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Actually the real fraud has been committed by those covering up the link between autism and vaccines, especially MMR (from aborted unborn babies):
Statement by whistle blower Dr. William Thompson, Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 1998.
“I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that especially African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.
There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe it is the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with receipt of those vaccines.”
Also the infamous Danish study purporting to deny link between vaccines and autism, has been found to be totally flawed by scientists. Also the lead scientists of the Danish study i.e.: POUL THORSEN, 49, of Denmark, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud and money laundering based on orchestrating a scheme to steal over $1 million in CDC grant money earmarked for autism research.
Those who are denying the link are actually ‘anti-science’, just like those who denied the link between smoking and lung cancer.
I also believe that this supposed finding of a link between vaccinations and autism is baloney. I subscribe to Scientific American Mind, and in one issue there was an article titled "Why We Cheat," in which the case of this fraud was discussed along with other scientists who were also found to have cheated with data while they were still Ph.D. students but apparently their supervisors failed to confront them at the time, and when they submitted an article with fraudulent data and were found out their budding careers were over. Who wants to hire an individual known to cheat and lie?
My sister also believed that autism was linked to vaccines and was extremely reluctant to have her son vaccinated because of that fraud, but she resigned herself to have it done because he would not have been admitted at the school where she and her partner wanted to register him UNLESS he were vaccinated. I have lent her the issue but I don't know if she's read it yet since she's a pretty busy woman. However, since both she and my brother-in-law are engineers, there is very little likelihood of them being anti-science.
Interesting that this statement was made in the article you linked to:
“Until scientists can prove exactly what causes autism, it's difficult to definitively disprove anything.”
Actually there are parallels between current denial of the obvious link between vaccines and autism, and the historical denial of the link between smoking and lung cancer.
- Lung cancer was once a very rare disease, so rare that doctors took special notice when confronted with a case, thinking it a once-in-a-lifetime oddity.
1987 - “Autistic disorder is rare, occurring in fewer than five children per ten thousand births, but with few exceptions (Lovaas). Similarly when a doctor was confronted by a case decades ago, it was regarded as a once-in-a-lifetime oddity.
This is interesting history regarding smoking and lung cancer that is similar to current denial of link between vaccines and autism:
“Cigarettes were recognized as the cause of the (lung cancer) epidemic in the 1940s and 1950s, with the confluence of studies from epidemiology, animal experiments, cellular pathology and chemical analytics. Cigarette manufacturers disputed this evidence, as part of an orchestrated ploy to salvage cigarette sales. Propagandizing the public proved successful, judging from secret tobacco industry measurements of the impact of denialist propaganda. As late as 1960 only one-third of all US doctors believed that the case against cigarettes had been established.”
Dr. Theresa Deisher’s credentials seem far more credible that the blog that you linked to. “Dr. Deisher has focused on discovering and developing new therapies for grievous human illness. Dr. Deisher obtained her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Physiology from Stanford University and has spent over 20 years in commercial biotechnology, working with companies such as Genentech, Repligen, ZymoGenetics, Immunex and Amgen, prior to founding AVM Biotechnology and Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (SCPI). AVM Biotechnology is the marquee pro-life biotech company worldwide, certifying that it does not use morally illicit material in any process.”
Are you pro-life? Do you think it’s OK to be injecting babies with vaccines made utilizing aborted unborn babies.
Fronse, it sounds like you find yourself with a dilemma. On the one hand, you simply want to be "just another child of God," and speaking up about your disability only causes people to focus on it all the more, resulting (often) in even more pity toward you. On the other hand, instead of pity, you would like people to appreciate that the disability has deepened your resolve and your creativity to overcome the barriers it creates. I read a fine article once (can't find it right now) by two women (one or both have disabilities) who examine the Luke 8 passage about the woman with a flow of blood. In her society, she would have been considered to have a disability. The authors of the article noted that in all the commentaries they read about the passage, no commentator said a word about the woman's courage, her resourcefulness, her determination to go on living in a society that considered her unmarriageable and perpetually unclean. Thanks for taking the risk to speak up here so that those of us who read your post can remember the resourcefulness and determination one needs to keep on keeping on when living with a disability.
