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Part One: The Birth of the Anti-Vaccine Movement

Part One: The Birth of the Anti-Vaccine Movement

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 11:00

Part One: The Birth of the Anti-Vaccine Movement

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Hey, Robert here. It's been like two months since I had LASIK and I'm still seeing 2020. All I had to do was go in for a consultation, then go in for a maybe 10 minute procedure and then my eyes have been great ever since. You know, I healed up wonderfully. It was very simple, couldn't have been a better experience. So if you want to explore LASIK plus I can't recommend it enough. They have over 20 years experience in the industry and they performed more than two million treatments right now if you want to try getting LASIK plus you can get $1000 off of your surgery when you're treated in September, that's $500. Of per eye, just to schedule your free consultation. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried true crime. And if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's breaker handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioral discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. That's behind the ********. I'm Robert Evans. This is the show I do about bad people and the history behind them and the things you don't know about them. My guest for this episode is comics artist of Bad Comics. I I pronounced it with an XI. Hope you appreciate that. Anna Salinas. How you doing, Anna? I'm good. Thanks for having me. How are you feeling today? Well, you know, I'm excited to learn about today's topic. I am a little nervous because there are certain vaccines that I haven't gotten. I guess I'm tipping the hand a little bit, but I why haven't you gotten them? Just because I don't get flu shots? Usually just because of laziness. Laziness? Yeah, 100%. Not ideological. No. Never ideological. It's defined to endanger people at a laziness, right? Yeah, right. I'm just about to hear the magnitude by which I have endangered people, I think. Well, you're a fan of vaccines. Yeah I'm I'm a general fan of yeah yeah as someone who has never gotten like polio as a mod, I'm I'm a I'm a big ups on that stuff exactly. Today we are going to be talking in detail about the anti vaccine movement and when I first started this was all going to be about the modern anti VAX movement. We were going to talk about you know, all the everything from Andrew Wakefield on and as I started researching I realized that it actually it goes back a lot further than that. Wow. So this is going to be kind of a kind of a deep dive. I'm excited. Alright. Alright. So right now as you and I talk, the Pacific Northwest is dealing with a measles outbreak. 50 cases have been confirmed in an area around the city of Portland, OR, both in Oregon and Washington because kind of some of the suburbs of Portland, OR are actually parts of Washington like Clark County. And that number kept creeping up as I was writing this was like 35 when I started on the episode and it's 50 now and it'll probably be, you know, 70 to 100. By the time you the people listening to this right now, in the future, listen to it, Portland, OR is a really good city to have a outbreak of a preventable disease like measles because 8% of the children in that city are unvaccinated, meaning the the pool of infectable individuals is pretty high. Alongside New York and certain affluent parts of California, the city of Portland is a current stronghold of the anti vaccine movement. Oh, it's like if you swing hipster enough, you end up. Anti VAX and it it's true for the far left and the far right. This is one thing where, like if you're if you're like a ******* far left ***** or you're like a fascist. Both of those groups have sizable people who are like, vaccines are a lie. Like you can get Alex Jones and ******* what's his name? Ace Ventura. Jim Carrey on the same side of the vaccine tray is, is Jim Carrey also. He was kind of for a while because he did. Jenny McCarthy. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I oh, I'm not actually. I'm actually not going to hit on her much in this episode just because, I don't know. I I taught special Ed for a while, and I feel for a parent who's, like, trying to grapple with something like that happening, I just don't want to like, that's fair. She's she's definitely done a lot of damage, but she's not the start of it. There's bigger fish. There's bigger fish to fry. So let's let's get that. Pan out and heat up some oil ohgi just made tilapia last night. Ohh man, bread it with like pink. What do you what do you bread it or you are you just frying it? I thought I was breading it with Parmesan to make it protein heavy and it didn't work. Oh man, you know what I found that's really good is there's this, this kind of low carb flour called carb quick that has a **** load of protein in it and you mix a bunch of shredded up cheese in that and then you ******* and you like crack an egg and that and then you do that whole thing. It's so that's what I that's what I'm doing next time. Is a podcast where we talk about various recipes for frying fish in order to make will protein relate back to anti vaxxers. It does. It does tilapia specifically. Specifically of the fish. They are the ones that resist vaccination the most. They do, and it's because they're very left wing, not right wing, well thin. A Finn is a wing. Yeah, for the water. Anyway, let's let's move into here. Yeah, so it would be hard to consume media in the 21st century and not run into stories about the anti VAX movement and how it's been spurred on by the endorsement of celebrities. The anti vaccine movement seems like a new problem, something that could only be spread via the Internet's incredible ability to make lies go viral. But the sad, weird reality is that none of this is true. The anti vaccine movement does not have its origins in the 21st century or the 20th century. This **** has been going on for more than 200 years. It's almost as old as the United States. So as long as there have been vaccines, there have been people being like, yeah, I don't believe it. Yeah. And in the case of the United States, slightly longer. What? Yeah. How that's we're about to get into, it's wild. So the story of X scenes in this, that's the story of the anti VAX movement, starts with smallpox. Smallpox is a one of those diseases that's so bad we almost can't really like comprehend it. Like Ebola scares people, but like it's kind of hard to spread Ebola once you know what it is like. Smallpox is super easy to spread from, like direct transmission to transmission, and it's incredibly deadly. Something like 1/3 of people who get it die, at least back in the day. People who got it died. And the disease starts with a fever and then ends with like, this full body eruption of scabs. Like, you're just, you're covered in scabs that leave behind, like Crater your face and body and permanent scars for the rest of your lives. Oh my God. So if you survive a full smallpox outbreak, it looks like. Someone blasted off a bunch of birdshot into your face. Like, you look like you've been hunting with Dick Cheney after getting this disease. It's just it's terrible. And this is isn't like in warfare, people would throw the smallpox blankets as a I mean, I don't think they would throw the blankets. There's certainly been some use of smallpox and other illnesses in warfare, like the ******* would catapult, like, dead animals over the sides of walls and stuff with the plague. And, you know, I don't know enough about. I know that there's some controversy. For whether or not smallpox blankets were, like, intentionally spread. But the mortality rate among Native Americans to smallpox was something like 80%. So the majority like, it's very likely that most of the deaths that occurred of the 100 million or so people who died when the Europeans started coming to North and South America, that most of that was smallpox. It just spread like wildfire. Oh God. Because smallpox is a disease that comes from the fact that we live around animals. You know, it's like related to cowpox, which is a thing that cows. Have that people can get and that that's like, that's the big reason why I'm sure a lot of people know this, but that's a big reason why Native Americans got so ****** over by European diseases. They hadn't been living next to pigs and cows to the same extent that Europeans have stocks. So we were just like, Europeans are filthy. Yeah, that's why I hate shows where people go back in time to like, the Middle Ages and everything's fine. It's like, no, you would die of the diseases and everything would stink so hard it would smell