A non-profit news blog, focused on providing independent journalism.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Shellfish population dying in New Zealand harbour

Pipi Die-Off

© Thinkstock

The volume of pipis on Mair Bank has slumped from 10,000 tonnes to less than 100 tonnes.

A massive pipi bed in Whangarei harbour is dying and there are fears the change could destabilise the harbour - and Marsden Point itself, reports.

The volume of pipis on Mair Bank has slumped from 10,000 tonnes to less than 100 tonnes, sparking fears the massive sandbank, which protects the harbour entrance, will disappear.

The sandbank, shaped similar to a shark's tooth, lies just off Marsden Point. Locals previously waded out at low tide to scoop up the daily limit of 150 of the shellfish in a couple of minutes. But no more.

NIWA fisheries scientist, James Williams, said the decline had been drastic. Over the last four to five years the pipi population has collapsed.

He said the bank had been eroding from the south and gaining height; coinciding with an apparent absence of juvenile pipi.

"There was a huge biomass there of pipi, everywhere pretty much on the bank and sub-tidally of about 10,000 tonnes and that's been reduced to less than 100 tonnes from the 2014 survey," he said.

"So, less than one per cent of what there was in 2005."

Dr Williams said pollution had not been a problem. Regular testing shows the water quality is very good, despite the presence of the oil refinery and the timber port next door.

Mair Bank was closed to pipi pickers last year but Dr Williams said the volume of shellfish being taken, including a commercial catch, was miniscule compared to the vast quantity available.

He said it might be worth testing the water to rule out pollution by terpenes -- compounds found in pine logs. Dr Williams said it was not known what impact the compounds might have on pipi, but they could act as pesticides on some species.

However, Northport chief executive Jon Moore said run-off from the port's log storage area drained to a big settlement pond.

"It can pump to the harbour if it reaches a high level, so if you have a storm event, obviously the last thing you want is all of that overflowing so there's a pipeline back to the harbour," he said.

"It pumps on those high rain events, but at that point when you've got a heavy rainfall, most of the water that's coming through there is pretty damn clean anyway."

Radio NZ reports the refinery and Northport are worried the loss of millions of shellfish could destabilise Mair Bank.

The New Zealand Refining Company's environmental manager, Riann Elliot, said if the bank goes, there would be knock-on effects for the harbour and the foreshore.

He said the channel was "self-dredging".

"There's no maintenance dredging required here - that could be jeopardised, so the entry to the harbour could be jeopardised."

"Erosion along the foreshore along Marsden Point could change drastically. We've currently got a bit of an erosion problem and there's evidence to suggest that could accelerate."

New Zealand Refining chief executive Sjoerd Post said any increase in erosion had to be a concern for the refinery.

"Our site is very close to the sea perimeter, so the pipis dying out may cause instability in the bank which may lead to bigger consequences for us," said Mr Post.

"But first and foremost, we are really concerned around the fact that sort of an entire species seems to be dying out all of a sudden."

Mr Post said it was , Patu Harakeke, who first raised the alarm about the Mair Bank pipi beds.

New Zealand Refining and Northport back their call for urgent research into the problem.

U.S. State Dept. admits Russia had nothing to gain from Nemtsov killing

voice america

Perhaps believing by virtue of having admitted the murder of Russian opposition member Boris Nemtsov in Russia's capital of Moscow Friday evening in no way served the Russian government's best interests, the US State Department believes it can deflect guilt from being shifted towards its direction.

Indeed, the US State Department through its Voice of America media network - chaired by the US Secretary of State himself - would state in an online article titled, "Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?," that (emphasis added):

With the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, gunned down on a Moscow street, the fiercest critic of President Vladimir Putin has been removed from the political stage. But it remains to be seen whether, in death as in life, Nemtsov will remain a threat to Putin's rule.

Already, city authorities have approved a mass march for up to 50,000 people in central Moscow on Sunday. The march, expected to be far larger than the scheduled protest rally it replaces, will provide a powerful platform for Kremlin critics who suspect a government hand in Nemtsov's death.

Even officials in Putin's government seem to sense the danger that the former first deputy prime minister's martyrdom might pose, hinting darkly that Friday night's drive-by shooting may have been an deliberate "provocation" ahead of the planned weekend rally.

While this logic has clearly not escaped the US State Department's media network, it stops short of clearly implicating the Russian opposition and its foreign backers (the US State Department itself) as the chief suspects in Nemtsov's murder - though the article clearly states only the opposition (and in turn, their foreign sponsors) stood to benefit from his death.

The diminutive and previously ineffective protests carried out by the opposition will now be "far larger" and serve as a "powerful platform for Kremlin critics," a reality that simply would not have existed had Nemtsov not been murdered.

One must also factor in the United States' various proxy conflicts it is waging against Russia, and seemingly losing - including in Syria and Ukraine. The opportunity to spread chaos in the streets of Moscow would not only benefit the US and its agenda beyond its borders, but is in fact America's stated foreign policy.

Despite attempts to frame it otherwise, even the US State Department cannot escape the fact that Russia lacked any motivation at all to murder a fading opposition leader, let alone incriminatingly murder him practically on the doorstep of the Kremlin itself. Whoever killed Nemtsov meant for the uninformed general public to think it was the Kremlin, however.

Ironically, the US State Department's media article in Voice of America, echos facts pointed out in the direct aftermath of the murder by many independent analysts. In the previously published article, "Russia: US-Backed Opposition Leader Gunned Down in Moscow: Martyrdom on demand: if not of use alive, perhaps of use dead?," for example, it was stated explicitly that:

Regarding Nemtsov's murder, any good investigator would be tasked with the question, "to whose benefit?" Surely it would benefit the Kremlin to rid themselves of an opponents, but not in this manner. In fact, the only party that stood to benefit from his high-profile execution in the streets of Moscow were his own compatriots and his foreign backers who faced the prospect of yet another failed protest. Sympathy, they hope, will spur Russians who are on the fence politically to take to the streets, joining others who may have previously avoided protests because of Russia's economic strength before US sanctions sank in.

The US State Department's concession not only raises considerable doubt over the involvement of the Kremlin in Nemtsov's death, but also shifts suspicion primarily onto his own opposition movement and the extensive foreign interests backing it. Of course, the US State Department will never publish an article pointing out the obvious fact that it itself stood the most to gain from Nemtsov's murder, but this recent concession all but states this obvious reality, nonetheless.

Gardasil vaccine: Spain joins growing list of countries to file criminal complaints

sample gardasil

Health Impact News Editor Comments

Spain now joins a growing list of countries where criminal lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of the HPV vaccine, which includes France, India, Japan, and many more.

In the United States, however, you cannot sue the manufacturers of vaccines, as they are protected from civil criminal prosecution. As a result, marketing efforts to increase the sale and distribution of the HPV vaccine are increasing. (See: Merck aims to boost HPV vaccination rates amid lagging numbers)

Gardasil: Criminal complaint filed in Spain

By Norma Erickson

SaneVax, Inc.

June 19 2014, Logroño, Spain: Attorney Don Manuel Sáez Ochoa filed a criminal complaint against Merck-Sanofi Pasteur Laboratories, Spanish National Health authorities, and the regional health authorities of the La Rioja province on behalf of Zuriñe Jiménez Guereño and her mother Doña Maria del Carmen Jiménez Guereño for injuries and disabilities suffered by Zuriñe after the administration of Gardasil.

The complaint states that Merck Laboratories failed to use an inert placebo during clinical trials, thereby manipulating data and marketing Gardasil under false pretences. Despite complaints of several young women with similar new medical conditions after Gardasil injections, the Spanish health authorities ignored calls for a moratorium on the use of Gardasil until the safety issues were resolved.

Both regional and national health authorities made no attempt to verify the accuracy of the safety data Merck submitted to gain approval for the widespread administration of Gardasil as a cancer preventative; nor did they make any attempt to inform the public that an already proven safe and effective means of controlling cervical cancer was already in existence.

The complaint goes on to say both national and local health authorities had adequate knowledge regarding the potential harmful effects of Gardasil and chose to recommend administration of the HPV vaccine anyway. The complaint alleges this showed an absolute disregard for the health and well-being of young Spanish girls.

According to the complaint, the attitude of the Merck pharmaceutical company and Spanish health authorities (both national and regional) before, during and after the administration of Gardasil shows they care nothing about the risk to which medical consumers expose themselves whenever Gardasil is used.

The complaint states, prior to administration, no one was concerned about possible adverse reactions to the vaccine. When adverse reactions did occur, those who experienced them were treated with contempt leaving them in a state of helplessness. There was allegedly not one single official inquiry about the girls' post-Gardasil conditions even though they were healthy prior to being injected with Gardasil.

An outcry from the public calling for a moratorium on the use of Gardasil until safety issues were resolved was ignored by Spanish health authorities. Injections of Gardasil continued despite the damage left behind.

According to Attorney Don Manuel Sáez Ochoa,

(claiming) a possible exemption arguing that they did not know at the time of processing, the dangers of the vaccine (Gardasil) is laughable......Frankly this attitude seems clearly malicious and constitutes the offense of injury as per Artile 149.1 of the Criminal Code that states: To cause another, by any means or process, the loss or worthlessness of an organ or principal member, or a sense, impotence, sterility, severe deformity, or severe somatic or mental illness, shall be punished with imprisonment of six to twelve years.

Charges contained in the official criminal complaint

Merck-Sanofi Pasteur, Spain's National and Regional (La Rioja) health authorities are charged with the following:

  • fraudulent marketing and/or administration of an inadequately tested vaccine;

  • failure to inform the public about the potential risks of using Gardasil;

  • clear infringement of the right to informed consent;

  • ignoring new medical conditions in those who used Gardasil despite the similarity of their symptoms and the relatively short period of time between vaccine administration and the onset of symptoms;

  • ignoring established and new scientific evidence illustrating the potential harmful effects of Gardasil ingredients and manufacturing methods;

  • callous disregard for those suffering new medical conditions post-Gardasil;

  • failure to inform the public that HPV infections are simply one of the risk factors involved in the development of cervical cancer;

  • failure to inform the public that 90% of all HPV infections clear on their own without medical intervention;

  • failure to inform the publlic about alternative methods of controlling cervical cancer; and

  • criminal liability for the injuries resulting from the administration of Gardasil

Even if one assumes that Merck-Sanofi Pasteur and all of the government health officials were not aware of the potential risks and lack of proven benefit of Gardasil, there has been plenty of scientific and medical evidence provided since 2007 when the vaccine was approved for use in Spain.

