Anti-vax motto: Don’t be Happy, Worry!


In your life expect some trouble
When you worry you make it double

The lyrics come from the 1988 Bobby McFerrin hit Don’t Worry, Be Happy, but the phrase originated with Indian mystic Meyer Baba as a meditation on the power of positive thinking.

According to Baba:

Say to yourself ‘I am meant to be happy, to make others happy’ and gradually you do become happy yourself and make others so too. Don’t suggest to your mind ‘I am tired, haggard, depressed.’ That will make you feel worse. Always say ‘All is well and beautiful. I will be happy.

Anti-vaccine advocacy, in contrast, is a meditation on the power of negative thinking. Don’t be Happy, Worry!

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Anti-vaccine advocacy is a meditation on the power of negative thinking.[/pullquote]

Don’t be happy that vaccine preventable diseases have been nearly eradicated; worry that there is a secret price to be paid.

Don’t be happy that vaccines allow children to develop immunity to a disease without having to survive it first; worry that vaccines are a plot to enrich drug companies at your expense.

Don’t be happy that it is the rare parent faced with burying a child who died of an infectious disease; worry that vaccines are a conspiracy to give your children autism … or auto-immune diseases … or cancer.

Don’t enjoy your good fortune to live in a time and place that can protect children; worry that you are being tricked into harming them.

Anti-vaxxers are united by fear and debilitating, chronic anxiety.

It’s not cynicism. It takes more than cynicism to conjure a giant conspiracy involving nearly all the doctors, scientists and public health officials in the world. It’s not skepticism. Skepticism demands proof; it doesn’t insist that every possible proof is inadequate.

It’s deep, disabling paranoia.

As Will Saletan noted in his explanation of conspiracy theories:

They tell themselves that they’re the ones who see the lies, and the rest of us are sheep.

But the truth is that they are in a state of chronic anxiety, convinced that they must constantly be on their guard against manipulation by “elites.”

He continues:

The strongest predictor of general belief in conspiracies … was “lack of trust.”

The common thread … is a perception of bad character. More broadly, it’s a tendency to focus on intention and agency, rather than randomness or causal complexity…

The rise in cases of autism is a complex, and as yet unexplained, phenomenon. But it is perversely more comforting for anti-vaxxers to believe that it is deliberately being caused by Big Pharma: It’s thimerosol! No, it’s aluminum! No, it’s some as yet unidentified toxin. Anything, in other words, besides acknowledging that it is random and there is nothing they can do to prevent it.

The more you see the world this way — full of malice and planning instead of circumstance and coincidence — the more likely you are to accept conspiracy theories of all kinds…

It’s hard to imagine anything more malicious than a giant conspiracy involving every major drug company, aided and abetted by all physicians and scientists IN THE WHOLE WORLD, plus the US government, pushing useless injections on innocent infants in order to deliberately poison them.

Anti-vaxxers can’t be happy because they are worried that drug companies are making money at their expense. It seems never to occur to them to do the math.

For example, the cost of two doses of MMR to prevent measles (and mumps and rubella) is $40.44/person. The cost of letting measles run rampant is $4785/person. Big Pharma and Big Medicine make money when people are sick, not when they are well.

No matter. Anti-vaxxers have a reflexive fear of elites, and for them, anyone who has an advanced science education is an elite. They feel small and powerless in the world of hospitals and corporations. To manage that fear, they have concluded that elites are plotting against them. They tell themselves that they’re the ones who understand, and the rest of us are sheeple.

They look at the massive success of vaccines in preventing deadly childhood illnesses and paradoxically conclude: Don’t be Happy, Worry!

28 Responses to “Anti-vax motto: Don’t be Happy, Worry!”

  1. April 20, 2019 at 12:40 am #

    Organic means grown without anything harmful.

  2. April 20, 2019 at 12:28 am #

    “In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with what Congress said in 1986, and that is: government licensed vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe” and pharmaceutical corporations should not be liable for vaccine injuries and deaths. 30 31 Today, when your child dies or is permanently brain injured after vaccination or the vaccine fails to protect your child, you cannot hold the vaccine manufacturer or the doctor who gave the vaccine accountable in court in front of a jury of your peers.

    With this free pass, in 2011 and 2012 the multi-billion dollar vaccine machine powered by medical trade, industry and government rolled into the legislatures of Washington, Vermont and other states with the goal of eliminating religious and conscience vaccine exemptions that have been in place in the U.S. for more than half a century. 32 NVIC has worked with families and other grassroots organizations to protect vaccine exemptions in 15 states but, in 2015, Vermont lost the conscience exemption and California lost the personal belief exemption protecting both exercise of conscience and religious beliefs. 33”

    • StephanieJR
      April 20, 2019 at 9:23 am #

      Are you the same asshole I scared off with Rabbit Facts?

      • April 20, 2019 at 11:15 am #

        You don’t scare me buddy, I am with,

        • rational thinker
          April 20, 2019 at 11:58 am #

          Really cause you seem to be blind as fuck.

          • rational thinker
            April 20, 2019 at 11:59 am #

            We have been through this before nobody here is going to click on your link. If you came here to get views you came to the wrong place.

      • mabelcruet
        April 20, 2019 at 2:13 pm #

        Post the picture of the fluffy rabbit feet-that was cute!

        • StephanieJR
          April 20, 2019 at 2:40 pm #

          Hmm, disqus seems to be acting up right now; it keeps saying I need to be logged in to upload an image, but I’m already logged in?

