Booted out of AutismOne

The AutismOne conference was greatly disrupted by a couple of skeptics who jumped up on stage carrying banners proclaiming “Death of all purveyors of Woo”, so they were ejected … er no, that is not quite right, so let us step back and get the facts right.

AutismOne is woo central for the anti-vax movement, this is the conference for the folks who believe that Vaccines cause Autism. There is one little problem with that belief, it is not true, there is no evidence for it. Many studies have been conducted and all conclude “No evidence”. Much of the current anti-vaccine hype comes from a chap called Andrew Wakefield who wrote a paper that linked vaccines to Autism, but a few serious problems later emerged. He had huge financial conflicts of interest and he also faked the data, so his paper was redacted and he was struck off the medical register for ethics violations (he cannot call himself a Dr in the UK anymore). So how did the AutismOne folks react when this happened last year? They gave him an award. Now that in itself tells you all you need to know about the credibility and ethics of these folks.

What happened this year is that skeptic, Jamie Bernstein, and Journalist Ken Reibel (pictured here) registered and attended, but were spotted and rapidly ejected by 3 security guards and 4 police officers. They were just quietly attending the talks, taking notes, when … as described by Jamie

As we walked back into the convention, Ken pointed out a few women who were giving him shocked looks — he thought he was recognized.

I stopped at a booth that was selling hyperbaric chambers for autistic children and got out my camera to take a picture. Immediately, the director of AutismOne, Teri Arranga, was at my side telling me that pictures were absolutely not allowed. I apologized and told her I hadn’t realized that since it wasn’t written anywhere and I had seen people taking pictures all day. She said it was on signs all over the conference and offered to show me. I agreed, so she got her friend to go grab one of the signs.

The sign they showed me said that audio and video recordings were not allowed, but said nothing about still photography. When I pointed this out, Teri snapped that it was on a different sign and sent her friend to go grab that one. Her rudeness was starting to make me nervous, so I continued to apologize for taking the photo, said I believed her about the sign, promised to delete the photo and asked if I could leave. She ignored all that and instead asked me if I knew Ken Reibel. I said that I did since I wanted to cooperate and be honest.

That’s when hotel security showed up. With no explanation, Teri left Ken and me with three confused officers. I kept asking if I was in trouble, but the guards just responded that they weren’t sure what it was about but had been asked to watch us.

A police officer walked up to Ken and me and said, “Are you aware that you have been asked to leave?” We both replied that no one had previously mentioned kicking us out, but that we would cooperate and go if they wanted us to. From our point of view, it seemed like Teri must have told the police that she had asked us to leave and we refused. This never happened, though.

At this point, Teri said she wanted my camera film… which is kind of a strange thing to ask since this is 2011 and most cameras don’t use film anymore. I told her I didn’t have film, but would be happy to delete the pictures I took. The police officer said that would be fine, but Teri would have none of it. With a shaking voice, she snapped “No, I demand the film!” I said (again) I didn’t have any film, it being a digital camera and all, but took my camera out and erased the two pictures that were on there. She seemed unhappy with this result, but was unable to overturn the police decision.

At this point, Teri and a police officer took Ken aside and I was questioned by the remaining Lombard police officers. They took down all my personal information and kept asking me paranoid questions like “Are you a journalist?” “Do you work for a magazine?” and “Who sent you here?” I answered all questions truthfully, though they weren’t happy with the answers. They seemed convinced I was some big-shot reporter for a magazine and kept harping on that point as I continued to deny such a thing. I kept asking the police if I was in trouble or if I’d done something wrong. They told me I wasn’t in trouble but that they just had to take down my information.

When Teri got back with Ken and the other police officer, we were told that we were being given a trespassing warning and would be arrested if we came back.

So there you have it, you have now been warned. If you ever dare to show up at AutismOne and simply don’t agree with their viewpoint, they will call the police and have you ejected … not for asking awkward questions, or even expressing a different view, but simply for being there and not thinking the same thoughts … truly a very Orwellian moment.

Finally, here are a couple of great links for you all …

  • Jamie writes on Skepchick here about the conference  … this is Part One, so read this first
  • Jamie then continues the story of how they got kicked out over at Friendly Atheist here … this is Part two
  • Journalist Ken Reibel,  who has a son with autism, writes for Autism News Beat, and was interviewed on the Penn & Teller: Bullshit! episode about vaccines, writes about what happened on his blog here
  • Orac also blogs about it here on Respectful Insolence
  • Finally, Jamie is Vice President of the Women Thinking Free Foundation, and often does pro-immunization advocacy work within the context of their Hug Me! I’m Vaccinated! campaign. She has previously written about anti-vaxers here and here.

Update: Here are a couple more great links (Thanks Liz)

49 thoughts on “Booted out of AutismOne”

  1. @Amy

    When it comes to illnesses, things are not ever so simple as car–dog–injured doggy.

    There are a whole host of other factors of which you may not be even remotely aware: aspects of biology that you can’t see, other environmental factors, etc. “I saw it with my own eyes!” is not good enough because, quite frankly, we’re all fallible human beings with really quite poor observation and recall skills, particularly when we’re close to the situation and emotions are running high. Lots of biases can creep into our interpretation of what happened. That’s where science steps in to control for all (or at least as many as possible) of those other factors that we don’t take into account, to try to figure out what really happened.

