Apparently I Really Needled Them
This entire volume of hate mail came from a column I wrote on the myth of the autism link to childhood vaccination. Talk about bringing the nuts out of the woodwork!
Why Did it Take Them so Long to Figure It Out?
[Insert your own "sics". For more on the Illuminati conspiracy theories see: http://www.rotten.com/library/conspiracy/illuminati]
we all know why you illuminati/eli lilly shills like vaccines don't we
wouldn't want to have one of your population reduction and taxpayer robbery toys taken away from you would you
all your hoaxes are going to be exposed http://www.whale.to/b/hoax.html
[Incidentally, this is the same conspiracy site that says the "Spanish Flu" pandemic of 1918-1919 was caused by vaccinations.]
lets hope thimerosol bankrupts your Nazi company Eli Lilly with all its closet Nazis like Bush and co, and lets hope you have all of your money in its shares!
your baby killing toy called vaccination (yes 666 funnily enough) is due to end one day, so your satantic toy is going to burn in heaven asshole
So now you know! But don't you also realize you're being spied on via tiny cameras we've embedded in the pyramid eyeball on each dollar bill in circulation?
I Feel Complete Now
You are a complete asshole!
The study you are referring to by Dr. Andrew Wakefield has not been retracted by him.
My child WAS affected by his vaccines [They weren't "his" vaccines; he's not a drug company.] – I won't go into detail, because YOU obviously care nothing for the truth.
Dear Mrs. McNulty:
I may be a complete asshole, a partial one, or perhaps I just have one attached to me somewhat below my tailbone. In any event, I never claimed Wakefield issued a retraction. The retraction was on the part of 11 of his 12 co-authors (the 12th couldn't be located) and the medical journal in which the study appeared, The Lancet, has effectively published a retraction as well. Adolf Hitler never retracted Mein Kampf and I don't suppose the good doctor Wakefield will admit he lied.
Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut . . .
Are you nuts??? Where have you been while the evidence has been pouring in?
Why don't you do your readers (and the children of this country) a favor, and listen to the testimony presented to the Institute of Medicine on February 9, 2004?
A little bit of factual information won't hurt your style one bit.
Dear Mrs. Hirzel:
By "evidence," could you be referring to the 16 studies I cited that showed no link between thimerosal and autism, some published within just the last few months? Or do you consider all of them trumped by testimony presented at a hearing by one of the two doctors I identified in my column as activists and consultants to trial lawyers? Never mind; you've made your position clear.
There Goes My Free Tuition
I don't have very long [sic] to waste on giving you a free education, Mr. Fumento, because I have to work two jobs to pay for treatments for my two damaged children with autism who will never have a full life because scientists and doctors that I trusted were more interested in the bottom line and their reputations than my kids' health and well-being.
I simply wish to tell you that my children are not "birth defects" and their problems are not due either to my age or fat - lean ratio! Such things are preposterous and beneath you. Get educated on the subject matter yourself before you attempt to enlighten others. Better yet, stick to the fashion beat or the weather, as the delicate balance of genetics and environmental triggers in causation of autism is obviously over your head.
Dear K. Combs:
Then we are in agreement in that I don't "have very long" to receive a free education from somebody who takes such obvious pride in his or her own ignorance.
From a Calm, Law-Abiding, Taxpayer
I personally think you have a lot of nerve to print that article. You obiviously [sic] have no idea what you are talking about. Have you ever considered WHY Dr. Wakefield would stand his ground even after he lost his job at the Royal Hospital? He knew the truth and and [sic] that it had to come out. Those who retracted their claims lack the backbone. I am SURE they were pressured or they would become vagabonds in the medical community as was the attempted outcome with Dr. Wakefield.
My bright, humorous, outgoing, bubbly daughter lost her ability to even say "Mama" or "Dada" after she had her MMR. In fact it took a year of speech therapy to hear her call my name again. Because of what the MMR did to her bowels she cannot have anything containing wheat or milk or she goes into a crying rage.
Mercury is not safe for anyone! The studies that are being reported on are seriously flawed in several ways, including the removal of any effected persons from the control data.
I am a calm, law abiding [sic], tax paying citizen. I do not tell my friends not to immunize their children, but you can be sure that I help to educate them to the dangers and things they can do to help them be more cautious about how they are administered.
I had recieved [sic] more than the standard share of immunizations because I served in the military. My dentist felt it was safe to remove and replace two amalgam (mercury) fillings about 3 weeks before I was to give birth. I am suffering from mercury poisoning myself. I have rosacea, fibromyalga [sic], Sjodren's Syndrome, asthma, chronic fatique [sic] [not to mention hypochondria] and I am only 40 years old. There will me [sic] many more like me if people like you keep falsing [sic] informing the public.
I haven't said all I could [Though she's certainly said more than she should.] but I assume you won't read this anyway. May God have mercy on your soul for all the damage you have done with your article.
