The antivaccine hate speech is a fundamental strategy of their vaccine denialism. I’ve spoken about it before, but the vitriolic attacks on Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, a frequent contributor here and a renowned expert on vaccines and law, any time she speaks about vaccines has moved into the surreal.
Although I lack no statistics per se, I’d say that the anti-vaccine hate speech has focused on a few individuals – Professor Reiss, Dr. Paul Offit, Brian Deer, and in a group just slightly below, important skeptics like Dr. David Gorski and some chap named Orac.
Just as an aside, there used to be an amusing trend on Wikipedia whereby pseudoscience-pushing editors would accuse various editors of being the real Dr. Gorski. One of my sockpuppets was accused of being that, which made me laugh. I am not, nor have I ever been, David Gorski. Though I admit my ego is gratified to be thrown into the same conspiracy theories with an esteemed researcher and physician, even if it’s proposed by tinfoil hat wearing lunatics.
But the crazies have become, if this is possible, crazier. Stay tuned.
The new antivaccine hate speech
The internet is filled with garbage. It used to be good place to do research, but now it’s no more than the real world – lots of data, and it takes a brain to differentiate between bad and good sources of information. Well, at least a brain with functioning critical thinking neurons.
Professor Reiss pointed me to a website, which may cause me to burn my MacBook Pro because it’s infested with such stupidity, the safety of my computer obviously needs serious attention. The article is a screed about Dr. Paul Offit, and his minions across the internet doing his bidding. We’ll get to the minions in a moment.
The article makes this claim about Dr. Offit:
Wait? Big Banking? Well, that’s new.
Based on this, the website accuses Dr. Offit of assault, battery and genocide. Of course, this psychotic nonsense (oh I have better words) is completely and utterly refuted by the mountains upon mountains of evidence that vaccines:
- Are some of the safest medical procedures on the planet,
- Are highly effective in preventing dangerous diseases,
- And have eradicated common infectious (and deadly) diseases in our lifetime – polio, smallpox, diphtheria, measles, and so many others are either gone or so rare as to be almost gone.
In other words, it requires some level of borderline personality disorder to group vaccines with genocide.
I’m not going to go over every point that this conspiracist makes but let me just quote this:
Yes, you read this right. This crackpot thinks that Mr. Andrew Wakefield, fraud extraordinaire, is some sort of “angel,” whereas a rotating triad of evil (anchored by Offit and Deer), are “Pharmawhores.” Look, the case against Mr. Andy Wakefield is overwhelming, mostly as a result of Brian Deer’s investigative journalism.
The rest of the antivaccine hate speech article is the same old set of cherry picked articles, logical fallacies, ad hominem personal attacks, and various other easily dismissed angry and insane taunts.
In my world, Brian Deer is a hero by exposing the lies and fraud of Wakefield. In my world, Paul Offit is a hero who invented a vaccine that saves a quarter of a million lives every year.
Here’s the thing – we have mountains of evidence to support my “opinions” about Offit and Deer. They’re good people, who seem to be driven by exactly the opposite of what this website claims – they have devoted their lives to protect children from diseases and cunning frauds. They deserve statues someplace, though both appear to be too modest to ever ask for that honor.
So what’s Canada got to do with this? Oh, if you want crazy, you’re going to get it now:
Oh my. The Skeptical Raptor has been outed as a secretly-owed (sic) Canadian agency pushing pro-medicine culture. I will hereby attest that I owe nothing to Canadians. Except my love of hockey, I will admit to that. But since Americans have one every Stanley Cup for over 20 years, not sure there’s much there. But I digress.
I’ve been all over Canada. My best friends are Canadians. I love Canada. Except for poutine. And Justin Bieber.
But why is this blog is a tool of the Canadian government? I have no clue. Well, not for nothing, but vaccine conspiracy pushers can be creative. I guess being accused of being a Canadian falls way down the ad hominem list compared to what is written about Gorski, Reiss, Offit, and Deer.
The comment about my desire for building statues for Offit, Hilleman, Jenner and Salk came from this article. I stand by that. Those four men, and their vaccines, have been responsible for saving 35,000 lives a year in the USA alone. I couldn’t calculate how many lives are saved annually throughout the world.
By the way, I may have to amend my dream of statues everywhere. We should put Brian Deer there too. Again, he’s too modest, so he’ll probably beg off.
And yes, I admit to the “crime” that there are a bunch of articles on this website, written by myself and Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, that have established the activities of Mr. Andy Wakefield over the past few years.
And Professor Reiss, who is an expert in law, especially with respect to public policy, has logically and carefully pointed out many aspects of Wakefield’s strategies that show he’s doing everything to protect his mistruths from scrutiny.
This blog does point out the frauds of Mr. Andy Wakefield. And until there’s solid evidence that Wakefield is actually right in his belief that vaccines cause autism, then we’re going to continue to call him a fraud. Because right now, all of the highest quality evidence states one thing – vaccines are unrelated to autism.
One more thing
I just can’t let this pass, it’s way too annoying. The author of the psycho-blog about Offit, Deer and Reiss attempts to co-opt my pointing out that the anti-vaccination lies resemble the “Big Lie” used by the Nazis during their takeover of Germany during the 1930s. It is a a method of stating and repeating a falsehood, then treating it as if it is self-evidently true with the goal of swaying the course of an argument. Eventually, it is hoped by the proponents of the Big Lie, that it will be taken for granted, and not really critically questioned.
The antivaccine gang use this tactic for “mercury” in vaccines, VAERS data, various conditions related to the HPV vaccine, and many other vaccine myths. Amusingly, the psycho-website tries to use my direct quotes to apply them to Dr. Offit.
The writer’s tactic might be useful if he actually had one nanogram of evidence supporting his beliefs. And could overlook the overwhelming evidence that show that vaccines are relatively safe and effective. I think the author fails to understand what a lie is – and as far as I can tell that’s all the antivaccine forces have, that is, lies.
Generally, I don’t care about antivaccine hate speech – there’s just too much of it around these parts. But I just couldn’t overlook these sleuths uncovering the true nature of Skeptical Raptor – a mouthpiece for Canada.