Gardasil and the American Bald Eagle – What Would Rachel Carson Do?


A mated pair of bald eagles twenty yards above me both tip their wings and set a synchronized dive wing-tip to wing-tip toward me. The Willamette River and the Oregon City’s Willamette Falls are the sources of interest for these youngsters. The raptors are giving me pause and hope – a certain sanity floods my head seeing things in balance, nature in action over a plugged-up Interstate 205, the gas guzzlers of the elite and the endless serpent of 18-wheelers looking like a monster to these eagles. These birds’ orange-yellow beaks and pitch-black body feathers remind me of this big web of life that is continually being disrupted, torn apart, and obliterated by the master species’ addiction to oil, chemicals, and industrial-strength-and-sized unnatural interventions.

Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking about Rachel Carson (Silent Spring, 1962) and her efforts to preserve the integrity of natural ecosystems from industrialized greed. I am reminded of all those foggers tooling through neighborhoods with DDT gas spewing out and kids chasing after in the vortex of the poison. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, synthesized in 1886, was deemed perfectly safe to life and limb by a battalion of scientists and medical impresarios backed by the likes of Monsanto. Carson, a biologist by trade, understood the dangers of these chemicals and fought arduously to inform the public. Through a series of letters and short chapters published first in the New Yorker and then compiled into the now landmark book Silent Spring, Carson’s efforts ultimately resulted in the banning of DDT but not before she was thoroughly castigated in the press.

For her robust scientific skepticism of the safety of all those government-approved and scientifically-proven chemicals polluting the landscape, she endured endless personal attacks. For me and countless other ecologists, Carson is the mother of the environmental movement. One such attack demonstrates the misogyny and scientific-technology chauvinism of her time:

Miss Rachel Carson’s reference to the selfishness of insecticide manufacturers probably reflects her Communist sympathies, like a lot of our writers these days. We can live without birds and animals, but, as the current market slump shows, we cannot live without business. As for insects, isn’t it just like a woman to be scared to death of a few little bugs! As long as we have the H-bomb everything will be O.K.—Letter to the editor of the New Yorker, 1962

Though tame by comparison to the vitriol of 21st century social media attacks, the playbook remains much the same, and sadly, so too are the battles. Fifty years after Rachel Carson felt the sting of the attacks on her character and intellect, we are still fighting against these chemical companies, only now we fight from multiple fronts. The same companies polluting our ecosystem, our rivers, streams, lakes and ground soil, pollute our bodies.

Poisons, and now the slide into poisoned and colonized minds, have taken me from my birth in 1957 to a truly Kafkaesque carnival show of incompetence, perverted power, and inverse logic at all levels of the societal ladder. I questioned the safety of Gardasil and was fired from a non-profit for doing so. My story is all over the internet, and that’s fine. See “Social Worker Helping Troubled Teens Loses Job for Questioning Gardasil Vaccine During Planned Parenthood Required Training”. This sort of cause célèbre doesn’t pay the mortgage and doesn’t restore my character and professional standing that have been sullied by the events of recent weeks, but it does, open a door to a perspective once blocked from view.

Call it the Pandora’s Box opening up, or the tip of the iceberg surfacing. Since the forced paid leave and then the sacking, I have delved into the nefarious connections between non-profits and their funding agencies. What I found was disturbing and points to a much larger problem, a forced collusion between medical marketing, non-profits, foundations and scientists, a relationship that demands acquiescence or risks the loss of funding. While I have long understood that money influences decision-making, the extent to which profits are blocking questions about medication safety from being asked is unprecedented. The implications are frightening. This collusion is forcing people, cultures and their ecologies to bear the burden of illness, disease, cancers, ecocide and inter-generational hardships because of greed, galvanized through the adoption of a wholly market-driven science.

Amidst this unholy trinity of ideology-economics-politics, I cannot help but wonder, what would Rachel Carson do? She would write, of course. She would write passionately and clearly not to the institutions capitalism is beholden to, but to us, the people most affected by these decisions. I will do the same.

It is common practice among these chemical companies to attack prominent scientists who speak out against their products. This is a well-known part of the chemical industry playbook, dating back to the battles against DDT and refined by the tobacco industry. To censure unknown, low level employees of non-profits, however, speaks to a new level of message control, one, even I, an old journalist, educator and environmental activist, find surprising. I think you will too.

Over the coming weeks, I will publish a series of articles exploring the influence of pharmaceutical funding to non-profits on the messaging and marketing of health related information. As you read these posts, we encourage you to look at your own circumstances and ask yourself how what you know or think you know about a given chemical might be influenced by corporate interests. If you work at non-profit tasked with disseminating health or environmental information, how are questions of efficacy and product safety dealt with? Are there certain topics that cannot be broached, even by lower level employees? Has anyone been terminated for asking the wrong questions? Then ask yourself, “What would Rachel Carson do?” and consider sharing your story with us.

We Need Your Help

More people than ever are reading Hormones Matter, a testament to the need for independent voices in health and medicine. We are not funded and accept limited advertising. Unlike many health sites, we don’t force you to purchase a subscription. We believe health information should be open to all. If you read Hormones Matter, like it, please help support it. Contribute now.

Yes, I would like to support Hormones Matter. 

This article was published originally on November 7, 2017.

Complex Illness After Gardasil and Other Vaccines


My daughter was born completely healthy. She met all her milestones on time. Health wise, as a child she had asthma which was usually more symptomatic with upper respiratory infections that she would get approximately once or twice a year. She is allergic to Azithromycin and used an albuterol inhaler as needed.

The Downward Health Spiral After Gardasil and Other Vaccines

In August of 2012, she had six vaccines for school: the DTAP, chickenpox, MCV4, Hep A, the flu shot, and Gardasil. Within 24 hours she had a seizure and difficulty walking. I was told she was having “complex migraines “. With time the migraines progressed. Her MRI was normal, but fainting and seizure like activity continued. This led to an EEG test that was normal. Maxalt was tried but triggered heart palpitations and a rash. Imitrix was tried but did not work.

In March 2013 she was admitted to the hospital for an IV medication called DHE that was supposed to reset her so she could be put on preventative migraine medication. That treatment failed, and the migraines returned forcing us to home school her. She was put on Topiramate and Focalin for ADHD. She then had her adenoids and tonsils removed due to tonsil stones that did not go away with amoxicillin.

Already Ill, She Was Given More Vaccines: Gardasil and the Flu Shot

In October 2014, she went in to her pediatrician for a barking cough, which was asthma related and got her second dose of Gardasil and a flu shot. The next day she collapsed at school with another seizure, which was witnessed by school staff. Her neurologist put the connection that Gardasil had caused her symptoms. I was told to make sure she did not get the third dose.

By November 2014, she stopped menstruating. We waited for it to come back and by February 2015 she lost a significant amount of weight, had fainting episodes, stomach cramping, pain, mood swings, the GI doctor diagnosed eosinophilic esophagitis. She was put on Prilosec and probiotics. We were told to eliminate gluten and dairy. It took me months to find a gynecologist willing to see a 14 year old. She was seen in the ER for stomach pain when they found ovarian cysts. Gynecology finally agreed to see her. She had surgery to drain cysts on her ovaries, remove a fibroma on her left ovary, and drain nabothian cervical cysts. She was put on progesterone to try to trigger a menstrual cycle and other than light spotting, it failed.

We got a second opinion with a neurologist who did a CT scan and more bloodwork. She was diagnosed with vasculitis, high testosterone levels, seizures, abnormal hair growth on her chest, legs, and lips. A different type of progesterone was tried along with Keppra for the seizures. Keppra was discontinued three months later when her EEG came back normal. Cardiology did a tilt table test. She was diagnosed with Dysautonomia/POTS. We were told she needed to increase her salt intake and water. She was tried on Ludent, which caused her to break out in a rash. Gynecology tried metformin for insulin resistance and rapid weight gain. Metformin caused hallucinations and mood swings. Her new primary diagnosed her with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome with hypermobility, and mast cell activation. Her doctor also wanted her to have saline IV hydration four times a week with a home health nurse because her body does not absorb water to keep her hydrated. I think she said it was due to hypertonia. Her neurologist gave her Inderal after cardiology refused to treat her.

She had another surgery for ovarian cysts and endometriosis in January 2018. Gynecology does not know what to do next. We declined Lupron. We were told she would have removed the left ovary if she was older because it is covered in cysts too small to drain and we were told today that her left ovary is not savable and will need to be removed by the end of August. The right ovary will need to be drained and a D & C will need to be done to get rid of the endometriosis. Hormonal birth control pills are not an option because of the risk of heart attack and stroke. An IUD could slip out of place due to EDS. Progesterone triggered seizures. Estrogen can make her bones more lax and cause more seizures. So the current doctors do not know how else to treat her.

She is allergic to nightshade vegies, tuna, gluten, dairy, all types of nuts, tomatoes, salmon, and shrimp. She is also allergic to Toradol and Percocet (after surgery meds) and Macrobid, Azithromycin.

Due to the allergies vegan diets caused GERD, nut allergies make paleo not an option. I don’t want multiple surgeries and pain to be part of her life, but right now we are stuck and I’m looking for any options that may help.

Medications, Diet, Reactions and Allergies

Current Medications

  • Inderal 60 mg daily
  • Saline IV infusion 4xs a week
  • Hydrocodone for an ovarian cyst, nightly as needed. Surgery pending.

Past Medication Reactions

  • Azithromycin: rash and trouble breathing
  • Maxalt: heart palpitations
  • Toradol: rash
  • Metformin: hallucinations and mood swings
  • Progestrone: increased seizure activity
  • Macrobid: rash
  • Ludent: nausea and hives

Current Diet

  • Chicken
  • Beans (either black beans or pinto)
  • Rice (Jasmine or brown)
  • Cesar salads
  • Cucumber with lemon
  • Gluten free pasta
  • Eggs
  • Avocado
  • Steak
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Honeydew melons
  • Cherries
  • Pomegranates
  • Apples
  • Smoothies (any variety of fruit, kale, spinach and yogurt)
  • Occasionally she will have pizza or hamburgers even though it makes her feel bloated
  • Carne asada tacos
  • Green beans
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Drinks water and Gatorade for hydration

My daughter’s health continues to decline and her doctors are at a loss as to what to do. We are looking for input about how to recover.

We Need Your Help

More people than ever are reading Hormones Matter, a testament to the need for independent voices in health and medicine. We are not funded and accept limited advertising. Unlike many health sites, we don’t force you to purchase a subscription. We believe health information should be open to all. If you read Hormones Matter, like it, please help support it. Contribute now.

Yes, I would like to support Hormones Matter. 

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If you have a Gardasil or other vaccination reaction story to share, send us a note. 

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Falling into the Planned Parenthood Gardasil Snake Pit


“With 80 percent of clinical trials failing to meet recruitment deadlines in the West, major drug companies are today conducting half or more of their trials outside the major markets, often in countries–like Nigeria–with poor human rights records and weak regulatory infrastructures. Pfizer’s Nigeria trial is unusually sensational and high profile, but its bending of the rules may be more the rule than the exception.” – Sonia Shah, author of The Body Hunters

“It is clear from the evidence presented in this book that the pharmaceutical industry does a biased job of disseminating evidence – to be surprised by this would be absurd – whether it is through advertising, drug reps, ghostwriting, hiding data, bribing people, or running educational programmes for doctors.” ― Ben Goldacre, Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients

The entire mess of questioning one vaccination – HPV, human papilloma virus vaccine known as Gardasil produced by Merck, and, Cervarix from GlaxoSmithKline’s labs – has opened up more than a Pandora’s Box for me. A viper pit I have been dumped into. I am facing a Medusa of sorts, a monster I already battled in other arenas, but I never thought I’d be up against it as a social worker for foster youth.

For four and a half decades, I have witnessed up close the Medusa of Disaster Capitalism and the Unfettered Military Industrial Complex as a reporter in the Southwest USA and throughout Mexico and Central America.

Today, that mythical Medusa’s many snakes as hair strands is most troublesome: I call it the Military-Surveillance-Fossil Fuel-Penal-Medicine-Financial-Education-Media-Pharma-Digital Industrial Complex. It’s turned into an all-encompassing monster.

That reality is a given for many of us who question authority, who see a world better served as non-hierarchical, non-patriarchal and earth/ecosystems/cultures focused. The reader can go to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights  or something like the Earth Charter and get a sense of how millions of us have not only a yearning for something more just than the current global financial Medusa running things, but we’ve worked for that social-earth-economic justice hard and long.

Fear of Advocating for Clients

One of the rights we hold as self-evident, supposedly held as a God-given American tenet, is the unrestricted ability for any person to find work to both help the person survive in this pay-as-we-go society and to, in some cases, help a person achieve some sort of self-worth and dignity.

The careers I have had include college instructor/faculty, newspaper journalist, community organizer and social worker. My work in the past seven years includes working with adults with severe developmental disabilities; with adults in a memory care facility as their educator and outings lead. I’ve worked to help adults in a sheltered workshop find competitive employment; I have worked with clients deemed homeless/addicts/felons to gain skills, services and employment on their road to recovery-reentry-resuscitating.

I was working a pretty cool job most recently as a social worker/case manager for an independent living program, a suite of services set up nationally for foster youth, 16 to 21 years of age, mainly to get them to finish high school and go onto college or trade school. My gifts as teacher, outdoor educator, world traveler, communicator, and creative soul aided me in making deep and profound connections to youth who have seen the underbelly of life and face many challenges tied to the disconnected nature of living sometimes in dozens of foster care homes. Exposure to drug use, pornography, drug dealing, violence, sexual assault and criminal acts are just some of the histories of these youth.

I worked hands on with youth one-on-one and in groups. I got to take them on outings like surfing in the Pacific and a four-day conference at a private university. I had some level of independence and developed great relationships with other professionals in state, county, city public sector jobs and with foster parents and the youth. The job also afforded me decent training in all sorts of areas, including trauma-informed care and motivational interviewing.

Sex Ed and Me

I came face-to-face, though, with the inner workings of Planned Parenthood, as in my first intersection with PP while training to be a facilitator for one five-hour curriculum attempting to get youth to understand the high risks associated with alcohol use and unprotected sex.

The specific training I had taken as part of my job description was focused on case managers becoming trainers, titled Sexual Health and Adolescent Risk Prevention (SHARP). My former employers, Lifeworks Northwest, a 46-year-old non-profit, receives thousands of dollars from Planned Parenthood each year to allow PP to utilize our caseloads, youth, 16 to 21, characterized as high risk for homelessness, dropping out of school, substance abuse, pregnancy and contracting an STI, sexually transmitted infection:

“The goal of the Healthy Youth Collaborative is to reach youth by bringing evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs to scale. To achieve this goal, Planned Parenthood implements Healthy Youth Collaborative programming within each community, in four different settings including schools (middle and high school), health centers, community-based organizations, and juvenile justice facilities. A curriculum has been chosen so that there is an appropriate evidence-based program for each of these settings.”

I’m all for protecting youth and having myriad of ways to incite responsibility through education and modeling. What I found from the training was a bizarrely out-of-touch with current youth culture Planned Parenthood. I found the insistence to follow their curriculum word for word both interfering and hobbling. I also found a lot of condescension, and what I have seen in my many years working in educational circles: both a dumb-downing and infantilizing of many important aspects of a training or course.

While I have always supported the mission to help youth not face unwanted pregnancies, to have strong information and tools tied to sexual health and sexuality, and a place to obtain services for either preventing or curing STI’s/STD’s, I have also worked on the frontlines in El Paso as a volunteer escort for anyone seeking services at that Planned Parenthood. Those Saturday episodes found me face-to-face with angry, picket-bearing extremists who wanted to harass the women we were escorting in for family planning services. I even facilitated media workshops to that same Planned Parenthood on how to handle rough and pervasive anti-Planned Parenthood characters like those in the 1980s and ‘90s making headlines not only in the El Paso Times where I also worked but Time Magazine and the NYT.

Questioning Authority

Ironic, now, that just one month ago, I was in a PP second training, this time at the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, and I was summarily not only banned from finishing the two-day course, Fundamentals of Sex, but I was then put on administrative leave in Portland by my former employer and then fired ten days later. I’ve pretty much exhausted the scenario tied to that banishment and termination here at Hormones Matter and other venues in the blog sphere.

I had no ax to grind with Planned Parenthood concerning training us – case managers — on how to communicate sex ed to youth. I expected to get through 16 hours of training with flying colors and a three-hour road trip back to Portland.

That did not happen, and Planned Parenthood – four trainers and two supervisors – contacted my employer to not only ban me from the second day of training, but fraudulently stated that I was against Western medicine, was untrainable related to the subject matter, and was a disruption to the learning environment for the other 39 students.

There wasn’t even a kernel of truth to what they stated to my former employer on Oct. 15; however, during my termination meeting Oct. 26, the HR director stated that “the trainers with Planned Parenthood stated you voiced your disagreement with vaccines.” The only voicing I did was anonymously, on paper, about Gardasil. Not vaccines in general.

The relationship between non-profits working with vulnerable youth, including homeless youngsters, and Planned Parenthood is more than just cooperative or symbiotic. My case exposes the fact Planned Parenthood’s falsehoods concerning my participation at a training led directly to my termination.

While I am currently receiving unemployment benefits after the Oregon State adjudicator contacted both my former employer and myself, and here are the findings below, I am really vulnerable on the job market because of the short duration as a case manager (six months) with Lifeworks Northwest when I was really committed for years on this job. The first thing coming to mind for prospective employers is “why such a short tenure with your previous employer?”

You ARE allowed benefits on this claim . . . .

Findings: You were employed by Lifeworks NW until Oct. 26, 2017 when you were fired because you received too many complaints about being unprofessional, confrontational and argumentative. This was not a willful or wantonly negligent disregard of the employer’s interest because there was no policy or rule violation. You deny the accusations of being a disruption to a training that occurred on October 16, 2017. Employer failed to respond to additional attempts to retrieve information.

Legal Conclusion: You were fired but not for misconduct connected with work.

They Say Follow the Money – How about Follow the Compassion!

Writing these articles does bring things into perspective, but anyone with a decent amount of psychological grounding will note that this journalistic process also opens up repeatedly the ludicrousness and trauma tied to what happened to me – wrongful termination without any due process.

I’ve used up my three “free” psychologist visits through the company’s EAP, employee assistance program. I’ve also reached out to a national legal firm on the viability of pursuing a case against Lifeworks Northwest but specifically Planned Parenthood.

I am disenchanted with the characterizations of me as unprofessional, confrontational and argumentative, since I was one of three males at a training with 45 total people, and also, I am working in a field – social services – predominately staffed and managed by females.

Given that, though, I still am following the money:

The 2015-16 budget from Lifeworks Northwest shows some of the money trail, i.e. revenue –

SERVICES BY CLIENT — $24,280,894
OTHER REVENUE — $220,952

TOTAL –$41,977,501

The money coming from Planned Parenthood to my former employer — which is money Planned Parenthood receives in the form of federal grant money largely from the Health and Human Services adolescent division – is significant in that Lifeworks NW has dozens of programs, and the Independent Living Program is relatively small so any funding coming into that program is significant.

What’s troubling is that I broke no policy, did not act bizarrely or unprofessionally, and did not engage in argumentative or combative behavior at the Planned Parenthood training, as the Oregon Employment Department’s findings belay –

“This was not a willful or wantonly negligent disregard of the employer’s interest because there was no policy or rule violation.”

The precipitating factor for Planned Parenthood essentially informing my employer that I was not trainable and that I was incapable of imparting sound, evidence-based sex ed information to my clients, was a handwritten suggestion/inquiry solicited by the trainers (stated by them to stay anonymous) after each of the seven modules. One of my two notes was a deep skepticism about one of Planned Parenthood’s money makers – the HPV vaccine, manufactured as Gardasil by Merck. I imparted disappointment that Planned Parenthood trainers were not even aware of or concerned about the negative press around Gardasil.

I never mentioned any disregard for the sex ed training, nor did I state I would not allow my clients to pursue getting any contraceptive or vaccine.

It was clear that the training was all about Planned Parenthood’s word on everything or the highway.

I am not a big fan of any forced (or group-think) hyper rah-rah-rah of any organization, or what I am now calling the “ich liebe dich Planned Parenthood uber alles in der Welt … I love you Planned Parenthood above anything else in the world” syndrome.

Of note, in my six months working with 40 youth, I was asked more than just occasionally about the safety of IUDs, birth control pills, the transdermal patch, Depo-Provera and once, the Gardasil series of vaccines. I encouraged those youth to check out the Planned Parenthood site and to use Google to find out if there were any large forums commenting on those products so my youth would have more information to make an informed choice.

Planned Parenthood never gave me a chance to meet with the three trainers and two supervisors to discuss their concerns. And, after the banishment, my former employer never sought testimony from me concerning my beliefs about contraception and abortion, nor did they solicit comments from two fellow case managers who were at the training with me to determine my participation and commentary at the training.

If the reader looks at the $16.6 million in public grants and contracts the Lifeworks non-profit received last year, ipso facto this large Portland non-profit depends significantly on money coming from the state, county, and US taxpayer in the form of Planned Parenthood.

It’s All About Language, Narrative Framing, Intent

“What, really, is a word? In its written form, it’s a great many things. It is a symbol. A representation of individual phonics that, when assembled in such a sequence, produces a gestalt. Rearrange the letters corresponding to those sounds, and you’ve eliminated or transformed that symbol. A word is an idea. Not simply a representation of an idea, but an idea in itself. The idea that what we think can not only be thought, not only expressed verbally, but also textually, a physical marking of the presence of thought — the evidence of its spatial existence.” —  Daniel Choudhury, What’s Your Word Worth?

Before I go further, a quick glossary of terms should be inserted to help the reader see the context from which I am writing this third part of a series I could thumbnail title as “ My Run-in with Gardasil, Planned Parenthood, and a Culture of No Questions Asked – A Firing Story!”

Sacrosanct – An adjective is defined as anything (principle, place or routine) regarded as too important or valuable to be interfered with.
Antivaxxer – A derogatory term used by industry to describe individuals who question vaccine safety or efficacy; typically parents of children injured by vaccines.
Planned Parenthood – A noun defined as a nonprofit organization that does research into and gives advice on contraception, family planning, and reproductive problems.
Big Pharma – A noun defined as large pharmaceutical companies (= companies producing medical drugs), especially when these are seen as having a powerful and bad influence.
Whistleblower – A noun defined as a person who tells someone in authority about something illegal that is happening, esp. in a business or government.

Of course, I could insert the Urban Dictionary’s definitions of these items, and I certainly could link profoundly to various narratives around the mission, vision, and history of Planned Parenthood, what I would call the good, the bad and the ugly of its roots in the 1920’s with Margaret Sanger, a slew of eugenicists, and its oddly racist backers of contraception and sterilization. Sanger founded the American Birth Control League in 1921, and 21 years later changed its name to Planned Parenthood.

Note that I am now in dangerous territory for many readers – the sacrosanct right to seek contraceptive and abortion services. In some ways, I have crossed that line in the sand by criticizing that Sacred Cow in the minds of many, Planned Parenthood.

I am really just attacking the malfeasance and unethical behavior and then treatment of me as a human being in the context of a Planned Parenthood training. I didn’t even get out of the gate, so to speak, with an adult, robust, discussion about the HPV, cervical cancer, the vaccine and its risks.

Almost everything now that I written about Big Pharma-GSK-Merck-HPV Vaccine-Planned Parenthood came AFTER I was fired on the word of Planned Parenthood staff.

Like this doozy – the 2017 Lasker Awards (sort of dubbed the US Nobel Prize) was given to Planned Parenthood and the developers of the HPV vaccine September of this year:

The winners “are being honored for their work in basic and clinical medical research and in public service,” Claire Pomeroy, MD, president of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, said at a teleconference today.

Douglas R. Lowy, MD, and John T. Schiller, PhD, both from the National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland, won the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for a major advance that improves the lives of many thousands of people. Their research centers on the development of HPV vaccines that prevent cervical cancer and other tumors caused by HPVs.

Planned Parenthood won the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award for providing vital health services and reproductive care to millions of women for more than 100 years.

The Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award comes with a $250,000 award for each winner. Planned Parenthood in 2012 received 45 percent of its revenues from government health services grants and reimbursements. Now that’s around 35 percent of their revenue stream. In addition, in 2012, 16 percent of revenues were tied to non-medical programs.

From 1939 to 1942 Margaret Sanger was part of the Birth Control Federation of America alongside Mary Lasker and Clarence Gamble in the Negro Project, an effort to deliver birth control to poor black people.

I know my research into Big Pharma’s duplicitous, double-dealing and dangerous schemes is not as risky as throwing down criticism of Planned Parenthood. At Hormones Matter, maybe the idea of questioning Gardasil and Cervarix or even the birth control pill, especially by a white male, also is not dangerous territory.

The reality of how suspect, dangerous and medically unnecessary the HPV vaccine is also puts me into a league of its own vis-à-vis the antivaxxer campaigners, a title I have never adopted or will adopt. I never expected this pebble into the pond – my superficial questioning a vaccine – to turn into a tsunami-like rippling effect in my life.

Vaccines, Science, Anti-Science, Marketing, Propaganda, Resistance to Business as Usual a la Big Pharma

Interestingly, during my research, I came across a story out this February about a meteorologist who questioned the safety of vaccine schedules and chemical ingredients being fired, and hit with the Scarlet Letter, A, as an Antivaxxer.

Did WGBH News hire a science reporter who doesn’t believe in science?

That’s the question being asked by some employees of the PBS affiliate after learning that Mish Michaels, a former meteorologist at WBZ-TV who has been outspoken in her controversial belief that vaccines cause autism, had been hired as the station’s new science reporter.

Among those who wondered whether Michaels was right for the job was Jim Braude, host of WGBH News’s “Greater Boston,” for which Michaels was supposed to report stories. We’re told that Braude this week raised his concerns with station bosses, including WGBH News GM Phil Redo and “Greater Boston” executive producer Bob Dumas, and they have since changed their minds.

“The decision was made that [Michaels] is not a good fit for ‘Greater Boston’ and she won’t be working there, Braude stated.

Most of the 240 comments on the Boston Globe website that carried the news were stinging like this one:

cra-cra-in-sherborn: 02/08/17
Vaccines work because of herd immunity. Everything has risks and benefits and with vaccines the benefit outweighs the risk. What gets me is the antivaxxies lost in the world of narcissistic oblivion who decide they don’t want to take the small risk of vaccinating their kids and mooch off the herd immunity that everyone else created by vaccinating their own kids. If everyone opted out we would all have measles mumps and small pox.

Vaccines should be required for school entry no exceptions. Or home school your kids.

or this one:

mauthedog: 02/09/17
Through work over the last thirty years I’ve made friends across the United States. A few are anti-vaxxers. They constantly share anti-vaxxer posts on Facebook. Over the last couple of years I’ve noted how they have started attacking the “herd” theory and even attacking flu shots.

Most of them are quite religious. Several are right-wing evangelical Christians. They are generally anti-science.

During a FB discussion, one wrote to me how I “chose Science over God.” I didn’t realize there was a choice.

You can’t reason with them. Facts don’t matter. They’ve told me—-Tests can be faked. The CDC is a profit center. It’s about money, not safety. The government is helping big pharma. The government is covering it up.

And so on.

I fear under the current administration, this quackery will grow worse.

Using one giant latex brush, then, by questioning the safety of Gardasil at a Planned Parenthood training, I am now being painted with that same broad stroke into the same corner as the anti-evolution, anti-science “quacks or loonies” or whatever pejorative is the flavor of the digital hour.

Talk of the herd effect is now parlayed into the “rule of the mob,” as everyone, including mainstream and progressive media, attack anyone who dares question Gardasil or the MMR — all the scientists and researchers making a connection with vaccinations like HPV to physical (and brain specific) injuries are vilified. Or the fact that Merck has paid out millions of dollars (and we don’t have all the dollars tied to really how much Merck is shelling out because of courts awarding damages are tied to non-disclosure provisos) gets swept under the rug as “nuisance lawsuits”?

Yet, the story of HPV vaccine and injuries and deaths keeps coming around: Japan pulls Gardasil off the shelves three years ago. A lawsuit, class action, followed this move:

Lawyer Masumi Minaguchi, a representative from the planned lawsuit’s defense team, told a news conference in Tokyo the victims will file the suit sometime after June against the central government, GlaxoSmithKlien PLC, the maker of Cervarix, and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., the maker of Gardsil, at four district courts in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka.

“The victims wish to live a peaceful life and prevent further suffering by finding out the truth (about the vaccine side effects),” Minaguchi added.

She said the defense team will seek additional plaintiffs to join the lawsuit by holding seminars in April and May. Currently, 12 plaintiffs are taking part in the suit, according to Minaguchi.

Saitama Prefecture resident Nanami Sakai, who plans to be one of the plaintiffs, was one of four to attend the news conference. The 21-year-old, who was given Cervarix twice in 2011, said she did not receive information about the pros and cons of the vaccine before receiving the injections.

“I’d like to know why I was left scarred by the vaccine, why I was not able to receive proper treatment right away and why my situation was not adequately conveyed to the state,” Sakai said.

Sitting in a wheelchair, Sakai said she has numbness in the right side of her body, back and around her chest.

And what about in Colombia, and the injured, dead and lawsuits there tied to HPV vaccine?

Lloyd Phillips, an American researcher of infectious diseases and genetics, has studied the adverse effects of Gardasil for five years. His work has revealed how Gardasil works differently in different people. He has documented related and biologically plausible mechanisms of action which could cause the many serious and life-threatening side effects which are being reported by girls and young women around the world after receiving the HPV vaccine.

In Colombia we have a potential crisis of major proportions resulting from the use of Gardasil because it is “free and compulsory” by “Law of the Republic”. It is assumed that this HPV vaccine is effective when used to combat cervical cancer, which can be caused by human papilloma virus. However, this vaccine has been hotly debated internationally for allegedly being dangerous and ineffective. It is currently being administered in Colombia without obtaining informed consent from young girls and their parents as to the potential and unknown risks of use.

Is the Ending Full-Circle Back to Bad Pharma and Big Non-profits?

So where does the next installment — part four — go now after not getting to the two big definitions left in my glossary – Big Pharma and Whistleblower? There are literally thousands of documents out there from researchers and scientists and whistleblowers on just what is happening to the human population tied to the vaccine for HPV, let alone those other mandatory childhood vaccinations we are supposed to get for our children before they turn three.

Listening to hours of radio shows on the blog-sphere, and viewing hours of interviews and documentaries on the internet and Netflix, I may sound jaded or exhausted, but alas, I am not. The only way through this is to keep up some hope that change is possible, whether as a climate-environment activist or social worker. Writing is just one rung in the ladder helping me and I hope you, kind reader, get above the miasma and smoke and mirrors our Western For-Profit Medical Industrial Complex has deployed with their endless billions for lobbying and marketing and subterfuge and obfuscation.

Keep reading until Part Four comes out.

“No one should approach the temple of science with the soul of a money changer.” —  Thomas Browne

“Big Pharma needs sick people to prosper. Patients, not healthy people, are their customers. If everybody was cured of a particular illness or disease, pharmaceutical companies would lose 100% of their profits on the products they sell for that ailment. What all this means is because modern medicine is so heavily intertwined with the financial profits culture, it’s a sickness industry more than it is a health industry.” ― James MorcanThe Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy

HPV Vaccine Debate — Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell 
Gardasil Scandal Brewing in Colombia 
Four Year Analysis of Adverse Reactions to Gardasil 
Gardasil Syndrome 
Clinical Trials 
In The Know w/ Lloyd W. Phillips (he starts talking at 10:53 into the interview)

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Vitamin D Plays an Integral Role in Adaptive Immunity


Severe Adverse Reactions Include Vitamin D Deficiency and Autoimmunity

Hormones Matter researchers discovered that, inter alia, severe adverse reactions to any of the surveyed drugs trigger significant but varying autoimmune responses. Moreover, the research revealed an underlying consistency involving all reviewed drugs: vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D Helps Regulate the Adaptive Immune System

The adaptive immune system comprises the body’s intricate network of antibodies and special types of white blood cells (called sensitized lymphocytes ) to thwart new and previous invaders including viruses, bacteria, and drugs. When the adaptive immune system is not strong enough to endure external disruptions such as severe side effects of drugs, it can go awry by signaling antibodies and sensitized lymphocytes to attack healthy cells. This response is called autoimmunity—when the adaptive immune system’s cells do not recognize previous invaders and designate healthy cells as those invaders. In other words, the body’s immune cells attack its own healthy cells.

Scientific research over the past three decades solidifies the connection between vitamin D and autoimmunity. Vitamin D plays an integral role in the regulation of the adaptive immune system. Adequate vitamin D in our bodies can protect us from autoimmunity because adaptive immune cells contain vitamin D receptors (VDRs). These receptors are attached to the surface of the adaptive immune system’s antibodies and sensitized lymphocytes. The VDRs act as “gate keepers” by signaling what external substances, e.g., components of medications, can enter a cell. The VDRs must be replete with vitamin D to effectively regulate adaptive immunity. When the VDRs receive adequate amounts of vitamin D, they enable the adaptive immune system to function properly by attacking new and previous invaders.

When the VDRs attached to the adaptive immune system’s cells do not contain sufficient vitamin D to attack invaders, autoimmunity may kick in, causing the death of healthy immune cells. Thus, low vitamin D levels can lead to autoimmune diseases including thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto’s and demyelinating diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS).

Vitamin D and Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

The Real Women, Real Data research also uncovered another consistency among severe adverse reactions to the reviewed drugs: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease caused by abnormal cells constantly assaulting the thyroid gland
Vitamin D receptors are present in the thyroid as well as the pituitary, the pea-shaped gland that controls the thyroid. Not surprisingly, low levels of serum vitamin D have been linked to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, according to recent Turkish medical research:

Published in a 2013 issue of the journal Endocrine Practice, a study conducted at a training and research hospital in Ankara demonstrated that serum vitamin D levels of female chronic Hashimoto’s patients were significantly lower than healthy subjects. Furthermore, the researchers discovered a direct correlation between serum vitamin D levels and thyroid volume as well as an inverse correlation to the antibodies involved in the thyroid.

Researchers at Medeniyet University’s Goztepe Education and Research Hospital in Istanbul learned that 92 per cent of their 161 Hashimoto’s thyroiditis cases had serum vitamin D levels lower than 30 ng/mL (12 nmol/L), a value characterized as “insufficient.” Published in a 2011 issue of the journal Thyroid, the study reports an association between vitamin D insufficiency and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Vitamin D and Demyelinating Disorders

Another disturbing outcome of the Real Woman, Real Data research is the reporting of neurological and neuromuscular symptoms, many which of are consistent with demyelinating disorders such as MS, an autoimmune disease. The development of MS occurs when a poorly functioning, adaptive immune system gradually attacks the protective covering of the nerve cells (called the myelin sheath) of the brain and spinal cord. This potentially debilitating process is called demyelination.

Scientific—primarily epidemiological—research indicates an association between vitamin D levels and the risk of developing a demyelinating disorder such as MS. VDRs exist on nerve cells and the myelin sheath. When the VDRs receive adequate amounts of vitamin D, they help protect the integrity of the myelin sheath. However, when the VDRs do not contain sufficient vitamin D, autoimmunity may occur, resulting in the death of healthy nerve cells. Numerous clinical trials are underway to assess the connection between vitamin D status and the likelihood of developing demyelinating disorders.

Low Vitamin D: The Chicken or the Egg?

The connection between low vitamin D status and the development of autoimmune disease is genuine. However, medical research has not yet determined if vitamin D deficiency plays a role in the development of autoimmune disease, if low vitamin D levels are a consequence of the disease itself, or if vitamin D deficiency acts as both a cause and effect. The authors of the aforementioned 2013 Hashimoto’s study concluded,

“Finally, our results suggested that there may be a causal relation between vitamin D deficiency and development of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. On the other hand, there might be a possible relation between severity of vitamin D deficiency and progression of thyroid damage. However, further studies are needed especially about the effects of vitamin D supplementation on prevention and/or progression of autoimmune thyroid disease.”

Proactive Protection against Severe Adverse Reactions

We could wait years (or decades) to garner the results of further scientific studies and clinical trials to define the exact relationship between vitamin status and severe adverse reactions to vaccines and medications that culminate in autoimmune disorders. Or we could be proactive by taking daily vitamin supplements and enjoying moderate sunlight exposure to increase our vitamin D levels.

It is imperative to take enough vitamin D3 so this essential nutrient will be stored in your cells to help regulate your immune system. The greater your serum vitamin D level (easily obtained from a simple blood test called 25(OH) D, the more likely you will benefit from a stronger immune system that protects your body’s cells from attacking one another.

No one wants to endure severe adverse reactions to drugs such as Gardasil and Lupron, let alone an autoimmune disease. Attaining and maintaining adequate supplementation provides a safe, easy, and inexpensive approach to improved preventive health. By empowering yourself with adequate vitamin D, you may reap the benefits of avoiding disease and enjoying better quality of life.

Copyright © 2013 by Susan Rex Ryan. All rights reserved.

This article was published previously on Hormone Matter in September 2013.

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Death by a Thousand Cuts: Vaccines, Non-Profits, and the Dissemination of Medical Information


The vaccine debate and prying into Planned Parenthood’s Standard Operating Procedure are two arenas I have not gravitated toward. Genetically engineered crops, industrial farming, confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), dams killing wild salmon, these are my fortes. The news daily is like death by a thousand cuts for me tied to new studies on collapsing ecosystems, indigenous people fighting against mines and other extractive industries, and more and more on climate change.

I never thought I’d be embroiled in a fight for my livelihood because I lightly questioned the efficacy of rampant vaccination of girls (and now boys) with the Merck-marketed HPV vaccine, Gardasil. To date, more than 270,000,000 doses have been distributed worldwide with the HPV vaccine (World Health Organization’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety), both the GlaxoSmithKline and Merck versions.

My story started when I was in a Planned Parenthood training, a mandatory course for social workers titled Fundamentals of Sex Ed. For a total of possibly 30 seconds out of a 16-hour two-day training (I was kicked out after day one), I voiced my opinion about the potential risks associated with Gardasil. On a slip of paper, then, in an anonymous forum, I went further with about 60 words answering this first day evaluation question: What could Planned Parenthood have done differently today in the training?

I am really disappointed that Planned Parenthood in Seattle is so lock-step in line with Big Pharma. Especially in the case of Gardasil, which is a vaccine that has gotten tens of thousands complaints about it. Anyone, including my 16 to 21 year old clients, could easily Google ‘Gardasil Dangers’ and find a plethora of very disturbing and legitimate information about its dangers. I wish Planned Parenthood showed more critical thinking and independent pedagogical standards, including informed consent.

Less than two hours after the training, I was called at my hotel room by my supervisor, who let me know:

The Planned Parenthood trainers said they do not want you back for the second day of training. I am putting you on administrative leave. I am looking into what happened in Seattle. Do not return to the office until further notice.

That was Oct. 15, and I have since been terminated, have been on the job market, am attempting to collect a few weeks of unemployment assistance, have a lawyer investigating my case, and started writing about my case on multiple forums. You can read my posts: Gardasil and the American Bald Eagle – What Would Rachel Carson Do?, My Fate as a Social Worker Sealed by a Vaccine Named GardasilPlanned Parenthood, A VaccineDouble-think Alive and Well in the World of Non-profits.

The Sordid History of the HPV Vaccine Marketing

I have collected a hundred reports, articles, documentaries and blogs tied to the HPV vaccine, which has been in use since 2006. The treasure trove is enlightening, intimidating, depressing and validating. Every drug and chemical in the world should have this amount of scrutiny, preferably before it is released, and yet, the depressing part is that these chemicals get very little advance review and once introduced into our systems of medicine, food production/ processing, and modern industrial existence, the unintended consequences and synergistic downsides are more difficult to elevate to a level of grave public concern. Indeed, it often takes 20 years before the FDA will take action and the lessons of our folly reaches clinical care. Why so long? Perhaps it has to do the intense marketing of these chemicals.

The PR firms, legal teams, government agencies, law makers, and politicians all have a stake in the game with billions of dollars in profits at stake. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry is the single largest contributor to congressional accounts in the United States, spending almost 4 billion dollars annually in lobbying efforts, more than double the spending of the defense industry. This is, of course, in addition to the many millions more spent on marketing their products. The issues whirling around Gardasil represent a microcosm of all that is wrong with our healthcare industry. It is difficult at best and impossible for most to speak out against the power purchased with these multi-million dollar budgets. For citizens, consumer groups, watchdog agencies or journalists going against the grain, the road to hell is paved with threats, lawsuits, and vitriol. We are labeled conspiracists, Luddites, anti-science extremists and crazies or nuts.

Fact is Stranger than Fiction

What I am finding in my own nascent life tied to Gardasil and Planned Parenthood is a type of bearing witness, knowing there are deeper and more layered and nuanced ways of looking at the mad men in advertising, marketing, propaganda and more existential ways of contemplating the insanity of unlimited growth, the consumer assault and battery from the merchants of death. Decades ago, Rachel Carson wrote:

The crusade to create a chemically sterile, insect-free world seems to have engendered a fanatic zeal on the part of many specialists and most of the so-called control agencies.

She believed that she was living in an era

…dominated by industry, in which the right to make a dollar at whatever cost is seldom challenged. When the public protests, confronted with some obvious evidence of damaging results of pesticide applications, it is fed little tranquilizing pills of half-truth. We urgently need an end to these false assurances, to the sugar coating of unpalatable facts.

The cross-pollination of a huge marketing campaigns with scientists and medical companies and pharmaceuticals is both bizarre and business as usual. Here, in 2006, from one of those marketing firms:

More than 95 insurance plans–covering 94 percent of insured individuals–have decided to reimburse Gardasil, according to Merck. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also added the vaccine to its Vaccines for Children Contract, making it available to Medicaid-eligible, uninsured, under-insured, or Native American children up to the age of 18.

Analysts are optimistic about the vaccine’s market potential. “It’s very clear that patients are going to be interested in it,” said John Lebbos, MD, therapeutic area director of infectious diseases at market research firm Decision Resources. “From what I’ve seen, it’s going to be a blockbuster.”

Education about the vaccine is going to be a critical piece–due both to a lack of understanding about HPV as well as early controversy that vaccination might lead to teen promiscuity.

Note the terminology of the purveyors of capital and profit-making health care: “vaccine’s market potential” and “it’s going to be a blockbuster.” These are the sentiments of a physician whose Hippocratic oath states first do no harm. More importantly, these are the sentiments that drive our healthcare industry. It is profit driven, not necessarily health driven, and therein lay one the many problems associated with the promotion of medications, vaccines, and/or environmental chemicals; profits and health need not align.

Setting the Stage

From the onset of Gardasil, after the fast-tracked shoddy FDA approval (Examining the FDA’s HPV Vaccine Records), Merck deployed the services of one of the world’s more powerful propaganda firms, AKA PR outfits:

The PR genius behind all stages of Merck’s HPV and Gardasil campaigns is the PR giant Edelman. The world’s largest independent PR firm, Edelman boasts more than 2,100 employees working in 46 wholly owned offices worldwide, plus the additional resources of more than 50 affiliates. Apparently Merck is hoping that most, if not all the states in the US, will mandate a vaccine against HPV as a pre-requisite for school attendance. And beat rivals to it, before GlaxoSmithKline gets FDA approval for its Cervarix.

In the dozens and dozens of articles in the New York Times, in reports by PR Watch and Judicial Watch, scant few mentioning of the untold physical incapacitation, chronic illness and deaths tied to Gardasil by many citizen groups with some scientists behind the calls to stop the Gardasil-Cervarix mass vaccination program (TruthWikiUS Court Pays $6 Million to Gardasil Victims Judicial Watch:a, bc, Are You Concerned Over Genetically Modified Vaccine? HPV Researchers, Planned Parenthood Win Prestigious Lasker Medical Awards).

But, 11 years ago, even before FDA approval, Merck and Edelman were on the PR war-path beating the cervical cancer drums:

Merck used its deep pockets to make sure that even before the FDA had approved Gardasil, there was a growing awareness of and concern about HPV and its link to cervical cancer. According to Bloomberg News, Merck spent $841,000 for Internet ads alone relating to HPV in the first quarter of 2006 — months before the FDA had even approved Gardasil (Part One: Setting the Stage).

Drug Marketing through Non-Profit Support and Favorable Legislation

How does this marketing affect the non-profit sector? A report in the New England Journal of Medicine found that “83 percent of the nation’s 104 largest patient advocacy groups take contributions from the drug, medical device and biotech industries,” and “one-fifth of the patient advocacy groups studied accepted $1 million or more from drugmakers, but exactly how much those groups accepted is fuzzy.” It is fuzzy because non-profit funding streams are not disclosed and/or are purposefully channeled through pharma subsidiaries in order to obfuscate obvious connections. If the organization’s existence depends upon funding from a product manufacturer, is it unreasonable to assume that the organization might be beholden to the views of their funders? I don’t think so. Check out the interview with one of the world’s richest men’s son, Peter Buffet, on the Charitable Industrial Complex here: My talk with Peter Buffett ,Warren Buffett’s son, about what’s wrong with philanthropy.

Here’s just one example of non-profit collusion with the pharmaceutical companies and health care for-profits. This is a three-part series written for PR Watch in 2017 by journalist Judith Siers-Poisson:

According to their website, “Women in Government is a national 501(c)(3), non-profit, bi-partisan organization of women state legislators providing leadership opportunities, networking, expert forums, and educational resources to address and resolve complex public policy issues.” The campaigns that they feature on their home page deal with kidney health, Medicare preventive services, higher education policy, and the “Challenge to Eliminate Cervical Cancer,” which was publicly launched in 2004.

On February 2, 2007, Texas Governor Rick Perry, against the wishes of his conservative base and to the surprise of critics, signed an executive order mandating HPV vaccination for girls entering seventh grade. Then, unfortunately for Perry and Merck, details of his many connections with both Merck and Women in Government became public.

Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe noted, “It turned out that Perry’s former chief of staff is now a lobbyist for Merck. Did that look bad? Whoa, Nellie. Did it look bad that Merck had funded an organization of women legislators backing similar bills? Whoa, Merck.” USA Today reported that Perry’s current chief of staff’s mother-in-law, Texas Republican State Representative Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government. Perry’s wife, Anita, a nurse by training, addressed a WIG summit on cervical cancer in Atlanta in November 2005. Perry also received $6,000 from Merck’s political action committee during his re-election campaign.

In 2004, more than 20 WIG funders were pharmaceutical companies or entities heavily invested in health care issues that could come before state legislators. A short list includes both Merck & Co., Inc and Merck Vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline (which will soon have the second HPV vaccine on the market), and Digene Corporation (which manufactures an HPV test). Other drug interests listed as donors to WIG include Novartis, Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Bayer Healthcare, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb (both the company and their foundation), and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, also known as PhRMA, one of the largest and most influential lobbying organizations in Washington representing 48 drug companies.

The funders of Women in Government today, as I am looking at their website, are still those big ones listed above and others in the for-profit health care fields.

So here the pharmaceutical companies funded a non-profit organization that then supported legislators and legislation favorable for the companies and products. By all accounts, a common practice. What happens when they also fund the organizations tasked with providing healthcare, organizations such as Planned Parenthood? Can we tie Planned Parenthood to the makers of Gardasil? I think we can. Here is just an introduction to their funding.

According to a Washington Post article run in August 2015, during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014, Planned Parenthood affiliates around the country received $528.4 million in government funds (a combination of state, federal and sometimes local government dollars). Those federal dollars were the single largest source of money coming into the organization and its local affiliates, by far. Another $305.3 million came from non-government sources, about $257.4 million reached the organization after private donors and foundations made contributions and bequests. The organization also raised another $54.7 million in fees charged for its services. Government funding, with federal dollars comprising the biggest portion of this part of the organization’s budget, are absolutely critical to Planned Parenthood’s total operation, but so too are the private funds. How and from whom those private funds come aligns quite clearly with the organization’s view on certain drugs and vaccines. On the surface, this seems perfectly reasonable. Why wouldn’t a private foundation support an organization that aligns with its goals? It would be illogical to support an organization with contrary views. What becomes clear though, once we begin to unravel these connections, is just how deeply entrenched these alliances are. It begs the question, if a significant portion of one’s operational budget comes from a foundation and/or a manufacturer who supports a particular product or set of products, is it possible to question those products in any meaningful way or at all? Probably not.

Just recently, Peter Doshi, associate editor of the British Medical Journal, published a scathing report about the specious relationships between vaccine educators like Every Child by Two, the Immunization Action Coalition and even the American Academy Pediatrics, the CDC and the pharmaceutical industry. Each organization received millions of dollars in funding both directly from the CDC and from industry, and as a consequence, their recommendations regarding vaccines are in lockstep with their funders. When pressed about these relationships and whether any of the organizations had ever questioned the safety or efficacy of the products they recommend, each admitted that they had not.

So just how independent and reliable is the health information put forth both non-profit organizations like Planned Parenthood, who receive their funding from industry or foundations supported by industry? Moreover, how closely must the organization’s employees adhere to the accepted party line? If my case is any indication, pretty damned closely.

Stay tuned for part three in this series, where I’ll detail the complicated and compromising funding sources of Planned Parenthood and its affiliates.

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Bamboo shoots. Photo by David Inouye.

Thoughts on Inflammation, Vaccines and Modern Medicine


One of the core components of an HPV vaccine adverse reaction inevitably includes some degree of seemingly unexplainable but observable brain inflammation and white matter disintegration. The brain inflammation falls under a number of different names and diagnoses, some are regionally specific, cerebellar anomalies for example, while others demarcate a more diffuse injury including, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), sometimes known as chronic fatigue, multiple sclerotic (MS) type lesions and, the newest and perhaps more prescient among them, a set of conditions designated as Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants or ASIA that denote chronic inflammation both centrally and peripherally relative to vaccine adjuvant exposure.

Is the Brain Immune Privileged?

Despite the observance of brain inflammation in many post HPV vaccine victims, many practitioners, and indeed, the FDA and CDC, seem loathe to recognize that an aluminum lipopolysaccharide adjuvanted virus vector might induce a neuro-inflammatory response, leaving patients with little recourse post injury. The difficulties attributing brain inflammation to a vaccine reaction stem from a long held belief that the blood brain barrier is stalwart in its protection against peripheral trespassers.  The brain has long been considered, ‘immune privileged’ having little to no communication with peripheral immune function. Indeed, the perceived impenetrableness of the blood brain barrier is so extensive that brain-body separation might as well be complete, with a brain in bottle and a decapitated body.

Logically, we know this cannot be true. There must be crosstalk between the immune systems of brain/central nervous system and that of the body. How else could we survive if the two modalities were segregated so completely? It turns out, that logic may be prevailing. A decade of research suggests that the long held notion brain immune – privilege is completely and utterly incorrect. Indeed, the immune system not only guides early neurodevelopment (and so mom’s immune function matters) but communicates and affects brain morphological changes chronically. Likewise, signals from the brain continuously influence peripheral immune function.

The immune system appears to influence the nervous system during typical functioning and in disease. Chronic infection or severe illness may disrupt the balance of normal neural–immune cross-talk resulting in permanent structural changes in the brain during development, and/or contributing to pathology later in life. The diversity, promiscuity, and redundancy of “immune” signaling molecules allow for a complex coordination of activities and precise signaling pathways, fundamental to both the immune and nervous systems. 

It should not be surprising then, that nutrient status and toxicant exposures in the periphery, in the body, affect central nervous system function and are capable of inducing brain inflammation and vice versa. And yet, it is; perhaps even more so than any of us realize.

Re -Thinking Brain Inflammation

When one reads through the definitions, research and case reports of ADEM, ME, MS or other instances of brain inflammation, the notion that biochemical lesions in the periphery are linked to observed neuro-inflammatory reactions is far from center stage. Nevertheless, if we can accept the premise what happens in and to the body does not stay in the body, then we can begin to re-frame our approach to brain inflammation. Specifically, we can look at inflammation more globally and ask not only what triggers inflammation, but allows inflammation to persist chronically, regardless of its location. If there is an on-going peripheral inflammatory response, is it not prudent to suspect that a similar response might be occurring within the central nervous system, even if our imaging tools are not yet capable of visualizing the inflammation; even if it is too premature to observe demyelination, neuronal, axonal swelling or other telltale signs of chronic brain inflammation?  I think it is.

Vaccine Adjuvants: A Pathway to Brain Inflammation

With the HPV vaccine, and indeed, any vaccine, the deactivated viral vectors come with a cocktail of additional chemical toxicants and a metal adjuvant to boost the recipient’s immune response, as measured by the increase in post vaccine inflammatory markers. It is believed that without these adjuvants (and data back this up), the recipient’s immune response is insufficiently activated to merit ‘protection’ against the virus. The strength or size of the immune response is then equated with success and protection.

By this equation, an excessive immune response that continues chronically and is eventually labeled ‘autoimmune’ as innate systems begin to fail, is in some way not a failure or side effect, but an example of extreme success; the larger the immune response, the stronger the vaccine. And so, skewed as this observation may seem, within the current vaccine-paradigm there can be no ‘side-effects’, not really. By design, there should be inflammation, even brain inflammation; the more the better. Also by design, metal, lipid soluble, adjuvants cross the blood brain barrier and directly induce brain inflammation. To say vaccines don’t or somehow couldn’t induce brain inflammation is ignorant, if not, utterly negligent, and quite simply, defies logic. Again, for prudence and safety, shouldn’t we assume that an inflammatory reaction in the body might also ignite some concordant reaction in the central nervous system?

Why Aren’t We All Vaccine Injured?

What becomes apparent though, is even with exposure to the most toxic brew of vaccines, not all who receive vaccines are injured, at least observably. (I would argue, however, even those who appear healthy post vaccine, had we the tools to observe brain inflammation more accurately, would show a central inflammatory response, at least acutely, and likely, progressively). So what distinguishes those individuals who seem fine post vaccine, particularly post HPV vaccine, from those who are injured severely and sometimes mortally?

More and more, I think that the fundamental differences between vaccine reactors and non-reactors rest in microbial and mitochondrial health. Indeed, all vaccines, medications, and environmental toxicants damage mitochondria, often via multiple mechanisms, while altering microbial balance. Whether an individual can withstand those mitochondrial insults depends largely upon a balance struck among three variables: 1) heritable mitochondrial dysfunction, genetic and epigenetic; 2) the frequency and severity of toxicant exposures across the lifetime; and 3) nutrient status. Those variables then, through the mitochondria, influence the degree and chronicity of inflammation post vaccine. With the HPV vaccine in particular, the timing of the vaccine, just as puberty approaches and hormone systems come online, may confer additional and unrecognized risks to future reproductive health.

Mitochondria and Microbiota

The mitochondria, as we’ve written about on numerous occasions, control not only cellular energy, but cell life and death. Every cell in the body, including neurons in the brain, require healthy mitochondria to function appropriately. Healthy mitochondria are inextricably tied to nutrient concentrations, which demand not only dietary considerations but balanced gut microbiota. Gut bacteria synthesize essential nutrients from scratch and absorb and metabolize dietary nutrients that feed the mitochondria. Indeed, from an evolutionary perspective, mitochondria evolved from microbiota and formed the symbiotic relationship that regulate organismal health. Disturb gut bacteria and not only do we get an increase in pathogenic infections and chronic inflammation, but also, a consequent decrease in nutrient availability. This too can, by itself, damage mitochondria.

When the mitochondria are damaged, either by lack nutrients and/or toxicant exposure, they trigger cascades of biochemical reactions aimed at conserving energy and saving the cell for as long as reasonably possible. When survival is no longer possible, mitochondrial sequestration, and eventually, death ensue, often via necrosis rather than the more tightly regulated apoptosis. Where the mitochondria die, cells die, tissue dies and organ function becomes impaired. I should note, as steroid hormone production is a key function of mitochondria, hormone dysregulation, ovarian damage and reduced reproductive capacity may be specific marker of mitochondrial damage in young women.

Mitochondria and Inflammation

Mitochondria regulate immune system activation and inflammation and so inflammation is a sign of mitochondrial damage, even brain inflammation. Per a leading researcher in mitochondrial signaling:

The cell danger response (CDR) is the evolutionarily conserved metabolic response that protects cells and hosts from harm. It is triggered by encounters with chemical, physical, or biological threats that exceed the cellular capacity for homeostasis. The resulting metabolic mismatch between available resources and functional capacity produces a cascade of changes in cellular electron flow, oxygen consumption, redox, membrane fluidity, lipid dynamics, bioenergetics, carbon and sulfur resource allocation, protein folding and aggregation, vitamin availability, metal homeostasis, indole, pterin, 1-carbon and polyamine metabolism, and polymer formation.

The first wave of danger signals consists of the release of metabolic intermediates like ATP and ADP, Krebs cycle intermediates, oxygen, and reactive oxygen species (ROS), and is sustained by purinergic signaling.

After the danger has been eliminated or neutralized, a choreographed sequence of anti-inflammatory and regenerative pathways is activated to reverse the CDR and to heal.

When the CDR persists abnormally, whole body metabolism and the gut microbiome are disturbed, the collective performance of multiple organ systems is impaired, behavior is changed, and chronic disease results.

Reducing Inflammation

Instinctively, we think reducing inflammation pharmacologically, by blocking one of the many inflammatory pathways, is the preferred route of treatment. However, this may only add to the mitochondrial damage, further alter the balance of gut microbiota and ensure increased immune activation, while doing nothing to restore mitochondrial and microbial health. In emergent and acute cases, this may be warranted, where an immediate, albeit temporary, reduction in inflammation is required. The risk, however, is that short term gains in reduced inflammation are overridden by additional mitochondrial damage and increased risk of chronic and/or progressive inflammation. The whole process risks becoming a medical game of whack-a-mole; a boon to pharmaceutical sales, but devastating to those who live with the pain of a long-standing inflammatory condition.

In light of the the fact that damaged mitochondria activate inflammatory pathways and that vaccines, medications and environmental toxicants induce mitochondrial damage, perhaps we ought to begin looking at restoring gut microbial health and overall mitochondrial functioning. And as an aside, perhaps we ought to look at persistent inflammation not as an autoinflammatory reaction, but for what is it, an indication of on-going mitochondrial dysfunction.

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Image by Pavlo from Pixabay.

This post was published originally on Hormones Matter on September 22, 2014.

Another Day, Another Death


Another Gardasil girl died last month. I didn’t know her, but her mother had written for us a few years back. My heart aches for her family and for all of the other families who have lost loved ones to pharmaceutical industry malfeasance. Sadly, her death is just one more in a long line of deaths attributable to this vaccine. For the industry that profits from this vaccine, her death means nothing.

No one, except her family and friends will suffer for her death. There will be no culpability from the industry that manufactures and distributes this vaccine, none from the governmental agencies that fail to address the safety issues of these medications, none from the doctors who push this and others vaccines and then dismiss the side effects outright leaving parents to navigate the resultant complex illnesses on their own. No one will admit responsibility. How can they? We have all have been fed a heavy diet of ‘vaccines are always perfectly safe’, that injuries and deaths are due to random chance, not the cocktail of toxicants proffered under the guise of herd immunity. Just unlucky I guess, the price to pay for the safety of others.

Vaccines are perfectly safe.


Forget, of course, that this is foolhardy and that nothing is perfectly safe.

Forget also that industry knows these vaccines are neither safe nor effective, having fudged the trials and post market research, spent billions on marketing to promote the faulty research, and no small sum on astroturfing campaigns, replete with vitriolic trolls and an echo chamber of paid ‘thought leaders‘.

Forget that 70% of major media budgets are funded by the pharmaceutical industry advertising, as are most medical associations, medical education, university and continuing, medical journals, and patient support groups. Health journalism too, receives its fair share of pharma funding.

Forget that the pharmaceutical industry spends more in lobbying politicians than any other industry, including defense.

Forget that the FDA is a revolving door to cushy industry jobs. Approve this or that drug and one is set for life once one’s government affiliation is over.

Forget too that FDA review panels are staffed with industry insiders and that FDA approves 96% of all applications. Can’t imagine how bad a drug has to be in order the FDA to reject it.

Forget that when vaccine side effects began to be recognized en masse during the Reagan administration, industry quickly colluded with governmental agencies to force vaccination and eliminate any liability for themselves. Enter the vaccine courts, where no matter the injury, no matter the negligence or malfeasance, the government foots the bill for industry. What an ideal business model; all products are always safe and if they aren’t someone else covers those costs. Liability? Responsibility? Nope.

Forget all of these things, and yes, vaccines can be considered perfectly safe, side effects ignored, and deaths considered unfortunate matters of coincidence.

Except they aren’t and we shouldn’t forget.

Young women are dying and/or are debilitated to the point of wanting to die, thousands of them, with this one vaccine alone. This is on top of the skyrocketing number of vaccine and pharmaceutical injured children. Did you know that 1 in every 68 children suffers with neurodevelopmental disorders; 1 in 68. That is a staggering statistic that should give us all pause, but mostly, it doesn’t. Neither does the fact that 70% of adults take at least one medication chronically, 50% take two or more, and 20% take five or more medications, or that toddlers represent the largest growing market for psychotropic medications – toddlers! Admittedly, toddlers can be a bit crazy, but do we really, truly believe that toddlers need antidepressants, stimulants, or worse yet, antipsychotics?

With all of these medications and vaccines, are we healthier?


In fact, for the first time in generations, we are living sicker and dying younger. But no, we hold tight to the belief that pharmaceutical medicine is working and all of these injuries, illnesses, and deaths are flukes attributable to the vagaries of random chance.

It was a convenient dissonance while it lasted; still is for many. It allowed us to avoid the much starker reality of modern pharmaceutical medicine or modern living in general: that chemistry matters, that toxicants don’t just magically disappear once they enter the body (or the oceans), and that for all of our technological brilliance, we really have no frickin clue what the compound effects of all of these chemicals are. We really don’t. Heck, we don’t even know what most medications do. A study in the British Medical Journal found that only 50% of medications have sufficient data to suggest that they are likely effective. And since we don’t test most medications on women, we really have no idea whether any medications work or induce serious side effects in women.

