No sooner had we published this article, than the publishers of the scientific journal Translational Neurodegeneration blocked access to Brian Hooker’s paper. It has not been retracted, however, and the paper has been archived at the nih.gov website in the US. You can access the paper at this link, and we have uploaded it to our website as a document here. Note that we have also updated the links in the story below.
You may also be interested in a statement published by whistleblower Dr William Thompson. More in our follow-up piece next week!
Potentially the most important vaccine-related story in years is currently unfolding – but unless you follow the so-called ‘alternative’ media, you won’t have heard anything about it. We bring you the story so far. Help us to get this story where it belongs: in the public eye!
Hooker hooks the CDC
Meet Brian Hooker. This PhD biochemical engineer, current Associate Professor of Biology at Simpson University, California and – not uncoincidentally – father of an autistic child may be the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) worst nightmare. After taking a fresh look at some key CDC data , Hooker has concluded that the CDC deliberately reduced the sample size of its dataset by 41%. By arbitrarily excluding children without a valid State of Georgia birth certificate, the CDC hid a 3.4-fold increase in autism in African–American boys given the MMR vaccine before 36 months of age, compared with those given the vaccine after 36 months. That’s 340%, an enormous increase by anyone’s standards. It’s also worth noting that the current infant vaccination schedule recommends MMR at 12–15 months of age.
2004 rewind: Some context
Hooker has reanalysed data from one of the key papers that, according to the CDC, cleared the MMR vaccine of any causal role in the sharp rise in autism incidence noted worldwide – figures that have drastically worsened since then. The paper, published in the peer-reviewed journal Pediatrics by deStefano et al in 2004, reported the results of a case–control study that compared the ages at first MMR vaccination of autistic and non-autistic children. It noted nothing untoward beyond a slight increase in autism among children vaccinated before 36 months of age, especially among 3–5-year-olds – an observation innocently explained by the authors as “likely reflecting immunization requirements for enrollment in early intervention programs”.
Statistical sleight of hand
Hooker’s newly published reanalysis reveals that deStefano et al “limited the total African American cohort to include only those individuals who possessed a valid State of Georgia birth certificate which decreased the statistical power of their analysis” . Of the 52 States of the US, only Georgia state birth certificates were excluded, an ‘innovative’ methodology for which Dr Hooker is not aware of any justification, “and none has been provided by the authors of the DeStefano study”.
That sounds like fraud to us. But it’s not the first time that the CDC has been caught out fiddling the figures on the vaccine–autism link. In fact, it’s not even the first time that Brian Hooker PhD has caught them out. But perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at such casual corruption: the CDC’s Poul Thorsen, lead investigator for the aforementioned thimerosal/MMR studies, is still wanted by the FBI on a string of fraud charges, and the links between the Thorsen affair and the deStefano paper don’t end there. Meanwhile, even more unsavoury CDC-related episodes are moving through the courts. Something is very rotten in the CDC’s home state of Georgia.
Wishing away a whistleblower
As compelling as the Hooker data reanalysis story is , one additional element makes it even more fascinating: the presence of a whistleblower from within the CDC. Revealed on 22nd August as epidemiologist Dr William Thompson (see video below, from the 5-minute mark), this is the first time that a scientist from within the CDC has spoken out about the chicanery, deception and cover-ups that apparently fester at the agency’s heart. Dr Thompson was a co-author of deStefano et al whose guilt, we are told, finally drove him to contact Brian Hooker with a view to collaborating on the new paper .
The story develops
Since Dr Thompson stepped out from the shadows amid warnings for his safety, events have rapidly snowballed. Predictably, the CDC released a statement in its defense that failed to address Hooker’s concerns or even the existence of a whistleblower. Correspondence from Dr Thompson to former CDC head, Dr Julie Gerberding, and to various CDC recipients then emerged, indicating that the CDC was aware of “sensitive results” as far back as 2002 and was agonising over which documents to submit to a Department of Justice investigation – although context is admittedly lacking. Actor and autism advocate Rob Schneider claimed to possess “copies of the original CDC report that was later suppressed and fraudulently changed”.
Mainstream media blackout
As expected, this story is all over the autism, vaccination, natural health and alternative news websites. As for the mainstream media, they simply aren’t interested, as a quick Google search reveals. Two citizen-penned stories are currently available on CNN’s iReport service, although not before claims of censorship accompanied the removal of one report. As of today, that’s it.
A second scandal
This state of affairs is a scandal of its own. Parents who question virtually any aspect of vaccination are often made to feel like irresponsible and social outcasts by family, friends, acquaintances and colleagues. Well-orchestrated campaigns are rolled out to destroy the careers of researchers with the temerity to swim against the pro-vaccine tide. None of this would be remotely possible without the full complicity of the mainstream media, who present the establishment-backed smear campaigns as the epitome of bulletproof scientific integrity – and sculpt public opinion into the bargain.
As the ongoing episode of the Hooker MMR research demonstrates, silence and omission over inconvenient facts is as important a strategy as consistent repetition of lies and half-truths. However, by reigniting the long-buried public debate over the MMR vaccine’s links to autism, Hooker’s dynamite story has the potential to demolish one of the major public-health foundations for vaccination: that it is overwhelmingly safe, all the time, for everyone. Hooker’s story deserves to give those foundations a hefty shake, at least. We’ve provided a Call to action, below, to help get this important story into at least some of the less controlled, local media that will be read by parents everywhere. And from there – who knows?
 Hooker BS. Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination timing and autism among young African American boys: a reanalysis of CDC data. Translational Neurodegeneration 2014;3:16.
Call to action
- Wherever you live, bring this story to the attention of your local media! We’re talking everything you can think of: print newspapers, radio and TV stations, journalists you or your friends may know personally, local and community websites, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms and any other avenues you can think of!
- Word of mouth is always powerful, so ask your friends and family whether they’ve heard about this story and point them to sources of information
- As well as the many links we’ve provided in this article, books like Dissolving Illusions by Suzanne Humphries, MD and Roman Bystrianyk and Anna Rodgers’ Toxic World Toxic People: The Essential Guide To Vaccinations are essential in spreading the message that vaccine science is based largely on myth
- We aren’t suggesting that you spend too much energy in urging the mainstream media to cover this story; they are already bought and sold by the establishment, and we suspect they would simply twist the narrative to suit their own ends. We believe that if enough local and community media pick this up, it will reach hundreds of thousands of people – even millions if it goes viral on social media! So please start spreading the word!