In about 2003, a group of us went on a public speaking course. One guy did a really interesting talk on "How to find diamonds" but one woman, with an autistic child, did a talk on "Vaccines: The Cause of Autism." The point was that the subject should not have mattered, the talk was simply putting into practice what we had learned. But we were a bad set to give such a talk to. We had all been trained to trust nobody who couldn't come up with the evidence and question and double-check everything. Nobody in the room believed it. And as she accused Big Pharma of denying a link to protect their profits, and governments protecting their donors and friends. We asked for evidence. She gave the example of Thalidomide and links between Pharma and government minsters. Calls of "You didn't take thalidomide!" and "Conspiracy theory!" came. She quoted Wakefield, "Unsupported!", She quoted statistical correlation, "What about Denmark?"
But she would not let go. Her final words were, "You don't understand."
Now the point was that she too had been trained to trust nobody who couldn't come up with the evidence and question and double-check everything. And she was good at it: much better than average. But on this, after years of heartache, worry, mental and physical stress, and having produced an autistic child, she needed a reason, a cause, a club of like-minded people who now knew the answer. Wakefield had given it and it was nothing to do with her or her husband. There was a faith there.
Wakefield gave hope of a happier life hereafter: better care provided by money from Big Pharma? It was not her "fault.". Wakefield backed it up with fiction, his disciples, having utter faith in him, added conspiracy and apologists arose.
This is the sort of stuff that the conspiracists were putting out -> http://www.i-sis.org.uk/MMRautism.php
(undated but appears to be c. 2001)
Dr Mae-Wan Ho is a little strange and (as you will see) is quote-mined by creationists: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Mae-Wan_Ho
She is a signatory to "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism" and to see what kind of person signs that document, have a look at http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/A_Scientific_Dissent_from_Darwinism
Peter Saunders, her co-author on several books appears here: http://pjsaunders.blogspot.co.uk/
Christian Medical Comment