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(gawker)   Measles outbreak reported in Christian Science church in Boston. Since Christian Scientists don't believe in vaccinations, this theoretically could bring the entire production of the Christian Science Monitor to a standstill   ( divider line
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5894 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Jun 2006 at 6:56 PM (11 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2006-06-20 07:45:38 PM  
I had the measles when I was a kid - in the 60's.
//gonna be 50 soon!
2006-06-20 07:46:54 PM  
T.rex I think you got vaccines confused with antibiotics.
2006-06-20 07:47:42 PM  
Any old Farkers remember the polio vaccinations we got on sugar cubes? I went with hundreds of other people to Arlington Park Race Track, by Chicago,and we walked in, ate a sugar cube and went home.
///mmmmm sugar!
2006-06-20 07:50:10 PM  

While I agree that UPN and fox don't really qualify as main steam media, I have a feeling that this story is about to go nation wide...
2006-06-20 07:54:00 PM  
I don't take aspirin or cold medicine, have never had a flu shot and never get sick for more than a day about once a year. I did have a measles shot when I was a kid and got the measles the next day.

/not opposed to medication
//just haven't needed any
2006-06-20 07:57:24 PM  
They don't believe in vaccinations, yet however the word "science" is in the their demonination name?

2006-06-20 07:58:32 PM  
My best friend is a CS (what they prefer to be called), and graduated from their college recently. I've been on the campus a few times.

Its a bit weird as an outsider, but most of the people there weren't quite the religious fundies that outsiders (like me) perceive them as.

Weird stuff: you can get expelled or suspended for having sex or engaging in anything sexually related. There are also no locks on any of the doors, so even watching porn is risky. You also can get expelled for having Advil in your desk.

Basically, I heard it best from one of the students there: they mostly don't like pills, and anything in pill form. I didn't ask, but I harbor the thought that birth control pills would make their heads explode.

The students I talked to, at least, thought that most of CS was just a bunch of crap, and were only going to the school because A) they had to and B) their parents were paying for it.

I did go to a CS church service a long time ago, though, and that was an eye-opening experience. It was a Saturday evening service, so I don't know how normal it was, but instead of a "sermon", they had people give "testimonials" about how they had prayed over some disease or other, and it went away. The only problem was that there were only 20 or so people there for that service, and I think the pastor (or whatever they are called) has to hear at least a set # of testimonials per night. So we sat in silence for at least 10 minutes until more people volunteered to talk about CS and their life.

To me, as an agnostic, its pretty farked up, but the ones that I've met aren't bad people, and actually aren't all that judgemental of people who aren't part of their faith.
2006-06-20 07:59:41 PM  

Many Christian Scientists have battles with CPS for this very reason, they won't vaccinate their children or consent to medical care for anything for their kids. I happen to be a standard, non-nutso christian, and one of my firmest beliefs is to NOT force your children to believe what you do. I futzed around with other belief systems before settling down with good old non-denom christianity...but forcing your children to suffer for something they may not even believe in is startlingly irresponsible.

On the upside? My christian scientist boss used to give me all the Christmas gifts she got from clients because she didn't believe in Christmas since it wasn't mentioned as "CHRISTMAS" in the bible. It's all a rich tapestry.
2006-06-20 08:00:11 PM  
Christian Science is one of the most level headed publications out there. And I'm an atheist too. Didn't realise they didn't do immunisations thats strange.

For all the amusing irony however Rubella (as it must be if they immunise for it - normal measles you just get as a kid unless you are unlucky) is pretty serious stuff. Can leave you sterile and is dangerous when an adult.

It would be ironic indeed if some of you get adult mumps and get balls the size of grapefruit. Did you get it when you were a young? Better ask mum - because they don't immunise for that..

2006-06-20 08:02:34 PM  
I love how sometimes, just sometimes, problems take care of themselves.
2006-06-20 08:02:38 PM  
hailstorm: I don't take aspirin or cold medicine, have never had a flu shot and never get sick for more than a day about once a year. I did have a measles shot when I was a kid and got the measles the next day.

Do you also happen to have an onion on your belt?
2006-06-20 08:03:11 PM  

Any old Farkers remember the polio vaccinations we got on sugar cubes? I went with hundreds of other people to Arlington Park Race Track, by Chicago,and we walked in, ate a sugar cube and went home.
///mmmmm sugar!

