There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:00
Part Two: Andrew Wakefield: The Worst Doctor Alive
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 visitmylasikoffer.com 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 spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. 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. Welcome to behind the ******** the show where we tell you everything you don't know about the very worst people in all the history. I'm Robert Evans. Sophie does not like me using my my accent, which I consider a type of racism because I am a southern man and I have to hide the reality of who I am. Is that your natural voice? That's my natural no affectation. No affectation. That's me. That's Deep South. Deep South, ma'am. I'm a southern gentleman. I'm a I don't know. I feel like you went from southern farmer to southern lawyer in a white linen suit. Well, no, that one was not my my honor. There's no, there's nothing classy about my background. I see. Yeah. No. Anna Salinas. Bad comics by Anna comics artist. Street Fighter, yeah, president of the Anti Vaccination Society of America. Unfortunately, yeah. That is why you brought me on here. Not because of my comics or Twitter hot takes, but because I am the President of the anti vaxxers. Yeah, that was mean to me and you're not. But we are talking about the anti vaccine movement still we are. And I feel weirdly conflicted about it so far because we spent an episode talking about how both sides. Had points and we're all so racist. Yeah, I mean, everybody's racist and like the 1890s, you're not going to find a lot of not racist people even like the not racist people still use terms that are like who? Guys God. You are. Yeah, it's like watching a blazing saddles where it's like, Oh my God, yeah, I could see like revolutionary for its time, but also like my old bosses were like, it's the best movie you have. That's your, that's your homework. You need to go watch that movie. It's so funny. And I watched it and look. That movie is racist and sexist and. First time it was a huge step forward. I understand nobody and say you'll never like it, was it? That's everything we grade on a scale. When we talk about history, we do yes. For it's time it was. But watching it now, it's just like, this is not pleasant. You go to a lot of abolitionists, like people who are like fighting to end slavery in the 1850s. And they would be like, well, of course, you know, black people aren't as intelligent as white people, but they shouldn't be slaves. And it's like, OK, well, you're racist, but. You're not in favor of slavery. So I guess we're grading on a curve here. That's true. Yeah. It's it's just it's complicated. I can't wait for 20 years from now when people look over at my tweets because, you know, Twitter will be here in 20 years. Oh, absolutely. This won't all collapse like the House of Cards that it is. And be like, oh, problematic. Ooh, yeah, I feel like that might be just by owning pets and stuff. You think? No. Wonder if that's the next frontier. Knows. I know that future generations generations will judge me for all of the meat that I eat. Oh, 100% terrible. Yeah, no arguments there. I hope we get there. We will. I mean, because the planet will die. That's like, with these vaccines, it's like you people will get it, people will get it, but 10s of thousands of people will die first. The human toll will be nightmarish, right? That's what convinces people. That's what convinces people I love. I guess one of my favorite kinds of stories is like terrible people who were heroes. Still, like, there's this great story of, like, during the Japanese invasion. I think it was not Shanghai, it might have been Shanghai was the Japanese invasion of this one Chinese city where, like, they massacred 10s of thousands of civilians and like. Because the guy who protected a huge number of them by, like, creating this international corridor in the city to, like, protect all of these civilians from being murdered by the Japanese was a Nazi. So it's like this literal Nazi saving thousands of women and children from like, the Japanese murders. Wait, why did he? Well, because he was just like, everyone was a member of the. And this was like before the Holocaust really got started. So he was like racist and anti-Semitic. But he wasn't pro murder. He was just like a a businessman who joined the Nazi Party. But like, once he saw people getting killed in the streets was like, I don't want this happening. It's a it's a mess. Like that is a mess. It's a mess. I I'm always interested in the stories. Like that of people who are objectively flawed. Bad people. You still did a good thing. Well, I think we are all objectively flawed bad people doing what we think is right or ignoring our moral compass altogether. And those people are not always the worst people. Ignore my moral compass all the time. All the time. And I'm not the worst person. I. And that's that's what I always shoot for. Is not the worst, not the worst. Am I the worst person today? No. Roger Stone, still alive. Fantastic. Ohh good. I'm doing great nailing it. You. The bar is low. It is. Boy, this has been a long and meandering introduction. We're talking about Andrew Wakefield today. Wakefield. OK, so the current ongoing measles outbreak of 2019 centered around Portland, OR, is the largest such outbreak in 20 years. Clark County, Washington, where the outbreak began, had a measles vaccination rate of just 78%, not high enough for herd immunity to protect the immunocompromised. Clark County just happens to be a recognized hotspot of anti vaccine sentiment. In December 2014, a trip to Disneyland led to 147. Confirmed cases of measles. 110 of those people lived in California and half of that group had not taken the MMR vaccine. So this is not purely a coastal phenomenon. Over the last five years, the number of children who go unvaccinated each year or in Texas each year has doubled to more than 57,000. Of course it's of course it's Texas. The direct cause here is the existence of non medical exemptions, essentially a descendant of the old British exemptions for conscientious objectors. But the real true cause of these outbreaks of diseases that by all rights should be long dead. You know, is a single man. His name is Andrew Wakefield. Ohh, who's his name should be more well known. I feel like Jenny McCarthy really gets the blame for this movement and what she's doing is bad, but this guy is. Why? Oh yeah, bring it on. Andrew was born in 1957. We don't know an awful lot about his early life. Or at least I was not able to find an awful lot. His parents were both doctors and his father was a neurologist, which is about the doctor's kind of doctor that exists. Yeah, he enrolled in the Saint Mary's Hospital Medical School as a young adult, focusing on gastroenterology. He seems to have been popular throughout this. He was the captain of his medical schools rugby team and generally looked to be on a winning path in life when he graduated. I'm just going to say this, I played female rugby and rugby. Rugby, as it's known, and male rugby players can be