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Thanks for nothing, Gianelloni Family.

Your latest blog is crazy full of myths and misunderstandings about vaccines and measles.

1. It’s really not funny to mock a disease outbreak, especially one which is mostly affecting young babies and children.  How do you find humour in a virus that can sicken and disable the body’s defence systems to attack the brain?

Measles can kill quickly or it can kill slowly over many years.  This is why we take it seriously enough to vaccinate against it. Playing it down as if it is some innocent disease of childhood is worshipping the suffering of children. You find that funny, really?

2. The Daily Beast article which you focus on sources this newspaper story.   Your first error is in mocking the description of an outbreak being a mere 3 cases.

Take note:  the newspaper story actually says 3 MORE CASES of measles, not 3 cases.  If there were 5 hospitalizations, you can be damn sure there are many more than 3 cases.

So I looked it up for you.  As of 3 days ago, according to this Slate article there were 19 cases (and probably still counting).

Did you note this line in the article: “Many of the victims are children too young to be vaccinated or whose parents chose not to vaccinate them.”  Do you find that funny too?  

Irrespectively, an outbreak is defined as 3 or more cases linked in time or place.  In this case, if a person infected with measles occupies an area and then leaves, the air and surfaces can harbor the virus for up to 4 more hours, so anyone passing through that area can get infected.  Your unvaccinated child could pass through a shopping mall where an infected person had shopped hours ago, and still catch measles from breathing the air.

It really does only take a few cases to start an avalanche of cases.  90% of people who are not immune to measles will become infected if exposed, so the CDC is completely on point to declare that 3 or more cases is an outbreak.

3. So an outbreak can start out with 3 people, it could grow to be 1000 people.  But one thing is for sure and certain, if the anti-vaccine movement is allowed to grow, a measles outbreak will quickly spread amongst the unvaccinated and has the potential to hospitalize many and even kill some.

Consider the 2013 measles outbreaks in the US:   Out of 159 cases, how many were unvaccinated?  82%.  Plus another 9% had unknown vaccination status (which generally means unvaccinated).

So again we see that word. Unvaccinated. Still finding this funny?

4. By the way, you can’t catch measles from the vaccine.  Recently vaccinated persons are not disease spreading vectors as you assume.

Theoretically, any live virus vaccine can shed, but the MMR vaccine has NEVER been known to cause measles disease in another person.  Did that sink in? You cannot catch measles from the vaccine. So those measles cases which came from the doctors office were spread from a person infected and sick with wild measles.   An infected person or persons had been in the doctors office.  (Remember in 2008, how measles spread from Dr Sears waiting room?)

The idea that those vaccinated with MMR could be spreading measles is a ludicrous lie with no scientific or medical basis whatsoever.   The unvaccinated are actually responsible for outbreaks – indeed almost every outbreak in recent years has been linked to an unvaccinated person bringing in measles from overseas.

5.  So, measles was eliminated from America and many other developed countries but is now making a comeback thanks to mostly unvaccinated travellers who return and spread it largely amongst the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.  The most important cause of measles resurgence is low vaccination coverage.  So again, whose kids are more at risk?  Not only your unvaccinated kid but the kid next door with leukaemia who can’t be vaccinated.  This is getting funnier and funnier, really isn’t it?

6.  “Funny how we just can’t seem to eliminate measles within the United States”.   But yet they were eliminated, in fact they still are.  When the CDC says “eliminated”, they mean from endemic transmission.  Endemic meaning, regularly found in a certain area; native or restricted to that certain place.  Endemic transmission still no longer occurs – transmission is because of imported cases.   So what you are finding funny, is that measles is back thanks to unvaccinated people bringing it into the country from overseas.

Yes,  one booster was added to the vaccination schedule – thanks to continual monitoring, via those important things you mentioned:  Research. Statistics. Science. Logic.  It was determined that an additional booster was needed to ensure immunity was longer lasting.  So what’s the big deal?  You actually find science, research, statistics and logic funny too?  The irony of your whole argument is that the MMR is one of the most effective vaccines in terms of duration of immunity.