Given their expertise, all of these people were aware of the fact that there are several methods to control cervical cancer that have already been proven safe and effective.

Zuriñe was a healthy, athletic and academically gifted girl until she received the recommended three doses of Gardasil via an immunization program at her school when she was 13 years old. Three weeks later, she was admitted to the emergency room of her local hospital suffering from a multitude of symptoms including dizziness, fatigue and convulsions.

After receiving no answers from her doctors, the conversations began to include hints of conversion disorder. Her parents decided to take her to a private specialist.

According to this specialist, Dr. Mark Mazzuca:

Zuriñe suffers severe cell disease, oxidative stress linked to a demineralization of her body. To put it graphically, she is an 18 year old girl locked in a cell body of a person over sixty years old. Zuriñe also suffers from hard infield Ortostátiaco Postural Syndrome polyneuropathy revealing a central character. It also presents as liver and bladder inflammation.

Five years after her last Gardasil shot, Zuriñe's life bears little resemblance to anything she once considered normal. In and out of hospitals dealing with 'mysterious' new medical conditions every day. No one knows how much of her normal life she will be able to regain.

Thousands of young women around the world are finding themselves in the same position as Zuriñe. They have gone from being happy, active, and healthy to facing a multitude of autoimmune problems and neurological disorders. For them, the 'possible' adverse effects of Gardasil have become an all too harsh and brutal reality.

It is time for those responsible to be held accountable for their actions. Criminal prosecution is quite possibly the only way to accomplish that goal.

Perhaps six to twelve years in prison would remind those responsible what it means to conduct yourself in an ethical manner. Perhaps they would remember that their first duty is to maintain the public health, not destroy it.

On July 30, the Judge decided to open criminal proceedings and investigation of the facts. The first criminal case in Spain regarding Gardasil injuries and potential criminal liability begins.

Read the complaint in English here.

Read the complaint in Spanish here.

Read the full article here.

Getting bored yet? 'Jihadi John' known to MI5 since 2008 - they 'let him escape'

jihadi john

© Reuters/SITE Intel Group

Mohammed Enwazi, the Islamic State terrorist known as "Jihadi John," was identified by British intelligence but allowed to escape to Syria. It was also revealed that he had links to the failed 21/7 attacks in London, the reports.

The British intelligence service MI5 had been keeping track of Emwazi since 2008, three years after the attempt by a group of western militants on July 21, 2005 to carry out terrorist attacks on British soil, the report revealed.

Emwazi was a "person of interest" for MI5 as he was a member of a London based jihadi cell that had been set up to recruit militants. Security services were aware that Emwazi had a telephone conversation with Hussein Osman on the day of the 21/7 planned attacks, who was later jailed for life for planting a bomb in a London underground station.

The planned assaults came just two weeks after the worst terrorist attacks to have hit the UK, when 52 people were killed on July 7, 2005.

Despite clearly being on the radar of the British intelligence services, Emwazi, who was born in Kuwait and travelled to the UK as a child with his family was able to avoid detection and eventually escape to Syria in 2013.

"Given the numbers who appear to have 'slipped through the net', it is legitimate to ask, how many more people must die before we start to look more closely at the strategy of our intelligence services?" said the former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis, writing in the on Friday.

Emwazi, who was a computer programming graduate of the University of Westminster and lived in Queen's Park, West London, is thought to have killed American journalist James Foley. The killing was shown in a video released last August.

He is further believed to have featured in the videos of the beheadings of US journalist Steven Sotloff, British aid worker David Haines, British taxi driver Alan Henning, and US aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, also known as Peter.

It has also emerged that the Kuwaiti-born terrorist said that he was feeling the pressure of being under constant surveillance from British authorities. In a series of emails to the newspaper in December 2010 and 2011, he said how the pressure of being watched was getting to him.

"I'll take as many pills as I can so that I will sleep for ever," he said in an email to the newspapers Security Editor Robert Verkaik, adding that he felt, "like a dead man walking."

He also claimed he was a victim of police brutality in his correspondence with the journalist, saying he was interrogated by an officer, who threw him against a wall, grabbed his beard and throttled him, the reported. Subsequently, he made a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission about his ordeal.

The shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, has called for an urgent review into whether the UK government's decision to relax counter-terrorism laws had played a role in allowing Emwazi to be able to escape detection and eventually flee to travel to Syria and join the so-called Islamic State extremists (formerly ISIS/ISIL).

"We need to know whether Theresa May's decision to ignore all our warnings and weaken counter-terror powers has made it easier to organise and recruit for Isil.

"Suggestions of possible links between those carrying out atrocities on behalf of ISIL, and those behind the 21/7 planned attack on London, are very concerning," Cooper said, the reported.

While the man known as Jihadi John continues to be a part of Islamic State, it has also emerged that his family members in Kuwait have come under surveillance from the local authorities.

"Security agencies have taken the necessary measures to monitor them round the clock," the newspaper said, citing an "informed source," which was reported by AFP.

The newspaper, which also cited security sources mentioned that Emwazi's father, Jassem Abdulkareem, who is also a British citizen, is currently in Kuwait and is expected to be questioned by the authorities concerning his son.

Myth busted: Nemtsov did NOT fear attempt on his life from Putin

nemtsov tymoshenko

. Dear. You f$cked up.

I am talking about the website of suddenly posting the "Full version of the interview with Boris Nemtsov".

And now, attention: the original, twenty-days-old:

- Interesting. Did you after such conversations with your mother begin to fear that Putin may soon kill you personally or through intermediaries?

- You know, yes... a little. Not as much as mom, but still... But still I am not so much afraid of him. If I was very afraid, then I would not head the opposition party, would not be engaged in what I do. By the way, please say hello to Dmitry Bykov from me and mama.

- Thank you, I will. Hope, still, common sense will prevail and Putin isn't going to kill you.

- God forbid. And I hope so.

Now compare this beauty with decrypted, as far as I understand it, literally - that is, without editing, processing, and author's additions - full version of the interview [published last night]:

- And, perhaps, finally, I will ask you, are you not afraid of Putin? Or have you become more cautious?

- I am not that scared

- But a little fear, yes?

- Well listen, I'm just kidding. If I was scared, then I would not head the opposition party, would not be engaged in what I do. Mom, by the way, loves Dmitry Bykov and knows that he works for the . Sends best wishes to him.

End quote, and the end of the interview.

Twenty days ago fictional Boris Nemtsov has admitted that he is a little afraid of Vladimir Putin. Slightly, but significantly. Because Vladimir Putin could easily kill Boris Nemtsov. But Boris Nemtsov hopes that the Lord Almighty in his great mercy will not allow his demise. Because there is nothing more to rely on anyway.

While the real Boris Nemtsov said that he is not afraid of Putin. He wasn't even asked about a murder. And the final exchange of remarks about the triumph of common sense and the help of God in the context of prospects to die a violent death at the whim of the Kremlin tyrant is the result of unhealthy fantasies of the writers from Sobesednik, from the first letter to the last point.

You know, there's a popular verse about the collapse of the Ceausescu regime, and there's a great line, which I now really want to quote:

"Are you f%cked up, brothers Romanians?"

And besides this purely rhetorical question there is nothing else to say to you.

Especially considering a theory, and quite convincing one, according to which, the statement of Nemtsov "I am afraid, Putin can kill me" in an interview with has become the main, if not only, reason for his murder.

The statement, which never existed in reality. Absolute fabrication. Just the unique creative team wanted a bit of light traffic. But they could not write that Vladimir Putin f$cks pigs, because for this some polite people can show up.

But the title that "Vladimir Putin can kill Boris Nemtsov" - is a great, cheerful headline. No, really, what's the problem? No false statements contained in the text. Or are you saying that Vladimir Putin can't kill Boris Nemtsov? Putin can do anything.

But I still strongly hope that tomorrow at this march of the mourning they will suddenly bring a fake coffin with twined garlands painted in the style of "My Little Pony", and alive and well Nemtsov will rise out of it and will report "April Fools!"

Otherwise I have no idea how to fit, feel and comprehend all of this...

Stanislav Yakovlev - Facebook

Kristina Rus: To answer the question why would the editors of expose themselves like that after the fact, the author arrives at the conclusion that the full interview was simply posted to generate more traffic in light of recent events.

VIDEO: FOX News Doctor Says Marijuana Causes Heart Attacks, Crack Babies, And Overdoses

Fox News medical correspondent Dr. David Samadi recently appeared on Fox & Friends with Clayton Morris to speak about a new study that showed that marijuana is one of the least lethal drugs available.

Samadi was brought on to the show to discredit the study and speak about the horrors of marijuana, but he wasn’t very convincing, and ally made some outrageous claims that made him look completely ridiculous.

“I think it’s a very dangerous study, people need to be very careful about not getting the wrong message from this study. They’re using a lethal dose as a comparison. For example, they’re putting pot against or weed against cocaine or alcohol. We know you need less amount of alcohol to die. So, they’re using death to see what’s dangerous and what’s not,” Samadi said.

They’re extrapolating a lot of these animal studies and surveys that doesn’t make a lot of sense and coming with this whole thing that pot is safer. Absolutely not. It’s a huge fraud,” he added.

His point is entirely irrelevant considering that the purpose of the study was to determine how lethal certain drugs were. Also, there are many other studies pointing to the safety of marijuana and its ability to help with a wide variety of ailments. Samadi instead says that marijuana has unknown long-term side effects but fails to even discuss them or provide an evidence.

Not only did he suggest that marijuana was responsible for heart attacks and overdoses, but he also said that marijuana was responsible for crack babies.

“It actually causes heart attacks. It increases your heart rate. And on and on. We’re seeing in Colorado that we had 13 kids that came to the emergency [room] and ended up in the ICU as a result of overdose from marijuana. Now we have crack babies coming in because pregnant women are smoking this whole marijuana business.”

