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The Princess and the Pea: Only the Pain of the Pharmaceutical Industry Counts

Princess PeaBy John Stone

Two weeks to go before the publication of Robert F Kennedy jr’s book about vaccine mercury and we all know where we are headed: the same place as last year when Jenny McCarthy was given a job on ‘The View’  and Katie Couric scheduled a program in which the safety of HPV vaccines were questioned: the unspontaneous howls of pain are starting. It does not matter that the book is apparently couched in the most diplomatic language or that its claims have been diluted, it will be too much for the sensibilities of the vaccine lobby. I am sure we have often referred on these pages to Hans Christian Andersen’s tale ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ but this time I have been thinking of an even more succinct and ironic tale ‘The Princess and the Pea’. A prince wants to marry a princess but the only way it can be confirmed that she is a real princess is because the candidate is so sensitive that a pea hidden under a pile of mattresses causes her to lose a night’s sleep. I think we can be sure that the vaccine lobby is according to this definition “a real princess”, and that there is no criticism so slight that we will not be told about the terrible pain it has caused.

There is no doubt either that the voice of the princess is about to be heard in the land. There is no criticism so gentle or diplomatically couched that the princess can withstand the pain: the outraged opinion pieces will appear in every newspaper, the sage doctors will emerge from every corner on the TV saying “Get the damn vaccines”, we will have wall to wall Dorit Reiss: the princess will tell us how painful it all is. Of course the moral of Anderson’s story is that it is not princesses who have to endure a lot, it is ordinary people: the princess is a great deal more trouble than she is worth. She has also arranged that ordinary people cannot be heard, or they are brusquely pushed to the side. Only the princess’s pain really matters in the great scheme.

Of course, the argument will be that all this sensibility is for the benefit of ordinary people, but if this was so the princess would listen to ordinary people when they tried to express their pain rather than trying to shout them down or shut them up, hiring a mob to help her. The princess is highly manipulative and knows how to get her own way.

Unfortunately, Robert Kennedy will not be able to appease the princess any more than Jenny McCarthy or Katie Couric. Instead we will just have another great tantrum and the usual hysterical, unhinged display of self-righteousness.

The Princess on the Pea

By Hans Christian Andersen translated by Jean Hersholt

Once there was a Prince who wanted to marry a Princess. Only a real one would do. So he traveled through all the world to find her, and everywhere things went wrong. There were Princesses aplenty, but how was he to know whether they were real Princesses? There was something not quite right about them all. So he came home again and was unhappy, because he did so want to have a real Princess.

One evening a terrible storm blew up. It lightened and thundered and rained. It was really frightful! In the midst of it all came a knocking at the town gate. The old King went to open it.

Princess Pea 2

Who should be standing outside but a Princess, and what a sight she was in all that rain and wind. Water streamed from her hair down her clothes into her shoes, and ran out at the heels. Yet she claimed to be a real Princess.

"We'll soon find that out," the old Queen thought to herself. Without saying a word about it she went to the bedchamber, stripped back the bedclothes, and put just one pea in the bottom of the bed. Then she took twenty mattresses and piled them on the pea. Then she took twenty eiderdown feather beds and piled them on the mattresses. Up on top of all these the Princess was to spend the night.

In the morning they asked her, "Did you sleep well?"

" Oh!" said the Princess. "No. I scarcely slept at all. Heaven knows what's in that bed. I lay on something so hard that I'm black and blue all over. It was simply terrible."

They could see she was a real Princess and no question about it, now that she had felt one pea all the way through twenty mattresses and twenty more feather beds. Nobody but a Princess could be so delicate. So the Prince made haste to marry her, because he knew he had found a real Princess.

As for the pea, they put it in the museum. There it's still to be seen, unless somebody has taken it.

There, that's a true story.

 John Stone is UK Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.



I recently saw photos from Prince George's 1st birthday and he looked so bright-eyed. The Royal family would never vaccinate, never in a million years. They have access to the best information, and as Time magazine said "the wealthiest and best educated are the ones choosing NOT to vaccinate."
They have homeopathic doctors in the Royal family and all of them are so healthy, they usually live to be almost 100 years old each.