I remember the sugar cubes. I also had the air gun small pox shot. I never got a scar like I was suppose to though.
2006-06-20 08:05:29 PM  
I love all the farkers hoping for these people to die. I pity you people.
2006-06-20 08:10:04 PM  
Manfred Richthofen
Why use the word "science" if you oppose its application?

Let's return to the middle ages, where the average life span was 35 . . .

Well, realistically if you lived to be 35, you'd probably live into old age. Of course accidents and what not did occur and were much worse, but still, it would be more accurate to say, "let's return to the time when almost everyone died as a baby because we were too farking stupid to use medicine."
2006-06-20 08:10:44 PM  
I'm not quite sure measles is fatal, but it is pretty sick to wish illness on people. I, for one, hope that the sickness is contained and everyone recovers. How about live and let live folks?
2006-06-20 08:11:23 PM  
The Onanist


A measles outbreak is funny?

I guess I don't have my "laugh at the misfortune of others" hat on today.

It is when an outbreak is pretty much preventable.

Preventable as in obesity is for the mainstream population? So it's okay to make fun of people? Wait, rhetorical question, nevermind.
2006-06-20 08:11:40 PM  
chechcal: Do you also happen to have an onion on your belt?

I have a rock that keeps away tigers.
2006-06-20 08:14:41 PM  
I had measles, mumps, flu, you name it, I had it
2006-06-20 08:19:20 PM  
Anyone else see that Law & Order episode where the christian scientists get charged with murder by neglect after banning the doctors from saving their daughter?

Good episode... sad ending, too
2006-06-20 08:23:52 PM  
My kids aren't vaxxed due to a bad reaction my oldest son had to one of the combo shots at a few months old. He'll never receive any more vaxes--dr's orders. My younger will when he's a little older. Anyway, they've both had measles. Easily treated with antibiotics and supervised care.

2006-06-20 08:25:15 PM  
the christian science monitor is very good/level-headed publication
/hardcore atheist
2006-06-20 08:30:40 PM  
interesting update from

Update: ((6/20/06) Medgadget staff spoke with Norman Bleichman, a representative of the Church, to correct any mistakes made in our reporting, and to clarify what happened. Here are the details as we were told by a representative of the Church.
One member of the Church was diagnosed with measles. He immediately contacted the Church regarding his condition, and told them of who he recently had contact with at the Church. Based on this call, the Church contacted the Boston health department, received instructions for what to do, and took action to quarantine six individuals at their homes. Of those six, one was later diagnosed with measles, and quarantined accordingly.

It is important to note that none of these seven individuals worked at the Christian Science Monitor, or had contact with its staff, which is housed in a different Church building from their offices.

The Church also provided information to its members about the situation, including how to get vaccinated. The Church neither encouraged or discouraged vaccinations, and has no policy against the procedure. Some members of the Church chose to be vaccinated at their own will.

We regret any mistakes that were made in our original report.
2006-06-20 08:33:47 PM  
Had a friend growing up who was a CS. He had six brothers and sisters (no birth control). Would have had seven, but they let Bianca die of pneumonia when she was three. Basically, anything that goes wrong in your life God can fix via prayer, but if He doesn't, it's because you deserve to suffer the punishment.

2006-06-20 08:36:01 PM  
yup CSM is probably the closest thing you will find to unbiased news reporting, eat your heart out FOX
2006-06-20 08:42:12 PM  
pseudonymphomaniac, "but if He doesn't, it's because you deserve to suffer the punishment."

... very inaccurate portrayal there. Christain Scienstists do not believe in a vengeful God. If you end up dying, its because you weren't practicing Christain Science correctly.
2006-06-20 08:42:24 PM  
2006-06-20 08:45:35 PM  
It's Alright Ma

If this is the case, then it follows that one can overcome any ailment of the illusion through prayer and will alone.

OMG! They're all RPG gamers! "I disbelieve the illusion!" =^.?.^= Meh, you wanna try disputing the exitstence of stuff? Try Buddhism. Now THAT is a trip!