After railing against medical marijuana and calling it a fraud, Samadi welcomed anyone who disagreed with him to post on his facebook page and prove him wrong.

“I challenge any doctors, come to my Facebook, convince me how this is healthy for you. I’m 100 percent against this,” he said.

Many people have already joined to educate Dr Samadi on his facebook page, feel free to chime in below.

SOTT FOCUS: 'Soft coup' in Belgrade? Tony Blair becomes advisor to Serbian government as Wall Street plunders state assets

© Mark Thomas/Rex Features

Tony Blair and his bloodstained paws

With most of the Balkans firmly under the grip of of the Atlantic Empire, they now seem to be placing their dirty paws on the only place in the region that is left for them to further pillage, plunder and colonize: Serbia. War criminal Tony Blair is back in town, and so are some of the criminals that were directly involved in bombing Serbia in the 1990s. Once Blair arrives in town, fellow warmongering psychopaths can't be far behind.

In 2014 former CIA Director David Petraeus, now chairman of KKR Global Institute, subsidiary of Wall Street vulture capitalist firm KKR & Co., visited Serbia and met with Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, who welcomed him and his plans with open arms. The theme of their conversation was about 'attracting foreign investors' - neoliberal economic-speak for plundering Serbian companies, workers and resources. Petraeus emphasized that KKR Global Institute wanted to contribute to the 'economic development' of the country, and that it wanted to turn Belgrade into a 'center for digitalization' in the region. We all know what that really means. It seems that they're following through on such plans: in the last year a significant portion of Serbian media has come under KKR management.

Invest in Serbia: High-skilled, low-cost workers

Maybe the U.S. government's grip on Serbian media and government can also explain this shameless video that recently appeared on CNN, where the Serbian government boasts about their 'low-cost, high-skilled workers' (slaves) in an effort to attract foreign investors (slave-masters). This is the modern face of imperialism: government officials of US client nations today are begging - and even paying - for agents of the empire of chaos to come and mistreat and impoverish their workers in return for kickbacks for the local government officials.

The now 'free' Serbian government is not only giving away control of its media to its oppressors; it's bringing in the oppressors to 'advise' the government on policy-making. Tony Blair also made regular visits to Belgrade in recent months, but it seems that he's now staying for good and will be 'offering his expertise'. As Prime Minister, Vucic has performed quite a turnaround since he - as minister in the Yugoslavian government while Blair was bombing his country - was listed as an editor of a book titled 'English Gay Fart Tony Blair'.

Alastair Campbell, Blair's propaganda minister between 1997 and 2003, held a lecture in Belgrade recently for employees in Serbian ministries that are responsible for communication with the media, most likely teaching them how to positively 'spin' closer EU-Serbian integration. Campbell recently released a book Liars Winners and How They Succeed in which he explains that the way to achieve political success is to avoid outright lies but also avoid telling the truth. The Serbian government further stated that several ministries' spokespersons recently attended indoctrination training camps in the United States on the same subject, all paid for with EU funds. I wonder why...

The corrupt faux-Muslim oligarchs in the United Arab Emirates have also been in the news of late; they are apparently not only planning to arm the openly fascist regime in Kiev (which they, of course, deny), they're also financing Blair's 'missionary work' in the Balkans. As a recent article revealed, the U.S. is mostly likely using the UAE as a go-between to supply the Kiev regime with lethal weapons. The same probably holds true for the financing of Blair and his team in Serbia.

In addition, the Serbian Minister of Defense, Bratislav Gašić, was present in Abu Dhabi during the latest International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), while the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, recently paid a visit to Serbia, meeting with the Prime Minister Vucic. Also, in 2013, Serbia and the UAE agreed to jointly develop and equip the ALAS rocket system. Bearing in mind that the UAE is arming the Ukraine junta, could the recent courting of Serbia be aimed at 'persuading' the Serbian government to sell the aforementioned rocket system to Ukraine?

While the media reports that Blair will act as a counselor for the Serbian prime minister, Aleksandar Vucic, it seems that Vucic won't be the only one getting 'advised'. During his recent visit to Belgrade, Blair had a meeting with certain Serbian ministers. After the meeting, none of the ministers wanted to disclose what they discussed with Blair, but according to what was originally a Soros Foundation and USAID funded radio and television broadcaster, B92, Blair talked about the "", "" and "", all euphemisms, of course, for manipulating public perception.

All these moves suggest that the U.S. has certain plans for Serbia and the population needs be convinced to go along with them. Might it have something to do with the IMF signing a 'loan' to the Serbian government almost immediately following Blair's visit? The terms of the $1.4 billion loan are that Serbia must sell off or shut down hundreds of its state-owned enterprises. Or perhaps it has something to do with convincing the public as to why they should hate Putin and Russia? John Kerry was recently ranting about Belgrade being one of Putin's targets...

The Atlantic Empire knows that without perception management, people won't accept their ant-Russian propaganda and IMF dictatorship, whose only goal is the manufacturing of poverty and the imposition of long-term debt-slavery. U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Michael Kirby recently openly boasted about how well their plans for Serbia are progressing, and revealed the true goal behind their engineered break-up of Yugoslavia:

"Maybe people do not believe it because we had to send an army here in the 1990s, which was quite controversial, but really we wanted to create a situation that today we are seeing more and more."

Far from serving merely as an 'advisor', Blair could now be basically running the Serbian province government on behalf of the Atlantic Empire. He's already handpicking a team that will be in charge of various sectors such as: infrastructure, privatization of public companies, direct foreign investment, public administration and agriculture. It's all rather reminiscent of IMF/US State Department activities in Ukraine, both before and since the Maidan coup d'etat. The only difference seems to be that there was no need for a violent overthrow of the 'leadership' in Serbia since they practically handed the country over to their colonial masters without a fight.

We can expect Serbia to become a permanent vassal state of the Empire, and further impoverishment of the country, while the propagandists in charge, using all means at their disposal, try to convince the public why selling off their country is the best thing to do, and why their impossible-to-repay loans are actually helping the country, all the while obscuring the role of the real decision-makers in Serbia.

Vucic is already praising the latest IMF 'loan.' A good question to ask is just how many votes does Vucic think he would get in elections if he had clearly stated that he would be cutting pensions and salaries, increasing Serbia's debt to Western bankers, intensifying cooperation with the IMF and hiring war criminal Tony Blair to be his personal 'advisor'?


Ante Sarlija (Profile)

Born and raised in Croatia, Ante joined the SOTT editorial team in 2014 and currently helps run the Croatian SOTT. He is also a part of the Croatian SOTT translation team. He spends his free time researching.

Tearing off the mask: Scott Walker compares working class protesters to terrorists

Governor Scott Walker

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, speaking Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an ultra-right political conference held in suburban Washington DC, compared the working class and student protesters who thronged the streets of Madison in 2011 to ISIS terrorists. "If I could take on 100,000 protestors, I could do the same across the world," he said, boasting that his defeat of the unions in Wisconsin qualified him to wage war in the Middle East.

Following his remarks, Walker was criticized by at least one other potential candidate, former Texas governor Rick Perry, who said on MSNBC, "You are talking about, in the case of ISIS, people who are beheading individuals and committing heinous crimes, who are the face of evil. To try to make the relationship between them and the unions is inappropriate."

In a brief interchange with reporters, Walker backtracked, saying, "There's no comparison between the two, let me be perfectly clear. I'm just pointing out the closest thing I have to handling a difficult situation was the 100,000 protesters I had to deal with."

He continued, attacking the media questioners, saying, "You all will misconstrue things the way you see fit. That's the closest thing I have in terms of handling a difficult situation, not that there's any parallel between the two." Walker's campaign later issued a statement declaring, "He was in no way comparing any American citizen to ISIS."

No one at CPAC was fooled by the subsequent disclaimers. On the contrary, Walker's remarks, including his comparison of protesters to ISIS, were greeted with noisy cheering, and his speech was the most well-attended of the day's events. Walker is a top-tier candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, leading in party polls in Iowa, the first state primary contest, and well financed by billionaire supporters like the Koch brothers.

The clear favorite among the half dozen potential presidential candidates who addressed CPAC, Walker repeatedly cited his success in pushing through a battery of anti-worker laws in Wisconsin as his political calling card.

When a heckler shouted something about his attacks on workers, Walker received a standing ovation from the crowd as he claimed to represent "the hard-working taxpayers of this country." He provoked another ovation by announcing he would sign a right-to-work law next week, making Wisconsin the 25th state to outlaw the union shop.

Walker's "gaffe," if it was one, was the blurting out of a usually unspoken truth: in the eyes of the American ruling elite, the working class at home is an enemy just as dangerous—and in reality, far more dangerous—than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

The Wisconsin governor is not the first prominent figure in the US ruling elite to make such a comparison. Only a month ago, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton—appointed by liberal Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio—announced plans for a Special Response Unit of 350 highly trained paramilitary police.

This new unit was "designed for dealing with events like our recent protests or incidents like Mumbai or what just happened in Paris," Bratton said, equating peaceful marches against the official whitewash of police murders in New York City to the terrorist attack on magazine that killed 10 people and the massacre of nearly 200 people in Mumbai. (See: New police unit in New York: The ruling elite prepares for class struggle).

Like Walker, Bratton sought to defuse outrage, saying he had misspoken and that there would be two separate elite police units, one to kill terrorists, the other to beat and arrest demonstrators.

In making an amalgam of peaceful protest and terrorism, to justify murderous mass repression, American politicians are following in the footsteps of military juntas and right-wing dictators around the world.

Only two days before Walker's speech, the Egyptian military dictator, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi issued a decree that broadens the official definition of terrorism to include any group that uses "any means" to disturb public order, endanger state interests, or "disrupt the constitution or law, or harm national unity."

Mass death of marine creatures at Pasir Ris beach, Singapore

© Sean Yap

A pile of dead fish, which washed up on the shores of Pasir Ris beach on Saturday.

Scores of dead marine life have been washing up on Pasir Ris beach over the weekend.

While reports have emerged about Changi fish farms suffering massive losses, it seems like wild fish have not been spared either.

Marine creatures - including puffer fish, eels, horseshoe crabs and cuttlefish - have been turning up lifeless on the island's north-eastern shores.

