Never let it be said that I don't give people who disagree with me a fair suck of the saveloy.
(Amazingly enough, that's actual genuine Australian slang, though a bit old-fashioned these days.)
My post the other day about anti-vaccinationist Jock Doubleday attracted some feedback from him, culminating in a comment of epic dimensions. Since I've an innate sympathy for anybody who, like me, appears to buy ink by the barrel, and because this is such a brilliant example of the breed, I hereby award said comment a post of its own, just as I did with the last one.
(My own comments on this comment, of course, follow.)
I understand if you believe it's a waste of your time to argue with someone who has stepped out of the vaccines-as-salvation paradigm.
Your belief in vaccines as the greatest good stems from decades of institutional indoctrination -- indoctrination which I also had but which I was allowed to break free from by a chance encounter with someone who had also broken free.
You can continue on with your beliefs -- and with your endless making-it-about-me -- but the truth about vaccines is waiting for you in over a century of scientific research.
Commenter #8 mentioned smallpox. Regarding this disease, please take time to read Dr. Tim O'Shea's article:
Below are the sources I used for my article "Into the Labyrinth: Discovering the Truth about Vaccination" . . . for your consideration.
If you or anyone commenting here would prefer to have a discussion about vaccine efficacy somewhere other than this blog, I can post all discussions on my site. I have had the following URL up for several years with no takers:
"The Great Vaccination Debate"
Or we could carry on a conversation on another site of your or one of your commenters' choosing.
If anyone wants to discuss vaccines, you may first want to read these MDs and medical historians:
If you would prefer to hear nothing more from me here on vaccination, I will be happy to refrain from posting here again. Just let me know.
You are always welcome to write to me at:
Vaccine info sources below.
AIDS LINKED TO MASS POLIO VACCINATION
ANTIBODIES AND VACCINES
ASTHMA AND VACCINES
AUTISM AND VACCINES
CHILD ABUSE (shaken baby syndrome) AND VACCINES
CHURCH OF VACCINATION
CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND VACCINES
DIABETES AND VACCINES
DIPHTHERIA (DPT) VACCINE
DPT VACCINE LINKED TO PARALYTIC POLIO
DISEASE THEORY AND VACCINES
EXEMPTIONS / WAIVERS FOR VACCINES
GARDASIL (HPV) VACCINE
HEPATITIS B (HEP B) VACCINE
HOMEOPATHY AND VACCINES
IMMUNE SYSTEM AND VACCINES (autoimmune disorders)
MMR VACCINE (Measles Mumps Rubella)
MMR AND AUTISM
SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) AND VACCINES
TUBERCULOSIS AND VACCINES
VACCINE ADVERSE REACTIONS
VACCINE CHALLENGE (Jock Doubleday's)
VACCINE CHALLENGE (Viera Scheibner's)
VACCINE PACKAGE INSERTS (pdf files)
VACCINE SITES (GOVERNMENT) Vaccine Adverse Event Report System (VAERS)
Jamie Murphy, What Every Parent Should Know about Childhood Immunization
Tim O'Shea, The Sanctity of Human Blood: Vaccination Is Not Immunization
Neil Z. Miller, Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective?
Robert Mendelsohn, How to Raise A Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor
Walene James, Immunization: The Reality Behind the Myth
Tedd Koren, Childhood Vaccination: Questions All Parents Should Ask
Randall Neustaedter, The Vaccine Guide: Risks and Benefits for Children and Adults
Raymond Obomsawin, Universal Immunization: Medical Miracle or Masterful Mirage?
Ethel Douglas Hume, Pasteur Exposed: The False Foundations of Modern Medicine
Harris L. Coulter and Barbara Loe Fisher, A Shot in the Dark: Why the P in DPT Vaccination May Be Hazardous to Your Child's Health
Leon Chaitow, Vaccination and Immunization: Dangers, Delusions and Alternatives
Harris L. Coulter, Vaccination, Social Violence and Criminality: The Medical Assault on the American Brain
Viera Scheibner, Vaccination: 100 Years of Orthodox Research Shows that Vaccines Represent a Medical Assault on the Immune System
Neil Z. Miller, Vaccines, Autism, and Childhood Disorders
Neil Z. Miller, Immunizations: The People Speak!
