Vaccine Epidemic

It is our natural human tendency to read, listen and follow ideas or subject matter that only reinforce our belief system or world view. This is a normal human bias. When confronted with an idea or subject matter that does not fit our view of reality, we have been trained/programmed to dismiss it as crazy, conspiracy theory, bigoted, etc. Winston Churchill said, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened”

It is impossible to study this issue for any length of time, while being honest with yourself, without concluding that we need to seriously rethink, reevaluate and probably redesign our entire vaccination program. We need an open discussion among independent medical personnel from all medical professions, that are as far removed from the massive and endemic conflict of interest of the pharmaceutical industry as possible.

It’s fascinating to watch people attack Big Pharma over their greed in exploiting and profiteering from new treatments and drugs, their buying of politicians via “campaign contributions”, and the revolving door between the FDA/USDA/CDC and big Pharma that we all know exists. And then to watch the same people suddenly, when it comes to vaccines, turn around and do a Jeckal and Hyde, in which they now regard Big Pharma as Mother Teresa, Gandhi and Superman, all rolled into one.

Big Pharma might be charging exorbitant amounts of money for new drugs and treatments that can be found in other countries for 10% of what they charge here. They might be buying politicians with buckets of their profiteered money. And many of their CEO’s might be hired as “consultants” at these alphabet soup government agencies. “But by gosh, when it comes to vaccines these corporations are as pure as the driven snow”. Does this seem strange or hypocritical?

I have been researching and reading vaccine blogs on both sides of the vaccine issue for quite some time. The “pro-vaccinate” sites claim to debunk the “anti-vaxers”. Apparently an “anti-vaxer” is anyone who simply questions the efficacy and safety of vaccines or questions the profit motive of big Pharma, especially in its push for mandatory vaccination. I find it interesting that none of the “pro-vaccinate” sites I visited attempted to argue or debunk the readily available studies, facts or science that indict big Pharma, particular the vaccine industry, with their corrupt and shady practices. They simply attack the character of the “anti-vaxer” with what amounts to petty name calling. On the other hand the “anti-vaxer” sites generally argue using the facts and science to back up their positions. They don’t attack their attackers with petty name calling. They generally stick to the facts which do the talking for them.

I have concluded, not just from this vaccine issue but from many other issues including the gun debate, that the people on the losing side of an argument usually resort to name calling and character assassination. They simply have no other option since they don’t have the truth on their side. The truth does not need force or coercion. The truth can stand up to the light, a lie cannot.

Both the anti-gun and pro-vaccination folks cannot argue without resorting to character assassination and name calling. The more derogatory the names get and the louder they yell, the more obvious it is that they have lost the debate. And the more venomous the attack, the closer to the truth one gets.

It is an undeniable, unarguable, admitted scientific fact that vaccines cause severe injury and death to a percentage of those vaccinated. Vaccines are considered “unavoidably unsafe” by US law. Those pushing the vaccines claim they are attempting to protect the majority while sacrificing the minority. In other words for the “greater good“.
In 1986, Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (“The Act”) in part to compensate families for “vaccine-related injury or death.” “The Act” includes a Vaccine Injury Table listing brain damage, paralytic disorders, anaphylaxis, seizures, encephalopathy, shock, chronic and acute arthritis, Guillain- Barre syndrome, brachial neuritis, polio, thrombocytopenia, allergies and death, which are the admitted effects of vaccines and basis for compensation. Also, “The Act”, being a big Pharma bailout, shields vaccine manufacturers from liability, making tax payers liable instead. Apparently those “campaign donations” big Pharma gave to members of congress really paid off.
Like many government programs “The Act” has had the exact opposite effect of what was intended. Thanks to the ubiquitous revolving door between government and the industry they are supposed to be regulating or overseeing – in this case big Pharma, winning in a government court with a government judge, a government attorney defending a government program, using government- funded science along with government “experts”, makes it very difficult for vaccine victims to win compensation. Even with the low odds of a vaccine victim winning in this “court”, over 2 billion in compensation has been paid to vaccine victims. You are never going to hear or read about any of this stuff in the corporate media as they lie by omission. (See real life examples at the end of this article).

The Disney Land measles “epidemic” that the corporate media exploited to beat anti-vaxxers over the head with consisted of around 100 people with the measles. This was not an epidemic. The measles ran its course and in about two weeks every one of those 100 people now have a natural immunity to the measles which is far superior to a vaccine immunity. By the way, the vast majority of those who caught the measles had been vaccinated.

Conservative radio hosts will bash government all day long. However, most of them, the instant someone proclaims that perhaps government mandated vaccination are not in everyone’s best interest, will attack that person as a wacko, hippie, “left winger”. The hypocrisy is incredible. Just as hypocritical are the people on the left who hate Big Pharma with a passion. But again, the instant someone mentions to them that maybe Big Pharma do not have our best interest in mind with their vaccines, they are attacked as a “radical right wing extremist”. This is just one example of how corporate interests, in this case – Big Pharma, with help from the corporate media have successfully played us off against each other, perpetuating the left/right paradigm while shielding themselves from scrutiny. Incredible!

Some vaccine facts:
1. Zero die from measles while 108 die from measles vaccine during same period:
2. China has measles outbreaks but 99% are vaccinated.
3. In 2014 the U.S. Government settled 134 vaccine injury cases. 3 were deaths.
4. In a 2012 measles outbreak in Quebec over half of the cases were in vaccinated teenagers.
5. In 1987 a measles outbreak was documented among a fully immunized group of 14 children in Corpus Christi, TX.
6. CDC Own Data Shows Links Between Vaccines and SIDS.
7. Japan banned the MMR vaccine in 1993 “after 1 in 900 developed non-viral meningitis and other adverse reactions”.
8. In 2009 the so called swine flu pandemic, which was far less severe than the seasonal flu, WHO (World Health Organization) change the threat level of the swine flu to level six which automatically kicked in the manufacturing of 18 billion dollars worth of vaccines most of which were never administered. I wonder how many ex CEO’s of Big Pharma sit on the board of the WHO.
9. Baxter Pharmaceuticals “accidentally” released flu vaccine with live avian flu virus.
10. Bill Gates Caused 47,500 Cases of Death or Paralysis in Children in India with his Polio Vaccine in 2011!:
I could go on for page after page of examples like these that are not in the corporate media, If you would like to see more info go to:

The childhood diseases that never had a vaccine or in which vaccines were rarely administered, namely typhoid fever, scarlet fever, and the bubonic plague— have almost completely disappeared. In fact, in 2000 the Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics admitted, “vaccination does not account for the impressive declines in mortality seen in the first half of the century.” This is because vaccines for the eradication of diseases such as polio, measles, diphtheria, etc, were introduced to the masses generally after health standards such as safe drinking water, indoor plumping, electricity, indoor heat, safe food handling techniques, sewage treatment, antibiotics, etc, had already been introduced. These health standards played a much greater role in the eradication of childhood diseases then vaccines. One could make a valid argument, and many doctors and health professionals do, that vaccines played virtually no role in the eradication of childhood diseases.

A picture tells a thousand words!
See link:

Graphical Evidence Shows Vaccines did not save us.

Graphical Evidence Shows Vaccines did not save us.

Graphical evidence that vaccinations did not help us

Graphical evidence that vaccinations did not help us

whoopingcough scarletfever typhoidfever polio

In the 1970s, 1 in 10,000 babies got autism. Since then the number of different vaccines and their frequency (vaccine schedule), has grown to the point where babies and children are receiving 10 or 20 times as many vaccines. By 1990, 1 in 2,500 babies were autistic and by the year 2000 it was 1 in 1000. It is now 1 in 68. For boy’s it’s 1-in-42. That is an increase of 15,000%. At this rate of increase, by 2030 the autism rate will be 50% or 1 in 2!

If you graph the autism rate from 1970 until today and on the same graph and same time period, graph the accelerated increase in the quantity/number of vaccines given to children, the two lines will be an almost identical match.

In 2002, Judge Jed Rakoff found the death penalty unconstitutional as it created too great a risk that innocent people would be executed. This ruling was later overturned citing that these innocent people received a fair trial. The innocent children who are injured or die from vaccines do not receive any kind of trial, fair or not. In most cases the parents are simply told the lie that vaccines are 100% safe. Doctors are not required to fully disclose vaccine risks and most don’t. If parents question the efficacy of vaccines the medical establishment and corporate media tell them they are “paranoid”, to stop listening to “conspiracy theorists”, “to shut up and take your vaccines”. “They are for the ‘greater good’”. This bullying tactic and absolute lack of informed consent is criminal.

When progressive eugenicists such as Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood,), called for forced sterilization of the “undesirables”, as they were called, in the early 20th century it was for the “greater good”. The rounding up and interning of Japanese during WW2 was for the “greater good”. The Patriot Act, the NDAA, TSA gropedowns, militarization of local police, warrantless searches, the War on Drugs and NSA spying are all done for the “greater good”. Every tyrant that has ever committed mass Crimes Against Humanity, did it under the guise of the “greater good”. It’s a guarantee that future despots will use the “greater good” argument to commit their own atrocities.

The above is only a tiny bit of the truth about vaccines that the corporate media has failed miserable to report. See the book “Vaccine Epidemic” for the truth about vaccines.

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In Liberty!
Jamie Fagan
Below are a few must read examples of adverse vaccine reactions. These heart breaking, tragic, real life examples of an adverse vaccine reactions verifies most everything mentioned above. Remember, these are just a few examples out of thousands upon thousands of families whose lives have been ripped apart and shattered by vaccines.
Please think of these stories the next time you are about ready to pass judgement on someone for not vaccinating their child. Think of these stories before you tell them how selfish it is or how dangerous it is for the rest of society for them to choose not to get their child vaccinated.
Real Life Example 1
JUSTICE DISSERVED: The Hannah Bruesewitz Odyssey, by Russ Bruesewitz.

