When Harry Met Jenny

The ProfessorI love Harry Potter. Yeah, I know, I’m not alone.  But I’m one of those geeks who had my Amazon order in to get each of the last four books on the day it came out.  We own copies of all eight films on DVD.  Not the boxed set, mind you, because then we would have had to wait, and that was clearly unacceptable.  I nearly divorced my ex a few years early when he gave away a crucial plot point while I was reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
. Harry was single-handedly responsible for finally convincing my not-quite-dyslexic daughter that reading was fun; the same daughter who, at the age of 14, has decided she is going to be a writer and is in the process of writing her first book.  She happens to be really good at it, by the way, and I hope you’ll get to know her better shortly.  She’s written a guest blog that she plans to submit to TMR.  So, um . . .  yeah, I love Harry Potter.

I’m currently enjoying my umpteenth reading of the books with my six-year-old.  He’s hooked; he wants to be Harry Potter for Halloween and can’t wait to get his Quidditch robe and Firebolt.  I’m so proud. We’re up to the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  I love the entire series, but this one? This one . . . Well, let’s put it this way:  Harry’s managed to hold it together through some pretty hairy times for the past four years, but this is the one where the train really runs off the rails.  Lord Voldemort, the most feared dark wizard of all time (with good reason), is back, and you don’t know what he’s got planned, but you know it’s bad, really bad.  Harry knows this better than anyone because he’s actually seen him and dueled with him – and lived to tell the tale!  Only no one believes him.  Okay, a few people believe him – mostly people who know him well enough to know he’s telling the truth, or who know Voldemort well enough to know that Harry’s rendition of the facts is more than plausible.  Those few people know what they’re up against, and they immediately begin doing whatever they can to stop Voldemort’s ascent to power.

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Why do so few people recognize the threat and act quickly to neutralize it?  Well, for one thing the “powers that be,” including the Minister of Magic, are so freaked out by the implications of Voldemort’s return that they unwittingly assist that return by actively denying the truth.  They launch an all-out campaign to discredit Harry by implying that he’s not quite right in his head, and he’s been driven mad by his own desire for fame.  “Mainstream media” in Harry’s world consists of the Daily Prophet, which manages somehow to find ways each week to work Harry’s name into completely unrelated articles in order to imply that, at best, he’s misguided and deluded and, at worst, dangerous.  They make the words “Harry Potter” synonymous with “a little crazy.”

Only it’s not true.  After reading four books about Harry, you know him better than his best friends.  He may not be perfect, but you can’t help admiring the kid who’s made it this far against all odds.  And, you know – he’s got a good heart.  You know Harry’s motivations so well, in fact, that you are almost as bewildered as he when you get to the lies that are spread about him.  I, for one, can’t help feeling outraged that, instead of putting energy into fighting the real threat, the Ministry is wasting time trying to neutralize Harry.  It’s positively galling to read that when Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, is given the actual names of some of Voldemort’s supporters he dismisses him with the fact that they were investigated 13 years and cleared.  “Malfoy was cleared!” says Fudge. “A very old family – donations to excellent causes –“ as though donations to “excellent causes” somehow preclude other, more malevolent, kinds of behavior.  Apparently, all it takes for the Minister of Magic to turn his back on the truth is a few well-placed donations.

I daresay Fudge and his cohorts think they are somehow “protecting” their world with their smear campaign, which, of course, does not change the fact that they are, in actual fact, aiding and abetting its  destruction.  Why?  Simply because they are afraid of the truth.  Having read all seven books multiple times, I’m very familiar with the consequences of the Ministry’s campaign of denial.  A great deal of death and destruction happens before good can finally triumph over evil.  The ending of the series is bittersweet, because you know that so much has been lost along the way that didn’t have to be lost if only the “powers that be” had had enough courage to face the truth four imagebooks back.

It would be easy to say, “That’s just fiction!  It’s made up!  The free press would never collude with the forces of evil.”  But this fictional story strikes a chord within us; it’s all too easy to believe that this could happen, at least for adults, because we’ve seen the media tear people up and chew them out before only to be completely wrong.  “The media” has the power to provide the public with persuasive images and ideas, but is it always responsible power?