a little much. They can they get a little browy, they can. Could have been a red flag for this guy. It's basically war without guns or pads or. Ads and when women do it, it's pretty cool and feminist. But women do it. They get pretty yeah, well. Yeah, well, I'm making a blanket statement, I hope. Mail rugby players. There's there's only one sport that I'm going to attack blanket all of the the players of on this podcast and that's highly yes. Yeah, well, that's a correct take. Yeah, yeah, **** that, sport. **** you for doing it. Long stance now. For more than a decade, Andrew Wakefield seems to have been a perfectly fine doctor and medical researcher. From 1986 to 1989, he worked at the University of Toronto as part of a team studying tissue rejection from transplanted intestines. In the early 1990s, back in the UK, he started doing research at the Royal Free College of London. In 1993, he published an article suggesting that the measles virus might cause Crohn's disease. This drew a lot of Ice's way, and two years later, when he published research suggesting that the measles vaccine might cause Crohn's disease, even more, people started talking about this. Nash Young, Doctor Who was turning the system on his head. Now, a lot of evidence suggests that there is a link between measles exposure and childhood and Crohn's disease. There is, however, no evidence of a link between vaccination and Crohn's disease. At the time when he started the research, it made sense to look into, made sense to look into. But did he have any bias pushing him toward? That's going to be a big focus of the episodes. And one thing I should point out is that if you know a lot of people with autism, kids with autism in particular, a lot of them have weird bowel issues. Gastrointestinal issues and stuff like that. It's very common. So this is something that like people trying to explain for a while, like, why? Why do these kids with autism also have all of these weird, like, gastrointestinal issues? So that's why he sort of gets into the study of autism as a gastroenterologist, because there's some stuff there that needs explaining. OK, so it seems like maybe Andrew Wakefield was starting from an honest place. It's not clear at what point that changed, but the evidence suggests that Andrew Wakefield instantly saw financial opportunity in this purported connection between the measles vaccine and Crohn's disease. In March 1995, Wakefield filed for a patent for a test that would detect Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis by finding measles virus in the bowel tissue product or fluids. 2 years later, Andrew Wakefield drew up a business scheme to present to investors. In it, he suggested using his patented tests to create a company that would make enormous profits from running these tests. The anticipated annual income topped £72 million per year. The prospectus he put together trying to interact investors noted in view of the unique services offered by the company and its technology. Particularly for the molecular diagnostic, the essays can command premium prices. Sounds like he's just a scam artist. Sounds like he's just a scam artist. Oh, already? You don't. Even so, it's so scammy. Like, there's like so many levels that a scam artist could be a scammer, and Andrew Wakefield is a scammer on twice as many levels as that, but it's going to take some unpacking to get through. So during all this time, Wakefield was conducting a study at the Royal Free College. This study of 12 children suggested that the MMR vaccine which bundled measles. Mumps and rubella vaccinations together could cause the measles virus to infect a child's intestines. Now, this study was an attempt to explain something that, yeah, parents with autistic children reported for years. Wakefield's research, published in 1998, seemed to suggest that the MMR vaccine harmed not just the child's intestines, but the neurons in its brain. So this is the beginning of the idea that, like, maybe this vaccine is what's causing the autism. And what year is this? This is 1998 when he publishes his research. OK, so this is. Pretty recent. Pretty recent. And again, 12 kids. So not a huge study, not what you would want to make sweeping claims about a vaccine. I feel like people technically that would be rejected. Right. That's the smallest sample size. Well that is how you start you know you you would or anecdotal. At that point it seems like it would be anecdotal. It is almost. It's one of those things where if if he had immediately gone from that to doing a 250 person study or something like that, that would be how a normal scientist would proceeded. But that was not what Wakefield did. Wakefield did not immediately start telling people to not vaccinate like he wasn't starting from anti vaccine, but he did start by saying like because of this research I found we should stop bundling. All these vaccinations together and right at that same time, eight months before releasing his paper, actually, he patented a single measles vaccine, which is what he claimed after releasing his paper. Was the safest way to vaccinate your kids. Separate all the vaccinations. So when they released this study in 1998, Andrew Wakefield and the Royal Free Medical School released the paper via a 23 minute long video news conference, which is not how scientific studies involving 12 people are usually released. Many people to see his face. He wanted people to see his face. In this press conference, he made a very direct plea for people to start using the exact kind of single use vaccine he just patented 8 months before. Oh God, this is Wakefield. There is sufficient anxiety in my own mind for the long term safety of the polyvalent vaccine that is the MMR vaccination and combination that I think it should be suspended in favor of the single vaccines. Now, the journal he published in The Lancet is an old and extremely authoritative publication. They and his hospital, the Royal Free Hospital, knew about Wakefield's ambitions. To profit off of this work, they threw resources into helping him launch his study with the press conference, which, you know again, is not the norm. They knew he was trying to raise money to start a company, and they knew he'd patented a form of medicine that he was advising everyone to take. So both institutions took steps to protect themselves. The Lancet published a critique of Wakefield study and the same issue. When in which it was released, this critique pointed out that the sample group. Too small to draw big conclusions from, and that it had not been randomly determined. The Lancet did not make any mention of this critical article in the press release, though. The Royal Free Hospital convened a panel of five doctors to present a follow-up press conference where their panel would all agree that people should keep using the MMR vaccine until more research had been done. Now that was the plan for the press conference, but it didn't work out that way. The press conference wound up turning into a **** show. I found a recollection of it from a journalist who attended quote the five of them, the panel that the hospital had