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Pushing a False Dichotomy on Vaccines

At the end of her commentary on U.S. Congressman Bill Posey’s July 29, 2015 statement on the floor of the House of Representatives regarding whistleblower Dr. William Thompson’s allegations of fraud against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) involving a CDC study on the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine and possible links to autism, investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson writes:

One final note: Rep. Posey unequivocally states that he is pro-vaccine. However, the propaganda campaign typically falsely portrays anyone who addresses vaccine safety issues as “anti-vaccine.”1

It’s an interesting point, and one which goes to the heart of the debate on vaccines and vaccination policy in the United States. Think about it. If a person expresses any doubt whatsoever about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, any vaccine, he or she automatically runs the risk of being pigeonholed as an “anti-vaxer.”

In a nutshell, the idea is that my way is the only way, and either you agree with me completely and we’ll get along just fine, or you don’t—in which case you are my adversary, and I have no choice but to belittle your intelligence and attack your integrity and diminish your standing as an individual. It’s the kind of black and white thinking and name calling that parents usually try to steer their children away from at an early age so they won’t turn into bullies.

Unfortunately, countless people throughout history have shamelessly mouthed the mantra, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” One can only imagine the millions of innocent people who have been hurt by this ‘my way or the highway’ mentality.

It may be why Congressman Posey gingerly opened his floor statement with the following qualifier:

I rise today on matters of research and scientific integrity. To begin with, I am absolutely, resolutely pro-vaccine. Advancements in immunization have saved countless lives and greatly benefited public health.2

It’s as if before you say anything that even remotely suggests you’re not 100% onboard with an ever increasing list of government recommended vaccines and one-size-fits-all vaccine policies serving as the cornerstone of public health programs, you’d better offer a little something to placate the bullies. Even the slightest doubt or sign of independent thinking is potentially a capital offense.

So before offering any criticism of vaccine science, policy or law, you must always take care to qualify your comments with, “I am pro-vaccine.” Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who has become a high-profile personality in the vaccine debate starts off his speeches and interviews with: “I am pro-vaccine. I had all of my six children vaccinated. I believe that vaccines save millions of lives.”3

Even celebrity Jenny McCarthy, who has been relentlessly vilified by the corporate media for daring  to talk about her son’s serious vaccine reaction and publicly express concern about vaccine safety has been compelled to clarify her statements and has said::

I am not anti-vaccine. I’m in this gray zone of, I think everyone should be aware and educate yourself and ask questions. And if your kid is having a problem, ask your doctor for an alternative way of doing the shots—for example, fewer vaccination doses at the same time.4

But to no avail. Since McCarthy questions the safety of vaccine policies and refuses to toe the party line, she is labeled a quack, an anti-vaxer, a threat to the public health. Same goes for actor and comedian Jim Carrey, who has repeatedly said he is not anti-vaccine, but simply wants vaccines to be made safer. “I am not pro-vaccine/anti-neurotoxin. Get that straight,”5 Carrey tweeted on July 1, 2015. The previous day, he had tweeted, “I am not anti-vaccine. I am anti-thimerosal, anti-mercury. They have taken some of the mercury laden thimerosal out of vaccines. NOT ALL!”6

It’s not so much about being pro-vaccination or anti-vaccination. It’s just not that black or white. There’s a huge, complex and messy grey area in the middle, as is the case in most things in life… and in science, for that matter. And it’s a credit to those who recognize this reality and refuse to be intimidated or cajoled by some perceived correct majority opinion.

These are just a few of the more famous so-called anti-vaxers in the evolving national debate about vaccination in the U.S. They are demonized because they have the gall to exercise freedom of thought and speech in the land of the free and home of the brave and go against the grain. They were called “villains” in a recent TIME magazine article titled “Meet the Heroes and Villains of Vaccine History.”7

The sad part is that there is no need for this sort of name calling and bullying in the conversation about vaccination. No need for anyone to position themselves (and by extension, the national debate) among the black-or-white thinkers of history. Either you’re with us or you’re against us. Really, there can’t be anything in between?


1 Attkisson S. CDC Scientist: ‘We scheduled meeting to destroy vaccine-autism study documents’. SharylAttkisson.com July 29, 2015.
2 CDC Whistleblower William Thompson Discloses Deception | Congressman Bill Posey. YouTube.com July 29, 2015.
3 Kennedy RF.Vaccines, Mercury & Dirty Money. GlobalResearch.ca July 24, 2015.
4 Grove L. Jenny McCarthy: I Am Not Anti-Vaccine. The Daily Beast Oct. 24, 2014.
5 Oran N. Jim Carrey adamantly insists he’s not anti-vaccine, despite his very public opposition to California’s new law. MedCity News July 1, 2015.
6 Carrey J. Jim Carrey@JimCarrey. Twitter.com June 30, 2015.
7 Kluger J. Meet the Heroes and Villains of Vaccine History. TIME July 29, 2015.