The media has been complicit in “revisionist history” from the dawn of time. Remember the adage “history is written by the victors” and the concept of yellow journalism from your middle school history class?  But the complete disregard for the truth seen in many “news outlets” today still comes as a shock to me.   I came of age in the era of Woodward and Bernstein doggedly hunting down the story behind the story.  We idolized journalists then.  Unfortunately, the news today bears very little resemblance to the news of Woodward and Bernstein.  The bulk of mainstream media – television stations, newspapers and radio stations – has  been gradually bought out by a relatively few large corporations in the last thirty years, and what we see in the “news” is what  the outlets’ owners  want us to see.  In some outlets, truth has been abandoned for the sake of the appearance of neutrality.  In other outlets, there is no longer even a pretense of neutrality.  “News” reports are full of opinion, and “facts” that are never challenged.

For the record, I firmly believe there is no such thing as “neutrality”; Bill O’Reilly notwithstanding, there is no “no-spin zone.”  But at least in the 60s, when I grew up, news outlets tried hard to be neutral, if they didn’t quite succeed.  The “spin” was mostly apparent in what they chose to cover and not to cover, not in how they covered it.  Back then a journalism degree came with a healthy appreciation for the value of an independent press.  Not so anymore.   These days “news” outlets repeat bald-faced lies and suppositions without any sort of basis in fact, and they are entirely unapologetic.  Fortunately, we have the blogosphere, which, while clogged with a lot of crap, has some very conscientious folks working hard to try to keep people honest.  As you can imagine, it’s hard work.

Bear with me; I swear this is going somewhere . . .

My colleagues and I here at the Thinking Moms’ Revolution have a mission.  That mission is to stem the tide of disaster – and save the world a whole heck of a lot of pain – by telling the truth about what we’ve seen happening with ourselves and with our children.  We know what’s in store for the world, because we have seen the Dark Lord rise and we know his supporters by name.  We have gotten scarred and bloody in duels with the Death Eaters, and don’t have Madam Pomfrey fixing us up when it’s over.  Like the Order of the Phoenix, our participation could result in a host of nasty consequences for our members and our families, but it’s the chance we have to take because not fighting is out of the question.  There’s too much at stake if the Dark Lord wins.

One of the main problems we encounter in our mission is that people don’t believe us.  Sometimes I find it baffling that people really seem to think that parents of sick children, particularly vaccine-injured children, would bother to blanket the media with lies.  What on earth do they think would motivate us? Do they think parents whose lives are filled with therapists, supplements, doctors, and IEP meetings have so much free time that they debate vaccine safety for the fun of it?  Hey, I’ve got a free five minutes between Johnny’s speech therapy and preparing for today’s IEP meeting; I think I’ll see if there’s a vaccine post where I can spread some lies! 

I’ve seen a whole lot of justifications for not believing parents, but they mostly boil down to the same sort of condescending dismissal that Fudge gives Harry:  you can’t be trusted because you’re “just” a parent, and you’re unbalanced by your emotions.  (After all, vaccines “were investigated a long time ago and cleared,” right?  Wrong.)  There isn’t anything logical about that sort of dismissal.  “Just a parent”?  Seriously? Who knows your kid better than you do? I’m astounded at how often that criticism comes from another parent who should really know better.  And where are people getting this idea that all these intelligent, educated, generous people are “unbalanced”?   Why, it says so right there in the Daily Prophet!  “ ‘Despite the fact that it’s one of the greatest health measures ever invented by man or woman, there seems to still be a small residue of humanity that objects to the very idea of immunization,’ says Dai Lloyd, a doctor in Wales. . . .” See?  Vaccines are the best thing that ever happened to the world and all those parents who have concerns are just denying the obvious!