The reason I've got my laughing-hat on right now is that these people supposedly don't believe in vaccines for whatever religious reasons. *Rolls eyes.* Despite that, some of them are still "grudgingly getting vaccinations." I'm laughing because of the fact that they're getting them because they know that prayer is crap in this case and they'll get the measles for sure if they don't get a shot. 'Scuse me, I'm gonna sit here and giggle like an idiot for a few minutes.
2006-06-20 08:50:05 PM  

How about not just shrugging it off when a bunch of dumbasses let their kids get sick from a trivially preventable disease?
2006-06-20 08:52:45 PM  
I'm a christian scientist, so I am really getting a kick out of most of these replies.

Some of you guys are very good at making it sound like you know what you are talking about.

But trust me.... You don't.

I think you just want to make yourself sound smart, when in reality you don't know what you are talking about.

This is how bad info gets passed around.

If you don't know about the topic....Don't make yourself sound like you do.

Because some Farkers believe anything they hear.
2006-06-20 08:57:36 PM  

Any old Farkers remember the polio vaccinations we got on sugar cubes? I went with hundreds of other people to Arlington Park Race Track, by Chicago,and we walked in, ate a sugar cube and went home.
///mmmmm sugar!

Sugar cubes? Nifty! My memory is bad, but I remember that the reason most immunizations are given through injections is that they'll just get digested and destroyed by stomach acid. But polio had an oral vaccine. Am I getting something wrong, or was it one that was able to survive the digestive process?

/Too lazy to look it up on wiki
//Not too lazy for slashies, though!
2006-06-20 08:58:06 PM  
bondgirl: Anyway, they've both had measles. Easily treated with antibiotics and supervised care.

Oooh, I'm sorry, but you fail. Measles is caused by a virus, not a bacteria, and antibiotics are like The Goggles when it comes to viruses.
2006-06-20 09:00:41 PM  
Wow, how nice. I'll take a longer route walking to school everyday for a couple weeks now. Damned people who believe in things.....
2006-06-20 09:11:31 PM  
CSM is rather good. CS in itself is a few door knocks short of JW's but just as dumbassed when it comes to modern life. Let them be. Darwin will provide the needed deus ex machina.
2006-06-20 09:15:32 PM  
Never mind that lots of times when there's an outbreak of something, it's mostly people who have been vaccinated who are affected. No, I don't have a source readily available right now.

Besides, I'd rather take my chances with an illness than have mercury, formaldehyde, or any other nasty stuff injected into me--or into my child!
2006-06-20 09:21:07 PM
2006-06-20 09:21:33 PM  
Just remember, it is Gods perfect will.
2006-06-20 09:35:43 PM  
Its the people who get the vaccines which screws it up for the people who don't. You are essentially training your body to need aid to fight the virus, rather than having it fight on its own... Scientist believe vaccines are becoming more and more useless, because it allows the virus to figure out a way to mutate and keep going...

Uh.. no... First off, the virus mutating its way around a vaccine doesn't screw it up for people without vaccines. It learns how to circumnavigate the vaccine, it doesn't magically learn how to kill 50 people from 300 paces in a single stroke at the same time. If your dog learns that it will get a swat for eating off the table does it also learn to breathe fire?

As far as training your body to need aid to fight the virus? What do you think vaccines do? It's not like you're mounting a tiny virus shooting railgun in your blood stream. It tells your body the virus is here, so your body prepares to fight it. It's your body doing the work, not the vaccine.

You are essentially catching a mild version of the bug, and your body is learning how to fight it off. Not going "Oh well at least I can use CAPTAIN VACCINE to save me". I'd have more faith in your position if you appeared to understand the 'science' involved.

No, I don't have a source readily available right now.

Well THERE's a shocker. Yeah, health is so much poorer now that we have modern medicine than in those nice countries in africa and what have you.

Undoubtedly next someone will key in with the "but but hunter gatherers were way more healthy" (somewhat true, but not for the right reasons)example and show off their anthropological ignorance.

Medical science certainly isn't perfect, and it pays to be a cautious and intelligent subscriber to it. Kneejerk support or avoidance is merely a symbol of ignorance.

Next time there's a smallpox outbreak, be sure to blame the vaccine.

If anything, 'the rest of us' aren't screwing christian scientists over, we're helping you out by reducing the incubational sources you can get it from.
2006-06-20 09:39:22 PM

The basic gist of Christian Science is almost identical to the general idea in the Matrix. And Plato's allegory of the cave. Except for the tentacled robots.

Oh, and its also complete bullsh*t & mumbo-jumbo.

/former christian scientist
2006-06-20 09:42:46 PM  
Very few voices talking about CSM and instead talking about CS.

