In an earlier blog post I discussed how Aisling FitzGibbon, better known as the bikini clad Girl Against Fluoride, has been asked by a UK nutritionist bring legal challenge against the Irish state for fluoridating water. She's paid hundreds of Euro to receive a printed certificate that enables her to communicate with angels and redirect their rays into people and their pets. A further investment is moving her towards another printed certificate, this time in the unregulated and dubious field of nutrition. The course is ultimately run by Barbara Wren, a woman caught on camera by the BBC claiming to have cured cancer using urine and castor oil. If time allows, do give it a read. If not fret not - there's more than enough preposterous nonsense about the campaign for this post to stand on its own.
Some of you may be wondering why I care. I am, after all, relatively well paid and fluoridation is something that primarily benefits the disadvantaged. While I support the continued fluoridation of our water I feel the problem presented by FitzGibbon et al is a more fundamental one: Angel healers should not get equal time with scientists in matters of scientific debate. Politicians should not unquestioningly accept as accurate information given to them by people who endorse peddlers of fake cancer cures. A willingness to take one's clothes off should not give one the loudest voice in public debate.
Girl Against Fluoride is Also Against Vaccines
"My mum had measles and is alive and well. According to the Chinese childhood illnesses is the body’s way of releasing the inherited toxicity of the parents. I was not vaccinated , nor were the children from the Royal family in the UK." - Aisling FitzGibbon in The Journal
|When asked why FitzGibbon focuses on |
banning fluoridation but not banning vaccines,
her worrying reply was "one step at a time"
Not far from where I grew up lies a school for the deaf blind. Many of their adult clients, profoundly deaf and without sight, find themselves there because of Rubella. The last major Rubella outbreak in the States resulted in 25,000 babies born with developmental delay, deafness, blindness, heart defects or some combination of the four. 1% of all births in New York were affected by congenital rubella syndrome. FitzGibbon would take us back to those days, and a more focused campaign against childhood vaccination may very well be next on her list.
"You can't, she suggests, be too careful about what you put into your body. Aisling didn't get the usual baby vaccinations but was given drops at Manchester's homeopathic [makey uppy pretend medicine, proven not to work -GS] hospital and was landed into houses where they had measles in the hope that she would catch them and build up her immunity naturally [or die -GS]. (Despite the public health campaign, Brassil insists that diseases such as measles were killers years ago because people were malnourished and had poor living conditions.)" Interview with FitzGerald's mother, Martha Brassil, Independent.ie. Comments in [brackets] mine.It seems FitzGibbon's opposition to lifesaving medicine does not represent a break from prior generations. I would not normally raise the views of someone's parent in a blog post but it seems reasonable when we see that Brassil is Girl Against Fluoride's campaign's Creative Manager and Writer. Added to this we see that mother and daughter's names linked to a campaign supporting disgraced former doctor Andrew Wakefield, who falsified research to pretend there is a link between vaccination and autism. He was found to be dishonest, fraudulent, and to have subjected developmentally delayed children to unnecessary invasive procedures such as lumbar punctures and colonoscopies. You can find FitzGerald and Brassil's support for Wakefield indicated on www.wesupportandywakefield.com. You can read more of Brassil's odd ideas about vaccines, including an echoing of the 'Chinese' view of illness, on an archived copy of her old site.
"The man is not fulfilling his role of feeling like a powerful male in his own right..."
|Spartans. Liked having sex with each other. Predate the pill.|
If Brassil and FitzGibbon did not have such access to and influence over Irish politicians their views would be seen as merely comical. But they have convinced many TDs and some Senators that they should be trusted as sources of information.
Take Brassil on homosexuality:
""The men, in order to be accepted, have to be like these little effeminate do-gooders and I think they're living a lie. They're disconnected from their own nature. Not to say that they've got to be these macho people, but they've gone from one extreme to the other. I wouldn't be attracted to these effeminate types.''
This reminds her of research suggesting a link between male homosexuality and the men's mothers' use of the contraceptive pill." Interview with FitzGerald's mother, Martha Brassil, Independent.ie
I struggle to decide which error is greatest or in need of most immediate correction. To fully address the manifest errors we must travel back to ancient Greece, and test Brassil's hypothesis that men first found men sexually attractive some time after the invention of the Pill in the 1960's. We find much evidence to the contrary. What I find most offensive about her blathering is the concept that only fancying the opposite gender is normal, and anything else is a disease or aberration. This is not true - humanity has a natural diversity of sexuality. Men who exclusively fancy women are in no way the one true and correct expression of masculinity.
A close second on the list is equivocating between gay and effeminate. Neither are negatives, but it just plain ain't true to say they're the same thing. If I meet her criteria for effeminate I greet with relief the news that she finds me unattractive. And if I don't meet her criteria, I'll try harder.
As I mentioned in my last post on the topic, FitzGibbon was inspired to start her crusade against fluoridation by Barbara Wren, who pretends to have cured cancer using a combination of urine and castor oil.
What are Brassil's thoughts on pursuing real medicine? We see from her page on TheGirlAgainstFluoride.com that "[s]he wants health care to move away from allopathic conventional medicine to a natural form of healing that addresses nutritional deficiencies, underlying toxicity and emotional blockages." She holds the same angel healing certificate as her daughter. It's important to note that allopathic is a makey uppy word used by homeopaths when they're referring to real medicine. It's rather disconcerting to think that, should she have her way, broken legs would be treated by woo merchants seeking out emotional blockages. She doesn't even make a vague pretence of interest in working with real doctors, presumably favouring her certified ability to redirect healing angel rays for all ailments. We can learn more of her views on treating cancer from the Independent interview:
"What if Brassil was diagnosed with cancer herself?How much influence do you feel these two should have in public health debates? How comfortable are you knowing that TDs lend them uncritical ears? Please let me know in the comments below.
She doesn't hesitate: ``I'd go this path. Definitely. I wouldn't even think.''
Completely rejecting, say,chemotherapy?
``I would go along my own path. At the end of the day I think it's unwise for people to say: `There's no way I'd do that.' But I couldn't see it myself because I feel I know my own body.''
And what if someone came to her wanting treatment?
``I would treat them. I couldn't say I'm treating the cancer because that's against the law as such, d'you know what I mean? I have treated people who I haven't met until after they've had the cancers and they've come to me and they've been on that drug Tamoxifen which can have a desperate effect on their lives. Once they're on that drug you can't actually treat them because it's so suppressive. So they have come off the Tamoxifen and they're fine. Perfect. Because a lot of cancer at the end of the day is diet.''"
[addendum: I've been asked which TDs and senators. I'll try and get a complete list later today, but for now, see David Norris, Brian Stanley and Thomas Pringle on their supporters' page. Also see Luke 'Ming' Flanagan participating in their protests - thankfully fully clothed.]