Vaccine immunity duration

7.  Measles can be deadly serious and Gianelloni Family wants to compare it to the common cold.  Her quote from Dr Mendelsohn explaining an adjusted rate of measles complications for developed nations has no basis.  In fact it cannot be found anywhere other than whale.to.  Groan.  It needs to be said that Mendelsohn is widely regarded as a renegade quack.  So who are you going to put faith in – one renegade doctor’s stab-in-the-dark made up statistics; or the CDC, the WHO and every other major health body around the world who actually do public health surveillance and can verify their statistics?

Here are the real statistics:  30% of persons who catch measles will have severe complications.  1-2 out of 1000 will die.  The risk of encephalitis from measles is 1 in 1000. Anywhere from 4 to 18 people out of 100 000 will get the fatal disease SSPE many years after infection.  This is in DEVELOPED nations.  

8.  Gianelloni Family states that “1 in 50 kids with autism suffer from inflammation of the brain and the MMR vaccine package insert for the measles vaccine actually lists inflammation of the brain as a side effect from the vaccine. Go read the package insert. It’s called encephalitis. Caused by the measles vaccine. Not caused by the natural measles virus.”

It is beyond ridiculous that she claims encephalitis is not caused by the natural measles virus when it is a well-known and established consequence of the disease. She also tries to muddy MMR vaccine, inflammation and autism. Firstly, autism is not encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).   Secondly,  MMR vaccine does not cause autism.

Encephalitis has been reported approximately once for every 3 million doses of MMR vaccine.  In no case has it been shown conclusively that encephalitis was caused by a vaccine virus infection of the central nervous system. And to re-iterate, encephalitis is not autism.  Also,  the vaccine protects against SSPE, it cannot cause it.  Go re-read the package insert.  It does not say anywhere on there that the measles vaccine causes autism.  Perpetuating this myth is really funny to you as well, I guess?

Image

Seeking literal meaning through the package insert is an exercise fraught with inevitable misinterpretation.  This article clearly explains the myths surrounding package inserts.

And, there are over 100 scientific papers indexed on PubMed that thoroughly debunk the vaccines-autism myth.

9. According to the CDC around 1 -2 deaths will occur for every 1000 cases of measles in the developed world.

This quote is pure fabrication:  “Data shows that one-third to one-half of the millions of deaths in children across the world, caused by measles, are due to undernutrition, not undervaccination”

It cannot be found anywhere apart from the Gianelloni family’s own blog.  Now, I bet she finds making stuff up funny too.  But I don’t.  When it comes to children’s lives,  I find twisted quotes to be drop dead serious.

So I took the liberty of finding the real quote which she butchered and made it sound like something else entirely:

“Pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, measles, HIV/AIDS and malnutrition are the primary killers of children in the developing world.  Measles, killed over 500,000 children in 2003, more than any other vaccine-preventable disease. The measles death toll in Africa is so high – every minute one child dies – that many mothers don’t give children real names until they have survived the disease. Measles weakens the immune system and renders children very susceptible to fatal complications from diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition”

So, the upshot of that is, measles is deadly and so are complications of measles.   Measles leads to complications. Malnutrition does not lead to contracting measles.  If there is no measles around, there are no complications of measles to die from.  Let’s take a look at how funny those measles deaths in developing countries really are:

“Immunization activities have had a major impact on reducing measles deaths. Since 2000, more than one billion children in high risk countries were vaccinated against the disease through mass vaccination campaigns ― about 145 million of them in 2012. Global measles deaths have decreased by 78% from an estimated 562 400 to 122 000″.

Laugh out loud funny, isn’t it,  Gianelloni Family?

10.  Gianelloni Family thinks that Big Pharma has created the anti-vaccine movement.  Interesting.  The public health cost of measles is actually far greater than the vaccine cost.  So how exactly is Big Pharma profiting from prevention?  Funny, much?

