Tuesday, 9 June 2015

He's Back.... Is Andrew Wakefield Behind the "Autism is Deadly" Anti-Vax Campaign

For the last four years, March 1st has signified the official Day of Mourning for victims of filicide, people murdered by family members or caregivers. The Autism Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and others have spearheaded many campaigns around the Day of Mourning, including vigils and social media awareness campaigns. The social media initiatives focus on remembering the victims, and changing the public's perception that somehow, because of the victim's disability, usually autism, the murderer should be excused. Understood. Sympathised with. That campaign in particular has been highly successful, so successful in changing people's opinions that a "documentary", and I use the term loosely, deifying a mom who murdered her son was kept from mainstream release.

The "documentary" Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis, was made, and distributed by, The Autism Media Channel. 

Andrew Wakefield's Autism Media Channel. 

Yes, that Andrew Wakefield

The "documentary" is in fact a carefully guided Wakefield anti vaccine, conspiracy theorist, propaganda piece. An excellent review can be found here. Oft discredited doctor and "research partner" of Andrew Wakefield, Arthur Krigsman, is cited throughout, and Alex's murderers, his mother and godmother, consult with Krigsman repeatedly in regards to Alex's care. There is a lot of conjecture that Arthur Krigsman, or someone else, was encouraging the use of biomed quackery to "cure" Alex, very likely "prescribing" Kerri Rivera's Chlorine Dioxide protocol. There is strong belief that had Wakefield and The Autism Team not been involved with this family, guiding them, influencing them, that Alex might still be with us today. It is not surprising that no respectable professional has allowed themselves to be connected to this "documentary". It did not receive standard release, and in fact was only made available through The Autism Media Channel itself. Reasonable people did not want to be connected with a movement that accepted murder of autistics as justified and excuseable. 

After this years Day of Mourning, Wakefield supporters started using the names of autistics murdered by loved ones to suggest that autism is deadlier than measles. Their justification for this outrageous statement was that more autistic children die each year than children die from measles. They are saying that children murdered by their parents, children who wandered and drowned, children who died in car accidents, all died because in THEIR minds, autism, not murderers or a society not set up to support families of wanderers, kills.
"I do think we should keep pointing out that the autism epidemic is worse and just as scary as the polio epidemics that I remember when I was a child."
They cite "facts" like this
US Children killed by autism in the last week: 5
US Children killed by measles in the 21st century: 1

Thankfully, this movement didn't gain much attention. That is until this past week. 

After the conviction in the US of Daniel Smith for selling MMS, Kerri Rivera shut down all her online business enterprises and has gone incommunicado. She disappeared. Leaving her followers confused and dazed. And for some, scared. The rats have been slowly jumping ship. But you don't follow Kerri Rivera's horrific protocol on a whim. You have to be a special sort of person. That person still needs an "outlet". Since the anti vaccine movement and autism biomed cure pushers run in the same circles it was a natural for the same people seen in MMS groups to start popping up in the anti vaccine/ Wakefield groups. 

Now, Mr Wakefield has recently started an indiegogo campaign to raise $22 000 to fund his latest quack-u-mentary, in response to the proposed legislation in many states making vaccinations mandatory. He's quite fond of indiegogo. Regularly raises tens of thousands of dollars for his "projects" through the site.

Here's the trailer, trigger warning, you may not want to watch this

With the added troops from the biomed exodus, the social media campaign started in the anti vax community has kicked up again, with renewed vigor

The troops have been posting all over facebook, targeting in particular groups for parents of wanderers. By focusing in these groups on children who have died from wandering, they are playing on the fears of these parents.

This is where I get pissed off.

I am the mom of a wanderer.

Those fears are very real. And to manipulate people towards your agenda  through their fears for their child's safety is despicable.

AUTISM is not deadly.

Vaccines do not cause autism.

To draw a connection between a child murdered by their parents and children lost due to wandering, or killed in car accidents, is horrific! Are they saying that the parents of a child who wanders is as bad as a murderer? No, they avoid saying that outright. But what they are saying is just as bad. That it is not the murderer who killed the child, it is Autism. That is the same as blaming a rape on the victim being a woman instead of blaming her attacker. They are saying autism is a deadly disease caused by vaccinations. Likening autism to cancer is a common thread amongst these fanatics, as is using fraudulent studies to back up their conspiracy theories regarding vaccines, but never before have I seen them use the deaths of wanderers, and their parents' pain, to further their cause. This deflects attention and resources away from the real issues of wandering (a society not set up to assist families in keeping their loved one's safe) and places it solely back in Wakefield's lap. It draws attention away from the VICTIMS of filicide, makes their murderers into martyrs, and again, plays back into Wakefield's lap.

Just as we finally started to see a future without the likes of quacks like Kerri Rivera, Andrew Wakefield steps back in and justifies filicide. In the words of ASAN:
Change the conversation. Center the victim. Condemn the murderer. Refuse to “understand,” excuse, justify, minimize, or normalize a parent killing their child. Refuse to accept this. Refuse to allow this to become our new normal.
Don't allow Andrew Wakefield to make this the "new normal" simply so he can push his own quackery.
Refuse to allow Wakefield's minions to manipulate the valid fears of the parents, like myself, of wanderers.

Autism doesn't kill.

Quacks do.

IF you'd like to counteract this despicable campaign, please post your thoughts on the social media of your choice and include the hashtag #QuackQuack . 


Canberra Mum said...

Hear hear hear! Well said, my friend.

Full Spectrum Mama said...

So true.
well, quacks and some...parents.

Full Spectrum Mama said...

p.s. I just nominated you for the Liebster Award, which is bloggers nominating their favorite bloggers...You can see the piece on fullspectrummama.blogspot.com (most recent piece).
Thanks and love,