Monday, February 28, 2011

Supreme Court Saves Nation’s Immunization Program

Science-Based Medicine: Supreme Court Saves Nation’s Immunization Program

Worth a read... although if you are a vaccine conspiracy theorist now is the time where you would need to start claiming the Supreme Court is somehow in bed with "big pharma" just to protect their profits.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Quack of the Day: Alan Phillips

As mentioned previously, Mr. Hubbs thought it was a good idea to cite the work of Alan Phillips, because Hubbs felt Phillips was qualified to write on the subject of vaccines.  Thus, if we wish to be logical and speak about qualifications we should determine who Alan Phillips is.  Phillips is not a doctor, he is not a research scientist, he does not hold a PhD, nor has he written any peer-reviewed papers.  He is not an immunologist nor has he attended medical school.  He isn't a nurse, he doesn't hold an advanced degree in any medical or scientific field, and as far as I can tell he has never so much as set foot in a research lab where vaccines are being studied.

In reality, Phillips is a lawyer rather than a scientist or doctor.  That was obvious as soon as I read the first paragraph of his editorial, because even the most anti-vaccination doctors out there seem to have a better grasp on the facts, but beyond being a lawyer, Mr. Phillips is actually an anti-vaccine lawyer or a vaccine exemption lawyer whichever you prefer.  This means he gets paid to sue organizations, states, the federal government or whoever else in an attempt to claim vaccine exemptions for his clients for a number of different reasons with the most common falling under the guise of a religious objection.  He even posts a FAQ on his website ( which counsels people on how to go about requesting a religious exemption even if they have no such religion in the first place.  Does this wreak of a conflict of interest to anyone?  I find it ironic that a lawyer writing about vaccines and making claims about vaccines being harmful has such an obvious ethical conflict here, but that isn't likely to sway any of the anti-vaxers even when they (hypocritically) try to suggest the vaccine manufacturers are just in it for the money.

Philips is also an advisory board Member of the American Chiropractic Autism Board (yes really... I didn't even have to make that up) and a board member of the World Association for Vaccine Education.  If neither of these organizations means anything to you don't fret because you aren't alone.  The anti-vaxers like to create groups and give them clever names even though the same handful of people are involved in all of them... it is just another way they try to give credibility to their cause because they can add things to their resumes and websites to make themselves sound important.

How do I know these groups are entirely worthless?  Well in the case of the "World Association for Vaccine Education" (or WAVE as they like to be called), they have a introductory statement on their website that reads "... study vaccine data from a non-medical point of view".  Are you serious?  What other way is there to study vaccines that from a medical and/or scientific viewpoint?  Frankly you cannot study vaccines any other way.  The quackery doesn't stop there however - WAVE even invented their own journal (Medical Veritas - obviously not an accepted or reputable journal within the medical or scientific community) so they could pack it with their own data and claim it was "published in a journal".  The mere fact their website is is enough to tell us they aren't interested in the scientific process but rather have formed opinions and seek to throw data at those opinions in the hopes something will stick.  If you want to talk about bias - this is a prime example at work.

Besides Philips, who else is on the board of WAVE?  Well it is a laundry list of anti-vaxers, but there are the usual suspects including Sherri Tenpenny, Mary Tocco, a guy who created the "Hyperbaric Medical Association" and who operates a "Hyperbaric Medical Center" and a "Hyperbaric Oxygen Clinic" (I could write a whole separate post about this guy and his unscientific alternative medicine quackery) and several chiropractors, one of which feels it important to specifically list in his bio that he was Michigan All-State Cross Country in 1983.  Yes really - these people really have no shame.

So what about the comically named "American Chiropractic Autism Board" or ACAB?  Well if you visit their website you will find their "board of advisers" includes many of the same people as are found on WAVE such as Philips, Boyd Haley and Mary Tocco.  You will also find Tocco's daughter and Tocco's husband (or former husband... I seem to remember something about them being divorced) both of which are Chiropractors, and you will find a few other Chiropractors, NDs, a woman who is a "Certified Nutrition Counselor" and a couple of women who have no official credentials at all other than the fact they are mothers of autistic kids (or in the case of one a mother of a kid who was autistic and has since recovered).  I suppose one of them does claim to be a "writer, teacher and cartoonist" so that is probably worth something right?

I'm not sure being affiliated with either of these organizations makes Phillips qualified to speak on the subject of vaccines, but he sure seems to think so.  In fact he claims on his website that he is "is one of the nation's leading vaccine rights attorneys" (although I'm not exactly sure how he is able to verify such a claim).