Image

11.  How are unvaccinated children a threat, she asks?  Dr Larry Palevsky – who believes that getting sick is a good thing because those oh-so-helpful viruses and bacteria are assisting you with a ‘toxin purging opportunity’ –  is another quack.  But she will keep finding the lone wolf doctor with a crazy view, as if that’s the view of every expert on the planet.  Doctors who don’t believe in vaccination are in the extreme minority.

Here is why unvaccinated children are a threat:

Why is MY unvaccinated kid a threat?

Gianelloni Family deeply misunderstands (or misrepresents) community immunity (or herd immunity), a scientific principle accepted by virtually every scientist on the planet.  Any parent who honestly wants to understand the issue of why they may be endangering others by not vaccinating should read the book “Deadly Choices”.  Review of it here.   It goes into great detail about how when vaccination rates drop, rates of disease goes up.  Immunity from  measles vaccine, if given according to the vaccination schedule, lasts well into adulthood.  If everyone who CAN vaccinate DOES vaccinate,  that’s enough to ensure lifelong immunity.

12.  Dear Pharma, she says: “You created an entire generation of sick children.”  Erm, how?  Citation, please? For all of the erroneous claims that vaccines cause x, y, or z problem (SIDS, allergies, autoimmune diseases like MS or type 1 diabetes, autism, etc.) there have been many major studies conducted which found  no association with vaccines. This is one of the most common lies of the anti-vax movement – that somehow we are causing an epidemic of chronic illness because of vaccines.   Really, nothing else in our lives has changed apart from the vaccination schedule?  Every large well-designed study has found that there is no increased incidence of autism, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or allergies because of vaccination. 

Dear Gianelloni Family.  Wake up.  Wake the hell up and stop making excuses for why you are sheltering under the protection of herd immunity.  You’re not fooling anyone.   You are not an expert in infectious disease, epidemiology, immunology, virology, or any of the other myriad disciplines that come together to forge the basis of the science of vaccination. To accept your erroneous claims against the weight of hundreds of thousands of experts in these fields who have produced study upon study, does indeed put everyone at great risk, including your own children.

33 thoughts on “Thanks for nothing, Gianelloni Family.

  1. thismomisabasketcase says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! It was about 20 years ago that I first heard of the MMR vaccine being linked to autism. I actually credit (blame) Lisa Bonet (who starred in The Cosby Show) with beginning the anti-vax movement in the US when she announced that she would not be vaccinating her child. Ms. Bonet’s career quickly went down the toilet after this and the quack article she cited at the time has been refuted a million times over.

    The only thing I find funny in all of this is the fact that the stance of the anti-vax movement has not changed in all that time. Their claims have been refuted a million times over, yet they hold fast to fiction. Their so-called experts have been deemed quacks in the scientific community, yet they hold fast to these outcast’s claims. They choose a Playboy Playmate’s word over that of actual, irrefutable evidence. They have yet to come up with new theories and new research, choosing instead to twist the truth to suit their own agenda and recycle old news.

    I have three boys. The two oldest have autism. They were all vaccinated.

  2. Kayla says:

    Thank you for this excellent rebuttal to what was the most depressing piece of anti-vaccine rhetoric I had read in a long time. As a Christian who believes we are called to protect the vulnerable, value every human life, and that God has provided us with brains and science to navigate this imperfect world, the blog post by the Gianelloni family saddened me. Thank you for providing readers with the truth and exposing the many ways that post was incorrect.

  3. Hello,

    A couple of minor clarifications:

    1. Those 159 cases from 2013 were for about the first 8 months of 2013 (I think there was 187 in total).

    2. Measles is still eliminated in the USA, meaning it is no longer endemic.

    At this moment in time I’m actually cautiously optimistic and think that we could eradicate measles globally without having to change the vast majority of anti-vaxxers’ minds. From what I can see despite all the indications of growth of the anti-vaccine movement the MMR vaccination rate in the USA remains around 90% – above the observed herd immunity threshold. Of course for this to happen we’d really need to try and increase vaccine rates elsewhere: http://www.measlesrubellainitiative.org/

  4. Reblogged this on beginingsinwriting and commented:
    This is a well-said. well-put article. I followed the link to the original post, and I found it to be heart breaking & rife with cherry picked data & the usual hokum. I don’t know how anyone say they love their children if they refuse</

  5. I’ve tried posting twice to that Gianelloni blog…and apparently the moderator won’t allow any debate. Thank you for your counterblog here with which I agree 100%.