    Now, I’m not discounting your account. It may have happened that way. I just want to make clear that eyewitness accounts, contrary to popular belief, are very often unreliable, especially when what is being observed involves many complex variables.

  2. “Kelly” – It’s not nice to write over-the-top spoofs to make fun of parents with concerns about vaccines. No matter how much you hate doctors who sell fake cures, and bogus tests, it does no good to write parodies that portray the victims of the frauds as people with delusions of grandeur who can’t find the shift key. Next time, simply point out the facts of the matter, and you’ll do more good.

  3. That’s hilarious! It’s like saying: The car hit the dog, I saw it, but just because I witnessed it first hand… does not mean it actually happened?

  4. I don’t understand how bearing witness to a horrible illness will give you insight into what the actual cause was.

    You are the one who has to deal with a loved one going through pain, you’re the one who has to care for them day in, day out, and that is clearly very difficult, and you should be applauded for it.

    Unfortunately, I can easily see how being in that situation, having a passionate and direct emotional connection to it makes it difficult to seriously consider that you don’t have all the answers.

    The facts simply don’t indicate any real connection between vaccines and autism. Insisting that you just know the answer, and you just want to be left alone, while spreading a message that is causing children to die from preventable diseases is deplorable.

  5. And dadgumit I was not done. We…we watched what happened to our kids. You were not there. WE WERE. Perhaps if those who are in the pro-dangerous camp witnessed a vaccine reaction up close and personal…but I would not wish that on ANYONE. Our lives are hell. Our kids are sick, and why in the hell you people won’t leave us alone and let us DO OUR JOBS insteadead of being so damned fixated on what we are doing…is beyond me. I’m not harassing you on how you feed your kids or dress them or teach them or how you heal them when they are sick….so by God, don’t tell me what I’m doing for my son is crazy. Screw you. This is MY child. Not yours. Keep playing Russian Roulette with your kids….least I have the comfort of knowing that I am fighting on the side of RIGHT..and someday….your children, and your grandchildren….will thank me for it. Vaccines cause autism….among a plethora of multiple disorders……GET OVER IT. LEAVE US ALONE.

  6. @SpecialNeedsMom

    We need to do everything we reasonably can to ensure the safety of children. Any serious complication is one too many. But here’s the thing: the question boils down to choosing between serious complications from a disease or serious complications from a vaccine. With that choice, we need to look at the relative risks, and when we do, we very quickly see that the diseases prevented by vaccines pose a much, much greater risk to children’s health than the vaccines, sometimes by as much as 1,000 times.

    I am very sorry that you have had horrible experiences. Vaccines are safe, as much as anything in life can be called safe. If you want 100% safety, you’re never, ever going to get it, since nothing is 100% safe. But we can do our best to get as close as possible to that ideal, and for the most part, we do. There will always be a risk, and sometimes, the dice may fall against us. We may be that 1 in 1,000,000, and it sucks. That’s the reason that the vaccine court exists, because sometimes s**t happens beyond anyone’s control, and the families affected deserve to be compensated for that.

    The consensus of science, however, shows that autism is not caused by vaccines, despite the understandably convincing appearance that they do. But under controlled observation, we find the truth. We know some of the causes (Reyes’ Syndrome, Fragile X, etc.) and scientists are trying to figure out more. It’s slow going and may not give the immediate comfort and relief that parents are looking for, but they are trying very hard.

    I hope you’ll take a look at sources of factual info, rather than sites like Age of Autism, Generation Rescue, Mercola and so forth. You deserve to learn the truth, and it pisses me off to no end that there are those who have lied to you.

  7. Hmmm. My son has the measles virus constantly replicating in his body, causing severe inflammation in his brain, along with a herpes virus. Where did those come from? He also has severe oxidation damage, a failing liver, adrenal stress, thyroid issues, seizures and a gut lining that looks like World War III. Now, for me to want to heal my child over the damage that vaccines did to him (yes, vaccines, because momma didn’t spoonfeed these viruses to him as a child)…I’m considered a whackjob??? When your children have a cold, do you not give them medicine?? I am working my ass off to heal my son. I am pro-safety, anti-dangerous…it would seem that you who support a now mandated-36-vaccines before the age of 2 are pro-dangerous and anti-safety. The CDC and FDA are not your friends. They publish their own safety reports…fox watching the henhouse. I am saddened to constantly have these battles and fight for what is right. The rise in ALL childhood disorders, including autism, adhd, asthma, allergies, diabetes, cancers….is rising at a staggering rate. Why do you refuse to believe that multiple vaccines, this onslaught of toxins thrown into our babies, destroying their immune systems and livers and brains…why?? I refuse to argue, I refuse to do battle with the pro-vax camp. I am instead immensely saddened because you refuse to believe what is right in front of you.

  8. Okay – maybe you’re not paid by a quack, though you’ve provided no proof. Maybe you could consider that the people who are freely allowing you to post here are honest, unlike the people who are so afraid of dissent that they must call the police.

  9. @ Andrew re: “probably paid by a quack”

    I’d love to know when you are sending me a check.

  10. Dave wrote: Vaccines are safe, there is no scientific doubt, you have been deceived and tricked by being lied to.

    So then the CDC is lying about the MMR causing low platelet counts resulting in internal bleeding in my baby.

    So then the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program must not even exist, because “vaccines are safe”.