Just like The Daily Prophet and the Ministry of Magic in The Order of the Phoenix, the mainstream media and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most notably the CDC, collude to discredit and muzzle parents – and doctors – who dare to question any facet of our runaway vaccine program.  And, damn, if it isn’t effective!  If you so much as mention the words “autism” and “vaccines” in the same sentence, I guarantee someone will pipe up with some version of, “That doctor who said vaccines cause autism had his license taken away because he made it all up!”  Have you ever noticed how shocked they are when you can tell them not only the name of the doctor they’re referring to (Andrew Wakefield), but what his paper really said, the actual charges that were made against him, the name of the journalist who made the original claims (Brian Deer – our version of Rita Skeeter, perhaps?), and chapter and verse on the reinstatement of his colleague Dr. John Walker-Smith when the charges against him were found to be baseless? That’s usually about the point when the people you’re talking to realize you know a whole lot more about the subject than they do.  My favorite version was the time someone called Wakefield, “that doctor who said the mercury in vaccines caused autism,” when, of course, Wakefield’s paper was about finding the measles virus (from the MMR vaccine) in the guts of children with regressive autism.  The MMR does not contain, and never has contained, thimerosal as it is a live-virus vaccine.  I don’t blame that guy, though, because I’m sure he got it from vaccine “experts” on television and in print who are just as confused.

This past week I watched the smear machine in operation.   Actress Jenny McCarthy, arguably the best-known autism parent in the country, was recently hired to replace Elisabeth Hasselbeck on the ABC talk show The View.  Even the possibility of this was enough to provoke hysterical diatribes in a wide range of media outlets (detailed by Anne Dachel and Nancy Hokkanen).

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Like Harry Potter (Undesirable #1), Ms. McCarthy is portrayed as “dangerous” simply for telling the truth.  The Los Angeles Times even goes so far as to quote Michael Specter, a writer for the New Yorker and author of the book Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives calling her a “homicidal maniac.”  Wow.  Homicidal maniac?  Can we think about that for just a minute?  A woman watches her son nearly die after an MMR shot and regress before her eyes, does her best to recover the damage, then tells the world her story in the hopes that it will help other children.  Along the way, she becomes the public face of an organization that helps and inspires countless families dealing with similar issues to recover their children.  (TMR’s own DragonSlayer recovered her two girls with the help of Generation Rescue and gives back by volunteering her time to help others.)  Because Jenny McCarthy tells the truth about her son’s vaccine injury, she somehow deserves the label “homicidal maniac”?  Doesn’t that seem just a tad . . . hysterical?  Talk about “irrational thinking.”  If I didn’t know anything at all about this stuff, the hyperbole alone would make me wonder they were so desperate to shut her up:  what don’t “they” want me to know?  In other words, if their reaction is that strong, there must be a good chance that there is something to what she has to say, or they wouldn’t fear her so much.

Time and again McCarthy has been portrayed as “anti-vaccine,” despite the fact that time and again she has stated that she believes in vaccination and is only advocating for greater safety, which, given her experience and the state of the health of the average American child today, strikes me as more than rational.  Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to make vaccines truly safe, because by their very nature vaccines mess with the immune system in such a way as to destabilize it.  But it is possible to give far fewer of them, to administer them later in life – when a child’s developing brain is less vulnerable – and   to make each individual vaccine far safer than it is right now without significantly affecting the prevalence of deadly illness in this country.  The problem is manufacturers have no incentive whatsoever to do so, because there is tremendous profit in vaccines and they have no liability for the damage that they do.  I’d have to say, as “homicidal maniacs” go, Jenny McCarthy’s incredibly ineffective.

And just like the unfounded statements about Harry in the Daily Prophet, there are unfounded statements (one might even call them lies) about Ms. McCarthy being repeated over and over again.  I’ve even seen an old piece being posted and reposted on Facebook that states that Ms. McCarthy “faces the reality” that her son never had autism (leading many people to believe and repeat ad infinitum that “Jenny now says her son never had autism.”), and that “she is reversing her initial position that the MMR shots caused Evan’s autism.”  Neither is true.  Jenny McCarthy’s son was diagnosed with autism, the same way every other child with autism was diagnosed, and she has never in any way backed off the claim that it was the MMR that caused it.

