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‘Upworthy’ Lies About the Wakefield Lancet Paper

PariserBy John Stone

'If the vaccine program is so good, why the dirty tactics? Why the straw man? Vaccine safety and effectiveness is a messy business: making Wakefield the scapegoat won't work much longer.'

Before yesterday morning I had not heard of ‘Upworthy’ which according to Wiki is a “website for viral content” founded by Eli Pariser (Chairman of AVAAZ, pictured) and Peter Koechley (former managing editor of 'The Onion'), for which Kim Kellerher of 'Wired' is also a board member. A presentation “curated” by  Adam Mordecai and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation states:

"After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything."

What, of course, this does not tell you is that the senior author and clinician in the paper, Prof John Walker-Smith,  who also compiled eleven of the twelve case histories appealed to the English High Court over the GMC findings and was completely exonerated nearly three years ago – Walker-Smith, unlike  Wakefield, was funded to appeal. All that ‘Upworthy’ are doing is playing the same trick as CNN and Wiki – which I reported on last year - and peddling disproven stories without mentioning that they have been disproven.

CNN, having cited wiki, blocked the following comment:

But this is a flawed account. The findings were confirmed by both histopathologists in the paper subsequent to the hearing. [See also here]

When the Deer/BMJ findings came under the scrutiny of Dr David Lewis in November 2011 they were forced to re-trench (reported in Nature):

“But he (Bjarnason) says that the forms don't clearly support charges that Wakefield deliberately misinterpreted the records.

"The data are subjective. It's different to say it's deliberate falsification," he says.

“Deer notes that he never accused Wakefield of fraud over his interpretation of pathology records…

“Fiona Godlee, the editor of the BMJ, says that the journal's conclusion of fraud was not based on the pathology but on a number of discrepancies between the children's records and the claims in the Lancet paper…”

Although Godlee had previously stated in February 2011:

“The case we presented against Andrew Wakefield that the1998 Lancet paper was intended to mislead was not critically reliant on GP records”. It is primarily based on Royal Free hospital records, including histories taken by clinicians, and letters and other documents received at the Royal Free from GPs and consultants."

But it is clear that the judge who presided over Walker-Smith's exoneration and reviewed the Lancet paper in detail could not find any evidence of this. His one major quibble was over the statement about ethical approval paper which Walker-Smith says he did not see - however this is accurate too.

"Ethical approval and consent

"Investigations were approved by the Ethical Practices Committee of the Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust, and parents gave informed consent."

The paper did not have ethical approval and consent, and did not need it because it was simply a review of patient data (which was what was on the tin). The procedures needed ethical approval and consent and had them.

So Wiki does not tell you any of this but repeats an account that is long disproven.

Having considerable respect for the good works of AVAAZ I think it is a great pity that Mr Pariser - author also of  'The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You' -  should be associated with this travesty, and he really ought to look into it. It seems that the entire defence of the vaccine program hinges on the false claims that have been made about the Wakefield paper (which did not even purport to prove that vaccines cause autism). If the vaccine program is so good, why the dirty tactics? Why the straw man? Vaccine safety and effectiveness is a messy business: making Wakefield the scapegoat won't work much longer.

John Stone is UK Editor of Age of Autism.


Angus Files

Deer the "investigative journo" that he isn't needs to investigate Thorsen and the CDC why not Brian??mmm I mean he hast worked for years and hasn't had a story in in any National.So why not Brian...


John Stone


Deer posing as an expert in paediatric gastro-enterology is more than a sick joke, but no doubt he could go on wheedling his nonsense about anything. The biopsy slide results were only, of course, interpreted in the light of other serious symptoms which Deer muddled by going through records he should never have had and was incompetent to interpret (not to mentioned consumed by ill-disguised personal animosities). Prof Walker-Smith, on the other hand was the most eminent paediatric gastro-enterologist in Europe and the leading pioneer of the subject as an independent discipline (with Alan Walker of Harvard).

Fiona Godlee, in her talk to the NIH at Bethesda, tried to make out that the Royal Free department did not have any special status when it was the leading paediatric gastro-enterology department in the country, recently transferred from St Bartholomew's Hospital (Barts).

Perhaps the most disgusting aspect of this matter is the way the British establishment let Deer - with absolutely no qualifications - ransack confidential material for political ends. Then they all hid behind him and his dirty work.


Wasn't Deer mostly bothered by the term colitis being used just for inflamed bowel tissue? That in clinical setting it wouldn't be classified as that?

