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Emily Willingham, Dorit Rubinstein Reiss and the Barmy Army


By John Stone

This is something I wrote about in December – original article appended – occasioned by Emily Willingham’s attempt to respond in Forbes   to the Brian Hooker/Shot of Truth’s press release a few days ago . The question I pose is what would actually happen if government officials ever had to answer questions. I guess it might look something like Coleen Boyle of the Centers for Disease Control trying to fend off questions for five minutes from Congressman Posey in November 2012 . What, of course, we actually get in this instance is Emily Willingham, a person with no responsibility for the policy and no grasp of the scientific issues, trying to sow confusion. For Willingham the right answer is just the usual bureaucratic stitch-up masquerading as hard science. The last thing she wants is people rummaging around in the CDC’s cupboards. Re-challenged by Hooker  you get the same answer all over again. But, of course, the point is that it does not ultimately matter what Willingham says because she is not accountable and nor are the rag, tag and bobtail crew of characters that hang around on her website and elsewhere.

The system is about non-accountability. The pharmaceutical companies are unsuable, the bureaucrats unanswerable and make claims for the products that the companies themselves would never risk. People like Willingam and Dorit Reiss – the public vaccine compliance lady who cannot make up her mind whether she is simply a concerned mother or a nationally ambitious tort lawyer     –  are surrogates for the people who might have to answer.  As I remarked in  my original piece Reiss made her debut in the field when she was conveniently slipped in protecting bioethicist Art Caplan from having to answer awkward questions from Mary Holland in Harvard Law Journal. What this system deserves above all is our blistering contempt.

This post first ran on 12/20/13:

ReissBy John Stone

One of the problems that the phenomenon of Dorit Reiss points to is the fundamental lack of solidity of vaccine science: we are not talking about something like the laws of thermodynamics, the periodic table, the theory of relativity – instead it is something that has to be defended by a sequence of dodgy manoeuvres and obfuscations. The claims for the vaccine program which are being made are politically absolutist but there is no unchallengeable super-theory behind any of it, only a multitude of industrially manufactured products which may be neither as effective or as safe as their advocates claim, have usually not been as well tested as they should have been, and can only be defended by a bulwark unbalanced legislation backed up by endless institutional malfeasance. Pubmed, the index of peer review medical studies, is testament to this: even if there are many studies which are favourable to products it does not make anything about their findings immutable evidence, or proof of anything. They can only be provisional.

Nor is the quality of all that evidence necessarily high despite sentiment that vaccines are a good thing. The 2005 Cochrane Review of MMR vaccine safety, concluded after having sifted 5,000 studies  :

“The design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies, both pre- and post-marketing, are largely inadequate. The evidence of adverse events following immunisation with MMR cannot be separated from its role in preventing the target diseases.”

Indeed, this body of evidence was so poor that it was not even clear how most of the final 31 studies admitted to the review met the inclusion criteria.

There is a fundamental problem with vaccines, that although great claims are made for their effectiveness their harms are apparently instantly deniable, and there is no logic to this imbalance. If something does go wrong you will not only be met with immediate professional indifference and denial, the only recourse in establishing it is to take legal action. But such is the institutional bias that this is a vain hope in most countries, and even in the US where awards are made in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program with some frequency they usually end up by being “no-fault” concessions by the government.

And this is also the problem of Reiss: reality can be stage-managed in the mainstream media but the evidence of hundreds and thousands of wrecked lives are harder to suppress in the social media: there is no one – apart from usual medical spokespeople spouting the conventional wisdom  – who can be more authoritative. There are no underlying scientific principles, only a morass of flawed, limited studies and a host of bureaucratic decisions masking the legal reality that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe”  . Despite her grand debut as a vaccine advocate in Harvard Law Review   (standing in for Art Caplan) barely six months ago Reiss has ended up scrambling from one blog to another trying to block out the ever peeping reality that these products cause unaccountable injury and death. Caplan, confronted by Mary Holland, disappeared – if Caplan played a false move while in open debate it could have serious consequences, but Reiss is expendable (though also apparently, in retrospect, inexhaustible). If she has a somewhat uncertain professional status as a lawyer, as has been suggested, this may be part of the story too.

As it is her defence of vaccines often rests on the rants of David Gorski or the blog of Liz Ditz, and if she tends to play her hand courteously (at least superficially) she is surrounded by a ragbag of supporters and associates who do anything but. This week found her in trouble defending flu mandates for young children in New York on the comment page of the John Gambling Show  and resorting to anonymous Facebook page “notes/chillin-out-vaxin-relaxin-all-cool/flu-shots-for-kids-two-year-yes they are effective”.