Thanks Mark for raising this important question. We all have views of "normal" that we learn or is imposed on us. Different is emphasized sometimes too often. Having a prosthesis I have learned that folks focus on it, not me. Too often first reactions lean toward pity which is spirit-killing for me. Yet overcoming living barriers (walking, standing, etc.) too often is overlooked, unless I speak up. Sharing my struggles leads to me being treated differently just because I spoke up. It makes me avoid situations and communications about "disabilities." I want greatly to be treated as just another child of God, a man, a father, husband, grandfather and friend.
Many sources agree that the autism/vaccination link does not exist. It always worries me when someone will benefit financially if people believe a study that person publishes. Such is the case with Dr. Deischer, the author of the study you cite, according to this article in Patheos, and such was the case with Andrew Wakefield. We had our children vaccinated, and I firmly believe that God gave us minds to discover new ways of protecting ourselves from disease, whether vaccinations or antibiotics or other means. I feel sad for the children getting measles today because their parents refused to have them vaccinated.
This is a summary of the scientific findings: http://soundchoice.s3.amazonaws.com/soundchoice/wp-content/uploads/SCPI-...
Second page lists all vaccines made using human fetal cells and alternative(s), if any. Some vaccines don't have any alternatives.
Synod's brief statement still provides a nuanced response. The SCC decision opens up a Pandoras box.
The Canadian debate at the time of the abortion issue (read lack of!) comes to mind again with its disastrous results.
This is the link to the article, in the Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology mentioned (above): http://www.soundchoice.org/scpiJournalPubHealthEpidem092014.pdf
Dr. Deisher (author) testifies on the connection between vaccines and rising rates of autism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5b9xsGZs1E
Actually recent scientific clearly demonstrates the link between autism and vaccines, specifically those made using human fetal cells.
This is an abstract that I split into paragraphs to improve readability of the article in Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology:"
The aim of this study was to investigate a previously overlooked, universally introduced environmental factor, fetal and retroviral contaminants in childhood vaccines, absent prior to change points (CPs) in autistic disorder (AD) prevalence with subsequent dose-effect evidence and known pathologic mechanisms of action.
Worldwide population based cohort study was used for the design of this study. The United States, Western Australia, United Kingdom and Denmark settings were used.
All live born infants who later developed autistic disorder delivered after 1 January 1970, whose redacted vaccination and autistic disorder diagnosis information is publicly available in databases maintained by the US Federal Government, Western Australia, UK, and Denmark.
The live births, grouped by father’s age, were from the US and Australia. The children vaccinated with MMRII, Varicella and Hepatitis A vaccines varied from 19 to 35 months of age at the time of vaccination.
Autistic disorder birth year change points were identified as 1980.9, 1988.4 and 1996 for the US, 1987 for UK, 1990.4 for Western Australia, and 1987.5 for Denmark.
Change points in these countries corresponded to introduction of or increased doses of human fetal cell line-manufactured vaccines, while no relationship was found between paternal age or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) revisions and autistic disorder diagnosis.
Further, linear regression revealed that Varicella and Hepatitis A immunization coverage was significantly correlated to autistic disorder cases. R software was used to calculate change points.
Autistic disorder change points years are coincident with introduction of vaccines manufactured using human fetal cell lines, containing fetal and retroviral contaminants, into childhood vaccine regimens.
This pattern was repeated in the US, UK, Western Australia and Denmark. Thus, rising autistic disorder prevalence is directly related to vaccines manufactured utilizing human fetal cells.
Increased paternal age and DSM revisions were not related to rising autistic disorder prevalence."
What I mean by pointing out that severely autistic individuals can be violent is that this is unacceptable if this is preventable by not using vaccines made from human fetal cells. Isn't it outrageous that parents, not being informed what is actually in the vaccines, are unnecessarily burdened with an autistic child who can later (when older/bigger) be life threatening to his/her own parents?
I personally don't agree with vaccination, i.e. don't believe that Almighty God made a mistake in our design.
However, regarding what the church should do. The church should at least be demanding that there is ALWAYS an alternative to vaccines made from human fetal cells, for Biblical/ethical and health/safety reasons. Currently there is no alternative to the MMR vaccine containing human fetal cells.
