Why Waldorf? No vaccines lets measles hit hard

Did they fear an autism link or were they adhering to the Waldorf school founder's opposition to vaccines? Whatever their reason, the parents of the measles-infected Charlottesville Waldorf School student chose not to vaccinate, and they've now experienced the repercussion of leaving their child susceptible to an illness that was virtually erased 40 years ago. It's been gone from this country so long, says one health official, that many people don't remember measles as a potentially fatal illness.

"It's not in their mind anymore, so they're more afraid of the vaccine than the diseases," says Dr. Lillian Peake, head of the Thomas Jefferson Health District, who confirms that three of the four local people who contracted measles last month– including two children– hadn't been vaccinated. (The vaccination history of the fourth, says Peake, is unknown.)

Measles arrived in Charlottesville in May via an adult female who contracted the illness on a trip to India, says Peake. It wasn't long before that woman– who was hospitalized with complications from the respiratory virus famous for its signature rash– had spread the disease to a group that may be more vulnerable to such preventable disease: students at the Waldorf School.

Founded in the early 20th century by Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner, the Waldorf educational method is often praised for inspiring creativity and morality in its students  and has even been adopted by charter public schools across the country. Critics, however, say the education– which is based on the Steiner-invented philosophy Anthroposophy– hides a cultish inclination that includes a belief in fairies and gnomes and the use of color to allow children to see through to a spiritual realm. Steiner also developed Anthrosopophical medicine, in which adherents are encouraged to abstain from many medications including vaccines.

That may be why Waldorf communities seem particularly vulnerable to preventable disease outbreaks, as occurred when a measles outbreak at a German Waldorf school sickened 71.

Steiner's anti-vaccine philosophy, however, does not drive the Charlottesville Waldorf School's health care policies, says school coordinator Amanda Tipton, who insists the school is no different than a public school in that regard, and simply follows state guidelines that require parents to submit vaccine verification for their child or to provide a signed waiver citing religious exemption.

"We do support informed decisions as long as they can provide proper documentation," Tipton notes, adding that those who sign the vaccine waivers also agree in writing that their children will be kept out of school in the event of an outbreak until the danger has passed. In this case, according to Peake, that's June 10: Waldorf's last day of school.

Peake says in the case of the Waldorf student, more than 220 people were exposed, and of those, 40 were considered susceptible either because they were unvaccinated or they had only received one dose of the vaccine. (The first dose will protect 95 percent of people for life, says Peake. The second dose boosts that protection rate to 99 percent.)

If some Waldorf families forgo vaccinations, they're not the only ones– and Steiner's unorthodox philosophy is not the reason most families give for skipping the shots. In fact, says Peake, the number of unvaccinated children has risen in recent years over fears that they cause autism, a disorder whose symptoms can range from mild social awkwardness to a total inability to speak or relate to others.

The vaccine/autism fears hit a fever pitch in 1998 when the British medical journal The Lancet published a study claiming a link between the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine– widely implemented in the early 1970s– and autism. Although the study was later declared fraudulent and numerous other studies found no correlation, the fears didn't subside. In March 2010, a special federal court, commonly known as "Vaccine Court" and set up in 1986 to address claims of injury by vaccines, ruled there is no conclusive evidence linking vaccines with autism.

Neither the studies nor the ruling, however, have convinced some parents of children with autism that vaccines aren't to blame for their childrens' condition, which currently has a prevalence of 1 in 110, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anguished parents aren't the only ones making the claim. 

"The studies are done by people who have a stake in the outcome," says Dan Olmstead, author of The Age of Autism and editor of the blog by the same name. "That's not evil," he says, "but it is an issue that needs to be recognized."

Olmstead, who believes that vaccines are linked to autism based on anecdotal evidence and his own investigation, says that no one has done the one study he believes could put the issue to rest: a thorough comparison of the rate of autism among vaccinated vs. not vaccinated children.

"The fact that they won't do it, I think, is suspicious," he says, noting that the cost of a widespread study would run into the millions of dollars, making it impossible to conduct for anyone other than the government or a large pharmaceutical company.

As for the dangers of contracting an illness like measles as a result of avoiding vaccines, Olmstead insists it's a good trade off.

"The autism rate is one in 100. That is terrible," he says, claiming a low percentage of complications from measles. "Measles is something kids get and recover from," he says. "Autism is something kids get and mostly don't recover from."

Peake, however, says that six in 100 of those who contract measles will get pneumonia, the most common cause of death from the disease. And she notes that vaccinations protect the entire population and are particularly important given the number of people now living with compromised immune systems, such as those with AIDS or cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. For those patients, Peake says, measles has a 70 percent mortality rate.

"It's a different situation than it was in the 1950s," she says.

Fortunately, says Peake, all four local measles victims are expected to make a full recovery– but for the nearly 50 people who were exposed and considered susceptible to the illness, spending three weeks in quarantine may have already caused some to reconsider their vaccine stance.

On May 27, the Waldorf School closed for the day and offered a vaccine clinic. While several families took advantage, Tipton says the school has no plan to push vaccination.

"It's definitely a family decision," she says.

Read more on: Measles


It's the parents' fault.

Deleted by moderator.

Darn hippies.

"Olmstead, who believes that vaccines are linked to autism based on anecdotal evidence and his own investigation, says that no one has done the one study he believes could put the issue to rest: a thorough comparison of the rate of autism among vaccinated vs. not vaccinated children."

Which shows that Olmstead doesn't have a very thorough grasp of the vaccine literature. Such a study has indeed been done, and on a huge scale. And guess what? It showed that autism was no more common in the vaccinated children than in the unvaccinated.


Parents who don't immunize: think how you'll feel when one of the kids at school brings a disease home that kills their infant sibling or grandparent that lives with them.

There's no autism link. Please protect your children.

Here's another 1998 study. In this study they say the MMR vaccine causes "mental regression and retardatio­n, chronic seizures, motor and sensory deficits, and movement disorders". Sure sounds like autism to me. Has this paper been retracted, debunked, vilified, banned, censored, etc. yet?

Pediatrics­. 1998 Mar;101(3 Pt 1):383-7.

Acute encephalop­athy followed by permanent brain injury or death associated with further attenuated measles vaccines: a review of claims submitted to the National Vaccine Injury Compensati­on Program.

Weibel RE, Caserta V, Benor DE, Evans G.