Jenny Allan

British Mum - Understood - Your reference to MMR 3 concerned the 3 doctors not the vaccine. Still, it does no harm to keep reiterating the 'facts' about that GMC Kangaroo Court, and Prof Walker-Smith's High Court Exoneration.

Carter's Daddy

How could there even be "lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers" if it was impossible to sue vaccine makers. In fact, had this protection not been granted them, they would not have even released the vaccine for public consumption.

John Stone

Hi Christina,

Yes, it is truly terrifying all this bad history being taught in schools and colleges - it was certainly part of UK schools biology syllabus. And the basic point is that there isn't even a matter of interpretation, they are simply lying - deflecting from the unbeauty of the state and the pharmaceutical industry.


British Mum

@ Jenny Allan and others

Thank you for your clarification, I'm certain your recall is far better than mine because I wasn't directly involved. My reference to the "MMR 3" referred to Messrs. Murch/Wakefield/Walker-Smith not to the numerical sequencing of the MMR vaccine. As far as I am aware, the original MMR was replaced by Merck with the MMR II (all reference to the earlier version of the MMR disappearing from the internet, especially/even Merck's website). The later release of the MMRV (Proquad) is yet another matter. Please carry on correcting me as you find necessary.

Martin Walker

Just to clear up the matter of Silenced Witnesses being difficult to obtain. Both volumes are available from me and my web site Volume II comes with a CD of Alan Goldings brilliant hour long video 'Selective hearing; Brian Deer and the GMC'. I also have copies of all my essays written during the GMC haring and afterwards, which although priced at £3.00 each I will give away to eager readers.

If anyone wants to make the two volumes of Silenced Witnesses available in the States. I will sell them for £3 a copy as long as postage is completely paid for and as long as at least 100 copies are ordered.

I might also remind everyone that one single volume of Silenced witnesses has been published in French by the French group ALIS (Association Librte Information Sante) This can b obtained from ALIS.

Jenny Allan

@British Mum
For the record, there was no "GMC enquiry into the MMR 3". Martin Walker was present during the 3 year disciplinary GMC 'court' hearing, which found two Professor clinicians and a Research scientist guilty of professional misconduct. There were guilty verdicts on all three, but Prof Murch was allowed to keep his licence to practise medicine. Prof Walker-Smith had been retired for 7 years before the hearing, (which he called an 'inquisition' with the GMC premises a 'torture chamber', in his memoir). As John states, Mr Justice Mitting later 'quashed',( the word he used in Court), all the GMC charges and verdicts on Prof W-S, following his High Court appeal. Effectively, this appeal exonerated all three doctors since the charges were identical in the case of Prof Murch, and applied to 75% of the charges against Dr Wakefield.

There has been no GMC 'apology' and Brian Deer's blogs and comments still refuse to acknowledge Prof W-S's High Court successful appeal, or Justice Mitting's scathing comments about the GMC's 'superficial and inadequate' (and sometimes plain WRONG) examination of the evidence -all obligingly supplied by Deer-who was also allowed to write articles and comments in the Sunday Times and other press and internet outlets- whilst the 'trial' was ongoing -disgraceful!!

Some of the 12 children in the 1998 Wakefield et al Lancet article, had received the first Urabe mumps containing MMR vaccine, the others received MMR 2, which contains the Merck Jeryl Lyn mumps component. The first vaccine was banned in 1991. There is no MMR 3. The Merck mumps vaccine is presently the subject of two court cases in the US. Merck is accused of fraudulently over stating the long term efficacy of their mumps vaccine.

Jenny Allan

Pharmacy Roulette | says:- "All we can do is speak out loudly in our personal lives, tell everyone we can until our testimony wipes out their lies, and hope that we can save others from the tragedy. The truth will out."

There will be no 'big bang' or 'moment of truth' on the part of politicians and pharmaceutical companies, but do not despair friends. Eventually the truth will prevail, and those in positions of power and influence, who sponsor lies and denials, whilst ignoring the suffering and damage being done to our young generations, will find themselves damned within history, yes even smug Bill Gates, with his fanatical zeal, to vaccinate the world, whether the world wants it or not! The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and some unethical HPV vaccine trials in India, which involved multiple fatalities and disabilities, and paid for with Gates cash, is presently the subject of a Supreme Court trial in India.

John stone deserves a medal for all his BMJ letters and web forum responses, often on hostile territory. The success of this can be measured by how much effort is being expended to stop and discredit him; almost all the trolls use 'ad hominem' tactics, since John's responses are always factual and well reasoned, as well as politely expressed.