Yes, this decision is frightening for everyone, and especially people who have disabilities, which is why we Christians need to respond. For more information, besides the excellent Cardus article, see Not Dead Yet, the ironically titled U.S. organization that opposes assisted suicide, and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, which just produced two excellent articles in response to this decision by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Let's take these in opposite order. There are many theories regarding the increase in autism diagnoses. First and most important, the rise in autism diagnoses is NOT caused by the increase in vaccination rates. The theory of vaccinations causing autism has not only been shown to be false, but also a fraud perpetrated to line the pockets of certain people. The rise in diagnoses may not indicate that any more people today have autism than, say, 100 years ago. A diagnosis uses specific criteria, and as those criteria have changed over the years, rates of diagnoses have increased. Regarding the church's response, the important thing is not so much the diagnosis, but the welcome the church gives to people who bear the image of God.
That brings me to your first comment. Yes, it's true that some people who have autism are violent. It's also true that some men are violent, and some white people are violent, and some . . . are violent. We in the church should never hold prejudice against a whole group of people because they happen to share some characteristic. Instead, the church needs to be the welcoming community it is called to be, welcoming people with autism, and men, and white people, and . . . And if some individual, whether that individual has autism, or is male, or is white, begins to engage in inappropriate behavior, the church must take steps to set boundaries, not deciding immediately that he doesn't belong, but deciding to work with him to help him learn appropriate behaviors. I've consulted with a number of congregations who have done exactly that; what a beautiful expression of the love of God for all of us! "Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." (Eph. 2:4,5)
The slippery slope continues, it started with murdering the unborn (abortion), now moving towards that other end of life. How long will it be before people are killed against their will, such as is happening in countries that have already gone down this road? Will doctors be expected to 'refer' to another doctor willing to do the dreadful deed, similar to abortions? Thereby violating their freedom of conscience.
Unfortunately, some who are severely autistic can be violent, such as this article about a mother beaten up by her adult autistic son: http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/12/man-with-autism-beats-mother-we-can-n...
You mention that within a short time frame the number of cases of autism has shot up from 1 in 10 000 to 1 in 100? Do you know why?
Hi Michele, click on "Visit Website." Mark
Could you provide a link to it or5 do I have to look it up myself?
"The Christian tradition has always considered suicide a grievous sin"
But is suicide the "unforgivable sin?"
Suicide has a terrible copycat effect, writes Katelyn Beaty in Christianity Today, citing atheist Jennifer Hecht, and is therefore a threat to any community.
Was seppuku a threat to Japanese society?
Might not an outsider describe Jesus' death as "suicide by cop?"
Larry Van Essen
Thank you, Kelly, for sharing this here. ~Stanley
Thank you, for these helpful suggestions, Mark. We can all participate better, when we are better informed!
Robin, thanks for this! Here are three ideas to get people started on a road toward fully engaging kids with disabilities at their church:
Bill, indeed, many fetuses are spontaneously aborted, but to say that a soul enters a fetus when the fetus becomes viable outside the womb is arbitrary, and that point has been shifting downward as neonatal medicine has advanced. In fact, there will come a day when artificial wombs will be a reality, and fertilized eggs will be viable outside a human womb, though probably not in my lifetime.
The point of my article is to emphasize that couples need not give up hope about their child or their marriage if they have a child with a disability. People and marriages can flourish even when circumstances are very difficult!
As far as I can determine, the CRC has no opinion as to the origin and/or timing of the human soul. If we have an official opinion or discussion, I would very much like to read it. The topic is important to discussing this essay.
" . . . Within the range of heathenism, creationism was the old Italian view. Contrary to what one might have expected, the ancient Latin Church abandoned it. . . ."
I confess this article is at or beyond my limit of understanding. Considering present knowledge of DNA and that over half of all conceptions are spontaneously aborted . . . I have concluded that God creates the soul when the fetus is technically/medically able to live outside the womb. Why would God create a soul that God knows that God would abort? What constitutes the "personality" of a collection of undifferentiated cells? if "only God knows" then arguing about birth control pills and such is silly.
Another resource that's available on the topic of moral injury and "soul repair" is this webinar recording (which includes slides and a handout) called "Helping Veterans Suffering Moral Injury After War."
