Do JFK conspiracy theories get vaccinated?


For the record, I deny that I am a JFK “conspiracy theorist.” But I freely concede I’m pro-vaccination. I got my flu shot last month. I had no objection to having my children vaccinated. I never yearned for the Paulian liberty not to vaccinate.

So I was intrigued to see Jonathan Alter, writing in the The Daily Beast, link the anti-vaccination movement to those who doubt the official story of the assassination of President Kennedy:

Middle-of-the-roaders were turned into suspicious citizens by events of the 1960s. “In those days, we assumed that government officials would tell us the truth,” David Slawson, an 83-year-old former investigator for the Warren Commission, told former New York Times reporter Philip Shenon recently in explaining why he had changed his mind about the existence of a conspiracy to kill JFK. Nowadays, Slawson noted, “no one makes that assumption anymore.”

Slawson points the finger at Robert F. Kennedy, whom he says misled the Warren Commission into thinking that Fidel Castro’s Cuba had nothing to do with backing Lee Harvey Oswald, his brother’s assassin. Half a century later, one of the leading proponents of the discredited theory that vaccinations can cause autism is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., expressing a distrust in government sown in part during his family’s time in power.

Alter is right about a couple of things. He is surely correct that both the anti-vaxxers and JFK conspiracy theorists tap into popular suspicions of the veracity of the government in Washington. I agree that RFK Jr.’s theories about autism are not founded in science. And he is right to suggest that Slawson’s efforts to link Lee Harvey Oswald to the Castro government are factually unfounded and improbable.

And indisputably, RFK Jr. is (or was) an anti-vaxxer and is an increasingly open JFK skeptic. But that does not mean that anti-vaxxers and JFK skeptics are crowds that overlap. In my experience they do not, at least not much.

I find that a solid majority of readers that JFK Facts has attracted since 2012 are advocates and defenders of the scientific method. Some think Kennedy was killed by political enemies. Others reject the conspiracy proposition. But if you look at the daily debate in our comments board, there are many appeals to the referee of science, and most eschew psuedo-science. Some among them may be anti-vaxxers, but I would bet money that the percentage does not exceed the portion found in the general population.

In any case, the upsurge of anti-vaccination irrationality in the early 21st century does not and cannot change the enigmatic and suspicious facts of what happened on November 22, 1963.

As Slawson’s candid remarks to Philip Shenon in Politico show, it is not paranoid to doubt the official story about the causes of JFK’s death. There is more scientific reason to doubt that story today than there was 10 years ago. Even one of the authors of the Warren Commission report now recognizes the CIA compromised the investigation and blocked the truth. Slawson does not embody populist irrationality. He reminds us there is no vaccination from the facts.





87 thoughts on “Do JFK conspiracy theories get vaccinated?”

  1. Merck senior management tried to pay off its own vaccine scientists to remain silent about scientific fraud.

    Back in 2010, two former Merck scientists, repulsed by what they saw taking place at the highest levels of the company, filed a False Claims Act in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The filing accuses Merck of lying about the safety and effectiveness of MMR vaccines, tampering with study data, defrauding the U.S. government and various other high-level crimes.

    Claims by Merck that the mumps component of the MMR vaccine is “95 percent effective” are also questioned in the filing. Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski say Merck senior management falsified data specifically on the effectiveness of the mumps vaccine, intentionally spiking blood samples with animal antibodies in order to trick the public into thinking that the vaccine is effective.

    “Merck… added animal antibodies to blood samples to achieve more favorable test results, though it knew that the human immune system would never produce such antibodies, and that the antibodies created a laboratory testing scenario that ‘did not in any way correspond to, correlate with, or represent real life… virus neutralization in vaccinated people,'” explains

    1. Was Jonas Salk in on the conspiracy too, Willy? How about Jenner? This anti-vaccine screed seems so misguided. I’d like to see the JFK assassination treated as a separate political event with a probable cover-up in the same way that the Iraq War lies about WMDs should be questioned, or that CIA manipulation of our democratic institutions should be looked into. But this junk science about vaccines and other witchcraft claims should be divorced from this discussion. Just my opinion. I think it is a waste of our time here.

      1. Sam,

        I did not introduce the topic, Mr Morely did. Take your complaint to the front office.

        You say, “But this junk science about vaccines and other witchcraft claims should be divorced from this discussion. Just my opinion.”

        Yes it is just your opinion. Where does that opinion actually derive? I would and have proposed that your opinion is the product of corporatist propaganda. And I would add that much of the promotion of vaccines is junk science, sold by the voodoo of the technocratic Public Relations Regime.

        Clashing paradigms equal clashing opinions.

        1. Hmmm….So modern medicine is all corporatist propaganda, huh?

          How about heavier than air flight? The laws of physics? How about washing one’s hands before performing surgery?

          If I clash, it’s because I insist upon logic and adherence to basic scientific principles. It’s not voodoo that I can climb into an airplane and climb to 30,000 feet. Vaccines work. That is fact. You’re entitled to your own set of opinions, but not to your own set of facts.

          1. Sam to jump from, “It’s not voodoo that I can climb into an airplane and climb to 30,000 feet”,
            to the assertion that “Vaccines work,” is a leap of logic.

          2. No it isn’t. Vaccines work and we have the data to back that assertion up. Heavier than air flight works, and we have the data to back that up. I could go on to the laws of gravity, the scientific proof of evolution, the fact that our sun does not revolve around the earth, etc. But I think even you would have to concede to the logic of my point. Unless you’re just being illogical.

          3. “Vaccines work and we have the data to back that assertion up.”~Sam

            My argument has never been whether or not vaccines work. My argument is and has been that I have a right not to take such vaccinations. It is a violation of mine and any others rights to choose not to take or allow their own children to take a vaccination.

