SIR – In a letter penned by Teresa Heaney and published by The Southern Star on August 6th), Heaney complains about an article in which Fiona O’Leary calls a spade a spade and brings the public’s attention to the harm being done by the anti-vaccine fear mongering propaganda ‘film’ Vaxxed which is currently traversing the US.
The ‘film’ is directed by and stars Andrew Wakefield, the disgraced one-time doctor, now full-time cult figurehead of the anti-vaccine movement.
Having had the misfortune to watch the ‘film,’ it is clear that the producers and the director Wakefield, all of whom feature heavily in the film itself, have strung together pieces of phone recordings by the so-called CDC whistle-blower William Thompson (who does not appear at all, except in the guise of snippets of edited phone conversations delivered from a smoke filled syringe, which in the end amount to nothing remotely resembling actual concrete evidence).
Intermingled with this ghostly voice are images and clips of autistic children in a distressed and compromised state, reams of tables and graphs and statistics flash in and out and yet more fear mongering which will in the end amount to nothing but an emotional assault designed to plant the seed of conspiracy and doubt.
We are left with no clear evidence of the actual supposed purpose of the film, i.e. proving that the MMR causes autism and that the CDC is simply covering it all up.
Of course the multiple ‘independent’ studies which failed to find any link between the MMR and autism are dismissed out of hand.
Wakefield, it seems, prefers to jump on the Vaxxed conspiracy bus with a self-made propaganda flick, where at every opportunity the holy trinity production team of Wakefield, Tommey and Bigtree make clear statements about the dangers of, not only the MMR, but of all vaccines, paediatricians and the established scientific and medical community.
Fiona O’Leary has become the target of the anti-vaccine movement and the cult-like believers in the biomedical quack industry which thrives amid the fear instilled against the establishment, enabling charlatans and pseudo-scientists to sell and experiment with dangerous unregulated, unproven treatments for autism.
Perhaps Heaney will also speak out on behalf of those being exploited and experimented on, if only to add a little balance to the debate?
What is criminal about alerting the public to the lies and deceit of a conspiracy movement, which if successful in its endeavour, will endanger the lives of millions of children and adults all across the world with the inevitable return of once disabling and deadly diseases?
Do we want to turn back the clock to the bad old days of oppression and ignorance? I certainly do not.
Autistic Rights Together,