Two hours after a DPT shot (the whole cell pertussis vaccine), while feeding Hannah lunch, Robie noticed a quick jerk followed by a distant stare. Hannah soon recovered and resumed her normal activities. Several more similar episodes occurred throughout the day. That evening, not long after putting Hannah to bed, Robie suddenly heard Hannah scream, she rushed into the room, and found her in the midst of what we now know was a grand mal seizure. Having no familiarity with seizures of any kind but thinking Hannah wasn’t breathing and looked blue, Robie started CPR on her.
At the hospital, Hannah continued to seize. In triage, a resident administered a sedative to stabilize Hannah’s condition. The initial hospital stay was for fifteen days, during which Hannah experienced more than 125 seizures—some as frequent as every ten minutes and lasting up to five minutes in duration. The anguish we experienced as parents was indescribable as we watched our previously healthy baby become catatonic, seeing her lips turn blue from lack of oxygen, hearing the alarms go off to notify the nurses she had reached critical levels, then helplessly watching the flurry of medical activity to address her condition.
Phenobarbital was the anticonvulsant of choice at that time, used with marginal success. It left Hannah’s demeanor between seizures significantly altered from that bright-eyed personality of the previous six months. To this day, I look back on that time as one of watching the light go out of my daughter’s eyes, a light that has never returned.
Hanna returned home. Over the next eighteen months or so, hospitalizations were required every four to six weeks when a succession of seizures wouldn’t stop. When it was necessary to administer Valium or Dilantin to stop the seizures, she became extremely agitated afterward, screaming and flailing to the point where we had to put a cage on top on her crib for her own safety. When not seizing, her demeanor became mostly flat and expressionless, seldom smiling at things she liked in the past. Any vocabulary she had previously acquired was lost. Her only words were an echo to a prompt, as Hannah expressed nothing on her own initiative.
We were surprised to discover a source of financial help for those injured by vaccines. While I can’t recall specifically how I learned of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), I can assure you it was never mentioned to us by anyone in the medical profession. In fact, in numerous discussions with Hannah’s medical team of neurologists, pediatricians, and social workers, no one ever acknowledged the obvious connection between Hannah’s profound injuries and her DPT shot. The closest we came was a comment from a pediatric neurologist who said that Hannah’s case was a major topic of discussion at a neurological conference he had just attended. The conference considered her situation unusual, with the close temporal relationship between the shot and her reaction.
Every time we were asked for Hannah’s medical history (and you can’t imagine how often that occurred), Hannah’s reaction to her DPT vaccine never seemed to prompt further questions from doctors seeing Hannah for the first time. I was always struck by that lack of curiosity. Were we being dismissed as just reactionary parents looking for someone or something to blame for their child’s condition? Were doctors afraid to open that box for fear of impugning the reputation of a colleague? Or worse, was there an implied code of silence in the medical profession surrounding adverse vaccine reactions based on the fear that, if acknowledged, these reactions might lead to reduced compliance? Only years later, during our legal pursuits, did we learn of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and were amazed by its obscurity. The professionals most likely to benefit from the information it contained didn’t seem to know about this database. If VAERS isn’t even used by medical professionals, who is it for?
Hannah’s own pediatrician who administered the vaccine that caused Hannah’s injury later stated that had she known of the number of incidences surrounding the “hot lot” attributes of the vaccine batch Hannah received, she never would have given her the shot that day.
In the three years following Hannah’s vaccine reaction and subsequent injuries, we continued to focus on her care and development, but it became increasingly evident that her prospects for recovery were not good. That reality was, and still is, hard to accept. It forced us, however, to start looking at the practical aspects of providing for her long-term care. While Robie continued her almost daily dealing with doctors, insurance companies, pharmacists, social agencies, parent support groups, caregivers, and school districts, I started to look into the VICP. With the help of my brother, who is an attorney, we started due diligence and were shocked to learn that we were up against a three-year filing deadline that expired the next day. No time to explore options—we were out of time. Using his legal resources, my brother ended up speaking that day with Cliff Shoemaker of Shoemaker & Horn Associates, a two-man Washington, DC, firm specializing in vaccine injury cases. After frantically gathering the information he needed from us over the phone, Cliff Shoemaker prepared the petition and literally walked it over to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The paperwork was stamped to verify compliance with the April 3, 1995, filing deadline. Had we not met that deadline, the VICP would have denied our petition, and all other possible civil court actions would have been unavailable. If we made the deadline by one day, how many other deserving families probably missed their opportunity for help because of the underpublicized existence of the program, intentional or otherwise?
From our initial review of the compensation requirements, we had met all the conditions and, with the DPT vaccination as the obvious catalyst, everything seemed to point to a quick and favorable compensation decision. That expectation soon proved to be misguided. Contrary to the stated intent of the legislation to “provide for a less adversarial, expeditious and informal proceeding for the resolution of petitions,” our petition was assigned, then reassigned, then delayed during the chaotic government shutdown over budget approval in 1995 and 1996. Finally, our petition was transferred to Special Master Laura Millman on February 29, 2000, almost five years after we had filed.
Specifically, our petition claimed that Hannah had “suffered an on-table, residual seizure disorder and encephalopathy after receipt of her third DPT vaccination.” That turned out to be only partially accurate. We soon discovered, effective March 10, 1995, and just twenty-four days before we filed our petition, that U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Donna Shalala had removed “residual seizure disorders” from the Vaccine Injury Table in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. 2 Had residual seizure disorder remained on-table as originally established in the Act, Hannah’s DPT shot would have been legally presumed to have been the de facto cause of injury, and we would most likely have received an award quickly. This stroke of an administrator’s pen was a game changer. Without a single vote cast, Shalala significantly altered the program that Congress had painstakingly crafted as a compromise between a threatened vaccine supply and those children injured from receiving the vaccine.
We were now compelled to prove that Hannah’s shot was the cause of injury. Proof instead of presumption. This posed a far more difficult and costly burden for our family, and as we’d learn, for almost any petitioner. Given its timing, a cynic might wonder if this administrative tweak to the table of injuries was the result of a brokered concession that emerged from those budget battles in the mid-1990s between President Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich surrounding Medicare, education, and public health. Regardless of the reason, proceedings in the VICP were about to become more adversarial, more costly to pursue, and less likely to succeed for the many families unfortunate enough to be seeking justice for their children’s vaccine-induced injuries and deaths. Is it possible that the intent of Shalala’s action was to reduce the number and amount of awards?
As we approached our hearing date, one of the experts slated to testify on Hannah’s behalf suddenly became unavailable, with suspicious timing that necessitated an eleventh-hour request to the court to reschedule so that we could try to find a replacement with a similar pedigree. This turned out to be a critical blow in our effort to prove “causation.” Additionally, as noted later in the Special Master’s written decision, our attorneys were accused of using “high-handed” tactics in creating the delay we needed, leaving in question whether this had an effect on her judgment. Discussions with our attorneys also revealed that Special Master Millman’s past decisions exposed a bias; she believed that to implicate the DPT shot as the cause, a fever must be present at the onset of the seizure. Although arguments were made to the contrary, she ruled Hannah did not have a fever at the time of her initial hospitalization. The Special Master’s bias about DPT causation combined with her already expressed aggravation about the previous delays did not bode well.
Hannah’s hearing finally went forward on July 23, 2002, more than seven years from the time we filed our petition with the court. These years of delay to get a hearing were hardly consistent with the “expeditious” intent of the 1986 Vaccine Act. The actual proceedings went pretty much as anticipated, but with a few surprises. The hearing lasted one day and involved testimony from our substitute expert, an adult neurologist, and Hannah’s treating neurologist with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, as well as Robie and me. The government’s expert was a pediatric neurologist and author with twenty years’ experience.
That we now needed to prove causation made our path much more difficult. In addition, our lead attorney was presenting her first case in a trial setting and, although she did a good job, she did not project the confidence of a seasoned trial attorney. The Special Master, on the other hand, seemed to have an irritable demeanor, constantly probing the experts on both sides for their opinions on Hannah’s seizures and whether there had been fever or not. Both Robie and I were surprised by the dismissive and arrogant attitude the Special Master seemed to exhibit, typified in part by the several meals she ate while on the bench. If this is what was meant by a less formal legal setting under the 1986 Vaccine Act, then we would have vastly preferred a more formal legal environment.
Had we been permitted to introduce the drug manufacturer’s incriminating evidence of a “hot lot,” Hannah would likely have won, but that was not the case. Special Master Millman denied our petition on December 20, 2002, seven and a half years after we filed. After reading her decision and then reflecting on the big picture, the outcome should not have been surprising. Although the two-hour connection of cause and effect between Hannah’s vaccination and her tailspin into lifelong dependency seemed obvious to us, Hannah’s claim was rejected. Our expert’s testimony was dismissed as not credible, and the testimony of Hannah’s treating neurologist was discounted as merely “attempting to help the petitioners in a very sympathetic case.” The close temporal relationship of vaccine to reaction was not enough to prove causation. The absence of any other definitive cause for Hannah’s condition could not be used as evidence that the shot was the cause. And Special Master Millman’s decision was peppered with her contention that Hannah’s seizures were afebrile and therefore the shot could not have been the cause. What were we supposed to take away from this verdict? Did the Special Master believe that Hannah’s seizures and developmental regression were an unfortunate coincidence of events, like being hit by a meteorite? Did she think that Hannah was predestined for the life she is living regardless of the shot?
The VICP has morphed from its original mission as a noble effort to do the right thing into a self-serving pretense of justice. Parents who believe this forum offers legitimate recourse for their vaccine-injured child quickly realize their interests are second to the alleged “greater good.” If you add in the specter of a vaccine-autism link, you have the proverbial gorilla in the room that no one wants to let out for fear of the damage it could do. Let the gorilla wreak havoc on those in the room—just don’t open the door!
Disappointed and now even more angry, we were soon contacted by several law firms that had watched our case closely as it sputtered through the VICP. We learned that we had the option of appealing the Special Master’s decision or bringing suit against the vaccine manufacturer in civil court.