convened. Sitting behind a table with Andrew Wakefield on the extreme left and Ari Zuckerman on the right, the tension rose as the event progressed, and by the end Wakefield was coolly urging patients to give their children single vaccines at annual intervals, while Zuckerman was on his feet banging the lectern and frustration as he insisted that the MMR vaccine had been given to millions of children around the world and was safe. So within a year of this press conference, Andrew Wakefield had become the director of two businesses, both Carmel and Una Genetics Ltd, who are registered in early 1999, right after this press conference came out. Andrew Wakefield submitted a confidential report on behalf of Uni Genetics to the British Legal Aid Board and secured $800,000 in public funding to perform his tests on children in a public hospital ward. Wakefield sought an additional £2.1 million to get his venture off the ground, and a quote, private and confidential prospectus that later wound up in the hands of a journalist for the British Medical Journal. Andrew Wakefield stated that he believed that within three years of launching his diagnostic testing business, it would be worth £28 million. He's so transparent, but if you're listening. And I can see. I mean, it's just how people get scammed. It's just yet another grifter. Our era of grifters. Now, Wakefield still needed that investment money. And one study of 12 kids, no matter how publicized, was not going to draw the kind of funding that he needed. Especially since other members of the medical community had started loudly pointing out the flaws in Wakefield's research. In order to secure that extra cash, Andrew Wakefield and a pathologist he'd hired for unit genetics, prepared to present new research at a London meeting of the Pathological Society in March of 2000, according to the British. Local journal quote based on alleged gut biopsy samples from Walker Smith's patients, 10 with autism and three with Crohn's disease, tested at a Dublin laboratory. It claimed a possible causal link and given a Wakefield presentation, promised a storm like the press conference 2 years before. So he's done more research, but he's not doing another study, he's just going straight to press conference without actually publishing a peer reviewed study again. And did you say 10 people, 1013 total patients? This is not how you do. Research. This is not how you do research and it's. It's such bad science that I don't even have a good way to segue into this Doritos plug. But I'm going to. I'm going to. Hmm. That's a good dorito. Doritos, if you're listening. Sponsor this podcast now in a in deference to the fans who don't like the sound of crunching Doritos. Really, it's like the anti vaccine Pro vaccine argument in the 1800s where like there's two sides here. There's a lot of people who say more Doritos crunching and a lot of people who say less. I'm going to lean on the side of not doing as much Doritos crunching, but every now and then you got to do it. And then I got to, you know, 15 minute, Fast forward, 15 seconds, Fast forward. That's a thing. Yeah, that will be the only crunch in this episode, but I just needed it. I needed to clean. I want to believe. Everyone who listens to podcasts has a little. Love of ASMR. Oh yeah. I mean, you would hope some people don't like the sound of eating, which is why a wolf sound like 1/3 of a bag of Doritos. Like a ******* monster episode started. Yeah, yeah, I was eating my cookies, so I was trying to be so sneaky about it. So she's eating dog treats right now? Yeah. I mean, well, they're next to her bag of Fritos. There's no way to know which one she's eating. And she did reach. Yeah, that's what I thought. Now, Wakefield started talking with pharmaceutical companies right before this. Planned like press release. One of them even flew him to Canada to talk. He was negotiating with Johnson and Johnson Merck and Smith, Kline, Beecham. So it looked like he was about to get the funding. He wanted a couple of $1,000,000 to start producing this single shot vaccine. Where was the oversight of this guy? Why didn't he lose his license that's coming up. No, thankfully he did not get to carry out all of his plans. Another doctor, Mark Peppes, would finally put a stop to Wakefield scheme. Pepys had recently been made the head of medicine at the Royal Free College and he did not like Wakefield. For his research, Peppi's convinced the college to send Wakefield a letter finally admitting their concern about his involvement with these new companies he'd created in his financial interest in producing a single use measles vaccine. Quote. This concern arose originally because the company's business plan appears to depend on premature, scientifically unjustified publication of results which do not conform to the rigorous academic and scientific standards that are generally expected. So, first study, fine. It's OK to do if you're trying to prove something new and put out a study with a small sample size, but the fact that you're. Second, press release isn't even a study and involves one more person. This seems shady to us. Yeah, so the college did not immediately cut his funding or fire him. They offered him a continuation of his funding if he would conduct new research and test his theories about the MMR vaccine. He was promised help with the study of 150 children to see if his research for The Lancet could be replicated with a larger group, as would real scientists do. Yeah, but come on, how did they not get it by this point? Well, someone might have been wishful thinking. Some of it might have been legitimately being like, OK, well, maybe. You know, there's clearly something going on between, like, bowel disorders and autism. So maybe something's happening here. It's worth looking into. God. So they offered to pay him to do a study with 150 children, and Wakefield initially agreed to conduct the study, but he never actually did because the 1998 Lancet study had been a total scam. Now, none of this came out until 2011, when a journalist named Brian Deer published an investigation for the British Journal of Medicine. It was revealed for the first time that Andrew. Richfield had actually been running a second secret scam alongside his other, more obvious scams. Rather than being a legitimate study motivated by sheer interest in the truth, his Lancet paper had essentially been commissioned by a lawyer named Richard Barr, who represented a bunch of families who believed their kids had gotten sick through the MMR vaccine. Wakefield's research started as paid work for a lawyer trying to justify a lawsuit. He made something like $450,000 for this work alone. None of this was known until Brian Deer's report came out all of Wakefield's patients. Have been recruited by anti MMR vaccine campaigners. And even then, deer's research showed that Wakefield had straight up lied about many of their symptoms. Wow. Being a journalist, Brian Deer actually took Wakefield's research to the parents of the kids in the study to like, be like, is this what happened to your kid? Is this what happened to your kid? Is this what happened