Near Perfect Correlations Refuting Vaccine Doctrine

There has been an abundance of evidence for a strong, non-chance—in some cases a near perfect—correlation between the uptake of vaccines and the still increasing diagnosis of autism as I showed in my recent Webinar for the International Medical Council on Vaccination, and as is well-documented in my book with Dr. S. D. Oller, Autism: The Diagnosis, Treatment, and Etiology of the Undeniable Epidemic (also see Vaccine Epidemic by Elizabeth Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland).

As of May 4, 2011, we now have evidence of a near perfect correlation between vaccine dosage and infant mortality for 30 nations including the United States. The research comes from Neil Z. Miller and Gary S. Goldman in the open source Sage journal, Human and Experimental Toxicology. The correlation of interest is between infant mortality rates reported to the World Health Organization and official data concerning the number of [mandatory] vaccine doses administered by the reporting nations. Infant mortality rates are closely monitored as one of the important indicators of the overall health of the reporting nations.

Immediately below is the critical graph of interest showing a near perfect correlation, r = 0.992 (p < 0.0009) between the number of vaccine doses (NVDs) and the infant mortality rates (IMRs) in the 30 reporting nations with substantial vaccine dosage uptake (about 90% or better) and with an adequate record of their IMRs (more than 5 deaths had to be reported for the nation in question to be included in the data sample).

Correlation between infant mortality and number of vaccine doses as reported by Miller & Goldman (May 4, 2011) at http://het.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/05/04/0960327111407644.full.pdf+html.

In this graph, a near perfect correlation between the mean IMRs and the mean NVDs emerges when the 30 countries are arranged into six groups according to the NVDs required by health authorities in those nations. Without such grouping, the correlation between IMRs and NVDs is 0.70 (< 0.0001) but it increases to 0.992 with the grouping. Ordinarily, such a grouping, which theoretically discards some variability (in this case between the NVDs and the IMRs of the different nations), should weaken the correlation rather than strengthen it. Why does the opposite result emerge in the Miller and Goldman study? That is, why does the correlation go from 0.70 to 0.992? It is interesting to note that a correlation of 0.992 indicates a near perfect overlap of 98.3% of the variance of mean IMRs and the NVD grouping. Such correlations strongly suggest the need to look for an underlying common cause. Given the known toxicology of vaccine components, the obvious hypothesis is that increasing the NVDs may be causing a corresponding increase in the IMRs. It is also noteworthy, as I mentioned in my Webinar for the International Medical Council on Vaccination, that according to the reported infant mortality rates, the United States has fallen from near the top as one of the world’s healthiest nations, to a rank that puts us right at the bottom of the 30 nations studied by Miller and Goldman.

It is mathematically and empirically demonstrable that agreement between highly disparate measures (e.g., see Uebersax, 1992), including such indicators as NVDs and IMRs, cannot be expected to occur by chance. What is more, when agreement is found, e.g., as seen even in the 0.70 correlation observed by Miller and Goldman, it cannot be expected to converge to near perfection by the averaging method they employed. Why did that happen? Why did the 0.70 jump to 0.992?

The convergence observed by grouping nations by NVDs and by computing the corresponding mean IMRs, seems to have resulted from the removal of error variance (as estimated by the length of the vertical bars in the Miller and Goldman graph above showing variability in the reported in the IMRs). Removing that variability, it seems, has resulted in a clearer and sharper representation of the underlying relationship of true IMRs with NVDs. The procedure they followed, it seems, may very well be clearing up a blurred picture by removing random variability much as a satellite image can be improved by removing errors to sharpen the visible boundaries of a distant object.

When we ask why such nearly perfect (non-chance) underlying correlations exist between the number of vaccine exposures and autism, for instance, or infant mortality rates, the toxins, disease agents, and interactions of vaccine components are implicated. Among the acknowledged toxins in vaccines (see an exemplary CDC list here) are thimerosal, formaldahyde, phenol (also known as carbolic acid), amonium sulfate, benzethonium chloride, chlortetracycline, ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid sodium (EDTA), glutaraldahyde, hydrochloric acid, monosodium glutamate (MSG; a cancer linked chemical formerly used widely as a taste enhancer), 2-phenoxethanol, urea, and so forth.

Also among the known toxins deliberately incorporated into vaccines are the so-called “adjuvants.” These toxins include aluminum in various forms, emulsifying oils, notably squalene, for instance, that are known to serve something like a jockey’s quirt to whip the immune system into a highly agitated and mobilized state. In addition to all of the acknowledged toxins purposely incorporated into vaccines either to control or weaken “excipient” (intentional) or “adventitious” (accidental) disease agents in the vaccines, and/or to jump start the vaccinee’s immune system, there are other supposedly harmless materials including albumin from humans and cattle, gelatin, yeast, thickening agents, stabilizers and solvents, antibiotics, and so forth that are used in the manufacturing of vaccines.

When examining the potential interactions of toxins and disease agents in vaccines, it is also necessary to consider not only the named and acknowledged “excipients” (including the supposedly harmless neutral components) but also the un-named, sometimes later discovered “adventitious” (accidental) components including foreign protein fragments and viruses from animals that have become involved in manufacturing a given vaccine or combination of them.

A notable example is Simian virus 40 (SV40), a universal cancer producing (polyoma) virus, that was unintentionally transmitted to the human population through the polio vaccines. Click here to see and hear from Dr. Maurice Hilleman, a decorated and authoritative inventor of many vaccines, about how the world-wide transmission of SV40 and many other viruses occurred. Later, SV40 would not only be found in association with essentially all human cancers but would be linked to human AIDS  by Urnovitz and Murphy (1996). Click here to see their technical paper; and here to read Dr. Urnowitz’s 1999 testimony before a congressional committee on this subject).

It is known that many other “adventitious” disease agents, and their subsequently mutated derivatives, have been fed into the human population through vaccines. Dr. Howard Urnovitz has explained how long-lived and frequently mutating retroviruses such as SV40 may have transmogrified into the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

In addition to the disease agents accidentally distributed to humans through vaccines, there are also the deliberately included disease agents in required vaccines. Among them are various measles viruses which have been linked to encephalopathies such as subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), and also to acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). For an eye-opening collection of articles on vaccine doctrine, see Habakus and Holland (2011) here. Also, for further commentary on the findings of Miller and Goldman as well as a rapidly growing vade mecum of information, see the website Vaccine Truth hosted by Catherine J. Frompovich here.

References

Habakus, L. K., & Holland, M. (2011). Vaccine Epidemic. New York: Skyhorse Publishing.

Miller, N. Z., & Goldman, G. S. (May 4, 2011).  Infant mortality rates regressed against number of vaccine doses routinely given: Is there a biochemical or synergistic interaction? Human and Experimental Toxicology, DOI: 10.1177/0960327111407644. [Their entire article is available here. Retrieved May 10, 2011, from http://het.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/05/04/0960327111407644.full.pdf+html.]

Oller, J. W., Jr., & Oller, S. D. (2010). Autism: The Diagnosis, Treatment, & Etiology of the Undeniable Epidemic. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Uebersax, J. S. (1992). A review of modeling approaches for the analysis of observer agreement. Investigative Radiology, 27, 738–743.

Urnovitz, H. B., & Murphy, W. H. (1996). Human endogenous retroviruses: Nature, occurrence, and clinical implications in human disease. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 9(1), 72-99. [Here in the link, I have given the whole pdf version of the paper. Also see his testimony before the Congressional Committee on Government Reform and Oversight on August 3, 1999.]

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The Research and the History: Smallpox and Polio

The success stories of more than a century and a half of vaccination history are being increasingly re-examined, in part, because of the autism epidemic. Among the known factors that can produce such an epidemic are toxins, disease agents, and their interactions. As pointed out by Dr. Urnovitz in his recorded congressional testimony in 1999, one of the sources for such agents that needs to be most closely studied is vaccines. With that in mind, there are three main points to be examined in this post:

(1) The time trend data regarding the autism epidemic shows a growth curve accelerating in the 1980s through the 1990s and into the present.

(2) The smallpox history shows a different picture than is generally portrayed to the public, any yet, the little known historical record is well-documented.

(3) The polio history also needs to re-examined with respect to cancer producing disease agents from monkeys that came into the human population, almost certainly, through polio vaccines.

  • The time trend for the autism epidemic is an accelerating growth curve. Here is an authoritative and complete survey of the data since the first diagnoses of autism. The trend continues (see Olmsted & Blaxill, 2010 and references in both that book and the following NIH article; also cited evidences in Oller & Oller, 2010—both of these book references appear in earlier posts).

Blaxill, M. (2004). What’s going on? The question of time trends in autism. Public Health Report, Nov–Dec; 119(6), 536–551. doi: 10.1016/j.phr.2004.09.003. (An inevitable conclusion is that the rising incidence of autism diagnosis cannot be entirely attributed to genetic factors because of the rate of change in the number of cases beginning with the first 11 cases diagnosed by Leo Kanner in 1943. Nor, as argued extensively by Oller & Oller, 2010, can the autism epidemic be attributed to better diagnosis, diagnostic substitution, broadening of criteria, or some combination of these or other factors. From the best records, it appears that the growth  in autism cases accelerated the 1980s and 1990s and continues to do so. The clear implication is that toxins, disease agents, and their interactions must be involved. The question then is, where are the thousands of new cases coming from? What is causing them to appear?)

Oller, J. W., Jr., & Oller, S. D. (2010). Autism: The diagnosis, treatment, and etiology of the undeniable epidemic. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Olmsted, D. & Blaxill, M. (2010). The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-Made Epidemic. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

  • Smallpox vaccine has an interesting history of mandatory use in the UK that generalized to the US at least from about 1853. The historical record shows that in substantial populations that refused the vaccine, infectious diseases claimed fewer lives than in subpopulations where the vaccine was most used. If smallpox had been completely eradicated in 1977, why do American military personnel have to take smallpox vaccine now and why are we stockpiling 300 million doses of it? How is it possible, also, for the vaccine given to a soldier to infect his two year old son? (The point is that the deeper threat of smallpox itself has not been removed by the vaccine. Can it be guarded against by 300 million doses of vaccinia? What does the research show us?)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2007, May 18). Household transmission of vaccinia virus from contact with a military smallpox vaccine—Illinois and Indiana, 2007. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 56(19), 478-481. (There is a picture of the two-year-old child who was infected by his father’s vaccination at the linked web site.)

Biggs, J. T. (1910). Smallpox Leicester 1838–1910. (There are many other relevant statistics to be found at this linked site showing that smallpox and other diseases were more apt rather than less to infect and harm populations with higher uptake of the vaccinia virus from which we get the word “vaccine” and which formed the basis for the “smallpox” vaccine.)

Koch, W. F. (1961). The survival factor in neoplastic and viral diseases. Detroit, MI: Author. (Dr. Koch points out prior to the U. S. takeover of the Philippines, case mortality from smallpox was about 10%. By contrast, in 1918 and 1919 when more than 95% of Filipinos had been vaccinated as many as three times to protect against smallpox, the Philippines experienced the worst epidemic of smallpox ever recorded with a mortality rate of about 60%. Here also are his credentials.)

Reuters. (2008, 23 April). Acambis PLC-ACAM2000 U.S. Government Contract. RNS Number 90205. (Stockpiling “smallpox”vaccine is a costly reality.)

Alibek [alias Alibekov], K. (1998, May 20). Terrorist and intelligence operations: Potential impact on the U.S. economy. (Why did this defector come forward and why did the “outbreak” of a presumably weaponized variant of smallpox, compare also the anthrax attack of 2001, affect so few people? Consider the evidence concerning the 3 deaths from weaponized smallpox reported from the 1971 incident in Aralsk, as contrasted with the 133 confirmed deaths from polio vaccine not to mention the introduction of Simian viruses into the human population that have been linked to many cancers.)

  • Polio vaccines also have an interesting history. It is now widely believed that polio vaccines (Salk and Sabin) were the essential source of various cancer-linked viruses, especially Simian Virus 40 (SV40), that were introduced into the human population world-wide. (I repeat an Urnovitz reference from an earlier post because of his importance as a distinguished researcher in virology and especially because of his work with retroviruses. Urnovitz has testified and argued in the technical literature that the polio vaccines were the source of SV40 and other monkey viruses in humans.) The links of SV40, one of three well-known polyoma (cancer) viruses— the term “polyoma” means and calls attention to the fact that such viruses are believed to be causal factors in many cancers—are pervasive in the scientific literature. A search of the Web of Knowledge on today’s date (January 20, 2011) for “SV40 AND cancer” yielded 1,526 hits. The CDC, incidentally, acknowledges that polio vaccines were contaminated with monkey viruses, including SV40, but contends that the contamination was not very harmful. Links with cancers, however, are pervasive in the literature.

Sweet, B.H. & Hilleman, M.R. (1960). The vacuolating virus, S.V.40, 105 Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 420, 420–27.

Urnovitz, H. B., & Murphy, W. H. (1996). Human endogenous retroviruses: Nature, occurrence, and clinical implications in human disease. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 9(1), 72-99. [Here in the link, I have given the whole pdf version of the paper. Also see his testimony before the Congressional Committee on Government Reform and Oversight on August 3, 1999.]

White, M. K., Gordon, J., Reiss, K., Del Valle, L., Croul, S., Giordano, A., et al. (2005). Human polyomaviruses and brain tumors. Brain Research Reviews, 50(1), 69–85.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2007, October 22). Frequently asked questions about cancer, simian virus 40 (SV40), and polio vaccine.

DeCaprio, J. A. (2009, February 20).  How the Rb tumor suppressor structure and function was revealed by the study of Adenovirus and SV40. Virology, 384(2), Special Issue, 274-284.

The polio story is complicated by the fact that paralyzing polio has, as was pointed out in a previous post, a close association with DDT and persistent pesticides while it has a tenuous association with polio viruses (which many persons carry but few express in disease symptoms). The research by Jim West, as well as a series of toxicology studies (see his web site), strongly suggest that polio involves neurological poisoning. When the offensive pesticides were discontinued in household sprays, in treating foods, etc., even before the polio vaccines were introduced (see the figure in a prior post), the polio epidemics in the US also were halted.

On the one hand, all this took place prior to the introduction of the polio vaccines. On the other hand, the polio vaccines brought a whole new set of problems, both the Salk and the Sabin. Among them was the fact that the Sabin vaccine was blamed for 133 cases of polio between 1980 and 1994 (according to Trevelyan, Smallman-Raynor,  & Cliff, 2005), and prior to that time the Salk vaccine was not the success hoped for. An article in Time (May 30, 1955) commented:

In retrospect, . . . years of publicity, had built up the danger of polio out of all proportion to its actual incidence and had rushed into vaccinations this year with patently insufficient preparation.

The actual history of vaccines is not the one usually portrayed by the media or in the textbooks used in schools. The Simian viruses contaminating the polio vaccines were widely distributed to human populations world-wide and the supposed smallpox vaccine success story is inconsistent with the historical record.

Clearly, a  closer examination of the history of vaccines is needed (see Oller & Oller, 2010).

Posted in autism, autism epidemic, causation, toxins as factors in autism, Uncategorized, vaccines | 1 Comment

Listening to Parents

It is interesting that the evidence of gut disease in children with autism is well known to parents of children with autism mainly because of the research of Dr. Andrew J. Wakefield in 1998.

He listened to them and now researchers everywhere are checking out the evidence of gut disease in autism. Since 1998 additional research has become available about bowel disease in autism. In fact, symptoms of gut abnormalities were recorded and published by Dr. Leo Kanner as documented in Autism (Oller, & Oller, 2010) in the following lines:

Case 1, according to Kanner, showed symptoms of abnormal gut problems. His father wrote: “Eating has always been a problem with him. He has never known a normal appetite. Seeing children eating candy and ice cream has never been a temptation to him” (Kanner, 1943, p. 216). At a later stage, the child still showed some abnormal symptoms with respect to food consumption. He was described as chewing on paper and putting food in his hair (p. 235). In September 1939, near his sixth birthday, his mother wrote: “He continues to eat wash and dress himself only at my insistence” (p. 221). Seven months later, in March 1940, she commented that “he feeds himself some better” (p. 221), suggesting that his eating habits were still not normal.

I will interject here that we now know who Case 1 is. He is still living and is, according to Olmsted & Blaxill (2010), not only the first child who was diagnosed, but also the first who was substantially recovered from severe “infantile” autism.

Case 2, when diagnosed at age 6, was described as having “large and ragged tonsils” (p. 224), which can be an indication of frequent acid reflux (see Stapleton & Brodsky, 2008).

Case 3 evidently had problems with elimination because his mother reported that “at the age of 3 weeks” she “began to ‘train’ him” by “giving him a suppository every morning ‘so his bowels would move by the clock’” (p. 224). It is reported that “following smallpox vaccination at 12 months . . . had an attack of fever and diarrhea . . . “ (p. 224) and that he had “large tonsils and adenoids, which were removed on February 8, 1941″ at the age of 3 years and four months (p. 225).

Case 4 is said to have”vomited a great deal during his fist year, and feeding formulas were changed frequently with little success” (pp. 226-227). His “tonsils were removed when he was 3 years old” (p. 227).

Case 5 is said to have “nursed very poorly and was put on bottle after about a week. She quit taking any kind of nourishment at 3 months. She was tube-fed five times daily up to 1 year of age. She began to eat then, thought there was much difficulty until she was about 18 months old” (p. 228). At camp she “slid into avitaminosis and malnutrition” (p. 228).

Case 6, Virginia, seems to have had no outstanding gut problems.

Case 7 “vomited all food from birth through the third month. Then vomiting ceased almost abruptly and, except for occasional regurgitation, feeding proceeded satisfactorily” (p. 231).

Case 8 had problems during the first two months: “Feeding formula caused considerable concern” (p. 233) but he ate well after that. Still, later on it is reported that “when infantile thumb sucking was prevented by mechanical devices, he gave it up and instead put various objects into his mouth. On several occasions pebbles were found in his stools. Shortly before his second birthday, he swallowed cotton from an Easter rabbit, aspirating some of the cotton, so that a tracheotomy became necessary. A few months later, he swallowed some kerosene ‘with no ill effects’” (p. 233).

Case 9, was described by his mother as having “developed an obsession about feces, would hide it anywhere (for instance, in drawers), would tease me if I walked into the room: ‘You soiled your pants, now you can’t have your crayons!’ . . . still not toilet trained. He never soils himself in the nursery school, always does it when he comes home. The same is true of wetting. He is proud of wetting, jumps up and down with ecstasy, says, ‘Look at the big puddle he [Kanner’s italics] made’” (p. 236).

Case 10 was described by his father who said: “The main thing that worries me is the difficulty in feeding. That is the essential thing . . . During the first days of his life he did not take the breast satisfactorily. After fifteen days he was changed from breast to bottle by did not take the bottle satisfactorily. There is a long story of trying to get food down. We have tried everything under the sun. . . . He sucks his thumb and grinds his teeth quite frequently. . .” (p. 237). At one of his visits to Kanner, “mild obsessive trends were reported, such as pushing aside the first spoonful of every dish” (p. 238).

Case 11, Elaine, at the age of 2 years went to nursery school where she “drank the water and ate the plant when they were being taught to handle flowers” (p. 239). There were no other bizarre symptoms of any eating or digestive disorder. (from Oller & Oller, 2010, pp. 2-3)

The research now shows, consistent with the analysis of Kanner’s original 11 cases, that 70% to 80% of individuals already diagnosed with autism have significant bowel disease (Horvath, et al., 1999; Horvath & Perman, 2002; Jepson & Johnson, 2007, p. 87).

Horvath, K., Papadimitriou, J. C., Rabsztyn, A., Drachenberg, C., & Tildon, J. T. (1999). Gastrointestinal abnormalities in children with autistic disorder. Journal of Pediatrics, 1(5), 559–563.

Horvath, K., & Perman, J. A. (2002). Autistic disorder and gastrointestinal disease. Current Opinion in Pediatrics, 14(5), 583–587.

Jepson, B., & Johnson, J. (2007). Changing the course of autism: A scientific approach for parents and physicians. Boulder, CO: Sentient.

More recently, de Magistris, et al. (2010) found that the rate of gut permeability (popularly known as “leaky gut syndrome”) in persons diagnosed with autism (in their study) was 7 times greater than in normals without autism and was 5 times greater in the first-degree relatives of persons with autism than in normal controls.

de Magistris, L., Familiari, V., Pascotto, A., et al. (2010). Alterations of the intestinal barrier in patients with autism spectrum disorders and in their first-degree relatives. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 51(4), 418-424.

Also, see Campbell et al. (2009) who found a high rate of familial gastrointestinal problems in families of persons diagnosed with autism.

Campbell,  D. B., Buie, T. M., Winter, H., Bauman, M., Sutcliffe, J. S., Perrin, J. M., & Levitt, P. Distinct genetic risk based on association of met in families with co-occurring autism and gastrointestinal conditions. Pediatrics, 123(3), 1018-1024.

And, what about the children originally seen by Wakefield and colleagues with respect to the study published in Lancet 1998? Did they or did they not have gut disease? The following videos include interviews with some of the parents involved and the reading of a letter signed by 8 of the 12 families and addressed tot he British Medical Council:

Or for the whole video in one piece, here is the web site documenting what the parents are actually saying.

http://www.viddler.com/player/7226befc/

In the following interview with Alex Jones, Wakefield explains why listening to parents is important.

Comments are welcome as always.

Posted in autism, autism epidemic, causation, causation of autism, disease agents as factors in autism, etiology of autism, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Offit’s Deadly Choices

Paul Offit (2010) has a new book out: Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All (New York: Basic Books).

Dr. Offit says vaccines do not cause autism. In his own words to Sanjay Gupta, Offit says, “About 20% of children with autism will regress, often between the first and second birthdays, so statistically it has to happen, where some children will get a vaccine, who’ve been fine, they get the vaccine, and they’re not fine anymore.” At 1 minute and 55 seconds into the video embedded here, see Offit say why. He says, “It’s been asked and answered. Vaccines don’t cause autism.”

He and colleagues have argued that a newborn infant should be able to handle up to 10,000 disease agents in a single shot on the same day. They say, children can theoretically cope with “about 10,000 vaccines at any one time” (Offit et al., 2002, p. 126).

Offit, P. A., Quarles, J., Gerber, M. A., Hackett, C. J., Marcuse, E. K., Kollman, T. R., et al. (2002). Addressing parents’ concerns: Do multiple vaccines overwhelm or weaken the infant’s immune system? Pediatrics, 109(1), 124–129.

Dr. Offit is the creator of the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, manufactured by Merck and holds the patent on it. He also occupies a $1.5 million Merck sponsored research chair at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Attkisson, 2008; see her CBS special report on July 25, 2008).

He also has agreed with the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP, 2006), a committee on which he also served from 1998-2003 reportedly voting three times out of four to promote rotavirus vaccines, but abstaining from one vote regarding a competitor’s product.

He is reported to have stated at one documented meeting in question, “I’m not conflicted with Wyeth, but because I consult with Merck on the development of rotavirus vaccine, I would still prefer to abstain because it creates a perception of conflict.”

The rotavirus vaccines have involved an estimated expenditure of about $1 billion (according to Olmsted &Blaxill, 2010; also see on the costs and benefits analysis the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc). Dr. Offit and the CDC claim that the neurotoxic and genotoxic preservative thimerosal is safe in flu shots and in other vaccines sanctioned by the World Health Organization. He has agreed with the current CDC policy. They claim thimerosal is safe for infants and the unborn babies of pregnant women.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. (2006). Thimerosal in vaccines.

