Banner
    The Reinforcements That Community Brings: Anti-Vaccine Narratives Provide More Drama
    By Kim Wombles | May 31st 2011 07:35 AM | 140 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Kim

    Instructor of English and psychology and mother to three on the autism spectrum.

    Writer of the site countering.us (where most of these

    ...

    View Kim's Profile
    Most of us seek out like-minded individuals who will reinforce our worldview. As I remind my students, we hold no beliefs we think are incorrect. After all, if we thought we were wrong, we wouldn't believe it. There's a reason that it can be hard for us to agree to disagree or live and let live, too. If I am certain I am right, and you disagree with me, then you must be wrong. 


    You can see the problems here, right? I'm not willingly going to go to a place where everyone believes the opposite of me. Neither are you. We wouldn't feel comfortable and we'd feel judged. Now, if we get a buzz out of entering the fray, swaggering into the others' territory to clash, if we cast ourselves as warriors, we'll waltz in day after day, but it isn't like going in as a wolf in sheep's clothing;  nope, it's about going into the situation in full-wolf mode, no trying to fit in or create community.


    So we've got a fundamental problem here; if the differences in belief systems are too great, there's no way to ignore those differences, and building community becomes difficult if not impossible because there is no sense that we're part of the same in-group. Indeed, the differences are great enough that we cast the other automatically as the out-group, and often, as the enemy. All the better to create a dynamic that provides ready drama and instant hero-status for the in-group members.


    This is abundantly clear in the vaccine wars within the autism community. Friday Ken Reibel and Jamie Bernstein were kicked out of AutismOne (lots of coverage on this; links available at Liz's). All that was necessary for the expulsion was Ken being recognized; he's the enemy, and no enemy is allowed inside the sacred walls. And this event allows both sides to reinforce the in-group cohesion and solidarity; both sides push against each other to define their own boundaries.


    I'd like to say that the science-based side is the more reasonable side, and I believe it is (it's my in-group and self-justifying along with confirmation biases means I'm going to see it that way), but I don't think we should be at all surprised they expelled Ken. They did it in 2008, too, after all. I think this played out exactly as everyone expected it would and provided the opportunity for each side to reinforce its own narrative and draw its own members closer. It's what people do.


    The real question here is how do we combat effectively the growth of paranoia that the Canary Party (Age of Autism and like-minded individuals' latest venture) promises?


    How do we effectively rebut people like Alison MacNeil, whose educational background ought to have been sufficient for her not to fall for the fallacious appeals to popularity and belief so that she can matter-of-factly write, "I went to the Green the Vaccines Rally.  In the cab back to the airport after the Rally I called my husband.  I said 'Honey this really happened. I just stood with 8,000 parents with the same story. We’re not crazy.'” 


    I don't think we can; she's found a more compelling, more dramatic narrative than the one that evidence-based individuals can offer her. She perceives any criticism as that of the enemy and is consequently inoculated against it. She has no reason to reevaluate her premises. She's got a ready-made community of folks who are the underdogs, fighting the man, ready to accept her and build her up. All we've got are scientific studies and often-pitying head-shakes for her as she tells her tale. Not hardly compelling enough. We shouldn't be surprised when she chooses people who will validate her beliefs.


    Of course, those of us who've been in the vaccine-injury trenches already knew we weren't going to reach those who are already in the bosom of that enclave. To them, regardless of how genuine our offers of support are, or how similar our experiences as parents may be, we are the enemy. So we're not going to reach them and trying is a waste of our time.


    What most of us are trying to do, then, are the twin goals of holding up ridiculous beliefs to the ridicule they deserve (for a completely different subject, Harold Camping anyone?) while providing accurate scientifically-backed evidence, even when it means acknowledging what we don't know.


    After all, it's important to point out that there's more than a bit of "uh-uh, no she didn't" factor to MacNeil when she writes that "The other side has reverted to discrediting the speaker," only to follow up in the next paragraph with this attempted discrediting: "And it’s not like I embezzled millions of dollars from the CDC or was a heroin addict." That's not really support for her claims, is it? Besides, although MacNeil continued that science-based people were trying to claim Wakefield is a "nut" and Jenny McCarthy is a "slut," I don't know of any evidence-based individuals who have alleged that Wakefield is a nut. Dishonest. Unethical. Fraudulent. Greedy. But not a nut. And we really shouldn't care if McCarthy is a slut (not a phrase I've seen used against her unsubstantiated claims, by the way). If her claims are backed by evidence, whether she gets around or not is irrelevant. I think the argument has been that she's a Playboy bunny who doesn't know what she's talking about (and since she thinks antifreeze is in vaccines, it's fair to say she doesn't), but that's not the same as claiming she's a slut and should be ignored. 


    But again, all this goes to make a more compelling narrative. If you believe that the icons in your group are being attacked by the enemy, it's much more interesting to focus on one's strawman versions of those justified rebuttals of Wakefield and McCarthy while pointing out that on the enemy side, one researcher has been indicted for the theft of 2 million dollars and that one science-based writer is an admitted recovered drug addict. The first is relevant and it's fair to ask what role he played in the studies themselves; the second is an actual attempt at an unjustified discrediting.


    How do you reach parents to show support and get there before those with more compelling, dramatic explanations convince parents that there are answers for why their kids have autism and that they can be healed if you just try the right mining chelator or other quack treatment? How do we create a vibrant, supportive community that lets parents feel comfortable in the absence of certainty while having the courage to withstand the temptation of promises of instant cures? How do we make our narrative more compelling than the vaccine-injury's? 


    I'm not sure that we can, really. If we're not willing to make stuff up, if we're not willing to engage in hyperbole and flights of paranoia, if we're insistent on being as scrupulously honest about the limitations of what we do know, what we can know, and most importantly, what we can do about the limits of our knowledge, then we are at a disadvantage. 


    Others have compared the anti-vaccine or vaccine-injury movement to religion. And it is; their beliefs are held with the fervor and conviction of true believers so invested in the ideology that they will sell their worldly possessions and hand out pamphlets in New York City, looking mystified and forlorn when the appointed time for rapture passes

    Comments

    Awesome post! I've often remarked that the "rift" in the autism community is no different that the rifts in the political communities or religious communities. Just because we share a common feature does not mean we would all be signing Kumbaya around the campfire.

    I've caught myself subscribing to groupthink and polarization. But catching that I've done this is half the battle. If more people thought about these phenomenons, we'll all be a bit further along.

    Then again, those terms are scientific so they probably aren't popular among some crowds ;-)

    Ken Reibel, usually disguised as AutismNewsBeatMeOffit, is an obnoxius, ignorant, moron. I'm glad they made him drive from Milwaukee to Chicago for nothing. He blogs for pharma dollars. The parents at AutismOne are sick of his likes (anonymous jerks harrassing parents with iatrogenic injured kids). You people need to get a life. Can't you hassle parents of kids with other malidies for a while?

    kwombles
    Excuse me, but aren't you truly anonymous, Joe45, and the one being obnoxious and rather ignorant? 
    Got a lovely life; thanks, Joe, for such a kind sentiment. :)
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    Ms. Wombles thinks that because she hides her anger and lack of real understanding behind the word "science"
    that she comes out the winner in the autism / vaccine controversy.. Sorry, it cannot be done when WE know what that science is--studies all done by our health agencies and big pharma. This science is more ridiculous than a reality show of Chicken Little telling us the sky is falling. Yet, Ms. Wombles stands on that mountain like G-d almighty speaking to the unintelligent, lowly masses. Seriously, this belongs in a book of cartoons, not a serious blog on the internet... Look out, Kim W.---Here comes the Canary Party, flying into your space----You cannot stop us-nobody can-Tweet, tweet.
    Maurine Meleck SC

    Gerhard Adam
    You are quite obviously clueless. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    kwombles
    I'm still trying to figure out what my lack of real understanding's referring to, and why she thinks I'm angry. Never mind trying to determine what some hideous yellow website with 694 facebook fans and 73 twits following them needs stopping for. I'm pretty sure they won't get very far on their own. Will they try to run candidates for political seats? Will they make them wear that particularly hideous shade of yellow? A nice pale yellow would have been welcoming, you know?
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    Joe45 is representative of the anti-vaccine movement.

    kwombles
    Indeed. 
    Nice, civil folks all about the compassion, right? Oh wait, maybe Joe's not a Canary party member and missed the compassion memo?
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    You "hide your anger and lack of understanding behind the word science"????? Do people even read your posts or are they so threatened that they actually compare you to acting like" G-d almighty"? ( whats with the missing "o" in the word god?) Wow Kim....(or should I say K-M?) You really do inspire some of the most interesting of comments from people who claim you hold no credibility.

