Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Harold E. Buttram, MD

image source
In 2004, Arthur Allen interviewed Harold Buttram in the course of writing Allen's book Vaccine.

Born in 1925 (+/- 2 years) Buttram grew up in Oklahoma, and although his family was "suspicious of medicine", he graduated from the University of Oklahoma Medical School following his military service during WWII.

Despite being educated in the post-Flexner era, Buttram's medical philosophy was distinctly nineteenth-century in character. The explanation for his is that early in his medical career, Buttram came under the influence of the physician and Rosicrucian Fraternity leader Reuben Swinburne Clymer (1878-1966), especially through Clymer's 1957 book, The Age of Treason: The Carefully and Deliberately Planned Methods Developed By the Vicious Element of Humanity for the Mental Deterioration and Moral Debasement of the Mass As a Means to Their Enslavement

Arthur Allen wrote,
The book's thesis is that birth control, polio vaccine, mood-altering drugs [such as the benzodiazepenes and other anxiolytics] hormones, and racial miscegenation are the tools of a Satanic plot to undermine Anglo-Saxon America.
Clymer and his protégé  Buttram found vaccines to be particularly vile, in use by the "enemies of God and mankind" to destroy children's minds and moral sense (The "vicious element of humanity", according to Clymer, consists but is not limited to,  Jews, Negroes who do not know their place, and Communists).

Most of Buttram's medical career was spent at institutions associated with Clymer's original clinic in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, treating conditions not recognized in mainstream medicine such as "adrenal fatigue", and using unusual treatments for recognized disorders, such as chelation for heart or circulatory ailments.  (Buttram has not renewed his medical license since 2008, when he would have been in his early 80s.)

Buttram also published a number of works through the Rosicrucian publishing house, Humanitarian, including Vaccinations and Immune Malfunction.  In this and other works, Buttram claimed (without evidence) that immunizations are the root cause of such conditions as  autism, Crohn's disease, ADHD, and many other health problems.  In summary, Buttram claimed
  • The actual benefits of many vaccinations are  not as good as advertised.
  • Vaccinations induce a transient depression of immune dysfunction.
  • Vaccines may permanently change immune response in negative ways
  • Many problems linked to vaccinations have not been disclosed to the public
  • Vaccines may induce genetic mutation
  • Vaccinations may contribute to the development of other diseases or dysfunctional states.
Late in his career, Buttram became a paid legal expert witness for the defense in a number of shaken-baby prosecutions, the most notorious of which was the case of Alan Yurko, going so far as to co-author Vaccines And Genetic Mutation with Yurko (and Susan Kreider RN) while Yurko was in prison for murdering his baby.  According to Allen, Buttram testified for the defense in upwards of 60 trials, which would have been a rather nice source of income for a physician in his late 60s and early 70s.  According to Buttram himself, he never testified for the prosecution, which I believe is telling. I believe Buttram worked most frequently with attorney Toni Blake, who continues to provide services to defendants accused of injuring or murdering infants.

Back to Yurko.  On  February 3, 2001, Peter Bowditch of the (Australian) The Millenium Project wrote,
I want you to think about a dead baby. This baby was ten weeks old when he died. The autopsy revealed bleeding around the brain, in the eyes and in the spinal column. There were bruises on the sides of his head. Another thing that the autopsy showed was four broken ribs. These fractures had started to heal, and therefore indicated a pattern of physical abuse prior to the date of death. The father admitted to holding the baby by his feet and hitting him shortly before he died. I now want to you to form an opinion of the father. If you are the sort of person who opposes vaccination, you would see this man as a hero. You would see him as a martyr to the cause and would try to get him released from prison. In a breathtaking demonstration of what it can mean to believe that the end justifies the means, the anti-vaccination liars have adopted Alan Yurko as a symbol that they can use to frighten parents into refusing vaccination for their children. 
Bowditch then directed readers to the essay, Shaken Baby Syndrome or Vaccine Induced Encephalitis: The Story of Baby Alan, written by  Harold E. Buttram, M.D. & F. Edward Yazbak, M.D. (link in sources, below).

Buttram was (I believe) a founding editor of Medical Veritas ("the journal in truth in health science"), a founding member of the International Medical Council on Vaccination (another anti-vaccine interest group),  and a member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a far-rightwing medical group that has an anti-vaccine agenda and publishes the Journal of the American Physicians and Surgeons (JPANDS), which was the house organ for the notorious Geiers, père et fils.

So, Buttram's anti-vaccine status:
  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 Yes
  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 Maybe or Undetermined
  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

Harold Buttram, although little cited today, was an important (if deluded) figure in the 20th and 21st century anti-vaccination movement.



  1. Dr Buttram passed away January 27, 2016.


  2. I was treated by Dr.Buttram and had my childern also treated by him. He was the first Dr. to give me answers to my health issues. I loved him and I hope he is resting in peace♡

  3. I had my daughter treated by Dr. Buttram years ago. He gave me answers about the questions I had at the time that no other doctors ever gave me. RIP Dr. Buttram.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.