But it got worse. She also cited the “Poxes” blog of “Reuben Gaines”, known as well for his “Edward Jenner” Facebook page. As I pointed out Gaines had made fraudulent claims in Age of Autism to be a professor of epidemiology working at the Department of Health in Washington DC  while naming Johns Hopkins as his academic institution. He has also demonstrated only very little knowledge or competence in epidemiology.  Even more excruciatingly on a Reiss blog in the Time of Israel a couple of months ago he admitted to trolling me, remarking:

"John Stone Oh Johnny. You're so easy to troll"  

Reiss tried to distract from the issue by misrepresenting the point of what was being said while engaging in blatant innuendo:

“As I said before, I don't take a passing comment on an internet thread as something more serious than a passing comment on an internet thread, and I'd admit I find that one a lot milder than is usual for the discussion of these issues (unfortunately). Mr. Gaines has not tried to stalk you to your place of work, send threatening or insulting emails or attack you directly and constantly.”

But, of course, it was not a passing remark, it was an admission of what he does (probably under a variety of names).

By this stage “Gaines/Jenner” was also hopping around the Gambling blog trying to limit the damage, culminating in this exchange:

John Stone · Top Commenter : “Edward Jenner Please show me any official sites which establish the presence of Prof Reuben Gaines at (1) Johns Hopkins University and (2) Deparment of Health Wahington DC”

Edward Jenner · Top Commenter · Johns Hopkins University:  “Get your facts straight, John. I went to Hopkins for my MPH in the 90s. I teach at a completely different institution. Stop lying. It's not that hard to do.”

John Stone  · Top Commenter:  “So, at what institution are you a professor?”

Edward Jenner •  Top Commenter · Johns Hopkins University

“At none anymore. I've left my job at DC DOH and am moving to a bigger city on the East Coast. That's all you get, honey bunches. I don't want calls to my new employer this time.”

But in Reiss’s world Gaines is an authority.

It points to two things: her confidence in vaccine science is not based on genuine knowledge – in fact she seems oddly naive. And the real professionals know too much to stick their necks out in public debate.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.





Jenny Allan

Sorry Godfrey Wyl-NO amount of spin and semantics alters the fact that the published picture of the seriously ill baby was presented purely as scaremongering propaganda, intended to frighten parents into having their children vaccinated with MMR vaccine.

I'm pleased you admit in your comment "the photograph is misleadingly offered, as well as confusingly lit", and I am not disputing this infant may well have been suffering from 'Blueberry Muffin Syndrome', although as John Stone points out the 'spots' are not typical of this syndrome, which is also known to be caused by other viruses, than Rubella, contracted by mothers in pregnancy. There is no indication given about the age of this photograph, or the country of origin.

Whatever statistics are bandied about over the probabilities of disabilities and syndromes caused by Congenital Rubella Syndrome, and I am not disputing these either, the blunt fact remains this condition is EXTREMELY rare these days in countries where child Rubella vaccinations are officially scheduled. In the UK virtually ALL recorded cases are linked to immigration, mostly young asian women, often coming here as brides to resident citizens. Mostly, they come from countries where Rubella vaccinations are not routinely administered in childhood. It's very sad, but by the time their pregnancies come up on the 'NHS radar', it's far too late to prevent any congenital Rubella syndrome. MMR and single Rubella vaccines are NOT given to pregnant women, or women who intend to become pregnant soon because these vaccines can cause CRS.

I confirm I am strongly in favour of single Rubella vaccines, although I have concerns about the combined MMR vaccines.

Help-How do we defeat the Lying Shills

Study the way that Dorit and Lie Lady (Lilady) managed to twist this reasoned discussion that simply pointed out all the hideous stuff in vaccines, and got the poster to make inexplicably fatal errors and use key words that caused her to get kicked off . . study it so that if you post in the future you don't fall into the traps this writer did. . .

Dorit, who really WAS the "Shill" got away with getting a reasonable piece and reasonable writer labeled as a "shill" and kicked off Daily Kos by twisting the discussion and using some kind of rating system that marked the writer. How stupid is the Daily Kos, to get that global energy companies deny global warming, and that GM lies and hides evidence about ignitions, yet 100% trust that pharmaceuticals are 100% safe for all infants, and anyone challenging this is "a consipiracy theorist". I don't know how we counter this . . I just don't. But it was heartening that several people defended the writer as reasonable. . . .before she got totally banned from DailyKos!