    @ Andrew reall : “probably paid by a quack”

    • Oh dear – someone who calls herself a “Special Needs Mom” is attacking real parents of autistic children, like Ken Reibel – who uses his real name. I totally believe that you are a

  11. Dave wrote: Vaccines are safe, there is no scientific doubt, you have been deceived and tricked by being lied to.

    Please feel free to look my mother in the eye, and tell her that. Or every other person who has been injured by a “safe” vaccine. Think she is deceiving you when she has no feeling from her chest down from her toes? I don’t need scientific doubt when I have witnessed and lived through that.

  12. “There’s no point in even commenting further as the real truth is that none of you give a damn about our children and their injuries, disabilities, and deaths.”

    Notice how your posts appear on this website, even though you are insulting and probably paid by a quack to spread disinformation. It’s almost like people who have facts on their side aren’t afraid to confront lies.

    Meanwhile parents of autistic children are thrown out of “AutismOne.”

  13. SpecialneedsMom … you have been lied to, and you have believed the lie …

    1) Poul Thorsen had his name on the paper, but was never the primary or secondary author, it is not his study. Yep, he got done for fraud and embezzlement of CDC grant money and suddenly he has been elevated to being the prime mover and shaker of the Danish studies (which must be quite a surprise to him). The studies still stand, all you actually have is an attempt to discredit the study by association.

    As for Thorsen, if he is indeed proven to have stuck him hand in the research till, then off the jail … no quibble about that.

    2) You have been told that the Danish studies are the primary foundation upon which the science exonerating MMR and thimerosal-containing vaccines as a cause of autism rests, it never was

    What you are spouting is the denialist technique of spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) about vaccines.

    However, lets try a small thought. If the studies were somehow completely discredited as a result of Thorsen’s financial chicanery with grant funds, it would not be enough for scientists to call into question the scientific consensus that neither the MMR nor thimerosal are associated with an increased risk for autism. The reason is that there’s so much other evidence that is consistent with the Danish studies and similarly shows that neither the MMR nor thimerosal in vaccines is associated with autism.

    Scientific consensus is never ever based on one study, two studies, or a handful of studies. A scientific consensus is based on examining all the evidence from all relevant studies, deciding which studies are most methodologically powerful, and then synthesizing it all into a conclusion.

    Vaccines are safe, there is no scientific doubt, you have been deceived and tricked by being lied to.

  14. There’s no point in even commenting further as the real truth is that none of you give a damn about our children and their injuries, disabilities, and deaths.

    In the end you will all just want to continue twisting the truth. Our children & every other child who is vaccine injured will always be an acceptable loss to you. Why should you care? What’s one more dead or maimed baby to you? As long as it’s all about “the benefits outweighing the risks” and only affecting a “significantly low” population that just so happens to include my babies. The truth is people like you will never give a damn until it happens to you personally. And I wish, hope and pray that it never does, because that means yet another baby was hurt or killed and added to the vaccine body count.

  15. @ Liz – cite the study. As I just stated, the MMR nearly killed my son. All I want is safe vaccines on a safe schedule for for all children. No one should have to endure what my baby did. No mother should ever have to watch her child nearly bleed to death because she did what she was supposed to and got her baby vaccinated. No mother should have to watch her child have seizures as a reaction to the vaccine. I can go on and on. They are NOT safe for everyone, so why should everyone be mandated to take them?? What is wrong for asking for accountability for products that do harm? They kill children, they leave them completely disabled for life. Not one of you can deny that there ARE deaths and injuries related to vaccines. Yet you sit here and judge us. For what?? For wanting better for our children. For wanting them to be safe and healthy???

  16. @ Todd… So many parents have been told in order to have a successful case for vaccine injury you need to leave off the autism diagnosis and instead go with the encephalopathy & mitochondrial issues.

    So let’s talk acceptable losses. How many children is an acceptable loss to you? In fact, let’s go even further and get away from the autism-vaccine injury conversation and just talk about vaccine injuries period. My child nearly died from the MMR. It’s well documented by the CDC that MMR “…may cause low platelet count”. That’s a bit misleading. My son had virtually no platelets left in his body. He nearly died from internal bleeding. Is that an acceptable loss or risk to you??? Not one of you will answer my question. What is so wrong about me as a parent wanting the vaccines that are injected into my children to be safe and administered on a safe schedule?????????

  17. If you want to talk about frauds, let’s talk about Poul Thorsen and his fraudulent Danish study that was debunked that you all seem to back as real science. The bottom line is there is NO science to back the safety of these vaccines and there should be. If we are going to mandate that children be injected with vaccines then MAKE THEM SAFE!! What is so outrageous about that???

  18. SpecialNeedsMom claims: the MMR mixed together without studies ever being done as to their safety.

    While this is an article of faith in the anti-vaccine or “toxins” community, it simply isn’t true. Proposed combination vaccines are tested extensively for safety and efficacy before being licensed.

  19. EBCALA cited the cases which were successful against the federal government. The federal government was found liable in those cases for vaccines causing brain damage (encephalopathy). The federal government paid out millions in those cases for those injuries. It’s all public record and yes *IS evidence of vaccines causing injury to the brain. Again you people just want to play semantics games all day long.

