It's difficult to find a situation more appalling than the news revealed by CDC whistleblower, William Thompson that for more than a decade the CDC has concealed information that lowering the age at which African-American males received the MMR shot resulted in a 340% increase in autism. It's a state of affairs which turns my stomach, even though it is confirmation of what many of us have believed for years. These researchers may have a doctorate in science, but they lack even a high school diploma in courage.
And yet on the other side of the ledger is Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who has been the most visible public face of our cause. Wakefield has said on many occasions that this controversy has cost him his job, his career, and his country. He has not broken under the strain and we are forever grateful to him.
Then comes the news as reported in The Truth Barrier of two text message from William Thompson. The first was to Dr. Wakefield's wife, Carmel, and read, "I do believe your husbands career was unjustly damaged and this study would have supported his scientific opinion. Hopefully I can help repair it."
The next was actually a series of text messages between Thompson and Dr. Wakefield. Dr. Wakefield begins the exchange by asking, "Is this press release real?"
Thompson replies, "Yes!"
Wakefield writes back, "Thank you. This was the right and honorable thing to do. Andy."
Thompson says, "I agree. I apologize again for the price you have paid for my dishonesty."
Wakefield writes, "I forgive you completely and without any bitterness."
Thompson responds, "I know you mean it and I am grateful to know you more personally."
This exchange absolutely staggers me. It's one thing to read about forgiveness in some foreign land, like Nelson Mandela forgiving his oppressors for his twenty-eight years of imprisonment and the abomination that was apartheid. Or the parents who forgive the drunk driver who killed their child. But this one hits so close to home.
Wakefield can forgive one of the people who destroyed his career and do it without any bitterness? I've long said I want to win the autism war, but I don't want to become the war. I hunger for the truth, but I also want to laugh again, and hold people close to my heart. I want to respect those with scientific expertise for their knowledge, as well as their commitment to the truth, however uncomfortable. I want to believe there are those who will truly act as guardians of the public's health. And yet I don't know if I can ever reach that place.
I am genuinely puzzled as to how to hasten the day when science turns its full attention and resources on curing autism. We must have the truth, but I also want us to act in a way that causes a mass desertion of those scientists who know so much but have hesitated to share that information because they wonder what we will do to them when they decide to cross over to our side.
I say to those scientists that they need only look at the insanely good soul of Dr. Andrew Wakefield and know that he represents the very best of us. He is a man to emulate. For the sake of the oath you took to protect the public health, for the world you will leave behind, for the sake of all our children and grandchildren, you need to tell the truth. And soon.
If you would like to call for a retraction of the 2004 MMR study by the Centers for Disease Control and published by the journal Pediatrics, then please go to this web-site and sign a petition.
Kent Heckenlively is a Founding Contributing Editor to Age of Autism and co-author with Dr. Judy Mikovits of Plague: OneScientist's Intrepid Search for the Truth about HumanRetroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism, and Other Diseases, being published on October 7, 2014. Visit their website at Plague The Book. You can pre-order the book HERE.