    Well done on this post by the way..didn't mean to get so distracted by the comments. Yes a vibrant community would be nice..and I have found-at least in my community (off line) that the majority of people that I speak with don't give a canary's behind as to what caused either their child's or their own asd. They are more interested in getting the services and supports that they need.

    Check this out, Ms. Wobbly......

    Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A
    A Positive Association found between Autism Prevalence
    and Childhood Vaccination uptake across the U.S. Population

    Gayle DeLonga
    a Department of Economics and Finance, Baruch College/City University of New York, New York,
    New York, USA
    Online publication date: 26 May 2011

    http://www.theoneclickgroup.co.uk/documents/vaccines/Vaccine%20and%20Aut...

    Gerhard Adam
    Would you care to explain why an Assistant Professor in the Department of Finance has any credibility in this discussion?  However, she definitely has an agenda ....

    This is precisely why this kind of rubbish continues, because of the persistent belief that people have that they can subvert science to support whatever agendas they wish and anyone that disagrees must be part of a vast conspiracy to do them harm. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    kwombles
    Indeed; I've now got a copy of the article and here's her disclosures:
    "This study includes data from the U.S. National Centers for Health Statistics (NCHS). Any analyses, interpretations, or conclusions reached are the author’s own and not those of the NCHS, which is responsible only for the initial data. The author is grateful to José Garrofe Dorea, Anthony Mawson, Jonathan Rose, Paul Turner, and David Yermack as well as seminar participants at Baruch College
    and two anonymous reviewers for thoughtful comments. Francis Donnelly provided invaluable assistance in creating the geographic information system graphic. The author has two children with pervasive development disorder, not otherwise specified. She has filed a petition in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program for one of her children. The author is on the board of directors and research committee of Sensible Action for Ending Mercury-Induced Neurological Disorders (SafeMinds)."

    Serious conflicts of interest. No IRB board information. Was this article peer reviewed?

    And when you look at her references:

    Geier, D., and Geier, M. R. 2004.
    Neurodevelopmental disorders following
    thimerosal-containing childhood immunizations:
    a follow-up analysis. Int. J. Toxicol. 23:
    369–76.
    Geier, D. A., and Geier, M. R. 2007. A prospective
    study of mercury toxicity biomarkers
    in autistic spectrum disorders. J. Toxicol.
    Environ. Health A 70: 1723–30.
    Geier, D. A., Kern, J. K., and Geier, M. R.
    2009. A prospective blinded evaluation of
    urinary porphyrins verses the clinical severity
    of autism spectrum disorders. J. Toxicol.
    Environ. Health A 72: 1585–91.



    Anything by the Geiers should immediately raise suspicion. She also references articles by Blaylock and Blaxill. 


    I'll look at the article in more detail. These red flags are insufficient in themselves to dismiss the study out of hand; what matters are the claims and the quality of the evidence. If she's used Blaxill, Blaylock, and the Geiers to support her claims, she's relied on poor quality. She certainly has an agenda, and that must weigh in, as well.














    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    kwombles
    A comment by a Mary Hirzel disappeared into the spam filter (I assume; I did not remove it and only know it was posted because part of it showed up on my dashboard). The partial comment read  "Check this out, Ms. Wobbly...... Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A A Positive Association found between Autism Prevalence and Childhood Vaccination uptake..."  

    I'd return the name-butchering all in the interest of good fun except I'm not a prepubescent child having a tantrum because I read something I didn't like.

    The article refered to by Ms. Hirzel is behind a $41 paywall. No news articles have covered it at all. Other than anti-vaccine sites like "The Refusers" I only found one blog in the science community that has covered it; _http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/05/vaccines-cause-autism-until-you-look-at.html.

    I'm sure, of course, that Ms. Hirzel wouldn't post on a journal article she hadn't thoroughly reviewed in detail, and I'm sure she'll understand that since I have not seen the article it would be unwise of me to comment. Indeed, it would be foolish to form an opinion on the article until I had read it. I have no problem with going wherever the science goes; if sound scientific studies show that there is indeed a link between autism and vaccines, I will be among the first to write on it. Until then, it would be remiss to follow the conspiracy theories, paranoia, and misinformation that the anti-vaccine community holds up as their science.
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    Hank
    It's still there.  Anything salmon/pink colored is flagged for moderation by either you or a moderator.  You can't see it?   I will moderate hers and then do a test one and unpublish it and tell me if you can see it.
    kwombles
    Thanks; hers didn't show up as salmon/pink, just the same color as the others and when I clicked on it, it took me to this page but her comment wasn't here; same thing for your test one. :) It's the same color as the published ones, and clicking on it takes me here.
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    I'm beginning to think that its easier to believe in fiction than reality for some. Wow.

    Bottom line for me is this. Who are the people slinging mud and calling names? Um, not legitimate scientists.

    But then again, we have people trying to pull science out of our public schools and replace it with potentially mythical religious rhetoric. I suppose I should not be surprised.

    Looks like the kettle doth calleth the pot black and I find it to superficial, transparent and down right comical. What are you doing here if not being dramatic? I needed a good laugh. Thanks!

    We are having the last laugh as we recover our children. We would not have that ability were it not for many genuine orgs and conferences where they actually CARE about our families rather than spewing hate and misinformation to further your own twisted ideas of fame and glamor. I truly feel sorry for any child whose parents listen to this garbage, losing out on what most likely would help their loved ones with autism. I also feel immense sympathy for those too lazy and too ignorant to attend and TRY healing their loved ones themselves. Sadly, the individual with asd has no choice in the matter. They are forever captive of their caregivers' insolence, ignorance and lack of ambition.

    kwombles
    Wow, lots of vitriol there; guess the compassion part is running on empty. :)
    See, here's the thing. You assume you're the hero of your story, valiantly striving to save your child by engaging in all manner of quackery and that anyone who doesn't follow your path must not care about their kids (kinda proving all the points in my piece). You have no idea what treatments I've pursued for my three children, or how they've come so very far, and how they continue to thrive and grow and learn each day. They're doing really well, thank you. They are happy; the girls were A honor roll. Isn't that amazing that two little girls who struggled mightily in school to do the academics because of the difficulty of being in that environment have overcome so many of those challenges or learned to work around them so that they can achieve academically?

    My sweet son, who will be 22 this year and who we were told when he was 5 would never be able to work, would always need supervision, would never read, etc., is becoming an accomplished cook, volunteers at the animal shelter, and just yesterday went kayaking with my father for the first time ever. A year ago, cooking was out of his reach. A year ago the kayaking would have been, too. Oh, and he reads, too! Yes, his intellectual disability remains, but it hampers him less and less. I am eager to see where he will be skill-wise in a year!

    They're doing well, as are other children on the spectrum, and they're doing it without quackery, without those organizations, without a mother who wanders around commenting anonymously and nastily about things she really has no idea of.

    Thank you so very much for giving me the chance to counter the nonsense of your comment. Gerhard did such a tremendous job on your other prattle that I won't duplicate the effort. :-)

    Cheers!
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    How do you know this poster to be a mom and I a fellow? Are you even able to NOT project your own presumptions into anything? Certainly haven't seen that anywhere however. Hey,. when you ASSUME, YOU make an ASS out of U and ME. You might want to try it some time. However that would mean admitting you don't know it all.

    Both you and Gerhard need to get over yourselves.

    kwombles
    Oh, I understand now that your buddy was a fellow, too. :) I bet you and he have a LOT in common, huh?

    You keep promising you'll go away but you're still here. Why is that? Again, I gotta point out you really are woefully lacking on that compassion thing.

    I thought you wished me the best just a minute ago?
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    My buddy? Really? Did your crystal ball tell you that? How is it you have come to be all knowing anyway? I just like to toy with you because you and your immediately presumptuous self make yourself out to be such an easy target. It is quite comical actually. And no. that's not a threat.

    Ah yes, your angry and true self doth shine through in true colors. When you are not able to muster a more worthy response than to belittle a movement started but only three days ago. Give it a chance to get off the ground. And you sling mud about being compassionate? REALLY?!?!??! Read your own ill0witted words. This just empowers me even more more to work harder to reach even more people. Thanks for that! : )

    Ohhhhh.............looky there! The Canary Party has increased by 45 followers in the amount of time it took Kim to write her snarky comments. Go figure.....

    Gerhard Adam
    Ah, yes ... science by political agenda and committee.  After all, if enough of you get together and clap your hands if you REALLY believe  ...

    OR

    Click your heels together three times ....
    "There's no place like home"
    "There's no place like home ....
    Mundus vult decipi
    Another jump of nearly 400 since the snark master commented on it. Please remember it was Ms Wombles who started the whole CP discussion and set the tome. Stop turning it around as she is the victim in all of this.