  20. @Julie Leonardo

    So if someone comes to the conference who is known to be adversarial or of a contrary mind, then we know that that individual is there to “dig for dirt,” to twist words, or to be combatative either in words or attitude. We don’t know if you are going to come badgering us with questions and challenging us or not. We don’t have any reason to believe that you are there to learn. So we then are on our guard.

    Ah, so someone who is recognized as being critical of some of the anti-vaccination claims is guilty until proven innocent? Expel first, ask questions later, is that it? It is interesting that you are capable of reading minds and knowing their intent before they do anything.

    Let me ask you something: how can you be certain that they will not learn something from attending? And if the information presented is valid, than it should be able to stand up to critical scrutiny.

    Personally, if someone with whom I disagree, even vehemently, comes to an event that I organize, they are perfectly welcome, as long as they do not engage in disruptive behavior (e.g., shouting, badgering people or hoarding Q&A time). Even then, I would probably give them a warning rather than boot them out. What’s more, if they register months prior to the event and are not turned away at that point, then they have every right to attend. If the organizers of Autism One didn’t want Ken there, then they shouldn’t have even let him register.

    As it was, Ken and Jamie did not harass other parents. They did not disrupt the presentations. They did not hog any Q&A sessions. There was no basis to expel them from the conference.

    And on a final note, I don’t see anyone blaming or insulting the parents who attended. Rather, the criticism is reserved for some (not even all) of the presenters, such as Andrew Wakefield, who faked his data, or the Geiers, who engaged in unethical medical conduct (including practicing without a license, in the case of David Geier) and who promote a medical treatment that is not only useless and without basis, but is downright risky itself.

  21. SpecialNeedsMom referred to the “EBCALA Study”. I’m sorry she’s been taken in by that as “evidence” — it isn’t.

    Orac summarizes the EBCALA evidence as follows:

    In brief, a crew of anti-vaccine lawyers named headed by Mary Holland, co-author of Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health, and Our Children, published a highly touted (by Generation Rescue and other anti-vaccine groups, that is) “study” claiming to “prove” that the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) had actually compensated children for autism. As is typical with such “studies” generated by the anti-vaccine movement, it was bad science, bad law, and just plain bad all around. The authors intentionally conflated “autistism-like” symptoms with autism, trying to claim that children with neurological injury with “autism-like” symptoms actually have autism. Never mind that there are specific diagnostic criteria for autism and that, if the children actually had autism many of the would have been given a diagnosis of autism. Never mind that what they were doing was akin to claiming that all patients with “Parkinson’s-like symptoms” have Parkinson’s disease. (Hint: They don’t.) Never mind that all they did was to demonstrate a prevalence of autism spectrum disorders among the VICP-compensated children that was clearly within the range of what would be anticipated if there were no relationship between vaccines and autism. Never mind all that.

    He then goes on to discuss the likely ethical lapses in the study by the EBCALA team.

    A more detailed view of the study’s flaws can be found at Photon in the Darkness, where Prometheus compares and contrasts two quite robust prevalence studies with the EBCALA study (Holland et al.):

    [Holland et al. claim]

    “Because autistic disorder is defined only by an aggregation of symptoms, there is no meaningful distinction between the terms ‘autism’ and ‘autism-like symptoms’.”

    This assertion, while it might make legal sense, is medically and scientifically false. The authors are trying to stretch the definition of “autism” to include whatever they might like. The reason that the DSM-IV (and, presumably the DSM-V) require a certain number of behaviors or findings in each category to qualify as a diagnosis of “autism” or “pervasive developmental disorder” is precisely to make a distinction between “autism” and “autism-like symptoms”.


    I refer to Holland et al as a “half-study” because the authors have done approximately half the work needed for a real study of the autism prevalence among those compensated by the VICP. The rest of the study would be taking those 83 cases and evaluating them, using validated criteria, to see what the actual autism prevalence might be. It might be my innate cynicism, but I doubt that they will take this next step,…

    I encourage readers to go to the links above and read carefully. There is nothing to the assertions that “EBCALA proved” that vaccination is associated with autism.

  22. SpecialNeedsMom wrote,

    If you want to talk about frauds, let’s talk about Poul Thorsen and his fraudulent Danish study that was debunked

    Please try to get your facts straight.

    1. Thorsen was a junior author on two large-scale Danish studies (Madsen et al. 2002; Madsen et al. 2003) neither of which have been “debunked”– withdrawn or are otherwise under serious challenge from responsible scientists.
    2. Thorsen has been charged with financial crimes which are alleged to have occurred after the vaccine-autism studies were published.


    SpecialNeedsMom goes on to claim The bottom line is there is NO science to back the safety of these vaccines . Factually incorrect, again.

    Rather than link to the hundreds of studies showing vaccine safety and efficacy, I will direct readers to the History of Vaccines page on vaccine development, testing, and regulation.

  23. @SpecialNeedsMom

    Yes. See the law study that was done in New York by EBCALA that researched the Vaccine Injury Compensation court. There were a confirmed 83 cases who were compensated by the federal government. These families are the proof that the federal government does recognize that there is a direct link showing vaccines can cause encephalopathy, brain damage, and that can result in autism. We can play the semantics games all day long, but you can not refute the evidence that has already been proven.

    There were some problems with that study, though. For instance, they did not appear to submit the study protocol for IRB review before conducting it. Also, they lump “autism” and “autism-like” together as if they were the same thing. That’s like saying that if I suffer from fatigue, muscle weakness, neck and/or back pain, etc. that I have polio because those are polio-like symptoms, when the reality is that the symptoms are because it’s just the day after a rather strenuous exercise work-out.

