Dr. Bob Sears serves his typical anti-vaccine effluvium, seasoned with self-pity and accompanied by a side of anti-Semitism


Update: Please sign the petition asking Dr. Bob Sears to withdraw his odious comparison.

Dr. Bob Sears is a jerk.

That’s not news.

What’s news is he’s now serving his typical anti-vaccine effluvium, seasoned with self-pity and accompanied by a side of Jew baiting.

From his Facebook page:

The effluvium:

So, I’ve been getting a lot of new patients. Well, refugees really. Patients who have been kicked out of their doctor’s offices all across Orange County as pediatricians band together to form a united front against parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. Even declining one vaccine gets you cut from the team. Not exactly sure what team that is. Society perhaps? …

When I tell them they are completely welcome here, that about half my patients don’t vaccinate, and that they are in good company, I can see all the tension leave and the relief flood into them. It angers me to see how other doctors, sworn to serve these families, have made these patients feel. It’s so far outside the Hippocratic Oath that I don’t even know what to say.

[pullquote align=”right” color=”#5a5a5a”]When was the last time an anti-vaxxer was worked to death, starved to death or gassed to death. NEVER![/pullquote]

Dr. Sears wouldn’t known the Hippocratic Oath if it slapped him in the face. He apparently needs to be reminded of one of its first principles, primum non nocere, first do no harm. It’s hard to imagine anything more harmful than encouraging patients to turn their backs on one of the most important and successful public health measures of all time. The only thing more harmful than that is to do so knowingly, unethically and simply for profit.

Dr. Sears knows that vaccines work. That’s why he explains in his best selling book touting his “alternative” vaccine schedule that it is okay to skip vaccination … as long as you make sure that your neighbors don’t skip it, too.

As a 2009 article in The New England Journal of Medicine The problem with Dr. Bob’s alternative vaccine schedule explained:

Perhaps the most disingenuous comment in the book is directed at parents who are afraid of the measles-mumps- rubella (MMR) vaccine. “I also warn [parents] not to share their fears with their neighbors,” writes Sears, “because if too many people avoid the MMR, we’ll likely see the diseases increase significantly.” In other words, hide in the herd, but do not tell the herd you’re hiding; otherwise, outbreaks will ensue…

Dr. Sears’ warning implicitly acknowledges that vaccines are highly effective and that their effectiveness is dependent on herd immunity. Those are the benefits of vaccination. But vaccines also have burdens: side effects. Therefore, he advises parents to foist the burdens on others and claim the benefits for themselves … and that’s unethical both for him to advise and for parents to follow.

The self-pity:

Each time I meet one of these new families, I can see the scars. The fear. The uncertainty. Even in MY office. It’s as if they can’t yet believe there’s an office who will accept them. As I ask each new patient what brought them to my office, they look around the room (not sure what or whom they are looking for – listening devices, hidden cameras, Child Protective Services? Their previous doctor? A state Senator?). They fidget with their hands, and whisper “We didn’t want to vaccinate.” …

So I tell them they don’t have to whisper. They can say it loud and clear, with confidence…

How sad for them that they can’t proudly blare their stupidity, gullibility and unethical behavior.

How about the Jew baiting? First, a definition. The best definition I’ve seen is that Jew baiting is making provocative, anti-Semitic statements while innocently declaring that the statements aren’t anti-Semitic.

Sears wrote:

Scarlet “V” anyone? No, not scarlet. Let’s make it yellow. And not a V – a star would be better. That way everyone can know at first glance who is safe to be around and who is not.

The yellow star has a long and ugly history of anti-Semitism. According to the Holocaust Memorial Center:

The Jews of Europe were legally compelled to wear badges or distinguishing garments … at least as far back as the 13th century. This practice continued throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissnace, but was largely phased out during the 17th and 18th centuries…

The Nazis resurrected this practice as part of their persecutions during the Holocaust…

…Those who failed or refused to wear the badge risked severe punishment, including death. For example, the Jewish Council (Judenrat) of the ghetto in Bialystok, Poland announced that “… the authorities have warned that severe punishment – up to and including death by shooting – is in store for Jews who do not wear the yellow badge on back and front.”

And then, as is characteristic of Jew baiting, he declared that the statements aren’t anti-Semitic.

This post is not intended as a reference to a holocaust. Rather, it’s intended to raise the issue of prejudice and discrimination…

Bullshit. Obviously it is intended as an EXPLICIT reference to the Holocaust, a monstrous event that resulted in the death of 6 million Jews (and many millions of others) for no other reason than having even one Jewish grandparent. They were slaughtered not for what they did, not for choices that they made, but because of who they were.

When was the last time an anti-vaxxer faced death for his beliefs? NEVER!

When was the last time an anti-vaxxer faced deportation to a concentration camp for her belief. NEVER!

When was the last time an anti-vaxxer was worked to death, starved to death or gassed to death. NEVER!

Dr. Sears is not merely anti-Semitic; he’s profoundly confused. There is nothing prejudiced about holding people to account for actions that harm others. An anti-vaxxer claiming that people are prejudiced against him is no different than a drunk driver claiming that laws against drunk driving indicate prejudice against drunk drivers. As two different Supreme Court Justices have noted: “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.” In other words, although government power should be restricted, the government must be able to ensure survival of the state and its people.

The Tuteur family was a German family. Everyone who has ever had the last name Tuteur was descended from two brothers. Almost the entire family, hundreds of members, were living in Germany at the time the Nazis came to power. Every single Tuteur either escaped or died, from the oldest to the youngest. There are Tuteurs who survived the early years of the Holocaust who are still living. The horrors they endured are beyond description.

That Bob Sears chooses to compare the inconveniences faced by anti-vaxxers (because of their dangerous beliefs) to the horrors endured by Jews in the Holocaust (simply because their parents or grandparents were Jews) demonstrates that he is not merely an unethical charlatan shilling for profits. He is also a reprehensible human being and a vicious bigot.

215 Responses to “Dr. Bob Sears serves his typical anti-vaccine effluvium, seasoned with self-pity and accompanied by a side of anti-Semitism”

  1. Moishe Kahan
    February 15, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

    Oy vey, we all must be suffering from Alzheimer’s, we forgot how many kids were dying in the streets from chicken pox. Thank G-d we now have a vaccine, so what if it increases chance of brain cancer.



  2. Nicole Worsham
    June 24, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

    Interesting thoughts. Vaccination is a choice. Being born Jewish is not.

    • Nick Sanders
      June 25, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

      Not exactly the point. The yellow star was specifically a symbol for marking Jews.

  3. Frum lady
    June 22, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

    I can relate to the line he gave his patients who are not vaccinating, something to the tune of “the authorities have you scared, now, dont they”, sounds like the crunchy lay midwife who once told me regarding my decision to have a planned c-sec because I had already had 2 previous ones, and a scar-thickness-ultrasound revealed a very thin one, not risking rupturing….she says to me “ohhh, they have you real scared, don’t they”…as if all I had to do was overcome the fear of having my baby actually expluse into my abodmen during a homedeath, I mean homebirth and then my wishes will all come true. I believe there is a diagnosis in the DSM iV one of the symptoms are this Wishful thinking. “…….everything will now be soo much better”.

    Another thought, was that the article above mentioned he works in Orange County. Is he referring to clients of Middleton New York, Kiryas Joel, the hassidic village? Its crazy, because I am a part of the ultra orthodox hassidim, and I too am catching this message wave that friends, and folks that vaccines are “soooo dangerous”. And the folks are being sold on this anti-vaccine stuff. Its so dangerous. Yes of course there have been a few severe reactions, but they save lives!

    I so badly try to talk education into people, but there was recently this P.E.A.C.H magazine that launched something like Parents against vaccines, page after page of every reaction any child ever had, with personal stories, and cartoon comics about the illogic of injecting radioactive and live deadly viruses into the vulnerable pure child.

    I had a conversation with my yiddish speaking friend following that horrible afternoon, in which 2,000 jewish families had this put in their mailbox across town, and my friend said “What are you talking about…of course its dangerous, my son’s arm swelled up and he went into respiratory distress”.

    Now I hardly have but a few friends who vaccinate. And unfortunately the homebirth brainwash movement is infecting us as well. We are not immune to the mentality of the Nation we live in, no matter how insular we live in our shtetls.

  4. DelphiniumFalcon
    June 19, 2015 at 10:49 am #

    So he can see the scars on his poor, poor refugee patients?