Offit, P. A. (2007). Thimerosal and Vaccines: A Cautionary Tale. New England Journal of Medicine, 357(13), 1278–1279.

Offit, P. A., & Jew, R. K. (2003). Addressing parents’ concerns: Do vaccines contain harmful preservatives, adjuvants, additives, or residuals? Pediatrics, 112(6), 1394–1397.

Are Dr. Offit’s claims correct? Is there no association between autism and vaccines?

Thimerosal is one of the most offensive of the known toxic components of the vaccines that have been used during the spectacular rise of autism. That whole class of disorders has gone from a rare condition prior to 1970 into an exponential growth throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and continuing through the decade just ended in 2010. Genes do not change that fast, so something else must be causing the rise.

During the whole period in question vaccines have also been on the rise. From 8 “mandatory” vaccines before 1980 the schedule has become crowded with additional vaccines numbering a staggering minimum of 36 exposures in 2010 prior to age 6.

The crowded schedule up to age 6, not including shots for adolescents and adults.Vaccine components still include (1) thimerosal (also known as Merthiolate, or in the British spelling, thiomersal), (2) aluminum (a toxin used to jump start the infant’s immune defense systems), (3) formaldehyde, (4) yeast additives, and (5) many different “adventitious” contaminants consisting of foreign animal protein fragments, viruses such as Simian Virus 40 (SV40), the virus that causes “wasting disease” in pigs, and many others that keep turning up. As biochemical assays are improved more and more of the former unknowns are being found in widely used vaccines. The contaminants are ones that come into the vaccines through manufacturing processes that often require routing through the biosystems of a chicken, sheep, pig, cow, or monkey.

Are such vaccines and their components safe to use with tiny infants and unborn babies during pregnancies? Are they safe in ever increasing numbers as new vaccines are being added to the mandatory schedule? Are they safe for children, adolescents, and adults over the long haul? Dr. Offit and the CDC say that the rapidly growing number of vaccines and the disease agents they contain are not only safe, but that they are essential to public health. Meanwhile, the CDC continues investigations of thimerosal while maintaining that they cannot find any association with autism, neurological diseases, brain injuries, and so forth.

But what about the toxicology research? For that matter, what does the actual history of vaccine use show? The first widely used mandatory vaccine, the cowpox vaccine, which the CDC claims resulted in the eradication of smallpox in 1977, was mandated in the United Kingdom in 1853, and began to be widely used in the U.S. about the same time. What has actually happened with respect to smallpox epidemics and deaths by infectious diseases during the nearly 16 decades since that vaccine was first mandated? And, what about the introduction of additional vaccines during the 20th century? Are the combined administrations of DPT and MMR, for example, along with recommendations for additional vaccines safe to present to a child all at the same time? Is it safe to combine multiple disease agents with multiple toxins? What about the interactions? What does the research show?

Let’s Look at the Research

Toxicology research with rodents, sheep, monkeys, and humans shows that thimerosal’s key ingredient, an alkyl mercury compound patented by Eli Lilly’s employee, Morris Selig Kharasch using ethyl mercury as its active killing agent, is highly genotoxic and neurotoxic with long-term effects in parts per billion (fouling mitochondrial communications essential to immune defenses), and having lethal effects in parts per million (there are multiple well documented cases of deaths in humans caused by thimerosal exposure). For an extensive review of the research and the biochemistry underlying alkyl mercury compounds, see Oller & Oller (2010) especially in chapters 4-6, pp. 109-194.

Also, Olmsted & Blaxill (2010) document the fact that Kharasch was also the chemist who developed the ethyl and methyl based killing agents used in fungicides and pesticides resulting in well-known and wide-spread mercury poisoning incidents in Russia, Iraq, and elsewhere. Kharasch’s search for and invention of many killing agents was spurred by the use of chemicals by the Germans in World War I. By the time the war ended the U.S. had developed some 1500 chemicals and Kharasch, known as the founder of “organic” chemistry, was credited with 1/5 of the total number. With the war over, some of the chemicals developed as killing agents were turned to “peaceful” uses in vaccines, fungicides, pesticides, antiseptics, cosmetics, and so forth. Thimerosal, for example, was even used in the rinsing solutions for contact lenses and as a disinfectant for eye surgeries until it was discovered that it destroyed the corneas of human patients undergoing the operations.

Van Horn, D. L., Edlehauser, H. F., Prodanovich, G., Eiferman, R., & Pederson, H. J. (1977). Effect of ophthalmic preservative thimerosal on rabbit and human corneal endothelium. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 16, 273–280.

Concentrations of ethyl mercury compounds measured in parts per billion cause hemolysis (rupturing of red blood cells), cytopenia (scarcity of red blood cells), and apoptosis (cell death), and intefere with the body’s biocontrol systems. (The following source and its references cover much of the relevant toxicology.)

Marques, R. C., Dorea, J. G., Fonseca, M. F., Bastos, W. R., & Malm, O. (2007). Hair mercury in breast-fed infants exposed to thimerosal-preserved vaccines. European Journal of Pediatrics, 166(9), 935–941.

Thimerosal is still being recommended by the CDC and the World Health Organization for use in all countries that will allow it, and is still recommended and used in flu shots for infants and pregnant women in the United States. Dr. Offit and the CDC say it is safe and that there is no evidence that it did harm in the past to human patients.

Yet, the toxicology research shows that thimerosal can cause full-blown seizures (a condition that occurs in about 30% of persons on the autism spectrum, and the most common cause of death in that group), petit mal seizures (common to about 60% of persons on the spectrum), encephalopathies (brain damage and disease conditions; often ones that are indistinguishable from severe autism), neurological disorders (essentially all of them are made worse by thimerosal exposure), tics, and thimerosal seems to be one of the likely causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It is curious that the CDC does not seem to link the well-known toxic effects of thimerosal with any of the observed conditions that tend to occur either on the day of, or within two weeks, or a month of a round of vaccinations.

The toxicology also clearly shows that when ethyl mercury is combined with other toxins such as aluminum derivatives, undesirable consequences are multiplied. The harmful interactions of the metals has been known and documented since 1973, and research in toxicology shows that they are more harmful in combination than separately. Toxic effects of organic metals, including mercury and aluminum, in addition to known harmful interactions, tend to be multiplicative as was demonstrated early on by Morris Selig Kharasch, the inventor of a plethora of killing agents.

Nash, A. G. (1973). Diathermy burn hazard. British Medical Journal, 4(5895), 783–783.

Also see Synergistic Toxicity and references there.

CDC policy recommends possibly “deferring” vaccinations at “well-baby” visits when the child comes in with a fever and runny nose. Why? Because sound logic suggests that multiple additional threats piled on top of an already burdened immune defense system, one that is fighting an existing infection or illness of some sort (judging by the symptoms of the runny nose and fever), can only increase the burden the child is already facing. The more disease agents and toxins adding to the load, the greater the likelihood of producing a crisis potentially leading to seizures, encephalopathy, and potential fatality.

Most moms and dads would just say no to the shots if they realized the additional dangers posed (not to mention the virtually certain misery caused) by adding vaccines to an ongoing illness.

Meanwhile, SIDS and autism continue to puzzle the CDC and the professionals who are administering an ever increasing number of vaccines. The CDC agrees with Dr. Offit, a go-to spokesman, who says the association of same-day injuries, or ones that follow soon after the vaccinations, are purely coincidental. The explanation, they say, is that lots of kids are being vaccinated, so some of them will appear to become ill on the day of or soon after the vaccination occurs. It is just statistical, they contend: the CDC says, the temporal association between vaccinations and infant deaths is coincidental. (For some clarifications, elaborations, and corrections of details in the following section, I am indebted to Steve Kass for two unpublished comments that are nonetheless gratefully acknowledged.)

But what does the published research show? In fact, the research shows that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) accounts for nearly half the deaths reported under the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) according to Silvers, Varricchio, Ellenberg, Krueger, Wise, & Salive (2002).

Silvers, L. E., Varricchio, F. E., Ellenberg, S. S., Krueger, C. L., Wise, R. P., & Salive, M. E. (2002). Pediatric deaths reported after vaccination: The utility of information obtained from parents. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 22(3), 170–176.

The research shows that 92.5% of VAERS reports occur within two weeks of a vaccination and 45.5% occur on the day of the vaccination. With respect to SIDS, specifically, according to Braun & Ellenberg (1997) “58% of all deaths in VAERS were attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome” (p. 534). Of the 5,558 deaths and “serious nonfatal events” (the latter involving “life-threatening illness, hospitalization, prolongation of hospitalization, or permanent disability,” p. 530) reported under VAERS from 1991-1994, 90.7% are accounted for within six days of a vaccination per figures on page 531 of Braun & Ellenberg (1997), and 67.1% of reported deaths occur within 6 days of a vaccination. It is noteworthy that, according to their abstract and in the body of their text (p. 529 and p. 531, respectively) of all events reported, 45.5% had “onset of symptoms on the day of vaccination; 20.4% … the following day” (p. 531), and 92.5% of all events reported occurred within 2 weeks (14 days) of a vaccination.

Braun, M. M., & Ellenberg, S. S. (1997). Descriptive epidemiology of adverse events after immunization: Reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), 1991–1994. Journal of Pediatrics, 131(4), 529–535.

In the following figure, from the same source, a comparison is made between all vaccines contrasted with MMR. The authors note that at 8 to 9 days after the vaccination(s) the percentage of reported adverse events for MMR peaks. In fact, at that period, they say,

“For the live attenuated measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, administered to children ages 12 to 25 months, the proportion of reported events with onset during the second week after vaccination was fivefold that of all vaccines taken together irrespective of age” (p. 531).

In fact, Braun & Ellenberg acknowledge that the “excess of adverse event reports naming the live attenuated measles vaccine compared with other vaccines (Fig. 4) is biologically plausible” (p. 534). In other words, the notion that MMR with the measles agent in it may be the factor producing the bump in Figure 4, is a reasonable theory.

Looking at the data as portrayed in the figure, presumably one of the questions we might want to ask, along the lines of the usefulness of VAERS data for the purpose of “hypothesis generation” (Braun & Ellenberg, 1997, p. 533), is what other plausible explanation for the pattern in Figure 4 would exonerate all the disease agents, toxins, and interactions between them as causative factors? In other words, are the trend lines in Figure 4, attributable to chance, coincidence, or some other factor besides the vaccine components that we know were introduced on the day of vaccination?

Braun & Ellenberg (1997, p. 532) Figure 4

Percent of adverse events plotted in days after vaccination(s).

If the vaccination process has no part in causing SIDS, seizures, or long-term encephalopathies such as autism, why under CDC guidelines is there a suggestion to possibly delay vaccination if the child is already sick, say, with a runny nose and fever? The technical term is a “precautionary” deferral per the CDC statement that

In general, vaccinations should be deferred when a precaution is present (from the section titled “Contraindications and Precautions” in the CDC’s “General Recommendations on Immunization” for which I thank W&N at vaxffp@hotmail.com; “contraindication,” a decision not to vaccinate at all, per the same source is universal to all vaccines only in the case of “a history of a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of vaccine”).

Would that not also suggest to thinking persons that perhaps it is not so good an idea to give many different toxins and disease agents together on the same day? The CDC recommendations (same source) seem to suggest that even precautions are perhaps sometimes sufficient reason not to vaccinate:

Contraindications and precautions to vaccination dictate circumstances when vaccines should not be administered.

With that in mind, how about the DPT and MMR shots which are commonly administered together or one right after the other a short while apart? What does an independent examination of the research show on the record of combining the toxins and disease agents in those “multivalent” vaccines?

Olmsted & Blaxill (2010) give a deeper perspective on the toxicology and research and for the 158 year history of mandatory vaccine use, see Oller & Oller (2010).

Olmsted, D. & Blaxill, M. (2010). The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-Made Epidemic. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Oller, J. W., Jr., & Oller, S. D. (2010). Autism: The Diagnosis, Treatment, & Etiology of the Undeniable Epidemic. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Finally, consider the question of combining multiple disease agents and toxins on the same occasion or in closely spaced vaccinations. In particular, take the MMR and DPT triple germ shots plus the toxins and contaminants they contain. Is it true from the research that the industry and the CDC are not increasing the risk of injuries by using simultaneous or closely spaced multivalent vaccines? What does the research show?

One of the first studies by the CDC based on what it has called the “Vaccine Safety DataLink” was headed up Dr. Robert T. Chen. He and 15 CDC colleagues as part or perhaps the whole of a group at CDC called the “Vaccine Safety DataLink Team” found that the DTP shot was 300% more likely to produce seizures if given 8 to 14 days after the MMR vaccine and 210% more likely to do so if administrered on the same day (Chen, et al., 1997).

Chen, R. T., Glasser, J. W., Rhodes, P. H., Davis, R. L., Barlow, W. E., Thompson, R. S., et al. (1997). Vaccine Safety Datalink project: A new tool for improving vaccine safety monitoring in the United States. Pediatrics, 99(6), 765–773.

Interestingly, the highest risk during the 8 to 14 day group corresponds closely with the  estimated incubation period for the measles virus (Richardson et al., 2001).

Richardson, M., Elliman, D., Maguire, H., Simpson, J., & Nicoll, A. (2001). Evidence base of incubation periods, periods of infectiousness and exclusion policies for the control of communicable diseases in schools and preschools. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 2(4), 380–391.

Keep in mind that the number of cases in the data sample for DTP was 549,488 and the number in the MMR sample was 310,618, these results cannot be taken lightly. The 1997 study by Chen and colleagues was the first, and I believe also the last one published by the CDC showing conclusively that vaccine interactions, especially those involving the MMR and DTP vaccines, produce injuries. Interestingly, the researchers only considered a window of 30 days after the vaccination for the reporting of an adverse event attributable to the vaccine.

It has been argued by the CDC and Dr. Offit, that measles virus cannot cause autism or very similar gut and brain disease conditions that can only be described as severe instances of conditions that might well be diagnosed as autism. What does the research show?

In fact, there is a fatal encephalopathy (a central nervous, brain) disorder  that resembles “wasting disease” in pigs known by the unattractive name of Sub-Acute Sclerosing Pan-Encephalitis (SSPE) that is attributed to the measles virus. It has been argued that the virus causing this fatal disease is different from the virus found in MMR shots, but the truly disturbing result from the research is that individuals who have received the shot, are more likely rather than less to contract the fatal form of the infection. Brouns et al. (2001), Onal et al. (2006), and Akram et al. (2008) found SSPE occurs more commonly in persons who have been vaccinated against measles than in those who have not. The incidence of SSPE is much higher in males than in females (by a ratio of 3.2 to 1, which raises suspicion that the link between that virus and SSPE may be similar to that seen in the measles virus infections associated with autism.

Brouns, R., Verlinde, P., Lagae, L., De Koster, T., Lemmens, F., & Van de Casseye, W. (2001). Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis in a vaccinated, internationally adopted child. Acta Neurologica Belgica, 1(2), 128–130.

Onal, A. E., Gurses, C., Direskeneli, G. S., Yilmaz, G., Demirbilek, V., Yentur, S. P., et al. (2006). Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis surveillance study in Istanbul. Brain & Development, 2(3), 183–189.

Akram, M., Naz, F., Malik, A., & Hamid, H. (2008). Clinical profile of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis. Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan, 1(8), 485–488.

What About Delayed Effects?

In a recent broadcast, Dr. Sanjay Gupta argued that events occurring outside a 30 day window, that is more than a month after a vaccination, cannot be attributed to vaccine injury. Is this true? What does the research show?

The toxicology research is clear in showing that injuries sustained from mercury poisoning, and also from disease agents from vaccines, can show up months, years, and even decades after the vaccination occurred. For example, it is well-documented that the polio vaccines of the 1960s, and 1970s distributed Simian Virus 40 (SV40) to about 98 million people in the United States and through American aid programs and the United Nations World Health Organization to the rest of the world. Now, SV40 is linked to just about every imaginable form of human cancer, to AIDS, and a host of other disease conditions. In creating and mass-producing the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines, the researchers and government authorities who promoted them inadvertently introduced SV40 into the human population (CDC, 2007; Simon, 2008 Sweet & Hilleman, 1960).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2007, October 22). Frequently asked questions about cancer, Simian Virus 40 (SV40), and polio vaccine.

Simon, M. A. (2008). Polyomaviruses of nonhuman primates: Implications for research. Comparative Medicine, 5(1), 51–56.

Sweet, B. H., & Hilleman, M. R. (1960, November). The vacuolating virus, SV40. Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biological Medicine,105, 420–427.

Comar et al. (2007) found both HIV and SV40 in an AIDS patient suffering from dementia and suggested that the SV40, introduced into humans through polio vaccinations decades earlier, may be a causal factor in producing the AIDS dementia.

Comar, M., D’Agaro, P., Luzzati, R., Martini, F., Tognon, M., & Campello, C. (2007). SV40 and  HIV sequences in the cerebrospinal fluid of a patient with AIDS dementia complex. Current HIV Research, 5(3), 345–347.

Dr. Howard Urnovitz, PhD, Microbiologist and Immunologist, Science Director, Chronic Illness Research Foundation, co-founder and CEO, Chronix Biomedical, leader of the team that developed the only FDA-licensed urine-based diagnostic test for antibodies to HIV, has suggested that there may be a direct link between polio vaccines and some of the Simian viruses known to have been distributed to the human population world-wide through polio vaccinations in the Congo:

Dr. Urnowitz said on August 3, 1999 in testimony before the COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT: “Had my mother and father known that the poliovirus vaccines of the 1950s were heavily contaminated with more than 26 monkey viruses, including the cancer virus SV40, I can say with certainty that they would not have allowed their children and themselves to take those vaccines.  Both of my parents might not have developed cancers suspected of being vaccine-related, and might even be alive today.” Dr. Urnovitz is best known for the discovery of retroposons which are the enablers of retroviruses, ones that rewrite our own DNA. He and Dr. Murphy, one of his co-authors, have produced a coherent argument suggesting that the retroviruses involved in AIDS, HIV, may have come from one of the Simian viruses introduced through polio vaccines. See the following article which has been cited 105 times according to the Web of Science database as of today’s date (January 12, 2011).

Urnovitz, H. B., & Murphy, W. H. (1996). Human endogenous retroviruses: Nature, occurrence, and clinical implications in human disease. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 9(1), 72-99. [Here in the link, I have given the whole pdf version of the paper.]

Protecting the Industry

The protection of the vaccine industry is directly related (e.g., by proponents of Congressional acts to prevent suits against vaccine manufacturers) to fears about weaponized disease agents such as smallpox and anthrax. It seems that those fears may be exaggerated. Consider salient known facts concerning the “outbreak” of Soviet weaponized smallpox in 1971 and the anthrax attacks attributed to Bruce Ivins in the United States in 2001.

The smallpox “outbreak” of a weaponized variant produced at a former Soviet (Russian) bioweapons lab on Vozrozhdeniye Island in the Aral Sea, later destroyed by an American military team (Tucker & Zilinskas, 2002, p. 1), killed only 3 of 10 infected people in Aralsk, Kazakhstan and did not spread as feared.

Tucker, J. B., & Zilinskas, R. A. (Eds.). ( 2002, July). The 1971 smallpox epidemic in Aralsk, Kazakhstan, and the Soviet Biological Warfare Program. Occasional Paper No. 9. Monterey, CA: Monterey Institute of International Studies, Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

Similarly, though anthrax spores were sent through the mail (allegedly by Bruce Ivins acting alone) to the offices of U.S. Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, as well as ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, the New York Post, and the National Enquirer, the attack, probably with a weaponized variant of anthrax spores under study at Fort Detrick, Maryland, was largely ineffective as a killing method. Of all the persons exposed, probably in the hundreds, only 22 were infected and 5 died of anthrax (see the Bruce Ivins wikipedia article and its documentation, retrieved January 12, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Edwards_Ivins).

Nevertheless, the CDC and U. S. pharmaceutical industry is already stockpiling 300 million doses of smallpox vaccine. Is this a good plan? Is it necessary or even wise?

An Un-Examined Approach to Health

As intelligent thinkers have been pointing out from near the beginning of the mandatory use of smallpox vaccine (from about 1853), the whole theory of vaccines is analogous to something more drastic than deliberately sipping some sewage to prevent an accidental exposure to a contaminated liquid that might result in dysentery. Vaccination exposures involve injecting, in most cases, contaminated materials loaded with particular disease agents or parts of them directly into the bodily tissues of human beings, often at the stage of greatest vulnerability, in early infancy before the tiny human’s immune systems have sufficiently matured to be at full strength.

Does this sort of paradigm not cry out for sensible and thoughtful re-examination? Can the risk of discontinuing existing programs be higher for the general population than it is turning out to be to the Amish people, home-schoolers, and those among the larger population who have looked at the autism epidemic thoughtfully and are saying, “I don’t think so. No thank-you to some or all of the vaccines.”

Is it possible that the CDC can’t  find the causes of the autism epidemic even when they hold the causes in their own hands?

It is not just thimerosal and the measles virus that need to be reconsidered. Research shows that the vaccine industry rests on an unexamined history. When we look to the outcomes of the huge experiments on tens of millions of human beings the valid conclusions are that vaccines, e.g., smallpox and polio to pick the best studied exemplars, actually increased the risk of smallpox and polio along with other infectious diseases, as well as paralysis, cancers, needless exposures to adventitious disease agents (SV40 to choose just one), allergens, and so on.

Defenders of the CDC policies point to the theory of “herd immunity”—the idea that vaccinating a high percentage of persons prevents epidemics for everyone. It’s a plausible sounding idea, but there are huge counter evidences.

What happens to the herd immunity theory when we look to examples like the Philippines where the worst smallpox epidemic in the history of the world occurred several years after the American military administered 25 million doses of smallpox vaccine to 10 million inhabitants? The people in those islands, after every person on the average got 2.5 doses of smallpox vaccine, experienced the worst recorded smallpox epidemic in the history of the world in 1918. It infected tens of thousands and killed a higher percentage than ever in unvaccinated populations. In Leicester, England the worst epidemics occurred when over 80% of the people were accepting vaccinations for smallpox while infections and deaths from smallpox, and from all other infectious diseases, dropped precipitously when people in that sizable community, 90% of them, were actually refusing smallpox vaccinations and were preferring to pay the fines imposed by the British national government. These and many other historical cases and much additional data is cited in our book (Oller & Oller, 2010).

It is clear from the research that vaccines have been over-rated with respect to their touted benefits and they have been under-rated with respect to their often lethal and destructive short-term and long-term consequences.

By contrast, there is no danger in recommending a healthy diet, plenty of rest, and wholesome regular exercise. There is much to be gained by avoiding toxic exposures and by practicing good personal hygiene, e.g., by immediately washing the face, mouth, hands, and mucus membranes when an exposure to a disease agent is suspected or believed likely. Don’t eating well, getting rest, exercising regularly, and staying clean make more sense than injecting tiny infants, pregnant moms, and unborn babies with disease agents, toxins, and adventitious biochemical leftovers from the lab animals used in producing vaccines?

The good news is that Dr. Offit’s latest title is correct in suggesting that the public has choices to make. Let’s make them wisely in the coming New Year and decade. Dr. Offit’s title, of course, is a take-off on Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s seminal article titled “Deadly Immunity.”

Choices to Make

Parents and intelligent persons everywhere are called upon to read the research for themselves and to insist that their doctors do so as well. Doctors who rely on journalists like Brian Deer, newspaper clippings, and policy statements by the CDC as well as presumptions about rather than research into vaccine history, are begging the critical questions. We must examine the history of vaccine use and the impact of their current uses. The toxicology research is critical. It must be examined. The history of vaccinations and their impact is also important for parents and decision-makers to examine closely.