so bad. Yeah, you would. Sorry, Outlander, I don't believe your premise. And in fact, the only people that you could hang out around in that time period who wouldn't stink would have been the Native Americans, because they were actually, like, pretty clean people and, like, lived pretty clean lives and weren't surrounded by poop all the time. Yeah, that's European. Cities in the Middle Ages and beyond, it's just a pile of poop and corpses. Hmm. We're getting a little off topic here. So smallpox is terrible, and it lasts a long time. Imagine the worst flu you ever had. It's like 2 weeks of flu followed by like 3 weeks of scab eruptions. It's like a month of of being sick and then you die. Probably a lot of times you die. By the end of the 18th century, an estimated 400,000 Europeans were dying every year from smallpox. So that's a lot of people it killed. Like, yeah, three in 10, but for children. The elderly. The death rate was much higher, and London's most children would catch smallpox before their 7th birthday if there was an outbreak in town. It was not uncommon for parents to avoid naming their babies just because, like, we got to make sure. Let's let's see if he lives through this smallpox thing. Because nine out of 10 fatal smallpox cases involve children under the age of five. Was a real baby killer here. Like, yeah, it's it wipes out some babies. Now, the good news is that smallpox was only spread by direct contact with a sufferer at the time. Smallpox scabs were believed to be a main vector for the disease. And it's possible for you to get smallpox from smallpox scabs. But modern science has revealed that the scabs are only really infectious when ground up. So it was really just direct contact that was spreading most of the time. So the good thing about smallpox is that, surprise, surviving it conferred a lifelong immunity to the disease. So you get it once, you never get that **** again. It's like the chicken pox, like all the boxes, really. That's how poxes that's how boxes work. There you go. Starting in the 10th century, Chinese doctors would grind up smallpox scabs and have people snort them. This gave the patient a milder form of the disease. Conferred a short boy. I love motorcycles, but it almost was like a tone music for what was happening. Yeah, yeah, so snorted a bunch of smallpox scabs. Gives you a short term immunity, but like, still, like 4-3 to five and 100 would die from this treatment. So it was better than if there's a guy from the treatment itself. So if there's smallpox spreading in your city, it's best to snort some scabs because you get a better chance of surviving that. And you know, you won't get as many scars and stuff, but like, it's still really risky. Now in the 20th century alone, smallpox killed an estimated 300 million human beings, more than all of the centuries wars put together. So in the 1900s this was deadlier than World War One, World War Two, Vietnam, Korea, all of those ******* wars thrown into a bucket. Smallpox killed more people. That's after we had a vaccine after, yeah. The disease was, I think the last case was in the 70s in Somalia. So it has been effectively eradicated in the wild. That's incredible. Yeah. It took, you know, a while to get that **** done. So the road to eradicating. Smallpox started in 1796, when Edward Jenner, a genius, gave a presentation to the Royal Society of London. Jenner told them he'd injected 13 people with live infectious material from the scabs of people with cowpox, a disease related to smallpox. The cowpox gave its victims an immunity to smallpox, and so when exposed to smallpox later, these 13 patients were unharmed. Jenner named his new invention the vaccine, because Vaca means cow and Latin. Whoa, yeah, it's cool. And he like, the only reason he knew this is because, like, as a young man, he was friends with like, some milk. Aides. And they, they would have, like, scabs on their hands and be like, yeah, you get that from cows, but I can't get smallpox. And was like, what do you mean you can't get smallpox? And was like, Oh yeah, you get this weird cowpox thing and you're fine. So. Oh **** wow. Bring women into the process sooner. Was he friends with them or I don't. I mean, I don't know. I don't know, friends with the military. Just ******* a lot of milkmaids sounds like then doesn't get smallpox himself. And it's like, I don't wait that he didn't either. No, no, no, no. I'm just making that part of it. That was just a lie, OK? Jenner was the first person to formally describe and develop a vaccine. His work sparked a massive medical renaissance and is in many ways the birth of modern western medicine. It wouldn't be until the 1950s when heat stable versions of the smallpox vaccine would finally be figured out, thus eliminating most of the negative side effects of the inoculation. Jenner's work was a huge step forward, but vaccination was still a very unpleasant process. Here's a quote from the book Pox and American History, which I really recommend with a willing patient the vaccine operation as doctors. It lasted just a minute or two. The doctor took hold of the patient's arm, scoring the skin with a needle or Lancet. He then dabbed on the vaccine, either by taking a few droplets of liquid lymph from a glass tube or using a small ivory point coated with dry vaccine. Either way, the vaccine contained live cowpox or vaccinia virus that not long before had oozed from a sore on the underside of an infected calf in a health department stable. In the coming days, the virus would produce a blister like vesicle on the vaccination site. In due course, the lesion would heal, leaving a permanent scar that distinctive. Vaccination psychiatrics if all went well, the patient would then enjoy immunity from smallpox for five to seven years, sometimes longer. So when you're immune, you can't pass on the disease, you can't get it. You get a scar on your arm, and you get sick. Like some people are sick for a week or two. Like, get a really bad flu, like it. It can take you out of Commission for a couple of weeks. So it's way better than getting smallpox, but it's still really sucks, and that's important for what comes next. So because the societal cost of smallpox epidemics was so high, governments around the world were quick to embrace the new treatment. Many of the people in those countries, however, were less than enthused about the idea of having pieces of an infected calf sore post under their arm. Like, it's gross, yeah, yeah, somebody's taking like a scab from a cow's *** and right. And up until this point, I feel like medicine has been pretty wonky, like with letting blood and drinking mercury humors, so it's like, I can see how that distrust continues. Yeah, it's not like today where. Doctors make miracles happen every day. It was like, well, this guy also was the guy who told my uncle to drink all that mercury. And then my uncle died from drinking all that mercury. Yeah, I don't want to trust him. Exactly. Not that Edward Jenner was a big Mercury fan, but like doctors in general like the change, I think. And I'm really basing this off of the show, Outlander. But the change between people's understanding of science and medicine seemed to be pretty. This is when it was just starting, yeah. Yeah. And so doctors are still like it. It's not exactly a highly thought of profession by many people, right? Because so much of medicine was ******** at this point. Exactly. So that's important too. The anti vaccine movement actually reached American shores before vaccination did. In 1798, two years before a Harvard Dr performed the first US vaccinations, a group of doctors and priests in Boston created the first anti vaccination society. They stated that vaccination was quote. Defiance to heaven itself, even to the will of God. Ohh God yeah, it's fun stuff. So two years before there's even vaccinations, there's people being like, this is the devil and there's yeah, yeah, simply because you are putting the disease into you and they're like, there's no way, I think, for the for those people because it was like a religious thing. They were like, well, God wants you to get sick or not, right? And if you're this is trying to like, thwart the will of the Lord. And I wonder, too, if it has to do with power, like, the people going out and saying, I can protect you, like the people with the church or older doctors saying this is how you're protected if someone else comes with an answer. Yeah. Because at that point, a lot of priests would have been like, the only way to protect yourself is to, like, get right with God. And then some doctors, like, well, no, we've got this thing and you're like, we don't want that going on here. Not in 1798. ************ still doesn't feel that