    Would those be Chicken Pox, liver scarring from vaccine preventable hepatitis, or gangrene scarring from bacterial meningitis?

    • DelphiniumFalcon
      June 18, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

      Yup. I’m sure his “refugees” look just like the mixed race refugee children of Vietnam like Le Van Minh here.

      Edit: Though if he keeps to his current course, his “refugees” just might end up looking like Le Van Mihn…

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      June 18, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

      She poses a question for him:

      You also included the following in today’s post “Note: no recently-vaccinated kids allowed. We wish to take precautions against viral shedding.” There is not scientific evidence that recently vaccinated children pose any significant risk to other children through “viral shedding.” Can you explain what you mean or respond to this?

      I can give her the answer: “I am playing to the ignorance of my followers. You know there’s no risk, and I know there’s no risk, but they don’t, so I can use it as a way to make a dig at those pro-vaxxers without having to worry about my supporters realizing that I’m making shit up. I mean, they believed the crap I put in my book, so apparently, they’ll accept anything I say as long as I say, ‘It seems reasonable.'”

  5. KarenJJ
    June 17, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

    OT: A rally that was going to be held in my city to protest against the removal of government benefits from parents that don’t vaccinate their kids has now been changed to a “support” picnic in a secret location. Because once you take anti-vax thinking outside the protective bubble of enablers like Dr Bob Sears and certain echo-chambers on the internet, it just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

    • Mishimoo
      June 17, 2015 at 10:14 pm #

      If you’re in Queensland, like myself, it has been changed to a park in Acacia Ridge.

      • Who?
        June 17, 2015 at 10:46 pm #

        Undercover work, nice.

        I wonder if Meryl D will make an appearance, only a couple of hours up the new road from her anti-vaxx enclave.

        Take a vomit bag, listening to everyone going on about their rights will be very sickmaking.

        • Mishimoo
          June 17, 2015 at 11:21 pm #

          I can’t go – my best friend’s mum will be there, and tends to shriek (a lot). I refuse to be the cause of a riot even if it would give me that chance to heckle SM (who will probably be there)

          Edit: Someone failed at maps, it’s actually in Queens Park, George St. Brisbane. So if you don’t want to have to deal with anti-vaxxers, stay away. Here’s hoping they don’t cause another outbreak.

          • Who?
            June 18, 2015 at 12:03 am #

            When’s it on?

          • Mishimoo
            June 18, 2015 at 12:31 am #

            Sunday at 11:00am – 1:30pm.

          • Who?
            June 18, 2015 at 12:04 am #

            And who’s SM?

          • Box of Salt
            June 18, 2015 at 12:27 am #

            I’m guessing SM is Marvelous.

          • Mishimoo
            June 18, 2015 at 12:29 am #

            Stephanie Messenger, of Melanie’s Marvellous Measles infamy.

  6. Amazed
    June 17, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

    OT: A friend of mine recently told me, “I need some reassurance. My daughter is to get her boosters soon and I know it’s incredibly dumb but I’m a bit worried. I never was when she was little but then anti-vaxxers became vocal, the internet appeared and so on.” Her daughter is a teen, by the way. I looked at her and told her, “Each time before my dad leaves, he turns himself into a veritable pin-cushion for all the vaccines in all the countries their ship is expected to go. He got the yellow fever shot at least 3 times (that I know of.) Better safe than sorry. For now, he can still talk coherently, make jokes, and enjoy his beer.” She looked at me and laughed. “Gods, I’m an idiot, eh?”

    She isn’t. And it never occurred to her to actually not get her daughter her boosters. But I think it’s quite telling about the corrosive influence loonies have on the rest of us.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      June 18, 2015 at 9:39 am #

      Oh yeah. BTDT. With DD, I was 100% certain we’d get her vaccinated, and fully and on time at that. And we did. Still, the first night after each series of shots had me worried sick: she has a diaper rash! She’s a bit fussy! She just ate more than usual! AAAAAGH! Clearly I did the Wrong Thing and she’ll be brain-damaged for life!
      I didn’t wholeheartedly believe that line of thinking, but it was definitely lurking back there. Mind you, at the time DH often went on work trips to a country where a LOT of kids die from VPDs every year. We were entirely committed to vaccinating. Still, they do have that influence, that incessant “what if.”
      Nope, your friend isn’t an idiot…she just has heard all the crap a few too many times, like I have.

      • Amazed
        June 18, 2015 at 10:52 am #

        Not an idiot at all. And before the intertnet kindly give anti-vaxxers the world as their platform, she was never bothered by the “what ifs” because they were placed where they belonged – on the shelf of the Very Rare Exceptions.

        A funny anecdote: we were discussing Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, with the elephants faking bellyache so they’d get booze, and she remembered that her daughter felt obliged to have ochies after each shots, just to make sure she got extra ice-cream. She remembers it as ridiculous and a source of great entertainment, and predicting that she was raising a great actress.

        And then, the anties stepped in.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          June 18, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

          Bwahahaha! DD’s too young to fake much yet–she’s 15 months–but if I know her, that’s not far away. 😉 Fortunately, in our city the zoo is within walking distance from the pediatricians’ office, so her wounded little legs are soothed by red-tailed pandas, big cats, and the like. (And, natch, ice cream.)

  7. Amazed
    June 17, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

    The Holocaust. Good God. Does the man really understand what he’s saying?

    I’ll expand this line of reasoning. You see, anti-vaxxers are actually more discriminated against than Jews were during the WWII! For many years, my grandfather kept in touch with a Jewish classmate from this time who left for Israel a few years later. As to anti-vaxxers, he claims they’re mad and he refuses to hear more about them because no person with a bit of wit would do such a thing. He doesn’t care to know more about their parental concerns and great scientific discoveries. He thinks they’re all dumb and insane.

    He says no such things about Jews, let alone all Jewes.

    • Joseph
      June 24, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

      Anti vaxxers are more discriminated against than Jews in occupied Europe during world war II?
      I have friends who lost parents, grandparents, uncles, and who are the last members of their families because of the Holocaust.
      Before you make the claim that pro vaccine activists are worse than the Nazi regime (and that is JUST what you are doing now) I want you to do just one simple thing – show me six million bodies that the pro vaccine activists have killed.
      Show me the anti vaccine activists bodies.
      If you won’t (and you won’t, because you can’t) then please be quiet until you have something real to say to add to the discussion.

      • Amazed
        June 24, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

        I’ll give you a chance to edit the idiocy that you just wrote. You know, when you decide to hit a site where you have no idea which one of the regular posters holds what views, it might do you some good to read more of the posts of the person you’re attacking. Click on my user name and read my vaccine posts. You might be surprised.

        • Joseph
          June 24, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

          I’ll admit I was wrong about you. But in my defense, your post hit a nerve. A big one. I know people who lost family to the Nazi’s and Sear’s commentary about this isn’t tolerable. What I read from your comment seemed to be in support of it.
          Now I see that you were showing what HIS line of thought might have been. So I do apologize.

          By the way, I did read your earlier comment. I tend to ignore the names attached to comments. It’s a bad habit and one I’ll try to rectify.

          • Amazed
            June 25, 2015 at 8:44 am #

            No problem. New posters often don’t get the inside jokes and sarcasm and I do tend to be quite sarcastic. My pet peeve is not the Holocaust comparison which is a new one but his “hide in the herd but don’t tell the herd you’re hiding” and “parents are only responsible for their own children”. I had a classmate whose parents sold their house for his heart surgery. It didn’t help. He died. I think if he had caught something preventable from me, something that I recovered in two days and he sustained a serious damage because I was too special a snowflake to have nasty toxins injected in me, my mom would have thrown herself from our 7th floor window. But then, she isn’t an enlightened antie. Just your average human being.

  8. Tosca
    June 17, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

    If he’d genuinely “intended to raise the issue of prejudice and discrimination”, he would have stuck to the “Scarlet V” analogy, which does that admirably. The only reason to bring up a yellow star is to evoke the Holocaust as explicitly as possible without going full Godwin.

    Call me when you’re herded into ghettos, starved, beaten, robbed, shipped off to death camps and your bodies thrown into incinerators. Until then, you are nothing like Holocaust victims.

    • demodocus
      June 17, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

      I think an acid green interlaced AV would be quite stylish.

    • Joseph
      June 24, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

      Tosca, I couldn’t agree with you more, and here is why…

      I have a couple of friends, elderly. They got into England as children during 1938 or so.
      Every last member of their family went to the camps. Mother gone, father gone, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, all gone.

      Now people like Sears are not only insulting pro vaccine activists who believe in sound science, but also they are desecrating the memory of the dead.

  9. no longer drinking the koolaid
    June 17, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

    Did anyone also read his previous post about SB 277 where he states that the CA Senate if going after just one religion (Judaism) by eliminating the religious exemption?

  10. Sullivan ThePoop
    June 17, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

    Get this, now his post says that he having some kind of get together to talk about Sb 277. It says, no recently vaccinated kids allowed. We want to protect everyone from viral shedding

    • Sullivan ThePoop
      June 17, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

      He is going full wackjob antivaxx now

      • Joseph
        June 24, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

        He’s climbed into a very leaky boat, one captained by good old Andy Wakefield.
        I feel sympathy for his patients. What happens to his deliberately unvaccinated clients when a child with pertussis is in his waiting room?

        • Amazed
          June 25, 2015 at 8:46 am #

          The same thing that happened when an unvaxxed patient of his brought measles from Switzerland in 2008. An epidemic.

    • Mishimoo
      June 17, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

      *facepalm* I have no words.

    • June 17, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

      “Be the only one in your neighborhood who doesn’t vax so that we can use their herd immunity” or “Only congregate with unvaxxed people so you don’t get nasty herd immunity on you”?

      I don’t like this story, too many plot holes.

      • Roadstergal
        June 17, 2015 at 9:37 pm #

        Dr Sears and the Glaring Continuity Issues.

      • DelphiniumFalcon
        June 18, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

        See, every time I talk to conspiracy theorists like this they yell “Do the math!”

        I’m honestly trying but I can never find a way to solve for “Why?”

        • June 18, 2015 at 3:22 pm #


        • Joseph
          June 24, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

          Well, when you do the math you and your family will probably wind up at your doctor’s asking to be kept up to date on your immunizations. The anti vaccine advocates don’t mean “Do honest math!”.
          They mean: “Do OUR math.”

  11. indigosky
    June 17, 2015 at 5:36 pm #

    Slightly OT: Just found out that Dr. Bob takes TriCare. Is there any way to recommend to TriCare to not have him for one of their providers anymore? Military families have enough crap without possibly having to deal with a crazy like him.

    • mythsayer
      June 17, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

      He does take tricare. And anyone with tricare standard could see him even if he were out of network. Tricare won’t drop him. The ones who use him chose him so they are already mostly crazy. You can’t convince them.

    • Joseph
      June 24, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

      I don’t know that there is a way.
      Sadly, Mythsayer is right.

  12. Amy
    June 17, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    The best part of living near Dr. Sears is that now I have a much easier way of identifying the crazy people around me who don’t vaccinate, I just have to ask who their pediatrician is.

  13. yentavegan
    June 17, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

    We are not being paranoid. The is a renewed acceptance of Antisemitism among the educated intelligentsia.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      June 17, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

      I don’t think Sears et al can be considered the intelligensia. (Which is not to say that there isn’t a resurgence of antisemitism in the intelligensia, just that Sears isn’t part of it. He’s a different branch of traditional US-American antisemitism: the know-nothings.)

      • Amy
        June 17, 2015 at 6:53 pm #

        This. There’s a strain of thought among certain Americans that since Obama won two elections, racism MUST be dead, and since they hate Arabs and Muslims more, they can’t POSSIBLY be antisemitic.

        • Gozi
          June 17, 2015 at 7:11 pm #

          I shake my head at the black people who believed the lie that just because Barack Obama was elected president that racism is dead. They should have definitely known better. Wonder what they think now?

          • Amy
            June 17, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

            You think any black people believed that? I think that racist white people CLAIM it as a shield for their now-more-open racism.

          • Gozi
            June 17, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

            I am sorry. There were black people who believed that. I am not imagining it. Black people even said it to me.

            Yes, I know it is hard to believe anyone would be that gullible.

          • Joseph
            June 24, 2015 at 9:03 pm #

            I wish that I didn’t agree with you on this, Amy. I really do.
            But I know family members who have said to me “I’m not racist! But…”

          • mythsayer
            June 17, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

            Yeah… I don’t remember black people claiming that…

          • June 17, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

            I’ve only ever heard racist whites claim that. It’s the new “I’m not racist BUT…”

          • Mishimoo
            June 17, 2015 at 8:27 pm #

            My not-so-favourite is: “Don’t hate people. See, getting rid of racism is THAT easy.”

          • June 17, 2015 at 9:55 pm #


          • just me
            June 17, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

            It’s mostly whites that think that not blacks. The blacks (well the young males anyway) are still afraid to walk down the street, with good reason. (Ferguson, etc.)

    • baileylamb
      June 18, 2015 at 12:09 am #

      What do you mean renewed. I don’t think it ever left (and I’m not Jewish btw). Restricted covenants and redlining by race, ethnicity or religion made the major cities (in Ohio) what they are today. Heck even after WWII and defeat at the Supreme court redlining in the city I live in didn’t stop till the early 90’s. Think about all those people who thought holocaust and Nazis were bad, but didn’t want Jews in their neighborhood?

  14. Amy
    June 17, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

    I will never forget backpacking around Europe with my sister in the early 2000s. City after city listed in the guidebook recommended we check out the historical Jewish neighborhood, and almost all these recommendations were accompanied by the peak Jewish population, often in the thousands, and the current Jewish population, often in the single digits. Not even the visit to Dachau made the same impression on my about how devastating the Holocaust was. I find it absolutely disgusting when people compare minor modern inconveniences to it.

    • Joseph
      June 24, 2015 at 9:05 pm #

      I agree. I have friends who are holocaust survivors. (Sent to England as infants during the 1930’s.) Every last one of their other family members died during the war.
      What Sears is doing is not only an insult to proponents of good science and immunization, it is ALSO a desecration, an insult to the memories of the dead.

  15. RMY
    June 17, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    I stopped talking to a blogging buddy if a year when they told me they were educated about vaccines because they read that book by Doctor Sears. The blogger was a nutcases in general.

  16. Amy M
    June 17, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

    My grandparents and their siblings were Holocaust survivors. My grandmother was in Bergen-Belsen, I think my grandfather was Mathausen. They met in a DP camp, which though no longer a concentration/death camp, still had many disease outbreaks, due to overcrowding. I don’t know too many details, they didn’t like to talk about it, but some of the main reasons they survived is that they (being Hungarian) weren’t deported until 1944, and they were young (early 20s).

    As soon as they could, they came to America—so they could live freely, practice their religion freely and raise healthy children, whose lives were much better than their parents’ generation. I suspect they would be disgusted by people eschewing the safe, excellent vaccines we have today and by Dr. Sears in particular because he’s a huge db.

    • yugaya
      June 17, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

      Hungary had control over much of its pre-WWI territories during the Second World War thanks to aligning with Germany. Save for massacres in the provinces. Jews of Hungary proper were insulated against mass deportations until 1944. Reasons for this are complex, but when due to losing battles and fear of Hungary going the Italy route and capitulating the Nazis took over control of the country, the most brutal chapter of Holocaust began. In only a couple of months almost half of million Jewish people from Hungary ( and occupied parts of Romania, Yugoslavia, Slovakia, Ukraine…) were sent to their death in concentration camps. Every third victim of Auschwitz is a victim of Hungarian Holocaust: http://degob.org/index.php?showarticle=2031

      I live in former Jewish district, and last year my daughter and I took part in commemorating the lives of Jewish inhabitants of our building. I was not able to locate any survivors or descendants of the families who lived in our building.

      My grandparents fought against Nazism and I live among the ghosts of its victims. I can’t tell you whether Dr.Sears posting this on facebook or catering to the needs of antivaxxers is ethical or not from medical standpoint, but I will say that it is completely and inexcusably amoral from where I live and how I was raised.

      I wouldn’t let my children near him as a doctor, not because he allows unvaccinated children in his practice, but because he is a repulsive and vile creature who will without a shred of empathy abuse past historical traumas to push his agenda in such a manner that I felt physically ill reading what he wrote.