When we look to the recorded history, see Oller & Oller (2010), from the research and data available it is already plain that sanitation and hygiene are better approaches to disease prevention than injections of poisons and adventitious disease agents along with extraneous animal disease agents, protein fragments, and so forth. The toxins combined with disease agents are certain to produce interactions, and those interactions alone, should justify a much closer examination of the toxicology and the history of uses of multivalent vaccines. From examinations of the limited reports of clinical trials alone, it is clear that multivalent vaccines are more apt to cause higher temperatures, more aches and pains, and an increased likelihood of adverse events. Even the most guarded reports confirm the expectation that multivalent vaccines, all else being equal, are more dangerous than single threat vaccines with only one disease agent at a time. For reasons spelled out in Oller & Oller (2010), interactive effects of multiple toxins, multiple disease agents, adjuvants (e.g., aluminum), preservatives, and a host of adventitious factors (animal proteins, oils, viruses, etc.) are costly to study, but cannot safely be swept under the carpet.

The popular story about Edward Jenner, one that we all believed as children, needs to be re-examined from a thoughtful, reasonable, and skeptical adult perspective. When that re-examination is done, the Jenner story together with the alleged success of smallpox vaccine turns out to be grounded in wishful thinking. Sanitation undoubtedly is the positive causal factor in reducing infections and deaths by smallpox, and the cowpox (vaccinia) inoculations have a history of causing rather than preventing death and infectious disease from smallpox and from other disease agents.

Careful examination of the historical record (see the figure below from Oller & Oller, 2010, p. 219) has shown that the defeat of infectious diseases like smallpox, scarlet fever, typhoid, cholera, and the like, owe a great deal more to sanitation and hygiene than to deliberate exposures to disease agents through vaccinations. Data from two CDC sources graphed by Oller & Oller (2010) show that from 1955 through 1996 the introduction of 8 additional vaccines (including, two polio vaccines, measles, mumps, rubella, Hep, Hib, and Rotavirus) did not affect the rate of death attributable to infectious diseases during the whole latter half of the twentieth century. Sanitation  had already bottomed out the rate of death by infectious diseases and the removal of DDT from household uses from about 1955 forward seems to be the simpler and more consistent explanation for the virtual obliteration of poliomyelitis in the United States. It is very important also to note that from the CDC’s own data from 1980 to 1994, 94% of the 133 confirmed cased of polio were directly attributed to the Sabin vaccine itself.

Trevelyan, Smallman-Raynor, and Cliff acknowledge that sanitation played a large role in defeating polio and that the Sabin oral polio vaccine caused the vast majority of polio cases between 1980 and 1994.

Trevelyan, B., Smallman-Raynor, M. R., & Cliff, A. D. (2005, June). The spatial dynamics of poliomyelitis in the United States: from epidemic emergence to vaccine-induced retreat, 1910–1971. Annual Association of American Geography, 95(2), 269–293.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (1998, November 20). Paralytic poliomyelitis—United States, 1980-1994. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 46(54), 85.

It is also necessary to appeal to the sanitation issue in order to explain a huge spike in deaths from infectious diseases attributable to the unsanitary conditions on transport ships and the trenches of Europe during World War I. Trevelyan and colleagues also make the point that wars and the crowding of refugee camps contribute to the rise of infectious disease.  Immediately at the end of the war in 1918, deaths by infectious disease began to fall precipitously (see Figure 7-9, Oller & Oller, 2010, p. 219).

Deaths by infectious disease in the United States per 100K persons 1900 to 1996 plotted against the dates vaccines were introduced.

Deaths by infectious disease in the United States per 100K persons 1900 to 1996 plotted against the dates vaccines were introduced. Statistics are combined from two CDC reports: CDC, July 30, 1999, p. 243 and CDC, April 2, 1999, p. 247.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (1999, April 2). Achievements in public health, 1900-1999: Impact of vaccines universally recommended for children—United States, 1990-1998. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 48(12), 243-248.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (1999, July 30). Achievements in public health, 1900-1999: Control of infectious diseases. MMWR, 48(29), 621-629.

Paralytic polio is one of the most interesting cases to study closely. The toxicology research links that disease directly with DDT poisoning and only indirectly to polio viruses featured in two vaccines, Salk and Sabin, which were created after DDT had been banned and polio was essentially already obliterated in the United States. But the toxicology research had already demonstrated that DDT could produce the paralytic aspects of poliomyelitis:

Biskind, M. S. (1949a). DDT poisoning and elusive virus X: A new cause for gastro-enteritis. American Journal of Digestive Diseases, 16(3), 79–84.

Biskind, M. S. (1949b, January). DDT poisoning and X disease in cattle. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 114, 20.

Biskind, M. S. (1949c, February). DDT Poisoning a serious public health hazard. American Journal of Digestive Diseases, 16, 73.

Biskind, M. S. (1949d). Endocrine disturbances in gastrointestinal conditions. Review of Gastroenterology, 16(3), 220–225.

Biskind, M. S. (1953). Public health aspects of the new insecticides. American Journal of Digestive Diseases, 20, 331–341.

Biskind, M. S., & Bieber, I. (1949, April). DDT poisoning: A new syndrome with neuropsychiatric manifestations. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 3(2), 261–270.

Polio persists, however, in places where DDT and its derivatives are still being used (see the web site maintained by Jim West; also see research summary on the whale.to/vaccine website and the images documented there advertising the safety of DDT and documenting its widespread use during the polio epidemics). We now know that the viruses, however, appear to be only incidentally involved in paralytic polio. The fact is that about 95% of individuals in the U. S. population, estimated from research, carry one or more polio viruses.

Ryan, K. J., & Ray, C. G. (Eds.) (2004). Enteroviruses. Sherris Medical Microbiology (4th edition, pp. 535–537). New York: McGraw Hill.

West, J. (1999). A critique of scientific literature: Pesticides and polio.

West, J. (2009). Pesticides and polio: A critique of the scientific literature. Retrieved June 10, 2009, from

Why then do so few individuals with the polio viruses experience polio-like paralysis?

Exposure to DDT, its derivatives, and to other related persistent pesticides seem to be necessary to explain the actual incidence of paralyzing cases of “polio.” (For the analysis and references see Oller & Oller, 2010.)

Given careful research on such facts, the whole vaccine paradigm obviously needs to be critically examined piece by piece. The public and parents should not accept CDC slogans from medical practitioners. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. argues for a better informed public and for critical examination of the vaccine paradigm while the CDC calls for increased sponsorship of research into genetics and environmental toxins, especially ones that are not being placed inside the bodies of human beings by medical practitioners. However, the agents that are put directly into bodily tissues, e.g., dental mercury placement and vaccine sources, are already known to be more potent, more prevalent, and more likely to be delivered during critical periods of genetic growth and development than most other environmental toxins combined. See Olmsted & Blaxill (2010, pp. 239ff).

Where is the study comparing matched pairs of vaccinated and unvaccinated children with similar exposures to other environmental toxins?

Olmsted & Blaxill (2011) document how the CDC sent a team to investigate in Brick Township in New Jersey after parents there complained that autism seemed to be epidemic there. The CDC seemed to infer that there might be some identifiable environmental cause in the heavily industrial surroundings. A team was sent to investigate, but after confirming what the parents had already learned, the CDC team suddenly left without reporting any explanation.

It turned out upon further investigation by the parents that the CDC had evidently ruled out all the environmental sources for autism in Brick Township except for “expansion in the required immunization program” (p. 241). Olmsted & Blaxill (2010) report data reluctantly supplied by the CDC after multiple parent inquiries and a lot of digging that seems to point to the CDC’s worst nightmare: The data led the investigators, it seems, to the inevitable conclusion that Brick Township was not exceptional. The clear cause for the increasing prevalence of autism in Brick Township was the increase in exposure to vaccines and the neurotoxin, thimerosal. This was plain from the fact that the children in older cohorts who had not received the additional mandated vaccine exposures, showed no cases of autism, while the younger birth cohorts showed a number of cases exceeding prior epidemiological estimates.

Did the CDC team pull up stakes and leave because they were finding the same pattern nation-wide? The data being recorded at Thoughtful House from reports supplied to the CDC nation-wide under federal legislation are consistent with such an interpretation.

Autism is on the rise.

The blue line shows the rising incidence of the autism diagnosis in the younger birth cohorts, 3-22, while the red line shows the incidence in the 6-22 birth cohorts.

The autism epidemic appears to be very real, and nation-wide. If there had been any other plausible conclusion the CDC team could point to, say, industrial pollution in Brick Township, wouldn’t the CDC team have pointed it out? Instead, they held a short public meeting, passed out some papers, and left town.

Parents would be well-advised to require the doctors consulted about autism to read the relevant toxicology research. Many doctors, as pointed out by Dr. Brian Jepson in 2007, are not doing their homework well, or, in some cases, at all. In too many instances, when parents ask questions about autism, the doctor knows less than many individuals in the parent support group, and may be unaware of the excellent independent research that is being published that blatantly contradicts CDC public statements.

Hopefully, the ongoing controversy, highlighted by the targeting of Dr. Andy Wakefield by Brian Deer and his collaborators, may, as Lee Grossman has suggested, lead to more concern on the part of researchers and thoughtful parents everywhere about the causes of the autism epidemic. Many are sensibly calling for systematic studies of vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. A matched-pairs design would make sense and is immediately feasible.

Parents Must Investigate for Themselves

When Offit says vaccines cannot cause autism because the CDC studies can’t find a link, he is relying on reports of failed searches. But failures of that kind are inconclusive. If we look into the ones the CDC points to as sustaining their claims, as we have done, all of the failed searches seem designed so that they could not possibly find any links between autism and vaccines. Why have there been no systematic comparisons between vaccinated and unvaccinated matched pairs?

To accept the CDC null findings as conclusive is a profound error from a logical (statistical research) perspective. One toxicology study showing a link between thimerosal, for example, and neuropathy, is sufficient to disprove all of the CDC’s failed searches combined. Those failures are no more conclusive that vaccines are not involved in causing autism than a million failures to launch a satellite could prove that no satellites have ever been placed in orbit. Sputnik alone was sufficient to disprove that theory. The case against thimerosal and its use in vaccines is already conclusive beyond any reasonable doubt. In using it and recommending its use in flu vaccines and in vaccines distributed to other countries the CDC and the World Health Organization bear responsibility for harm to hundreds of millions of people.

The toxicology research points to the conclusion that alkyl mercury poisoning through vaccines has invariably contributed to neurological injuries, the autism epidemic, and SIDS. An aggressive independent research program examining the interactions between disease agents, toxins, and the “adventitious” components of vaccines that can now be assayed should be undertaken.  There must be an open, public examination of the actual history and current impact of vaccines and their components. Past speculations about how many millions of people would die, or how many thousands are dying daily of rotaviral infections, need to be examined critically in light of actual published data made accessible to independent researchers who are not employed by deeply vested organizations and government entities. (Parenthetically, it is commendable that Dr. Offit has donated his royalties from Deadly Choices, as Dr. Andy Wakefield has also donated royalties from the sale of his book, Callous Disregard. Similarly, Dr. Stephen D. Oller and I have donated royalties from our 2010, Autism, book to the treatment and research on autism at Thoughtful House.)

Reports from the CDC about numbers of deaths attributed to particular disease agents, e.g., the swine flu campaign of 1976, bird flu of 2003, and the new “swine flu” H1N1 of 2005-2006, need to be critically and publicly assessed in terms of published data concerning actual confirmed deaths from the “wild” disease agents. In cases where costly public vaccination programs have been instituted, careful comparisons of matched-pairs of vaccinated versus unvaccinated persons need to be made. Also, reported deaths and injuries occurring immediately after vaccination or within a few days need to be made public. Consider what Mike Wallace discovered in a little aired 60 minutes report about the 1976 “swine flu” epidemic that never happened, but the vaccination program that did happen.

(Here also is a transcript of that 60 Minutes program for fast readers who want to save some time.)

Reasonable comments and questions on facts, citations, and relevant research are welcomed. I hold to the idea of Charles S. Peirce who said:

 "The best maxim in writing, perhaps, is really to love
                       your reader for his own sake."
                                        C. S. Peirce, Mar 17, 1888

Nevertheless, the comments on this blog are moderated.  (This particular entry was updated on January 22, 2011 at 1:21 PM CST.)

Posted in autism, autism epidemic, biological control systems, causation, causation of autism, disease agents as factors in autism, interactions of toxins and disease agens, measles virus, mercury, vaccines | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Everything Depends on True Reports of Facts

Are the autism epidemic, toxins in vaccines, biological control systems, and human language related? Yes, they are. In this post I will show how and why they are necessarily related. It turns out that everything depends on true representations.

Albert Einstein understood this to be the case in the sciences. Did he already know in 1941 the consequences of the powers to be unleashed by his famous equation,  E = mc^2 \,\!? He wrote, “Everything depends on the degree to which words and word-combinations correspond to the world of impression” (1941, in Oller, 1989b, p. 62).

True representations form the basis for scientific knowledge and for the development of sound theories. That much is obvious. True reports about experience also always involve events that unfold over time giving ordinary truth a narrative aspect.

It is not at all obvious, however, that ordinary true narrative representations (TNRs) in biological systems provide the essential basis for functional biochemistry, a strong immune system, a healthy gut, body, brain, and so forth. Coherent TNRs are also necessary to functional social systems, medicine, law, education, government, and economics.

Ordinary Truth

What, for example, is an ordinary true representation? Suppose I told my wife last night that this morning I would change some flourescent lightbulbs and blow out the garage and the outside porches and that in fact this morning I did so. My promise would turn out to be the basis for this true report, and it is true. I did as promised.

The truth, however, does not reside in the facts—that is, the bulbs, the light fixtures, the ladder, the clothes worn and tossed in the wash, the number of times I had to go up and down the ladder, the leaves in the garage and on the porches. The material world cannot be false. It is what it is. As important as the facts are, they merely are what they are. My reporting what they are does not change them by an infinitesimal particle. I cannot go backward in time and alter those truly reported facts in any way. Ordinary truth is not in the material facts or events as such. They just are what they are. My promise did not alter those facts either in spite of the fact that it helped to shape my own behavior toward them. The facts could have been the same without the promise and my reporting of those facts would still be true now.

Truth is in the reporting of facts. It is in TNRs. It consists of the agreement between the representation, the TNR, and the facts. Every TNR has three parts: (1) it has symbols (such as the sentences of a language or the genetic sequences of DNA); (2) it has indexical actions (like the speaking of a speaker or signing of a signer or the reading of DNA to form RNAs); and (3) it refers to some objective facts (such as a sequence of events, or a sequence of amino acids in a protein). If these three components agree with each other, the representation is a TNR. It has ordinary truth. Keeping in mind that a person “telling the truth” may be in error, it follows that truth resides only in the representation itself. The facts referred to may change. The porches will get dirty again and the bulbs will burn out. BUt a TNR, if it is one, is eternally indifferent to such changes. Its truth value is unaffected by subsequent changes in the facts. Therefore, the truth does not reside in the facts.

For example, on account of the way I put my report together by my use of language about the porches, bulbs, and so forth, the report is true of those facts. But the truth is not in the facts, it is strictly in the report.

Any facts (and there always exists an infinite variety of them at all times)  just are whatever they are. They cannot be false. They cannot be fictional. They cannot err. They cannot lie. And, they can never remain completely unchanged.

Representations are different. They can be true, fictional but meaningful, wrong innocently as in errors or deliberately as in lies, and they can also be nonsensicial as in mere babbling. Suppose right now I say I am sitting at my computer and I am. That statement would be a TNR. If I said I am driving my car, that would not be true because at this moment I am working in my study at home.

Similar representational phenomena can be found in biological systems which also depend on “truth” in the ordinary mundane sense. To show why and how this is so requires some abstract theory but it is not very difficult to think through.

Biological TNRs

In biology, if a sequence of codons in DNA calls for a certain sequence of amino acids in a protein and through a long and complex cascade of dynamic interpretive systems that particular sequence of amino acids is constructed by the ribosome, the outcome would be the formal equivalent of a TNR. Commonly we think of true reports as coming after the fact, but except for the timing of the report itself, the “truth” relation is identical in a promise fulfilled and a true report given after the fact.

The strictest mathematical logic shows, and empirical science confirms, that disrupting TNRs in biological systems ultimately results in disorders, diseases, injuries, and mortality. This holds for all representational systems without exception from genetics to human languages. It holds for every kind of organization that TNRs make possible in biological and social systems. Without TNRs there would be no biosphere, no human languages, and none of the systems of law, government, commerce, education, and so forth that we depend on as human beings. All representational phenomena depend for their very existence on TNRs. This has been strictly proved in more than one way.

For a technical paper providing the theoretical basis and summing up the crucial relevance of TNRs for biological systems, see Entropy 2010. To understand the power of the full  arguments given there, it is necessary also to consult the references in that paper. For anyone interested in some of the peculiar mathematical difficulties facing the 19th century orthodoxy, also see the papers linked at Evolutionary Informatics.

For a nontechnical explanation showing why everything depends on TNRs, absolutely everything, keep reading this post and the narrative that follows. It sums up the key findings of a series of theoretical works and scientific papers showing how undesirable biological and social consequences flow inevitably from incomplete, damaged, and sometimes deliberately falsified representations. However, no false representations of particular facts (errors) can be discovered except by comparing them against TNRs.

For instance, was Archaeopteryx (at the right) a transitional form between reptiles and birds? Or was this specimen a fully feathered bird? Fred Hoyle complained that “there are no steps in the record from reptiles to Archaeopteryx or from Archaeopteryx to birds, as the Darwinian theory requires” (1983, p. 43).  Was the lithograph shown here tampered with? A fradulent made-up fossil? It’s a moot question if Hoyle’s argument stands, and it does. Whether it is a flying bird or not, it certainly is very different from reptiles and if the feathers were faked, as some have claimed in recent years, then it was not much of a bird either. No matter, there are no transitions leading to it or from it in either direction. Case closed.

But is any of this discussed in the biology books recently recommended by BESE for adoption by Louisiana high schools? Archaeopteryx, long the index fossil of the whole story, is only discussed in ways that would leave the 19th century dogma in tact. No wonder Gould admitted that the claims for transitional fossils were based on wishful thinking. Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History in London commented in a 1981 interview:

… all one can learn about the history of life is from systematics , from the groupings one finds in nature [make that 19th century philosophy applied liberally to living species and to fossils in what Gould called the “Cambrian explosion”]. The rest of it is story-telling of one sort or another. We have access to the tips of the tree; the tree itself is theory, and people who pretend to know about the tree and to describe what went on it—how the branches came off and the twigs came off—are, I think, telling stories (p. 390).

Connecting the Dots

Are the autism epidemic, the controversies surrounding the toxins in vaccines, biological control systems, and the unique human language capacity related to the contents of the Louisiana biology books? Are they related to the social systems of medicine, law, government, and education? Indeed, they are, but the connections are not entirely obvious until we spell them out.

In serving as a research professor at the University of California in Los Angeles, at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and more recently at the University of Louisiana, for 42 years, in my published scientific theoretical and empirical work, I have confirmed that narratives told in a chronological order are the simplest kind, the easiest to construct, and to interpret. So, that is the way I will present the argument to be developed in this post. The argument as presented is both an instantiation of a TNR and an explanation of why ordinary truth as exemplified is so important in biology, the sciences at large, and in social systems.

Start the Clock in 1968

Based on my first encounter with “linguistics” (the scientific study of language, falling more or less between mathematics and psychology), I had noticed a gap in understanding that I knew how to fill. The main missing element in the theories that were widely accepted in the 1960s (from about 1933 forward), especially in America, was attention to the real world of experience.

Leonard Bloomfield (1933) had argued that the study of meaning would be too difficult to analyze and understand, he supposed, because of the infinite variability of the contexts of experience. He proposed to concentrate his attention on the surface forms of language, its sounds (phonemes) and sequences of them. He not only had narrowed attention down to just the symbols of language, but he threw away any hope of producing a sensible theory of how children develop their first language and become readers. In the middle 1950s, Chomsky’s teacher, Zellig Harris perpetuated Bloomfield’s error by insisting that it ought to be possible to discover everything worth knowing about the “structure” of any language, by merely examining the “distribution” of its surface forms relative to each other.

Chomsky (1957) stepped back a little from that “discovery procedure” but continued to balk at the idea of bringing meaning and the real world into play. He would continue to hold for many years to come that the real world has no special place in the acquisition of language or in his theory of grammar (Chomsky, 1995). From my first experimental studies forward (Oller & Obrecht, 1968, 1969; Oller & Sales, 1969) and in my first theoretical papers (Oller, Harrington, & Sales, 1969; Oller, 1970), I argued that connections of linguistic forms with particular facts in the contexts of experience unfolding over time are essential to language acquisition and comprehension.

I got the idea from my father’s Spanish language program, El español por el mundo (Oller, Sr., 1963-1967) which illustrated the importance of the “meaningful sequence” of ordinary experience, its narrative aspect, in providing the necessary and sufficient framework for language acquisition. That program remains, according to historian of educational films,Geoff Alexander, “one of the most extensively researched and produced foreign language instruction films ever made” and is distinguished in being “based on a continuous narrative.” (Here is one of the films, the 54th in Level 1 of the 3 level program with 101 films in the whole sequence, so that readers can get an idea of the depth and complexity of language attainable even in a foreign language classroom.)

A first step toward correcting Bloomfield’s error was the development of the idea of “pragmatic mapping” (well illustrated in the Spanish program just referred to)—the process by which TNRs are constructed. The idea was under construction for a while beforehand but was published, I believe for the first time, in Oller (1975). It is an idea that is now in the mainstream being used refer to referential processes in general. The key problem in pragmatic mapping is how to associate any given referring phrase, say, for instance, Álvaro, in the film linked to the previous paragraph, with the person named “Álvaro” and referred to in that way and through other phrases (such as, “el hermano mayor de Emilio, the big brother of Emilio” and so forth) throughout all his appearances in the entire series of films. That is, he is always Álvaro throughout the narrative and as the facts unfold they are treated as a valid history.

How are such mappings achieved by language learners and in discourse in general? And, equally, why do they seem to be so important to comprehension of language?

Language and Genetics

Bertrand Russell, a leading philosopher of the 20th century once poked fun at the notion that words have special powers. However, it was Russell who insisted on a deep relation between the meaning and truth of words (1950). He saw meaning as more basic and in this idea argued against Hans Reichenbach (1938) who took truth value to be more basic and meaning to be dependent. As soon as I read their arguments, I knew that both were very close to discovering the necessary basis for language acquisition. Imagine Russell’s reaction to the discovery of the “genetic code” in the mid 1950s. It was a serious game changer because it was no longer possible to argue that words have nothing to do with the origin(s) of life.

As I would point out in several papers and professional presentations in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s (e.g., Oller, 1989a), the discovery of the genetic code made words indispensable to the description of life itself. We now know that the “genetic code” is perhaps just the lowest level of a hierarchy of interrelated language systems that are dynamically interacting throughout life. It was during this period that I discussed the hunch that the human language capacity, manifested in the acquisition of proficiency in one or more particular languages, is evidently the main manifestation of human intelligence (Oller, 1981). It is also, as Chomsky (1972) had already argued, and continues to argue to this day, a capacity that appears to be absolutely unique to human beings, though he himself has (Hauser, Chomsky, & Fitch, 2002) tried to suggest ways that the gap between humans and other primates, chimps, for instance, might be bridged by cumulative mutations that suddenly express themselves. We might be reminded of what Gould (1977a, 1977b) described as a “hopeful monster” (a creature very unlike its predecessors and contemporaries). Gould proposed such “saltations” (big jumps) to explain the ubiquitous huge gaps throughout the whole of the fossil record.

