Anti Semitic hate speech of the antivaccine cult

I think I’ve said this close to a million times (give or take a few hundred thousand) – the only thing in science that matters is evidence. That’s it.

It’s been clear to me for a long time once those one the anti-science side realize they lack evidence, they go for the ad hominem attacks, in all kinds of forms from accusing people of being shills for whatever company to going full-Godwin, that is, if you wait long enough while in an internet discussion, someone will claim something or someone is a Nazi.

Well, the anti vaccine cult has reached a new high (or is it low) for breaching Godwin’s Law, bypassing a lame relationship between vaccines and Nazis, and going straight for anti Semitic hate speech and bigotry.

A little background

 

Allison Hagood is a vaccine and child health advocate who has written a book (with coauthor Stacy Mintzer Herlihy), Your Baby’s Best Shot: Why Vaccines Are Safe and Save Lives, and who is one of the administrators of several pro-vaccine Facebook groups and pages. Many of the pages (or groups) are intended as humorous mockery of some of the craziest and inane comments from the anti vaccine cult, wherever it’s found.

There is one risk from manning the barricades against the barbarians of the anti vaccine cult–they game the Facebook complaint system to try and get individuals banned for specious reasons. It’s an amusing and immature game played by the anti vaccine cult, because, once again, lacking any evidence for their ignorant beliefs, attack people. And anti Semitic hate speech has become one of the go-to strategies of the antivaccine cult.

Anti Semitic hate speech on Facebook

 

Recently, Ms. Hagood got banned by Facebook for daring to mock one of the stupidest pieces of writing I’ve seen on Facebook–a low bar indeed. To be honest, Allison probably takes these bans as badges of honor–I’ve been banned for mocking these anti vaccine fools, so it doesn’t matter at all what they do or don’t do.

So what caused this ban? Check out this rambling statement from Heather Murray, whom Allison mocked in a Facebook group, for being basically foolish ramblings:

facebook-anti-semitism

 

Most of what was written there can be charitably described as Holocaust denial, which is essentially denying the historical fact of the Holocaust, where six million European Jews were murdered by the Nazis and their minions in various countries.

So Allison got banned by Facebook for pointing out anti-Semitism, but the original anti-Semitic hate speech remains. I’m all for free speech (which doesn’t actually apply to Facebook, a private corporation), but if one side is going to be publish hate speech, then it’s only fair to point it out and laugh at them.

As Allison’s co-author Stacy Herlihy wrote in an article in the Times of Israel (uh oh, more of that Jewish conspiracy):

In some real sense Facebook has become our de facto public square. This is where we gather together not only to post pics of our kids and share cute pictures of bunnies wearing a pancake on their heads. It is also where we meet to exchange ideas and often reveal our deepest selves.

If your deepest self is someone who wants to assert that Jews control the world and lie constantly about the holocaust; that the United States is controlled by a handful of such people who force the world into war; that Hitler is simply a misunderstood hero — than others should have the right to call you out for your assertions.

Yeah, that.

Anti-Semitism and vaccination

 

Admittedly, Allison’s ban had nothing to do directly with vaccines, but we all have noticed a huge increase in anti-Semitism inside the anti vaccine cult.

California Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson (Fresno), likened the the pro-vaccine California legislation’s, SB 277, authors to Nazis when he compared keeping unvaccinated children at home to putting them in Nazi internment camps. I guess I’m at a loss as to how vaccines, which save lives, can be compared to Nazi murders, but then again, I’m not a Holocaust denier.

The Natural News, one of the worst sources of real scientific information on the internet (another low bar), claimed that “the very arguments used by today’s vaccine pushers to claim that the government should force everyone to be vaccinated against their will closely resemble the eugenics justifications of Nazi Germany.” Really? Does the author even understand what eugenics is, and how it was done in Nazi Germany?

There is not a scintilla of evidence that vaccines cause that kind of harm. It’s laughable.

I’ve written previously about the childish and horrific anti-Semitic attacks on Professor Dorit Reiss, who frequently contributes to this blog:

dorit-attacked03 dorit-attacked02

There is actually worse stuff about Professor Reiss on the internet, none of it, of course, based on anything scientific or legally valid, just a constant stream of ad hominem attacks with a large dollop of anti-Semitism thrown in for good measure.

