The source for the news was an email circulated on the Thoughtful House Yahoo! list which was given legitimacy with comments left by Brian Deer confirming the story:
Who is Jane Johnson?
This comment was left by @lizditz
The co-managing director of Thoughtful House’s board is Jane Johnson of New York, part of the family of the Johnson & Johnson health care products and services company. Johnson (who co-authored Jepson’s book, Changing the Course of Autism) and her husband, Chris, donated $1 million to lay the groundwork for Thoughtful House in 2004.
Ah, so Jane Johnson is apparently an heir to the fortune of Johnson and Johnson, a big pharmaceutical company.
That’s right folks, Thoughtful House was seemingly established with funds connected to a BIG PHARMA.
Oh the irony! Or hypocrisy.
Anyway, the news was also reported in the media today, with stories from the Times Online and The Guardian in the UK. Thoughtful House have yet to issue a statement, but it appears that Wakefield’s name has been removed from the staff list, however, his publications are still listed.
The reaction from the Australian anti-vaxers has been to cling even tighter to their poster boy, as one commentator said of the headline “Disgraced MMR doctor..”;
He is NOT disgraced – they should be ashamed….. ……… ……… . (1)
But as Brian Deer said on Orac’s post;
What he did to autistic children is just shocking. And what he’s been saying to people around him over the last few years is now seen for what it was: beyond belief.
One wonders what will become of Andrew Wakefield now. It’s looking very likely that he will get struck off the medical register in the UK and with no journal editors wanting to touch his tainted research, it looks like his career as a research scientist is over too.
Brian Deer said;
I always wondered what the reaction to the GMC verdict would be. As the Neurotoxicology withdrawal (taking with it a big chunk of Liz Birt’s hard-raised money, which Wakefield still controls) shows, no reputable journal editor will now accept his data.
Some people facetiously suggested he relocate to Ecuador and hook up with Mike Adams
(Oh, that was me).
Meanwhile on the home front, the deadline for the closure of the AVN is rapidly approaching (eight days to go). They seem to be getting more and more rattled at the moment, going into chaotic spins and devising conspiracy theories about the “septics” left right and centre.
Emails emerged today where they accused one male blogger of being a front woman for a drug company that runs a number of bullying blogs attacking anybody who want honest information on vaccination.
Even I was included at one stage, being accused of getting material that showed me in a bad light removed from a website, of which I have nothing to do with. Actually I left a comment on a post there last year, which now cannot be accessed due to a server problem. I know so much about I.T., I barely even know what this means, let alone how to remove material.
Also, in desperation and no doubt encouraged by the approaching deadline, the AVN sent another pledge email today offering a case of wine as an incentive to the next person who pledges $1000 (2). One wonders how far $1000 will get them, when they were asking for “..a benefactor or series of benefactors come forward to establish a fund that would guarantee the AVN’s existence for at least the next 2-3 years”, but who said there was method in their madness.
A colleague decided to utilise the powers of Sidewiki to inform people considering purchasing products from the winery who donated the loot, describing why “I cannot in good conscience buy Rosnay products”.
Take a look at the post if you have Sidewiki activated in your browser. Suffice it to say, Jason hit the nail on the head. Here’s an excerpt;
It has come to my attention that Sam Statham of Rosnay Wines is a financial supporter of a group called the Australian Vaccination Network. Sam’s most recent offering was a case of Rosnay Wines to the first donator of $1000 in the AVN’s most recent cash drive. The offer was made seemingly not as a personal donation, but as direct corporate endorsement.
The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) is Australia’s largest anti-vaccination organisation. They have been running a campaign of misinformation and fear-mongering since 1994. Many people who now refuse to vaccinate cite the information that they received from the AVN as being partly, or wholly, responsible for their decision not to vaccinate.
I will leave the last word to Brian Deer, who reflected on the downfall of Wakefield on Orac’s post;
Part of me isn’t surprised by this apparent new development. The simple math of Thoughtful House’s board suggests that there will be at least one or two people of calibre and integrity, who know that all the cranksite stuff about a witchhunt, sinister forces and all that shit, are just that: shit. Wakefield has been nailed, absolutely fairly, properly, but belatedly, with no hidden agendas or vested interests.
Apart, that is, from the public interest.
Good riddance to bad rubbish.
(1) AVN Yahoo!Group message #42270, sent 12.31 am, February 19, 2010.
(2) AVN Yahoo! Group message #42275, sent 5.47 am, February 19, 2010.
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