late. Yeah. You know, it's really not. Thomas Jefferson was the US's first major vaccine advocate. Like, he was the like during his presidency. He was like, we got it, we got, we got to get on this **** yeah, this is this is really working over in England. In 1809, smallpox vaccination was made mandatory in Massachusetts, West Virginia followed soon after. In 1840, the British Parliament passed the Vaccination Act, which made it illegal and punishable by fines for a parent to fail to vaccinate their child. As vaccines spread through the West, doctors started noticing something interesting. The smallpox. Virus appeared to be dying out. They discovered something called herd immunity. When a virus has nowhere to go because so many people are immune, it eventually goes extinct, first in areas and then perhaps worldwide. But the path to eradicating smallpox would not be so simple. In cities like Stockholm and London, concerned parents began spreading rumors of the harms of vaccines and complaining about the fines levied on them if they failed to vaccinate their kids. Discover Magazine had a great write up on this and they described these early anti vaxxers as mostly, quote, middle class citizens who didn't trust government. Science or medicine? Oh no. Too close to home. Yeah. Nothing ever changes. I mean, that's like this. And what are you doing? Well, yeah, it's it's it's those those tricky Swedes. You know, every time I want to root for them, they turn around because I love their sandwiches. I love just a pile of bread with, like, white sauce and a just a pile of tiny shrimp on it. Best, best sandwiches. That's what it is. I can't even pronounce that ****. Yeah, look, I'll follow Sweden's. Twitter account until I die because it's just the most delightful. But *** **** it, Stockholm. I've had one breakfast in Stockholm, one breakfast in Stockholm and it was at like an actual restaurant and it was like told to me is like a traditional Swedish like like breakfast buffet. And it had all the beer I could drink at 8:00 in the morning. So I'm I love this, I love Stockholm. But they were wrong about Viking stock. So for a while the anti vaccine stuff was just talk, but the rapid expansion of the. Global post in the late 1800s and the increased affordability of printing pamphlets and magazines at the same time led to an explosion of anti vaccine literature. I'm going to quote now from the British Medical Journal this is about like the anti vaccine journals quote. The generals included the anti Vaccinator founded 1869, the National Anti Compulsory Vaccination Reporter 1874 and the Vaccination Inquirer 1879. Similar movements flourished elsewhere in Europe and Stockholm. The majority of the population began to refuse vaccinations so that by 1872. Vaccination rates in Stockholm had fallen to just over 40%, whereas they approached 90% in the rest of Sweden. Fearing a serious epidemic, the chief city physician demanded stricter measures. A major epidemic in 1874 shocked the city and led to widespread vaccination and an end to further epidemics. So the Swedes did get the picture after like 2 epidemics, like maybe maybe anti vaccinations. ********. Yeah, when everyone around you starts dying, all this makes me think of is my great grandma. In Sweden, who was so religious, just so freaking pro church, I'm like, OK, I get it. Sweets had their bad side too, you know they do. Yeah, they do now. Great Britain did not get the message in such a timely manner. The city of like Chester for some reason became the Nexus of of anti vaccine resistance. Groups of furious parents would gather and March and show off signs in 1885 a 100,000 anti vaccine advocates. Marched in Lancaster, they hanged Doctor Edward Jenner and effigy for the crime of. Inventing the smallpox vaccine. This prompted the government to create a royal Commission to investigate the claims of the anti vaccine advocates and read evidence on vaccines and their possible downsides. It released its report in 1896 and concluded that vaccines worked and were good. That said, it also advocated ending government penalties for people who refused vaccination. A new conscience clause and the Vaccine Act of 1898 allowed parents to receive a certificate of exemption. This is actually the first time the phrase conscientious objector. Was entered into English law. That's wild. That's where it comes from, that it's first of all so parallel to the penalties. If you didn't have healthcare with Obamacare, would you, like just suck it up? Asking people for help just give most of the rest of the care. Yeah. The Western world that that's where conscientious observer comes from. Objector. Yeah. So within a decade, conscientious objectors accounted for 1/4 of all births in England. So it immediately gets out of hand. Spurred on by this minor victory, the British anti VAX movement surged forward. I found an excerpt from one of their magazines published right after this point. The goal seems to be to herald their first major victory over the evils of vaccines. I'm going to, I'm going to hand this up a little bit. Yeah, please do. I might try to do an accent. We'll see if that's that's a good idea. We'll know pretty quickly. Well, I hope. A mighty and a horrible monster with the horns of a bull, the hind of a horse, the jaws of a Kraken. The teeth and claws of a tiger. The tale of a cow in all the evils of Pandora's box in his belly. Plague, pestilence, leprosy, purple blotches, fitted ulcers in filthy running sores covering his body, and an atmosphere of accumulated disease, pain and death around him has made his appearance in the world and of ours. Mankind especially, poor, helpless infants not by soars only or hundreds or thousands. But by hundreds of thousands this monster has been named vaccination, and his progressive havoc among the human race has been dreadful and most alarming yet strange to tell. This monster has found not only a multitude of friends, but worshippers who prostrated themselves before him and encourage his voracious appetite. Do not them in the heroes who first dared to stand forth to arrest the progress and stop the fatal havoc of this most dreadful and destructive monster, and at length have bravely subdued and put him to flight with all his mighty host, Meriton Obelisk. Created to their fame, with their names inscribed upon it, in indelible characters to be held in grateful remembrance through all future generations. Do they know they're describing smallpox? The disease, yeah. What do they think smallpox is? Not as bad as getting vaccinated for smallpox. It's what they're doing is describing it like a Satanist cult. Yeah, like worshipping the nations. And I think some of it comes from just the assumption, like, well, I won't get smallpox when it comes through town because I'm special because. Yeah. But if I if I get the vaccine, I'll get kind of sick. Yeah. So yeah. And so it's worse than. I mean, that's so similar. There's some art that accompanies this passage, you know, that monster with the tail of the cow and the claws and teeth at they they drew it. I I got to take. Describe it all. Thank you. Thank you. So it's a what I assume is a cow with an alligator mouth and lots of tiny teeth alligator and then people trying to get into, Oh no, they're like it's got ******* or I'm not sure if those are ******* or sores on. I think they're sores because they're they're like bleeding pus. And he's so people are. I see what it is now. Doctors, what I assume are doctors. Pro Vaxxers with horns are pouring babies. Tiny babies into its mouth and then it's ******** them out. Yeah, the cow creature is ********. Delegator is ******** out the babies. Wow. Yeah, it's pretty great. That's a good logo. Yeah, we'll have this up on the site And since we just had a cow lagator ******** dead babies, I think the only appropriate thing to do is an ad break. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family and at Mint. Families start at 2 lines. 