The problem pointed to by Hauser, Chomsky, and Fitch (2002), and later by Penn, Holyoak, and Povinelli (2008, 2009), is how to explain the discontinuity between chimps and man not only with respect to the unique human language capacity, but also with respect to all the nonverbal reasoning abilities, especially ones that involve “recursion,” that are also unique to humans.

Chomsky first stressed recursion in the syntax of natural languages. I like to illustrate it in pragmatic terms this way: By about the age of 3 years normal children are able to understand a potentially infinite regression in a story that begins while everyone is sitting around a campfire and someone decides to tell a story and the story begins like this: everyone is sitting around …. and so forth. Human children who are progressing normally, will catch on to the pragmatic recursion early and easily, but none of the higher primates seems capable of the first step in such a regression. Much less can they conceptualize notions such as infinity (or everything), zero (as in nothing at all), past tense, future tense, hypotheticals, conditionals, or complex syntax involving negation, conjunction, and subordination. The best trained signing chimps and gorillas never challenge the use of a word, make comments on comments, or ask questions about what things are called or why. Yet human children can do all these things by some time between their third and seventh birthdays. Why is that?

The 1990s

It would take some time and a good deal of theoretical work to produce intelligible proofs of the logicomathematical kind showing that all language acquisition utterly depends on the kind of pragmatic mapping that occurs in TNRs (Oller, 1993, 1995, 1996a, 1996b). The underlying idea had been hinted at by Augustine around 397 AD. In 1879, mathematician Gottlob Frege suggested that true uses of language were the only sources of meaning, but he did not take the trouble to try to prove it. Actually, sufficient proofs were later produced by C. S. Peirce (1897) as well as Alfred Tarski (1936, 1944), but their applicability to the special problem of child language acquisition, much less to genetics, was not easy to appreciate.

The simplest kind of pragmatic mapping, though it is already complex and too abstract for any nonhuman to fully understand, is the sort found in a name correctly applied to the particular person who goes by that name. For instance, if we intend to refer to the President of the American Civil War by the name Abraham Lincoln, the association of that name with that particular individual of history, would be an example of such a valid pragmatic mapping, a TNR. I first argued that language acquisition depends on precisely that sort of association in 1969, but it would take nearly another quarter of a century before intelligible proofs of that idea could be produced.

In the meantime, another stream of research that I had begun developing while at UCLA and had continued working on at the University of New Mexico was heating up. After ruling out the hypothesis that a general factor of language proficiency might account for all the reliable variance in language based tests, it remained clear from the best refutations of that implausible idea, one that needed to be ruled out before proceeding, that acquired proficiency in one’s best (strongest) language was still accounting for the lion’s share of variance in IQ tests in general, including ones aimed at testing “nonverbal” abilities. Why were the best nonverbal IQ tests more strongly correlated with verbal IQ tests than with each other? It appeared that language/dialect proficiency was the primary factor being measured by such tests rather than “innate intelligence” as had been claimed by Jensen (1969, 1980) and by Herrnstein (1973), and Herrnstein and Murray (1994).

In 1997, I published an article challenging Herrnstein’s theory of the “meritocracy.” He supposed that innate intelligence was the main factor involved in sorting individuals into higher and lower socio-economic brackets. In doing so, he also claimed, along with Jensen and others who were heavily involved in defending the IQ tests as unbiased against persons who do not speak English as their native language, or who do not have the dialect of the tests and testers as their primary dialect of English. In short, they claimed that Blacks get lower scores not because of language/dialect or even socio-economic status (SES), but because they have less innate ability than Whites.

My challenge was strictly on the basis of evidence showing that the language/dialect factor is by far the biggest factor in the tests. Also, attributing differences in test outcomes for Blacks and Whites to the language/dialect factor was a simpler theory and explained the contrasts. Others had shown that the differences could be accounted for on the basis of SES. The counter coming back from Herrnstein was that SES is the primary result of innate intelligence rather than the reverse. So, there was a kind of chicken and egg problem. Which was the cause and which was the result? My answer was to examine the IQ tests more closely and to show on a prima facie basis that they directly measure language/dialect proficiency which is acquired. For persons who do not know the language/dialect of the testing well, or at all, lower scores (all else being equal) cannot reasonably be attributed to “innate” intelligence because that is not what the tests directly assess.

The question would remain incompletely resolved for a few more years, but in the meantime, the editor of the journal where my 1997 paper was to be published insisted that I also deal with “social Darwinism,” an outcropping of the 19th century philosophy that dominates the textbooks recently recommended for Louisiana high school students by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

On April 26, 1998, Eric Harris wrote about his plan to improve society “by boosting natural selection.”  Then, almost a year later after a great deal of planning and forethought, on April 20, 1999, the birthday of the most infamous person of the 20th century, Eric carried out his plan. It would come back to haunt the supporters of Darwin’s 19th century philosophy about the survival of the fittest. In honor of the Darwinian orthodoxy, that person Eric Harris honored had written:

if this law [the Darwinian dogma of natural selection by survival of the fittest] did not prevail, any conceivable higher evolution (Höherentwicklung) of organic living beings would be unthinkable (for discussion see Weikhart, 2009, p. 36; and dozens of other books on this subject).

On the day he and Dylan Klebold acted out his plan, Eric Harris wore a teeshirt emblazoned with the words “NATURAL SELECTION.” The date of the crime, April 20, 1999 would have been the 110th birthday of Adolf Hitler.

Three quarters of a century earlier, Clarence Darrow defended a similar pair of murderers who killed 14 year-old Bobby Franks in 1924. The famous Darrow is said to have given his longest and perhaps his best defense ever pleading against the death penalty for one of his clients. He said:

This terrible crime was inherent in his organism, and it came from some ancestor… It is hardly fair to hang a 19-year-old boy for the philosophy that was taught him at the university? (Scopes, 1925, pp. 178-179, 182)

According to the historical record, the murderers, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, were extraordinary intellectuals. They were smart enough to connect the dots. One of the spokespersons at the recent discussion of biology texts in Louisiana questioned whether Eric Harris knew enough Darwinian philosophy to apply it by killing 12 students, one teacher, and injuring 21 others on April 20, 1999. How hard is it to see that “survival of the fittest” entails death to anyone less than a Nietzschean superman–the fittest. Adolf Hitler read it that way and hardly ever gave a speech or wrote a treatise in which he did not emphasize the idea that it was the goal of the German people in both of the great wars of the 20th century to kill off the unfit (Wiekart, 2009).

At the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal Dr. Leo Alexander, who worked with the Chief American Counsel,  explained the view which Hitler attributed directly to the 19th century philosophy of Charles Darwin about the “unfit” which would come to mean anything less than the “fittest.” The Germans came believed:

. . . that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived. This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. (1949, p. 45)

The first “unfit” persons on the list to be destroyed were

the mentally defective, psychotics (particularly schizophrenics), epileptics and patients suffering from infirmities of old age and from various organic neurologic disorders such as infantile paralysis, Parkinsonism, multiple sclerosis and brain tumors. (1949, p. 41)

But the list did not end there:

Gradually, the sphere . . . was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted, and finally all non-Germans. But is it is important to realize that the infinitely small wedged-in lever from which the entire trend of mind received its impetus was the attitude towards the non-rehabilitatable sick. (1949, p. 45)

It might be possible for the defenders of the 19th century orthodoxy to argue that Hitler was an aberration, as were Leopold and Loeb, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, and, in fact, all the German people who followed Hitler like ravenous wolves, starting World War II and killing millions of helpless civilians in addition to military combatants. But for anyone seeking that route to a defense of Darwinian philosophy it would be a good idea to stop a while and read the book by astronomer Fred Hoyle, who wrote:

The modern point of view that survival is all has its roots in Darwin’s theory of biological evolution through natural selection. Harsh as it may seem, this is an open charter for any form of opportunistic behavior. Whenever it can be shown with reasonable plausibility that even cheating and murder would aid the survival either of ourselves personally or the community in which we live, then orthodox logic enjoins us to adopt these practices, just because there is no morality except survival. (1983, p. 8).

2000-2010: The Present Decade

Three years after its first appearance, my paper challenging the theory of the meritocracy (Oller, 1997) would be republished by an invitation from a different editor in the journal of geniuses, Mensa.Although it is not well-known, in his 1874 Descent of Man (2nd edition published in New York by A. L. Burt, Company), Charles Darwin was very explicit in his theory that Blacks are closer to apes than Whites. According to himself, Blacks came down out of the trees a little later.  The impact would be felt for more than a century and a half and would reverberate in some of the most dramatic events of all recorded history. Mintz (1972) wrote,

Ab initio, Afro-Americans were viewed by these intellectuals as being in certain ways unredeemably, unchangeably,  irrevocably, inferior. (p. 387)

Or as one editor remarked in Science,

That generation of scientists believed that no artificial process of education or forced evolution would ever enable the Blacks to catch up. (p. 506)

At the beginning of the 21st century, however, a logicomathematical argument would be developed showing that “nonverbal” tasks absolutely depend on concepts that are only attainable by acquiring a high degree of proficiency in some natural language (Oller, Kim, & Choe, 2001). It might be English, Chinese, Korean, or pick a language, but to do really abstract nonverbal reasoning, the underlying concepts of some language must be achieved. The proofs show that such acquisition cannot proceed unless certain foundations of a distinctly linguistic sort are laid. Without going into detail, for instance, in order to build up conjoined propositions containing complex argument/predicate relations, it is first necessary to build up the arguments and the predicates. The problem for a person who has no linguistic concepts at all is very much like a person who must build a house of bricks but has not made any bricks yet and has no way to obtain any.

In addition to the logicomathematical proofs (see Oller, Kim, & Choe, 2001) a series of experimental studies with bilinguals (Oller, Kim, & Choe, 2000a, 2000b; Oller, Kim, Choe, & Hernandez, 2001) showed that the best predictor of nonverbal test scores was invariably the stronger language of the bilinguals (Spanish/English and Korean/English), not another nonverbal task of a different sort. These results with bilinguals refute the meritocracy theory as well as the implication drawn from Darwin’s theory about Blacks from his Descent of Man.

Also, the fact that ordinary truth resides only in representations and not in material facts themselves suggests the deeper problem for orthodox biology. The problem is how to get the distinct human capacity to represent any facts truly. Before that, how is it possible for random arrangements of particles of matter first to emerge from nothing, and then to accidentally arrange themselves into the polymer chains necessary to every part of the biosphere. The human language capacity is crucial because without it nothing whatever could be discovered and we would not be having this discussion.

Einstein saw the latter as the greater problem writing:

The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility. (Albert Einstein, 1936, p. 61)

A Racy Theory

The entire scientific discussion of IQ in relation to language/dialect proficiency shows the poverty from a theoretical point of view of the 19th century Darwinian claims about race. It also uncovered the sinister and direct line connection between that 19th century philosophy and the view that Blacks are inferior.

Most Americans are unaware of efforts in the United States to cleanse the “gene pool” (Black, 2003). They do not know about the Eugenics Records Office (ERO) that existed in this country from 1910 until 1939, nor of its association with the Station for Experimental Evolution (SEE—destined to become the prestigious Cold Spring Harbor Lab; also see Allen, 1995; Kamin, 1995a, 1995b; Sedgwick, 1995). Eventually the American Eugenics Office went underground as the Pioneer Fund which supported research leading to the racy claims of Jensen, Herrnstein, and their colleagues. It was they who argued that IQ tests are unbiased measures of innate intellect and that those tests, therefore,  show the inferiority of Blacks.

Connecting the circle all the way back to the 19th century philosophy of Darwin, the whole aim of the American Eugenics Movement was to prevent the mingling of supposedly “superior” with “inferior” genes. Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf about “Negroes in the Rhineland” with the aim of “ruining the White race.” He made the connection to Darwin’s 1874 theory of staggered descents from distinct ape ancestors, by writing of “monstrosities halfway between man and ape” and so on. There are so many books and resources on the historical record of Hitler’s use of the 19th century claims about “natural selection” to justify the killing of millions that there is no need to go further. False ideas have ugly consequences. Does killing off the weak actually ensure the advance from ape to man? Is it the source of life and the unique human language capacity and all that goes with it? Is that theory dead and gone? Hardly. Recall Suddendorf’s argument from 2008 in the just prior post about the growing distance, according to him, between man and living primates.

In my just previous post, I already showed how present day biological science disputes any sort of continuity between the unique human language capacity and the communication systems and intellectual abilities of other primates. In fact, according to Suddendorf’s comments on Penn, Holyoak, and Povinelli (2008), the same sort of discontinuity is a pervasive problem across all species. Interestingly, Suddendorf attributed such gaps to the killing off of neighboring but weaker and less fit species. Should the ongoing discussions of current biological science be discussed in biology books for high school students? Or should the 19th century dogma be presented as the absolute unquestionable scientific truth? That is the question that remains.

TNRs at the Basis

In the meantime, sound theory and a great deal of empirical research show that ordinary true reports, TNRs, form the necessary basis for the viability of all life. The most critical properties of TNRs are strictly formal in the sense of mathematical logic and are absolutely unique to TNRs. For one, TNRs are the only representational systems that are sufficiently well-formed to determine anything whatsoever about the material world. This is thedeterminacy property of TNRs. For another, because of their valid mapping onto some particular fact(s) in the material world, TNRs become connected with it and with each other. This is the connectedness property. Finally, because of their connections with actual particulars and thus with the whole scope of the past, present, and future of the material world, TNRs are the only representational systems that validly generalize, exactly to the limit of the similarities of the particular facts which TNRs single out for attention from one context to another. With TNRs the generalizability extends to all possible similars whether they are factual or merely imagined. This is the generalizability property. Sometimes they have been referred to as “perfections” (Oller, 1996a, 1996b), but only in the sense of their being relatively, a formally proved, more complete (all else being equal) than all other systems of representation.

In 2005 and 2007, additional proofs were published (Oller, Chen, Oller, & Pan, 2005; Oller & Chen, 2007) showing that the common chronological order of events in a narrative, where events A, B, C, and so on are reported in the same order as they occurred in corresponding TNRs 1, 2, 3, and so on, where 1 maps to A, 2 maps to B, 3 maps to C, and so on, are universally the simplest possible and (all else being equal) must be the easiest to comprehend, to produce, to recall, and to learn from. This idea was implicit in the Spanish language program written by John Oller Sr. (Oller, Sr., 1963-1967). As noted, he called it, “meaningful sequence.” Later, I would call it “episodic organization” but the idea remains the same. It also would turn out to be (see proofs by Oller & Chen, 2007) the necessary basis for TNRs and for all valid measurement in the sciences.

Are such logicomathematical arguments related to biology? Of course, they are. As we penetrate more and more deeply into the nature of sign systems in general, we are also learning more about how they break down; hence, the connection of all the foregoing to the study of communication disorders (Oller, Oller, & Badon, 2006, 2010; Oller, & Oller, 2010). Fictions in the genome can be seen as unexpressed genes; errors as the basis for genetic disorders such as sickle cell anemia to pick just one where a single misplaced element out of a sequence of some 600 produces the disorder; and lies as viruses that invade organisms and misrepresent their own genetic material as belonging to the invaded organism. Nonsense in biological representations can also be found floating in vaccines that contain fragments of animal proteins that are foreign litter that needs to be expelled from persons injected with them.

Factors interfering with and disrupting TNRs mess up biological communication systems. As demonstrated throughout all the discussions in the posts on this blog, when disruptive influences such as the neurotoxic/genotoxic thimerosal is introduced directly into bodily tissues, communications systems from DNA all the way to human language and its social benefits are tampered with. Throw in some additional toxins, disease agents, foreign animal proteins, viruses, and the like, and should we be surprised to find that we have done harm in producing anaphylactic shock, seizures, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (also called Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome by the CDC), gut disease, autism, and too many other disease conditions to name?

The theory of TNRs merely spells out in relation to biochemistry what is obvious at the higher level of social systems. For instance, with respect to high stakes communication in education, commerce, and politics, see Oller and Giardetti (1999). Introducing a lot of false information and noise (random mutations) does not make communication systems more efficient. For that reason, the notion that death and mayhem will naturally (by the death of the unfit) lead from something like an amoeba to a human being can be seen to be a deficient theory. That is why the astronmer, Fred Hoyle, referred to the biological orthodoxy of 19th century Darwinism as “a theory which could be seen to be unworkable” (1983, p. 25). Harvard paleotologist, Stephen Jay Gould put the problem this way:

We fancy ourselves the only true students of life’s history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the process we profess to study (1977a, p. 14).

If Darwin’s theory were proposed by anyone as an explanation of language acquisition by human children, say, that they learn languages by being randomly mutated and naturally selected for survival or extinction, that theory would just be regarded as absurd. So, here is my question: Why is it unscientific to challenge the Darwinian orthodoxy? What special privilege makes it “the only trajectory” of modern thought that is allowable.

I am reminded of the conversation between Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock in Two Week’s Notice. She says he is the “most selfish human being on the planet” to which he responds, “Why that’s just silly. Have you met everyone on the planet?” Have the proponents of Darwin’s blunt, blind, and mute tools of random change and killing off of the unfit actually examined all other possible lines of thought?

References

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Oller, J. W., Jr. (1993). Reasons why some methods work. In J. W. Oller, Jr. (Ed.),Methods that work: ideas for literacy and language teachers (pp. 374-385). Boston, MA: Heinle and Heinle.

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Oller, J. W., Jr. (2000). Monoglottosis: What’s wrong with the idea of the meritocracy and its racy cousins? Mensa Research Journal, 45, 10-48. Reprinted by invitation from Oller (1997), Applied Linguistics, 18 (4), 467-507.

Oller, J. W., Jr. & Chen, Liang. (2007). Episodic organization in discourse and valid measurement in the sciences.  Journal of Quantitative Linguistics, 14, 127-144.

Oller, J. W., Jr., Chen, L., Oller, S. D., and Pan, N. (2005). Empirical predictions from a general theory of signs. Discourse Processes, 40(2), 115-144.

Oller, J. W., Jr. & J. Giardetti, J. R. (1999). Images that work: Creating successful messages in marketing and high stakes communication. Westport, Connecticut: Quorum Books.

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Oller, J. W., Jr., Kim, K., & Choe, Y. (2000a). Applying general sign theory to testing language (verbal) and nonverbal abilities. Language Testing, 17(4), 377-396.

Oller, J. W., Jr., Kim, K. & Choe, Y. (2000b). Testing verbal (language) and nonverbal abilities in language minorities: A socio-educational problem in historical perspective.Language Testing, 17(3), 341-360.

Oller, J. W., Jr., Kim, K., & Choe, Y. (2001). Can instructions to nonverbal IQ tests be given in pantomime? Additional applications of a general theory of signs. Semiotica, 133(1/4), 15-44.

Oller, J. W., Jr., Kim, K., Choe, Y., & Hernandez-Jarvis, Lorna. (2001). Testing verbal (language) and nonverbal abilities in children and adults acquiring a nonprimary language.Language Testing, 18(1), 33-54.

Oller, J. W., Jr., & Obrecht, Dean H. (1968). Pattern drill and communicative activity: A psycholinguistic experiment. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 6, 165-174.

Oller, J. W., Jr., & Obrecht, Dean H. (1969). The psycholinguistic principle of informational sequence: An experiment in second language learning. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 7, 165-174.

Oller, J. W., Jr., & Oller, S. D. (2010). Autism: The diagnosis, treatment, and etiology of the undeniable epidemic. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Oller, J. W., Jr., Badon, L. C., & Oller, S. D. (2010). Cases: Introducing communication disorders across the life span.  San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing, Inc.

Oller, J. W., Jr., Oller, S. D., & Badon, L. C. (2006). Milestones: Normal speech and language development across the life span. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing, Inc.

Oller, J. W., Jr., & Sales, B. D. (1969). Conceptual restrictions on English: A psycholinguistic study. Lingua, 23, 209-232.

Oller, J. W., Sr. (1963-1967). El espaňol por el mundo (La Familia Fernandez, Primer Nivel; Emilio en España, Segundo Nivel; Coloquios Culturales, Field Test Edition). Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica Films, Inc.

Patterson, Colin. (1981). Interviewed by Brian Leith. The Listener, 106, 390.

Peirce, C. S. (1897). The logic of relatives. The Monist, 7, 161 – 217. Also in C. Hartshorne & P.Weiss (Eds), (1932), Collected Papers of C. S. Peirce, Volume 2 (pp. 288 – 345). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Penn, D. C., Holyoak, K. J., & Povinelli, D. J. (2008). Darwin’s mistake: Explaining the discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 31, 109-178. DOI:10.1017/S014525X08003543

Penn, D. C., Holyoak, K. J., & Povinelli, D. J. (2009). Universal grammar and mental continuity: Two modern myths. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 32(5), 462-464. DOI:10.1017/S014525X09990719

Reichenbach, Hans. (1938). Experience and prediction: An analysis of the foundations and the structure of knowledge. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Russell, Bertrand. (1950). An inquiry into meaning and truth. London: George Allen & Unwin.

Scopes, J. T. (1925). World’s greatest court trial. Cincinnati : National Book Co.

Sedgwick, John. (1995). Inside the Pioneer Fund. In Jacoby and Glauberman (1995, 144-161).

Suddendorf, T. (2008). Explaining human cognitive automorphies. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 31, 147-148. DOI:10.1017/S014525X08003737

Tarski, A. (1956). The concept of truth in formalized languages. In J. J. Woodger (Ed. and Trans), Logic, semantics, and metamathematics (pp. 152–278). Oxford, England: Oxford University. (Originalwork published 1936)

Tarski, A. (1949). The semantic conception of truth. In H. Feigl &W. Sellars (Eds.),Readings in philosophical analysis (pp. 341–374). New York: Appleton. (Original work published 1944)

Weikart, Richard. (2009). Hitler’s ethic: The Nazi pursuit of evolutionary progress. New York: St Martin’s Press (Palgrave Macmillan).

Posted in 19th century philosophy, Adolf Hitler, Albert Einstein, autism epidemic, biological control systems, chimpanzees and language, Clarence Darrow, Columbine murders, disease agents as factors in autism, human language capacity, language acquisition, Leopold and Loeb, Louisiana biology books, mundane truth, Nuremberg trials, ordinary truth, Social Darwinism, theory of true narratives, TNR theory, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Autism, Vaccines, and the Louisiana Biology Books

This post shows the scientific connections between autism, vaccines, and the deficiencies in the biology textbooks recently recommended for high schools by the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). It answers the recent post by philosopher (Forrest B) who has 4 papers in the Web of Science database defending 19th century Darwinian philosophy, cited 1 time, compared against 41 scientific papers for Oller JW cited hundreds of times, and 255 for Wakefield AJ in medicine and biology (gastroenterology) cited many more times. (See Wakefield’s 2010, Callous Disregard.)

The essence of Barbara Forrest’s post on December 2, 2010 at 2:20 AM was to question the connections between autism, vaccines, and the biology books recently recommended for Louisiana high school students by BESE. The books were challenged on the basis of current scientific evidences as being outdated, dogmatic, and incorrect at many points while they were defended on the basis of 19th century philosophy.

In his comment on the BESE discussion, Mark Moseley, was correct in suggesting, at least, that critics of the outdated, doctrinaire, dumbed down books spoke about current biological science, while the defenders of the 19th century orthodoxy (who would win BESE’s approval, and who had not read the “new” biology textbooks) defended the books on the basis of 19th century dogma. Does the defense of the books sound like circular reasoning? That’s because it is. The defense of the dogma relies on more of the same. But is it true?

