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Autism: 'British journal battles in Texas court over free speech rights'

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Firestormm, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    British journal battles in Texas court over free speech rights

    posted here: http://briandeer.com/solved/slapp-introduction.htm


    (Taken from the motion (in full below) filed and presumably written by the defence attorneys)

    'This anti-SLAPP motion was filed in Austin on 9 March 2012 by the BMJ, journalist Brian Deer and editor Dr Fiona Godlee, against ex-doctor Andrew Wakefield and his latest "gagging writ" ploy.

    The anti-SLAPP statute protects journalists and publishers from baseless libel claims like Dr. Wakefields by providing for a special motion to dismiss to be filed at the outset of the case.

    To avoid dismissal, the plaintiff must submit clear and specific evidence to support each essential element of his claims.

    Where, as here, the plaintiff cannot satisfy that burden, the Court must dismiss the case and award the defendants their reasonable fees and costs, along with any additional sanctions appropriate to deter the plaintiff from filing similar actions.

    Introduction

    Two months ago, Dr. Andrew Wakefield was named by Time magazine as one of the Great Science Frauds of modern history.

    Last April, the New York Times described him as one of the most reviled doctors of his generation. In 2009, a Special Master presiding over vaccine litigation in the United States Court of Federal Claims recognized that Wakefields 1998 paper in The Lancet medical journal, which suggested a possible link between the lifesaving Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine and the development of autism in children, was considered a scientific fraud.

    The Lancet has now fully retracted Wakefields paper, and its editor has stated publicly that the paper was utterly false and that Wakefield deceived the journal.

    Wakefields home countrys medical board, the United Kingdoms General Medical Council (GMC), convicted him in 2010 of multiple charges of serious professional misconduct, including dishonesty and unethical conduct.

    It further held that his misconduct had been so severe and extensive that the only punishment that would adequately protect the public from him was the permanent revocation of his medical license. As the New York Daily News put it, Hippocrates would puke.

    Now the plaintiff in this frivolous libel case, Dr. Wakefield has sued one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, the BMJ, its editor-in-chief, Dr. Godlee, and one of the most respected investigative journalists in the United Kingdom, Brian Deer.

    Wakefields claims challenge a series of articles and editorials in the BMJ in January 2011, entitled Secrets of the MMR Scare. Of course, there is nothing false about the series.

    Deers reporting won him a British Press Award, the U.K.s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. And the BMJs editorial commentary merely stated what people familiar with the controversy already understood: Wakefields research was a fraud.

    As Dr. Wakefield presses this case, he travels the world raising money for The Dr. Wakefield Justice Fund. Last week, he appeared at the Dr. Wakefield: Fight for Truth and Justice Fundraiser at the Hyatt in Long Beach.

    For $125 per ticket, attendees could spend a unique and special evening with Dr. Wakefield. The price of admission included a gift bag valued at over $50.

    It is a cynical scheme, but not a new one for Wakefield. In recent years, he has filed substantially similar claims against Deer and other U.K. publishers in various proceedings in London. In one of the cases, The Honorable Mr. Justice Eady, one of the most experienced libel judges in the United Kingdom, criticized Dr. Wakefields litigation tactics:

    "[Dr. Wakefield] wished to use the existence of libel proceedings for public relations purposes, and to deter critics, while at the same time isolating himself from the downside of such litigation, in having to answer a substantial defence of justification."

    Indeed, Dr. Wakefield chose to file suit in Texas after BMJs outside counsel in the UK warned him that he would be forced to post a bond with the High Court if he filed this obviously vexatious case in London.

    Dr. Wakefield may have figured that, in Texas, there would be little downside to filing frivolous libel claims and using the suit to raise money and harass his critics. Not so anymore.

    To avoid dismissal under our States new anti-SLAPP statute, Dr. Wakefield must submit evidence to support each essential element of his libel claims. He cannot do this for several reasons.

    First, the statements he challenges are true. The GMC findings against himnumerous proven charges of dishonest and unethical conductare binding in this case, and they leave no room for Wakefield to argue that he was defamed by Defendants reporting and editorial comment.

    And Defendants have overwhelming additional evidence to establish the truth of the challenged statements.

    Moreover, even if Dr. Wakefield could produce evidence of falsity and overcome Defendants other defenses, his claims would still fail. He is indisputably a public figure, and therefore must prove that Defendants acted with actual malicethat they knew what they were publishing was false.

    Again, this will be an impossible burden for Dr. Wakefield. The reporting he challenges was the product of years of investigation by one of the United Kingdoms best reporters, exhaustively sourced, then subjected to multiple editorial reviews, including an external review by an expert pediatrician.

    And Dr. Wakefields credibility on these matters had been so thoroughly eviscerated by his repeated obfuscation, posturing, and outright lying that Defendants had no doubts about the accuracy of their reporting, despite Wakefields protestations of innocence.