          1. So, Willy, do you “choose” at a traffic light whether to stop your car or not? I think you need to revise your theory a bit.

          2. “So, Willy, do you “choose” at a traffic light whether to stop your car or not?”~Sam

            Well I cannot break the laws of physics Sam. If I am behind other traffic and they come to a stop, it is in my best interest to stop rather than ram into the back of a car. However, if I am the first to reach the intersection and the light turns red, yes indeed it is my choice to stop or not.

            Dealing with the consequences of our choices is not the issue here. This issue is unalienable rights.

            You are in the habit of making inappropriate arguments here in my estimation.

            You seem to want to speak to issues that sidestep the essentials. Such as this last question which is frankly quite frivolous.

            Do you want to debate the distinctions between rights and privileges here? Or do you even understand the difference between a right and a privilege?

            It has been established that driving a car is not an inherent right, but a privilege that must be earned by proof of ability. A license is such a proof. I accept the concept of proving such ability for my own self interests.

          3. You don’t seem to understand that living in a society, in a country means you have to share the commons. Americans have this cranky delusional attitude that everyone can go out into some mythical frontier and do it all alone. It doesn’t work that way, because communities involve sharing and cooperation. Libertarianism is b.s., just like Marxism. It doesn’t exist except in people’s minds.

            You can make up your Milton Friedman “Free to Choose” crap but it doesn’t exist in the real world.

          4. Vanessa, a précis of TWBD in this limited space would not do it justice; however “The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil” should give you a clue. The Amazon in question is nature’s pharmaceutical headquarters in the Southern Hemisphere. The true heavy lifting for the benefit of all mankind is being done by those struggling to preserve what is left of the Amazon and the similarly delicate, critical-to-human-survival eco systems around the globe – constantly under threat from policies imposed on them by the “Developed World.” By comparison, walking into a clinic from the comfort of an SUV (metaphorically speaking) and getting scratched or stung is hardly heavy at all.

            Your metaphor suggesting that road safety can be compared with mandatory vaccines has me puzzled. I understand that rules of the road are designed to keep everyone safe and it could be argued, safe mostly from fellow humans. However those rules are non-invasive. There is a significant difference between me stopping at a stop sign so that you can pass through the intersection safely and you demanding that your sense of well-being – warranted or not – is dependent on my having an invasive procedure.

            This is obviously highly indulgent theorizing. Anecdotal: I contracted adult whooping cough in spite of having been given the vaccine which caused scars, so I admit to being subjectively skeptical; in contrast, were I working in the midst of an Ebola outbreak, I probably would be looking around for that vaccine. My issue is that there is clearly an element of scare tactics propagated to sell product – think of Colin Powell holding that tiny vial in front of an audience at the United Nations – he sold us a war. And I have a right to reject the assertion if I find it dubious. There is far more to this vaccination debate than meets the eye; it is primarily about the right to choose.

            What does this have to do with JFK – I can’t remember. … Jeff?

          5. Hi Willy

            And my point is that the only reason you currently have that luxury is because the rest of us drones have done the right thing and supported mass immunization programs at the painful pointy end.

            Could you at least thank the rest of us for doing double duty in taking on your civic responsibilities so that you can live happily as an anarchist? 🙂

          6. Hi Leslie

            Thanks for explaining that. I appreciate that there are some highly questionable things going on in the Amazon but I would argue that they are separate to the issue of compulsory immunizations.

            I used the road rules metaphor because for the entire system to work we all must abide by the same rules and I would argue it’s the same for immunization programs. If 80% of drivers abide by the rules and 20% drive on the wrong side of the road then that stuffs up the entire system.

            Of course, any sort of medical procedures have to be proven, tested, monitored, held up to scrutiny, revised and ditched if they are wrong. We’ve seen numerous examples of medical malpractice so we are right to be vigilant and sceptical. I think of this as a public health issue not a free choice issue. Do you think Typhoid Mary should have been locked up or not?

          7. PS Sorry Leslie, I meant to ask you what are the terms that the book uses to describe the different types of economies in the world?

          8. Could you at least thank the rest of us for doing double duty in taking on your civic responsibilities so that you can live happily as an anarchist?”~Vanessa

            Preposterous: A “balancing” of personal rights to “Community Rights”, which is a spurious conceptualization as I remarked upon earlier. One cannot “balance” rights that are identical but for the numbers of those holding such rights.
            To disparage a single individuals rights for a collective of individuals, in fact disparages that right for every individual in the collective. There is at once and gross and retail loss for every individual, so it is the profit that is in real terms which is only “in their minds”

            The only real profit goes to the so-called “Community Organizers” and that profit manifests as authoritarian political power.


            The central core of this situation is the fact that Authority does not Grant rights, it is exactly the opposite; Rights grant authority. This is the primary principle that grounds the concept of Liberty.

            One cannot take away what one did not give in the first place, except to steal it.

            Unalienable Rights are immutable and can not be bartered, sold, nor acquiesced. Ignorance of this core truth is no excuse. It is malum in si to act in pretense that an unalienable right can be laid at the foot of the State. It matters not what majority might pretend to such an act, it is illicit nonetheless.

          10. Now that does not sound like a ‘thank you’ to me, Willy. 🙂

            So are you completely off the grid then? If not, then the rest of your society is, in some way, supporting your anarchist idyll and I should think a bit of gratitude is in order.

          11. You may wish to thank your masters for your shackles Vanessa, not I.

            Gullible’s Travails on the highway taken by silly people… they do need a Swift kick!

          12. Vanessa you missed my point or I made it very poorly. Labels that originate from the World Bank are in service of the World Bank regardless of how they might morph over time. Colby and Dennett place those terms in context; a critical thinker will recognize the lexicon of imperialism. The definition of “poor” for instance becomes relative to superficial solutions for an entire culture. Not all victims of colonization choose to become the collaborators.