    • Linda says:

      Me too! I sent her a link suggesting that she should refine her research that equates encephalitis and autism as the same thing. Pretty sad.

  6. Hey, Dr. Hickie, did you know you could be replaced any time?

    “*Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine and Thy Medicine Be Thy Food. I am so extremely thankful for a husband who took the wisdom he found early in our marriage and ran with it. And by ran with it, I mean he took what he learned and applied it. I honestly feel as though we live with an in-house pediatrician. Rit has learned to treat and heal our children from everything from fevers, colds, & flus to head injuries, burns, rashes, & tummy aches.”

    • Since this mom doesn’t have the slightest clue about medicine and what/why physicians do what we do, I doubt “Rit” even has the training level of a first-day student in medical-assistant school.

      When parents try to project a picture-perfect family to the public like these two are, it’s often quite far from perfect in reality.

      Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall–but somehow I suspect Mrs. Gianelloni only picks Bible verses that suit her immediate needs.

  7. Melanie says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for refuting that lunacy! I tried to post many of these same points in the comments section of her blog. Not surprisingly, it didn’t make it through moderation.

    • Interestingly, I had two posts to that dopey bullies blog (picture a small child with their fingers in their ears saying “nyah nyah nyah I can’t hear you!” and that is about the maturity level of that piece) that sat in moderation for 12 hours yesterday (I can see them as pending on my screen along with the selectively biased posts that they have allowed) before my posts finally disappeared. I could be reading more into this then it deserves, but I get the feeling someone actually pondered putting up what I could only call rather antagonistic postings of mine–in a manner similar to the xenophobic AoA crowd.

      • RobRN says:

        There’s a definite pattern I’ve seen in this type of blog. Your comment counter to the paradigm will only be released if they have prepared a rambling retaliatory response to slap you with immediately as a reply. I recall on a blog I posted to a year or two ago – I think it was Gaia Health – my comment didn’t make it through moderation. However, the blog owner posted a scathingly mega-stupid pseudoscientific entry within the day that recited, almost word for word, what I had entered along with comments like “There are those who will tell you that… but blah blah blah, etc.”

    • “I have a comment moderator that moderates each comment before I ever see them. Let me repeat blog bullies: I don’t see your comments.”

      What kind of thin-skinned numpty uses a 3rd party to moderate blog comments?

      • When someone feels compelled to repeatedly tell you they aren’t doing something (and you haven’t even asked them if they are doing it to being with), odds are they are doing what they say they aren’t.

  8. Melanie says:

    Wow, lilady, that’s just willfully obtuse of her. So, anyone who asks her for citations or links to the CDC is a bully?

  9. Girl With Flat Hat says:

    “And we will always strive to glorify God in everything we do!” – from Gianelloni Family’s profile

    I don’t think it’s glorifying God to outsource your comments to a third party so you don’t have to do the dirty work of loving and engaging with your enemies as Jesus commands, leaving only the comments that agree with you and don’t make you uncomfortable. It’s easy enough to post a provocative post and only allow comments from people who agree with you; it’s much more difficult to treat your opponents with respect, as the individuals God made them rather than a faceless mass of “bullies” who do not have their own good intentions for disagreeing with you. I am not, as she would probably claim, attacking her faith, because I share it; I am attacking her failure, in this instance, to do what her faith demands. She seems nearly to equate conviction in her own beliefs (which, right or wrong, are not in any way equivalent to revelation) to her faith in God, and it’s disgraceful to the gospel of Christ. Notice I’m not even criticizing her beliefs about vaccination per se, though I disagree with them wholeheartedly,, but her manipulative use of her faith as a shield from criticism.

