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Next week will mark 23 years since top public health officials, government scientists and vaccine manufacturers met behind closed doors at the Simpsonwood Retreat and Conference Center in Norcross, Georgia, where they acknowledged a possible link between mercury-based thimerosal in vaccines and autism — but chose to conceal that information from the public.

To mark the anniversary of that meeting, Children’s Health Defense (CHD) and other grassroots groups will host “The Simpsonwood Meeting: 23 Years Later,” a two-day rally and march.

The event will culminate in a plea to Congress to repeal the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which makes it illegal for the parents of vaccine-injured children to sue vaccine manufacturers for “damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death.”

Commenting on the significance of the 2000 Simpsonwood meeting, CHD Acting President Laura Bono said:

“The Simpsonwood documents and the meeting held in Norcross in June 2000 exposed starkly, in black and white, that our government health officials and vaccine company executives knew their vaccines were poisoning a subset of children yet they chose to do nothing about it.

“The autism and neurodevelopmental epidemics went from being unintentional to intentional. The subsequent coverup meant our children languished without the appropriate treatments for their injuries. And health policies went from creating ‘health’ for all to making ‘wealth’ for a few.”

CHD is partnering with Next Steps, Georgia Coalition for Vaccine Choice and Healthy + Informed Georgia to organize and host the rally and march — which will take place on June 7-8, the anniversary of the meeting 23 years ago — at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters and Georgia Capitol in Atlanta.

Speakers will include CHD President and General Counsel on Leave Mary Holland, J.D., CHD Senior Staff Attorney Rolf Hazlehurst, CHD Chief Scientific Officer Brian Hooker, Ph.D., CHD President Emerita Lyn Redwood, R.N., MSN, and many more.

Full details for the two-day event are here. To register, go here.

‘Watergate-like moment for the medical freedom movement’

Transcripts from the 2000 Simpsonwood meeting reveal that Dr. Thomas Verstraeten — a CDC epidemiologist who analyzed the CDC’s database containing the medical records of 100,000 children — acknowledged that thimerosal could have been responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and other neurological disorders among children.

Rather than coming clean to the public about the concerning signal in the data analyzed by Verstraeten, top U.S. public health officials withheld the data from public view for three years and in 2003, published a study that used “dodgy” statistical tactics to make the concerning signal go away, according to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., attorney and CHD founder and chairman on leave.

According to the CDC, thimerosal is no longer used in most childhood vaccines — except flu vaccines.

Michael Kane, regional chapter coordinator for CHD and one of the event’s lead organizers, called the 2000 Simpsonwood meeting the “Watergate-like moment for the medical freedom movement.”

Kane said that while he knew “for decades” about corruption within the vaccine industry and U.S. regulatory agencies, learning about Simpsonwood was a “really sobering moment” for him.

Kane told The Defender:

“There’s always these questions of, ‘Do they know [about the harm vaccines may be causing]? How much do they know? What do they know? Are they corrupted by money?’

“This [the Simpsonwood meeting transcript] answers a number of those questions, and some of the answers are far darker than any of us want to really face.”

According to Kane, there is a “direct line” between U.S. public health officials’ dishonesty and corruption at Simpsonwood and their continued dishonesty and corruption regarding the COVID-19 vaccines. “We want people to know about Simpsonwood,” he said, adding:

“We want all these people who are waking up now to the corruption of Big Pharma and agency capture in our government to realize this has been going on for a very long time.”

Since 1986, the number of vaccines recommended by the CDC increased greatly. Currently, the CDC recommends that children under age 18 receive 17 different vaccines.

Kane noted that the CDC has not undertaken a study to see if there is a synergistic toxic effect that may occur in children who receive the multiple types — and multiple doses — of its recommended vaccines.

According to Kane, the upcoming “The Simpsonwood Meeting: 23 Years Later” event represents an opportunity to prompt a “national conversation” that puts the issues of harm from vaccines, industry corruption and regulatory agency capture “back on the table again” and “brings it to mainstream consciousness.”

CHD president emerita uncovers Simpsonwood documents

Lyn Redwood — who will speak at the Simpsonwood rally — told The Defender she began researching vaccine safety when her son regressed into autism after receiving multiple vaccinations.

By the age of 2 months, her son had received three vaccinations that injected cumulatively 62.5 micrograms of mercury into his body — when the allowable dose of mercury for a child of his weight was 0.5 micrograms according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines of 0.1 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day, Redwood said.

“So he received 125 times his EPA allowable exposure in one day,” she said.

Redwood joined three other parents to create the coalition, SafeMinds: Sensible Action for Ending Mercury-Induced Neurological Disorders, and published a paper in 2000 showing mercury exposure from thimerosal in vaccines was a “mechanism” for “causing the traits of autism.”

Redwood and her co-authors presented their paper to public health officials, including at the CDC. “I was so naive at the time,” she said, “I really thought that our federal agencies would want to know about this information.”

However, Redwood said:

“We did our presentation and we shared with them our concerns, and they just sat there stone-faced … and then they handed us this one-pager saying they looked at their vaccine safety data.”

Redwood and her colleagues with SafeMinds thought the CDC’s one-page document looked “suspicious” and had data that looked “almost statistically significant.”

Wanting to see the raw data, Redwood and colleagues filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all the CDC’s data and discussions related to thimerosal.

“That’s how the Simpsonwood transcripts got leaked to the public,” she explained.

Redwood said she began reading the meeting transcripts at 10 p.m. thinking the meeting minutes would put her to sleep — but by 4 a.m. she was still wide awake and “screaming.”

What she read made her sick to her stomach, she said:

“I realized that they knew that there were all these problems. It wasn’t just autism. It was ADD/ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder], speech and language delays, neurodevelopmental delays … it was just so egregious.”

For instance, Verstraeten in the transcripts cited the number of earlier studies that indicated a link between thimerosal and speech delays, ADHD and autism and said, “I was actually stunned by what I saw.”

Other meeting members made comments suggesting the CDC should never have undertaken to study thimerosal and neurological disorders because of the legal risk it posed if the data landed in the hands of a litigious attorney.

“We are in a bad position from the standpoint of defending any lawsuits if they were initiated and I am concerned,” someone said.

Later in the meeting, Dr. Richard Johnston — an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado whose grandson was born on the morning of the meeting’s first day — said, “Forgive this personal comment … I do not want my grandson to get a thimerosal-containing vaccine until we know better what is going on.”

CDC embargoed Verstraeten’s study, published ‘deceptive’ studies instead

Nonetheless, the Simpsonwood group decided to embargo Verstraeten’s study that showed a signal between autism and thimerosal.

“The CDC then pushed Verstraeten aside and assembled a team of industry and CDC scientists to rework the study using dodgy statistical devices to make the autism signal disappear,” Kennedy said in an interview.

“After four increasingly deceptive iterations, that team succeeded in eliminating the signal linking thimerosal with autism and a half dozen other neurodevelopmental disorders,” Kennedy said.

The CDC published that version and told the public thimerosal was safe.

“When parents asked to see the raw data,” Kennedy said, “the CDC claimed that it had somehow ‘lost’ all the raw data so that no independent group could check this result.”

The CDC’s primary data manager for the “deceptive” studies was Poul Thorsen, who was given $10 million by the CDC to produce the studies and allegedly stole at least $1 million of the CDC grant money.

Thorsen — now an international fugitive — was charged in 2011 on 22 counts of wire fraud and money laundering by the U.S. Department of Justice. He is on the HHS’ “Most Wanted” list, Kennedy pointed out.

“Nevertheless, the CDC still uses Thorsen’s studies as proof of thimerosal safety,” Kennedy said.