journalists should use narrow focus rather than broad. The diminutive Brit claimed to have received intimidating emails at times in his career, and he used AIDS denialists as an example of zealotry over public health issues.

Deer announced to his audience that he had uncovered a “secret network of businesses” that would profit from Wakefield’s actions, including the affiliated University. All the information, he said, was “waiting in the public domain,” and took years to unfold because “you have to wait… not dump information.” (Later a student asked whether anyone else would ever have uncovered the MMR/autism story; Deer replied “No.”)

In a puzzling contradiction for someone seeking credibility, Deer quoted his aunt’s advice: “Believe nothing you hear, and hardly anything you see.”

The pejoratives and machismo began early, with Deer describing Andrew Wakefield as “this strange person” and using intimidating imagery – describing a scene from the movie A Bronx Tale in which a mobster beats a Hell’s Angel. Deer took obvious delight in listing the penalties against Wakefield onscreen and verbally, and boasted, “That was a result of journalism.”

Displaying a 2004 photo of Wakefield and Deer, the reporter admitted he “pursued Dr. Wakefield at Indianapolis.” To the laughter of the audience, he animatedly asserted that Wakefield covered the camera lens and ran, adding for humorous effect, “It was all very Edwardian.” Deer claimed Wakefield “called on parents to boycott the MMR vaccine” and “started the vaccine scare.”

(Below is a video of parental experience at an event in protest of the Deer appearance.)

At times the balding presenter used risqué language on the young audience, saying there are only two things he likes: “One is sex and the other is reading my name in the newspaper.” Deer said that after the BMJ ran its January 2011 article on Wakefield, a Harris poll showed that 145 million Americans “knew the fundamentals of the story” and his work had “a massive impact on public opinion.” Knowing that newspaper presses across the U.S. were running his story, he “felt a great honor at the time.”

(On a related note, students of journalism should look up which U.K. and U.S. newspapers once promoted a false link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.)

Next came comments discrediting the UK parents. Onscreen appeared a photo of Isabella Thomas and her two boys; according to Deer, who is not a medical professional, “neither had autism… it turned out they didn’t have it.” He said he filmed Jodie Marchant, and discussed her daughter’s digestion problems in repulsive detail. Marchant, he said, had made allegations against a doctor and a nurse; he noted without a touch of irony, “You can’t broadcast anybody’s unsupported allegations against anybody.”

Then Deer moved from parents to professionals. Dr. Richard Halvorson was maligned for selling single vaccines. Journalist Lucy Johnston was criticized for writing articles that provided Wakefield’s point of view (along with quotes from another MMR researcher, Dr. Vijendra Singh). Again, Deer seemed unaware of the self-incriminating implications when he proffered, “Newspaper [reporters] believe they have to climb on board and become public relations people.”

Swapping his stiletto for a broad brush, Deer blasted Tony Blair for not disclosing his son’s vaccination status, and opined that the UK’s Daily Mail was a “conservative biased newspaper” because it had criticized Deer and printed articles that included Wakefield’s input. Showing no sympathy for the former doctor’s losses of career, reputation and country, the pugnacious reporter insisted, “His stand on MMR didn’t cost his job; he refused to replicate his study.”

Pacing and gesticulating, the rumpled reporter turned back at the UK parents: Jackie Fletcher, described as an “anti-MMR campaign group organiser,” and Rosemary Kessick, mother of William, a sick boy whose photo was shown. Deer admitted to withholding his true identity from Mrs. Kessick, telling the audience of future reporters, “You are entitled to mislead the public” if it’s in the public interest. “It’s in the best traditions of journalism… It wasn’t dishonest,” he said. “I wanted her to have no preconceptions.”

Here is how Deer detailed his interview with Mrs. Kessick: “She kept going off on something else, and I would bring her back.” (On Internet sites, Mrs. Kessick’s descriptions of her six-hour “grilling” stand in sharp contrast to Deer’s; “Mrs. Kessick hates me,” he admitted.) The reporter insisted that William Kessick’s autism onset came 5 months after the MMR, not within weeks.

When the Lancet case series was retracted, that was “a big accomplishment for journalism,” according to Deer. He told his audience that Wakefield had been working for lawyers and had a patent for a measles vaccine – financial incentives. (Though the 1998 Lancet paper had a dozen other coauthors, only Dr. John Walker-Smith was mentioned later with a cherry-picked quote from Mr Justice Mitting.)