    Doesn't really mater anyway, history is being made and some are being left behind to wallow in their ignorance. They will have no one to blame in the end but themselves.

    Actually it increased by 65 if you count Twitter too. GO CANARY PARTY. The party that actually CARES about your HEALTH and WELL BEING!! Not thanks to Kim, Ken and Liz who would love for nothing else than for you to remain dependent on others for a life time of care. Guess it makes them feel important and gives them something to do.

    Gerhard Adam
    I would expect it to increase even more .... after all, there's no end to the number of bird brains that will believe any kind of crap that doesn't involve actually thinking.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Dear can't help but laugh,
    would love for nothing else than for you to remain dependent on others for a life time of care. I cannot speak for Kim or Ken, but exactly the opposite is true for me.

    I advocate evidence-based interventions for autism. The goal being, providing the individual with the maximum amount of functionality (which includes independence) that she or he is capable of.

    And oh, by the way, respect for the individual, no matter what the limitations.

    I love how you take such a proactive stance in trying to affect change, Gerald. (this is sarcasm in the event you did not recognize it) You lurk and pass along insults. Nice........good luck with that! Mean while, I actually have some constructive work to do. : )

    Gerhard Adam
    You're simply a fool and you can't even bother to get my name right.  In case YOU don't recognize it, this isn't just sarcasm, it's a direct insult .... you're just a pathetic nutcase.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I am so sorry to have so severely offended and hurt your feelings over my error of your name. My apologies for that. I do make mistakes, as do we all.

    You really may want to try anger management. That pent up anger and aggression may just kill you one day. For all of our sake's it certainly would nice if you turned it into something positive and constructive.

    As for you continued attacks and insults, I think anyone with any rationale can see who is running scared her, and rightly so. No one likes a bully or an ass.

    You nothing of me. Your judgement of me is utterly unfounded, rude and shows your inability to remark sensibly. Why all the need to name call? You may want to address your self esteem issues as well. If you want people to take you seriously, you need to start asserting something intelligent in your responses.

    Gerhard Adam
    Wow ... you come onto a science site ... spout nonsense ... claim that your "organization" is somehow superior to actual research ... you attack someone here with insults far worse than anything I've said ...

    You are truly a hypocrite.  I don't need people like you to take me seriously.  In fact, the only thing I do hope, is that people like you someday have to deal with the consequences of your own foolishness.  Unfortunately you won't, but you'll still benefit from all those that have to do the serious work, while you play your foolish games in the background.

    Note... you haven't seen me angry, so your silly baiting isn't going to make a difference here.
    You nothing of me.
    Unfortunately I know far too much of you (and people like you). 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Naming it or calling it a science site does not a science site it make. Who's playing the fool now? Anyone on the web can claim pretty such anything they desire. Doesn't make it factual. I'd think you'd be aware of that. No?

    As far as my so called nonsense. That is an opinion and again, not a fact. This is getting old already.

    Don't recall calling anyone nasty names either. Hmmm.....I am beginning to see a pattern here. Just saying.

    Stop putting your own twisted disillusion words in my mouth. I made absolutely no such claim as to the organizations I support being superior. Somehow that is what you took away from it, which speaks volumes as to your own ability to separate fact from fiction.

    As for your claim (again but a claim) that I am baiting you, I don't need to. Your character shows through all by itself. You make certain of that. I dare wager a guess that you are not able to control that of about yourself either.

    I bid you farewell. You are truly not worth my time nor my energy. Like I stated quite clearly before, we'll have the last laugh. I have no doubt of that. As worthy, caring, compassionate parents continue to take the time and invest their energy to HELP their loved ones with autism, society will see through the smoke and mirrors of a sham of science sites such as this.

    I have declined replies so have have a ball. Sling all the mud you dare and hurl all the insults required to make you feel worthy of your spiteful, antagonistic self. I won't be bothered in the least but know under no uncertain terms you will be.

    Gerhard Adam
    Like I stated quite clearly before, we'll have the last laugh.
    Of course, since the only thing you're interested in is "followers" and taking pokes at those that disagree with you.  Actual science and actual data would be helpful, but you're like the poster on another article that would rather have people suffer and even die, just to make their point.

    Unlike the scientists that actually work on problems, you seem to enjoy the idea that laughing at other's misfortune is the way to address this issue.  Yeah ... I know all about your type.
    Don't recall calling anyone nasty names either.
    Oh, you do far worse.  You think its funny to poke at other people's problems or difficulties.  You think it's hilarious to accuse others of not caring or being corrupt in supporting agendas that are supposedly harmful to children.  You've accused others of far worse than name-calling.  But then, you seem to like laughing for no better reason than to feel superior by suggesting that you're rubbing other people's faces in their mistakes. 

    The only saving grace in all of your posts, is that you absolutely don't know what you're talking about, so your jibes and gloating only end up looking pathetic.  After all, what kind of a moron thinks that collecting "followers"  is a solution to anything?
    Mundus vult decipi
    So called science sites I should say. Kim Wobles is nothing more than a blogger. At the very least let's be honest and real. Shall we? Our is that beyond "Science" (COUGH!) 2.0?

    Reading each comment, if any believes himself to be superior, it is Mr.Adam who repeatedly projects his own preconceived perceptions into anything anyone who disagrees with him tries to say. Sad really. From there he becomes combative, attacking the individual rather than adding any of worth at all whatsoever. Not that it matters. No one is going to take the time to listen to verbal brawls. Most people have more integrity and intelligence than to bother with such foolishness.

    Hank
    . From there he becomes combative, attacking the individual rather than adding any of worth at all whatsoever
    Really?  You did not endure the 30 minute rant I got on the phone this morning.  Literally, non-stop, with no chance at all for me to respond to the many accusations and questions hurled my way.

    Why anyway calls me with that stuff is a mystery - if I build a walkie-talkie and give it away to people for free, and someone says something on the walkie-talkie you don't like, calling me to complain about it is pointless.  Go build your own walkie-talkie if you don't like the ones I make.
    Hank, I have no idea what you are referring to or how it pertains to anything here.

    Hank
    You said only Gerhard becomes combative and attacks people rather than issues - I simply pointed out your filter is selective, since this article got me a far-worse rant than anything he said this morning, and I didn't even write the thing, yet you have not noticed the vitriol of any of those people.
    To be fair, I was not dismissing that fact, but rather I was responding personally to Gerhard.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, I will respond personally.  You're absolutely correct in noting my aggressiveness and attack-mode behavior towards this individual.  After all, from "Can't help but laugh", we got such pearls as:
    The party that actually CARES about your HEALTH and WELL BEING!! Not thanks to Kim, Ken and Liz who would love for nothing else than for you to remain dependent on others for a life time of care.
    and
    We are having the last laugh as we recover our children. We would not have that ability were it not for many genuine orgs and conferences where they actually CARE about our families rather than spewing hate and misinformation to further your own twisted ideas of fame and glamor. I truly feel sorry for any child whose parents listen to this garbage, losing out on what most likely would help their loved ones with autism. I also feel immense sympathy for those too lazy and too ignorant to attend and TRY healing their loved ones themselves.
    Of course, you can clearly tell that these comments were made with "love" and true "concern" (note the sarcasm). 

    To what end are these comments being made?  Why to advance a political agenda to collect "followers".
    The Canary Party has increased by 45 followers in the amount of time it took Kim to write her snarky comments.
    If someone is serious about these issues (and not just autism), then it should be clear that political opinions and gathering "followers" doesn't produce science nor does it produce results.  It is specifically intended to gain popular opinion as if somehow science can be magically conjured up by people simply believing the same thing.

    Also, note that there is not a single scientific link nor information provided beyond the political rhetoric of forming a political party for no better reason than to promote dissent and conspiracy theories.
    What is this toll? Nothing less than a generation of sick, injured and dying children, children who are increasingly becoming young adults.  American children are over vaccinated and over medicated, over fed, undernourished and have record levels of chronic illness and developmental delay.

    In simplest terms, the medical industrial complex has launched a massive and uncontrolled experiment on a generation of Americans. In an unprecedented intervention in human immune development, this complex has succeeded in promoting an explosion in medical industry revenues and profits; this explosion has been accompanied, however, by an epidemic of death, disability and chronic disease, much of which can be traced directly to these medical and chemical exposures.
    http://www.canaryparty.org/index.php
    Can anyone truly be this simple-minded?  No doubt, they'll be clapping their hands together over the free publicity I've provided in this link, but truly, anyone moronic enough to think that spouting cliches and advancing conspiracy theories is good for anyone, won't listen to anything anyway.