I need to include a taste of Godwin from my favorite (said very sarcastically) anti vaccine cult physician, Bob Sears.:

bob-sears-Godwin

He actually compared wearing some imaginary (and somewhat paranoid) unvaccinated badge to the Yellow Star worn by Jews in Europe during the Holocaust. Let me count the ways that this is wrong:

  • Vaccine status is private medical information in the USA. If mandatory vaccination laws are passed, there are no badges forced on children–they are banned from attending public schools, to protect the health of other children.
  • The Yellow Star worn by Jews were used by the Nazis to actually legally allow non-Jews to harass, harm and kill people. In what way is vaccination the same as the murder of six million Jews who were forced to wear badges that broadcast that they were Jews.

Either Bob Sears is woefully ignorant of World War II history (and given his ignorance about vaccines, I would be easily convinced) or he’s a Holocaust denier. If Bob Sears has proof of one person (let alone six million) who has been dragged off to a concentration camp (maybe a FEMA camp) and then murdered as a result of their lack of vaccination, please tell us. I’d write about it in a second, demanding that it stop.

But because Dr. Sears lacks any evidence for his beliefs about vaccines, because he’s so ignorant of real science, he decides that a good Nazi analogy will satisfy his sycophants. Good for Sears.

If these were the only examples I could find, you’d think it was an anomaly. Sadly, Godwin’s Law applies to any discussion about vaccines within a few comments. I’ve read comments as ridiculous as “Nazi Big Pharma companies were run by Jews who experimented on their own people. Those companies are now trying to use vaccines to control other people.” There’s actually worse junk than that.

It’s clear that there was a time when bigotry, including anti-Semitism, stayed beneath the surface. Only crazy people would express it either outright, or in a form of Holocaust denialism to make insane strawman arguments about vaccines. But today, everyone has a voice on the internet, so being upfront and proud about anti-Semitism seems to go on unimpeded. And if you call out the anti-Semitic nastiness, Facebook may censor the criticism, not the bigotry.

Let’s be honest. Anti-Semitism is just a nice name for racist and bigoted commentary. If somehow one can justify hating a group of people, whatever their skin tone, ethnicity or country of origin, it’s racism. If you invent lame memes that deny the Holocaust, even indirectly, by claiming that vaccination, which has minimal harm is the same as the murder of six million Jews (or deny that six million Jews were murdered), you’re a racist. Is this not clear to anyone but me?

One more time and with emphasis with respect to vaccines. Bring evidence. If you have none, and you rely upon Godwin’s law and outright bigotry, then you’re just a pathetic, bigoted member of the privileged white class.

 

 

The Original Skeptical Raptor
Chief Executive Officer at SkepticalRaptor
Lifetime lover of science, especially biomedical research. Spent years in academics, business development, research, and traveling the world shilling for Big Pharma. I love sports, mostly college basketball and football, hockey, and baseball. I enjoy great food and intelligent conversation. And a delicious morning coffee!
  • Pingback: Racist Facebook troll attacks pro-science writers()

  • Pingback: Your one stop shop for the anti-vaccine hate debate()

  • Pingback: Antivaccine activists attack Allison Hagood using Facebook()

  • Pingback: Antivaccine hate speech – Canadians ought to be insulted()

  • Allison Hagood

    It turns out that one of Heather’s main repeated rants against Jews is copied almost word for word from this Amazon review of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R1AB4TVP6UUC9U/ref=cm_cr_rev_detmd_pl?ie=UTF8&asin=1930004567&cdForum=Fx3J001JK5YRSQS&cdMsgID=Mx1P3D7CD44ET19&cdMsgNo=1&cdPage=1&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=Tx3U66VDYD41AYL&store=books#Mx1P3D7CD44ET19

    • Protocols of Zion???? Wow. That’s still around?

      • Sandy Perlmutter

        Mmm. The usual people quote it all the time.

        “Governments or political leaders in most parts of the world have not referred to the Protocols since World War II. The exception to this is the Middle East, where a large number of Arab and Muslim regimes and leaders have endorsed them as authentic, including endorsements from Presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat of Egypt, one of the President Arifs of Iraq, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, and Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi of Libya.[55][76]

        The 1988 charter of Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist group, states that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion embodies the plan of the Zionists.[77] Recent endorsements in the 21st century have been made by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri, the education ministry of Saudi Arabia,[76] member of the Greek Parliament Ilias Kasidiaris,[78] and young earth creationist and tax evader Kent Hovind.[79]”

        As seen on Wikipedia, where you can get links to all sort of crap. The references are a hoot, e.g.,:

        http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2001/summer/radical-religion

  • Allison Hagood

    Heather and her anti-Semitic friends have descended on Stacy’s blog post on the Times of Israel:

    http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/facebook-and-the-misguided-protection-of-anti-semites

    • Sandy Perlmutter

      You would not believe how disgusting these people can be!