Rest assured however if you can't afford Mr. Philips services he can offer you his book for the low-low price of $24.95.  Keep in mind that is a great value, because the book is "over 100 pages" and Philips claims it holds a retail price of $39.95.  Of course it is only an e-book because for $25 you can't expect real paper, and you will need to download it yourself or pay an extra $5 to have them mail you a CD.  Honestly - are there ANY of these anti-vaxer types who DON'T have a book, CD, DVD, or line of supplements to sell?

The most comical aspect of Philips' bio however is the following quote: "Alan is an accomplished professional singer-songwriter on piano and 12-string acoustic guitar, with achievements that include standing ovations at seven international conferences and sales of original music to citizens from countries on six continents."

Awesome - so apparently when you get a standing ovation for your music, or when you have sold some CDs in a few different countries... that means you are somehow qualified and at all relevant to speak about vaccines.  Gothca.

As sad as it is, these are the types of people who are professed as experts on vaccine related subjects within the anti-vaxer camps.  Actual credentials matter little when the snakeoil salesman is telling you exactly what you want to hear, but don't expect an anti-vaccination conspiracy theorist to admit it.  In truth I really can't even blame Phillips because he is probably a very intelligent guy.  He found a niche market (parents who are petrified that their kids will be harmed by vaccinations) and he ran with it.  For all I know Phillips might have kids who are all up to speed on their vaccinations, but he understands he has a role to play, and it becomes rather easy to prey upon ignorant anti-vaccination types while laughing all the way to the bank.

So at the end of the day what do you really believe?  Do you take the opinion of a lawyer who has an obvious ethical bias tied to his personal income, or do you trust proven time-tested scientific methods which produce research and results which are replicated and peer-reviewed?  For someone with a level head and at least average intellect the answer is clear, but for someone like Lowell Hubbs apparently it isn't quite so easy... which is exactly what keeps so many anti-vaccine snakeoil salesman in business.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vaccine Philosophical Exemptions: An Anti-Vaxer Guide of Nonsense

If you have been keeping up with some of Lowell Hubbs' comments on previous blog posts about Herd Immunity, you may have seen the following comment he recently added:
"This is the best in condensed form written arguement against vaccines I have ever read. Vaccine philosophical exemptions: A moral and ethical imperative. This document as well shows you clear proof as to why there is NO real science behind the term "herd immunity". Herd Immunity is a MYTH! Go ahead and provide some refute to the article, and again regardless of if you admit it, it is fully referenced."  ~Lowell Hubbs 
Mr. Hubbs then went on to list the following article:  Vaccine philosophical exemptions: A moral and ethical imperative, published Friday, February 18, 2011 by Alan Phillips.  The full text can be found here.

With that said, let's look at the idiotic editorial that Mr. Hubbs has provided (because contrary to what Mr. Hubbs may think, this is in no way a research study nor is it even a published paper) and discuss some of the glaring flaws in it.

In the first section (I.) Mr. Phillips (who is not a doctor nor a research scientist by the way) claims that "on average, about 90 percent of infectious disease decline preceded vaccines" but he offers no evidence to support his claims.  A 90% reduction is quite extreme so one would think he should at least be able to back this up with some hard numbers... but that isn't the anti-vaxer way.

The most comical part of this section is his reference to scurvy - which has nothing to do with vaccines but rather increased knowledge about nutrition.  Scuvy is not a infectious disease at all and is caused by a lack of vitamin C, and this is the type of "disease" that Phillips uses to try to suggest vaccines don't work.  Not only is that idiotic and off point, but it is intellectually dishonest. 

Note to Mr. Hubbs: We are going to be talking about intellectual dishonesty several times, so you should probably look it up now so you understand the concept.

Phillips also mentions scarlet fever and typhoid fever as well as tuberculosis as diseases which have declined even without the useage of vaccines, but he conveniently fails to mention the reason they have declined is because they are easily treated with antibiotics.  Scarlet fever was in fact a significant issue until the point penicillin was discovered.  Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics as well, although in the late 1800s a vaccine was in fact used commonly and with widespread success until sanitation methods caught up.  Only after increased sanitation became the norm did this disease get to the point a vaccine was no longer required, however that doesn't mean the disease has been eradicated because as recently as 2004 and 2005 there was a major outbreak in The Democratic Republic of Congo resulting in over 42,000 cases and over 200 deaths.

Tuberculosis (TB) is yet another example of where Mr. Phillips is being intellectually dishonest.  In fact there has been a vaccine for children for TB which has prevented it from being spread from person to person.  It stands to reason that if you can prevent a disease from being contracted in the first place, you can prevent it from being spread, so this is a case where a vaccine has greatly reduced the number of people who have ever been infected. 