Dear Ms. Duncan:
Wakefield didn't stand his ground; he fled the country to join a conspiracy group in Florida. Despite your alleged knowledge about autism and vaccines and despite my column having informed you, you still cannot get it through that calm, law-abiding head of yours that there is no thimerosal in the MMR vaccine and never was. I will say this though, if there will indeed be many more people like you as a result of my writings, then God have mercy on my soul indeed.
A Mental Casual-ty
Your Commentary [sic] – Vaccines Vindicated is SO full of errors and half-truths that even the casual reader of the entire controversy can see through it. Unfortunately, some of those ignorant to [sic] the facts will believe you.
Shame on you.
Dear Ms. Marie:
Well, as readers go you seem to be about as casual as they come so I must defer to you.
Now I'm Really Flucked
Thanks for joining the fray. Unfortunately you sound like Howard Stern. Maybe sensationalism will get you some publicity. Apparently that is all you are after.
[omitted] Fluck (husband of a vaccine damaged wife).
Dear Mr. Fluck:
Actually, I'm not in the obscenity business but in the science-based reporting business. Insofar as I directly cited four studies and discussed the outcomes of about 50 others in a piece only about 770 words long and the best response you can give is that I'm a sensationalist, it appears I've done a convincing job. Thank you. As for your wife, you have my full sympathy. My own wife received all the usual childhood vaccinations and 30 years later developed a permanent medical condition. So she must be vaccine-damaged as well.
You @#%@ Name Caller!
Dear Mr. Fumento,
I have been reading with interest your rather emotional and childish responses to several email messages you received regarding vaccine safety. Congratulations on maintaining an open mind.
Calling parents of handicapped children "names" [Why the quote marks?], and suggesting they are part of the problem behind mercury in vaccines, instead of recognizing them as the grass-roots solution, is sadly predictable. Your writings are insensitive and insulting. [Trying to sweet-talk me, eh?]
I'm sure your purely subjective view comes from your Fellowship [sic] at the Hudson Institute, coincidentally sponsored by our friends at the Lilly Endowment, you know...as in Eli Lilly. We expect people such as yourself [sic] who rely on the Pharmaceutical [sic] company to subsidies [sic] their mortgage, to fight the science tooth and nail. It's natural to protect your source of income. What seems to be suspect here, is your ability to conduct thorough research, a skill I would have thought you may have picked up alone [sic] the way. Are you disappointed that you wasted all that money on an education and can't seem to discipline yourself enough to research a topic in it's entirety before publishing it? Your problem is you are publicly disingenuous, and heavily reliant upon self-interested half-truths. You haven't the backbone to search for the truth, let alone publish it once it's been exposed. I find your approach, pathetic.
You sir are uniformed [No, I was for four years but have long since been a civilian.] Mercury remains in vaccines, and anyone with any sense would have found the TRUTH if they so desired. WE know this because we have secured vaccine from the open market, and have had creditable researchers analyze and confirm our finding. How did you come about your information? Did your friends at the CDC tell you? Or maybe Lilly told you. What's sad is that you are intellectually corrupt enough to believe them. Your mission is, Avoid [sic] the truth, and spin the pharmaceutical company line. Tell the lie enough times and people will believe you. Good strategy. It worked for several fascists [sic] dictators. There's no reason it won't work for an insignificant lackey like you.
How does it feel to know people find your work laughable? If Lilly tells you to say Autistic [sic] children are actually off-spring [sic] of visitors from another planet, you mostly likely would jump at the chance to write a silly little story about it.
In the future, do your homework.
Dear R.M Manning,
Oh, how I do love all these conspiracy theories you people throw in my face rather than deal with the studies I discussed! Nice try on the Lilly Endowment. Theoretically you could have been right that the alleged "Chinese Wall" between Eli Lilly & Company and the Lilly Endowment doesn't exist, the problem is that Hudson has been told in no uncertain terms it will no longer get grants from the Lilly Endowment as a result of the Institute's decision to drop its Indianapolis office. The decision to do so made the papers a week before my column came out and of course I knew about it long before that. Bad timing on your part, old sport!
And you're right, I really do need to watch that name-calling. We all do. For example, I recently received an email from a certain R.M. Manning in which I was called childish, insensitive, insulting, a bribe-taker, sadly predictable, a waste of all the money spent on my education, undisciplined, publicly disingenuous, reliant upon half-truths, a poor researcher, spineless, pathetic, uninformed, a lackey (albeit an insignificant one) of both the CDC and Lilly and pharmaceutical companies in general, intellectually corrupt, and laughable. Isn't that shocking? One might expect from all this that this Manning would complete avoid any mention of the mass of science I presented in my piece. Indeed, such was the case. The only direct challenge was to say there is still mercury in some vaccines. I never claimed otherwise, I said "childhood vaccinations."
God Hates Vaccines
Just a quick note. My SINCERE prayer for you is that God will touch your heart and your eyes so that you will become an advocate for our children. :)
God Bless You,
Dear Mrs. Davis:
But I am, which is why I wrote the piece. My sincere prayer is that you will accept that there is absolutely no evidence that your child was injured by a vaccine and that bad things simply happen to good people for reasons beyond our ken.