          13. Tsk, tsk, Willy resorting to violence already? Maybe there’s a role for you with the warmongers ‘might is right’ mob after all.

            Hmm, so not off the grid at all then? I sense a bit of anarchist guilt there.

            Anyway Willy, cultivate your garden. 🙂

          14. Hi Leslie

            Probably I missed your point, I seem to be a bit obtuse these days. Perhaps we are talking about different things though. I’m referring to consensual aid programs of which mass immunisation is a part. I think you are referring to the exploitation of the Amazon for the benefit of Big Pharma?

            The aid programs I’m referring to are completely consensual and follow partner countries priorities. It can take up to 2 years of consultation and planning to get an individual project on the ground. The partner countries aren’t victims and largely determine what aid they want and who they want it from.

            Perhaps it’s different in South America but ‘north-south’ relationships do not have to be exploitative. I appreciate that language can be used in political ways. Do the authors provide a new language to refer to these issues?

          15. “Tsk, tsk, Willy resorting to violence already? Maybe there’s a role for you with the warmongers ‘might is right’ mob after all.”~Vanessa

            My comment was an allegory referring to Johnathon Swift.

          16. Hi Willy

            Yes, I know you were referring to Swift and I responded with Voltaire. I also thought you were giving your comment two meanings though. Apologies, if that is not what you intended.

          17. The operative term is “consensual.”

            J. Caldwell King, CIA Western Hemisphere, Amazon Natural Drug Co..

            Contemporary example: the most recent vaccine experiment in India under the auspices of the Gates Foundation.

            ‘Latin America’ determined what aid they wanted or didn’t want. Please cite examples that theirs was a sovereign choice except when coups supported by the West ensured a new round of exploitation.

            North-South relationships do not necessarily have to be exploitative but historically they have been, full stop.

            As I said before, the terms used by the World Bank are designed to serve the World Bank.

          18. Hi Leslie

            When I was talking about ‘we’ and aid I meant Australia and it’s aid program. As I said the South America experience could be different. But you are assuming that the dynamic between um… low-income countries (?) and high-income countries doesn’t, or can’t, change and that is definitely not the case in this part of the world. They take the lead in their own development.

            As for the Gates Foundation experimenting in India – Gardasil has been compulsorily injected into schoolgirls in Australia since 2007 with no serious ill effects.


            I appreciate what you are saying about the Amazon – it is possible appalling things are going on there re-Big Pharma but that does not mean that mass vaccination programs shouldn’t be enforced elsewhere or even in Latin America. I think we are talking about 2 different issues here.

            Can we put the issues of the Bank to one side for the moment? I am trying to learn something new from you – will you let me? Do the authors come up with any new terminology that we can use? 🙂

          19. Vanessa, It is not a book of recommendations or solutions, nor are the authors attempting to correct matters of vocabulary.
At 834 pages, plus 91 pages of footnotes and a 31-page Index, TWBD is an exposé focused on the history of the Rockefellers in Latin America. David Rockefeller – head of the World Bank for decades – entered into my discussion with you relating to toxic policies imposed under the facade of the “greater good.”
I hardly think I am the only person concerned that unique societies are being sucked into a global system that may well destroy them. Labeling them does not serve them.
            Have you been in Beijing recently to witness the effects of an “Emerging Market” on the quality of life and culture?
            “’Underdeveloped nations’ are characterized by a wide disparity between their rich and poor populations.” Some in the US would argue that relatively speaking, that label applies here.
            These examples suggest the system is illusion and a manipulation of language. Nestled within that is the crux of this conversation from the outset. Private industry promotes product – vaccines included – for the greater good of their bottom line. If society benefits so be it. If it doesn’t – consider GMO Ready Roundup Monsanto – industry simply buys the FDA and EPA and foolish nations follow suit. Why doesn’t our government produce the vaccines, take the profit out of the process. That would be a genuine show of good faith toward the greater good, managed and controlled by We the People.

          20. Dear Leslie

            Thanks for taking the time to spell it out a bit more. Although I have to say it does seem to be a whole lot easier for the intelligentsia to describe everything that is wrong with the world (a la Chomsky) and a heck of a lot harder to actually come up with some solutions. I wish some of these great minds would focus a bit more on what can be done to fix problems or prevent them happening rather than describing the woes of the world in soul crushing detail and then dumping it all back on us hapless citizens of Planet Earth to solve. It would be a lot more useful to those who are actually trying to do something about them (sorry, end of rant).

            I agree, let us not label but we do need to name or how else can we identify?

            Sadly, I haven’t been to Beijing at all yet. But I think the Chinese government’s latest climate change deal with the USA shows they are finally moving on this issue.

            I have no problem with your suggestion about taking the profit out of vaccines. But given what a huge political ask that would be and how long it would take, my preferred method is too simply monitor and regulate the existing system more rigorously and effectively so that abuses don’t occur.

  2. The Daily Beast has been pretty gung-ho in attacking JFK conspiracy theorists since the 50 year anniversary. It seems like there’s an attempt by the establishment media to group the JFK crowd with 9/11 Truthers

    1. Nathaniel Heidenheimer

      The worst biases are of necessity aimed at left liberals and further left, since this would be the dangerous group who might open up the floodgates, were they not inundated with disinformation. Witness Chomsky’s latest attacking JFK. Why do you think he attacks the last president who was stopping wars, more than he attacks any other president?

      Left Gatekeeping: it has a history.

  3. Nathaniel Heidenheimer

    To death. Meanwhile Photon views are given free reign not only here, but in the big media. For example in the Pittsburgh Conference in 2013 McAdams was the only person quoted– unless in mockery– by Time Magazine even though the room was filled with 500 “””Conspiracists””” a term which has fairly recently morphed into a mental condition, just as the USSR marketed THEIR political dissidents.

