Monday, January 6, 2014

Erwin Alber

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Irwin Alber is a Swiss-born anti-vaccine activist who has been campaigning against vaccines (according to his own account) since 1988.

At some point prior to 1995, he joined what was then called the New Zealand Immunisation Awareness Society Incorporated (IAS), and worked with the German anti-vaccination MD Gerhard Buchwald to translate Buchwald's screeds into English.

In the late 1990s, Alber had a quarterly publication called Informed Choices, with circulation in the hundreds.

At some point prior to 2009, Alber moved to Thailand where he is evidently a teacher in a bilingual school.  As of July 2013 he was resident in Thailand.

According to the July 2013 interview (linked below) Alber's academic training was at an agricultural college.  That's it.  No training in immunology or vaccinology or public health.

Alber became anti-vaccine as a consequence of reading a book on animal experimentation, which convinced him that all vaccines are a conspiracy.

Alber's opinons on the safety, efficacy, and utility of vaccines can be summed up with the following quotes:
There is no such thing as a vaccine-preventable disease because vaccines don't prevent, but promote ill-health. 

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"I have arrived at the inevitable conclusion that vaccination is an organised criminal enterprise dressed up as disease prevention by means of junk science. 
The claim that vaccines had something to do with the decline of infectious disease mortality is an absolute lie. 

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Anti-Vaccine Checklist: How Does Alber 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 Unknown

Alber would be a trivial, if offensive, figure in the anti-vaccine movement if it weren't for the VINE Facebook page, which as of January 2014 had in excess of 100,000 "likes" and is a very active community, in which conspiracy theories, "cures", and horror stories are exchanged.

Disambiguation: There is a aerospace consultant based in California named Irwin Alber; this page is not about Dr. Alber.

Sources note: some URLs use donotlink


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  3. Please correct my name. The name (Erwin Alber) above my photo is correct; the name (Irwin Alber) at the top but to the right of the photo is incorrect.

    In "July 21 2013 Youtube interview, Shawn Seigal and Erwin Alber" you've also
    got Shawn's surname incorrect: it is Siegel, not Seigal.

    The book which changed my mind about vaccination and turned me from a supporter of vaccination into an outspoken anti-vaccination campaigner was the chapter about vaccination in Bette Overell's book 'Animal Research Takes Lives':

    It was the infectious disease mortality graphs in particular which made me realise that vaccination is an absolute fraud.

    Here are some more graphs which clearly show that vaccines have never saved anyone's life;

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