Source: Division of Vaccine Injury Compensati­on, National Vaccine Injury Compensati­on Program, Health Resources and Services Administra­tion, Public Health Service, Rockville, Maryland 20857, USA.

RESULTS: A total of 48 children, ages 10 to 49 months, met the inclusion criteria after receiving measles vaccine, alone or in combinatio­n. Eight children died, and the remainder had mental regression and retardatio­n, chronic seizures, motor and sensory deficits, and movement disorders. The onset of neurologic signs or symptoms occurred with a nonrandom, statistica­lly significan­t distributi­on of cases on days 8 and 9. No cases were identified after the administra­tion of monovalent mumps or rubella vaccine.

CONCLUSION­S: This clustering suggests that a causal relationsh­ip between measles vaccine and encephalop­athy may exist as a rare complicati­on of measles immunizati­on.

It may not be as rare as we think. Is this the correct diagnosis for the 1.5 million kids labeled as autistic?

All I see here is black and white thinking. Either vaccinations are completely innocent, or, they're guilty and good for nothing. End of story.

How about Big Pharma comes up with *mercury free vaccinations*? Where's the third choice option? Where's the middle ground?

There *is* a link between autism and vaccinations. Maybe not in 100% of all cases....but enough so that the link cannot be ignored. A kid was fine....then they got vaccinated. Boom, now they've got the equivelent of mercury poisoning brain damage. Hello. Anybody with a brain knows there's mercury in vaccines, and anybody with a brain knows that mercury causes permanent brain damage in people.

Yet there's no doubt that vaccines save lives and prevent diseases.

So what to do?

How about, manufacture vaccines without all the mercury and other toxic junk?? Is that really so hard to do?? When you do the research into vaccines and you find out what they're putting into them, it makes a thinking person wonder why this is. Is this necessary?? Can't vaccines be made WITHOUT the junk?

I imagine they can. But the fact they choose not to do so is very, very telling.

You know what I find interesting most of all? All the people who are so quick to authoritatively declare with bravado that there is no link between the astronomical rise in autism, and the fact that so many kids develop it right after getting their vaccines. They're not even willing to admit that in some cases the link is beyond coincidental. Nope. To them, it's 100% black/white, authoritative across the board. They apparently have all the medical records of every child that has ever been vaccinated in the world to prove it too. Amazing! Where do they find the time to pour over every single case history of every single kid who's ever been vaccinated? And more importantly, where do they find the storage space to keep all these records! That's what I want to know. ;)

A sane person keeps their possibilities and options open, bottom line. Sane people don't make sweeping authoritative generalizations, speaking for everybody across the board. The more that these types try to convince everybody that "There's nothing to see here, folks! Move it along!" engaging in unreasonable, either/or, black/white thinking, the more obvious it is that there's a reason for their "personal investment" in the matter.


You do know that MMR vaccine doesn't have mercury in, and has never had mercury in, don't you?

Vaccination Statistics:

A 1992 study published in The American Journal of Epidemiology shows that children die at a rate 8 times greater than normal within three days after getting a DPT vaccination.

A study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found children who received the HiB vaccine ... were found to be 5 times more likely to contract the disease than children who had not received the vaccine.

In the New England Journal of Medicine July 1994 issue a study found that over 80% of children under 5 years of age who had contracted whooping cough had been fully vaccinated.

In 1977 Dr Jonas Salk (inventor of the Salk polio vaccine) testified with other scientists that 87% of the polio cases which occurred in the US since 1970 were the by-product of the polio vaccine.

The Sabin oral polio vaccine (OPV) is the only known cause of polio in the us today.

The February 1981 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 90% of obstetricians and 66% of pediatricians refused to take the rubella vaccine (rubella is a known cause of autism and Pediatricians refuse the vaccine?).

The pro-vaccination side is all that is offered in the media, schools, doctor’s offices, PHS, and all government publications. This is a biased one-sided view of vaccinations based much on manufacturer’s studies and writings.

Tom: because that study was baked like your mom's apple pie.

"In February 2004, investigative reporter Brian Deer wrote in The Sunday Times of London that Wakefield had received £55,000 funding from Legal Aid Board solicitors seeking evidence to use against vaccine manufacturers, that several of the parents quoted as saying that MMR had damaged their children were also litigants, and that Wakefield did not inform colleagues or medical authorities of the conflict of interest.[2


In response to the GMC investigation and findings, the editors of The Lancet announced on 2 February 2010 that they "fully retract this paper from the published record."[84"


@ Adam Jacobs

Apparently you're right, in that the MMR vaccine specifically does not contain Mercury.

However, most other vaccines *do.* In fact one source I came across online talks about how the MMR vaccine is often used as a red herring in the vaccine-autism link debate, for that very reason. Defenders of vaccines will do what you did here, and hone in on the MMR vaccine, while ignoring how many others *do* contain mercury, as if there isn't still some valid points being made. You also skipped over everything else I said in my post.

Also, I'd recommend people look into the subject of what ingredients can be found in vaccines. Here's a link to the Wiki page called "List of Vaccine Ingredients." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_vaccine_ingredients I chose this link because it's supposed to be neutral. It's not spin put out by the FDA, or skeptics who cherry pick what bits they're going to "challenge," and it's not going to be biased from the point of view of some all natural product website that wants to sell you on their detoxing products. It's just Wiki. Just the facts. After reading the ingredients people are then free to make up their own minds. Keeping in mind of course the *dozens* of vaccines that kids will be receiving by the time they're 18. Containing all of these ingredients. Being put into their bloodstreams and going into their organs and brain. Lovely. Nothing like a good dose of formaldehyde, mercury, aluminum, mouse brain culture, monkey kidney tissue, human diploid tissue culture, bovine serum, and so on. Umm, shoot it up, baby.

btw, just in case people don't realize where the human tissue is coming from in these vaccines, it's coming from aborted fetus cells. For all you conservative pro-lifers who still believe that vaccinations are clean and safe. (because you obviously haven't read too much into the matter.) It's not like there are "human tissue volunteers" that give up their DNA to Big Pharma to be used in vaccines. They get them from aborted fetuses. That get turned into a mixture that gets injected into your own kids.

Soylent Green, anybody?