    Yes, encephalopathy can occur following a vaccination, but at a significantly lower rate than what occurs following natural infection with a disease (e.g., measles causes it in about 1 per 1,000 cases, while the MMR carries a risk of about 1 per 1,000,000 doses). Encephalopathy is not autism. Brain damage is not autism.

    In short, the study you cite is flawed, not to mention unethical. You can find several critiques of it around the web, e.g., at Respectful Insolence and Left Brain/Right Brain.

  24. Kelly wrote:

    Amazing. This is word-for-word the EXACT same piece you have written in the past regarding your so-called attendance at A-1. Bottom line is that you were never there. Never. This is all a fabrication….

    I am not sure who Kelley is addressing. Dave Gamble wrote this post; he never claimed to be there. He quoted Jamie Bernstein’s reporting of her first-time attendance at AutismOne (or A-1 in Kelly’s words). Perhaps she is referring to Ken Reibel, who was indeed evicted from A-1 in 2008 (there were eyewitnesses), denied a press pass in a subsequent year (again, material evidence). Perhaps she is referring to the documentary film-maker Lars Ullberg, who was expelled in 2010 after receiving permission to attend. Or perhaps the public health official from California, who was also ejected.

  25. Dave, I am going to keep this short (well -er) and am not going to go on and on about vaccines or anything. Question number 1 and 2 are basically the same question and then you go on with a couple of other things.

    I don’t know Amy or Ken, but from what it sounds like, they are not of the same opinion as the other parents of the conference. This conference is open to anyone of a truly inquiring or agreeing mind. This is a safe haven for us. This is the one place where we can learn new things, and not have to defend our position like we do with doctors, school staff, and even within our own families. So if someone comes to the conference who is known to be adversarial or of a contrary mind, then we know that that individual is there to “dig for dirt,” to twist words, or to be combatative either in words or attitude. We don’t know if you are going to come badgering us with questions and challenging us or not. We don’t have any reason to believe that you are there to learn. So we then are on our guard. This is our one place to be ourselves and not have to worry about what we say. I don’t know what is so difficult to understand. Sure you may just be there to take notes, but just your presence says, “Be on the lookout for more mud slinging and twisting of words online once the conference is over.” If you want to know what we believe, pick up a book by one of the speakers and see for yourself. It’s all there in black and white….there’s nothing to hide, and nobody is doing shamanistic rituals or anything at the conference.
    The last thing is, I vaccinated my kid and did my civic duty, and now she is harmed. You can quote the gov studies all you want, but they are crap and funded by the industries involved, so they are meaningless to me. I could go on about why they are crap, but it would be a waste of my time and breath. Others here are covering that issue just fine without me. My child is part of a different kind of body count. You see my kid also has Down Syndrome, and did you know that they intentionally exclude kiddos like mine from vaccine safety studies because of their immune system issues? Did you also know that after kids with DS are born, they pressure families like crazy to vaccinate them, again because of the immune system issues. Because of this they have no idea of how kids with DS will be affected!!! And the funny thing is that when you check titers on kiddos with DS, a lot of the time, they have not created an immune response to those vaccines. They get injected with chemicals and microorganisms for absolutely no reason. The number of kids with DS-ASD has jumped from 5-7% to now 18.2% of the DS population. Gee, maybe the immune system of these kids can’t take all of the crap in our environment. Another study showed that kids with DS, Rett, and Autism Syndromes shared 37 Genomes in common and were “surprisingly” all genomes of the immune system. Surprisingly….geesh!

    So I’m done and I’m not going to comment anymore. I have to get going on my new Woo-ery here. Creating a family meal plan that consists of mostly food from scratch….fresh meat, produce, healthy fats, and whole grains. This is the heresy and “anti-science” topic that I learned on Culinary day. Now to figure out if I do the human sacrifice after I cook up the eye of newt, bat wings, and chicken blood or before I shake rattles and say a chant over the cauldron………

  26. “Do you have proof or evidence for any of this?”

    Yes. See the law study that was done in New York by EBCALA that researched the Vaccine Injury Compensation court. There were a confirmed 83 cases who were compensated by the federal government. These families are the proof that the federal government does recognize that there is a direct link showing vaccines can cause encephalopathy, brain damage, and that can result in autism. We can play the semantics games all day long, but you can not refute the evidence that has already been proven.

  27. What I don’t understand is why the attacking attitude towards us parents? I know Amy personally, she is an angel. Her simple approach healed her mom’s body. Her children’s health has greatly improved. She works tirelessly to heal their bodies and improve their lives. She should not be attacked. None of us should. We don’t do anything to hurt our children or yours. As you all stated earlier in regards to vaccines, “…the benefits greatly outweigh the risks.” so you do in fact recognize that there are risks. Some in the pharmaceutical industry would call a child’s adverse reaction to a vaccine an acceptable loss. I take great offense to the notion that there is an acceptable loss or that even though my child was injured it’s ok because the vaccines do more harm than good. All we are asking is that the products that are being injected into our children be safe, for all of them. Why is that so horrible. The research has not been done to show the safety of vaccines. The individual studies that were done on vaccines were done on single vaccines, however when our children are injected with these vaccines per the CDC’s schedule they are not done by a single dose, they are injected with multiple doses at the same time some, such as the MMR mixed together without studies ever being done as to their safety. It’s unethical, inhumane, & morally reprehensible of pharma, doctors & the CDC to mandate that we vaccinate our children with products that are known to maim or kill any population of people. My children are a part of that population, and any loss is not acceptable. We are not all anti-vax, we are pro- safe vax. What is so wrong with that?