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So if you're thinking of giving therapy a try, better help is a great. Option it's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey, and if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at any time. When you want to be a better problem solver, therapy can get you there. Visit behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better Hey, Robert Evans here. It's been like two months since I got LASIK laser eye surgery and my vision still 2020. So many things about my daily life has changed. I don't have to worry about putting on a mask and my glasses fogging up. I don't have to take out contacts at night or put them in the day. I don't have to, like, worry all the time when I'm traveling. Like, how many contacts do I have by go swimming at the lake during the summer? Something I like to do, go to the beach or whatever. I don't have to worry about losing a contact or, you know, bringing swimming glasses or something. With me, everything is just easier. And getting it done was easy too. You know, I went in, I had my consultation, they told me I was a good candidate and then I went back in couple of days later about it being about a boom. You know, my eyes were perfect. So LASIK Plus is a leader in laser vision correction in the United States. They have over 20 years in the industry and more than two million treatments performed. If you want to start your LASIK plus journey, you can get $1000 off when treated in September. That's 500 per eye. So to schedule your free. Consultation now. We're back. Boy, those products really took the taste of that sore filled cow ligator out of my mouth. Now it's back in my mouth. Now it's back in your mouth. Yeah, I mean, it's just right there. Look at that thing. I just pretty cool. Pretty cool. I kind of love it, but not for its purpose. Not for its purpose. But you got to appreciate it. Good. Good. Real horrifying, yeah. Political cartoon. Now back in the United States. Despite its early head start, the anti vaccine movement was not a significant force for most of the 1800s. After vaccinations introduction at the start of the century, the smallpox virus was almost eradicated in America by the 1820s or so. But it came roaring back in the 1870s because so many people stopped vaccinating themselves. Since the GINNER vaccine was only good for five to seven years, regular vaccinations were required in order to maintain a city's herd immunity. And this is where things get a little muddier in terms of blame, because the earliest American vaccine refusers kind of had a point. Vaccination was undoubtedly worth it on a societal level, but it caused significant human suffering. Taking the general vaccine still made you sick, and some people died from it. It was not nearly as bad as smallpox, but many, particularly white Americans, did not believe they needed to suffer through that, since by the late 1800s smallpox was widely considered to be a disease. Suffered from and spread by black people, one of its many nicknames was the inward itch. Now, yeah, it's where we're talking about America in the 1870s, we're going to be diving into some ******** racism. Some like, some like racism that David Duke would look at and be like guys too far. And that's far. That's far, yeah. So when smallpox outbreaks would hit cities, large numbers of particularly affluent Americans would often refuse vaccination. Families would also hide their sick family members rather than turning them over to Pox. This is where they basically sit in a prison for weeks and either recover or die. That's what happened when you caught smallpox, and especially if you were poor. Black families were particularly likely to hide their ill kin because of course the pox houses for black people were always poorly maintained and terrifying. Sick prisons. Definitely. And you would almost definitely die. Yeah, early anti vaccine sentiment then was not so much a rejection of vaccines as it was a fear of getting sick mixed with racism and an understandable fear of racism. But in short order, an understandable impulse morphed into an ideology familiar to anyone who's listened to Jenny McCarthy. Lately, here's Discover magazine. In 1879, after a visit to New York by William Tebb, the leading British antivaccinationists, the anti Vaccination Society of America was founded. Subsequently, the New England anti Compulsory Vaccination League was formed in 1882 and the Anti Vaccine League of New York City in 1885. Using pamphlets, court battles, and vigorous fights on the floor of state legislatures, the Antivaccinationists succeeded in repealing compulsory vaccination laws in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. A continual battle was waged between public health authorities. And the antivaccinationists with the antivaccinationists battling vaccination in the courts and instigating riots in Montreal and Milwaukee. There was also a riot in Rio de Janeiro. There were like riots over vaccinations. Wow, people like shot at each other over vaccinations? That's crazy. Fighting in the streets over vaccination vaccinations. Now this might make a little bit more sense. And a little while being Americans, the anti vaxxers also made political cartoons. Ours were not as subtle or as artistic as the European ones you want to describe. Yeah. So we've got a snake labeled vaccination just written right on the side in big letters. This is a bad it's a really bad political corrective. It's hissing at a mother and her infant child and then behind the snake is a skeleton in a skeletal which I must assume is death. And then over top it says do not vaccinate. Now what do you think the message of that cartoon is? I I really think that it's about the economy. Yeah, that's what I'm getting. I think it's it's about the economy. The inequality collapse of the banking system in the 1870s. When I read, that's what I that's what I read from it, too. Yeah, a lot of subtleties in that giant snake with vaccination. I'm sorry, that's a bad political cartoon. That's not an effective cartoon. Whoever drew that shouldn't be making them. Also, the mom has a really ****** face. She Diana. ****** hair. A really ****** face. Yeah. Yeah. And the baby looks weird. Baby looks weird. Fan of the skeleton. I'm a fan of the skeleton. That's the best part. I would love to see the world where it's just skeletons and veils and I I love. I want to imagine the editor talking to this cartoonist being like, Nah, the snake with vaccination written on the side isn't clear enough. Skeleton? Yeah, we need a skeleton up in there. I'm still not getting it. Just put a label at the very top with two exclamation points. Just just two. All caps. All caps. By the turn of the century, the federal organization in charge of stopping the spread of smallpox in America was the United States Marine. Hospital service. This was a quasi military organization, and it needed to be. Resistance to vaccination in American cities was often violent. Starting in the late 1890s, a new strain of smallpox began racing through communities in the American S it was milder and less deadly, which sounds like a good thing, but it was not necessarily a good thing. Diseases that mutate into less deadly versions can just as easily mutate into something more lethal, so it's still just as important to eradicate infestations when they start. However, the fact that the new smallpox killed fewer people acted. Fuel for the anti vaccine movement. This smallpox barely kills anyone. Why should we vaccinate our kids against it? So the fact that this new strain of smallpox had a reputation for infecting quote none, but ******* also had another major impact. Oh God. Yeah. I can totally see how it goes. Yeah, so rather than being wiped out when it started to spread, this new smallpox virus burnt through the southeast like a Texas wildfire. Here's the book pox. Cuban itch, some called it. Or Puerto Rico Scratch, Manila scab, Filipino itch, Mexican bump, inward itch, Italian itch, Hungarian itch, camp itch, army itch, elephant itch, kangaroo itch, cedar itch, bean pox, or simply bumps. Really curious about why Kangaroos came into it? Was it about Australia where they like only the outlaws in Australia? It was filled. The Australians are bringing in the smallpox. Maybe. Maybe. Was directed at Indigenous people in Australia. After all of the racism and the preceding 2/3 of that, the idea that they might have just hated Australians is almost, like, almost wholesome. It is almost, it's almost wholesome. The kangaroo itch, mate. I feel like someone's going to call us out on on that and be like, no, no, no, no, no. Kangaroo is a racial slur for the Portuguese. It's really me. God. Was it affecting like Cuba and Puerto Rico? I mean, it affected everywhere. It spread through the world like wildfire. One of the reasons why there is this myth that black people were more likely to get it is that particularly black minstrel shows traveled a lot throughout this area. And so these people would be traveling and people who travel a lot are more likely to spread diseases and stuff. So that was like one reason, but it was also most like a lot of it was just racism. Like they would just say, well, it must have been a black guy who brought the disease to town just because they were racist. Like how immigrants bring crime. Yeah. Yeah, that's what they do. That's what they do. That's my parents came here and said it's time to rob. And, you know, only 2425% of our doctors are immigrants. And I