If there’s one thing about the drug industry backed vaccine movement CHS has learned over the last several years, it’s that it’s almost completely immune to evidence, science, and reason.
No matter how much evidence is arrayed against it, there are those among its spokespeople who always find a way to spin, distort, or misrepresent the evidence to combat it and not have to give up the concept that vaccines don’t cause autism. “Its a mystery” but bizarrely the one thing they are are sure of “its not vaccines“, even when this has been confirmed in the past by leading health officials and agencies through gritted teeth when publicly embarrassed by media attention: Vaccination Causes Autism – Say US Government & Merck’s Director of Vaccines.
Not that this is any news to readers of this blog, but it bears repeating often. It also bears repeating and emphasizing examples of just the sort of disingenuous and even outright deceptive techniques used by promoters of vaccine pseudoscience to sow fear and doubt among parents. These arguments may seem persuasive to those who have little knowledge about science or epidemiology. Sometimes they even seemed somewhat persuasive to us; that is, at least until we actually took the time to look into them.
One example of such a myth is the claim that “vaccines save millions of lives” also sometimes going under the claim that “vaccines are safe and effective.” Now this is something health officials and health departments started, with their shroud-waving tactics threatening parents their children would die without vaccines. But what has happened instead is children develop autistic conditions in their millions with the amazing figure of around 1 family in every 25 in the USA with an affected child. That is vastly higher than pretty much anything else put together including the diseases the vaccines are alleged to protect against.
These people ignore completely and disparage evidence like that on sites which have large sets of graphs showing that the death rates of several vaccine-preventable diseases, including whooping cough, diptheria, measles, and polio were falling before the vaccines for each disease were introduced. Pretending to be scientific the vaccine movement disparage and criticise articles having quotes like the one from Andrew Weil in his book Health and Healing:
Scientific medicine has taken credit it does not deserve for some advances in health. Most people believe that victory over the infectious diseases of the last century came with the invention of immunisations. In fact, cholera, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough, etc, were in decline before vaccines for them became available – the result of better methods of sanitation, sewage disposal, and distribution of food and water.
A well-known US stand-up comedian, television host, political commentator, satirist, author, and actor, Bill Maher has said similar things about vaccines. The vaccine movement complain that “vaccines didn’t save us” is a gambit and has become a staple of vaccine safety websites. They complain vehemently when for example, people they describe as “ignorant bloggers” write:
The mythology surrounding vaccines is still pervasive, the majority of the population still believes, in faith like fashion, that vaccines are the first line of defense against disease. The true story is that nutrition and psychological/emotional health are the first line of defense against disease.
Vaccines are a concoction of chemical adjuvants and preservatives coupled with virus fragments and have clearly been implicated in the astounding rise in neurological disorders around the world, yet the ‘popular’ media has embedded itself as a spokesperson for the pharmaceutical cartel and simply does not report in any responsible way the real situation.
Gorski and the vaccine movement call it the “toxins” gambit. At risk of exposure for absolute intellectual dishonesty, they are forced to concede that of course, it is true that better sanitation is a good thing. They concede it has decreased the rate of transmission of some diseases. Sanitation can do this, with many infectious diseases being transmitted person-to-person through the air from aerosolized drops of saliva from coughs and sneezes or from being deposited on objects that people touch frequently, like doorknobs and suchlike.
They claim “vaccines didn’t save us” is a mere strategy and a distortion. They allege the best way to demonstrate this is to go on to the very first website that currently shows up on a Google search for “vaccines didn’t save us.” And guess what? You will end up here on CHS.
And who is the main crank spreading the claim it is a lie? None other than the internet’s crankiest of medical crank doctor bloggers, Dr David Gorski over at Science Blogs dot com and as ORAC on his “Respectful Insolence” blog. He originally directed his comments to another site’s page entitled Proof That Vaccines Didn’t Save Us, claiming it’s “one of the most breathtakingly spectacularly intellectually dishonest bits of anti-vaccine propaganda” that he’s ever seen.
Well of course for Dr David Gorski, he almost always seems to say that or something like it. No matter what he previously commented on, the one he comments on next is the “most“, its “breathtakingly“, or “spectacularly” intellectually dishonest, pretty much no matter what he writes about.
The formula Gorski uses in his inane prattling is lapped up by his devoted followers, who like small dogs around his ankles jump up and down yapping for attention in subservient comments on his posts.
We say this not because Gorski uses a common distortion, but rather because he ups the ante every time with his primeval urges to make generous use of hyperbole, adding them with abandon to his disparaging writings.
Gorski’s distortions are hidden in plain sight, too, which is why he should have props for sheer chutzpah.