Hannah’s longterm needs had become even more certain now that it was apparent that there would likely be no improvement in her abilities. Faced with the highly unlikely prospect of favorable rulings on appeal, we chose to pursue the suit in state civil court. Ironically, had we been successful in the VICP, one of the Act’s stated objectives would have been served: we would never have gone the civil route, and the manufacturer would have been spared the legal challenge we were about to initiate. Our legal efforts were never about chasing a windfall, but solely about providing a safe and supportive environment for Hannah when Robie and I were no longer able to do so. We decided on the Houston, Texas, firm of Williams Bailey (now Williams Kherkher) for a number of reasons, including our sense that they had the financial staying power to endure for the long-term, never imagining that it would take so long.
Over the next eight years , we worked with this firm to advance our case through the courts. While I’m sure the firm held internal discussions about the costs incurred and the prospects of continuing, they always pursued a successful outcome with the aggressiveness they showed from day one.
Years of litigation wore on, and in spring 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear our case. After getting the call from our attorney that our petition had been granted by the Supreme Court, we were both exhilarated and relieved. For the first time in nineteen years, we allowed ourselves to feel validated. The highest court in the land was going to grant us this one last dance. We weren’t naïve enough to believe that after hearing the merits of our case, these nine compassionate people would acknowledge the broken system through which we had come and correct the wrongs done. Still, we were at least being given a large stage and an engaged audience to which we could cry “foul.”
The reality was that even if we were fortunate enough to get a favorable decision from the Supreme Court, we would merely have won the right to start all over again in civil court.
When questioned what Hannah’s case was about, I offered a condensed overview of preemption—in other words, whether federal law takes precedence over a state’s traditional jurisdiction in product liability cases. Pretty dry stuff; hardly a subject that they write songs about, right? But if the case were decided in favor of federal preemption, any child suspected of having a vaccine injury from a defectively designed vaccine would have her financial fate sealed with a thumbs up or down decision from just one individual, a Special Master in the VICP. Regardless, the 1986 Vaccine Act absolves the vaccine manufacturer of any financial liability, and by default, there is then a presumption that the manufacturer committed no fault. I suspect most companies might abuse the privilege of no liability if given that free pass; fortunately, almost all companies are financially liable for harms they cause. The Supreme Court ruled 6–2 in favor of federal preemption, making it impossible in the future to claim in a civil court before a jury that a vaccine’s design was dangerously defective.
In practice, all vaccine injury claims must now be decided exclusively in the VICP. Disappointed, but not surprised, we recognized that the vaccine manufacturers’ argument of a threatened vaccine supply and future infectious disease outbreaks won the day. The drug industry had mobilized their forces and had successfully linked our case to the looming storm of five thousand potential lawsuits in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding, in which parents claim that vaccines caused their children’s autism. Wyeth’s lawyers argued that if these cases were allowed to proceed in civil court, devastation would certainly ensue and, once again, children might be deprived of the benefits of vaccines.
Leaving aside whether that threat is real or contrived, I found it interesting that Chief Justice John Roberts owned stock in Pfizer, the parent company of Wyeth. He recused himself, subsequently sold his stock, then withdrew his recusal to resume his leadership position on the bench. I was surprised that these questionable actions drew little scrutiny. Before the commencement of the Supreme Court hearing, one of our attorneys sent us a card with a bracelet for Hannah. She described Hannah as courageous for her perseverance and noted that Hannah, like all Supreme Court petitioners, was now tied to history: she “walks with giants.” We couldn’t agree more, but the pride we all felt was ours alone as Hannah was unaware of her legal participation and will be forever locked in a world without ordinary cognition and language. She endures pain without expression, unlike those who love her most of all and know her struggle.
It has been twenty years since that fateful vaccine and eighteen years in our search for justice. Through it all, we learned a simple truth: Our system of judicial compensation has ruled repeatedly that Hannah is not entitled to any remedy. What of all the others now affected with even less recourse? As a citizen unwilling to give up on the legitimacy of our legal system, I have to believe that the blindfolded lady with the scales of justice in her hand can feel the tugs at her robe. Robie and I remain hopeful that she will do the right thing, if not for Hannah, then for the vaccine-injured children who follow.
Editors’ note: On February 22, 2011, in a 6–2 decision by Justice Scalia, the Supreme Court held that the federal vaccine act preempted all design defect claims based on the text of the statute. In chapter 5, “The Right to Legal Redress,” the authors Holland and Krakow provide excerpts from the forceful dissent by Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg. In our opinion, the dissent incorporates a clearer understanding of the legislative balance struck by Congress between the rights of injured children and protection of vaccine manufacturers and is therefore the more compellingly reasoned decision.
Taken from the book, “Vaccine Epidemic”
Real Life Story number 2
I am struck by the contrasts in a certain three doctors I know. Two are pediatricians and the third is a renowned surgeon with expertise in immunology. The first pediatrician’s career included—in addition to a busy practice spanning three decades—defining and promoting health and immunization policy in conjunction with his state health department and an Ivy League university. It also included years of volunteer work for the autism community. He is a recognized expert witness in litigation related to vaccine injury. He is happily married to his first wife and has four children and twelve grandchildren.
The other pediatrician received his medical degree from the same Ivy League university, served in the National Health Service, has a master’s degree in public health in addition to his medical degree, and has practiced with no particularly distinguishing achievements. He is married and has two children. One unequivocally supports vaccination to the fullest, believes all vaccines are safe and effective, and vaccinates children daily without the slightest hesitation. The other now accepts the possibility that vaccines can trigger autism in susceptible children, supports findings that show a link between inflammatory bowel disease and MMR vaccine, and questions the current pediatric vaccination schedule.
One is knowledgeable about food allergies and sensitivities, and encourages special diets to mitigate them. The other is not informed about these issues, and has advocated the use of asthma medication for children with multiple food allergies but no asthma symptoms. One has a grandchild with autism. The other has a child who committed suicide. One operates within the status quo of pediatrics, assiduously following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in practice. The other is aghast by the degree of chronic illness and disability that has become normal in children in the new millennium, is relieved to be retired from practice because of this, and hopes for a dramatic change in his field.
For years, we were patrons of the pediatrician who seemed unable to answer my questions with anything other than broad-stroke missives from the CDC or the AAP. My son didn’t particularly like or trust him. He once told us that rice was not allowed on gluten-free diets (not true), and his head nurse did not know what a gliadin antibody test was (it checks gluten sensitivity; my son’s test results are highly positive).
Like many of the parents I’ve met in my pediatric nutrition care practice, I’ve felt frustrated by having a pediatrician who not only didn’t understand our healthcare needs but was not interested in them, and much to our dismay, neither was anyone on his staff. He continues to practice, unfettered by controversy.
The other pediatrician described here is a former neighbor of mine, who is retired. In spite of his spotless record, expertise, and tireless service, he has been marginalized for investigating vaccine safety. He is trivialized for speaking up about the possible role of vaccines as a trigger for autism, seizures, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), autoimmune disorders and allergies in children, and shaken baby syndrome (SBS)—even though any vaccine package insert states that the product inside may trigger seizures, death, or allergic reactions, among many other adverse events. I would like to have a pediatrician like him. He has an impeccable reputation among his patients, is kind and caring, and is an independent thinker who listens and then answers questions thoughtfully. My son knows him, likes him, trusts him, and always has—even when he was a young toddler with sensory issues that made him anxious around almost anybody. He felt instantly comforted by this man’s reassuring manner with kids. When this doctor has no answer, he says so and directs me to someone who might know more. Unfortunately, I can’t have him or a younger, unretired version of him as my pediatrician.
A pediatrician who questions vaccines is not only unwelcome among his peers and professional organizations but is cast aside as unscientific, intellectually feeble, and even unpatriotic—a knee-jerk reaction that smacks of bias and zealotry. I use the other pediatrician only because he is available. He is all that our beleaguered healthcare system sanctions. Insurance pays for doctors like him, but not for the ones who think independently. This pediatrician’s scope of practice is in lockstep with what the health insurance industry dictates, which, in turn, is in lockstep with what the pharmaceutical industry dictates. If there is no need for prescription drugs or vaccines, there is no need for this pediatrician; indeed, we rarely see him. I am sure he is a good, kind, and even smart man. Why did he stop thinking independently and critically? Imagine your child off drugs. All drugs. No antibiotics, vaccines, reflux medication, laxatives, statins, antipsychotics, sleep medication, stimulants, antidepressants, seizure meds, insulin, steroids, nebulizers, antiinflammatories, suppositories, or anything else I’ve missed. Imagine your child being so healthy that perhaps just one thing from this list is needed every five years or so.
If you were born before 1970, you grew up with few drugs and vaccines. Odds favor polypharmacy for those born after 1990 or 1995. If your child never used any of these things, would there be any reason left to go to the pediatrician? What else would be offered for care if not a medication or a shot? Incredibly, it is now the norm to turn the pharmaceutical spigot on children, starting at birth—and nobody blinks. I often ponder the colossal profitability of this. Through a persistent, pervasive hypnosis from pediatricians, news outlets, print ads, web content, governmental press, TV programs, and magazines, parents are being taught that it is normal to have a child who can’t talk, poop, walk, eat, digest food, grow, attend school, or perhaps even breathe without the benefit of a litany of medications and vaccines. Worse, we are conditioned to believe that children who don’t join in are somehow not normal, or—perhaps more inexplicable—that they are a danger to children who do submit to the dozens of vaccines, antibiotics, and drugs. It is arguably the other way around, but that’s another conversation.
In the same time frame in which giving babies and children dozens of drugs and vaccines became normal, our children have gotten sicker, not healthier. It cannot be claimed that this style of healthcare works. My vantage point on this is different from your pediatrician’s, by virtue of a different training in child health. I am a registered dietitian, and I have an undergraduate degree in nutrition sciences and a master’s degree in public health nutrition. This training taught me that nutrition status is what drives a child’s ability to fight infections. Low nutrition potentiates susceptibility to infection, and nutrition status declines during infection. Ample and strong data agree—data that show that one-third to one-half of the millions of deaths in children across the world, caused by measles, diarrheal diseases, pneumonia, AIDS, and malaria, are due to undernutrition, not undervaccination. Data show that even mild malnutrition (the kind I see in practice here in the United States, especially in kids with autism) changes how often kids get sick and whether they live or die from an infectious disease.