Godfrey Wyl

"There is a rare condition called 'Blueberry Muffin lesions', associated with CRS and several other conditions, but it's very rare and the baby photographed does not seem typical of this syndrome."

While the photograph is misleadingly offered, as well as confusingly lit--the brownish coloration on the right arm, left side of the face, etc., are artifacts of this--I see no reason to think that it an unusual presentation. "Blueberry muffin" is by definition a purpuritic rash; the lesions sometimes seen in bacterial meningitis are ischemic.

As to frequency, a figure of 30% is given by Lea & Farbinger in the 1974 edition of "Medical Genetics: Principles and Practice" (p. 282). Schachner & Hansen's 2003 "Pediatric Dermatology" reports 20%-50% of the 30% of infants with clinical manifestations at birth, when combined with the less common thrombocytopenia, or "cranberry muffin" (p. 246). That's about 1 in 9 of all CRS cases.

Jenny Allan

@Godfrey Wyl -re Congenital Rubella Syndrome.

Whatever the source of the photograph, the baby pictured in the article is stated to be suffering from Rubella, not Congenital Rubella Syndrome. Rubella is a very mild fleeting disease, lasting only a few days. This photo is designed to be scaremongering propaganda in favour of MMR vaccine.

There is a rare condition called 'Blueberry Muffin lesions', associated with CRS and several other conditions, but it's very rare and the baby photographed does not seem typical of this syndrome. In fact, Congenital Rubella Syndrome, is most commonly associated with deafness and mental retardation. In the western world, Congenital Rubella Syndrome, always rare, has been virtually eliminated by Rubella vaccinations. Like John Stone, I am fully in favour of single Rubella vaccinations for girls. Both of my daughters received this vaccine at age 11-12 years, and one of my grandsons was also immunised with single vaccines. I have never heard of any problems with the single Rubella vaccines, which are both safe and effective. The much vilified Dr Andrew Wakefield, has been crucified for merely suggesting a return to single vaccines pending further MMR vaccine safety studies. This was a 'common sense' suggestion.

"Rubella syndrome: The constellation of abnormalities caused by infection with the rubella (German measles) virus before birth. The syndrome is characterized by multiple congenital malformations (birth defects) and mental retardation.
The individual features of the syndrome include growth retardation,microcephaly (abnormally small head), cataracts, glaucoma, microphthalmia (abnormally small eyes), cardiovascular malformations,hearing loss, and mental retardation. Deafness is common. After birth the child may develop diabetes due to gradual destruction of the pancreas by the rubella virus."

Laura Hayes


Just a week or so after I made my discovery about the "Data Triage" paper, I received the email from Jeff Hays about his "Bot" discovery. The two may very well be connected.

What I have noticed recently is how rude, uneducated, and repetitive the "pro-vaccine/pro-forced vaccination" comments have much so, in fact, that I have to believe the average joe who is new to this whole discussion would find it hard to believe the "pro-vaccine/pro-forced vaccination" comments as being worthwhile or credible. The "bots" are doing their side no favors.

John Stone

Godfrey Wyl

I agree that that is what it says and it is the CDC website but congenital rubella syndrome (which is indeed very serious) is not usually characterised by spots.

PS I am glad to confirm that I am not opposed to vaccination against rubella.


It would be great if AOA could do an expose on the bot technology and uses so that folks could find it on search. People have no idea this is going on. It's like skewing elections the way they are falsely representing the masses and attempting to shape public policy. It's a new modern crime that desperately needs legislation. This is not free speech. This is one person or a few posing as many, fraudulently, using a computer to manipulate, control and shut down the public discourse which is the foundation of any democracy.

Godfrey Wyl

"But the seriously ill baby photographed with 'rubella' looks more like a bacterial meningitis victim."

That is congenital rubella:

John Stone


Yes, it very interesting isn't it? I think the most blog responses I have ever written in one day would be in the low 30s, and not while trying to hold down a full time teaching post. I can certainly see how such systems could locate things rapidly requiring reply - maybe they could also help locate the replies which might need some minimal adaptation. Obviously, even with Prof Dorit some would need greater consideration and have to be individually crafted. I think it may only be a partial explanation of the Dorit Reiss phenomenon but it may be that.