Grudgingly Deer admitted receiving criticism about his previous night’s performance: “The presentation wasn’t technical enough.” So he went into a marginally comprehensible lecture on immunohistochemistry and PCR testing to detect specific proteins, and displayed line charts showing that MMR vaccination rates had rebounded from a 2004 low.

The presentation wound down with an expansive, self-indulgent retelling of Wakefield’s 2005 lawsuit against the Sunday Times, Channel 4, and Brian Deer’s website. “If what I’d said wasn’t true, he would take everything away from me – my clothes, home, left me bankrupt,” Deer lamented. Wakefield, he said, was using a vexatious lawsuit to play for time. “We got the court to order him to sue us,” he said, adding that Mr Justice Eady (“I think he’s a god”) ordered Wakefield to turn over the medical records of the Lancet children (“The game was up”). Playing for laughs, Deer relished telling how Wakefield’s attorneys rushed through traffic attempting to halt access to the patients’ private medical records.

Deer glossed over the current defamation lawsuit making its way through U.S. courts:   “Neither I or BMJ knew Wakefield was in Texas,” he said. According to Deer, the district judges usually are Democrats and the appellate judges are Republicans – so if the district ruling gets overturned, it’s politically based. Then he concluded his hour-long talk with an analogy about the paleological “Piltdown manoeuvre” a century ago.

After applause, microbiology professor and chair of the organizing committee Michael Winfrey gave Deer a plaque bearing an image of a LaCrosse icon, “The World’s Largest Six-Pack.” (Of note to vaccine safety advocates: Winfrey’s University web page states that his research interest is in microbial transformations of mercury.)

For that day’s Q&A session, no questions written on index cards – the muscular bald man who looked like a bouncer would bring a microphone to the speaker.

Microbiology associate professor Bernadette Taylor, who’d introduced Deer the previous day, told the audience Deer flew coach so any conspiracy theory about pharmaceutical company funding was ironic. “I was the only guy in journalism who policed the drug companies,” Deer replied. “The idea that I’m working for the drug companies – he [Wakefield] just knows I’m not… it’s ridiculous… completely absurd.”

Winfrey stated that scientists are sensitive about integrity, theirs and others’. Deer’s answers about Wakefield’s motivation? “He could make good money as an expert witness.” He then expounded on research misconduct, and being told that “a gentleman wouldn’t do that kind of thing.” But, he averred, “Scientists are not more honest than judges” and other people.

Audience misinformation about vaccines included a middle-aged woman asking about mercury in the MMR vaccine, and a female student who brought up rising pertussis rates – unaware of the CDC’s admission that low vaccine efficacy caused outbreaks in vaccinated populations. The student said her parents were primary care physicians who found dealing with questions about vaccines and autism “enormously frustrating” and asked, “Why does that myth persist?”

Vaccine safety advocates have used a school bus analogy to describe public health programs that benefit some people at the risk of others. Deer co-opted that imagery to illustrate his idea of people who refuse vaccines – “a car hitting somebody else’s kid.”

Other answers include:

  • When asked about Wakefield linking autoimmune bowel disorder to autism, Deer said “He dragged in his own expertise to pump up his credibility” and gave a facetious example of believing MMR causes dental caries and connecting the two causally.
  • About the continued rise in autism rates, Deer said that “antivaccinators can’t explain autism’s rise” in absence of mercury in vaccines, and “state by state rates differ” – there’s no uniform incidence of autism.
  • About the vaccine/autism issue? “The whole thing was framed by litigation.”
  • How did Wakefield rationalize doing no further studies? “He refused.”
  • Did Deer follow up with the Lancet families? He spoke with Child 11 from California, a “geeky teen obsessed with fish,” and Child 3, who watched puppet shows all day and whose parents were a “charming couple” and “desperately poor.”

Deer’s pandering to liberal academics became clear when a student asked what he’d like his next big story to be; facetiously he replied, “I would like to show that Mitt Romney is a sex offender.”

An infectious disease specialist from Marshfield brought up researchers who’ve been intimidated by members of the public disputing the science, specifically one from Tufts who has security due to death threats. “People want to believe things without being experts,” he said. “People had a need to believe, even if it’s the wrong thing.”

