The Anti-Vax Cult…
a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
WARNING THIS IS A RANT.
IF YOU ARE OFFENDED EASILY BY OPINIONS OR FACTS
THEN YOU MIGHT AS WELL STOP READING NOW.
Yes, a lot of the anit-vaxxors have become cult like. When you refuse to accept any explanation other than what you want to believe, you are not a skeptic. You’ve gone from being a skeptic to a fanatic. These are important distinctions to keep in mind. You have to ask yourself honestly, when you are provided with evidence that goes against what you believe, do you consider it openly? Or, do you just reject it because you think you already know the truth?
The other day I saw a fear mongering tweet made by a celebrity known for being part of the anti-vaxxer cult. In her tweet she said, “Again…Im not ANTI vaccines but we MUST take responsibility 4 choosing which ones WE give OUR children & ourselves.They aren’t ALL harmless“. I wasn’t going to name the celebrity out of respect but as I just went to get the exact quote and couldn’t find it, I discover that she has blocked me from her twitter. I wasn’t rude or disrespectful and only responded to her a few times. Since she has blocked me it means I can’t see any of her tweets now. Because she has not shown the slightest bit of respect towards me I see no reason to show her any respect in return. Respect, is earned not given and I wasn’t even given a chance. I even had commented to one of her fans who suggested that her and I were fighting that I didn’t believe we were. I was just asking to her to post her facts. I was completely civil towards her.
It was Kirstie Alley doing the fear mongering. And, her tactics are working. I was inundated with responses from one cult member after another. She lights the fire and then runs away and let’s her minions do the work. Brilliant but cowardly.
Now before I get into the meat of the rant, let me explain why her comment is fear mongering and ignorant. First, if you don’t fear vaccines you would never say that you need to take responsibility for choosing the ones to give your kids. It’s like saying, “I’m not anti-carseat but not all of them are safe.” There is no reason to make the statement if she wasn’t trying to promote a fear of or concern for vaccines. Whether she’s bright enough to understand that’s what she’s doing or not, she is promoting an agenda of fear.
She even went on to say, “Google it…Many physicians disagree with certain vaccines…some will actually speak up.” What kind of conspiracy logic is that?! Seriously, if they haven’t come out against it than how does she know they are against it? The complete lack of logic and basic understanding of how science works coupled with a complete ignorance of risk versus reward is simply staggering. Furthermore, any doctor that has actual evidence or research that they feel proves a serious risk of side effects is a coward for not saying so.
You have got to remember that everything has possible side effects. Vitamin C can have them and so can eating an baked potato. Take for example, Motrin. It can have some very serious side effects that can include, ash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin, blistering, peeling, loosening of skin, coma, seizures, vomiting of blood and sores, ulcers, or white spots in mouth or on lips to name a few and yet it’s sold over the counter. It can be sold over the counter because the risks are very low.
Another thing I was confronted with were people pointing out lists of doctors that claim to be against vaccines. One one such list had Dr. Nancy Banks listed first. I clicked the link and watched her video. She ignorantly tries to make the argument that since the diagnosis of autism has risen over the years that it must be the rise in vaccinations. She should know better than that. First of all ask most doctor that treat autism and ask them how has the diagnosis for this has changed over the years. They will tell you that because they have become better at diagnosing it. The medical definition has changed over the years so thus they have naturally seen a rise in diagnoses of it. The better doctors become at recognizing the sings of autism the more it’s going to be diagnosed. And, it’s diagnosed at tremendously higher levers than before based on science and testing. Not due to an increase in MMR vaccine. There is no scientific evidence to suggest otherwise.
One person whose child developed some life long illness believes it’s because of the MMR vaccine. She is sadly mistaken. She actually said that she wishes her daughter had just had the measles instead. Really? Chances are her kid would be every bit as ill today and possibly dead if not for that vaccine. But nope, this person is convinced that it was the vaccine. She has no proof at all, just the baby got the shot and then some time later got sick. She simply can’t accept that sometimes bad things happen and there is no excuse. It’s natural to want to blame something or someone but sometimes bad things just happen. If she had any facts that vaccines caused her child’s illnesses, she certainly didn’t say so.
