Wednesday, 3 September 2008

High Priest of Stupid

It's been remarked elsewhere that JABS / anti-vaccination is like a religion; if this is the case, its high priest is a really unpleasant man by the name of John Stone. If you've ever seen any articles on The Guardian's "Comment is Free", the BMJ website or the BBC website you'll have seen his beligerent, hectoring, and frequently science-free comments. His favoured arguing style is to ignore anything that's said, and then to continually bring up more and more irrelevent points until everyone else gets bored and stops posting. The next time he crops up, he then accuses whoever he was arguing with of "running away from the argument".

Having said all that, his posts are usually fairly lucid (if wrong, ill-informed or just plain nasty) - but I've read through this one seven or eight times, and still can make neither head nor tail of it. It's rather long, so I've shrunk the text down.

I only speak for myself but you are not entitled to elide concern about vaccine damage with fantasies about lizards dominating the world. Unfortunately, the US government does and that is bad enough. There are, of course, important vestiges of democracy and accountability left in the US but it is not happy place, and the present CDC and FDA are not properly run institutions. Actually, there is also a history of dotty and perhaps not so dotty secret societies, the American revolution was founded on Masonic Lodges: this is not controversial stuff in itself. Could the society that gave you the Iraq war give this - you bet. I, of course, do not agree with many things "John" says, and I would point out that many of his heroes probably count as "allopaths". Still, this is not my battle and I suggest that you are trying to muddy the waters: the science does not stand up on its own terms - this is my message, and I believe, the message of those who run JABS. Because of profit and laziness, followed by cover up, the fundamental safety of vaccinology has been compromised and ordinary people bear the terrible cost. Error is componded. To perpetuate all this without trying to sort it out does humanity no service.

I think he really does have a messiah complex.


Cybertiger said...


Dilmun said...

I think I'd like to call this technique of introducing more and more irrelevant material into an argument as the "Flies of Fancy". It's like opening a box of bluebottles - each factoid buzzes off loudly and angrily, and tracking down and swatting each one is time consuming. When you've finally swatted them all, Stone opens a new box....

millipede said...

High priest? John Stone is the Pope of JABS.

Becky said...

High Priest, Pope... Whichever, he's full of shit either way.

millipede said...

I just think Pope of Jabs has a better ring for somebody as pompous and ostentatious as Mr. Stone.

PhD scientist said...

Pope or Grand Inquisitor? Personally I
like to think of him as the Torquemada of Antivax Loonies.

... though "Pope of JABS" is probably the best overall.

Or how about "High Priest of Vaccine-balls"?

Of course, John Stone doesn't confine his Conspiracyverse worldview to vaccines - he has drunk the Kool-Aid and thinks all of modern medicine is a plot to poison us for the benefit of the Pharma-Illuminati and their global hegemony.

I think his headgear of office as High Priest / Pope / whatever should be the elaborate tinfoil hat the previous post suggested is also favoured by Gus the Fuss. Though one suspects tinfoil hats are probably de rigeur among many of the JABS' forums most enthusiastic posters.

millipede said...

Like a bishop's mitre, made of tinfoil.

Cybertiger said...

I have this feeling in my water that Dr 'PhD' Scientist is in actualitity a pretentious git ... in fact ... a cocky, puffed-up little tit.

PhD scientist said...

Pretentious? ...Moi?

Round the Badscience blogosphere, being described as a "tit" by ShabbyTabby is regarded as a badge of honour... which I am delighted to accept.

Though I am still a touch worried about the doc's possible Tourette's Syndrome. Or perhaps he has had a nasty bang on the head at some point?

Becky said...

I always prefer;
"Pretentious? わたしを?"