A faculty member mentioned hostile comments at an article on Deer and Wakefield, saying “The trolls are out.” Deer had an axiom for that: “Sometimes your reputation is made by the people who hate you.”

After 40 minutes of questions the audience had thinned considerably. After some patter about the Lancet editors who approved the 1998 case series for publication (“they tried to cover up,” “looking for a cheap sensation,” “on the skids,” “old boy network”), a student asked about journalism’s future. “The future for investigative journalism is very bleak,” Deer replied.

After witnessing Deer’s unprofessional sideshow, noting its uncritical acceptance by university students and faculty, and watching ten years of atrocious copy-and-paste vaccine/autism media coverage, this AOA reporter heartily agrees.



Why would a good University allow a person like mr.deer with
no medical or scientific background or credentials to speak?!
The students need to study gastrointestinal pathophysiology & inflammations,because Dr.Wakefield is on the right track.Big
pharma does not want anyone to research this area,that is why
they needed to destroy any one who stands in the way of their multi-billion dollar vaccination program.

Safiya fox

Hi, great comments, please send your comments to the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse. I am from Wisconsin and I am appalled to find that a University in my home state paid for such a speaker. I wonder if they are hurting for funding and got some kind of kick back. I so hope it is not because they are totally ignorant. I attended University of Wisconsin in Madison, and I am almost certain this would never have happened in Madison, and if it did, the students would have put him in his place. (like out the door, out of town on a rail, etc.)


To Mary R:

Audience reaction to Deer was mixed. Most of the young faces were robotic, without expression. The denialist faculty members applauded in earnest, and students clapped politely but briefly. There was no standing ovation. Many students left immediately after their course attendance requirement was completed, avoiding the question and answer portion.

On the first night the lights were down, making note-taking difficult unless one was by an aisle light (I was). The students ahead of me had nearly blank notebook pages. I wondered how many kids were texting throughout the presentation.

How did I stand it? I grew up on a farm, which desensitizes one to animal wastes.

Jenny Allan

Patricia mentioned Brian Deer's speaking engagements (listed on his website). Actually there were very few recent speaking engagements, and certainly not nearly enough to support Deer's lifestyle. There are not many recently published Deer articles either. He is a 'freelance' journalist so will not be on any salaried payroll.

I was quite surprised to see Deer was a 'Keynote speaker' at Oxford University Medical School, Elective Conference 2012. 28 June 2012. I attempted to google this, expecting at least a mention of it on Oxford Uni's website, and possibly a write up in a local newspaper. But NOTHING!

I am fairly certain that Deer will have been instructed by the BMJ's lawyers not to speak publicly about those 2011 BMJ Deer articles, which are currently the subject of litigation proceedings, by Andrew Wakefield. Deer seems to have ignored these instructions at La Crosse, and if the 'eye witness' reports are to be believed he has recklessly prejudiced his own and the BMJ's legal defences. He seems to be desperate for money and publicity.

Give someone enough rope.....

Mary R.

For those who attended the "lecture" can you give a summation of the reaction from the audience? He seemed distasteful and crude from what I am reading. Did the audience squirm, look at their watches or just shrug? Did they applaud in earnest or out of politeness?

And finally, how did you stand it? Sorry, my complete bias is that I could not have sat still through it all.



I thought they were broke!

BTW have you seen Deer's list of speaking events on his site? He's got a nice little earner going there hasn't he?

John Stone

It may be what Tony Blair called in 1997 (or thereabouts) "joined-up government". We might not at the time have realised quite what he meant but we do now. And of course having suggested the MHRA we recall also that Blair and the Chief Medical Officer of the time, Sir Liam Donaldson, swept in to support Deer's allegations the day after they were published, and National Health Service 'MMRtheFacts" website linked up to Deer's. The MHRA is an agency of the Department of Health funded entirely by the pharmaceutical industry. But you could not actually say that it had nothing to do with Department of Business:


Or the Department of Justice



Mark Struthers


Don't forget the Department of Health,



Mark good to hear your professional expertise. Made me smile, ruefully.

MHRA Ah....you mean the "good guys". Mmmmmm. OMG. Why am I not surprised..

