Freedom of Thought and Religious Beliefs Are Under Attack

Story at-a-glance

  • For over 30 years, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) has fought for your right to make informed medical choices — a right that has been severely eroded in the U.S. over the past three decades
  • 2015 delivered an unprecedented attack on vaccine exemptions in the U.S. Similar attacks were launched in 2016, but people’s engagement in the political process thwarted most threats
  • On August 15, 2016, the CDC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the Public Health Service Act, which would vastly expand police power to detain sick air travelers and force vaccinate


This is an older article that may not reflect Dr. Mercola’s current view on this topic. Use our search engine to find Dr. Mercola’s latest position on any health topic.

By Dr. Mercola

Your freedom of thought, conscience and religious beliefs are under attack, so it is really vital that you listen to the information presented by Barbara Loe Fisher in this interview with me.

Fisher co-founded the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) in 1982 and she has been a leading health rights advocate defending the human right to informed consent to medical risk taking, including the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices — a right that has been severely eroded in the U.S. over the past three decades.

“If we don’t have the right in this country to make health care choices, including vaccine choices, that impact our bodies and the bodies of our children, we’re really not free in any sense of the word,” she says.

“I’ve seen this evolve over almost 35 years now. It became clear several decades ago that the goal of public health officials and the medical trade organizations and industry was to have everyone in the country … have to get every single government-recommended vaccine … That is what I saw happening, but I didn’t know how long it was going to take.”

Unprecedented Attack on Personal Beliefs in 2015

In 2015, the American media went berserk reporting an outbreak of measles at Disneyland.

By the time the media hysteria hyping irrational fear of measles and demonizing parents with unvaccinated school children was over, there had been 131 cases of measles reported in California and only 189 cases of measles reported nationally for the whole year.  

What was interesting about the 2015 measles outbreak that started all the fear mongering, was that when you looked at the California cases with vaccine records, it became clear the outbreak was not about unvaccinated school children at all:  

Fifty percent of the reported measles cases were adults and only 18 percent were in school-aged children. Yet that measles outbreak in 2015 was used by industry and medical trade lobbyists to fuel an all-out assault on personal belief exemptions in state vaccine laws.

It was an assault that specifically targeted the non-medical exemptions for religious, conscientious or philosophical beliefs filed by parents so their children can attend school. As noted by Fisher:

“What happened in 2015 was unprecedented in terms of the numbers of bills that were introduced in the states to take away non-medical vaccine exemptions. There were over 100 bills introduced. There was an assault in at least 11 states to take away the exemptions.

[P]eople signed up for our [NVIC] Advocacy Portal online and we helped them to preserve the exemption in nine states. But we lost California, which was a huge loss because that’s the biggest state.

The personal belief exemption was eliminated and it took out both the religious and the philosophical exemption in one fell swoop …

We have a 94 to 97 percent, sometimes almost 100 percent, vaccine coverage rate with federally recommended vaccines in the United States … [Yet] in 2015 we saw the most vicious assault I have ever seen on parents who take exemptions or who don’t give their children all of the vaccines.

There were calls for these parents to be charged with child medical neglect, for them to be publicly identified and humiliated online, for them to be sued and for them to be jailed.

At the same time, we saw an assault on doctors; doctors who were critical of vaccine safety, doctors who were giving children medical vaccine exemptions, doctors who were taking care of children who were not fully vaccinated. The rhetoric was over the top in terms of viciousness in 2015.

Again, how many measles cases did we see in America? One hundred wighty-nine cases of measles. Not one death, not one injury, that I’ve seen, was reported.”

Your Involvement Protected Health Rights in 2016

This year, yet another 100 vaccine related bills were introduced and most tried to either add more vaccines to state mandates or restrict or eliminate vaccine exemptions.

The NVIC opposed about 70 percent of them. Fortunately, only eight of those bills were actually passed this year, and none of the bills to eliminate vaccine exemptions passed.

The reason for this, Fisher says, is because people saw what happened in 2015 and started to get much more involved in the political process in 2016.

Whenever NVIC put out an Action Alert through the online NVIC Advocacy Portal, more parents, grandparents, health care professionals and other concerned citizens personally contacted their state legislators and showed up for committee meetings and public hearings to make their concerns known.

It is so important for you to know that you can make a difference when you take action to protect your freedom and, together, we are making a difference. This can be seen from the fact that many bad vaccine bills were defeated this year because people stood up for their rights.

I want to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to all you who worked with NVIC and participated in the legislative process in your states this year. Yes, some battles were still lost, but it is through persistence that we can collectively make a huge difference.

“It’s the only reason we didn’t get the medical and religious [vaccine] exemption taken away in Virginia this year,” Fisher says. “The only reason was because people got energized and showed up.”

Public Health Officials Militarize Vaccine System Through Rule Making

Unfortunately, because we’ve been successful in stopping these state bills trying to take away your freedom, public health officials are now starting to invoke rulemaking authority to bypass the democratic process altogether.

Rulemaking authority is given by Congress to federal legislators, and given by state legislators to the people who operate government and government employees.

On August 15, 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in the Federal Register to amend the Public Health Service Act, which governs public health law. We warned you about this several months ago in this newsletter.

What the CDC wants to do is expand the use of police power to detain and involuntarily quarantine you if you are traveling by airplane into the U.S. If you have a cough, rash, low-grade fever or other minor symptoms of illness, they want to enlist airline personnel to report you to the CDC.

Then, if public health officials think you might be infected with or could get infected with measles or another communicable disease, they want the legal authority to apprehend and:

  • Detain you for 72 hours without access to an attorney to appeal the detention
  • Evaluate you medically
  • Offer you a contract to sign that will allow them to treat you, such as vaccinate you, as a condition of being released
  • Electronically monitor you after your release

Disease Eradication Efforts Historically Turn Into Militarized Efforts

The same would apply if you travel between states, especially if you’re travelling on an airline or by ship, bus or train. NVIC is vehemently opposed to this and submitted a public comment on Oct. 14, 2016, calling on the CDC to withdraw the NPRM.1 The CDC has not implemented this rule yet but they have the authority to do so, even though CDC officials received more than 15,500 public comments by Oct. 14 — most of them opposing the NPRM.

“In 2005, they [CDC officials] tried this. They got enough public pushback that they didn’t implement. The thing I’m worried about is that we have a President who’s on his way out. He can issue executive orders. We do not know what is going to happen between the elections and when he leaves,” Fisher says.

“We don’t know if measles is going to be put on that isolation and quarantine list … They’ve just declared measles eradicated in the Americas. If you take a look at the last two years, you’ll see this progression. Clearly it has all been to set up this idea that measles must be eradicated from the earth.

What happens when they say 'Let’s eradicate?' Well, we know what happens. There was a militarization of the public health infrastructure to eradicate smallpox and polio. This means just what it sounds like: It means detention, isolation, quarantine and vaccination.

I am concerned that even if we are successful in protecting state exemptions, if you have a federal law that allows the militarization of the public health infrastructure, we’re going to be in a very difficult situation here. What can we do? We have to become involved in government. We cannot take government for granted and our freedoms for granted. If we don’t hold our elected officials accountable, then we are going to have laws passed that are going to be oppressive.”

Vaccine Roulette Before Pharma Blackmailed Congress

A major problem today is that major profit-making industries, and the drug industry in particular, wield tremendous influence over our federal government agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC. Their money, presence and political influence can be clearly seen on Capitol Hill and just about everywhere.

A perfect example is the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. Fisher was a young parent of a DPT vaccine-injured child when the television documentary “DPT: Vaccine Roulette” was aired in the spring of 1982. It was the first time American parents had been informed that a vaccine recommended and mandated by the government could brain injure and kill children.

That ground breaking investigative report was the catalyst for the formation of the non-profit charity known today as the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) that Fisher co-founded with other parents of vaccine-injured children.

Within months,  drug companies declared they would stop producing childhood vaccines recommended and mandated by government unless Congress indemnified them from liability. Congress jumped into action and proposed legislation to restrict vaccine lawsuits.  

“We were contacted because we were this new group. There had never been a group like this,” Fisher says. “They said to us, ‘We are going to pass legislation to protect the vaccine supply in this country. You can either come to the table and argue for what you think the families should get or you cannot come to the table. But we’re going to pass this with or without you.’”

NVIC Helped Put Safety Provisions Into Law

Communication at that time was telephones and snail mail. Messages could get out via TV or radio, but there was no world wide web and few parents had personal computers.

Parents of vaccine-injured children had no political power, but NVIC’s co-founders networked with families and fought as hard as they could to protect the rights of children and families. They preserved the legal right of parents to sue vaccine manufacturers when there was evidence the company could have made the vaccine less toxic, and they got vaccine safety informing, recording and reporting provisions into the 1986 law — even though the safety provisions have never been enforced.