  10. lilady says:

    A comment on her new post asked for advice about Rhogam which is recommended for Rh- negative pregnant women where the partner is Rh + . The moderator referred the pregnant woman to an anti-vaccine book.

    http://reference.medscape.com/drug/rhogam-hyperrho-s-d-rho-d-immune-globulin-343143

    Administer to Mother to Prevent Hemolytic Disease in Newborn

    Antepartum: 1500 IU/300 mcg IV/IM at 28-30 weeks of gestation

    Postpartum: 1500 IU IV/IM within 72 hr

    If both given risk reduced to 0.1%

    If unable to give within 72 hr, give within 28 d; do not withhold

    If >15 mL of Rho+ fetal RBC present in mother’s circulation, multiple 1500 IU doses are required

    Not only is Gianelloni a poseur who claims she’s “done the research”, she’s downright dangerous.

  11. Greg says:

    Thanks for the response, her article pissed me off, but I was too busy and too much of a vaccine-newb to properly address it beyond: “a myriad of studies have proven you wrong, your anti-vaccine gods have been discredited (wakefield) and your data is cherry picked”. Well that and a quote about the public being generally fools who believe in anything they hear, non-skeptic to the extreme.

    I liked how one guy eventually got a negative post in on her site by calling her perfect and saying she’s the best, only to have her reply calling the person desperate as they apparently wrote many comments on that article to see what would get posted. Lo and behold, the only one posted was something like “you are the best, a real genius. Your perfection knows no bounds”…

    I am curious though, since this is my first time here – THANK YOU rubtr (love that extension:P) – and I don’t see any comments that disagree here at the moment, do you tend to post the disagreeing comments and get into discussions with anti-vaxxers in the comments of these articles?

    • Thus far, Greg I have let all comments through moderation. I personally don’t believe “debating” with anti-vaxxers is a good use of time as it always seems to descend into a battle of links.

      Genuine questions are always welcome and are not a waste of time – just not from people who have already closed their mind to the answer.

      • Greg says:

        I like that:D thanks! I just got so tired of people filtering comments that disagree – go to a blog and all you see are praises. Beyond the statistical improbability that no one who disagrees would feel obligated to reply (I know I often do, as do most of the people I know, at least on occasion).

        Glad to see reasonable people around, always a welcome sight. True, debating often does sink into mindless linking or the equivalent of “nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah – I DON”T HEAR YOU!”, I guess my question was about whether disagreements tend to be ignored around here, or is at least one attempt to provide credible information and correct the ignorance usually made.

        By the way, that Gianelloni article is the first time I heard of “vaccine-injuries”, and so many people giving these anecdotes of how their kids had adverse reactions to vaccines. I do wonder what’s going on with all those kids for such an endless seeming supply of anecdotes – I’d go so far as assume most are genuine as it seems like a genuine mommy blog, so at least most of it’s followers should probably be genuine.

        Also, have any of you guys heard the term “dis-ease”? I’ve seen it around Collective Evolution, and it’s just so cheesy lol…

  12. Reasonable questions are always welcome around here. Reasonable is what I aim to be and is all I ever expect from anybody else.

    By the way, so many of those “vaccine injury” stories I have encountered on the internet are parents doing medical diagnosis by guesswork and confusing temporal association with causal. It’s the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Real vaccine injuries are extremely rare and occur at the rate of around 1 in a million. I have encountered a couple that were likely true and these parents could plausibly explain what happened using medical terms, in a calm and measured way. Their cases had been medically evaluated. The rest of them were full of medical misunderstandings, anger and insults. One thing I do know for certain – vaccine injuries do not occur at the rate and in the way these anti-vaccine mommy warriors believe.