  28. If you are all so interested in the information, it has all been recorded and is readily available for you to view – where you will be able to hear numerous times that statement being said. Vaccines are only one toxin. With you being in the UK… we will always have differing issues, given the levels of toxins. The UK is smart in the sense that at least your govt doesn’t allow the barrage of toxins – however allowing Pepsi and McDonalds to help write your health policy is a bit concerning (and you guys must be up in arms about that! So sorry they did that to you!)
    Anyways, I am humbled that you think I alone discovered the cures for my mother, but I did not. I read the research, and applied it. It worked. Its the very research that you guys call quack science that works, because it all comes down to common sense. There’s no money in health for the medical field. Who would have thought that by raising the pH in my mother’s body so that the cancer died and spending a whole 2 DOLLARS on a box of baking soda… that this was the answer?! See what I mean? It’s all out there, and most of it is just going back to the basics. Cancer cells can not survive in an alkaline state. It thrives in an acidic state. Therefore by using baking soda and raising the pH level, you kill the cancer cells because they can not survive. Simple science.
    But, you see, this is why that information won’t get out there. TWO DOLLARS saved my mom’s life from the cancer.
    2 tsp a day of baking soda, and raising her pH over a weeks time… fixed all the problems to where I had three doctors go in front of the ethics committee at their hospital to tell them that they need to start looking into biomed – as they looked rather stupid sending my mom home to die, and me, a nobody… healing her with simple biomedical science.

  29. Amy …

    You say …

    – “Measles outbreaks are now occurring BECAUSE of vaccinations.”
    – You appear to equate vaccines to “toxins”
    – “The problem with vaccines may not be the additives, but with injecting so many viruses into a very small body at one time.”
    – “see how many children have had severe negative reactions to vaccines, and in turn, have been compensated for their injuries.”

    Do you have proof or evidence for any of this?

    You ask “Who are YOU to tell us what does and doesn’t work?” – Nope not me, that is what scientific evidence does.

    You observe … “Are you a pharma whore paid to spew venom in our direction? Obviously you must be, to be so involved in telling us what we should or shouldn’t believe.” … Seriously … we hold different views, and so I’m a “Pharma whore”… thats quite frankly hilarious, and apparently the scientific consensus equates to venom!!! Oh come on now, calm down and think about it, this is not a matter of ‘belief’, you need to stick with facts and evidence. I’m quite happy for you to believe whatever you wish, but when folks stand up and spout nonsense as “truth” then they should not act surprised if others stand up to point out that it is nonsense.

    Finally … (OK, I can’t resist this one) … you observe … “had you been there, you would have heard NUMEROUS times that statement made.” … er, no … according to your earlier comment, had I been there then … “you will be met with a foot at the door.” … so I’d never have heard it … ever.

  30. Amy …
    – CDC link here –
    – the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences link here –
    – The UK’s NHS link is here –
    – The Cochrane Library’s link is here –

    They all found no link between the vaccine and autism.

    Its rather strange that you equate the term “troublemaker” to anybody who blogs an opinion you disagree with. If the ground you stand upon is solid and you have scientific evidence to backup the claims, then it should be no trouble at all.

    In fact I’m rather surprised that you equate the term “troublemaker” to a couple of folks who went along to simply observe

    Not sure I understand the term “Western medicine”, as far as I’m aware there is only “medicine” … the stuff that has been proven to work, so what other form of medicine is there?

    I am not in a position to comment on the specific cases that you mention since I have no knowledge of them, nor will I revert to simply speculating. You do appear to be claiming that you have a cure for MRSA, Cancer etc… If that is truly correct then you should write it up and have it published … (I’m not mocking, I’m being serious) … there are many who would be truly interested. You should also think seriously about the idea of a proper double-blind clinical trial. A positive result would yield considerable credibility for you.

    I’m afraid that I must disagree that there are two types of Autism, there is no evidence for that, but I’m happy to be corrected.

    Finally, there is a very good overview of the entire topic and the current understanding of what Autism is and what causes it on Wikipedia here – if you have not seen it then it might be of interest. If its incorrect, then you have the opportunity to jump it and propose edit changes, but you would need to back that up.

    This is no conspiracy here, just data … Wakefield’s paper was taken very seriously here in the UK (Yes, I’m in the UK), but soon concerns started to emerge. He was eventually struck off, not because somebody disagreed with him, but because after 217 days of sifting through all the evidence, a five-member statutory tribunal of the GMC found some three dozen charges proved, including four counts of dishonesty and 12 counts involving the abuse of developmentally challenged children.

    Wakefield’s study and public recommendations against the use of the combined MMR vaccine were linked to a steep decline in vaccination rates in the United Kingdom and a corresponding rise in measles cases, resulting in serious illness and several fatalities … people have died because of this … and so if resisting this nonsense earns me the label “troublemaker”, then its a badge I wear with honor … especially in the hope that by doing so I might yet help in saving somebody.

