Autism and Vaccines

Perhaps one of the most shocking pieces ever to appear on television was a six-hour taping of a Congressional investigation into the relationship between vaccines and autism among American children. In April 2000, this footage appeared on C-SPAN and was then archived on their website for an entire month.

On April 6, 2000, Rep. Dan Burton convened the Congressional hearing in which parent after parent told very similar stories – how their normally developing babies had suddenly reversed their development soon after the MMR vaccination, or the DPT shots. The children spiraled downward into the vegetable-like existence of autistic behavior, a condition which is usually permanent. Happy, bright children suddenly can no longer learn or communicate, or recognize their parents.

Amazing testimony was given by experts in the field of autism:

Mary Megson MD explained how autism has gone from being an unknown in 1978, with an incidence of 1 in 10,000 at that time, to an epidemic in 2000 AD, in which the incidence is in the range of 1 case in every 300 – 500 in many areas! Megson’s research has shown total deficiency of vitamin A in almost all autistic children. What depletes the body of vitamin A at 15 months? Right – the MMR vaccine. In addition, Megson found that pertussis toxin from the DPT shot disrupted a certain protein that is necessary for retinal formation. This would account for the prevalence of night blindness and loss of 3D vision so common among autistics.

John O’Leary, PhD a world class researcher and molecular biologist from Ireland, using state of the art sequencing technology, showed how he had found measles virus in the gut of 96% of autistic children, compared to 6.6% of normal children. This virus did not come from the natural disease; it came from the measles vaccine. In addition, Dr. O’Leary found measles virus present in 75% of children with Crohn’s Disease. Crohn’s has traditionally been an intestinal disease of adults, following years of dietary abuse. Its appearance in children is a new event, and Dr. O’Leary’s work points to measles virus from vaccines as the likely cause.

V. Singh, MD, a specialist from Utah State who has studied over 400 cases of autism, found that these children had experienced an autoimmune episode, in which their own body has been made to attack the lining of the nervous system. Dr. Singh characterizes the epidemic as a “hyperimmune response to the measles virus.” He stated that 55% of the families said that autism appeared soon after an MMR shot, and that 33% of families said it appeared soon after a DPT shot. Such neurologic damage is a well-established side effect of the mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde used in these vaccines.

Andrew Wakefield MD, a brilliant researcher from the UK, noted an almost 100% incidence of “lymphoid nodular hyperplasia” or swollen lumps throughout the intestinal tissue of autistics. Such a condition is rare in normal children. Intestinal pathology is characteristic of the autistic child, and the condition generally follows soon after the MMR shot. Dr. Wakefield explained that as the fragile, newborn intestine cannot function because of its swollen condition, undigested toxins from vaccines and drugs are allowed to get into the liver, which is also in a formative stage. Liver pathology is very common among autistics. Wakefield’s hypothesis is that these same “undegraded toxins,” having not been halted by the intestine or the liver, as normally happens, that these toxins are then free to attack the nervous system, and that autism may well be the result.

Kathy Pratt, PhD, director of the Indiana Center for Autism, stated that 1/400 children in Indiana were now autistic! With 500,000 cases now reported in the U.S., Dr Pratt stated that autism is now more common than Downs Syndrome. Dr. Pratt points out that autism presently may disqualify a person for medical coverage for other, unrelated conditions.

Michael Goldberg, MD, a California pediatrician and researcher, explained how it was impossible to have an epidemic based solely on genetics. That’s the standard excuse the CDC and the NIH have been using to explain how autism has grown from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 300 in just 22 years.

Seeing the American democratic system in action in a real live Congressional hearing, it soon becomes apparent how the control of information operates, even in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence that we may well be poisoning our own children.

The requisite defenders of the status quo robotically read their predictable prepared statements, denying the possibility of any connection between autism and vaccines. These included Paul Offit, MD, Edwin Cook, MD, Brent Taylor, MD, and others. After they uniformly denied the vaccine/autism connection, it was most illuminating when Burton point-blank asked each one of them about the money each receives from the vaccine manufacturers. And these are members of the Advisory Committee – that’s who makes the decision about which vaccines are to be included in the mandated vaccination schedule.

Colleen Boyle was there to represent the Centers for Disease Control. After stumbling through her prepared statement in which she denied any connection between autism and vaccines, Boyle stated the present incidence to be “12 in 10,000.” Burton then stopped her cold by asking her one simple question: did she think it was a conflict of interest for the same people who were funded by the vaccine manufacturers to be on the Advisory Board, making decisions about which vaccines should be given to American children. Boyle was dumbfounded; speechless. Burton repeated the question. Still no answer. Boyle’s mute portrayal of the career bureaucrat spoke volumes about the whole House of Cards. Burton had asked The Question that was never asked.

Equally inept and ill-prepared was Deborah Hirtz, MD, representing the National Institutes of Health. Losing her place in her written statement, Hirtz actually forgot what she was saying, and it seemed obvious she had not written it herself. Finally, she just barely managed to put across what she was sent there to say – that there could be no connection between vaccines and Autism, but that the NIH was “looking into it.”

Looking into it. The NIH has already spent up to $40 million per year of taxpayer money “looking into it.” (Hirtz) Their answer, after 5 years: It needs further study. The performance of these representatives from the two government agencies who have almost sovereign power in the area of vaccines was frightening – their indifference, their lack of information, their condescension, and their low level of intelligence. They gave no sign of having understood one word of the critically important breakthrough research that had just been so brilliantly expounded by Drs. Megson, O’Leary, and Wakefield. This is what power looks like – people who have been in their position so long that they know they don’t have to justify themselves to anyone lower down on the food chain.

