Published On: Mon, Jan 21st, 2013

Stephanie Messenger’s anti-vaccine book, ‘Melanie’s Marvelous Measles’ is horribly irresponsible

I understand what the anti-vaccine movement is all about. I get the concerns about adverse reactions and issues like how mandatory vaccination tramples on individual rights. I get it, although I don’t necessarily agree with all aspects.

However, in what I consider to be the most irresponsible anti-vaccine move since the Andrew Wakefield study, or as the BMJ called it, ” an elaborate fraud”, an Australian author and anti-vaccine activist has written a children’s book that says in a nutshell, getting a potentially life-threatening diseases like measles is a good thing.

The book was actually written a few years ago, but is now getting notoriety.

Stephanie Messenger’s book, Melanie’s Marvelous Measles was written to:

“educate children on the benefits of having measles and how you can heal from them naturally and successfully. Often today, we are being bombarded with messages from vested interests to fear all diseases in order for someone to sell some potion or vaccine, when, in fact, history shows that in industrialized countries, these diseases are quite benign and, according to natural health sources, beneficial to the body. Having raised three children vaccine-free and childhood disease-free, I have experienced many times when my children’s vaccinated peers succumb to the childhood diseases they were vaccinated against. Surprisingly, there were times when my unvaccinated children were blamed for their peers’ sickness. Something which is just not possible when they didn’t have the diseases at all.”

She apparently wrote the book, geared toward young children aged 4 – 10 years, after her son died from the adverse effects of a vaccine, according to her website.

Melanie’s Marvelous MeaslesImage/Video Screen Shot

Melanie’s Marvelous Measles
Image/Video Screen Shot

If that is true, I’m am deeply sorry for her loss; however, Messenger discounts the incredible good vaccines have done for public health for decades.

I mean really, what parent would want their child to go through the devastating effects of diphtheria or meningococcal meningitis?  Simple answer, nobody. Same goes for measles.

Writing an anti-vaccine book geared for adults is one thing; however, peddling this line of thought to young children is at best, irresponsible. How could anybody condone this misinformation, advocating that getting measles is good, being fed to an impressionable 5 year old child?

Australian Medical Association president Dr Steve Hambleton discusses the book and the disease.

And speaking of measles vaccine, a 1985 study published in Pediatrics said, “The health and resource benefits due to vaccination against measles during the first 20 years of vaccine licensure have been enormous. In this period it is estimated that vaccination against measles has prevented 52 million cases, 5,200 deaths, and 17,400 cases of mental retardation, achieving a net savings of $5.1 billion. These substantial health and resource benefits of measles vaccination will continue to accrue in the future.”

Or that, “It (measles) has killed more children than any other disease in history. Before the introduction of the vaccine, measles killed hundreds of children in the U.S. every year and left more than 20,000 other infected infants blind, deaf or developmentally disabled.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports,”In 2011, there were 158,000 measles deaths globally – about 430 deaths every day or 18 deaths every hour.”  Of course, the vast majority of those are children under the age of five.

In other words, measles is still a dangerous infection for children, much more dangerous than any risks from the vaccine.

Should parents have the ability to not vaccinate their children will be a question always up for healthy debate, but young children, 4-10 years old should have no say on this topic.

Although the book is clearly bad in my opinion, I am not one who believes in banning it. Australia’s Bookworld delisted the book after customer outrage. I am never for that and that is a totally separate issue.

When looking at the comments on Amazon.com, I see I am not alone on my thoughts concerning this book. Although some comments were clearly positive for Messenger’s book–

“Finally a book that we as parents can read to our kids about natural immunity! Maybe more books will follow?”

However, another person responded seemingly to that comment–

“I’m looking forward to the follow up books. Peter’s Perfect Polio, Samantha’s Super Smallpox and Carrie’s Crazy Cholera! Seriously though, World Health Organisation estimates world wide measles deaths in year 2000 to be 709 thousand falling to (a still massive) 164 thousand largely as a result of vaccination efforts. There is nothing marvelous about measles. Nothing.”