Less Merit than None?
To the Editor:
In Fumento's bitter diatribe, "Anti-vaccine activists get jabbed," Fumento attacks Wakefield's study as "science baloney." Yet he the proceeds to cite other studies that have even less scientific merit. Just as one example, Fumento discusses the 2003 Madsen study of autism incidence in Denmark from 1971 to 2000 as proof that thimerosal cannot have caused autism. In this study, much of the increase in diagnosis was an artifact of a change in diagnostic definition, an artifact that Fumento later acknowledges ("Increased diagnoses without increased incidence are common"). Yet he fails to see this very obvious flaw when the conclusions of the study support his personal views. To Fumento, the word "science" must mean any publication with statistics that one can use as a personal soapbox.
For a more detailed critique of Madsen's 2003 study, visit http://www.vaccinescience.org/reviews/2003/madsen03.html
Dear Ms. Tucker:
I read your bitter letter and the critique. The latter amounts essentially to what is known in the science and medical community as "nit-picking." In any event as I stated in my piece, it was only one of a vast number of studies coming to the same conclusion, that thimerosal does not cause autism. I was also intrigued to find this letters exchange (below) between you and the author of a wonderful anti-crackpot website called The Millenium Project at: http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/tucker.htm. By golly, I think he really has your number!
I wanted to thank you for providing an excellent resource for people exploring vaccine and medical issues. If you should choose to include my site on your list, I would be honored.
I was wondering why you don't seem to have www.redflagsweekly.com on your eminent list of 1000 rsoles? They routinely challenge orthodox medical views, including those on vaccines.
Thank you for volunteering your site for inclusion in The Millenium Project. I am very pleased to do that as your site is one of the most egregious cases of lying to oppose vaccinations that I have ever seen. Your convincing and hypocritical pretence at balance and scientific rigour in order to hide your real agenda must have required considerable effort. I am sure that it will prove to be very deceptive to parents seeking information about vaccines and vaccine safety, therefore achieving your objective of denying some children the protection against infectious diseases that vaccination affords.
As a bonus, I have not only included your anti-vaccination page in the "Anti-vaccination Liars" category where it so rightly belongs, but I have included your main site in the "Medical Frauds" category as well. (Both sites, of course, are included in the special-mention "Liars" category.)
Dear Mr. Fumento:
It is not any more nitpicking than what you did with Wakefield's study. My complaint with your nitpicking is that you selectively apply it to studies you don't like. Science should hold all research to the same standards.
You really are from another planet aren't you? Your complaints against the Danish study basically come down to, "It came to a conclusion contrary to my own position." Meanwhile the Wakefield study has been disavowed by the publication in which it appeared, The Lancet, which acknowledged that Wakefield had received money from lawyers suing MMR manufacturers and that indeed some of the tiny number of participants in Wakefield's study were clients of those lawyers. The Lancet has since issued an apology. Meanwhile 10 of Wakefield's 11 co-authors have issued a "retraction of an interpretation," stating "We wish to make it clear that in this paper no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism as the data were insufficient. However, the possibility of such a link was raised and consequent events have had major implications for public health. In view of this, we consider now is the appropriate time that we should together formally retract the interpretation placed upon these findings in the paper, according to precedent." The 11th author, they said, could not be located. This is not some arrogant American activist-alarmist trying to poke holes in a major study, these are the study's authors themselves! Finally, Wakefield himself was forced to resign his hospital position not because he published the paper, which was six years ago, but because he cheated and lied. Knowing no other hospital would take him, his only recourse was to join a child-hating anti-vaccine group like yours. For you to put your solo, self-serving criticism in the same league with all that is as monstrous as the very cause you serve.
I Only Trust Information from Certified Lunatics
To Michael Fumento------ You had better get on your computer and go to www.drcarley.com How dare you write an article in this Sunday's NY Post without knowing some real information. If anyone is a scaremonger it is you. I'm sure you wouldn't have the courage or guts to tell the real story, how pathetic [omitted] Gregerson
Dear Mrs. Gregerson,
Insofar as I did have the courage and guts to tell the real story, you're a bit late for that. But I did go to the website you proffered. I noted even though it's just another whacko page that opposes not just MMR, not just thimerosal, not just childhood vaccines, but ALL vaccines that on the home page it shows an old photo of little children being quarantined for having mumps and measles. Dr. Carley would practically have to be out of her mind to do that. Whoops! Turns out she is! To quote Quackwatch : "In July 2003, the New York State Board for Professional Medical Conduct (BPMC) found Rebecca Lee Roczen, M.D. (a/k/a Rebecca Lee Carley, M.D) guilty of "practicing while impaired by a mental disability" and "having a psychiatric condition which impaired her ability to practice medicine." Her medical license was suspended for five years with a provision that her ability to practice could be restored after one year if she sought psychiatric treatment and the psychiatrist recommended that she be considered fit to practice again." You can find a copy of the license suspension document here: (http://quackwatch.org/11Ind/carley2.html)
When I say the anti-vaccinationists are lunatics, I'm not speaking metaphorically. Only a lunatic would cite the writings of a lunatic for support.