to your kid? And it turns out that he had essentially misrepresented everybody's symptoms. So complete fabrication, complete fabrication. Not just a guy who came up with a study, saw that there might be a connection and then. Decided to try to profit on it, which is what it looked like at first, but a guy whose whole study was falsified from the beginning because a lawyer was paying him to find a connection. *** **** it. Yeah. Now we're going to get into just how that famous Lancet study, which by the way, is still to this day the single biggest scientific underpinning of the anti vaccine movement. Do they know it's fake? Well, everyone does, but some people don't accept it. It's like, you know, Nathan Phillips and that Sandman kid confrontation on the in in DC. We all have the same hour and 45 minute video of everything that we all read it different and we all read it differently. This one is like it was fake guys. Truth is dead, Anna. Truth is dead, but you know it's not dead. Doritos, Doritos and the wonderful sponsors that help keep this show afloat with products and services. 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 it meant. Family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twists at mintmobile.com/behind. That's mintmobile.com/behind. Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy at Mint Mobile. Com slash behind now a word from our sponsor better help. If you're having trouble stuck in your own head, focusing on problems dealing with depression, or just you know can't seem to get yourself out of a rut, you may want to try therapy, and better help makes it very easy to get therapy that works with your lifestyle and your schedule. A therapist can help you become a better problem solver, which can make it easier to accomplish your goals, no matter how big or small they happen to be. 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 betterhelp.com behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better helpp.com/behind betterhelp.com/behind. Hey, Robert Evans here. It's been like two months since I got LASIK laser eye surgery and my vision is 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 visitmylasikoffer.com to schedule your free. Consultation now. We're back, Anna. You're eating a dorito. Trying to avoid chewing into the mic because I know some people don't like it, some people don't like it. You know what? Nobody likes falsified medical studies. Some people lead to collapsing vaccination rates in the Western world. So Brian Deer put together, he's got a great article for the British Medical Journal that goes into detail on all this, but he put together a little summary that just sort of walked through how ******** the study was. So I'm going to read from that little bullet point summary. The Lancet paper was a case series of 12 child patients. It reported a proposed new syndrome of enterocolitis and regressive autism, and associated this with MMR as an apparent precipitating event. But in fact, three of nine children reported with regressive autism did not have autism diagnosed at all. Only one child clearly had regressive autism. Despite the paper claiming that all 12 children were previously normal, five had documented pre-existing developmental concerns. Some children were reported to have experienced first behavioral symptoms within days of. Mrs But the records documented these as starting some months after vaccination in nine cases unremarkable colonic histopathology reports noting no or minimal fluctuations in inflammatory cell populations were changed after a medical school research review to nonspecific colitis. The parents of eight children were reported as blaming MMR, but eleven families made this allegation at the hospital. The exclusion of three allegations, all giving times to onset of problems in months, helped to create the appearance of a 14 day temporal link patients. Recruited through anti MMR campaigners and the study was commissioned and funded for planned litigation. So it was false. It was all lies. It was just nonsense. He just he he found some people who are willing to, who were saying what he wanted to study to say and when people reported something else he just lied and said that they said the same thing as the other people. I mean that's really, really bad and I I understand that doctors were reporting on it, but it's almost like. We need a better measure to discredit someone who is a real doctor. Yeah. Saying lies. Yeah. And that that does happen in this. So there was no way Andrew Wakefield could replicate his research on a larger group of patients under the watchful eye of critical experts because his research was a sham, a cheap cash grab. From the very beginning, Wakefield refused to carry out the follow-up study, which the Royal Free College would have paid for, and tried to proceed on capitalizing on the controversy he stirred up. In September 2000, he responded to the college. Quote it is clear that academic freedom is essential and cannot be traded. It is the unanimous decision of my collaborators and coworkers that it is only appropriate that we define our research objectives. We enact the studies as appropriately reviewed and approved, and we decide as and when we deem the work suitable for submission for peer review. This is how he said I'm not going to carry out another study trying to prove my research works. This is so depressing, though, because once something is out in the public eye, it's a thing. And this took off like wildfire. So Wakefield's career as a legitimate Dr ends at this point. He's fired in 2001. Doctor Pepper later claimed quote, we paid him to go away, giving him two year salary up front and a statement that he was innocent of any misconduct. What? It looked bad for them too. They'd helped publicize wildly fallacious study guys. Come on. They also promised not to say anything about the fact that they knew he was a fraud quote. And of course one of the conditions of him going away was that. I wasn't supposed to say anything critical of him to anybody forever after. Doctor Peppers is clearly kind of ******. Bad policy, bad policy. In the years since, other doctors have directed plenty of ire towards Andrew Wakefield. In 2003, a paper published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine used more than a dozen epidemiological studies and concluded that there was no evidence supporting an association between autism and the MMR vaccine. Multiple other peer reviewed studies in the 15 years since have said the same thing in February of 2010. The editors of The Lancet retracted Wakefield study. They told the Guardian that quote it was utterly clear, without any ambiguity at all, that the statements and the paper were utterly false. This prompted a review by the General Medical Council, which in May of 2010 stripped Andrew Wakefield of his medical license, among other things, this. Come on. The slowness of that is like, that's white privilege, man. Yeah. And and doctor. Privilege and doctor. I think. Protecting their own kind. More than that. I think it's protecting themselves. Just like they'd hoped that this would fade away, and it