Thanks Michele. I found the article online too: Schizophrenia's Genetic Roots.
Hi Michele, our newsletter, Breaking Barriers, follows themes, so it might be years again before we publish an edition featuring people's stories about mental health challenges; however, we have a page called Stories of Grace and Truth in which we have encouraged people to share their own stories, poems, and works of art. I'd really appreciate your sending us what you have written. The guidelines for submission are at the top of the Grace and Truth page.
Interesting. I'll watch the video later, but I wanted to say that I got my latest issue of Scientific American Mind in the mail today and there is an article about schizophrenia in it. "Schizophrenia's Genetic Roots" in November/December 2014. p. 13.
I have some poems I wrote in the mid-1990s before and after I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, which was one of the most stressful periods of my life. One of them is on this computer ; its title is "Mountains". Unfortunately I can't get it in this window. I don't know how to, but I could send it to Disability concerns to publish in your newsletter along with the others.
Right, their journey with mental health issues. Unfortunately, comments can't be edited so my error will have to stay. Thanks for the catch.
I will look into the resources you mentioned and share them with my pastor. In one of the sentences you wrote about the poems and stories you mentioned a journal. Perhaps you meant a journey? Thanks for these resources. I'll get back to you.
Michele, I agree that you should follow where God is leading in terms of your time, attention, and energy. I thank God to hear that you are hoping to start a support group for people with mental health issues. I hope and pray that goes well. We have a couple resources that may be helpful. We produced a four-part Bible study a few years ago called Let's Talk! Breaking the Silence around Mental Illness in Our Communities of Faith. This includes a leader's guide and may be helpful to get your group started. Also, we invited people to share their stories and poems about their journal with mental health issues which we titled Stories of Grace and Truth; perhaps you or others would feel moved to contribute something for this page. Mental Health Ministries and Pathways to Promise also have a lot of good, free resources that are worth checking out; their Mental Health Ministry Toolkit for Congregations is hard to find but has some really good ideas and resources. Blessings, Mark
Hi Michele, We close captioned the brief videos we created that can be found on our homepage. I assume you are talking about the new children and youth ministry videos we just put on our website. Thanks for this suggestion. I hope that someday we will have the budget to pay for this in addition to the cost of producing the videos themselves. Mark
On another subject. I am somewhat hard of hearing and the loud speakers of my computer are weak. Could you or would you make your videos close captioned in the future, so that I can hear what people are saying without straining and trying to boost the volume beyond the computer's capacity? I already have an extra set of loud speakers and even with them I had such a hard time hearing the video that I gave up. Thank you.
That is NOT a job I'd see myself doing, but I do forward your posts to people in my congregation whom I think might be interested because I know that their child or other relative has a disability. Yesterday we had a one-day retreat in which we discussed the future of our congregation and classis, and where we felt our church was in the life-cycle of a congregation, and at the check-out stage I presented my desire to set up a support group for people with mental health issues and their close relatives, while someone else said we should also set up a Friendship group. I do NOT feel qualified or interested in doing both, but I would be interested in getting further training to become a peer counselor; we already have a social worker in our congregation and the pastor is sensitive to the problem of mental illnesses because one of his daughters also suffers from schizophrenia.
It's a beautiful vision, Mark. Keep up the good work!
Hi Michele, thanks for the comment. Yeah, it should be a given nowadays that some people need medications for their mental health issues just as some people need medication for high blood pressure. Sadly, some Christians still believe that mental illnesses are spiritual issues that should be handled by strictly spiritual means. Thanks for speaking up against this attitude which is not only out of touch with the realities of mental illnesses but also not loving.
I'm not sure if I commented on this post already or not, but to me point 3 falls in the duh! category. The medications exist because they were found to meet a need, and while I can see that some depressions could be managed without medication, nobody could do that with major mental illnesses like schizophrenia unless they're anti-psychiatry but that's another horse. And even depressions nowadays are not what they used to be. In a program I saw on TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin during Mental Health Week a few years ago, three psychiatrists were saying that depression in many cases had become a chronic illness, so even there it might be unrealistic to expect people to get over it on their own strength, so what's the big problem with church members taking meds for mental illnesses? Is it yet another preconceived idea based on an assumption that mental illnesses are moral failures on the part of those who suffer from these illnesses? Welcome to the 21st Century.