    So in a media site that reaches a tiny number of people who are ALREADY interested in the JFK assassination, “both sides” are permitted, but in the big media anything mentioning Elvis, Lyndon Johnson and or UFO s is mentioned. Just not CIA. And Photon sure seems to be given free reign here compared to some who like to type about CIA and Media? Is picture a recipe for democracy or bear-baiting?

    1. Nathaniel, I appreciate the point you are making about the lack of balance in the wider media on the JFK assassination(although it seems to be worse in the US than elsewhere). It does seem to have gotten worse over the years. The media just won’t seem to cover anything related to the assassination that is not in line with the official story. The last big hoo-ha I remember was the Roscoe White story and now that wouldn’t even get a run.

      But in fairness to JFKFacts, should they also reflect that bias by banning the views of people like Photon? To be honest I think it is far better that it provides a forum for people like McAdam’s and Photon to be engaged on a level playing field and out in the open.

      I’m also a bit surprised that you feel that people would find their arguments that compelling. Let’s face it a lot of what they come out with is generalised waffle. (I’m sorry, Photon but you know it’s true).

      1. They find the arguments compelling for a simple reason-they are based on documented facts. If you want to claim that those facts are based on fake pictures,faked movies, faked autopsy reports, faked bodies,faked ballistic evidence be my guest.
        Mr. Heidenheimer betrays a concern common among those who hold positions that can be threatened by simple discussion. Instead of having his opinions confirmed in the arena of public discussion he knows that clear information,debate and evidence pose a serious danger to the validity of those positions. In other words,it is easier to preach to the choir, particularly if your choir uses a hymnal with an imprimatur reflecting the dogma of your position. You see this over on blogs like DeepPolitics Forum or the Education Forum -ossified collections of conspiracy trivia reinforced by a ban on anything but conspiracy-oriented comments. People can post the most improbable stuff over there and not have it challenged-except by other conspiracy theorists with competing improbable stuff. That doesn’t happen here-and as a result folks who can’t defend their positions when confronted with facts may pick up their ball and go home-ala Mr. DiEugenio.
        If you have to censor your opposition because you are afraid that people may come to agree with it perhaps it is time to re-evaluate your own position’s weaknesses.

        1. Hi Photon

          Yes, when I said, ‘generalised waffle’ I meant exactly this sort of statement “If you want to claim that those facts are based on fake pictures, faked movies, faked autopsy reports, faked bodies, faked ballistic evidence be my guest”. As you know, a mansion has many rooms and we conspiracy factualists don’t always agree. The only thing I have claimed is faked is the zfilm and unless someone can address my concerns with it, I’ll maintain that it is. Ready to step up to that plate? Or to tell me why you think prayerman wasn’t identified by the WC?

          I like the contestability we have on JFKFacts – I think all the sites should have a similar policy but I also understand Nathaniel’s point about marginalization. I imagine that if you have been banned from certain sites it is more likely to be because you often express yourself in an objectionable way, indulge in character assassination, appear to use aliases and will take ‘not one step backward’ on issues that are clearly grey. Maybe you should set up your own site and we’ll see how fair you can be.

          I don’t know what the circumstances were around Mr DiEugenio leaving the site – it happened before I came on here. But I doubt very much that it was because he couldn’t defend his position with facts. From what I’ve seen he is most meticulous. I personally wish he would come back.

          I have just defended your right to be on here saying what you like. I have not suggested censoring you and yet you still have a complaint to make. Free speech at work – it’s a beautiful thing. :)

        2. Nathaniel Heidenheimer

          ” confirmed in the arena of public discussion ” That would be difficult considering that nobody pointing to the obvious role of CIA is allowed in the Arena, not even a book endorsed by RFK Jr, Daniel Ellsberg, JFK’s world famous speechwriter etc.

          Time’s selection of the one professional government defender out of 500 in attendance is so typical.

      2. “The media just won’t seem to cover anything related to the assassination that is not in line with the official story.” ~Vanessa

        Oh so true my dear. And yet it hasn’t occurred to you that the media just won’t seem to cover anything that is not in line with the official story, on any topic whatsoever?

        You have spent time personally investigating the JFK assassination, and you can see clearly how it is spun and covered up. Yet you do not take those lessons into the larger arena of the Public Relations Regime. You rather see the situation as one glaring anomaly in the middle of pristine honesty by the mainstream press.

        I would say that if you took the time and effort to look into many other issues, you would find the same pattern you are familiar with in the JFK story.

        1. My dear Willy

          Ah, but you don’t know what my views on other issues are, do you? We’re just here to talk about JFK.

          I have to ask, are you an anarchist? Can you name even one society that we frail humans have set up that meets any of your criteria for the perfect society? Or do you reject the notion of society altogether?

          1. “Can you name even one society that we frail humans have set up that meets any of your criteria for the perfect society?”~Vanessa

            A “perfect society” has the term “Utopia” applied to it. Utopia is a product of idealism.

            I attempted to address the distinction between ideals and principles in a post just before the longer post to Sam given above, but it did not pass moderation.

            So let me put it like this Vanessa; it is Collectivism, also defined as Socialism, and pontificated as Marxism that is Utopian in it’s idealistic call.

            To equate any of these three constructs with “anarchism” is a misapprehension of the issues involved.

            Let me end with this observation:

            Liberty is not the ‘invention’ of revolution.
            Liberty is the ‘discovery’ of enlightened reason.
            . . . .
            You do understand the distinction between discovery and invention, I presume.

          2. Okay Willy. But can you give me a concrete example of this philosophy in action as lived by actual human beings? Are you talking about kibbutzes or communes or….?

