Justice, Awareness and Basic Support. Or: JABS Forum – Vile and Abusive

September 5, 2008 at 12:47 pm (Anti-Vaccination) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Very brief post, just to say that I’ve been following the JABS reaction to the new study replicating Wakefield’s original study and showing that the MMR jab is not linked to autism. Their reaction is to call people ‘prick’ and ‘puff’. Very grown-up, very sensitive and not at all homophobic or intolerant.

[Digression] John Stone’s reaction was to kick up a bit of dust around whether the 1998 O’Leary results were now somehow vindicated by the use of the O’Leary facilities in completing the new study. I think Orac put it best when he said “I’ve also heard rumblings from the anti-vaccination underground that the talking point will be that this study is a “two-edged sword” in that it supposedly the fact that the O’Leary lab performed competently now somehow exonerates its horrible performance several years ago. It doesn’t. Bustin’s deconstruction of the methodology in use at the O’Leary lab at the time was devastating, demonstrating a level of incompetence beyond belief. What is far more likely is that O’Leary was forced to clean up his act and tighten up lab discipline in order to be included as one of the labs in this study.” [Digression ends]

The main point of this post was to relate the response of JABS regulars. I will now quote Cybertiger: “‘tom puff’ (aka tom pr*ck)” and “Is Deer Brian a gay-boy too?” are included in two of his comments.
I saved the pages that included these Cybertiger posts as PDFs – note that the second PDF does not contain the words “prick” or “puff” and that Cybertiger’s post does not give any indication that it has been edited. I imagine this is because the forum admins have secretly ‘sanitised’ his efforts in a bid to maintain what little respectability the forum may still possess. They need to go back and get rid of the homophobic abuse aimed at Deer too now. They need to do this, because they are still pretending to be a support group, still pretending to be reasonable pleasant and still pretending not to be anti-vaccine – what bullshit.

Here’s the saved pages in PDF format: jabs-forum-abuse and jabs-mysteriously-disappearing-homophobia-and-abuse. EDITED TO ADD: I’m not saying that the JABS admin approves of Cybertiger’s abuse – but they certainly don’t condemn it. It keeps popping up and only disappears if it is commented on in the Bad Science forum or a specific complaint is made to JABS admin about the abuse. If you refuse to condemn someone who systematically abuses people and makes homophobic comments you will soon be seen as condoning them – whether you actually do condone them or not. Perhaps JABS moderators should consider this when reading Cybertiger’s abuse and maybe ask him to cut it out? I’m not suggesting they ban him, but they could at least censure him, rather than silently deleting his most offensive remarks – which, frankly, seems a bit dishonest to me.

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11 Comments

  1. Bill said,

    Its so school-boy. Call somebody you don’t like a gay-boy. Most people grow out of it once they pass the age of welve.

  2. dvnutrix said,

    [Addresses digression] LB/RB reveals that Thoughtful House has issued a press release claiming that Prof O’Leary’s lab is restrospectively vindicated so the Special Masters ought to discard all that nasty rude criticism that Prof Bustin made last year.

    Is it utterly unthinkable that O’Leary might clarify matters by accepting the validity of Bustin’s criticism of previous procedures and lab performance and welcome the current good performance of the lab? [/digression]

  3. draust said,

    I can’t believe they are trying to retrospectively “rehabilitate” the earlier work.

    O’Leary was left with egg all over his face by Bustin’s analysis and testimony, and to salvage his scientific/medical reputation (and quite possibly his job) had to clean up his lab’s act and make sure any future work they did (on anything) would be done properly. The new work shows that they now can do PCR properly and run the appropriate controls. But how any of the mushwits at JABS and Thoughtful House can claim that proves the earlier sloppy and incompetent experiments were “OK” is beyond me.

    Or rather – it isn’t. They don’t understand or care about the science, and are wholly driven by their twisted ideology and quasi-religious belief that vaccines are evil. As Orac repeatedly characterizes them: “It’s All About The Vaccines”.

    It would be wonderful if O’Leary would go on the record and admit the procedural mistakes of the earlier work, but it takes a big man to be prepared to admit publicly to having run a substandard operation, even to have done so by omission or “lack of oversight”.

  4. jdc325 said,

    Thanks all for the comments.

    Bill – I know, Cybertiger in particular seems to have a yen for rude limericks and changing people’s internet monikers into rather unamusing variants of rude words. Very schoolboy humour – bizarre that a grown man would find such humour in such crude ‘comedy’.

    dvnutrix, draust – I can’t think of anyone who has really made any public admissions of responsibility for the MMR hoax. Wakefield seems determined to cling to his idea no matter what evidence is provided to refute it (ditto JABS), the media are playing the blame game quite nicely and simply keeping mum about their role, and I feel it is unlikely O’Leary will publicly admit to his lab’s failings. Can’t see Tony apologising for failing to confirm Leo’s vaccination either – despite Cherie blowing their excuse of “protecting their child’s privacy” by telling us all not only about Leo’s vaccination but about his conception. Maybe they wanted to save the story until they had a book out?

  5. Dr Aust said,

    Re. the Blairs and Leo, I think they genuinely believed at the time in the “protecting the childrens’ privacy” line, and would have felt commenting about Loe and the MMR was the thin end of the wedge. They clearly got it wrong, though, and actually admitted as much by leaking the fact that he had had it (in various coded ways) a year or two later. But by then the damage was done.

    After the Blessed Tony left office, it seems clear to me that the ex-first couple’s well known love of money and the good things, plus the “need to cash in quick” became the overriding drive – as ex-occupants of No. 10, they would know that their marketability had a time-window, and also that the public interest in their children would now be far, far less than when they were “the PM’s kids”.

  6. Kev said,

    re: O’Leary. I’ve spent a few hours trying fruitlessly trying to track down a working email for the man. I have a few questions I’d like to put to him. If anyone knows a working email addy for him there’s a virtual pint in it for you! kevleitchATgmailDOTcom

  7. dvnutrix said,

    We’ve just popped a classic cognitive dissonance expt. in the miniblog that might be relevant here and it spills over into something that Cialdini discusses quite extensively, consistency.

    Perhaps the more egregious the error, the more that people need to cleave to it? And maybe Wakefield (amongst others) has a lot invested in being consistent with the first decision to ignore the information that he was looking at false positives. As more and more evidence came in that there was something amiss with the results, then it seems to have been more difficult to acknowledge the original error. Particularly given that he had left the Royal Free in somewhat of a huff and set up in the US and had attained a cult-like status in the US.

  8. Kev said,

    Just a quick thanks to all those who dropped me suggestions :)

  9. proordide said,

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  10. TanyEnard said,

    I’m the only one in this world. Can please someone join me in this life? Or maybe death…

  11. Andrew Wakefield: Misleading and Irresponsible « Stuff And Nonsense said,

    [...] see examples of the comments made on the JABS forum. In which case, you can click here for more on JABS. This is a group that was used as a source of information by the mainstream media – including [...]

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