Actually, we have to give Gorski some backhanded kudos for how he always manages to devise some disparagement to represent the classic vaccine movement lies. This he combines with some very clever cherry picking. We won’t take them all on in this post. Maybe we’ll take some of them on in a future post. In the meantime, what we will do is to take on some main ones because they represent a common vaccine movement theme against sites with graphs very similar to the one found in posts like this.
In fact, let’s look at Gorski’s attack on the late Ian Sinclair’s website. He tells you to notice that there are six graphs, four of which are for vaccine-preventable diseases for which widespread vaccination was undertaken, two for which it was not. He will then say all of them show decreasing death rates from various diseases. And he will exclaim “Wow! It seems like slam dunk evidence, doesn’t it? Vaccines didn’t save us! After all, death rates were declining years before the vaccine, and they were declining for the diseases that didn’t even need a vaccine!“
So having taken the main proposition which any sensible person would, Gorski then goes about trying to show you how deceitful, and cunning and manipulative are your own eyes. He writes to persuade you to conclude from what is plain from decades and often a century or two of vaccination statistics, that you are wrong. You cannot, nay, you must not believe it.
Crazily, these kinds of graphs have only been brought into play because Gorski and people like Gorski have been frightening parents for a good century or two that their children will die and vaccines will save them from that. So he and others are engaged in trying to move the goalposts to clear up the mess they made with what in other circumstances Gorski might describe as their own “most breathtakingly spectacularly intellectually dishonest bits of vaccine propaganda that” Gorski “has ever seen“. [Don’t ya love it!]
This is how he follows on with a deceptively simple: “Here’s the problem.” Wow, David will say and he has in fact gone on to say: “It’s not surprising that death rates were declining before introduction of the vaccines. Medicine was improving.” Of course you will not realise that the data goes back two hundred years because David does not tell you, and that is way before socialised medicine ever came on the scene and way before the vast majority of working people could afford it [and believe us, a large proportion in the USA, long without socialised medicine, still cannot]. And yet the steady dramatic falls in disease mortality continued.
Now here is the real deceit. Gorski never once mentions “attenuation“, which is well-known in medicine and it is the steady decline in severity of diseases over time, as shown by all these graphs. His claim is to completely pretend natural attenuation of diseases does not exist and that it is all about “medicine improving“.
Now would you agree that is or is not intellectual dishonesty? Do you think it is right for a medical professional, a trained medical doctor, to abuse medical knowledge to make a claim a competent medical expert simply should not make?
David goes on:
More importantly, supportive care was improving. For example, take the case of polio. Before the introduction of the iron lung and its widespread use, for example, if a polio patient developed paralysis of the respiratory muscles, he would almost certainly die. The iron lung allowed such patients to live. Some even survived in an iron lung for decades.”
Well, you will think, that is pretty convincing. Everyone has heard of polio and iron lungs. But what David fails to tell you is that was for a short period around the 1950s and that he has completely airbrushed out the prior 150 years. He ignores the 1850s or the 1900s when large parts of western economies had working people living tightly packed in slums without adequate sanitation, nutrition or clean water, ripe for the spread of infectious diseases.
Have you seen the film “Angela’s ashes“? If not, watch it and you will soon get some idea about how bad slums and living conditions were. And that is not showing the worst either. But you will realise what misleading garbage is written on blatant propaganda attack sites like Science Blogs dot com by Gorski and his buddies.
Gorski fails to acknowledge or even accept [despite mountains of historical evidence outweighing his own cherry-picked bias] that as living conditions improved deaths from disease dropped dramatically before medicine even had much of a chance to play even a small role.
In the UK the National Health Service only came into existence in 1948. Before then ordinary working people got by without Gorski’s alleged “supportive care”. His ridiculous claim it was “improving” is also pointless save to deceive. When you haven’t got “it” in the first place, improvements in “it” are just as worthless. But Gorski ploughs on having sucked the gullible into his scribbled rants.
But so as not to lose you and any credibility completely Gorski concedes “No doubt improved nutrition also played a role as well.” But with that tiny concession buried in thousands of Gorski’s inanities he rapidly moves on: “However, if you want to get an idea of the impact of vaccines on infectious disease, take a look at this graph from the CDC of measles incidence, not death rates“:
“Now here’s the problem” as Gorski would say. [In fact he won’t and he did not for this part, so we need to]. First, he cherry picks starting in 1950. That bizarrely leaves out the massive decline over the prior 150 years. So no: 1) the vaccine was certainly not responsible for the massive decline in mortality and 2) that decline was still continuing after the vaccines were introduced and 3) it took place before “improved” medicine was commonly available to many [but still not all] in the West.
But Dr David Gorski leaves out even more. So if you have not realised before, let’s help you now. What else has Dr Gorski left out? Notice the graph seems to show measles cases dramatically falling? What you may not have noticed is that he has palmed the card and dealt you a crooked hand from the deck of cards he has hidden under the table.