      • I have no bottom limit as to where I think these people will descend in hatred.

  • Eric Bohlman

    Apart from the Godwinnery, Sears’ post basically reads “some people are afraid of monsters under the bed. I get them to pay me protection money”. I guess that’s something to brag about if you’re a pathological narcissist.

    • He’s more than that. He’s approaching Wakefield level. And that’s scary.

  • Pingback: Anti vaccine cult uses Hitler's Big Lie – laughable strategy()

  • Karl Pascal

    LOL It’s funny when Pro-tyrannists cry “anti-semitism.” Y’all must be losing. First they’re anti-gay, now they’re anti-Jewish. What’s next, they torture cute little animals?

    • Over 95% of kids are vaccinated. It appears that not only are YOU losing, but you’re losing on the evidence, on the vote, a crushing humiliating defeat for you ignorant ones. Proud of yourself?

      • Karl Pascal

        I just find it funny that your story about the NO on SB 277 side supposedly engaging in ad hominem attacks is one long ad hominem attack. And there you go again: “ignorant.” Proud of YOURSELF?

        • Because you’re an ignorant little fuck, let me explain. An ad hominem attack is only a logical fallacy if the person making the attack lacks any evidence. If you have all the evidence on your side, like I do, I get to call you an ignorant little fuck. I get to mock you. I get to belittle you. I get to shame you.

          Why? Because your ignorant fucking ideas kill children. My ideas save millions of lives. Case closed. And I get to engage you with whatever fucking ad hominem reaches my simple mind. Again, because it’s all about the evidence, and you have none for your ignorance, and I have mountains of evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

          Seriously, time for you to hang your head in shame, and walk away with what little dignity you have.

          • Karl Pascal

            Classy! And you’re the moderator…Wow! I never even mentioned vaccines. Is this how you treat all visitors to your site?

            • Lawrence McNamara

              No, but people who are ignorant to the fact that many, many comments have been made by the anti-vax crowd that are blatantly anti-Semitic, and yet they have the audacity to compare the vaccine program to the Holocaust & pro-vaccine people to Nazis, I’d say that moderator here has every right to call you an ignorant little shit.

            • Karl Pascal

              Whatever…I think you guys need an Anger Vaccine. Links to the “many, many comments” would be appreciated. White power websites don’t count.

            • Lawrence McNamara

              Interesting that you would call anti-vaccine websites “White Power” websites……many examples are actually posted above, if you cared to look at them.

            • Karl Pascal

              Just about all the links above are to your own stories. Sure, the one facebook post is clearly racist, but everything else mentioned is just people making historical comparisons regarding the potential effects of SB 277. How is that anti-semitic? See if you can explain it without the potty mouth.

            • Chris Preston

              everything else mentioned is just people making historical comparisons regarding the potential effects of SB 277

              The comparisons are between trivial inconveniences to their chosen lifestyle that these people will have to put up with and the deliberate mass-murder of millions of people. The comparison has the effect of belittling the Nazi regime’s treatment of Jews. As such these comparisons are inexcusable.

            • Some people, such as Karl Pascal, member of the White Privileged class, whose toughest moment is choosing whether to drive his BMW or Mercedes to the country club, wouldn’t understand holocaust denial if it came up and gave him a hug. He thinks that it’s an “historical comparison.” What a fucking loser and bigot.

            • Hans Meyer

              “Wow! I never even mentioned vaccines.”

              “…your story about the NO on SB 277 side …”

              I suppose when all you have are lies, lying’s just about all you can do.

          • Mike Nunyabiz

            “An ad hominem attack is only a logical fallacy if the person making the attack lacks any evidence”

            No, you illiterate fucking twat!

            An ad hominem is NOT mitigated by being factual.

  • Sandy Perlmutter

    Ugh! A white supremacist site http://www.donotlink.com/fkqv
    “…exposing the sabotage to the health of white people through diet and various other conventional medicine routes is VERY important. I would like to use this thread as a means to educate others on information available about this Jewish practice. “

    • kfunk937

      Anti-vaccine fear promotion makes some very strange bedfellows, doesn’t it?

      These guys have some interesting, nuanced approaches to studying anti-vaccine phenomena and science communication. They don’t explicitly look at crank-magnetism, but I sure wish they would. Willingness to buy into the 1st paranoid conspiracy theory seems be a gateway to all others. (Not that all anti-vaxxers, and certainly not all vaccine-hesitant, are paranoid or fringe CTers. The latter are just more vocal. And scary.)

