The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

The Skeptical PWNage of Darth Wakefield & His Anti-Vax Woosters Continues

Posted by mattusmaximus on May 28, 2010

I just want to provide a quick follow up to yesterday’s post about how the Women Thinking Free Foundation’s (WTFF) crew from the nascent Hug Me! campaign skeptically ninjaed the anti-vaccination rally hosting uber-douchebag Andrew Wakefield. It seems that since I blogged about it, the story has exploded all over the skeptical blogosphere, with the famous photo of Wakefield getting skeptically pwned making many appearances 🙂

The two skeptical ninjas shown here on either side of Andrew “Douchebag” Wakefield are Jamie Bernstein and Bruce Critelli.  In the words of another of my skeptical colleagues, these two “are the mayors of Balls City!”  Indeed 😀

Jamie recounts her experience of the rally over at The Friendly Atheist – feel free to follow Jamie via Twitter .@UAJamie


Bruce shares some really interesting video he shot at the rally

Of Bruce’s video, the most unnerving part was, to me, a story that Wakefield told the “crowd” (less than 100 people is hardly a crowd) with one woman who was talking about her son…

About 15 years ago a mother from London approached him and said “Do not judge me too harshly Dr. Wakefield, but when I die I am taking my son with me. You see, I’m all he has. I’m the only one who loves him.”

“I didn’t judge,” said Wakefield. “I was moved by the love that a mother must have for her child that she would take his life rather than have him fall upon a society that really didn’t give a damn.”

Holy shit.  I had no idea Wakefield had gone so far down the rabbit-hole of woo – either he’s gone off the deep-end of being a true-believer, or he’s a completely callous charlatan trying to salvage some sense of credibility by bilking the desperate & gullible (probably both, in my opinion).  He seems to be doubling-down on the crazy, actually telling people that he supports the idea of this woman “taking her son with her” when she dies, just because he’s autistic and “society doesn’t give a damn” because it recommends vaccines.

Wakefield is nuts… just plain nuts.  That, and he’s damned dangerous.  It is somehow fitting that only a few people showed up to see him speak, and it attests to his fringe status.  Of course, it’s also a little disconcerting to see that he could actually rally even 100 people to show up and hang on his every word, as if he’s some kind of modern-day guru.  Spooky.

Anyway, here are more links to photos & blog posts about the event…

It’s been Pharyngulated! 🙂

Orac, scourge of anti-vaxxers everywhere, chimes in with a great analysis

Skeptic Dave took a lot of nice photos

This UK blog notes the lackluster attendance at the rally despite Wakefield’s “star power”

Anti-vax rally fizzles – I really like the closing on this one…

Rally organizers clearly expected much larger crowds, as evidenced by dozens of anti-vaccine signs still unused by 5 pm, when the park started to clear out. A sign-in sheet listed about 35 names and email addresses. Hundreds of free bananas remained unclaimed, and most of the vendors’ tables that surrounded one side of the quad remained empty.

Meanwhile, the rest of city carried on as normal. In this case, that was a good thing.

And, just in case anyone on the anti-vax side claims those of us grounded in reality of painting Wakefield and his rally in a bad light due to poor attendance, take a look at this post over at the anti-vax Age of Autism website. Check out these pictures…

These are photos by the anti-vaxxers themselves, and they clearly show the sparse attendance.  So much for this “rally”.

13 Responses to “The Skeptical PWNage of Darth Wakefield & His Anti-Vax Woosters Continues”

  1. That balloon photo just cries out for a picture caption contest.

    “Drawing on his medical training and decades of clinical experience, Dr. Andrew Wakefield prevents one more case of helium toxicity.”

  2. Jamie said

    Every time I see Wakefield near a child I feel sick.

  3. […] The Skeptical Teacher posted here and here. […]

  4. Brian Deer said

    “Now son, you give me the balloon, and I’ll give you a colonoscopy”

  5. Kwombles said

    A caption contest based on Ken’s suggestion has been started on Countering and I’ve linked back to this post. :-)Science Mom beat us all to the caption, though, at her blog Justthevax,

  6. […] The Skeptical PWNage of Darth Wakefield & His Anti-Vax Woosters Continues […]

  7. […] The Skeptical PWNage of Darth Wakefield & His Anti-Vax Woosters Continues […]

  8. Broken Link said

    You may be interested to know that Curt Linderman Sr. has this on his Facebook page. But, I’m not sure it is worthwhile to give him any attention 😉

    Today on Linderman LIVE! We’re going to continue the discussion from yesterday about the “infiltrator” to the Rally. I am encouraging call-ins to either reenforce what I have been saying or tell me I’m being too mean to these people. The show will be devoted to these morons today! We’re live at 11am EST 309 343 LIVE (5483) They are listening so lets show them how we feel about their tactics!

  9. Wookster said

    Dude, what’s up with impugning the Wooster name? Bertie would never side with a jackass like Wakefield!

  10. […] The Chicago event was, well, a bit of damp squib, to quote Kev. Not a big event, even though it was timed to coincide with a large autism parent convention. Many of the attendees were actually skeptics who showed up as a bit of a silent protest. […]

  11. A proud Mother of an Autistic adult said

    This entire site is rather humorous, considering the fact that he has been exhonerated of all charges, documents unsealed, etc. The heads have already begun to roll since. You might want to update it since it is now full of hate and lies directed at people who have their childrens best interest at heart. If you can’t understand the compassion (as odd as it may be), behind the quote…you wouldn’t go to the ends of the earth to protect your child. Fact.

    God bless these children AND their parents. Unless you have lived it 24/7 and it is your OWN child…you can’t possibly fathom what their life is like. Shame on you for throwing stones at them.

    • Broken Link said

      Please direct me to the document that shows that Wakefield is now licensed to practice medicine. Or to the link showing how his Lancet paper has been reinstated. Sorry, he’s not exonerated, he’s totally discredited.

      Whose head is beginning to roll (the image alone is worth a laugh – Nearly Headless Nick, anyone?) Only Wakefield’s. And BTW, he’s also flying the coop – his house in Texas is up for sale.

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