One of the points defended was Aristotle’s definition of epigenetics grounded in his observations of stages of development in a chicken embryo—stages that have nothing to do with modern epigenetic studies which concern, among other things interactions between DNA and retroviral processes that modify DNA. Such processes are now known to be pervasive and require radical rethinking of the principle that Francis Crick called “the central dogma” of biology.

The biology books, for this year, incidentally, were near verbatim copies of the ones on display 8 years ago, but these have new copyright dates, some as recent as 2012. But that’s two years from 2010, isn’t it? And when were these books actually written?

One high school biology teacher, in defending the “new” books (which she had not reviewed) said, “We don’t have time to teach epigenetics” which she started to define in a way that showed she didn’t know what it is about. Another defender of the status quo, a gaunt impressive scholarly looking LSU professor, an expert in epigenetics, argued (at the BESE meeting on December 7, 2010) in favor of the current list of books on the basis of his experience with high school biology texts back when he was in high school in Louisiana.

He argued that studying anomalies refuting basic claims of current genetic theory, ones he is uncovering now in his own current research at LSU, would be too difficult for Louisiana high school students. According to him, they first need to learn the simpler, though incorrect, orthodox theory about the genetic code which he believes makes it easier for them to understand the Darwinian philosophy. Privately, he admitted that the long rejected Lamarckism comes closer to a valid explanation of what epigenetic research is uncovering, but to present Louisiana high schools students with the problems that are coming up, would only confuse them. Had he read the books? “No,” he said he had not.

The essence of the problem can be seen in the diagram from Francis Crick’s original “dogma” proposed in 1958 and defended in 1970. The dogma was that information flows only from DNA to RNA and then to proteins, never from the cell’s proteins back to DNA.

The “central dogma” defines the problem presented by current epigenetic findings. Retroviruses, in particular, refute the dogma. The current findings are not too difficult for high school students to understand, but they do change the game.

They are like Pasteur’s long neglected demonstrations (1859-1864) that life does not spontaneously arise from “inert” matter. Pasteur’s question was this:

Could not matter, perhaps, organize itself? Or posed differently, could not creatures enter the world without parents, without forebears? This is the question I seek to resolve. (Pasteur, 1864, p. 1)

Pasteur 1864 On Spontaneous Generation is easily understood by high school students and is definitive with respect to the present controversy over the biology textbooks. Pasteur is credited with ushering in the germ theory of disease, providing a basis for sanitation as well as well as the theory underlying vaccination, by demonstrating that the theory of spontaneous generation was false. The fatal implication of the latter finding for the Darwinian orthodoxy (that chance gives rise to the whole biosphere) was supposedly removed by supposing that what could not occur in Pasteur’s beakers over several years time, could occur in some prebiotic soup, provided the experiment took place over 1.1 billion years or so.

The Hurdle and the Pitfall

Since Pasteur and Darwin (who were contemporaries), science has advanced a lot, especially in linguistics and genetics and in our understanding of sign systems in general. When Darwin proposed random mutation and natural selection as the blind, mute, blunt tools that supposedly generated by accident all the order of the universe, he was actually just talking about the biosphere. However, his theory has been transmogrified into a more general all-encompassing philosophy that is, supposedly, made more plausible by adding a few billion years, 20 or so for the whole universe, about 4.6 for the earth, and 3.5 (according to one grisled LSU presenter who was absolutely certain about it all) for the first living organism which, according to the dogma, somehow muddled forward through death and mayhem to arrive eventually where we are today with all the diversity of the present biosphere. I guess I should throw in here that some of my best friends believe that scenario. However, as Will Rogers is sometimes quoted as saying, “It ain’t what you don’t know that hurts you. It’s what you know that ain’t so. That’s what hurts you.”

The problem for scientists is that mathematical logic and the empirical data are not cooperating well with the dogmatic 19th century orthodoxy. That dogma runs into scientific problems that are, from the side of mathematical logic, infinitely higher than Richard Dawkin’s Mount Improbable on the one hand, and that are accompanied by genetic pitfalls that are are as deep and irremediable as death and extinction on the other hand. Meanwhile, data from every conceivable source keep coming up that just don’t fit the predictions of the 19th century dogma.

The fossil record is void of viable transitions as noted by paleontologist, Stephen Jay Gould (1977a, 1977b) and the mathematical problems of getting order from chance interactions of atoms, according to astronomer Fred Hoyle (1983), only get worse as we stretch out the time scale. Hoyle concluded that the orthodox dogma of biology can easily be seen to be false.

The orthodox theory (“a trajectory which all lines of thought must follow,” according to Teilhard de Chardin) requires that random changes in nothing at all can lead to the material atoms of the visible universe, then to galaxies, our solar system, and the earth’s delicately balanced ecosystem. From there more random arrangements of atoms must accidentally produce the polymers of life, the first organism, and eventually the whole of the present biosphere including the unique human language capacity—the capacity which enables us to discuss all these things.

The essential difficulty is that every step presents a logical problem that has been shown to be insurmountable by strict mathematical logic. The engineering problem posed by irrefragable proofs is how to successfully model the claims of the 19th century dogma in a way that works computationally. That is, the engineering problem is to show how matter can accidentally arrange itself into all the order required for life’s proteins, for DNA and the living organisms that can read it and interpret it into proteins of life, and so forth. A viable computational model for any of the foregoing steps, however, is still missing.

Buried within the discussion that has both preceded and followed the December 7, 2010 BESE meeting about the biology books is a valid question. implied by Barbara Forrest, Mark Moseley, and others:

How are autism, vaccines, the language capacity, genetics, epigenetics, retroviruses, toxicology, embryology, brain development, and the unique human language capacity related to scientific challenges of 19th century Darwinism — challenges that are more and more evident on every hand?

Mark Moseley implies that the 4D Ultrasound movie showing an unborn baby smiling in the womb (thanks to scans provided by Dr. Stuart Campbell at Create Health Clinic in London) is only distantly related to the more legitimate questions of modern biology that advocates of the 19th century dogma believe ought to be, exclusively (no other options), found in the high school textbooks. No questions or objections to that theory, according to its defenders, should be allowed.

That aside, I believe that Forrest and Moseley suggest some genuine questions of their own that should be addressed. They deserve an explicit answer showing how the subjects in the title of this post are related. The research showing the connections between autism, vaccines, and biological science has been developed over several decades and has reached that level where it can easily be understood by high school biology students.

Let’s begin with some observations about the now known links between the on-going autism epidemic and vaccines. From there we can easily see the basis for all the other connections.  The arguments are abstract at their basis, but the current state of science and our present communication tools make them easily accessible. They are within reach of Louisiana’s high school students and their teachers.

The Issues Are Biological

According to The Age of Autism authors, Olmsted and Blaxill (2010), one thing that is agreed on in all of the ongoing controversies about the growing autism epidemic is “the centrality of biology, whether it’s genetics or toxicology, in getting to the roots of the autism problem” (p. 294).

Another point on which the agreement goes back to the diagnosis of 11 cases of autism by Leo Kanner (1943) is that autism has been defined from the beginning by its disruption of “those functions distinctively human” (Olmsted & Blaxill, 2010, p. 295)—especially, damage to the unique human language capacity and all the social connections that capacity normally enables.

There is an overwhelming body of evidence from toxicology research showing that autism (and its related problems of gut disease, sensory issues, seizures, etc.) and its “behavioral” manifestations (hand-flapping, head-banging, panic tantrums that can last for hours, etc.) are caused by toxins (notably organic mercury, especially, ethylmercury), disease agents (measles virus and rubella are known factors), and their interactions (Oller & Oller, 2010; Olmsted & Blaxill, 2010; and the references in both these books).

Sad to say, the most important sources of the offending factors are medicinal procedures with vaccination at the top of the list followed by dentistry’s use of silver (mercury) fillings.

The injurious factors causing the main symptoms of severe autism (damage to linguistic capacity, gut disease, sensory abnormalities, motor tics and/or loss of motor control in speech) invariably involve disruption of genetic and epigenetic interactions from DNA, through RNAs (many of them highly transient), to bodily proteins and organic systems (especially the gut and brain). The cascading series of disruptions are known from many toxicology studies and sound theory to affect communications between the body’s defense and repair systems right down to the level of the molecular identifiers of an individual’s cells and the mitochondrial engines that enable us to produce energy.

In a nutshell, we know that autism involves disruptions in communication systems from the body’s immune defenses dependent on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA all the way up to the neurological development of the central nervous system and the distinctly human language capacity.

At the basis of all such disorders as autism, and of its related disease conditions, are disruptions of biological language systems. From genetics upward, the language metaphor in biology, is the only game in town. If it were not for damage to the human language capacity that characterizes severe autism, it would not be the devastating disorder that it is. So, it follows that the unique human language capacity is central to biology and to the understanding of all the disorders, diseases, and injuries that disrupt the biological language systems from DNA upward. All disorders, diseases, and even mortality itself (and the extinction of a species) must involve (no exceptions) disruptions of the sort that are now known to be causal factors in the autism epidemic.

The Uniqueness of Human Language

As surprising as it seems, the entire edifice of 19th century Darwinian philosophy is being challenged. The most severe challenges are not so much the millions of missing transitions in the fossil record, something that Gould admitted and dismissed back in the 1970s, nor even the deeper mathematical problem posed by proofs (e.g., Hoyle, 1983) that “inert” matter cannot accidentally arise from nothing at all. It is true that matter cannot arrange itself magically into the polymers required for living things, and so on and so forth for every required transition to get from nothing at all to the whole of the biosphere. Not to minimize any of those infinitely high mountains and equally deep valleys, 19th century philosophy is currently being most seriously challenged on the basis of the entirely evident uniqueness of the human language capacity. Dolphins and apes are not having committee meetings to try to figure out how to deal with the problems presented to them by oil spills and pesticides.

It was in 1972 that Noam Chomsky first insisted on the proposition that for the human language capacity, there must be “special design.” Though he would be accused of being a “creationist” on that account, he actually preferred Gould’s theory that beneficial mutations in DNA could accumulate gradually over time and then suddenly express themselves, as in, for example, a talking ape.

Evolutionist, Terrence Deacon (1997), puts the scientific puzzle faced by the Darwinian orthodoxy in this way: first, he asserts that we are “apes” (the view held in the BESE adopted high school texts), but, on the other hand, we have the unique human language capacity (a problem the biology texts in BESE’s list, ignore). Thus, Deacon supposes, the current science of biology faces a “conundrum.” It is one not much worried about by apes and other species, but it troubles their more evolved cousins: “Where do human minds come from?”

Darwinists of all stripes have held that human minds, and our unique language capacity, come by natural selection from highly intelligent apes, e.g., chimps are pointed to as our nearest surviving biological relatives.

Yet current research with chimps disputes every proposed scenario by which the 19th century orthodoxy might be supported scientifically.

In their article, “Darwin’s Mistake,” Penn, Holyoak, & Povinelli (2008) sum up the ongoing current scientific controversy in the biological sciences and psychology as follows in the journal of Brain & Behavioral Sciences:

the hypothesis we will be proposing in the present paper is that Darwin was mistaken: The profound biological continuity between human and nonhuman animals masks an equally profound functional discontinuity between the human and nonhuman mind (p. 110; also see the same authors comment in the same journal 2009).

Interestingly, 19th century philosophy might suggest that the problem pointed out and under much current discussion, is limited to the “gap” between humans and nonhumans—the often mentioned “missing link.” But that would be a profound error. Thomas Suddendorf (2008), one of the distinguished discussants of the “unpopular hypothesis” proposed by Penn et al. (2008, 2009), argued that the problem they single out is completely general. He generalized the discontinuity to every possible transition across species—thus to all “transitional” positions throughout the whole of the biosphere.

In effect, all of the transitions, according to Suddendorf, involve the same sort of “discontinuities” millions of times over—or in the popular phrasing ever since Darwin, the “missing links” are at every juncture between species and higher classes. Suddendorf wrote:

Every species is unique. Humans are no different (p. 147).

Between them, Penn et al. and Suddendorf make the uniqueness of the human language capacity out to be a serious challenge to the whole of 19th century Darwinian philosophy.

Missing Links in the Biology Books

It was not just the defenders of the 19th century orthodoxy who missed a lot of the biological connections between DNA and human language. The interactions of control systems from DNA to human language are also missing from the biology books recommended by BESE. Here is a short list of huge gaps in the Louisiana biology texts with respect to current biological science:

  1. None addresses the profound and interesting problem of the unique human language capacity.
  2. Epigenetics, retroviruses, and control systems essential to life and the whole of the biosphere are ignored or grossly misrepresented (including HIV; no mention is made of the research with other retroviruses such as SV40 and links to Polio vaccines, cancer, etc.).
  3. Toxins, disease agents, and disruptions of communication systems that lead to disorders, diseases, and mortality are not discussed.
  4. The current slate of BESE biology books for Louisiana consists of near word for word copies of ones presented 8 years ago (but some of the “new” books claim copyrights originating in 2012).
  5. There is no mention of 4D moving pictures of unborn babies that explode many myths coming from 19th century Darwinism.
  6. The BESE appointed committee, according to one of its distinguished members who testified at the meeting on December 7, 2010, rushed through the process at the last minute without examining the books—not even with respect to public comments that were presented and that are required to be considered by law.
  7. Ones with “Louisiana” on the cover were dumbed down, abridged, on cheaper paper, with lower reading level.
  8. Advocates in favor of the list said discussing “epigenetics” and “retroviruses” which challenge Crick’s “central dogma of biology” would be too hard for Louisiana students to understand. (Important epigenetic interactions by retroviruses, which are exceedingly common, modify DNA, contrary to Darwin’s theory and contrary to “the central dogma of biology” from Francis Crick.)
  9. No mention is made in any of the books of Darwin’s claim (1874) in The Descent of Man, that Blacks are closer to apes than Caucasians like himself.

Why was that left out? Interestingly, the orthodox dogma has led to some very unsavory historical connections along with a lot of false science about supposedly useless vestigial organs (that doctors commonly just cut out and throw away) and the rapidly diminishing theory of “junk DNA”…. But those issues are best left for another post. An excellent defense of Wakefield, incidentally, can be found in Olmsted and Blaxill (2010, pp. 260-294).

Meantime, comments on this post are welcomed. And here are the references cited in it.

References

Chomsky, N. A. (1972). Language and Mind. New York: Harcourt.

Crick, F.H.C. (1958). On Protein Synthesis; Symp. Soc. Exp. Biol., 12, 139–163.

Crick, F.H.C. (1970). Central Dogma of Molecular Biology. Nature, 227, 561–563.

Darwin, C. (1874). The Descent of Man (2nd edition). New York: A. I. Burt Co.

Deacon, T. W. (1997). The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of Language and the Human Brain. New York: W. W. Norton.

Dawkins, R. (1996). Climbing Mount Improbable; Norton: New York, NY, USA.

Gould, Stephen J. (1977a). This view of life: the return of hopeful monsters. Natural History 86.6, pp. 22, 24, 28, 30.

Gould, Stephen J. (1977b). This view of life: evolution’s erratic pace. Natural History 86.5, pp. 12, 14, 16.

Hoyle, Fred. (1983). The Intelligent Universe. London: Michael Joseph.

Kanner, L. (1943). Autistic disturbances of affective contact. Nervous Child, 2, 217–250.

Oller, J. W., Jr., & Oller, S. D. (2010). Autism: The Diagnosis, Treatment, & Etiology of the Undeniable Epidemic. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Penn, D. C., Holyoak, K. J., & Povinelli, D. J. (2008). Darwin’s mistake: Explaining the discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 31, 109-178. DOI:10.1017/S014525X08003543

Penn, D. C., Holyoak, K. J., & Povinelli, D. J. (2009). Universal grammar and mental continuity: Two modern myths. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 32(5), 462-464. DOI:10.1017/S014525X09990719

Olmsted, D. & Blaxill, M. (2010). The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-Made Epidemic. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Pasteur, L. (1864). On spontaneous generation. An address delivered by Louis Pasteur at the “Sorbonne Scientific Soirée” of April 7, 1864. Originally in Revue des cours scientifics, 23 Avril 1864, I, 1863-64, pp. 257-264; this text incorporates Pasteur’s handwritten corrections.  English translation commissioned 1993 by Bruno Latour copyright by Alex Levine, all rights reserved.

Suddendorf, T. (2008). Explaining human cognitive automorphies. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 31, 147-148. DOI:10.1017/S014525X08003737

Wakefield, A. J. (2010) Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines–the Truth Behind a Tragedy. New York: Skyhorse Publishing.

Posted in autism, autism epidemic, causation, causation of autism, disease agents as factors in autism, etiology of autism, interactions of toxins and disease agens, measles virus, mercury, toxins as factors in autism, vaccines | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mandatory vaccination? What’s the law and what can I do?

One of the questions I am often asked concerns what parents can do when officials claim that they absolutely must vaccinate their minor children. Is it so?  Can the children be kept out of schools? Can the parents themselves be forced to get vaccinations to maintain employment, in a hospital setting, for example, or prior to foreign travel, for instance? What can be done if the parents want to opt out?

In the Cases book (J. Oller, S. Oller, & Badon, 2010), we have done a review of the history of laws pertaining to communication disorders, an extensive one from the Revolutionary War forward to 2009, and in our Autism book (J. Oller & S. Oller, 2010) we have dealt with the history of vaccines and the theory underlying them. What we have discovered in both instances is that the connection between disorders, man-made disease conditions and world-wide vaccination programs, is deeper than any casual observer might imagine.

Vaccines have often been spoken of as if they were panaceas, solutions to disease problems without serious risks. Or, it has been claimed that the risks are greatly outweighed by the benefits. Are such claims valid? Does the  research, or do the theories underlying the practice of vaccination, support the claim that vaccines involve minuscule risks in comparison to the supposedly much greater risks of childhood diseases? What about the long history of the use of vaccines all over the world?

The 150 year history with vaccines actually shows that vaccine risks have been under-rated and benefits have been over-rated. Are the safety claims made for vaccines and their components, judging from the toxicology research, consistent with the fact that vaccines must challenge immune systems, sometimes very immature systems in tiny infants? And what about toxic exposures to the mother that impact unborn babies during gestation? To suppose that the risks of taking vaccines are merely imagined is a lot like claiming that live fire military exercises are perfectly safe. If we do a bit of thinking about how our immune systems and biochemistry work, it is clear that combining toxins that we already know are harmful, with disease agents that are also harmful, can result in interactions that are even more so. There is good reason, therefore, to critically examine vaccine safety claims and the general doctrine of vaccines from many angles.

Vaccination is universally a second choice to sanitation and hygiene. It is better to stay healthy and keep the immune system operating at peak efficiency than to deliberately expose yourself, or your babies, to disease agents, toxins, and their interactions. It is especially unwise to impose the exposures on tiny infants when their systems are immature and most vulnerable to toxic injuries. Though some pediatricians and advocates for vaccines have claimed that there is no evidence that exposures of the tiniest infants are more harmful than the same sort of exposures for older children, that claim is false.

There is no toxicology research or rational theory suggesting that exposures could possibly be less harmful at earlier stages of development. The opposite is true. All else being equal, earlier exposures must be more harmful. Why is this? It is simply because the more development there is that must take place in the future of a developing organism (or a tiny human being), the more likely it is that a toxic injury will have cascading effects downstream. All else being equal, the earlier the toxic injury takes place, the worse its effects can be expected to be. Hence, toxic exposure from something as ubiquitously available as the small amount of alcohol in a glass of wine, is more likely to do lasting damage during the rapid cell division at or just after conception than, say, nearer to a full-term pregnancy.

Clinical opinions on the issues at stake, even experimental evidence, of which there is a dearth during the earliest stages of human pregnancies, are subordinate to the logic of cell division and DNA replication. In view of the fact that the first two cells must replicate their DNA to pass it on to 4, then 8, then 16, and so on, damage earlier in the cycle has a greater likelihood of affecting either the whole organism, or a greater number of the organism’s cells, than the same sort of exposure at a later stage of development.

There is no logical basis for supposing a scenario where earlier toxic damage results in a lowered risk of deleterious effects. The reverse holds by strict logic. Is Paul Offit’s claim that tiny infants can handle up to 10,000 vaccine administered disease agents in a single exposure reasonable? He actually said this in a paper published in 2002 in the journal of Pediatrics. If it were true, why expose them deliberately to so few mandatory vaccines? There are 14 vaccines in the current CDC “mandatory” schedule. Why so few?

On the other hand, if Offit’s claim is true, why does the baby need any additional help at all? Why not just let the immune systems the baby is born with do their work on thousands of distinct disease agents? In fact, the scientific research actually shows that infants can produce antibodies against more than 10 billion distinct disease agents (Fanning, Connor, & Wu, 1996). So, why are specific artificial challenges necessary at all? Are they necessary, or even salutary? Are childhood diseases running rampant among the Amish people, for instance, because of their religious objections to taking vaccines? They should be if Offit’s arguments were correct. On the other hand, if not, the absence of certain diseases among the Amish people, notably autism, would be evidence against Offit’s claims.

Isn’t the failure of vaccine proponents to ask such questions prima facie evidence that vaccination spokespersons and “research” experts could benefit from more training in foundational theoretical thinking? Or, here is another problem that will give pause to those inclined to take everything the pediatrician says as if it were virtually certain to be true: Consider the established fact that many pediatricians have believed and propagated the notion that infants smile because they have intestinal gas. They suppose this to be true in spite of the fact that more mature children, adolescents, and adults smile because of their contentment, security, recognition, and so forth. They bought into this “gas theory of smiling” because they accepted the notion that babies must learn to smile socially by observing others. However, we now have incontrovertible evidence from babies smiling before birth that the old ideas about imitation and learning to smile have been wrong all along. Those theories have been vaporized along with the gas theory of post-birth smiling. It never was a good theory. Are we not reminded of the Lewis Carroll character, wasn’t it the Red Queen who told Alice, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

When does the amazing change take place so that infants actually start grimacing when they have gas pains? Or, why don’t adults smile when they have gas pains? Should we trust a professional, one who can believe and promote such a remarkably false theory about infant smiling, to inform us about the toxins and disease agents in vaccines? Shouldn’t it give parents pause when the white-frocked individual who believes in the gas theory of infant smiling also tells them that adding multiple toxins, and as many as 10,000 disease agents, and their potential interactions into a single shot can’t hurt their babies? What is Dr. Offit really thinking about? Apparently, he is not taking the toxicity of mercury, aluminum, fragments of animal proteins, and their interactions with disease agents, with each other, and with extraneous viruses from monkeys, pigs, chickens, etc. seriously.

We may wonder whether vaccine proponents who practice pediatrics actually study toxicology? If so, why would they claim that it is safe to put a neurotoxin that has been banned from topical applications (thimerosal) directly into the tissues of a tiny infant, a pregnant mother, or any living mammal for that matter? Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has described the absurdity of doing so as analogous to the “tobacco science” by virtue of which it was claimed for many years that smoking cigarettes had nothing to do with heart disease, lung cancer, and so on. Was it not ridiculous then for tobacco companies to claim no harm for exposing humans to the toxins in tobacco products? Is it any less so for vaccine proponents to claim no harm was ever done by mixing toxins with disease agents galore and expecting good results from the pot pourri even when injected into bodily tissues?