      I think in part it reflects high levels of anxiety, partly from media bias toward if-it-bleeds and science-by-press-release leading to information overload, and partly poor risk- and evidence-quality assessment resulting from basic innumeracy and scientific illiteracy. Some of that is correctable.

      Mebbe we should’ve been putting anxiolytics in the water supply all along, too. /snark

      As the overwhelming majority of parents responsibly choose to protect their children and society, there’s hope. That supremacists represent a teensy tiny, hopefully shrinking minority . . . is sometimes harder to see. Like roaches, they disappear into the woodwork in the light.

      • Chris Preston

        Crank magnetism is a really interesting phenomenon. It seems to me to stem from two factors: firstly ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ syndrome where those who have minority viewpoints will go looking for support among others with minority viewpoints without regard to how those viewpoints were arrived at. Secondly from the fact that some people who have taken an illogical position have done so because they are unable to correctly apply logic in decision making. This makes them susceptible to other illogical viewpoints, as they don’t have the skills to adequately assess them. Cia Parker who is a very prolific anti-vax commentor on the web is a classic case in point.

        Another aspect of the same, usually seen in alternative medicine, is how rarely practitioners of one alternative medicine modality criticize practitioners of other modalities. Even when the theory (such as it is) of the modalities are fatally at odds.

  • Sandy Perlmutter
  • Sandy Perlmutter

    I don’t know if this counts, but search for “vaccine” to see a brave counter-post on this hateful page: https://murderbymedia.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/a-partial-list-of-jewish-owned-businesses/

    Feel free to delete this if you don’t want this a-hole to have more hits.

    • kfunk937

      Holy carp, Sandy! That’s some seriously foul heap of burning stupid right there.

      You might appreciate the handy redirect tool at donotlink.com. It’s tailor-made to allow citations to heinous sites without driving traffic to them.

      One drawback however is that, at least in my browser, donotlink’s floating header obscures the site’s banner, where I presume the searchbox was located. So I’ll have to keep looking around to see how RollingWriter (blog owner?) is connected to anti-vax. Maybe I just haven’t crossed paths with him yet, to my good fortune. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that he’s a deacon and the web designer for his church (like an infamous Twitter anti-vax troll of my acquaintance).

      • Sandy Perlmutter

        Yes, it is a redirect and does not get the page exactly. But thank you for this great tip!

        • Sandy Perlmutter

          Here is another hate site. I didn’t have time to look for vaccination paranoia, but there is enough general-purpose anti-Semitic paranoia in it: http://www.donotlink.com/fkqf

          • kfunk937

            Re searching “vaccine,” I did. Many returns, all seemingly posted by this one, somewhat infamous troglodyte guy, Henry Makow PhD, who’d fill several combined antivax-CT-hate bingo cards, all on his lonesome (MLA misogynist and homophobe too). Eew.

            Very nice piece on said troll here.

            It saddens me the the Interwebz puts all these folks in touch (anonymously) to reinforce one another, proselytise for new members, and amplify their trolling.

            • Sandy Perlmutter

              I am going to stop Googling for this stuff – it is causing acid burns on my brain. Here is another foul heap of burning stupid:

              http://www.donotlink.com/flif [realjewnews.com]

              which has additional vile links I am not going to follow. I am thinking about the disgusting murders in South Carolina today. Sometimes I am ashamed of being a “white” (are Jews white?) American.

              Thanks for the reference to Makow. I ran into his crap at some point.

              I am going to go back to watching osprey babies grow!

    • I’m not giving you an up vote. I need to clean out my brain first. 🙂

  • Allison Hagood

    Thank you for pulling all of this together in a single location. I hope you’ll keep adding links and screenshots to it as needed. While I’m sure that not all of the vaccine denialist cult members are anti-Semitic, there is a strong stream of anti-Semitism that underlies their conspiracy delusions and it needs to be pointed out.

  • Sandy Perlmutter

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. There are quite a few haters out there, mostly showing signs of psychopathology (too bad there isn’t a vaccine for that). It is not at all strange that anti-vaxxers, who show paranoia about vaccines, would also have paranoia about Jews and people of color.

    I fell over a website today via Google, while looking for a relative. The keyword was murderbymedia. The content was uncommonly vile and disgusting. There must be a lot of it out there that I have not hit.

  • MH

    Good job. Similar article I wrote for the Times of Israel about this issue.

    http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/facebook-and-the-misguided-protection-of-anti-semites/

    • Sandy Perlmutter

      Thanks for your article on Times of Israel.

    • Thanks. I had to update the article to include a very recent Bob Sears charming Godwin attempt. And that article from Allison’s co-author. It’ll be one giant Jewish conspiracy I’m sure.