The thing that I find most amusing, and yet irritating at the same time, is the common belief that “anti-vaccine” people don’t vaccinate because of Jenny McCarthy or Andrew Wakefield.  That belief also comes from the mainstream media: “Many here refused the vaccine for their children after a British doctor, Andrew Wakefield, suggested it might cause autism and a local newspaper heavily covered the fears. Resistance continued even after the autism link was disproved.”   We’re constantly being portrayed as stupid people who are in the thrall of “that discredited doctor” and/or “that Playboy bunny,” and, if only they were muzzled once and for all, all these people questioning the safety of vaccines would stop questioning and take their kids right to the doctor to “get caught up.”  As if anyone would seriously base such a huge life decision on a paper about twelve children published fifteen years ago that mentioned one vaccine, or on “Jenny McCarthy’s say so.”  Personally, I have never cared what Jenny McCarthy’s position on anything was, just as I don’t care what Seth Mnookin, ex-heroin addict and first rank Jenny-basher, has to say.  (As TMR friend Jacqueline Hannaford Murphy put it, “So we are not supposed to listen to parenting ideas on the health of our children from a beautiful, articulate, former Playboy model; however, we are supposed to take health advice from the arrogant, former heroin addict [and non-parent] Seth Mnookin?”)   All the hoopla surrounding Ms. McCarthy has been peripheral to my own investigation of vaccines and their effects.  To me, she’s just one of the hundreds of autism moms I’ve encountered with similar stories.  Whatever happens with Jenny McCarthy and The View, it is unlikely to have much effect on my life and my work beyond this: It pisses me off so much when someone is given the Harry Potter treatment because she dares to tell the truth that it makes me even more determined to keep speaking out.  And I am by no means the only one.

All this is to say, “Go, Jenny McCarthy!  The Order of the Phoenix has got your back!”

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At this point, there are just too many people who have seen the Dark Lord for themselves.  They cannot shut us up; we shall prevail in spite of The Ministry of Magic and The Daily Prophet.

~ Professor

For more blogs by Professor click here.

 

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40 Responses to When Harry Met Jenny

  1. nostromo says:

    If you believe that there is a link between vaccine damage and Autism then
    are you of the belief that one day the mechanism by which it happens will be known?
    Genuine question.

    • Zed says:

      @nostromo: In answer to your question, the mechanism(s) are already known. Keep digging, read these blogs and participate in due diligence.

    • Professor says:

      I might not go far as Zed to say that “they are known,” but there are a number of mechanisms that seem likely based on the available research. One of the many things that vaccines do is to upset the balance of the immune system, so that it becomes hypo-reactive to the real “threats,” bacteria and viruses, and hyper-reactive to substances that in and of themselves do no harm, like cat hair, peanuts, and egg whites. That unbalancing of the immune system can have wide-reaching consequences, including extensive damage to any system in the body (including the brain) if the immune system turns on itself (autoimmunity).

      In addition, the vaccines (particularly the live virus ones, I gather) play a role in unbalancing the gut flora (especially if combined with antibiotic use or history), which makes for leaky gut and allows large molecules and toxins to seep into the bloodstream that would not normally make it through. Those things make it to the brain and cause different sorts of damage, depending upon what they are. This is where the gluten and casein molecules come in. When those molecules hit the brain they frequently cause what we think of as “autistic behaviors.”

      The metals, aluminum and mercury, that are contained in the vaccines can do direct damage to the brain (and other organs), especially in people with impaired methylation. Methylation is the process by which many toxins are removed from the body.

      Reversing the damage caused by each of the above things, removing the metals, healing the gut, rebalancing the immune system all have helped significant numbers of autistic people to feel and think better, and behave more “neurotypically,” which is an excellent sign that, indeed those mechanisms are part of the picture.

      • nostromo says:

        Perhaps. I’m sure you’re aware its said that there is no statistical correlation between rates of Autism and Vaccination (whether that’s true or not I don’t know, but that’s another matter). Of course correlation does not equal causation but I would expect that if a significant number of cases of Autism were vaccine caused then there would be a correlation to be found.

        To my own individual circumstances; I don’t see any signs of ill-health in my son (Classic Autism, NV, ID), he eats well and quite a variety of food from the usual crap to pretty good veges and fruit. Eats better than his older NT sister actually :-) He is tall and healthy and happy with no gut problems that are obvious. He has that big Autie head that some boys have. And I have an aunt a generation back who ‘never learnt to talk’. And when I was 5 and at school my parents were rung and told that it was rather a shame, but due to my not learning anything I seemed to be a bit mentally retarded and would have to go to a special school (I recall that all day I would sit and watch the trees in the wind and daydream). All those things steer me towards believing his Autism might have a genetic cause. It’s known to run in families right?