feel like as a country, if there's one thing we can lose, it's a quarter of our doctors. Oh yeah, we're doing we're healthy. Yeah, we're fine. We're fine. We're doing great. I do listen to that. And I'm like, Oh my desire to not get a flu shot is. Not too far off from them being like, it's just baby smallpox. Just baby smallpox. No, I mean, we all like, that's you can see why it spreads like, these are all. You know. I don't get the flu shot as often as I ought to. I'm like, I won't get that. I trust that my eating expired mussels and clams on a regular basis will keep me safe from everything. Yeah. So far it has I have had. I'm one of the only people you probably meet who's had a polio and smallpox vaccination. Because I've traveled in some places where it's like you. You might want to get a polio vaccination. Going down here, no harm, no foul. OK? And the smallpox vaccination does suck. Did you get the flu? No, no. But it like your arm is ****** ** for awhile. How long? I don't know, like four or five days. Like, it just sucks. Yeah. So. Since every white person in America was racist as **** back then, and since smallpox was seen as a disease spread by non white people, the most southern communities responded to outbreaks by restricting the mobility of their black citizens, even more often quarantining the black parts of town when an outbreak started. This of course led to black people hiding their sick family members from vaccination corps doctors. Racism also meant that many communities failed to take the outbreak seriously. In 1897, when smallpox began raging in the black neighborhood of Middlesboro, KY, White people basically ignored the problem at first, the local newspaper wrote. Quote. Up to the present, no white people have been attacked and there is positively no occasion for alarm. There was thousand something like people got it there. It was a terrible, terrible outbreak. Unlike everyone else back then, smallpox was not racist and it quickly spread through both black and white homes. So very woke illness. That's a good line. Woke pox. Yeah, very good line. The Marine Hospital service sent over doctors to contain the outbreak, since local authorities had failed horribly. The city was, quote from the book Pox divided into 5 districts, one inspector to each make a house to house canvas. A local newspaper boasted, awkwardly, that the services inspection showed that quote outside of smallpox. This is the healthiest town on the globe. What they examined everyone vaccinating the few unscarred people they found. Anyone who refused the vaccination order was promptly turned over to the city authorities, who gave the violator the option of being vaccinated or taken to jail. This was, quote, something of a moot question because if the uncooperative person shows jail, they are vaccinated as soon as they enter under a law requiring all inmates of jails to be vaccinated. My God, I kind of love that. Yeah, it's pretty great. Many who resisted were simply handcuffed and vaccinated, literally at gunpoint. Police would show up. You're gonna get the ******* shot right now. Yeah, like, let's shoot you. When infected people were found in a home, all clothing and bedding was burnt. The house would be pumped full of sulfur smoke in order to sterilize it. If the home was too old and drafty to be effectively sterilized this way, the vaccination corps would just burn it down. It was like a part of this. We just got to burn down this whole block. **** it. Like, I understand, a, how that was effective, but also B, how that made people be like, oh, it's not like today where someone just reading nonsense on the Internet and decides not to vaccinate. Right. It's like you see these people showing up at your door with guns and cutting your arm and burning down houses, and you don't like them. It's like burning down houses. This is a lot. I get why you might not trust these people. Yeah. Like, it's not unreasonable. Yeah. I think the people burning down the House in this case, are overall on the right. But I get, I get the resistance. 18. McCormick was a member of the Kentucky Board of Health. The Middleborough outbreak was a major black mark on his organization's name because they basically ignored **** when it started and then failed to provide adequate. Resources to fight the epidemic in order to save face. McCormick blamed black people, announcing that quote. The exemption of the white race from this mild strain of smallpox was over, and quote visiting and strange ******* should be hunted, vaccinated, and kept under observation. Jesus Christ again. Not all good guys on this side. So during outbreaks, local governments would force community members to provide proof of vaccination. Failure to do so could result in fines, usually between 5:00 and $100. Short jail terms were also common, but local judges would also force people to work on chain gangs. And one instance in North Carolina, a vaccine refuser who threatened to spread smallpox to his political enemies had, quote, 3 buggy whips worn out on him. So they were whipping people sometimes for this. Damn, everything is ******** in the late 1800s. Nobody half ***** anything. Yeah, which is weird too, because it's also the era of like female propriety and like like just being proper and general and that Victorian sensibility, what side of? So this is also the area in which the feminist movement is very first starting to come in. Which side of this do you think they wind up on? Oh God, are they anti vax's? Not great. They were racist too, so well, no, actually, that's part of what makes this. I mean some of them were. That's part of what we're getting to that. So, well, vaccination was a clear, good and a necessary thing. Many of its major advocates were ********. And this is where the story gets kind of weird because a lot of the first American anti vaccine advocates were not idiots and kooks. Many of them were progressives who supported women's suffrage and anti racist policies and were reacting to the racism that was often present in vaccination campaigns. While the first anti VAX movement in England was a working class thing, the American anti VAX movement was an affluent left wing movement. So basically. The right wing authoritarian ******** like the governments in small towns southern America were pro vaccine but also used the threat of smallpox to further oppress black people and generally went about ensuring vaccine laws were complied with in the most brutal way possible. Meanwhile, a lot of leftists were anti vaccine, which was insanely dangerous, but they were also reacting to a lot of the bigotry that was wrapped up in the whole thing. Wow, it's ******* wild. Very complicated. It really is Jesus. Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist, stood against compulsory vaccination. He believed that mandatory vaccines were an encroachment on people's freedom of choice. Because they were like whipping, whipping people and burning down houses. Yeah, you can see why someone would be on the other side of that. Leo Tolstoy was an anti vaccine sympathizer, agreeing with the cause for the same reason he agreed with quote every struggle for liberty in any sphere of life. These were not always high minded arguments about freedom. George Bernard Shaw called vaccination a peculiarly filthy piece of witchcraft. If you're a fan of a great author or poet or civil rights leader from the late 1800s or early 1900s, there's a weirdly good chance they were anti vaccine advocates. Wow. The book Pox says that these people were part of a now mostly defunct American intellectual tradition called libertarian radicalism. These folks aren't libertarians in the sense that we're used to. Most of what they advocated had nothing to do with economics and you know, Iran hadn't been born yet. They were more focused on personal freedom which made them great on issues like letting women vote and arguing that black people shouldn't be murdered by cops, but made them bad on vaccination. Quote from the book Pox. The same men and women who joined anti vaccination leagues tended to throw themselves into other maligned causes of their era, including anti imperialism. Women's rights. Anti vivisection, vegetarianism, Henry George's single tax, the fight against government censorship of obscene materials under the late 19th century Comstock laws, and opposition to state eugenics. Interesting. Yeah, it's really complicated. Well, I it's. I mean, I get it because the way it was compulsory vaccination was enforced was problematic. Yeah, problematic even when it's like necessary, when it's like, no, thousands of people will die if we're not burning down houses, right, like forcing and you know, you're peoples houses who got burned down. Rich