There is also this report from Jeff Hays though I think what he describes is possibly too formulaic to explain Dorit. It may be that certain comments that have turned of this kind at AoA have been automatically generated:-

"I’m in Santa Clara CA, in the San Francisco area. I just arrived last night, so I walked over to a local landmark restaurant, Birk’s. They we’re full (of course) but they could seat me at the counter. They sat me next to a lady and we started talking about my favorite subject… food.

"Her name is Jenny Burke, and she was delightful. She was in the area with her significant other to attend a conference at Stanford on Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, etc. There were six tracks, her focus was robotics. She’s a PhD specializing in robotics in relationship to people for Boeing. Smart.

"The night before they had their closing plenary session, and a speaker from each of the 6 tracks spoke on key things they had discussed in their track.

"She said the guy from the Big Data track said, “years ago there was a rogue doctor who did some fraudulent research that said vaccines cause autism. In spite of the fact that the researcher had been discredited and the study has been retracted, this “false” data has woven into our culture and many people believe this “false” study and don’t get their kids vaccinated.”

"She said he went on, “so we created a social media bot that searches conversation strings in all social media for these conversations and then posts the fact that they are false and links them to the “real” data showing that vaccines are safe and don’t cause autism. So this is just one example of how we can use Big Data and bots to affect social change for good.”

"Wow. And she happens to be sitting next to, of all people, me!

"I had to pause and let my “mental committee” meet. Do I say something? Do I just keep my mouth shut? If you know me at all, you know the second option wasn’t even an option.

"So we had a lively discussion of the real facts of this “rogue” Dr and his “fraudulent” study. (And the fact that Andrew Wakefield is one of the finest men I’ve ever met.)

"But please don’t miss the point. These people are at a conference about replacing humans. It’s ok, its inevitable. She’s a psychologist at Boeing, helping them eliminate jobs and replace those jobs with robots. (This is the wave of the future, I believe we’ll eliminate a lot of jobs, but we entrepreneurs, we create more, different, better ones. But that’s a different movie.)

"But now we have the brightest minds in the world, killing conversation, eliminating discussion, shutting down thinking by using massive computer bots to target moms who are worried about their children, vaccines and autism. They are using computerized bots to eliminate resistance to vaccine dogma, claiming science where none exists! Can you imagine what the response is of a mother of a vaccine injured child who speaks out on this on Facebook and then is shut down and attacked by what appears to be a friend of a friend but is actually a computer bot?


Not surprised

Nice, Laura. Now we need raw numbers for an autism wandering death/ drowning count that wecan attribute to the chilibots.

Laura Hayes

Hi John,

I greatly appreciate your tenaciousness in your unending efforts to expose the lies and liars that abound when it comes to trying to hide and obliterate the truth about the horrors and inefficacies of vaccines, and the decade upon decade of havoc they have wreaked.

Like everyone else out there who has an inquiring mind, I, too, wondered how Dorit Reiss could be so ever-present on so many different blogs. What I discovered is that her husband did his PhD dissertation on "Data Triage", which sounds exactly like what is behind all of the "Bot" responses we now see following every vaccine-related media article. For anyone who wants to look it up for themselves, here is how:

Google "Data Triage - Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences". Scroll down 1 or 2 items, and look for "June 1, 2007 Data Triage Frederick Ralph Reiss". You can click on that link to read his paper.

Check out the graph on pg. 11 and the last paragraph on pg. 15. Both of those piqued my interest with regards to handling multiple queries at one time. Then factor in that Berkeley has some deal going with Kaiser, then think of how many patients Kaiser has, and extrapolate from there.


John, What a link! AND What a piece of work!

They come up with this I am a victim of persecution from their experience of persecuting others. Sick.
Some how I don't think there is a real danger of losing a job if you are blogging FOR vaccines since it is the side that institutions that hold all the real power are in favor of.

Don't sound dangerous to me?

It is the other way around -- Little people with daughters that are just nurses. Or lone doctors with morals that speak out as they follow the science.

John Stone


Yes, a class act eh?

Possibly Rene F Najera:


honey bunches.

- sounds a Johns Hopkins professional; now don't it.
I am sorry John Stone that you have to put up with stuff like that.


The list of names is long, every last one of them is a puzzle - just like the symbol for autism. And -of why they chose this social issue from amongest so many others -- they did not chose autism -- they did not -- they chose to pick on parents that witnessed vaccine injuries.

