Thursday, July 14, 2005

Dumpster Diving (Republished)

[For reasons beyond my ken, the original of this post was lost in the "blogosphere". Here it is again]

As I have mentioned before, the more I look into the various autism-related “alternative” hypotheses and therapies, the more amazed I become. And not amazed in a good way. “Appalled” might be a better choice of words – occasionally “disturbed” and “disgusted” are appropriate choices, as well.

While browsing through the literature on autism and thimerosal, I ran across a number of articles by the father-son team of Mark and David Geier. The elder Geier is a geneticist; the younger will soon graduate or has recently graduated from medical school. Together, they have written over ten papers on autism, vaccines and thimerosal.

The source of Geier & Geier’s “data” for much of this flock of publications is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database. And thereby hangs a tale…

You see, the VAERS database is not a good source of material for any epidemiological study, a fact acknowledged by the very people who maintain it. The purpose of the VAERS database is to act as a repository for any complications following a vaccination. These complications may be due to the vaccines or may be coincidental, but the VAERS team wants to hear about them all. After all, their purpose is to watch for any unexpected consequences of vaccinations.

Anyone can make a report to the VEARS database – not just doctors – and it will be accepted. In fact, there is no requirement for documenting that a vaccine was given or a complication experienced. This makes the VAERS database very sensitive, but not particularly accurate. This is not a secret - the VAERS website spells it out clearly.

To further complicate matters, many of the autism advocacy groups have, starting as early as 1996, decided to contaminate the VAERS database. By urging people to enter their autistic children – and the autistic of their friends and relatives – into the VAERS database as vaccine-related injuries, they have made the database even more useless as an accurate tool of epidemiology though spurious and duplicate reports. But, they’ve made it a much better tool for political maneuvering.

Enter the Geiers, pere et fils.

By tapping into this vast reservoir of contaminated data, the Geiers have made themselves heroes of the autism-mercury movement. Given the concerted effort of over eight years to contaminate the VAERS database with reports of thimerosal-containing vaccines causing autism, it should come as no surprise that the Geiers have found that it supports the autism-thimerosal connection. This is no more of a surprise than catching trout in a lake that has been stocked with trout.

Now, the Geiers are intelligent people and they can read the VAERS disclaimers. They are also very aware of the ongoing effort to “stock” the VAERS database with vaccine-caused autism. Having thus eliminated ignorance and stupidity, there appears to be only one conclusion left.

I have occasionally been accused of cynicism. In fact, I have been accused of being one of the most cynical people on the planet. But the degree of cynicism that is required to publish “scientific” articles with data you know (or should know) to be false is far beyond my meager abilities. The Geiers appear to have joined the inner core of the autism-mercury cabal that is willing to do whatever it takes to “win”.

Since any scientist who even takes a cursory (and unbiased) look at the Geier & Geier studies will immediately know they are garbage, who are they writing them for? Obviously not doctors or scientists. How about…politicians?

Yes, it’s really that cynical – publishing articles using garbage data in order to have “scholarly” citations for testimony to Congress. It’s all part of the political plan of the autism-mercury cabal – have autism declared, by an Act of Congress, to be caused by mercury. It isn’t science, but it might just work.

If we let it.



Blogger The Writers Blog -- Joanne Nakaya said...

Great post. This is why GIGO is my favorite computer acronym; looks like it may be the Geiers favorite too.

15 July, 2005 14:01  
Blogger Autism Diva said...

No one could be that evil, cunning and yet dumb looking... no wait. I just saw a news story interview with Rashid Buttar DO out of North Carolina.

Autism Diva pictures the Geiers taking directions from Waters & Kraus, of Dallas.


15 July, 2005 14:01  
Blogger Alyric said...

My thoughts as well, this is a social stampede in pursuit of the dollars and there are precedents that show that the method can work. The case of silicon implants netted mega bucks and there was no causal relationship ever scientifically proved between silicon implants and and all the debilitating effects they claimed.

21 July, 2005 16:55  

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