I was taught about vaccines too. When I finished a graduate degree in public health in 1988, nutrition and vaccines were not presented as mutually exclusive tools for maternal, infant, and child health. Now it seems that data on child nutrition are ignored—and parents are told that the only way to have healthy children is to fully vaccinate them. This is a myth that the body of evidence in child nutrition does not support. What is well supported is that nutrition drives learning, growth, development, and immune function in children. Look at it this way: For your child’s first year of life, if you could afford only a box full of the thirty-odd vaccine doses now recommended for zero-to-twelve-month-old infants or a year’s supply of nutritious food, which would you rather have? I was trained to uphold the CDC’s goals and objectives for public health. In 1988, its “goal number 1” for the year 2000 was to “increase span of health life.” It is not difficult to see that American public health policy has failed at this: Data from several sources show that, for the first time in U.S. history, children’s life expectancies may be shorter than their parents’.
Despite the rapidly growing vaccination schedule, American children are more chronically ill and disabled than ever. They are more likely to die as babies than the children in more than forty other countries. We have an abysmal infant mortality ranking that has done nothing but slide from bad to worse since the 1950s. Children in the United States today have much higher rates of asthma, autism, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, life-threatening food allergies, obesity, ADHD, learning and behavioral disorders, and suicide than kids did in the 1980s, when fewer vaccinations were given. Were these genetic phenomena unnoticed before?
Martha Herbert, a Harvard neurologist who also holds a PhD, put it this way: “Genes load the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger.” The one trigger we pull dozens more times than ever before is vaccination. Children now get seventy doses of sixteen different vaccines through age eighteen.
Among possible causes of the health problems plaguing our children are immune dysregulation and toxic exposures, so we must examine the role of vaccines as possible triggers. What if it were true that the way we now vaccinate children causes more death, chronic disease, and disability than it prevents in America? Blanket assurances that this can’t happen are naïve. Pharma-funded studies to diffuse concern—whether the money flows first through university foundations, hospitals, or nonprofits—are obviously flawed, inherently biased, and can’t yield clear information.
I am disturbed by how sick the children are who I meet each week in practice, but I am more concerned that their pediatricians seem nonchalant. They are like my pediatrician—not well informed beyond pharma-driven information, not thinking critically, not using their training and skills to the fullest, and bending to the dictates of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, who ultimately underwrite what they do every day. Is this the best we can offer? My graduate training fully indoctrinated me in the reasons for vaccination. I need no instruction on its touted benefits. I was also privileged to have classmates in graduate school at the University of Hawaii who were doctors, nurses, and health workers from all over the world. As a haole (white) U.S. mainlander, I was in the minority. They had lived or worked in places like Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, or Karachi, Pakistan, where they had seen children die of measles. They were from impoverished regions in Africa, Indonesia, or Taiwan, where children die of infectious diseases more often than in the United States. I understand what it means to lose children to preventable deaths.
I also watched my brother die a slow, agonizing death from AIDS—a disease whose very existence some trace to unabashed negligence in the vaccine industry, and from which the same industry hopes to profit with a new product. Any public health training teaches that vaccines do kill some babies and children. I was taught that infants who die from vaccine injuries are probably defective and would have died anyway, that these are necessary deaths, and that it’s best to weed these children from the gene pool. Even then, years before I became a parent of a healthy full-term baby who would nearly die from a vaccine injury, this shocked me. Is this eugenics? Isn’t public health for all of the public? How many parents would like their children’s lives to become necessary collateral damage? Is it constitutional to kill or injure some children for the supposed good of others? Is it moral? Is it good for others?
Read the year-end summaries of reportable diseases in Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report , the CDC publication paid for with your tax dollars. Look historically—go back and view trends. You will see that infectious diseases wax and wane independent of vaccination, which is proof that it takes more than a vaccine to prevent a disease. You’ll see discussions over the years about risks and benefits of preventive and treatment strategies, and research on how infectious diseases move through populations, what makes some of us die, what lets some of us live, and why some of us get no illness at all. It is never just about a vaccine.
The last physician in my story knew this. Francis Moore, MD, was the late-in-life spouse of my husband’s grandmother, Kathryn Saltonstall. Both knew well what my son had endured from an adverse reaction at birth to the newborn hepatitis B vaccine; both knew of my testimony before a congressional subcommittee on this in 1999, and both knew I wrote a searing personal memoir about this family debacle. Some readers might recognize Dr. Moore’s name. He was a Moseley Professor of Surgery, emeritus, at Harvard Medical School. He maintained an address on campus well into his eighties. He was surgeon-in-chief at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. His accomplishments are too numerous to list. Hailed as one of the greatest surgeons of the twentieth century, he pioneered techniques in organ transplantation and the metabolic support of surgical patients. He led the team that performed the first successful human organ transplant—a kidney transplant in identical twins—in 1954. Dr. Moore authored hundreds of medical articles and six books, including a text that became a standard in the field.
By the time I met him, through family gatherings, he was mostly busy traveling the globe to receive awards and honoraria, and having audiences of dignitaries the world over. Out of sheer respect for his stature in the medical community, I never told him my opinions of vaccines—but once I testified before the congressional subcommittee reviewing hepatitis B vaccine safety in 1999, of course, he found me out. The conversation I avoided for years took place when he phoned me to discuss this. As one might think, Dr. Moore had a very commanding manner and tone. I was more terrified to take this call than I was when I faced off with Henry Waxman (D-CA) at the subcommittee meeting, with news cameras rolling. I did not want to disrespect this man who had contributed and accomplished so much in his field, or my husband’s grandmother, the kind, gentle matriarch of the Marion, Massachusetts Saltonstalls. I was certain Dr. Moore was about to crush me, using that signature booming voice, with a rant that would effectively bar me, my husband, and my son for good from further family discourse. That never happened. Dr. Moore was kind. He listened. He was appalled and puzzled that newborns were being given hepatitis B vaccine, a shot he felt they could not possibly need. He did not know of this policy, though, at the time of our conversation. Babies nationwide had been receiving hepatitis B vaccine at birth for about ten years. He described a “window of vulnerability” for newborns, from ages zero to two months, in which he felt the immune system was too immature to receive a vaccine of any kind, lest it trigger damage. He thanked me for contributing my testimony. I hung up and dropped my face in my hands, overwhelmed by this unexpected reception from a physician at the zenith of accomplishment in his field, after being scoffed at for years by my son’s doctors. Dr. Moore’s letter to me is in the appendix. He sent it after our chat on the phone. He calls for “absolute avoidance of neonatal vaccination” in this letter. Read it, and wonder: If one of the world’s most respected medical achievers had this opinion, but has now passed on, who else of his stature can continue this conversation? Where are the sage experts to guide us? If he were alive and publicly voicing this point, would he too be dragged through a spurious trial and stripped of credentials and authority, as the British General Medical Council did to Dr. Andrew Wakefield for his research on vaccines and autism?
When our doctors are no longer free to think independently, pioneer, investigate, and lead—as Dr. Moore did throughout his career and, as I believe, Dr. Wakefield endeavored to do—medicine is truly dead. Our children will suffer the most. It then falls upon you, the individual parent, to uphold your right to choose with your doctor how you vaccinate your children. It falls on you to investigate, read, explore, defer, or simply stop going to pediatricians if all they can offer is rote information and new needles at each visit. Support the independent thinkers. As Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Taken from book, “Vaccine Epidemic”
Real Life Story number 3
I am a single mother of four children, two boys and two girls. We live in Lake Station, Indiana. Before my oldest daughter Zeda got sick, we had normal lives. I worked a full-time job. Thirteen-year-old Zeda was a cheerleader and straight-A student. She was also a big help to me with my other children. She was the daughter every mother dreams of having and her future was bright.
I have always done my best to keep my kids healthy. I made sure they received their wellness checkups and they always got whatever vaccines the doctor suggested. All my kids were completely healthy aside from simple colds here and there—completely healthy, that is, until it was time for Zeda’s well visit on November 5, 2008. Then her life, as she knew it, completely changed along with the lives of the rest of our family.
On November 5, 2008, at her annual checkup, Zeda’s pediatrician suggested that she receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine or, as I know it now, the Gardasil vaccine. I thought, “OK, this is what I am supposed to do to keep her healthy.” My doctor said to do it and so we did it. I knew absolutely nothing about the vaccine, other than it was for girls her age. The doctor did not advise me on any side effects, other than the potential for soreness around the injection site. A week after Zeda got the shot, she started to complain that she wasn’t feeling well. She had headaches and felt sick to her stomach. Perhaps like other girls at her age, Zeda could be a drama queen. So when she told me these things, I would tell her to lie down, murmur to her that she had probably had a long day, or give her some Tylenol. It would have never occurred to me that those little signs could have been red flags until November 28, three weeks after she received her Gardasil vaccine.
We were on our way to pick up her little sister from a friend’s house. While in the car, Zeda kept dropping her phone. Suddenly, my son said, “Mom, I think something is wrong with Zeda!” Zeda was crying, drooling, and her eyes were not looking right. She looked to me as if she had just had a seizure, which I recognized because my brother had seizures. I rushed her to the nearest emergency room at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Hammond, Indiana. Little did I know that this was the beginning of an unbelievable nightmare for Zeda, for me, and for our entire family. The ER staff did not even know what was wrong with her. First, they accused Zeda of overdosing on drugs. They yelled right in her face, as if she was hard of hearing, that she needed to tell them what she had taken. I was scared out of my mind. I had no clue what was going on, and these doctors and nurses were screaming at my daughter. Zeda was as scared as I was. I believe she knew that something was seriously wrong. She was confused and unable to say what she wanted. It wasn’t until she had another major seizure, right in the ER, that the staff finally started to take us seriously. Of course, by then, they also had received her drug test results, which were negative for any illegal drugs.
After those first few horrible hours, they transferred Zeda to our local hospital where a pediatric neurologist and Zeda’s pediatrician could see her. I thought we would surely get some answers there. The doctors started running all kinds of tests. At this point, Zeda was unable to say a whole sentence and could only say a few words at a time. She was terrified and was crying very hard. Zeda had an MRI, a CAT scan, an EEG, and a spinal tap. Whatever they were looking for, they did not find it. Every single test was negative. The MRI did show a “shadow” on the right side of her brain, which they treated as viral encephalitis. During those four very long days at our local hospital, I began to lose my precious daughter. Zeda stopped talking, stopped eating, stopped walking, and started urinating on herself as she lost control of her bladder. Even as Zeda’s health deteriorated rapidly, her pediatrician continued to say—unbelievably—that she was doing this to herself, that Zeda was “faking” it.