Everything, but everything, takes place behind the scenes, mostly in secretive committee rooms within the 'corridors of power'. Improvements ARE happening, and I suspect there is presently some panic about autism and its causes, within those same committee rooms. The hideously conflicted by pharma interests WHO, has an agenda to eliminate measles completely; this would also eliminate the necessity for a measles vaccine. FORGET IT WHO!! The measles virus is still very much 'alive and kicking' and mutating fast, along with Pertussis bacteria.

Christina Waldman

John, thank you for explaining what I seem to have missed, your hyperlinks in the text. Certainly you and many others know far more about the GMC and Dr. Wakefield than I do. It is a complicated matter to try to explain all this simply to people who have only heard the lies. The "Upworthy" article, is apparently re-printed from a curriculum for public health grad students, down to the diagrams (click the "sources" link in the "Upworthy" article). They are actually teaching grad students that "Dr. W. made the whole thing up!" It just seems so important that we effectively combat this propaganda and teach people how to think for themselves. Your article is keeping the facts alive, and I thank you for it.

John Stone

Thanks Lauren - that makes it worthwhile.


I'm glad to see a rebuttal to the Upworthy post. It was too glossy for my taste and left me wishing I had the time to research and debunk it. Thank you!

John Stone


Another term might be 'flying kites' (that makes it sound quite nice) but if you are being paid to do so it is simply just advertising. I noticed that there was a wonderful quote in Pariser's book - something like "With the internet if you are not paying for a service you are what is being sold". You might have hoped for better.


British Mum

For copies of "Silenced Witnesses, Vols I and II" by Martin J Walker please go to Martin Walker attended the GMC enquiry into the MMR 3 and anything he writes on the subject of vaccine damage is worthy of our attention.

John Stone

Hi Christina

Yes, of course, I agree 'Callous Disregard' is a reliable account (as is that by Bill Long) which everyone interested in the episode should read, but to counteract the argument that Andy Wakefield "made the whole thing up" we need also to look at the independent sources I have cited: a High Court judgment reviewing the case against the senior author and clinician in the study, statements by the histopathologist co-authors of the paper, evidence by Prof Simon Murch to the GMC hearing etc. Admissions to Nature News by journalist Brian Deer, BMJ editor Fiona Godlee, and BMJ's advisor Ingva Bjarnason. And the evidence is overwhelming that AW did not make any of it up.


Christina Waldman

Just one more thing: if you click on the link for "sources" for the Upworthy piece, you get this: This is apparently what someone is teaching grad students in public health programs; i.e., NOT to think for themselves.

Christina Waldman

To clarify my comment: Dr. Wakefield's book is available on amazon:

And, Here is one link for the "Brian Deer and the GMC, Selective Hearing, BMJ Journalist" video:

Pharmacy Roulette

I have also even seen cynical attempts to totally misrepresent a TWEET and make it a straw man--they have tried to change the meaning of #CDCWhistleblower. . .the lies are amazing and pervasive. How much are these people getting paid to lie about something that causes so much pain and harm to infants? How do they live with themselves?

I hope that the escalated lies mean that the truth is coming out and that they are running scared I wait for the apology with bated breath, the entire nation with headlines saying "we were wrong, we're sorry, and how can we help you with your injured children?" Some days I fantasize about that, about the relatives and friends who were embarrassed for me when I said I know it's the vaccines--I wait for them to rush to their phone and apologize and repair the hurt and anger I feel knowing that they were patronizing at best and ridiculing at worst. I wait for them to say "We were lied to and we just didn't want to believe it. It was too painful and too horrible to believe".

Then I read in Gray Mountain (by Grisham) about what happens to Black Lung survivors in the Coal Industy and I realize that this is the same thing. Right down to the kangaroo court. The waiting and waiting until victims are run dry. . . the denial of black lung by paid off drs when other drs clearly see it--just to save a pittance of money in benefits that would change the miner's life and hardly put a dent in profits. Pharma, and everyone who produces mercury as a toxic waste, are all simply using the bullying tactics that those industries that run like organized crime have used forever. We all need to wake up to the fact that these corporations have lied to us for years in so many ways in so many industries at great harm to us and the environment. Calculating what happens to lives vs the cost of fixing problems is nothing new, but it's the worst and most egregious in the vaccine industry because the lack of liability makes lying an even more viable and profitable option. If you don't care about the harm you cause, or you think it is offset by the good you cause, why fix anything? If it isn't your child struggling to eat, to talk, even to go to the bathroom without pain, what's it to you if you are a sociopath, or someone in denial? Or if you make a hefty benefit by looking the other way. Pharma is just one more in a pattern of soulless, sociopathic-run corporations , and the very scope of their crime and the fact that it is continually ongoing makes it the worst corporate crime in history. They will pay anything to silence us, ridicule us, distort the science, and buy off the media. Because so many people feel that their lives depend on trusting that pharma is good, people are in deep denial and simply can't accept this. They can't even accept that just maybe vaccines, like every other drug known to man, just might hurt some. The level of denial is breathtaking. But it is turning around. Sadly, when the waves start to splash at your feet, you have to admit that the tide is coming in and it's about to get you, too.

