April 7, 2007

What Really Happened When Katie Mentioned Vaccines On Oprah

JB Handley of Generation Resuce is a friend of Katie Wright-Hildebrand and posted an account of her experience on the Oprah Show this week. She said a good deal more about the autism-vaccine connection that was edited out. Here are JB's very frank comments:

REMINDER: There has been a little confusion in the comments section. The following is not my account or opinion... it is JB Handley's.

Katie was told by the producers before the show was filmed that if
she mentioned vaccines she would be off the show.

While taping, the pediatrician made the misstatement about vaccines
and autism (that whole "no connection" reassuring bullshit), and,
during break, Katie appealed directly to Oprah to let her respond,
as you saw on the show.

However, Oprah's response to Katie about "opening the can of worms"
and the audience's applause after what she said was actually based
on a much longer exchange, all of which was edited out of the final
cut of the show.

After the part you heard Katie say, Katie went on to say that the
preservatives in the vaccines made her son sick and that the
combination vaccines and the vaccine schedule were grossly unsafe.

Everyone's favorite pediatrician then jumped in and said that if the
schedule were changed there would epidemics. Katie responded by
saying there already is an epidemic and that our kids are not
disposable so the CDC can perpetuate irrational fears of the measles
and the flu.

I think this highlights a number of things:

- The censorship most media outlets give to this issue is very high.
My personal opinion is that this is due entirely to the power of
pharma advertising and to the fact that the media outlets hear
directly from pharma in advance of these shows and get warned. The
fact that the daughter of NBC's FORMER CEO must be deeply troubling
for pharma because this is going to be one very tough person to shut

- Oprah over-ruled the directive Katie was given because she is
Oprah and appears to have strong moral fiber. If Don Imus is a 10, I
give Oprah a 5, which makes her second-best for national
personalities dealing honestly about our kids, although it is almost
incomprehensible to me that this is Oprah's first show on autism.

- The lame doctor saying "if the schedule were changed there would
be epidemics" has no idea what she is talking about. It is
unbelivable that it is NEVER reported that in the mid-1980s there
were 10 vaccines on the schedule and today its 36. We were not
having massive epidemics in the 1980s and the schedule has more than
tripled due to money and recklessness, with no monitoring system
that could ever catch a delayed-onset condition like autism.

- Katie is a true warrior for her son and all of our kids. She said
so much more than America got to hear.



Anonymous said...

So you know personally what causes autism? cause, frankly, we don't really know yet do we? this is just one theory, like too much television or having engineeer parents.

Ginger Taylor said...


Everyone in the debate agrees that it is a genetic predisposition sparked by an environmental trigger or triggers.

There is very good evidence that the most frequently occurring trigger is vaccinations.

The debate is ongoing, but children who are being treated for vaccination injury are recovering from autism. My son is one of them.

If you have something constructive to contribute to the conversation, we welcome your thoughts.

If you just wanna make snarky comments, there are plenty of places out there to do it.

This really isn't that place.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree!! My son showed some early signs but totally lossed his speech and started banging his head after his two year old shots. He hasn't had any shots in over a year and is starting to improve with a lot of therapy.

Laura said...

Hi Ginger,

Great post! I saw this on some other Autism sites I'm on, and I'm so glad Katie got the "V" word in on Oprah!

I'm adding you to my blog roll!


Maddy said...

If you don't mind me asking, I was wondering how you knew this? Did you get the chance to visit or have a good pal in the audience?
Best wishes

Anonymous said...

kI am glad that Oprah finally did a show on Autism. However, there are lots of topics to cover. Where do we start? One of which I feel is important, is services for autistic children and families. Who funds this? In Michigan, many programs are being cut, one of which is respite. Many programs that we need for our children are not covered by insurance. This would have been a wonderful topic to discuss. We already know it's an epidemic, why debate it? I have two children on the spectrum and receive NO SERVICES. Everything I do for them comes out of our own pockets. We have no family to help us. There are many out there like us. This is something worth debating.

Ginger Taylor said...

That is HORRIBLE that you don't get services.

That all of these topics are not being discussed is really bad.

If you want Oprah to do more on it, go post it on her discussion board. Many times when they have a strong response to a topic they do a follow up show.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first comment poster. How can you be so critical of this doctor, who has devoted her life to working with autistic children and families, when we don't know for sure yet what causes autism? Yes, vaccinations are one theory that she doesn't believe are the root cause, but it has not yet been proven, and it doesn't make her "lame" or an idiot. Let's focus our energy on working together, not bashing each other's views and ideas. Let's debate like adults and show some professionalism. This is my CONTRIBUTION to the conversation.

Ginger Taylor said...

Just a reminder... those were JB Handley's comments, not mine. I wanted to share his account of the full exchange.

Anonymous said...

I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that my son has autism and has also been vaccine damaged. Whether the two are linked or not, I don't know and at this point it no longer matters to me because I will no longer be poisoning my son with FDA approved crap. All I can say is that after receiving one flu shot, he quit speaking for 3 months and lost a ton of skills he had before. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out. Beofre shot, he's ok, after shot, he's screwed up. What do you think happened to my son?

Anonymous said...

A wonderful website that I have found....


There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that autism is triggered in many cases by vaccinations. I have two children, ages 2 1/2 and 9 months. Neither child is autistic, however, they are still at risk. We all need to understand is that any child that has yet to receive their mandated vaccination is at risk. We must put a stop to this.

Anonymous said...

Don Imus is a 10????? Um, have you watched the news lately? I wouldn't be mentioning him at this point.

Ginger Taylor said...

JB wrote his comments more than a week ago. I think it was either before or the day of Imus' mean comments.

Don Imus and his wife have been passionate advocates for our children, holding many politicians feet to the fire over the last few years to pass legislation that will benefit our kids.

JB's '10' reference was that his boldness is speaking out for our kids, was the standard by which he was measuring Oprah's performance.

His fall is a hard hit for our community.

Anonymous said...

G ...

Word. I just voted you as the Best Parenting Blog at The Blog Choice Awards. You're already on the front page of

Best to you always and I hope that this gets your blog votes, but most importantly brings more people to your blog to learn from you!


Anonymous said...

If only there was some serious evidence of the link between vaccine and autism. At present, there is not and may never be.

Honestly, I wish autism was caused by vaccines, but the lack of serious evidence to support that claim seems to ring hallow to the vaccine camp and their dogmatic beliefs that will, seemingly, hold true forever. A narrow interpretation of what the causes of autism are does little to help us find the true, and likely, many causes.

Wade Rankin said...

To the anonymous folks who wonder about criticism of the doctor on Oprah, let me mention what was offensive about her words: she lied. Yes, she is entitled to her opinion that a connection might not exist, but that's not what she said. She said that the connection between autism and a vaccine trigger had been refuted. At most, the CDC and IOM pronouncements on the issue hold that the connection has not been proven, not that it has been disproven. Even if one has a sincerely held opinion, there is a responsibility to present the differencve of opinion honestly. Her expression on the Oprah show was nothing short of Offitesque.

Anonymous said...

I am a mother of two girls who have Asperger's Syndrome. I think it is a bit presumptuous to say your son is "recovering" from Autism. I don't know if you are saying he is no longer autistic. Let's have clarification on that, because to date there is no cure for Autism.

Yes, there is debate on the issue as to what causes autism. Vaccinations do not cause autism. Let's make that very clear. They might be an attributing factor, but they are not the cause. The jury is still out and this is still being studied. It is a theory but there still is no substantial overwhelming proof that this is what causes or attributes to Autism.

That being said, I read an excellent article in Scientific American recently. (You can read the overview here.) Which talks about the research as to what they have found as far as possible damages to the brain, what parts of the brain are attributed to Autism and so on. I well recommend the read because it is a awesome step in the right direction as far as research related to Autism. Knowing or getting a handle on the physiology of Autism so much going to help us find and understand the causes of it.

Also, research is going to weed out patients who a) display Autistic like symptoms which are part of another underlying problem that can be treated, b) who are misdiagnosed because of inadequate testing or c) those who fall under the fad diagnosis category (in cases for the milder areas of the spectrum such as PDD-NOS and Asperger's.)

I commend you on seeking alternative treatment to help your son, but please provide a word of caution regarding this treatment. Treating a child for "vaccination injury" could do more to hurt than help some children. We don't have all the facts yet. While it might helping your son, it might not for others.

In the case of both our children, my husband was exposed to a great deal of chemicals, strange vaccinations, toxins and other stuff when he was deployed in Desert Storm. Now, his former unit has a higher rate of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder than perhaps the same demographic of people who weren't deployed to the region. Off the record, we have been told by doctors and those through the VA that this is probably a very strong attributing factor as to why both of our girls are Autistic. It is a theory at this point considering that family history and all other environmental influences have been carefully examined and eliminated.

There is a lot we still don't know about Autism. It is good to have debate, but we also have to be VERY careful about how we present our theories and naming causes this early in game.

Ginger Taylor said...

I can say with confidence that my son is recovering. I don't know how far his recovery will go, but he makes eye contact now. He talks now. He answers to his name now. He did none of these things before we began treating him via DAN.

To contradict, there is evidence that points to vaccines being the most frequent trigger for autism.

The chief complaint of parents like me is that there is not 'overwhelming evidence' because the institutions charged with doing the research that would give us that evidence, won't do it.

They started with the Verstraten study and the evidence was so strong that mercury levels in vaccines were tied to neurodevelopmental disorders that they had to spend 4 years and 25 million dollars to try to get rid of the relationship, and they still couldn't. http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2005/08/heres-why-disdain.html

Every day since then the CDC has spent trying to look like they are doing something to find the causes, but it is about as convincing as OJ's search for the real killers.

We will never have 'overwhelming' evidence until the CDC does open. transparent studies, and they just won't do it. It has been years now that parents have been asking for it, and they just won't do it.

They won't do it because they already know how the research will come out, and they don't want the vaccine program to be compromised.

Check out the video I posted today. Children who are being treated as if they are vaccine injured are recovering from Autism. I would call your attention to Baxter who lost his Autism diagnosis.

If you have not looked into the DAN protocol, I encourage you to look into it.

Anonymous said...

Well, both of my children make more eye contact now more regularly. They don't have as many adverse reactions to external stimuli as before. Gross motor function is improving. They have even developed a sense of emotional empathy that wasn't present only a few years ago. What is our trick? No trick, just persistent verbal reinforcement of behavior as well as speech, occupational therapy, sensory diet and additional educational services as provided by their school. We have chosen to main stream them as much as possible by placing them in a charter school.

As far as diet goes, we are careful to make sure they eat a balanced diet and keep them away from foods that might add to or appear to agitate their condition such as food high in preservatives and additives.

I am familiar with the DAN protocol. It is a VERY controversial model for treatment. I agree that that some biomedical testing can be done because of the higher incidents of some intolerance that are associated in children diagnosed with Autism. We have had some of these tests performed on our girls with nothing conclusive. No mercury toxicity, no gluten intolerances, protein deficiencies, or other metabolic disorders.

Exactly how are you treating your son for the "vaccination injury"? Chelation therapy? I hope you proceed with caution on this because a 5 year old boy died recently while receiving this treatment and another child of a parent I know had very bad adverse reactions while perusing this form of treatment.

Most doctors -- including our own -- believe that diet can play a role in affecting the behavior within Autistic children, do advise a change in diet in some cases. We discussed this with our doctor that perhaps a change in diet with some foods would help improve. I notice a difference on some days -- especially with out youngest -- when she has been eating foods that she necessarily shouldn't be eating (additives, preservatives, high processed sugars, etc). She has less focus and her behavior is far more unpredictable. But this might be no different than if you introduced junk foods to a normal child who would not typically be exposed to those levels of additives and preservatives. I’m not autistic and I can tell a difference in how I function when I eat non-healthy foods versus eating a typical healthy diet.

As stated before we have had both children tested. There are not other genetic conditions that are an underlying cause for their Autism. I think it is important to note that research thus far has determined that there are two distinct areas of how autism manifests itself: a underlying separate medical disorder or condition and he condition of Autism actually presenting itself. There is still research into this. While you promote the DAN protocol for treatment, I think it is VERY important to note that this path of treatment does NOT work for all diagnosed cases. The DAN protocol of treatment is based heavily on the presumption that the child has some sort of metabolic dysfunction which is causing the symptoms. It doesn't make what the child experiences any less important, but if in fact a child is being treated metabolic issues, does the child truly have Autism or are the symptoms as a direct result of another condition all together? After all, there are number of medical conditions that present themselves the same in symptoms, but the underlying causes are completely different – hence why they are distinguished and separate medical conditions. It really does warrant more research, in my opinion. Because how can you explain children who suddenly are better after metabolic form of treatment but that same treatment is totally ineffective in another child with Autism. In the case of both of my daughters, they have no other genetic or metabolic disorder that would be cause for their Autism. And I am not willing to gamble with their lives and make things worse by trying to treat a condition that doesn’t exist.

I would be VERY careful promoting the DAN protocol. Advise your readers that they should find a doctor who can perform the appropriate tests and follow the guidelines for treatment of a metabolic condition should it be evident that one exists. Make sure they understand that not all cases of Autism are tied to a metabolic dysfunction.

Anonymous said...

When citing the poor little boy who died because of chelation, please remember that the chelator did not kill him, a medication error killed him. He did not receive the proper medication, his calcium was leached from his system, and he suffered a cardiac arrest. This is not the same as dying from chelation, not at all. We used Chemet for a year, 3 days on, 11 days off. No issues, and a definite improvement in my child's life. After a year, we have switched (with the approval as always of our Pediatrician AND our DAN! doctor) to a clay bath, www.clayforautism.com. And since your husband was in the gulf, here's a little bonus. My husband, too, was in the gulf. We think that increased Dermot's chances of the vaccines he received causing him harm. My husband takes the bath once a week, also. After his 3rd week, he said he felt better than he had in years. That he had felt "hung over" all the time. He now has more energy and much fewer muscle cramps and spasms.

As to why I think the vaccines caused the injury? Dermot was tested and his excretory mercury level was zero. The normal level should be somewhere around 2 - 3 ppm being excreted at a constant rate, due just to environmental exposure. He cannot excrete mercury. Mercury settles in the brain and continues to cause damage. It never goes away. He also only has 3 of the 5 antibodies. Missing the IgA causes gluten and casein intolerances, leaky gut, and dysbiosis. This also altered his white blood cells (the mercury) and he then acquired a +4 candida infection in his intestines. SO - I'm guessing that the 36 mercury laden live viruses injected into him was a bad idea.

We follow the DAN! protocol. I have yet to read of a child who died from this. No child died from Chemet. No organ failure, either. Everything we do for him cannot hurt him. The worst that can happen is, it won't help. Why wouldn't I try every thing I could? He's gotten happier, healthier, more alive, and more with us. Two years ago he faced the wall with his little people lined up in front of him. Today he woke up and ran looking for his big brother, shouting "I want Declan games!" and tackled him.

With the DAN protocol, as with all of the therapies we do, etc., there is no magic bullet. Each helps in it's own way, and every little bit helps. All of the little bits have added up to us getting our son back, and him not facing a future of an institution when I die.

Anonymous said...

I think that Teddy's parents should become familiar with this website http://www.generationrescue.org and also:
I believe that both of these websites are very important for Teddy's parents and anyone else that has a Child they suspect has Autism, or has received a diagnosis for Autism.

Anonymous said...

hi elizabeth. i am curious what is chemet and do the clay baths work better? my son is 7 and still no language. where should i start? we are going to try hyperbarics 100% oxygen next. have you heard anything about that? iam praying so hard i just don't know what to do my 4 year old had a stroke leaving him with many issues and my 9 year old has aspergers someone please help!!!!! anything that works? lisa

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

FAIR Autism Media will be screening a 30 minute premiere of our interview with Katie Wright at Autism One on friday night (May 25) at 6:30 p.m.

Special guests will appear, so don't miss it!