      • Amazed
        June 17, 2015 at 10:12 pm #

        Here, the Jews were relocated from the capital to the country and many men were sent to labour camps, though. Property was forfeit. I also live in the former Jewish district and I knew old Jews who, a few years ago, still wrote letters arguing for old properties and compensations for what turned out to be a terrible ordeal; I knew others who were simply so happy to have escaped deportation and death and found themselves in a friendly environment in the country. But listening to the one and the others, one could feel just how traumatic it was for them – and they were NOT even victims of the Holocaust, simply because within the borders of the old Bulgaria there was no Holocaust, on this everyone agrees, although there are other arguments regarding the new territories (a completely invented ones, if you ask me). They didn’t lose anyone in it. I don’t want to imagine what it was like for those who suffered the Holocaust.

        Dr Sears is vile. An unworthy human being. And his adoring anti-vaxx-anti-human fans are clearly people who have never suffered in their sheltered lives. They are as despicable as their guru is. How they can take delight in martyring themselves in such way, I’ll never know.

    • Mel
      June 17, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

      My husband’s grandma’s family raised a lot of money from selling two farms, sewed it into Oma’s dress and had her bring the bribe to the town record keeper before the Netherlands was invaded so the records would be changed to hide the fact their ancestors were Jewish. (In fact, Oma would go to the local synagogue with her housekeeper when Oma was a girl. The maid, Esther, stayed with her family when Oma’s family moved. She, and her whole family, died in the concentration camps. I hope I have a daughter one day so her name will be remembered.)

      Nico’s family in the Netherlands has tried to find out anything about their erased relatives, but we can’t even find the family names. The older generation protected Oma’s generation by not telling them the names.

      • Who?
        June 17, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

        My friend’s grandad was very sick in hospital, and became very agitated when he heard the family was clearing the house in preparation for him going to an assisted living environment. When they spoke to him about it, he said to be sure to keep his old black coat. When pressed, he told them to cut off the buttons and look. Turned out they were solid gold, covered in fabric, he’d been hanging onto all these years since leaving Eastern Europe after the war, so convinced was he that he’d one day have to walk out again with only the clothes on his back.

        • Mel
          June 18, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

          That’s heart-breaking.

          When my mother-in-law was a teenager, she was riding on top of a hay wagon that was going into the barn. She saw a dangling piece of binder twine and reached up to grab it. Opa ran screaming across the yard, dragged her off the wagon, and pinned her to the ground and started yelling at her in Dutch. After a minute, he switched into English and she realized he was telling her that she could never touch the wires because of the grenades on them.

          Opa was having a flashback of when he was a boy in the Netherlands. The Germans would hang wires connected to grenades over fields attached to outbuildings to detonate when paratroopers landed. Seeing his daughter reach for something like a wire by a barn caused him to panic.

          They’ve lived in Canada and the USA for most of their lives (64 years, now) but they’ve only started talking about what they saw during the war – Esther’s death and Oma’s guilt that she (as a 5 year old) couldn’t protect her, Oma’s premature infant brother dying during a bombing, both of their memories of the Hunger Winter, lying to soldiers to protect their siblings in the resistance – in the last three years.

          Oma’s always said that there are no children during wars. Now we are learning why.

          I hope for Oma, Opa, your friend’s granddad and everyone else haunted by the past will not haunt them forever – even if that means in the next life, or next dimension or whatever follows death.

          • Who?
            June 18, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

            Yes it is shocking how long these shadows can be. Reading this story I thought about all the people fleeing war and suffering in the world at the moment, what they’ll carry with them and how that will affect them and their families forever, however well and happily their futures go. Just to add to their suffering they seem to be victims of demonisation in our bit of the world at least-politicians here are sailing very close to, if they haven’t already arrived at-‘refugee equals terrorist’.

            Shame we can’t seem to stop hurting ourselves and others.

  17. Zoey
    June 17, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    I wish I could say that I am surprised that he finally sunk this low, but after months of following his bizarre and mostly incoherent Facebook rants, I don’t think anything he could say about vaccines would surprise me anymore.

    As far as I’m concerned, this is all part of a calculated and cynical ploy to attract more business to his practice and sell more copies of his book. If the Bill fails to pass, he’s reassured his anti-vaccine base that he still supports them and would welcome more anti-vaccine families in his practice. If the Bill passes, now anti-vaccine parents will know where to go to get their bullshit medical exemption. It’s a win-win situation for him. It’s amazing what you can get away with when you have no ethics or professional standards.

    • Roadstergal
      June 17, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

      “now anti-vaccine parents will know where to go to get their bullshit medical exemption”

      I hadn’t thought of that, and should. Will Sears and Gordon be able to pass out exemptions like Jolly Ranchers, or will there be some basic regulation to make sure only, well, actual medical exemptions are given?

      • Sara Lucy
        June 17, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

        Dr. Pan has made a few amendments to give doctors some flexibility to make these decisions, going so far as to explicitly allow medical exemptions for family members of people who have been “vax injured” in some way. Pan assured them that he had known of no doctor being punished for using his/her
        professional judgment to grant an exemption, but it is clear Dr. Bob will be using his political judgement and self interest in most cases so… who knows?

      • Megan
        June 17, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

        I can’t see what would stop them. Even though they’re idiots they are practicing licensed physicians. It’s unfortunate but true.

    • mythsayer
      June 17, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

      The weird thing is that they do recommend vaccines, on schedule even. They don’t encourage non vaccination. They’ll go along with it. But they don’t encourage it. They do in fact recommend vaccines. Or maybe it was just the partner who did…

  18. Sarah
    June 17, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    Well, as the yellow star has a long, pre-Holocaust history, I suppose it’s possible he could’ve intended to reference the medieval persecutions instead. Perhaps he wishes to evoke the massacre of the Jews in York, for example, rather than in Auschwitz. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. But the question is, why would that matter? His use of the yellow star is very obviously a comparison to the persecution endured by the Jews, whichever century he is thinking of. It cannot possibly mean anything else. Does he think he deserves a cookie if he’s co-opting 19th century pogroms instead of 20th century gas chambers? I see no distinction.

    • Spiderpigmom
      June 17, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

      AFAIK, while the compulsory wearing of yellow badges (of various shape and size) is very old and has been used in diverse eras to single out Jews, the yellow star of David is specific to Nazi Germany.
      (Petition: signed)

  19. Allie P
    June 17, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

    We really want to move to CA, but I don’t think I can take any more woo than my current neighborhood. At least the uptake here is higher, despite the woo.

    • Empliau
      June 17, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

      Do you enjoy navy showers? De rigeur in this ‘hood.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        June 17, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

        Sounds kinky. We’re not in the scene….

        • Empliau
          June 17, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

          Cue the Village People “In the Navy”. A rousing disco anthem makes everything livelier. And navy showers are as kinky as you wanna make them.

      • just me
        June 17, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

        We subscribe to if it’s yellow let it mellow

    • E
      June 17, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

      There’s a horrible drought going on here in CA. And several large companies moving away due to socialism/taxes. And lots of corruption among state politics & the high-speed rail. If you’re in the taxpaying demographic, it won’t be a wise choice to move here.

      • Empliau
        June 17, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

        Socialism? And there’s a budget surplus. If you have a fear of taxes, I understand Texas is lovely this time of year.

      • just me
        June 17, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

        Oh please. Socialism and taxes. Take your tea party ass elsewhere.

      • just me
        June 17, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

        Oh please. Socialism and taxes. Take your tea party ass elsewhere.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        June 17, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

        And several large companies moving away due to socialism/taxes.

        Good riddance if so. A company that doesn’t have the sense to know that high taxes mean good schools (better educated workers, more customers), good infrastructure (easier to transport merchandise and for customers to get to you), and a healthy economy then they don’t deserve to be part of that society. Compare the economic health of Minnesota and Wisconsin before you talk about the evils of “taxes and socialism”.

      • Amy
        June 17, 2015 at 4:18 pm #

        I live in “Taxachusetts.” You know, home to the best schools, the lowest divorce rate, low teen pregnancy rates, highest rate of insured individuals, and highest rate of educational attainment. One of my colleagues just got back from a national educators’ conference where she discovered that high school teachers here are, on average, better-educated than college professors in many other states.

        If this is what socialism/taxes gets us, I’ll take it! Let the other states take a gamble on Tea Party politics and see where it gets them.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          June 17, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

          I’d love to live in Tasachusetts. Apart from my paranoia about the risk of another molasses disaster.

          • demodocus
            June 17, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

            They are due, are they not?

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            June 17, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

            Taxachusetts. Stupid dyslexia. (Actually, that one was probably a flat out inattention error.)

          • Amy
            June 17, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

            We’d love to have you!