    • Greg says:

      I’ve just looked up various statistics about HPV, influenza and polio vaccines in response to that “169 confirmed dead from HPV vaccine” quackery and well was surprised to find out that:

      1. Only 43 confirmed deaths were reported to CDC’s VAERS – confirmed as in there was enough information to confirm the fact that the deaths did occur after administration of the vaccine, and none were related to the vaccine. The other approx. 42 did not have sufficient information to finish analysis.
      2. HPV causes nearly all cervical cancers, and the rate of death from cervical cancer is something like 1 in 500 (rounding), more than 2x the deaths falsely reported and attributed to HPV vaccine. So you still better off with the vaccine than without even if the report had a grain of truth to it.
      3. Over 90% of all HPV vaccine adverse effects are various degrees of headaches, dizziness and fainting and such.
      4. The Polio vaccine can be transmitted (and vaccinate) through feces and saliva. And thus it also mutates, though it is extremely rare. The mutated form is just as dangerous as the wild virus, though basically only to the unvaccinated.
      5. The Influenza vaccine is really seriously awesome. It can shed, but extremely rarely, and from those cases that have been reported, 0 resulted in serious illness. So, it’s basically rly safe even for the unvaccinated and possibly to those who cannot be vaccinated (for valid medical reasons)…

      That is just kinda incredible, as basically every death from a vaccine-preventable disease so far has occurred to someone who is unvaccinated. In just like, a few minutes of googling these vaccines and the CDC I basically got all the evidence needed to debunk every single claim that vaccines kill those being vaccinated, and confirmed that those dying are the unvaccinated. With a tiny fraction of the 8 years claimed by Gianelloni, I think I’ve gotten sufficient material for any reasonable person to be convinced she is dead wrong. It’s amazing how important using credible sources and reading credible expert reviews is important to any research, it can be the difference between years wasted and lost, and minutes spent discovering the truth.

      It’s just wow, I mean I do research all the time, and I know that one must use credible sources and get expert reviews of studies and such when one is not a scientist themselves, but it just keeps amazing me how blind people can be after years of research into the topic. And then claim logic is on their side – this misuse and misunderstanding of logic would give Vulcans goosebumps or something.

      • RobRN says:

        ” 43 confirmed deaths were reported to CDC’s VAERS”

        I’ve read every single one of those HPV related VAERS cases and with lots of them, making any credible correlation to the death is ludicrous! Here are a few real gems:

        #379570 – accidentally fell in open well
        #320559 – physician, who was told by one of his patients, that the mother of a consumer was told by a neurologist that there were 4,400 kids who have died following vaccination with GARDASIL
        #451701 – Death from liver cancer 202 days after immunization
        #451703 – Death from ovarian cancer 507 days after immunization
        #307394 – Death 660 days after immunization
        #350666 – Attempts to verify the existence of an identifiable patient and reporter have been unsuccessful
        #425513 – History of depression & ADHD, committed suicide (a number of other suicides have been reported)
        #338452 – Death possibly attributed to carbon monoxide.

  13. Greg says:

    lol yeh, that’s exactly what I was saying, I mean even the summary VAERS put up of the cases lists things like diabetes as the confirmed causes of death. It really bothers me that they go around spreading incorrect numbers for their correlations : not only are they quoting raw data submitted on the basis of “if it happens after vaccination, then report” which leaves the causation to be analyzed by VAERS after the report, but they are quoting it incorrectly.

    Many will say things like 139 deaths due to the HPV vaccine and 15,000 reported side effects cases – when there were only 85 reported deaths (and 43 confirmed as i said) and 22,000 reports of side effects. I mean it’s not like they are skewing the numbers strictly in their favour, they are just misquoting data in general. Part of the time to the benefit of their argument, part of the time to its detriment (as they quoted fewer reports of side effects than there actually were, so my correction basically helps them lol…)…

    And then it goes on with reference to Big Pharma paying for everything, so we are all biased for vaccines, when so much of their data is incorrect and the conclusions are not credible taken from badly done studies that have been retracted on occasion even. Call me biased all you want, call the information i provide biased all you want, but at least recognize your own bias and the skewing of your own information…

    And it somehow escapes all the people who keep saying “do the research” that only the ACTUAL researchers are doing the ACTUAL research, and only the experts are doing the peer-reviewing of said research before possibly publishing it if it is deemed credible. The rest of us laypeople CANNOT do the analysis of raw data ourselves as we simply do not have the training, expertise, experience and understanding of the matters involved to do so adequately. Thus, even the best informed layperson researcher (layperson here is attributed to any and all those who are not technically part of the scientific and medical communities and do not ACTUALLY have the accreditation to prove their relevant expertise in the matter) ends up deferring to the experts on the facts of the matter and their interpretation. I don’t know how to even construct a study to test the safety-level of mercury or any other heavy metal, nor any of the other ingredients in any medication or any products in general. Thus I must defer to the judgement of those who do on whether or not a product is safe, or is within the safety-level of the aforementioned ingredient or compound.