Doctors with Starving Consciences
Mr. Fumento: Let's see: You don't have any young children or grandchildren. Or maybe you have some investment in the vaccine companies. Or you're got such a father complex need that you couldn't conceive that our health control agencies could actually have been hiding the truth about the toxins in vaccines. Such massive ignorance I have yet to behold in a reporter as in your article. Why don't you bother to get some information and use your role as a reporter to try to help this tragic situation?
Jaquelyn McCandless, M.D.
Dear Dr. McCandless:
Let's see, you're a quack doctor who publishes books like "Children with Starving Brains" that viciously prey on ignorant parents and who writes papers such as "A Bio-Medical Treatment Approach to Autism Spectrum Disorder, Including Heavy Metal Detoxification." Are you aware that one Rebecca Lee Roczen, M.D. had her license suspended for five years for doing apparently exactly what you're doing? When is your hearing?
How Dare You Stop Me from Blaming Others?
"If indeed there is more autism, a likely culprit is women having babies later than ever – something long associated with birth defects. Another is the obesity epidemic. About 20 published studies have found that children from overweight moms have higher rates of many types of birth defects."
If you are the author of this statement, you should be ashamed of yourself. How dare you write about something that you know nothing about. You think reading articles or reports gives you have the right to blame parents for autism.
I had my daughter at 26 years old. I weighed 160 pounds at 5' 9" and was very, very athletic. I did nothing to make this happen to me. I grew up in queens [sic] on 35*100 [sic] lots and we knew everyone in the neighborhood. I can say I knew no autistic families but yet today there happens to be 3 kids on my block alone. If you think this is not something that we all need to be worried about, you are nuts. Scientist [sic] have been doing studies on autism and they come up with nothing. You read an article and you have the answers. I hope you are done having children because autism can happen to you to [sic]. If you are done - be prepared to be the grandfather of a child with autism. My daughter is 7 years old and cannot be alone for more than a minute, she cannot tell me she has to go to the bathroom and she cannot say I love you. [Maybe she doesn't feel like saying it.] Tell me that I did this. How dare you [sic].
Maybe the parents who choose not to vaccinate do it in fear because they have seen autism first hand [sic]. Come see autism first hand [sic] and you too might not vaccinate. Don't get me wrong, I did vaccinate. But, I did it slowly – maybe this should be researched. Why does a 1 week old baby need a vaccination for hepatitis? Not to mention that up to 2 years ago we were putting mercury into the shot. We can't make thermometers with mercury but we can put it into our children's blood stream [sic]. It is all about the almighty dollar.
I never wish autism on anyone but your statement puts evil thoughts in my head. Think before you write.
Excuse me, but who else would be the author of the statement that had my name on it? This is rather representative of your inability to cogitate. (Yeah, I know; look it up. Or have somebody else look it up for you.) I didn't say the cause of ALL autism, I said the increase. Let me repeat that for you: THE INCREASE.
By the way, what was "the" article I read that supposedly gave me "all the answers." When I wrote of 20 studies, I meant 20 studies. When in doubt, interpret literally. Insofar as you can't even spell the borough where you grew up, it would be too much to ask you to actually read a study for yourself. But they are there nonetheless. Birth defects are directly related to many things a mother does: smoking, drinking, using drugs, being fat, and having children late in life. That's reality. If you want to call that "blaming the mother," be my guest. It's a lot better than blaming a vaccine maker when there isn't the least connection between vaccines and autism. What I read in all of this is that you belong in one of the above categories and rather than accept your own guilt you point your bony finger at others. You're as pathetic as the thief who "blames the system." Don't shoot the messenger; accept responsibility for your own shortcomings.
I do not fall into your so called [sic] categories. I have never done one single drug, I do not smoke and I do not drink. The only shortcoming that I have is giving you any time or thought. It was my mistake. Your article is being passed around the autistic community. This is how I read it. I would never purchase the Post for the simple reason they allow you to write for them and I am sure anyone else who reads this article will have the same feeling.
Hmm… Interesting that you didn't mention the other areas, such as being overweight. But I'm sure the world will be a poorer place for your never reading the Post again and I'm sure you speak for absolutely everyone who read the article, including all those who took the time to send me nice letters expressing their exasperation with people like you.
[Alas, she never got my response. She quickly blocked my address and went off to get her usual "Supersized" meal.]
I'm Not a Whacko, I Just Look, Act, and Sound Like One
Please stop characterizing the parents of thimerosal-injured children as anti-vaccine whackos, etc. Most of the parents that I know of such kids are not antivaccine, just anti-mercury. My own son received the highest level of thimerosal possible within his childhood vaccinations (at a cumulative exposure of 187.5 ug [micrograms] mercury by the time he was 6 months old). Subsequently, he was diagnosed with autism at 18 months of age and with a mercury (heavy metals) excretion disorder at age 2.5 years. I'll let you know, my son is not a tragedy, he is a miracle! He can now write his own name and is starting to speak at age 6 years old, defying the prognoses offered by most of the specialists that originally diagnosed him. He is a joy every day and will ultimately fully emerge from autism.
