Heroism in Real Time…
On Friday, October 13, 2017, I sat in a movie theater in San Francisco and watched Miranda Bailey’s remarkable new documentary about Dr. Andrew Wakefield, entitled, “The Pathological Optimist.”
I viewed the film with a conflicting mix of emotions…
As an advocate on the vaccine issue for the past fifteen years it has become clear to me that the powers that be do not want this subject to be debated by the public, even if that simply means twelve average citizens sitting in a jury box.
The global vaccine market is projected to reach near fifty billion dollars a year by 2022 and there is NO meaningful oversight. The game is going too well for the pharmaceutical industry and their supporters for any real questions to be asked.
They have paid off our politicians, bribed the media, neutered our legal system, and through some kind of dark magic have kept the public at large from asking the very simple question of why we have the sickest generation of kids in history.
In short, I consider any attempt to use the legal system for justice on this issue to be a fool’s errand. And yet at the same time I want to believe that some attempt at getting the truth through our legal system will eventually succeed.
As I watched Dr. Wakefield try time and time again to get his case heard…
First when his co-author, Dr. John Walker-Smith (with whom he was convicted) was exonerated, and second, in a defamation action against the British Medical Journal and hack writer, Brian Deer, I knew well in advance what the final disappointing result would be.
The case in front of the British Medical Council was impossible to bring because Wakefield’s legal insurance would not pay for the cost of the appeal, even though they had done so for Dr. John Walker-Smith.
The defamation case was dismissed on the grounds that the state of Texas did not have jurisdiction. That mean not a single piece of evidence was ever heard in either of the cases. Why am I not surprised?
However, like Andrew Wakefield, I am also a pathological optimist. I know that someday in the future this battle will be a distant memory, and I will be one of those old men who tell the young stories of those who fought and triumphed. The war for the future of humanity will be won.
But that is not the present…
Heroism in real time means being ostracized by your colleagues and friends, vilified in the press, admired by the parents of children you have helped, and a lot of quiet hours when you are doing nothing because those powerful forces have made you unemployable. Who are you when so many things you valued have been taken away?
Bailey makes the wonderful choice of showing Wakefield as he struggles with these titanic challenges…
We see the controversial Dr. Wakefield stretching during a yoga class, driving his kids to their various events, talking about the legal and medical issues in his office, living the life of an Englishman in Texas, and we meet those people who populate his world, such as his feisty wife, Carmel.
It is staggering to realize that nearly twenty years has passed…
Since Wakefield’s paper in The Lancet, and yet the same medical community which attacks him so viciously, falls curiously silent as to what is behind the terrifying rise in this condition.
The Pathological Optimist plays like a character study of a man I consider to be one of the greatest figures of our time. In the film, Wakefield is calm, thoughtful, and possessed of a sense of quiet determination. We see his world as he sees it. There is a question which needs to be answered, and he does not run away from it. He believes he has found at least a piece of that answer and wants his opponents to show him where he was wrong.
In addition to Wakefield’s wife, we meet his children, his mother, the lawyers who took on his case, his mother and brother, as well as many autism activists who are grateful for his work, and try to support his quest for justice.
I am convinced that someday the world will revere the work of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, just as the nation of South Africa lifted Nelson Mandela to the Presidency, or Vaclav Havel in Czechoslovakia.
In order to win the people’s trust, you must show them that you do not bend the knee to any tyrant…
The Pathological Optimist will show you what that heroism looked like as Andy Wakefield was living it. How did he deal with the stress of the injustice against him as well as an entire generation of children and their parents? There was yoga, there was gathering with other like-minded people to make plans, there was chopping wood on your property until you had a stack big enough to build a small house, and there was the determination to get up every morning and throw another rock at the wall in the belief that someday it would fall.
I encourage all of you to support this fine film and show your children what courage looks like in the supposedly free western world.
The book is co-authored with Judy Mikovits PhD. It is an indictment of the “Fake Science” we find so prevalent in the US.