The Jenny McCarthy-Autism paradox

Jenny McCarthy Autism

Perhaps I titled this article wrong… paradox should be plural.

If you’re an avid Jenny McCarthy fan and have some very strong beliefs in certain things, this may upset you but I still ask that you read with an open mind.


Wakefield releases a study stating ties between the MMR vaccine and Autism… not stating exactly that one causes the other, or that you should stop taking vaccines… but that’s the message that the public receives. The media doesn’t help much nor does Wakefield in subsequent interviews.


Thimerosal is removed from almost all vaccines in the US, except for some flu vaccines.

As a side note… Thimerosal was never in the MMR vaccine.

May 18th 2002

Jenny McCarthy’s son, Evan, is born.


Evan, 2, begins having seizures so severe that he’s repeatedly rushed to hospital emergency. –,9171,1968100-2,00.html

Evan is diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2.

Remember, Evan was 2 in 2005 until May.


Jenny writes about her “crystal child” in Insights of an Indigo Mom: A Mother’s Awakening… in which she writes about chain smoking and cheeseburgers up until his birth at which point she changed to Hepa air filters and eating vegetarian.

I wonder why she never blamed the chain smoking and cheeseburgers… also, one would wonder why she’d write about Cystal/Indigo stories if he was diagnosed with Autism 


Jenny changes her story in May, saying that he’s not really a “crystal child”, he’s actually Autistic. –

She claimed that the MMR vaccine specifically caused his Autism… and began campaigns against Thimerosal despite the fact that it never contained Thimerosal and he was born several years after Thimerosal was removed from most vaccines.

Jenny goes on a book writing spree over the next several years, publishing several books on motherhood as well as “healing Autism”.


Jenny begins her crusade against Autism, becoming a spokesperson for Generation Rescue and TACA and appearing on several radio and television programs, including Oprah. Each appearance includes endorsements for her books.

Jenny also claims that Evan has “recovered”… which isn’t the same as cured. But it doesn’t stop the media from using that word a lot in articles about her and her son.

Jenny and Jim Carrey begin a “march on Washington” to “green our vaccines”. When interviewed, Jenny claims that Evan was “undiagnosed with Autism”.
Jenny also reinforces that she is not anti-vaccine but rather for safer vaccines and spaced out schedule. An excerpt:

Don’t do more than one shot in a visit. Do you see what I’m saying? Not to not vaccinate. Space them out, ask for mercury-free. Make sure your child is not sick before you vaccinate. Your child does not have a good immune system. How is it supposed to detox the vaccine? Test your child for an immune system. Make sure they have really good glutothion. Glutothion is your body’s naturally antioxidant to detox these things.


Doctors and scientists start to question McCarthy and the diagnosis that her son received, claiming that his symptoms more closely resemble Landau-Kleffner syndrome… very similar to Autism but treatable. – source,9171,1968100-2,00.html

Despite the possibility that he never had Autism to begin with, Jenny confirms that she’ll continue to “be the voice” for the disorder. She also begins to realize that it wasn’t really the MMR vaccine after all, stating that she just wants vaccines to be safer, rather than getting rid of them entirely.


Jenny joins the Generation Rescue board in January.

Jenny speaks out in support of Wakefield, claiming “I know children regress after vaccination because it happened to my own son” and asking “Why have only 2 of the 36 shots our kids receive been looked at for their relationship to autism?”

One would wonder why there’s any need to check the other vaccines if she’s so certain it’s the MMR.

Jenny continues onward, claiming that “kids do recover from Autism” as her son did, with a gf/cf diet and vitamins. Previous articles went into more details of his treatments including “a gluten-free, casein-free diet, vitamin supplementation, detox of metals, and anti-fungals for yeast overgrowth that plagued his intestines. ”

What can we take from all of this?

Well, first, we have the fact that the blame she has shifts radically from Thimerosal (ethyl-mercury) to the MMR vaccine itself to the vaccine schedule (multiple vaccines at one time) to simply vaccines in general, asking for more research.

Secondly, she seems very conflicted about what exactly her child may actually have. First there’s crystal child/indigo mom theories, then it’s Autism and now there’s questions of Landau-Kleffner syndrome which, from what I can tell in my research, she has never actually explored.

Third, almost everything she gets involved with seems to have a heavy self promotional feel to it. Many praise her for getting into the spotlight for Autism awareness but at the same time, there are many people who believe she does it simply to get herself into the spotlight. Most notably when she recently offered to pose nude once again for Autism awareness reasons.

Finally, and this is a big one… she has become the leader of the anti-vaccine movement despite the fact that she never once said she is anti-vaccine herself…. and in fact, professed many times to wanting more research, safer schedules and “greener” vaccines.

Much like Wakefield, who had his own patent for a vaccine as partial replacement of the MMR vaccine (who would patent a vaccine if he was anti-vaccine?!?), her concerns over vaccine safety lead to hysteria and paranoia among parents who now place their children at much greater risk than they ever were before.

In my opinion

Seriously, as others have said before… stop listening to a Playboy bunny/actress for medical advice. That’s not to say that she’s not allowed to have an opinion. She is… but she’s doing the same research you are. She’s not a doctor nor a researcher.  She’s a mom just like every other mom and her opinion holds the same weight.

Also, stop putting words in her mouth that she didn’t even say. She never said she was anti-vaccine and she never told you to not vaccinate. Don’t tell me she did. Whether you hate me right now for writing all this or not, don’t assume I haven’t researched this. I have. I know she’s “pro-safety” and not “anti-vaccine.”

Lastly, and this is just my opinion… people of high influence, such as celebrities, should be very very careful about what they randomly put out there. These are our children and unless you are absolutely certain (and when it comes to vaccines, no matter what you think you know, you are NOT absolutely certain), you should not be putting fears and doubts and unproven concerns into the minds of people that could put themselves and their children at risk.

The point is, there is a chance that what you *think you know* may be wrong. There is an even bigger chance that the way people interpret what you say may be wrong.

The one clear message through this entire post, that I’d like for you to take from this is, Wakefield and McCarthy are not anti-vaccine!!!

Despite them both saying that they are for safer vaccines, they have not made it abundantly clear that they are not anti-vaccine.

Wakefield needs to stop putting out articles on studies, McCarthy needs to stop putting out articles on recovery and her own story.

What they need to do (if they insist on continuing) is write articles and do interviews that consist of nothing except them telling parents “Vaccinate your children! Do not withhold vaccinations. Vaccines save lives!” They need to explain their stance, clearly and definitively. If they are pro-safety and not anti-vaccine… then why are anti-vaccine activists praising their work?

If they have no intentions of making this clear, then they should no longer be in the media, in my opinion. Because the message they think they are sending is not the message that some parents are receiving.

This is the Jenny McCarthy paradox as I see it. On one hand, I respect her work to raise awareness. On the other hand, I despise the self promotion and her willingness to let parents continue to be anti-vaccine in her name.

Is it any wonder that people’s opinions of her are so conflicting?

About Stuart Duncan

My name is Stuart Duncan, creator of My oldest son (Cameron) has Autism while my younger son (Tyler) does not. I am a work from home web developer with a background in radio. I do my very best to stay educated and do what ever is necessary to ensure my children have the tools they need to thrive. I share my stories and experiences in an effort to further grow and strengthen the online Autism community and to promote Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

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54 Responses to The Jenny McCarthy-Autism paradox

  1. Amy August 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    THANK YOU for this well-written time-diary account of exactly what happened, and when, and why, with Jenny McCarthy. I have to agree with you 100%.

    Thanks again; people need to hear this!

  2. Angel G August 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Well said!
    I was smiling all the way through the post.

    I fear, however, that you’ll be “preaching to the choir” and that the ones that most need to read this will skip over what they don’t want to believe.

  3. Julie August 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Very well said!

  4. Claire August 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Thank you for taking the time to put this all together.

  5. Jewl August 8, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this! I agree with everything you said! Well done!!

  6. Melani August 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    Excellent and logically presented argument! What a joy to read an article on this topic which shows more evidence of critical thinking skills, and less celebrity worship.
    Thank you,
    namaste88 on t

  7. Jean Nicol August 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    BRAVO! for taking the time to do all the research you’ve done and for sharing with us what you have learned and your opinion, which I (one of many) respect. BRAVO!

  8. Ed August 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    Even if Stuart is preaching to the choir, he has given us a simple and straightforward way to present the case of the opposition. There really is no benefit to attacking McCarthy and calling her anti-vaccine when she is actually defining herself as a pro-safety advocate. Stuart does a great job of deflecting the anti-vaccine label and calls her to act in a way that is aligned with her self-given title.

    i am going to memorize this timeline.

  9. Cathy K August 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Thank you, Stuart, for the insights and your research & reporting. As for me, I am definitely pro-safety and I certainly appreciate having up-to-date, accurate information on this topic.

    I’ve never read Jenny McCarthy’s history as you’ve detailed it here, but I’ve long resented the “warrior mom” labels that many friends slapped on me after watching her on Oprah. All we “regular” parents of extraordinary kids need to stick together in my humble opinion. And you do a beautiful job being your sons’ dad and raising awareness at the same time. 🙂

  10. Tara Marshall August 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    I will not argue that vaccines, in general, save lives. However, there are people for whom vaccines causes a great deal of harm, including health problems we will have for the rest of our lives, and in extreme cases, death.
    I am one of them. And the history of negative reactions to vaccines in my family predates my birth by several decades. My Aunt Karen nearly died of polio… after getting polio from the oral vaccine that was supposed to save her.
    While 3 months pregnant with me, my mother received a flu vaccine. Before she could even leave the doctor’s office, mom was felled by Guillain Barre Syndrome, an Autoimmune disorder that usually occurs immediately after a vaccine is administered. If the ambulance hadn’t gotten her to hospital before the progressive paralysis reached her lungs, we would both be dead.
    When I was an infant, I was healthy for my first several months. Then I received my first vaccines. I lost weight, and doctors eventually decided that I had failure to thrive. I got more vaccines, and then I started to be sick, constantly. It was not unusual for me to miss over a month’s worth of school every year. Unexplained vomiting, diarrhea, coughs and colds all the time, rashes over much of my body, seizures… the list goes on and on.
    As an adult, I finally did my OWN research and got some testing (no thanks to any insurance company I’ve ever had). Turns out I have Specific IgA Deficiency, an immune disorder. I also have Celiac Disease and Raynaud’s Phenomena, both recognized autoimmune disorders. And I’m High Functioning Autistic.
    Having these risk factors together means that I am at extremely high risk to have a negative reaction, such as GBS or seizures, if I have more vaccinations. Yet despite this, doctors refuse to write an exemption for me.
    It would be a very simple blood test to check for immune function and autoimmune factors BEFORE administering vaccines. People like me and my mother could be screened out, and we or our parents could be advised to NOT vaccinate since the risk for us is too high. Yet to do this would require that vaccine makers, doctors, and insurance companies would have to acknowledge the lives they have already destroyed – or ended – along the way.
    Mr. Duncan, your article does not help us in any way. Vaccines are an important part of public health, yet as doctors already recognize for people with HIV and some other immune disorders, this does not mean that every person needs to be vaccinated. It simply means a majority of people should be vaccinated.
    And in the meantime, I just finished my 4th case of chickenpox (due to my diminished immune function), caught from live virus shed by a newly-vaccinated child. So don’t tell me that vaccinating others is protecting me, PLEASE.

    • LG May 21, 2012 at 9:18 am #

      I’ve had the opposite issues, sick with Rubella as a tiny baby caught from an unvaccinated child & my immune system destroyed by it, I’ve had a lifetime of chronic terrible ill health ever since & I’ve so far been diagnosed with 3 autoimmune diseases & possibly about to be diagnosed with another, additional issues are being investigated. I have no immunity to Rubella & only found that out in the early stages of my pregnancy, I spent the danger period after that in terror of coming in contact with a carrier because of the dreadful risks to my baby. She was born with no ability to develop an immunity to Rubella (I passed that onto her) & in her late teens began to show signs of autoimmune issues.

      • kim July 26, 2012 at 1:21 am #

        I am sure that you continued to be vaccinated and possibly while you were still sick and you vaccinated your child. I would not be blaming just the Rubella as your problems you keep compounding them with other neurotoxins such as alluminum that are in all vaccines.

    • Elizabeth Obrey June 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

      Thanks for sharing. We are still waiting for answers of why 3 of my children keep getting chicken pox. Two have an autism diagnosis, plus many other medical diagnosis and chromosomal mutations. Looks like I have some work to do. Thanks again.

    • KIMBERLY July 26, 2012 at 1:18 am #

      Thank you so much. You have reinforced my resolve never to have another vaccine or to allow them to inject anything into my 18 month old. Up till this point I have not allowed it. You are an inspiration and pray that you find healing and health. Try a holistic Dr they are amazing at working with the design of the body instead of against it with synthetic drugs.

  11. Stuart Duncan August 8, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    I appreciate your reply Tara.

    I have stated many many times that not everyone can be vaccinated, including babies, immune deficient individuals and some elderly.

    That being said, I’m not sure how this article on Jenny McCarthy is supposed to “help us in any way.” This is about people’s misconceptions in thinking that Ms. McCarthy is anti-vaccine.

    As for telling you that vaccines protect you, the fact is that yes they do. In your case, you met a newly-vaccinated child.. which is likely to be a rare happenstance. I can’t imagine that sort of thing happening frequently.

    However, if no one was ever vaccinated, then you’d meet people with chickenpox and several other vaccine preventable illnesses quite often. Daily providing you leave the house every day.

    No, not everyone can be vaccinated. I’ve never said that everyone can or should. There are always exceptions. But barring those exceptions, people should not be refusing vaccines for their children based on hysteria or unfounded fears.

    And that is the point of this post.

    Ms. McCarthy has stated several times that she is not anti-vaccine yet some people still think she is. That’s all I have been trying to say.

    To further prove my point, please watch about 20 seconds of this youtube clip:

  12. Sabrina August 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    I find “where is she standing” pretty confusing. To be honest. Don’t really know why she is really doing all the “noise” if it is really because she wants to make people aware and well informed of autism or if it is just for selfish goals.

    I have my doubts about her so much. I do like the fact that a lot of people that had never heard the word “autism” heard it because of her “paradoxes” but I don’t like people to be wrongly informed. That is for sure.

    At least she manage to make more people to read and inform themselves more about autism. The media should study a little more their topics too and start writing the correct words “recover” and “cured” are pretty different for example.

    Thanks for writing.


  13. Deanne Shoyer August 8, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Sometimes you have to judge people by their actions and not their words. It’s all very well for her to say that she’s pro-safety as far as vaccines are concerned but:

    1. Is she investing any money in vaccine safety? There are researchers out there looking at how to make vaccines even safer. That’s why we have a polio vaccine that’s different from the one that Tara’s mother had. She needs to put her money where her mouth is.
    2. Green the vaccines – how? What is it she finds “un-green” about vaccines? The fact is, she’s talking about, in her own words, mercury. There’s more mercury in breast milk than there ever was in vaccines. I don’t hear her saying we need to green breast milk.
    3. The vaccine schedule. She either doesn’t understand this or is lying about it. We know that its the number of antigens received and not the number of vaccines that you get that is relevant – and that number has dropped, not increased. So what’s her point? What’s she advocating that people do? How do you get a single dose measles vaccine when there isn’t one that’s manufactured? Make your own??

    It’s like someone saying that they’re not against people eating tuna, as long as the tuna they eat is ‘safe’. When you ask them what tuna you can buy that is safe their response is then ‘none’. What do you do, set up your own tuna farm?!

    The “pro-vaccine” comments from her are just semantics because she wants to seem reasonable. She’s said that she would never give her son a vaccine.

    • AutismNewsBeat (@AutismNewsBeat) June 21, 2012 at 8:23 am #

      Thank you, Deanne. My thoughts exactly. McCarthy also spent years telling parents that vaccines contain anti-freeze, which is not true. Why would a self-described pro-vaccine activist be so careless? Calling McCarthy “pro-safe vaccines” is like calling the Aryan Brotherhood “pro-safe race mixing.” Actions do indeed speak louder than words.

  14. K_Dad August 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    McCarthy isn’t antivax? Sure. Just like my stupid Uncle Joe isn’t racist. Of course, he drops N-bombs all the time and tells vile racist jokes. But he always begins them by saying, “I’m no racist, but…” so I guess he’s right. Not a racist.

    I have to agree with Deanne. McCarthy says she’s not “antivax,” she’s for “safe vaccines.” But which vaccines are safe? She’d say, none of them. She has said she would never give her child another shot. Everything she says about vaccines is negative. Because of her comments about vaccines — directly because of her — many people refuse to vaccinate their kids.

    How that doesn’t make her “antivax,” I’m not sure. You shall know them by their fruits…

  15. Tara Kaberry August 8, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    I remember sitting on the couch watching Jenny McCarthy on Oprah, espousing how to ‘recover’ your child from autism. Over the 10 years on this journey I have fallen pray to many a therapy to ‘recover’ my son. Not only is it dangerous to listen to people in the spotlight but it can be soul destroying. After those awful early years and as he has matured I have come to understand those interventions that work for him. The manifestations of autism are so many and varied and if it really was that simple all parents would’ve recovered their children by now. I agree with you that it is unwise to take the ramblings of a celebrity as sound advice. I applaud her trying to shed light on the issues but it is a stretch to say you KNOW how autism is caused and how people can be recovered from it. As for vaccines.. when will this topic die out??? I have friends with children on the spectrum that have not been vaccinated. What caused that? No one knows the proportion of genetic/environmental factors that contribute to a diagnosis of autism. Speculating wastes valuable time that could be spent helping our kids. I’m happy to support the researchers in their efforts to get some real answers.

  16. Melissa August 8, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    I too have read many times where she has stated she will never give her son another vaccine, why? If she is not ANTI-VACCINE, then why would not not give them to her own son? Yeah… And Wakefield, sigh… his studies are useless, he’s useless until he can provide more through research.

    What gets me is her recovery and CURE crap. Thing is and what she obviously doesn’t get and has not researched on her own is that all ASD kids are different. Not all of them benefit from bio-med or her GR protocol, yet she feels she is helping the autism community as a whole? How?

    If she is not anti-vaccine, why not invest that money into SAFER vaccine studies?

    Yeah… regardless of her views on vaccines… she’s pretty ignorant on autism as a whole.

  17. Ryan August 9, 2011 at 12:08 am #

    Disclaimer: the following is just my opinion. Take it or leave it, it’s just my opinion.
    I have been a reader and a fan of most of the stuff you write, but as others before me, and you yourself, have pointed out, there is a disconnect between what Jenny McCarthy says and does. Talk the talk but don’t walk the walk? What sense does it make to say that you’re not anti-vaccine but you won’t vaccinate your own child. “Actions speak louder than words” is what I was taught growing up and her actions don’t speak to her not being anti-vaccine. She needs to recognize a couple of key things before I will ever recognize her as more than a famous crack pot mom: 1) recognize that there is no cure or recovery for an autistic person. They can be taught coping skills that will allow them to be more interactive with normal people, but they will never recover or be cured. Autism is part of who they are. 2) her actions need to match her words. Donate money to vaccine research. Vaccinate her kid. Like you wrote, go on national tv and explain clearly, concisely, and definitively what her stance is with respect to her actions and beliefs. I will not respect her as a person or an autism advocate until she fixes the lack of integrity between her actions and her words and understands that autism is part of who they are, not an accident that you can recover from. I do respect her as a parent, though, because she hasn’t stopped trying or hoping.

  18. Melissa August 9, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    My opinion on Jenny McCarthy isn’t remotely conflicted. I think she’s a nut job, doing nothing good for the cause of autism.

    People who’s children are diagnosed with autism are vulnerable (especially early on) and easily fall prey to terms like ‘cure’ and ‘healed’, trying diets and quacks and people like Jenny are preying on them.

    And for the record, for a long time, I was convinced that the MMR had caused (or more, sparked a predisposed gene?) autism in my son. He developed normally, and was speaking before his MMR. He stopped speaking and had a complete personality change (he screamed for the next 8 months) and didn’t regain that speech until 3 years later, despite intensive therapy.

    I still continued his vaccinations. I still vaccinated my second child. I still believe that a child with autism is better than a child who dies of measles.

    (Having said that. My child has HFA. I’m not remotely interested in a ‘cure’. I’m more interested in acceptance of neuro-diversity. I don’t want anything about Alexander to change. I wish his life was easier, but I don’t know how to take the autistic ‘bit’s out of him and still have the same sweet, earnest little boy I so adore).

    Not sure any of that makes sense. Jenny Mccarthy is like a red rag to a bull with me.

  19. Francine April 30, 2012 at 2:08 am #

    It is of great interest that Jenny McCarthy has been rather silent on her son’s alleged autism in the past few years. Is it possible her son was misdiagnosed? I’ve heard he has Landau Kleffner Syndrome, which would explain a lot about her son’s case. It’s important for people to know the truth about her son’s case, as she told the world vaccines caused his autism, yet he is seldom seen in videos or lately, so are we to just believe everything she said? Why would a mom who had a truly autistic son suddenly STOP talking about his autism?

  20. Tracie May 16, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    It is my firm belief each one of us needs to take action, whether it is for vaccines or against, whether it is for anything or against anything, we must take this action based on what ‘feels’ best within us, not what celebrities, doctors, therapists or anyone else says would be best for us or our children.

    My children had vaccines until our youngest child was diagnosed, while I do not believe the vaccines caused autism, I do not think they helped his so-called disability. In my work, in my writings, etc. I am clear to say I am not for or against x-y-z, it is my intention to empower parents and those I have the pleasure of speaking with. Each one of us must be the ones to make our own decisions based on the knowledge we acquire and what feel’s best from within, i.e. our intuition, etc. For too long I gave away my power ending up depressed and in despair, where death sounded better than going forward. I took back my own power and now it is my goal to empower others to do the same.

    We know our bodies best, we know our children best, follow what feels best from within, even if it means going against the grain.
    Love, Tracie

  21. Rick Brown June 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    My perfectly healthy son had a reaction to MMR and developed autism. He did not speak until age 7.

    High Vitamin A protocol has eliminated the measles virus from his brain and gut.

    ALA Chelation has been removing the mercury slowly and safely from his brain and body.

    His ATEC has dropped almost 70 points, from over 100 to 30’s. He did not miss a single day of school this year and got straight A’s at grade level.

    Hundreds of kids are being healed – many through diet alone. Check ARI Website for over 27,000 parent reports of what helps/harms their child. Hundreds of kids have reduced or lost their Dx. Of course it doesn’t work for everyone.

    Jenny McCarthy deserves praise for having the guts to question the system and trying to help our kids. You can easily disagree with her methods from an armchair. At least she’s doing something and empowering the individual.

    The evidence is overwhelming that vaccines cause autism. The vaccine package inserts even list autism as possible side effect. (also listed on CDC website)

    Why would the SUPREME COURT rule VACCINE MANUFACTURERS HAVE NO LIABILITY for their MANDATORY VACCINES in case of injury. They are the ONLY industry without product liability. WHY?

    Listen to Kennedy’s DEADLY IMMUNITY (youtube)

    Wakefield has been proven correct. Italy just paid an autism MMR vaccine injury claim. The cigarette science supporting vaccines is crumbling, just as it did after 40 years of legal trials for tobacco.

    I am totally open to anyone with a better solution.

    • Shawn Siegel June 18, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

      There is no better solution than truth, Rick. Thanks.

      The chronology above stopped short: 2012 – Professor Walker-Smith, one of the three doctors found guilty of charges by the British Medical Council, was completely exonerated in appellate court. In his ruling, the appellate judge lambasted the BMC for the way they handled the entire affair, and, because of the evidence presented him, declared baseless some of the charges that were also brought against the other two defendants, Drs. Wakefield and Murch.

      It doesn’t take much research to discover that it was reporter Brian Deer and the British Medical Council who were discredited by the case, not Dr. Wakefield and the rest of the Royal Free Hospital medical team that treated the Lancet kids.

      • AutismNewsBeat (@AutismNewsBeat) June 21, 2012 at 8:37 am #

        Wakefield declined his opportunity to appeal the GMC’s decision. He also failed to call a single witness in his defense during the proceedings. In addition, Walker-Smith’s attorney told the judge that MMR does not cause autism.

        This decision makes it less likely that Mr. Wakefield would win on appeal. The appeals judge indicated that Walker-Smith had been misled by Wakefield and didn’t deserve to have his name soiled at the end of an honourable career. If Walker-Smith was exonerated because he was a good doctor who let a smooth-talking young researcher bamboozle him, how does this make the young researcher any less culpable?

  22. Pteri June 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    She is a nut and creeps me out.

  23. Matthaias June 20, 2012 at 4:14 am #

    I think it should be mandatory for anyone making anti or pro vaccine statements to list the ingredients of said vaccine in question as well as the trials that were conducted before earning approval. The conversation should also include an answer for the rapidly increasing schedule over the last 25 years. Did I miss several outbreaks? I have yet to determine where I stand in regards to vaccines, but I’m always surprised at how quickly people buy into what big money is selling.
    Is it really not even a possibility that vaccines have something harmful in them? Something that could potentially trigger Autism for some people?

    Nobody knows anything.

  24. Matt Carey June 21, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    I believe in “louder than words” Jenny McCarthy states that her son was 21/2 when he first had seizures.

    She has not, to my knowledge, stated when he received the MMR vaccine. But, if given in schedule her sin received the MMR a year before his onset of epilepsy. This is a very important point which she needs to clarify. It is difficult to make the link between the vaccination and the epilepsy with a year separation.

    I don’ use the term “anti-vaccine” much. I don’t consider Jenny McCarthy “pro safe vaccine” either. Her actions (which speak “louder than words”, right?) tell me that she has a strange definition of “safe” where vaccines with a demonstrated safety in regards to autism risk are considered unsafe, but no alternative medical treatment of autism is ever even questioned.

    For a long time her organization and she herself promoted an “alternative” vaccine schedule which would leave children vulnerable to almost all vaccine preventable diseases. It was so poorly thought out that no one seemed to notice that it was impossible to follow. A recommendation was given to split the TDaP into individual vaccines when they aren’t all available.

    Her “recommended” schedule even went beyond Andrew Wakefield’s unsupported recommendation to split the MMR and she was recommending skipping all protection against measles, mumps and rubella.

    I don’t care if she considers herself “pro safe vaccine”. She’s irresponsible.

  25. Matt Carey June 21, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    For the record,

    Jenny mccarthy’s book writing spree started Pre 2007. Pre autism diagnosis. Belly Laughs came out in 2004, I believe.

    Also, she actually had a whole website, complete with discussion forum, on the indigo child subject. It disappeared–even from the Internet archive–just before her emergence onto the autism scene.

    She was supposedly active in the discussions on that forum, so it might have been a good resource into her views. Also she was using the indigo child site as a business venture, as I recall.

  26. rebecca2222 August 1, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    May I nicely point out that you may be wrong about all thimerosol being removed from vaccines?

    Ninety percent of the flu shots manufactured, contain thimerosol. These flu shots are routinely given to pregnant women and children over 6 months.