The problem is that the actual evidence just doesn’t support the conclusion some of these wacko doctors like Dr. Nancy Banks are preaching. Her video on YouTube ran about a minute forty-five before I was able to debunk it and I’m not even a doctor. How do I know what I have said is true about doctors knowing more about autism now? Because I have talked doctors. I had a friend whose child has autism and I asked my doctor about it. I’m always asking my doctors questions because I know that no matter how much I can Google this and that, it doesn’t take the place of years of eduction. I know that my doctors know more than I do and when most of them agree on something, I’m gonna go ahead and take the odds that they are right. To do otherwise isn’t ignorant, it’s stupid.
I mentioned risk versus reward and it seems these cult members can’t understand it when it comes to vaccines. It can be looked at it this way. Every year in the United States there are roughly 30,000 people that die in car accidents. There are roughly 2.35 million injuries from car crashes every year. Think about these numbers. We all drive, are passengers or cross the street. Hell sometimes a person can just be sitting in a restaurant having lunch and a car can crash into the store. These numbers are huge but most of us don’t think twice before getting behind the wheel of an automobile. That’s because whether we it’s a conscious act or not we all have decided that driving is worth the risk. Even if it’s just to go for a Sunday drive. We don’t even think about the risks and they are by far greater than that of getting a simple vaccine. We all risk death and series injury every single time we get behind the wheel and most of us do it every single day. For the most part, we feel totally safe going for a drive. Statistically, most accidents happen within 5 miles of our home. Our safety behind the wheel is just an illusion.
Let’s say the most dire anti-vaxxor stats are true as to the death tolls and illnesses causes by vaccines. Even if all of it were true, owning a dog would be a bigger risk than getting vaccinated. Yet for some reason when it comes to vaccines the same people that risk death or injury by going for a drive every single day refuse to give their children vaccines or even flu shots because of an unrealistic and unsupported belief that these vaccines are harmful. They simply are not and study after study confirms this. Why do they believe this? Because a very few amount of doctors and celebrities have come out against them. They have provided misleading stats and studies designed specifically to show the outcome they want to see. It’s just that plain and simple.
Every single link I looked at posted by one of these cult members I was able to look at and see the error in their way. This is why it’s so hard to not call anti-vaxxors stupid. If they looked at what these doctors were actually saying, they could see how these doctors are obviously promoting an agenda of fear. Their arguments do not hold water when put to the test. They are constantly being debunked because they are promoting ideas not science. Or, they use what’s called pseudoscience. The pick and choose real things that sound bad and ignore the things that sound good.
A perfect example you hear these cult members talking about the chemicals used in some vaccines. A big one is formaldehyde. When you hear that can be in some vaccines it’s sound horrible! They fill the veins of the dead with that stuff, who wants it in their body? It can’t be healthy? Well, news flash. Formaldehyde can be naturally produced in our bodies. If you’re a actually educated you should already know this. Yet, once we read that image our friend posts on Facebook that lists the ingredients of vaccines it’s not hard to see why so many people get tricked into believing vaccines can pose a danger. Add to it the celebrities like Kirstie Alley that drop shit bombs for their fans and then cowardly run away, it’s easy to understand how these people get mislead.
When I mistakenly responded to Kirstie Alley i got hit with a shit storm of anti-vaxxor cult members. They came out of the woodwork to throw bad studies and bad science at me to prove their misguided point. I couldn’t respond to every attack and it was seriously frustrating me that I couldn’t. One of the first people to come after me posted several doctor names that supported the anti-vax movement. I took the first name on the list, reviewed it and gave a link right back showing why that doctors opinions had already been debunked. No response to my post. Just a barrage of links to more studies and doctors that back up their irrational fear of vaccines.
You can tell when people are blinded by ignorance by the way they respond to things. An easy way to tell is when they bombard you with links that back up their ignorant beliefs. You can’t respond to everyone, you just can’t. I found myself searching for responses by medical experts and as soon as I’d post one there were 5 more links thrown at me. This is a tactic done by people who are usually on the wrong side of an argument. They don’t want to hear what you have to say or what your response to it is. They just want to beat you down their stupidity until you give up and walk away.