A link to the list of ingredients as posted on Rense.com, which is pretty much more of the same of what can be found on Wiki, with slight more elaboration and explanation of what the ingredients are:


It's always amazing that autism never rates the same concern that measles outbreaks do. One percent of children, along with almost two percent of boys, now have autism. No official knows why. We're still constantly told that it's all just better diagnosing and greater awareness, yet there's no advice for mothers-to-be on how to make sure their child isn't the next one on the autism spectrum. Stories like this are based on the assumption that vaccines are safe, vaccines save lives. Health officials have over a dozen pharma-funded studies to prove it. The FDA often allows the vaccine makers to do their own safety research. The FDA just accepts it. At the same time, they systematically ignore the mounting independent research from well-credentialed experts showing serious side effects from an ever-expanding vaccination schedule.

Dan Olmsted pointed out the ties to the vaccine makers. We wouldn't willingly accept research from cigarette makers showing smoking didn't cause lung cancer, but we're willing to do it when it comes to vaccines and autism. Hundreds of individuals at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have waivers because of their direct financial ties to the vaccine industry. These are the people who approve and vigorously promote vaccines. The last head of the CDC, Julie Gerberding, a long-time denier of any link, is now the head of the vaccine division at Merck.

What no one seems to be concerned about is what happens when the autism generation ages into adulthood. Maybe when hundreds of thousands of these children become adults and we're all paying for them, we'll be willing to honestly look for answers.

Anne Dachel
Media editor: Age of Autism

Adam Jacobs, the study you refered to above only compared rates of autism for those who recieved and did not recievce the MMR vaccine. No where does it say they did not recieve all there other vaccines. Did you also notice that according to the numbers they provided that the rate of autism in Denmark is about 1:10 that of ours? Denmark banned thimerosal in vaccines in 1992 (I know it's not in the MMR).

They also had a third catagory in the study you cite, those that were autistic, got the MMR but were determined to be autistic (by whom?) before the shot, were then counted as non-vaccinated. This goosed up the numbers to where there was no statistical difference between the first 2 groups.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the lead investigator, Paul Thorsen, has been indicted in the U.S. on 20 felony fraud charges. Rather than using our tax dollars for research, he used it to buy an oceon side home, a Harley, a Lexus and an Audi sports car.

If you want to know more about Dan Olmstead, I suggest reading his book, "Age of Autism; Mercury in Vaccines and the Man-made Epedemic".

Hey Chad, the money Wakefield received from the legal aid board (long after the Lancet already had his paper) isn't even a fraction of what Brian Deer has received from the pharmacuitical industry. Other than being Wakefield's hit-man, where exactly is Deer's money coming from. What else has Deer done in the last 13 years? Why didn't any of Wakefield's patients file a complaint? To find the truth read the book, "Silenced Witnesses".

Gas Bag, not nice to impersonate me.

As the mother of two boys, I understand the concerns over the prevalence of autism. However, the fact that NOT vaccinating definitely can allow measles to occur in my children makes me far more nervous than a theory that is now being debunked regarding vaccinations and autism being linked.
While pregnant with our third child I was unfortunate enough to be exposed to an unvaccinated child with measles and the results were horrific. Everyone worries about autism but why have all of these parents suddenly decided that it is all right to become a public health risk to others. Especially a health risk that HAS been verified time and again.
Justify your irrresponsibility and paranoia all that you like, but by not vaccinating your children on a modified schedule you are potentially exposing others to miscarriages and birth defects that ARE preventable.
We vaccinated both of our sons. No autism and, mercifully, no measles.

Stop impersonating me you Gasbag! This is my forum, understand?

I think it is not unreasonable for the public to demand that the Drug mfr. take the mercury out of the vaccine. I am sure that it will affect profits. Something is definitely causing autism and kids start to show signs right about at the same time as children get most of their vaccines. If these companies would start investing as much money into research as they do advertising, we could make some progress.

People can be so strange the way they fixate on certain risks and ignore others, even though the risks in question may be in inverse proportion to the concerns. Anyone who's old enough to have lived through the time when the only way you got immunity to Measles was via having the disease, doesn't have much doubt as to the value of vaccination. I'm old enough to have contemporaries crippled by Polio and when Salk came up with the vaccine (which was not totally safe) he was hailed as a hero. I had Measles when I was around 10 and recall it as the sickest I've ever been by far.

As a parent who interacts with many different types of parents from various socio-economic backgrounds, I can tell you that fear of the MMR vaccine is pretty wide spread. We have been bombarded with terrifying messages from parents in Europe and the U.S. , and the media (Jenny Mccarthy was on Oprah telling the world about her horrible MMR/autisim experience). Give parents a break, there is a reason they are terrified! I vaccinated my children (all 4) and none of them had a bit of trouble with the vaccine, thank God!

Amazing how everyone says the vaccine autism link has been debunked and yet the "vaccine court" keeps awarding damages. Hiding it under "autism-like" symptoms - which of course Autism is diagnosed by just that...a group of symptoms or they call it encephalop­athy which is brain damage and often associated with Autism. I understand that vaccines saves lives, but they also destroy them. Before you judge parents who choose not to vaccinate (many by the way are well educated and well read on the subject, others have personal experience with negative side affects).
Ask youself if you would be willing to sacrifice your child to protect "herd immunity"? (If you answered yes you are either not a parent or a liar)

That is what you are asking parents who believe their child has been harmed by vaccines to do...continue to inflict harm or inflict it on future siblings.

We are currently at 5% infection rate, in the 2 of 39 unvaxed students at Waldorf (patient 3's vax status is unknown; she's an adult). Yet '90% of people who aren't vaccinated and exposed to measles will get the disease,' to paraphrase Thos. Jeff Health District's Dr. Peake in the Daily Prog. The date to watch, also according to this lady, is June 10. Are we going to see a sudden surge in the next few days, or what's up with citing that rate of contagion?

To those who have totally vaccinated their children with no negative results or illnesses-- I say"You are very lucky." I think if you had a child with autism you would not be so convinced that vaccines are all safe. You are really speaking from the other side of the fence. And don't forget-we did vaccinate our children and that's how they got sick. I remember the old diseases and i don't recall one person who died from any of them. So using that old line can't be highlighted. Give me the measles, the chicken pox and the mumps, but don't give my grandchildren autism. How many childrens' lives are expendable for the sake of the greater good?
Maurine Meleck SC

No wonder parents are confused - forums such as these attract a vocal segment of the population who think their intuition is superior to the overwhelming body of scientific evidence that shows there is no link between childhood vaccinations and autism.