didn't. And so they had to do something. No, you have to deal with this **** out front now, Anna. I bet you're thinking. There's nothing else we could learn about how Andrew Wakefield conducted the study that makes it shadier. What? There's more. So he already lied about what their autism was and what they were saying it was caused by and when it started, lied about who he was working for when he started doing the study, the fact that he was being paid by a lawyer to prove something, the fact that he'd patented a medicine specifically to try to sell it after releasing this, right? He lied about all that, but it gets shadier, OK? Yeah. So that investigation that stripped him of his medical license found that, among other things, Andrew Wakefield had bribed children at his son's 10th birthday party to let him use their blood for research. Bribed child, bribed children for their do we know how he bribed ohboy? We do, yeah. Now there's actual video of him describing this. I found a report about that video in a New York Times article quote. The video showed him at a conference in 1999, telling the audience about the time he lined up kids to give blood samples at the birthday party of one of his children. He needed a control group of children who did not have autism in this was convenient. Two children fainted, he said. Another threw up over his mother for their service. They were rewarded with £5. People said to me, Andrew, you know you can't do this to people, children won't come back, he recounted. I said you're wrong. Listen, we live in a free market economy. Next year they'll want £10. Whoa. First of all, that poor kid whose birthday it was like, rough birthday. Rough birthday. He got bullied. After that, they were all like, I don't want to go to your birthday. You guys want to come over to my house? No. Your dad's going to take our blood again. Yeah, but what's even crazier is not only did he take their blood. They fainted and threw up. Yeah, like, kids don't like having blood drawn at the best of times. Let me have a birthday party. I mean, he was taking a sizable amount for that to happen, I have to imagine. But also at a birthday party when they were, like, filled with cake and excited. I don't know. Andrew Wakefield, we've all had blood drawn as kids. There's some nurses and doctors that are really good at it, that are good at, like, interfacing with the kid and making it comforting. And there's some doctors that are like, no, I'm just going to do this and it sucks. I'm going to guess he was one of the bad ones. He wasn't good at that. Everyone is complicit. This is my lesson from all of this. The people at that birthday party at the the adults besides him should have been like, no, I wonder what the conversations were. You just like sitting at the side of the room? Is he taking my son's blood? Should we gladly have some scammy argument where he was like I'm doing a test and want to advance medical science? That is how he sounded. That was how he sounded. Everyone was stupid. Got a lot of a lot of accent play out of these episodes, oht yeah. Now the General Medical Council concluded that Wakefield had acted with, quote, callous disregard for the distress and pain that children would suffer, which is a good summary of his career. None of this, and none of Brian Deer's fantastic reporting, has been enough to kill rumors of a correlation between vaccination and autism. By 2008, the British national vaccination rates against MMR went from above 90% to below 80% every measles outbreak. We've had since can be traced to Andrew Wakefield's research and the movement helped reignite. In the years since all this broke, Andrew Wakefield has continued to be a shady con man. In 2004, before his license was taken away, he fled Britain for Austin, TX, figuring that it would be an easier place to continue to be a greasy disease grifter. If Alex Jones has taught us anything, he was probably wise to do that. The next New York Times article on Wakefield was titled the Crash and Burn of an autism guru. Its author, Susan Dominus, caught up with Wakefield about a year after he was stripped of his license. The picture he paints of him is of a bitter con man quote. For Wakefield, the attacks have become a kind of affirmation. The more he must defend his research, the more important he seems to consider it so important that powerful forces have conspired and aligned against him. He said he believes that they public health officials, pharmaceutical companies, pay bloggers to plant vicious comments about him on the web. Because it's always the same, he says. Discredited Doctor Andrew Wakefield, discredited Doctor Andrew Wakefield. He also wouldn't be surprised if public health officials were inflating the number of measles mortalities just as he thinks they inflate the risk of the flu to increase the uptake of that. Vaccine having been rejected by mainstream medicine, Wakefield, the son of well regarded doctors in Britain, has apparently rejected the integrity of mainstream medicine. In return, I hope he dies of a disease. Yeah, I mean that. Horrible to say. No, no, come on. Also, this is a podcast now. Yeah, where we can be a little dark, where we can wish death on people. Yeah, fine. To call out doctors for inflating fear around the flu. Well, he literally created a crisis, created a fear to sell his. Measles vaccine? Yeah. What? You know, it's the pot calling the kettle vaccine denialist agitator. I'm deeply lost in the metaphor. I didn't know which one he was. Yeah, yeah, he sucks. So that article that noted that Wakefield still enjoyed a healthy fan base and was able to pack 250 paying customers into a church near Austin to hear Wakefield talk about his research. For a subset of desperate parents, most of whom are struggling with children who suffer from severe complications due to autism, Andrew has become something of a cult leader. Here's the New York Times. Many complied with lavish thanks. We stand by you and thank you for the many sacrifices you have made for the cause. When he finally took the podium, the audience members, mostly parents of autistic children, stood and applauded wildly. Some of Wakefield's cult status is surely because of his personal charisma, and he spoke with a great rhetorical flair. He took off his glasses and put them back on like a gifted actor maximizing a prop. What happens to me doesn't matter, he said at one point. What happens to these children does matter, like the ones who get me. Why do all con men sound the same? Because it works. Like, as you're describing him, I'm like, well, that sounds like Trump. Hmm. Yeah. Yeah. They're they're all more alike than they are different. Yeah. They would all get together at the same sort of parties where they would probably all bribe children for their blood, pretending they're not self interested when they're literally just conning scared. Yeah. People out of their money. Yeah. Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep, Yep. And for some reference, actual heroic people never talk like that because they're too busy doing good things, saving the world and such since moving to America. In 2004, Wakefield has tried repeatedly to cash in on his hero status among the ABT vaccine crowd. In 2013, the Guardian caught up with him at a convention for the reality TV industry. He'd paid $1600 for a chance to pitch his idea for a new TV show to executives from Discovery, National Geographic, and TLC. Now, the pilot for this new business venture was a TV show called Autism Team. Title. I've watched an excerpt from this and I think it would be most accurately described as sickness ****. It includes a lot of long, lingering shots of suffering children received a lot of criticism from autism sufferers because it doesn't really focus at all on the humanity of these people. It's just sort of seeing a kid suffer, and then a doctor will come in and diagnose the kid with autism associated endocarditis, the syndrome Andrew Wakefield invented. And then yeah, it's it feels like resistance against him and his. Conning, yeah, has to come a little from. Like people without autism and people like connected to autism being like, no, you don't stop praying on this. Yeah, stop making a dollar off of something that is like. Really, I have a pretty wide view because the kids I worked with were very low functioning for the most part. So these were kids who their parents had to live with the knowledge that, like #1, their kid was never going to live independently, was never going to be able to work a job or hold like normal relationships. That's going to have to go to a home when they died and in some cases before. Because like, these parents would know that when I get too old to, sort of like, sometimes these kids could be violent, they need to be physically restrained. When I got too old to deal with that, my son or my daughter is going to live in a home. Without me. And right, that's a horrifying and to have to deal with, yeah. And so, yeah, it it it just it infuriates me thinking about turning that into a reality TV show to talk about how great a doctor you are. Yeah. I mean it's really gross. Such a certainly in 2019, I would hope like public opinion would turn against a show like that being like no and it didn't get picked up because it like, I like. The reason I'm not playing it for you is that it's really not, it's boring to like. It was not a good preview clip or whatever. But I am going to read a summary of an episode from The Guardian. OK. John's mother, John, is one of the suffering kids, says Krigsman's. Diagnosis is the answer to everything, and krigsman is the doctor that they had to bring in. Cassandra Wakefield is not a doctor anymore, so OK, that part is a little funny. Yeah, John's father tells us the subsequent change in his son has been absolutely dramatic. Finally, the short teaser wraps. The narrator says that groundbreaking work by the autism team means that children can be treated effectively. So join us and follow their journey. So yeah, Wakefield did not find a buyer for that totally awesome show. But he did wind up directing a feature film a little bit later. No. Yeah. Yeah. Vaxxed is the name of the documentary. Oh, God. Yeah. It billed itself as, quote, an investigation into the CDC's destruction of a study linking autism to the MMR vaccine. Was it? No, of course not. I'm shaking my head there. And yes, you'd better believe he showed up on Infowars to promote it. In this clip he starts, he embraces. He's been on Infowars a lot, by the way. He is a frequent guest of. Fox Jones, OK, now it's starting to make sense now. These terrible people are all friends. I've been one of the best. Andrew Wakefield partied with Steven Seagal like they all know each other. Ohhh yeah. So in this clip he starts by claiming to Alex Jones that he found a CDC whistleblower who was willing on record to say that he designed a study which proved a connection between autism and the MMR vaccine and then watched the CDC cover it up. That's the claim he's making an Infowars is the claim that's being made in the documentary. So Wakefield presents this CDC whistleblower as it being overwhelmed by his conscience and needing to come clean. Alex declares. Not a doctor. Andrew Wakefield to be an American hero. I'm going to play a little clip. Andrew Wakefield talking on Infowars. Oh, God. Well, you're admirable because every time I have you in here, you're at the cutting edge of working with families, trying to put the truth out. You name it. Lawsuits. You've just been proven vindicated in spades. A true trailblazer. I know you don't like that. But a true hero? Andrew Wakefield. Everyone talk about yourself being vindicated. It's always we have a top whistleblower. The head of the program, you know, hired to cover it up, did all the studies. He's now gone public. The media won't cover it. You're just still worried about the millions of kids getting brain damaged? Alex, it's not about me. It's not about being at all. I'm just a guy trying to do a job and trying to and being prevented. So I'm really just obstinate. But I'm not gonna go away. I'm not gonna duck this issue. It's far too important. It's gonna be from the estimates in the movie, one and two children born in 2032 are going to have autism. That is absolutely unacceptable. So whatever the media say about me, whatever the politicians say, I mean it doesn't matter because I don't matter. It is what matters is the future of this country, and the future of this country is its children. So I do want to hit a little bit on the conspiracy theorist. We've seen people will often say that like by 2030 or wherever, one out of every two children will have autism, to believe that it's something being spread by these vaccines, yeah, that's nonsense. The number of people with autism has shotgun up massively in the last couple of decades because they didn't used to know it was a thing and they used to think that, like all these different syndromes that we now know are different kind of expressions of autism were totally different illnesses and stuff that makes a lot of sense. And the even bigger part of it is that it used to basically just be white kids who got diagnosed with autism because you had to have some money to be able to go to a. Doctor for this. And if you were a black kid or Hispanic kid, it came from a poor area. They'd just be like, oh, you're just bad at learning like or. Yeah. And they wouldn't get to go to the doctor over you're you're just different. And now that medicine has less racist, we're realizing that it's more common than we thought and we're getting better at recognizing and we like now they recognize that it's a spectrum. And so all these people who would never have been diagnosed as having anything or being like, well, no, you're on some level of the spectrum, right? Spectrum has totally changed the way. Like, you know, it's just the fact that we didn't get this **** and it's not new. Autisms exist as long as there's been human beings we just didn't. Like, you would just used to be that, like, oh, this person. Wow, the the way that their mind works is really different. OK, like, yeah, they didn't have like ******* tons of Greek philosophers and scientists probably had some kind of autism. Like, yeah. And does