        OTOH I have with my own eyes seen two identical twin boys, one of whom has Autism and one who does not.
        It was quite fascinating to me to see them at a wedding reception I was at, one talking to his parents, and the other playing with his fork, and rolling his napkins up and doing typical Autistic things.
        There simply has to be something environmental there as well, it can’t be any other way. But it must be something subtle if they are both in the same environment and have identical genes!

        Yep, pretty confusing. I guess we will have to wait until the propeller heads figure it out to really understand, I tend to think that’s not that far away.

  2. Donna Powers says:

    You love Harry Potter? I love you…all you thinking moms and dads and grandparents and especially I love your children who have been so deeply affected. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all you do to create awareness, hope…to be a voice and visible presence for all of us who know that the truth is being denied.

    Amazing piece of writing…you are an inspiration. Thank you for your time and intelligence in a world collectively gone into an unconscious madness…hopefully just a temporary insanity where soon all will ‘wake up’ to the truth.

    What will it take? More blogs, more conversations, more visibility. And deepest gratitude to Jenny McCarthy…what must it take to stand up to all this nonsense?
    You are all in my thoughts and prayers…every waking moment. Maybe you will be in my dreams too!

  3. Nikki says:

    This is an awesome blog! Thankyou for sharing… I’ve only recently ‘woken up’ to these issues. I was surprised at how easy it is to find out information about vaccines and the truth behind them and I encourage everyone to look for themselves, because it doesn’t matter what I say, if you find info in medical journals and other professional articles, even government sites, that really makes you sit up and take notice!
    I can totally relate to the Harry Potter similarities, and hope to keep learning and researching for myself, so that if…no, when the issues come up in my life I can have the answers, just like you!

  4. Christine says:

    I really enjoyed this article. My son is 7. We vaccinated until he was 2. I heard people talk about the MMR shot and autism and I started to investigate. It was the stories of parents that held the most importance for me. Families shared their experiences and I paid attention. I am so grateful for all the parents that spoke their truth. I walked away from vaccines with only a peanut allergy. I will take the word of a parent over the word of a professional any day. Parents are passionate and honest and driven to help.

    • Professor says:

      I’m grateful for all the parents who have shared their truth as well. They have made a tremendous difference to my life and the lives of my children. Now I get to pay it forward and do what I can to help others.

  5. Caro says:

    The claim that Evan has Landau-Kleffner Syndrome is an outright lie that I see Gorski and his mindless sycophants repeating ad nauseum. It was a myth that was begun by a man named Daniel Rubin, where he gave an armchair diagnosis for Evan’s condition without even seeing Evan’s medical records, and without seeing Evan in person. Then, the media got wind of this, propagating it in their hatred of all things Jenny. Time did an interview with Jenny and asked her about this. She explained that some of the symptoms of LKS are similar to autism. This was, in turn, cherry-picked and taken out of context by Gorski and his mumbling meatheads as proof that she admitted to lying about her son’s autism.

    Then, they say that she has cured her son. This, too is a lie; she has recovered him. Cure and recovery are two completely separate words with two completely separate meanings. But, these alleged medically proficient individuals spewing this nonsense are incapable of understanding the difference.

    So, why doesn’t she force the media to retract this? Because she doesn’t care what Gorski and the media thinks. She never has. If she were to try to force a retraction, the Gorski’s of the world would say that she is trying to “censor the truth.” It really is a no win situation for her.

    So, she keeps on going. I admire her for that.

    • Professor says:

      I agree, Caro. It is a no-win situation for her. I, too, admire her for it. And, when it comes down to it, letting them get all hysterical has to ring some alarm bells for reasonable people. I think things like the “homicidal maniac” means some folks are really getting scared that we are getting through.

  6. Prima says:

    Brilliant as always! Love you!