        • Roadstergal
          June 17, 2015 at 9:40 pm #

          I was just telling my husband two weeks ago that if I were to live anywhere else in the Union, it would be Taxachussets for just the reasons you mention. As well as leading the way on gay marriage. (My work keeps us in CA, which is all right in some ways but frustrating in others.)

      • Empliau
        June 17, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

        Oh, and nice racism/classism dogwhistle: the taxpaying demographic. Who, pray tell, is not in that demographic? (Cue the usual suspects.) I can affirm that with a sales tax of 9%, pretty much everybody in LA county is paying taxes.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          June 17, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

          Who, pray tell, is not in that demographic?

          The 1%.

          Yeah, I know who it’s supposed to be, but the actual non-tax payers are the 1% or, more accurately, the 0.00001%. Taxes are for little people.

          • Empliau
            June 17, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

            A moment of silence for Leona Helmsley – caught saying publicly what the superrich (I imagine) just say among themselves.

        • militaryvet
          June 17, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

          Dr. Bob is only paying 8%, OC is 1% lower than us in Los Angeles. At one point we lived one block from OC so we’d go that direction to eat and shop to save that 1%.

        • Gozi
          June 17, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

          Well, everybody knows black folks don’t pay taxes. We are all deadbeats, welfare queens, and in jail….HARF!!!

          • Gatita
            June 17, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

            Different dog whistle. She’s referring to the Mexicans, aka illegals. But who employs and takes advantage of all that cheap labor? So seriously, fuck off with that nonsense.

      • militaryvet
        June 17, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

        Then do us a favor and leave. My family has been here 150 years and we think it’s pretty good here. I’ve had to spend some time away due to being in the military (coughKansascough) which just reinforced how much I loved CA.

        • mythsayer
          June 17, 2015 at 7:49 pm #

          I love California. We won’t be leaving.

      • Allie P
        June 17, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

        Oh, for Pete’s sake.

  20. Gatita
    June 17, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    I got into a tiff on FB with an antivaxxer when she parachuted into the comments of a pro-vax article I posted. When she was politely set straight by my friends, she started whining that she was being bullied and subjected to hate speech. She did this even though one of the people commenting was a woman with an autoimmune disorder who could die if she catches a VPD. The anti-vaxxer kept insisting that she was the real victim. The sense of entitlement and complete lack of empathy took my breath away, esp. because it wasn’t random internet person but someone I know IRL. All this to say that Dr. Sears and his star comment don’t surprise me at all.

  21. Roadstergal
    June 17, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    I feel like the anti-vaxxers are going for something like what I’ve heard the Slactivist discuss re: Christians in America. They want to feel Good and Heroic, and so Sears is giving them a narrative that can make them feel Good and Heroic. He doesn’t care if he offends actual Holocaust survivors and their families. He only cares about making his cash-paying clients feel like they’re Special and Brave, not anti-science dunderheads.

    • Gatita
      June 17, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

      Also the “War on Christianity” and “War on Christmas” rhetoric. We’re the REAL victims, doncha know?

      • Roadstergal
        June 17, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

        Timely, from a recent Slactivist post:
        “Perry’s offering them a double-shot of the intoxicating narrative of self-righteous indignation over imaginary persecution. And as we’ve already seen countless times, when they’re drunk on that stuff, these folks will swallow anything.”

        Splice in Sears, and it still sounds apropos.

  22. just me
    June 17, 2015 at 12:28 pm #


  23. The Computer Ate My Nym
    June 17, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

    He didn’t intend to reference the holocaust when he went on about how people who didn’t vaccinate might (in his imagination and nowhere else in the world) be forced to wear gold stars? Um…how can that be a reference to anything else?

    • demodocus
      June 17, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

      You get a gold star for pooping in the potty? Lord knows.

      • LibrarianSarah
        June 17, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

        Here I was speculating that he is still bitter about never getting a gold star in Kindergarten because of his unwillingness to share, play nice with others or spell cat without a “K.”

        • demodocus
          June 17, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

          It’s the silent q that always confuses me

    • Angharad
      June 17, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

      He doesn’t even have plausible deniability. He KNEW people would take it as a reference to the Holocaust, so instead of choosing different words that wouldn’t directly compare being disliked for having stupid and dangerous viewpoints to being systematically persecuted and slaughtered, he added a lame disclaimer.

      • just me
        June 17, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

        Kinda like “I’m not racist, but…”

        • Amy
          June 17, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

          To quote Tyrion Lannister, anything you say before “but” doesn’t really mean anything.

          • Katia
            June 17, 2015 at 9:12 pm #

            As in “I’m not anti-vax but. . . “

          • Amazed
            June 17, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

            “I am not an anti-anti-vax but I cannot understand why they do their thing, why they think they have no obligations to the rest of us, why they think they have the qualifications to know what they’re talking about, and why they’re such bloody leeches…”

            Damn it! I’m an anti-anti-vax!

          • Sullivan ThePoop
            June 17, 2015 at 9:16 pm #

            Someone just tonight told me, “I am not antivaxx, but vaccine pushers …” Really?

  24. demodocus
    June 17, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

    Ugh. He didn’t intend to reference the Holocaust with his gold star labels? Riiiight. Did he think we’d go with “gold stars on your behavior chart?” Even I can tell that’s gonna piss off people with living memories of events far, far, far worse than shunning anti-vaxxers, and I’m pretty oblivious
    If he wants to make a historical connection, he has my permission to reference The Scarlet Letter, a lovely label my ever-so-sweet Puritan ancestors actually used. The Scarlet AV. More accurate, too. Hester Prynne was shunned, not sent to a concentration camp, her daughter gassed, and herself starved, beaten, and worked to death.

    • Daleth
      June 17, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

      He didn’t even say gold star–he said YELLOW. That could not be anything other than a holocaust reference.

      • PrimaryCareDoc
        June 17, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

        Right. He said yellow star. Very little room to misinterpret that statement.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          June 17, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

          Why didn’t he just stick with the scarlet letter analogy? Of course, that would mean comparing anti-vaxxers to adulterers instead of innocent victims of persecution.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            June 17, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

            Yeah, at least the scarlet letter analogy made a certain amount of sense. But then again, the message might be wrong: Hester in The Scarlet Letter was considered to have done something that was wrong and damaging to the community and was punished by being ostracized for her behavior. In the end, she agreed, to some extent, that her punishment was, if not just and proportionate, at least an expected consequence of her own behavior. Perhaps Sears was worried that his patients’ parents would see the message a bit too well and wanted to change to a group that was more clearly simply the victims of prejudice without any ambiguity about whether or not they brought the punishment on themselves.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            June 17, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

            Hmm…it occurs to me that there’s a second unfortunate implication from Sears’ point of view to using The Scarlet Letter as his analogy: Who ends up with the worst burden of guilt and punishment? The one who “hides in the herd” and doesn’t admit to what he was doing. Dimmsdale followed Sears’ advice to hide his “transgression” and ended up worse off than Hester who admitted it (albeit because she couldn’t hide it).
            All in all, Sears may have been wise to move away from that particular analogy.

          • Mel
            June 17, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

            I had no problem with the scarlet V. It would even bring attention to the fact that the sins of the parents are paid for by the innocent child – another theme in The Scarlet Letter. Oh, and the hypocrisy of the father who enjoyed freedom and prestige while Pearl is shunned with her mother.

          • Sullivan ThePoop
            June 17, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

            True, at least adulterers chose to do something.

      • demodocus
        June 17, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

        So he did. My mistake.

  25. Josie
    June 17, 2015 at 10:49 am #

    Dr Amy Tuteur

    I was wondering if you could answer a question by writing a topic about it not just in the comments box which some people may not get time to read through. They do read your topics however.

    I’ve read on some boards that lactivists and others who are so obsessed with all things “natural” seem to think that breastfeeding negates the need for vaccinations.

    I’ve read that humans differs from other mammals in that human babies are born with immunities and that antibodies come only in colostrum which is produced in the first few days after a baby is born. This lines the small intestine wall but isn’t really absorbed into the human baby’s bloodstream unlike in other mammals whose young often need their mother colostrum.

    Is this why human babies do so well on clean formula made with boiled water with sterilized bottles? Whereas in the 3rd world clean water may not be available and could pose a serious risk to newborn?

    Some posters seem to think that the mother passes antibodies like colds, flus, even antibodies like bird or swine flu through human breastmilk. Surely the only effective way to immunise a baby is by vaccination against specific diseases?