Jenny Allan

Hi John- It is very rare for persons to be 'deknighted' in the UK. Two recent examples are Fred 'the Shred' Goodwin, who oversaw the RBS bank meltdown, which has cost us UK taxpayers more than £50billion (so far), and, of course, Jimmy Savile.

Two private investigators have been rotting in a Chinese jail for a year, after foolishly accepting a GSK commission to investigate who leaked a compromising video of a GSK employee. That GSK employee was safely back in the UK, but Witty ordered him to return to China to answer the GSK bribery and corruption charges. He is presently under house arrest in China.

Two of these persons are British Citizens. They both appear to have been virtually abandoned by both GSK and the UK Government, both apparently more than happy to blame the lot on a single 'scapegoat'. One of the investigators is a US Citizen. I sincerely hope the US Government will offer some support. The persons jailed are both suffering severe health problems.

John Stone

Hi Jenny,

Unreported anywhere as far as I know Witty stepped down from his UK government position as 'Lead Board Member, Department of Business' in February.

Jenny Allan

Hans Christian Andersen seems to have been 'before his time' scientifically, in recognising all princesses are genetically hypersensitive to such things as peas below multiple mattresses.

Today HCA would be very popular with the 'genes cause autism' brigade and would probably have his own blog in Forbes or similar.
@cmo - I will be VERY surprised if darling little Royal baby Prince George, one year old yesterday, receives the MMR vaccine at 18 months old (in the UK). However, his parents will not need to go to France for monovalent jabs. They are all available in the UK.

The Royal Family rarely disclose any medical details to the public. (Remember that furore over an Australian radio station phoning up the hospital caring for pregnant Catherine, and pretending to be The Queen?) I very much doubt whether GSK or Merck would be permitted to state any Royal vaccination details publicly. GSK CEO Witty's recently awarded knighthood is already looking shaky after all the Chinese revelations of GSK bribery and corruption.


Excellent article John.

We must NEVER EVER EVER attempt to appease these people. We can be as delicate as we like it will make no difference to them - all we can possibly succeed in doing is coming across as weak.

A terrible state of affairs and pretty much what we have done for the past 2 decades.

Some tricks: If they say "your kids are a danger because unvaxed kids are more likely to spread disease" do not say "that isn't very nice of you my kids are little darlings".

Say "do you share the same bigotry and paranoia towards homosexuals, the promiscuous, people who soldier on at work or sick people who visit the doctor as you do towards toddlers?"

If they say "correlation doesn't prove causation" say "yeah we know, so how do we know they actually work".

Etc, etc.

We can't be liked either way. But we can be respected.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Robert Kennedy has been very wise to invoke science in his book. Science , at times, seems to be our only ally. Sadly, even our doctors and other educated people now seem unable to distinguish between science and junk science. And regarding the doctors who will emerge from the woodwork, its time for us to say, "Who are you? This is a topic for the mercury toxicologists. We want to see a mercury toxicologist, not you. This is a topic of immense proportions. Thousands of autistic kids are suffering. At least let us hear from the correct branch of science. We dont want opinion ; we want science "

angus files

To quote JFK

The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.

Lets hope he follows his own determined family blood..



Well written John.

Is the Royal baby on schedule for the Brit's MMR vaccine??? Seems this would be a major PR event for GSK.

Or like Tony Blair... will they head to France to get the three separate vaccines ???

cia parker

That's funny, Linda, I can already see the blockbuster movie that could be made from it, with clever allusions only the few would grasp.


Great analogy, John. Except that you really should rewrite the story to make the princess a mass murderer.

cia parker

This is what happens when you choose to marry the princess rather than see her off. Where will it end?

New app to keep track of vaccine refusers:

cia parker

One might fault the prince as well, for trying to appease and accomodate the unreasonable whims of the princess. A real prince would have sent her on her way.

Kennedy should decide whether he wants to go down in history as a Chamberlain who attempted to parley with evil, or as a Churchill, who took it by the horns and defeated it. There is no middle ground.

Maurine Meleck

Love the analogy, John. I don't recall ever seeing a book reviewed weeks before it's distribution. Hopefully this is a sign the princesses are not sleeping at all with worry.

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