“Now here’s the problem“. Without telling you, without batting an eyelid and likely without you noticing at all he flips to a graph of measles cases and not deaths to change the game completely. So in one move, a “sleight of hand” just like a three-card trickster who cheats you of your money, he has changed the entire proposition from saving us all from death to saving us from getting what might often be a mild dose of measles, [with no risk of 1 in 25 families having a child with autism as a result of vaccination as US leading health officials have admitted]. And he has done this without telling you, without batting an eyelid and likely without you noticing at all. He just flips to a graph of measles cases and not deaths. It is not the same argument and is not comparable. But you probably did not notice, but David certainly did.
Well “what’s wrong with that“, you might ask. Plenty. Want to know why? Let’s explain it, straight – with no Gorskiesque deceit in sight.
When Gorski’s graph shows a fall in cases, it is not showing a fall in cases. It is showing a fall in the numbers of diagnoses of measles which have been reported.
When doctors say they are diagnosing what they really mean is they are guessing pretty much all the time.
The problem with statistics on cases and not deaths is they depend upon lots of doctors’ guesses. Doctors’ guesses also follow fads, fashions and trends. And Gorski also fails to point out that symptoms are not like those in textbooks. Some diseases have symptoms which look a lot like other diseases. Some patients will have some but not all symptoms. Some symptoms are milder in some patients than others. So a diagnosis a patient has one disease and not another is often a guess. And it is often wrong.
What Gorski does not tell you is the practice of medicine is not science. In fact he will tell you he “follows the science“. He seems such a zealot he would probably prefer to throw himself under a train before admitting medical practice is not a science.
When doctors believe there could be a measles epidemic they can diagnose 73 out of 74 patients as having measles when they don’t have measles. That is a real figure obtained from official data. You can find details here [at the end of the “Introduction” and before the “Contents”].
This also works in reverse. When doctors have information a child has been vaccinated they will tend to rule out the vaccinated disease as a possibility and guess [diagnose] a different disease. That is what the educated guessing process doctors call “diagnosis” is all about.
So when there are real measles cases, and doctors think the symptoms they see are not likely to be measles, they don’t diagnose measles.
Did Gorski tell you any of this? Nope. But we are. In fact all doctors in the USA were told that in 1967 measles was to be eradicated in just that year alone with the measles vaccine. This was in a formally published statement “EPIDEMIOLOGIC BASIS FOR ERADICATION OF MEASLES IN 1967 A Statement By the Public Health Service” by David J. Sencer, M.D., H. Bruce Dull, M.D., Alexander D. Langmuir, M.D. PHR Vol. 82, No. 3, March 1967 253
So you can be sure that in the USA from the moment the first vaccine was licensed in 1963, the hype would have already started. Thus, on the one hand the graph Gorski presented you has figures for diagnoses [guesses] showing a dramatic decline of measles cases from the very moment the vaccine was first licensed in the USA. And on the other hand the moment doctors think it cannot be measles, they stop diagnosing measles and guess something else instead. So when there are real measles cases they will not be diagnosed.
So Gorski’s graph is totally misleading. But glossing over it all he goes on to argue by analogy claiming “Similar results were seen most recently from several other vaccines, including the Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine, as the CDC points out:
Hib vaccine is another good example, because Hib disease was prevalent until just a few years ago, when conjugate vaccines that can be used for infants were finally developed. (The polysaccharide vaccine previously available could not be used for infants, in whom most cases of the disease were occurring.) Since sanitation is not better now than it was in 1990, it is hard to attribute the virtual disappearance of Haemophilus influenzae disease in children in recent years (from an estimated 20,000 cases a year to 1,419 cases in 1993, and dropping) to anything other than the vaccine.”
And then you might ask, what is wrong with that? Again, plenty. The clue is in the word “estimated” in “the virtual disappearance of Haemophilus influenzae disease in children in recent years (from an estimated 20,000 cases a year to 1,419 cases in 1993“?
To put it bluntly, one too many a health official including one too many in the US CDC make up grossly exaggerated estimates to make it look like they are doing their job. Paying their mortgage depends on it. So on the one hand they want to make it look like disease is everywhere and on the other that they are controlling and fixing the problem.
The CDC was officially castigated by the US Senate in an official report “CDC Off Center” as an agency which “cannot demonstrate it is controlling disease“ but which was managing to spend US$11 billion in tax dollars every year not doing what even its name says it is supposed to – Center for Disease Control.
Flu death estimates are a classic example. The US CDC claims there are an estimated 36,000 annual flu deaths so they can promote flu vaccines and prove later how successful they have been. Their problem is the UK were doing the same thing, but got caught and the Chief Medical Officer had to “fess up”. You can read the details here. Flu deaths in the UK averaged no more than 33 annually despite Department of Health claims estimating 12,000 people die annually: 360 times higher than actual deaths. If a plane fell out of the sky over the UK, the way the Department of Health calculated flu deaths, these would have been included in their flu deaths figure. Read it for yourself and see here.
