One of the most common and potent ways to denigrate a human being or a group of human beings is to identify them by a disparaging label. To achieve its intended effect, the label, if chosen well, need not be complicated or creative. It must merely serve two purposes: to quickly conjure up in the listener's mind a negative image or association and, just as importantly, to put in place a barrier that hinders meaningful communication.
Not long ago, I was talking with a young couple, a relative and his wife, who were expecting their first child sometime next spring. After inquiring into how the pregnancy was going, plans for the birth and offering some congratulatory chitchat, I asked about their thoughts on vaccinations. Not that surprisingly, the father-to-be replied that they were intending to vaccinate, but what was surprising were the reasons he articulated for doing so.
To paraphrase his reply, he said that it was ‘tough out there’ if one doesn’t vaccinate a child. Not tough in the sense that the child might suffer from illness, but that the societal pressure is difficult to resist. The issue wasn’t whether vaccines were safe or necessary, but a fear of being ostracized and isolated. Presumably they were referring to pressure being exerted by medical authorities and schools, and perhaps even extending to friends, work colleagues and family as well.
The outbreak of measles in California reported with great alacrity in the mass media has been a useful punctuation point for a campaign of the national medical and pharmaceutical industries to force multiple mandatory vaccinations nationwide as well as stigmatize those who withstand the pressure to participate.
People are increasingly faced with the prospect of losing jobs or educational opportunities based on their vaccination status. The FDA is currently unveiling a ‘Mandatory Adult Vaccination and Electronic Tracking Program’, and supposedly social media will be monitored for ‘anti-vaccine chatter’. Word has it that an alarm system is in the works which will identify non-vaccinated individuals and send out ‘Bio-Safety Alerts’ via text messages to cell phones in their vicinity.
PART I I hadn’t heard from him in quite a while, but as soon as I answered the phone and heard the voice at the other end, there was little doubt who it was. The combination of the thick Eastern European accent, breathy smoker’s tone and the plaintive quality brought instant recognition.
“Dr. Jonas, it seems we’re having a problem and we were wondering if you could help.” “Alexi, I haven’t heard from you in years,” I replied. “What’s going on?” “Dr. Jonas, it’s Irina. You see, last month she was feeling very weak and was complaining of dizziness. We took her to the doctor here, and after many tests they diagnosed her with diabetes...” “Wow! She just suddenly developed juvenile diabetes?” “Yes, it appears that way. Nina and I want to know if there is anything you can do to help.” “There might be... It only just happened, maybe there is something we can do. But it’s important to find out what pushed her body into that state. Was there anything unusual happening? Any illnesses or stresses?” “No, not that we can think of... The only thing that was any different was that Irina was given a flu shot a month before this all happened. The doctor assures me there is no connection.” “No connection, my ass!” I couldn’t contain my frustration. “Didn’t we talk about giving Irina vaccinations? Her medical history makes her the most vulnerable type of person to suffer side effects from them.” “I know that you had told us. But she had been doing well and her pediatrician wanted her to get the shot. She even showed us all this information about it and said it was absolutely safe.”
Irina (not her real name - nor are Alexi’s and Nina’s) is a 10 year old girl who I began treating four years earlier for chronic recurring pneumonias and gastric reflux as a result of an esophageal fistula (an abnormal hole in the esophagus which usually opens into the trachea and is present at birth). In point of fact, I had never met Irina nor her parents face to face. Living too far away for office visits, we had consulted on a consistent basis for several years over the phone. In spite of her delicate constitution, Irina made steady progress over that time until regular consultations were no longer necessary.
This made the news of her latest problem all the more disheartening — especially in the light of the fact that her parents had been duly warned against her vulnerability to the possible side-effects of vaccinations.
If this were the only story I have to tell about vaccine related illness, perhaps it wouldn’t disturb me so much. But it isn’t. This week a woman related to me how she developed chronic fatigue syndrome within weeks of a rubella vaccine. Two weeks before that I saw a 13 month old child who broke out with eczema within days of his first immunizations. The pediatrician swore there was no connection and insisted that the child continue with the series of scheduled shots. After each subsequent vaccination, the eczema would flare up again and his mother would be reassured that it had nothing to do with the shots. Now, unless he is lathered in cortisone creams, his intolerably itching and burning skin condition rages out of control.
Day in and day out, these stories are so commonplace in my practice. And that doesn’t include the patients who, although not consciously aware of it, have a hidden “vaccine connection” as a factor in their illness which becomes apparent either through careful review of their medical history or by energetic testing such as electro-dermal screening.
One would think that these complications would be generallly recognized by the medical establishment. Instead, they are either dismissed as an acceptable rate of “collateral damage” or, more frequentely” pointedly denied. Patients and parents of patients suspicious that a vaccination has caused a medical problem rarely are taken seriously.
But there is clear data that indicates otherwise. For instance, Dr. J. Bart Classen, an immunologist working at his own private laboratory, has presented data showing that, in his words, “80% of cases of insulin dependent diabetes in children who have received multiple vaccines starting after 2 month of life.”
Classen made a public presentation September 11, 2000 - of all dates - revealing that his research showed “causal relationship between many different vaccines and the development of insulin diabetes. “1 The data indicated that it was not a problem with a specific vaccine per se, but was connected with a broad range of them such as pertussis, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, hemophilus influenza and others. This indicates that the entire concept of immunization shots needs to be reconsidered. What makes the problem even more insidious is that his data indicated it may take 4 or more years after the vaccination for people to develop vaccine induced diabetes.