    If a mother has been vaccinated against polio, TB, MMR etc these antibodies are not passed on through breastfeeding as if this were the case only 1 generation would need to be breastfeed to ensure the antibodies were passed on (like that wouldn’t be putting pressure on mothers to breastfeed!). However seeing as newborns are not automatically immune to these diseases and have to be vaccinated I’m puzzled how lactivists seem to think that other antibodies (bird and swine flu) ARE passed on in breastmilk.

    • Roadstergal
      June 17, 2015 at 11:12 am #

      To clarify ‘immunity’ – antibodies are proteins with short half-lives, on the order of two weeks. Antibodies are made by B-cells, with help from T-cells and professional antigen-presenting cells like dendritic cells and macrophages. The mother can pass IgG antibodies (systemic antibodies with high effector function) through the placenta; she can also pass some IgA antibodies (gut-specific antibodies with lesser effector function) through breastmilk. Long-term immunity requires kids to make their own full immune response to generate long-lived B and T memory cells.

      So the short version is – the mother can pass some very limited and short-term immunity to VPDs through the placenta. The breast milk antibodies do little to nothing against VPDs. Long-term protection requires vaccination.

      The immunology goes hand in hand with the observed effect of BF vs FF, which is that the only robust health effect of the former is a moderate decrease in mild GI infections.

      • MaineJen
        June 17, 2015 at 11:54 am #

        Josie, the above comment by Roadstergal is a very concise and accurate explanation. Those on the other board who are commenting to the effect that a baby who is breastfed doesn’t need immunization have an incomplete understanding of how vaccination and immunity actually work.

    • Azuran
      June 17, 2015 at 11:14 am #

      Humans do not differ from other mammals, all mammals differ from one to another. Humans, like dogs and cats, get most of their immunity through the placenta before birth, so colostrum is not that important and a baby who does not get it is likely to be fine.
      Other species like cows and horses get 100% of their immunity through colostrum and are therefore very likely to die if they don’t get colostrum.

      Very simply put, you could separate maternal antibodies in two category: Those are are absorbed by the newborn (passed through the placenta and colostrum in the first 48h of life) and those that act locally (present in breastmilk)

      Logically, a mother can only pass on antibodies for diseases for which she is immune. Immunity that she got through vaccine can be transferred to the baby.
      However, What she gives is only antibodies. It does not teach the baby how to defeat the infection, it does not make the baby produce it’s own antibodies.
      What the maternal anti-bodies do is slow down the progress of the infection until the baby’s own immune system can start fighting it on it’s own. Usually, it takes a few days after an infection for the immune system to produce anti-bodies and white blood cells adapted to fighting off a specific infection.
      The mother give a finite number of antibodies, when those are all used up when fighting the infection, then the baby is on it’s own.
      Anti-bodies also have an ‘expiration’ date. So the immunity given by the mother usually only last a few months. Which is why you still have to vaccinate each new generation.

      Antibodies present in the breast milk 48h after birth will give an added local protection directly in the infant gut. It is not absorbed by the infant and is directed mainly toward pathogen that are more likely to be found in the gut. It will not offer any protection against polio or measles or the flu. In first world country, where everything is cleaner and where we use clean water for formula, this added immunity is of little importance.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        June 17, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

        Humans do not differ from other mammals, all mammals differ from one to another.

        I love this statement.

    • Allie P
      June 17, 2015 at 11:59 am #

      My pediatrician explained to me that my nursing would somewhat weakly help protect my too-young-to-be-vaccinated baby from the measles outbreak, but would not be nearly as effective as an actual vaccination, and would not last PAST nursing. It’s not creating actual immunity in my baby, just sharing my own.

      • Sullivan ThePoop
        June 17, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

        Measles protection is not very good through breast milk because IgG antibodies are needed not IgA.

    • Amy M
      June 17, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

      There is such a thing as passive immunity, where the fetus (and then the newborn for a few months) DOES get some antibodies from the mother. My (limited) understanding is that the passive immunities may remain in the breastmilk for 3-6mos postpartum, and by then the baby’s own immune system should be handling whatever its exposed to. I believe the antibodies that the newborn gets are IgA, which can be protective against stomach bugs, but they do NOT get lasting immunity to anything that the mother was vaccinated against.

      • Sullivan ThePoop
        June 17, 2015 at 4:01 pm #

        Well, the antibodies are only IgA antibodies the mother has already made. They are always in the milk, but only circulate in the infants bloodstream for 3-6 months. Some of the antibodies seem to have an effect after that, but only in the gut as they no longer circulate.

        • Sue
          June 17, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

          Yep – AND they are limited to the organisms that the mother has developed immunity to.

    • Kelly
      June 17, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

      Well, then all those babies shouldn’t have died from vaccine preventable diseases back in the day before vaccines. Historical education needs to be better in the U.S. We have people who make up their own history and I am sick of it.

    • Sue
      June 17, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

      Simple answer: if breast milk were a magic elixir against infectious diseases, then inifectious diseases would not have been the greatest cause of childhood mortality in the times before vaccines and antibiotics existed, and when most people had few choices other than breast feeding.


      • Angharad
        June 18, 2015 at 9:49 am #

        According to my anti-vax uncle, that’s because they didn’t have hygiene. And humanity just happened to develop the right kind of hygiene to fight specific diseases at different times that corresponded with the development of vaccines for those diseases. Or all the people who are still getting those diseases are just misdiagnosed. Or something.

  26. PrimaryCareDoc
    June 17, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    Let’s not forget about this poor unvaccinated baby who died of invasive strep pneumo from an untreated ear infection: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2015/06/16/whats-the-harm-a-preventable-death-from-an-ear-infection/
    Likely it would have been prevented with Prevnar.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      June 17, 2015 at 10:44 am #

      Or antibiotics…

    • GiddyUpGo123
      June 17, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

      That’s an awful story. That poor baby.

      What really gets me is the huge gap in logic with people who fear western medicine. You don’t trust doctors not to harm your children, so you keep them at home, away from doctors, thus allowing them to be harmed by lack of medical intervention. How exactly do you sit there and watch your baby get sicker and sicker, and continue to think to yourself, “well, at least she won’t be hurt by one of those evil doctors.” At some point don’t you eventually recognize that she’s being hurt more by your actions, and that her only real hope is not another packet of herbal tea, but a trip to the ER? You’d have to be in some really crazy effed up alternate reality to sit there and watch your baby die, because in your mind death at home is far better than the possibility that she might have to take an antibiotic.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        June 17, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

        How exactly do you sit there and watch your baby get sicker and sicker, and continue to think to yourself, “well, at least she won’t be hurt by one of those evil doctors.”

        Note that she was “being treated” with homeopathy. Because, you know, unlike those evil western medicine doctors, homeopaths are so bloody trustworthy. They are dumb as rocks, but hey, you can trust them!

        • Sullivan ThePoop
          June 17, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

          The mom didn’t even learn her lesson. She killed her daughter through neglect and still blames modern medicine.

  27. Josie
    June 17, 2015 at 10:33 am #

    There is something seriously wrong with anyone who doesn’t want vaccinations especially a doctor.

    Try living in the 3rd World where children aren’t routinely vaccinated and see them dying of even the measles or pneumonia, both of which are treatable.

    Try seeing their parents in tears because their baby or child has died of a disease that has been eradicated in the West.

    I’ve had it with “natural”…

    1. Natural birth (no painkillers) – Strap these people to a dentists chair and make them get fillings and root canal with no painkillers and see how long they last,

    2. lactivism, – Wasn’t there a higher infant mortality rate from early 20th century backwards to the dawn of humans?

    3. no vaccinations – ok so we all go around and hope we don’t catch any diseases like polio or cholera or TB? seriously WTF?????

    If they want to be “natural” go and live on an uninhabited island with no electricity or any modern conveniences. Try growing crops in winter, don’t use any pesticides to treat fungi that infect crops and kill them, hunt animals, don’t cook meat or any other food and live in a cave. This also means they can’t use ANY painkillers for anything like even a broken limb.

    Funny these people who advocate all things “natural” seem to use a very unnatural modern invention call the internet to bully mothers from a distance who want epidurals, elective caesareans, vaccinations and all behind a cover of anonymity.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      June 17, 2015 at 10:35 am #

      I believe one of Tom Clancy’s books–the one about Ebola, IIRC?–featured the Bad Guys, who thought we all ought to be living in, essentially, the third world with no tech/medicine/etc, getting chucked into the Middle Of Nowhere, Jungle Edition by the Good Guys and being told that if they liked nature so much, they should have no trouble surviving on their own there.
      None actually made it out.