Another way to tell you’re dealing with people who have weak arguments. When they ask a question and don’t give you time to answer it. This coincides with the reason I just mentioned but it’s more than that. This is because they are asking questions that they have no interest in hearing the answers to. For them, their question is more rhetorical in nature because they don’t respond to answers. All they do is just keep asking more questions or posting more ridiculous links to things that back up their ignorance and stupidity. It will never matter what facts you provide them, they will always find an excuse to not believe them. “The site is pro vaccine site” or “The CDC has lied before” or “My kid got sick after getting a vaccine shot so I know better than all the pro vaccine doctors.” These people are sad and ridiculous but most of all their ignorance is dangerous.
These signs tell you they don’t want a conversation or a debate, their minds are made up already and there is nothing you can say or do to change their minds. It’s why I stopped responding to the tweets the other day. After wasting all day on these idiots I was getting nowhere. No one took a moment to respond to any fact I posted. I was just continually attacked with a mass of stupidity.
One of my personal flaws is that I don’t handle stupidity well. I don’t care if I say or do something stupid or someone else does. No one rides themselves harder than I do. If I make a mistake or get something wrong, I mentally beat the crap out of myself over it and I try to learn from my mistake. The nicest thing I could say to these people was that their opinions were ignorant. And, that was as nice as I could be because their opinions were, in reality, bat shit crazy. They weren’t ignorant, they were stupid and paranoid. Their fear is irrational and they apparently have problems with being wrong.
And, I almost can’t blame them when irresponsible doctors like Dr. Nancy Banks go on YouTube rants spouting this kind of idiocy. She’s a doctor and she should know better. But, just being a doctor doesn’t make you right. What makes you right is when you publish your findings and everyone else can conduct the same study and come up the same results. Everything else is just an opinion and as she just proved, not all opinions are worth the breath taken to utter them.
I read almost every single link these people threw at me and tried my best to respond with facts that can’t be challenged. Real facts spoken by real doctors. What they kept throwing at me was misleading information masked as facts. They simply just have their minds made up and they are going to ignore or discount any thing that disagrees with what they want to believe. They have gone from becoming a healthy skeptic to members of a cult.
At one point a lady brought up the “Vaccine Court.” This is something a lot of anti-vaxxors like to bring up as if it is proof to them that vaccines are harmful because the court has awarded money to some people who claim to have been victims of vaccines. This is proof of nothing! This court came to be in the early 80’s and the standard for proof needed to prove someone suffered an illness from a vaccine is far less then what is required from to prove from a scientific standpoint. A win in civil court is not proof of guilt and anyone that says or implies otherwise is misrepresenting the facts. Vaccine court is a civil court, not a criminal court.
I am a what the scientific community would call a healthy skeptic. When I hear the word “study” I don’t outright believe it for a few reasons. One reason is because a study doesn’t mean it’s a fact. Studies can show whatever you want them to show. It’s all about how objective they are. The more objective a study is, the more likely it is to represent the truth. For example, the primary study that many anti-vaxxers still quote is one that has been debunked for about two decades now and the doctor that headed that study has lost his medical license. Most of the doctors involved in the study have had their names removed from it.
Andrew Wakefield’s debunked study is still causing people to fear vaccines. And, to prove how irrational the anti-vaxxer cult has become, many still follow the man even though he is no longer even a doctor. To these people it’s all a big conspiracy. The sad part is they’re right, there was a conspiracy but it wasn’t to discredit Wakefield. It was Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent attempt to discredit the current MMR vaccine because he wanted to market one of his own. If he could discredit the current vaccine then he could introduce his and make his own “Big Pharma” money.
Think about that. So many of the reasons people fear vaccines, and a big one is “Big Pharm” as they like to call it. A lot of these anti-vaxxers believe they make their money from these things when they simply don’t. The irony being that the study these people believe in was actually part of a conspiracy to make Andrew Wakefield millions by releasing his own vaccine. Yet, these cultists keep on believing this guy. It’s insanity.