          3. “Are you talking about kibbutzes or communes or….?”~Vanessa

            Those are both communist manifestations.

            There is really no solution to human nature. It is what it is, and that is what it’s always been.

            Vanessa, I am talking about the human race finally coming out of its childhood and maturing. By maturing I mean discarding this jejune naiveté of trusting confidence men to act as surrogate “daddy”.

            Government given the responsibility to care for a peoples every vital need — MUST be given the power to carry such a task out; which means the power to rule your every vital action.
            This is the very definition of TYRANNY.

          4. Hi Willy

            So we’re back to anarchist again? I wish you would stop being so Delphic and just say what you mean.

            Have you got any examples of where the system (or lack of it) you are talking about has actually been implemented?

          5. “So we’re back to anarchist again? I wish you would stop being so Delphic and just say what you mean.”~Vanessa

            What I mean is that you conflate “anarchy” with “chaos”. And although you fail to appreciate it; chaos is what you have at this very moment. The world is ruled by warmongers who go by the credo of “Order out of Chaos”, “Might is Right” & “Ends justify the means”.

          6. “Vanessa, I am talking about the human race finally coming out of its childhood and maturing. By maturing I mean discarding this jejune naiveté of trusting confidence men to act as surrogate “daddy”.”

            We are social primates, Willy. Your talking points sound as “utopia” as what you purport to discredit. I would wager that, imperfect as it is, democratic society with checks and balances incorporated into it, along with shared commitment to a civil society (as you find in the Nordic countries to list just one ex.) is a pretty good system for a society composed of millions of social primates. We can evolve further along, but as we do so I suggest some kind of system to help protect the rights of the many is the best pragmatic set up for the time being. Perfect is the enemy of done. We can strive for better, but if we spin in circles we don’t help anybody.

          7. “We are social primates”~Sam

            We are more than that Sam, we are conscious individual beings far beyond the savannas of our beginnings.

            When you bleed when I am cut, then I will accept your collectivist theories.

          8. Hi Willy

            “When you bleed when I am cut, then I will accept your collectivist theories”.

            Of course you bleed when others are cut, Willy. Why else would you care so much about what is happening in your country and what happened to its 35th President?

            Seeing as we’ve had some latin and Livy on here. How about some John Donne?

            No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
            if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
            is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
            well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
            own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
            because I am involved in mankind.
            And therefore never send to know for whom
            the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

          9. Hi Willy

            I’m still waiting for you to give me an example of anarchy that isn’t chaos.

            I haven’t defended war at all. I can only really think of one ‘just war’ and that was WWII.

  4. My daughters are vaccinated…. as are the dog and the cat.

    My guess is that this is a classic attempt to discredit RFK jr’s views on the JFK assassination through his association with the anti-vaccination movement. Just a guess though….

  5. I think the red-herring association between anti-thimerosal advocates and JFK conspiracy advocates purposely distracts from the legitimate attempts for redress. In the case of thimerosal causing harm, it does for people who have allergic reactions to the chemical. In those specific cases, the law shifts the burden of proof to the petitioner; in the case of JFK’s murder, there can be no legal justice, either for JFK or LHO; the planners of the killings masterly attended to such macabre details. Citizen Advocates pushing for release of official records related to the JFK murder simply seek redress from a government (and it’s agencies) that holds the public’s will in contempt. Yet, it is the same government that approved the vaccinations containing Thimerosal as safe for public consumption (*with acceptable risk limits*). It is the same government that unsuspecting people we trust work for, as paid agents and vessels for disinformation and psy-ops (including reporters and media outlets). Thomas Jefferson and JFK extolled the virtues and utility of a free and open press to keep the public informed. We must be aware that “informs” takes on various shades of meaning when used in nefarious manner by covert operatives with hidden agendas. The press in America has long been co-opted by the covert monolith, and JFK saw how it operated (in fact, he used this very same “leak” mechanism to “plant” stories in the press favorable to his aims. Unfortunately, after he died, he no longer controlled what what said or did by people in power or control, who moved to support the “official story” about the murder of JFK on 11/22/63. The covert monolith is easily identified by the interlocking relationships between government, business, military, education, press, crime,and social/fraternal organization – even religion. The government can effect change, or resist change, through these networked entities and organizations. In this confluence and power milieu, a select few in power can act in a conspiratorial manner and have the ability to cover it up through cooperation of heads of these organizations (this was far more possible in 1963!!)

  6. What’s overlooked, for example, is Cuba’s autism rate.

    Cuba has markedly less autism than the U.S.

    Not because of vaccinations. But because in the U.S. physicians routinely prescribe Tylenol for pediatric patients suffering pain or fever following vaccination. In Cuba, physicians don’t.

      1. It ought to be possible to conduct a study of the autism rate of Cubams who grew up and were vaccinated in Cuba and who are now living in the U.S. Has such a study been done? If it has not, one wonders why.

  7. Slawson to RFK jr to Wacko theory.Lo and behold! the focus is moved from a Warren Commission establishment figure, accepting he was misled by the CIA to a trivial discussion on vaccination.

  8. Robert F Kennedy’s book on Thimerosal is entirely scientific. The CDC has decided it is safe to take mercury out of “childhood vaccines” but leave it in flu shots while recommending (indeed relentlessly promoting) these shots for children and pregnant women. Once upon a time I believed my government wouldn’t lie to me and the CDC was my favorite and most professional agency. That was then. This is now.

    1. Does anyone remember Big Tobacco and the Seven Dwarfs swearing before Congress citing volumes of “scientific proof” that smoking was not addictive and did not cause cancer? And what about secondary smoke?

      Might there be a sub group that does not tolerate vaccines in the same way that the majority does? To overlook the profit motives of Big Pharma in this debate is irresponsible. Discounting the ramifications of the conspiracy in November 1963 is an ongoing threat to our democracy, but I fail to see the parallel.