  31. For my son, vaccines are not safe. I delayed his vaccines until he was 2 years old; at that point, he was displaying signs of sensory dysregulation, and his MD advised me not to have him vaccinated.

    The problem with vaccines may not be the additives, but with injecting so many viruses into a very small body at one time. A small body with an immature immune system simply cannot produce an adequate immune response to the virus. (For proof of this, we need to check children’s levels of antibodies after the vaccine has been given. Some have produced zero antibodies to the illness.)

    My husband’s family has a history of auto-immune disease, plus my son has a metabolic disorder (and possibly mito dysfunction), so the “one size fits all” vaccine schedule is absolutely not safe for him. He currently has auto-immune bowel disease, produces antibodies to gluten, and has cerebral folate auto-antibodies in his bloodstream and possibly in his CNS. The etiology of cerebral folate antibodies is unknown at this time.

    The Hep B vaccine was added into the schedule as part of a public health campaign, not as a means to protect the majority of our children. Instead of singling out “at risk” children (babies whose moms have Hep B, use IV drugs, or who will go home to be sexually abused AS BABIES by adults with transmission of bodily fluids from the adult to the child) and only vaccinating them, the CDC decided to give ALL babies a vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease on the day of birth. This is ludicrous. The one size fits all method is not safe for our children. Look at the “vaccine court” stats, and you will see how many children have had severe negative reactions to vaccines, and in turn, have been compensated for their injuries.

  32. Please do your research on the drop in diseases vs vaccines. It’s old news. Measles outbreaks are now occurring BECAUSE of vaccinations. Things need to change and that is our stance. We have grown and evolved and the old 1920s science is no longer working.
    We are NOT anti-vax, and we have never taken that stance, however since we REFUSE to put those known toxins into our children, maybe that is how you choose to label us. So be it, however, you really need to get your facts straight, and had you been there, you would have heard NUMEROUS times that statement made.
    So, let me pose this question to you – are we wrong for choosing to use biomed – the very basics of our body to heal our children, instead of using off market pharmaceuticals that cause horrible side effects? Who are YOU to say what we should and shouldn’t do? Who are YOU to tell us what does and doesn’t work? WHO ARE YOU? Not the father of MY child, so, what’s your interest? Are you a pharma whore paid to spew venom in our direction? Obviously you must be, to be so involved in telling us what we should or shouldn’t believe. Otherwise… your stories are becoming very old, very fast. I hope you do have another interest to fall back on.

  33. Tara … McCarthy is still making the same debunked, discredited, and dangerous claims. She also still defends Andrew Wakefield, the disgraced doctor credited for starting the modern movement claiming vaccines cause autism. You can find that statement on the Natural News website, run by the equally wrong Mike Adams. She is a terrible influence on people; her science is wrong, her medical advice is dangerous, and she gives people false hope.

    There is hope for parents with autistic children, but that hope comes through understanding the situation, using real evidence and data, and in knowing that thousands upon thousands of doctors are trying to understand autism as well. If there’s hope, it’s through science.

    I know that McCarthy loves her son, and I do think she’s trying to help. But I also know that her claims about vaccines and autism are completely wrong, and instead of helping she’s making things far worse — not just for kids with autism and their parents, but for the population as a whole because vaccinations rates have dropped and we’re seeing a resurgence of preventable diseases.

  34. Again, I ask… where are these studies? Please provide scientific facts rather than your opinions. Links would be great.
    If you are a known “troublemaker” – posting blogs like this, then yes, you will be met with a foot at the door.

    A con you say? I see no con. I have a child who is 75% recovered. I have a mother who is paralyzed from the flu shot who was sent home to me to die on hospice status. Biomed saved her life. They gave her 3 weeks to live, and I healed her completely (MRSA, gram negative pseudomona infection, stage 3 cervical cancer, AND systemic candidiasis with candida glabrata). 1 month, ALL of it was gone. WHY? Because I chose to go against the grain.

    It’s very simple actually, you go back to the very basics of your body on a cellular level and fix things there so your body functions properly – the way it was meant to. Western medicine is simply a bandaid, and many never fully heal. It’s sad, and I know each and every one of you know someone – and therefore you can relate. It’s not just about autism – it’s about the healing altogether.

    See, there are 2 forms of autism, and I think that’s where the battle is happening. There are those who are born with autism and can lead a fully functional and successful life, then there are those who were not born with it (predisposed, maybe) – but not born sick. Then they were hit with all sorts of environmental toxins, one after the other, and they are very sick. Their bodies do not function properly, bloodwork is all messed up, and that is where we come in to make the decision to FIX it instead of giving tons of meds to just let them live out til they die.

    It’s not hard to understand, and the judgement of us is rather harsh. When you have lived it, and seen it work, only THEN can you judge. I hope you never have to be there, but if anything ever happens to you or a family member, we will be here to help you through it and explain every detail that goes into healing the problem, instead of putting a bandaid on it to quiet it til later in life.
    I hope that makes sense.

  35. If you had truly done your research about this organization you would know that Jenny McCarthy doesn’t say to NOT vaccinate. Pro-safe-vaccine, not anti-vaccine: There is a difference.

  36. Amy, it is all well-documented.

    The scientific consensus is that no evidence links vaccines to the development of autism, and that the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. Following the initial claims in 1998, multiple large epidemiological studies were undertaken. Reviews of the evidence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK National Health Service, and the Cochrane Library all found no link between the vaccine and autism.