All we can do is speak out loudly in our personal lives, tell everyone we can until our testimony wipes out their lies, and hope that we can save others from the tragedy. The truth will out.

Christina Waldman

Maybe they think if they keep publishing the lie, the "official truth," eventually people will believe it. So we need to keep steering people towards the facts the media has ignored.

Here are a few good sources: Andrew J. Wakefield, "Callous Disregard, Autism and Vaccines, the Truth Behind a Tragedy," (Skyhorse Publishing 2010;, "Silenced Witnesses" Vols. I and II (but these books are hard to find; might someone make some available on Amazon for a reasonable price, perhaps?).

Videos, including: "Brian Deer and the GMC, Selective Hearing BMJ Journalist" GoldenHawksProject's channel., including Bill Long's piece:
Bill Long's The Autism File, Historical Perspective, "On Second Looking into the Case of Dr. Andrew J. Wakefield," Bill Long, MDiv, PhD, JD, Issue 31, 2009

Might others like to list some I have left out?

Wikipedia is a lost cause; it puts Dr. Wakefield in a false light and they will not make changes to correct this; many have tried.

Abstract of "Lancet" article: with link to full text (can now be read without registering):

Jeannette Bishop

Fairly lengthy exploration of aspects of Gates' history and efforts:


I recall when I was new to this topic and first read the "5 page Wakefield et al Lancet early report" and thought to myself, "This is what all the controversy is about???" In this "debate" the original Wakefiled report is often discussed, but people are rarely encouraged to read it themselves. Every article should link to it. People SHOULD read Wakefield's report for themselves, and draw their own INFORMED conclusions. I recall the report being easy for a lay-person to read and concluding with something like "further study is warranted." I was so surprised that this innocuous 5-page paper started this huge controversy and got Wakefield blacklisted. I'm saddened that so many people firm and naive in their anti-Wakefield beliefs had never bothered to read his original paper.

Angus Files

What can you say when Gates et-al have an agenda to reduce the population of the world by billions of humans to be wiped subtly with stealth over the next 2-3 hundred years or as soon as it can be achieved.

The lies are so big nobody believes the truth anymore.



OMG / there are now 26 cases of the "Disneymeasles"

That is an infection rate of .000007% of the United States population. No one is safe.

The CDC is investigating... However / no CDC ideas in 20 years / on new cases of Autism every 11 minutes.


"Onion" and "Wired" are ever-available to lend a trendy gloss to the abominable. As for AVAAZ, I know less about it but Joy's comment above seems to ring true. I'd avoid all of them like the plague.

Jeannette Bishop

My first question reading the post title was what does "upworthy" mean? If Jenny's analysis of Eli Pariser and is correct, I'm not sure I want the answer...

Zoey O'Toole

Unfortunately, Upworthy gets virtually everything about vaccines wrong and is happy to post whatever propaganda they are given. The Gates money has to be a heck of a draw.


Everyone knows Wiki is biased crap.

Joy B

Anything associated w AVAAZ is bogus. It's an NGO soft-power structure, period. With a 'kind' face. I mean they've been caught making sht up time and time again, in service to empire. Most recently, in Syria, where they'd been smuggling in 'journalists' and giving camera equipment to 'rebels' to facilitate their Youtube propaganda war. Seriously just avoid any and all affiliated w AVAAZ, especially in the direct admin sense like this guy in the pic.

Mercky Business

Hi Benedetta

Did you read "unworthy" for "upworthy"? I think you may have been nearer the truth.


Bill Gates Made way more money than he was really worth, and being unworthy he spends it in unworthy ways.