  7. Angela Amdur says:

    Thank you! I loved this! I have to remind myself to speak gently when I’m being berated about our choices because I was once that same unaware, trusting person who thought being smart about my child’s health meant letting the pharmaceutical and medical industry determine what was good for my son. Believing the results of their studies and research in much the same way that smokers believed big tobacco for years. Even worse, I was once one of the jerks who told a friend about herd immunity, how vaccines work, etc. I’ve since apologized, still suffer repeat bouts of mortification whenever I think about that conversation, and have been graciously forgiven, but geez! I wish I could say that I came to that moment of awareness before my family was impacted, but I didn’t.

    • Professor says:

      Angela, I absolutely agree with you. I see people being harsh with “newbies” to vaccine questions and I want to say, “That was you once, wasn’t it? How do you think you’d have reacted to that treatment?” (I remember thinking my old boss was a wuss, because he didn’t want to get a yellow fever shot if the one he’d had was “still in effect.”) I know the harshness largely comes about because we constantly have to defend ourselves to people with a smug assumption of superior smarts — God knows, that gets more than a little irritating, given the research many of us have done — but staying polite will open more minds in the long run.

  8. nhokkanen says:

    Wonderful article with a very apt analogy! Thanks for linking to my AoA article. There’s even an MIT blog that bashed Jenny. I commented there linking to the HHS Office of the Inspector General website, noting that a vaccine researcher tops the fraud Most Wanted list and asking if we really want to censor vaccine safety discussions.

    And today Popular Science piled on. Unbelievable copy-and-paste “journalism.” It’s not reporting, it’s repeating.

    • Professor says:

      Nancy, sometimes I just get so worn down seeing how MUCH crap gets thrown, and then I read something like your blog and I remind myself that intelligent, sane people are on it. Then the feeling eases up just a little.

  9. Allie says:

    Brilliant, Professor. Simply brilliant. As a long time Harry Potter fan (I watched my younger brother get inspired to read as the books were coming out, and now my Aidan is enjoying them) AND a fan of Jenny’s, your comparison of their collective treatment is spot on! Please count me among the Order of the Phoenix…and for the record, from this moment on, I think we should ALL refer to Brian Deer as Reta Skeeter! ;)

    Allie

    • Professor says:

      I like that idea Allie. From now on, whenever we mention him on a comment somewhere we should say, “Brian Deer, otherwise known as Rita Skeeter…”. :-)

  10. Professor says:

    Thanks, Erica!

  11. Megan says:

    I remember feeling so angry while reading the Harry Potter books! Angry that he was being so victimized and dismissed for telling the truth. I never made the connection but you are dead on with what’s happening to those who speak out on the vaccine issue. Bunch of crackpot hippie mothers who having nothing better to do than look for blame in all the wrong places to explain their childrens’ maladies. UGH!! I get the same feeling reading about the treatment of Jenny as I did reading Harry. Brilliant piece!!

  12. MelissaD says:

    Loved, loved, loved this! I too am a Harry Potter addict (though my fave is Prisoner of Azkaban because I would give anything for a time turner to go back to before I ruined my child’s life with vaccines). I have often thought of the parallels between the world created by JK Rowling and the autism one we live in every day. How anyone could possibly think parents of children with autism have ulterior motives for telling the truth is still unfathomable to me. I just want to slap them. Just like poor Harry only received ridicule and loss of friends by telling the truth, so it is with us. Every time I share a TMR post or clever vaccine safety photo on FB I think to myself “Is this the one that is going to find its way to someone that could hurt me/us?” But, then I think “what if it finds its way to someone on the fence about vaccinating their child and it saves him or her from a life of injury and autism?” On top of that is the TIME. Like we do this for fun? I mean I just dabble in advocating and helping other parents when I can, I would bet most of you at TMR do this almost as much as a full-time job. But you do it to HELP people, to warn them what can happen and to save them from being a part of our community. Let’s see, what do pharmaceutical companies, journalists and government officials do it for? Oh wait, that is right, they do it for the MONEY!!!!! I like to think of Luna Lovegood’s words in Order of the Phoenix: “Well if I were You-Know-Who, I’d want you to feel cut off from everyone else. Because if it’s just you alone you’re not as much of a threat.” All of us together are most definitely a threat to their lies and deception or they would not be trying so hard to keep all the autism parents quiet and Jenny off “The View.” Thank you TMR for bringing everyone together and helping us to see we are not alone.