So that is all they are about - not research into autism, not to help those with autism, not to support autsim families --
but to go after those that witnessed vaccine injuries.

Jenny Allan

John-Perhaps the most ironic aspect of Lord Leveson's 'labelling' of Andrew Wakefield as a 'rogue scientist', and completely missed by both Fiona Fox and Lord Leveson, is that overviewing the work of research scientists is NOT part of the remit of the UK General Medical Council, and therefore Andrew Wakefield should never have been dragged before the GMC at all.(Dr Wakefield's Royal Free contract precluded ANY clinical contact with RF patients).

The GMC literally 'went through hoops' to invent charges against Dr Wakefield, and his co-accused clinician colleagues Profs Walker-Smith and Murch. All were accused of colluding to subject children to invasive medical procedures for purely research purposes. These charges were exposed as nonsense by Lord Justice Mitting during Professor Walker-Smith's High Court Appeal, where this distinguished compassionate clinician was cleared of all the GMC charges. The clinicians were simply doing their jobs. All medical procedures on child patients were deemed necessary for diagnostic and other purposes.

Dr Wakefield was charged with 'causing' children to undergo 'unnecessary' procedures for his research. Since this was an impossible task for a laboratory based scientist, his two clinician colleagues were dragged into the GMC's 3 year £8million+ inquisition. For good measure some control sample blood taken at a kids' party, with the full permission of both kids and parents, was siezed on by the GMC to prove what a callous, unethical person Dr Wakefield must be.

Of course it's perfectly OK for the UK Goverment Health Departments to use schoolchildren and children in care for their own vaccine and other clinical trials.

John Stone


Just to remind you what an apparatchik Fox is, chairing a UK government Department of Business committee reporting on 'Science and the media: securing the future" which included in its ranks Paul Nuki, the former Sunday Times editor, who hired Brian Deer to find something "big" on "MMR".

Of course, I pointed this out to Leveson with zero effect.

There was a very good article by the British ecologist George Monbiot in 2003.

Jenny Allan

Someone else with a degree in philosphy, but absolutely NO medical or scientific credentials is Brian Deer, whose lies and obfuscations about Andrew Wakefield and a 16 year old 5 page Lancet paper, with no less than 13 well qualified authors, still reverberate around the world. Dr Wakefield is presently being blamed for an apparent resurgence in Measles, Mumps and Whooping cough, no matter that in the case of Mumps and Whooping cough,(the latter of which is NOT even an MMR vaccine component), most of the infected persons were vaccinated against these diseases.

Former Communist Revolutionary Party member Fiona Fox has a pass but no merit degree in journalism, and it shows. No matter that she, like Deer, has absolutely NO scientific or medical qualifications, she was considered an appropriate person to be put in charge of the rather sinister Science Media Centre in the UK. This organisation, which 'advises'the press and media about their science reporting claims to be 'independent' with a 'cap' on individual funding sources, but nonetheless receives huge amounts of public money channelled from umpteen different sources, including from the BBC, formerly famed for its science programmes, but no more, after some monumental blunders involving faked up 'global warming' amongst others.
The SMC promotes, amongst others. the pharmaceutical industries, GMOs, nuclear power and global warming,(now called climate change).

Ms Fox even persuaded Lord Leveson that Dr Wakefield was a 'rogue scientist'; this found its way into the 2000 page Leveson Report. Leveson refused to even look at any of the evidence in favour of Dr Wakefield sent by myself, John Stone and others, but I was slightly gratified to hear his scathing comments about COPE, whose erstwhile 'ethics' officer Liz Wager referred my BMJ complaint about Brian Deer and Editor Fiona Godlee, right back to Godlee. Leveson acknowledged these complaints simply go round in circles.

My experience of persons on so called 'ethics committees' demonstrates some very dodgy so called 'ethical values'. I hope Leveson is pleased with himself.


was that what ancient Greeks use to study as they sat around drinking hemlock?
They still offer such degrees at Universities?
I mean not just classes but an actual degree.


Of course everyone is entitled to an opinion. The thing is that Art Caplan asserts that his opinion is more important than everyone else's, including that of members of the scientific and medical communities, some of whom buy into this insanity. That's how he makes his living. His opinion should carry more weight than others, based on what?


John said, "But even Caplan ought to be able to understand the limits of the science he is being absolutist about."