© Sean Yap


In the Changi case, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said plankton that damaged fish gills were responsible for the casualties.

But locally farmed fish remain safe for consumption as lab tests have not detected toxins in them.

Mr Sean Yap, an undergraduate studying environmental biology at the National University of Singapore, has documented the carnage in an album on Facebook.

Calling for something to be done to address the almost annual occurrence, he wrote:

"(The) plankton has affected not only farmed fish, but many wild species as well.

"While it is sad to see them this way, this event may actually give us a rare insight into the diversity of marine life in our northern region, which are usually hidden by our opaque waters."

In March 2012, reported that thousands of fish had died along the Sungei Api Api river in Pasir Ris.

Here are some casualties that Mr Yap and his friend Sankar Ananthanarayanan snapped:

© Sean Yap

Stars and stripes Puffer (Arothron hispidus)

© Sean Yap

Pike eel/conger, Muraenesox sp.

© Sean Yap

Bluespotted Puffer (Arothron caeruleopunctatus)

One of a kind: Uruguay's President Jose Mujica steps down

Jose Mujica

© Reuters/Andres Stapff

Jose Mujica.

Uruguay's president, Jose "Pepe" Mujica, a former guerrilla who lives on a farm and gives most of his salary to charity, is stepping down after five years in office, ending his term as one of the world's most popular leaders ever.

Mujica, 79, is leaving office with a 65 percent approval rating. He is constitutionally prohibited from serving consecutive terms.

"I became president filled with idealism, but then reality hit," Mujica said in an interview with a local newspaper earlier this week, according to .

Some call him "the world's poorest president." Others the "president every other country would like to have." But Mujica says "there's still so much to do" and hopes that the next government, led by Tabare Vazquez (who was elected president for a second time last November) will be "better than mine and will have greater success."

Mujica said he succeeded in putting Uruguay on the world map. He managed to turn the cattle-ranching country, home to 3,4 million people, into an energy-exporting nation, Brazil being Uruguay's top export market (followed by China, Argentina, Venezuela and the US.)

Jose Mujica

© Reuters/Andres Stapff

Uruguay's $55 billion economy has grown an average 5.7 percent annually since 2005, according to the World Bank. Uruguay has maintained its decreasing trend in public debt-to-GDP ratio - from 100 percent in 2003 to 60 percent by 2014. It has also managed to decrease the cost of its debt, and reduce dollarization - from 80 percent in 2002 to 50 percent in 2014.

"We've had positive years for equality. Ten years ago, about 39 percent of Uruguayans lived below the poverty line; we've brought that down to under 11 percent and we've reduced extreme poverty from 5 percent to only 0.5 percent," Mujica told the in November.

After Latin America's anti-drug war proved a failure, the South American country became the first in the world to fully legalize marijuana, with Mujica arguing that drug trafficking is in fact more dangerous than marijuana itself.

One of the most progressive leaders in Latin America. Muijica also legalized abortion and same-sex marriage and agreed to take in detainees once held at the notorious Guantanamo Bay. Six former US detainees, who were never charged with a crime, came to Uruguay in December as refugees. The six included four Syrians, a Palestinian and a Tunisian. Although they were cleared for release back in 2009, the US was not able to discharge them until Uruguayan President offered to receive them.

Jose Mujica

© Reuters/Andres Stapff

Mujica, a former leftist Tupamaro guerrilla leader, spent 13 years in jail during the years of Uruguay's military dictatorship. He survived torture and endless months of solitary confinement. Majica said he never regretted his time in jail, which he believes helped shape his character.

Mujica's kindness speaks volumes: He refused to move to Uruguay's luxurious presidential mansion to live in a farm outside Montevideo with his wife and a three-legged dog named Manuela. Pepe gives away about 90 percent of his salary to charity, saying he simply doesn't need it. He drives an 1987 Volkswagen Beetle.

Last year, Mujica turned down a $1 million offer from an Arab sheik who offered to buy his blue car. Pepe refused to sell the vehicle, saying it would offend "all those friends who pooled together to buy it for us."

In January, a young Uruguayan man posted a message on his Facebook page recounting how Mujica and his wife picked him up while he was hitchhiking.

"On Monday, I was looking for a ride from Conchilla and guess who picked me up on the road?" Gerhald Acosta wrote on his Facebook post January 7. "They were the only ones who would stop!"

"When I got out, I thanked them profusely because not everyone helps someone out on the road, and much less a president," the man told Uruguay's newspaper.

A doctor shares his view on immunity and vaccines

Richard Moskowitz, M. D

© DoctorRMosk.com

Richard Moskowitz, M. D

For the past ten years or so, I have felt a deep and growing compunction against giving routine vaccinations to children. It began with the fundamental belief that people have the right to make that choice for themselves.

But eventually the day came when I could no longer bring myself to give the shots, even when the parents wished me to. I have always believed that the attempt to eradicate entire microbial species from the biosphere must inevitably upset the balance of Nature in fundamental ways that we can as yet scarcely imagine. Such concerns loom ever larger as new vaccines continue to be developed, seemingly for no better reason than that we have the technical capacity to make them, and thereby to demonstrate our right and power as a civilization to manipulate the evolutionary process itself.

Purely from the viewpoint of our own species, even if we could be sure that the vaccines were harmless, the fact remains that they are compulsory , that all children are required to undergo them, without sensitivity or proper regard for basic differences in individual susceptibility, to say nothing of the values and wishes of the parents and the children themselves.

Most people can readily accept the fact that, from time to time, certain laws may be necessary for the public good that some of us strongly disagree with. But the issue in this case involves nothing less than the introduction of foreign proteins or even live viruses into the bloodstream of entire populations. For that reason alone, the public is surely entitled to convincing proof, beyond any reasonable doubt, that artificial immunization is in fact a safe and effective procedure, in no way injurious to health, and that the threat of the corresponding natural diseases remains sufficiently clear and urgent to warrant the mass inoculation of everyone, even against their will if necessary.

Unfortunately, such proof has never been given; and even if it could be, continuing to employ vaccines against diseases that are no longer prevalent or dangerous hardly qualifies as an emergency.

Finally, even if there were such an emergency, and artificial immunization could be shown to be an appropriate response to it, the decision would remain at bottom a political one, involving issues of public health and safety that are far too important to be settled by any purely scientific or technical criteria, or indeed by any criteria less authoritative than the clearly articulated sense of the community about to be subjected to it.

For all of these reasons, I want to present the case against routine immunization as clearly and forcefully as I can. What I have to say is not quite a formal theory capable of rigorous proof or disproof. It is simply an attempt to explain my own experience, a nexus of interrelated facts, observations, reflections, and hypotheses, which taken together are more or less coherent and plausible and make intuitive sense to me. I offer them to the public in large part because the growing refusal of some parents to vaccinate their children is so seldom articulated or taken seriously. The fact is that we have been taught to accept vaccination as a kind of involuntary Communion, a sacrament of our participation in the unrestricted growth of scientific and industrial technology, utterly heedless of the long-term consequences to the health of our own species, let alone to the balance of Nature as a whole. For that reason alone, the other side of the case urgently needs to be heard.

1. Are the Vaccines Effective?

There is widespread agreement that the time period since the common vaccines were introduced has seen a remarkable decline in the corresponding natural infections; but the usual assumption that the decline is attributable to the vaccines remains unproven, and continues to be seriously questioned by eminent authorities in the field. The incidence and severity of whooping cough, for example, had already begun to decline precipitously long before the pertussis vaccine was introduced, [1] a fact which led the epidemiologist C. C. Dauer to remark, as far back as 1943:

If the mortality [from pertussis] continues to decline at the same rate during the next 15 years, it will be extremely difficult to show statistically that [pertussis immunization] had any effect in reducing mortality from whooping cough. [2]

Much the same is true not only of diphtheria and tetanus, but also of TB, cholera, typhus, typhoid, and other common scourges of a bygone era, which began to disappear toward the end of the Nineteenth Century, largely in response to improvements in public health and sanitation, but in any case long before antibiotics, vaccines, or any specific medical measures designed to eradicate them. [3]

Reflections such as these led the great microbiologist René Dubos to observe that microbial diseases have their own natural history, independent of drugs and vaccines, in which asymptomatic infection and symbiosis are much more common than overt disease:

It is barely recognized, but nevertheless true, that animals and plants, as well as men, can live peacefully with their most notorious microbial enemies. The world is obsessed by the fact that poliomyelitis can kill and maim several thousand unfortunate victims every year. But more extraordinary is the fact that millions upon millions of young people become infected by polio viruses, yet suffer no harm from the infection. The dramatic episodes of conflict between men and microbes are what strike the mind. What is less readily apprehended is the more common fact that infection can occur without producing disease. [4]

Yet how the vaccines actually accomplish these changes is not nearly as well understood as most people like to think it is. The disturbing possibility that they act in some other way than by producing a genuine immunity is suggested by the fact that the corresponding natural diseases have continued to break out, even in highly immunized populations, and that in such cases the observed differences in incidence and severity between immunized and non-immunized populations have often been much less dramatic than expected, and in some cases not measurably significant at all.

In a recent British outbreak of whooping cough, for example, even fully-immunized children contracted the disease in large numbers, and their rates of serious complications and death were not reduced significantly. [5] In another recent outbreak, 46 of the 85 fully-immunized children studied eventually contracted the disease. [6]

In 1977, 34 new cases of measles were reported on the UCLA campus, among a population that was supposedly 91% immune, according to careful serological testing. [7] In 1981, another 20 cases were reported in the area of Pecos, New Mexico within a few-month period, and 75% of them had been fully immunized, some quite recently. [8] A survey of sixth-graders in a well-immunized urban area similarly revealed that about 15% of this age group are still susceptible to rubella, a figure essentially identical with that of the pre-vaccine era. [9]

Finally, while the incidence of measles has dropped sharply, from about 400,000 cases annually in the early 1960's to about 30,000 by 1974-76, the death rate has remained exactly the same, [10] while among adolescents and young adults, the group with the highest incidence at present, the risk of pneumonia and liver abnormalities has increased quite substantially, to well over 3% and 20%, respectively. [11]

The simplest explanation for these discrepancies would be to stipulate that vaccines confer at most partial and temporary immunity, which sounds reasonable enough, inasmuch as they consist of either live viruses, rendered less virulent by serial passage in tissue culture, or bacteria and bacterial products that have been killed by heat and/or chemical adjuvants, such that they can still elicit an antibody response without initiating a full-blown disease. In other words, the vaccine is a "trick," in the sense that it simulates the true or natural immunity developed in the course of recovering from the natural disease, and it is therefore reasonable to expect that such artificial immunity will in fact "wear off" in time, and even require additional "booster" doses at regular intervals throughout life to maintain peak effectiveness.