So when it comes to studies, you have to keep an open mind. And, the problem with the anti-vaxxer studies is that they are shown to be either inaccurate or purposefully misleading and yet they still continue to believe them. These people have lost their objectiveness. They just want to believe what they want believe.
I have researched the anti-vaxxer delusion several times. Every single time I look for a reason to prove that vaccines aren’t safe, I can’t find one. What I find are tons and tons of articles out there provided by the anti-vaxxer community and I have yet to find one peace of information that hasn’t been debunked, in one way or another by the majority of real doctors and scientists.
Like any community there are going to be good and bad. However, when it comes to the medical community the overwhelming majority support vaccines. As I recall it’s something like 81% of doctors support vaccinations. However, that’s just one study I have read others that claim a much higher rate. I posted the 81% stat because it was the lowest one I had ever read. I want to show that even being generous of the number of anti-vax doctors that when I say the “overwhelming” majority I am not exaggerating. Seriously, how can you ignore the majority like that? What level of delusions must one suffer from to reject the more than 80% or the medical community?
It’s excuse after excuse with these people. No matter what evidence is shown to them, they come up with more nonsense and paranoia. It’s truly sad. One person started coming at me saying I wanted everyone to be required by law to get vaccinated. I absolutely don’t want a law requiring that. I never once said that I did. I don’t believe the government should be making vaccines mandatory. However, to enter public schools, the military and so on, they should be required, absolutely.
I only wish the anti-vax cult would use an open when they do their Googling. I read so many responses by these cult members that were simply illogical and completely delusional. Several times responses I posted went ignored because the “site” I linked to had a pro-vaccine reputation. How insane is that? Of course it does, when the vast majority of doctors recommend vaccines what do they expect? But, it’s no reason to ignore the data. These people find the most ridiculous reasoning to avoid accepting the truth.
For example, I have been in a lot of political debates with right wingers and every single time they end up posting a link to FOX News or a right wing blog. In my mind, I already know that the information is probably going to be biased and misleading. But, it doesn’t stop me from clicking the link to read what they have to say. I do this because I can’t respond to them it if I haven’t read what they have said. I always keep at least enough of an open mind to hear a person out if I have entered a discussion with them. If I have engaged the person then I owe them a complete response. I just wish they would return the favor. Kirsty Alley is a perfect example of this. She makes her comments, then refuses to hear anyone out that disagrees with her.
Below are some links that support a lot of what I said here. If you’re anti-vaxxor these probably aren’t going to mean much to you but if you haven’t stepped over the edge yet and still consider yourself a healthy skeptic then all of these make for good reads. If you’re short of time I suggest the video in the New York Times article. It pretty much sums everything up.
And, one last thing, if you’re some anti-vaxxer and can’t sleep without telling me how wrong I am, feel free. Just don’t expect a response. Chances are I am never going to read your response anyways. This is a rant. My rants are by nature opinionated but I try very hard to post facts supporting my opinions. If you disagree with the facts, that’s your problem. Not mine. This is rant is not an invite to a debate. You will gain nothing by debating me. Even if you are successful and get me to join the cult. It changes nothing. What you need to do is convince the doctors and scientists, not me. Because, they are who I listen to.
Annual United States Road Crash Statistics
Ibuprofen Side Effects
Majority Of Autism Increase Due To Diagnostic Changes, Finds New Study
This link has a great video that helps to explain not only what happened with the Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent report but how this idea of vaccines being dangerous has really begun to take root…
A Discredited Vaccine Study’s Continuing Impact on Public Health
7 Biggest Lies Spread by the Anti-Vaccine Movement, Debunked by Science
Journal Club Debunks Anti-Vaccine Myths
Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism
Is there a cure for the anti-vaxxers?
Debunking the Anti-Vaccine Pseudoscience
How To Argue With The Anti-Vaccine Crazies: A Guide
15 Common Anti-Vaccine Arguments and Why They are a Load of Crap