Neither one has much to do with the other.

Personally, I think CSM is the most important news publication in the world today. I'd be hard pressed to think of another news organisation that has the grassroots network it has. Integrity is almost never an issue. It's certainly not biased, especially any sort of religious bias.

A lot of people have misconceptions about what CS is, and it seems those misconceptions are shared with CSM, which is too bad.

Maybe it's poor branding and a case of a bad rep, but it would be really bad if the people working on CSM were down and out for awhile...or permanently.

We don't have many voices for news that aren't totally dominated by the left (print and TV) or the right (radio). I can tell you that either side would love to get their hands on the CSM and either take it over or take it down, because it calls both sides on their sh][t...and they're both full of it.

Of all the links that ever get posted here, I would hope it's obvious that from a journalistic standpoint, the CSM ones are pure gold. I search them like I search Photoshop links. I don't even care what the topic is, it doesn't matter, because like a PS contest, it's gonna be worth my while.
2006-06-20 09:43:37 PM  
Bacontastesgood do you really not see the difference between actively hoping for a whole group of people to die of a disease and 'just shrugging it off'?

I already said above that I don't think it's right to submit children to this, but if an adult wants to battle disease without medication or doctor's care...who am I to judge? It's their body.
2006-06-20 10:06:07 PM  
My freshman year at a catholic high school our soccer team played a local CS high school. I didnt make the team and was watching some friends play.

During the game one of the CS strikers blew out his knee. It was awful. He team gathered around him on the field, got on their knees and prayed. No trainers. Our trainers ran over to treat him, but the CS coaches turned them away. Finally they carried him off the field and sat him on the bench.

All I know is that somewhere some guy is a cripple bc he wanted to play high school soccer.

/CS gets the finger from me
2006-06-20 10:12:09 PM  
Published on June 10, 2006
Author(s): Stephen Smith, GLOBE STAFF

The virus landed in Boston on April 26, a Wednesday. It was brewing inside a young computer programmer who had flown in from India, brought over for his expertise by a financial services company headquartered in the city's tallest skyscraper... He went to work on the 18th floor of the John Hancock Tower, and on May 5 the hallmark symptoms of measles began to appear...
2006-06-20 10:20:33 PM  
In order to prevent a journalistic catastrophe, CSM staffers have very grudgingly started to get immunizations, even though they believe that the measles threat is "not true."

Sounds like a good chance for some in-depth investigative reporting. To test this "not true" theory, merely compare the proportion of vaccinated staffers who get measles to the proportion of unvaccinated. I assume no problem with an experiment, they do call themselves Christian Scientists, don't they?
2006-06-20 10:30:24 PM  

Nicely put.
2006-06-20 10:49:15 PM  
T.rex:If you end up dying, its because you weren't practicing Christain (sic) Science correctly.

What if you weigh the same as a duck?
2006-06-20 10:50:00 PM  
In all fairness, the outbreak actually started at Fidelity's offices in the Hancock tower. Only later did it show up at the Mother Church. Subsequent cases have been reported by other employees in the Hancock tower. These complexes are 2-3 blocks apart and almost completely connected by an enclosed shopping mall. the rear entrance of the mall dumps right out across the street from the Reflecting Pool plaza. The fact that the CSC folks shun vaccinations hasn't even really made the legitimate mainstream media. Around here, only UPN and Fox have mentioned it.


I swear to god, if it makes the jump over to the Pru tower, I'm hiding out in my apartment and not going to work! I don't care if I've gotten the vaccination!
/local who works in the Pru
2006-06-20 10:50:16 PM  
All right, G2V, you want a source, you got one!
2006-06-20 10:56:41 PM  
Oooh, I'm sorry, but you fail. Measles is caused by a virus, not a bacteria, and antibiotics are like The Goggles when it comes to viruses.

Oooo, sorry, old chap, but I think you'll find that YOU'RE wrong. Yes, measles is caused by a virus, but the attending complications brought on by secondary infections, such as pneumonia, can be warded off with antibiotics.

Try striking down a mother who hasn't done her homework.
2006-06-20 11:11:09 PM  
T. Rex: I don't think you really understand how vaccines and the body's immune system work. Check out:

I don't mean this as a jab at you, but I think there's a lack of understanding.
2006-06-20 11:24:01 PM  

It's a good thing you homeschool.
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