J.B. Handley: Master Projectionist

Age of Autism finally got around to their inevitable attack against the character of Amy Wallace, the author of the Wired Magazine piece that superbly debunks many of their claims. Like with $cientologists, no crank can resist trying to destroy their critics utterly while avoiding substantive responses to their actual arguments.

In this case, J.B. Handley literally steals the language of skeptics that he clearly doesn’t understand the meaning of in order to project the same criticisms of himself onto Ms. Wallace. He begins by claiming she’s drunk “the Paul Offit Kool-Aid” even though he’s yet to ever point out a single criticism of the man based on actual truth. Then he rips off a phrase I believe David Gorski popularized, if not in specific reference to anti-vaccinationists like Handley then certainly in reference to cranks in general. That phrase is “Google University,” which Handley uses to describe Wallace’s research. Um, no Handley. That’s how you do research on the occasions that you don’t just make up some bullshit on the spot.

Then he complains of alleged false balance, insisting that she “never actually bothered to interview anyone from our side of the fence,” as if the truth is two-sided. Maybe she didn’t interview you for the same reason no one interviews Holocaust deniers when discussing the Holocaust or moon landing deniers when doing a story on NASA, or geo-centrists when reporting the weather. Why Handley, would any journalist in their right mind call you when there’s at least 6.7 billion people on the planet more qualified to discuss vaccines?

Then of course Camrade Handley couldn’t resist his classic anti-capitalist reference to “Paul Offit’s Rotateq-funded mansion,” even though I’m pretty sure he doesn’t actually live in a mansion and that Handley is well aware that his previous claims of the many millions of dollars Offit allegedly got from his Rotateq vaccine have been debunked on many, many, many, many, many, many occasions. But speaking of money, I can’t help but notice all those advertisements surrounding Handley’s article, all of which are specifically for companies that benefit from Age of Autism’s message. This is the most transparent example of conflict of interest one could imagine. I wonder how much is Handley’s cut of the profits.

Then I couldn’t contain my laughter when I read Handley claim Wallace made so many “logical fallacies,” when Handley wouldn’t know a logical fallacy from a banana. And of course he never actually cites a single one of the “many” logical fallacies that she makes. But he does surprise me by actually attempting for once to address specific arguments. . .though not the logic of them.

In his first rebuttal, he asks about the 34 (non-existent) vaccines that haven’t been studied and the 50+ (non-existent) ingredients that no one has considered. The rest of this paragraph is just a host of already debunked claims like the “too much too soon” gambit that has never been based on even a shred of real science, a plug for his already thoroughly debunked website where he tries to dismiss the many studies that prove him wrong out of hand by waving a proverbial magic wand, and reveals his own God of the Gaps position that shifts the burden of proof onto the medical community to meet his impossible standards in 100% disproving his claims, which were never based on anything other than conjecture in the first place. No Handley. It’s YOUR job to prove your claim, not anyone else’s job to absolutely disprove it.

I’m not even going to continue because, really, what’s the point when Handley refuses to accept any aspect of reality that might suggest he’s wrong and/or crazy. Plus, I can’t stand to even read J.B.’s unwarranted smug, condescending attitude anymore and his commitment to citing fraudulent medical authorities as his sources. It’s like  trying to explain gravity to a fruit fly. I’m sure one of the many science bloggers like Gorski will offer up yet another complete refutation to all of Handley’s idiocity. But I have no patience for him any longer.

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8 Responses to J.B. Handley: Master Projectionist

  1. han says:

    Good god, that “rebuttal” is hard to read. It seriously sounds like it was written by a thirteen-year-old girl. “Like, OMG, autism, hello??”
    I tend to be pretty wary of people who write like J.B. Handley. In my experience evaluating student essays, people’s ability to express themselves through writing is an indication of their intelligence as a whole. The better-written essays also tend to be the most insightful. Orac gets away with anger and sarcasm because he’s an intelligent person and a good writer. Clearly J.B. Handley is neither.
    Oh, and I love that his response to the observation that rich people are the ones not vaccinating is basically, “Yeah, that’s cause we’re better than you.”

  2. JB Handley says:

    To know that you will no longer be reading my smug, condescending, poorly written, poorly referenced writing is heartbreaking. I’ve died just a little bit tonight. Give my best to the fruit fly. JB Handley

    • mjr256 says:

      Oh, I never said I’d stop reading your smug, condescending, poorly written, poorly referenced writing; I just meant that your unwarranted smugness over a position that no self-respecting expert in the field agrees with you on makes me sick.

      I’d also happily discuss your claims here in the comments section of this blog since my very polite comments on your Age of Autism site seem to always mysteriously disappear…for purely intellectually honest reasons, I’m sure. I on the other hand promise not to delete any of your comments as I value honest discourse. But if I’d made a similar comment to yours above on Age of Autism, it most certainly would not stay.

      In case you do decide to come back to leave another comment, I have 3 questions for you to consider:

      1. You say you want safer vaccines. OK then, please, define “safe enough.” What rate of complications for specific vaccines would be “safe enough”? What rates of various infectious diseases against which these vaccines protect would be acceptable in order to balance the risk-benefit ratios?

      2. You castigate vaccines for having “toxins.” What “toxins” would you remove? Be specific, and provide evidence that these “toxins” actually cause harm at the levels used in vaccines.

      3. What specific evidence would it take for you to accept that vaccines are safe relative to the risk of disease and to vaccinate your children and urge your friends to vaccinate theirs?

  3. […] subject, Offit (which he then quickly removed and replaced with Jonestown Massacre imagery by the time I read it on Age of Autism). Anti-vaccinationists have since threatened and intimidated Wallace as well as calling her a […]

  4. Joseph says:

    People who don’t vaccinate are not just the wealthy. The very poor also don’t vaccinate. I would imagine wealthy people can spend a lot more time on the internet reading anti-vax nonsense.

  5. […] here, here (also from Adriana Gamondes who’s responsible for the latest offending article), here, here (the second item in the list), here, and here. Again, that’s just to name a few […]

  6. […] J.B. Handley: Master Projectionist […]

  7. […] they’re making money is absolute proof of corruption and conspiracy (see: here, here, here, here, here to name a few […]

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