Universal assent is like oxygen to the anti-vaccine movement. While scientists debate, question, and squabble amongst themselves, vaccine rejectionists nurture one another with sympathy and shared delusions. OK, fine. To each his own. I just wish they could be more honest about the nature of their movement.
I bring this up because I was just refused press credentials to the 2009 Autism One conference in Chicago. I attended last year’s conference, until I was expelled on day four for not being registered. Except I was registered, as even AutismOne spokeman Ed Arranga now admits. So Arranga fabricated a new reason for my ejection – an alleged agreement last year not to videotape presentations. Arranga knows that isn’t true. None of his emails mentioned videotaping. There were no signs posted to that effect at the conference, and nothing mentioned in the literature. Besides, your typical AutismOne conference has more video cameras than gluten free cookies, and you can see some of the results here, here, and here. I made no effort to hide my camera, and the four hours of video that I shot includes subjects looking directly into the lens, obviously aware they were being filmed.
It hasn’t been a good year for vaccine opponents, and Arranga has no doubt invested a good deal of hope in the upcoming conference. Organizers have dedicated the May 20-24 gathering to disgraced UK physician Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who cannot legally practice medicine during his self-imposed exile in Texas. Saturday’s keynote speaker is soft porn comedienne Jenny McCarthy, who says the medical community will finally take her seriously when polio returns. At least the conference’s theme, “Change Has Come”, rings true in one respect – conference organizer have posted a video camera policy on their 2009 website.