I have no doubt that these parents are well meaning - in the sense that they want to do what they think is best for their child. But the welfare of other people's children (including unvaccinated infants) seems to take a lower priority when it comes to their decision making.

I truly feel for parents whose kids suffer from autism - it would be an incredibly terrible thing to deal with as a parent. And it's only natural to look for reasons why this would happen to one's child. But please don't put other people's children at risk by spreading an anti-vaccination agenda through fear and misinformation. Thank you!

I don't blame the parents for this outbreak of measles. I blame the gnomes and fairies over there at the Waldorf School.

All those "unvaccinated infants" would be protected with their mothers' antibodies if they were breastfed for the 2+ years recommended by the World Health Organization. In fact, if you give an infant the MMR vaccine between 6 and 15 months--as is now rec'd for travel abroad--it is unlikely that they will *ever* develop antibodies to measles--according to PACKAGE INSERT.

@Maurine - A poster on this very forum suffered something horrible at the hands of a measles infection, and my mother and father certainly have memories of children dying, or being severely damaged by childhood diseases, like measles, so it seems to me you are also talking from the other side of the fence as well. I say this knowing what a god friend of mine has been through with his autistic son, who is now 21 years old, and a handful.

@mom22boys - I find your comment on folks being liars or childless to be not only deeply insulting, but very shortsighted. To some extent, as long as the herd vaccinates its children, those who do not for fear of autism are getting a free ride minimizing the rsik of their child on the backs of other children. Why? Becuase their probability of contracting measles or any number of other dangerous diseases like Polio, is greatly reduced. Once the heard stops vaccinating, and those worried about autism from vaccines now face a much higher risk of the diseases for their choice. Suddenly, the choice might be tha immunizing to protect the herd is actually the choice which also benefits your child the most. I think article is spot on in suggesting that it is much easier to be afraid of autism, when not faced with what an unimmunized world really looks like.

From your tone, I am guessing you are one of the free riders, letting the herd vaccinate their children so your child has far less chance of ever coming in contact with it.

From a parent who has a child on the autism spectrum and one who advocates vaccines too, I find those of you who are ignorant to post about the very few studies that "link" vaccines to autism!

We all grew up with children who were on the spectrum yet never diagnosed. (Examples are Bill Gates and many others too.) This said, you want to see what our society was like without vaccines? Go to the old grave yards here in our backyards, view the mass graves of infants and children who died of now preventable disease!

I am also a parent of a child who died of a medical condition, not something that has a known prevention, trust me, if I could have chosen a vaccine (that may or may not be linked to autism) and her being alive, I would have chosen the vaccine! How DARE you!

Further this, by not vaccinating your children for your "views" or based upon unscientific or mis-scientific information, you are exposing other children who may not have had vaccines due to age or medical conditions! How dare you! I truly believe that parents that make that ignorant choice and expose others, there should be laws that prosecute them for such reckless behavior and choices! There have been now hundreds of infants who have died of mumps in California because of such choices. Please tell their parents that it was perfectly fine for others not to vaccinate their children and expose their infants! I dare you!

I love the way the anti-vax conspiracy theorists keep changing their story. They start off with "MMR causes autism! Just look at all the mercury in it!" Then you point out that MMR doesn't cause autism and doesn't even contain mercury (don't you think they might have bothered to find this out?). Then the conspiracy theorists say "Yeah, well, we meant all the other vaccines cause autism".

So guys, which vaccines do you now think cause autism? Do they contain mercury? And what is your evidence that they cause autism?

It's not a bad idea to question vaccines. Some flu vaccines caused
Guillain Barre back in the 70s. Vaccines and immunology are very
complex. Maybe multivalent vaccines aren't a good idea. Some
animal breeders are spacing vaccines out over a period of time
rather than immunize to all diseases at one time because of similar
concerns (not autism but other conditions). Vaccines eliminated
smallpox and control other problems but they must be as
safe as possible. If vaccines are manufactured out of the country
quality control and stability during shipping become huge issues.

@mer - I don't think the issue is we shouldn't question the safety of vaccines, and I have real concerns when I know the FDA has been gutted. I also am very afraid when we don't appear to have the capability anymore to manufacture vaccines in our country, but they are done in 3rd world countries.But I also don't think parents should be calling other parents liars or individuals childless because they don't suffer from selfish myopia and have a wider, and frankly, wiser view. Its easy to have that attitude when you are not facing a world without these vaccines on a daily basis, with the deformities and disabilities caused by them.

I guess the pro-vaccinators missed the part about the nasty ingredients found in vaccines (aborted human fetus cells, and pieces parts from monkeys, mice, cows, etc.) As well as missing my main point about *the middle ground, third option compromise.* Vaccines, but WITHOUT the garbage. WITHOUT the mercury. WITHOUT the animal and human parts. Can't speak for others, but, that's what I started out talking about, first and foremost. Is it not possible to make a vaccine that does NOT use mercury as a "preservative"? And that does not use animal parts and bizarre, unpronounceable chemicals?

Black and white, black and white, that's all people seem capable of processing. Like a computer with binary code. 10101010101010101010.....

I think if one is going to visit a foreign country that does not have the medical advances that we do in the United States, then they should ensure they are vaccinated so that these diseases are not brought back here. This woman was selfish to not make sure she was protected and thus the rest of the community is protected. There is a reason why we are to vaccinated, so that what is happening now does not happen. I am sorry for those that have been affected by association and wish for a speedy recovery without complications!

Plenty of kids are permanently brain damaged and immune system damaged and reproductive system damaged (their lives are pretty much ruined) because their idiot parents trusted the government and shot them up with their dumbing down by 20 IQ points/sterilization/get-cancer-at-age-50-when-their-hormone-levels-drop-triggering the-auto-immune-response-shots. Plenty of idiot parents are looking for something to make them feel better about that, or something to make it easier not to face that. In a way it's good that idiots are vaccinating their children to protect against because anyone dumb enough to do that to their kid must have genetics destined for extinction anyway, so it's just speeding up the process so that the children of the government folks who designed the shots can inherit an idiot-free paradise! But not all children are as dumb as their parents and it's a shame they suffer so much for their blind idiocy.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that kids who have grown up eating GMO are going to find out in another ten years (when they attempt to have children) that they are sterile. Of course they won't link it to GMO until it comes out that the government developed GMO's with covert human sterilizaton to reduce the population down to 500 million. And that is unlikely to happen even in ten years when the first generation of kids who grew up being exposed to GMO sterilant toxins at their most vulnerable and fragile time (infancy to adulthood) realize they're sterile. It may take another generation to fully sterilize the tougest folks, but mark my words, they're going extinct. But at least they'll get to grow hair on their tounges before they do!

Look what happened with the so-called Danish study:



Have you forgotten already? Only a few posts ago you appeared to realise that MMR vaccine does not contain, and has never contained mercury. Now you're asking "Is it not possible to make a vaccine that does NOT use mercury as a "preservative"?" You already know the answer to that!

And are you seriously saying that chemicals are unsafe just because you find them difficult to pronounce?

Why not just be honest about your position and admit that you are philosophically opposed to vaccination?

@John Walton Guiliano:

Put your tin-foil hat back on, or I shall use my mind control rays on you.

jessica, I like how you've taken a _press release_ from a _lobbying group_ and presented it through a NY Times engine, creating the appearance of legitimacy. That's a nice trick.

This comment thread is thick with anti-vaccine propaganda. Scare mongering about ingredients, scare mongering about supposed links to all kinds of horrible conditions, scare mongering about mercury.

Where do I see it all leading? Lowered rates of vaccination and outbreaks of vaccine preventable disease. A vicious cycle.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. Thing A happened, then Thing B happened. Therefore, Thing B was caused by Thing A.

It's a logical fallacy.

What, kids develop autism after they receive a vaccination? Then the vaccination MUST have caused the autism? Never mind that vaccinations begin pretty much at birth (hepatitis) and continue every couple of months thereafter, which means that the development of autism virtually ALWAYS follows vaccination unless the autism was diagnosed before the very first vaccination...which is pretty handy, because you can ALWAYS trace it back to a vaccination!

It's a logical fallacy. You need actual proof that there is a causal link, not just that one thing happens and then another thing happens.

As soon as I saw this story I thought of JWG...we woke the sleeping giant. Now we're in for it. Maybe we should all be wearing tin foil hats to protect ourselves from JWG...

To Caesonia:
It is much easier to be afriad of autism when your child has autism, as well as your next door neighbor's child, plus your brother's child, the child in the grocery store that you don't know, and the classroom full of children with autism in your child's school when 20 years ago that same school had no children with autism.
Maurine Meleck, SC

Please remember the medical industry did a 180 on estrogen after
decades of pushing it hard for a number of "conditions." Everything
in medicine vaccines included are worthy of intense scrutiny.

Waldorf teachers follow a philosophy called anthroposophy, from the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, based on karma and reincarnation. Steiner taught that illnesses may be “karmic,” i.e., they are sometimes punishments for bad actions in past lives. Steiner said smallpox, for instance, comes from “unlovingness” in a past life. Epidemics occur because large groups of people have shared karma, or shared “spiritual tasks.” Suffering is good for the soul. Suffering pain in one lifetime may even make you physically very beautiful in the next life.

Steiner did not insist that vaccination be avoided, but he did state that since many diseases are karmic, if you avoid the disease by vaccination, you postpone the resolution of your karma until another lifetime. There is a strand of thought that the childhood illnesses are spiritually beneficial (that is, if they don’t kill the child).“Chicken pox parties” are popular in Waldorf communities, i.e., exposing children to the disease.

The theory is not that natural healing is better. Illness is spiritually beneficial, if you consider karma. Children who suffer illnesses or die young are thought to have completed their life’s “task” in the current lifetime.


I don't agree that there are suddenly now tons of kids with autism whereas 20 years ago there weren't any. Autism has a wide spectrum, and as with ADD and ADHD, kids were first under-diagnosed, and then overdosed, and hopefully now we are getting it right.

As far as I am aware, the vaccines for measles haven't really changed in the last 20 years, so why is now 'suddenly' showing up? My kids both got their vaccinations and boosters. The one with ADHD didn't suddenly become worse. Why didn't their generation come flying apart, and a later one did?

Could it be there are other factors involved here? I think the answer is yes.

Its easy to be afraid of autism when you don't see the damage of things like Rubella and Polio and Measles and a slew of other things on a regular basis. I have. I'd vaccinate my kids again in a heartbeat.

John Walton Giuliano:

You made my day!! every time I read your comments, I realize that I'm no where near as paranoid as I could be. Thanks for bringing me back down to earth!!

what is crazier - believing in magic underwear (Mormons), believing in gnomes, fairies and the karmic benefits of childhood illnesses (Waldorf School) or believing that black helicopters will force us to accept "sustainability accords" (Tea Party)?

Adam Jacobs, kids these days are getting dozens of shots, read the insert that comes with the package of twenty vaccines that you don't get unless you ask to see. Of course they're saying they took the mercury out, people are finding out. Meanwhile they quadrupled it in some of the shots. It's warfare, it's out in the open. The leak from the CDC meeting is that they admit they've brain damaged millions but they have to cover it up or they'll be held liable for trillions in damages. Anyone who gives their kids vaccines is absolutely insane.

I agree with you Old Timer, I work with a lot of kids from many different schools and autism isn't as common as people like Maurine want people to believe (and most all of the kids had the MMR vaccine) . The vast majority of students from all 6 local major schools (12th grade and under) are healthy, happy typical kids!

I'm so glad to know that my miscarriage was just my child's "bad karma", and not a result of the measles I was accidentally exposed to while carrying him. What a relief to our family. Thanks ever so much.

They're typically ten to twenty IQ points stupider too, Madeline. But don't worry, nobody will notice because they're all dumbed down. Dumbed down is the new normal. And they'll probably get cancer when the autoimmune response is triggered by a drop in hormone levels when they reach their fifties, but by then they'll have long forgotten about the shots because their memories will be fried by the flu shots.

@John Walton Giuliano

Fascinating stuff. While we're about it, tell me: were the folk who make all the vaccines poisonous and then cover it up the same ones who faked the moon landings? I think we should be told just how deep this conspiracy goes!

It's deeper than that even Adam. If you would only do a little research, you would find it's the same people behind the hoax that the earth is roughly spherical rather than flat.

Sometimes it *is* the same people ... behind the myths, that is. I've talked to anthroposophists who not only believe the moon landings were faked, they believe the actual existence of the moon is faked, i.e., our planet does not actually have a moon.

