This is what I'm talking about

I've mentioned before as a source of antivaccine nuttery and in the context of interviewing Christine Maggiore, the HIV/AIDS denialist whose adherence to altie beliefs appears to have cost the life of her child. Now, via the Final Church of the Nodding Apocalypse, I've found a photo that sums up the altie madness that this magazine was advocating four years ago:

This magazine also fully buys into antivaccine rhetoric, mercury/autism hysteria, and antiamalgam wingnuttery. Remember this whenever an altie cites anything written in this magazine, which appears to be a dubious amalgamation of the worst of altie excesses.


  1. I don't think I'll be subscribing to this magazine any time soon. It disturbs me that children so frequently suffer due to their parents' denial of reality.


  2. I bought exactly one issue of that rag about 12 years ago. The boy who I had to be very careful who he came into contact with since he had never been vaccinated against pertussis (due to a history of seizures) was almost 5 years old. Also it was just a couple years since the final toll of 123 deaths had been tallied since a national measles epidemic... AND I had met a woman at a mom/baby group whose first child had died from Hib.

    So the anti-vaccine rhetoric hit a very discordant chord with me.

    Plus it the first place where I noticed chiropractors claiming they could cure ear infections.

    Yeah, right.

  3. (putting on my flame suit)

    I subscribe. I also find a great deal of value in many of the subjects that Mothering covers -- breastfeeding advocacy, attachment parenting, education that really helps a kid be an adult.

    That said, I completely agree that their stances on altie medicine are downright frightening. I happen to be a mom who's perfectly willing (and able) to read the magazine, then critically analyze the claims made within -- especially by balancing their claims with a source such as (kissass)the estimable Orac (/kissass).

    However, the other day a friend of mine called me, and I realized how harmful Mothering can be to someone who doesn't do their own research, and who tends toward alarmism. (Mommy friend) gave me dire warnings about the evils of food coloring, and how she just doesn't understand how someone can (fill in the blank with any altie fear tactic) to their children, when we KNOW what (fill in the blank) does. ***SIGH***

    For the record, the icing on the cookies at my daughter's birthday party was white. And purple. And green. The cake? Well, it was chocolate. We don't need no stinkin' coloring.

  4. I guess I could understand that... though I could not help the phrase that popped into my head: "Oh, and I read Playboy for the articles." ;)

    Actually, I did all that... I breastfed the younger two until they were at least two (the oldest had a desire to walk around while drinking at age one, so he kind of self-weaned). I also HAD to wear child #2 --- he would not have it any other way. I loved the baby sling (Baby #2 was in until past two years), except Baby #3 would have very little to do with it! It is perhaps because she became mobile at 4 months!

    I found out all this stuff in places other than "Mothering". My big source of information were the FREE parent education lectures at our local Children's Hosptital, which also has a very nice resource library that I used when Child #1 got ear tubes. Oh... and they have a toll-free Resource Number that I used extensively when Child #2 refused to become potty trained at age 4 (the same child who is now in high school and whose goal is to get straigh A's and start taking college courses in his junior years).

    And the best thing about Children's Hospital and its Resource Center --- they were NOT judgemental (ever read the sMothering forums?).

  5. I saw that cover... in the office of the acupuncturist/herbalist to which my spouse goes (they're not nuts; more like really broad-minded nutritionists than hard-core alties, and more than willing to give Western/scientific/conventional medicine the credit it deserves for what it can do and to admit the limits of their own methods)

    My immediate reaction was a visceral one, both against the image and against the message, and that reaction remains pretty fresh. We live in an area with a pretty high concentration of children who are not vaccinated properly out of both poverty/ignorance and ideology, and it makes me very nervous, even though our child is entirely up-to-date on shots.

    This is just tragic.

  6. "Maggiore said her daughter's death has not changed her views on HIV"
    She's still positive

  7. But I *do* read Playboy for the articles! (snicker...okay, I don't read it at all, but still)

    Don't even get me started on the forums. I actually just replied to a thread on one last night -- the "what have you seen on mainstream boards" thread! Some of the posters reported seeing recommendations that yeah, can make your skin crawl...but then I guess I just don't spend time on those boards. I actually agreed with a couple previous posters who commented that the most judgemental, nasty posts they'd read had been right there, on MDC.

  8. This may get me into all sorts of trouble, but...I think the basic mistake that this woman made was not being skeptical of claims made by "the medical establishment" (which I put in quotes because, in general, doctors tend to behave like a herd of cats, but there is some overall consensus), but rather not being able to evaluate evidence adequately to determine which claims are reasonable and which are not.

    If instead of not taking AZT during pregnancy she had decided not to circumcise her son or had refused c-section for failure to progress if her labor was going slowly but the fetus and she were both in good shape, I would consider her decisions to be reasonable and probably right for her. The difference is that refusing circumcision or c-section can be justified logically and medically. Refusing to take HAART while pregnant really can not: it has been shown in multiple studies to reduce the probability of the fetus becoming infected and there is little evidence to support worries about birth defects due to HAART (although reversible side effects are common in children taking HAART.)

    Ultimately, it seems to me, that better science education is needed to deal with this problem. People must learn how to evaluate evidence or they will continue to be vunerable to snake oil salesmen promising them perfect health if they just take laetril or avoid vaccines or, for that matter, get a bone marrow transplant for their breast cancer.

  9. I would recommend writing your friendly neighborhood LA prosecutor and voicing your opinion that Maggiore should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Oh look, here is a link to the LA prosecutor.

    Dan Noland

  10. There's only one thing more terrifying than an irrational nutjob, and that's when the nutjob reproduces.

  11. No... it is when the nutjob self-publishes a book, and then gets a semi-mainstream rag to act as her soapbox. As she has done... claiming to have at least 50 other women following in her bloody footsteps.

    Sure, she reproduced... but half of her progeny have died --- and I bet the other half will have questions for the rest of his life.

    The REAL nutjob is this guy:

    HE is probably the real cause of death of many, from John Scutero to Eliza Jane Scovill.

  12. Hell, you would be very stupied taking hiv drugs during your preagnancy.

  13. Dear Anon,

    Please explain why taking HIV drugs during pregnancy would be stupid.

    Because these studies contradict your sentiment, so please elaborate why they are wrong:

    They all seem to point out that if Maggiore had taken the proper precautions (like taking AZT and NOT breastfeeding) the chances of her children becoming HIV+ would have been 1%... as opposed to the 25% chance that she took (and lost with one of her children).


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