Such an explanation would be disturbing enough to most people. Indeed, the basic fallacy in it is already evident in the fact that there is no way to know how long this partial, temporary immunity will last in any given individual, or how often it will need to be restimulated, since the answers to these questions presumably depend on the same individual variables that would have determined whether and how severely the same person, if unvaccinated, would have contracted the disease in the first place. In any case, a number of other observations suggest equally strongly that this simple explanation cannot be the correct one.

In the first place, one careful study has shown that when a person vaccinated against the measles again becomes susceptible to it, even repeated booster doses will have little or no long-lasting effect. [12]

In the second place, the vaccines do not act merely by producing pale or mild copies of the original disease; they also commonly produce a variety of symptoms of their own, which in some cases may be more serious than the disease, involving deeper structures, more vital organs, and less of a tendency to resolve themselves spontaneously, as well as being typically more difficult to recognize.

Thus in a recent outbreak of mumps in supposedly immune schoolchildren, several developed atypical symptoms, such as anorexia, vomiting, and erythematous rashes, but no parotid involvement, and hence could not be diagnosed without extensive serological testing to rule out other concurrent diseases. [13] The syndrome of "atypical measles" can be equally difficult to diagnose, even when it is thought of, [14] which suggests that it may not seldom be overlooked entirely. In some cases, atypical measles can be much more severe than the regular kind, with pneumonia, petechiæ, edema, and severe pain, [15] and likewise often goes unsuspected.

In any case, it seems virtually certain that other vaccine-related syndromes will be described and identified, if only we take the trouble to look for them, and that the ones we are aware of so far represent only a very small part of the problem. But even these few make it less and less plausible to assume that vaccines produce a normal, healthy immunity that lasts for some time but then wears off, leaving the patient miraculously unharmed and unaffected by the experience.

2. Some Personal Experiences of Vaccine Cases.

I will now present a few of my own vaccine cases, to give a sense of their variety, to show how difficult it can be to trace them, and also to begin to address the underlying question that is seldom asked, namely, how the vaccines actually work, i. e., how they do whatever it is that they do inside the body, and how they produce the results that we see clinically in the patient.

My first case was that of an 8-month-old girl with recurrent fevers of unknown origin. I first saw her in January 1977, a few weeks after her third such episode. These were brief, lasting 48 hours at most, but very intense, with the fever often reaching 105˚F. During the second episode she was hospitalized for diagnostic evaluation, but her pediatrician found nothing out of the ordinary. Apart from these episodes, the child appeared to be quite well, and growing and developing normally.

I could get no further information from the mother, except for the fact that the episodes had occurred almost exactly one month apart, and from consulting her calendar we learned that the first one had come exactly one month after the 3rd of her DPT shots, which had also been given at monthly intervals. At this point the mother remembered that the girl had had similar fever episodes immediately after each injection, but that the pediatrician had dismissed them as common reactions to the vaccine, as indeed they are. Purely on the strength of that history, I gave her a single dose of the ultradilute homeopathic DPT vaccine, and I am happy to report that she had no more such episodes, and has remained entirely well since.

This case illustrates how homeopathic "nosodes," or medicines prepared from vaccines or their corresponding diseases, can be used for diagnosis as well as treatment of vaccine-related illness, which, no matter how strongly they are suspected, might otherwise be almost impossible to substantiate. Secondly, because fever is among the commonest reactions to the pertussis vaccine, and the child seemed perfectly well between the attacks, her response to it has to be regarded as a relatively strong and healthy one, disturbing because of its recurrence and periodicity, but also quite simple to cure, as indeed it proved. But I keep wondering what happens to the vaccine inside those tens and hundreds of millions of children who show no obvious response to it at all.

Since that time, I have seen at least half a dozen cases of babies and small children with recurrent fevers of unknown origin, some associated with a variety of other chronic complaints, like irritability, temper tantrums, and increased susceptibility to tonsillitis, pharyngitis, colds, and ear infections, which were similarly traceable to the pertussis vaccine, and which likewise responded beautifully to treatment with the homeopathic DPT nosode. Indeed on that basis I submit that the pertussis vaccine is an important cause of recurrent fevers of unknown origin in this age group.

My second case was that of a 9-month-old girl who presented acutely with a fever of 105˚F., and very few other symptoms. She too had had two similar episodes previously, but at irregular intervals, and her parents, who were ambivalent about vaccinations to begin with, had so far given her only one dose of the DPT vaccine, but her first episode occurred a few weeks afterward.

I first saw her in June of 1978. The fever remained high and unremitting for 48 hours, despite the usual acute remedies and supportive measures. A CBC showed a white-cell count of 32,000 per cu. mm., with 43% lymphocytes, 11% monocytes, 25% neutrophils (many with toxic granulations), 20% band forms (also with toxic granulations), and 1% metamyelocytes and other immature forms. Without giving any history, I showed the smear to a pediatrician friend, and "pertussis" was his immediate reply. After a single dose of the homeopathic DPT vaccine, the fever came down abruptly, and the girl has remained well since.

This case was disturbing mainly because of the hematological abnormalities, which fell within the leukemoid range, together with the absence of any cough or illness with distinctive respiratory symptoms, all suggesting that introducing the vaccine directly into the blood may actually promote deeper or more systemic pathology than allowing the pertussis organism to set up typical symptoms of local inflammation at the normal portal of entry.

The third case was a 5-year-old boy with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, whom I happened to see in August of 1978, while visiting an old friend and teacher, a family physician with over 40 years' experience. Well out of earshot of the boy and his parents, he told me that the leukemia had first appeared following a DPT vaccination, that he had treated the child successfully with natural remedies on two previous occasions, when the blood picture improved dramatically, and the liver and spleen shrank down to almost normal size, but that full relapse had occurred soon after each DPT booster.

It was shocking enough to think that vaccinations might be implicated in some cases of childhood leukemia, but the idea also completed the line of reasoning opened up by the previous case. For leukemia is a cancerous transformation of the blood and blood-forming organs, the liver, the spleen, the lymph nodes, and the bone marrow, which are also the basic anatomical units of the immune system. Insofar as vaccines are capable of producing serious complications of any kind, the blood and immune organs would be the logical place to begin looking for them.

But perhaps even more shocking to me was the fact that my teacher's remarkable success in treating this boy did not dissuade his parents from revaccinating him at least two more times, and that the connection between the vaccine and the disease was not generally known to the public or seriously considered by the medical community. It was this case that convinced me of the need for frank and open discussion among doctors and patients alike, about our collective experience with vaccine-related illness. While careful scientific investigation of these matters will hopefully ensue, the level of public commitment required even to frame the question properly seems far away.

I will now present two cases from my limited experience with the MMR vaccine.

In December of 1980 I saw a 3-year-old boy with loss of appetite, stomach ache, indigestion, and swollen glands for the past 4 weeks or so. The stomach pains were quite severe, and often accompanied by belching, flatulence, and explosive diarrhea. The nose was also congested, and the lower eyelids were quite red. The mother also reported some unusual behavior changes, extreme untidiness, "wild" and noisy playing, and waking at 2 a.m. to get in bed with her.

The physical examination was unremarkable except for some large, tender posterior auricular and suboccipital lymph nodes, and marked enlargement of the tonsils. That piqued my curiosity, and I learned that the boy had received his MMR vaccination in October, about 2 weeks before the onset of symptoms, with no apparent reaction to it at the time. I gave him a single dose of the highly-dilute homeopathic rubella vaccine, and the symptoms disappeared within 48 hours.

The following spring, the parents brought him back for a slight fever, and a 3-week history of intermittent pain in and behind the right ear, as well as a stuffy nose and other cold symptoms. On examination, the whole right side of the face appeared to be swollen, especially the cheek and angle of the jaw. He responded well to acute homeo-pathic remedies, without requiring the mumps nosode, and has remained well since.

This boy exhibited some interesting features that I have learned to recognize in other MMR cases. At an interval of a few weeks after the vaccine, which is roughly the same as the incubation period for the corresponding diseases, a nondescript illness develops, which then becomes subacute and rather more severe than rubella in the same age group, with abdominal and/or joint pains and marked adenopathy, but no rash. Usually the diagnosis is suspected because of enlargement of the posterior auricular and suboccipital nodes, for which rubella and a few other diseases have a marked affinity, and confirmed by a favorable response to the homeopathic rubella nosode.

Furthermore, his second illness, and especially the parotid enlargement, may well have represented continuing activity of the mumps component of the vaccine, although it cleared up so promptly that I never needed to test that hypothesis by using the homeopathic mumps nosode. Either way, it strongly suggests the possibility that a variety of "mixed" or composite syndromes may occur, representing the patient's responses to two or perhaps all three of the vaccine components, either more or less simultaneously, or one by one over time, as the next case illustrates:

In April of 1981 I first saw a 4-year-old boy for chronic bilateral enlargement of the posterior auricular nodes, which were also somewhat tender at times. The mother had noticed the swelling for about a year, during which time he had also become more susceptible to various upper respiratory infections, none of them very severe. Over the same period of time, she had also observed recurrent parotid swelling at irregular intervals, which began shortly after the MMR vaccine was given at the age of 3.

At his first visit, the boy was not ill, and the mother was about 2 months pregnant; so I decided to observe him but if possible do nothing further until the pregnancy was over. He did develop a mild laryngitis in her third trimester, but it responded well to bed rest and simple acute remedies. The following spring he came down with acute bronchitis, and I noticed that the posterior auricular glands were once again swollen and tender, so I decided to give him a dose of the homeopathic rubella nosode at that point. The cough promptly subsided, and the nodes regressed in size and were no longer tender. But two weeks later, he was back, this time with a hard, tender swelling on the outside of the cheek, near the angle of the jaw, and some pain on chewing or opening the mouth. One dose of the homeopathic mumps nosode was given, and the child has been well since.

