Mental Help Net
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Basic InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersBlog EntriesVideosLinksBook Reviews
Therapist Search
Find a Therapist:
 (USA/CAN only)

Use our Advanced Search to locate a therapist outside of North America.

Related Topics

Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses

Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.
Dr. Schwartz's Weblog

Autism and Fraud, Psychopathy Defined, Does Greed Have No limits?

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Updated: Jan 17th 2011

Autism and Fraud, Psychopathy Defined, Does Greed Have No limits?Do you remember the panic over the belief that immunizations for our children cause autism? We were told that these vaccines contained mercury as a preservative leading to all kinds of learning disabilities and defects. The public became alarmed about having their babies inoculated against measles, mumps and other diseases for fear that they would become autistic. All of this was fueled by what seemed like an increase in children who were on the autism spectrum. When some in the medical community denied that this was a causative factor many did not believe them. Many mothers and fathers refused shots for their children.

It now turns out that the entire story of a connection between vaccines and autism was a scam.

Andrew Wakefield, MD, of Great Britain, now disgraced, developed a scheme to frighten the public by publishing false research studies about vaccination. He then formed a company to manufacture alternate medications along with phony diagnostic testing tools and many other devices so that he and his partners could earn as much a 45 million dollars during the first year.

Wakefield and his medical his partner in crime, another MD, also planned to bring law suits against companies that manufactured these vaccines so more financial gain could be reaped.

As a result of these illegal and unethical activities, children were subjected to unnecessary and invasive procedures that were totally uncalled for. These children, their parents and the public were negatively affected by this fraud.

The article about this plan to defraud the public can be found at this URL:

From there, other articles about this can be found.

Wakefield is an excellent example of a psychopath at work. Here are some characteristics of psychopathy.

Psychopaths are people who:

1. Gain satisfaction through antisocial behavior.
2. Do not experience shame, guilt, or remorse for their actions.

3. Lack a sense of guilt or remorse for any harm they have caused others.
4. Have no empathy towards others, resulting in tactlessness, insensitivity, and contemptuousness.
5. Start out having a superficial charm about them, with a willingness to say anything to anyone without concern for accuracy or truth.

6. Will coldly exploit others for their own gain then arrogantly blame the people who were victimized.

My concern is that people will continue to hold onto the suspicion of vaccines, continuing to believe they cause autism. In my opinion, as well as that of many others, these injections prevent diseases that used to cause havoc among vast portions of the population. In this age new and threatening contagious diseases it is important to do all we can to protect ourselves and our children. Perhaps not all readers will agree with me but I firmly hold to this opinion.

Once information gets out into the public, even after its proven to be false, many of us continue to cling to these false facts, having more suspicion of government and the medical community than of being suspicious of scam artists.

The best way to avoid being fooled is for all of us to do our research and speak to our doctors.

Be careful about people like Wakefieled and Bernie Madoff. They are heartless.

Your comments and opinions are welcome.

Allan N. Schwartz, PhD 


Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Readers who live in the Boulder, Colorado metro area, or in Southwest Florida may contact Dr. Schwartz for face-to-face consultation. He is also available for psychotherapy through Skype video for those who are not in Florida or Colorado. He can be reached via email at for details.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

Excellent Piece - James Gavin - Jan 20th 2011

Thank you for this excellent and thought-provoking piece.

While I do try to avoid internet diagnoses, I just wanted to add a couple of points from the ICD-10 diagnostic criteria (the wording of point 'a' seems particularly relevant given the GMC's description of Wakefield's 'callous disregard').

And I'd certainly describe his current behaviour as fitting 'f'...

F60.2 Dissocial personality disorder

Personality disorder, usually coming to attention because of a gross disparity between behaviour and the prevailing social norms, and characterized by:

(a)callous unconcern for the feelings of others;

(b)gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules and obligations;

(c)incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them;

(d)very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence;

(e)incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience, particularly punishment;

(f)marked proneness to blame others, or to offer plausible rationalizations, for the behaviour that has brought the patient into conflict with society.

Follow us on Twitter!

Find us on Facebook!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

Powered by CenterSite.Net