However, I and my colleagues will not stop advocating against thimerosal in childhood vaccinations. We deserve adequate compensation for our children's injuries [Ka-ching!] and to not be threatened by likes of the CDC, IOM, vaccine manufacturers, the Department of Justice, and pundits like yourself. More importantly, we do not want to see other kids subsequently injured needlessly by thimerosal (in many vaccines in 2004, just suspiciously omitted from the PDR).
If you are truly interested in these (and all) kids [sic] well-being, please contact me. Otherwise, you will belie your obvious ties with corporate types who are interested only in the financial bottom line!
Right, Brian. That explains all the opposition to MMR which contains no thimerosal and never did. If you didn't notice it, MMR was indeed the focus of my piece. And I've been getting letters from your fellow parents for a week. There hasn't been a sane one among them. One even directed me to the website of a physician who lost who her license because she was herself declared insane. Meanwhile you "will not stop advocating against thimerosal in childhood vaccinations" even though I just told you in my piece it hasn't been in childhood vaccines for two years. Are you also going to not stop advocating against lead in paint, even though that was removed decades ago? As to my "obvious ties with corporate types," if you knew the least thing about this subject you would know that vaccine makers are fully indemnified in this country. It would hardly serve their purpose to hire somebody to write anything on their behalf. I wrote my piece because I am truly interested in these kids, and truly horrified by the incredible ignorance, meanness, and yes the mental instability of parents such as yourself. I pity these children not just because they have autism but because of the mothers and fathers they got stuck with. Talk about a double whammy!
Thimerosal is in vaccinations (see attached). Please stick to the issues and not render this a personal attack. My intent in emailing you is for information sake [sic], not to exchange attacks. Attached [and omitted] is the vaccination table from the Institute of Vaccine Safety dated 1/13/04. Your piece is in error.
Okay, I won't render this a personal attack. I'll just say apparently when I see the words "no longer in production" next to the name of a vaccine and when you see them, we obviously disagree on their meaning. Don't write again.
Sorry, But There's No Excuse for You
Excuse me. What do you know about vaccines being vindicated? Did you ever get an MMR or DPT vaccine yourself? Don't answer that because I know full well that you have never gotten an MMR or DPT vaccine yourself. Admit it!
Please clarify this opinion of yours. Here's my opinion – what you need to do is first get one of these vaccines, and wait a year or two, and then evaluate your overall health. Ha! Go ahead, make that doctor's appointment today!!!!
Then, how can you be so duped? Don't you know that there are huge numbers of vaccine damaged [sic] people out there [sic]. People whose immune systems are compromised, and weak because of vaccines. People whose hair have [sic] gone prematurely gray because of vaccines. People who fight Candida infections and on-going viral infections because of vaccines. People who have lupus because of vaccines. Don't you know how insensitive you are!
There is a huge controversy over vaccines precisely because there needs to be. Believe me, criticism of vaccine programs has been fully earned.
Hillary [long-hyphenated name omitted]
Dear shrew with an incredibly long hyphenated name:
Excuse me. What do you know about vaccines being vindicated? Did you ever get an MMR or DPT vaccine yourself? Don't answer that because I know full well that you have never gotten an MMR or DPT vaccine yourself. Admit it!
Please clarify this opinion of yours. Here's my opinion. Science should be based on studies, not hearsay reports of other people's anecdotal evidence. I know there are NOT huge numbers of vaccine-damaged people out there because the CDC keeps exquisitely accurate records of complaints through its Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Mind you, these complaints are verified. Anybody who wants to blame a vaccination for anything can make a report. Yet red flags rarely pop up. And no, nobody has ever gotten Lupus or gray hair from a vaccine. That's called "conspiracy theory talk," like the spotting of little green men or seeing Elvis at the corner diner. Finally, as far as being insensitive it looks like I could take a few lessons from you. But my job is not to be sensitive (especially when that translates into lying) but to relay what the science has found. So sorry, but I'll believe the studies and not you.
Saint Wakefield of London (Until they Canned His Butt)
Dear Mr. Fumento –
Dr. Wakefield heals; it is my unequivocal belief that perennially vindictive individuals such as you "have blood on their hands".
Dr. Wakefield takes money from lawyers to lie. You like him because his lies support your prejudices that are so established that when somebody challenges them all you can do is call names. In any event, I would rather be vindictive against liars than guilty of supporting the Slaughter of the Innocents. Yes, I'm referring to you.