he acknowledge spectrum? And, you know, I don't, I don't know enough about what he says about autism, because it's not. Autism expert, right, and gastroenterologist who lost his medical license? Exactly. And it feels pretty fearmongering to say one and two people will have autism. As if it evokes like low functioning autism, which is not inherently bad. I feel like there's. No, there's this like it's fear mongering and I I don't think it helps people see the humanity and people with autism. It's it. Is that like suffering ****? Is that suffering ****? I do want to stay, you know, I just talked about working with the really low functioning kids. I also want to like my jobs. When I was teaching in special Ed was to work with this kid who had pretty severe Asperger's syndrome but was very smart and was like he was an expert. We would go on walks and I would try to get like trying to socialize and get him used to like having conversations. And his thing was pumps, like, like fountain pumps. And anytime we walked past like a pump in an apartment complex, he would explain how the whole thing was assembled underground, just looking at the top. And he would he, like, would design them for fun. And the president of a company that designed pumps for like Las Vegas and stuff like the Bellagio flew out to Dallas to like, meet with this kid and, like, talking and be like, when you graduate, send us a resume because, like, you're like, it's it's. I don't know. Like the idea, like both the making it out to be this horrible, doomed thing and the suffering **** like, it's all really gross to me. It oversimplifies something that's very complicated. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. So, but that's just the tip of the iceberg of how infuriating that clip was. Yeah, it's really bad. I I'm glad I hadn't even read that he'd been on Infowars. I just thought, oh, he's an Austin. I bet he's been on our show. What a good assumption. Oh, Alex Jones loves that. He is a British accent. Probably oht sounds so legitimate. Anytime you can get a British person on yeah. Oh my God, you better believe it. And that's I love when he says it's not about me, it's not about me, it's not about me. Doing his accent, but like, no, no, you scam people, you ******* ***** ** **** yeah? OK, you know what? It's time for. 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. 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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 and 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 going 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 a couple of days later. But a Bing bada 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 visit my LASIK. Offer.com to schedule your free consultation now. And we're back. My God, those ads. I you know what I love about ads. Is the way it makes me aware of the products and services that I can look into purchasing for myself and my loved ones. Ohh yeah, that's what I like about them. Not too pushy, just right, just right. Just just putting information out there. Now. Wakefield's documentary, you know in that in that clip on Infowars, he claims that he's got this interview with this guy from the CDC, Doctor Thompson. And the documentary basically claims that this guy, the research proved that there was a connection between MMR and autism and the CDC covered it up and this guy's blowing the whistle on it. That's not what happened. Doctor William Thompson was in fact critical of a single 2004 study that did fail to find a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. He had issues with the way the study was conducted that he believed needed to be fixed, but he never requested that his name be removed from the paper, which would have been the first step a scientist who wanted to disavow a piece of research would take. Wakefields documentary includes interviews with Doctor Thompson that have been carefully edited to give the impression that he is alleging a cover up. Rather than just angry about several very specific issues with the study. I'll put a link on our website, behindthebastards.com, to an article that breaks down. Exactly what Wakefield did, but the short version is that he just chopped up a long, complex interview in order to put lies in someone else's mouth. Actual public, published transcripts of the full interview painted a very different picture. I checked out the website for Vaxxed because I wanted to get an idea for how Andrew Wakefield presents himself to his sympathetic audience. What I found was pretty cringe worthy. Here's an excerpt from a section of the website called Who is Andrew Wakefield? If you heard Andrew Wakefield's name, and you probably have, you've heard two tales. You've heard that Doctor Wakefield is a charlatan, an unethical researcher, and a huckster who was erased from the British Medical Registry and whose 1998 article on autism and Gastrointestinal disease was retracted by a leading medical journal. You've also heard a very different story that Doctor Wakefield is a brilliant and courageous scientist, a compassionate physician beloved by his patients, and a champion for families with autism and vaccine injury. What's the truth? Anyone who writes that about themselves is not courageous and brilliant, and Speaking of the last episode you were on sounds more than a little bit like Keith Ranieri's biography of himself. That's the part I don't understand why. I get how scam artists work, I get how you listen to, like, mumbo jumbo and it's in a soothing voice and you're like, well, maybe. But once they start bragging about themselves and how great they are, that's like the alarm sounds for me. No, especially, like, just as a journalist, whenever somebody starts bragging about themselves in that way, you kind of like, no, OK, I probably shouldn't be listening to anything you have to say. Exactly. Probably a con artist trying to sell something. Yeah, well, that's not how it works, though. So, yeah, OK. The truth is that thanks in large part to no longer a doctor Andrew Wakefield, vaccination rates have fallen in numerous. Western countries it took 20 years for rates in Great Britain to return to their pre Wakefield levels. Time magazine claims that quote. By the end, the UK families had experienced more than 12,000 cases of measles and hundreds of hospitalizations, many with serious complications and at least three deaths. That's some careful wording because he's saying vaccinations are falling, vaccination rates fell and then there were disease outbreaks. But like, he's taking credit for vaccination rates falling. This is Time magazine. Time magazine immediately. After, like, vaccination rate started, he was bragging about making the vaccination rates fall. He thinks they're lying about how many measles cases there are because all of the evidence suggests that, oh, right after you published the study, people started getting vaccinated less. And then there were multiple deadly measles outbreaks. Maybe those two are connected. Maybe you caused them. Yeah, now it's probably impossible to put together an accurate count of the number of deaths and