Mark Struthers

The clever psychopath is dangerous, and their Machiavellian behaviours can be extremely damaging to other people and society in general. I agree with John Stone: the powerful intelligence lurking behind Deer's disordered personality is what is most challenging.

Conflicting interest: as a prison doctor my contact is generally with the less intelligent psychopath.

John Stone


It wouldn't surprise me if it was the MHRA




John I understand your feelings on Deer. Why I am interested in this is not so much wanting to stick labels on him, as wanting people to realise just how sick this individual is and consequently as to how he should be treated. Recognising the fact that he is an obssessive stalker who lives through fame and self glorification is important I think and that no amount of name calling or abuse will have the desired effect - he thrives on it. Address his lies yes, certainly, but ignore the man himself if possible, is my preferred course of action.

And I wholeheartedly agree with you that he is somebody's front man. But whose exactly?

Angus Files

I cant remember the last time Deer was allowed to print any of his tosh!in any of the big newspapers... the last time was on AIDS over a year ago ...Great Deer keep up your journo bubble it will burst one just like Jimmy Saville your day will come for the double speak you have engineered for the sickos that hide behind you...and only you will be responsible...


John Stone

I have to admit I am not terribly interested in sticking a clinical pathology label on Deer and his undoubtedly bizarre act - it's the people hiding behind it that bother me.


Bill and Isabella

NPD's don't "do" irony, more's the pity.

PJCaroll. Psychopathic jealousy is a typical symptom of NPD's. So is stalking.. They often are indivisible. The quote below is from Wikipaedia on NPD's which also illuminates Deer's behaviour patterns. He is such a classic example and the more one understands this disorder the more one sees just how deeply personal and obsessional his stalking of Andy has become. You are spot on with your gut instincts PJ.

"..cannot handle criticism and will often try to compensate for this by belittling or disparaging others, in an attempt to validate their own self worth...a sadistic tendency..."

I fully admit I am not a psychiatrist but I also admit I had a member of my close family who suffered from this condition and naturally enough we became very well informed on the subject! As I have said it is rare for such a personality with NPD ever allowing him or herself to receive a professional diagnostic. He won't go near one! There is nothing wrong with him remember - it's everyone else who does the lying and the deeiving etc etc.!


Michael Winfrey told me in an email the day before the event that it would not be videotaped for future viewing. But a student sitting next to me (who slept through most of the lecture) informed me that the students were told it would be videotaped.

Mr. Deer would not allow copies of his slides to be distributed either. As I told the chancellor and Mr. Winfrey, anyone who takes pride in the truth and integrity of their words would want their lecture taped so that it could reach as wide an audience as possible.


Also of note:
- Parents were told they could not record Deer, and a UW-L rep said they were not recording him either. Yet on 10/4 a man emerged from the glassed room in back of the hall and said to us, "I'm just the camera man."
- To my knowledge no one confronted Deer directly -- only via screened questions on cards. However a LaCrosse doctor aggressively confronted Andrew Wakefield verbally, but from a distance.

The University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse is not the source for free speech that Professor Michael Winfrey claims. Nor is it any help for the countless children suffering miserably from MMR-induced bowel disease worldwide.

John Stone

I think everyone here would like to have the opportunity to see Bill express his gratitude to Mr Deer in an appropriate way.

Isabella Thomas

I have been asked to post this comment below on behalf of William Marchant who Brian Deer attacked in his speech.

Mr Deer, I feel very honoured that such a noted journalist as yourself would spend so much of your precious time making sure our issue is made public. I thank you for your willingness to help us publicise our plight and let the world know how much you care for the damaged children. I am sure we will succeed and we will drink a toast to your future, whatever that may be. Perhaps we may meet again and I can express my gratitude in the way I would really want to. W. Marchant

Isabella Thomas

It is a disgrace to see Brian Deer attacking Jackie Fletcher and calling her anti-vaccine when her son was so severely affected by the MMR vaccine.

See link below where the Vaccine damage payment unit awarded her son money because of the MMR vaccine.

A mother whose son suffered severe brain damage after he was given the controversial MMR vaccine as a baby has been awarded £90,000 compensation.


How could Brian Deer say Jackie was anti-vaccine when she allowed her son Robert to have the MMR vaccine like all parents of vaccine damaged children. Why is Brian Deer attacking parents now? What next for god's sake. This has to stop now. The focus should be on the sick children left to suffer. Where is their voice in all of this? The parents voice are the children's voice and should be respected as we are the experts on our children. My son tried to have a voice in the doctors surgery one day as he could not stand the pain any more and was told 'We believe you believe you are in pain' Is this because Brian Deer plays at being a doctor and they believe him?


More on the NPD thing - I left the lecture on Thursday thinking just how insanely jealous Brian Deer is of Dr. Wakefield. At one point, he showed a slide of Dr. Wakefield posing with an admirer, who Deer said was one of the Dixie Chicks. Then he demeaned her by saying, or maybe it's a "Chixie Dick". Then he showed another slide of Dr. Wakefield surrounded by grateful parents at an event, then quickly flipped to a slide of a random screaming mob, followed quickly by a slide of some random cheerleaders. It was so unprofessional, like the rest of his presentation.

I'm thinking - "Really?" This is a guy who was introduced to these poor innocent students as a man who had won the "equivalent of a pulitzer prize". I can't imagine how confused they were to then watch this resentful little man who obviously deeply craves the kind of adoration Dr. Wakefield has.

Susan Farndell

Unbelievable! How can he just say things like that? Aren't the University in some way responsible for verifying the things their speakers say? How can they give this man the time of day?

So very wrong.

Isabella Thomas

It is frightening to think someone like Brian Deer can spread such lies and attack parents like myself. He never interviewed me and knows nothing about my boys lives. Years in a special school for Autism because they needed the professional help from teachers who specialise in Autism. Is Brian Deer saying the specialist school and teachers were wrong? (The school do their own assessment of the boys to make sure they can meet their needs) is Brian Deer saying their Statements of Special Educational Needs from the Education Authority was wrong, Is Brian Deer saying two top hospitals in London were wrong? Is Brian Deer saying the local children's hospital was wrong? Is Brian Deer saying their bowel conditions do not exist? The medication they are on is just for fun because the doctors have nothing better to do? Brian Deer is the top expert on Autism and the professionals are wrong. This is going to backfire on the university big time.

Erik Nanstiel

Great job, Nancy! But how can you say that Deer is "diminuitive" when he emphatically claims he's 5-foot-nine?? LOL

Carter's Daddy

It just seems so weird that he tours giving talks about Andrew Wakefield. It's not an objective informational dissertation. It's a rant. His whole circus has one pony. This alone is suspicious regarding the driving force behind it, since in no other setting or circumstance does this happen, with the exception of stand up comedians. This is like that, except it isn't funny.

Anne McElroy Dachel

Brilliant summation Nancy. I don't think I could have sat through another talk from the "distinguished lecturer" Brian Deer. He presented himself exactly as I expected on Thurs. He was arrogant and he slung his half-truths and bold faced lies right and left. What really shocked me was how the University of WI-La Crosse promoted and vouched for this man. I can't imagine blacker day for academic freedom than what I witnessed with Brian Deer vilifying Andrew Wakefield who was not allowed to speak in his own defense.

Anne Dachel, Media


As revealed in fact checker Jane Smith's deposition, Deer was concerned about how the BMJ fact checkers would go about their business. In a letter to Godlee, Deer wrote, "I am also slightly anxious lest we have another communication breakdown and your people go off trying to check my work, which I requested, without talking to me about how this might be done."


Was he concerned about what professional fact-checking might find?


Linking Wakefield to AIDS denialism is the public relations maneuver du jour. I have seen it in many recent online articles about Wakefield by ostensibly independent journalists. And it comes up in a newish book called _The AIDS Conspiracy_ by Nicoli Nattrass which compares Wakefield to Peter Duesberg.

The book also claims that Robert Gallo discovered HIV instead of stealing it from the French.

John Stone

Further to point out that Deer was beneficiary of lavish vaccine industry hospitality in the South of France last year:


That he was assisted in his early investigation by a detective agency attached to the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry:


That he was on his own testimony apparently engaged on a fishing expedition, instigated by the son of a member of the Committee on Safety in Medicines when MMR was first introduced to the UK:



PS There is no succesful treatment of a NPD - a) because of course they don't believe there is anything wrong with them and b) because even if you dragged one kicking and screaming to a therapy clinic they would never agree that any specialist would be clever enough to help them.. That's if they thought they needed help in the first place. Which of course they never do.
Sounds like it has all the makings of a comedy series. Black comedy that is.

To be serious. This diagnosis explains the persistent pursuit and stalking by Deer of a man (a doctor) who will not engage in a direct confrontation with him, because this particular man knows well how sick this stalker is. Deer's futile attempts to speak to Andy were videoed and referred to later by Deer to make it appear he was simply being ignored for no conceivably good reason, he was after all only doing his job.
Quite why he alludes to it as an "Edwardian" is interesting....My own theory is that he sees this failed encounter with AW as a scene straight out of Downton, with AW as the dignified gentry and himself as the below stairs character. All true of course. But that would enrage him, if he didn't try to use it for humorous effect and turn himself into the victim. As I remember that video it made Deer look like the irritating out of control stalker that he really is.

NPD's are a nightmare to encounter, either on a professional or a personal level. Like irritating flies they must be dealt a short sharp smack. This pursuit of Andrew Wakefield has gone on for far too long. Until it is settled in a court of law we must view it in the context that it deserves. Deer has to be dealt with by going on the offensive. Ignoring him unfortunately does not make him disappear, he will be there until he is by law, put in his proper place.

John Stone


This is a good article but distressing to see Deer's hate remarks against Bill Marchant, Isabella Thomas and Rosemary Kessick laced once again with mountains of uncorroborated innuendo. It should be noted that virtually all of Deer's allegations (and the GMC's) about misreporting in the Lancet paper have already been shredded by an English High Court judge, Sir John Mitting in the appeal of senior author/clinician Prof John Walker-Smith. At this stage, for example, it is absurd and contrary to the known facts for Deer to go on claiming that Thomas's children did not have an ASD diagnosis.

It may be said that the behaviour of Prof Winfrey is particularly distasteful - and apparently hypocritical - since it was he who told the La Crosse Tribune "We are a university,” he said. “We value and encourage people to look at both sides of issues and make informed decisions.”


The actions described here do not however indicate such Olympian detachment.

Regarding Deer's claims about Kessick I repost my re-joinder to him in another blog:

'According to the NUJ Code of Conduct:

'“A journalist…obtains material by honest,straightforward and open means, with the exception of … evidence that cannot be obtained by straightforward means”


'Mrs Kessick agreed to give an interview to a Sunday Times journalist. So the story could have been obtained by straightforward means. There was no reason therefore to give a false name and no evidence to justify that. Mr Deer’s speculation in the face of the evidence of an agreed interview and that of his editors and Sunday Times legal advisors shows that the current judicial investigation into the ethical and other behaviour of News International journalists is wholly justified.

'Claiming Dan Olmsted’s speculation now that Mrs Kessick would not have agreed an interview then in November 2003 justifies the actions of News International journalists and legal advisors is tosh. Even if it were so, there is no reason to believe she would not have given an interview to another Sunday Times journalist. Again demonstrating no need to give a false name.

'Mr Deer is deceiving us by implying that the story of him turning the tape round is a new “and pathetic” account of events seven year’s ago. The details are recorded in Mrs Kessick’s contemporaneous complaint in her letter to Sunday Times editor John Witherow in November 2003.

'What Mr Deer does not tell us is that he had two tape-recorders. One was to put on the table, if he was refused consent to record, so he could give the appearance of complying with the wishes of the interviewee. The other was concealed. Mr Deer had to go through the bizarre pretence of turning a single tape round, while making frequent visits to the lavatory to change the tape in the concealed machine. Had he troubled to bring enough tapes for the machine on the table it would not have made his secret recording so obvious. Interestingly, Mr Deer anticipates this in his account by claiming there were numerous cups of tea, when in fact he had a single cup of tea and a glass of water. That made the frequent trips to the toilet look out of place.

'Mr Deer claims Mrs Kessick “spewed out a torrent of foul abuse” which was so “horrendous and bizarre” that he claims it would leave “any rational person wondering about her sanity”.

'Mr Deer is very given to publishing documents so perhaps he would also like to publish the full unedited text of Mrs Kessick’s letter to John Witherow so that everyone can see for themselves this alleged “horrendous and bizarre torrent of foul abuse”. There was nothing in the letter published on Age of Autism to justify Mr Deer’s claim. So show us where Dan Olmsted left out this “horrendous and bizarre torrent of foul abuse”.