5 Responses to Pushing a False Dichotomy on Vaccines

  1. barbara hickman Reply

    August 3, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Because you are “attacking” their beliefs (“what everyone thinks they know”). They have never had to look into the facts, because when one does make the connection to vaccines through great harm/death of a loved one, the documented scientific & historic & medical facts are appauling on top of the horror you personally experience & witness directly.

  2. linda Reply

    August 3, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    because when people can’t defend their position they start attacking whoever opposes them. The opposition must be ridiculed and discounted because they don’t want to face the truth. And unless it affects them personally, they won’t believe it. It is more than sad.

  3. elle Reply

    August 4, 2015 at 5:21 am

    Whenever I have discourse with a person who insists everyone should have vaccines, they always use the “I have the science and you don’t ” argument. Nothing one can say can penetrate through that particular wall for them.

  4. GD Johnson Reply

    August 4, 2015 at 10:17 am

    This is all just a discourse in bate and switch. When my twins were in school, I never vaccinated them. On my exception form I put, “Higher Intelligence” for the reason.

    At the time, the school system stated that it was the law to have your kids vaccinated prior to coming to school. That statement in itself was a complete and total lie. The school system makes you believe that there is a law since they are saying there is, but in reality there was no such law at all. There was only a list, made by the Governor that recommended a number of vaccines that should be mandatory in order for children to attend schools. That recommendation was not the law.

    I spoke with my Congressional Representative Jeff Denham, who replied in an email that vaccines were a law and all children had to have them to attend school. When asked further for the title, code, sub section of that law, I was ignored. His statement of the fact that there was a law was also a lie.

    As a parent, you would think that educating your children would be the one main goal of parenting in order to help that child become an adult. All of that education, nurturing and learning right from wrong would go on in helping them make the right decisions and in return bring society into a more acceptable way of life. Everyone benefits from those around them that are willing to lend a hand or help in the time of need. Instead, we as parents are now bringing up children where the states are saying they have the right to enforce their opinions, their decisions, their desires in what is or isn’t acceptable in today’s society and even parents themselves do not know what belongs in a child’s lunch bag during meal time such as in Chicago.

    How do you get children to trust government or their elected leaders of the future when those in power today are not willing to represent them and lie in order to make a profit for themselves by those same corporations that placed them in power? It dosen’t say much for our future.

    Cancer causing substances (SV40) was placed into the Poio vaccines during the 50’s and 60’s in order to rid the world of what our government’s CIA didn’t want around any longer in Cuba. That person is still around Fidel Castro.

    That same Polio vaccine was given to millions of Americans and it still is today. That vaccine was just administered in India and over 60K children came down with Polio after taking the vaccines. Their government still wants everyone to continue to take it.

    During the last couple of years, an Ebola vaccine (which is experimental) has arrived just as the Ebola virus has escaped into the world from Sierra Leone. It just so happens that the US has 3 biological labs in that same area. Ebola has been around since 1974. Never in its history of outbreak has there been a vaccine for that virus. However, just as a new outbreak occurs, all of a sudden there is a magical new vaccine that can conquer the new threat. Are we really so ignorant that the public can just accept that?

    Every year the flu breaks out in Asia. It works its way around the world and does its thing but for the most part, people simply get a cold. Hype by corporate media places this flu into a monster killing bug that will snatch your life away unless you vaccinate yourself and your family from its evil. In 2012, the Swine flu broke out. Not in Asia but in Mexico. The media again did its hype and news reporters could be seen on national television arguing for parents and their families to just shut up and get your vaccines already. Never mind that this virus originated in a place outside its normal area. Let’s not put the dots together, just do what your told.

    In the 1980’s, the AIDS virus was placed into vaccines and sent to Africa. After vaccinating those states with their new small pox vaccines, Africans began to die from a new virus. In America, those same vaccine companies placed the virus in hepatitus vaccines and then took out a one page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle looking for homosexual men who had multiple partners and were willing to be given a new safe vaccine to keep them healthy. When hundreds answered that ad and were injected with it, AIDS took off in America as well.

    All viruses have a patent. That patent is 5911998. The patent is owned by a private paramilitary organization known as Dyncorp. Its leadership is secret. Our government, uses Dyncorp to protect our southern borders at times and other areas they don’t want us knowing about. Where did the Swine flu break out again? Mexico. Who was guarding the borders of the US and Mexico where that outbreak occurred? Dyncorp. Who owns the virus patent? Dyncorp.

    In reality, every time the vaccine companies have to pay out some form of monetary funds to families that have been victims to vaccine injuries those same companies will push another vaccine onto the public in order to recoup their losses. Since president Bush signed into law making those companies legally secure in being held responsible for injuries in the form of going to prison over it, they basically have no one looking over their shoulders in making sure those products are safe.

    Unless of course…you think your elected political leaders are willing to represent you and your family on that as well. I mean, they do have your best interests at heart. Can’t you tell? Isn’t your life so much better now then it was in the 70’s or 80’s? Don’t you feel so safe?

  5. Nolan Hasenbeck Reply

    September 2, 2015 at 6:25 am

    Mandatory Vaccinations – Protecting Our Children or Stripping Away Our. An ongoing suit filed in U.S.

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