Most anthroposophists are not quite this credulous, but they're definitely prone to conspiracy thinking. Fear of vaccination is just one of them.

Completely disagree with you too, John Walton Giuliano, there are some rather brilliant, amazing young kids out there- much more advanced intellectually than my generation was (I grew up in the 70's). I have an advance degree and I can actually have intelligent conversations with these kids!

Sounds like pharmaceutical company volunteers will eventually in a stampede of herd mentality help to further limit our rights to protect our children by choosing not to vaccinate them. Thankfully the vaccine for stupidity is the generational accumulation of such practices. The way of the dodo.

So you think that people writing here are pharmaceutical company volunteers.

this is not about the vaccine argument per say, but i would just like to throw some truth into this conversation: do you know why there were no additional cases of the measles in charlottesville? because the so called public exposure on the friday the 20th was a farce. the child from the waldorf school was not yet contagious. the health department was just being "extra cautious" by adding some time to the contagious period. so if you lost sleep thinking you were exposed to the measles that friday because a black cloud of it hung over the downtown mall and was slowly seeping into everyone's systems, call the health department and tell them they should stick to the facts.

also, the first woman who was exposed to it, she was vaccinated. twice. the fourth case was exposed to the first woman. the other child was very young, younger than the pediatrician's recommended age for mmr. all are totally recovered from the illness. the measles that affects pregnant women is not the one we are discussing. the measles that can cause birth defects and miscarriage is german measles: rubella.

lastly, waldorf is not a cult of gnome and fairy followers. there is strong emphasis on fairy tales in early education, because waldorf educators believe in preserving the imagination of the child. they allow children to be children, introducing academics in an age appropriate way. not everyone that enrolls their child in the waldorf school follows steiner's philosophy or even knows much about it, but they do appreciate the system of education he has created.

finally, vaccinating should be an informed decision, not just one a person agrees to do because they are told to do it. there is nothing wrong with questioning & researching. there is a middle ground, people who choose to vax on an alternate schedule, that don't want to lump the shots together, who choose to eliminate some shots for non deadly diseases like the chicken pox. we are told to introduce solid foods to children one food at a time, slowly, to see if there is a reaction. so why should people just agree to shoot several deadly diseases floating in toxic chemicals into their infant all in one day? vaccinate your children or don't, but know why you have made any particular choice.

That's all very nice, but doesn't change the fact that the karma doctrines in anthroposophy are connected to the bias against vaccination that infects the culture at many Waldorf schools.

"there is nothing wrong with questioning & researching."

There's questioning and researching, and then there's just a clueless person with a google button.

"we are told to introduce solid foods to children one food at a time, slowly, to see if there is a reaction. so why should people just agree to shoot several deadly diseases floating in toxic chemicals into their infant all in one day?"

Thanks for demonstrating why just maybe, it's better to listen to the experts after all. Those two things are unrelated.

"vaccinate your children or don't, but know why you have made any particular choice."

Thanks for more useless advice. Lots of people - hm, pretty much everyone - knows why they made the choice they made. Unfortunately that doesn't really relate to whether it was the right choice or not.

there is nothing unrelated about being cautious about what you put into your child's body.

by the way, my children are vaccinated. i just am not quick to judge those who choose not to.

i'm not trying to give advice, i'm just voicing my opinion, like you.

Right, but it matters whether the things the parent is being cautious about actually are equivalent in risk. Just because the parent believes it is so doesn't make it so. It's no substitute for having the facts. By your advice or reasoning, ancient superstitions/things people read on the internet, are perfectly good reasons for parental caution. It's advice that misdirects people.

"why should people just agree to shoot several deadly diseases floating in toxic chemicals into their infant"

Obviously, "shooting deadly diseases into children" isn't an accurate description of what vaccination is. You equate this to foods being introduced to an infant ... sure sounds like advice to me. The advice is "Be afraid of vaccines."

Take responsibility for what you write, don't back off five minutes later saying you weren't offering advice.

As a parent of two healthy—and vaccinated—Waldorf students, I find this piece, masquerading as journalism, to be grossly irresponsible.
In the United States there are an estimated three unvaccinated children per thousand, while Waldorf Schools educate approximately one child in every three thousand. In other words, there are nearly 10 times as many unvaccinated children in the United States as there are Waldorf students in this country.
At Green Meadow, as in any other school setting, there are vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Waldorf students are no more likely to contract measles or any other disease than other students.
Waldorf schools attract families of all ethnicities, educational levels, and professional backgrounds. At Green Meadow Waldorf School, parents are doctors (at least one is a pediatrician), lawyers, bankers, artists, musicians, accountants, corporate CEOs, actors, and architects, to name a few. We are attracted to an educational philosophy that honors children and meets them where they are every day. Waldorf parents are as concerned for our children’s health and safety as you or any other parent would be. And Waldorf teachers do not believe in faeries and gnomes but use such stories as allegory just as any fable. Would the writer think that public-school teachers believe in talking animals if they read students the story of the tortoise and the hare?

@Maurine - I can imagine that given an analogy as you have, it is easy to be more afraid of autism, but it is neither wise, nor rational. I am sorry. If you really sit down and look at the facts available, you would recognize that while autism is worrying, it is still less frightening than the vaccines.

I happen to know some those who were involved of the lawsuits ( and vaccinate their children) being mentioned, and the facts are, there has yet to be any real evidence linking the vaccines to autism. The reason why there are payouts from time to time - and Ely Lilly is being bad in this - is the use of thermisol ( mercury product) which in very rare cases does cause bad side effects with specific metabolic compositions. These are the cases that mom22boys is referring too, in her ignorance, as having to do with autism. They do not. I addition, today's vaccines have far lower doses than in the past, so that leaves even greater questions as to why all this autism is suddenly appearing, but in my generation, with higher amounts, appeared to be unheard of.

The truth is, the statistics show that the chances of severe permanent damage to children,and death especially among infants, is significantly higher if people do not vaccinate for things like Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio, Whooping Cough, so forth and so on. Provax's sad story WAS a common occurance, and well known before vaccinations.

I consider for myself the real dangers of shingles, haing had them as a younger healthy adult, which is the result of what you wold call a harmles childhood disease. After all, chidlren get sick for a few days, and then they go on. Until theya re stressed or older, and then it comes back witha vengeance.Perhaps for the rest of their lives. If you don;t get chicken pox, you don't get shingles. See what I mean about unwise thinking?