The research suggests that sanitation is better than vaccination as a disease preventative measure. The historical record also shows that it was sanitation that defeated the epidemic infectious diseases of the 19th and 20th centuries rather than the introduction of mandatory vaccines. The great epidemics that peaked in 1918 were not for want of vaccines, but because wartime brings lots of unsanitary conditions. In the Philippines the worst small pox epidemic in the history of the world took place after the U.S. military had effectively given 2.5 vaccinations to all of the 10 million people living there. Did the vaccine prevent small pox? On the contrary, it seems have contributed to a worsening of the epidemic that occurred. There is much more historical evidence along that line and it does not present the happy view of vaccines that the manufacturers have claimed. (There is also the matter of the stockpiling of hundreds of millions of doses of small pox vaccine supposedly to combat the threat of weaponized variants of a disease that was reportedly eradicated in 1977. As noted in another blog, the sinister side of vaccine research and the development of bioweapons is an interesting though hidden part of the same vaccine story.)

There is much historical research evidence favoring sanitation over vaccination. It is, however, only recently coming out in published work by independent researchers, e.g., see the history of both the theory and practice of mandatory vaccinations in our 2010 book on Autism, also see Olmstead and Blaxill 2010.

It now seems clear that the feared “military industrial complex” that former President Eisenhower once worried about, has merged with the interests of the so-called “health professions,” especially the industries that profit from illnesses and their maintenance, e.g. selling you on a drug that you must, according to the manufacturer, use perpetually for the rest of your life. Oddly, the life-time treatment drugs are typically ones that deal only with symptoms, not causes and they often lead to inevitable toxic build-up.

How can we follow the preferred route of avoiding exposures to toxins and disease agents? By washing our hands, faces, eyes, noses, and body, brushing our teeth, eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of rest and exercise. Aren’t these approaches to health and well-being preferable to deliberately exposing our tissues to infectious disease agents, toxins, and their potential interactions?

If Paul Offit’s approach and theory were correct, instead of providing clean water, healthy meals, and sanitary waste disposal in refugee camps, we ought just to vaccinate the daylights out of the people there. But the latter approach would certainly (based on the 150+years of vaccination data) increase the incidence of disease in those camps, while sanitation, clean water, food, and sanitary waste disposal are certain to reduce disease and human misery under such conditions.

The theory underlying vaccination in general not only contradicts the foundations of medical practice (to avoid harming patients) as well as sound rational theory, but vaccines themselves are plagued with a host of additional components and disease agents that come into play surreptitiously. Here, I refer to animal viruses and protein fragments, not to mention traces of toxins left over from processing equipment that are now increasingly coming to light. Many undesirable “adventitious” elements have been found lurking in vaccines that have been promoted as safe for tiny human babies.

If readers have been following the discussions about Rota Teq (Paul Offit’s creation for Merck) and the pig virus found in it, as well as a similar virus found in the recalled Rotarix (also a rotavirus vaccine but this one being produced by GlaxoSmithKline), they know that the government argues no harm will come to humans while the research evidence suggests that such an “adventitious” element can induce “Postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS)” in pigs. This disease in pigs resembles “mad cow disease” and the condition seen in humans known as Subacute Sclerosing Pan Encephalitis (SSPE) as well as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).

Unintentionally feeding the pig viruses in question to human beings poses a genuine health threat that has been known at least since 1998 when Morozov and others wrote about the pig virus in question in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. A search on the Web of Knowledge on September 28, 2010 at 4:26 PM showed that the article detailing the possibility of an infection of that pig virus in human populations has been cited 158 times in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Evidently, there are quite a few researchers who think the pig virus in Rota Teq is worth additional critical study.

Is it sensible to suppose that the Rota Teq vaccine is safe for human babies? Although the pig virus in Rota Teq has supposedly been declared safe for human babies by the Food and Drug Administration, a 2009 study by Victoria et al. in the Journal of Virology, that same pig virus has been found in the stools of some very sick children with what is described as “acute flaccid paralysis”, a problem not very different symptomatically from the wasting disease in pigs, not to mention SSPE and Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in humans. The pig virus in Rota Teq is not directly implicated as the cause of “acute flaccid paralysis” in humans, but the symptoms ought to give pause to the Rota Teq proponents. While the FDA has not pulled Rota Teq from human use, vaccine researchers, in the meantime, are working on a vaccine to protect the pigs against the virus that human children are getting from Rota Teq…  Does this sound like fiction? It isn’t; see Shen et al. 2010.

Can the government invade your very bodily tissues and those of the babies and others that depend on you? For a glimpse into the rational opposition to such encroachment, see Attorney, Mary Holland, Director of the Graduate Legal Skills Program at New York University School of Law. Educated at Harvard and Columbia Universities, Holland has worked in international public and private law. Here she is speaking at the May 26, 2010 American Rally for Personal Rights:

With all the foregoing in mind, what are your rights? Can you refuse a vaccination that you know (or believe) is loaded with harmful disease agents, toxins, and foreign animal protein fragments, and the like? Can you refuse it if the research shows that it can permanently or even fatally injure you or your loved ones?

As a place to start, I recommend consulting folks who are experts on the law and/or have access to expert legal advice on these questions. Here is a resource: http://www.mercola.com/article/vaccines/legally_avoid_shots.htm

I also recommend you consult, VIC at http://www.vacinfo.org/.

If you choose to seek an exemption, here is a site that offers authoritative information and forms by states, including my own which is Louisiana: http://www.vaclib.org/exempt/louisiana.htm

In that connection, here is the relevant law providing for exemptions from vaccination under Louisiana code:

LOUISIANA ADMINISTRATIVE CODE

TITLE 51 PUBLIC HEALTH-SANITARY CODE
PART II THE CONTROL OF DISEASES
CHAPTER 7 PUBLIC HEALTH IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS

LAC 51:II.701 (2006)

§ 701. Immunization Schedule

A. Appropriate immunizations for age for regulatory purposes shall be determined using the current immunization schedule from the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practice (ACIP) of the United States Public Health Service. Compliance will be based on the individual having received an appropriate number of immunizations for his/her age of the following types:

1. vaccines which contain tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, including DTP, DtaP, DT, or Td or combinations which include these components;
2. polio vaccine, including OPV, eIPV, IPV, or combinations which include these components;
3. vaccines which contain measles antigen, including MMR and combinations which include these components.

B. A two-month period will be allowed from the time the immunization is due until it is considered overdue. Medical, religious, and philosophic exemptions will be allowed for compliance with regulations concerning day care attendees and school enterers. Only medical and religious exemptions will be allowed for compliance with regulations concerning public assistance recipients. A copy of the current Office of Public Health immunization schedule can be obtained by writing to the Immunization Program, Office of Public Health, 4747 Earhart Boulevard, Suite 107, New Orleans, Louisiana 70125 or by telephone (504) 483-1905 or toll free 1-800-251-2229. [my bold emphasis]

C. [Formerly paragraph 2:025-1] Any child 18 years or under, admitted to any day care center or residential facility shall have verification that the child has had all appropriate immunizations for age of the child according to the Office of Public Health schedule unless presenting a written statement from a physician stating that the procedure is contraindicated for medical reasons, or a written dissent from parents. [my emphasis] The operator of any day care center shall report to the state health officer through the health unit of the parish or municipality where such day care center is located any case or suspected case of reportable disease. Health records, including immunization records, shall be made available during normal operating hours for inspection when requested by the state health officer. When an outbreak of a communicable disease occurs in a day care center or residential facility, the operator of said day care center or residential facility shall comply with outbreak control procedures as directed by the state health officer.

D. [Formerly paragraph 2:025-2] On or before October 1 of each year, the operator of each day care center, nursery school, or residential facility enrolling or housing any child 18 years or under, shall submit a preliminary immunization status report of all children enrolled or housed as of that date. Forms for submittal shall be provided by the state health officer, and shall include identifying information for each child, and for each dose of vaccine received by the child since birth. Any child exempt from the immunization requirement shall also be identified, and the reason for exemption given on the form. [my emphasis] After review of the form(s) by the state health officer or his or her designee, the day care center, nursery school, or residential facility operator will notify, on or before December 31 of each year, the parent or guardian of all enrolled or housed children, who are not compliant, with the immunization requirement of §§ 701.A and 701.C of this Part.

AUTHORITY NOTE: Promulgated in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 40:4(A)(2) and R.S. 40:5. Also see R.S. 17:170, R.S. 22:215.14, R.S. 40:31.15 and R.S. 44:17.

At the same web site, you will find sample letters and forms if you wish to pursue a Louisiana exemption. The law plainly provides for exemptions. Therefore, it is possible to get one or more exemptions for yourself or minor children under the law. The basis for an exemption may be medical, religious, or philosophical unless you happen to receive “public assistance” in which case you are not allowed to use the philosophical route to an exemption. We might wonder why. Do the authorities regard people on “public assistance” as unable to have or express philosophical objections? That aspect of the rules certainly seem discriminatory, but the bottom line is that anyone in Louisiana willing to do some paperwork can get legal exemption under the law.

Those who insist that vaccines are unavoidable by ordinary citizens are either mistaken or misrepresenting the law. It is probable that some do not know the relevant law or code (or the rights of citizens under the U. S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights). In any case, those who insist that vaccines are unavoidable under the law are evidently mistaken about the authority of the CDC and its state or local counterparts. They may need to be reminded that, according to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, in the United States of America the government serves the people for the benefit of the people and by the consent of the governed. We are not obligated by law to submit to recommendations about vaccines coming from the CDC.

We have the right, and increasingly the moral responsibility, to investigate the CDC’s claims for ourselves. Thimerosal, for example, a preservative still recommended as safe by the CDC and World Health Organization for use in vaccines for infants and pregnant women, is a gene-damaging neurotoxin.

Medical practitioners who recommend the continued use of thimerosal, and claim that it never did any harm to anyone exposed to it,  can hardly justify their claims on the basis of innocent ignorance in view of the vast amount of incontrovertible toxicology research showing this substance to be harmful in the extreme. It is unsafe in any quantity for topical use and has been banned by the FDA from such uses in products for topical application including thimerosal (also known as thiomersal and Merthiolate) and merbromin (another mercury based topical disinfectant and antimicrobial agent marketed under the names Mercurochrome, Merbromine, Sodium mercurescein, Asceptichrome, Supercrome, Brocasept and Cinfacromin). The FDA ban on topical uses, because they were judged to be unsafe, occurred in 1998, but the same toxic mercury was and is still permitted in vaccines. It is harmful in parts per billion to human cells, tissues, and organs when applied topically, so how does it become safe when injected? It is commonly lethal in parts per million. Can it cause SIDS? Fatal seizures? Permanent brain damage. The toxicology shows that it certainly can.

To say there is no evidence that thimerosal in vaccines is (or ever was) harmful, as the CDC persists in doing, is to promote a line of propaganda that anyone who will read the toxicology can discover to be false. The toxicology shows that thimerosal, with its primary ingredient being ethyl mercury (about 50% by weight) is toxic in the extreme. The CDC points to an amazing litany of failed efforts (carefully orchestrated and cherry picked) by the CDC and its collaborators ( see the various meetings and reports of the “Institute of Medicine”) ostensibly trying to discover evidence of harm from thimerosal. Independent researchers who know the toxicology literature will shake their heads in disbelief. Indeed that is what we are doing. The evidence, as Robert F. Kennedy pointed out in 2005, could fill a small library and is being replicated and amplified at an increasing rate. The evidence against the CDC claims is overwhelming and irrefragable.

If automobile manufacturers were engaging in the same sorts of practices, could they avoid prosecution? Is the CDC above reproach? The Institute of Medicine (IOM) in all its various incarnations actually operates much like a puppet at the end of CDC manipulated strings. However, the CDC refers to IOM “findings” as if they were completely objective and independent outcomes motivated only to protect public interests. On the contrary, documents summarized succinctly in Autism 2010 and available on line at Putchildrenfirst.org show the CDC has guided IOM findings.

As a result, there is a groundswell of reasonable opposition to policymakers who keep saying they have done and are doing no harm by injecting (or feeding) babies (and others) known toxins and a plethora of disease agents, which in various combinations are known to produce undesirable consequences especially through their interactions. The claim that such  practices are safe defies the imagination of thinking persons. The argument coming from the pharmaceutical side is that intelligent people who object are being socially irresponsible, that they are acting out of irrational fear, that they are naive.

On the contrary, responsible citizens and independent researchers studying the toxicology would argue that professionals who administer pharmaceutical products without investigating the side effects, interactions, disease agents, and the toxins they contain are being irresponsible. They need to be called to account and the general public, the moms, dads, grandparents, and thinking adults everywhere need to do research for themselves on prescription drugs. Literate people who have access to the internet can learn, and in many instances, based on reading of the relevant research actually know more than the prescribing doctor.

As an example take the expert on Fox News who recently revealed that he knew less than the mother of a child with autism about thimerosal and vaccines. That should not be the case, but it is. See the program on Fox&Friends with Ainsley Earhardt talking with Dr. Marc Siegel, MD and pediatrician and the mother of a child diagnosed with autism after a series of vaccinations, Becky Estepp):

What can it hurt to do some research and reading before agreeing to give our children drugs, vaccinations, or combinations of them? What can it hurt to ask the doctors to do some reading as well? (Dr. Andy Wakefield has said that all the health professionals in the U. S. ought to be required to read Autism 2010 and I would add his book, Callous Disregard and the book mentioned earlier by Blaxill and Olmstead to the required reading list for doctors.) Or, how about getting a second and third “opinion” as the MDs like to say. Personally, I’d rather see the doctors refer to the facts known from toxicology research rather than to their opinions.

It is one of my goals as a university professor and researcher to endeavor to see to it that my own university students know the relevant research better than some of the prescribing MDs who are, sad to say, sometimes acting more as sales agents for pharmaceutical companies than as informed advisors to their patients (e.g., see Jepson & Johnson, 2007, p. 6). This is a sad fact, but I have verified it in more than a few cases through interactions with various MDs. I have been amazed at the toxic combinations that have been prescribed by well-meaning, I believe, but ill-informed practicing MDs.

They and their professional organizations need to be called to account. When the American Academy of Pediatrics and related organizations present the case in favor of toxic mixtures of disease agents, heavy metals (mercury, still recommended in many flu shots; and in vaccines being shipped to “third world” nations), adventitious agents, adjuvants (aluminum) to be injected or ingested, and claim that combinations of say, DPT, MMR, Rota Teq, Rotarix, and the like are as safe or safer than singly administered and widely spaced out doses of the same materials, they reveal an ignorance of simple logic that defies the imagination. They also have to set aside data from multiple clinical trials showing that fevers, seizures, and other adverse indicators rise when vaccines are presented in the “multivalent” forms. Also, CDC published research shows this. When they say that tiny babies, even premature infants of low birthweight, can handle the same dosage of any of the foregoing as easily as full-term larger babies, or older children, they go against essentially all that is known about early development and toxic  injuries.

Is it any wonder that many parents are puzzled and alarmed by the CDC’s mushrooming vaccine schedule? In tandem with the increasing use of vaccines as if they were perfectly safe preventative measures, why is it that the rate of autism is rising faster in the younger cohorts than in older ones? It is generally admitted that toxins are to blame, and, unfortunately, some of the most offensive ones are still being recommended for use in vaccines by the CDC. There is a logical and empirical association between vaccine components and vaccine injuries.

For discussion of an important current case before the U. S. Supreme Court, see the following exchange between Judge Napolitano and Attorney, Jay Sekulow on Fox News. The essential issue is whether the government can compel parents to vaccinate their children. The deeper question is, as they point out, a constitutional one: 

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Posted in autism, autism epidemic, causation, causation of autism, disease agents as factors in autism, etiology of autism, interactions of toxins and disease agens, toxins as factors in autism, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Can a “Nonverbal” Person with Autism Learn to Read and Write?

The Place Where the Streams Came Together

A few years ago, on October 6, 2004, to be exact, at an amazingly opportune change point in my work at the University of Louisiana—at the coincidence of a confluence of seemingly unrelated streams of events involving multiple persons, organizations, and agencies that only God Almighty could have brought together at just that particular time and place—I received an open invitation to submit a proposal for a book or manuscript from Dr. Sadanand Singh, Chairman of the Board and CEO for Plural Publishing: International Publishers for the Health Professions. Sadanand had signed the letter along with his wife, Dr. Angie Singh, President of Plural Publishing.

Back then, I had no idea about the incredible story of the life of Dr. Sadanand Singh, the courageous entrepreneur, scholar, and philanthropist, who had extended the invitation. I knew him from my years as Head of the Department of Communication Disorders at UL Lafayette and as the founder of a couple of other companies including Singular Publishing which all of his colleagues understood as a play on his name. Later, he would multiply the linguistic fun by calling his next publishing company, “Plural.”

I remember him greeting me at our first meeting with a warm handshake on a sunny day in Palm Springs, California, in the spring of 1998. I was there as a representative of my university and department for the national meeting of the Council on Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Dr. Singh had arranged for one of those delicious mid-afternoon out-of-doors snack receptions—the kind where conference participants love to have a cool drink and finger foods while visiting with colleagues and friends. (Also, they can fill up and avoid paying for a more expensive meal somewhere else a little later on. :))

From the moment I first met him I felt as if I had known him all my life. He shook my hand in his right hand and put the left hand on my shoulder as if we were family. He had the warmth of kindness in his touch and the welcome light in his eyes. It was impossible not to feel the love inside the man.

Years later, after his departure from this life (just last spring), I would learn about his world before he founded Singular Publishing in 1990. He actually died on February 27, 2010, but I only learned of his death a couple of months afterward at the Starbucks on the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas, just diagonally across the river from the central Hyatt Regency that gives out onto the River Walk.

Dr. Stephen D. Oller wrote an email to say that he had just learned of Sadanand Singh’s death. I immediately did a search and began to learn about Sadanand’s life before I met him and before he became one of my most valued allies in the quest to get to the bottom of the autism epidemic. It was because of my work with Dr. Singh that my coauthors and I would connect up with Dr. Robert J. Titzer and his discovery that will, I believe, be of great interest to many families struggling with one or more cases of “nonverbal” autism.

But, before I get to that, I need to fill in a background scene that gives depth to the whole story and connects it with the posts preceding this one in a way that will, as they say, cause chills along the spines of my readers.

A Lifetime Before the One I Knew

Only after learning of Sadanand’s death did I find out about the lifetime before I ever knew him. I learned of a former wife, audiologist, Kala Singh, who died in the September 5, 1986 attempted hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73. The plane had been taken over by 4 members of the Abu Nidal Terrorist Organization in Karachi, Pakistan. It was a Boeing 747 en route to New York with a routine stop-over in Karachi. She, Dr. Sadanand Singh and their children, along with a grand total of 360 passengers were on board.

The terrorists were dressed as Karachi Airport security guards armed with assault rifles and pistols. It was learned later that they also carried belts loaded with grenades and plastic explosives. After boarding the plane and taking over, they were joined by a 5th terrorist, Zayd Safarini, who began to collect passports looking for Americans.

Safarini’s first victim was a 29-year-old Indian named Rajesh Kumar, a recently naturalized citizen of the U. S. A., who was headed back to his home in California. Safarini marched Kumar to the front of the plane, forced him to kneel with hands on top of his head, and then after 15 minutes of failed negotiations with authorities shot Kumar in the back of the head in front of many of the passengers. Meantime, while commandos awaiting an order to storm the plane also observed from a distance, Zayd Safarini shoved Kumar through the front door of the Boeing 747 aircraft where the fatally injured man fell to the tarmac about 30 feet below.

The ordeal climaxed 17 hours later when the frustrated terrorists opened fire on the 360 passengers. Moments later the Pakistani authorities ordered the commandos to storm the plane. Sadanand and 2 of his 5 children were injured in the shoot-out and his wife, Kayla at the age of 36 years, was among the 13 passengers and 9 other persons killed in the melee.

The Man I Knew

Before learning about his former life, based on our working relationship as author to publisher, I saw Sadanand Singh as a man of courage, depth, and intelligence. After learning of his former life, to think that he could have picked himself up after such the traumatic events of September 5, 1986, gave me a whole new appreciation for who he was. He had already won my admiration for his courage in permitting and even supporting my pursuit of a way to halt the evident autism epidemic, but knowing about what he had been through himself with the loss of Kayla as well as injuries inflicted on himself and two of his children put everything I knew of him in a different light.

In the course of our work in the author/publisher relationship, I learned that Dr. Singh himself had been approached by special interest groups, who it seemed had the intention of quashing our projects. I am quite certain this happened more than once. It seemed plain enough that they tried to persuade him to put a stop to our ongoing research, and to finished original work which he had already committed to publish.

In my judgment, they underestimated Singh. But in his wisdom, taking note of all the angles, Singh nurtured each of the book projects we did under his direction until he, and his team of editorial peer-review experts, were convinced the book in question was ready for the marketplace and could withstand the heat of professional scrutiny. He wanted gem stones and gold at the end of the examination in the crucible.

Also, as folks following the public dialogs about the autism epidemic know very well, you don’t have to be, as they say, a rocket scientist to imagine the opposition falling on any publisher in the health sciences who may dare to publish findings that clearly implicate power-brokers with looming liabilities. I know that Singh could not have known anymore than we did where our work would eventually lead, but it was clear enough at the outset that we were venturing into deep and shark-infested waters.

The Streams Ran Together

Nevertheless, in my judgment it was only by the grace of God, at such a time and such a place with the best of motives, determination, and a lot of genuine “positive energy” to quote Dr. Singh, that we joined hands. With Singh’s knowledge and full approval I recruited my coauthors Dr. Stephen D. Oller (then still a graduate student at UL Lafayette) and Dr. Linda Cain Badon, CCC-SLP (also a mentor and dissertation committee member for Steve) and the three of us submitted two book proposals.

Dr. Stephen David Oller, now on the faculty of the Department of Biological and Health Sciences at Texas A&M University (Kingsville), actually completed his dissertation in the very PhD Program which I came to the University of Louisiana to build. Interestingly, after 4 years worth of work and the winning of a perpetual grant from the Board of Regents and then Governor Mike Foster (one that has netted $800,000 at the time of this writing) in 1999, the Applied Language and Speech Sciences PhD Program was finally approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents in the summer of 2001. That same summer, Stephen D. Oller announced his independent (and complete surprise) decision to give up a full fellowship in the Cognitive Sciences PhD Program at UL Lafayette, in order, as he put it, “To support the home team” and to focus his attentions on the theory and research that most interested him.

Flashing ahead from the founding of the PhD program in 2001 to the spring of 2005, I will never forget the first telephone conversation with Sadanand. That day on the phone, Singh said he knew who I was, promised to treat me exactly as he would his “best-selling authors” among whom he mentioned Dr. Ray Kent. After being assured that Sadanand had not mistaken me for my famous brother D. Kimbrough Oller, whom he also knew well both by reputation and personally, Singh assured me that he knew me and my work and that he was very interested in seeing the proposals I had in mind. I will never forget his concluding words. He said, “John?” and then he paused until I confirmed that I was listening, and then he said, “Let’s keep the positive energy flowing between us.”

An Unexpected Discovery

Long before we began writing Milestones: Normal Speech and Language Development Across the Life Span which would appear under the Plural Publishing imprint in 2006, we realized that babies at a very early age were taking interest in printed words and the processes associated with literacy. Other researchers had observed that babies are often fascinated with books, more sometimes than their toys, well before they are able to say their first intelligible word. A couple of my own doctoral students at the time (ones whose dissertations I was chairing and in which Dr. Badon was also involved as a committee member), commented that their baby, from well before 10 months of age, would sit and turn the pages of a book as if reading it. (Both of those individuals, Dr. Liang Chen and Dr. Ning Pan, finished up their graduate work in 2005 and Dr. Chen joined the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Georgia.)

Why did babies seem so interested in print? Was the apparent interest just an unexplainable infant curiosity? Was the seeming interest only imitative behavior as some had supposed? Was the baby merely copying what he or she had seen the parents doing? Or was there something more going on?