Catherine J.M. Diodati, Immunization: History, Ethics, Law and Health
Epidemics: Opposing Viewpoints (Opposing Viewpoints Series, Unnumbered) by William Dudley, Ed., Mary E. Williams, Ed., Greenhaven Press (January 1999)
VACCINE BOOK SITES
AUTISM BOOKS AND ARTICLES
VACCINE BOOK REVIEWS
Comment by jockdoubleday — May 11, 2009 @ 5:20 am
To other readers of this site, not to Jock:
The above comment is a fine example, if you haven't encountered one before, of the "quantity of evidence" or "filibuster" approach, in which a person attempts to justify their beliefs by presenting an enormous number of references which are claimed to - and sometimes actually all do - agree with their point of view. It's a great technique for people who're opposed to the scientific consensus, because it gives people who disagree a huge task - "Don't comment before you've read them all!" - while relieving the claimant of the task of actually forming an argument, or even of saying with which of the numerous sources he or she agrees.
Given the large number of human beings in the world and the very long time that some people have spent believing just about any odd thing you care to name, though, it is unsurprising that you can come up with a long list of books and papers and pamphlets and speeches and Web pages from people who believe just about anything you like. Einstein was wrong, the speed of light is infinite, the colour of human of your choice is superior to the other colour of human of your choice (with the "superiority" arrow pointing in all possible directions between "black", "brown", "white", "yellow", "very importantly different kind of yellow" and "red"), the MMR vaccination causes autism, abstinence-based sex education works, et cetera.
I have a suggestion for any readers who're enthusiastic about giving Jock a fair hearing, but who also have, you know, stuff to do other than spend months digging for a nugget of truth in the above large pile of... data. I suggest you randomly pick one or more of the above, and see what they have to say.
I stuck a metaphorical pin into the above list, avoiding the ones whose names I already recognised (like the ones who say that "shaken baby syndrome" can be caused by vaccines; how delightful!), and settled on "Pasteur Exposed: The False Foundations of Modern Medicine", by one Ethel Douglas Hume.
Ethel took a while to finish her book about Béchamp, seeing as he died in 1908, at the end of a long and productive life in which I feel safe in saying his dispute with Pasteur was not the high point. Béchamp believed in pleomorphism, the view that in certain conditions, animal cells can turn into different animal cells. This much is not incorrect; certain cells, like stem cells, certainly can "differentiate" into other kinds of cells.
But Béchamp took this further. He believed that when you get a particular illness, and a particular kind of bacteria are then found in your body, those bacteria were actually created by tiny "microzymas" in your body which have been caused, by the disease you have, to turn themselves into bacteria rather than into the normal cells of your body.
Here's a believer's page about Béchamp's theory, which says it's "never been refuted". I take exception to that, because we have now studied human cells and bacteria at all scales down to individual molecules, and have abundant evidence that bacterial infection causes bacterial diseases, and that bacteria arise solely from other bacteria, and that there does not seem to exist anything that looks even slightly like a "microzyma".
It has, for some decades now, been quite easy and inexpensive for ordinary people to do biology experiments at home. If you happen to have a placenta handy, you can isolate amniotic stem cells from it; you can even sequence your own DNA at home.
So even if you, like Jock, believe science to be a form of evil religion, you can fiddle about with bacteria in the privacy of your own home in ways that Béchamp and Pasteur could only dream of, and establish for yourself which one of them had the right end of the stick.
(We're also, unfortunately, getting some more plain-as-day hard evidence of the importance of vaccinations, courtesy of people who believe the anti-vax arguments and don't vaccinate their children. As herd immunity falls, more kids get sick, and people are reminded why it was that we started vaccinating against diseases like measles, mumps and rubella, which can be deadly. I'm sure the antivaxers have a very good explanation for this.)
The publishers' blurb on this Amazon page for the 1988 reprint of "Pasteur Exposed" says:
"This extraordinary history of the germ theory, among other things, shows that vaccination far from saving millions of lives has cost millions. In destroying Pasteur's ideas, the author has introduced us to Bechamp, whose experiments produced the first scientific evidence of how homoeopathy, acupuncture and all holistic therapies can cure disease while conventional medicine can only treat it. The implications of Bechamp's discoveries are far reaching and have yet to be realized, and it is hoped that this book will be an inspiration to scientists, therapists and the general public who are beginning to sense the futility of the conventional approach."
