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The Daily Telegraph's FAKE History of the Wakefield Story

Andy reports
The reports have always been upside down.

By John Stone

I am publishing my notes on the "at a glance" history of the MMR controversy from Charles Hymas article Facebook putting children's lives at risk by reviving spurious MMR claims, say UK healthchiefs (27 July).While Hymas is a former Sunday Times journalist, he possibly has a good record in investigating corruption but he is missing the mark here. For more detail reader's are referred to Vera Sharav's annotated account at AHRP L'affaire Wakefield.

"In 1998, respected medical journal The Lancet carried the results of a small-scale study (12 children) that claimed a link between the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) combined vaccine and autism and colitis in children."

This is untrue. The team carried out a review  of a series of cases seen and treated on the basis of clinical need. It did not claim a link between MMR, autism and colitis but recorded medical histories and parental concerns. This is easily checkable against the text of the paper. In listening to parents’ concerns about vaccine reactions, the Royal Free team were manifestly acting more ethically than doctors who ignore them.

"The leader of the research team, Andrew Wakefield promoted mass media coverage of the study. MMR became the biggest science story of 2002 and the public’s confidence in the vaccine was seriously shaken and vaccination rates fell."

 Is there any evidence that Wakefield promoted media coverage? No details given. By the end of 2001 Wakefield had already left for the United States, but mistrust was left in the public's mind by the refusal of Prime Minister Tony Blair to say whether his son Leo had been vaccinated. Plainly health officials were out for revenge.

"Concerned over MMR safety, organisations such as the NHS, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Cochrane Library carried out large-scale epidemiological studies. These highlighted some adverse vaccine effects, such as rashes and joint pain, but could not replicate the findings of the original study."

The officially promoted studies were clearly defective as shown by the Cochrane Review of 2005.The Cochrane review of MMR safety anticipated the revelations of the William Thompson and the film Vaxxed regarding the the 2004 DeStefano study suggesting that data had been omitted, and described the flawed data sets in the Madsen study, the coordinator of which, Poul Thorsen, is still on the run for embezzlement. Other autism studies (Fombonne, Taylor etc.) also got short shrift.

"In 2004, Sunday Times journalist Brian Deer revealed that, two years prior to the research, Wakefield had been hired by lawyers from the UK’s legal aid fund, who were hoping to prove that the vaccine damaged children. This undeclared conflict of interest led to The Lancet partially retracting publication of the study."

It emerged at the GMC hearing that the Lancet knew of Wakefield's involvement in the court case nearly a year before publication of the paper, and although by convention acting as a court expert does not constitute "a conflict" Wakefield acknowledged his involvement in the case in a letter published in the Lancet in 1998, and it was never hidden. The pretence that this was news in 2004 - how for instance could the defendant pharmaceutical companies not know? - was itself a fake.

"The study was fully retracted in 2010, after allegations that the study data had been falsified. At the same time, the General Medical Council found Wakefield guilty of serious professional misconduct, unnecessarily invasive tests on children and multiple, undeclared conflicts of interest. He was struck off the medical register."

The findings of the GMC in respect of the paper were rejected by the High Court in 2012 in the appeal of Wakefield's senior colleague, Prof John Walker-Smith, which is misleadingly not mentioned. It was established that invasive tests were not in pursuance of a research protocol but conducted purely on the basis of clinical need, nor were the clinical decisions made by Andrew Wakefield, or either the paper or the investigations funded by legal aid. This decision were not appealed by the GMC, which remained party to injustice by not amending the findings against Wakefield or his other accused colleague Prof Simon Murch.

"The scientific consensus is that there is no causal link between the MMR vaccine and autism."

While this may be true it is of very little consequence given the political and institutional biases involved.

[This article was amended 10 October 2018]

John Stone is UK and Europe Editor for Age of Autism.


Sandy Lunoe

“Dr. Wakefield’s crucifixion was a desperate well-orchestrated effort to restore faith in risky vaccinations that the majority of people worldwide no longer trust” ~Dr. Horowitz.

We tuned in to an Ethiopian radio station and noted that in connection with the reporting about
Dr Wakefield simultaneous broadcasts from several other radio stations in Africa and Europe announced that his work was fraudulent and they interviewed “experts” who all said that the MMR was safe.
Questions and answers in these interviews seemed to be identical, almost word for word irrespective of where they were broadcast from in the world.

susan welch

Interesting that the recent fight back from Government/media re MMR/Facebook has been picked up by UK Column. See from 12.38 to 21.13 in which they think think 'powers that be' are getting worried that truth about vaccine dangers are becoming public.

(If my link doesn't work, Google UK Column news, go to archive for 31/08/18)

Peggy Jaeger

I found the reporters comments on this piece to be on point, not off as AOfA commentary suggested., 2nd., didn't know of Paltrows plight at all but did note her products name is/was Goop. Not too long ago, GOOP was a specialty degreaser soap for mechanics or of course others who had machinery oils and stains on hands or clothes. Funny😄 To me.

