The Battle for California, Part 4 - The Nation of Islam and the Church of Scientology Join the Fight Against SB 277
Simpson University biology professor, Dr. Brian Hooker, never imagined he'd find himself on a stage with Robert Kennedy, Jr., a minister for the Nation of Islam, and all of it taking place in a sanctuary of the Church of Scientology Community Center in Los Angeles, CA. Such are the curious alliances that the fight against SB 277, the proposed law which would remove children from public schools based on their vaccination status, has created.
But perhaps he shouldn't have been so surprised. Things had been moving at a rapid pace in the past few weeks as the fight against SB 277 had gone into battle mode.
Dr. Hooker, Barry Segal, Eric Gladen, Shiloh Levine, and Robert Kennedy, Jr. had met with Minister Louis Farrakhan in Chicago during the Autism One Conference in late May and talked about the revelations of CDC whistle-blower, William Thompson that senior government scientists had concealed an increased incidence of autism in African-American males from earlier administration of the MMR shot. Farrakhan was deeply disturbed by the information.
Maybe it shouldn't have surprised Dr. Hooker to find himself at a United Methodist Church in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 listening to Minister Louis Farrakhan preach to an inter-faith audience of approximately 1,400 people. Near the end of his speech, Farrakhan called on the group to oppose SB 277 and urged them to call their Congressional representatives and demand that Dr. William Thompson be subpoeaned to appear before the American people and tell the truth about what had been done. Minister Farrakhan pledged to support this effort. On October 10, 2015 there will be a large march in Washington D. C. to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. Two weeks later, on October 24, 2015, the Nation of Islam will lead a protest at the CDC demanding that Dr. Thompson appear before Congress.
Later that night, Minister Farrakhan hosted a gathering for about 100 leading black entertainment figures at a private home in Tarzana and repeated his call for them to oppose SB 277 and demand that Dr. William Thompson be subpoeaned to appear before Congress. Dr. Hooker was impressed by Minister Farrakhan's command of the science. As a scientist, Dr. Hooker finds most people mess up the science when they try to talk about it, but it was clear to Hooker that Farrakhan had listened closely.
Dr. Hooker had initially been wary of becoming close to such a controversial figure as Minister Farrakhan, but in all his interactions he has found the man to be warm, welcoming, and inclusive. Few other public figures have shown such curiosity and commitment to getting to the bottom of the autism epidemic. I think God delights in using such unexpected vessels of grace to further His work. Many in the community may feel we need to wait for other, more prominent, less controversial figures, but I for one have been waiting more than twelve years for such a person or group to step forward. If others feel differently and want to continue to wait, that is certainly their right.
At the present time in California we seem to have the support of republicans, libertarians, and tea party activists, but we confront a near-monolithic democratic opposition. I understand in other states the democratic party is more welcoming of our views, but that it not what we face in California. The enemy is at the gates. If this bill passes I will probably have to leave the state in which I was born because I refuse to put my children at risk.
I believe it is incumbent upon us as a community to admit our shortcomings. We have not been good protestors. We do not know how to defend ourselves against powerful interests. Although we may be good warriors for our children, we are outmatched in the political arena. The Nation of Islam and the Church of Scientology are superb warriors in the political struggle. When putting together a coalition our partners will have strengths and weaknesses. I welcome them to the fight and encourage others to do the same. I say let us defend our children and hold any disagreements we may have among the various groups for a later time when our common enemy lies defeated on the battlefield.
The Town Hall meeting which was held at the Church of Scientology Community Center on Thursday, June 18 was important in several respects. Minister Tony Muhammad opened the meeting and prior to the gathering he was able to spend some significant time with Dr. Hooker and Robert Kennedy, Jr. Minister Muhammad has been a champion in this effort to oppose SB 277 and shared with the small group the outreach he'd been doing with members of the Legislative Black Caucus in California. Some politicians, like Assemblyman Isadore Hall, III apologized for his previous vote on SB 277 and promised to research the matter and if necessary, write a letter to Governor Brown urging him to veto SB 277 if it passes. Other politicians, like Assemblyman Reggie James-Sawyer were dismissive of Minister Muhammad's outreach, accusing him of race-baiting.
The Town Hall meeting was a sea of white, black, and brown faces, listening intently to Minister Tony Muhammad, then Robert Kennedy, Jr. discuss how the concealment of this information by the CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson was similar to the infamous Tuskegee experiments letting African-American men with syphilis go untreated for decades. Finally it was time for Dr. Hooker to speak. Hooker felt strongly that the media has not reported accurately on the concerns of parents and the evidence of science on vaccinations and their risks, and so his speech covered a good deal of the science. In support of Dr. Hooker's belief that information be reported accurately, I will let you read his speech in its entirety.