To Read It, It Seemed Like 1,000 Pages
dear [sic] mr. [sic] fumento,
i [sic] have read all of your articles about vaccines and autism and i [sic] have reached a point this evening that i [sic] need to e-mail you or explode! i [sic] am not an e-mail person to say the least, nor a vindictive, angry woman with a lot of time on her hands. I am the mother of a beautiful thirteen year old [sic] autistic son and an amazing eleven year old [sic] son. Your articles have indeed made me angry as well as break [sic] my heart. My son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 23 months. His name is Alex and he was a perfectly normally developing child until 16 months. He spoke many words and loved his family and just about anyone who engaged him. Alex had severe reactions to all his immunizations but after his mmr [sic] at 15 months he spiked a fever of 105, and was ill will [sic] vomiting etc [sic] for 2 weeks and lost all language and desire to engage with anyone he loved. His autism is still with him and always will be.
I have a story that could go on for 1000 pages [Don't worry, you've gone on long enough.], but i [sic] don't feel a need to share that with you because a man with such a black and white view could not begin to comprehend or care. I am sending you this e-mail because i [sic] need to know why you feel so adamant and educated on this subject. Does your father own a pharmaceutical company or did a close family member die because of disease which could have been prevented with immunizations? I do not profess to know what happen to my son. [Funny, you did a few sentences ago.] What i [sic] do know is that there is no history in our family, I was 31 when i [sic] had alex [sic] (not old) and the incident [sic] of autism has increased 500 fold [!] over the last decade. If you understood what autism was, you would not make such a stupid statement as "its [sic] better diagnosis" in 2004. Autism is severe and forever. There is no fine line. our [sic] children need 24/7 care forever!!!!!!!! You would think the statistics would reflect the government caring for millions adults [sic] at this point. I realize how important immunizations are, but you can not trust everyone to do what's right and informed for your child. I also realize the ramifications if someone did mess up!!!! I adore my son and he has made me a 100x better person than i [sic] could ever of [sic] hoped to be. But i [sic] am scared everyday of my life because i [sic] need to live a long time to be there for alex [sic]. Please stop offending parents who look for answers everyday and try their damndest [sic] to do their best. There is and [sic] answer out there and we need to remain open-minded and not point fingers at anyone until we know. You are hurting our cause as did Dr.wakefield [sic]. Please stop referring to me as a scaremonger. I am anything but. Please help us to find an answer and stop advocating for the wrong people. There is a story to be told .............
Perhaps you should have taken the explosion route. I have no interests in vaccine-making companies, and in any event these companies are fully indemnified by the federal government for claims against them. Sadly, you don't even know what a "500-fold" increase is. You mean "five-fold." You have also proffered absolutely no evidence that vaccines cause autism other than that one occurred after the other. Your son was also born after Pres. Reagan's second election; therefore perhaps it is that which the cause of the disorder was. I gave you the evidence on MMR and autism and you simply chose to ignore it because you cannot accept that some people have lots of kids who are perfectly healthy and you only had two children and yet one is not healthy. I would be tempted to feel sorry for you, but we all have our own health burdens to bear and most do so without an obsessive need to blame others. I have a 42-year-old friend with a type of cancer that affects only one in 250 Americans. She has four children at home and she's slowly dying. But she doesn't blame the medical industry. She knows that life is not fair. As soon as you make the same realization, you will be a healthier, saner person for it. In other words, get a grip.
As the mother of two children with autism who has never quite believed the mercury theory, I have to say I was bitterly disappointed in your opinion column. Your description of autism is elementary at best. You're [sic] theory that autism is caused by maternal age and/or obesity is unfounded and uncited. In your zeal to slap the "scaremongers," you discredited your own rantings.
[Oversized midsection omitted.]
You have the opportunity to educate and yet you chose to screw up the facts and alienate thousands of parents in the process.
As the writer of a column on autism, I have to say I was bitterly disappointed with your letter. I may have alienated parents but no intelligent ones. I cited maternal age and obesity not as the cause of autism but as potential culprits if indeed there has been an increase in the incidence of the disorder. Who should take responsibility for your not having bothered to take the time to actually read my piece, you or me? Why try again when my first effort was simply ignored because it didn't fit your worldview?
Just One More (Idiot) Letter
I am sure you have received many letters responding to your piece about the link between vaccines and autism. This is one more, but I'll be brief . [Not brief enough, rest of letter omitted.]
Dear Mr. Rosenfield:
Yes, one letter too many.
Your article is filled with false allegations; a competent and honest journalist checks his sources before handing his article. Obviously you failed to do so.
Perhaps in the US [sic], probably the world obesity leader, has many obese parents with autistic children. I doubt that their ratio is any different from the rest of the population.
Having attended every congress held by ATED Montreal, I can speak for the Quebec's autistic population and assure you that I have never met an obese mother. On the contrary, most mothers are young, slim and beautiful. Your statement is not only unfunded [sic] but plain stupid. Anyone who is involved in any way with autism will see through you. Regretfully most of the lucky members of the population, who like you, do not know much about autism, will fall for your fallacious comments.
A mother of two normal, intelligent and beautiful children. One of the 165 lucky mothers. [omitted] Acosta, B.Sc.
