[It was possible to post any comment on BMJ website, but it looks like they are suppressing any vaccine criticism now.]

BMJ Rapid Responses was of course the last level playing field, and it was
an environment in which lies could not really survive. Rather ominously the
on-line letter editor wrote to me in the week that Godlee took over to say
that sorting out Rapid Responses was high on her agenda. This went through
several phases, they published an article suggesting that in order for
Rapid Responses to flourish it would need pruning, and that therefore they
would be raising the standard. Then at the end of June the web editor Tony
Delamothe wrote to me (and similarly to others) saying that I would not be
permitted to post on the topic of vaccine damage again.

Then in November something curious happened. BMJ featured an article by
Michael Fitzpatrick in the wake of Cochrane on MMR entitled 'Why can't the
daily Mail eat humble pie?'


It was an exceedingly lame article but remarkably before a word had been
written it was billed as a "hot topic" in Rapid Responses. A flood of
letters followed (including a few by myself) in which Fitzpatrick and MMR
were comprehensively trounced.


But it happened also in the few days following this invitation that the
rules of Rapid Responses were finally changed so that the simple
publication criteria of being relevant, non-libellous and not breaching
confidentiality were abandoned. What was going on? Was the episode set up
to show just how dangerous freedom of speech is, before finally knocking it
sternly on the head.

John Stone


66 Posts
Posted - 10/22/2006 :  15:35:44  
Originally posted by John Stone

BMJ Rapid Responses was of course the last level playing field

Yes, always amazing to me that you could say what you want there, so no surprise they are stopping that.

"Delamothe wrote to me (and similarly to others) saying that I would not be permitted to post on the topic of vaccine damage again."

Wouldn't mind seeing a copy of that.


United Kingdom
4 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2006 :  19:06:39  
I know of a few others who were also restricted by the BMJ at about the same time, so gave up reading the rapid responses then. They obviously want to control what is submitted and can't seem to take any views that they don't agree with. At least under Richard Smith, the responses were lively!! I'd be interested to see who else was banned or restricted - I'd guess that in addition to you John Stone, their list also included John Heptonstall, Alan Lees, Ellen Grant, Clifford Miller, Brian Morgan, Penny Mellor, David Rasnick amongst others.

John Stone

United Kingdom
134 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2006 :  21:43:29  
Hello John,

I don't think there was much more to the Delamothe letter than I told you, apart from Tony's inimitable style.

What was really not true, of course, was the excuse that they had to maintain a standard. The reality was as dissidents we were made to document everything we said, or it didn't get posted -
 sometimes it didn't get posted anyway, and sometimes it took several days as letter editor checked your claims out (there were some strange elements of honour still left in the game). But we
also had to put up with the low-grade, irrelevant heckling of a suspended doctor serving a non-custodial sentence for downloading child pornography - an interest in paediatric matters which for
some reason he was never made to disclose, and which no one else was allowed to mention.


In fact Dr Rumbold was allowed free reign to publish under his own name in Rapid Responses in the period of Kamran Abbasi's temporary editorship (August 2004-5).


Abbasi's indulgence towards Rumbold is not without interest bearing in mind that as editor of of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine he has expressed concerns in the area of child
protection as a supporter of Sir Roy Meadow and Prof David Southall (he is a close associate of Southall):


The one thing that Fiona Godlee did was to see Rumbold off, but by that time he was no longer useful.



Edited by - John Stone on 10/22/2006 21:56:09
John Stone

United Kingdom
134 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2006 :  22:11:31  
I should particularly like to mention, rather than Penny Mellor and Brian Morgan, the psycholgist Lisa Blakemore-Brown, a fierce protector of vaccine damaged children and their parents who has
faced years of professional (and unprofessional) persecution.

Hilary Butler, F Edward Yazbak, Travis Haws and Michael Innis as well.

Edited by - John Stone on 10/22/2006 22:28:44

United Kingdom
4 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2006 :  22:48:52  
Yes John, I had listed Lisa but my posting screwed up and I lost the initial message! I saw some of those names when looking through your references as well.

Ellen Grant was a great help to me earlier in the year when my eldest son started losing his hair, and it was she who told me that she was not allowed to
 write any more about zinc deficiency. But it was because of her messages that I realised that was the problem for my son (deficient in zinc because of
severe allergies caused by DPT). So I was able to get in touch with her, have further tests done in London, visit her with Matthew, and his hair has completely
grown back now. I feel the need to write to Fiona Godlee pointing out that Matthew is better now because of the access I had to Dr Grant's messages on rapid
responses!! We certainly weren't getting anywhere with the GP/NHS - I even had to ask them to test for zinc levels!