Friday, January 3, 2014

Tedd Koren, DC

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For my money, Tedd Koren is one of the most effective propagandists for the anti-vaccine movement.  But he is barely on the radar of the skeptical movement.

To the best of my knowledge, none of his published materials have ever been debunked nor have his many false and exaggerated claims

Tedd Koren is a 1977 graduate of the Sherman College of Chiropractic (a member of the second graduating class of that institution) in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

From 1977-1988, he was primarily in private practice as a chiropractor, in and around Philadelphia, PA.

Beginning in 1987, he founded Koren Publications, and began publishing "patient information packages" for chiropractors, including leaflets, booklets, books, and videos.(Koren earned a BA in communications from the University of Miami.) Among these materials were (and are) anti-vaccine screeds, designed to alarm parents into refusing vaccination, and larger packages for chiropractors to use to scare patients away from vaccination and into chiropractic care.

On January 10, 1995, Koren received a seven-page letter from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), requiring that he substantiate claims made in materials published and distributed by Koren Publications, including claims about chiropractic and infectious disease, and claims about the dangers of vaccination.

Sadly, the FTC eventually dropped the investigation, allowing Koren to continue to market such gems as

In addition to the widely reproduced posters (samples below).

Anti-Vaccine Checklist: How Does Koren Score? (a person or organization is anti-vaccine if he or she exhibits at least three of the following points.
  1. Claiming that all vaccines are unsafe and ineffective Yes
  2. Claiming better sanitation and nutrition account for the 20th century decline in vaccine-preventable diseases Yes
  3. Claiming that vaccines cause diseases and conditions such as autism, asthma, SIDS, or shaken baby syndrome Yes
  4. Claiming that anecdotal evidence is superior to scientific evidence; rejecting science and epidemiology 
  5. Cherry picking and misrepresenting the evidence Yes
  6. Using  logical fallacies without shame in arguing Yes
  7. Conspiracy mongering Yes
  8. Silencing criticism (especially by deleting online material), rather than responding to it
  9. (If in business) Profiting from the sale of products and services that spread fear, uncertainty and doubt about vaccines, or products and services that are said to be superior to vaccines and conventional medicine in preventing disease Yes


I believe that Tedd Koren is one of the most influential people in the anti-vaccine movement, because of the reach and ubiquity of his publications.

Image source

Image Source, Koren Publications,

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The skeptical movement and anti-vaccination propaganda



1 comment:

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