      1. Shades of Dr. Mary’s Monkey. American Cancer Society President Dr. Alton Oschner of New Orleans supported the first polio vaccine in the mid 50’s. His granddaughter contracted polio after taking the vaccine and his grandson died from it. The monkey livers the grew it on were nasty. They refined it. I ate the sugar cube in the early 60’s.

    2. RFK,Jr. wouldn’t know a scientific study if it bit him in the levator ani. There has been documented scientific studies that demonstrate the Mecury in thimerosal in infants never reaches any significant blood levels and is rapidly passed out of the stool. The article in the Lancet ( not some cult publication) that is the major reference for that info was coauthored by a good friend of mine-who is a nationally recognized academic pediatrician.
      Maybe Alter is right after all.

      1. photon, so you advocate that because vaccines serve the greater good, laws in the US should disregard the possibility that a significant number of children could possibly have adverse reactions. What political system does that remind you of?

        1. Oh please. Not vaccinating children puts others at risk. People have the luxury of not vaccinating because everyone did for so long that terrible diseases became forgotten. There is nothing totalitarian about requiring vaccinations.

      2. What I want to know Photon, is how you can be in favor of forced vaccinations by the state.

        How far gone is freedom from state coercion come, if one has no control over what substances are put into ones own body, or the bodies of their children.

        It is already bad enough that freedom to do with ones body is restricted by “scheduling of drugs”, making Malum prohibitum the law of the land in place of Malum In Se.
        But now to force drugs on people, that is a whole new form of despotism.

        And if the answer is “for the larger good”, why would you ever oppose Communism, State Socialism, or any form of collectivist governance?

        1. I agree with Photon that some things should be required by citizens of a state to do. He may not endorse all of my recommendations, but here are some that I can think of: All citizens should be required to attend public school or an equivalent; all citizens should be required to register for a draft if our nation is under threat by an enemy; all citizens should be vaccinated; and all citizens should pay taxes, to give a few examples. Belonging to a nation has obligations as well as benefits. What libertarians seem to forget is that there is such a thing as “the commons” which is shared by all. No nation can exist for long under tyranny, and no nation can exist for long if its people living in its borders all decide to go their own way without any obligations or commitments to the common good. It’s a balance. It’s not black and white.
          Citizenship has its duties.

          BTW–unlike Photon, I also think that public institutions (like CIA) should relinquish their secret files after fifty years have elapsed. These files are part of the commons, and belong to us, the citizens of this Republic.

          1. Tell me Sam, where is this so-called “republic” you are talking about? Somewhere over the rainbow?

            You say these remarkable things:
            “All citizens should be required to attend public school or an equivalent; all citizens should be required to register for a draft if our nation is under threat by an enemy; all citizens should be vaccinated; and all citizens should pay taxes…”

            And then you speak to the dangers of tyranny, as if what you just listed are not the rules of a despotic state.

          2. Willy,

            It’s one thing to point out flaws and weaknesses in a nation state. But you’re missing the point. I am talking about ideals here. When Ida Tarbell exposed the evils of corporate control (Standard Oil) a century ago, she wasn’t whining that the USA could never live up to a better, more progressive ideal. She was trying to improve this country. Saying we’ll never get there as you seem to be doing runs contrary to all logic and common sense. If we are to have a republic that is fair and democratic, we must work to build it, not just sit in a cesspool of despair. Without a strong central government I assure you it would be MUCH more difficult to exercise your freedom. Just look at Somalia. Rushing pell mell backwards toward some false “hunter gatherer utopia” isn’t the answer. We need progressive reforms. We need more transparency. To quote Martin Luther King, I may not get there, but (now my words): I sure as hell won’t give up either.

          3. “Community Rights” defined properly is simply Individual Rights shared on equal basis with all within a community. The “Collective” of that community has no more authority over individual rights than any single individual would. However Collectivists of all stripes have asserted a higher value to the collected whole of people which they argue should give that whole authority beyond the aspect of an individual’s rights. They add to this claim that there is a collective right to impinge on individual rights for the benefit of the many.

            And here is the step onto the slippery slope that will by “necessity” lead to a monopoly of force held by not the whole of the people, but by ‘representatives’ of the whole, who are charged with faithfully executing the consensus will of the whole of the peoples. Now at this juncture in the assertions of this combined authority where the techniques of “governance” come into play in a nonsensical way. It is nonsense in that it insists on a degree of ‘trust’ in the integrity of those who have assumed this authority. ‘Trust’ is another word for “faith’, and faith is at its core a belief beyond rational reason.

            Faith is in its nature a matter of emotion and intuition, not empirical rationality. Therefore, all the wiles and human foibles come to play, a critical one being ‘charisma’, which becomes defined as a “leadership quality” regardless of the actual-known intents and motives of this ‘charismatic leader’. And the term “Confidence Man” is well known and defined sufficiently, but due to the emotional attraction of those to the con man, these well known attributes are ignored, because emotion side-steps reason.

            At this point we have slid all the way down that slippery slope and are mired in the quicksand in a deep abyss. The system erected by the smartest crooks has become an ironclad structure, a Panoptic Maximum Security State with the agenda of “Full Spectrum Dominance”, just a euphemism for totalitarian tyranny.

            And all of this stems from the very first mistake in the sequence this article begins with; the assertion and acceptance of the Collectivist argument that community has more authority over individual rights than any single individual could. Put plainly, giving up Individual Liberty for the good of the Collective.

          4. Willy,

            Have you ever played on a team? Participated in a group effort?

            There is no “slippery slope” if proper checks and balances are put into place. That is the whole point of an organized political system. In fact, if there is no police, no court system, just anarchy, I can assure you that the rights of individuals would quickly disappear into a free for all, strongest ruling over the weak.