Humankind's ever-increasing life expectancies would seem to me to militate against this view that "the conventional approach" is "futile"; I actually suspect that most people who held this opinion in 1924 would, if they saw today's world, admit that they'd got it wrong. I mean, never mind all the people whose cancer has been cured before it became more than a little lump, let alone what used to happen; we've got a smallpox-free world, which notably also does not contain thousands of children doomed to spend the rest of their lives in an iron lung, I'm sorry but the allegation that the polio vaccine had nothing to do with this always makes me just a little bit fucking angry.
The anti-vaccinationists a hundred years ago were all saying that vaccination would never achieve a damn thing and we should all use their homeopathy or other "holistic therapies". Well, we haven't used those therapies, we have used vaccination, and the evidence is there to see for anybody who doesn't still insist on waving books from 1923 in the air as if their projections of what might happen in their future are more valuable than our direct knowledge of what happened in our past.
There's a wonderful pull-quote above the publishers' blurb, too:
"This plagiarist (Pasteur) was the most monumental charlatan whose existence is disclosed to us in the entire recorded history of medicine." - M.R. Leverson
Oh, my! And who is M.R. Leverson when he's at home, I wondered?
Well, here Montague R. Leverson is in a New York Times story from 1901, refusing to report smallpox cases to the NY Board of Health, on the grounds that the government would only lessen their chances of recovery. Here he is again, opposing public-school vaccinations in 1895, and complaining about them in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1897. Leverson was a doctor... of homeopathy. (And is alleged to have been a bit of a charlatan himself, but this is neither here nor there.)
Homeopathy, I remind you, is the idea that water can remember substances it used to be in contact with, when it is shaken by a person who intends it to remember those substances, and will after this become more and more powerful the more strongly it is diluted, and cure whatever diseases are caused by the substance which the water was once in contact with would cause, in large doses. (Got that?)
Homeopathic doctrine, unlike scientific medicine, has stayed pleasingly static ever since Samuel Hahnemann first discovered that giving people water described as medicine worked better than the orthodox medical treatment of his time, which was the year 1796.
Grab a sawbones from 1796 and put him in a modern hospital and he'd be completely mystified, but a homeopath from the turn of the 19th century would be right at home in a modern homeopath's office, after a brief refresher course on the strange ways in which homeopathic remedies can today be "proven".
It's still easy to find homeopaths who claim to treat cancer, autism, diabetes, you name it; but strangely enough, the world-shaking news that serious ailments with clearly-defined endpoints can be cured by something that orthodox science says is just water, or a sugar pill, has not been forthcoming. Once again, these practitioners don't follow up on their patients, and there's no evidence beyond the say-so of the practitioners that their patients are any better off, for diseases that aren't amenable to treatment by placebo.
Homeopathy today has lots of remedies that are "proved" in strange, metaphorical, poetic ways. As with other areas of human endeavour that're essentially just sympathetic magic, this means that any homeopath can claim anything about anything, if they're clever enough. It's like postmodern literary criticism.
Homeopathic "preparations" of straightforward poisons like arsenic can, by this mechanism, end up with a hilarious laundry list of conditions for which they're meant to be effective.
"Arsenicum Album" is, to be fair, not usually quoted as a homeopathic cure for cancer - but it is normally quoted as being effective against the paralysing fear of death suffered by terminal disease patients!
The reason for this is that, wait for it: If a homeopathic remedy doesn't treat the actual illness (in this case, death) that the homeopathically-diluted-out-of-existence substance it's based on (in this case, arsenic) causes when administered in macroscopic doses, it must treat that which is psychologically associated with that illness!
Poetry, right there!
(Some "homeopathic" remedies, of course, simply and rather boringly contain pharmaceutically effective concentrations of real drugs. Nobody can figure out how this happens.)
Amazon has a listing for another book by Ethel Hume, "Béchamp or Pasteur? A Lost Chapter in the History of Biology", with some "Look Inside" pages to give you a peek at its content. (These people are selling a modern impression of that book, and offer some downloadable sample chapters, but the server's currently down.)
And all this fun came from only one of Jock's references! Just imagine how much entertainment can be had from the rest!
(Do feel free to add your comments about any of the other sources in Jock's huge list.)