Mr. Phillips attempts to claim there is no such vaccine at all, but that quite simply isn't the case, and TB vaccinations are routinely used in countries where TB is common.  Granted there is not an effective vaccine for adults, but there is one for children.  It is also worthy to note that there are actually more cases of TB on our planet now that at any point in history, so it is dishonest to suggest the disease has faded away into oblivion.  In fact, over two million deaths are attributed to TB each year, and there is growing concern that a newer more advanced vaccine is needed for both children as well as adults.

I'd suggest Mr. Phillips, as well as Mr. Hubbs, consult the following paper for additional factual information:

Phillips then goes on to repeat what Mr. Hubbs has claimed in the past - that polio increased after the polio vaccine was introduced, but does Phillips offer any proof for this claim?  No, in fact the only "reference" he can source is the statement made by one Doctor in the 1960s and even that doctor didn't have any facts to support the viewpoint.  So let's look at the real numbers (just as we have done before).  Polio was first recognized in 1840 and major outbreaks occurred in Europe in the 1880s and soon thereafter in the US where it peaked in the 1950s and 60s. In 1952 there were at least 58,000 cases of polio diagnosed in the US.  By 1957 after a mass immunization campaign, there were only around 5,600 cases of polio diagnosed in the US, so I'm not exactly sure how Phillips (or Hubbs) thinks that is actually an increase in the cases of polio.  That is over a 90% reduction in less than five years that Mr. Phillips conveniently ignores, but the facts are by 1964 there were less than 125 diagnosed cases of polio in the entire nation, so not only did polio NOT increase after the vaccination was released, but it was practically eradicated.  To this day polio vaccines are still given on a regular basis, yet when is the last time you met someone in the modern era who was diagnosed with polio?  Exactly my point.

Since I'm a big fan of real sources, here is some more reading material for Phillips and Hubbs (although at this point I'm not sure either of them can actually understand complex subjects or interpret scientific data):

Wow - all those glaring errors and that was just within part I of IX of Phillips hack-job article (that is part 1 of 9 for you Mr. Hubbs since I'm fairly certain you probably won't understand the concept of Roman Numerals).  I'm not sure I have the time to analyze every sentence here in great detail, but I think you get the point. 

In part II Phillips tries to suggest the risk-benefit assessment of vaccines isn't feasible, but it takes about 15 seconds to prove that wrong via numerous studies in pubmed.

Case in point:

Obviously there are hundreds more studies which prove vaccines are safe and effective - in fact my very first search using terms such as efficacy, vaccine, and placebo control trial brought up over 560 different studies to choose from.  Therefore to suggest we don't have the data to prove the effectiveness of vaccines or that we don't know enough to determine if the risk outweighs the benefit is simply (once again) intellectually dishonest.  So how many studies do we have which show that vaccines cause more harm to humans than the benefits they offer or how many studies do we have that show vaccines cause autism?  Zero.  The science speaks for itself, which is probably why Phillips likes to avoid speaking about it.

I'm actually starting to wonder if the antivaxers out there know how to actually do any research whatsoever or if they understand the scientific method, because it seems that they have the process backwards.  A typical antivaxer actually decides what outcome they wish to reach (that vaccines are bad) and then they backtrack into that position by cherry-picking data, referencing blogs and websites and articles while ignoring real science and facts.  Unfortunately that isn't how things work in the real world, and science will always prevail over opinion and quackery. 

This is why we have a scientific process which begins with defining a question, gathering information, forming a hypothesis (after the information is gathered... not before), performing experiments, analyzing the data from those experiements, interpreting the data from those experiments, drawing conclusions, publishing the results of the experiments, and then retesting to ensure the results can be replicated (which is often done by others to ensure the results are able to be replicated). You don't get to decide what the findings should be and then try to find ways to ensure the findings are valid, and you surely don't get to run around making claims that haven't undergone the rigors of the scientific process.

In part III, Phillips claims that "the belief that unvaccinated persons pose a risk of harm to others is without merit".  He goes on to say that "if vaccines work, then of course unvaccinated persons pose no risk to vaccinated persons at all" which just goes to show you that Phillips, and once again Mr. Hubbs, don't understand the concept of herd immunity whatsoever.  The reality is not everyone can get vaccines due to the reasons we have discussed in the past, so we can never have a population which is 100% vaccinated even if everyone was willing to voluntarily receive such vaccinations.  Those people who are unable to receive such vaccines are the very people at the highest risk, and those are the people we as responsible humans need to protect.

Phillips takes the typical antivaxer stance and tries to point out cases where there were outbreaks of diseases in "vaccinated populations", but again he misunderstands the data he tries to reference.  First, most if not all of these outbreaks can be traced back to unvaccinated people within the greater population who in turn spread the disease to others, and the vast majority of those infected are unvaccinated persons - that isn't even in dispute.  In many cases the disease can be traced back to someone who traveled to an area with lower rates of vaccination, contracted the disease, and then returned to the area they originated from where they will then spread the disease around.  Yes in some cases a small number of those who have received vaccines will become infected, but that is due to mutations in the disease and various strains.  When such mutations are realized, scientists will work on newer and improved vaccines to combat them in the future, but when you boil it down we probably wouldn't have these mutations and various strains if those people healthy enough to receive vaccines would in fact do so, thus preventing the disease in the first place.

Mr. Phillips also inaccurately tries to tie the number of swine flu vaccinated people in an area to the number of swine flu deaths, but this is a classic case of intellectual dishonesty in that he purposefully is attempting to manipulate the data to his liking.  Yes it is true that the US vaccinated more than other nations, but that doesn't automatically suggest such vaccinations actually creates swine flu or puts people at risk.  Instead, the reality is the US vaccinated more because we had the highest rates of infection before the vaccines were even available.  This is a classic case of cause and effect, although in Phillips' case he seems to believe effect comes before cause.  It is unfortunate he has such as misunderstanding of science, and even more unfortunate that the ignorant souls who will read his article without the ability to question the information due to their lack of understanding of complex subject matter and sub-par cognigtive abilities.

What bothers me most about Phillips however is that he makes very bold statements which he not only doesn't have sources to support, but that he couldn't support even if he wished.  Case in point, he claims the data he writes about "strongly suggest that the swine flu immunization campaigns may actually have been counterproductive" but he has no studies or peer-reviewed science to support that statement and it is entirely based upon a misunderstanding of  how vaccines are a response to disease rather than disease being a response to vaccines.  The studies I cited above will clearly show the effectiveness of vaccines in double-blind clinical trials, but Phillips conveniently (dishonestly?) ignores them.

I'm not going to bother to do the objective analysis any further because it is more than obvious that Mr. Hubbs is incapable of doing so himself, and I don't feel like being a teacher (nor do I wish to take the time to write a 15 page paper outlining all of the flaws in Phillips' original 6 page article).  However you can clearly see that even with a few minutes of time and an open mind, you can find countless flaws in Phillips' line of thinking and numerous faults in his conclusions.

The other issue at work here is the simply misunderstanding from Mr. Hubbs of the terms "proof" and the phrase "fully referenced".  First of all, Phillips provides no such proof for his claims, nor is he able to provide any science which proves his basic premise that vaccines offer more risk than benefit.  Second, this is nothing more than an opinion piece and not a research study nor does it even attempt to act as one, so the idea of "fully referenced" is downright silly.

Mr. Hubbs obviously doesn't understand that having footnotes on an article doesn't mean it is "fully referenced" because as I have shown above Phillips isn't able to provide sources for his most bold of statements (and when I say the most bold, I'm referring to some of the statements that Phillips himself has chosen to emphasize with underlining and/or Capital letters).  Not only is this a totally unscientific and poorly drafted editorial (I'm not even sure this piece does the term 'article' justice), but unfortunately for Mr. Hubbs and the other antivaxers out there, it is not fully sourced whatsoever.

Take a gander at some of the footnotes on the article and you will soon see what I mean.  Phillips references fellow antivaxer websites and blogs as his "sources" on more than one occasion.  He also lists several footnotes without supporting data or any reference to a publication where the data could be verified, and he even goes to far as to reference not once, but twice!  If this is the idea of a "fully referenced" article, then clearly Mr. Hubbs is more ignorant, and more disengaged from reality than I had previously thought.

Ok - so the editorial / article / hack piece or whatever you wish to call it is clearly horribly written, totally unsupported, and full of factual errors and shoddy understanding of the issues.  It is obviously produced knowing full well it relies upon intellectual dishonesty and manipulation of data and source material, and it hasn't given us a single piece of provable information which suggests vaccines are harmful or that the benefits don't outweigh the risks by a large margin.  So that much is settled, but who exactly is the man who wrote it, and why would Mr. Hubbs reference him?

As is the case with most antivaxers, Phillips isn't a research scientist or a doctor.  He isn't even a chiropractor and has never spent any time in a lab or participated in any research studies published in medical journals.  Truth be told, Phillips is actually a lawyer, and the more you read about him, the more unsettling it becomes that he is trying to act as an expert of some type of the issues of vaccinations.  It is so comical in fact, that I've had to devote an entire post to it because the more I read, the more humorous it became and I just couldn't fit it all here (as this post is already longer than it should be).  Thus I'll be releasing another post in upcoming days that will provide full detail about Alan Phillips and his professional credentials - or lack thereof.

The primary point here is obvious: Mr. Hubbs still does not understand science nor does he have the brain power to interpret data that is put before his very eyes.  Sad but true.