            Getting back to the JFK case, I feel that as democratic citizens who collectively own our public institutions, we have the right to transparency in our governmental agencies to the degree that individuals are not harmed by the release of such data. So, the CIA historical files belong to We the People and should be released for public consumption. I think we can all agree upon that.

          5. “if there is no police, I can assure you that the rights of individuals would quickly disappear into a free for all, strongest ruling over the weak.”~Sam

            Hahaha…Really Sam? You can assure me?

            But it IS the POLICE who are the enforcers of the strongest ruling over the weak!

            Seriously, you have to be willfully blind not to see this by this late date…

            “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

        2. Honestly Willy, you need to get out more. You do realise that thousands of children die per day due to lack of access to vaccines and because vaccination, can’t or won’t, be enforced.

          It’s easy to sit in your lounge room maintaining ideological purity about freedom of choice but out in the real world compromises are being made every day, sometimes terrible ones.

          Does ideology really trump compassion for you, Willy?

          If so, I suggest you take a trip to a developing country and explain to a desperate parent why their child is dying because vaccination can’t, or won’t, be enforced because you are saving them from ‘despotism’. There’s such a thing as the despotism of poverty.

          1. Vanessa, you do recognize there are two distinct issues at play in this dynamic? One relating to the efficacy and safety of vaccines regardless of the region of the globe in which they are being administered, the other concerning the rights of the individual / family unit to choose what is best for them in their unique circumstances. “Developing countries” (a term I think smacks of neocolonialism) are less concerned with the latter as they wrestle with how best to treat the immediate threat of infectious diseases on a mass scale, but why would I be more comfortable with a child in East Timor experiencing developmental problems due to a vaccine than say a child in Mississippi? Are we arguing a numbers/culture game here? Who would not react to your emotional appeal and of course the American continent is not and has never been immune to plague. However, the reality in the US at present is that the new threat (knock on the nearest piece of wood and setting aside the colossal nuclear war machine we have allowed to be created) is the equivalent of a disease attacking democracy – the invasion of privacy by the state and the threat to a person’s or a family’s right to choose. We are now being challenged to willingly weigh the “greater good” vs. responsible and informed decision making at the micro level, in this instance the family unit. You and photon seem to be arguing that the state ‘vil decide’ because you say that it should. That’s a slippery slope in my view.

          2. “You do realise that thousands of children die per day due to lack of access to vaccines and because vaccination.”~Vanessa

            Acually Vanessa, these thousands of children dying each day do so for the most part because of lack of sanitary water, and lack of appropriate diet. Not due to lack of vaccine’s.

            You are being swayed by the BS propaganda from the Gates’ foundation.

          3. Hi Leslie

            If there is any risk from vaccines it is minimal compared to the risks (especially to babies) posed by people going unvaccinated. They are much more likely to die of whooping cough and a whole raft of other conditions than have an adverse reaction to a vaccine. Of course every effort should be made to ensure vaccines are safe and usually it is.

            The reason I have referred to developing countries is because they represent a living example of what life is like without mass compulsory immunization programs and what the future could be (in a worst-case scenario) if those programs aren’t maintained. It goes without saying that all human life is precious wherever it is.

            Under your rules a minority get to self-indulgently exercise their right to freedom of choice because the rest of us do the heavy lifting as responsible members of a community. As Paulf has said the only reason the minority has the luxury to make this choice is because the majority have done the right thing in the past.

            I make no apologies for being emotive, health care issues are not determined purely on the basis of economics but because at a fundamental level people do not want to see their loved ones suffer.

            ‘Developing’ is the accepted term for countries living below the poverty line. It used to be ‘underdeveloped’ and prior to that ‘third world’. If you have a better term I’m sure the World Bank would be happy to hear it. How do you refer to poor countries?

            I might be in an unholy alliance with Photon on this issue but it’s a fact of life that the State decides lots of things so that society can function. Do you object to road rules, Leslie? It’s just where you draw the line that differs. Yes, its’ a slippery slope to improved quality of life and nothing more sinister than that. (If I sound snippy I don’t mean to – I respect you and your views, Leslie).

          4. Hi Willy

            Please see this link. The relevant bits are below.


            “Six conditions account for about 70% of all child deaths: acute lower respiratory infections, mostly pneumonia (19%), diarrhoea (18%), malaria (8%), measles, (4%), HIV/AIDS (3%), and neonatal conditions, mainly pre-term birth, birth asphyxia, and infections (37%). The relative contribution of HIV/AIDS to the total mortality of children under-five, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, has also been increasing steadily. Malnutrition is a factor in more than half of the children who die after the first month of life.

            More than 60% of all under-five child deaths can be avoided with proven, low-cost preventive care and treatment. Preventive care includes: continuous breast-feeding, vaccination, adequate nutrition and, in Africa, the use of insecticide treated bed nets. The major causes of under-five deaths need to be treated rapidly: for example, with salt solutions for diarrhoea or simple antibiotics for pneumonia and other infections. To reach the majority of children who today do not have access to this care, we need more and better trained and equipped health workers.”

            I also managed a Water Supply and Sanitation project in East Timor for about 3 years and the Contractor’s reports reflected the information above. Pretty much all factors are significant in health care but vaccines are an important part.

          5. “I also managed a Water Supply and Sanitation project in East Timor for about 3 years and the Contractor’s reports reflected the information above. Pretty much all factors are significant in health care but vaccines are an important part.” ~Vanessa

            And there was a ‘control group’ that was denied vaccines that proved that they played an important part?

          6. Hi Willy

            The project I managed was just purely Water Supply and Sanitation. Usually vaccinations are run separately to that sort of infrastructure project. One of the main issues we had was getting people to actually use the toilets (instead of the traditional method) and then to wash their hands properly afterward (which is actually one of the main causes of disease).