What was particularly noteworthy about this case was its strong pattern of chronicity, with an increased susceptibility to weaker, low-grade responses, in contrast to the vigorous, acute responses typically associated with diseases like the measles and the mumps when acquired naturally.

3. How Do the Vaccines Work?

It is dangerously misleading, and indeed the exact opposite of the truth, to claim that a vaccine renders us "immune" to or protects us against an acute disease, if in fact it only drives the disease deeper into the interior and causes us to harbor it chronically instead, with the result that our responses to it become progressively weaker, but show less and less of a tendency to heal or resolve themselves spontaneously. What I propose, then, is to investigate as thoroughly and objectively as I can how the vaccines actually work inside the human body, and to begin by simply paying attention to the implications of what we already know. Consider the process of falling ill with and recovering from a typical acute disease, such as the measles, in contrast with what we can observe following administration of the measles vaccine.

We all know that measles is primarily a virus of the upper respiratory tract, both because it is acquired by susceptible persons through inhalation of infected droplets in the air, and because these droplets are produced by the coughing and sneezing of a patient with the disease. Once inhaled by a susceptible individual, the virus undergoes a prolonged period of silent multiplication, first in the tonsils, adenoids, and accessory lymphoid aggregations of the nasopharynx; later in the regional lymph nodes of the head and neck; and eventually, several days later, it passes into the blood and enters the spleen, the liver, the thymus, and the bone marrow, the "visceral" organs of the immune system. [16] Throughout this "incubation" period, which lasts from 10 to 14 days, the patient typically feels quite well, and experiences few or no symptoms of any kind. [17]

By the time that the first symptoms of measles appear, circulating antibodies are already detectable in the blood, and the height of the symptomatology coincides with the peak of the antibody response. [18] In other words, the "illness" that we call the measles is simply the definitive effort of the immune system to clear this virus from the blood. Notice also that this expulsion is accomplished by sneezing and coughing, i. e., via the same route through which it entered in the first place. It is abundantly clear from the above that the process of mounting and recovering from an acute illness like the measles involves a general mobilization of the immune system as a whole, including inflammation of the previously sensitized tissues at the portal(s) of entry, activation of leukocytes, macrophages, and the serum complement system, and a host of other mechanisms, of which the production of circulating antibodies is only one, and by no means the most important.

Such splendid outpourings indeed represent the decisive experiences in the normal physiological maturation of the immune system in the life of a healthy child. For recovery from the measles not only protects children from being susceptible to it again, [19] no matter how many more times they may be exposed to it, but also prepares them to respond promptly and effectively to any other infections they may encounter in the future. The ability to mount a vigorous acute response to infection must therefore be reckoned among the most fundamental requirements of health and well-being that we all share.

By contrast, the live but artificially attenuated measles-virus vaccine is injected directly into the blood, by-passing the normal port of entry, and sets up at most a brief inflammatory reaction at the injection site, or perhaps in the regional lymph nodes, with no local sensitization at the normal portal of entry, no "incubation period," no generalized inflammatory response, and no generalized outpouring. By "tricking" the body in this fashion, we have accomplished precisely what the entire immune system seems to have evolved to prevent: we have placed the virus directly into the blood, and given it free and immediate access to the major immune organs and tissues, without any obvious mechanism or route for getting rid of it.

The result is the production of circulating antibodies against the virus, which can in fact be measured in the blood; but this antibody response occurs as an isolated technical feat, without any overt illness to recover from, or any noticeable improvement in the general health of the recipient. Indeed I submit that exactly the opposite is true, that the price we have to pay for these antibodies is the persistence of viral elements in the blood for long periods of time, perhaps permanently, which in turn carries with it a systematic weakening of our capacity to mount an acute response, not only to the measles, but to other infections as well.

Far from producing a genuine immunity, then, my suspicion and my fear is that vaccines act by interfering with and even suppressing the immune response as a whole, in much the same way that radiation, chemotherapy, corticosteroids, and other anti-inflammatory drugs do. Artificial immunization focuses on antibody production, a single aspect of the immune process, disarticulates it, and allows it to stand for the whole, in much the same way as chemical suppression of an elevated blood pressure is accepted as a valid substitute for genuine healing or cure of the patient whose blood pressure has risen. It is the frosting on the cake, without the cake. The worst part of this counterfeiting is that it becomes more difficult, if not impossible, for vaccinated children to mount a normally acute and vigorous response to infection, by substituting for it a much weaker, essentially chronic response, with little or no tendency to heal itself spontaneously.

Furthermore, excellent models already exist for predicting and explaining what kinds of chronic disease are likely to result from long-term persistence of viral, bacterial, and other foreign proteins within the cells of the immune system. It has long been known that live viruses, for example, are capable of surviving for years within host cells in a latent form, without necessarily provoking acute disease, simply by attaching their own genetic material (DNA or RNA) as an "episome" or extra particle to the genome of the host cell, and replicating along with it, allowing the latter to continue its normal functions for the most part, but adding new instructions for the synthesis of viral proteins as well. [20]

Latent viruses of this type have already been implicated in three distinct types of chronic disease, namely,

1) recurrent or episodic acute diseases, such as herpes simplex, shingles, warts, etc.; [21]

2) "slow-virus" diseases, i. e., subacute or chronic, progressive, and often fatal diseases, such as kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, possibly Guillain-Barré syndrome, and subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), a rare complication of measles; [22] and

3) tumors, both benign and malignant. [23] In all of these varieties, the latent virus "survives" as a clearly foreign element within the cell, which implies that the immune system must continue to try to make antibodies against it, insofar as it can still respond to it at all. But because the virus is now permanently incorporated within the genetic material of the cell, these antibodies will now have to be directed against the cell itself.

The persistence of live viruses and other foreign antigens within the cells of the host therefore cannot fail to provoke auto-immune phenomena, because attacking and destroying the infected cells is now the only possible way to remove this constant antigenic challenge from the body. Since universal compulsory vaccination introduces live viruses and other highly antigenic material into the blood of virtually every living person, it is not difficult to predict that a significant harvest of auto-immune diseases will automatically result.

Sir Macfarlane Burnet has observed that the various components of the immune system function as if they were collectively designed to help the organism to distinguish "self" from "non-self," i. e., to help us recognize and tolerate our own cells, and to identify and eliminate foreign or extraneous substances as completely as possible. [24]

Lending further credence to this hypothesis are the acute response to infection, as we saw, and the rejection of transplanted tissues or organs from the same species, i. e., homografts, both of which accomplish complete and permanent removal of the offending substances from the body. If Burnet is correct, then latent viruses, auto-immune phenomena, and perhaps cancer could be regarded as different aspects of the same basic reality, which the immune system can neither escape nor resolve. For they all entail a certain degree of chronic immune failure, a state in which it becomes increasingly difficult or impossible for the body either to recognize its own cells as unambiguously its own, or to eliminate its parasites as essentially foreign.

In the case of the attenuated measles virus vaccine, introducing it directly into the blood might continue to provoke an antibody response for a considerable period of time, which of course is the whole point of giving the vaccine, but eventually, as the virus achieves a state of latency, that response would presumably wane, both because circulating antibodies normally cannot cross the cell membrane, and because they are also powerful immunosuppressive agents in their own right. [25]

After that, the effect of circulating antibodies would be in effect to imprison the virus inside the cell, i. e., to continue to prevent any acute inflammatory response, until such time as, perhaps under circumstances of an emergency or cumulative stress, this precarious balance breaks down, antibodies begin to be produced in large numbers against the cells themselves, and frank auto-immune phenomena, including necrosis and tissue damage, are likely to appear. In this sense, latent viruses are like biological "time bombs," set to explode at an indeterminate time in the future. [26]

Auto-immune phenomena have always seemed obscure, aberrant, and bizarre to physicians, because it is not intuitively obvious why the body should suddenly begin to attack and destroy its own tissues. They make a lot more sense, and perhaps should even be regarded as "healthy," to the extent that destroying chronically infected cells is the only possible way to eliminate an even more serious threat to life, namely, the foreign antigenic challenge persisting within the cells of the host.

According to the same model, tumor formation could be understood as simply a more advanced stage of chronic immune failure, inasmuch as the longer the host is subjected to enormous and constant pressure to make antibodies against itself, the less effective that process will likely become. Eventually, under stress of this magnitude, the auto-immune mechanism itself could break down to the point that the chronically infected and genetically transformed cells, no longer clearly "self" or non-self," begin to free themselves from the normal restraints of "histocompatibility" within the architecture of the surrounding cells and tissues, and begin to multiply autonomously at their expense. A tumor could then be described as "benign," if the weakening of histocompatibility remains strictly localized to the tissue of origin, "malignant" if the process spills over into other cell types, tissues, and organs, even in more remote areas, and not necessarily rigidly or permanently one or the other, since they differ primarily in degree and therefore might or might not even change back and forth into each other in due course.

If what I am saying turns out to be true, then all we have achieved by artificial immunization is to have traded off our acute epidemic diseases of past centuries for the weaker and far less curable chronic diseases of the present, with their suffering and disability paid out little by little, rather than all at once, and amortized over the patient's lifetime. Perhaps even more, I fear that in doing so we have opened up limitless possibilities for new diseases in the future by in vivo genetic recombination within the cells of the race.

4. The Individual Vaccines Reconsidered.

I will now consider each of the vaccines individually, in relation to the natural diseases from which they are derived.

The triple MMR vaccine comprises attenuated, live measles, mumps, and rubella viruses, administered in a single intramuscular injection at about 15 months of age. Subsequent booster doses are no longer recommended, except for young women of childbearing age, in whom the risk of Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) is thought to warrant it, even though the effectiveness of such boosters is at best questionable, as we saw.

