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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since this seems to be the most widely shared compliance-pushing link, I thought we could go into its points.

http://violentmetaphors.com/2014/03/25/parents-you-are-being-lied-to/

None of these talking points are anything new; they're just repackaged in a cutsey spin and framing. In fact, much of this could go into the keep-repeating-things thread. And most of us with a long posting history will remember previously discussing these issues.

Nonetheless, because this link is so viral, (cough! Excuse the word choice), lurkers may appreciate a breakdown.

This author takes black-and-white thinking to the extreme without conceding that diseases are complex. Vaccines are complex. Epidemiology is complex.
The individual bodies involved are complex.
With that in mind, I'll start with the first point.

They say that measles isn’t a deadly disease.
But it is.
No, in an industrialized nation with overall clean living conditions, measles rarely kills. It is disingenuous of this author to try to frighten parents by citing data that includes statistics from poor countries lacking adequate medical care and sanitation.

The second point drives me crazy.

They say that chickenpox isn’t that big of a deal.
But it can be.
Can be. Anything--and I mean anything--"can be" dangerous. What the public needs are specific, well-sourced, well-quantified risk-benefit data so that parents can make a truly informed decision. Data-free claims about what "can" happen are simple fear porn.

Anyone want to tackle more of her points? Or any of my points?
 

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For anyone interested, the blog below provides a rebuttal to Dr. Raff's article in the OP, rebutting each point one at a time(this blog writer is not "antivaccine.")



Entitled “Dear parents, you are being lied to,” Jennifer Raff lists all the vaccination-related arguments she’s heard over the years from (presumably) those who choose not to vaccinate (she simply addresses a collective “they.”) What makes this article so appealing is that she doesn’t bog us down with details. She simply lists her points statement-rebuttal style and includes a few links to her pro-vaccination statements. The problem with this is that when you take the time to dig down into the details, you soon realize she’s wrong. By exaggerating the information cited in each argument, she makes what is (judging by the popularity of the article) an apparently compelling argument to those unwilling to dig deeper, but is essentially a straw man once the surface is scratched. In some cases, she uses studies from countries as far away as Bangladesh and Scandinavia to prove the efficacy of vaccinations and includes illnesses and deaths due to diseases found nowhere on the recommended childhood vaccination schedule to show that the message against vaccines is having “dire consequences.” In other cases, she links to articles that have absolutely nothing to do with the points she’s trying to make. Like many such arguments, she sets up a very clear “us” vs. “them” theme and attempts to draw black-and-white conclusions from what is, essentially, a very gray area. No matter which way you look at it, this article, although written by a scientist, is not scientific.

Raff’s article and the popularity it has gained make it glaringly obvious that we simply don’t pay attention. If someone writes an article claiming something as “fact” and adds a reference at the end, we don’t bother checking the reference. Rather than study information for ourselves, the vast majority of us essentially want others to take responsibility for our safety – especially in the areas of food and medicine. If the FDA says it’s safe and effective then we believe it’s safe and effective no-questions-asked. The reality that Raff ignores is that this debate is not about the “pro-vaccine” camp vs. the “anti-vaccine” camp, it’s about evaluating what our children need, and determining who gets to answer that question. Does the government get to decide what our children need, or do parents get to decide, based on the research available to them? Do we, as parents, sacrifice our responsibility to think on the altar of science’s ability to make stuff? Should we be required to take what the government, the FDA and the CDC hand to us, simply because it’s offered? Or should parents exercise their right to examine research on their own and choose methods of care for their children according to what they believe is best?

Below, I have gone through Raff’s article in its entirety, point by point, revealing the details that she has neglected to give us and including information that is glaringly absent from her article. To the best of my ability, I have quoted only articles written by the CDC, FDA, pro-vaccine websites/publications, and articles whose facts can be easily verified
http://blog.rinamarie.com/2014/04/07/dear-parents-youre-still-being-lied-to/
 

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Ok.

I went over to the site to glance again at the article. You can guess my feelings - blech (how is that for insightful, lol)

Another vaccine article by the same author caught my eye - it is on not politicisizing vaccine refusers.