    Whether anyone likes it or not, medicine and science are far more complicated than people that want to demand answers are willing to consider or concede.  There may be false starts and even outright mistakes (consider over-use of antibiotics as one example).  The process may certainly be flawed in some respects, but it inevitably moves forward because people question, seek answers, and ultimately arrive at better answers than they had before.

    The one thing that is guaranteed to not work, is to turn these issues over to a mob.  So while these people can pat themselves on the back for garnering support and thinking they are going to develop some political muscle, I can also state, that they will NEVER contribute anything useful to the discussion regarding medicine and/or autism.  They will still be out there talking about the autistic equivalent of the "grassy knoll", because in the end, the only thing they have is to rail against some nameless enemy, with their ultimate goal being to turn everyone that listens to them into victims.  That's how they obtain their power.

    So, while you may think that I am simply displaying anger and responding negatively to this "poor" poster, the reality is that they are the ones that are perpetually trying to divert resources, shift focus, and level accusations at the only people doing real work.  They want to turn science into an opinion poll, so I will stand by my statement that they are morons.  I've dealt with far too many of them to have much patience left and I do not grant special dispensation to anyone that wants to level accusations that others don't care, nor that they are intentionally harming people to advance their own positions.  Such statements will definitely result in a vitriolic reaction from me, since there is nothing that is more devious or foul than to listen to such individuals accusing others of such (criminal) behavior while they wrap their cloak of concern around themselves and pretend to be the harmless innocents in this.   They represent the lowest of the low and they will never garner any respect from me, nor will they ever get a free pass.
    Mundus vult decipi
    No, I quite think you missed the boat completely. And I don't think they are looking for your respect as it would appear it means absolutely nothing to them. Why should it?

    I think perhaps it would be different had Liz and Ken gone to Autism One with the intention of doing a legitimate piece that offered some insight rather than going there to raise mayhem as is their past history. Perhaps that would account for the distasteful attitudes towards them. They are not some poor innocent by-standers as you'd have others believe. They have an agenda. Have they ever bothered to ask the attendees about the usefulness of Autism One? I'd think that would have been their first thought had they honorable intentions.

    And what of you? It would not appear that you have never given parents of those sick and afflicted the time of day let alone actually listened to them. Is an open mind too much to ask? On this site, it would appear so.

    Gerhard Adam
    Is an open mind too much to ask?
    Apparently you think an "open mind" means that I have to listen to all kinds of unqualified nonsense and then when they are demonstrably wrong, I'm still supposed to consider their opinions legitimate until I can take the time to unequivocally disprove each one of them.

    I have neither the time and patience to debunk every person that comes on here with an agenda and bad science.  It's becoming clear that you aren't interesting in anything scientific either beyond playing the same political nonsense game that they're engaged in.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Again, missed it completely. You are a hard headed one aren't you? The suggestion was that you go and look for yourself. Ask the parents and even people with autism themselves. Why not start with Raun Kauffman, who is recovered himself and quite articulate. How about Donna Williams? She is more than accommodating. Open minded means you earnestly search and honestly listen. It is obvious you have no desire to as it would mean you would have to admit you are wrong. That is all that is important to the likes of someone like you, to be right at all cost, even the health and well being of others, innocent others.

    Gerhard Adam
    Open minded means you earnestly search and honestly listen.
    OK ... provide me with a link for Raun Kauffman's methods and any papers that might have assessed his programs scientifically. 

    I would also like to know how the diagnosis of autism for Donna Williams was determined, since it appears there may be some doubt.


    Mundus vult decipi
    You've seriously never heard of the Son-Rise program? You are well versed in such maters that go to great length the ramble and rant about aren't you?

    Gerhard Adam
    Yes, I've heard of Son-Rise, but its also never been scientifically reviewed or validated.   Simply linking to a site with something to sell is not evidence of anything.

    Unless you can link to scientific papers that discuss what is being done, as well as the details surround the Son-Rise program, you have nothing but conjecture and speculation. 

    BTW, I want to see specifics regarding Son-Rise and not simply be told that I have to pay to enroll in a class.  After all, if there aren't to be any "ethical concerns" then such important data should be readily available to the public and not hidden for someone's private profits.
    Mundus vult decipi
    You have a child with autism?

    Uh-huh, that's what I thought. Yeah, it is pretty easy to blow your pie hole perpetually when you haven't a clue what your talking about. Figures.

    As to Donna Williams, there is doubt about any given topic. That is human nature. BFB

    Gerhard Adam
    ...there is doubt about any given topic.
    Interesting perspective, except that if she isn't actually autistic, then she's also not relevant.
    Mundus vult decipi
    kwombles
    First off, Liz has NEVER been to Autism One.  Jamie Bernstein, a graduate student, went. You have no idea whether she went to do a "legitimate" piece or not (she wrote a couple pieces for different places, which you can get to from the link to Liz's piece, where she provides a list of all the relevant articles. So right from the get go, you are factually incorrect. And the fact is that Ken did not raise mayhem in 2008 and he didn't raise it this year. They don't like him because he doesn't buy into the vaccine story. If it's a conference for parents of autistic kids to attend in order to get information and to look at vendors, then why would you turn away any parent? They've also thrown out reporters and state workers. 
    What's with the appeal to pity at the end? I'm the mom of three on the spectrum. They aren't sick and they aren't afflicted, and Gerhard's given me "the time of day" and then some. What matters are the claims and the evidence. Where have any vaccine-injury folks who've commented here actually argued my claims or shown where my evidence is faulty? Nowhere.
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    There is a difference between being anti-vaccine, which some people are and have every right to be, and those who are pro-safe vaccine. You and your following are perfectly content with the status quot of injuring and maiming individuals for the greater good. Is it too much to ask for improvements. Apparently so.

    Any science site who gives this much credence to a blogger holds much to be desired.

    Yah, I bet he has........TOO FUNNY! I'd really rather you not air your dirty laundry in public.

    kwombles
    For someone who claimed they weren't coming back after the first round of posts, you sure do keep coming back.

    The problem with your argument is that no one is against making vaccines as safe as possible. For example, Paul Offit continually writes about some of the areas where we could be making vaccines safer.

    Your entire foundation is built on a strawman and such an incredibly poor grasp of knowledge that it's staggering to the mind.

    Are you two? You said Gerhard hadn't considered parents of autistic children and their plight. He has. There's no dirty laundry there. But thank you for showing yourself to be such a high class fellow.
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    Dear alienation,
    had Liz and Ken gone to Autism One with the intention of doing a legitimate piece that offered some insight

    I have never been to Autism One. The blog post I wrote was a round-up of responses to Ken and Jamie Bernstein being forcibly evicted, for the crime of having "bad vibes" -- or something.

    Have they ever bothered to ask the attendees about the usefulness of Autism One? I'd think that would have been their first thought had they honorable intentions.

    There were a handful of worthwhile presentations at Autism One -- I give them great credit, for example, for organizing the First Responders presentation on Thursday. But an organization like Autism One that would continue to promote the cruel unlicensed human experimentation and malpractice that the Geiers market...throws the whole enterprise into question.

    As if your opinion matters. and that is all it is a biased opinion. You too have a child on the spectrum do you?

    kwombles
    So fine,  our opinions don't matter. Feel free to honor both your promises to go away. We won't miss you. :)
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    I note that alienation (he or she) does not have the courage or the integrity to comment, except anonymously. Yes, I mean anonymously -- there are pseudonyms that connect to a body of work, of opinions. "alienation" isn't one of them.

    All opinions are biased, which is why we have the scientific method--a not-perfect, but better-than-the alternative method of checking reality.

    If the only people who are the status to speak about autism are parents of children with autism, the cause of autism awareness and advocacy will never make progress.

    How about adults with autism?

    How about people not themselves affected by autism who work tirelessly to improve educational, employment, and housing opportunities for those with autism? Should they shut up and go away?

    Gerhard Adam
    This seems to be a trend in many discussions where people want to exclude those that don't have direct experience from the conversation by pretending that only such direct experience can convey expertise. 

    Using a completely unrelated example, this is very common in discussing the politics of war, where many people will behave as if military service is a pre-requisite for understanding.  It is a requirement if you want to understand being in the military, but it does not magically convey foreign policy expertise simply by being in the military.

    Similarly it is clear that science does not depend on having autism or being related to someone that has it, but anecdotes do require it.  So it becomes  a tactic whereby one can claim shared experience as "evidence" that supercedes data.  In this way, the argument is framed so that popular opinion becomes the mechanism for generating "truth".
    Mundus vult decipi
    As if your opinion matters and that is all it is a biased opinion. You too have a child on the spectrum do you?

    Guess I missed out on the other sides scientific links. Hmm..... interesting you should be so concerned with this when it is a two way street.

    Gerhard Adam
    You're joking, right?  Apparently you think that if you criticize the prevailing scientific views, that I still have to provide you with the same links that you already don't accept.