    Because Dr. Wakefield cannot satisfy his burden under the anti-SLAPP statute, his claims must be dismissed and he must be ordered to pay Defendants their reasonable attorneys fees and costs in defending this action.

    Moreover, given Dr. Wakefields long history of frivolous libel litigation, including against Deer in the United Kingdom, the Court should award additional sanctions to deter Dr. Wakefield from attempting to use the legal system to harass and intimidate journalists covering this matter of paramount public concern...'

    Read the full anti-SLAPP motion (53 pages) http://briandeer.com/solved/slapp-motion.pdf

    Read the declaration of Brian Deer in support of the motion (101 pages) http://briandeer.com/solved/slapp-deer-declaration.pdf

    Wakefield's SLAPP suit petition (17 pages) http://briandeer.com/solved/slapp-wakefield-petition.pdf
    Sam Carter likes this.
  2. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    ops! :) it looks like Deer hasn't read conclusions of the the High Court judge Mitting on Walker Smith GMC appeal, quashing all the reasons for alleged 'fraud'. ;)

    The judge explained clearly that there is no fraud. The whole witchhunt of Wakefield and colleagues is built on sand.

    Bet Deer and Godlee are clinging to hope that details of UK High Court case will not travel as far as Texas.


    detailed explanation in comments here
  3. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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  4. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Actually the verdict on Walker-Smith had nothing to do with the case being brought by Wakefield against Deer and Godlee. The verdict did not/has not 'demolished' any of their evidence. Two totally different cases and it will not even influence or be able to be used by Wakefield.

    Walker-Smith 'won' because he was able to say he performed the procedures he did as a doctor and not as a researcher. From what I can make out of it all - he actually has always distanced himself from Wakefield and the judge's ruling recently was more to do with the way in which the GMC prepared it's case against him, rather than anything else.

    But that verdict is completely different to the 'fraud' allegations being cited by Wakefield against Deer and Godlee.

    I am 25 pages in to Deer's declaration and it makes very interesting reading (for those who need a reminder).

    Wakefield hasn't got a leg to stand on in my humble opine. And he never did. He's repeating the same shenanigan's that he has done before - suing in order to make the headlines and raising support and funds off the back of it.
    Sam Carter likes this.
  5. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    No Firestormm. Your opinion is based on many myths, created by Deer and perpetuated by the likes of leftbrainnobrain. None of what you say has any base in reality. Deer is one funny fellow. Unfortunately his fantasies suit powers that be, hence constant 'reminders' in the media.
  6. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    The GMC "case" against Wakefield was exactly the same as against Walker-Smith. Lancet pulling the paper was to do with GMC 'charges'. All fantasies. You ought to find yourself better sources.
    anne_likes_red, Lou and Enid like this.
  7. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Not really Natasa. But I do read when I can and if there's not a lot around about my conditions then I'll read about other things too.

    After all there are people who believe that vaccines do have some bearing on my condition as well as autism and so there is a cross-over if only in forum conversations.

    But the research published and retracted, the way in which the data was obtained and spun, all of it really in relation to MMR and Autism has been one big lesson in sensationalism and conflicting and undeclared interests; if not outright fraud.

    I read about the whole Lancet publication back when it was first published, all the controversy it created, and have followed Wakefield on and off over the intervening years.

    So the decision about Walker-Smith and this (separate) defamation (SLAPP) claim followed by the ANTI-SLAPP counter-suit interests me.

    Walker-Smith appealed. The case brought against him by the GMC was not strong enough. Their methodology was poor. The verdict has nothing to do with Wakefield or his claims or his paper or MMR being a cause of Autism. Nothing. Wakefield has has as many opportunities to appeal as Walker-Smith but he dropped his appeal fairly early on.

    This defamation lawsuit similarly has nothing to do with the paper or MMR and autism. Wakefield must now prove that the claims of 'fraud' etc. were wrong i.e. that the defendants statements and research were not true and - from what I can discern - he must prove he is not a 'public figure' or recognised 'celebrity'.

    The burden of proof is on Wakefield but I think that it will not even make it to court.

    Here's some links to more detailed coverage of the findings and how they are being interpreted: http://thinkingautismguide.blogspot.com/2012/03/what-uk-high-courts-ruling-on-john.html It contains numerous links to various articles and interpretations over Walker-Smith and the Anti-Slapp and Slapp filings from both 'sides'.

    You mentioned Left Brain Right Brain, here's the links to the threads about the Anti-Slapp filings (in case others want to read):
    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/20...ile-anti-slapp-suit-against-andrew-wakefield/
    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2012/03/a-few-details-from-brian-deers-declaration/

    Really though one ought to try and read the motion and declarations I suppose. Will try and continue my reading of them later today if I can. Am more or less there with the motion and as I said am on page 25 of the declaration.
  8. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    Your statement is wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to begin :) So random: Wakefield never claimed anything in his paper, least of all that MMR is the cause of Autism. There were 12 other co-authors, Walker Smith included. And no, none of them ever 'disowned' the paper (another creationist myth perpetuated by those whose sites you so love). The charges against him were EXACTLY the same as the charges against Walker Smith. Shitty methodology and absence of any reason in conclusions by GMC panel were exactly the same. Wakefield didn't have opportunities to appeal. Lancet paper was a simple CASE STUDY. It had nothing to do with the planned research study...
    anne_likes_red, Wayne and Lou like this.
  9. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Wakefield was crucified because he started to expose the bullshit and terrible danger of a $50 billion dollar a year industry, forcing us to pollute our offsprings' bodies with poisons and God literally only knows what long term genetic damage.
    And folk buy it because of "Smallpox"
    Well, Hiroshima was an effective trial of new tech, too! :p

    GROW THE HELL UP YOU DAMN SHEEPLE OUT THERE! (aimed at our wider populace, not this forum)
    jeesh!
    Internal COmbustion engine, nuclear fission, pesticides, pharmaceutical (legal/medical) drugs...all very useful and to be used well...but problem is, we abuse them for short term profit and do insanely stupid crap
    (US ran it's civilian reactors very safely thanks to US Navy etc far better than any else has, now the political assclowns are removing those safeguards vis-a-vi the regulators, because they cost money, GAH!!! Hello, Chernobyl ring a bell?! I can get links on that too)

    This sphere of tech, vaccines, is EXACTLY THE SAME
    "With great power, comes great responsibility"
    Sorry for caps but this, the dangers from tech and need for caution, has got to be hammered into peoples' thick skulls
    we've got the scumbags from Living Marxism/Science Media Centre fighting cautious use, they worship tech like a god!

    All vaccines have become is a damn bargain basement scare machine to make corporations rich, that's it.
    Anyone gets in way of that will be destroyed, Wakefield is lucky that corporates rarely ever resort to murder, or he'd have had a "bizarre gardening accident special" like Dr Kelly (bio-weapon inspector, remember him?)
    If I have to I will dig up a list of the immense number of screw up, deaths, paralysis, ME-like effects, corruption scandals etc on vaccines.
    Damn things should be banned except for high risk occupations/areas and genuine catastrophic epidemics.

    What a brilliant sales tactic: Take this or your kid won't be allowed in school!" Take this or your child DIES form this disease...which doesn't really kill that many people in a healthy, well run society nor do vaccines give proper immunity...
    What the hell has that to do with sane health care that CARES for the PATIENT and honest governance, hm?
    A certian controversial US Republican candiate, guess who his main PR/go to dude gets "contributions from" and way they want to change legislation? (will get links if wish)
    And yes, please by all means, show Democrats at this crap too, they're all up to their damn eyeballs in such
    it's not about sides, it's about heinous, evil, dangerous corruption.

    Follow the money, follow the incestous links all these scumbags who run our countries/corporations have
    they are having lunches in clubs, while drinking margueritas on resorts in the Bahamas they share, sorting out how to screw us over each and every day

    http://www.adventuresinautism.com/images/WakefieldWitchhunt.jpg

    [​IMG]

    it never ever mattered from the start whether Wakefield was scientifically right or wrong, as science is an "anachronism" that gets in the way of these evil ratbags who run our world.
    One gawd damn screw up with vaccines could lead to mass sterility, rampant cancer, or who knows what in generations to come, that may even lead to our species extinction.
    Do folks get this? we inject our young with poisons and foreign genetic material we've cooked up in a lab...
    Who the HELL would be stupid enough to trust them if it was any other product than the "wonderful vaccines"?

    Do I have to drag up also, the amount of crap the pharma corps get caught out at, the scandals EVERY week, hm?
    Who makes vaccines?
    Why, pharma corps! What, anyone think they grew on trees? were created by wise old monks in some monastery who actually have long term vision instead of the next damn Quarterlies? :p

    Who decided to pick up the insurance tab for vaccines to "help their populace", why our governments, who are thus never going to admit the screwed up and that vaccines could cause harm becuase they'd get their asses sued to hell, make the tobacco lawsuits look second rate, TRILLION dollars in damage claims from across the globe.

    Wakefield could be a hero or a fraud, I don't know
    I do know he had no damn chance, short of obvious catastrophy (and I think ME is part of the vaccine "catastrophy) or whistleblower proving him right (if he's "hero")

    Our cultures suck monkey butt, chasing tail just for next month's riches...you have to think in terms of decades at least, and centuries to come.
    currer and Enid like this.
  10. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    You have a wonderful way with words Silverblade, pure poetry! :D
  11. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Thank you!
    *bows theatrically* :)
    I did used to write actual poetry, can't now, (well bar silly rhymes, hehe)

    "Romanticky stuff", not for the flint-hearted cynics out there! :p
    http://www.silverblades-suitcase.com/romance/index.htm
    See, contrary to some opinions, I do have a heart!
    Little too much saccharine though but, hey! :D


    Mood and access ot my once formidable cranial lexicon are required for poetry, another thing this damnable illness ruined!
    *hunts down ME microbes or whatever, and uses nano-boots to boot the little buggers up the daddy sacks!* :p
  12. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    Loovely, thanks. Might borrow some of those pics for future school projects ;)
  13. lookinglass

    lookinglass

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    Silverblade this post on vaccines and the chart is an impressive piece of work. Have you put it up anywhere else? It should be on all the hatefilled sites. Thankyou.
  14. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Chart isn't mine, but much same rant as I've said before :p

    vaccines like anything else, are a tool
    we, as usual, have gone overboard with them
  15. lookinglass

    lookinglass

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    Enid likes this.
  16. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    I have never been in any doubt.
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  17. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    I doubt it was 'fallacious imaginings'. Given the commercial links Deer has, it would have been part of a deliberate agenda to close down an area of inquiry. The issue of different parties 'colluding' (my interpretation) implies a common goal, not the foolishness of one man.

    It is not such a great leap of logic to assume the same imperatives which compelled Deer and co to take out Walker Smith are operating in the Wakefield case. How can anyone say Deer and co had a malign agenda with Walker Smith, but are above reproach in their dealings with Wakefield? How can anyone trust anything Deer and co say now on the issue of vaccines etc.

    The High Court found the GMC's/Deer's judgement to be flawed. Those making the judgements were unqualified. Funny how quick some people are to gloss over this and back these same people's judgement in the Wakefield case. To me this is nothing more than bias against Wakefield.

    I don't know if Wakefield is innocent of fraud, but I do know that those accusing him are incompetent, that the facts of the case are likely to be flawed. This is enough to create doubt. Any other conclusion is just wrong and mischievous, or deliberately inciteful. They are siding with Deer and co, and therefor not to be trusted.
    anne_likes_red, lookinglass and Jarod like this.
  18. Desdinova

    Desdinova Senior Member

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    Is their any fraud on Wakefield's part? I'm not 100% sure. But I do believe that Big Pharm and Big Chem are behind the witch hunt that lead to this lawsuit.
  19. lookinglass

    lookinglass

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    What would it take to convince you that Wakefield did not commit fraud I wonder. No disrespect meant BTW. It is an interesting question. Everyone comes to their own conclusions by their own chosen path. Some people simply do not want to believe he could commit fraud. Some people actively prefer to believe that he did. It takes a lot of wading through the massive amount of pro and con opinion and evidence out there to reach one's own conclusions. Finding Motive for any kind of fraud is always a good first step toward finding the truth, if one is still unconvinced. Once you have read the facts about the case from Andrew Wakefield himself you will realise that the lies perpetuated by Brian Deer as to his so called motive of financial profit, are simply that, lies and twisted interpretations and misinformation. There never was any personal profit for financial gain. Fraud in the medical sense? Why would he do that? He was a successful and highly respected researcher in a first class Hospital doing a job he obviously loved, a man whose motives were and are completely honourable. He did not need cheap publicity for fraudulent work. He had genuine concerns. And he voiced them. He wanted simply to do more research.
    The way I see it is that Andy was guilty perhaps of a degree of naivete - he was undoubtedly the target of much professional jealousy and rivalry from a few untrustworthy colleagues, so called friends. He was shafted by some. And then he was targeted as we know by the big pharma guns. In his own words he flushed his career "down the toilet" by attempting to be too open and too honest in the face of a corrupt pharma industry. But a fraud? Go to youtube and watch and listen to some of his own words. Read his book. And have a look at this website.
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/01/...ud-was-not-possible-for-anyone-to-commit.html
    it may help you to reach a conclusion.
    Enid likes this.
  20. Desdinova

    Desdinova Senior Member

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    Please reread what I wrote. I never said he committed fraud. I don't know everything (100%) about the case. Hence my statement "Is their any fraud on Wakefield's part? I'm not 100% sure." I'm leaning towards him not having committed fraud. But again I don't know every minute detail of the case. And while I have no proof, I have no doubt whatsoever that Big Pharm and Big Chem are involved. And that in my opinion we wouldn't even be talking about Dr. Wakefield if they weren't involved. I find it funny how his accusers talk about his financial motivations, and can't help but wonder about the financial motivations directly or indirectly of his main/initial accusers.

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