“Unholy Coalition”: How Common Concerns, Chronic Disease, Biotech Trolls and State Terror Act as Unifying Forces Between Vaccine Safety and Anti-GMO Activism
There’s a particular plot twist in epic films that never fails to yank at my heartstrings even if the scene in question is over the top, hammed up or riddled with historical inaccuracies: that moment when all seems lost, yet against all odds, disparate forces gather together in a unified front to battle evil.
Since Scotland recently declared a ban on GMOs and since Skeptic astroturfer and dual Monsanto/vaccine defender David Gorski has repeatedly flogged a Braveheart analogy for—as he puts it— the “unholy coalition” of the vaccine safety movement, one scene from that the film comes to mind. It’s the moment when Irish conscripts stop in the middle of the battlefield to shake hands with the Scots to the dismay of dastardly Edward I.
To Gorski—aka Murdoch blogger “Orac” (Murdoch owns National Geographic which runs ScienceBlogs which hosts Gorski)— the comparison between vaccine safety activists and rebel Scots isn’t meant to be flattering because, as some recall, William Wallace gets drawn and quartered and the Scots independence movement failed, an idea that clearly fills Gorski’s mercenary little heart with glee.
But the scene still gets me every time… even though that historical moment of transnational male bonding never actually happened.
It would be nice if it did. It would be great if human beings were never weak, short-sighted and had enough clarity and courage to see common ground between embattled causes. All the same, sometimes the impossible comes to pass and seemingly different political movements discover aims in common and shift into loose allegiance. I think this is happening in regard to the vaccine safety and anti-GMO movements. The March Against Monsanto website recently reposted a GreenMedInfo article by Dr. Kelly Brogan titled Naturopathic Doctor Connects the Dots Between GMOs and Vaccines:
As discussed earlier on this website, a debate has brewing throughout the holistic health and clean food movements about whether to include the “green our vaccines” and GMO free movements together, or to keep them separate so as not to turn certain segments of people off to the cause.
Despite the fact that the government has paid out more than $3 billion to people who have suffered vaccine related injuries since 1988, anyone who speaks out on vaccine additives runs a great risk of being labeled as a “conspiracy theorist.”
Recently one doctor, Kelly Brogan, offered up her two cents on the issue in this op-ed from GreenMedInfo.
“I’ve never been very politically minded. I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’ve never been arrested and I don’t like to get in trouble. I do like, and always have, to think for myself. I’m a natural skeptic and pragmatist,” she begins. “That’s why I advocate for consumer empowerment and thoughtful decision-making about what we put in our bodies.”
Brogan continues, discussing how nature has evolved over many, many years and how human medicine and other practices such as genetic engineering have given rise to a “war” against nature and its healing prowess. We’re just now discovering how to work with nature to create better systems of healing, she says.
Brogan goes on to question the type of thinking that gave rise to today’s current system of trying to “outsmart” our natural immune systems:
“Pharmaceutical companies and doctors think they can outsmart immune systems that have evolved to coexist with microbes, to be primed and educated by them. We are at war with infectious disease, and as a consequence, our fear and malice toward bacteria and viruses have lead us to compromise and alter our immune systems with pathogens entering our bodies through our muscles, accompanied by toxic additives that cripple our natural immune function and cause chronic inflammation.”
Meanwhile, there is a clear pattern of suffering being caused both from using genetic modification in a laboratory (along with Roundup and other poisons) on our crops, and using vaccines packed with chemical preservatives, especially on the overloaded dosage scheduling we use now, Brogan asserts. And a huge lack of long-term, independent testing on both GMOs and vaccines.
Brogan’s full post in GreenMedInfo describes a litany of virtually identical biotech industry abuses that impact both movements and lead to very similar types of damage and repression. As indicated in the article above, this wasn’t the first time March Against Monsanto sources have explored the connection between vaccine injury and adverse effects of pesticides and GMOs. I’ve seen many more discussions like this on MAM’s social media threads, whether in reference to the CDC Whitleblower scandal, the Kenyan infertility vaccine scandal, or the string of suspicious deaths of naturopathic doctors like Jeff Bradstreet.