Words of reason finally came, not from the doctors, but from the nurses who agreed with me that something was terribly wrong. Zeda’s symptoms were not taken seriously until a psychiatrist came in, tested her, and issued a professional opinion that she wasn’t faking it. One nurse suggested we go to a specialty hospital, because we were getting nowhere. We agreed. Within forty-five minutes, we were en route to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Once again, I thought that we would finally get answers. We were not so lucky. Even there, the doctors accused Zeda of doing this to herself. They installed twenty-four-hour video surveillance on Zeda and monitored her for about two weeks to try to “catch” her in the act of faking it. They continued to perform test after test, all of which came back negative.
Zeda developed uncontrollable movements, an extremely high heart rate (up to 180 beats per minute), and high fevers, including one that was 108. 7 degrees. At one point, her doctors placed her in a “medically-induced coma.” Through all this, they still couldn’t tell us what was wrong or why this was happening to Zeda. They opted instead to spend most of their time blaming us and trying to prove that Zeda was faking her serious medical problems.
Although I repeatedly asked if it could be vaccine injury, no one would touch that with a ten-foot pole. Not one medical professional would go on the record saying that the Gardasil vaccine did this to Zeda. They wouldn’t even say that a vaccine could do this to her. Zeda eventually lost lung function and her doctors placed her on a ventilator for several months. They also inserted a tracheotomy and feeding tube because she could no longer breathe or eat on her own. We were at Riley Hospital for four months and her doctors still could not tell us what happened to her, only that they were sure it was not a vaccine reaction. They refused to acknowledge Zeda’s vaccine injury despite dozens of cases of similar reactions in previously healthy girls following the HPV vaccine.
Today, Zeda still breathes through her trach and eats with a tube. She is mostly non-responsive and lives her life in a hospital bed in our living room with round-the-clock care and daily nursing visits. This has become the defining struggle of my life. I struggle every single day to do what I can to get Zeda better. I deeply regret my decision to allow Zeda to get this shot. She has lost all quality of life. I would do anything to get her better, but no one has any answers for me. The doctors still don’t believe it was the vaccine. Now that she’s sick, no one knows how to help my baby girl.
Tragically, the number of “Gardasil Girls” like my daughter continues to grow. The Truth About Gardasil website ( ) posts many of their stories. The federal government added Gardasil as a recommended shot for sixth grade girls in 2008, the same year that Zeda received this brand-new vaccine. I can’t help but think, if only . . . if only I had read the editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine that someone recently showed me—“Human Papillomavirus—Reasons for Caution.” It was published two months before Zeda’s doctor gave her the Gardasil shot.
I now know that pap smears are just as effective, if not more effective in preventing cervical cancer. If this isn’t already too much to bear, in the summer of 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices added the recommendation that sixth grade boys should now receive the HPV vaccine. My sons and my younger daughter will never get this vaccination. We had to sacrifice Zeda to learn this hard lesson.
Even as I have been writing this chapter, another family contacted me to ask for help. They said their daughter had the same experience as Zeda. Our heartbreaking reality is now theirs and they too are being offered no diagnosis or help from their doctors, but only accusations that their daughter is “faking it.” It is heartbreaking to watch this play out for them and to have no help to offer. Judicial Watch, a nonprofit, nonpartisan watchdog organization, began investigating reports of adverse events from the HPV vaccine in 2007 and issued two critical reports detailing the adverse outcomes of the vaccine.
After reviewing government reports on Gardasil, Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, remarked, “The FDA adverse event reports on the HPV vaccine read like a catalog of horrors. Any state or local government now beset by Merck’s lobbying campaigns to mandate this HPV vaccine for young girls ought to take a look at these adverse health reports.” As of November 17, 2010, there have been 20,978 adverse HPV vaccine reactions reported. There are eighty-nine deaths associated with the vaccine.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to issue a position on these cases. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) conceded an HPV vaccine injury-related case on October 5, 2010. I am here to tell you that I didn’t know the harm vaccines could do. I think many parents are like me—they don’t know either. I thought vaccines would keep my children safe and healthy. That’s what the doctor told me. I never imagined that a vaccine could do this to my daughter. My doctor never told me the risks. No one else did either. I was never shown anything describing potential side effects of vaccines. If you do choose to vaccinate, you had better be very comfortable about the need for each vaccine, because every time you vaccinate your child, there is a risk of severe injury and death. It is crucial that parents understand what is at stake and that the choice is theirs to make. I am not telling you not to vaccinate. I am telling you that people who pressure you to vaccinate don’t own the consequences. Only you, as parents, do.
Taken from the book, “Vaccine Epidemic”
Real Life Example 4
A MOTHER-SON STORY, by Sonja Hintz, RN, and Alexander Hintz
My son’s medical history is a complicated one and includes two severe vaccine reactions from shots that we—my husband and I—were pushed into giving him. Alex showed signs of motor delays from birth. He was floppy when lying down and stiff when held upright. He did not gain weight normally; he had colic and severe reflux, which influenced his ability to suck, swallow, and breathe. Alex refluxed during his feeds and had to coordinate what he refluxed up as well as what was going down (double volume of fluids). In addition, doctors observed during a swallow study that he had silent aspiration with his reflux. I had to nurse him every hour and a half because he could not properly coordinate his feeding and became cyanotic around his mouth (his lips turned bluish with every feed).
After discussing his colic and reflux with his doctor, my husband, Gregg, and I made the decision to delay his vaccinations because of our concerns for Alex’s health. By six months of age, Alex had recovered from a severe case of chickenpox and continued to have serious reflux that caused him to stop breathing (apnea). One night I awoke at three o’clock (from six months of habitual night feeds) to find Alex cold and lifeless. I was so shocked at first that I screamed to my husband and forgot that I knew CPR. I actually had to slap myself in the face, remind myself that I was a registered nurse and tell myself, “You know CPR!” I started working on him and Alex came around. I had never been more afraid.
When we took Alex to the doctor that day, my husband and I were under a great deal of stress after seeing our son so close to death. We don’t feel that we were properly prepared to make a good decision on the recommendation that came from the doctor. She wanted to vaccinate Alex during the visit. The doctor pointedly asked, “You wouldn’t want to lose him to pertussis, would you?” I felt a combination of pressure and guilt—pressure because even as a nurse, my training did not educate me to question the safety of vaccinations, and guilt because I had almost lost my son once and the doctor implied that not vaccinating him at that time would put Alex back in that terrifying place.
Despite the fact that Alex’s doctor did not take his risk factors and health status into account before making her vaccine recommendation, the not-so-subtle point hit its intended mark and we vaccinated Alex for the first time.
The doctor gave him the combination diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine and my baby had a severe reaction to his shot. That evening, Alex began to arch his back and then screamed for two days, nonstop. His doctor claimed that this was normal and failed to recognize this as an adverse vaccine reaction. Alex had been receiving speech and occupational therapies since birth. He benefited from the sensory work from his occupational therapist and the oral motor therapy from his speech therapist. By two years of age, he had a few words, and would even appropriately use “me do” and “sorry” when he did something he was not supposed to do. He was improving in his development. However, when Alex received another series of vaccinations at twenty-five months, he lost those phrases, and everything changed.
Regressing yet again, he lost weight, his hair thinned, and he exhibited a weakening muscle tone. He perspired from his head, had a pale complexion, and had severe constipation. He exhibited behaviors typically associated with autism, such as hand posturing, difficulty sleeping, and picky eating. He would only eat dry, crunchy foods, stopped repeating the few words he had acquired, and began to drift away from us. By thirty-seven months, he was extremely difficult to engage and spent much of the time obsessively lining up toy cars. This is when his pediatrician told us that she thought Alex had autism. Alex was also evaluated by a mitochondrial specialist. After reviewing the test results, he advised us to get Alex’s affairs in order because he would always need support and care. I will never forget his parting words: “He will be low functioning. Don’t expect much.” We were further discouraged by the nutritionist at the hospital who recommended that Alex have a feeding tube inserted: “It would be easier to place a G-tube than to try and feed him.”
During his medical workup, we also found that Alex had insufficient enzymes to break down carbohydrates, resulting in poor absorption of nutrients. The word “insufficient” was putting it mildly. There were no enzymes detected when they did the study. Fortunately, our neurologist was supportive when I mentioned dietary intervention. During his initial workup, Alex had an abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG). After a six-month trial of the gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet, Alex’s repeated EEG results were normal. The word “autism” had little meaning for me. Alex’s body was struggling medically. Where others saw behaviors called “autism,” I saw a sick child. I refused to settle for this diagnosis and instead pursued a biomedical route.
The lab work showed that Alex had nutritional deficiencies, mitochondrial abnormality, severe gastrointestinal reflux, and lymphoid hyperplasia of the bowel. As devastating as it was to receive his lab results, it was also a relief. I now had something to work with. My intuition was right. While the diagnosis of autism offered no solutions, Alex had very real medical problems that we could address.
For ten years we treated Alex’s medical problems and the result is a healthy, verbal, social young man. The conventional medical community does not think that it’s possible that vaccines either caused or exacerbated his health challenges. I am highly skeptical of their view. My son’s biology did not match up with the “one-size-fits-all” vaccination schedule. He suffered two clear vaccine adverse reactions. His behavioral symptoms and decline in health coincided with his shots, and the tests showed he was sick.
As we addressed the medical problems, his “autism” began to get better and eventually went away. It is difficult for me to understand how members of the medical community can see the thousands of cases like my son’s and continue to deny that vaccine-induced autism—and recovery from autism through medical treatment—is a reality.
My experiences have taught me that we must pay more attention to the individual children receiving vaccines because some are inherently more vulnerable than others. Unfortunately, my family—and others—had to learn this the hard way. If the doctor had been compelled to offer information that constituted true informed consent prior to vaccination, Gregg and I never would have vaccinated Alex after his apnea event. True informed medical consent stems from the legal and ethical right to decide what medical interventions your child will undergo based on a complete understanding of the known benefits and risks of any procedure or drug. Our doctor did not give us the information we needed to make wise choices for our son. After his first adverse vaccine reaction, I wish our doctor had given us the option to check Alex’s titers to see how his body responded immunologically to the vaccinations already given. We were pressured into making the wrong choices for Alex. This is true to varying degrees for nearly all families, because there is no true informed consent in vaccination. Doctors are not required to fully disclose the risks of vaccination and, in many cases, have not been properly informed by the companies, agencies, schools, and professional organizations tasked with educating medical professionals. I know this because I was one of those uninformed medical professionals.