Before the vaccine era, measles, mumps, and rubella were classified as "routine diseases of childhood," which most schoolchildren acquired before the age of puberty, and from which nearly all recovered, with lifelong immunity and no complications or sequelæ. But they were not always so harmless. Measles, in particular, is devastating when a population encounters it for the first time. Its importation from Spain undoubtedly contributed to Cortez' conquest of the mighty Aztec empire with only a handful of soldiers: whole villages were carried off by epidemics of measles and smallpox, leaving only a small remnant of cowed, superstitious warrior to face the bearded conquistadores from across the sea. [27]

In more recent outbreaks among isolated, primitive peoples, the case fatality rate from measles averaged 20 to 30%. [28] In these so-called "virgin-soil" epidemics, not only measles, but also polio and many other epidemic diseases take their highest toll of death and serious complications among adolescents and young adults, seemingly healthy and vigorous people in the prime of life, and leave relatively unharmed the group of school-age children before the age of puberty. [29]

The evolution of a disease like the measles from a dreaded killer to a routine disease of childhood presupposes the development of non-specific or "herd" immunity in young children, such that when they are finally exposed to it, it activates defense mechanisms already in place to receive it, resulting in the prolonged incubation period and usually benign, self-limited course described above.

Under these circumstances, the rationale for vaccinating young children against it is limited to the fact that a very small number of deaths and serious complications have continued to occur, chiefly pneumonia, encephalitis, and the rare but dreaded subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), a slow-virus disease with an incidence of 1 per 100,000 cases. [30] Pneumonia, by far the commonest of them, is also benign and self-limited in most cases, even without treatment, [31] and even in those rare cases when bacterial pneumonia supervenes, adequate treatment is currently available.

By all accounts, then, the death rate from measles is very low in the developed world, the risk of serious complications is very low, and the general benefit to the child who recovers from it, as well as his contacts and descendants, is very great. Even if the vaccine could be shown to lower the risk of death and serious morbidity still further, these small achievements would hardly justify the high probability of auto-immune diseases, cancer, and whatever else may result from the harboring and propagation of latent measles virus in human tissue culture for life.

Ironically, what the vaccine certainly has done is to reverse the historical or evolutionary process to the extent that measles is now once again a disease of adolescents and young adults, [32] with a correspondingly higher risk of complications, and a general tendency to produce more illness and disability than it does in grade-school children.

As for the claim that it has helped to eliminate measles encephalitis, even in my own relatively small general practice I have already seen two children with major seizure disorders that the parents clearly traced to the measles vaccine, although they would never have been able to prove the connection in court, and never even considered the possibility of compensation. Such cases therefore never make it into the official statistics, and are duly omitted from conventional surveys of the problem, in spite of the fact that injecting measles into the blood would naturally favor a higher incidence of visceral complications affecting the lungs, liver, and brain, organs for which the virus has a known affinity.

The case for immunizing against mumps and rubella seems a fortiori even more tenuous, for exactly the same reasons. Mumps is also essentially a benign, self-limited disease in children before the age of puberty, and recovery from a single attack likewise confers lifelong immunity. The major complication is meningo-encephalitis, mild or subclinical forms of which are relatively common, but the death rate is extremely low, [33] and sequelæ are rare. The mumps vaccine is prepared and administered in much the same way as the measles, almost always in the same injection, and the dangers associated with it are also comparable. It too is fast becoming a disease of adolescents and young adults, [34] age groups who tolerate it much less well. With them he main complication is epididymo-orchitis, which occurs in 30-40% of affected males past the age of puberty, and usually results in atrophy of the testicle on the affected side, [35] but it also shows a definite affinity for the ovary and pancreas, and may attack these organs as well.

For all of these reasons, the greatest favor we could do for our children would be to expose them to the measles and mumps when they reach school age, which would not only protect them from contracting more serious versions after puberty, but would also greatly enhance their immunological maturation with minimal risk, as was the rule before the vaccine was introduced.

The same discrepancy is evident for rubella or "German measles" as well, which in young children is a disease so mild that it frequently escapes detection, [36] but in adolescents and adults is much more likely to produce arthritis, purpura, and other systemic indications of greater severity. [37] The main impetus for marketing the vaccine was certainly the recognition of Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS), resulting from intrauterine damage to the embryo when the mother acquires the virus in her first trimester of pregnancy, [38] and the unusually high incidence of CRS during the rubella outbreak of 1964. Here again, we have an almost entirely benign, self-limited disease made over by the vaccine into a considerably less benign one of adolescents and young adults of reproductive age, precisely the group that most needs to be protected from it, while the easiest and most effective way to prevent it would likewise be to expose kids to the disease in elementary school. Re-infection does sometimes occur after recovery, but much less commonly than after vaccination. [39]

The equation looks rather different for the diphtheria and tetanus vaccines. First of all, both natural diseases are serious and sometimes fatal, even with the best treatment. This is especially true of tetanus, which still carries a mortality of at least 10-20%. Furthermore, these vaccines are not made of live organisms, but only of certain toxins elaborated by them.

These poisonous substances are responsible for all of the death and destruction wrought by these diseases, and remain highly antigenic even after being inactivated by heat. Diphtheria and tetanus "toxoids" thus do not protect against infection per se, but only against the systemic action of these poisons, in the absence of which both infections are of minor importance clinically. It is therefore easy to understand why parents might want their children protected against diphtheria and tetanus, if safe and effective protection were available; and both vaccines have been in use for a long time, with a very low incidence of serious complications reported, so that there has been very little public outcry against them.

On the other hand, both diseases are readily controlled by simple sanitary measures and careful attention to wound hygiene, and both have been steadily disappearing from the industrially developed countries since long before the toxoids were introduced. Diphtheria now occurs only sporadically in the United States, often in areas with significant reservoirs of unvaccinated children.

But the claim that the vaccine is protective is belied by the fact that, when the disease does break out, the supposedly "susceptible" kids are no more likely to develop it than their fully-immunized contacts. In a 1969 outbreak in Chicago, for example, the Board of Health reported that 25% of the cases had been fully immunized; another 12% had received one or more doses and serologically were fully "immune;" and another 18% had been partly immunized, according to the same criteria. [40]

So once again we are faced with the likelihood that diphtheria toxoid has not produced a genuine immunity to diphtheria, but rather some sort of chronic immune tolerance to it, by harboring highly antigenic residues somewhere within the cells of the immune system, presumably with long-term suppressive effects on the immune mechanism generally. This suspicion earns further credence from the fact that all of the DPT vaccine components are alum-precipitated and preserved with Thimerosal, an organomercury derivative, to preserve them from being metabolized too rapidly, so that the antigenic challenge will continue for as long a time as possible. The fact is that we do not know, or even seem to care, what actually becomes of these foreign substances once they are inside our bodies and those of our children.

Exactly the same questions haunt the seemingly favorable record of the tetanus vaccine, which almost certainly has had some impact in reducing the incidence of tetanus in its classic acute form, yet presumably also persists for years or even decades as a potent foreign antigen within the cells of the immune system, with long-term effects on the immune mechanism that for the present are invisible and therefore impossible to calculate.

Much like diphtheria and tetanus, "whooping cough" began to decline as a serious epidemic threat, as we saw, long before the DPT vaccine was introduced. Moreover, the pertussis vaccine has not been particularly effective, even according to its proponents, and the incidence of known side-effects is disturbingly high. Its power to damage the Central Nervous System or CNS, for example, has received growing attention since Dr. Gordon Stewart and his colleagues reported an alarmingly high incidence of encephalopathy and severe convulsive disorders in British children that were traceable to the vaccine. [41]

My own cases, a few of which were cited above, suggest that hematologic disturbances should also be investigated, and that the known complications represent at most a small fraction of the actual total.

In any case, the pertussis vaccine has become controversial even in the United States, where medical opinion remains almost unanimous in favor of vaccines generally, while several other countries, such as West Germany, have discontinued routine pertussis vaccination entirely. [42] The disease pertussis is also extremely variable clinically, ranging in severity from asymptomatic, mild, or inapparent infections, which are not uncommon, to very rare cases in young infants less than 6 months of age, where the mortality is claimed by some to reach 40%. [43] In children over a year old, however, the disease is rarely fatal, or even that serious a threat of future difficulty, despite its intensity, while antibiotics play a very small part in the outcome. [44]

Most of the pressure to immunize at present thus seems attributable to the higher death rate in very young infants, which has led to what to me seems like a terrifying practice of giving this most clearly dangerous of the vaccines to tiny infants, beginning at 2 months of age, when their mothers' milk would normally protect them from all infections about as well as can ever be done for this age group, [45] and its effect on the still-developing blood and nervous systems is most apt to be catastrophic. For all of these reasons, routine pertussis immunization should be discontinued as quickly as possible, until more studies are done to assess and defray the cost of whatever damage it has already done.

Poliomyelitis and the polio vaccines present an entirely different situation. The standard Sabin vaccine is trivalent, consisting of attenuated live polioviruses of each of the three strains known to produce paralytic disease, and administered orally, the same way the infection is acquired in Nature. Thus allowing the recipient to develop something resembling a natural immunity, by sensitizing cells of the digestive tract at the normal portal of entry, could represent a considerable safety factor. On the other hand, wild-type polio viruses produce no symptoms whatsoever in well over 90% of the people who contact them, even under epidemic conditions; [46] and of those who do become ill, the vast majority suffer nothing worse than a typical gastroenteritis that is more or less indistinguishable from any other of the common summer diarrheas in children. Only 1 or 2% of them ever progress to the full-blown picture of paralytic "poliomyelitis," with its typical lesions in the motor neurons of the spinal cord and medulla oblongata. [47] Poliomyelitis thus also requires peculiar and unusual conditions of susceptibility in the host, indeed an anatomical susceptibility, since the virulence of the poliovirus is so low for most people, even under epidemic conditions, and the number of cases resulting in death or permanent disability was always comparatively so small. [48]

Given the fact that polio viruses were ubiquitous before the vaccine was introduced, and could be found routinely in samples of city sewage wherever it was looked for, [49] it is evident that effective natural immunity to them was already as close to being universal as it could ever be, and a fortiori that no artificial substitute could ever equal or even approximate that record. Since the virus was of such low virulence to begin with, it is difficult to imagine what else further attenuation of it could possibly accomplish, other than perhaps to abate the full vigor of the natural immune response to it. For the fact remains that even the attenuated virus is still alive, and that the people who were anatomically susceptible to it before are still susceptible to it now. This means that at least some of these same people will develop paralytic polio from the vaccine, [50] and that all or most of the others may still be harboring the virus in latent form, perhaps within these same target cells.

