I missed out on watching episode three of The Truth about Vaccines. The episodes are only available for free for 24 hours. I missed episode three. I suppose I could try to find it on youtube but, instead, I decided to bring to you the people behind the series. It is quite a long list. It is important to know who they are, why the filmmakers consider them experts, and why they are not truly experts in immunization science. Narrator Ty Bollinger makes frequent claims that his film is unbiased and truthful. Is it? How impartial and free of conflicts of interest are the members of this group?
Robert F. Kennedy, JR – RFK is an attorney, author, and environmental activist. For a while, he was famous for working with Riverkeepers and then Waterkeeper Alliance but has since moved on to The Mercury Project and vaccines. His claims about mercury and vaccines are not supported by scientific consensus. He is lately becoming famous for his choice of words.
Sherri Tenpenny, DO – Sherri is a practicing osteopath in Ohio, USA, who runs a store online for supplements and a website called The Vaccine Library where, for $100 a year, you can access her information on vaccines. She also runs a website called TruthKings, which publishes very dramatic stories related to science and vaccines, rarely providing evidence to support claims. She calls herself a vaccine researcher but she has, in fact, published no research.
Paul Thomas, MD – Paul is a pediatrician with offices in the Portland, Oregon area. He is a founding member of Physicians for Informed Consent, an antivax group affiliated with many other antivax groups. Dr Paul makes claims about his patients health that are not supported by any actual evidence and he is the author of a book called The Vaccine-Friendly Plan. He claims not to be antivax but then he spends a lot of time saying vaccines are dangerous, without much evidence to support his claims.
Toni Bark, MD – Toni is a former hospital medical director who currently runs an aesthetic beauty clinic and health center in Illinois called The center for disease prevention and reversal. She is a practicing homeopath who also offers nutrition advice, bio-identical hormones, and aesthetic treatments like dermabrasion. She has, in recent years, become a very outspoken antivax activist.
Mike Adams, Health Ranger – Mike fancies himself a sort of health lone ranger, but this is really a business model for which he has become quite successful. It has been documented that Mike’s original foray into the business of health blogging was based on what he felt would be the most financially lucrative area of the internet. His it no wonder he “has found a way to foster and monetize the most current fear gripping the cultural zeitgeist?” He is considered a health scammer and has been under investigation by the FBI for his actions.
Andrew Wakefield, former MD – Andy has been involved in two notorious science scandals, both relating to his 2004 study. Brian Deer’s profile of him is accurate, as is this explanation of the “whistleblower” manufactroversy. Of course, I watched his film Vaxxed.
Barbara Loe Fisher – founder of the National Vaccine Information Center, Barbara talks a lot about vaccine risks, including autism, and freedom and choice. She has a son who had a reaction after his fourth DPT shot that she believes led to his learning disabilities. That spurned her into vaccine advocacy, leading to her being one of the authors of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.
Del Bigtree – former producer of the television talk show, The Doctors, and producer of Vaxxed. Del was a lower tier producer on 32 episodes of The Doctors (out of 1125 total). He now makes a full time job out of promoting Vaxxed.
Suzanne Humphries, MD – Suzanne is a former nephrologist (currently licensed but not practicing) who, in 2011, devoted herself to studying homeopathy and then gave that up to focus full time on what she perceives as the evils of vaccines. She has been widely criticized for her ahistorical take on vaccines. I have read her book, Dissolving Illusions, and I am familiar with her vitamin C protocol. Her recommendations for vitamin C are based on case studies from the 1930s.
Larry Pavelsky, MD – Larry is a holistic pediatrician in New York state. He is in practice with a host of “alternative health practitioners.” A hallmark of someone not espousing good science is if they offer a store where they sell supplements and whether they offer to cure autism. Larry does both. Throughout the Truth series, Larry’s comments are among the most outrageously disconnected from fact and science.
Brian Hooker, PhD – Brian is an associate professor of biology at Simpson university in California. He has a teenage son on the autism spectrum and has spent much of the last 20 years working on proving that MMR and mercury caused his son’s “vaccine injury.” He was heavily involved with Vaxxed in that it was his now-retracted study that is featured in the film. His claim of vaccine injury was recently denied with medical evidence proved him wrong. He has a PhD in chemical engineering.
Sayer Ji – businessman Sayer has a degree in philosophy and runs the website, Greenmedinfo, which is a natural health website oft noted for it’s inexplicable inability to properly read scientific studies. He is also an advisory committee member of RFK’s World Mercury Project.
Judy Mikovitz, PhD – Judy is a disgraced scientist who chose to embrace pseudoscience rather than admit she made a mistake. She was a researcher looking into possible causes of chronic fatigue syndrome and claimed it was caused by a mouse recombinant virus called XMRV. The reality is that the XMRV was found to be caused by lab contamination, but Judy could not face facts. Sadly, bad science has a hard time dying and people desperate to repair their reputation sometimes dig themselves in deep holes.
Stephanie Seneff – Stephanie is Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. That sounds so impressive, doesn’t it. But, why is she trying to study vaccines? This is the question of the day. Lately, she is making incredible claims about vaccines and autism, none of which make any sense.
Marco Ruggiero, MD – Marco is an Italian AIDS denialist and practitioner of autism “cures.” In my world, this makes him pretty low on the respectability totem pole.
Janet Levatin, MD – Janet is in practice with Tenpenny and a known antivaxer.
Joseph Mercola, DO – Joe is the granddaddy of natural health bloggers. He has been in legal trouble for making outlandish claims not based on science and is a millionaire off tanning bed and supplements sales.
Robert Scott Bell, DA, Hom – Robert is a podcaster who supposedly overcame a lot of chronic health conditions with homeopathy (which he now practices) and other natural healing methods.