It might not be quite time to set a wedding date between movements. It’s obviously better in terms of battle strategy to remain a hydra and maintain separate camps. But at this point in time, it should be abundantly clear that we’re all standing in the middle of the same battlefield.
The allegiance between causes might appear nebulous and not all may be on board, yet the connection seems grounded in a common instinct to protect human health, human rights and ecology against a vicious corporate takeover with ramifications far greater than both causes.
The only sizeable differences between the two movements— aside from March Against Monsanto having a noticeably larger number of college- and grad school-aged activists who may or may not have children— is that those who oppose vaccine mandates are mostly seeking safer, voluntary shots and a far more transparent and accountable public health apparatus. Meanwhile, those opposing GM food tech tend to make no concessions whatsoever to any conceptual benefits the technology is said to provide.
So most anti-GMO advocates are just that (“anti”), while most vaccine safety activists aren’t anti-vaccine. Though some among the latter— either due to jaundice towards mainstream methods of preventive medicine in general or because family members have been severely injured or killed by vaccines— will likely avoid vaccines for the rest of their lives. Those advocates may add a footnote that vaccines should still be made safer for those who want them, but, with few exceptions, the anti-GMO movement has no footnotes. Contrary to what Neil DeGrasse Tyson and other stealth biotech peddlers claim, GM tech is nothing like old fashioned hybridization and the risks of changing the genetics of seeds so far outweigh any hoped-for advantages that activists wouldn’t mind seeing the entire industry taken apart.
As Kelly Brogan argues, the similarities between movements are far greater than the disparities. Like vaccine safety and autism recovery activists, the anti-GMO movement also covers the gamut— rich and poor, vegan and omnivore, every race and walk of life, pro-gun control/right to bear arms, political left and political right (yes, there are right wing anti-GM activists) and everything in between. Internal differences may sometimes cause friction but the centers hold nonetheless. It’s a standing testimony to the genuine grassroots status of each and the very thing which terrifies the biotech industry. As a result, both movements have seen nearly identical takedowns on scientific whistleblowers, and both have had to wade through endless troll attacks—usually sourced from the same centralized astroturf fronts— accusing advocates of being “irrational anti-science” proponents, threats to life and progress, and branding both movements as “elitist” on the idea that the very poor can’t easily access or afford organic or alternative autism recovery approaches.
The charge of elitism is especially ironic considering the corporate crimes that led to 1/3 of American children living in poverty and considering that well-funded corporate entryists continuously attempt to hijack bits and pieces of these causes while surgically removing from the message any meaningful opposition to corporate abuse of power. In fact, like the Braveheart storyline, both movements are having problems with the “nobles.” The vaccine safety movement has had to suffer through the nauseating ascent of Autism Speaks’ billion dollar pharmaceutical industry-appointed board and agenda and endure another camp of industry-backed self-advocates who act as a PR brigade for drugs and shots and claim that autism is a “gift” while being appointed to government posts. Then the food safety movement has had to endure the nauseating ascent of corporate-approved power vegans and their Soylent-Greenwashed support of Monsanto-tied Bill Gates’ schemes to hijack the sustainable food cause.
For vaccine safety and autism recovery advocates, the affinity with March Against Monsanto has always come easily for the very simple reason that when parents of vaccine-injured children strive to get every last trace of GMO food, pesticides and dangerous additives out of children’s diets and environments, children get better. Diet alone will rarely lead to total recovery and other measures often come into play, but a clean diet is still central.
Also when those of us with injured children read the science on adverse effects of GMOs and Glyphosate, the overlaps with the cellular damage caused by vaccines are screamingly evident. For instance, it becomes clear that the “farm proximity” theory of autism causation is not necessarily a competing hypothesis to vaccine causation but may be reciprocally complimentary since both effects likely compound each other and damage common cellular pathways.
Another reason vaccine injury families often go organic is that we, as parents, can never die. Our children have been genetically modified after all, and may always need us.
For all these reasons and more, vaccine safety and autism recovery advocates attend March Against Monsanto events, struggle to afford organic food on top of the massive costs of recovery protocols, sign up for alerts, sign petitions, speak out on the dangers of the biotech conglomerate, and scoff at the shills promoting GM tech, many of whom—like Gorski— do double duty as vaccine mandate pushers.