people didn't get their houses burned down. Yeah. Rich people didn't get forced at gunpoint probably. And there were some doctors shot doing this too. Like it was ******** ****. Like you could do a pretty good, like Showtime original series about. Like being a hard boiled vaccine, Dr chicken indoors should not exist. I don't know, but I think Woody Harrelson would be a great two fisted vaccine. Dr Very good cutting, ******* razor blade in one hand, cutting people's arms and for dumb reasons, but it's just more complicated than that. The fact that being anti VAX was more reasonable in the late 1800s and early 1900s meant that it was also more popular. Like I said, there were enormous anti vaccine riots in cities around North and South America. Then asked today parents who suffered tragic losses or health issues with their kids? Somebody crucial core of the movement. In 1896, Laura Little of Minneapolis lost her seven-year old son. She claimed that the smallpox vaccine is what killed him, even though he died seven months after being vaccinated. So it wasn't, I mean, no, it was not. But at the time, like, who knows? Like, you know, there's not much science back then, right? Like he got seven months later, it's like he probably got sick. What it was is he got sick from the vaccine because that's what the vaccine did. And then he got sick again shortly thereafter. And I think to her it just looked like he was sick. Continually after it, even though like Lady, it's 1896. Half of the kids die. Like kids just die for no reason. That's your fault for naming him? Yeah, he shouldn't have named him. That was a bad call. Ah, Speaking of not naming babies Anna, are you a fan of products and services? Yeah. OK. Well, that's an ad pivot. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. His unspeakable crimes and the incompetence or unwillingness of the police to stop him brought the entire country of Belgium to the brink of revolution. Just December. From Tenderfoot TV in iHeartRadio this is la Monstra. A story of abomination and conspiracy that led to the demise of the entire institution of Belgian federal police and rattled the foundations of its government. The story about the man who simply become known as La Monstre. 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You know, I don't want to speak about it. And we had to sign a paper saying that if we were taken hostage that they would not bargain for us. Eddie, I know he said that he had permission to do the bill, so I don't know where it got lost in translation. Learn about what really went down from the people that were there. Listen to more than a movie American me, that's part of the Michael Duda podcast network, available on the iHeartRadio app Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. We're back products. The services. I'll try them. You should try them. Yeah. You know what else you should try? Vaccination. Uh, fine. I'll get a flu shot. I won't. I really. I mean, I keep being like, I don't work with kids anymore. I do if I'm going to like a family reunion and I know I'm going to be around old people. You do because you don't. Well, I don't want that is like my own. My elderly relatives sick with the because they could die from that. I would have never even thought about that. Yeah, like, that's the main reason. Like, I don't care. My roommates are also early 30s, late 20s. Like, we we all get each other sick once a year. It's whatever. I don't want to get someone who could die from the flu sick. I'm so selfish that when I was teaching kindergarten, I got the flu shot only because I was like, they're going to get me sick. So at no point was I like, it's for them. When I taught special Ed, I'd never got sick and I never got vaccinated just because, like, you're exposed to, like, that's true. The first six months I was sick a lot, and then after that I was like ******* iron. I had like strep. I was sick all the time. And then yeah. Just like invulnerable, right? **** the zombie plague can hit tomorrow. I'll fight that **** off. It's like, how do people not believe immunity by exposure is a thing when literally that is what happens in life. That's why teachers are are so terrifying and powerful. That's why. That's why don't **** with them. So yeah, Laura Little of Minneapolis lost her her little kid, and then became a major anti vaccine advocate. She became the editor of a magazine called The Liberator. An early anti VAX, Pro Fringe medicine magazine. Basically the natural news of its day. Now you may also recognize there was an earlier Liberator in the abolitionist era before the Civil War. It was like an abolitionist newspaper. She named her anti vaccine newspaper the Liberator, because she saw anti vaccination advocacy as part of the same intellectual tradition as abolitionism. And it kind of was the same. A lot of the same people like there were a lot of the older people in the active vaccine movement pre civil war, had been abolitionists. I guess it's tough now. Yeah, it's getting tough. It's complicated. It's really complicated because these are not bad people. They're wrong about this, but they're like, in 1896, being like, lady, you should vote, racism is bad. No one else is saying that. Yeah. But they're also saying the smallpox vaccine is the devil. It's out of step with how science works. Yeah. But again, science wasn't great at this point. Right. Still, even still. That's right. Yeah. So Laura did work in the Liberator that did. Average on real journalism. She interviewed the parents of children who died as a result of vaccinations gone wrong. And kids did die as a result of this. The ******* 1890s was not nearly as good as it is now. The error rate was a lot higher. One of her books was titled Crimes of the Cowpox Ring, some moving pictures thrown on the dead wall of official silence. Solid title anti vaccine advocates had other tactics besides rioting. Many of them would protect their kids by giving them fake vaccination scars. Or if they couldn't stop their kid from being vaccinated, they would attempt to scrub the vaccine out of the arm after it was inserted. I'm sorry. Both those things are horrible. Yeah, horrible. Now it would probably be unfair to call the people who did that anti vaxxers they were anti their kids getting vaccinated because they didn't want their kid to get sick. But the anti vaccine movement as an ideological movement was a very different thing, and it was more wrapped up in like freedom of choice and resistance to racism and that sort of thing. So it's wonky. Many early anti vaxxers were doctors or at least doctors doing the hand quote sign because again, the late 1800s and early 1900s was the period in which medicine. Starting to become real. Up until that point to most Americans, a doctor of homeopathy was probably just as credible as a Stanford surgeon. Most medicine was just whiskey and hammers at this point, so people were not nearly as dumb as they are today for distrusting medical science. Were they letting blood then? Oh yeah, all the time. And, you know, it's not always pretty late to do, but like, like, this is the point where anyone can call themselves a doctor and the medical community was just starting to figure out, OK, well, some of us are actually doctors and some of us are charlatans. And like a lot of the charlatans wound up on the anti vaccine side of things because they were pro natural medicine or whatever. Yeah, that's interesting. I mean, I think it's echoed today in how we trust doctors and how younger doctors are using newer technology and newer strategies, but the older doctors. I don't always doing the best thing for you. Best thing? Yeah. Now, there was a lot of reason to distrust the credible doctors and in mainstream medical science at this point. One thing that would have been in living memory for many of the people doing this was a during the civil war, Robert E Lee's army, the Army of Northern Virginia, had 5000 men rendered combat ineffective before the Battle of Chancellorsville because when they've been vaccinated, the doctor had accidentally used part of a syphilis or in order to make the vaccine. Oh my God. So they all got. Oh my God. Confederates. **** yeah, that's true. That does feel like charm. That does feel like Karma. Wow, that's crazy. That is crazy. That doctor get, like, stoned to death? He would hope so. Right? Like, even though, like, that's a pretty big insurgent. Oh yeah, maybe he was like a that's the movie or the show. That's the show. I like a doctor. Like infecting the Confederate army with syphilis. That's such a smart strategy. That's a really smart because that 5000 men, that's like a *******. That's like half a division or something like that. That's a lot of combat strength