Eighteen years ago, I was a nurse who administered vaccines for the Milwaukee Public Health Department when the court charged families to vaccinate their children. In this program, parents were required to appear in court after the school had identified their children as not being up to date with the recommended vaccination schedule. The city government sent letters informing these families that school could deny their children admission because of vaccine noncompliance. Following the court hearing, I administered those vaccines. What strikes me now is that, just as no one told me my options, no one told these parents their options either. I don’t know if public health officials ever offered these families any information on vaccine exemptions. I did not evaluate or review the children’s health status before I vaccinated them. I had the parents sign a consent form, but in some cases they may not have understood or have even been able to read these forms. I assumed they understood, and then I gave the vaccinations. That was it. Even at that point, I began to ask questions about vaccine policy: Why do we vaccinate the way we do? How do we know the body needs the number of vaccinations we give? Can we measure the child’s immune response before administering booster shots?
The answers I received from health department officials did not seem to justify these policies: “It is cheaper to vaccinate repeatedly than to check titers.” “Moms are more willing to bring their babies than their older children for vaccination.” “Herd immunity would not be achieved.” “This is the way it is done.” Little did I know that the birth of my son, Alex, would prompt me to ask the same questions again.
Vaccination is a serious medical intervention and only parents can assess the risk-benefit tradeoffs for their individual children. One-size-fits-all vaccination schedules and mandatory vaccination policies represent an outright challenge to parental rights and personal bodily autonomy.
In Alex’s case, vaccinations compounded his already complicated heath challenges. The belief by the medical community that vaccinations are benign interventions robbed our son of his basic functioning skills in the early years of his life. Fortunately, Alex has recovered from autism. On many levels, it would be easier for our family to pretend that it never happened. There is no social benefit to Alex for his friends to know about his old diagnosis. I think it’s pretty extraordinary for a thirteen-year-old boy to make the decision to share his story. Alex and I hope our story inspires others and allows for an open discussion of the medical problems that these children face. We are so grateful for Alex’s healing.
If not for doctors who have willingly become a part of this open discussion—like Dr. Anju Usman, who oversaw Alex’s chelation and other therapies—we do not believe that he would have recovered from autism. His improvement all started with our belief in the possibility of Alex’s recovery. Alex is living, thriving proof that autism is treatable and children can recover. I bear witness to this, as a parent and a nurse. I am opposed to vaccine intimidation. Vaccination choice is every parent’s right.
Taken From the Book, “Vaccine Epidemic”
Real Life Example 5
WHO WILL DEFEND THE DEFENDERS?, by Captain Richard Rovet, USAF (Ret.), with afterword by Colonel Felix M. Grieder, USAF (Ret.)
I write about some of the most vulnerable of society’s members: our men and women in uniform. Right now, many are protecting our freedom in austere conditions and dangerous places around the globe. Some may have given their lives today, in support of that freedom to do exactly what this book aims to do—to protect the principles we hold dear. Unfortunately, these brave defenders of our freedom are defenseless against the mandatory use of dangerous vaccines, such as the anthrax vaccine. For the past sixty-four years, the United States military and other government agencies have used our servicemen and women as test subjects, often in secret and without informed consent. Moreover, there is no end in sight; there are additional biodefense vaccines waiting in a pipeline to be tested on our soldiers. Sadly, this is not a conspiracy theory. This is documented fact.
In December 1994, right after the first Gulf War, the United States Senate released a report titled, “Is Military Research Hazardous to a Veteran’s Health?” This report outlined the unethical use of servicemen and women as test subjects. The report revealed that the Pentagon had quietly used soldiers in clinical trials and did not record the resulting information in their medical records, preventing the soldiers from receiving appropriate follow-up care. Many were simply left to die.
Witness the well-illustrated connection between Gulf War Illness and the anthrax vaccine. “Gulf War Illness” encompasses a wide range of acute and chronic health disorders, including chronic fatigue, severe joint pain, neurological problems, memory loss, and unexplained persistent rashes and sores, to name a few. Many illnesses are autoimmune in nature, meaning that a person’s own immune system has turned on certain tissues and organs in his or her own body. Roughly one in four of the 697,000 veterans—my fellow servicemen and women, who served in the first Gulf War—are afflicted with Gulf War Illness.
At the time that those fighting in the first Gulf War were vaccinated, the Department of Defense ordered medical staff not to annotate or identify the anthrax vaccine and the botulinum toxoid vaccine in soldiers’ vaccination records. Instead, they mysteriously recorded these vaccines as “Vac A” or “Vac B.”
While investigating potential causes of Gulf War Illness, Vancouver neuroscientist Chris Shaw and his research team were shocked to find that the aluminum hydroxide adjuvant in the military’s anthrax vaccines caused massive brain-cell death in laboratory mice. Vaccine makers now routinely use this adjuvant in childhood vaccines.
There is no doubt that the first Gulf War was a toxic war, and that there may be other contributory factors to Gulf War Illness besides the anthrax vaccine.
One of the most damning pieces of evidence implicating the anthrax vaccine, however, is that the coalition forces from other countries that fought alongside United States troops in the Gulf War, but did not receive the anthrax vaccine, have relatively few incidents of Gulf War Illness. Meanwhile, other coalition troops, such as British forces, who were also vaccinated against anthrax, do have significant incidence of Gulf War Illness, like their U.S. counterparts. The French report a small number of cases, which are primarily associated with the French soldiers who served with U.S. soldiers, and were given the anthrax vaccine.
General Douglas MacArthur outlined the damage done to a fighting force when such treatment of soldiers is undertaken: The unfailing formula for production of morale is patriotism, self-respect, discipline, and self-confidence within a military unit, joined with fair treatment and merited appreciation from without. It cannot be produced by pampering or coddling an army, and is not necessarily destroyed by hardship, danger, or even calamity . . . It will quickly wither and die if soldiers come to believe themselves the victims of indifference or injustice on the part of their government, or ignorance, personal ambition, or ineptitude on the part of their leaders. General Douglas MacArthur, 1933 Annual Report of the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army (pg 2 of 12)
Our soldiers’ calls for help have not only been ignored, but their own government, the one they swore to serve and protect, has tried to discredit them. For many years, veterans of the first Gulf War and their families have begged for help and answers. Meanwhile, in a misguided effort to mislead Congress, the press, and the American people about the extent of the damage done to personnel during the conflict, the Pentagon launched Operation Bronze Anvil, a propaganda program designed to deflect any inquiries into the Gulf War Illness-anthrax vaccine connection and to harm the reputations of those who spoke out about the connection. This effort has branded honorable U.S. servicemen and women complaining of anthrax vaccine reactions as malingerers, liars, whiners, and malcontents.
This misuse of our military personnel did not stop after the Gulf War or after the Senate’s 1994 report. Three key areas continue to provide fertile ground for the abuse of our servicemen and women as guinea pigs by the pharmaceutical industry in cooperation with senior military leaders. First, the military may order soldiers to take medicines or receive vaccines against their will. If they refuse medications, these proud soldiers risk incarceration, forfeiture of pay, and a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge, which would lump them together with murderers and rapists. Second, the military may waive informed consent for the use of untested or unstudied medications and vaccines in two possible ways: when there is a Presidential Executive Order or if the defense or intelligence establishment deems that there is a credible military threat. Third, servicemen and women are barred from suing the federal government under an archaic and arguably unconstitutional law from 1950 called the Feres Doctrine.
Sadly, recent history has taught us nothing, and our soldiers continue to pay with their lives and their health. Despite mounting concerns over anthrax vaccination as a contributing factor to Gulf War Illness, the U.S. military launched a mandatory anthrax immunization program in the late 1990s. I was at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware at the time and I witnessed a hotbed of illnesses and controversy surrounding the anthrax vaccine. Among the documented illnesses witnessed, many were autoimmune in nature, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. I have personally and sadly witnessed both of these conditions in relation to the anthrax vaccine.
After receiving pressure from the Government Accountability Office (the watchdog arm of Congress), the maker of the vaccine, Bioport, was forced to list autoimmune diseases and all the symptoms of Gulf War Illness on the anthrax vaccine product insert.
In May 1999, the USAF Surgeon General’s Office arranged a “town hall meeting” at Dover Air Force Base to assuage the concerns of many who had become ill following anthrax vaccination. In response to the town hall meetings, Dover AFB Wing Commander Colonel Felix Grieder temporarily halted anthrax injections on his base because of concerns about safety and after seeing his troops that had become severely ill after receiving the anthrax vaccine. It cost him his career. Greider has since alleged that his troops were used as guinea pigs in undisclosed military medical experiments.
He was right to be concerned. At Dover, the FDA tested anthrax vaccine lots in 2000 and discovered the presence of an experimental adjuvant and immune “turbo booster” called squalene or MF59—an adjuvant with potentially devastating health consequences. I want you to burn these two letters and two numbers into your consciousness so you will remember them because squalene will next be used in civilian vaccines.
I strongly urge you to read award-winning journalist Gary Matsumoto’s powerful exposé, Vaccine A , which is an outstanding example of the dying field of authentic investigative journalism. The book blows open the military’s shameful history of secret medical experiments on its soldiers and especially its illicit use of an unlicensed additive in the anthrax vaccine that is proven to cause fatal autoimmune diseases in animals.
I have personally borne witness to the devastating effects of the anthrax vaccine. I will forever have etched upon my memory the vision of a young enlisted woman screaming and crying as she was forcibly held down while the needle delivering the anthrax vaccine was pushed into her body. I will never forget the sad day when my dear friend, Technical Sergeant Clarence Glover, died after anthrax vaccination. My memory holds the stories of those whose skin literally burned off due to anthrax vaccine-induced Stevens-Johnson syndrome and of the infants under my care who were born with severe birth defects after their pregnant mothers were vaccinated with the anthrax vaccine.
Corruption within government for the profit of private industry is nothing new. Go behind the curtain of the anthrax vaccination program and you will see bailouts, lucrative financial contracts, and a revolving door of crony capitalism with strong ties to the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services. Furthermore, all studies that tout the safety of the anthrax vaccine, reported by so-called independent experts, were anything but independent. The studies were funded by the Department of Defense.
I swore an oath to defend this nation against all enemies, foreign or domestic. However, I most certainly did not swear allegiance to defense contractors and the hard-hitting lobbyists of the pharmaceutical industry. Forensic evidence now exists to launch a full investigation into the use of experimental adjuvants as a controlled experiment on our troops from the first Gulf War to the present. The potential implications of such an investigation are shattering. We can no longer tolerate the cruel and dishonorable use as guinea pigs of America’s sons and daughters who have sacrificed their lives to fight for our freedoms. We must loudly protest when the international legal standard of informed consent does not apply to those who courageously defend our country. We must end the current mandatory anthrax vaccination program and, in its place, launch a full-scale investigation.
