Free speech opponent & vaccine denier J.B. Handley misrepresents facts…again.

I have to give credit to notorious anti-vax charlatan J.B. Handley. He’s remarkably consistent with claiming false information is factual!

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J.B. Handley in the midst of another nonsensical rant against vaccines.

And because he censors anyone who questions him (and thus is against free speech), if you scroll down his Facebook page it will always appear as if everybody agrees with him!

The same is true for his “blog” where if you attempt to question him you’ll soon see this:

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 3.28.47 PMSo what is J.B. afraid of? Well, let’s take a look at a recent Facebook post of his and see!

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Wow.

That’s a lot of “facts” J.B!  I mean, you used the word “facts” three times! You even capitalized one of them! “FACTS!” Who could argue with that? (Well, technically nobody on your Facebook page could because you censor any opposing viewpoints!)

The good news for those who still believe in free speech is that I get to respond with REAL FACTS here. And J.B. has no authority to censor this blog. (Thank you founding fathers!)

First off, the “vaccine-autism connection” is a “compelling and obvious set of facts?” Uhh, nope. It’s actually a debunked conspiracy theory believed mainly by…*spoiler alert* conspiracy theorists.

Now let’s get to J.B’s “facts.”

#1 Have the number of children with autism exploded in the last 20 years?

The consensus of science says NO.

But don’t take my word for it. That’s why we have evidence-based scientific peer-reviewed studies like a recent study of more than 1 million Swedish children born between 1993 and 2002 that was published in the British Medical JournalA good analysis of that study can be found here and here.

There’s also a recent Australian study which “provides the first clear evidence of a reduction over time in the behavioral severity of individuals diagnosed with Autistic Disorder during a period of stability in diagnostic criteria. ” A good analysis of that study can be found here.

There’s even a whistleblower (vaccine deniers love whistleblowers, right?) who confessed: “As Chair of the DSM-IV Task Force [that prepared the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1994], I bear partial responsibility for the false epidemic of autistic disorders.”

And new evidence shows that autism spectrum disorders appear to have stabilized among U.S. kids and teens.

Of course, even if all this evidence was wrong, and autism really has “exploded” in the last 20 years that wouldn’t prove any association with vaccines.

#2 Do tens of thousands of parents point to a before-and-after vaccine appointment that triggered their child’s autism?

This is literally a made up number by J.B. Handley. He has no evidence of this claim. Nor would any amount of anecdotes be able to erase scientific truths.

I have no doubt that vulnerable parents who have been exploited by charlatans like J.B. do believe vaccines “triggered” autism in their children, whether or not the timing was exactly as they claim.

The fact is, autism symptoms generally are spotted around the time many children get vaccinated, which is why vaccines have been the perfect “mark” for scam-artists.

So why are there so many reports of autism symptoms showing up after vaccinations?

Simple math.

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#3 Can vaccines cause brain damage?

This is another anti-vax trope that continues to be recycled as “evidence” that vaccines can cause autism.

Of course the actually scientific evidence disagrees.

In this paper titled “The ‘urban myth’ of the association between neurological disorders and vaccinations” the authors conclude:

In reality, it should be borne in mind that the case reports published in the literature have almost always shown only a temporal association between vaccination and neurological events, while controlled studies have either excluded such associations, as in the case of the MMR vaccine and autism, or have been unable to establish a causal link between the vaccine and severe neurological reactions, such as in the case of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccines and optic neuritis.

In conclusion, we can say, with little risk of error, that the association between modern vaccinations and serious neurological disorders is a true “urban myth”

And once again, vaccines don’t cause autism.

#4 Does recent published biological science show that vaccines trigger immune activation events that cause autism?

In a word…Absolutely not. (Okay, that was two words.)

What J.B. is likely referring/clinging to are papers by:

1) “Notorious antivax researcher” Christopher Exley, the “latest darling of the anti-vaccine movement” who is funded by *spoiler alert * a rabid anti-vax organization, whose founder once said that “Vaccines are a holocaust of poison on our children’s brains and immune systems.”

His recent paper on aluminum and autism was…to put it mildly…flawed.

But don’t take my word for it! You can read more about his misleading “study” & why it’s a great example of bad science here & here & here and here.

2) Anti-vax researcher Christopher Shaw, whose recent fraudulent paper was retracted when it was discovered the data was faked, which was the second time a paper of his was retracted!

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In conclusion J.B. Handley’s list of “facts” is anything but. His actions to censor and block information that exposes his misinformation is sad, desperate and a confirmation that he knows, deep down, that he’s not being honest.

J.B.’s “go-to” excuse for his censorship is that those who express disagreement with his posts are “trolls” or “shills for big pharma.” (Which is exactly what he will call me if he reads this blog!) But that excuse is just that…an excuse.

The irony is that anti-vax charlatans like J.B. Handley constantly whine and complain about how “scientific debate” is not happening on the issue of vaccines. Yes, J.B. You are correct.

But that’s only because you censor anyone who tries!

By calling anyone who opposes him a “troll” he has set the stage for censorship to be legitimized among his followers. It allows him to continue to control his message without anyone ever considering he might not be telling the truth. It lets him command his echo chamber with whatever misinformation he chooses.

Thankfully those of us not inside that echo chamber (AKA the “trolls) are free to expose him.

And we will continue to do so.

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