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Rabid criticism of the latest book by Dr. Paul Offit

Dr. Paul A. Offit, MD, recently published his latest book, “Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine“. By mistake, I ordered two books from Amazon and got them yesterday. Instead of returning one book, or giving it away, I decided to put it up for auction on my personal Facebook page. Myself and a friend are matching the winning bid and donating all that to the Autism Science Foundation, an organization dedicated to funding scientific studies of autism.

Not ten minutes after I posted the auction there and in a couple of other pages I participate in, a person showed up with the following rant:

“Every time I see this a$$holes (Paul Offit’s) picture, I get the OVERWHELMING urge to punch out my computer screen and pour BLEACH into my eyes!

Uh, yeah, like I’d give credibility to ANYTHING that idiot has to say. After his claim that infants can tolerate up to 100,000 vaccines at one time, he lost ALL credibility where I’m concerned. If he’s THAT ignorant about something as simple as vaccines, why should I trust him on more complex issues like nutrition, supplements, herbal medicine, etc.?

However, this is NOT surprising of the TOTALLY CORRUPT & AMORAL Paul Offit! This guy will refute anything that does not make him money. watch for him lobbying to ban supplements next.

Good grief — are he and his vaccine empire so damned threatened or something? wtf. what an ASSHOLE. This is no different than the majority of the population believing all the fake science proving vaccine safety and efficay. They’re so blind with fear they cannot put 2 and 2 together. A Dr who created and profits from vaccines swears of their safety and dogs anything else that goes against his income…I mean, his creation. DUH?!?! Wonder how much big pharma paid him to write this book.

I’m still hoping for the day he gets the 100,000 vaccines all at once!! Paul Proffit is an A hole with way too much power!

Anyone with a brain in their head should do their research first –whether its alternate medicine or conventional medicine.

Personally I don’t have much faith in conventional medicine at all which has basically ruined my life, while it is ALTERNATIVE medicine, which is slowly but surely REPAIRING & RESTORING IT!

However just like there are CONVENTIONAL DOCTORS (most of them, now, sadly) who are just in it for the money and profit from the Big Pharma industry, (like PAUL OFFIT!) I’m sure there are alternative medicine practitioners out there who are also only interested in making money and NOT the best interests of the patient. Whether it be conventional or alternate medicine THE PATIENT SHOULD COME FIRST. NOT THE MONEY…

In any case, I am SO SICK (no pun intended!) of seeing this CORRUPT & AMORAL WORM Paul Pr’Offit on TV, on the Internet and everywhere else I turn! I wish the “mainstream” media would STOP going to him as some kind of trustworthy resource & “expert” which is the LAST thing that he is!! GRRR!!!! >:(“

I don’t have the time or patience to deal with this person’s hatred, so I banned her from ever commenting on my page again, and I deleted her comment. (Of course, I kept screen shots of her rant.)

In case you’re wondering, her accusations have all been debunked. The “100,000 vaccines at once” deal is a misrepresentation of Dr. Offit’s fact-based assertion that newborns are bombarded by viruses, bacteria, and fungi the minute they are born. That is, they are exposed to far many more antigens than they will ever get in vaccines. So the “too many too soon” anti-vaccine gambit doesn’t hold water. Also, any money from that vaccine he developed is going to good use, not to his own bank account.

But this person’s rabid criticism was not the only one, or the last one, that Dr. Offit’s work will receive. If you go to the Amazon page for his book and read the comments, you’ll see such things like this:

“I pay no attention to people that claim that the ‘other side’ has no benefit especially when you consider the ‘other side’ has been keeping humans alive for centuries. I use alternative natural remedies all the time but am not at all opposed to seeking western medicine when needed. It is the people that rely completely on western medicine that are so sick these days. Balance is a good thing but Offit is too arrogant and blinded to see that.”

Or this:

“Paul Offit is an interesting person. I have researched him quite thoroughly to determine bias. He makes MILLIONS from big pharma. Obviously big pharma is against complementary therapies. Ergo, a book written by the shill, erm I mean Offit (AKA as huge chin man in some medical circles) which attacks many therapies. In fact this is the problem with this book. It attacks as usal, ad nauseum with no real analytical nor statistical merit. For example, he gives an example of an acupuncture needle piercing a lung I believe. Do you know the chances of your dying after being admitted to hospital from an infection? Well let’s just say statistically this is a far greater likelihood. Should we thus avoid hospitals? By Offit’s reasoning, we should not go near a surgery because surgeries (including such relatively benign surgery such as a knee surgery) not only kill, but cause life long disability. Offit’s points are as usual, so over the top that it is impossible to take him seriously. Avoid this book as you would the plague, unless like me you would like a laugh at this man’s expense.

I would also like to clarify that yes, there is some pretty shady stuff out there which takes advantage of people in need. It is not as though I believe everything can be solved through vitamins or faith healing. But it goes both ways…for example, my friend’s mother underwent chemo for breast cancer and was told she had a great chance of survival after chemo. Well the chemo killed her. So to say this is not happening in the established medical world is hypocrisy. Mr. Offit is clearly a man who admits in the beginning of the book that he had a clubfoot. IMO this coupled with his rather not very appealing physical aspects etc. made him into a man who suffers a neurosis related to control and being right. Of course this is why he feels obligated to “help” the world instead of being honest and saying that we all have our ways toward life. He is one of those people who attempts to control and amass more money as well as get a reaction from people. This is to help his rather sad ego. In any case, there may be some merit in this book but it is too one sided for me.”

And this:

“This is what happens when you have pharmaceutical industry backed, vaccine pushing Doc. More people die from conventional medicine vs alternative therapies”

In fact, if you go through other books published by Dr. Offit, you find the same amount of hatred, libel, and childish vitriol. (“Huge chin man”? Really?) According to them, Dr. Offit either is making a ton of money, or has power/control issues, or he’s just plain evil. Never do you find actual evidence that he is an evil person out to make a buck off his dispensed knowledge.

But this is par for the course for anti-science people. They have a hard time attacking what is fully backed-up by evidence, so they go to the next (lower) level, the personal attacks. After all, maybe someone won’t buy the book (whose proceeds go to good work) if they are told that Dr. Paul Offit is mean, or, in the case of the one reviewer, has a “huge chin.” Because there is a sucker born every minute, and that sucker will believe in conspiracies. The rest of us will have to rely on evidence.

[do action=”credit”]Featured image credit: nal from miami / / CC BY-NC-ND[/do]

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René F. Najera, DrPH

I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
About History of Vaccines: I am the editor of the History of Vaccines site, a project of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Please read the About page on the site for more information.
About Epidemiological: I am the sole contributor to Epidemiological, my personal blog to discuss all sorts of issues. It also has an About page you should check out.

13 replies

  1. Well, he will make millions. Over the course of his entire career.
    One could even make a good case that he already has made millions already. If you use pennies as the unit of measure. 😉

    As for the first post, I’m honestly coming to the point that I agree with their sentiment and honestly do wish that they would both punch their computer monitor and pour bleach into their eyes.
    At least then, they’d cease and desist on misinforming people and leading children to their deaths by vaccine preventable infectious disease.
    But then, my vitriol is more based upon my witnessing polio and measles epidemics in third world nations, attempting to vaccinate villagers who were being misinformed by their ignorant religious leaders, who proclaimed it was a mass sterilization campaign of the West or some other inanity. All the while ignoring the hell out of up to 30% of their children either paralyzed by polio or dying of vaccine preventable disease.
    As both a father and a grandfather, to say that the sights were distressing is be pale in the use of language, for every one of my men felt the same way.

    As for libelous comments, that is why we have a court system. I have less than no heartburn over taking every penny someone has over their abuse of our first amendment and their insistence upon libelous speech, which is most assuredly not protected speech.
    I’m a nice guy, but if necessary, I’m also perfectly comfortable being an ogre.


    1. Why, that is true. Consider the success of the slogans: “WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”.

      Rather sounds a lot like their mindset, huh? Only, they’re locked into a perpetual two minutes hate.


  2. Last I looked, the bidding was up to $ 30 for Dr. Offit’s book…unfortunately “I don’t do Facebook”, but I did make a $ 30 donation, in memory of my son, to the Autism Science Foundation, through their online donation page.

    My husband and I attended Dr. Offit’s seminar at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on June 8th. He is an excellent public speaker and has a great knowledge about CAM treatments, vitamins and supplements.

    Yes, we arrived early to position ourselves in second row seats in the auditorium for a good view of Dr. Offit and a good view of the auditorium entrance doors…to see if Dr. Offit’s personal stalker made an appearance. (He was a no-show).

    The first comment during the Q & A period was from an alternative medicine *practitioner* who demanded to know “Who pays your salary, Dr. Offit?”, then launched into rambling rant. Other people posed some interesting questions that were on topic.

    At the end of the Q & A period, it was “my turn” and I stated that I am a retired public health nurse and the parent of a special needs child who compliments Dr. Offit and the staff at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia for the exceptional care they provide to their young patients. I also stated that I appreciate Dr. Offit’s efforts to teach parents about vaccines and the serious, sometimes deadly, disease that vaccines prevent. My statements evoked a huge round of applause from the audience.


    1. It’s still $20. With my match ($20) and another person’s match ($20), it comes out to $60. But it’s still early. I hope to give it more traction later.


  3. So, is chin length a measure of evil? Is that relative to the rest of the face or just length itself? If I’m ever looking for a second hubby, a tape measure will come in handy in so many ways.
    And Lilady, I’m so jealous that Dr Offit got to meet you


    1. As I recall, in phrenology, chin length was considered one who tends to get the last word in an argument.
      Thankfully, phrenology has become extinct, as it had no basis in facts, neurology, psychology or any other evidence based science.
      Regrettably, some ill informed folks keep wanting to bring back such concepts, along with other nonsense, such as eugenics and homeopathy.


      1. And, as I recall, in retro phrenology (whereby you beat someone over the head to shape it into the configuration you desire), punching someone in the chin makes them think twice about opening their mouth next time.


  4. My understanding is that Dr Offit actually said this:

    ‘ “Children have an enormous capacity to respond safely to challenges to the immune system from vaccines. A baby’s body is bombarded with immunologic challenges – from bacteria in food to the dust they breathe. Compared to what they typically encounter and manage during the day, vaccines are literally a drop in the ocean.” …..Dr. Offit’s studies show that in theory, healthy infants could safely get up to 10,000 vaccines at once.’

    It seems that the figure of 100,000 is a misrepresentation of a misrepresentation.


  5. I must say, the anecdotes in the beginning of the book gave me a stomach ache as well, since I can easily match them with adverse effects of evidence-based medicine. It is when you step back from the anecdote and tally up whether a treatment has a net benefit (over adverse effects) when looking at hundreds and thousands of patients, where the “alternatives” lose out time and again. Nevertheless, “big pharma” oversells some treatments with similar vehemence and lack of proof of efficacy as “big alterna” (Tamiflu anyone?). Ultimately, we have to call for *all-the-evidence* based treatments, not wishful-thinking-based treatments.


    1. Regrettably, in some areas, Catherina is correct. There is evidence based medicine being practiced and there is some non-evidence based practices going on. One example of non-evidence based medicine is the use of “muscle relaxers” for sprains and strains. There is zero evidence based approach in the practice and indeed, quite a bit of evidence of a lack of therapeutic efficacy. It still persists, but decreases annually.
      I do find the Tamiflu example a bit strange. Though many of the manufacturer studies aren’t released, independent studies have been performed and show some degree of limiting the infection, though modest and the severity a bit of a mixed bag.
      However, as a preventative before symptoms are experienced, it is highly effective, in the rare instances where one is most certainly exposed. That said, such an occasion is quite rare.
      Personally, for known exposure or the earliest of symptoms, I’d go with Tamiflu rather than nothing. Even with the mixed bag of evidence. A small chance beats no chance in lessening an influenza infection.
      Just as I’ll still get my influenza immunization, in spite of an annoyingly high failure rate of triggering immunity to the strains in the vaccine. A decent chance of acquiring immunity is far better than acquiring immunity the hard way, after a nasty infection! Given time and ongoing research, I’m quite certain that the efficiency of the immunization will increase to highly effective numbers.


  6. I hate to interrupt your conversation about “Big Chin”…it is so entertaining; but it is not true. 🙂 Dr. Offit is quite handsome.

    @ Autismum: I also got a big hug from Dr. Offit, who left the podium and reached across the first row of seats…dear hubby wasn’t jealous.


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