hospitalizations due to Andrew Wakefield. In 2010 there was a whooping cough outbreak in California, the worst in 50 years. It was spread by a kid whose parents had non medical exemptions for school vaccination requirements. Later research showed that most whooping cough cases occurred in clusters of unvaccinated children, causing 9120 infections and 10 deaths. A 2018 study published by the National Institute of Health drew a Direct Line. Between Wakefield's research and a worldwide epidemic saying that as a result of the movement he ignited quote, multiple breakouts of measles have occurred throughout different parts of the Western world, infecting dozens of the patients and even causing deaths. In the UK in 1998, fifty six people contracted measles. In 2006, this number increased to 449 in the first five months of the year, with the first death since 1992. In 2008, measles was declared endemic in the UK for the first time in 14 years and Ireland. An outbreak occurred in 2000 and 1500. Cases and three deaths were reported. The outbreak was reported to have occurred as a direct result of a drop in vaccination rates following the MMR controversy in France. More than 22,000 cases of measles were reported from 2008 to 2011. the United States has not been an exception, with outbreaks occurring most recently in 2008, 2011, and 2013. As I write this, several dozen people have been hospitalized with measles in the Pacific Northwest. More are likely to have fallen sick by the time you hear this episode. Every one of those people can thank Doctor Andrew Wakefield for what they're about to endure, and only hopefully. Survive. Wow. That's my episode on Andrew Wakefield. He's so bad. He's real bad. It's so crazy that that one study did so much damage. It is kind of like, you know, people always talk about, like, you could change the world. One person can change the world. They can. They sure can. They can. That's not always a good thing. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. That's why I'm always, really, like, cagey about using language like that around kids. Like, shoot for the stars. You could do anything. It's like, well, you know, that's true and good cases. But, like, Hitler believed that too. Yeah. Look at Jeff Bezos. He was just a poor kid who wanted to achieve things. Yeah. Ambition on its own is not good. Maybe don't encourage ambition. Maybe just encourage people to be happy. Yeah. Yeah. Or or to do things for other people. Yeah. The ambition to cause complicated because like a lot of these vaccines, like the Jonas Salk, the polio vaccine guy was a guy who just, like, grew up saying everybody die of polio and was like, **** polio, I'm going, I'm going to **** this disease up. So that's a good ambition. Yeah, so I guess I wonder what's our defense against this stuff? Because it's like Alex Jones. Some of his stuff is like, whatever, people don't actually believe in gay frogs. And yeah, we're obviously a video where he dresses like a frog and hops around. It's a hoot. That's delightful. Yeah, but this is so weirdly mainstream. It's like you were saying. Like people on the left and the right at a certain point believe it. And I. I don't know what to tell you. Like, I think that the only I honestly think that like if we're drawing a connection, all the major problems of our current era, like you know, anti VAX, like vaccine denial, the apologist for people like Bashar al-Assad who think that he's a socialist hero who's been maligned by the media. Like the rise of Nazism in the Western world. I think this all has the same connection, which is that like our our schools are ****** and like people aren't taught critical thinking and taught how to like, evaluate and know when someone's lying to them and like it all. It's the same reason why cutco. Like, got so many young people to, like, go out to try to trick them into believing they had a job when they were just, like, joining an MLM to sell ****** knives like, yeah, exactly. We just need to be better at teaching people to recognize when they're being scammed. Yeah, better at critical thinking. We need a vaccine for scams. And that's what. That's what an education should be. Like people should. There should be classes in every school about like, here's how to know if someone's trying to to scam you, here's how, here's how to recognize grifters. These are the words they use. It sounds like the. Vaccine against scamming could be. This podcast sounds like the vaccine against scamming could be this podcast. So play this podcast to your children. Play it to strange children on the street. Abduct children who live near you and force them to listen to it. Then take their blood and then take their blood. Take any kids blood you want, because that's fine. This is Sophie's. You might get us in some legal trouble. All right, if you abduct a child, tell them Joe Rogan's podcast told you to do it. Yes, that's perfect. Blame it on Rogan. And if you take their blood double down, double down on. Joe Rogan yeah. Yeah. I feel like we're safe now. All right, buy a T-shirt. Teepublic behind the ********. You can use the T-shirts to bind the arms of a child in order to make them listen to this show. Whoo, boy, I'm in some Anna, you want to plug some stuff? Yeah, you can find me on Instagram. Bad comics with an X by Anna. I make Web comics about anxiety and depression and stuff, and that's also my handle on Twitter. Hit me up if you have thoughts about anything. I feel like I said some things on this. Podcast that were blanket statements and I am afraid that I will be fact checked. All blanket statements are accurate. I'm Robert Evans. You can find me on Twitter at I write. OK. You can find this podcast on the interwebs at behindthebastards.com. You can find us on Instagram and Twitter at at ******* Pod Anna. We have one more episode to get through about an even guy. Just another terrible doctor. So gets worse. Buckle up. Oh, boy. It's going to be a fun. It'll be a short one, but you can all get to listen to that. Tomorrow we're gonna be talking about Doctor Bob Sears, so strap in. Some boys and girls and people who don't identify as either gender and whoever. I don't, I don't care. Like, do you just strap in? Yeah, anyone can strap it. Anyone can strap in. Especially if you've abducted a child. Alright, that's the end of the episode. 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 or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. 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 behavioural 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. Hey y'all, it's Caroline Hobby hosted get real with Caroline Hobby interviewing the most fascinating people in Nashville and beyond. I talked to artists. I talked to the wives of artists. I talked to women entrepreneurs who have created businesses, who are moms, who juggle a million hats and do it all. Each episode will leave you inspired, feeling like you can accomplish your own dream in calling. Listen to new episodes of get Real with Caroline Hobby every Monday on the Nashville podcast network, available on iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcast.