Monday, January 21, 2008

Perfect Storm of Woo-- Anti-Vaxers in OKC

I went to that presentation on Saturday. Its now Monday. Its taken me this long to calm down enough to write a post about what happened. Thankfully, blog-reader CJ was there to keep me from going postal... He also took all the pics.

CJ and I decided to meet up at the cafe in The Health Food Center (the store hosting the anti-vaxers) a few minutes before the presentation to compare notes. I got there before him, so I took the opportunity to wander around a bit. For a 'food store', there was relatively little 'food'. A wall for organic fruits and veggies, some freezer cases, but a majority of the area was devoted to potions, pills, vitamins, extracts, and books/CDs about potions, pills, vitamins, and extracts. Isle after isle of shit. Here is a pic from the 'Reference' section.

There were also areas devoted to 'reflexology' treatments, and 'foot detoxification.'

When CJ showed up, we decided to get lunch at the stores cafe. I just got coffee. It tasted like sludge water (Im sitting here drinking Folgers). CJ got a hamburger of some kind with carrot juice. It looked good, but he only choked down a few bites/sips before giving up. Little did we know that was the *least* nauseous we would be all afternoon.

We headed next door to the abandoned-store-turned-auditorium. Like Ive seen at every Creationist presentation, there were tables and tables of shit to sell.

There was also a table of chiropractic nurses. The significance of this wouldnt surface until later in the day.

I really loved this abandoned store/auditorium. There was no heat. And the bathrooms were disgusting (the toilet didnt flush in the womens room), but humorously, posted on the wall was a flyer declaring "IF YOU LIKE THE WAY THIS BATHROOM SMELLS, YOU CAN BUY ____ NEXT DOOR!!!" LOL Yeah, I want an 'unflushed toilet' scented candle. And there was shit growing in the ceiling.

I could really tell these people were concerned about their health.

Exactly 51 seconds into the introduction, 'autism' popped up (CJ was recording it, his timer said '51 seconds'). We were told that 1 in 67 children are autistic. They mentioned that their numbers didnt match the CDC, but that the CDC was hiding The Truth.

We were also told that 'you need a good doctor, you need a good nurse, but you need a good team of chiropractors!' It seems this presentation was co-sponsored by a local chiro shop. Chiros were plugged ad nauseum throughout the afternoon.

Jenny McCarthy was hailed as a savior.

As for April Renees presentation, I was shaking I was so angry. It was a hate speech against scientists that would make any Creationist proud. After ranting about how scientists and physicians get pleasure from killing children she said 'I dont mean to degrade any of the pediatricians in the audience, if there are any, lol.' Then she promptly returned to slandering scientists and physicians.

Literally, nothing she said was scientifically accurate, and she Gish-Galloped by the book. Slide after slide of quotes from pediatricians saying how they loved killing babies and Excel graphs (like this one) with zero references to her sources. Claims that would be clarified with an introductory course in immunology and virology, yet she knew her Audience would never catch her BS. Hails of 'YEAH! THATS RIGHT!' 'AWWWWWW!' 'PRAISE HIM!' came from the audience on her cues.

You know how I always make fun of Creationists for speaking in 'coagulated word salads'? Renee took this to the extreme. She declared something called 'stealth viruses' were contaminating all vaccines. The fellow who invented that phrase wrote the introduction to Horowitzs book.

'Severe monkey viruses' also contaminated all vaccines-- CMV, EBV, HPV, HSV-1, were all 'severe monkey viruses'. Renee insisted that she got herpes from vaccines. She insisted her daughter died from EBV in her vaccinations, and blamed the physician who vaccinated her for the toddlers death. She scared every woman in the audience by insisting that if THEY were vaccinated, they could transfer these 'severe monkey viruses' to their babies, who would also die.

Im sure youll be surprised to find out she firmly established that she is an HIV Denier/Conspiracy theorist like Horowitz. Contaminated vaccines-->HIV.

Im sure you will also be surprised to hear she plugged Mothering magazine.

Im sure you will also be surprised to hear that she insisted that chelation was a natural, non-invasive way to cure autism.

Im sure you will also be surprised to hear she is a Creationist (and managed to bring that up in her presentation).

What I did find odd was that every few seconds, Renee would reference God, angels, or Yeshua. Yes, Yeshua. CJ and I were baffled, and wondered if this indicated Renee was a Jehovah's Witness, who have their own issues with medicine. So while I wanted to call her a stupid bitch in the Q&A, I asked her in my adorable voice:

Me: Im sorry, this might be too personal...
Renee: No, go ahead!
Me: Well, I noticed that you kept mentioning your faith and God and... 'Yeshua'? I was just wondering what religion you were?
Renee: I dont like 'religion'. 'Religion' to me is man interfering with Gods word. But I believe in our Lord and Savior and blah blah blah blah Biblo-crap blah blah salvation blah blah.
She wouldnt answer me.

Afterwards, I was drained. I was angry. Iron-willed ERV, who couldnt be shaken by Behes purple faced tantrums or Dembskis underwear staining flatulence, was literally shaking from this anti-vaxer. I couldnt stay for her boyfriends presentation (she kept calling him 'honey').

CJ dared me to get a pic with her. I thought I was hiding the fact I wanted to punch her really well. Photograph says otherwise (hey did I ever mention I was 7 feet tall?).

This pic sums up the afternoon perfectly.

But it was great having CJ there-- he gets the award for 'Best Comment EVAH!':
Renee: Grapefruit Seed Extract is so great blah blah blah you can buy it next door I never go anywhere without it blah blah blah. GSE is like Gods penicillin.
CJ: *whisper* Um, I thought penicillin was Gods penicillin.


Daniel Poehlman said...

I don't envy you, Abbie. That little circle of hell would suck the life out of anyone, but I'm glad you kind of kept your wits together and survived.

Pretty picture, by the way. Can you dunk a basketball?

Brian Seitzman said...

I couldn't have stayed in such an environment without losing my self-control. Seriously, I would have been up on a chair shouting, at least.

Religion is what gets sucked into the vacuum left behind when somebody's frontal lobes spontaneously vanish. Brain damage makes people see angels. Or maybe its EBV and Thimerosal.

Perhaps the anti-vaxers themselves have some form of autism that makes them incapable of dealing with reality.

Hank said...

I guess you don't care as much about crap growing in the ceiling if you dismiss the germ theory as a ploy of the medical industrial complex.

CJSkeptic said...

I have over an hour and a half of audio from the thing, and we didn't even stay for the second speaker. The quality isn't very good, but I've already come across a few classic moments that'll make it into my next few podcasts.

After you left, Abbie, I went next door and asked the reflexology and foot detox folks about their products. They both had a special going just for today, only $20 for half an hour or foot massage or soaking your toes.

I also picked up a sheet from the reflexologist listing 250 ailments the therapy 'treats'.

wackyvorlon said...

Speaking as the local friendly Jehovah's Witness, I'd like to mention a thing or two:) We never refer to Yeshua, we use the anglicized pronunciations.

As for medical stuff, I certainly don't go in for the nutty anti-vaccination garbage that gets spread. Or detoxification, or homeopathy, etc. etc....

J-Dog said...

Congratulations for not getting sick at this Health Talk!

BTW - I know you have been doing fine without my ideas, suggestions or interference for 20+ years, but I would have asked her how exactly and why she was inserting Yahweh into the presentation , rather than asking her the more abrubt, "What's your religion bitch?"

I'm thinking it would get her talking even more, and hopefully give you even more rope to hang her.

ps: It looks like you had your picture taken with one of those ventroliquest dummies...


Rich Hughes said...

Nice Pic!


I would.

Bob O'Hara said...

Err, what Rich said. But I can't say it so eloquently.

We were told that 1 in 67 children are autistic.
I think this comes from the UK, and a study lead by Borat's cousin.

Oh, it isn't the number they concocted for that is even higher. Anyway, definitions of autism have changed over time, which leads to an apparent increase. And the 1 in 58 was using as wide a definition as possible.


Susannah Anderson said...

Yeshua is, supposedly, the proper Hebrew spelling for the name "Jesus". As if he would be offended by having his name pronounced in any other way. It's, I think, a ploy by the neo-pente crowd to link Christianity to Judaism, and to the "original" Christians, who purportedly were Jewish. And, I also think, having known quite a few people who used that terminology, to sound so much more "spiritual" than traditional English-speaking Christians, who stick to "Jesus".

It's also evidence of being a "Pooh"; a "bear of Very Little Brain".

Fred Ross said...

Oh dear. The speaker can't have been barely perceptive. I wouldn't have let you near me with that expression on your face.

Your dedication to these things is remarkable. Where would you like us to send donations for the sedative of your choice?

Anonymous said...

Good Lord! What was the name of the health food store? I'll be sure not to give them any money. When is someone, who has a VOICE, going to stand up & say it's child abuse to subject the little ones to potential life threatening diseases. They deserve a chance to tell their moron parents, book lernin is gooood, u shood uv tryd it. Maybe Tom Cruise can help. Good Lord!

CJSkeptic said...

What was the name of the health food store?

But I think Tom Cruise is too busy trying to get the scientology websites back online after all the /b/tards DDoSed them over the last few days.

Anonymous said...

"Yeshua" is the Aramaic spelling for "Jesus" (From Hebrew [Yehoshua] via Aramaic [Yeshua] via Greek [Iesou] via Latin [Iesu] via French [Jesus], we get "Jesus" in English). It comes from the Hebrew "Yehoshua", which is directly translated to English as "Joshua" and literally means "Savior". So "Jesus Christ Savior" really comes out "Savior Christ Savior".

The Messianic Jews, a sect of Christian Jews, refer to Jesus as "Yeshua", I believe. If I remember correctly, Michael Korn, the creationist scumbag who sent death threats to biologists at the University of Colorado, calls Jesus "Yeshua". That's not to say that this anti-vax lunatic bitch is a Messianic Jew, but she might have gotten the idea of using the Aramaic name from them.

Unknown said...

It's amazing how woo bands together. Somehow all the wacky woo supports all the other wacky woo in their fight against the man and the evils of allopathy. Sometimes I feel like we haven't progressed out of the stone age.

Hope you didn't contract any stealth viruses standing that close to her, or worse yet cooties.

Chris Noble said...

It's amazing how woo bands together

You'd think they might have noticed some small conflict between germ theory denial and stealth viruses though.

I suggest the word syncretin for a cretin with a syncretic belief structure.

Zach Kessin said...

"Yeshua" is the Aramaic spelling for "Jesus" (From Hebrew [Yehoshua] via Aramaic [Yeshua] via Greek [Iesou] via Latin [Iesu] via French [Jesus], we get "Jesus" in English). It comes from the Hebrew "Yehoshua", which is directly translated to English as "Joshua" and literally means "Savior". So "Jesus Christ Savior" really comes out "Savior Christ Savior".
Just a clarification Yehoshua (Hebrew Yod-hey-vav-shin-Ayin*) does not mean savior, but it is derived from the 4 letter name of God in Hebrew. It is a biblical name, Yehoshua bin nun was Moses's assistant and then the leader after he died.

A bunch of "Messianic Jews" came up with the idea of calling Jesus "Yehosua" to try and fool Jews into thinking you can believe in jesus and still be Jewish (you can't).

Had I been there I would have have shouted at her as well. There has been an anti vaciniation movement here in Israel in some parts of the ultra orthodox world which has lead to repeated measles outbreaks.

* because I have no idea what blogspot will do with hebrew fonts.

Dr G said... you got through that without bustin' a brain center or two is really something! The stupid really , really hurts...

This sludge needs to be put out there & mucked through...thanks

Anonymous said...

since you posted about autism did you know #
Autism occurs in 1 in every 500 births and in a rate of 5 boys to every girl.
Autism currently affects over 400,000 people in the U.S.
Autism is the third most common developmental disability following mental retardation and cerebral palsy.
Autism is more common than multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis or childhood cancer.
Autism receives as little as 5% of the research funding as other less common diseases.
The annual per-person allocation for persons with autism is approximately $35. In contrast, multiple sclerosis receives roughly $158, diabetes $424, breast cancer $600, and AIDS $1,000. Currently there is no medical detection, treatment or cure for autism.