Dr. Brian Hooker's speech - Autism and neurological injury due to vaccinations are extremely important problems specific to the African American community. There are strong evidences in the scientific literature that African Americans may be more susceptible to vaccine injury and may also have increased susceptibility to neurological disorders such as autism. The most reliable studies show that autism incidence is higher in African Americans as compared to Caucasians.
Durkin et al. (published in 2010 in the journal PLOS One) applied a correction to autism incidence to account for under-reporting at lower socioeconomic status and found that autism incidence was about 25% higher in African Americans as compared to Caucasians. This was determined in a nationwide study using the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disability Monitoring Network. Further, in a study by Becerra et al. (published in 2014 in the journal Pediatrics), it was shown that the incidence of autism among African Americans in Los Angeles County was higher than that of Caucasians. The effect was most profound in foreign-born blacks (living in the U.S.) with a 76% greater risk of autism as compared to U.S. born whites. The effect was also seen to a lesser extent (14% greater risk) in U.S. born blacks. However, when considering children with severe autism (autism with mental retardation), Becerra et al. found that the incidence was much higher in foreign-born blacks (163% greater) as well as U.S. born blacks (52% greater) as compared to U.S. born whites. This pronounced effect was not observed in any other race category considered.
In terms of vaccine injury, let me be clear – I am not anti-vaccine. I want safer vaccines that protect and not harm children. I want populations vulnerable to vaccine injury to be identified and protected as well. You don’t call someone who wants safer automobiles, “anti-car”. Similarly, it is ridiculous to refer to vaccine safety advocates as “anti-vaccine.”
In terms of vaccine injury, the study by Gallagher et al. (published in 2010 in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A) showed that blacks were at significantly greater risk of regressing into autism after receiving the thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B vaccination series as infants. Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that is used in some vaccines in multidose vials and is still used in the flu shot, the tetanus vaccine and meningococcal pneumonia vaccine and is also in trace amounts (sufficient to cause harm) in the Hepatitis B, Hemophilus influenza B (HiB) and DTaP vaccines. The data show a 5.53 times greater risk of autism for black boys receiving the thimerosal-containing HepB vaccine series versus those black boys not receiving any HepB shot. White boys did not show a statistically significant risk in this instance.
Further, background information released by the CDC whistle blower, Dr. William Thompson, showed that the CDC found higher risks of autism in black children who received the MMR vaccine on time versus those that received the vaccine after 3 years of age. Unpublished data released by the CDC whistle blower show that black boys were up to 3.36 times greater risk of receiving an autism diagnosis when they received their first MMR vaccine prior to 36 months of age versus those black boys receiving their first MMR vaccine at or after 36 months of age. This effect was not observed in any other race category considered.
Although the CDC attempted to hide this information (which was discovered by Dr. Thompson on November 7, 2001), Dr. Thompson ultimately issued an August 27, 2014 press release through his attorney stating, “I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism.” Dr. Thompson further stated in his press release, “My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub group for a particular vaccine. There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe it is the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with receipt of those vaccines.”
Over the period of November 2013 to August 2014, I had over 30 separate phone conversations with Dr. Thompson. He initially reached out to me in an unsolicited phone conversation to my cell phone. Dr. Thompson and I had talked on the phone and exchanged email correspondences much earlier, between 2002 and 2004, back when I was trying to advise the CDC on their vaccine safety studies related to childhood neurodevelopmental disorders. However, the CDC curtailed my conversations with him in 2004 due to my family’s participation in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program where we were seeking renumeration for my own son’s vaccine injuries. The phone calls from November 2013 to August 2014 were secret and Thompson did not let CDC officials know that he and I were talking as that could have cost him his employment.
I made the decision to record four of the last phone conversations I had with Dr. Thompson, without his knowledge, based on the revelation of harm to children, caused by the CDC’s very dysfunctional and even criminal vaccine safety program. These recordings were obtained legally and involved advice from legal counsel in each instance.
In my phone conversations with Thompson, he also discussed thimerosal containing vaccines. Dr. Thompson revealed adverse neurological outcomes specifically in boys exposed to thimerosal in vaccines within their first 7 months of life. This consisted of motor and phonic tics present in “neurotypical boys” tested in standardized tests. Although Dr. Thompson did not comment regarding the relationship between thimerosal and autism, he did note that tics were about five times more prevalent in autistic boys compared to the general population.