Government agencies have the same answer to every problem: more committees. More money, more study, more meetings. Meanwhile, 22 years have gone by, and all these people say is “we don’t know.” After 22 years and $10 million, we don’t know the incidence, the cause, or the cure for autism, which is now affecting as many as one in 400 children. But we’ll definitely look into it. And, oh yes, it’s definitely not vaccines.

The shocking scientific findings of Wakefield and O’Leary obviously demand more research. So then, why are the vaccines not suspended until that research is done? The underlying assumption is that the vaccines will continue as normal until enough “research” proves it is dangerous, as with rotavirus and Quadrigen. Only then will MMR be suspended. This is the thinking that passes as logic. The key point here that no one seems to be noticing is that research should be done BEFORE mandating a vaccine into the bloodstream of American children. You don’t just start mass injecting something into a population and then stand back and defy independent scientists to prove it isn’t safe. That’s exactly what we’ve done here.

As a nation, as a government, and as parents, Americans should be very certain, beyond a reasonable doubt, that any substance being injected into an unformed little nervous system is absolutely safe and does no harm. That is the minimum requirement. Drs. Wakefield, O’Leary, and Megson have shown startling results from some of the only scientific research on autism and vaccines in the entire world that has not been funded by the vaccine manufacturers. And this research shows a high likelihood that MMR and DPT vaccines may cause permanent intestinal destruction, liver damage, and autism. It also presents a very plausible hypothesis for the horrific increase of autism since 1978. So until we know for certain if they’re right, why are the vaccines not suspended?

Gary Null’s pert answer comes swimming to the surface; “It’s the Money, Stupid.”

By the end of the hearing, Burton’s room was polarized into three groups:

* those who were convinced of a connection between autism and vaccines
* those who admitted the possibility
* those who angrily denied the possibility, affronted that anyone would question their “scientific” opinions

It was amusing to see which people in the room were trying to discover the truth and which were trying their best to cover it up.

Despite Burton’s heroic efforts to bring these matters into public view, it’s an uphill struggle. The big money’s on the side of vaccines. Big money controls research, the press, “scientific” journals, and politicians. Seeing all these forces clash together in one room in just six hours has been the most instructive display of confusing the issues perhaps since the OJ trial. Watching a live Congressional hearing like this, it soon becomes clear that for them, the real priority isn’t necessarily finding the truth, but rather showing who’s really in charge here. The viewer begins to understand how autism could have gone from being unknown in 1978 to being a household word in just 22 years with so little fanfare.

Without undue pessimism, the prospects for unbiased, objective scientific logic to prevail in deciding the future of MMR and DPT vaccines do not look bright. The mentality of the CDC and the NIH was well characterized in this videotape. The control of research and information by drug manufacturers was pervasive. Burton’s co-chairman, Henry Waxman, did his best to divert attention from the issues to himself, to waste time on “points of order,” and to prevent anyone who disagreed with him from being heard. Waxman’s science champion, researcher Brent Taylor, MD has recently had an article published in Lancet that supposedly shows no possible connection between vaccines and autism. Now Taylor has refused to provide his data for the study when repeatedly asked by other researchers, like Dr. Bernard Rimland. Such a request is standard, and researchers commonly share their data when requested, unless they have something to hide. Taylor’s combination of fear and arrogance is characteristic of the way that research, and ultimately, decision-making on vaccines by the Advisory Committee – this is the way it works. The researchers who have unlimited funding may ‘prove’ whatever they wish, get it published in the best journals, which are heavily advertised in by the drug companies, and then refuse to respond to valid objections, because they know that those opposing points of view will probably not be published.

Despite these formidable obstacles, doubts are creeping into the overall public “consciousness” from many different directions about the safety of vaccines. At 1 in 500, the fact of autism as an epidemic can no longer be covered up. The work of Wakefield, O’Leary, and Megson is going to be very difficult to explain away. The massive advertising campaign about the safety of vaccines in the popular media, which is certain to be stepped up in the next few months, is going to look very hollow in the light of clean, unbiased research that is not funded by parties who stand to make billions from certain pre-determined results.

[excerpted from third edition of the Sanctity of Human Blood, Nov 2000]

Order the Book: Paperback or E-Book

References

Chairman: Representative Dan Burton Government Reform Committee Hearing on Vaccines and Autism c-span.org April 6, 2000

Hirtz, D Testimony before US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform National Institutes of Health April 6, 2000

Megson, M MD Testimony before US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform American Academy of Pediatrics April 6, 2000

Wakefield, A, MD Testimony before US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform Royal Free University College Medical School April 6, 2000

O’Leary, J, PhD Testimony before US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform Coomb’s Women’s Hospital, Dublin April 6, 2000

Singh, V, PhD Testimony before US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform Utah State University April 6, 2000

Boyle, C, MD Testimony before US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform National Institutes of Health April 6, 2000

Offit, P, MD Testimony before US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform Univ. of Pennsylvania April 6, 2000

Taylor, B MD Testimony before US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform Royal Free University College Medical School April 6, 2000

Rimland, B, PhD Testimony before US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform Autism Research Institute, San Diego April 6, 2000

Goldberg, M, MD Testimony before US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform NIDS Research Institute April 6, 2000

Reprints of above references available from Office of Government Reform, Washington, DC
(202) 225- 2276
Videotape available from c-span.org