September 26th, 2016
Contributing writer for Wake Up World
Hotly debated for decades, the question of whether or not vaccines are associated with a sharp rise in autism has divided parents, physicians and scientists around the globe.
“Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe” tackles this highly contentious topic through interviews with a range of experts in the field, along with parents who feel their children have been injured by vaccines. However, the main focus of the film concerns a CDC whistleblower who claims the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention destroyed documents regarding a study on the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and its association with autism. Considered the most controversial documentary in America, the film attracted significant media attention when it was “de-selected” from the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. For many, it’s a clear case of censorship.
“We have just witnessed yet another example of the power of corporate interests censoring free speech, art and truth.” ~ Dr. Andrew Wakefield and Del Bigtree, Washington Post
Actor Robert De Niro, co-founder of the festival, publicly stated that he was pressured by filmmakers to pull the documentary at the last minute. But Philippe Diaz, CEO of Cinema Libre Studio, the film’s distributor, said “the festival’s directors cited pressure from sponsors as the key reason for cutting it from the lineup.”
The event’s major donors include the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, both of which have donated money to the development of an AIDS vaccine. “It’s moved from a vaccine issue and civil rights issue to a first amendment issue,” Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the director of the film, told The Guardian.
“The movie is not hurting anybody. It says something. It said something to me that was valid. Maybe some things were inaccurate, but if the movie was 20 percent accurate, it was worth seeing. And they were saying it’s because of the filmmaker and he was discredited, but how was he discredited? By the medical establishment? There’s a lot going on that I still don’t understand, but it makes me question the whole thing, and the whole vaccine issue is a real one. It’s big money,” says De Niro, who has an 18-year-old autistic son. He encourages everyone to see the film, then decide for themselves. [source]
Following its dismissal from the Tribeca Film Festival, Vaxxed premiered to a sold-out crowd at the Angelika Film Center in NYC on April 1st, and has since screened in 53 cities across the United States, as well in China, Australia and Canada. According to a recent press release: “In large part, the film’s success has been fueled by local groups of parents who believe their autistic children have been vaccine injured, and who have organized to help bring the film to their cities.”
Robert DeNiro: “Everyone Should See Vaxxed”
Can we trust the CDC on vaccines? The documentary “Vaxxed” has come under fire from scientists and health officials who’ve called it anti-vaccine. But is that actually the case? RT news talks with producer Del Bigtree and director Dr. Andrew Wakefield about the film.
Corruption, Autism and the Need for Safe Vaccines
The documentary investigates how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concealed and destroyed data from their 2004 study, which found a clear association between the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and autism in African American children. The fraud was brought to light by CDC senior research scientist William W. Thompson, who was directly involved with the study.
“This alarming deception may have contributed to the skyrocketing increase of autism, potentially the most catastrophic health epidemic of our lifetime. At the very least, the film demands that the CDC release its entire findings of its flawed MMR study so that independent scientists can review the data,” says Dr. Wakefield.
Moreover, the film explores conflicts of interest between drug companies and governmental agencies in the United States, like the CDC and National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as numerous ethical violations by vaccine manufacturers — one of which involved remarketing and distributing a MMR vaccine to the U.K and Brazil, after it was clearly shown to cause meningitis in Canada. The vaccine subsequently triggered major outbreaks of meningitis in both the U.K. and Brazil. Additionally, the profit motive of pharmaceutical companies is addressed, where a single vaccine added to the schedule can generate upwards of $30-billion a year. Throughout the documentary, parents with vaccine damaged children tell their stories of struggle and heartbreak.
Controversy and Criticism
Vaxxed has attracted its fair share of criticism. Dr. Philip LaRussa, a professor of pediatric medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, feels the film didn’t portray the purpose of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Board accurately.
“What the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund attempted to do was to say, here’s what we know are the known side effects. They may occur one out of 10,000, one out of a million. It doesn’t matter – we have plausible evidence that this effect is associated with this vaccine, and since we’re asking everybody in the population to take the vaccine, for the good of themselves and the good of the public, it’s the public’s responsibility to assume the burden,” he says. [source]
Dr. Wakefield disagrees.
