I’ve been thinking a great deal about the fight against SB 277 and mandatory vaccinations in California as well as the fabulous documentary, VAXXED: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, detailing the corruption in the CDC’s vaccine program and the revelations of senior CDC scientist, Dr. William Thompson.
I find myself asking a simple question again and again: How do I become the most effective agent for change?
Recently I ran across a quote from one of my long-time idols, Nelson Mandela, and it spoke to what I’m feeling these days. Mandela wrote: “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
After fifteen years of advocacy, one would expect that those I love so deeply would have at least understood my position, but it appears not to be the case. As I have attempted to gather an audience for a showing of the documentary film, VAXXED, I have been surprised by the response of two people from whom I had expected better.
The first person is somebody I have known from the time I was sixteen years old, and I can still vividly recall the night we met at the Brothers Residence of our Catholic high school and I gave him a ride home. Even at the tender age of fifteen he was clearly a brilliant guy, and it was not surprising when he graduated first in his class from our high school, first in his class from UC Berkeley, and second in his graduate economics program from Stanford University. He is widely expected to win a Nobel Prize for economics at some point in the next ten years.
For decades we have had both an intellectual and personal friendship, and I can vividly recall as teenagers, sitting in the two chairs in the living room of his parents’ house discussing current events, philosophy, or which girls we wished would pay attention to us. I still remember him giving me what I consider to be one of the best compliments of my life: “Kent, I do not know a single person who has such a wide ranging and consistent curiosity as you do.”
Then came me asking him to attend a screening of VAXXED, and his response was that he could not condone paying money to watch such a film or support it in any other way, and told me that if I wished to continue our friendship, we should not discuss the vaccine-autism question any more. To say I am stunned is an understatement. We freely discuss whether God exists, but apparently we cannot discuss whether the increase in vaccines is causing harm to children.
It is said that every writer has a secret audience to whom they are writing, the one person they hope will be delighted by what they have written, and for me I have always known it to be this friend. But now I know he will never read me again. It is a great disappointment to me.
The second person is a family member, an accountant, whose job used to be auditing companies. One would think that there is no person better to be skeptical about the claims of those in authority than somebody who was paid to find the truth. Although I have long known this person to be skeptical of the vaccine-autism issue, I thought a documentary about the confessions of a senior CDC scientist would surely be something that would pique his interest and possibly lead him to a broader perspective.
But again I was met with the same response. To even view such a movie would be to give credence to a dangerous set of beliefs. No matter that fifty thousand children a year are diagnosed with autism, more than a million suffer with the disease, and many will die this year when they wander from their caretakers and drown in a lake or river, or from exposure to the elements they do not understand.
Galileo is reported to have said that the worst part of his battle with the Catholic Church was when he begged the Cardinals who were sitting in judgment of him to look through his telescope so they would know he was telling the truth. They refused. How can you have a discussion with somebody when they won’t come to see a documentary, or even look through your telescope?
The simple answer is, you cannot. And so I am left with Mandela’s wisdom. Do I have anger and bitterness to me about the eighteen years I have been trapped in the prison of my daughter’s autism? Without a doubt.
But I believe that this era of injustice is coming to an end. The enemies of truth never fight so viciously as when they understand they are very close to losing. The legal fight over SB 277 looks very promising to me, and I am aware of how even in the midst of this scientific reign of terror, some very brave researchers are coming close to solving this problem and recovering our children. I do not believe we will be in our prisons very much longer.
Which begs the question, when we leave those prisons, who will we be when we once again walk free in the world? Are we angry or bitter about the wrongs which have been done to us? Do we turn away from those who have turned away from us?
I have often said I want to win this war, but I do not want to become the war.
Mandela’s words ring true to me. Even though I am still in this prison, I do not have any anger or bitterness towards those who will not discuss this issue with me. And because I do not have any anger or bitterness, I am free. They are the ones who are in prison.