The affinity is so natural that the cointel-trolls don’t even bother feigning passion for vaccine safety cause in order to plant doubts about GM criticism within the community. They may try to sow divisions in other ways, but we’re a lost cause as far as being swayed into thrall with the toxic agro industry or Big Junk Food.
But there’s been plenty of effort to do the reverse— cobble together an awkward “Pro-Vaccine Mandate/Anti-GMO” astroturf front to drive a wedge between potential allies and make events go the way of the Irish charge at Falkirik—with one colonized, exploited force attacking another at the behest of the exploiters and both remaining under the boot forever after.
The vaccine safety arena has already seen climate change proponents like Naomi Oreskes stumping for vaccine mandates—akin to colonized Welsh conscripts at Falkirik taking down the colonized Scots with high tech arrows. It’s another irony, since what is vaccine-induced autism other than a case of man-made internal bio-climate change which industry front groups try to explain away with the claim that ice caps (or human neurology, immune system integrity, etc.) have always been melting at the current rate?
But in the case of anti-GMO, the very conciseness of the movement’s goals—to eventually eradicate GM technology—may have prevented industry from playing both sides against the middle earlier on as it had with climate change activism. Climate change activists have always been forced to take a more moderate approach (can’t ban cars overnight and so forth) and were therefore left open to being drafted into greenwashing scheme and repeatedly presented with ugly temptations to grovel for amnesty and media coverage by selling out parallel movements.
But regarding industry’s posture towards GMO opposition, it was simply all-out war from the start because anti-GMO advocates have already won. The greatest danger to industry is that over 90% of the public wants, at the very least, labeling. Because of this, it seems industry’s entryism mission was mostly to disrupt, destroy or convert the anti-GMO front, not draft pliant advocates willing to trade bits of integrity for the chance to make a few small gains or appear on TV.
The upside is to the anti-GMO movement being under extreme fire may be that this weeds out the activist-shill hybrids who would compromise the cause into the ground. For Mark Lynas, the limelight grubbing putative “founder” of the anti-GMO movement, there was no partial decamping from Monsanto opposition. He had to turn 100% belly up, yet maintained his post as climate change science hero because many media-sponsoring industries have found ways to profit from greenwashing, but far fewer with big media PR budgets have found ways to profit from anti-GMO.
Still, not all who waver from a consistent message are shills. Since young, childless hipsters have been a primary target of PR efforts to sell a binary view of the vaccine debate as either “for or against” disease prevention as GreenMedInfo and March Against Monsanto pointed out, chances are that several anti-GMO activists who seem fervently convinced of the irrational evil of vaccine safety critics are at least sincerely biased. But, since Monsanto accidentally disclosed that it has an entire department devoted to “debunking” the opposition – transparent code for online trolling and “native advertizing”—chances are also pretty good that many “pro-vax/anti-GMO” proponents are security industry contractors.
GMO-defending trolls run thick in the anti-GMO world, but as far as driving wedges between similar causes, measures to insert vaccine defenders within the anti-GMO movement to prevent an activism cluster may have come too late: the industry media had already spent too much time negatively analogizing anti-GMO advocates with vaccine safety advocates to the point that both groups were easily able to recognize common enemies and familiarize themselves with troll rhetoric. And so, in this chapter of history, the Scots and the Irish might actually shake hands on the battlefield—thanks in part to astroturfers.
Just as a side note, vaccine safety advocates get to be “Scots” in this equation only because we’re on the bloody bottom of the environmental movement heap with the arrows directly trained on our heads in several not-so-proverbial ways
For one, the vaccine safety cause has been turned into the ultimate controversy ballast that no other movement—no matter how similar its aims— wants to take on lest the alliance weighs down its own cause. This is why it may not yet be time to celebrate a movement marriage: wedges will yet be driven, people will get cold feet and the rest because hanging around the vaccine safety advocacy world is rapidly becoming more dangerous, largely due to the centralized campaign to outlaw vaccine resistance and alternative recovery strategies. For this reason, certain filmic feudal parallels start to emerge as the state appears poised to take children away from noncompliant parents. This has already happened sporadically around the country (here, here and here), though several professional observers and advocacy groups are concerned that compulsory vaccine legislation in California and other states could usher in a program of mass child displacement.