Pharmaceuticals are chemical toxicants, plain and simple. They are poisons, albeit sometimes necessary poisons, but poisons nevertheless. We don’t call them poisons though. We call them medicines, but the fact remains, poisons don’t become less poisonous simply because we rename them.

Poisons, by their very nature, are designed to kill things, to block things, and otherwise usurp normal biological functions. Poisons do not ‘heal’. They supplant and they override. Neither do they become less poisonous simply because we take them in small doses. In fact, in many cases, it’s with the smaller doses, particularly when taken chronically, that we see the most devastating side effects, the complex multi-system ones that do everything but kill the individual outright. We are dissonant from these concepts, sometimes willfully. The chemistry is complicated, the disinformation dense, and if we’re truthful with ourselves, it’s easier not to know. Until it isn’t.

Knowing all of this, what do we say to the families who have lost love ones to vaccine injury or death or medication injury or death? How do we go about our daily lives knowing the science is corrupted, arguably with intention, and that more will suffer as a result?

I don’t know the answer to either of these questions. All I know is that as a mom, I feel your loss and I am sorry.

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Image by Manie Van der Hoven from Pixabay.

Post Gardasil Severe Cyclic Vomiting, Migraines, and a Long List of Other Symptoms


This is a photo of Stephanie Matthews pre-Gardasil. Below is a photo of her in December 2016, while in the hospital. She is slowly starting to let me calendar her health with photos and writing.

Gardasil, the journey no one should take…

If this story helps just one more girl, this journey will not be in vain.

I will not be able to touch the tip of the iceberg with this story. So much more has happened over these past 4-5 years. It has been a whirlwind and like a whirlwind, and unwelcome event. If you take one thing away from Steph’s story it should be clear as a bell. DO NOT GET THE GARDASIL VACCINE FOR YOURSELF OR YOUR CHILDREN.

Stephanie was 23 years old at the time of her 1st Gardasil vaccine. As most young adults, Stephanie was working, had her own health insurance and took responsibility for her health and medical decisions. Stephanie had been a Type I diabetic since age 10 and knows how important it is to take care of herself. At her regular checkup the doctor said that she needed to get this “NEW” vaccine for the HPV virus. So the journey began.

Steph received her first vaccine in June 2008. The second in October 2008. The night of her second vaccine Stephanie was hospitalized in ICU for an acute respiratory problem and sky rocketing blood sugars.

The 3rd vaccine was given in December 2008.  Early in 2009, Stephanie took a trip to Mexico. On her way back she had uncontrollable vomiting, headaches, body aches and was again hospitalized.

Thinking that she may have picked something up while on her travels to Mexico, we pressed the hospital and doctors to check for parasites and pathogens. All tests came back negative.

She began being hospitalized over and over again with uncontrolled vomiting, headaches and body aches, Test after tests, revealed nothing. Then finally a diagnosis of gastroparesis (delayed gastric emptying), from her diabetes. Her body was also full of yeast. The gastric emptying test came back inconclusive and one of them came back slow.

Here is the clincher, we did not give any thought to the vaccine, because we did not know she had the vaccine. It was not until we started realizing that her symptoms were not conclusive to gastroparesis, that I pressed Stephanie asking what she may have done differently or been exposed to. This is when she said “well, I had a vaccine”. Keep in mind she was an adult and trusting the doctors, she did not think this was relevant. They would not give her something to hurt her, she thought.

Connecting the Dots: It was Gardasil

It would be close to two years before the awakening as to Steph’s “mystery illness would be realized. It was while on my Facebook page a large flashing ad on the left of my screen shouting one more girl, got my attention. I clicked on it and found that several girls had the same symptoms. I had so many questions.

How was this vaccine tested?

What did the package insert say?

Did any other of these girls have already compromised immune systems like Steph with her type I diabetes?

Was it tested on this group of girls?

Why do some get sick but not all and why so many? It is like playing Russian roulette.

Why had other countries already taken the vaccine off the market?

This was just the beginning of the long long journey into the Gardisil nightmare.

Vomiting, Edema, Itching, Hair Loss, Extreme Moods, Jaw Growth, Bone Aches, and More

Since October 2008, Stephanie has been hospitalized over 80 times. She was in for three weeks in Southern California. This time on a purely liquid diet, hooked up to IVs, gaining weight and still vomiting.  She had headaches, disrupted menstrual cycle, large weight gain, itching, hair loss body aches depression, extreme mood changes.

She has had EVERY test over and over again.

Not one doctor that we encountered had yet to look or even consider the vaccine; they have blamed everything from her diabetes, to her being psychologically sick.

The doctors have gone so far as to say that they think we are crazy. Her last doctor in Southern California finally looked at the other girls’ stories and the website SaneVax. He threw his hands up and said, “If this were my mother, daughter, sister or aunt, I would go and get a second opinion.” Keep in mind by this time, Steph has had every blood test, scope, scan and test that was available, all pretty much inconclusive or if one came back positive once, it was not positive again.

They pumped her full of anti-nausea meds, antibiotics, fluids, painkillers, anti-fungal over and over again. Each and every hospital visit we would have to go over the same thing, and each and every time we would get the same treatment. We were always told by the hospitals,

“We don’t fix people here. We just get them well enough to follow up with their primary doctor.”

I could not get them to understand that she is hospitalized so much that by the time she gets out and gets an appointment to her primary doctor, she is sick again and admitted to the hospital. We have had 2nd 3rd and 4th opinions.

These symptoms are brutal. The vomiting is not something that stops on its own, and is accompanied by brutal stomachaches as well. Now you tell me, how does a person who is vomiting more days out of their life, than not, gain weight?

Other symptoms: It is almost like she has gone into menopause, with the hair loss, mood swings, and night sweats, hot flashes. This vaccine disrupts the entire neurological and endocrine system. In addition to the uncontrollable vomiting, her symptoms include: fatigue, fainting, dizziness, severe food allergies, missed menstrual periods, severe cramps, and bartonella rash. Weight gain, uncontrollable blood sugars, light sensitivity and heat sensitivity.

Nine Years Post-Gardasil: Still Sick, Mounting Hospital Bills and No Answers

By October 2010, Stephanie’s Cobra insurance ran out. She was now uninsured, unable to work, she could barely get out of bed, and her hospital bills had mounted to over $2 million dollars. I decided to move her to Northern California, so she would be closer and maybe get fresh start with new doctors. She had already been hospitalized numerous times in Southern California at five different hospitals.

The move north proved to us that the medical field is not willing to accept or take responsibility to go up against the “big Pharma” companies.

Steph spent most of April 2013 in the hospital. We went so far as to have her gallbladder removed, just hoping this would stop her uncontrollable vomiting, wrong again. One doctor actually told us

“So what if it is the vaccine, what are we going to do about it?”

Today, Steph is 31 she is on disability, and on Medicare, but still not one doctor is willing to look further into the fact that the vaccine has caused her symptoms. Her visits to the hospital are coming farther apart.


Steph Mathews 8.75 years post Gardasil
Steph Mathews 8.75 years post Gardasil

It seems that there is a series of things that happen before she gets sick. She becomes extremely tired. She will “swell up” get extremely bad migraines and body aches. Then the vomiting will start.  She will vomit with no food in her system and it will be hundreds of times and last for days. This seems to be occur every three months.

Gardasil Victims

Stephanie is not alone, there have been 394 deaths, and 51,522 adverse reactions reported to VAERS. This is only in the United States. Keep in mind; these are only reported reactions, how many other families have sick adult daughters that have not put two and two together? Many other countries are battling the same Gardasil Injuries, Ireland, Mexico, Australia, UK and Japan just to name a few.

Now they are going to be giving it to 12 year-olds in schools and without parental consent if that child wants it. And why in the world would they want 12 year olds to get this vaccine, without having to tell their parents? A 12 year old that became sick from this vaccine without parental knowledge would never be able to connect the two event! And so, the horrible journey in to Gardisil prison would begin.

I just hope that all of our girl’s stories help to get the word out that this vaccine, is a killer! It takes away lives. It makes the medical field and pharmaceutical companies millions, and now it is being said that many of these girls will become sterile. This is now being stated by the American College of Pediatricians.

My opinion is that these doctors and hospitals are scared to death to side with an extremely sick young girl, for fear of retaliation against the drug companies and mainly in this case MERCK. Please know that all 3 of my children had their childhood vaccines. I was not anti-vaccine, until this. The Gardasil vaccine “fast tracked” to the mainstream medical and do not have sufficient testing to deem them safe for anyone.

Please do not even consider this vaccine, it has damaged and killed more girls throughout the U. S. and other countries than the disease it was meant to protect against!

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Hormones Matter needs funding now. Our research funding was cut recently and because of our commitment to independent health research and journalism unbiased by commercial interests we allow minimal advertising on the site. That means all funding must come from you, our readers. Don’t let Hormones Matter die.

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