      • Josie
        June 17, 2015 at 10:53 am #

        Good point.

        Most of us wouldn’t risk going back to caveman times as we know that even if a small cut gets infected we could die.

        Who would wish such a risk to the children?

  28. Christopher Hickie
    June 17, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    I despise Sears professionally for what he has done to ruin vaccination rates in this country and now he is utterly despicable as a human being as well. –Chris Hickie, MD, PhD

    • Megan
      June 17, 2015 at 10:30 am #

      You and me both! It’s really hard to undo his damage at all, let alone during a 15 minute office visit!

      • Christopher Hickie
        June 17, 2015 at 10:50 am #

        So true– and the fact that neither the American Academy of Pediatrics or the Medical Board of California have had the slightest desire to reprimand him. Opposing a mediagenic glory hound like Sears is difficult without some sort of open condemnation by a larger medical entity.

  29. KeeperOfTheBooks
    June 17, 2015 at 10:16 am #

    As I have posted in other threads in which the asinine Holocaust victims-antivaxxers comparison has been brought up: I’m pretty damn sure that anyone who spent time in a concentration camp would be on-their-knees-grateful for having been vaccinated against, say, typhus. Or measles. Or cholera. Or TB. Or pneumonia/flu. Or…
    Hell, if you told them there was, say, a 1-5% mortality rate among the vaccinated (and there’s no vaccine that I know of with that sort of mortality rate, excepting perhaps more like 1% in the early smallpox vaccines) as a direct result of a vaccine reaction, they’d still have queued up for the things in droves.
    (Not, as I certainly hope is obvious from my post, that I think that anyone should have been in such a horrible situation in the first place. What I’m saying is that disease killed thousands and thousands of people in those camps, and that effective vaccination of the prisoners against the most common of the diseases would have greatly reduced that number.)

    • Daleth
      June 17, 2015 at 10:37 am #

      Two words: Anne Frank (died of typhus just three months before the end of the war). With a vaccine, she would have survived.

    • Sarah
      June 17, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

      Yes, one of the particularly revolting ironies about this little rant is that Jews herded into concentration camps and ghettoes in revolting conditions died like flies from what are now vaccine preventable diseases. Exposure to such diseases was literally part of the extermination strategy used by the Nazis.

  30. MHAM
    June 17, 2015 at 10:13 am #

    What a joke. My pediatrician would eat him for lunch. A Kosher lunch. With a side of science and a big plate of ethics.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      June 17, 2015 at 10:19 am #

      Out of curiosity–non-Jew here, with only a *very* passing familiarity with dietary laws–is jackass a Kosher meat?

      • Gozi
        June 17, 2015 at 10:42 am #

        Bring it down south; we eat anything here. Don’t fool around and put a good barbeque sauce on it….

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          June 17, 2015 at 11:19 am #

          Mmmmm. Slow-roast that sucker, maybe in a good smoker….*drools* Add some rolls and some potato salad alongside, maybe a pie for dessert…mmmmmmmm
          (Yes, I am trying to eat healthier and exercise more of late, why do you ask?)

      • Are you nuts
        June 17, 2015 at 10:45 am #

        Just don’t put cheese on your jackass sandwich and you’re good.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          June 17, 2015 at 11:16 am #


        • Gozi
          June 17, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

          What no cheese!?!? I think I need to lie down.

      • demodocus
        June 17, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

        Also not Jewish, but I think it’s in part the way the animal is killed.

        • Dr Kitty
          June 17, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

          Asses don’t have a split hoof, so not Kosher. I think.

          • Daleth
            June 17, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

            But asses themselves are split, are they not? Right down the middle.

          • demodocus
            June 17, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

            I was thinking of how some of the turkeys my grocery store sells are kosher and some are Amish and some are from the big name company

  31. Gozi
    June 17, 2015 at 9:22 am #

    Do these antivaxxers ever talk to people who were children before vaccines became widely available? Even then, many families couldn’t afford them.

    • Sullivan ThePoop
      June 17, 2015 at 9:32 am #

      Some of them claim they were those children. I have a hard time believing it though

      • Gozi
        June 17, 2015 at 10:45 am #

        My mother and husband are two I know. My mom remembers a young sibling being treated for “spasms” by rubbing garlic on his feet. Oh well, it was likely organic.

      • Mishimoo
        June 17, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

        Prevnar wasn’t around when myself and my siblings were children. We had ear infections, tonsillitis, conjunctivitis, and chest infections regularly. Compared to my three kids, who are exposed to more germs and have only needed antibiotics for a combined total of 3 ear infections and 3 bouts of tonsillitis spread over nearly 9 years. I’m cheering and grateful for Prevnar.

    • Allie P
      June 17, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

      My mother and all her siblings got the measles. One of them is deaf in one ear because of it. My siblings and I all had chicken pox, and my brother ended up in the hospital with secondary infections. No thank you, pass the needle.

      • Sue
        June 17, 2015 at 7:16 pm #

        Indeed. And, at the time when all of us had every “childhood infectious disease”, outcomes for childhood leukaemia were terrible, we had no way of opening blocked coronary arteries at the time of heart attack, breast cancer treatment was very invasive, and laparascopic surgery was rarely used.

        At the same time, there was no internet.

        Why would we want to go back to those times?

  32. Allie P
    June 17, 2015 at 7:25 am #

    I’d like him to meet a REAL refugee, who hasn’t been vaccinated because he was living in a poverty-stricken village in the middle of nowhere with no access to medicines. You’d better believe REAL refugees are more than happy to get someplace where they can get life-saving shots.

    • DaisyGrrl
      June 17, 2015 at 8:26 am #

      When I went to my city’s flu shot clinic last fall, a significant portion of the people in line were relatively recent immigrants. I suspect people are much more interested in receiving immunizations when they see the effects of the disease first hand.

      • Sarah
        June 17, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

        Of course they are. Immigrants from poor countries are typically blamed for disease outbreaks, and I’m not saying that’s never ever happened, but equally they tend to be extremely damn keen on getting vaccines whenever they get the opportunity!

        • Gatita
          June 17, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

          Except in Minnesota where the anti-vaxxers have taken advantage of an autism cluster among Somali immigrants to poison their minds against vaccination. It’s despicable.

    • Renee Martin
      June 17, 2015 at 10:46 am #

      The refugees and immigrants hear make full use of the health departments vax program.

    • Liz Leyden
      June 17, 2015 at 11:48 pm #

      I live in crunchy Vermont, and I used to work in a school district with a significant refugee population. A lot of those parents had either experienced vaccine preventable diseases or seen them close-up. The refugee parents would move heaven and earth to get their kids vaccinated. Only the Americans worried about “toxins” and “overloading my child’s immune system.”

  33. June 17, 2015 at 2:37 am #

    Just curious — how many of the developers of today’s vaccines were themselves Jewish? Jonas Salk of course comes to mind, but I’m sure there are many more. Perhaps Dr. Sears is suggesting that vaccines are really some nefarious Jewish plot? He wouldn’t be the first to harbor ideas like that.

    • AlexisRT
      June 17, 2015 at 9:12 am #

      Sabin was Jewish. Maurice Hilleman, who developed more vaccines than anyone else, was not.

    • Sarah
      June 17, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

      If so, may this Catholic thank the entire Jewish people profusely for them. I should send some chocolates to the local synagogue as a gesture.

      • Daleth
        June 17, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

        Me too. Kosher chocolates all around!

    • Montserrat Blanco
      June 17, 2015 at 5:20 am #

      Yes, 28 years without a single case and here we are, with a 6 year old boy fighting death at an ICU for more than two weeks. The parents say they feel cheated by antivaxxers. The antivaxxers have said that it is a strange occurence and that everybody else that does not vaccinate should keep not vaccinating. After that some antivaxxers have claimed that “we don’t know how the child was”, implying that it is because he did not eatenoughkale/exercisedenough/eatorganicenough, blaming the family. It is absolutely disgusting. Some pro vaxx people claim we should ask for hospitalization cost (treatment is completely paid with taxes here) and that vaccination should be compulsory.

      So yes, here we are. Apparently the vaccine is more effective than we previously thought because at least 9 people had it inside their throats without any symptoms at all (they were vaccinated) so it is likely the bacteria has been running around the community and we just noticed when someone unvaccinated got it. Vaccination agaisnt diphtheria for every child started in 1945 in Spain so pretty much the whole population is vaccinated.