Tetyana Obukhanych, PhD – Tetyana is a currently not employed immunologist who self published a small manual one can buy online. She makes a lot of strangely unscientific claims, in her book, which has led to her becoming a popular member of the antivax brigade. She is now also a member of Physicians for Informed Consent. It is not clear why she has rejected her training.
Rashid Buttar, DO – Rashid is a known antivaxer.
Debra Gambrell, DO – Debra is an Anthroposophical Medicine Specialist, which means she espouses the theories of Waldorf School founder, Rudolf Steiner, including that disease makes us stronger.
Allison Fomar, JD – Allison is a parental rights activist.
Jeffrey Jaxen – Jeffrey is an independent journalist who often writes for greenmedinfo and appears on the Robert Scott Bell show.
Robert J, Krakow – Robert is an attorney specializing in vaccine and other injuries.
Polly Tommey – Polly is a friend of Andy Wakefield’s and very involved in Vaxxed, including actively travelling the USA in the Vaxxed bus, collecting vaccine injury stories. She doesn’t believe science is truthful and instead believes whatever parents tell her. She has a son on the autism spectrum and believes he is vaccine injured and his life was destroyed. She is known for saying things like vaccines are murdering babies.
Shawn Centers, DO – Shawn is an integrative doctor who believes he can heal autism.
Neil Z Miller – Neil is a vaccine researcher who likes to use VAERS data that has not been medically verified as accurate in his “studies.”
Tim O’Shea, DC – Tim is the author of a self-published book claiming vaccines do not immunize.
Nico LaHood – Nico is District Attorney for Bexar County, Texas. He believes one of his children became autistic after a vaccine and now talks about it in public.
Brandy Vaughan – Brandy is a former Vioxx rep for Merck who now runs a website called Learn the Risk. She thinks vaccine ingredients are highly toxic and raises money to fund a billboard campaign about them. She feels that her two years selling Vioxx makes her an expert in pharmaceutical company practices.
G. Edward Griffin – G. Edward is a far right conspiracy theorist.
April Boden – April believes vaccines caused her son’s autism.
Erin Crawford – Erin believes she got cancer from the HPV vaccine but this is not supported by medical evidence.
Mario Lamo-Jimenez – Mario is a Colombian author who now speaks at Autismone conferences on HPV vaccine.
Michael R Hugo – Michael is an attorney
Erin Elizabeth – Erin calls herself “the health nut” and is either currently or has overcome every chronic health condition you can think of, including being aborted as a fetus, mold toxicity, vaccine injury, and god knows what else. Read her story, on her blog. It’s astounding. She is Joe Mercola’s girlfriend and spends much of her time, lately, making a list of “holistic” doctors who have died in the past few years. She believes they are all murder victims.
Heather Rice, DC – Heather is a Vermont chiropractor
Erick Zielinski, DC – Erick is a chiropractor, essential oil salesman, and practitioner of “biblical health” and online ministry out of Atlanta, Georgia.
Srinivasulu Gadugu MD – he is a homeopath
Cilla Whatcott, PhD – she is a homeopath
David Lewis – David is a former research microbiologist and now Co-Chair of the Whistleblower Leadership Council.
Heather Wolfson, DC – Heather is a chiropractor from Arizona who believes vaccines are toxic
Jack Wolfson, DO – Jack is a cardiac specialist from Arizona who now runs a practice with this wife wherein they sell supplements and share why they think vaccines are toxic.
David Brownstein, MD – David is a holistic medicine practitioner from Michigan with specialty in thyroid health, arthritis and other chronic conditions. He believes they can all be overcome through diet.
Edward Group, DC – Edward wins the award for the most initials I have ever seen after one person’s name. According to his website, his title is Dr. Edward F Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM. You can check for yourself what all of that means.
Ian Clark – Ian is developer of a nanno-nutrition supplement called Oceans Alive. Yes, it is supposed to have two Ns.
Heidi Bonaroti – Heidi believes her son’s autism was caused by vaccines.
Muhammed Rafeeque, AA, BHMS – Muhammed is a homeopath who practices in India.
Edda West – Edda is founder of Vaccine Choice Canada, a believer that vaccines cause catastrophic illness and death in children, and a contributor to whale dot to and Vaccine Risk Awareness News.
Edwin Black – Edwin is a syndicated columnist and investigative journalist. He specializes in human rights.
Manuela Malaguti-Boyle, PhD, NMD – has a master’s in philosophy and a degree as a naturopathic doctor. She practices homeopathy and natural medicine in Australia.
Tom and Candace Bradstreet – Tom and Candace are related to Jeffrey Bradstreet, who killed himself as federal officials were about to raid his clinic. He had been accused of using an unproven, unregulated, potentially dangerous “cure” for autism called GcMAF.
Irvin Sahni, MD – Irvin is a pain medicine specialist from San Antonia, Texas.
Do you see what I see? The only person on the list who comes close to claiming any expertise about vaccines is Neil Z Miller and his studies have been widely refuted as not valid since he uses unverified VAERS data. Every person on this list has a reason to be antivax and completely biased against vaccines. They either make a living off the claims that vaccines cause all manner of health problems or they are people who are convinced they or their child experience vaccine harm. These are not unbiased, impartial people. Not at all.
In writing this blog post, I have linked often to several blogs I have come to know and trust over the years. Scienceblogs, Science Based Medicine, the Genetic Literacy Project, Skeptical Raptor, Left Brain Right Brain, and Harpocrates Speaks are blogs I have followed for years. They are all excellent quality. But, don’t take my word for it. My criteria for blog excellence is the following: do they cite their sources, do they back up their claims, do they NOT sell things, and are they good people with good intentions.
As I alway says, think for yourself.