Politicized child theft is a form of oppression that could be likened in a certain sense to the law of Prima Noctis depicted in the film. Like the battlefield bonding scene, this didn’t really happen at the time of William Wallace, though it once existed along with other medieval practices like a noble’s right to keep the children and grandchildren of tenants in bondage or disembowel serfs to warm their feet. For the sake of the modern child-snatching analogy, these things arguably served the same purpose—to demoralize occupied populations, “disrupt intergenerational cultural transmission” of information, silence and disband coalitions.
But silence and division probably aren’t great strategies at the moment. Because of the increasing privatization of Child Protective Services which involves perverse incentives from both federal sources and corporate kickbacks, it’s unlikely that such a policy would be limited solely to vaccine enforcement. Not only has child welfare become much like the private prison industry which has made the US #1 in the world in human captivity, the prison industry is directly investing in it. It’s basic supply side economics and state child removal is a growth industry.
This should be a concern for all environmental and consumer activists who’ve already seen official resources thrown into disrupting their respective movements. With the coining of bogus, weaponized psychiatric diagnoses like “orthorexia nervosa”—a “pathological” drive to avoid industrial food additives, GMOs and the long list of chronic diseases caused by same—and the addition to the DSM V of Somatic Symptom Disorder – roughly defined an “excessive preoccupation with health”— anti-GMO activists may eventually find themselves in similar straits even if they’d never hooked up with the vaccine safety arena.
As absurd as these labels sound, they could easily be criminalized by proxy and may have been designed to do just that. Legislative and diagnostic incursions on civil and parental rights could pry an entering wedge through either attacks on food freedom or medical freedom and take both down together. In other words, parents could be as quickly accused of “abusing” their children by subjecting them to an overly crunchy diet as they could of denying their children vaccination and these policies could cut their teeth and snowball from either direction. And God forbid anyone take a child to the doctor claiming symptoms or conditions were caused by exposure to GMOs, vaccines or pesticides. That trap has been laid as well in the new DSMV addition of “Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another,” aka “Medical Child Abuse.”
The way that CPS currently operates, it doesn’t really matter if the original grounds are eventually exposed as ludicrous since, once the agency has an entry point into private spheres, it can simply reverse engineer other grounds because dependency court operates outside the rule of law—there is no jury or genuine discovery, reporting parties are not mandated to testify, etc.
The Maine state child snatching case of Alorah Gelleron’s infant son came very close to those straits since the baby was taken by authorities due to an excerpt of an article posted on the USDA website that happened to be written by Monsanto-sponsored nutritionist, W.H. Dietz.
The above should be seen as a case of the biotech industry directly reaching into consumers’ lives and dictating what children can be fed in an enforceable manner. Dietz essentially claims that goat’s milk formula is dangerous and inferior to Monsanto-tainted baby formula, which Gellerson’s son was forced to consume until the family fought back. Although, in theory, CPS might have accepted the baby being given organic store-bought formula, as a very young single mom still living with her own mother, Gellerson—who had been making baby formula with the help of the family’s goat— could not afford it. Effectively, this was a GM-fatwa and Big Ag and Big Food were the law for a time in the Gellerson’s lives.
The Gellerson story and other reports on child-snatching due to medical cannabis activism and official disagreement with naturopathic cancer and other treatments have gotten both vaccine safety and food safety advocates equally up in arms. In a broad sense, both movements stand on the same sides of many issues as Kelly Brogan and others have argued. Sayer Ji of GreenMedInfo put it well in an article linked earlier:
If you look closely you'll see the exact same concerns [between the anti-GMO and vaccine awareness movements]: the violation of informed consent, the neglect of the precautionary principle, predominance of industry propaganda over actual science, the revolving door between government regulators and legislators and industry, and the undermining of the fundamental right of bodily self-possession, the keystone of health freedom.
Adriana Gamondes is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism and one of the blog’s Facebook administrators.