            The testing of vaccinations and their efficacy is done well before we implement them. There are plenty of reports I can send if you’re interested but we’re getting a long way off-topic so I’ll just post this.


          7. Vanessa, you almost lost me at the “World Bank.” I recommend you locate a copy of “Thy Will Be Done” (Gerard Colby with Charlotte Dennett), read it cover to cover, twice; I predict you will rethink your understanding of the “Developed” World and realign your definition of ‘the poor.’

            However, your statement “It’s a fact of life that the State decides lots of things so that society can function.” cannot go unchallenged. Two semesters of civics left me with the understanding that “The People Decide – through the process of one man one vote – how society functions; the state (lower case ‘s’ for emphasis) is nothing other than the vehicle for implementation of the Will of the People along with built in checks and balances to ensure equality and justice for minorities. A pretty darn impressive document, don’t you think? Lobbyists have introduced corruption into the process including within the Center for Disease Control but the U.S. Constitution still stands. The question is will Americans fall prey to such fait a complis comments as ‘it’s a fact of life’ and give up?

            Are you following the story about the Gates Foundation vaccine programme in India? The US media seems to be giving it a pass.

          8. Hi Leslie

            I still haven’t got to any of the books that I promised Bill Clarke (sorry Bill) I would read so I don’t think I can promise to read that one. 🙂 Can you give me a précis?

            I did politics at Uni too and I completely agree that the people decide. But they also delegate a lot of day to day administrative stuff to government like road rules and infrastructure.

            Our media here seems to be giving that story a pass too. I won’t comment until I know more details.

  9. Mary Holland, Research Scholar at the NYU School of Law, mother of a son who she thinks suffered serious adverse health effects from vaccination, and co-author of Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health, and Our Children, was just speaking on this morning’s Democracy Now! I don’t know what if any policy consequences to draw from this, but she made a powerful case that the adverse effects of vaccination are real and significant.

    1. lysias February 5, 2015 at 11:34 am

      “but she made a powerful case that the adverse effects of vaccination are real and significant.”

      While this is true she should have noted that they are also very rare. The benefits of a vaccination program far exceeds the danger.

      1. “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” —Marcia Angell, MD (“Drug Companies and Doctors: A story of Corruption.” NY Review of Books, Jan. 15, 2009.)

  10. Well, let’s not be so blasé about the issues of Big Pharma, the industrialization of Medicine, and the plain historical facts that health is big business with the same “bottom line” (profit motive) of any other large corporatist interest.
    If anyone seriously believes that Big Medicine/Big Pharma are exempt from the same sorts of “public relations”, propaganda and social engineering agenda of the system in toto, they are certainly not paying attention.

  11. I find these attempts to link anti-vaccination wackos to any particular political or social viewpoint highly disturbing and almost McCarthyite. We have seen in the last week highly erroneous news reports about various politicians’ stands on this subject; when and if corrections come they are buried in the back pages or posted on websites nobody visits.
    Alter’s comments are a product of the intellectual laziness too common among the political commentary elite- the ability to find links where none exist based on what their perception of where links should be, not on any real evidence.
    In most cases that I have seen anti-vaccination bias it has come from otherwise educated people taken in by false experts and outright charlatans. In the past ” herd immunity” could still give unvaccinated children a measure of immunity, but if the views of RFK, Jr. and Jenny McCarthy become prominent that would disappear.
    Perhaps the position of non-experts driving the anti-vaccination campaign is seen by Alter to be analogous to the many non-experts driving aspects of JFK conspiracy theory. I think that would be unfair.

    1. Photon,
      As far as the linkage of the “JFK conspiracists” to all manner of other “wacky conspiracy theroies” take a look at this site:

      Then take a look at my assessment of these kids pretending at psychoanalysis:

      There is in fact a The Conspiracy of Psychology Theories, many stemming from the initial CIA memo [CIA Dispatch 1035-960], meant to introduce the term “Conspiracy Theory” as a psychological disorder.
      This has in fact become a ‘cottage industry’ of so-called “psychoanalysis” of those who dissent from the mainstream views enforced by the Public Relations Regime, such as the Sunstein “cognitive dissonance” BS promoted so broadly.

    2. Also see:

      For a copy of the original 1035-960 CIA document with handwritten notes put to it.

      “With this [CIA] memo and the CIA’s influence in the media,” author Peter Janney wrote in a guest column on our site last fall, “the concept of ‘conspiracy theorist’ was engendered and infused into our political lexicon and became what it is today: a term to smear, denounce, ridicule, and defame anyone who dares to speak about any crime committed by the state, military or intelligence services.”

      Janney, whose late father Wistar Janney had been a high-ranking CIA executive, continued: “People who want to pretend that conspiracies don’t exist — when in fact they are among the most common modus operandi of significant historical change throughout the world and in our country — become furious when their naive illusion is challenged.”

    3. biskmark@gmail,com

      nobody has died from measles in more than 10 years, while at least 108 deaths reported in VAERS during the same time frame have been linked to measles vaccines

  12. I never get “flu shots” and I haven’t had the flu since I was in grade school. I haven’t had so much as a cold in some twenty years.

    But I do believe that the Apollo program successfully got astronauts to the Moon.

    I don’t believe Paul McCartney is dead, but do believe John Lennon was killed by the deep state.

    I don’t believe Rock Music was a communist plot. But I do believe the modern film and music industry is totally corrupt and used for social engineering.

    And, oh yes, Elvis, he lives in the apartment downstairs from me and we do duets at the local lounge once a month.

  13. I think a better comparison to the anti-vaxxers is the global warming deniers. Both groups deny the overwhelming scientific data in favor of what “feels good.”

    Regarding the JFK assassination, it’s a lot murkier.

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