          Kinda scuppers my plans, a little; I won’t start Rabbit Facts up again, but I was going to offer my holiday pictures of Thailand and Vietnam. Maybe later. I could start offering hair care advice…

    • rational thinker
      April 20, 2019 at 11:57 am #

      Why should an innocent stranger die because you used your imaginary friend as an excuse not to get vaccinated. Lets just be honest cause I am getting quite sick of you people the only reason you dont want want to get vaccines is because poor people can also get them.

  3. Alia
    April 16, 2019 at 2:16 pm #

    As Robin Lakoff stated in one of her books “Conspiracy theory is a way to make sense of the randomness of the universe.” I think this quote nails it.

  4. fiftyfifty1
    April 16, 2019 at 1:57 pm #

    Kind of OT: I’ve been thinking lately about the connection between anti-vax and the organic food movement. Many of my Facebook friends are fellow doctors, and they often post pro-vaccine memes. But at other times their posts have a lot of pro-organic foods content, e.g. lots of concerns about insecticides, herbicides, “artificial additives” etc. It’s so odd that they can see through scare tactics about “toxins”, government conspiracies and Big Pharma when it comes to vaccines, but when it is “toxins”, government conspiracies, Big Agriculture in regard to our food supply, they fall for it. They are surprised that I buy conventional produce and think I’m a sheeple when I say I trust the
    government to regulate pesticide level standards in our foods. Doesn’t it just provide fuel to the anti-vax mindset when we insist on organic foods?

    • rational thinker
      April 16, 2019 at 4:06 pm #

      Yes I think it does, most people I know that only eat organic foods are the same people that tell me they think vaccines do cause autism and that they think there are too many given.

      • mabelcruet
        April 20, 2019 at 2:12 pm #

        I genuinely cannot tell the difference between organic and non-organic produce. I try and buy farm-friendly (like eggs from free-range chickens), and where I live is fairly rural, so there’s a lot of produce available locally-basically, many farmers sell it at the gate or in local markets, so we can get produce with very few food miles on it. I think food miles are probably more important that organic vs non-organic. There’s not moch point buying organic veggies if they’ve been flown half-way round the world.

    • Caravelle
      April 18, 2019 at 10:56 am #

      Drugs and food aren’t subject to the same regulatory regimes at all though. It’s what the whole supplement scam depends upon.

  5. Cartman36
    April 16, 2019 at 1:53 pm #

    “It takes more than cynicism to conjure a giant conspiracy involving nearly all the doctors, scientists and public health officials in the world”. Anyone that has worked with academic researchers knows the idea of a conspiracy is laughable. Research scientists are extraordinarily protective of their work and competitive because academia is a do or die environment regarding getting published. The idea that all research scientists would be in cohoots rather than absolutely willing to investigate and publish quality evidence of a harm is (as I said above) laughable. There is no conspiracy because vaccines work.

    • fiftyfifty1
      April 16, 2019 at 2:01 pm #

      No kidding! What better way to win permanent fame than to be the scientist who blows the cover on some huge conspiracy.

      • April 20, 2019 at 11:19 am #

        Thank God we have people who are paying attention to the corruption of governments, corporations and religious cults/ secret societies. You should be thankful that conspiracy theorists exist, conspiracy is a crime.

    • mabelcruet
      April 16, 2019 at 4:27 pm #

      I know its a stereotype, but there does seem to be correlation between anti-vax belief and other conspiracy theories (Zionist, Freemason, New World Order/Illuminati, toxins, moon landings, 9/11, chem trails and so on). It seems to be part of a mind-set of general opposition to mainstream practices and government regulation. But there’s no talking to them-hard line anti-vaxxers won’t listen to evidence because the evidence comes from the mainstream that they’ve already denounced.

      • April 20, 2019 at 11:17 am #

        The universe is not random, it’s neatly organized, Go and see it for yourself. Creation is not a random act of a cosmic explosion.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      April 16, 2019 at 11:52 pm #

      I personally like the “big pharma is hiding the secret cure to cancer, which is probably marijuana, and assassinating and/or slandering anyone who tries to bring it to the public because they can’t get rich off it” claim best. Um…no. If you discover the cure to cancer or even a single cancer, your biggest risk from big pharma is that they’ll knock you over in their hurry to offer you tons of money to license your drug first.

      • rational thinker
        April 17, 2019 at 4:11 am #

        That friend of mine said that “marijuana cures cancer” to me last week. I felt like saying um no but it can take the edge off of chemo. But if I did tell her that she would get upset and panicky so I just sit back and listen and laugh later.

        • StephanieJR
          April 17, 2019 at 9:25 am #

          I think I heard somewhere that smoking marijuana is actually more carcinogenic than smoking tobacco. No idea if that’s accurate, but smoking anything is probably bad for you.

          • MaineJen
            April 17, 2019 at 9:41 am #

            Our transplant center does not allow smoking marijuana while immunosuppressed, because of the risk of fungal infection of the lungs…*which has actually killed transplant recipients in the past*. But just try to explain that to mj enthusiasts and they’ll howl at you about the meeeen doctors and big pharma etc etc.

          • AnnaPDE
            April 17, 2019 at 10:00 am #

            AFAIK for medical uses you don’t smoke marijuana but deliver it through other means anyway, primarily by ingesting it. The whole “but smoking pot is healthy” line of argument turns out to be a bit of a stretch in light of that.

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