Dear Ms. Acosta:
So let me get this straight. While about two-thirds of the women in Quebec are overweight (as per national data) you're personally familiar with the mothers of the entire autistic population of Quebec and no mothers of autistic children are overweight. In fact, they tend to be slim, young, and beautiful. May we logically deduct on the basis of your personal observations, which of course are more important than any published studies, that maternal slimness, youth, and beauty have a causal relationship to autism?
I have a feeling I know what the B.S. after your name means.
Are There Guilty Ones?
You are so blind and so stupid. You obviously do not have an autistic child. I lost my son to autism shortly after his 12 month MMR. There is no question. Open your eyes to what is really happening to these precious children.
Yes, and obviously if you don't have an autistic child you can't know anything about autism while conversely if you do have an autistic child you know everything about autism. In some places that would be called "magic," but apparently not in your neck of the woods.
Reader and Analyst of Scientific Studies
I will never claim to know everything about autism. I will however claim that I spend everyday [sic] of my life researching treatments and seeking out professionals on the cutting edge of autism research. I am a parent, literally trying to save my son's life.
Arrogance and Ignorance [sic] are a troubling combination. I hope for the sake of our children, you and others like you develop a personal relationship with an autistic child. Whether it be a future child of your own, a relative or even a friend of the family. Then and only then will you get a clue.
I don't mean to downplay the seriousness of autism but it is not lethal; therefore your son's life is not in danger; therefore you are not in a position to save it. Alas, it's clear that what you call a "cutting edge professional" is what is more widely known as "a quack." I hope for the sake of our children that you meet a child who has been made seriously sick with measles, mumps, or rubella because people like you and the groups you belong to successfully urged that poor child's parents not to have him vaccinated.
I Only Have Energy to Consult Conspiracy Websites
I have little energy to deal with your article, considering I spend most of my time dealing with my autistic child who became chronically ill within days of receiving his MMR, other than to say, "bullshit." Not well researched. Full of lies.
Dear Mrs. Kelly:
It's interesting how many letters I've gotten similar to yours in which parents use their own children as a shield against daring to consider that the conspiracy theory to which they've subscribed is wrong. If you didn't have an autistic child, you're saying, you could look into assertions that the MMR vaccine or thimerosal doesn't cause autism. But since you do have an autistic child, you cannot. You can only swear and deny, deny, deny. Fine. But it won't help your child any, and to the extent you spread your ignorance to parents still deciding whether to vaccinate their children you are spreading disease as well. It's said that misery loves company. Will it make you feel better if other parents whose children don't have autism nevertheless contract mumps, measles, or rubella?
[1,100 word response, in which she claimed both that she was a "medical professional" (type unnamed) and that a drop in MMR vaccination rates could cause increases in those three diseases was "a silly idea" omitted.]
Aha! The Easter Bunny Causes Autism!
It is biased, fact twisting [sic], narrow minded [sic] people like you that help to impede any progress that is to be made on the issue of mercy, vaccines, and autism.
Are you a parent? Better yet, are you a parent of an autistic child? I am – both. Do you know what we go through on a daily basis? Do you know our frustration, rage, desperation, guilt, helplessness, shall I go on? [Alas, a rhetorical question only.] Do you know what it is like to live everyday knowing that what is wrong with your child, could have been prevented [sic]. I live everyday wondering...who will take care of my child when I am gone? My beautiful, innocent, guileless autistic child, who is incapable of even the simplest tasks...
I am one of 9 children – I had mumps, measles, chicken pox – we all did. And so did most of the children I grew up with. There has NEVER been a history of ANY type of birth defect, retardation, or autism in my family until now. My 3 year old [sic] son is severally autistic – my younger brother's 2 year old [sic] son has shown signs of autism. I had the BEST prenatal care available, my son has had the BEST medical care available (with all his vaccinations), I have done the math – you see what they want you to see. I suppose you believe in the Easter Bunny too?
Spend a day in my life sir, or any parent with an autistic child – maybe then you will see the facts a little more clearly.
carol [hyphenated name omitted]
Am I a parent or a parent of an autistic child? No. Did I say that being autistic or being the parent of an autistic child is just swell? No. Do you think I've already forgotten what I wrote or that I can't look it up? All I said was that whatever the cause of autism, there is no evidence linking it to vaccines. Nothing you wrote even attempts to counter that. You say merely that there's no history of it in your family, but that's usually the case. With a disorder this rare and indeed one that apparently generally went without a diagnosis until recently, it would be remarkable if there were cases of autism in previous generations of your family. Apparently it just makes you feel better to have a scapegoat and you've found one in blaming vaccines for the autism and blaming me for insensitivity to your plight and that of your child or children. Well try selling it somewhere else, lady, because I'm not buying. And any thought anybody might have of sympathy for you goes flying out the window as soon as you open your mouth or take to your keyboard.
This IS the dumbest thing I have ever read concerning autism! My son is 10, so I've had 10 years to read about the subject!
Dear Mr. T:
So in ten years you've learned nothing?
How long have you been such an astute scientist????? I have read plenty, as parents of autistic children tend to do. You are obviously not one of those. You are obviously not a credible scientist. You are just someone I have already given more time to than I should have. We all wait breathlessly for you to find the cause of autism....or did you already?