Jeannette Bishop

@John Stone, thank you for the Facebook and other feedback.

The banner is visible again, on one of our family's computers anyway after I did some updating of systems software on that machine, so perhaps that problem only has something to do with software incompatibility.

Hans Litten

Posted by: annie | July 31, 2018 at 05:49 AM

The celebrities are stacking up a bit now aren't they ?
We really should compile a list :

De Niro etc .....its at least a dozen or more.

Pretty soon H_Wood will have no one to appear in their films anymore.


That was supposed to be #leavegywnethalone.


Jonathon Rose,

Man! They sure are hitting Gwyneth Paltrow pretty hard. Offit just featured her in a hit piece over at Salon. Hope she is weathers it without having to throw the risk aware community under the bus. #leavegwyneth :).

Thanks for sharing the article.


Thanks Jeanette Bishop that is an interesting break down!


The Chinese while trying to raise that one child, are all upset and complaining about fake vaccine. the report about the massive kill off of senior patients from flu shots. The DPT vaccine killed many, many more in Africa than it ever saved. Gardasil is banned in Japan, and Ireland sure wished their elective officials did the same. It all barely makes it I the news if at all.

But gosh darn it. that guy whose study was retracted back in 2010. Oh and did you hear; him and his wife has split and he is dating a super model.

Gary Ogden

Jonathan: Thanks. My views precisely. Whatever the government says, I do the opposite, with the sole exception of "fasten your seatbelt." And you are correct that our guerrilla army is growing. I usually manage to bring up vaccine injury in all of my chance encounters with strangers, and it is astonishing the percentage who are on our side, or at least skeptical. Certainly more than 34%. And the greater the repression, the faster it will grow.

Jeannette Bishop

Possibly pertinent:

Angus Files

No doubt all the once great newspapers are now fixed,to just give the corporate blurb,I dont think anyone reads them with any seriousness anymore but what have they got for reference now that the internet is fixed also.

Well done John for correcting them.

Pharma For Prison


John Stone

Hi Jeannette

Someone was just reporting that they were being blocked on Facebook from re-circulating the link, though I wasn't stopped from putting it there in the first place, so maybe something is going on - alas, no surprise.

I can still see our banner.

Jeannette Bishop

OT (unless some weird censorship is going on), am I the only one who can't see the Age of Autism banner at the top of the site pages?

Jeannette Bishop

I won't be surprised if I'm linking to this post in the future.

Facebook is already marginalizing "anti-vaccine" sites, limiting their reach. I wonder how many reading this danger alert will be asking, so what exactly is there to ban?


I'm choking on the irony of Mark Zuckerberg is getting "wakefielded".

John Stone


It’s a paradoxical effect but it may also re-enforce the dislike of others and extend the dislike of others for Paltrow and her products. Obviously, Paltrow is a trope because the Guardian used her as a hate reference last year while trying to promote compulsory vaccination - although her views on subject have never been raised. It was just suggested she’s a bad, faddish person you wouldn’t like to be like. All one can really say is that old press has become complete junk and most of their subscribers must be libraries, institutions etc. I just don’t know what people think when they see this pathetic, manipulative stuff. “Pass the sick bag”, as one gnarled old Fleet Street editor allegedly used to say.

I suppose I am bothering more as a matter principle than because I remotely surprised or shocked.

Jonathan Rose

John, of course it's infuriating when even "quality" papers get all their facts wrong about this controversy. But relevant to all this is a revealing recent article in the New York Times:

To quickly summarize, Gwyneth Paltrow's highly successful company Goop markets a vast range of "wellness" products. The mainstream media (including the Times) regularly publishes attacks by medical experts denouncing Goop's products as useless or worse -- but every time they do, Goop's sales spike. The Times reporter clearly finds this phenomenon troubling and difficult to explain, but the answer is obvious: distrust of the mainstream media and the medical establishment is so pervasive that readers are inclined to believe the exact opposite of what they are told. This distrust can only work in our favor, and it goes a long way toward explaining why our little ragtag guerrilla army is actually gaining ground against all the vast and powerful forces arrayed against us. It also explains increasing efforts to censor the internet: it is an act of desperation on the part of the Dark Side, which realizes that all their mainstream media propaganda is backfiring and they have lost control of the narrative. (By the way, I hold no brief for Goop, whose products I have never tried.)

susan welch

Have sent your excellent article to Charles Hymas, via Twitter, John.

Hans Litten

Ask the ToryGraph to report this ?

Lawfirm Announces $101 Million Measles Vaccine Settlement for Infant that Suffered Brain Injury

The lawfirm of Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. announced earlier this month (July, 2018) that they had negotiated a $101 million dollar settlement for an infant who suffered a severe reaction to the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

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