One day early in the course of our work, I was talking with Dr. Badon about early language and literacy when she pointed to two bits of knowledge that would shape the entire Milestones project, and the Cases book to boot. First, she directed attention to the 4-D ultra-sound technology developed at Create Health Clinic in London by Dr. Stuart Campbell. His moving video images of babies in the womb, according to our reasoning in both the Milestones and Cases books, ought to (and we believe eventually will) vaporize the silly “gas theory” of infant smiling. (Though in 2010, there are still vestiges and hangers on to a theory that never did make sense!)

That false theory does serve another useful purpose however: It does show that ordinary people ought to ask reasonable questions of medical doctors and not to naively accept what they say. Doctors can be completely wrong and the gas theory shows that a majority of those trained in pediatrics and obstetrics are not thinking things through from a logical perspective. This lesson is especially important when it comes to the autism epidemic. Doctors with the MD and plenty of alphabet soup behind their names can be incredibly naive when it comes to thinking things through and many, as Brian Jepson, MD, has noted, do not read the research! But they ought to…

Dr. Campbell’s application of 4D Ultrasound has already helped to change the way human babies are thought of and the way students of human development see themselves. Human babies never do go through a fetal larva stage, or tadpole stage as naive evolutionists once claimed. Human babies have distinctly human DNA from conception and they do all kinds of things in the womb that were supposed to be impossible until weeks or even months after birth, like displaying a perfect social smile—a sign that Dr. Campbell agreed in my first conversation with him shows security and contentment, not stomach gas… In fact, our research shows that all the milestones keep getting shoved farther and farther back into the baby’s earlier and earlier experience, even before birth.

The second key bit of information about ongoing work that Dr. Badon pointed all of us to initially was the work of Dr. Robert J. Titzer. When we first got in touch with him to ask to use his documentary evidence of babies reading before they can talk, his willingness to share everything he had was heart-warming and inspiring. Before any of the really fancy infomercials hit the market, Dr. Titzer gave us permission to put his video clips on our DVD for Milestones and would later extend the same privilege to us for both of the other books pictured above, Cases and Autism.

What Dr. Titzer demonstrated was predictable, at least after the fact, by the theory of abstraction. That theory is explained in detail in the Milestones book. Dr. Titzer’s finding not only moves the age of reading readiness back to the time prior to the child’s first intelligible spoken word, but the theory of abstraction explains how the baby is able to achieve the pragmatic mapping of an abstract sign onto a particular object, e.g., the word “Mama” onto the person who responds to that name, at such an early age.

The principle illustrated in Dr. Titzer’s methods of teaching reading is simple: As soon as a baby, or anyone, is able to understand the meaning of a word or phrase, they have already reached a point in development where they will be able to read the same word or phrase presented in a printed form. In fact, as Aleka Titzer demonstrated at 9 months of age (with her dad’s help) she was able to learn to read lots of words, “bucketloads!” as my youngest grandson Brenden would say, before she could say them out loud. Even after viewing the process, skeptical teachers, speech-language pathologists, reading specialists, psychologists, linguists, and so forth, all need a little time to think it all through.

After they do, the realization that babies really can read comes with a bang. One of my favorite testimonials, recorded by my friend Chad Murdoch, President of M2G Media, features a mom, Lindsey, who happens to be a, yep you guessed it! speech-language pathologist (or if not she sure talks just like one). You have to hear what she has to say. The genius behind Lindsey’s videographed interview is none other than Chad Murdoch, leader of the team at M2G Media. Chad’s company, and he himself, is largely responsible for the “grand slam home run” of an infomercial he has put together for the “Your Baby Can Read” series.

To draw the logical inference about the applicability of Dr. Titzer’s findings, and the implication of the theory of abstraction, for individuals with communication disorders, say, “nonverbal” autism, is not difficult. Also, there is growing evidence that even persons who appear to be hopelessly “nonverbal,” that is, persons who seem unable to speak and thus confined to a kind of imprisonment within their own skins, will, in many cases, be able with appropriate therapeutic intervention following the essential path mapped out by Dr. Titzer’s pioneering work, to become literate.

For an example of a person who became literate, I believe after the age of 11, having become “nonverbal” from before his second birthday. Dov was diagnosed with autism at about the age of 3 years after a regression at about 15 months. See the story of Dov Shestack’s bar mitzvah celebration and the speech he was able to write and present, as told at the end of the lecture by Dr. Tom Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, that I will link right here. Dov could not speak at his recent bar mitzvah but he was able to type out a speech with a keyboard.

Dov's Bar Mitzvah

Dov gave this speech by typing it with his keyboard.

A reasonable inference from all the foregoing is that many persons with what is thought of and referred to as “nonverbal” autism may be able to achieve a substantial level of communication through literacy.

Posted in autism, autism epidemic, causation of autism, disease agents as factors in autism, etiology of autism, interactions of toxins and disease agens, toxins as factors in autism, treatment of autism | 1 Comment

Is vaccination or sanitation more effective against infectious diseases?

Those following the public discussion of vaccines and the known links to bioweapons research—connections that have become increasingly public since the anthrax attack of 2001 that was attributed to Burce Ivins—are not apt to be surprised by published evidence of deceptions and false leads. There are, unsurprisingly, therefore, some who think Ivins was too  convenient a fall guy. Prior to the alleged suicide of Ivins, while the FBI was supposedly hot on his trail, as is well documented, the same government investigators chased the wrong guy, one Steven Hatfill, and ended up losing a $2.85 million dollar settlement to Hatfill that would be paid out at $150,000 per year over the next 20 years at the expense, you guessed it, of the American taxpayer.

The foregoing facts do not tend to inspire confidence in the government’s capacity to protect the public from bioweapons threats. But there is much more to be taken into consideration.

The anthrax attack according to reports about Ivins involved a peculiar variant of the bacterium that could be traced back to the labs at Fort Detrick, Maryland. It can be inferred from this that whoever perpetrated the attack, given a choice would have presumably used a weaponized variant. However, deadly as it was for 5 individuals, the attack largely fizzled as a cruel and frightening experiment in bioweaponry.

Similarly, the so-called “outbreak” of weaponized smallpox in 1971 in Aralsk, Kazakstan in which, according to a published report, Ten persons became infected with smallpox, and three died” (Tucker & Zilinskas, 2002, p. 1), of which 4 of the 10 persons infected had, according to the same source, been previously vaccinated against smallpox.

Nonetheless, in response to revelations coming out in a publicized congressional hearing with defector Kantjan Alibekov, the U.S. government authorities subsequently authorized the stockpiling of 300 million doses of smallpox vaccine to counter the supposed threat. In the murky world of spies, defectors, and the turns and twists of disinformation among the players, it seems reasonable to wonder just how much Kantjan Alibekov, a former director of the Soviet bioweapons research should be trusted. He supposedly defected in 1992 to the west, but his secret revelations suddenly went public when he appeared before a congressional committee in 1998. Why just then? After that, he made a series of additional very public revelations following which the U.S. authorities committed hundreds of millions to the production of an immense stockpile of smallpox vaccine, as if that were the only bioweapon threat on the horizon—and all, evidently, on the basis of the “outbreak” in Aralsk 39 years ago that infected 10 people, 40% of whom had been vaccinated but got smallpox anyway. Was the vaccine an effective preventative?

While thinking persons will no doubt be scratching their heads and wondering just what the CDC experts, not to mention the FBI and the clandestine services are up to, there seems to be little likelihood of the bioweapons people telling the public anything more than they think we can handle.  Independent researchers and thoughtful persons everywhere may be interested in the empirical evidence concerning the century and a half of history of vaccines—this is especially important to examine in view of the virtual flood of praise for the virtues of vaccines flowing from the vested interests involved in the multi-billion dollar industry involved in manufacturing, promoting, and distributing a growing number of vaccines. Is it true that vaccines have saved millions of lives and have protected the world from deadly outbreaks of smallpox?

Is it true, as claimed in a recent broadcast interview with Paul Offit (see his outrage against Andy Wakefield regarding published evidence that MMR is associated with gut disease and that measles virus has been found in a substantial percentage of persons with the autism diagnosis), that his Rotateq vaccine saves 2,000 lives per day from death by diarrhea? Is the CDC, on that basis, recommending the shipment of huge orders of vaccines, especially Offit’s patented Rotateq, say, to Pakistan to prevent dysentery among the tens of thousands of flood victims there? (Thoughtful persons will want to hear the story from Wakefield’s side of the lab in his lecture at Carnegie-Mellon on the autism epidemic, and more recently in his conversation with Joseph Mercola, MD, after his resignation from Thoughtful House.)

Not to make light of any of any disaster, much less of the horrors presently associated with the flooding in Pakistan, it is worth noting that clean drinking water and food, along with adequate waste disposal, and effective temporary sheltering of victims are the rational priorities in Pakistan and in crowded refugee camps and unsanitary conditions wherever they may be found—not rush order vaccination programs.

Why is that?

In addressing this question, we should probably keep in mind that weaponized variants of the supposedly deadly variants of smallpox and anthrax in 1971 and 2001 respectively infected fewer than 50 people in all and resulted in the deaths, if the reports are to be believed, of exactly 8 persons.

Was the rest of the populace protected by having been recently vaccinated against anthrax? The answer is, No. The persons in Congress and the postal workers exposed to the anthrax spores were unvaccinated against it. Did the CDC rush order vaccines to protect them? No, they washed the exposed persons with water and disinfectants and administered prophylactic antibiotics. They also took precautions to disinfect the areas in which the germs were known or believed to have been introduced.

So, why was it that so few were infected and the feared “outbreak” did not occur?

The answer appears to be sanitation rather than vaccination. In fact, the CDC’s own data shows that by the time each of the currently mandated vaccines were introduced to the American public, the deaths formerly attributed to the disease agent in question had, in the much noted case of polio, already bottomed out. Figure 7-9 from Autism: The Diagnosis, Treatment, and Etiology of the Undeniable Epidemic, p. 219, shows that the introduction of each of the currently mandated vaccines produced little or no discernible impact on the declining rate of recorded deaths from infectious disease as reported by the CDC from 1900 to 1996. The chart shown combines data from two different CDC sources and was published for the first time in Autism 2010. It was Dr. Stephanie Cave, MD, who first suggested to me in 2004, that the introduction of vaccines generally came after the disease in question had already been reduced to minimal cases.

Our research found that after the introduction of the polio vaccines cases of polio actually increased. Trevelyan, Smallman-Raynor, and Cliff (2005) note that sanitation played a large historical role during the 20th century in reducing the number of polio cases and according to these experts the Sabin oral polio vaccine itself caused 94% of the 133 confirmed cases that occurred after its introduction. The CDC itself is the ultimated authority for this information (see CDC, 1998). Also, it was through the same polio vaccines that the retrovirus, SV40 , now linked to many cancers and other diseases (see references on pp. 302f in Autism 2010), was distributed to the world population. The CDC admits that the vaccine was the means of the distribution of SV40 but downplays its role in cancers and related diseases. To the contrary, however, leading scientists Urnovitz and Murphy (1996) have argued in a Letter to the Editor of Clinical Microbiology Reviews that the foamy type of simian virus, SV40, may even have transmogrified into human immunodeficiency virus, HIV-1.

This comment has led more than a few in the scientific world, especially those who wonder about the murky realms of bioweapons research, to reflect on World Health Organization efforts to distribute polio vaccine at the time and in the place where the nonhuman retroviruses are suspected of having made the hypothetical jump to the world’s human population. (Just try a Google search on “Polio vaccine in Africa 1970s” and see what pops up. You will be amazed.)

Figure 7-9 from

Oller, J. W., Jr., & Oller, S. D. (2010). Autism: The diagnosis, treatment, & etiology of the undeniable epidemic. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, p. 219.

Cutting to the chase, what caused the spike in deaths beginning in 1914 and peaking in 1918? Answer: World War I. Why? Because of a lack of vaccines? No, but because of crowding, unsanitary conditions, trench warfare, and so forth. As soon as the war ended, in 1918, the number of deaths from infectious disease dropped precipitously. Was this because of vaccines? No, it was because of improved living conditions and sanitation. Men were no longer crowded on ships, in trenches, and so forth.

The fact that epidemics are associated historically with unsanitary conditions is well documented, for instance, in the book, War Epidemics: An Historical Geography of Infectious Diseases in Military Conflict and Civil Strife, 1850-2000, by M. R. Smallman-Raynor and A. D. Cliff (2004) published by Oxford University Press.

More importantly still, as we show in our research book on Autism: The Diagnosis, Treatment, and Etiology of the Undeniable Epidemic (2010), the touted success story of the smallpox eradication, supposedly owed to deliberate exposure to the cowpox, the basis for our very word “vaccine” (from Latin vacca), not only did not prevent epidemics of smallpox, but contrary to the popular story-telling about Edward Jenner, actually caused epidemics of infectious diseases, including smallpox, in England, Japan, Germany, Italy, and notably in the Philippines.

The most notorious case occurred during the U.S. occupation of the Philippines. The record of that epidemic of smalpox was reported to the U. S. President by Chas M. Higgins in 1920. It showed that the population of approximately 10 million Filipinos received 25 million doses of smallpox vaccine at the hands of the U.S. military personnel between 1905 and 1918 when the Philippine population entered into what appears to have been the worst epidemic of smallpox in history: “there were 112,549 cases of smallpox notified, with 60,855 deaths” and yet as Dole (see the same source) points out this grand total amounted to less than 1% of the population. Still, it was remarkable that deaths from smallpox would be at a rate just above 54% with a population that had been vaccinated at an average rate of 250% (that is, with each person being vaccinated on average more than twice).

Not only did the vaccine not protect the people from smallpox, but, on the contrary, the vaccine seems to have been the tipping factor pushing the Philippines into the epidemic. There are other records of similar results, for example, in careful records kept by the people of Leicester, England, who suffered fines by the British government rather than accept mandated smallpox vaccination.

At first the people rigorously followed the recommended regimen of vaccination. Records kept for the whole community from 1849 through 1867 show that during this time, the population of Leicester increasingly submitted to the vaccination requirement until by 1872, 100% of the population had been vaccinated at least once and many individuals more than once.  Then, in 1873, public willingness to submit to vaccination in Leicester fell after the community experienced an epidemic of smallpox and 360 persons died. From then until 1901, the vaccination rate for new birth cohorts continued to fall until by 1901, the rate of vaccinated individuals was less than 10%.

The astonishing outcome of the data kept throughout that period and reported by J. T. Biggs in 1912 (see Autism 2010, pp. 210ff) was that death by infectious diseases in Leicester, including smallpox itself, was higher during the period of higher vaccination rates, while the rate of all such deaths dropped as vaccination rates fell reaching a minimum when the smallpox vaccination rate was its lowest in the decade from  1889 to 1899. During that decade, deaths from smallpox in Leicester were less than half the rate of smallpox deaths during the same period in the British military.

Not to minimize the significance of any epidemic of infectious disease, or any death of any person, but the significance of the threat of smallpox even during the worst periods of history and the most widespread epidemics, has been greatly exaggerated by the promoters of vaccines. In the worst smallpox epidemic in history, the 1918-1920 epidemic in the Philippines, on the average only one person per hundred got sick, and of those who did, fewer than 6/1000 died. Clearly, vaccines were over-rated from the smallpox case forward. It appears that the benefits have been greatly overestimated and the risks have been underestimated.

Considering the fact that the autism epidemic now affects more than 1 child per 100, we may well begin to look questioningly at the current vaccination schedule for infants. The evidence, as pointed out some time ago by Stephanie Cave, MD, an author/researcher/clinician, has shown all along that sanitation is far superior to any number of vaccinations as a rational means to control infectious diseases. This fact was first shown by Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis in 1847 when he insisted that doctors assisting in childbirth should wash their hands before doing so. His procedure reduced deaths from infections from a rate of 19% on the average to less than 2% immediately following the change.

Shortly afterward,experimental demonstrations by Louis Pasteur would take place and the germ theory of disease would be widely accepted at least from about 1864, just about a decade after smallpox vaccination had been mandated by the British government in 1853. All this is documented in the Autism book along with a penetrating look at the theory of immunology in relation to sanitation, hygiene, and the much promoted and growing use of vaccines.

The upshot of that work, which I hope you will read and examine critically, shows that vaccines have been over-sold to the world-wide public. It is now plain that they have served as unintended vehicles for toxins, adventitious disease agents (Simian virus 40, pig viruses, and so forth), and interactions between their disease agents and those other factors which have undoubtedly contributed to, and in well-documented particular cases, have caused neurological problems, disorders, and diseases. For a several cases, consider Hanah Poling, Bailey Banks, and Robert Fletcher. In fact, it is necessary to conclude that the harmful consequences of vaccines themselves are now reaching epidemic proportions.

In each of the specific cases mentioned (with hyperlinks) in the previous paragraph, lawyers wisely eschewed the term “autism” in the complaints they filed on behalf of injured parties. The fact is that the government (the CDC and its subservient entities; see documentation in our Autism book 2010), has taken the stand that vaccines cannot cause autism, presumably on the theory that the government will not be able to pay the freight if it admits that indeed many cases of autism, perhaps the vast majority, are directly linked to vaccine injuries. It seems that a round of vaccinations is often the precipitating cause of SIDS/SUID, seizures, encephalopathies, and so forth. This was determined to be so for Robert Fletcher according to independent researchers who are considering his family’s 18 year battle. Present research evidence shows that vaccines are causally associated not only with multiple encephalopathies (diverse forms of brain damage), SIDS/SUID, gut disease, and a host of neurological conditions, but also with autism.

I urge readers of this blog to follow the ongoing story of what is causing the autism epidemic at the Age of Autism and through the links found there.

The long and short of it is that sanitation ought to be greatly preferred over vaccination. Sanitation is more effective and less risky. In fact, as has often been asked by thoughtful theoreticians, does it make any sense to put disease agents and toxins into the living tissues of human beings, especially tiny infants, in order to help them fight off diseases they might encounter later in life?

When you think about it, as the Italian doctor, Carlo Ruata observed in the latter part of the 19th century,”Whereas the aim of therapeutics is to cure sickness in our bodies, and that of hygiene to maintain them in health by a salubrious environment, vaccination undertakes to modify our robust, healthy bodies in order to adapt them to an insalubrious environment. It belongs neither to therapeutics, nor to hygiene; it belongs to that fatal, fanciful, spurious science which, rejecting the teachings of experience, rests on dogma and creed, which in other departments of sociology have produced as many evils as vaccination has produced in medicine” (Ruata, 1898; quoted in Autism 2010, p. 215).

Sad to say, all this talk about injuries and epidemics could be depressing…

In the next post, I will turn to evidence for a form of therapy for autism and related disorders that offers hope for release from the nonverbal prison to which many individuals with autism have seemed to be consigned.

As always, comments on this post or prior ones are welcome!

Posted in autism, autism epidemic, causation of autism, disease agents as factors in autism, etiology of autism, interactions of toxins and disease agens, toxins as factors in autism | Leave a comment

Uncovering International Intrigue Behind the Autism “Mystery”: The Sinister Side of Vaccine Research

In doing research on autism and related issues, especially in writing the three books I recently published with colleagues, Dr. Stephen D. Oller, and Dr. Linda C. Badon, on autism (2010), communication disorders and related diseases (2010), and normal child development (2006), it became evident that the vaccine question could not be set aside. It had to be examined critically. For a deep look at the theory and research on the issues at stake, see my intensely peer-reviewed monograph-sized contribution to the special volume of Entropy edited by the distinguished European semiotician, Soren Brier.

From the beginning of the excursion into the toxicology research related to the autism epidemic, it was plain that certain neurotoxins and their interactions must exacerbate all kinds of neurological and communication disorders, including autism. The only question from the beginning of that toxicology work was whether any particular mix could produce autism. Suspects included the ethyl mercury in vaccines (thimerosal, a.k a., thiomersal, a. k. a. Merthiolate) that had been singled out for special public attention at from about 2001, and the measle’s virus which had been implicated much earlier and re-addressed by Dr. Andy Wakefield and colleagues in 1998. No one could deny the upsurge in the autism diagnosis and intelligent independent thinkers everywhere were beginning to wonder what could be causing it. The inevitable fact that it could not be uncaused, was staring us all in the face. The best data, e.g., see the excellent interactive compilations at Thoughtful House, showed that the diagnosis was growing on a smooth exponential curve at least from the 1980s.

That question about possible causation was not easy to answer, but there was no doubt going in that the neurotoxic impact of mercury in almost undetectible quantities could only make neurological conditions worse. It also came out early on that the mercury in the silver dental amalgam is highly unstable and leaks mercury vapors more or less constantly and in an extremely toxic form. What is more this particular offender, is also highly genotoxic. That is to say, it damages germ cells in the male sperm and female egg… Could these variants of mercury be harmless when injected, ingested, or breathed as vapors? Nonsense. It’s harmful all right. That is not in doubt.

The toxicology research findings (though not the public commentaries by certain well-paid pundits, journalists, and spokespersons!) were already overwhelming and unanimous in showing that it had been a really bad idea to inject any amount of a mercury based preservative into mature adults, much less infants or pregnant women, and that it was preposterous (to put it nicely) for the American Dental Association along with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the pharmaceutical industry (not to mention the watchdog agencies of the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration) to persist in saying that the mercury which is unsafe to remove from your teeth, or to hold in your hand, or to be exposed to from a broken flourescent light, is safe to put in infants or to wear in your teeth. The research by Lorscheider and colleagues at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine, from an article published in Neuroreport in 2001 (also generously provided to us for the DVDs associate with all three of the books mentioned at the top of this blog), and explained in an animated video, shows how mercury damage occurs in living nerve cells.

Given all this, any thinking person will ask (as my students always do when we are working through the toxicology), why hasn’t the CDC, FDA, not to mention the medical community, already put a stop to these dangerous practices? In fact, more to the point, why are they still recommending the continued use of dental amalgam, and arguing that mercury in shots never was harmful and is safe for flu shots even today. For anyone who will look at the actual toxicology findings, such claims are utterly false. There is no rational independent researcher on the face of the earth who can claim that a preservative such as Merthiolate does not have a damaging impact on living cells. The very idea of a disinfectant designed to kill micro-organisms that could be harmless to living organisms is contrary to the very definition. To function, such an agent must have killing power and ethyl mercury, the kind used in many vaccines, has it. Similarly, it has long been known that measle’s virus can cause or exacerbate symptoms of autism and that it is the principal factor in causing what is known as Sub Acute Sclerosing Pan Encephalitis (SSPE)… a fatal neurological condition that looks very much like an extreme form of progressively more and more severe autism. Also, initial research into the Vaccine Safety DataLink published by Chen and colleagues (1997), showed significantly increased seizure risks for multivalent vaccines and combinations of them—210% increased risk of a seizure (the kind that would land the victim in the hospital emergency room) from simultaneous administration of DTP (commonly containing thimerosal) with MMR (containing measles and rubella, both associated with increased risk of autism), and 300% increased risk of seizure (all within a 30-day window) if the MMR preceded the DTP by 8 to 14 days. By careful statistical manipulation, the authors argued they could make the interaction disappear, but all the clinical trial data (see our book examining the research) show increased likelihood of fevers and other symptoms with the multi-threat shots (that is, ones containing multiple disease agents simultaneously). When the multiple threats are presented at the same time or when the recipient is already sick, the chances of injury are greater. The common defense of the advocates for combining many disease agents into just one vaccine is that seizures and subsequent full-blown epilepsy or even death, as in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (or Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Syndrome, a new category that seems to have been invented to diminish deaths in the former) are unrelated to autism. That claim runs afoul of the fact that about 30 percent of persons with the autism diagnosis have full-blown epileptic seizures (the most common cause of death in autism) and at least twice that many have epilepti-form seizures that are detectible only with training or special equipment. However, the idea that seizures are unrelated to the autism epidemic is indefensible and the notion that vaccines cannot cause the latter (autism) seems less and less plausible to folks who are considering the research rather than the propaganda.