I am not a scientist at all, but as an astute science writer I know to rely on scientists and not quacks who have never published a thing in medical journals and who prey on parents like you by trying to sell you things like thimerosal detoxification. As a non-scientist I will never find the cause of autism. But I can help in publicizing alleged causes that have been eliminated and stemming the damage by those who, like you, perpetuate the myth of those eliminated causes.
I hope when you write your science news you stick to facts you know! Here I find you writing about my beliefs, of which [sic] I have never discussed with you. I am not a parent who is preyed on by anyone. I would be careful in assuming that you know what can or can not be eliminated. You can find a study which proves or disproves most anything! A theory such as the "old and fat" one seems SO broad (pardon the pun) as to say that women giving birth causes autism. I have met no "fat" mothers with autistic children. I'm sure there are some....I have however, seen plenty of fat women yelling at their normal children in Wal-mart [sic]!!! We all know that thimerosal IS toxic and that it was removed from some vaccines. I don't know that that theory can be ruled out. So far, it seems plausible. I am not saying I know that it is the cause of autism. I just don't think anyone has ruled it out. I think the jury is still out on that one. I know you disagree, but I don't think you know for certain.
Well you have suggested a new theory for a possible rise in autism: The rise in the number of Wal-Mart stores. I'm being facetious, but the idea is correct. If a disease is on the rise and you are postulating a cause, you must look for something else that is on the rise and has biological plausibility of causing that disease. As it happens, the alleged increase in autism cases in this country and others has no correlation to any increase in the use of thimerosal or the distribution of MMR vaccines. Indeed, as I noted in my piece, the Danes found that after the use of thimerosal was discontinued autism cases actually rose. Something else was causing that rise. We also know that American women and indeed everybody in the industrialized countries are getting fatter. We know they are having children later than ever. We know both of these are tied to myriad birth defects. It does not seem unreasonable to investigate whether there may also be a correlation of the rise of autism diagnoses with either of these. Autism is not considered a birth defect but that's only because it is not apparent at birth. Further, nobody has ever found any environmental connection with it. We also do not "know that thimerosal is toxic." It was removed from children's vaccines not because it was found to be unsafe but because of fears that it was unsafe. The primary group behind the decision was the American Academy of Pediatrics. Yet it insists on its website, "There are no studies that show a link between thimerosal in vaccines and autistic spectrum disorder." Actually, a couple might be interpreted to show a correlation but apparently the AAP feels otherwise. So when you say "I don't think anyone has ruled it out," you're not in very good company. Indeed, everybody who's anybody has ruled it out.
Finally, as to your "finding a study," you use incorrect terminology. You can find a study that shows or doesn't show any association between almost any two things. That's why any one study must be treated as just that. But there is a thing called "the weight of the scientific evidence." At some point so much research points in one direction that we must assume a conclusion. We cannot keep studying absolutely everything forever. Such is the case with both MMR-autism and thimerosal-autism.
Okay, so it's not Autism and it's not in Humans but . . .
Subj: New study from Sweden – Thimerosal can cause ACRODYNIA!
The studies are starting to roll in. More on the way.
Have a nice day.
Dear Ms. Manning:
Despite your assertion of studies "rolling in," this study you cite from January 2004 is the only one in all of Medline to mention both thimerosal and acrodynia. (A rare disorder of pain in the hands and feet.) It was also a mouse study. Apparently you are convinced that rodents make perfect surrogates for people, which may in fact apply to you. The mice were also fed orally, rather than having received injections. That makes this an even poorer analysis of how the chemical might affect humans. You don't know that "more (studies) are on the way;" you just made that up. And does this mean you've thrown in the towel on autism and are now desperately trying to find something else for which to blame thimerosal? Because if you're big on Swedish studies, you might find these of interest:
E. Stostad, "Vaccine-autism Link Dealt Blow," Science, November 14, 2003 and G. Stehr-Green et al., "Autism and Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines: Lack of Consistent Evidence for an Association," American Journal of Preventative Medicine, August 2003.
Finally, how do you say "loser" in Swedish?
At Least I'm Not Being Accused of Being Over-Defensive
I will not bother you with any more requests for your knowlegeable [sic] assistance concerning autism and mandated vaccinations. I have sent you two previous emails and have learned nothing more than you do not like being called "meanspirited" or being accused of "spreading disinformation....killer".
Give me a break. If you cannot defend what you write in your columns, stop writing them!!!
It's not that I believe that my columns are not worth defending at all. It's just that I don't think they are worth defending against you.
You got it my friend. You can be assured you have heard the last from me. Why bother treating someone with respect when all in return [sic] is undeserved insult. I would again ask you to stop writing your columns if you are unprepared or unable to defend what you have written. That is not my problem, that is yours!
I'm surprised you can even spell "respect," but in any event I'm afraid I can't stop writing columns just because you want me to and because you think that every columnist in the world owes the rest of his life to answering questions from every whacko who asks them. That is your problem; not mine!