Just my thoughts…


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

Displaying 15 Comments
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  1. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
    […] Stephanie Messenger’s anti-vaccine book, ‘Melanie’s Marvelous Measles’ is horribly irrespons… […]

  2. Dr. Rob Ring of ‘Autism Speaks’ calls on parents to vaccinate their kids – Outbreak News Today | Garden Design Mart says:

    […] Ever seen the book, Melanie’s Marvelous Measles ? Check out an Op-Ed I wrote 2 years ago about it- Stephanie Messenger’s Anti-Vaccine Book, ‘Melanie’s Marvelous Measles’ Is Horribly Irrespons… […]

  3. Dr. Rob Ring of ‘Autism Speaks’ calls on parents to vaccinate their kids | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] Ever seen the book, Melanie’s Marvelous Measles ? Check out an Op-Ed I wrote 2 years ago about it- Stephanie Messenger’s Anti-Vaccine Book, ‘Melanie’s Marvelous Measles’ Is Horribly Irrespons… […]

  4. Wales measles outbreak approaches 700 cases, fingers pointed at discredited Wakefield Study - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] have plenty of stocks of the jab, so I would urge parents to make arrangements with their GP now. Stephanie Messenger’s Anti-Vaccine Book, ‘Melanie’s Marvelous Measles’ Is Horribly Irrespons…  “The MMR jab is recommended by the World Health Organization, UK Department of Health and […]

  5. Don't post this says:

    Glad to see someone is reading, can’t ignore the words, at least not subconsciously. Please don’t get curious and check out what I’ve written, u can’t handle the truth.

  6. Nevermind says:

    Forget it,
    Just accept everything ur told and never question anything.
    Earth is flat, we live in geocentric universe, bloodletting 75%, mercury is good medicine, toxic element fluoride in our water and toothpaste is not poison….don’t read the tube.
    U wouldn’t want to be imprisoned like Galileo or chiropractors for knowing the truth decades even centuries before it is widely accepted as such. Keep ridiculing with ur closed mind.

  7. Dagger says:

    Too potent for u I see.
    Maybe u r in the crates with the other hippos (big pharma, FDA, CDC, knowing docs) when u should spend time thinking about Hippo-crates oath.

  8. Logic says:

    Do u feel ingredients r important? If u don’t know what u r putting into ur body, whether by mouth or directly injected into bloodstream–2 completely different routes btw–u should. If u understand the pathway of pathogens, natural defenses/immunity, and the short/long term dangers of certain ingredients, then please stick ur self or pop a pill. I’ll keep using logic and not-so-common sense.

    • Correct says:

      Very true,
      It comes down to natural selection, survival of the fittest–unfortunately for some. I wish nobody had to suffer, but to succumb to nature is different than having ur fate decided by man-made interventions that we will likely discover in the future have caused more harm than good.

  9. Modemac says:

    Among the many negative reviews of the book being posted at Amazon — and this book deserves every one of them — is one particular review that deserves to be republished with each and every mention of this book. If you don’t mind, here is the review by “zeno” (his Amazon name – and I’m not “zeno”) at Amazon UK:

    No doubt Stephanie Messenger thought it a great wheeze to mimic the title of Roald Dahl’s book, George’s Marvellous Medicine.

    But perhaps the author of this ill-informed and potentially dangerous book should have read what Roald Dahl said about vaccinations:

    “Here in Britain, because so many parents refuse, either out of obstinacy or ignorance or fear, to allow their children to be immunised, we still have a hundred thousand cases of measles every year. Out of those, more than 10,000 will suffer side effects of one kind or another. At least 10,000 will develop ear or chest infections. About 20 will die. LET THAT SINK IN. Every year around 20 children will die in Britain from measles. So what about the risks that your children will run from being immunised? They are almost non-existent. Listen to this. In a district of around 300,000 people, there will be only one child every 250 years who will develop serious side effects from measles immunisation! That is about a million to one chance. I should think there would be more chance of your child choking to death on a chocolate bar than of becoming seriously ill from a measles immunisation. So what on earth are you worrying about? It really is almost a crime to allow your child to go unimmunised. The ideal time to have it done is at 13 months, but it is never too late. All school-children who have not yet had a measles immunisation should beg their parents to arrange for them to have one as soon as possible. Incidentally, I dedicated two of my books to Olivia, the first was James and the Giant Peach’. That was when she was still alive. The second was ‘The BFG’, dedicated to her memory after she had died from measles. You will see her name at the beginning of each of these books. And I know how happy she would be if only she could know that her death had helped to save a good deal of illness and death among other children.”

    Yes, that’s right, Stephanie: Roald Dahl’s daughter DIED aged seven from the measles you believe is so harmless. Unfortunately, many, many other children have died as well.

    It’s you who needs to educate yourself properly and stop spreading dangerous nonsense and lies about diseases and vaccines.

  10. Modemac says:

    The knee-jerk reaction of the antivax community to anything — ANYTHING — that suggests that vaccines are beneficial is always to site “Big Pharma.” The Big Bad Evil Pharmaceutical Industry is poisoning us all with those EVIL vaccines, and they’re using their enormous resources to cover up this insidious conspiracy! But then, you folks sitting in your living rooms and looking at ridiculous woo sites like Natural News and Mercola have uncovered this insidious conspiracy — you’re so smart!

    Or, let’s put it another way. As Alison Hagood (co-author of “You’re Baby’s Best Shot”), notes: ” In order for vaccines to be a conspiracy, the pharmaceutical companies would have to have bought off the governments of every country in which vaccines have been studied; every health agency of every one of those countries, both governmental and non-governmental; every employee of those agencies; and every independent scientist who has studied vaccines. That, by definition, is a conspiracy theory, and believing it does make one a crackpot.”

    • Research says:

      U r a surface scratcher, u need to be more thorough to get to the truth. Apparently u have not realized other countries have stopped selected vaccines. Do u realize how many years drugs are on market, before “they” realize they kill people or sub-kill them. Vaccines don’t get pulled becuz everything would crumble, harder to prove link, and cannot admit guilt regarding health of public’s kids. Diarrhea after Taco Bell…can’t prove it, u just know!

      • Modemac says:

        “Can’t prove it, u just know!” — another way to admit that it’s paranoia based on faith in a conspiracy theory with no evidence to back it up. Leprechauns? “Can’t prove it, u just know!” AIDS denialism? “Can’t prove it, just u know!” Superiority of the Aryan “race?” “Can’t prove it, just u know!” Vaccines designed to poison people for profit? “Can’t prove it, just u know!”

  11. Dana says:

    you are comparing measels with cholera? and citing pharma sponsored organisations? you dont ask where the 150.000 + deaths occured? maybe mostly children living in poverty and no access to clean water? about 25.000 children die on malnutrition every DAY. this is also “preventable” but the companies are rather busy getting their vax sold. you decrease the rate of malnutrition and the deaths on measles will go down. you need normal functioning immune system when you have the measles.
    we have estranged ourselves from a childhood diseases that we well survived for millions of years and that by fact once you had it your immune system matures and is extremly strong. not ideal for neither the doctor nor Merck & co.
    my mum had the chicken pox and right after the measles. my siblings and i had chicken pox and the measles. no one was scared. you ll take care of your child and it will be fine. but with fear propaganda you ll be sold anything and the generation that is scared probably thinks tomatoe grows in ketchup bottles…

  12. Stephanie Messenger's anti-vaccine book, &#… | Drug Store says:

    […] Stephanie Messenger's anti-vaccine book, &#… Having raised three children vaccine-free and childhood disease-free, I have experienced many times when my children's vaccinated peers succumb to the childhood diseases they were vaccinated against. Surprisingly, there were times when my unvaccinated … Read more on The Global Dispatch […]

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