The only advantage of giving the vaccine, then, would be to expose the population to the virus when its virulence is lowest, [51] i. e., when they are still infants, but this benefit might be more than offset by weakening the immune response, as we have seen. In any case, the whole matter is clearly one of considerable complexity, and also illustrates the hidden dangers and miscalculations inherent in the almost irresistible temptation to try to beat Nature at her own game, to eliminate a problem that cannot be eliminated, the susceptibility to disease itself.

So even in the case of the polio vaccine, which appears to be about as safe as a vaccine ever can be, the same basic dilemma remains. Perhaps the day will come when we will be ready to face the consequences of deliberately feeding live polio viruses to every living infant, and admit that we should have left well enough alone, and addressed ourselves to the art of healing the sick when we have to, rather than the technology of eradicating the possibility of sickness, when we don't have to, and can't possibly succeed in any case.

5. Vaccination and the Path of Medical Technology.

In conclusion, I want to go back to the beginning, to the essentially political aspects of vaccination, that oblige us to reason and deliberate together about matters of common concern, and to reach a clear decision about how we choose to live. I have stated my own views regarding the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and I hope that others of differing views will do the same.

But I am deeply troubled by the atmosphere of fanaticism that surrounds the subject, whereby vaccines are forcibly imposed on the public in the absence of any public health emergency, often against their will, and serious discussion of them is ridiculed, stifled, and ignored by the medical authorities as if the question had been settled definitively and for all time. Here is a the classic triumphalist view, from the great scientist Macfarlane Burnet, whom we have met before:

It is our pride that in a civilized country the only infectious diseases which anyone is likely to suffer are either trivial or easily cured by available drugs. The diseases that killed in the past have been rendered impotent, and in the process general principles of control have been developed which should be applicable to any unexpected outbreak in the future. [52]

Quite apart from the truth or untruth of these claims, they exemplify the smugness and self-righteousness of a profession and a society that worships its own ability to manipulate and control the processes of Nature itself. That is why, as Robert Mendelsohn has said, "we are quick to pull the trigger, but slow to examine the consequences of our actions." [53] Indeed, methodically slow, one would have to say. In 1978, for example, the American Academy of Pediatrics was commissioned by Congress to formulate guidelines for Federal compensation of "vaccine-related injuries," and included the following eligibility restrictions in its report:

1. Such a reaction should have been previously recognized as a possible consequence of the vaccine given.

2. Such a reaction should have occurred no more than 30 days following the immunization. [54]

These restrictions would automatically exclude all of the chronic diseases, and indeed everything else except the very few adverse reactions that have so far been identified, which clearly represent no more than a tiny fraction of the problem. Still less can either the government or the medical establishment be considered ignorant of the threat that haunts every parent, that vaccines can cause cancer and other chronic diseases. Precisely that possibility was raised by Prof. Robert Simpson of Rutgers, in a 1976 seminar for science writers sponsored by the American Cancer Society:

Immunization programs against flu, measles, mumps, polio, and so forth, may actually be seeding humans with RNA to form latent proviruses in cells throughout the body. These could be molecules in search of diseases: when activated under proper conditions, they could cause a variety of diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Parkinson's disease, and perhaps cancer. [55]

Unfortunately, this is just the sort of warning that few people are ready, willing, or able to hear, least of all the American Cancer Society or the American Academy of Pediatrics. All of us still want to believe in the "miracle," as Dubos calls it, regardless of the evidence:

Faith in the magical power of drugs often blunts the critical senses, and comes close at times to a mass hysteria, involving scientists and laymen alike. Men want miracles as much today as in the past. If they do not join one of the newer cults, they satisfy this need by worshiping at the altar of modern science. This faith in the magical power of drugs is not new. It helped to give medicine the authority of a priesthood, and to recreate the glamour of ancient mysteries. [56]

The idea of eradicating measles or polio has come to seem attractive to us, simply because the power of medical science makes it seem technically possible: we worship every victory of technology over Nature, just as the bullfight celebrates the triumph of human intelligence over the brute beast. That is why we do not begrudge the drug companies their enormous profits, and gladly volunteer our own bodies and those of our children for their latest experiments. Vaccination is essentially a religious sacrament of our own participation in the miracle, a veritable auto-da-fé in the name of civilization itself.

Nobody in his right mind would seriously entertain the idea that if we could somehow eliminate, one by one, measles and polio and all the known diseases of mankind, we would be any the healthier for it, or that other quite possibly even more serious diseases would not arise and quickly take their place. Still less would a rational being suppose that the illnesses he or she suffered from were "entities" somehow separable from the patients who suffer them, and that with the appropriate chemical or surgical sacrament such a removal can literally be carried out. Yet these are precisely the miracles we are taught to believe in, and the idolatries to which we aspire, forgetting the older and simpler truths that the liability to disease is deeply rooted in our biological nature, and that the phenomena of illness are the expression of our own life energy, trying to overcome whatever it is trying to overcome, trying, in short, to heal itself.

The myth that we can find purely technical solutions to all human ailments seems attractive at first, because it bypasses the problem of healing, which is a genuine miracle in the sense that it can always fail to occur. We are all authentically at risk of illness and death at every moment: no amount of technology can change that. Yet the quixotic mission of technomedicine is precisely to change that: to stand at all times in the front line against disease, to attack and destroy it whenever and wherever it shows itself.

That is why, with all due respect, I cannot have faith in the miracles or accept the sacraments of Merck, Sharp, and Dohme and the Centers for Disease Control. I prefer to stay with the miracle of life itself, which has given us illness and disease, to be sure, but also the arts of medicine and healing, through which we can acknowledge and experience our pain and vulnerability, and sometimes, with the grace of God and the help of our friends and neighbors, an awareness of health and well-being that knows no boundaries. That is my religion; and while I would willingly share it, I would not force it on anyone.


1.Mortimer, E., "Pertussis Immunization," Hospital Practice, October 1980, p. 103.

2.Quoted in Mortimer, op. cit., p. 105.

3.Dubos, R., Mirage of Health, Harper, 1959, p. 73.

4.Ibid., pp. 74-75.

5.Stewart, G., "Vaccination Against Whooping Cough: Efficiency vs. Risks," Lancet 1977, p. 234.

6.Medical Tribune, January 10, 1979, p. 1.

7. Cherry, J., "The New Epidemiology of Measles and Rubella," Hospital Practice, July 1980, pp. 52-54.

8. Unpublished data from the New Mexico Health Department (private communication).

9.Lawless, M., et al., "Rubella Susceptibility in Sixth-Graders," Pediatrics 65:1086, June 1980.

10. Cherry, op. cit., p. 49.

11. Infectious Diseases, January 1982, p. 21.

12. Cherry, op. cit., p. 52.

13. Family Practice News, July 15, 1980, p. 1.

14. Ferrante, J., "Atypical Symptoms? It Could Still Be Measles," Modern Medicine, September 30, 1980, p. 76.

15. Cherry, op. cit., p. 53.

16. Phillips, C., "Measles," in Vaughan, V., et al., Eds., Nelson's Textbook of Pediatrics, 11th Ed., Saunders, 1979, p. 857.

17. Davis, B., et al., Microbiology, 2nd Ed., Harper, 1973, p. 1346.

18.Ibid., p. 1346.

19.Ibid., p. 1342.

20. Ibid., p. 1418.

21.Hayflick, L., "Slow Viruses," Executive Health Report, February 1981, p. 4.

22.Ibid., pp. 1-4.

23.Davis, op. cit., pp. 1418-1449.

24.Burnet, M., The Integrity of the Body, Atheneum, 1966, p. 68.

25.Talal, "Auto-Immunity," in Fudenberg, H., et al., Basic and Clinical Immunology, 3rd Ed., Lange, 1980, p. 22.

26. Hayflick, op. cit., p. 4.

27.McNeill, W., Plagues and Peoples, Anchor, 1976, p. 184.

28.Burnet, M., and White, D., The Natural History of Infectious Disease, Cambridge, 1972, p. 16.

29.Ibid., pp. 90, 121, and passim.

30.Steigman, A., "Slow Virus Infections," in Vaughan, op. cit., p. 937.

31.Phillips, op. cit., p. 860.

32.Infectious Diseases, April 1979, p. 26.

33.Phillips, "Mumps," in Vaughan, op. cit., p. 891.

34.Hayden, G., et al., "Mumps and Mumps Vaccine in the U. S.," Continuing Education, September 1979, p. 97.

35.Phillips, "Mumps," op. cit., p. 892.

36.Phillips, "Rubella," in Vaughan, op. cit., p. 863.

37.Ibid., p. 862.

38.Glasgow, L., and Overall, J., "Congenital Rubella Syndrome," in Vaughan, op. cit., p. 483.

39.Phillips, "Rubella," op. cit., p. 865.

40. Cited in Mendelsohn, R., "The Truth About Immunizations," The People's Doctor, April 1978, p. 1.

41.Stewart, op. cit., p. 234.

42.Mortimer, op. cit., p. 111.

43.Feigin, R., "Pertussis," in Vaughan, op. cit., p. 769.


45.Barness, L., "Breast Feeding," in Vaughan, op. cit., p. 191.

46.Burnet and White, op. cit., p. 91ff.

47. Davis, op. cit., p. 1290ff.

48. Ibid., p. 1280.

49. Burnet and White, op. cit., p. 95.

50. Fulginiti, V., "Problems of Poliovirus Immunization," Hospital Practice, August 1980, pp. 61-62.

51.Burnet and White, op. cit., p. 95.

52.Burnet, op. cit., p. 128.

53.Mendelsohn, op. cit., p. 3.

54.Quoted in Wehrle, P., "Vaccines, Risks, and Compensations," Infectious Diseases, February 1982, p. 16.

55.Quoted in Mendelsohn, op. cit., p. 1.

56. Dubos, op. cit., p. 157.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at http://bit.ly/1xcsdoI.