    There is no such thing as a “mercury free” shot. The vaccines are still manufactured with thimerosol and then “some” of the thimerosol is chelated out.

    The tetanus shot given I believe 4 to 5 times, contains Mercury.

    Again, nicely, it is irresponsible to say that all thimerosol has been removed from vaccines. Better research.

    Have you ever read the Simpsonwood meeting transcripts? You should, a real eye opener.

    • Sullivan August 1, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

      I’ve read the Simpsonwood transcripts. After hearing all the hype for a long time (this was some years ago) I finally found them and read them. The hype was more than was warranted. I’ve also commented one of the people who made some of the most quoted comments. Anyone who checked his record since would know that those comments are no longer indicative of his position.

      That said, vaccines given to pregnant women and infants in California are, by law, mercury free. If you think that the autism rate in California is going down, please contact my district (and all the districts in California) to let them know that the numbers they are seeing are false.

      Even outside of California, Flu vaccine uptake in infants is not high. Even with flu vaccines with thimerosal, the exposure to thimerosal in infants is lower than it has been in decades. Yet there doesn’t seem to be any indication that autism rates are going down.

      Add to this multiple studies on thimerosal from vaccines and autism risk–there doesn’t seem to be any.

      Add to this the fact that autism and mercury poisoning are very different.

      It’s time to look elsewhere.

    • Stuart Duncan August 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

      Actually, to copy and paste what it was that I actually said:
      “Thimerosal is removed from almost all vaccines in the US, except for some flu vaccines.
      As a side note… Thimerosal was never in the MMR vaccine.”

      So I never did say that “all thimerosol has been removed from vaccines”.

      If this is how you interpret your facts in your reading, might I suggest that there may be some room for error in your interpretations.

  27. beatrice October 4, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    I think it’s amazing that she reached her heart, hard work, and time out for a cause even if she realized it might not affect her son. She has raised a lot of awareness for the cause, and even at times when she didnt have all the facts straight, she did state she didn’t know everything and continued to work hard at something that she learned that she could do something about. I hope you aren’t a hater or a jealous person, because it would be very small of you, when she really is helping people, even if she isn’t superb at knowing every fact.

  28. Paul Smith November 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    I was very cynical on Wakefield. I suggest anyone who holds a negative opinion on him, youtube one of his presentations. A very intelligent, informed, educated and articulate man. I have no doubt something insulted the immune system of my child and caused regression. It all happened not after MMR but another 5in1 they administered. God knows what was in the thing.

  29. Jon Gilbert December 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm #


    This is a very well researched and written article. Thank you for delving into it so thoroughly. While it is hard to remain completely neutral, you presented a fair post.

    Ms. McCarthy came up in my blogging as well:

    Good luck in all you do!

  30. Mark R. December 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    Nice Job. I agree with what you have written here.

  31. Carl Bainbridge January 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    I am all over the place on this issue really.

    I do not KNOW what caused his autism, however something obviously did.

    I do not actually believe there is a sole source cause for autism, in fact I believe it is varied. I also believe that the larger majority are likely caused by a genetic issue COMBINED with some form of environmental trigger (likely not the same for every child)

    My biggest issue is there is so little actual research into finding the various causes and that most of the research is aimed at protecting the vaccine industry.

    What I really want is for some serious hard core research into finding the TRUTH no matter what it is.

    Once we know the truth then we can make an educated decision on how to proceed. Until then I always suggest to anyone asking, to research everything you can and make your decision from the most informed position you can.

  32. Blessed Mama January 3, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    Great post Stuart, thank you for writing this.

  33. Marica Petrov March 29, 2014 at 1:22 am #

    There is more in vaccine that is toxic to the human body than just mercury. Autism is 1:88 the last time i looked. This is an epidemic disease, and needs attention. who is going to take care of these kids when they are adult and can’t support them selves? Call it what you like. NIDS. Neuro Immune Dysfunction Syndrome . Look up the work of Dr.Goldberg on Autism.
    and STOP vaccinating your kids when they are sick, and take the time to vaccinate one at a time with space of 2 or more months in-between to give the child a change to get over the abuse.
    I have a very sick daughter diagnosed with autism.

    • Jon Gilbert March 29, 2014 at 1:41 am #

      What about the children with autism who were never vaccinated…or the ones who were vaccinated and aren’t autistic?

      • Marnita C. July 13, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

        And what about those kids that weren’t vaccinated that have autism? We don’t know exactly what caused my son’s autism. Injecting these children with even more toxins might just make them have even more issues. I thank God every day that we didn’t vaccinate our child with autism. He is very high functioning. I can’t imagine what those vaccines might have done to his immune compromised body.