    Sorry, but that's not how it works.  If you want to argue against the mainstream, then you have to provide evidence for why your view is more correct.  It isn't up to me to disprove it for you.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Not joking. You can find plenty of evidence complete with links on both sides of the argument. They most certainly are not hard to find. A simple internet search will suffice.

    And dude.....like I said, you are missing the mark completely. The Canary party contends that mainstream medicine, industry and corporate greed are using us their test subjects. Harm is sometimes, if not often, the result.

    Gerhard Adam
    The Canary party contends that mainstream medicine, industry and corporate greed are using us their test subjects.
    ... and this sounds reasonable or realistic to you?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Who else are they to use? Animals have more rights than we as human beings anymore.

    Gerhard Adam
    Now why would you say something so utterly stupid?
    Mundus vult decipi
    You have seriously not heard of using humans as test subjects? Man pull you head out! Got any kids you sign up? Maybe some grad-babies? http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20110526/FEATURES03/305260025/1012/features/University-Louisville-seeks-50-infants-study-new-vaccine?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Features|s This is but one example. Who is the stupid one now?

    The last time I checked, Utahans were people too. http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=200&sid=7522726

    Gerhard Adam
    They're volunteers in a clinical trial on the fast track to develop a vaccine before fall.
    http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=200&sid=7522726
    Were you intending to be deceitful or just missed this?  After all, if you're going to be talking about "rights", you might want to check out whose "rights" were denied.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Again, the parents have rights, the children and infants do not. True story. Maybe one day they can sue them if they suffer any adverse reactions. No, that's right congress has made sure to protect vaccine manufactures from liability. Another true story.

    I'm thinking Africans would like to be treated as human beings as well. I guess they are since, yes, we use people as test subjects. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/86174.php

    Quite often infants and children, I might add.

    Gerhard Adam
    For the study, 214 infants between 10 and 18 weeks of age were enrolled.
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/86174.php
    Once again, since this was a decision made by the parents, how was this a denial of individual rights?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Who said it was? We were discussing using humans as test subjects. We're not using humans as test subjects. Curious, I don't see any bloggers or self proclaimed experts getting in these parents' faces or writing nasty, one sided mostly nonfactual articles about these parents choices. Double standard much Science 2.0? Or don't the minds that be consider that science worthy, the testing of vaccine, esp multiple dose vaccines, on infants.

    Gerhard Adam
    Who said it was?
    You did.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    Who is the stupid one now?
    Apparently, still you, since you seem incapable of distinguishing volunteers from individuals deprive of their right to choose.
    The University of Louisville Pediatric Clinical Trials Unit is recruiting about 50 infants for a study of a combination vaccine designed to protect kids against a half-dozen diseases.
    http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20110526/FEATURES03/305260025/1012/features/University-Louisville-seeks-50-infants-study-new-vaccine?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Features|s
    Basically your original statement was little more than a lie in claiming that individuals were being deprived of rights in choosing to participate in such studies.  This is precisely why you have no credibility when it comes to such assessments.  It is clear that you simply want to push an agenda, and you don't mind lying to achieve it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Those infants gave consent? Their parents were handsomely paid as well. No ethical issue come to light for you? Really? Have you ever volunteered? Or are you too scared of potential side effects?

    Gerhard Adam
    .. and thus begins the final spiral into delusional paranoia.
    Mundus vult decipi
    That's the best you can do? Running out of legitimate response? Oh, that's right. you never offered one.

    Really? Lying how? You really don't like being caught with your pants down do you?

    But isn't it interesting how you are the hypocrite here. You take sound bites much like the media does, out of context and turn them into your own perverted version of the truth. Anyone who can read can see the CHBL was responding to Ms Wombles' snarly remark concerning the numbers of the canary party which launched a mere few days ago. It is stated as such and quite obvious to anyone without an ulterior motive to turn it around trying to cause other readers to become disdained with the commenter therein siding with you. It is old worn out tactic used frequently by anti-safe vaccineers and ND supremacists.

    As I plainly pointed out earlier, Ken and Liz were not there because they care a rats' arse about the autism community or children's health. That is not their history. They are perfectly content writing hit pieces on orgs trying to help that same community. That in and of itself would tend to make one believe they do not care about the health and well being of those individuals. Point taken.

    As for the love and concern comment. Many parents hide behind their own lack of ambition to go out and even try to find ways to help or heal their loved one with autism. It is so much easier to sit behind a keyboard and attack those who do. And GOD, there I said it, forbid they actually succeed as that cause the naysayers walls to come tumbling down, down, don leaving them exposed for who they truly are. Maybe they stand to lose the benefits the government pays them to care for their children. Perhaps they themselves seek a following and/or attention. Who knows. Not everyone is virtuous and forthright. It is cyberspace after all.

    You act as though you provided anything of use other than mean spirited dialog and spiteful, antagonistic name calling.

    I agree with CHBL, this argument is a complete waste of time and I will take it step further. I think you know it too.

    kwombles
    Again, you're factually incorrect on the Liz and Ken thing.
    What exactly does "I will take it step further" mean? Is that a threat?
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    Seriously? You would have to ask. As if you would be worthy of a threat in the first place. Take yourself down off that pedestal. WOW! Are you for real? No wonder you like it hear in scientific faux pas of a science website. They worship you here. Well, at least you all have each other. I'm out of here. Too much narcissistic lunacy for my taste.

    I wish you nothing the best and the best of luck.

    kwombles
    You keep promising you're leaving. But you keep coming back. It's a reasonable question: what do you mean that you'll take it one step further?

    Dude, you prove you're delusional if you think anyone worships me. Narcissistic lunacy. You need a hobby. :)

    Ah, but alas and alack, you ain't coming back, so I guess I'll never know what you meant. I bet you don't even know.

    You'll forgive me, given your vitriol of the last couple days and your belief that I'm too lazy to do anything to help my children, that I doubt seriously you wish me the best.
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    I do wish you the best, but of course you know EVERYTHING. Just because I do not agree with you, believe you or even care for your rhetoric, doesn't mean I don't care about what happens to you and your family. I do. It's not that hard to care about your fellow human beings. Doesn't mean you have to accept them or their choices. Even the Bible says that.

    And DUDE looks like a lady. Maybe. Who's to ever know for sure. Oh, that's right, you think you do. It fits in with the all knowing thing supremacy thing you got going on.

    kwombles
    Actually, I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong. You obviously can't attend to what you read. I wrote right in the post that admitting there are things we don't know is a liability compared to the anti-vaccine movement which promises all the answers and cures if you just try hard enough and try enough different products.

    You never argued any of the points in my article.

    Plus, you hide behind pseudonyms and swing back and forth mood-wise, as if you can't decide which persona to wear. And I'm noticing a distinct difficulty in actually going away as you keep promising.
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    Seriously? You would have to ask. As if you would be worthy of a threat in the first place. Take yourself down off that pedestal. WOW! Are you for real? No wonder you like it hear in scientific faux pas of a science website. They worship you here. Well, at least you all have each other. I'm out of here. Too much narcissistic lunacy for my taste.

    I wish you nothing the best and the best of luck.

    Gerhard Adam
    I agree with CHBL...
    I knew that was coming ...
    Mundus vult decipi
    Aren't you the exceptionally perceptive one? You seriously think there are not others who know differently than you?

    Why are we even discussing an article written by a blogger as fact or science anyway? As if she any kind of authority. She has three kids with autism. You'd think she would be the first one in line to try and get them some relief. Can't help but wonder about that one.

    kwombles
    You appear to have a serious reading comprehension problem. My kids are doing well. Go up about forty comments or so. 
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    This site isn't about science. It is about protecting vested interests.

    Gerhard Adam
    One question I did have .... did you have your child(ren) vaccinated?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    What 'vested interests'?  Who on this site gets funding from...whoever funds Big Autism...or whatever evil conspiracy you think is afoot.  You shouldn't use terms when you don't know what they mean, like 'vested interests' or 'science'.
    Gerhard Adam
    Let me demonstrate just how deluded you are.

    First you think nothing of denigrating parents with statements like this:
    Their parents were handsomely paid as well. No ethical issue come to light for you?
    Besides the obvious problem that this is NOT an ethical issue for parents with respect to the scientific tests, you nevertheless think it's perfectly legitimate to suggest that these parents are basically selling their children for experimentation.

    You then launch into a nonsensical diatribe about how infants should have rights but they can't sue drug companies.  Well perhaps if they can't sue drug companies, we should let them sue their parents.  Would that work for you?  After all, then you can be held responsible for all those decisions you made, while denying your child the right to make their own way.

    However, I notice that you have no problem in considering the ethics of charging for a "cure" when it is Raun Kauffman charging parents $2200 for five days of "getting started".