“The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was signed into law by Ronald Reagan in 1986. In fact, Reagan was reluctant to sign himself, because he said if you give a drug company indemnity, then you are making a huge mistake. The reason for the Act in the first [place] was that the manufacturers held the government’s feet to the fire and said, “If you want us to make these vaccines, then you have to [assume the burden] — we’re getting sued by so many people in so many courts, it’s going to cost us a lot of money. We’re going to go out of business. We’re going to stop making these vaccines unless you take away our liability,” he told Wake Up World. “So they basically blackmailed the government into getting them licensed to make any number of vaccines. But the ones recommended on the schedule would provide them with complete indemnity without having first gone through the injury compensation program, so levy was placed on every vaccine paid for by the consumer which went into a compensation fund.”
But it doesn’t end there. Dr. Wakefield adds:
“The compensation program has awarded over three billion dollars, but that is a tiny percentage of the true number of vaccine injured children. So you have the government saying that vaccines are safe and yet three billion dollars have been paid out in compensation, and you have the Supreme Court [in the Bruesewitz v. Wyeth ruling] saying that vaccines are unavoidably unsafe, and therefore Wyeth, and the rest of the pharmaceutical industry, should be given indemnity from being sued in civil court, after you’ve been to the vaccine injury compensation program, so it really is an insidious situation in which parents find themselves.”
LaRussa also says the documentary didn’t address the fact that Dr. Wakefield lost his medical license in Great Britain, eleven coauthors withdrew their names from the retracted Lancet paper, or that journalist Brian Deer wrote a number of investigative articles about how Dr. Wakefield conducted fraudulent research.
When asked about LaRussa’s observation, Dr. Wakefield replied:
“This has nothing to do with the film, it’s about William Thompson’s confession. It’s not about me. It’s really very little about The Lancet papers, so that would have been entirely irrelevant, because it was disclosed in the documentary that Brian [Deer] had alleged fraud against the study, so that really says it all. You don’t have to go beyond that, because we weren’t hiding it. We’ve been saying, “Look, we’ve been accused of fraud. I’ve been accused of fraud in this study. So we took the most serious defense and put it round and simple.”’
Dr. Wakefield is considered a highly controversial figure, but there’s more to the story than what is portrayed in the mainstream media. Additional information about Dr. Wakefield and the retraction of The Lancet paper can be found here.
The film has also been labeled as “anti-vaccination” by critics. In truth, Vaxxed isn’t against vaccination at all, but rather it’s advocating safe vaccines — which would require rigorous, transparent and objective testing, without conflicts of interest — a prudent vaccination schedule, as well as single vaccines, instead of trivalent vaccines like MMR. Importantly, the documentary presents an opportunity to open the discussion about vaccine policy in the U.S. — and possible solutions.
Del Bigtree, producer of the film, leaves us with this final thought:
By the time you read this there will probably be an outcry funded by the pharmaceutical industry warning people not to see this movie because it is full of lies. Just like the script written against every whistleblower before him, Dr. William Thompson will be called crazy or delusional, even though he has been lauded with awards and bonuses throughout his tenure at the CDC where he still works. They will brush the dust off the manifesto on the Wakefield fraud and send their army of bloggers to shout their sermon on every street corner of the World Wide Web. I honestly can’t imagine the things they will say about me but I doubt it will be pretty. So if you have gotten used to taking your marching orders from corporate lobbyists or are enjoying a sponsor-induced coma, then I recommend that you do what they say and avoid watching this movie. Once you sit down in this theatre you will have crossed the point of no return and you will find that you are in the same predicament as me. Because as Einstein said, “Those who have the privilege to know have a duty to act.” – March 2016, Los Angeles
Watch the full-length film here.
Trailer: Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe
About the author:
Carolanne Wright enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years.
Through her website Thrive-Living.net, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. You can also follow Carolanne on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Further reading from Carolanne Wright:
- An Interview With Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Why We Need Safe Vaccines Immediately — and How to Make it Happen
- Renowned Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD is Largely a Fraud
- The Most Eco-Friendly Nation on the Planet is Now Carbon Negative
- Plastic Waste in the Ocean Will Outnumber Fish by 2050
- Mind Control, Subliminal Messages and the Brainwashing of America
- Monsanto Charged with Crimes Against Nature and Humanity – Set to Stand Trial in 2016
- Plastic-Eating Mushroom Discovered in the Amazon Rainforest — A Solution for Our Trash Saturated World?
- Over 100 Scientific Studies Agree: Cannabis Annihilates Cancer
- Why Every Parent Should Consider Unschooling
- First U.S. City Produces More Electricity Than It Uses — With 100% Renewable Technology
- If You Care About Animals and the Earth, Here’s Why You Need to Boycott Palm Oil Immediately
- Basic Income Guarantee: A Surprisingly Cost-Effective Method for Eliminating Poverty