Monday, February 14, 2011

You can’t hide in the herd

Science-Based Medicine: You can’t hide in the herd

This is a really good article written by Dr. Joseph Albeitz which melds nicely with our last post on the concept of herd immunity.  Embedded within the article are links to two studies which show "that the act of refusing to vaccinate against pertussis (whooping cough) placed children at a 23 times greater risk of contracting pertussis."

The studies themselves can be found at links below.  Oh look - this first one is an actual published study with full sources and even a statement which says the seven authors (actual doctors mind you) have no financial relationships relevant to the article to disclose... thus no bias.  Also note that this study included hundreds upon hundreds of patients to ensure a broad range was included as opposed to something Wakefield might try to put together with a total of 12 patients (hand-picked and often fraudulently selected).

Parental Refusal of Pertussis Vaccination Is Associated With an Increased Risk of Pertussis Infection in Children

But wait... there's more.  Here is another published study which includes a full decade of data and hundreds of patients included.  If we were to take one sentence to sum this one up it would be the following: "Children of parents who refused varicella immunizations were at a greatly increased risk of varicella infection requiring medical care". 

Parental refusal of varicella vaccination and the associated risk of varicella infection in children.

Darn that science... it just keeps coming up with more facts that interfere and conflict with the antivaxer viewpoint.  We have real science and real studies proving the effectiveness of vaccines (and the proven risks to those who choose not to vaccinate), but vaccine deniers like Mr. Lowell Hubbs refuse to accept it.  Instead, they would rather confuse people by linking them over to some unpublished and non peer-reviewed opinion piece from a personal blog or send them over to the conspiracy theorist website 

As always, facts and science cannot be disputed nor debated.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Herd Immunity: A Scientific Fact

Many anti-vaxers (Mr. Hubbs included) seem to have a problem with the concept of herd immunity as if it is a myth, so I thought it was worthy of discussion to get the facts out there.  First of all the idea of herd immunity is that if enough people area vaccinated from a particular disease and therefore cannot contract that disease and/or pass it to others, then those who are not vaccinated will be protected.  Under most cases the threshold for such immunity equates to approximately 85% of the population being vaccinated for any given disease.

Unfortunately if the group that is not vaccinated grows too large, the 'herd' or population can no longer prevent diseases from being transmitted from person to person and this herd immunity loses its effectiveness.  The real issue here is that we always know there are a number of people who can't get vaccinated for one reason or another.  Maybe they are on chemotherapy or maybe they are on immune suppressive therapy for a chronic disease or maybe they have severe allergies that prevent them from receiving a specific vaccine (some vaccines use egg proteins for example).  These people have no choice but to skip a vaccination due to their other existing conditions, and they rely upon the rest of us to protect them. 

Dr. Paul Offit (probably one of the most well know and respected experts in the field of immunology and vaccinations) recently stated there are 500,000 people (I'm assuming he means people in the US) who fall into this category.  That means it is up to the other 300 million of us to get vaccinations in order to protect those who can't protect themselves.  Granted getting a vaccination is not a totally selfless act as it protects the person who gets the vaccination as well, but knowing it can prevent spreading disease to others is surely an added benefit.

Generally this system works fine, but in recent years due to fear mongering by pseudo-celebrities like Jenny McCarthy and due to fabricated studies like the one pushed forth by the now discredited Andrew Wakefield, there has been a growing number of people who are skipping their vaccines simply because they are too ignorant of the real science and too scared to take a chance.  To some degree these people are simply being selfish because they think the rest of us will protect them, but on the other hand these people are being dangerous because their lack of vaccinations means they can (and often do) contract diseases which are spread onto others.

Case in point, California is now under the worst pertussis outbreak in the last 50 years which has resulted in over 1,500 people contracting Whooping Cough and at least 10 deaths thus far.  The root cause of this outbreak?  People who skipped their vaccinations and thus spread the disease to others.  The primary reason for a growing number of people refusing to vaccinate their children or receive vaccinations themselves has been the discussion about a possible link to autism and all of the media attention which has surrounded the issue.  However, if you actually drill down on the issue you will find numerous peer-reviewed studies which have been performed that show no link between vaccines and autism, yet not a single peer-reviewed study anywhere which proves such a link exists.

This is generally the point where Mr. Hubbs would profess that the Wakefield "study" (not really a study, but more of a paper) proved such a link, but truth be told even when the Wakefield paper was published, it still was not able to prove such a link exists and never even claimed to.  Besides the fact that Wakefield didn't make the specific claim that the MMR vaccines causes autism (he merely eluded to a potential risk) and aside from the fact that Wakefield relied upon no more than a dozen hand picked children as his sample as opposed to hundreds of cases a real scientific study would have used, as it turns out his paper was based upon blatant fraud including the manipulation of patient data and cross-contamination of samples.

We should thank Mr. Wakefield however as he is credited with driving the vaccination rates in the UK down from 93% to around 75% and as a result the measles were actually declared to be an epidemic again in the UK.  This in turned resulted in countless people contracting the measles and in some cases it actually resulted in death, so be sure and mail a thank-you card to Wakefield for his great job (sarcasm intended).

Have I mentioned that not a single scientist has been able to replicate Wakefield's original findings?  Yea... that seems rather important when you try to suggest something is peer reviewed (the Wakefield study was not), but it does explain why so many of the original authors involved with Wakefield's paper later pulled their names from it.  Funny how not a single one of the "doctors" associated with the anti-vaxer movement has been able to replicate Wakefield's original findings even though they continue to profess his original work was sound - but that seems to be status quo for the antivax movement... make accusations but don't bother to back them up with evidence or any real science.

So with all of this said, we can clearly see the results when people decide to stop vaccinating.  Diseases spread, people suffer, and in some severe cases - people actually die.  So what has happened to the rates of autism during this same period of fear-mongering and vaccination avoidance?  If the anti-vaxers are correct the rates should be dropping due to fewer people being vaccinated, but sadly (and predictably) that hasn't been the case. 

Herd immunity is clearly not a myth and it works when people take responsibility for their health and the health of their families. Unfortunately, due to the desire to prey upon the fear of parents, the media has allowed this fraud to be perpetuated among the entire population which has resulted in many parents skipping the necessary vaccinations.  The good news is science is once again prevailing as more and more parents realize these fears are unfounded and the risks of not vaccinating are far too great to ignore. 

The other good news is the media is finally catching up with science and starting to report on the real facts including how Wakefield has been proven time and time again to be a lying fraud and how throughout all of the research and study which has been directed towards vaccines, none of it has proven any type of a link to autism.  In addition to this, due to the number of outbreaks of diseases that were once under control such as pertussis and measles, intelligent and logical people are discovering that herd immunity is not a myth, but rather an undisputed fact.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

More Legal Problems for Mr. Hubbs

We have discussed some of Mr. Hubbs legal problems in the past to show how Mr. Hubbs seems to have a split personality.  One one hand he proclaims that "big pharma" is evil and that all drugs as well as vaccines are harmful, but on the other hand he seems to have no issue with taking (and abusing) multiple prescription medications nor does he have an issue with "self-medicating" with massive amounts of alcohol.

Does that seem a tad harsh for me to accuse Mr. Hubbs of self-medicating?  It might if but for the fact that Mr. Hubbs used those very words himself.  In fact, Mr. Hubbs was actually quoted as saying his DUIs were a result of him "self medicating [his] anxiety disorder".

So when the law finally caught up with Mr. Hubbs and arrested him for multiple DUIs, did that turn him around and help him pull his life together?  Did Mr. Hubbs admit fault and accept responsibilities for his actions?  Not exactly... he merely blamed his behavior on his need to self-medicate.

Ask any alcoholic or addict and they will give you a laundry list of excuses on why they do what they do, so when Mr. Hubbs says he was self-medicating his anxiety disorder it doesn't really shock me in the slightest, especially when such an excuse comes from a hypocrite.

It appears there is a pattern of behavior emerging with Mr. Hubbs, and it doesn't end with alcohol abuse alone.  In fact, several years ago Mr. Hubbs was arrested for shoplifting nutritional supplements from Shopko, and it appears this wasn't his first incident of shoplifting.  Case in point:

"I was arrested for shoplifting nutritional supplements; which had become a compulsion; I just got more daring and brave, with each time I got away with it." ~ Lowell Hubbs
So based upon Mr. Hubbs own admission he had a "compulsion" for shoplifting which continued right up until the point he was apprehended by a Shopko loss prevention manager and handed over to the police.  So when Mr. Hubbs was caught shoplifting do you think he finally took this as an opportunity to admit fault and to change his lifestyle?  No... instead - he blamed his actions upon his prescribed medications (namely Paxil and Alprazolam).

That might not seem like such a huge stretch since people do often have strange side effects from prescriptions especially when mixed with alcohol, and considering Mr. Hubbs track record with alcohol consumption and his admitted reliance upon alcohol for "self-medication" purposes... who knows what the impact might be.  However, Paxil warning information specifically states to avoid taking it with alcohol, and since I doubt Mr. Hubbs was ever prescribed a 12 oz. can of Budweiser along with his daily dose of Paxil, we can once again clearly state that Mr. Hubbs has no one to blame for his legal troubles other than himself.

Even more shocking is the fact that several weeks prior to his apprehension for shoplifting, Mr. Hubbs was arrested for stealing a bicycle.  The irony is thick with this one since Mr. Hubbs has been known to accuse others of stealing his bikes, so aside from the obviously and oh-so-apparent karma, it would seem that once again Mr. Hubbs is nothing other than a hypocrite.  A self-medicating felon of a hypocrite, but a hypocrite nevertheless.

So what was Mr. Hubbs' excuse when he was arrested for stealing the bike?  You guessed it... he stood right in front of a judge and had his lawyer state that his medication had been prescribed improperly.  He didn't accept responsibility for his actions and obviously didn't learn from the experience considering he was shoplifting a few short weeks later.

In yet another example of how Mr. Hubbs refuses to accept responsibility for his actions, rather than admitting his mistake and learning from it, he actually complained that the punishment far exceeded the crime itself when he made the following statement:

"For a $15 bike, it cost me 10 days in jail, $300 some odd dollars in fines and jail costs, and several hundred for my attorney" ~ Lowell Hubbs
Even through all of that, Mr. Lowell Hubbs never learned a lesson.  He never admitted fault, he never turned his life around, and he continued to abuse prescription drugs combined with alcohol.  How do I know this?  Simple... in the following years after the events described above, Mr. Hubbs was arrested, charged and convicted of two more DUIs.  I guess some people are just really slow learners.

So of course like any good recovering addict would do, Mr. Hubbs finally decided it was time to face his demons.  He was finally determined to find the root cause of all his troubles and address it head on.  He was going to make life changes, accept responsibility for his actions, turn his life around and finally improve his situation.  Oh wait... that is what a normal person would have done, and if you know Lowell Hubbs he is far from a normal person.

So what did Mr. Hubbs really do?  Well, he did what any good addict with an extensive criminal record does - he sued the makers of Paxil!

The case is Bauerle et al v. Smithkline Beecham Corporation and the lead case is 4:04-cv-04187-LLP.  A certain Lowell Hubbs at 400 S. Prairie #9 Sioux Falls, SD 57104 was listed in that case as well and was represented by none other than A. Russell Janklow.

Eventually the case was transferred in 2005 and rolled into a larger case against the makers of Paxil.  The case then became Lesli Hamilton, et al. vs Glaxosmithkline, Inc. with the lead case being 2:03-ml-01574-MRP.  I won't bore you with the details, but here is a brief summary of the result:

JOINT STIPULATION AND ORDER DISMISSING WITH PREJUDICE CLAIMS OF IDENTIFIED PLAINTIFFS by Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer: Plaintiffs listed below hereby dismiss with prejudice all of their claims against Defendant regarding its drug Paxil: (1) Rose M Bauerle; (2) Lowell Kevin Hubbs; (3) Dean Dorian Price; (4) Chad Jon Singsaas; (5) Lisa Lindner Sweeney-Nicol; (6) Kimberly Winger. Each party to bear their own costs, pursuant to FRCP 41(a). This Document Relates to Bauerle 2:05-cv-02185 MRP (CWx).(bg, ) (Entered: 12/27/2006)
If you wish to read more about the case, you can do so right here.

So long story short, the case was settled in late 2006.  I won't bother to post the entire 26 page legal brief (although I can email it upon request), but basically it appears there was some form of settlement between Mr. Hubbs (including the other plaintiffs) and Glaxosmithkline (GSK).  So what does Mr. Hubbs have to say about all of this?  Read for yourself:
"We walked away six years later with an out of court settlement, and an across the board GSK denial, and about $20,000 each; (minus the law firms cut)." ~ Lowell Hubbs
Now keep in mind that the lawsuit was based upon the claim that Paxil caused addiction, but there was never anything in any of the testimony or court records to suggest that Paxil causes people to steal bikes from behind Casinos or to self-medicate with massive amounts of alcohol or to drive while intoxicated or to mix alcohol with anti-depressants or to go on shoplifting sprees just because they feel like it.

Mr. Hubbs is simply the type of person who will always look elsewhere when it comes time to determine who is to blame for his own issues.  It is always the fault of someone else or a side effect of a drug he took.  His four convictions for driving under the influence weren't his fault, nor was the shoplifting or theft.  This is why Lowell Hubbs has become the anti-mainstream medicine zealot he has become.  This is why he continually blames "big pharma" for anything and everything and why he has a personal vendetta against modern medicine and pharmaceuticals.

The fact is, Mr. Hubbs' continual legal problems were never caused by a drug company or a retail store.  They were never caused by a pill or a vaccine.  They were never the fault of a police officer, loss prevention agent, or warden nor were they the result of omitted warning labels.  Mr. Hubbs legal problems have always been caused by one thing and one thing alone - Mr. Hubbs himself.

So the next time you witness Mr. Hubbs rail against modern medicine or against "big pharma", just remember this whole illusion is based upon the precept that Mr. Hubbs believes he is not responsible for his own actions.  That makes perfect sense if you are the type who believes in government mind control or 9/11 conspiracy theories, so it stands to reason Mr. Hubbs would believe it.

But hey... there is some good news to be taken from all of this.  Due to Mr. Hubbs' financial settlement with GSK he can afford to buy his own bikes for a change instead of stealing them from others.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Self-Medicating Mind of Lowell Hubbs

Mr. Hubbs has proven himself to be the true "anti-medical establishment" man, as he finds fault in modern medicine, the AMA, the CDC, the FDA, "big pharma", vaccines, medical journals, the scientific process, basic accepted knowledge such as herd immunity and germ theory, and pretty much everything else associated with modern medicine.

So as we have discussed in the past, it seems slightly a bit odd that Mr. Hubbs himself has relied upon numerous prescription medications throughout his adult life.  Thus far, Mr. Hubbs has admitted to taking Xanax, Paxil, and Alprazolam among others, and it is safe to say during his lifetime he has relied upon antibiotics, pain relievers, and numerous other products that he claims to find so much fault in.  He has also admitted to being addicted to several of these medications and he has admitted to mixing the various medications with alcohol as well as over-the-counter supplements.

Don't take my word for it though... below are just a few of the quotes where Mr. Hubbs has admitted his reliance upon prescriptions:

"The first 6 months I took Paxil, it seemed to work well for the stress related anxiety I was prescribed for."

"I have been on Paxil for 8 months; which is of course similar to Prozac. No one told me I would know what I do know I when to my doctor for stress related anxiety and anxiety/panic attacks. I was first put on Xanax, then later Paxil."

"... go get myself hooked on more Xanax"

"I asked for Xanax to be re prescribed, to help me sleep, and get through withdrawal [of Paxil]."

"Two months later I was essentially on a not so planned, but planned suicide mission of combining Paxil, Alprazolam, and alcohol."

"I went on another mission to get entirely messed up on Paxil, Alprazolam, anti-anxiety herbs, and alcohol."  ~Lowell Hubbs
There are more of course, but I think you get the idea.  Of course as always Mr. Hubbs is full of excuses on why it is ok for him to take these medications and he will try to proclaim that he no longer takes them due to the side effects, but as we have shown in the past Mr. Hubbs isn't exactly a trustworthy figure.  He has been shown to be a hypocrite on numerous occasions, proven to be a felon, and even displayed as a shill who tries to post under multiple usernames online in order to make people believe there is more than one ignorant soul who thinks the way he does.

The fact is, Mr. Hubbs acts one way when he wants people to believe he is against "big pharma" and all they stand for, but he acts an entirely different way when he is sitting in the doctor's office or standing in line at Walmart awaiting another prescription refill.  Mr. Hubbs isn't the only anti-vaxer guilty of hypocrisy in such a manner, but in the case of Mr. Hubbs there is a larger issue at stake.

Let's pretend for a second that Mr. Hubbs is telling the truth when he suggests he is no longer taking any prescription medications whatsoever.  If that is true, how is he dealing with his "stress related anxiety and anxiety/panic attacks" or how is he dealing with his anger issues?  Mental disease is much like any other physical disease... if you don't treat the issue it will continue to get worse and worse with time.

Is it possible that is what has been happening to Mr. Hubbs?  Is it possible that his increasing level of lunacy displayed by his posts and comments is a result of a mental break?  I can't really say for sure, since unlike Lowell's friend Andy Moulden, I can't diagnose someone based upon an Internet posting or a photograph, but I would suggest to Mr. Hubbs that he seeks the services of a qualified and licensed mental health professional at the earliest convenience. 

Something tells me that will not happen however... not until chiropractors figure out a way to start convincing ignorant fools that they can treat depression and stress related anxiety by aligning the spine or cracking a  few bones.  If that is ever the case, rest assured Mr. Hubbs will be the first in line to get an "adjustment".

It does sort of make me wonder - if Mr. Hubbs is so anti-"big pharma" what would he do if he came down with a severe case of pneumonia or if he had a severe kidney infection?  Would he go to his doctor in hopes of obtaining a presciption for some antibiotics which he would need to hide from all of his fellow anti-vaxers, or would he run down to the local health food store or perhaps visit the website of one of the many anti-vaxers who sell supplements for anything and everything that can go wrong with the human body in hopes they might have something that could help him? 

When it really comes down to it I'm fairly certain Mr. Hubbs would gladly seek the services of a real medical doctor, which just goes to show how time after time the very same people who point fingers and place blame at "big pharma" are very quick to extend the olive branch during their times of need.