lost. Pretty cool, yeah. Yeah, pretty cool. But for the people in this era is a like that. That would have been a famous example of like, well, you can't trust these doctors. I don't want my kid getting syphilis, right. And that's just like, well yeah, you know, that did happen. Yeah. So you've got all these doctors who are chiropractors and homeopaths and they are basically fighting a war within the medical establishment with what we know today is real doctors. But we're at that time not a whole lot more credible, you know, but the Vice president of the anti Vaccination Society of America was what was known as a botanical physician. He prefers to use natural plant based medicine rather than pharmaceutical drugs. And you know, mercury, this guy, Doctor Clymer, wrote a tract called vaccination brought home to you. His sources were mainstream medical textbooks which talked extensively about the very real side effects of that era's vaccines. So he's basically taking books written by his professional rifles and cherry picking the evidence that made them look bad to an uneducated mass. Another made, yeah, well, smart, not a bad strategy. Another major anti vaccine advocate was. Doctor JW Hodge, a homeopath in Niagara Falls in one speech in 1902 he stated compulsory vaccination ranks with human slavery and religious persecution is one of the most flagrant outrageous upon the rights of the human race. So these physicians and laymen and lame women anti vaxxers blanketed the nation and pamphlets and books outlining their case against vaccination. According to the book Pox quote, violent imagery pervaded the anti vaccination texts. The frontispiece of climbers book pictured a police officer armed with a copy of the vaccination law seizing a baby from its mother's lap. Will the Angel of Death waited with open arms? Laura Little found material enough in the public record quote. It is for this hellish work that churches, theaters and business blocks and whole neighborhoods have been rated, she wrote. Ocean liners, populations, cowpox, a shipload of ***** laborers, driven off the vessel with clubs at Panama, and poisoned. In spite of resistance, arrests have been made and innocent persons cast into jail, and they're jabbed with the virus. And, most atrocious of all, the annual army of babies graduating from nursery into school are required to bear their little arms and receive this injection of disease. For middle class antivaccinationists, the plight of the working class vaccine refusers pinioned by police officers and vaccinated revealed the tyranny and despotism of the entire system of state medicine. If this can be done and upheld by the legal machinery of this state, what next have we to expect? Asked climber. Why not chase people and circumcise them? It surely would be a good preventative against certain kinds of disease. Why not catch the people and give each a compulsory bath? So again, this is not even when cooks are bringing up, this is not. These are some real questions to ask. This is the first time a society had dealt with this. Like what? Yeah, it's so much. Do you intervene? It is a valid question and I I see how compulsory vaccination in its form spurred that question. Yeah, individual rights it did. Now the anti vaccine movement saw an enormous success for a time. By the early 1900s, the US was known as the least vaccinated of any quote, civilized country means the white country. And however high minded their arguments, lack of vaccination was just as likely to cause deadly outbreaks then as it is now in March of 1900. The town of Jonesville, Mississippi, was hit by an especially brutal variant of the smallpox virus. 75% of the people who caught this pox died from it, and since vaccination rates were so low in Jonesville, it was not uncommon for whole families to be wiped out, just found dead in their homes, just obliterated entire family lines. So this is again, most of what's hitting in this. Is the less deadly version of smallpox. But every now and then you'll have one of these murder variants creep up, which is why it's so important to vaccinate people. And This is why the doctors who are burning down houses are like, no, I really need to be burning. Around houses and like forcing people at gunpoint to do this. That's interesting. It seems like there is this push and pull, at least up until this point of like, yeah, once people start to forget how deadly the virus is, yeah, they don't need vaccination. And that's when they think comes back and Jonesville Mississippi gets wiped out. Yeah. Now Utah and it's largely Mormon citizenry were eager converts to the anti vaccine cause. They also had a nightmarish smallpox outbreak in 19103 thousand people caught the disease. 26 of them. Right, that was the fortunately one of the less deadly variants of it. In 1903, a group of Michigan anti Vaxxers led by Laura Little had a Brexit level legislative surprise victory when they passed a bill that made it illegal to compel any child to get vaccinated or require vaccination to let a child into school. The state's doctors were outraged and succeeded in getting the bill amended to allow them to at least force vaccinations during an outbreak. As you'd expect, the anti vaccine victory in Michigan was followed three years later by a nightmare of smallpox epidemic. 28,000 people got sick. So much again, I'm not gonna say Laura Little is a bad person, but she got 28,000 people sick with smallpox. Yeah, for good reason. She wasn't a ****. You get a lot of credit for me if you're not racist in 1903 and you're a white lady. Like, yeah, that's not comedy. She was. She was woken by their standards. But it was bad to, like, force black people off of boats and Jack them with drugs against their will, which most people would have been like. They don't have a right to say no. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, gosh. This is so tangled up. It's really tangled up. Yeah. Anti vaccine advocates were, as you might expect, pretty likely to die of smallpox putting them. Jay Ramsdell of Cambridge, MA, was a prominent Christian scientist and anti vaxxer, when he died in 1902, the New York Times reported that he had, quote, died of the disease he defied. Wow, I love that. Here's Pox in Charlotte, NC 5 vaccine Refusers died of the disease later that year in June 1903 on the very same day that the Minnesota Legislature enacted the anti Compulsion vaccine law he had championed. The Minneapolis Anti vaccination is Charles Stevens died of smallpox at his home. So these people are often like dying while they're advocating against the vaccine is like when people are against public funded healthcare. Yeah it's like, yeah just wait till you get cancer. Just wait till you can't afford treatment. Or wait till your ******* barista spreads a deadly disease to you because they couldn't afford to take the day off of work because they don't get sick. Yeah. It's coming, OK. So the most interesting side of this to me is the sort of conflict between all these pro and anti vaccine doctors. This battle came to a head in the story of Doctor Samuel Durkin. He was a lecturer at Harvard and chairman of the Boston Board of Health. He was a real doctor. Now, Massachusetts was at this time going through its worst smallpox outbreak in generations. And durgan, as a young man, had lived to an outbreak that had killed like 1000 people. So he, like, hated smallpox. OK, well, I mean, that seems like it's what it takes. Yeah, it's hundreds of people die. Yeah. One causal factor was that in 1894 anti vaccine advocates that secured their equivalent to the conscientious objector exemption allowing parents to secure a doctor's note saying their child was unfit for vaccination. Since there were plenty of anti VAX doctors, any parent could find a physician willing to exempt their kid. So while this epidemic was infecting hundreds of people and spreading into Boston, a newsletter started going around town advising parents to exempt their children from vaccination. Stating quote, there are hundreds of physicians in Massachusetts who are well aware of the uselessness and evil effects of vaccination. When the Boston Globe reached out to Doctor Durgan about this newsletter, he issued a challenge quote. If there are among the adult and leading members of the Antivaccinationists who would like an opportunity to show the people their sincerity and what they profess, I will make arrangements by which that belief may be tested. And the effect of such an exhibition of faith by exposure to smallpox without vaccination be made clear. So he's like, come at me anti VAX doctors. What? We'll take you to a smallpox ward and, like, see if your methods of avoiding smallpox work better than the *******. Well, their