  34. Matt Carey July 14, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    ” I can’t imagine what those vaccines might have done to his immune compromised body”

    Imagine your child exactly the same except protected against a number of infectious diseases.

    I’ve found that there are three main groups of parents with immune compromised children.

    1) Parents who diagnose their own kids. Parents who believe, however sincerely, incorrectly that because their kid is autistic or because their kid has been vaccinated, their kid is “immune compromised”.

    2) Parents who have taken their kids to doctors who are antagonistic towards vaccines. These doctors often do the same as in (1) or they run tests which are misinterpreted at best. Instead of referring the child to a real specialist who serves the immune compromised community, these doctors “treat” conditions which may or may not exist.

    3) Parents who have had their children diagnosed by doctors who are actual specialists in this area. Not special “autism doctors”. These doctors inform the parents about the importance of protecting immune compromised children from infectious diseases. Either they vaccinate the child, perhaps on a modified schedule, or, if they feel they can’t even do that, they make very sure that as many people around the child are immunized. They build a wall of protection around the child.

    If your doctor has not taken the approach in (3), find a new doctor and listen. If your child is truly immune compromised, you are relying upon the rest of us to help keep your child safe. In which case you would not be so antagonistic against vaccines.

    • Marnita C. July 14, 2014 at 10:52 am #

      It’s funny how you say I’m relying on the rest of y’all to help keep my child safe. No, I’m not. I’m relying on myself and God and all those good supplements that help to boost my child’s immune system.

      • Matt Carey July 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

        It’s not funny at all. It’s accurate. Whether you wish to admit it or not.

        Supplements are not keeping your child free from measles, HiB, rubella, etc.. The fact that the rest of us have vaccinated and, thus, have kept those diseases from spreading has done so.

        If you don’t accept that, you are not making an informed decision.

    • Carl Bainbridge July 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

      Matt there is another far more important group that you are leaving out.

      this group are the ones who look at all the information that is out there and realize that both sides are huge on rhetoric and little on fact.

      there is no single factor causing all aspects of autism. Some (0.02% if my memory serves) have actually been proven to be genetic. there is a little promise with some other genetic aspects as well.

      However because of the issue of “informed consent” testing can not be done on those who would be classed as more severely autistic and that is a major subset that needs to be properly examined as well and one of the groups that is the strongest supporters of the vaccine theory.

      Are they wrong??? it is hard to tell since realistically it is not possible to run accurate tests on them.

      is at least part of Wakefield’s theory accurate???? ask any parent who has a younger autistic child who has weak bowels (surprisingly high number of them)

      The only factual thing we can say about autism research is that it is no where near finding a conclusive cause and it is unlikely to ever identify one if research continues to go for a single major cause.

      • Matt Carey July 14, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

        “Matt there is another far more important group that you are leaving out.

        this group are the ones who look at all the information that is out there and realize that both sides are huge on rhetoric and little on fact.”

        I disagree. There is a lot of understanding of the dangers posed by infectious diseases to those with compromised immune systems.

        More in general, the “middle of the road” approach is appealing if one spends little time looking at the facts. There isn’t a “middle of the road” to many questions. Sometimes one group is just wrong. As with those promoting the vaccine-epidemic.

        “Some (0.02% if my memory serves) have actually been proven to be genetic. ”

        Your memory doesn’t serve you well. I think Fragile X alone accounts for about 1%. There are estimates of about 20% or more attributed to known genetic causes. That’s 20% or more than is attributed to environmental causes, by the way. Doesn’t mean we don’t do environmental risk factor research, but those attacking genetic research tend to leave out that important fact.

        “is at least part of Wakefield’s theory accurate????”

        Was Wakefield’s theory accurate? First, it was the theory of the parents who came to Wakefield. He was a mediocrity who took those ideas and packaged them for litigation.

        But to be more direct–he was wrong. There is no persistent measles infection causing a leaky gut leading to autism. Even the leaky gut theory has failed on its own, without the persistent measles infection notion.

        Do some autistics have GI problems? Absolutely. Autism does not prevent GI problems. Are GI problems more prevalent in the autistic population? Looks like this is so. GI complaints are more common among many developmental disorders, including those which are genetic.

        Research has not and is not looking for a single major cause. There are parent advocates claiming a single major cause, but research is not following them.

  35. jason appleton October 29, 2015 at 11:12 am #

    Anyone pumping vaccines into there child is deeply ignorant of how dangerous this is. Jenny McCarthy is just one person speaking out against vaccines. Don’t eviscerate the messenger. There are thousands of others who have shown the link between vaccines and autism. There are people that have actually reversed autism through supplementing and organic foods.

    Get out of the matrix. Start with this simple step youtube – The dangers of vaccines. And get ready to have your mind blown.


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