You would think. But as Boyd Haley said about Paul Offit, who is an MD, that Offit has no idea of what he's talking about because he has no understanding of the science...can you imagine how clueless Caplan, having studied not science, but philosophy, is? Bob Moffitt hit it on the head yesterday. In this cast of characters that is becoming more bizarre by the minute, turns out that Caplan is just another useful idiot. He's been given the direction to go in and he's plowing ahead not having the slightest understanding of what he's doing. Caplan is not a scientist and yet he is an advisor to scientists. Caplan is an expert on appearing to be an expert. It's crazy...completely insane.

John Stone

A 'Salon' article about Caplan and the Gelsinger affair from 2000 by the equally ghastly Arthur Allen can be read here.

Linda, I am quite sure that the advent of bioethicist is a largely sinister matter and some of them are even scarier than Caplan. It is a difficult issue. I don't think that everyone who has a view has to be a doctor, and there has to be forum in which these issues are adjudicated. I fear too much of it is about simply sanctioning what has never been before as the result of technological developments, and that it is largely a matter of he who pays the piper calls the tune.

A lot of these people ground there arguments in the most whimsical way. But even Caplan ought to be able to understand the limits of the science he is being absolutist about.


Let me rephrase that. Art Caplan has credentials. They do not even minimally qualify him for the job he's doing.


"Caplan, confronted by Mary Holland, disappeared – "

Now we know why. No credentials. None. UNBELIEVABLE.


I'm trying to be calm here. When I read that Arthur Caplan has a Phd in PHILOSOPHY, I literally almost lost it. O M G.

Before I read that, I was thinking that this guy, who comes across to me as a complete twit, was an MD whose specialty was bioethics, not that that's a legitimate profession either, and that he was the pope or at least a bishop in the church of modern medicine. And I'm wondering why physicians NEED an Arthur Caplan to tell them what they should do. Then I find out he's a PHILOSOPHER? NO BACKGROUND IN MEDICINE? AND HE'S DECIDING HOW MEDICAL RESEARCH SHOULD BE DONE AND DECIDING WHO GETS LIFE SAVING SURGERY AND HE'S ARGUING THAT FLU SHOTS SHOULD BE MANDATED FOR EVERY CHILD IN AMERICA? AND PEOPLE ARE LISTENING TO HIM? A MAN WITH A DEGREE IN PHILOSOPHY WHO HAS ZERO UNDERSTANDING OF VACCINES AND ZERO ADVANCED EDUCATION IN ANY OF THE HARD SCIENCES IS WHO THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY AND GOVERNMENT RELIES ON FOR ADVICE THAT FORMS OUR PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY? REALLY?

Please, guys, do an expose article on this charlatan so that the public knows when they read an article by or about him, what his background is. I'm sure that people assume he's an MD with at least a foundational understanding of the issues he's opining on.

I can't even wrap my head around this. It's too much.


@Jenny Allan

Regarding the news article on provax propaganda backfiring, on one hand it is comical to see this article accompanied by the same rabid shillery it is cautioning against.

On the other hand, the cynic in me anticipates this ineffectiveness of "persuasion" being used to justify harsher mandates and further infringements of personal choice freedoms.


Interesting info on Arthur Caplan re. Jesse Gelsinger and U. Pennsylvania. He broke all those rules of conduct and he calls himself a bioethicist??? Yep, sounds like a stand up guy. Not.


@Mary W. Maxwell: According to Wikipedia's entry on Art Caplan,

"While at the University of Pennsylvania, he became the first bioethicist sued for his professional role as a result of his involvement in a gene therapy trial that resulted in the death of research subject Jesse Gelsinger."

I had never heard of Jesse Gelsinger, so :
"Gelsinger [age 18] joined a clinical trial run by the University of Pennsylvania that aimed at developing a treatment for infants born with severe disease. On September 13, 1999, Gelsinger was injected with an adenoviral vector carrying a corrected gene to test the safety of the procedure. He died four days later, September 17, at 2:30 pm, apparently having suffered a massive immune response triggered by the use of the viral vector used to transport the gene into his cells, leading to multiple organ failure and brain death.
A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation concluded that the scientists involved in the trial, including the co-investigator Dr. James M. Wilson (Director of the Institute for Human Gene Therapy), broke several rules of conduct:
Inclusion of Gelsinger as a substitute for another volunteer who dropped out, despite Gelsinger's having high ammonia levels that should have led to his exclusion from the trial;
Failure by the university to report that two patients had experienced serious side effects from the gene therapy;
Failure to disclose, in the informed-consent documentation, the deaths of monkeys given a similar treatment.
The University of Pennsylvania later issued a rebuttal,[1] but paid the parents an undisclosed amount in settlement. Both Wilson and the University are reported to have had financial stakes in the research.[2][3] The Gelsinger case was a severe setback for scientists working in the field.[4]"

Jenny Allan

Princeton Student’s Possible Adverse Reaction To Bexsero: What Is Rhabdomyolysis?

This is an interesting account of a Princeton student who developed Rhabdomyolysis after administration of an unlicenced bacterial meningitis vaccine.

From above:- "Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of muscle tissue that leads to the release of muscle fiber contents into the blood. These substances are harmful to the kidney and often cause kidney damage."

"The FDA and the CDC approved the use of the unlicensed vaccine in these two university outbreak scenarios only."

It seems these students were part of a 'clinical trial' of an unlicenced vaccine. Of course the CDC are claiming the vaccine is perfectly safe -blah blah blah. The unfortunate's student's Rhabdomyolysis was described as:-

"physicians, not being able to explain the student’s Rhabdomyolysis, ended up calling it an “idiosyncratic diagnosis.”

Apparently, the other Princeton students are questioning the CDC's and other official responses. It seems these parents of the future are not so easily fooled by official platitudes and denials. This gives me hope.

Jenny Allan

It seems the pro vaxxers 'doth protest too much'. Parents are beginning to question the often 'rabid' response to ANY expressed concerns about vaccines.

This article is plainly another 'pro-vax' attempt to 'persuade' parents to accept the 'experts' and the 'science' -blah blah blah!! But the seriously ill baby photographed with 'rubella' looks more like a bacterial meningitis victim. Those sparse dark spots and blotches are NOT typical of rubella, which is characterised by an all over 'pinpoint' red rash -very mild and fleeting. A bacterial meningitis vaccine is presently undergoing clinical trials.

Mary W Maxwell, PhD, LLB

Mention is made of Art Caplan not playing fair. I can remember when Caplan was the very model of rationality and fairness, at least in his writings. You could count on him to take any ethical problem and get to the bottom of it. Indeed that was his bread and butter, as a person in “applied philosophy.” If he has changed we need to look into it. What is happening to such people? How do minds get turned around like that? I hope everyone will not say “money.” Sure, we all do a lot in order to keep the income coming in, but clearly there is something else going on. The extent to which it has happened in academia is absolutely jaw-dropping.

Christina Waldman

But if Gaines is not a "real name," then there is no "Gaines," and anyone who cites an imaginary person as an authority also loses credibility. The public should not have to put up with this nonsense. An authority which cannot be verified is not an authority. Enough with anonymous epidemiologists and blogs!

For Not An MD

NAMD: are you serious? This Arthur Caplan guy really recommends spying on people via facebook, google to screen patients out of medical procedures? And he's an "ethicist?" It boggles the mind.
Of course the big leap he makes here is to assume that all these medical people either don't have families or vaccinate themselves and their kids to the hilt, which is a faulty assumption.
My friend has a child that needs a transplant. She doesn't vacciante her children. She discussed this with the surgeon coordinator and layed out her case (child reacts extremely to any and all meds) and he concurred that this would not preclude the child from a transplant.


"Herd Immunity" not a word these days doesn't it work anymore??

FDA spies on whistleblowers

Linda- that it a very interesting article/study. People DO NOT TRUST THE GOVERNMENT (CDC, FDA etc.) They really are losing and even their use of force, such as with Justine's family is backfiring and causing more mistrust. When will they get it? They've pushed the vaccine agenda too far and there are no good physiological studies to prove safety, just crappy/biased epidemiological ones. Ya, sorry Dorit!


Redirection is a tactic used in handling children with autism and adults with Alzheimer's. Emily Willingham tries, but only ends up with meaningless misdirection. She might have some success with simpletons who equate frequent repetition with consensus.


I believe the "debunked Andrew Wakefield paper" has now been replaced by 18 other papers that say the same thing.

No matter how much you thrown at them they (Emily Willlingham & Reiss) simply continue...

John Stone

Not an MD

I have somewhat similar impression of the trade, which derives from my experience with the Nuffield consultation on bio-ethics c.2007. The whole point seems to be all the time to make out a case for things that people previously thought undesirable and to pave the way for fundamentally changing the nature of society to suit their patrons. Ethicists have to find markets for their views or they perish professionally, and the more radically nasty the idea (thinking the unthinkeable) probably the more patronage they can get. Of course, this kind of intellectual exercise is replicated in most areas of academe these days.

Donna K

Here's an example of why even medical professionals should not pay attention to Arthur Caplan on the issue of childhood vaccination. At Medscape is an article and video dated September 20, 2012 entitled "Time to Deny 'Freedom to Kill' for Those Who Refuse Vaccines" by Arthur Caplan arguing against vaccination exemptions. His ignorance of the childhood vaccine schedule in his argument is demonstrated at 4:23 when he makes the claim that infants can't get shots when they are under 6 months old. When in fact, by 6 months of age infants have gotten the bulk of the scheduled childhood vaccines, including 3 doses of DTaP.

Not an MD

@Linda- You should see the video of Caplan on Medscape today, entitled, "What if Something Bad Turns Up?" Caplan tells doctors that they have every right to google a patient and use Facebook, Twitter, etc. to gather information about the patients, behind their backs, and then use any information gleaned that could be construed as a basis to deny them organ transplants, to deny them their lifesaving transplants. How is that for ethics from an alleged bioethicist? I am beginning to think that these alleged "bioethicists" (what a joke!) are nothing more than industry-funded sociopaths. They are anything but ethical. !

The good news is that very few are buying into the stupid, outrageous, and morally bankrupt ideas he spews and spawns.


Quote from the Arthur Caplan article where he's talking about what they're trying to jam through the Rhode Island legistature:

"That is why the proposed policy lets parents opt out of vaccination for medical or religious reasons as long as they keep their kids at home during flu outbreaks. Surely, protecting the health of others by requiring them to be vaccinated or stay home can be justified by trying to prevent the 37 deaths of children who have already died from the flu this season. Their liberty is permanently over."

Children who do not take the flu vaccine would have to stay home, in effect quarantined and ineligible to go to school, for flu outbreaks, which means the entire winter, each year. First they want to sue anyone saying no, now they want to deny children their freedom and right to go to school. There it is in black and white, "Their liberty is permanently over." The unvaccinated are to be stripped of their rights, their liberty. THESE PEOPLE HAVE TO BE STOPPED.

david m burd


Your comment "There is a fundamental problem with vaccines, that although great claims are made for their effectiveness their harms are apparently instantly deniable, and there is no logic to this imbalance. If something does go wrong you will not only be met with immediate professional indifference and denial" - this sums it up.

Our Western Medical Establishment has no peer when it comes to dogmatic beliefs that are pounded into med school and nursing school brains, with little tolerance for budding "professionals" who question the dogma. This will not change - it is inherent to The System.

An informed citizen revolt, founded on knowledge from heroes such as Wakefield, Haley, Null, etc., is indeed happening, albeit too slowly. A major news media, sorely needed, remains the missing ally.


Reiss is also the useful idiot of the unethical ethicist, Arthur Caplan. Here he is arguing for mandatory flu vaccines in Rhode Island and nationally.

Followed by another article, "Pro-Vaccine Messages Actually Backfire, Study Finds", which states, "Overall, the CDC spends between $8 million and $12 million each year on a wide range of vaccination messages focused on topics from childhood inoculations to flu shots for the elderly." I suspect it's a lot more than that, and then add all the other advertising, from Pharma and retailers. The CDC should take that money and put it towards investigating the neural tube defects in Washington that it claims it can't afford.

Bob Moffitt

Urban dictionary definition of "Useful Idiot":

"Term invented in Soviet Russia to describe people who blindly supported the likes of Lenin and Stalin while they committed atrocity after atrocity"

Wikileaks definition of "Useful Idiot":

"In political jargon, useful idiot is a term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause."

Regarding Reiss .. John aptly concludes:

"... her confidence in vaccine science is not based on genuine knowledge – in fact she seems oddly naive. And the real professionals know too much to stick their necks out in public debate."

Consider .. it is no accident that Dr. Paul Offit .. the most quoted "professional" spokesman for the extremely lucrative, financially rewarding vaccine industry .. absolutely refuses to publicly engage in a debate with a qualified opponent regarding the "safety of vaccines".

That is a fact .. and .. one can reasonably conclude .. Dr. Offit refuses to engage in a public debate .. because .. he lacks the confidence that he can defend his strongly held beliefs .. preferring instead to allow "useful idiots" to "stick their (unaccountable) necks out" instead.

It is the coward's way .. but .. it has worked throughout the ages.

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