People who do not vaccinate their children are placing many other people at risk due to ignorance and a degree of selfishness. Selfish because they are free riding off of the backs of other children, who face what vaccine risk there is, so they are less exposed. People like them should be forced to go to sub Saharan Africa for a while, and see what an un-vaccinated world really looks like, and then come ack and say how they think everyone should face that risk.

KR, the piece is factual and responsible. It would be irresponsible *not* to raise awareness about the vulnerable undervaccinated Waldorf population. Your math is baffling and irrelevant, as are your statements that Waldorf parents include doctors, lawyers etc. What's that got to do with anything?

As to gnomes and fairies, sounds to me like you haven't read much Steiner. But the teachers have, you can count on that. Steiner did say they were real, and the situation is quite different from a public school teacher reading a story about talking animals. Many Waldorf teachers do believe that various spiritual beings such as gnomes are real, because Steiner said so.

ms. winters, have you read much steiner? have your children ever been enrolled in a waldorf school? you seem to know a lot about it. even more than those of us who have children in waldorf school!

Yes, I've read many volumes of Steiner and had a child in the school for 3 years.

I love this:

"the health department was just being "extra cautious" by adding some time to the contagious period."

Yep, health departments are "extra cautious." That's kind of the point of having a health department. You say it as if it's a bad thing.

"also, the first woman who was exposed to it, she was vaccinated. twice. the fourth case was exposed to the first woman. the other child was very young, younger than the pediatrician's recommended age for mmr."

Perhaps you don't understand that one of the reasons the rest of us get vaccinated is in fact to protect all the infants that are too young for the vaccine. Somehow, when a child too young to be vaccinated gets a vaccine-preventable disease, antivaxers seem to think that's an argument *against* vaccination, or that at least, that incident somehow doesn't count in the stats.

The sole reason vaccines are around is because the manufacturers bought lobbyists and politcians who wrote laws for them giving them liability. If you can't bring the truth out in court it's not gonna become law. If you can't sue, you can't win a lawsuit that would bring the whole house down.

Liability protection, I should have said.

ahhhhh, land of the free. gotta love it. life is risky, sheep. we constantly mess with what we only partially understand with stunning hubris, unleash all kinds of unholy horrors as a result (aids, nukes, superfund sites,etc....) and then rail against those who urge a less arrogant approach as superstitious and ridicule ideas like karma that have been expounded by our wisest teachers and never been disproved. the "science" you fight so ferociously for will be disproved tomorrow, if history is any judge. Do all materialists need to rip other approaches to life in order to stand the inconsistencies of their own approach (or possibly to counterbalance the fear of death that such a thought system logically produces), or does it just seem that way? you can't remove death from life, even, tragically, the death of children, no matter how you try. so lets try to make the life part a bit more sane, or at least pleasant. disease is a part of life. i would rather have my kid (yes, i have kids...gasp) die of complications from measles acquired from "nature," (or pick your noun) than have him maimed or killed by a conscious choice I submitted him to, no matter how well intentioned. and especially a choice that creates a huge profits for the promoters. (healers oath: do no harm. its not: play the odds and hope you don't hurt anyone, nor: try to prevent any and all illness and death) i don't expect anyone else to agree and i don't care if they disagree. i am a free person not because of any external condition but because i embrace what that means. peace. out.


Life is risky, yes, but life is also all about minimizing that risk through known variables. We know thus far that the risks of death and disabilities caused by many common diseases are greatly reduced by the use of vaccines, that so far, appear to have a far smaller risk of causing harm.

"the "science" you fight so ferociously for will be disproved tomorrow, if history is any judge."

Yup. That's what I would fight for - that approach, not for a particular finding. Science corrects its mistakes. That's more than we can say for those who cling to superstition.

"you can't remove death from life, even, tragically, the death of children, no matter how you try. so lets try to make the life part a bit more sane, or at least pleasant. disease is a part of life."

Often you can "remove death." Not permanently, of course, but there's really no reason for children to die today from the easily vaccine-preventable diseases. They've been conquered, dude - you've just gotta get the shot. Newsflash.

Don't want my kids in the hands of anyone whose attitude toward routinely preventable diseases is "Death is part of life." Sounds all hippy-groovy, but actually it's sadistic. I trust my child only to people who want to PREVENT childhood suffering, not tell me why childhood suffering is actually kind of cool.

OT: i think the whole message of the above thread is that there are differing opinions on which is the smaller risk. my point is that it should be up to each, not pressure based on the herd immunity theory. my life is not your risk to mitigate, even if my choice impacts you, that's the point, we all impact each other, even those you never see or even think about. otherwise, your point is valid.
i'm all for hygiene and preventative medicine and preventing disease via methods that don't do more harm than they prevent, but fanatics on either side don't sway me. also, of course we should use medicine to treat pain and disease and prevent death resulting from measles or flu, etc. my assertion is that using science before we really know the effects of what we're doing might not be the wisest idea. anyone who says we know the full effects of massive vaccination campaign against everything from polio to chicken pox and flu is lying or deluded. save the vaccine for the biggies, in my opinion. measles is not generally a deadly disease, and exposure generally leads to immunity, so why the hysteria about the vaccine? again, my opinion and I don't really care if you disagree, but its nice to have a civil discussion about it.
DW: sadistic? you sure have the bit in your teeth. how do your kids like it inside the bubble? I agree that "routinely preventable diseases" should be prevented, and recognize that it is entirely your subjective opinion that vaccines are "routine," and you shape your argument according to your own definitions. weak. and i don't know who told you childhood suffering was kind of cool, but it wasn't in my post. i bet you don't buy any clothes or other products made by children or participate in any political or economic actions that cause childhood suffering, because you seem pretty sure of yourself. and whether it sounds hippy-groovy to you or not, a fact is a fact.

There is nothing herd mentality about vaccinations at this time, and math is not about opinion. Statistically, vaccinating is safer than not. Currently there is absolutely no evidence linking autism with vaccination, after several studies, so there is nothing fanatical about believing it.

Before anti-biotics, people with TB were forced to isolate themselves in institutions. Was that herd mentality too? Or the statistical reality that TB was a horrible disease relatively easily communicated in public spaces, especially among young and old populations?