method is I'll never go there. Well, no, I mean their method. They had all these kooky things about like, no, no, you just got to exercise and eat vegetables and stuff. Like, the doctors aren't like people, like trusting people like Laura Little are ideologically being like this. It's wrong to force vaccines. A lot of these doctors are being like, no, no, no. Homeopathy will keep you safe, right? Listen to me, my profession is right, my professions right. So Derek and straight up hated the anti vaccine movement and he particularly reviled the men who called themselves. Actors among that crowd he called anti Vaxxers quote a class of men whose minds are so curiously constituted that they will select for study the nether side of the social fabric, the weakness of the best of governments, and the minor defects in the character of the world's heroes. Emmanuel Pfeiffer was one of these doctors. He was a major advocate of kook medicine as well as an anti vaxxer. Back in April of that year, he had argued in court that the state should not interfere with quote, any Cosmo path, clairvoyant, hypnotist, magnetic healer, mind jurist, masseur, osteopath, or Christian scientist. Pfeiffer was yeah, shots fired. Don't know what a Cosmo path is, but real excited about that word. Someone who believes your diseases come from the stars and the that's what we're going to choose to go with. Yeah, that feels like it now. Pfeiffer was a registered physician who believed he could cure, quote, all kinds of chronic diseases just by simple laying on of hands. He was what he was, a health nut and believed that good diet, proper exercise, and moral behavior were enough to protect you from a disease like smallpox. In 1902, he took Doctor Durgan up on his offer and went to visit the smallpox ward on Gallups Island. Less than two weeks later, Doctor Pfeiffer disappeared suddenly, this very public man who had abandoned his practice. Dropped off the face of the Earth, doctor Durgan launched A5 day manhunt to find him, which eventually revealed that he had gotten tremendously ill from smallpox and was dying at a farmhouse. So what happened after? This is what I'm going to tell you. When they found him, the Board of Health announced that he probably would not survive. Here's Pox quote. How many had been exposed to smallpox in these days? Between Fifers disappearance and the arrival of the health officials at his Bedford bedside? No one knew. Bedford officials placed the Pfeiffer Farm under quarantine, ordering all on the premises vaccinated. Learning that Pfeiffer's two daughters had been to school since his arrival, officials ordered all the town's pupils to get vaccinated or stay home. Boston authorities tracked down to carriages in which Pfeiffer had traveled and disinfected them. All of the residents of the Charlestown apartment house were vaccinated. To everyone's surprise, except perhaps his own, Emmanuel Pfeiffer's famous constitution pulled him back from the brink of death. And he began his long recovery. The race for the moral high ground began even before his survival was assured. Durgan announced that several other physicians had visited Gallups Island that season, and having previously been vaccinated, none came down with smallpox. Now, a lot of people attacked Dergen after this, and we're like, dude, you just you gave a guy smallpox and he went wandering around the world and infected a bunch of people. That's not good medicine, which is a fair point. That's a fair point. But I can see both sides latching on to a different read of what happened. And they. Here is **** did. Yeah. Doctor Pfeiffer's anti vaccine sentiments did not change and in fact he used this, the fact that he had survived as proof that he was right all along, even though he got horribly ill and very nearly died. Nobody changes their minds based on evidence, Anna. No, that's true, yeah, but the United States at least drifted further and further away from supporting quack medicine after this point. Roughly a year after this, another Massachusetts man, Pastor Jacobson, would be charged with refusing a mandatory vaccine during an outbreak. He was taken to court, convicted, and found guilty of the crime of refusing vaccination. Jacobson appealed in this case, eventually made its way up to the Supreme Court when they ruled on Jacobson V Massachusetts in 1905, the ability of the government to compel vaccinations even with the use of police force. Was upheld. This decision, along with the fact that vaccines grew more effective and less terrible over the next few decades, lead to the gradual extinction of the American anti VAX movement, at least for a while now. There's a really ****** ** code into this, OK, because when eugenics became a thing, which starts right after this .19 teens and 20s, is when the American eugenics movement starts sterilizing 10s of thousands of people. You want to guess what their main legal cited precedent is? Compulsory, compulsory vaccination if we can vaccinate. People to stop the spread of sickness. Why can't we sterilize people to stop the spread of sickness? Wow. So again, all of this is tangled up and ****** **. So, uh, I guess compulsory anything is like you're on a slippery slope and you don't always. A slippery slope does not always mean things because we have compulsory vaccination today and we don't sterilize people for no good reason. Today it does. It's just like how you know, but you can opt out today also some places, some places you can't. And that that may be changing with all the outbreaks that have happened. It's sort of like how when Ulysses Simpson Grant passed the anti KKK act that like allowed the government to. Arrest people for, essentially, what were their political opinions? It could have gone on a slippery slope and, like, led to an authoritarian regime, but instead it just led to a bunch of clansmen getting jailed. So, fine, we don't always go down the slippery slope. Sometimes you just have to be very careful with the actions you're taking. Right. Measured, measured. And yeah, so that was a morally complicated and confusing episode. Next episode, which we'll be running tomorrow for you, we're going to talk about something that's not morally confusing, and we will be talking about a real *******. A guy named Andrew Wakefield. Looking forward to getting on a little bit less ambiguity. Yeah. I didn't know which side to take. There's no side to take. It's just an important story if you're going to. We're really getting behind the ******** here. Truly. This is the behind. The behind. Yeah, this was really far behind. Tomorrow, next episode, we'll just be talking about a *******. So yeah. All right. That's the episode. What do I do at the end of an oh, God, oh, God. Panic, panic, panic. And a pluggable. You can check my web comic out. On Instagram, it's bad comics with an ex Bianna 2 ends, and that's also my handle on Twitter. Follow me on the social medias and if you have a interpretation of that cartoon that we saw and described, tell us about it. Please do. It'll be up on our website, You can find us on social media and you know Twitter in the Graham at at ******** pot. The kids call it the gram. And I didn't know if you're. I think they call it IG. Whoa, that's even faster. Yeah, what about just G? Ohh. Find us on the G at at Bastarde pod. You can find me on Twitter at I write OK and nowhere else, cuz Instagram frightens and confuses me. You're missing out on my comic. No. I see your comics on your Twitter. I occasionally post something. You tweet some comics? Yeah, that's true. You can also buy a shirt. You can buy cups. You can buy stickers. You can buy smallpox. Vaccines from behind the ******* shop on They're less vaccines and more smallpox infected T-shirts, but they work probably the same way. Yeah, probably shouldn't say that our shirts have smallpox. Well, just delete this part. No, you can't edit audio, Anna. Oh yeah. Oh God, this is going in. But I already ordered 6 T-shirts. Well, just make sure you give them to people who spend a lot of time around cows. They'll probably be fine. All right, that's the end of the show. Go home. Do something else. I love you 40%. Goodbye. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's SPREA. It's Bobby Bones from the Bobby cast. We are Nashville's most listened to music podcast in depth interviews with your favorite country artists, plus the biggest songwriters and producers in Nashville. All from the comfort of my own home so it gets a little more laid back. They're sharing stories behind the biggest songs in country music and personal stories that you will not hear anywhere else. So if you love country music, I think you will love this podcast. 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