Here is her conclusion:

"Almost all parents vaccinate. Those who don’t aren’t mostly Republican or Democrat or religious or atheist or any other easily-defined category. They’re just people. They want their kids to be healthy and happy, and made a terrible mistake in trying to get there. Demonizing them, or using them to demonize your political opponents, doesn’t help. Please stop."

http://violentmetaphors.com/2015/06/17/no-seriously-dont-politicize-anti-vax-sentiment/


Huh. So in the article "You are being lied to" she call vaccine critics liars, but in another articles says people should not demonize non-vaxxers. Go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No matter which way you look at it, this article, although written by a scientist, is not scientific.
Agreed. But it may be worth pointing out that calling her a scientist--at least one who is an expert on vaccines--a stretch. And that's saying it nicely. https://about.me/jenniferraff

But then, the credential call-outs in this forum are inconsistent. The arguments of non-experts criticizing vaccines should be dismissed. The arguments of non-experts pushing vaccine compliance should be espoused because they're quoting "experts."

The arguments of experts criticizing any vaccines, (e.g. Drs. Tom Jefferson and Diane Harper), should be dismissed because . . . um, I'll get back to you on that after I peruse some "skeptic" blogs. I'm sure there's some dirt I can dig up on them somewhere . . :rolleyes
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No matter which way you look at it, this article, although written by a scientist, is not scientific.
Agreed. But it may be worth pointing out that calling her a scientist--at least one who is an expert on vaccines--a stretch. And that's saying it nicely. https://about.me/jenniferraff

But then, the credential call-outs in this forum are inconsistent. The arguments of non-experts criticizing vaccines should be dismissed. The arguments of non-experts pushing vaccine compliance should be espoused because they're quoting "experts."

The arguments of experts criticizing any vaccines, (e.g. Drs. Tom Jefferson and Diane Harper), should be dismissed because . . . um, I'll get back to you on that after I peruse some "skeptic" blogs. I'm sure there's some dirt I can dig up on them somewhere . . :rolleyes
 

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Thanks for putting this thread together. Fascinating!
 
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From the article linked in Post #3
There’s some interesting research on this question. This is a little oversimplified, but basically researchers tested people to determine how concerned they were about risks from things like nuclear power, gun ownership, global warming, and vaccines. They could see how people clumped together or spread apart. Just like you’d expect, climate change and gun possession were divisive, with some people seeing them as very risky and others not so concerned. Vaccines weren’t like that—across the board, people were relatively unconcerned about the risk of vaccination.
Until the researchers showed people a fake editorial politicizing the vaccine debate. The article complained about “Michele Bachmann’s famously idiotic claim, made in a Republican Party presidential debate,” and compared comparing vaccine deniers to climate change deniers and creationists (much more politically-aligned debates). People who were exposed to this article became polarized. Those who were slightly more “anti-vaccine” lost confidence in vaccination and started to overestimate the risk of vaccines compared to the control group. Remember that the variable here is exposure to an article criticizing anti-vaxers. The result was to make more anti-vaxers.
If we really want to turn people against vaccines, we should encourage polemics against popular (in certain circles) politicians and celebrities.
 

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It's interesting isn't it.

I've also read suggestions the other way works too - ie reading about the most crazy anti-vax viewpoints in general encourages people to vaccinate!

I've seen it taken as far as to suggest the most effective online pharma shills would be those people stating the most vehement anti-vax nonsense and conspiracy theories!
 
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It's interesting isn't it.

I've also read suggestions the other way works too - ie reading about the most crazy anti-vax viewpoints in general encourages people to vaccinate!

I've seen it taken as far as to suggest the most effective online pharma shills would be those people stating the most vehement anti-vax nonsense and conspiracy theories!
Read where? Seen where? or are you just repeating the gossip of the PRO Agenda, again? Saying it must mean it's true, right?

So all who are ANTI-vax are conspiracist too?

Like those in Los Alamos? These are conspiracists too? http://www.abqjournal.com/557820/news/los-alamos-top-in-nm-for-vaccine-exemptions.html

And those living in other parts of the country with higher medium income and higher education, those too?

http://www.chicagomag.com/city-life...ne-Refusal-More-Prevalent-Among-the-Affluent/
http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-vaccination-crisis-20140903-column.html
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/a...tion-rates-are-as-low-as-south-sudans/380252/
http://kuow.org/post/seattle-schools-most-unvaccinated-students-are-wealthier-neighborhoods
 

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It's interesting isn't it.

