Monday, October 2, 2017

#1904: Joel Lord

One of the standard gambits of the anti-vaccine movement is the toxins gambit, the argument that vaccines are filled with dangerous toxins. Indeed, “toxins” is a standard rallying cry for many types of pseudoscientific thinking steeped in prescientific and quasi-religious “purity” thinking and low on chemical literacy. Now, the Vaccine Resistance Movement is of course as pseudoscientific as they come, and Joel Lord (we don’t have much other information about him) flaunts his lack of understanding of chemistry with abandon, for instance in his piece “VRM: The Problem With Vaccines Part 4 – Primary Aspects of Vaccine Toxicity Affecting The Body”, discussed in some detail here.

According to Lord, vaccines, “by their composite nature, inherently damage & disrupt the body’s delicate neurological network [i.e. pollutes your precious fluids]; hindering the complex functioning of the brain in maintaining all systems of operation […].” No, he doesn’t have any idea how any of this works, but that has never stopped cranks like Lord. “In practical terms, a synergy factor [unspecified, PIDOOMA] inevitably occurs when multiple ingredients such as heavy metals, live viruses/or strands of DNA-RNA ‘heat treated virus’, antibiotics, formaldehyde, detergent, diploid cells (aborted fetal tissue), mycoplasma, phenol dye & excipient buffers are combined together in a vial mixture.” No … that’s not how this work. That’s not how any of this works. At least it’s the standard PRATTs, such as formaldehyde (anyone citing formaldehyde contents in vaccines can be safely written off as practically illiterate) and detergents (probably this delusion). Lord even tries the idiotic “aborted fetal tissue” argument (no, there is no aborted fetal tissue in vaccines), Yet, the silliest point might be the RNA/DNA one, in which “RNA/DNA” is interestingly labeled “toxin”, if it isn’t Lord’s fear of “heat treated viruses”, which refers to the antigen without which certain vaccines wouldn’t work. And for the “synergistic” toxicity? The claim is certainly not based on science, and Lord conveniently forgot to include any evidence, citation or explanation in his article.

As Lord sees it, it all leads to autism, of course, and to explain how, he appears to cite legendarily delusional quack Andrew Moulden’s idea, pulled straight out of Andrew Moulden’s ass, that vaccines cause “microvascular strokes” and these “microvascular strokes” lead to autism. No, it makes no sense, and vaccines don’t lead to autism. But vaccines lead to all sort of other bad things, too, and Lord borrows liberally from cranks and conspiracy theorists like Russell Blaylock and David Ayoub. As for evidence, Lord doesn’t seem to grasp the concept. But he does know how to try to scare his intended audience (who is probably as chemically illiterate as he is.) Did you know that vaccines contain trace amounts of phenol, and that “Phenol is so deadly that is was used by the Nazis as a means of extermination during the World War II”? Of course, phenol is found in far larger concentrations in wine, tomatoes, chocolate, cheese, apples, and bananas and as a euthanization method, large amounts of phenol had to be injected directly into the heart. But to Lord these are details. Consistency, truth and the rather basic observation that the dose makes the poison are irrelevant when NAZIS. It was never about science or evidential support; Lord has already decided what he wants to believe, and is ready to defend it by any means possible: “Look into the eyes of a child who has been seriously damaged by these early childhood shots and you have to go no further,” says Lord; you don’t even have to establish that they were, in fact, damaged by vaccines, which they weren’t.

Instead of vaccines, Lord promotes what he calls a “vaccine-free natural approach”. Says Lord: “The Vaccine Industry is literally at war with natural immunity”; after all, people didn’t use all sort of artificial pharmaceutical products to protect themselves from infectious diseases in the past, did they? Of course, Lord thinks the terrors of past epidemics “were primarily the result of over-crowding, marked by insufficient hygiene, sanitation & nutrition. In this day & age, given proper access to clean drinking water, modern sanitation methods & a steady organic diet, there is simply no excuse.” This is … not correct.

But according to Lord “[t]he overwhelming body of scientific evidence points to one critical determining factor in the rise of mutagenic viruses & systemic erosion of natural immunity: multi-generational community-wide exposure to the Standard Immunization regime, in particular, those viral vaccines fixed on the schedule which combine multiple live attenuated viruses – ie. the MMR Vaccine.” Is it worth noting that he doesn’t actually cite that scientific evidence or even give an example? Of course, by “overwhelming body of scientific evidence”, Lord doesn’t mean overwhelming body of scientific evidence. Lord doesn’t trust science; only blogposts that tell him what he wants to hear: “The science of vaccines is imminently flawed. Vaccines no NOT confer immunity. All vaccines straightjacket the immune system, by stripping the body of its ability to harness vital trace minerals & antioxidants; the essential arsenal that any child requires to successfully overcome the symptoms of any incoming infection such as Measles.” So, unvaccinated people don’t get measles; only vaccinated people get measles. And before you respond, remember that to Lord evidence has nothing to do with this. Evidence is a conspiracy against the a priori speculation of natural health proponents. “And they claim we don’t know anything about science.” Why, yes, Lord, we do.

Diagnosis: Rabid tinfoil-hatter and fine example of the kind of religiously motivated speculation and renounciation of evidence and science that passes for “science” among the altmed anti-vaccine crowd. Probably not among the most influential antivaccine trolls, but his deliberate targeting of the chemically illiterate makes him dangerous nonetheless.


  1. Actually, I am pretty sure this guy's Canadian. Oh, well. He's a loon, at least.

  2. Canada is part of America. ;)