    As I said before .... no statement is too low for you to make if it helps advance your agenda.  You ought to be ashamed a making such accusations against those people that are working for answers and those parents that are willing to participate.  Instead you want to turn it into some sinister plot, while your "snake-oil" salesman is considered to be the golden boy and is well beyond any such considerations.

    I was wrong before ... you're worse than a hypocrite.

    Mundus vult decipi
    They are selling their children for experimentation. What else can you it be called. If the parents were running to get in line, they wouldn't have to pay them. DUH......

    You think becoming a parent makes one automatically inherently good?

    You really can't control your actions towards other who disagree with you can you? The name calling really shows your true character. It does not put you in a good light. If you were comfortable in your own skin, you'd have no need.

    Call me what you will. I have no need to participate in such juvenile attacks. You inability to remain civil casts doubt on you as your character is who you are. Yours.....well it is quite apparent.

    Everyone here can plainly see that either A) there is no science without angry, mean-spirited, bitter remarks that much mimic bullying or B) this is by no means about science.

    Gerhard Adam
    Oh, you're absolutely right that people can plainly see .... there's really no need for me to say anything else.  You've pretty well covered your position in a manner I never could have.
    Mundus vult decipi
    "As I plainly pointed out earlier, Ken and Liz were not there because they care a rats' arse about the autism community or children's health."

    I find this comment so hypocritical. One could pointedly argue that those who want to eliminate vaccines don't care about children or adult health at all! Autism is not a disease and doesn't kill. But Polio, and those very diseases the MMR protects against do. Should our vaccines be safe and continually tested? Of course. That's all science, my friend.

    Science has found the genes associated with Autism. You can argue conspiracy until the cows come home. Heck. we could all say our kids have been abducted by aliens and implanted with the genes.

    Those who refuse to look at facts and then create theories based on fear, are denouncing the scientific method. And no, it's not a cult or religion - science is a real study.. If the likes of Wakefield, et al had actually USED the scientific method (which states we must be ready to be wrong<\b> about our own hypothesis and theories, this argument would not exist as his fraudulent paper would have never been published.

    And furthermore...

    Why on earth do parents trust scientifically "untested" cures? I seriously do not understand how one can dispute actual scientific study as conspiracy but believe Dr. Quack down the street because one's neighbor's best friend's nephew's child was "cured" by the snake oil Dr. Quack is selling for the "low low" price of $5000 per treatment?!!?!?

    I do question everything. I rarely take anything at face value. I don't exactly believe that the Pharmaceutical industry has all our best interests at heart as they are for-profit, not for-people. That is why we must depend on research.

    We do over medicate the human population for things such as blood pressure and cholesterol which could (and should) be changed by fixing our dietary intake. We don't take care of ourselves as a species and therefore depend on drugs to fix that. And of course, the pharma industry is cashing in on our weakness as a people.

    But to presume theirs some hidden agenda to poison an entire world by labeling the poison as a prevention, is right up there with the communist scare of the 1950s or the Alien abduction theories of today.

    I get that parent's are sometimes desperate because we've been told our lives are hopeless because of Autism. That in of itself, is quackery. Autism isn't really the problem, after all - it's society's refusal to accept differences and fear them, instead.

    Thanks for the nice article Kim!

    My purpose in going to the AutismOne Conference was to try to understand what makes the anti-vaccine movement so compelling. As Vice President of the Women Thinking Free Foundation, I help run the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated! pro-immunization campaign. For too long, the science community has assumed we can just put all the information out there and everyone will just see that the evidence is on our side. I'm a firm believer that this doesn't work for everyone and I think the rise in the anti-vaccine movement supports that. I think the lessons we can take from the anti-vaccine proponents is that feelings sell. The anti-vaccine movement has a touchy-feely kind of message. I think the pro-vaccine movement could also use a little touchy-feely messages on top of the science and evidence. That is what we're trying to do with the Hug Me! campaign and one of the things I went to the AutismOne conference to learn more about.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    kwombles
    Thank you, Jamie.

    I think we're both in agreement here; they win people over for several reasons, most of them emotional ones.

    As long as parents experience doctors who dismiss and downplay their concerns regarding their children's development, though, we're going to lose them to a movement that has professionals who will charge top dollar to listen endlessly and feed back assurances that cures are to be found.

    It's easy to understand how frustrated and frightened parents can be; my oldest was four before the medical profession finally acknowledged there was an issue with his development, and our experiences with psychiatrists and psychologists the following four years were pretty much nightmarish. I can understand how parents who experience something similar would become angry, bitter, and convinced that mainstream medicine and science has turned their backs on them.

    This has to be taken into account when offering an effective, more productive alternative. And I think we have to consider that perhaps our entire approach may need to shift; there's some decent research suggesting that when myths are offered with the countering correct information, it's the myth that's remembered as right and not the corrections. Perhaps only providing factual information (along with a non-fallacious appeal to emotion) may be more effective in the long run.
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    Soap Opera? Who the hell takes this seriously?
    What a bunch of useless generalizations.

    It's quite humourous that Reibel and Ms. Bernstein claim that they were doing nothing and did nothing to violate any of the conference policies. And then, all of the "Science-based" religious nuts are going into histrionics about how mean and nasty Autism-one was to two innocent and sweet people who were just curious about what Autism-one was about.

    And yet, Ms. Bernstein openly admits she was taking pictures.

    http://www.autismone.org/content/autismone-conference-policies

    “No recording of any type is allowed without prior written permission. Any individual using audio, video, or other recording or photographic devices without current written authorization from the conference organizers may be required to leave the conference.”

    I wonder if maybe THAT was why they were kicked out.

    It's also absolutely hilarious that Ms. Wombles talks about building community and such, yet she feels compelled to insult and belittle anyone whom she disagrees with. Oh, but don't you dare insult her back...that's just wrong.

    kwombles
    So glad you were thoroughly amused, Caro. 
    I think we should absolutely work to build community; I think that at the core that's what your "side" is attempting to do: to create an in-group of like-minded individuals. I happen to think we ought to be building a more diverse, inclusive community, but to be absolutely honest, I am absolutely fine if you aren't in that community. :) 
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    My "side" has nothing to do with my statement. I was commenting on your duplicity and the inability of those like yourself to understand that if someone breaks rules like Mr. Reibel and Ms. Bernstein did, then it is perfectly legitimate for the organizers of the event that the fore-mentioned individuals attended are well within their rights to remove the offenders from said event. Complaints of the unfairness of the removal are simply silly and childish.

    As to your comment about not including me in your community? I'm fine with that. You are merely building a clique and cult, and I have far better things to do than sit and pat myself on the back for how I 'Got 'dem anti-vaxxers good...hyuck hyuck hyuck."

    The most hilarious thing about your little cult is that you science-worshippers claim to be science based. Science is not a religion, but a tool.

    By the way, just wanted to let you know...your Einstein quote is ironically appropriate for your mindset. Thanks for the chuckles, dear.

    kwombles
    Yeah, I don't think you actually read what I wrote up in my post about the removal of Ken. I didn't complain it was unfair. I wrote that it was expected.

    Dear, the same can be said of your side: it is a cult (oh, wait, I did compare it to a cult, didn't I?).  I can actually state I spend no time sitting around patting myself on the back, especially in relation to anti-vaxxers.

    And I'm not at all surprised you find the Einstein quote ironic. Read the opening paragraph of the piece again.

    You (generic) keep writing that science is a tool, but it's obvious you have no idea how to use it.

    Keep chuckling. I've read somewhere that big egoes hide small...what was it again? :-)
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    So, since I don't agree with you, I must be anti-vax? Is that it? You've proven my point explicitly. You have no idea who I am, nor do you have any idea what my views on this subject are. But, since I point out the fact that you are talking out of both sides of your mouth, then I am obviously someone who is "against science." If I am not with you, then I am against you. So yes, a cult.

    "I can actually state I spend no time sitting around patting myself on the back, especially in relation to anti-vaxxers."

    I won't call you deliberately dishonest here...you may actually believe this. But, this statement is false, nonetheless.

    "You (generic) keep writing that science is a tool, but it's obvious you have no idea how to use it."

    The irony and hypocrisy in that statement are quite possibly the most hilarious thing I've read in weeks!

    Thanks luv. Do continue...you have no idea how ridiculous your blathering is.

    "Keep chuckling. I've read somewhere that big egoes hide small...what was it again? :-) "

    So, then that includes yourself, yes? Because you've quite clearly demonstrated that your ego is remarkably large.

    kwombles
    Hah. :-) I'm so glad we've both amused the other today. It's so totally what I was going for.