Dr. Thompson also described a culture of fraud in the CDC, an institution with a built-in conflict of interest regarding vaccine update versus vaccine safety. The CDC buys over $4 billion of vaccines each year from the pharmaceutical industry to distribute to the states’ public health departments. Vaccine uptake in the U.S. must be high for the CDC to get reimbursed for that purchase. Thus, vaccine safety scientists are under tremendous pressure not to find associations between vaccines and neurological adverse events, among others. He has been specifically told “point blank” from his superiors in multiple instances to not report such findings and to find ways using fraudulent statistical methods to obviate the results and falsely give vaccines a clean bill of health. Dr. Thompson stepped forward due to the agony of over 10 years of lying and covering up the real truth regarding vaccine injury.
I also wanted to talk about another specific whistle blower lawsuit, regarding MMR’s effectiveness. There is a False Claims Act lawsuit pending against Merck in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Case No. 10-4373 (CDJ). This case was brought by two former Merck virologists who were involved in the efficacy testing of the mumps portion of Merck’s MMR vaccine. According to these scientists, Merck engaged in fraudulent testing and data falsification to conceal the vaccine’s diminished efficacy.
As a result of Merck’s fraudulent scheme, the scientists allege, American children are being injected with a vaccine that does not provide the efficacy Merck claims it provides and does not provide the public with adequate immunization. According to the scientists, Merck’s MMR vaccine contributed to the recent mumps outbreaks in the U.S. Late last year, the Court denied Merck’s motion to dismiss the case and the case is in the discovery phase.
SB277 removes the last “check and balance” in preventing vaccine injury in children, parental consent rights. In the past, parents have been able to opt out of vaccines for their children based on personal beliefs, without jeopardizing school attendance. SB277 will change all that whereas the only children that will be able to attend school will be either fully vaccinated or receive a very “difficult to obtain” medical exemption based on some condition that would increase her/his susceptibility to vaccine injury. These exemptions are rare and extremely difficult to obtain. Based on CDC guidelines, even if an earlier vaccine leads to seizures or the death of a sibling, the child is still not exempt and this is being widely misrepresented by the proponents of SB277. Homeschool children will be exempt from the law but this is just not an option considering the large number of two income families in our underserved communities.
I urge you to contact your state Assembly members and tell them to vote NO on this bill. I urge you to reach out to the legislative black caucus members and educate them about the CDC whistle blower and other issues regarding vaccine injury that make this bill nothing but medical tyranny.
We want Congress to subpoena Dr. William Thompson. In fact, Dr. Thompson himself wants to be subpoenaed so the entire truth about the CDC can become public record. I urge you to contact key Congressional offices to ask that Dr. Thompson be subpoenaed in an open Congressional hearing. The truth needs to come out, period, and this is one way to bring the truth to light.
Pharmaceutical Money Received by Senator Richard Pan and Speaker of the California Assembly, Tony Atkins and Calls for a State and Federal Investigation of the Allegations
In an unexpected development, the Sacramento Bee published an article on June 18 by Jim Miller listing the politicians who had received the most money from the pharmaceutical industry in the 2013-2014 legislative session. Not surprisingly, topping the list at #1 was Senator Richard Pan who is the author of SB 277, with $95,150 and followed closely by Speaker of the Assembly, Toni Atkins, with $90,250. The article also reported that pharmaceutical firms and their trade groups had donated more than two million dollars to members of the California legislature in the 2013-2104 legislative session.
The Autism Action Network and your humble correspondent are calling upon the California Attorney General, Kamala Harris, and US Attorney for the Eastern District of California, Benjamin B. Wagner to launch an investigation of this apparent quid pro quo between pharmaceutical manufacturers and our elected officials in the campaign for SB 277.
Read the full article in the Sacramento Bee about the pharmaceutical money Senator Richard Pan and Speaker of the Assembly, Tony Atkins have received in the link below.
MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT! - This is the moment when we can rip the veil off the effort of the pharmaceutical companies to buy votes, harm our children, and make us outlaws. Do your part!
Please call the office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris and request an investigation at (916) 445-9555.
And please call US Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and request a federal inquiry at (916) 554-2700.
Can you imagine what can happen by this Friday if each of those offices have 500 requests to investigate Senator Pan and Assemblyman Atkins? It will be a new day, California. A new day! And I won't have to move to Oregon!
Kent Heckenlively is a Founding Contributing Editor to Age of Autism and co-author with Dr. Judy Mikovits of Plague: One Scientist's Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism, and Other Diseases. You can visit his website at Plague The Book. And after you read it, write a review on Amazon! We want to get to 100 reviews by the end of the summer and are at #74!