Now, do you think Dr David Gorski is being intellectually honest?
Gorski’s graph claims a fall in measles cases from the moment the first measles vaccine was licensed in 1963. The widespread use of measles vaccine in the US in a mass public vaccination programme started in 1967 which was nearly 5 years later. And the early vaccines were withdrawn because they were ineffective or caused high rates of adverse reactions. The 1963 licensed inactivated (“killed”) vaccine was withdrawn in 1967 because it did not protect against measles virus infection – it just did not work but it took nearly 5 years to find out. Additionally, it was not until 1968 that what was claimed a more effective safer vaccine was introduced. This was the attenuated strain vaccine (Edmonston-Enders). These further attenuated vaccines caused fewer reactions than the original Edmonston B vaccine. The 1963 licensed live attenuated vaccine (Edmonston B strain) was withdrawn in 1975 because of a high frequency of adverse reactions. A further attenuated vaccine (Schwarz) was first introduced in 1965 but is also no longer used: Measles Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases The Pink Book: Course Textbook – 12th Edition Second Printing (May 2012).
As you can see, the US authorities kept a useless vaccine in use for 5 years seemingly without realising it. They kept a harmful vaccine in use for at least 10 years before replacing it. So this gives you an idea of how difficult it is for parents to prove a vaccine is useless or one harmed their child when the US CDC pretends for 10 years a vaccine they later withdrew as dangerous is OK to give US kids. And it also tells you, you cannot trust government and you cannot trust health officials.
And you may also not realise it but these were dangerous, unethical and illegal mass experiments on children, US children, directed by health officials of what is now the US Centers for Disease Control. And the CDC is still doing illegal and dangerous experiments on US children with vaccines, but telling the public and media the vaccines are safe and effective. Nothing has changed. Has the US CDC ever used any of its annual US$11 billion budget in developing an effective treatment for measles? Nope. There is no effective treatment. The CDC is a one trick pony. And if they did develop an effective treatment like a measles pill, and a pill for other diseases, they might be out of a job.
Does Dr David Gorski warn you? Nope. He instead does the opposite with misinformation put out in a distasteful manner on his blogs. [And he is supposed to be a professional medical doctor with high ethical standards, just like the CDC’s health officials.]
So you can see how Gorski simply laps up information he gets off the internet from unreliable and dangerous websites like that operated by the US Centers for Disease Control without exercising any critical faculties over dangerous and false health information given out by US health officials which ends up with US kids getting harmed [and possibly killed]. It is typical of the genre. But he will attack and disparage others from the relative safety of his own blogs and he does so routinely. Go over to his blogs and read for yourself. Make your own mind up whether Dr Gorski is fair and open minded or is he something else? Ask yourself are his blog posts fair and balanced or bullying and harassing those whose legitimate views he wants to censor from common knowledge in favour of his drug industry supporting version of the “truth“. Overall ask yourself is he and Science Blogs dot com a source to be trusted?
The answer to that has to be a Big Fat “NO”.
And for how many other “vaccinatable diseases” have the records of reported cases diminished not because the vaccine works but because medical professionals do not diagnose the cases? Remember, in many cases symptoms can be mild and/or look like another disease. In the UK claims were being made for whooping cough being practically eradicated when the reality was the cases were not being reported: Easily Missed? Whooping cough Harnden, A BMJ 2009;338:b1772. Research Whooping cough in school age children with persistent cough: prospective cohort study in primary care Harnden, A BMJ 2006;333:174
Polio is another because not only are cases unlikely to be reported but cases not involving any symptom of paralysis are hardly likely to be noticed let alone reported and the UK form for reporting is for cases involving temporary or permanent paralysis and not non paralytic polio.
One thing you can say for sure about a death, is the patient is dead. And another is death is the most extreme consequence of a disease. A measure of how less dangerous a disease has become is from the rate at which mortality falls over time, so you can be certain all other kinds of adverse consequences will similarly be far less serious. But Gorski never tells you that nor that statistics on reported cases are wholly unreliable. That is not what Gorski or the US CDC want you to know or even guess at. The more tax dollars the CDC can spend on vaccines, the more certain they are of staying in a job. But then, they do have mortgages to pay don’t they, so we guess it must be OK to pay for them with your child’s health or the next child’s autism or asthma or diabetes [and so on and so forth].
All of the foregoing is why people don’t believe allopathic doctors like Gorski or government health officials and experts. Because one too many are deceiving you, misleading you and acting against your best health interests and those of your children. And if you want a great example, go over to Dr David Gorski’s various blog sites and read the nasty cranky stuff he writes, full of deceptions and misleading information.
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