Inevitably, the question that must come up, and it is one that undergraduate students who are new to the field invariably ask, is, “Why do the proponents of vaccines continue to churn out all the false claims about safety, for instance, saying that the mercury in shots never did any harm? Why, for instance, invent a new category called SUID (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death) to compete with SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome); see this discussion on this compliments of M. Fowlkes and Clint Andrus in our autism book? Given that the research (see Braun & Ellenberg, 1997) shows that 92% of deaths reported under the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) that involve death occur within 2 weeks of a vaccination? Similarly, how come about half those reported deaths occur on the day of the vaccination? Is this just a statistical coincidence as argued by Paul Offit in his interview with Sanjay Gupta? Offit says, “Statistically it has to happen. Some children will get a vaccine, they will have been fine. They get the vaccine, then they’re not fine anymore.”

If Paul Offit’s argument were sound, there should also be reports of cases, where the child was really sick, went in for a vaccine, and came out completely well. We do have evidence that children often get vaccines when illness, fever, or a runny nose ought to preclude the event. But the research shows that pediatricians and clinicians administering the shots often do so when the shots are contraindicated (should not be given at all). So, Offit’s argument should entail that statistically some kids ought to come in not fine, and go out fine. The statistical argument sounds persuasive in his voice and yet makes about as much sense upon a moment’s thought as saying that burns are only statistically related to fires and that flood damage is only statistically related to hurricanes.

If the killing agent thimerosal did not kill anything would it have been in so many of the shots to keep them from being infected by microbes? If the disease agents in the vaccines presented no challenge whatsoever to the immune systems of humans, why not just skip the shots? His entire argument is poorly conceived and yet his is called on to appear in defense of vaccines all over the world. In our book on autism (especially pages 17ff) we document a death we believe was caused by vaccines in which a four month old child, Vance Walker, received 20 disease agents and a multitude of toxins along with them in one “well-baby” visit. Within 56 hours he died bleeding and frothing from the mouth, nose, and eyes. After weeks of waiting, the autopsy report said it was SIDS, and a representative from the CDC said the vaccines had nothing to do with Vance’s death.  Within two weeks of that event, two other similar deaths occurred in the same clinic in a small town in Idaho. One of the vaccines administered to Vance was Rotateq which along with other rotavirus vaccines that have been in the news much of late. We now have strong evidence that Rotateq, though protected by the CDC, and the basis for about a $29 million pay off a short while back to none other than Paul Offit, contains a pig virus that causes “wasting disease” and that is even more harmful than the virus that resulted in the recent withdrawal of Rotarix just a few months ago.

It is not doubtful that vaccines are implicated in the causation of a lot of problems including autism. Independent research shows that no other conclusion is even plausible. So, again, why all the controversy.

The controversy is being ginned up by vested interests seeking to avoid discussion of the significant, positive, replicated, and ubiquitous evidence that toxins, disease agents, and their interactions are causing neurological disorders including autism. It is also evident to thinking researchers that some of the same toxins implicated in causing autism and related disorders are also causing the genetic damage that causes “genetic” tendencies in successive generations. As noted in an earlier post, genetic explanations of any disorder come up short of a complete ride on account of the fact that something has to cause the genetic problems before they are passed on to later generations. The idea that autism has always existed in its present form and at its present rate of incidence, is a nonstarter. Again, see the earlier post, “Is the autism epidemic an illusion?”

Much of the foregoing is discoverable by any independent and intelligent person with access to published works in libraries, on the internet, and especially in our vast scientific databases. But to save yourself the trouble, read the autism book.

My personal goal was to dig to the bottom of various questions about the role of various forms of mercury, its interactions with other bodily chemicals, and so forth. I was also interested in the role of disease agents such as the measle’s virus(es) as well as others that might do damage to the immune systems, mitochondria, DNA and so on. It came out immediately that mercury in various forms is extremely reactive with bodily biochemicals, especially in nerve tissues, and that a particular form of it had been used in disinfectants even ones placed in the bodily tissues and bloodstreams of millions of persons. Examining the theory underlying this practice led to a series of additional discoveries about germ theory, the role of sanitation, the desirability of keeping disease agents outside the body if possible and killing them before they can invade and cause infectious disease, etc. It also led to a question that thoughtful medical practitioners have been asking intermittently since the study of disease agents began to make scientific headway just about the time of Louis Pasteur’s famous experiments.

However, in doing the work I came upon a connection, a sinister one that I never would have thought of. It has to do with bioweapons and was the underlying reason that David Kirby wrote his book, Evidence of Harm. For him it all started in a midnight effort in Congress to attach a protective rider to the Homeland Security Act in 2002 that would have protected vaccine manufacturers from any legal actions owing to harm produced by thimerosal in particular. Why were they doing that secretly in the middle of the night? We tell more of the story that unfolded in our own book, but the point I want to make here is that there was a hidden connection between the vaccine research and the dark world of bioweapons research.

Here is a brief segment from the book Autism: The Diagnosis, Treatment, and Etiology of the Undeniable Epidemic about the Russian, Kantjan Alibekov [Alibek] and his supposed defection and public revelations to the west:

“Alibekov allegedly defected to the United States in 1992. We say “allegedly” because Alibekov’s secret background began to be presented to the public through an appearance before a congressional committee in 1998 and then through a series of interviews with the press. In view of his remarkable account—a sort of spy legend still being critically examined—he is a former enemy of civilization who helped to develop some of the most insanely criminal devices on the face of the earth” (Autism, p. 200).

Is this intriguing? Important? I hope to tell you that it is both. You gotta read our book and get into the connected literature that is being produced by independent researchers. A key fact to be born in mind, one that invariably comes out in the research, is that the so-called “peaceful” research on vaccines, as Alibekov has pointed out to the American Congress and public, and as any thinking researcher will easily confirm, is impossible to fully distinguish from the destructive purposes of individuals and regimes intending to create chemical and biological weapons.

Thus far, from the fizzled attempt in 2001 to spread weaponized anthrax spores through the mail resulting in the death of 5 persons, and the touted “outbreak” of Soviet weapon-grade smallpox in 1971 reported by Alibekov and documented by Tucker and Zilinskas (2002, p.4)—a supposedly earth shattering event that actually killed a grand total of 3 individuals, one thing seems clear: The weaponized biological agents appear to have been remarkably easy to contain with sanitation and clean up. Flush your hands, eyes, nose and exposed areas with soap and water…. If these dreaded bioweapons were effective, why did they not spread as in the movies, e.g., as in Dr. Dustin Hoffman’s fictional Outbreak world?

Does the history of pronouncements by authorities including our U. S. Presidents about swine flu, ebola, bird flu, and H1N1 ring any bells? Evidently, the propaganda is failing in spite of all the money being spent to promote the vaccines that supposedly can prevent the fictional epidemics. Last year over half the world and about 2/3 of U. S. citizens said, “No thanks,” to the H1N1 shot and lots of people who got it regretted doing so. For one case, see the story on Desiree Jennings and its sequelae.

Meantime, the U. S. Congress and the Centers for Disease Control are spending hundreds of millions and requiring taxpayers to spend billions on nonexistent epidemics and the threat of a weaponized smallpox variant that killed 3 people back in 1971. All the while, as they secretly protect us from huge disasters,  they inadvertently are undoubtedly helping to produce the real epidemic of autism and related disease conditions.

Even the CDC admits that autism is now affecting more than 1% of the babies being born this year, but they deny vehemently that the ongoing upsurge has anything to do with the toxins, disease agents, and interactions that they are injecting into the bodily tissues and bloodstreams of neonates, tiny infants, toddlers, and so forth. Their advocacy of increasing the load of vaccinations on younger and younger and less and less mature immune systems actually makes about as much logical sense as supposing that putting live coals on newborns will protect them from burns later in life.

The germ theory of disease is not false, but sensible persons who read the research will conclude that it is better to keep germs on the outside our tissues. If we need to kill them to keep them out, let’s do it before they get into us.

That is why God gave us the multi-layered barriers of skin, mucous membranes, excretory systems, and so on. We should kill germs and viruses before they get inside our bodies. Sanitation, not vaccination, is the key to prevention of infectious diseases. And, unsurprisingly that is what the research shows, and the subject for my next post in this series.

Got a question or a reaction? Comments are welcome. All kinds, stripes, and varieties. But, I do agree with my former student, Dr. Stephen D. Krashen, who said, “If it is praise, I need it now.” Nevertheless, objections and questions are welcome too!

Posted in autism, autism epidemic, causation of autism, disease agents as factors in autism, etiology of autism, interactions of toxins and disease agens, toxins as factors in autism | 6 Comments

Is the autism epidemic an illusion?

Here Are Some of the Key Questions

Is it true that the ongoing upsurge in autism cases in the youngest birth cohorts is merely an illusion? Is it true that autism is strictly a genetic problem? Could it be, as some say, that the evident upsurge in the diagnosis—see for instance, the remarkable growth curve documented at Thoughtful House—is owed to a broadening definition? Or a tendency to change the diagnosis of various disorders to autism? Or just better awareness by the doctors and the public? Can autism rationally be regarded as merely a special form of giftedness as some have claimed? Are parents merely following funding sources as suggested by Dr. Eric Fombonne? Or does the combination of these factors result in the illusion of an epidemic as argued by Gernsbacher, Dawson, and Goldsmith (2005)? On the other hand, see Newschaffer et al. (2005) as well as Newschaffer (2006) who argue that the epidemic is not illusory.

This Post

In this post, the common arguments suggesting that the autism epidemic is illusory are examined critically in light of the book Autism: The Diagnosis, Treatment, and Etiology of the Undeniable Epidemic published in 2010 and the extensive research reported there. (See the cover at the upper right on this page.)

Let’s take the arguments one by one and then consider all of them together as a possible explanation for the accelerating upsurge in the number of children being diagnosed with autism.

Strictly a Genetic Problem?

First, is it true, or is it even possible, that autism could strictly be a genetic problem?

Among parents consulting with medical professionals on this question, it is common knowledge (and a well documented fact) that doctors often tell them that the problem is either strictly genetic, or that it cannot possibly have anything to do with the sorts of toxins and disease agents children are getting through an increasing number of vaccinations along with the continuing use of neurotoxic chemicals such as mercury in dental amalgam and in the manufacture of vaccines.

Meanwhile, the same medical professionals will point to ongoing research to find the elusive genetic causes of autism. Some will naively refer to the search for “the autism gene”—along the lines of the touted discovery of “the stuttering gene.” But logically the proposed genetic explanation of the autism “mystery” falls short. It is like sweeping the problem under the carpet, or like Scarlet O’Hara’s decision to postpone thinking about the vanishing life now Gone with the Wind. She said, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Logically speaking, however, the genetic explanation of the autism epidemic comes up short of its intended goal: we must ask what is causing the genetic damage in the parents, or grandparents, that might result in autism in the child?

Given the fact that genetic damage can be caused by the same toxins, disease agents, and interactions that the mainstream medical professionals swear cannot possibly cause autism in any individual—namely, toxins such as mercury, aluminum, formaldahyde, and so forth, not to mention the disease agents, monkey viruses, pig viruses, and other animal protein fragments, etc. in vaccines—the toxicology research shows that the strict genetic explanation for autism is a nonstarter. That dog, as President Bill Clinton might have said, won’t hunt.

There must be some combination of factors beyond the child’s genetic inheritance to explain autism. Also, current research shows that DNA throughout the body, including mitochondrial DNA which is so critical to the efficacy of our immune systems and communications throughout all of our biochemical systems, can be dramatically disrupted by a neurotoxin such as mercury vapor, for example, in parts per billion. So, the “it’s all genetics” theory of autism fails.

Don’t They Keep Expanding the Definition?

Next, there is the theory that the apparent epidemic may be attributed in large measure to the broadening of the definition of autism, e.g., to include Asperger’s syndrome. However, a careful examination of the literature and the current empirical record of studies trying to refine the definition of autism show that the definition has hardly changed since 1943. It was then that Leo Kanner diagnosed the first 11 cases in the United States. A year later, Hans Asperger reported on a milder form of autism that now appears to be a syndrome indistinguishable by the best measures available, according to recent work by Ritvo and colleagues 2008, from what is termed “high functioning autism.”

It must be noted that in 1994, the year when the definition of autism was officially changed to incorporate Asperger’s syndrome, the accelerating growth in the upsurge of autism diagnoses did not show a sudden spike, but, rather the same steady acceleration as was occurring for a least a decade beforehand and that has continued smoothly even to the present day. (Again readers are referred to the best current data being kept at Thoughtful House.)

So, the supposed broadening of the definition of autism, something which has not actually happened according to a careful reading of the diagnostic literature and something that is inconsistent with the smooth growth curve we are witnessing, fails as an explanation for the evident epidemic.

What About Public Awareness and Better Diagnosis?

Next there is the theory that autism is merely being noticed more frequently and in ever increasing numbers. The research, as documented in the most recently published of my three books coauthored with Dr. Stephen D. Oller (two of them with the Dr. Linda C. Badon also as third coauthor), shows that the majority of cases being diagnosed involve younger and younger children with symptoms that could hardly have been overlooked in the past. As Dr. Jay Gordon, a pediatrician and professor at UCLA Medical Center said recently in the Foreword to one of Jenny McCarthy’s blockbusters: “I know that I am not 400% to 800% smarter than I was years ago” (McCarthy, 2008, p. xvii). If doctors were just getting better and better at spotting autism, the upsurging number of diagnoses, a value that has grown by thousands of percentage points from before 1970, would imply that diagnosticians have become more capable than they used to be. That seems unlikely to Dr. Gordon. There must be something else.

Besides, if it were true that autism cases, ones that have always been there, were just being noticed more frequently, the newly diagnosed cases should be distributed evenly across the age range (from birth to old age) throughout the whole world’s population. But that is not what we find. The vast majority of the cases being diagnosed are under 18 years of age, Dr. Tom Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health estimates 80%, and as we can see from the data at Thoughtful House, the proportion of children being diagnosed is also trending higher in younger birth cohorts. Something is happening to the younger cohorts to produce the observed differences.

On top of all that, the empirical evidence defies the notion that the illusion of an autism epidemic is being produced by greater public attention. In fact, it makes a lot more sense to suppose that the reverse is true. The reason we are seeing and hearing more about cases of autism, in the news, in the movies, at school, etc., is because there are more cases occurring. It seems that everyone I talk to tells me they have a child, nephew, or grandchild on the spectrum. Could it be that there is greater public awareness because there are thousands, tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands more cases? You gotta wonder… Are the naysayers thinking things through, at all?

To add to the difficulty of defending the notion that better diagnosis can explain the illusion of an epidemic, there is the small inconsistency in the fact that increasing public awareness, better educated practitioners, and improvements in the diagnosis ought to reveal more valid cases of autism only if there really are more cases. Contradicting this reasonable expectation, however, folks who promote the idea that better awareness of what autism is is producing the illusion of an epidemic of it, also tend to accept the notion that many of the new cases of autism involve merely substituting (falsely) one disorder, say, mental retardation or Down syndrome, for what is now being called “autism.” The trouble with the latter idea is that keener awareness of what autism is ought to sharpen the boundaries across distinct disorders rather than blurring it. Better educated diagnosticians ought to give better, more reliable and more valid diagnoses. Again, those who deny the growing epidemic come to an inherent contradiction in their own argument.

Then There Are the Edgy Theories

What about the fringe theories proposed by some that autism is really just a form of giftedness, or alternatively, that parents are just seeking out someone to provide a diagnosis of autism so they can get more money from insurance companies and health care providers? The giftedness theory, sometimes advocated by articulate moms such as Dr. Morton Gernsbacher, has a certain appeal in view of the true life stories back of the Rain Man movie, Mozart and the Whale, and astonishing feats of intellect by the likes of Stephen Wiltshire. You must see the video where he is able to draw a view of Rome in minute detail after a brief ride in a helicopter. Who can deny that it is a good thing to look to the highest and best capabilities in every person and to help them develop and augment their strengths? We all agree in that much.

But, are parents ever inclined to seek a diagnosis of autism for monetary gain? Or, is autism in general a form of giftedness? Setting aside the fact that the meager money available from insurance companies, never mind government health plans, falls far short of the needs faced by families trying to cope with severe autism 24/7,  is it true that “autistic savants” are gifted above their non-autistic peers?

The research suggests that savants are, in fact, a little below par even in the areas of their special gifts with respect to performances that can be evaluated by standardized observational procedures. The gifted mathematicians who display amazing abilities in producing a string of very long prime numbers may actually perform below average on ordinary tasks of computation. This is not to deny the amazing minds of persons such as John Forbes Nash, nor of any human being. But consider his remarks in the interview linked to his name, describing the nature, in his case, of his tendency to mistake imagined events for real ones as well as the dissatisfaction that made him wish to be even wiser and more important than he was. Also, keep in mind that until 1979, in keeping with the position originally taken by Kanner, autism was considered to be a form of childhood schizophrenia and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders was, up to that time, known by the title: Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia.

In any case, to try to make autism out to be a form of giftedness when it commonly involves full-blown life-threatening seizures, inability to speak, extreme difficulties in forming and sustaining normal social connections, and, for a substantial majority of persons on the spectrum, loss of the hope of an independent livelihood later in life, stretches the limits of reason.

Is it not amazing that the same people who sometimes accuse the parents of children being diagnosed with autism alternately of being “refrigerator mothers” (a theory that goes back to none other than Leo Kanner; see the documentation in J. W. Oller and S. D. Oller, 2010) or of being desperate enough to try anything to cure their child can turn around, blink twice, and then suppose that ordinary, intelligent parents would choose the autism diagnosis in order to get federal or other money to treat it. Would it make any less sense to surmise that the increase in the current host of epidemic diseases such as childhood multiple sclerosis, diabetes, asthma, allergies, and so forth is being caused by the prospect of universal health care?

It seems clear to me that such theoreticians are not actually hearing the conversations going on around them. Have they not read or heard Jenny McCarthy’s story about her little boy Evan? Do they know nothing of the exquisite documentation of Ethan Kurtz’s case provided by his father? Does the testimony of the dentist who removed the amalgam from Ethan’s mother’s teeth mean nothing? What world are they living in that they can miss all the evidence that is so plain to anyone who will just have a look?

The Epidemic Is Undeniable

All three of the books pictured at the top of this page have dealt increasingly with the growing autism epidemic. You can read about those books on my web page, or view a Youtube video about why we developed them.  I have written another post at our publisher’s web site about why we focused on autism in particular in our third book. In that instance, we began by examining all of the arguments denying an epidemic. We examined the research in the hopes that the epidemic would turn out to be an illusion. No one wanted to find that the epidemic is real. However, after examining all of the arguments in the light of reasonable theory and the best available data, we concluded as noted in our title that the epidemic of autism is undeniable.

Our method, as we have stressed with all of our interlocutors on all sides of the complex issues at stake— readers, colleagues, students, collaborators, and even with those who sometimes have been extreme in their support of what we now know to be mainly propaganda produced by deeply vested interests with astronomical liabilities at stake—was and is to research,  research, research, and re-examine the research some more.

You can see a review of our work at the Age of Autism web site by Anne Dachel. Also see remarks by Dr. Mayer Eisenstein, M. D. about vaccine research coming to the fore and Ray Gallup on the numbers of persons being diagnosed.

The bottom line is that the autism epidemic is real. It continues to grow at an increasing rate. No one wanted this outcome, but those who are the most adamant in denying the facts that are staring them in the face, are the stake-holders with vested interests. They are typically agents working in or benefiting from the industries and professions that are undoubtedly contributing to the problem. They include our own government watchdog agencies, the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, the pharmaceutical manufacturers and promoters of vaccines, the professional medical organizations that those manufacturers underwrite, and, believe it or not, the U. S. Congress…. All I can say is God help us. You have to read the book documenting the undeniable epidemic and showing why it is occurring.

All the while, the mainstream authorities are swearing that although they know nothing about the mystery of autism, they are sure it has nothing to do with the  toxins they themselves have placed in the bodies of human adults and children. The Director of the CDC, Dr. Julie Gerberding, for instance, said in an interview with Sanjay Gupta, that she was sure that the toxins, disease agents, and interactions between them that are invariably being introduced into the living tissues of younger and younger persons in an ever increasing number of vaccines have nothing to do with causing autism. According to her, the CDC researchers have looked and looked without finding anything.

Meanwhile the Toxicology Results Are Clear

While government watchdog agencies acknowledge that a tiny amount of mercury in your hand or spilled in your home or office is a dangerous hazardous waste, they hold that the form found in dental amalgam, the kind put into the mouths of 100 million Americans by dentists according to the American Dental Association’s current web site, is safe. They say, “. . . the mercury in amalgam combines with other metals to render it stable and safe for use in filling teeth” but the research with the amalgam used in human teeth and the scientific toxicology shows that claim to be plainly false.

Similarly, the CDC, through its many meetings of the Institute of Medicine, has now exonerated the ethyl mercury in many vaccines and flu shots. They say it never was harmful. Yes, they admit that back in 1996, 1999, they waffled a little and thought that mercury in bloodstreams and bodily cells might be harmful, but now they know that the good old CDC did no harm. The pediatricians who gave the shots and the dentists who placed all that amalgam… All can breathe easy.

Yet years of toxicology research and thousands of studies show their claims about the safety of injecting such toxins (never mind the other toxins, disease agents and adventitious  accompanying components such as pig and money viruses and aprotein fragments, many of which are only now coming to light) to be false. There are also, within the key groups at the CDC and in the watchdog agencies, a few courageous dissenters who are objecting, as we document in our autism book. Would to God there were thousands of them with the courage and good sense to examine the research with the intensity and tenacity of Andy Wakefield. Many of the toxicology studies documented in our book, to which Dr. Wakefield contributed a Foreword, have been conducted with human subjects. It was known from the earliest research with humans that ethyl mercury was biochemically active and lethal in extremely dilute concentrations. We now know that parts per million can kill and parts per billion interfere with normal biochemistry and immunity in particular. In fact, the chemist who patented the widely used thimerosal, Morris Selig Kharasch is also credited with inaugurating organic chemistry and introducing the idea of free radicals and the peculiar non-additive damage they do in biochemistry.

The Sinister Side of Vaccine Research

The question that must be addressed as soon as the epidemic is admitted to be what it is, an epidemic, is what is causing it. We know what the main causal factors are from the toxicology research and the dark history of vaccines, a story that until recently has been shrouded in obscure medical jargon, pretentious claims of persons and entities with large vested interests, and of wolves sometimes dressed in the white frocks of medicine. If ever there was an area of study prone to secrecy, deception, and disinformation on account of its nefarious and evil objectives, this is it.

The research that is just now coming into the public view, it turns out on closer inspection, has an occult side that merges in the murky waters of political propaganda with the clandestine and largely forbidden research on biological and chemical weapons of war. For this reason, as noted by  Dr. Kantjan Alibekov [also known as Kenneth Alibek], a former high-ranking Russian bioweapons expert, peaceful research on vaccines cannot be sharply separated from devious work to build chemical and biological weapons. But that is a story for a later post.

The short answer to the question posed in this one is that the autism epidemic is real.

Posted in autism epidemic, causation of autism, disease agents as factors in autism, etiology of autism, interactions of toxins and disease agens, toxins as factors in autism | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment