August 30, 2016
This is it: The Changepoint.
Can you feel it? The last 30 years have led inexorably to this moment when, for the first time in history, all the candidates remaining in the race for the presidency of the United States feel the need to clarify their stance on the use of vaccines – repeatedly and conflictingly. How did we get to the point where vaccines have become such a highly charged, controversial issue? After all, if vaccines are truly as safe as “they” say they are, wouldn’t anyone want a “get out of sickness free” card?
The truth? Of course they would. If vaccines were a truly “free” way to avoid illness, there would be no controversy, plain and simple. Everyone would be on board. That’s why vaccines have generally enjoyed the largely unquestioned popularity they have for as long as they have. Everyone wants to believe in magic. The problem is that, as the number of recommended vaccines and vaccine doses has climbed in the last 30 years along with their concomitant serious adverse events, it has become glaringly obvious that such avoidance of illness through the help of a hypodermic needle is anything but “free” for a large and growing segment of the population who are now living with chronic, often debilitating, illness.
The recent full-frontal assault (represented by legislative efforts nationwide such as SB 277 in California and most recently by yesterday’s press release from the American Academy of Pediatrics) on the right to choose whether or not to receive medical treatments that carry with them the risk of death or permanent disability, topped by the recent pressure on presidential candidates to declare themselves all in favor, means that the time has come to stop pussyfooting around on this subject. So I’m just going to say this baldly:
Vaccines do cause autism.
You all know in your heart of hearts it’s true. The mocking of CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen, her “journalistic” colleagues, and the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Special Masters notwithstanding, there can be no other explanation for why the “myth” has persisted. The mainstream media would have you believe that everyone who believes that vaccines cause autism (at least one-third of American parents of children under 18 at last count) is a superstitious, anti-science nutcase. But if you actually dig deeper and investigate this claim, you will find that often the “all vaccines are magic” crowd is actively discouraging the sharing of science and factual information while at the same time disseminating a great deal of – what shall we call it? Misinformation? – justifying themselves with “you can’t handle the truth.” Those of us who think that vaccines come with some very serious risks that mean that everyone should be thinking long and deeply before taking any vaccine, on the other hand, actively share as much scientific and factual information as possible, while at the same time encouraging you to do further independent study on the subject. We want you to understand that large, epidemiological studies are easy to manipulate. (There’s a reason for Disraeili’s saying, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”) We want you to look at who is funding the science, and ask yourself what questions didn’t they ask or answer? We want you to be aware of what the editors of the most prestigious medical journals and the Cochrane Collaboration (the least biased international repository for medical science) have to say about corporate corruption of science and the failure of peer review.
You see, unlike those who believe you should have only enough information to make the choice they want you to make, we think that the more information you have on the real risks and benefits of any medical intervention, not just vaccines, the better the healthcare decisions you can make for yourself and your family.
When you look at it that way, it doesn’t seem so radical, does it? That just might be because it’s not.
I have read and discussed a great deal of vaccine science in the last 10 years, sometimes with the researchers themselves, and I have come to the conclusion that repeated hyper-stimulation of the immune system, especially at very young ages when the neurological system is developing rapidly, is having serious negative health effects on a large and growing segment of the population. I’ve seen a lot of emphasis on particular ingredients and calls to “green our vaccines” in the vaccine-choice community, but I have rarely seen folks talking about the immune activation itself that is the goal of vaccination and a result of injection with toxic ingredients. And I myself have not organized or presented the information I’ve encountered except in a very general way. Fortunately for us, Twilight recently compiled a lot of the current and compelling science on autism and the immune system for a recent blog that makes it crystal clear that immune activation (such as might be induced with vaccination) and its resultant brain inflammation are crucial in the development of autism.
While this research is certainly suggestive of a link between repeated immune activation during pregnancy and infancy, such as might occur upon vaccination, and the subsequent development of autism, by itself it certainly does not constitute proof that vaccines cause autism. There are other ways to effect immune activation, such as acute infections themselves and toxic environmental assaults, and it’s conceivably possible that vaccines don’t cause the right sort of immune activation.
