Be Not Proud: Stand and Be Counted

Age of Autism and SafeMinds are made up of individuals who are fervent, true believers. In their heart of hearts, they believe their cause to be right, their actions to be moral, their intentions pure. Against such convictions all who would naysay are, in their minds, at the least sheople and trolls, paid to stand against martyrs to a noble cause, or worse, we are deliberate evil-doers who wish to commit eugenics and kill innocent children.

We cannot prevail in a war against people with this mentality. Even if science and reason do, indeed, prevail, so that all in the world recognize that vaccines, while carrying some risk, are far safer for public health and the average individual than the risks involved in catching infectious and preventable illnesses, they will remain as an island of conviction that the world is against them, that we are the brainwashed masses and that they are the valiant defenders of truth.

So we cannot reach them, no reason is possible, and simply by pointing out that this is true, that their information is factually inaccurate, their conclusions wildly implausible, we are the enemy. The enemy.

Never mind that we also are parents of children with autism and other issues. Never mind that we offer supportive community. We do not walk the same path of convictions and there is, therefore, no mutually respected relationship, no commonality and no support. It is a scorched-earth policy from that side; don't think it's not. The loudest voices, the ones who attract the most followers, are extremists who are trying to dismantled the vaccination program bit by bit.

Fundamentalists, whether they be religious, political, or anti-science, are dangerous.

For accurate information on flu vaccines, don't look to SafeMinds; that's a video designed to inspire fear. It's no different than Mercola's screed from this weekend. It is fearmongering run rampant. If they were not true believers, they would not be proud of this video nor the posts. Instead of going to people who have forsaken reasoning and evidence-based practices, look to the CDC and studies published on PubMed. For a good, science-based piece on flu vaccines by Dr.Crislip, read this Science-Based Medicine piece. Search SBM and you'll find several other highly readable pieces.

While we cannot change fundamentalists' belief systems, we must stand and counter, offering reason and rationality, and above all else, evidence. Let them be an island. A very small one. However, let it also be an island we continue to reach out to, to offer emotional support for them so that, while we firmly reject their belief system, we embrace them and offer our compassion. It's a complicated maneuver, but it's one I work at each day.


kathleen said...

Stand and counter-yes! Sad to say though..you can quote the CDC etc. and still..still there will be those who decide that the CDC is in cahoots with big pharma..*sigh*

KWombles said...

Yup, them's the folks on the island. Sigh.

Autism Mom Rising said...

While I always appreciate most of what you say, there is always something that jumps out at me. You say things while vaccines carry some risks and occassionally people get vaccine injury it is usually one sentence here and there.

What do you think should be done about those risks? Do you think a policy of find out who is at risk after they get hurt is okay? Do you think that in 2010, given the genome has been coded, HHS has a responsibility of conducting research into who those people are that are at risk? As far as I know that research is not being done.

I cast my advocacy lot on behalf of the minority because, frankly, I think there are enough people advocating for the majority. The majority will be just fine, like they always are. This country doesn't have a history of just granting minorities their rights. It takes protracted struggle. And I see people who are at risk of seizures or Gianne Barre, ect from vaccines as a minority group who have the right to expect that in 2010 someone be working on this problem.

With that said, I don't agree with a lot of what those groups do either, which is why I don't caucus with them, so to speak. I have just as much concern about vaccine compliance rates remaining high as I do a minority being harmed. I have not found anyone or group who advocates equally for both. Until I do I align my efforts with noone.

Corina Becker said...

I just gotta say that if I'm being paid to support science, it's not paying enough if I'm having to get another job and am on social assistance...

Anyways, good article.

I got my flu shot last week, the Fluviral vaccine. And like last year, I'm going to count the weeks and months afterwards and look for evidence of "regression".

Even though the shot just started working now.

KWombles said...


I fear my response has become lengthy and deserving of its own post (as I'm not done yet, and I'm on a second page in the word doc). I hope that most of your questions will be answered in it.

I know you're fairly new to reading this blog and I know I'm pretty prolific, so I don't expect that you would have an accurate assessment of the frequency with which I bring up adverse events, but I've devoted blogposts to adverse events and had individuals share their stories (only to realize later on that the story was mostly fabricated) on Countering.

I'll try to address your questions fully in the new post.

Roger Kulp said...

I hate to keep harping on it,but there is this thing out there called 22q11.2 deletion or duplication.If my observation of Yahoo! groups are any indication,it is possible half of those with duplications,and a third with deletions,are also on the spectrum.Kids with the 22q11.2 immune deficiency are not supposed to be vaccinated.They can regress, just like they do with wild infections.As with autism,the science,and diagnostic criteria for 22q11.2 has grown in the last fifteen years or so.The idea that someone could have a 22q11.2 disorder,be on the spectrum,have all sorts of medical issues,but not have congenital heart disease is all fairly new,but one specialists in the syndrome are trying to put out there.

I have also have learned a lot of insurance companies will not cover FISH tests for 22q.

But testing for chromosomal syndromes means eugenics,and the main hospital in the world for 22q11.2,where most of the research is done is Paul Offit's CHOP.Yet another reason antivaxers will never consider this a possibility for their kids. Le sigh