And now in the wake of our concern over biological terrorism we are faced with the spectra a host of other vaccinations such as smallpox and anthrax being forced on us. Several persons have already died from heart attacks after receiving the smallpox vaccine. And that is surely only the tip of the iceberg.
Nearly 4 years ago, the Dr. Classen tesified in front of the Committee on Government Reform of the United States House of Representatives that his research indicated “an increased risk of autoimmunity following immunization in the military and the link between vaccines and diabetes.”2
How long will it be until the “see no evil, hear no evil” attitude toward vaccinations of most medical authorities is replaced with the clear recognition that they pose a severe threat to the well being of a large number of people. This is especially, the true of the most vulnerable and valuable segment of our population — the immunologically undeveloped infants who on the receiving end of an ever increasing number of vaccine insults.
The notion that vaccinations are the the magic bullet of preventative medicine is deeply ingrained in both philosophy of the public hygiene establishment and the public imagination. When there is a perceived threat from any biological agent, the implementation of preventative vaccinations is often the first - and perhaps only - strategy that is either suggested or enacted.
Yet, there is far too little recognition that we are paying a price for our reliance on this strategy. There are widespread side-effects associated with the ever increasing number of vaccinations that have become part of the standard healthcare protocol for infants, children, the elderly and military personnel.
The deleterious side-effects go far beyond the acute distress, sometimes fatal, that develop in a relatively small percentage of immunized persons. There is evidence that vaccinations compromise our immune and nervous systems, leading to increased incidence of autoimmune disease, behavioral disorders and mental impairment. Research has linked diabetes, rheumatism, autism and other conditions to vaccinations. Recent reports of several deaths from heart attacks suffered after smallpox vaccinations suggests that the cardiovascular system is not immune from similar damaging consequences.
How much of a “vaccination load” can the immune system bear? The numbers of suggested vaccinations keeps on growing every year. The three or four childhood vaccinations of my youth have blossomed into many times that number. Over the past few years, vaccinating for various strains of hepatitis has become standard, vaccinating for various forms of the flu has become an annual autumnal ritual amongst the geriatric population and our concern with a terrorist attack using biological agents such as anthrax or smallpox has once again stimulated renewed interest in adding yet another series to the regimen. No doubt, a vaccine for SARS is in the pipeline...
It is easy to dismiss the negative consequences of vaccines as the inevitable collateral damage, a necessary evil so to speak, associated with a successful public hygiene policy. Yet, the widespread and severe nature of these side-effects suggests that this policy is perhaps neither successful nor wise, and that the risks may outweigh the benefits. In other words, the possibility of conferred immunity is too high a price to pay for the long term - and, in some cases, immediate - problems associated with vaccinations.
Consider the case of Kathy (nor her real name), a 26 year old woman who consulted with me in the fall of 2002. She has been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia, suffering from joint and muscle pains, inability to concentrate, disturbed sleep, and recurring respiratory infections for over 2 years.
Her problems are clearly related to a vaccination for hepatitis C. The day after receiving the shot, Kathy had for the first time what she refers to a ‘seizure’. In her own words, she described the experience thus: “I know they are coming and I lose the ability to focus on anything. I begin to feel numb. This numbness passes through me, from my nose to my back, from my shoulders down my arms and fingers. It goes into my lips. The right side of my body will start shaking first and I’ll need to lie down and just concentrate on my breathing”. This used to occur several times a day, but with time had diminished in frequency. Along with this phenomena, Kathy also developed an inflamed liver with internal bleeding.
It was after the resolution of the acute liver inflammation and hemorrhage that the chronic symptoms of fatigue, pain, respiratory infection and so on began. Fortunately, in Kathy’s case, she has responded well so far to a regimen of homeopathic cleansing where quite literally the information and energetic grip of the vaccines on her system has been neutralized and the related toxins expunged from her body. The process is by no means completed, but many of her most troubling symptoms have abated.
Although there are healthcare practitioners who, through various protocols involving homeopathics, vitamin and mineral supplementation, diet, botanical medicines and other modalities, are able to assist people who have suffered the negative consequences of vaccinations, their efforts are no match for the size and depth of the problem.
For one, the number of practitioners is miniscule in comparison to the number of persons affected by the vaccinations. Secondly, the general population is for the most part unaware that these remedial therapies exist and, to a great extent, unaware that there is a connection between the problems they or their children suffer and the vaccinations that caused them.
This situation will not change unless several things happen. People on the front lines of the healthcare delivery system - healthcare providers of every type - need to understand how serious the problem is, how widespread it is and learn to recognize it in individual cases. Only then will the “hear no evil, see no evil” attitude of denial in the medical profession begin to disappear.
Secondly, the coercive tactics of the medical establishment to force infants, school aged children, healthcare works and the elderly to be vaccinated needs to stop. No mother ought to be scolded, belittled or otherwise made to feel guilty for questioning the wisdom of vaccinations for her child. People, both professional and lay person alike, need to be educated about the pros and cons in order to make informed recommendations and decisions.
As a corollary, the grip of the pharmaceutical industry, which obviously has a very strong economic incentive to encourage widespread immunization campaigns, must be loosened. Of course, immunizations are only one aspect of the much large issue concerning the undue influence of drug companies on the way medicine is currently practiced in this country.
Finally, it is important for us to recognize that true preventive medicine does not necessarily rely on this prophylactic tinkering with our immune system which has so many known and unknown consequences. Proper hygiene, nutrition, and lifestyle, along with cohesive family and societal structures are the foundations upon which health is preserved and disease avoided.
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