    Yeah, yeah, the anti-vaccine side has the lock on science; they're not anti-vaccine; they're just pro-safety; it's all a pharma plot. Whatever. Again, I'd point out the opening paragraph. I get it: if you think it, you're right. Since we completely disagree and I worship science as a religion (I don't, but hey, don't let that get in the way of your compelling narrative), I'm wrong. Gotcha, and amusing in just how wrong I am.
     
    You post at Huffington. I've read your comments there.

    Yes, my ego is vast. I contain multitudes, don't you know? (to steal from Whitman)


    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    Hank
    It's the precautionary principle gone amok, really.  Unless science can prove in an infinite universe that nothing causes autism, then nothing can be allowed.

    I am as suspicious and distrustful of pharmaceutical companies as anyone - literally, the rolling out of new vaccines every time they lose a lawsuit over old drugs is a cynical ploy in my mind, designed to mitigate increasingly narrow diseases and make billions doing it - and parents were certainly right to look for answers when diagnoses were rising and causes were unclear.   But when the science issue has been examined on one potential cause and there's nothing there, there's nothing there.   It isn't being blinded by science to accept science, it's simply not being an anti-science zealot.
    I post at Huffington? Really? Are you certain of that? So, a claim without all of the evidence. I see.

    Or could my name be similar to someone who posts there. You see, that is the nature of anonymity...I could be anyone. But, you know all about that, don't you?

    I fail to see where I mentioned that anyone has a grasp on science. The only one here who has implied that is you.

    Scientists accept the possibility that they could be wrong. I have yet to see anyone in your little cult who legitimately believes that.

    My job here is done. But, feel free to have the last word if you wish. I'm quite certain it will be a sarcastic dismissal or quibbling about something I've said, taking it out of context and twisting it to your purpose. Or, you'll claim I'm anti-science because I disagree with you. Really...I'd amuse myself more, but you are entirely too predictable.

    Gerhard Adam
    Scientists accept the possibility that they could be wrong. I have yet to see anyone in your little cult who legitimately believes that.
    A comment like that is simply a twisted version of reality.  Of course, scientists accept the possibility of being wrong, unless they're not wrong.  How can they tell?  Its called data.  Scientists don't wonders if Newton's theories are wrong, every time they perform an experiment.  They don't wonder if the laws of chemistry will hold up today.  These are things that are known, and they are not going to be questioned, nor will any scientist consider the possibility that they are wrong.

    This is typically a subterfuge to allow all manner of crackpot ideas in, because if they aren't taken seriously, the accusation is leveled that one is not being "scientific" by considering the possibility.  However, that's not true.  Science requires evidence and the evidence doesn't support the opposing views of the anti-vax crowd.   Now, if someone can produce actual evidence and not simply anecdotes, or claims that others don't know what they're talking about, then perhaps there would be a basis for a scientific discussion. 

    So, your comment is disingenuous, since it isn't about producing additional evidence.  You can argue that I don't know you, or don't know anything about you, but I don't really need to, since you've clearly identified the kind of person you are in your posts.  You aren't interested in having a realistic discussion .... you simply want to post your agenda and "laugh" about it.  Well, I hope you're amused, because anyone that thinks any of this is amusing, is truly the fool.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Hmmm...what agenda? The factthat he was pointing out that Kimmie was being a hypocrite means he has an agenda? Brilliant!!

    And I think you're missing the point. No, I'm wrong...you are missing the point. From what I can gather from your post, you are saying that science has looked at all possibilities with vaccines and autism and that vaccines do not cause autism. This is an unscientific statement simply because of the fact that a scientist will not make such a claim without all of the evidence. If they haven't actually studied the children who are alleged to have developed autism from a vaccine, then the data is incomplete. No subterfuge involved in that whatsoever. Maybe a bit of paranoia on your part, though.

    The amusement, in my opinion, is that those like Kimmie who claim to be science based and who then laugh about these parents who claim that their children were injured by vaccines, dismissing their claims without reviewing all of the evidence are the true fools, and that they deserve nothing but the same scorn and ridicule that they aim at those they disagree with.

    kwombles
    "Kimmie?" Ouch. I'm mortally wounded now, especially given how you read the piece on my personal blog about name-calling just a couple days ago. :-) 
    Yeah, yeah, we got it, you don't like me. I deserve your scorn. What's new? 
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    "I'm mortally wounded now, especially given how you read the piece on my personal blog about name-calling just a couple days ago"

    Excuse me?

    kwombles
    (Shhh, it can be our secret)
    I'm sorry, you didn't?


    Oh well, it was a good one. Lots of pictures...
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    Perhaps you can explain instead of using childish innuendos?

    kwombles


    Ah, here and I thought I was protecting your privacy and all.

    Nah, I'll just share one of my favorites. Mint is lovely, isn't it, when it flowers?
    Not only do you have the lovely scent, all the little blooms are gorgeous, and the bees and other insects love it. They flock to it.

    Listen, you've obviously got some temper issues and I'm sure it's a tremendously liberating feeling and all to let that rage spew over and everything, but maybe you could go stand in a corner and tantrum instead? It'd probably be more productive for you. I hate to think of your blood pressure rising over my posts.

    See, I've read rants like that before. A lot. And since you're not going to offer anything substantive other than to ratchet up the name calling and vitriol (nice work), then what's the point? Those kinds of rants don't work to get me irritated, just as the condescension you offer doesn't move me. 

    Didn't you get that's the whole point of this post? Neither side is going to be moved by the other side. Both sides have people on them who really despise the other side. We know that; it's not new. It's not changing. So why keep doing it? Unless it's nothing more than a solitaire game to you?

    If you've read my first blog and have history with me (and you made that abundantly clear in what you've written here), then you know that I always from the get-go acknowledged vaccine injuries occur and that we need to do everything we can to make sure vaccines are as safe as possible. Why I even had someone (ahem) share his story because I think it's important people don't forget that vaccine injuries do happen. 

    What cannot be denied is that people change their memories, usually unintentionally, to match their current belief system. Memory is malleable. I'm not interested in arguing personal narratives (says so right on my blog on what I believe and why); with memory being so faulty and with the internet allowing records of changing stories, it just isn't worth it: the truth can't be figured out at a personal level. Not after the fact, and maybe not even during. Our biases cloud everything. At least when we're talking about how two events relate. We're good at making illusory correlations. Really good. Hey, maybe I'm even doing it now!

    So, instead I'd prefer to focus on the scientific studies that show no evidence of a link between autism and vaccines. If 15 cases of intussusception can be detected and linked to the first rotavirus vaccine through the VAERS reporting system, causing the vaccine to be taken off the market quickly, then why do you think a link between vaccines and autism couldn't be found?

    Much more productive than rants and name-calling, especially without any substantiation. Of course, I'm a hypocrite, so what do I know?


     
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    Ah...I see what's going on now.

    First off, I got the link to this site from a friend on Facebook. My wife happens to be named Kim, and I always call her Kimmie (or her middle name), so I didn't realize that I had written that in my earlier comment, and I didn't realize that you were taking it as an insult because I didn't see it as such.

    I am at work right now, so it took me a moment to realize what you were implying. So, I will take a few moments of my time to educate you a little on WAN's and proxies.

    You see, the company I work for has thousands of employees and hundreds of sites around the world. All North American pipelines terminate at a single site (essentially, the proxy). So, no matter how many people in the US access a site, and no matter where they are in the US, it will look as if the ip address comes from a single site. So, it would appear as if someone in my company read your site. I haven't been to your site in quite some time....months, I would say. I simply have not had the time or the stomach.

    Furthermore, you take my post as being a rant. No...I was highly entertained at the hypocrisy from yourself and the person I responded to. No anger, but merely my usual sarcastic banter. I should be angry at people who laugh and mock parents who celebrate a child's progress and how that progress made them feel, but then I consider the source and realize that such people really aren't worth my time or anger. They are already suffering from an over inflated sense of self-worth, so why should I add to that delusion?

    My point is that you are dismissing something without all of the evidence. Oh, sure, science has looked, but it didn't ask the right questions. It didn't look at the right things. Start looking at the children who were injured and find out what's going on.

    But, I can see that you are opposed to that because you are afraid of what they'll find, and it might shatter your carefully engineered view of the world and destroy your faith. Worst of all, you might be wrong. I've already accepted the fact that I could be wrong, just that I haven't seen enough evidence to fully convince me. I've been able to look at evidence in the past and change my mind about something that's important to me; if you don't believe me, just read my site (since you know who I am).

    Have you?

    That sounds like Emerson Electric!