Man, I'm tired of seeing those old prejudices having to be re-addressed time and time again. Can we move on to the next level in helping people with mental illnesses than repeating the same arguments? In Hebrews, when the author wrote to the congregation about their maturity level, he said that although by that time they should have been teaching others they still needed to be taught the basics, and you know why? Because people who don't grow in the faith don't do their homework, and it's the same about ministering to people in the church that have special needs. Some Christians should know better than to still be stuck at the level of changing their attitude toward other Christians with mental illnesses, but we're going around in circles because those who still need posts like the one above are not growing. This should be a non-issue for followers of Christ Who never bothered to consider if people who were sick and needed His help were deserving of it. Who in the Church of Christ is deluded enough to think they have the right to judge other believers because they're mentally ill?
Amen to that. The church would be a long ways toward true community if everyone treated each other as people first!
Oh, I didn't mean stupidity in that sense, but to avoid talking to people because they have a visible handicap, or to talk down to them as though being blind or walking with a stick or having a mental illness equals being intellectually handicapped, that's what I find stupid. Whether we have a visible handicap or not, we are people first and foremost.
HI Michele, I appreciate what you are saying, but I think we who do not have disabilities do need a little coaching. People tend to feel anxious around someone who is different from them (for whatever reason), and getting a little instruction about what to do and not do can help. For example, I just heard a blind mind say that recently he was walking down the street, using his cane, and came to a post which he detected with his cane. Just as he was about to go around the post, a man grabbed him by the shoulders and said "Stop." Obviously, the blind man was surprised and upset and said, "Don't grab me." The other man thought he was trying to help, but only startled the blind man who knew what he was doing. So a little guidance like knowing to ask, "Can I help you in any way?" is really good. Or another, if you are going to talk with a person in a wheelchair for longer than a few seconds, pull up a chair so that she doesn't have to strain her neck. Maybe not knowing to do these things is stupidity on the part of us nondisabled people, but I would prefer to call it lack of knowledge. And that's easy to correct with a simple tool like this document if only people would be willing to read and apply it.
I don't see why communicating with us is such a big deal. Most of us are normal people who happen to have a handicap, so the problem is really in their heads; they're the ones tagging us with the word "disabled", so they just need to stop thinking of people with handicaps as disabled and the hurdle will be gone. Another thing that might help them would be to keep in mind that we're all limited in some way or other because of the effects of sin in our lives, and for some people it's more obvious than for others. Nobody has the word disabled written on their forehead, and you're not abnormal because you walk with a stick or get around in a wheelchair. Some people are really stupid and maybe that's their handicap.
Michele, I pray that God will surprise you with an opportunity you never expected.
Shannon, yes, they are alarming statistics. I would guess that in most societies, disability is part of the lives of many if not most of that society's members who live in poverty. In addition, many people with disabilities are put to death against their will, either through abortion, or infant exposure, or neglect, or euthanasia.
These statistics are alarming, but I appreciate your sharing them. Thank you for all of the work you do advocating on behalf of those whose voices many of us in the church ignore.
These statistics would likely be the same in Canada. I know that I live on a disability income well below the poverty level. I am now well enough to start looking for work but I'm almost 56, so I wonder who will hire me.
This article on paralympic athletes in Ghana demonstrates that stigma doesn't have the last word!
Thanks to all of you for the kudos.
Kevin McDermott, yes, it's particularly sad and painful when people feel the need to hide their loved ones out of shame created by community stigma. Although this shame may be more prominent in countries outside of North America, stigma is alive and well here too. For example, I had a conversation recently with a man I've known since childhood. He told me that his mother was in psychiatric hospitals much of his youth, and I never knew.
Awesome Mark! And so timely. My wife & I served in S.E.Asia for awhile & the families there kept any children that had special needs out of sight. There was a stigma there that was cultural & so sad to see. Great to see that back here in the States, denominations like the CRC are engaged in reaching out to this population rather than shunning them.
This is a great story. Thanks for sharing!
Beautifully written, Mark! Thank you, and congratulations!