      • Who?
        June 17, 2015 at 6:15 am #

        I was horrified by this, as I was by the NZ boy with tetanus in the last year or two.

        What will it take for people to realise what they are doing by making this ignorant choice?

        • Mishimoo
          June 17, 2015 at 6:34 am #

          I don’t think anything will because that would mean that they can’t view themselves as good people who make wise decisions, and some people just can’t cope with that realisation.

        • Sullivan ThePoop
          June 17, 2015 at 6:49 am #

          Unless it happens to their own child they just seem to dig in. They swear that healthy, well nourished children do not die from these diseases and when they do antivaxxers harass their parents. They swear that no child has been harmed by measles in over 15 years in the US and ignore the little four year old boy dying from SSPE right now. Oh, and they swear the boy who has diphtheria in Spain must have gotten it from a vaccinated child because things like this don’t just appear.

          • Who?
            June 17, 2015 at 7:37 am #

            Of all the silly nonsense you’ve just quoted-not to mention the plain vicious attacks on parents whose children do get sick-the one that blows me away is ‘they probably got it from a vaxxed child’. Surely one more reason to be vaxxed if at all possible? But no, that’s not how it works, apparently.

            I get brain-ache from thinking about it.

          • Dr Kitty
            June 17, 2015 at 11:32 am #

            That argument makes no sense whatsoever.
            If everyone vaccinated for Diptheria, the organism basically hangs around and doesn’t make anyone sick.

            If you DON’T vaccinate for Diptheria, it doesn’t make the Diptheria organism suddenly disappear, it just means that if you come into contact with it you get sick.

            Do the anti-vax people think Diptheria has been eradicated in the same way as smallpox, just because no one has had it recently in Spain? 3000 odd people died from Diphtheria worldwide in 2013.

            Diptheria is a bacterium, it can survive on surfaces and can be spread by direct contact and droplets too. It is likely that Diptheria bacteria are all over the place, but that no-one is getting sick because the vaccine works.

            Unless you plan to keep your unvaccinated child in a bubble, they will be exposed to viruses and bacteria. Unlike the vaccinated children though, if they are exposed to the ones that cause VPD, they’ll get sick. Why is this hard to understand?

    • DaisyGrrl
      June 17, 2015 at 8:33 am #

      And just to counteract the sad news, there was a child diagnosed with tetanus in Ontario last month. He is improving, and many antivax parents decided to get their kids immunized.


      Sad that the kid had to go through that, but hopefully no long-term harm and additional cases are prevented with the awareness this case raised.

      • NoLongerCrunching
        June 17, 2015 at 10:10 am #

        Anybody see that episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, where a teenager was diagnosed with tetanus? She died an absolutely horrific death.

        • N
          June 17, 2015 at 10:32 am #

          A, was it tetanus? I thought she had rabies.

          • NoLongerCrunching
            June 17, 2015 at 10:38 am #

            Whoops you’re right. Well those families probably don’t vaccinate their pets either.

          • Renee Martin
            June 17, 2015 at 10:47 am #

            They do not!

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            June 17, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

            Because their pets might become autistic if they did?

          • Mishimoo
            June 17, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

            My mother ‘diagnosed’ my sister’s dog as autistic following the poor puppy surviving her climb over the railing and subsequent fall from the balcony. Why? Because Mia likes things to be just so, and lines her toys up neatly. She also puts each one back in the line when she’s done playing it.

      • Rita Rippetoe
        June 17, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

        I was witness to a lamb dying of tetanus after its tail was docked without a vaccination afterwards (which is routine but was neglected by inexperienced owner. The first symptom was clumsiness–he ran into a fence post–followed by trembling, inability to eat, etc. Fortunately it did not last long–complicated reasons for it not being euthanized immediately after the diagnosis.

        • Azuran
          June 17, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

          We had a case on a dog when I was back in vet school. Poor thing. It spent 2 weeks in ICU, stiff as a stick, unable to move, unable to even open it’s jaw. It had to be fed through a tube. Any kind of visual/auditory/tactile stimulation would send it in full tetanic contraction. It’s face was also pure expression of pain.
          Luckily, the local hospital had antitoxin and it survived. But it’s a truly horrible disease. Wouldn’t wish it in anyone.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      June 17, 2015 at 10:24 am #

      Oh, SHIT.
      I was kind of waiting for that. I predicted here a few months ago that it was only a matter of time before diphtheria rebounded, a la the post-fall-soviet-union countries.
      On the bright side and on a personal note, America isn’t so disorganized as most of those post-fall countries were; we still have effective vaccines, and they’re being delivered to most kids, which is good. (The issue in the former SU was that there wasn’t much infrastructure, vax records got lost, vaccines weren’t being produced in sufficient quantities or, in most places, administered at all.) America isn’t the only country in the world, though, much though we sometimes think it is :p, and there are a hell of a lot of places out there with much worse infrastructures and, correspondingly, vaccine rates.
      Freaking. Idiots.

      • N
        June 17, 2015 at 10:29 am #

        Spain? former Soviet Union? Thinking Spain makes me think more of south europe than SU…

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          June 17, 2015 at 10:33 am #

          Not saying Spain is a former SU country–I said “a la former SU countries.” 😉 There was a pretty big outbreak in the former SU when it fell because of vaccine rates/schedules getting screwed up en masse at the same time as all the other post-fall chaos. Lasted for a few years.

          • N
            June 17, 2015 at 10:36 am #

            Oh, ok. Now I understand what you wrote. Thanks for clarifying.

          • Box of Salt
            June 17, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

            There is another connection: Spain had to get the antitoxin to treat the boy from Russia – one of the few places that still has it on hand.

  34. Alex Tulchner
    June 17, 2015 at 2:02 am #

    Taking a brief pause from controlling the media/ Hollywood to note that when he was called out in the Facebook comments section for completely misrepresenting the Orthodox Jewish consensus on the issue (short summary of the truth: WE ARE PRO-VAX), he replied “I don’t know one way or another. That is just what the one orthodox person told me.”
    …And that, my friends, is what I call data analysis.

    • TG
      June 17, 2015 at 2:47 am #

      sigh. orthodox here, too. and very pro-vax. we’re in a community that follows rabbinic leadership fairly seriously but i still find myself getting into playground fights with the 1-2 idiots who don’t vax their kids (one of whom even said “i did my research”. oh yeah? she also said her vaccinated husband contracted measles and she thought he would die. but G-d forbid her kids should have an MMRV. how’d her husband catch the measles again?). did they ask the rabbis? no of course not!

    • Sullivan ThePoop
      June 17, 2015 at 6:51 am #

      When Dr. Pan, the author of SB 277, posted an article that the opponents had hooked up with and taken money from a notoriously anti-gay group all the comments on his page were, “My gay and lesbian friends think you are despicable.”

  35. namaste863
    June 17, 2015 at 1:58 am #

    I visited the Auchweitz camp when I was 18. Reading about it in textbooks is one thing. Standing in the main gas chamber and seeing the walls scratched by people desperately trying to claw through them in their last minutes of life…….seeing cells in a damp basement where people were gruesomely tortured…….it’s been ten years, and I am still haunted by that place in my dreams. I challenge any of these spoiled, over-privileged, egotistical brats to visit it and say to me that whatever inconvenience they bring on themselves through their shitty decision is even remotely comparable to the level of human suffering that took place there.

    • N
      June 17, 2015 at 10:34 am #

      You probably mean Auschwitz. Like Auschwitz-Birkenau.

    • Megan
      June 17, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

      I have also visited Auchwitz and Birkenau, both places that you cannot leave without having cried at least once. The bin of glasses and prosthetic limbs of the victims was particularly heart-wrenching. To compare the idiocy of anti-vaxxers to the immeasurable suffering of those people is disgusting. I already had little respect for Dr. Sears and I disdain him more for this show of callousness as well as his ignorance.

  36. FrederickBPerez
    June 17, 2015 at 1:51 am #

    Your first choice skepticalob Find Here

  37. Mishimoo
    June 17, 2015 at 1:18 am #

    An utterly disgusting waste of space and resources. How DARE he make that comparison!

  38. June 17, 2015 at 1:11 am #

    What a selfish, shady, shady man.

    • Sullivan ThePoop
      June 17, 2015 at 6:53 am #

      He is squirrely as hell when you ask him questions too. That is if he deigns to answer instead of blocking you.

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