While it has long been known that acute infections such as prenatal rubella can cause autism, the fact is that acute cases of infectious disease have been decreasing at the very same time the autism rate (and that of other forms of neurological dysfunction) has been skyrocketing, implying that there is a much larger contributor at work than acute infections. “Coincidentally,” the number of vaccine doses received by infants’ rapidly developing neurological systems has been increasing concomitantly with the autism rate. Before the recent vaccine-crazy era that began with the 1986 law removing manufacturers’ liability for vaccine injuries, it would have been highly unusual for an infant or toddler to face many intense challenges to their immune system while the neurological system was in rapid development mode. Nowadays, however, most children’s immune systems are under assault starting in the womb with the influenza and Tdap vaccines recommended for their mothers in pregnancy, and continuing with the hepatitis B vaccine on the day of birth.
After we ran the Autism and the Immune System blog, it came to my attention that someone, who wishes to remain anonymous because they feel that the science should speak for itself (as it should), has painstakingly connected the dots — using NIH-funded, peer-reviewed high-quality experimental science — between the immune activation triggered by vaccines, particularly aluminum-containing vaccines, and the production of specific cytokines in the brain that are a necessary and sufficient condition for the development of autism. (I’m constantly amazed at what people are allowed to work on and publish if they don’t explicitly mention a link between vaccines and autism.)
“Necessary and sufficient condition” is of course another way of saying “cause.” In other words, this anonymous blogger has compiled scientific proof that vaccines can – and do – cause autism. That is huge so I’m going to say it again: scientific proof that vaccines do cause autism. This person runs a website called Vaccine Papers where it’s all laid out. TMR will be hosting in the very near future, with permission of the author, a series of blogs from that website in the hopes of getting this information out to the widest possible audience, especially to vaccine-choice advocates everywhere, who should have the best of the available science at their fingertips. Feel free to dive into Vaccine Papers now or wait for our installments.
In the meantime, Vaccine Papers’ excellent brochure, “Vaccines and the Brain” which summarizes the information, will provide a taste of what’s to come.
By the way, no matter where you fall in your opinion on vaccines, you should ask yourself if it is okay with you that political and commercial considerations are frequently what determines which science is funded and published? And is it okay with you that a CDC scientist came forward alleging research fraud at the CDC that in all probability has profoundly affected the lives of many thousands of people and, even though that information has been in the public domain now for two years, that no media outlet or governmental committee has yet to consider it worthy of investigation? If either of those two things is okay with you, please excuse me for thinking that your protestations of “but . . . science!” ring hollow.
After our blog on Autism and the Immune System, Lisa Stephenson of Autism Revolution for Medical Intervention requested that we stop pursuing the link between vaccines and autism and suggested that by doing so we were sacrificing “all our children for the sake of the ones who have vaccine-induced autism.” I heartily disagree and will illustrate it with an analogy. Say that you have read the research linking smoking and lung cancer. You know it implicates smoking in a big way, but the tobacco companies are running successful interference, and you see people all around you who don’t know about the link and are subsequently developing lung cancer. Do you keep quiet about it because there are some people who develop lung cancer, like my own father, who have never smoked a day in their lives and you might be “sacrificing” those people “for the sake of the ones who have smoking-induced lung cancer”? Of course not! You speak up and inform people what their choices and actions may lead to and in the process help benefit the individuals, their families, society at large by enabling them to avoid the physical, social, and economic costs of serious illness. Then, if they still choose to smoke, at least they’re doing it with their eyes open.
And none of that dissemination of information precludes advocating for proper treatment for all people who develop lung cancer, whatever the cause, just as informing people of what can happen if they continue to vaccinate according to the CDC schedule (or a number of other things we talk about) does not prevent us from advocating on a federal and local level for better lives for all people with autism — even the ones who think we’re crazy or misguided.
Yours in anticipation,