5 Years Ago US Supreme Court Banned Vaccine Injury Lawsuits

Then, in 2011, the Supreme Court heard the case of Bruesewitz v. Wyeth. Vaccine manufacturers, medical trade organizations and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared that all vaccine injury lawsuits should be banned.

“The Supreme Court said, ‘Any FDA-licensed vaccine is unavoidably unsafe and there shall be no more lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers.’ Done. Not even if you could show a vaccine could have been made safer,” Fisher says.

“On that same day, the Supreme Court said that seatbelt manufacturers, car manufacturers, are liable for defective seatbelts, but vaccine manufacturers are not liable for defective or unsafe vaccines. So here we are, with the medical trade associations all saying ‘no more non-medical exemptions,’ after they have narrowed the medical exemptions so that no medical condition qualifies for medical exemption.”

Intimidation Tactics Are Being Used Against Doctors

During the measles outbreak of 2015, doctors criticizing vaccine safety and mandatory vaccination laws or giving children medical vaccine exemptions were publicly attacked. This year, the state Medical Board charged California pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears with “gross negligence” for “improperly exempting” a 2-year old boy from vaccination.2

Sears gives vaccines in his practice but allows parents to make the choice about whether or not to vaccinate their children. He has been an outspoken supporter of flexible exemptions in mandatory vaccination laws and now his medical license may be on the line simply because he wrote a medical vaccine exemption after a child had an adverse reaction to a previous vaccination.

As noted by Fisher, the medical contraindications that CDC officials consider an official reason to grant a child a medical vaccine exemption have become so incredibly narrow that about 99 percent of all children, including those who have had previous vaccine reactions, do not qualify for a medical exemption. What’s happening to Sears is sheer harassment and nothing else, designed to make other doctors think twice before they suggest a child might be at high risk for suffering a vaccine reaction. Fisher asks:

“How can you mandate a product that can cause injury or death that some people are more susceptible to having a reaction to, basically removing the medical exemptions so nothing qualifies [and then] remove the personal belief exemption so you can’t exercise freedom of conscience and religious belief, and penalize you if you don’t obey the law that literally could take your life or your child’s life?

This is insanity. It’s cruel. It is inhuman. You [Dr. Mercola] opened up this interview with the statement that freedom of thought, conscience and religious belief is under attack. Absolutely, our bodies are under attack by laws that are punitive, particularly for those of us who have genetic or biological reasons for having a greater susceptibility [for vaccine injury].”

Vaccine Injuries Are More Common Than You’re Led to Believe

Vaccine injuries are real. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database, which was created as part of the Vaccine Compensation Act, shows that about 71,000 reactions and nearly 350 deaths have been reported following receipt of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine alone since 1990.

Studies have shown that doctors and other vaccine providers are massively underreporting injuries and deaths that follow vaccination, perhaps fewer than 1 to 10 percent of serious adverse events are ever reported to VAERS, so the real number may be around 35,000.

Adding insult to injury, the government is not doing a good job on finding out how many people are actually suffering serious health problems after vaccination. Even when reactions are reported to VAERS, health officials rarely follow up on vaccine reaction reports.

NVIC’s Video Vaccine Reaction Reporting on Memorial for Vaccine Victims

This month, NVIC has expanded its online International Memorial for Vaccine Victims by adding a video vaccine reaction reporting feature called Protect Life: Witness A Vaccine Reaction at You can post a video description of a vaccine reaction that you, your child or someone you love has experienced, where it will be archived permanently and accessible to millions of people who visit

“One of the things that we feel strongly about at the NVIC is that people who have had vaccine reactions, whose loved ones have suffered vaccine injury and death, need to publicly witness. NVIC has had, for more than a decade, the International Memorial for Vaccine Victims. We were one of the first websites to really formalize the public reporting of vaccine reactions. We have a vaccine reaction registry that is 35 years old.

Most people know somebody who was healthy, got vaccinated, and was never healthy again. This is what people across the country need to understand. It can be you. It can be your child, your mother, your sister [or] your friend. Everybody is a candidate …

I encourage everyone who has had an experience with a vaccine reaction to participate because when you publicly share your vaccine reaction story with others, it can turn the terrible tragedies that have occurred from vaccine injuries into saving lives by making others aware that vaccines can cause serious harm.

You can take your story, record it on your cell phone or computer and post it on NVIC’s Memorial for Vaccine Victims. You could save 100, 1,000, 10,000 or 1 million people’s lives because they were so inspired by your story that they understood the truth, finally. If more people do this, the more compelling the evidence becomes.


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