Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cures for vaccination

It's with a strange twinge of conscience that I'm writing today about an alt-med woo-woo claim that I don't think we should challenge.

It popped up on the website BabyCenter Community a couple of weeks ago, but apparently has been gaining ground since then, showing up on Facebook, Twitter, and websites devoted to anti-vaxx and holistic medicine.

The claim: putting a clay plaster on a vaccination after you get back from the doctor's office will "draw out the vaccine."

The first place I saw this -- the website linked above -- posed it as a question, where it received the following answers:
It helps to pull some of the toxins back out.  Not all though.
apparently it is possible to remove all vaccines, infiremiere [sic] should be a day in their vaccines in order to work in a hospital, she made all her vaccination and immediately after the injection, she had everything prepare in advance, she it [sic] absorb the vaccine in his car

with a homeopath here in France It can remove inject vaccine long ago, as soon as I have more information I will send you
One person did say that it wouldn't work, that vaccines are irreversible; but another, much more authoritative respondent came back with the following:

For mandatory vaccines that nobody escapes, there is indeed the clay poultice can reabsorb the "poison" from his injection. The method is as follows:

You buy a clay tube (health food stores) and you present to vaccination equipped with this tube, gauze and tape. Once the vaccine was injected, you go to the toilet and you put a thick layer of clay on the vaccine + gauze + tape. Keep this poultice for 2 hours and the vaccine will be almost completely absorbed by the clay.

Upon returning home, you take the natural vitamin C (Acerola C, for example) or magnesium chloride (pharmacy: A bag of 20 grams dissolved in one liter of water and take 1 glass morning, afternoon and evening up. 'to exhaustion of a liter).
So I was reading this, and I was thinking... maybe it's better we let them think this is true.

After all, then the kids will be vaccinated and protected from disease, decreasing the likelihood of outbreaks of preventable diseases; and the adults will conclude that they've won, that they fooled us silly ol' skeptics and scientists, and in consequence, they'll shut up about it and stop trying to fight mandatory vaccination laws.

So, maybe there is a time that it's better to let the woo-woos continue in their beliefs, especially when one particular woo-woo belief cancels out the ill effects of another one.

But I do say this with some degree of guilty feelings.  Because, after all, the whole approach of a skeptic should be to follow wherever the evidence leads, to try to promote clear thinking and the scientific approach for one and all, and in any situation where the scientific approach applies.

Here, though... maybe we should let them have their clay poultices and acerola detox cleanses and homeopathic anti-vaccine remedies.  Let 'em think they've beaten the system.

And hope like hell that their children grow up to understand science better than the parents did.


  1. First off, welcome back :)

    While I wholeheartedly agree with your stance on taking the scientific approach, always and forever for all humankind without exception I have to also agree with your approach in this case. Even in science there are exceptions to some rules. In this case, let the baby have their bottle and the rest of us might just get some peace and quiet for a change.

  2. Yeah -- critical thinking is a preference that not everyone shares. If we can make things work acceptably without it, as far as I'm concerned people are welcome to their delusions. I will still clamp their auras, though, because it's fun.

  3. Why don't they just innoculate us using chem-trails and be done with it. :-)