I truly mean it each time I say, “God bless America.” I have fought to protect our freedoms and rights. I believe that vaccination choice is a fundamental human right for all Americans, including our brave military personnel. Please read the appendix to this chapter for Captain Rovet’s March 25, 2005, letter of complaint to the Department of Defense Inspector General, and excerpts from his report to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Editor’s Note: The appendix to this chapter contains excerpts from Captain Rovet’s report on anthrax vaccine injury to his superiors while serving at Dover Air Force Base .
Taken From the Book, “Vaccine Epidemic”
Real Life Example 6
Not many things can compare to the heartache of helplessly watching your young child lose developmental skills and regress into a world of mental confusion and physical pain. This is something you would never wish on any parent. Sadly, I have had to face this challenge not once, but twice. My name is Gay Tate, and I am a mother, former scientist, and practicing psychotherapist. My husband Allen and I have three children, ages twenty-one, eighteen, and fourteen.
Our oldest was born in 1989 and was vaccinated according to the recommended schedule of the 1980s. He has always been strong and healthy. Our two younger children, born in 1992 and 1996, received their vaccinations according to a sharply expanded vaccination schedule, beginning at twelve hours old—it was the schedule typically followed for American children born in the 1990s. They have both been diagnosed with autism. They are not alone. This series of events and outcomes has repeated with thousands of other children and families, and autistic spectrum disorders have reached epidemic levels in this country. My family has experienced, firsthand and from the beginning, the unfolding of what I believe to be a man-made catastrophe. In less than two decades, we have moved from needing to explain what “autism” is, since so few had ever seen a person with autism, to seeing autism studies offered as a major in college.
This is our story. Young Allen, my firstborn, was almost three years old when I was expecting my second child. I had left a rather intense and demanding life as a research scientist to experience motherhood full-time. Allen was sweet, precociously verbal, and very excited to be getting a new brother or sister. My pregnancy was smooth and uneventful, and Kenny was born in June, big and healthy, the day before my fourth wedding anniversary. Life was hectic, but good. During his first year, Kenny hit his developmental milestones. He was good-natured, had a great appetite, and grew well.
At his four-month well visit, he had developed a wheeze following a cold. His doctor prescribed a wide-spectrum antibiotic and a nebulizer, and because he was running a fever, she agreed to postpone his four-month round of vaccines for a week or two. Ten days later, although he still had a wheeze, he was not running a fever, and we went ahead with his shots. With time and a couple more rounds of antibiotics, his wheeze eventually resolved and he continued to grow and progress.
I remember that Kenny spoke fifteen words at fifteen months old, just like his big brother. However, I was concerned that he was not walking yet and even seemed oddly fearful of cruising at times. When I reported this to his pediatrician, I was told not to worry: “Big babies are lazy, he’d rather talk than walk, the intellectual type.” The doctor was mildly concerned, however, because his head size had increased and veered off his growth curve slightly. Still, he gave Kenny his MMR vaccine. Just to be sure, off we went for a skull X-ray and ultrasound. Both were normal, no problem; but by eighteen months I was aware of a significant change. Kenny had slowed down. He spoke less and tended to sit in one spot, often with his head tilted to one side as if it was too heavy. He still was not walking on his own. Again, the doctor tried to reassure me that boys are slower to develop and that we should give him until twenty months to walk on his own. In my gut, I knew something was very wrong, but the people around me dismissed and minimized my concerns. It was a lonely and dreadful feeling.
Then Kenny’s disposition, which always had been sunny and affectionate, began to take on a quality of misery. Kenny often seemed disconnected, hypersensitive, and fearful. He was obsessed with ceiling fans and lights, and started to wake up many nights either laughing uncontrollably or screaming in pain from diarrhea. By now, my husband was very concerned. At age two and a half, the pediatrician finally agreed that Kenny showed developmental delays in all areas and recommended a specialist’s evaluation. I was desperate to know what this meant for his future, but doctors said that it would take a couple of years before anyone could say for sure. We would just have to wait and see. In the meantime, Kenny qualified for early intervention services.
I watched Kenny constantly, calculating his every move in terms of the developmental charts. It sometimes took conscious effort to pull my eyes off him to pay attention to Allen, which added more guilt to my emotional load. We were also now on the treadmill of endless speech, physical, and occupational therapy sessions, usually with Kenny screaming, me sweating, and Allen trudging along with a toy and a book.
As Kenny made progress in some areas, new behaviors emerged. For example, as his walking improved, he went up on his toes and flapped his hands. As we got some language back, he began to verbalize with endless, loud eeeeeeeeee sounds. Moreover, he was obsessed with videos.
Discontent to wait years for an answer, I did my own research and concluded that Kenny’s behaviors fit the criteria for autism. As surprising as it might sound in today’s world, my doctors and therapists again minimized my concerns and tried to talk me out of it. Developmental delays, yes; some sensory issues, maybe; but not autism. It was early 1995, and the wave of regressive autism that is so prevalent today was just beginning.
It was not until Kenny was nearly four and I was pregnant with my third child that I was gently informed that Kenny was “moderately to severely autistic,” as though it would be a terrible shock. I was past shock and it was certainly not news to me—I knew well before the “professionals.” I also could not get satisfactory answers about all the physical maladies afflicting Kenny. His nose was constantly stuffy. He had crust behind his ears and nearly nonstop diaper rash. When I asked about his eyes rolling back in his head, the doctor said that as long as Kenny could respond to my voice when it happened, it was not a seizure (good . . . I think . . . but what was it?). The diarrhea was the worst, though—foul and discolored. It was obviously so painful for him. He would burst into tears and the diarrhea would start, sometimes so often that his bottom would bleed. It was heart wrenching to see, and it just didn’t make sense. He had been fine and was born healthy and beautiful.
I was from a medical family with a strong background in science and was not aware of any disorders with this timing and this particular array of symptoms. He just seemed so sick. I bounced for a while between anger and grief distorted into a form of aggressive industry. My husband Allen and I found a program that favored dropping diagnostic labels and treating problems like Kenny’s as a brain injury. We hired a caregiver, attended a weeklong intensive training, and put together an extensive physical, behavioral, and academic program for Kenny. We tried a different diet, sound and smell therapies, set up a special gym, and looked at endless flashcards and photographs.
My husband Allen, our caregiver, and I spent many hours doing creeping and crawling strengthening exercises with Kenny through the house, and we did patterning therapy most mornings with another family whose daughter had developmental delays. I can still remember young Allen demonstrating the patterning technique and coaxing the younger kids up onto the training table. It felt better for all of us to be doing something, and it did help—Kenny was getting stronger. In the middle of putting this all together, my daughter Olivia was born. She was a joy, bright and curious, and always engaged with the people and activities around her.
By now, Allen was seven, doing well in school and playing soccer. I was doing OK. When I started to feel sorry for myself, and overwhelmed by Kenny’s disabilities, I told myself that I could handle it. I tried not to think, “Why my child?” but rather “Why not? There are no guarantees.” With intensive work, he would get better. I had struck a fragile balance and life went on. Olivia continued to flourish, and was more active and social than even young Allen had been at her age. She was physically precocious and had easily hit all her developmental milestones by her eighteen-month checkup, when she was given the MMR vaccine. (I can still remember the nurse practitioner’s panic that Olivia, for some reason, had not been given the MMR at an earlier visit.)
At two years old, she knew colors and shapes and loved the alphabet. However, I noticed that a change was occurring. In stores, she began rubbing the rugs instead of focusing on shopping, and although she knew many words, she wasn’t stringing them together. When I expressed my uneasiness, friends and family told me I was understandably a little paranoid after dealing with Kenny’s development. After all, the pediatrician had never found any cause for concern at her well visits. I latched onto this and managed to stay in denial for a few more months.
In late 1998, I was in New York City attending a conference on autism, hoping to gather the latest information for Kenny’s program. Parent groups, along with a small but growing group of medical researchers, were mobilizing, trying to figure out what was happening to so many children. At the end of the day, I remember listening to a talk on a new developmental screening called a CHAT test (Checklist for Autism in Toddlers). Apparently, a lack of forefinger pointing at objects in a young toddler’s behavior was the single most telling sign in predicting autism. It hit me with such force—Olivia had stopped pointing. Within seconds, my denial disappeared, and I felt as if someone had pushed me into an empty elevator shaft. To this day, I can still remember the suddenness of the realization and physical shock that Olivia was regressing toward autism.
I am not sure how I made it home to Pennsylvania. Over the next year, despite private speech therapy, my daughter’s language slipped away and was replaced by occasional inappropriate words and phrases from Barney videos. Her behavior changed from outgoing and curious to fearful and rigid. She cried a lot, and her facial expressions took on a distant, even bewildered, look. At three and a half, she was officially diagnosed with autism, and I was utterly heartbroken. I was no longer even superficially OK. I could not fathom how I would get through this again. For a while, I struggled with feeling depressed and overwhelmed. Everyone has a limit, and I had reached mine. Nevertheless, I tried to keep my game face on and keep moving forward with interventions for Olivia.
At this point, we scaled back Kenny’s home program because he had entered school full-time as one of four boys in the first autism support classroom in our district. We were still exhausted from the many nights Kenny would wake and stay up. From age three to almost nine, he slept on the couch in our den, often not more than four or five hours. In addition, our caregiver, only nineteen when we hired her, had understandably moved on with a new career, and finding a reliable replacement had been challenging.
It was a difficult period. Looking back, I realize that I was also incredibly sad. Grief after an autism diagnosis is difficult to process. For me, it felt like there was no time, as if the window of opportunity would close for turning things around if I relaxed or got lost in emotions. There was a sense that I was never finished, that I hadn’t done enough or had missed something crucial. There was a lot of guilt. Eventually, though, things began to look up a bit.
After a failed attempt at regular preschool, Olivia began attending a full-time autism support class. By this time, children with a PDD (pervasive developmental disorder) or autism diagnosis were not so rare and services had to adjust. I worried that a full-time preschool program would be too much for her, but she seemed to enjoy it, bus ride and all.
Around the same time, we found a wonderful new caregiver. Young Allen had become quite involved with traveling soccer and basketball teams, guitar and dance lessons, and this gave his dad (coach) and me more time to support him and attend his games and performances together. Also, with the help of a good Defeat Autism Now! (DAN) doctor and developmental pediatrician, we were able to calm Kenny’s raging intestines. Improving his intestinal health, along with a low dose of Risperdal, helped him finally sleep though the night and tolerate sleeping upstairs in his own room in a regular bed.