    • Professor says:

      OMG, Melissa! We just watched Luna say that last night! And YES it’s so true. (That Luna sure is shrewd, isn’t she?)

  13. Mary McKnight says:

    Beautifully written… :)

  14. Ann Nielsen says:

    I think you are channeling my inner thoughts that I could never get down on paper let alone in an order that makes sense and is so spectacularly written! It is tiresome to hear about Wakefield and how uneducated people who don’t vaccinate are. When I presented to my daughter’s pediatrician that I had read over 2 dozen books on vaccines she questioned me by saying “I doubt that. I haven’t even read that many”. When I presented to the moms in my baby group (which I no longer belong) they told me “Oh you read too much”. Since that time 9 years ago, I have not stopped taking college science classes, reading and investigating BOTH sides of vaccination, antibiotics, over the counter meds, etc. because that is how a person makes an informed decision. And, by the way, this is my daughters 9th time reading the Harry Potter series. She takes it everywhere. We started the series reading together just before going through some very difficult times for her and she has come through dark days to a lighter, greater place. This is the first time where she has been able to spend a few nights away from home with grandparents and is now almost a whole week at camp, and yes, Harry Potter is with her.

  15. Teri says:

    Unfortunately, people just don’t seem to understand it until they live it! Our society today is so blindly led by the media, and that scares me. If people could/would start looking into things and making decisions for themselves, our fight to heal our children and help future children wouldn’t be as difficult… But I hold out hope that as our numbers (unfortunately) grow, maybe minds will be awakened and eyes opened! Much love to Jenny and best wishes to her for a successful run on ‘The View’! I credit her bravery as the reason my son is pretty much recovered from the autism he was diagnosed with over 6 years ago!!! Thank you for posting!

    • Teri says:

      Just an FYI – her story came out right around the time of my son’s diagnosis and it is the info that she presented that led us (we were SO lost at the time and didn’t know where to begin) to researching the right areas on how to heal our son from the inside out! :)

      • Professor says:

        Thank you, Teri! I know a number of moms with similar stories. Jenny didn’t have any effect on me, but I know quite a few who were inspired to find the answers for their own children because of her testimony and that’s a beautiful thing.

  16. Zed says:

    Thank You! This is fabulous and spot-on.

  17. Candi Calderone says:

    LOVE this piece…I have actually never even read a Harry Potter book myself, but the analogy is perfect. I do not understand the anger regarding Jenny McCarthy…especially WITHIN the autism community. Some of her worst haters are like us…and I will just never comprehend how any autism parent would not want to hear that there is a chance for their child. Is it just the fear of trying something and having it fail? Are they angry because “that diet thing” worked for her and not for their own child? Only when we realize that ALL of our kids do not have the same thing will we be able to get past this ridiculous and counter-productive infighting. Those on the higher end of the spectrum don’t want to hear the word cure – they want to hear about acceptance and “appreciating the quirks” – well, my son is on the low end – and I will never accept that this will be his life. I will spend my last dollar and breathe my last breath finding a way to improve his world…

    • Professor says:

      Candi, you’re echoing my own thoughts. Have tried to understand the hatred from some members of the autism community and I just don’t get anywhere. I think it’s black-and-white thinking. And I think it’s actually an autistic trait. If MY kid doesn’t have X, Y or Z or doesn’t get better with X, Y or Z, then someone who says it can help (their kid) must be lying! Well, it’s just not that simple, straightforward or black and white. There are many therapies that help certain children a GREAT deal, and others not at all. That doesn’t mean that those children can’t be helped. I’ve noticed that providers tend to the same kind of thinking. Once they have figured out a piece of the puzzle, they tend to think they’ve got it all figured out. The saying, “If you’ve got a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail” says it best. We ALL have to broaden our thinking, not narrow it.

      • Donna Powers says:

        hello all,

        I would have to watch the movie again but I remember the scene in Lorenzo’s Oil where the parents who were doing everything to save/heal/recover their child, had to face their worst critics…the parent’s support group for children with the same condition. I wonder if there would be some clues from that scene as to the possible reasons for such resistance by some parents whose children have the same medical issues?
        If a child is sick, you do everything you can to make them feel better…whatever it takes…however long it takes.

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