    To make it worse, the anti-vacciner layperson’s judgement is further compromised by the reports of so-called experts on the matter. The extreme minority of scientists and medical personnel who are only found credible by those of their group and laypeople. Most actual experts find them lacking in their arguments and in their information. So, while those who do not understand hold up the signs of the few crackpots that are mostly disregarded as incorrect and inadequate (and even fraudulent in some cases) by those who DO ACTUALLY understand the processes involved and analyze the raw data that proves or disproves these claims….

    “Wizard’s First Rule: people are stupid.” Richard and Kahlan frowned even more. “People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People’s heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.
    “Because of Wizards First Rule, the old wizards created Confessors, and Seekers, as a means of helping find the truth, when the truth is important enough. Darken Rahl knows the Wizard’s Rules. He is using the first one. People need an enemy to feel a sense of purpose. It’s easy to lead people when they have a sense of purpose. Sense of purpose is more important by far than the truth. In fact, truth has no bearing in this. Darken Rahl is providing them with an enemy, other than himself, a sense of purpose. People are stupid; they want to believe, so they do.”

    -Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

    Quite apart from the – admittedly hostile – explanation of how foolhardy the general public is. In that story there are people endowed by wizards with special powers and abilities to discover the truth. They judge criminals, find corruption and generally work to better society by discovering the truth of any and all claims. Their abilities basically force people to confess wrongdoing when asked about it, so no one can hide the truth from them and they always know when they are lied to.
    Well then there is some extra special dude who has these abilities tenfold, and his job is to keep the leaders clean and deal with large-scale issues etc…
    He’s the protagonist, the good guy. The antagonist is an evil wizard, who in his wisdom convinced the people of his goodness and righteousness. He then turned everyone against the above good guy by convincing them he is evil. He gave them purpose, and it became damn near impossible for the good guy to clear his good name.
    I find this eerily similar to what is going on with the anti-vaxxers. Driven by a guy stripped of his license and discredited for fudging data in his studies to benefit the cases of the lawyers who pay him, and spreading the last study he worked on to the media – where in fact that study was commissioned by lawyers looking to sue pharmaceutical companies for vaccines – and started the whole vaccine scare basically. He convinced all these well-meaning folks that he is the good guy uncovering the conspiracy of Big Pharma. Got them to put him on a pedestal basically. When in fact he was the one being bribed in the first place. And little can be done with the hardcore believers as they are convinced any and all disagreement stems from the pharmaceutical companies themselves.

    Funny how purpose really does seem to be more important than the truth and reality. That novel was kinda bad, but some of the points made – though admittedly, the author was mostly arguing against hardcore communism – are quite relevant in real life, and appear to hold much water as they say…

  14. Christy says:

    Thank you! A friend shared her blog with me. I have twins with Fragile X Syndrome. They are in a class with autistic children. Along with my own struggles of having two kids with special needs, I see my friends with ASD kids struggles and heartache. I was getting angry over her, and commenters, comments that autism is curable. You just have to work really hard, eat organic, spend lots of money, and your kid will be cured. It’s as easy as that! I’m thinking that the moms that shared their kids were cured were either not autistic or mildly affected. As a Christian, it bothers me that she says being a leader for the anti-vaccine movement is not what she wanted to do, but it’s what God has called her to do.

    • As a mother of an autistic child, let me give you some very good advice-do not surround yourself with these people. Avoid them. They aren’t good for you, they aren’t good for your babies.

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