    In stark contract we have Wakefield who has been proven to have faked his data and was found guilty of multiple ethics violations and so has been struck off the medical register in the UK.

    Now regarding the conference, and folks being ejected. I was personally not there, nor did I ever claim I was. But I’m curious, how would you decide who to eject and on what basis would you eject them?

    It is in the public interest to be aware of the con being perpetuated, there is stuff that works and has been proven to work, and there is stuff that has been proven not to work. All Ken and Jamie are interested in is writing about what does and does not work … period. Thats the agenda. You need to ask yourself why you do not have the same agenda.

  37. Kelly … nobody is suggesting that the parents were kooks, they are not. What is being suggested is that they are being conned.

  38. Julie,

    I have a couple of questions

    1) this was a public meeting open for anybody to register and attend. In precisely what way did Ken and Jamie threaten the safety and security of anybody there? (Incidentally Ken has an Autistic son and also runs the Autism News Beat blog, why is that a threat? his motivation is personal)

    2) Why would anybody need to be on their guard, against what exactly?

    Your keynote speaker, Jenny, is a complete kook and still pushes the vaccine/autism link even in the face of all the evidence. Because parents listened and did not have their kids vaccinated, there is now a body count. Wakefield has been discredited and struck off the medical register for ethics violations. With those two as flag carries, it can only be viewed as woo central.

    I would hope and wish to be wrong about that, and would truly wish for good stuff to be happening, but tossing open-minded folks out who came to learn is a hell of a strange way of getting that message across.

    It is in the public interest to understand what really works and what does not, locking and baring the doors to those who write and blog does a true disservice to all the parents who need reliable accurate credible information.

  39. May I ask, where are the studies that have disproven the link between autism and vaccinations? Oh, you mean the Danish study that the CDC relied heavily on to fill your pro vax brains – that come to find out… wasn’t even done?? Talk about fraudulent! At least Wakefield DID the studies…
    regardless of how, or why, or whatever… THEY WERE DONE!
    Now, onto your little rant of the conference and being ejected. There were children there. You were actually protected by being ejected by the police. If I had seen you, I would have done it myself, with hundreds of other parents. You have no right to be there, you don’t care about our children that are being healed and no way in hell will you be allowed to take any photos or twist words of those who are on this journey.
    Maybe next year, you can save your money and just stay home, because I can guarantee you, you will be booted again. Hopefully, with a standing ovation when it’s done.

  40. Amazing. This is word-for-word the EXACT same piece you have written in the past regarding your so-called attendance at A-1. Bottom line is that you were never there. Never. This is all a fabrication to push your ridiculous agenda that we parents are all whackos because we are (gasp) trying to learn more about the medical and behavioral aspects of our children. How dare we try to be better parents!!! You should follow in our footsteps…because right now, as it stands…you’re the epitome of the world’s worst parent.

  41. The reason you were ejected is very simple. She knew that you were not there to learn but to find stuff to write that was oppositional, and she wanted to protect the safety and security of all of the families who were there. We parents were there to learn, to relax, and to rejeuvenate after all of the perpetual work that we do to heal our kids. We don’t want to have to be on our guard and watch what we say when we are in a situation like this. There are other ways to find out what we think and feel and what our scientific basis is without having to attend a place that is supposed to be our haven.
    And two more F.Y.I.’s…..some people don’t believe it is all about vaccines who attend which is #1. Number 2 is that unless you have a child who has been helped by biomed (and you know for certain that it is helping because you track EVERYTHING that you are doing with that child, including therapies,) you can’t call it a bunch of WOO. I have many outside people who have noticed the difference with my child who are shocked at the changes, including her teachers. So you really need to keep your uninformed and inexperienced opinion to yourself.

  42. > one little problem, its not true,

    One little problem. Frustrating typos. Please fix them. The subject matter deserves more careful handling, if I may suggest.

  43. rhY …

    to quote the Wikipedia page on the topic …

    The thiomersal controversy describes claims that vaccines containing the mercury-based preservative thiomersal contribute to the development of autism and other brain development disorders. The current scientific consensus is that no convincing scientific evidence supports these claims.

    Major scientific and medical bodies such as the Institute of Medicine and World Health Organization (WHO) as well as governmental agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC reject any role for thiomersal in autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders.

    You can find that page here

    The corporations are only permitted to sell vaccines that have been tested, and proven to be both safe and effective. If there was any risk to public health the WHO and/or the FDA would be down on them like a ton of bricks.

    So lets get really real here, you already are in a place that has SAFE vaccines.

  44. I’m pro vaccine. However, most vaccines currently put out by mega corporations have mercury, lead, and other toxins in them.

    Does this contribute to autism? Maybe, but regardless, we should not be shooting our kids up with heavy metals.

    Let’s be real here: Our health care should not be a for profit industry run by megacorporations focused solely on the bottom line. OF COURSE there is going to be abuse and many unnecessary deaths/disease.

    I’d like to find a place that makes SAFE vaccines available to the public, with testing, and free of mercury, lead, etc..

  45. Maybe you or one of your colleagues can have one of those counters put on your site, like at the Hard Rock, but instead of keeping a running total of deforestation you could have death totals due to anti-vaxers.

    Speak Up, Fight Back!

    Gorilla Atheist


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