Maybe Dr. Wakefield himself should comment saying something like: "I didn't make anything up. None of my twelve co-authors, one of whom is considered the father of pediatric gastroenterology, made anything up. Parents came to us because their autistic children had severe bowel problems which some of the parents linked to their children's measles vaccination. The histopathologists on the team did indeed find evidence of bowel disease in these children."

Or something like that, short and sweet.


What is even more telling about Eli is that, according to wiki, he is/was also with - an organization that stepped in to the territory that was already being successfully navigated by movetoamend - to try and reverse the problems that have evolved into corporations' precedence over individuals' rights in the U.S. Though movetoamend seems ignorant to the vaccine dilemma, the level of intelligence in that organization is promising.

MovetoAmend is more of a "now is not the time to negotiate" and moveon was decidedly willing to negotiate and focus on only enough minimal change to try and keep the democrats' illusion of caring about individual rights while simultaneously leaving corporate control constitutionally unchecked. Moveon, in my opinion, was set up to move people on down the block, as in "nothing to see here, nothing to fix, don't listen to those folks over at move to amend, the problem is not that bad . . . "

If Eli is that immersed in democratic party ideology, it may explain why AVAAZ has not acknowledged the worldwide problem of vaccine damage and the sources from which it stems. We all know pharma likes to play both sides of the field, but more recently they have really been buttering the democratic bread, eyes twinkling at the thought of future captured markets. AVAAZ has been so vocal against all sorts of forms of slaveries, but slavery to pharmaceutical control continues to grow in full sight under their watchful eyes. Like poison ivy.


Jenny said, that MMR causes autism is an 'open secret'. Well put Jenny, and I would even describe it as the 'suspension of disbelief' that one lends to a drama show.

Think about it: Even if you accept that latest problematic Danish study that suggests that there has only been a 40% real increase in autism cases, this would still impply that some environmental culprit is causing thousands upon thousands of annual autism cases in the US. And, it is projected that autism cost the US 236 to 262 billion annually. This means that finding and preventing this culprit could save the nation 94 billion, as well as, spare countless families the hardship of caring for an affected loved one. Even if we were to consider that vaccines do not cause autism, then where is mad rush to find this other environmental causal factor?!?

Jenny Allan

From above :-"After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything."

Just another of those 'robotic bots' John, which are cropping up with increasing frequency on AoA and other forums. I agree Wiki should take more responsibility for the information they publish, but in the end, this kind of comment does more harm to Wiki, than those persons, like Dr Wakefield, who are vilified and slandered on their website.

It's been more than 16 years since the publication of the 5 page Wakefield et al Lancet early report, which reported a 'novel' bowel/neurological disorder. Well it's not 'novel' any more; even the American Academy of Paediatrics now acknowledges a bowel/autism link. It's just a matter of time before the 'powers that be' in Western nations, are forced to admit a vaccine link. Since several cases of MMR induced autism have been publicly compensated recently, it's an 'open secret' anyway.

Bob Moffitt

"Before yesterday morning I had not heard of ‘Upworthy’ which according to Wiki is a “website for viral content”.

John asked: "If the vaccine program is so good, why the dirty tactics? Why the straw man?"

According to Wikipedia .. a "straw man" is defined thus:

"A straw man is a common type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on the misrepresentation of an opponent's argument.[1] To be successful, a straw man argument requires that the audience be ignorant or uninformed of the original argument.

The so-called typical "attacking a straw man" argument creates the illusion of having completely refuted or defeated an opponent's proposition by covertly replacing it with a different proposition (i.e., "stand up a straw man") and then to refute or defeat that false argument ("knock down a straw man") instead of the original proposition.

This technique has been used throughout history in polemical debate, particularly in arguments about highly charged emotional issues where a fiery, entertaining "battle" and the defeat of an "enemy" may be more valued than critical thinking or understanding both sides of the issue."

Consider .. after all these years .. Dr. Wakefield remains the "strongest" argument for a public health and vaccine industry cartel .. that has the data, resources and expertise to conduct a scientific study of "vaccinated v. unvaccinated" populations .. yet .. fearful of the results .. prefers instead .. to attack the convenient "straw man".

Decades ago "Happy Days" was a long running popular television show .. until a particularly terrible episode where "Fonzie" .. the main character .. "jumps a tank full of sharks". It was so bad .. that "jump the shark" became the definition of any popular show that had run out of material.

To me .. the public health/vaccine industry cabal "jumps the shark" every time it mentions Dr. Wakefield .. because if they actually had persuasive "scientific material" .. they wouldn't need the "straw man" anymore.

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