I am all for getting Thermisol out of vaccines, but the attitude from those opposed to vaccines, combined with their denial of statistical evidence, is really pretty hard to tolerate.

Maybe if they were willing to be locked up in sanitoriums like the old days, I might feel differently.

measles is not tb. and i'm not one who says vaccines cause autism. and the herd immunity thing was mentioned several times in the thread, i didnt make it up. and forcing people to get a vaccine is not much different in principle than locking them up. and your definition of safe equals not getting measles and that may not be my definition of safe. and that is about opinion. so your math may be ok but the logic is not. sorry so hasty gotta go.

>DW: sadistic? you sure have the bit in your teeth. how do your kids like it inside the bubble?

Fine I guess, if you mean that being vaccinated means they live "inside a bubble."

>I agree that "routinely preventable diseases" should be prevented, and recognize that it is entirely your subjective opinion that vaccines are "routine,"

Preventing many childhood illnesses by vaccine really is routine, sorry, that's not subjective.

> and you shape your argument according to your own definitions. weak. and i don't know who told you childhood suffering was kind of cool, but it wasn't in my post.

Not preventing easily preventable suffering in children is sadistic. Anyone who says "Death is part of life" when there's a simply way to prevent the death, yes, that's sadism.

> i bet you don't buy any clothes or other products made by children or participate in any political or economic actions that cause childhood suffering, because you seem pretty sure of yourself.

I try not to.


"measles is not tb."

No, its not. It manifests entirely differently.

"and the herd immunity thing was mentioned several times in the thread, i didnt make it up. "

So what? That doesn't make it right, especially when the current evidence demonstrates that the Benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks.

However, in 2000, 750,000 people a year died globally from measles, primarily children.By 2007, the number of death had dropped to 197,000.


Those are hard core numbers stew, and there is nothing herd mentality about believing rational numbers. Calling it a herd mentality is just an attempt to mischaracterize the conversation so that credence can be given where it isn't due.

"and that is about opinion"

There are good opinions and bad opinions. I am sure many alcoholics have very different feelings about the safe level of intoxication when driving versus non-alcoholics, or those who have lost loved ones to drunk drivers. Are you suggesting they have an equally valid 'opinion' in light of the evidence?

I think not.

People should be concerned about vaccines, but we need to do it for the right reasons, and come to the right solutions. So far, those bemoaning herd mentality have yet to really show much.

ok, i still say you are hollering past me, not really addressing what i say, but that's a limitation of the medium, perhaps.
dw: "routine" implies harmlessness, and it is mendacious to hide behind such a phrase, just as your opposite might say we have a "rampant" problem with vaccination. I'm sure you don't have a "routine" joint and beer and then head off for some "routine" buzzed driving, although statistics show that happens with alarming frequency. whatever cocktail of unsavory substances are in any particular vaccine, just because many people are doing it, does not mean it is harmless to introduce in to your kid's body. it also is not certain that it is beneficial overall to eliminate all disease. many people presume that they serve a function, just like volcanoes, mosquitoes, wolves and any number of other things, large and small, that we don't personally like.
as to the bubble comment, it was an extrapolation of your assertion that anyone who is not doing everything possible to avoid childhood suffering is sadistic, which made me imagine your kids in a bubble so they would not stub their toes, lest you be forced by your own logic to consider yourself a sadist. by your won logic, you are "trying not to" be a "sadist." I prefer to think of us as trying our best to be good people, not "trying not to" be "sadists."

OT: first, its the herd immunity concept, and the individual's so-called responsibility to it that I have been referring to, not "herd mentality" of those who blindly accept vaccines i mentioned - so that's a conversation you have been having with yourself.

second, of those 750,000 deaths attributed to measles, they could also be attributed to the conditions in which those people live, the poverty, the lack of access to medical care, lack of education, etc. so you say, give 'em a shot of a serum full of whatever is in it and that will solve (or "conquer", in dw's words) the "problem." well others might say that it is a band aid that obscures the fact that we are doing precious little to improve the quality of life for those people so they don't have to die of the measles. and others might say that your band-aid solution leaves us open to massive unpredicted problems on the back end as a result of using science that we really don't understand (super viruses and super bacteria anyone?). so it may make you fell better to virtually shake your finger at me, but i stand by my point that these are two valid opinions, and i reject your false analogy.

I say: get vaccinated if you want, but don't get holier than thou on anyone, because you don't know that you're right, you just assume that if you think you're right really hard then you will be.

peace. out.

>"routine" implies harmlessness, and it is mendacious to hide behind such a phrase,

Most of your claims are ridiculous. "Routine" does not imply harmlessness. Vaccines aren't harmless. Getting vaccinated is a risk/benefit calculation. The science shows that for most people, vaccines are worth the risk, because they demonstrably prevent nasty diseases. Vaccination is definitely routine, and it's not "mendacious" to say so.

>just as your opposite might say we have a "rampant" problem with vaccination. I'm sure you don't have a "routine" joint and beer and then head off for some "routine" buzzed driving, although statistics show that happens with alarming frequency.

I guess this is just part of your argument that the word "routine" implies "harmlessness," but it doesn't. I suggest you look it up in the dictionary.

> whatever cocktail of unsavory substances are in any particular vaccine, just because many people are doing it, does not mean it is harmless to introduce in to your kid's body.

I have not argued that it is harmless to introduce a vaccine to my kid's body because many people are doing it. In fact I have not argued that it is harmless. You're arguing with your own confused notions of what vaccine proponents say, not with an actual vaccine proponent.

> as to the bubble comment, it was an extrapolation of your assertion that anyone who is not doing everything possible to avoid childhood suffering is sadistic,

I didn't say anyone who is not doing everything possible to avoid childhood suffering is sadistic. I said that deliberately not preventing suffering when it is easily preventable, on the reasoning that "death is part of life," is sadistic.

> which made me imagine your kids in a bubble so they would not stub their toes,

The key word there is "imagine." You're making stuff up, and it isn't worth responding to.

>lest you be forced by your own logic to consider yourself a sadist. by your won logic, you are "trying not to" be a "sadist."

That wasn't my logic. Try again?

>I prefer to think of us as trying our best to be good people, not "trying not to" be "sadists."

Get a baseline first. Avoiding sadism is a very good basis for trying to be a good person. Preventing needless suffering in children makes a good baseline.