'Finally, perhaps Mr Deer can tell how he came to read William Kessick’s case papers from the MMR litigation. What documents is he citing, and how did he come by them? And if they are from the GMC transcripts, perhaps he should say which days and which pages. But then again, the MMR vaccine injury children’s litigation documents were not used in the GMC proceedings were they? Or is Mr Deer saying they were and if so which ones?'


To none of which, of course, did Deer reply.

Perhaps the most telling moment in the report is Deer telling a student that no one else could have done it. No one else could repeat Deer's results except by repeating Deer! This is why even today the British and American governments are hiding behind his increasingly threadbare, demented tale. And this is why preening, incompetent, self-important academic toads are still rolling out the red carpet.



The university's support of Deer is most discouraging. Parent's accounts written off as stories which garner an emotional response but "dissipate in the fog" while “facts remain in the light of day” (parent's accounts are devoid of facts?) - reasonable commenters written off as "trolls" - Deer's strange lecturing believed and respected while Wakefield's eloquence is disregarded - there seems to be no way to break through the wall of denialism. Strange, surreal, frustrating.


That's an important point, Jenny Allan, that "Deer's comment about his January 2011 BMJ articles having had 'a massive impact on (US) public opinion', seems to run contrary to BMJ Editors Godlee & Co's assertions, made to the Texas Court in defence against Dr Wakefield's litigation proceedings against Deer, Godlee and the BMJ, that these BMJ articles and the public responses to them were essentially a 'British' affair, having little or no US impact, particularly in Texas.".


About the "weapons of mass destruction" though ......they have been found .......vaccines

Jenny Allan

Brian Deer says (from above):-
"There are only two things he likes: “One is sex and the other is reading my name in the newspaper.” So this man admits he is driven purely by twin lusts for sexual gratification and publicity.

Surely the authorities from Wisconsin University, La Crosse, who invited Brian Deer, a man with NO scientific or medical qualififications , to deliver a prestigious annual life sciences lecture, should have carried out some preliminary checks on his personal and scientific background first, before exposing vulnerable undergraduates to him.

This looks to me like a very serious breach of pastoral care, by Wisconsin University. In the UK Brian Deer has never been given an academic platform on which to spout his venom against Dr Wakefield and his supporters. Our Universities know better.


Just keep spouting the vile - I would image many, many students in the audience have first hand experience in living with/around autism. They may have been forced to be there but it does not mean they believe everything they were told.

Is there no recourse against him and the university for the horrible things he makes up about people? How can the university stomach being associated with him? Sure not the UW I once knew.


NPD symptoms -


Nancy, NPD socio/psychopaths don't do irony. Or empathy. The one thing they can't abide is to be ignored. It figures.


It says a lot about the times we live in that the powers that shouldn't be use a creature like Brian Deer as a mouthpiece to the point that he gets invited into a center of learning to "lecture" students and is given a platform for him to utter his lies, fallacies and defamation of doctors and parents, truly sickening and those in charge at UW LaCrosse should be ashamed of themselves for such an inappropriate choice of a speaker.

Jenny Allan

From above:-
"At times the balding presenter used risqué language on the young audience, saying there are only two things he likes: “One is sex and the other is reading my name in the newspaper.”

Deer said that after the BMJ ran its January 2011 article on Wakefield, a Harris poll showed that 145 million Americans “knew the fundamentals of the story” and his work had “a massive impact on public opinion.” Knowing that newspaper presses across the U.S. were running his story, he “felt a great honor at the time.”

WOW!! We have some apparently truthful Deer comments for a change!!

What puzzles me about this ego trip, is that Deer's comment about his January 2011 BMJ articles having had "a massive impact on (US) public opinion", seems to run contrary to BMJ Editors Godlee & Co's assertions, made to the Texas Court in defence against Dr Wakefield's litigation proceedings against Deer, Godlee and the BMJ, that these BMJ articles and the public responses to them were essentially a 'British' affair, having little or no US impact, particularly in Texas.

In the UK Deer's BMJ articles went down in the press 'like a well weighted lead balloon'. The Press Association advised their members not to 'touch' this story because of the risk of litigation. The Sunday Times legal department, put out a media release effectively DISOWNING Brian Deer after that appalling CNN Anderson Cooper interview, January 2011.

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