Over the next few years, we chiseled away at Kenny and Olivia’s physical symptoms and behaviors with various prescription medications, supplements, diets, and therapies. Nothing dramatic happened with either child, just slow, steady progress. Both children had developed some very basic functional language. Although still in pull-ups, Kenny’s muscle tone had improved, and he seemed happier and more comfortable in his own skin. Olivia sometimes struggled with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive tendencies, but she loved the structure of school and asked to go every day. Our district had developed a good autism support program and both kids had excellent, committed teachers and therapists. However, what seemed to be lacking there, and everywhere, was alarm—recognition that something very wrong was happening and causing autism diagnoses to skyrocket. In one school district, in just six years, the need for autism support had ballooned from Kenny’s original class of four boys to seven full-time classrooms at the elementary school level!
In 2005, after sixteen years of being home full-time, I decided to venture out to go to graduate school, part-time, for a master’s degree in clinical social work. Yes, it was still true that our family’s needs and complexities were daunting, but I felt we had reached a comfortable equilibrium that could accommodate my new goals. However, although I finished my master’s program, a challenge we could not have fully anticipated was the powerful impact of puberty on Kenny and Olivia. Again, this was uncharted territory with this new wave of sick children. During the first year of middle school, Kenny, usually sweet and cooperative, had some episodes of aggression with teachers and aides who were not familiar with his signals and behaviors. His school called Allen and me into several meetings with the rest of his team and the situation was easily resolved.
Then, at age fifteen, the day after Christmas, Kenny had a massive grand mal seizure. Allen was coming back from driving young Allen to the airport on his way to a basketball tournament, and I was home alone with Kenny and Olivia. I had taken Kenny to sit on the toilet when he started to seize. He was fully grown by then and in the small bathroom, there was no place to get him down to the floor without one of us being injured. I don’t remember how I dialed 911, but I did. Inexplicably, they did not arrive for fifteen minutes. In that time, his breathing stopped and started several times, and I had trouble finding a consistent pulse. When the paramedics finally arrived, they hustled me out of the house and began working on Kenny. I remember sobbing in our driveway. It was devastating.
Over the past year, we have weaned Olivia off hormones and worked more with supplements to restore normal neurotransmitter levels. Five months ago, Olivia was able to tolerate attending a specialized autism support class in an alternative school. It took two hours to coax her into the building, but she has been able to build up slowly, in half hour increments, to a full school day. We are very proud of her courage and progress. However, her OCD symptoms remain a challenge for her and for others in the classroom, and these symptoms often rule our home. Just as we were rejoicing over her school achievements, Olivia had her first seizure. Although it was not as life threatening as Kenny’s, it brought her patient and unflappable father and me to tears.
And so our story goes. Just as we begin to exhale, or think we cannot possibly dig any deeper for strength, another scary challenge comes along that needs to be added to our pile of worries and uncertainties. At this stage, however, what is not uncertain for us anymore is that Kenny and Olivia’s symptoms, which are labeled as “autism,” are really symptoms of vaccine damage and mercury toxicity. The full realization of this came slowly, with times of resistance and disbelief, probably for several reasons. First, neither child had a sudden and obvious adverse reaction. In hindsight, Kenny had shown more of a slow deterioration with each round of vaccinations.
Olivia’s regression had been a little steeper, and seemed to begin around the time of her MMR, at around eighteen months. Second, they were born at the beginning of the autism epidemic, particularly Kenny. Looking back, I remember monitoring both children, as instructed, immediately following each round of shots, for symptoms such as “extremely rare” high-pitched screaming. However, I was not looking for any delayed signs of an adverse reaction, and therefore, did not connect later problems to their vaccines. I doubt if many parents did, especially back then.
In the early 1990s, parents and most pediatricians had never seen this kind of physical deterioration and developmental regression in formerly healthy, normal toddlers. Today, less than twenty years later, with 1 percent of American children developing autism, the appearance of autistic symptoms is a major concern among new parents, and pediatricians now routinely screen toddlers at well visits.
Another source for my disbelief that vaccines could have caused such harm to my children is my age and background. I was born in the 1950s and was very aware of the excitement over the polio vaccine. My mother was a physical therapist, trained at a time when the career was in its early stages. In our home, I remember that she prominently displayed a framed picture from a magazine article about her working with a child with polio. My father was a family doctor and we lived in the country around horses and cows. We were not concerned if I fell and scraped my knees because a tetanus shot would save me. For several years, my older sister was one of the pediatric nurse practitioners doing well baby visits at the large pediatric practice where I eventually took my children.
The belief system was (and for many still is) that vaccines were one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine, and it was irresponsible and very risky not to vaccinate your child. It was a powerful message all around me that eventually clouded my common sense and contributed to a disconnect between what I learned about the development of the immune system in graduate school and research, and the delivery of so many vaccines so early, beginning in the first twenty-four hours of life. Although not from a medical family, my husband’s parents raised him with a powerful belief system as well. He was a molecular biologist by training and we had met and briefly worked together in a research lab at New York University Medical Center. After a couple of years, he returned to graduate school for an MBA. With that combination of skills, he was quickly, and suitably, snapped up by the pharmaceutical industry. Even though he was never directly involved with vaccines, his work culture, understandably, had an impact on the process of piecing together what had happened to our children.
To be clear, I am not anti-vaccine. I am for safer vaccines and vaccination choice. Vaccines serve as important tools for controlling certain infectious diseases. Nevertheless, the reality is that they are not miracles; they are medicines, with potentially negative side effects expressed differently in different people and under different conditions. The side effects are additive with each individual vaccine as well as from combinations. From my graduate studies, I came to appreciate how highly evolved and intricately balanced the immune response is, and that one of the main tasks of the developing immune system in the first months of a child’s life is to learn to differentiate between what is self and what is foreign. This is exactly when our vaccination schedule is applied most aggressively, artificially stimulating an immune response via an unnatural route of infection. It follows that some children, perhaps because they are sick or have a family history of autoimmune disorders (like mine do), will simply not be able to tolerate this bombardment, and chronic, systemic damage will likely ensue.
All of this I knew intellectually (pangs of guilt). Yet when our government suddenly increased the number of vaccines in the early 1990s, the “vaccines are good and necessary” message somehow superseded my ability to make the connections. I put my faith in the pediatric experts to keep me up to date on the best and safest infant care.
The difference in the vaccination schedule in the three years between Allen and Kenny was dramatic. Our government had more than doubled the number of shots in the first six months, and they were also given earlier, beginning on the day of birth. However, I believe the most damaging aspect of the change was the sharp increase in the amount of mercury that Kenny, and later Olivia, received. Their pediatricians gave Kenny and Olivia the additional hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines, both containing the preservative thimerosal, which is 50 percent ethylmercury by weight.
Mercury is a potent neurotoxin, and very damaging to the immune system. Kenny and Olivia each received three times the amount of mercury, beginning just days after birth, as Allen. Those in charge of the vaccination schedule apparently forgot to add up the amount of mercury that American children would receive because of the added shots. How careless! Even worse, how reprehensible to continue, to this day, to publicly deny the damage that was done.
How do I know Kenny and Olivia suffered from mercury toxicity? I have test results. We had each child’s porphyrins tested. Porphyrins are derivatives of the heme synthesis pathway and are normally found in urine. Variations in urinary porphyrin metabolite patterns can be used to measure the overall body burden and toxicity of mercury, as well as other heavy metals and toxins. I can still remember staring, through angry tears, at the results of my three children’s porphyrin profile tests. Kenny, cognitively and physically the most affected child, showed the highest level of mercury toxicity. Olivia, less affected, showed clear but less toxicity, and Allen’s results showed no evidence of mercury toxicity at all. All three children shared the same parents, food, water, air, time spent nursing, and even the time of year they were born. The biggest difference in environmental exposures that happened during those three short years was the increase in their vaccines. There it was, clear data from my own family and a microcosm of what had happened to so many children.
A sudden increase in autism, beginning in the 1990s, that coincided with a change in a single set of exposures—vaccines, received by all children in our country without regard to genetics, diet, socioeconomic status, geography, or quality of medical care. Yes, my family has ridden the wave of this tragic, man-made disaster from the beginning.
Autism, practically unknown when young Allen was born, now affects 1 percent of our population and one in seventy boys. The pain and sickness it has caused the affected children and the toll it has taken on families is incalculable. Marriages have been hard hit, and the divorce rate is high. Fortunately, Allen and I have become tight partners during the last twenty years, but we struggle to find time for each other and respite from the full-time care needed for Kenny and Olivia.
Siblings are tremendously affected, not only as children, but also as adults who will carry the burden and face the challenges of the next generation. Young Allen has been an incredible older brother, from the beginning, in so many ways. As a young boy, he would carefully practice the best and most informative ways to explain Kenny’s behaviors before a new friend came over. I can still remember his sad and stoic face when I told him that Olivia was going to need speech and some other therapies, like Kenny. He dug in and helped with her therapy. In high school, he would announce autism fundraisers, and urge other students to participate in autism walks and races. As a young man in college, he has expanded his advocacy to writing and speaking, as part of his involvement with such groups as the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy (EBCALA) and the Center for Personal Rights.
You will again be introduced to young Allen, as he is the author of chapter 10 of this book, “The Greater Good.”
Watching Allen with his brother and sister through the years and seeing his advocacy for children like them, who may be susceptible to vaccine regression, has been a quiet, steady lesson in unconditional love. More than a few times, people have told me what an amazing kid Allen is. Then with the very best intentions, they mention that growing up with Kenny and Olivia must have given him extra compassion and maturity. Alternatively, people will comment on how very patient (my husband) Allen and I are, that we are the right people to be raising Kenny and Olivia. I thank them, and there is truth to what they say. However, a part of me bristles. Allen was an amazing four-year-old long before the word autism came into his life; my husband and I have always been patient people. One thing did not have to happen for the other to be true. The vaccine damage to Kenny and Olivia should not have happened at all. They and thousands of other children have been denied the opportunity to achieve their full potential at a great cost to our society, both financially and in terms of human resources. I don’t want people to neatly arrange any part of this unnecessary tragedy in their heads. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.
With that in mind, I urge those who know the story of our family to pay close attention to the vaccine injury debate, to learn about the autism epidemic and the growing epidemics of neurological and autoimmune disorders happening today, and to demand both informed consent and a safer, individualized vaccination schedule from our public health officials.
Taken from the book, “Vaccine Epidemic”