I've also read suggestions the other way works too - ie reading about the most crazy anti-vax viewpoints in general encourages people to vaccinate!

I've seen it taken as far as to suggest the most effective online pharma shills would be those people stating the most vehement anti-vax nonsense and conspiracy theories!
I have read that as well.

Really, though, it is pretty pathetic to become non-vax or pro-vax because of loud extremist POV's. Everyone needs to do their own research (preferably primary) and draw their own conclusions.
 

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I have read that as well.

Really, though, it is pretty pathetic to become non-vax or pro-vax because of loud extremist POV's. Everyone needs to do their own research (preferably primary) and draw their own conclusions.
I continue to think that medical personnel are doing the most to build the vaccine critics movement by denying obvious vaccine reactions or else simply not having any idea what to say when confronted with an obvious problem following vaccinations.
 

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I continue to think that medical personnel are doing the most to build the vaccine critics movement by denying obvious vaccine reactions or else simply not having any idea what to say when confronted with an obvious problem following vaccinations.
They are increasingly burdened, too, by the insistence that the only valid vaccine reactions are allergic reactions. It isn't altogether the fault of the front-line personnel that vaccines are turning into a huge mess. They are expected to follow orders, overlook problems, vaccinate even when they or the parents have doubts that vaccination is appropriate, etc.
 
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I have read that as well.

Really, though, it is pretty pathetic to become non-vax or pro-vax because of loud extremist POV's. Everyone needs to do their own research (preferably primary) and draw their own conclusions.
I've seen it as well and I agree, but when someone is on the fence about something it's easy for one side or the other to push them over.
 

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I've seen it as well and I agree, but when someone is on the fence about something it's easy for one side or the other to push them over.
It seems as though we live in a culture that encourages superficiality and convenience.
 
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I've seen it as well and I agree, but when someone is on the fence about something it's easy for one side or the other to push them over.
I strive to make decisions from a place of empowerment. I understand those on the fence will ultimately tip one way or another, but it should be for solid reasons.

I know that some people think the ends justify the means (in this case vaccinating) but deliberately setting out to manipulate people who are floundering is pretty sucky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the interesting discussion. I brought this up because the most vocal online pro-vaxxers think this piece is the best thing since indoor plumbing. I find it lackluster and full of hackneyed, pre-rehearsed talking points and weak citations.
 
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QUOTE=Turquesa;19164377]Thanks for the interesting discussion. I brought this up because the most vocal online pro-vaxxers think this piece is the best thing since indoor plumbing. I find it lackluster and full of hackneyed, pre-rehearsed talking points and weak citations.[/QUOTE]

I agree. Most of the links went to parent pages of CDC. Very pablumy - without much meat or figures.




Example - here is the varicella link:


"Varicella (chickenpox) is a highly contagious disease that is very uncomfortable and sometimes serious. The chickenpox vaccine is the best protection against chickenpox. The vaccine is made from weakened varicella virus that produces an immune response in your body that protects you against chickenpox. The chickenpox vaccine was licensed for use in the United States in 1995. Since then, the vaccine has become widely used. Thanks to the chickenpox vaccine, the number of people who get chickenpox each year as well as hospitalizations and deaths from chickenpox have gone down dramatically in the United States."


Dramatically is such a precise word (sarcasm). It could mean deaths have gone from 100 000 to 2 per annum or 10 to 2. The link does not tell us.


Another link, which I was mildly interested in ("vaccines are the most tested things ever!!!") led to an article by Offitt behind a pay wall.


The whole thing is quite weak.


So...why does the pro-vax blogosphere love it?


1. In a fit on confirmation bias, they have not bothered to do even a minimal amount of work and thus do not realise the article is pretty weak..


2. They don't really love it - they just like the number of hits it is getting


3. They like the fact it calls vaccine critics liars. It is a newish ad hominem attack. Gotta love new ways to demonise people.
 

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@kathymuggle wrote
3. They like the fact it calls vaccine critics liars. It is a newish ad hominem attack. Gotta love new ways to demonise people.
I think you may have it figured out.
 
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