    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but you're simply an arrogant fool.  I have neither the time or patience to waste with someone that understands science so poorly and thinks the whole issue is simply amusing.
    This is an unscientific statement simply because of the fact that a scientist will not make such a claim without all of the evidence.
    .. and you think telling stories is evidence?  This is precisely why such discussions are a waste of time with people like you.  You think that it's productive to keep pursuing avenues of investigation for which no connection exists, because you stubbornly assume that a connection must be there.  Instead of recognizing that there is more to be learned, you insist on the validity of data which doesn't exist.  The scorn and ridicule isn't based on disagreement.  It's based on someone using pseudoscience as a vehicle for introduce crackpot ideas and even worse .... promoting agendas where people can profit off of others desire to obtain help and/or solutions. 

    Just as the point of Raun Kauffman mentioned earlier.  Here is an individual that has supposedly found a solution, but instead of sharing it, seeks to personally profit from it.  A series of thousand dollar seminars .... just as if he were telling you the secrets of buying real estate.  Yeah, that's real credible. 

    If you truly had evidence, then you'd present it (and not simply more anecdotes from others that think science is wrong).  If you truly had evidence, then you wouldn't be laughing about it and think its hilarious that others don't know the "secret".  Instead, by your mere attitude, I can already tell that you're simply someone that likes to blather on and on about what science is, or should be without actually being capable of contributing anything yourself.
    Mundus vult decipi
    "Sorry, but you're simply an arrogant fool. I have neither the time or patience to waste with someone that understands science so poorly and thinks the whole issue is simply amusing"

    And that is the pot calling the kettle black.

    ".. and you think telling stories is evidence?"

    Context helps. You are making a claim without looking at the children who got sick. Sorry, but you're simply an arrogant moron. I told no stories, just that if you are going to say vaccines don't cause autism without looking at the children who got sick, and only using flawed epidemiological evidence, then you are more of a fool than those you are calling fools. Go have a look in the mirror.

    I make no claims of knowing the answers. I make no claims of having a solution. Just study the kids who got sick. You know, children who have been compensated by the NVICP for vaccine induced encepalopathy. I laugh because cretins such as yourself claim to be scientists and yet can't understand that real scientists don't make claims like you do without all of the data.

    "Instead, by your mere attitude, I can already tell that you're simply someone that likes to blather on and on about what science is, or should be without actually being capable of contributing anything yourself."

    Ditto.

    Have a nice day, imbecile

    Gerhard Adam
    Obviously, I hit a nerve.
    Mundus vult decipi
    No, I'm just responding in exactly the same tone as you have. You know, calling you a fool and such like you did me. Are you going to go cry now because I know more than one word for fool and that my vocabulary is larger?

    If you don't like how you're being treated, stop treating others the way you do.

    Or maybe the earlier poster and I struck a nerve by pointing out how unscientific and hypocritical you and others were being.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...by pointing out how unscientific and hypocritical you and others were being.
    Oh hardly.  I'm not intimidated by people who think that science revolves around asking any inane question that comes to mind and then stomping their feet when they are dismissed by the adults.  You seem to be under the illusion that those of us supporting the scientific view are simply fooling ourselves (or worse, the typical accusation is that we are intentionally plotting to hurt children), but, once again, that's just the childishness of "stomping one's feet". 

    If you were actually serious, you'd propose serious ideas with data that explains why it is a worthy line of investigation.  Instead, people like you revel in being able to argue that scientists are blind or ignorant or stupid, simply because your simplistic idea is dismissed.  You conveniently overlook the fact that it is dismissed, because it has no merit.  Of course, you then argue that scientists asked the wrong questions (although it is never mentioned what exactly the "right" questions are).  More to the point, it demonstrates a naive view that somehow such issues are resolved by simply asking a few people what they think, and drawing some conclusion as demonstrated repeatedly on some 60 minute television program where science is done in flashes of genius and problems are solved within an hour (except for commercial breaks).

    The real world doesn't work that easily, and it is highly plausible that few reasonable explanations will surface for decades.  However, one thing is absolutely assured.  No question will be answered by pursuing dead-ends, or engaging with people that think they know better, but insist on contributing nothing useful to the conversation.

    So, go ahead ... laugh, pat yourself on the back, or maintain the arrogant stance that only you know the real answer or approach to an answer.  But, in the end, I am also assured, that you won't have contributed one useful piece of data to whatever solution is eventually found.
    Mundus vult decipi
    "If you were actually serious, you'd propose serious ideas with data that explains why it is a worthy line of investigation."

    You obviously can't read, because I have done just that. Look at the children who were injured. Why? Because we need to understand the mechanism that caused their injury. If you cannot see the merit in that line of investigation, then you are neither a scientist nor a remotely intelligent and compassionate human being.

    "The real world doesn't work that easily, and it is highly plausible that few reasonable explanations will surface for decades. However, one thing is absolutely assured. No question will be answered by pursuing dead-ends, or engaging with people that think they know better, but insist on contributing nothing useful to the conversation"

    So, without looking at the children who were injured, you dismiss all future contributions to that research because, you say, it's a dead end. Pathetic. I agree...engaging with people who think they know better...you, for instance...is contributing nothing useful to the conversation. Which is something I have yet to see you do...other than to insult and condescendingly remark how much better you are.

    "So, go ahead ... laugh, pat yourself on the back, or maintain the arrogant stance that only you know the real answer or approach to an answer. "

    I don't see myself laughing or patting myself on the back. I do see an arrogant stance though (pointing to you). And again, illiteracy doesn't help with the scientific method because I clearly stated that I don't have all the answers, nor do I have the real answer. In fact, the only ones who are doing that are those dimwits like yourself who are so assured that you know the answers.

    Sorry to burst your bubble...

    Most of the NVICP claims for encephalopathy were associated with DTP. But it has never been scientifically demonstrated that DTP causes encephalopathy. So your argument makes little sense.

    Hey, so since she thinks you're anti-vax, you must be so! If she thinks you're this person who posts on this site somewhere, then it MUST be you! Bravo!!! The cognitive dissonance must be profound!

    Hypocrites make me laugh...a lot

    My "side" has nothing to do with my statement. I was commenting on your duplicity and the inability of those like yourself to understand that if someone breaks rules like Mr. Reibel and Ms. Bernstein did, then it is perfectly legitimate for the organizers of the event that the fore-mentioned individuals attended are well within their rights to remove the offenders from said event.

    Which rule was I breaking, Caro?

    "I think this played out exactly as everyone expected it would and provided the opportunity for each side to reinforce its own narrative and draw its own members closer. It's what people do."
    Seems pretty clear that you aren't defending or criticizing the position of either AutismOne or Ken. Just saying that the expected happened. Now-each side can be mad about it.

    The last few comments directed at you have really nothing to do with the post. Yet-they prove the points that you made.

    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits." Albert Einstein

    Using Einstein to imply you are a genius and ergo right, is simply a disgrace.
    Or are you the other one in that quote?

    kwombles




    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    I was invited to attend AutismOne by a bio-med parent who lives in the Chicago area. We were messaging via Facebook a few months ago about biomedical treatments and autism recovery, and he challenged me to attend AutismOne this year "to see how parents are recovering their children." I registered under my own name, and used my AutismNewsBeat gmail address. My name was on the credit card I used to pay the $25 cost to attend. I did not sneak in, and nobody has alleged that my conduct was anything but proper.

    I have yet to hear a reasonable explanation for why Jamie and I were kicked out, and I don't expect to read one here.

    Well now, Mr. Reibel, the answer to that is really quite simple. Because you have proven yourself to not be trustworthy in these matters in the past many times over is precisely why you were asked to leave. It's not rocket science. Just as much of what we debate about pertaining to autism is not. I am surprised anyone really had to spell that out for you. You are unaware of your own reputation within the community? I have my doubts. I think playing the victim simply suits you and furthers your cause.

    Frankly, I have a really hard time imagining "grown-ups" with nothing better to do than continue to whine and "debate" over this issue five months later. You do yourselves no favors here.

    kwombles
    Ma'am,
    The article is dated May 31st. Ken's comment was dated in June. You are the one who has come here five months later to debate.
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    The title alone says it all. What was Ms. Wombles and her posse thinking? It's not completely one-sided and intended to bait others? Seriously? Please. And you expect to be treated with dignity and fair play in return. Because that is what you do? ICK! Make me sick. Take a long hard look at your own whining selves, please. Any semblance of fairness is lost in the title, so why bother with any of you. Good grief.....

    kwombles
    Why change your name to make it appear you have reinforcements? That's a good question, don't you think? 
    I don't think you actually read the article or even understood the title, but if it indeed makes you ill, ma'am, I suggest you move along. There's absolutely no reason for you to suffer indigestion over an article that's five months old.
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    Frankly, I have a really hard time imagining why ASD mom would have nothing better to do than continue to whine and "debate" over this issue five months later. My last comment was five months ago.