There’s “peer review” and then there’s peer review. Beall …

Comment on Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions by Sean Pitman.

There’s “peer review” and then there’s peer review.

Beall remained critical of MDPI after removing the publisher from his list of predatory open access publishing companies. In December 2015 he wrote that, “It is clear that MDPI sees peer review as merely a perfunctory step that publishers have to endure before publishing papers and accepting money from the authors” and that “it’s clear that MDPI’s peer review is managed by clueless clerical staff in China.”

Beall, Jeffrey (17 December 2015). “Instead of a Peer Review, Reviewer Sends Warning to Authors”. Scholarly Open Access. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016.

In July 2021, an article titled “Journal citation reports and the definition of a predatory journal: The case of the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)” was published in the academic journal Research Evaluation, written by María Ángeles Oviedo-García. Oviedo-García argued that MDPI used self-citation practices known as “citation cartels” to increase the apparent Impact Factor of MDPI journals, and that MDPI journals bear a number of hallmarks of predatory publishing. MDPI also released a public comment on the article on August 19th, 2021, claiming the article was predicated on the notion that MDPI was a predatory publisher, and that the article misrepresents MDPI business practice. In that comment, MDPI did confirm that its journals had some of the highest self-citation rates amongst academic publishers. The article in Research Evaluation later received an editorial “Expression of Concern,” and as of November 25th 2021, an investigation is ongoing.

Regardless of all of this, the main point that the authors of this paper make is not substantiated by their research. T-cells and B-cells simply are not affected by the mRNA vaccines to any significant degree. So, their arguments really are mute here. That’s the bottom line. You still have no mechanism behind your claims that the mRNA vaccines are more dangerous than they are beneficial or more risky than getting a live COVID-19 infection.

In summary, so as not to contribute to the continuance of malpractice: 1 researchers should neither send papers for their publication, nor cite them, nor act as reviewers for them, nor form part of their editorial committees; 2 research institutions should inform researchers of the reality of predatory journals and their iniquitous consequences at an individual and general level; and, 3 evaluation agencies and committees should ignore the registers that refer to predatory journals. Lastly, but by no means least of all, selective databases should conduct periodic controls and strengthen the criteria for the incorporation of journals, so as to prevent their good names from serving, as previously said, to prolong malpractice among journals ‘that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices’ (Grudniewicz et al. 2019).

These steps are particularly urgent for databases that already include MDPI-journals (WOS, PubMed and Scopus), since the defining features of predatory journals are that they systematize ‘for profit publication’ (COPE 2019) and ‘prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship’ (Grudniewicz et al. 2019). JCR-indexed MDPI-journals betray both traits through a steady increase in number of their published articles (sometimes to several hundred in just one regular issue) and special issues. Besides, JCR-indexed MDPI-journals mimicking names and publicly claimed rapid publication is in direct breach of the COPE/DOAJ/OASPA/WAME Principles for Transparency and Best Practices in Scholarly Publishing. Furthermore, the low variability of timeframes for peer review regardless of the scope of the journal, the size of its editorial board and the volume of published articles all raise questions over the levels of quality assurance required from a legitimate journal/publisher. Finally, self-citation and intra-MDPI citation rates artificially increase the impact factors of JCR-indexed MDPI-journals that is quite clearly in breach of best practice and integrity in science. (Link)

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
I’m just saying is that if you think that what you say on blog sites like this one doesn’t really affect people, especially when you present yourself as an MD, you’re mistaken. I know that people have been influenced against taking the mRNA vaccines by what you’ve said here in this forum. You’re not simply being neutral in what you’ve posted. You do, in fact, come across as being opposed to the mRNA vaccines – also noting that you didn’t get vaccinated yourself and chose to get infected by the live COVID-19 virus without pre-established vaccine-based immunity. You’ve also come across as being strongly against any response by me to the articles that you’ve referenced where I point out how these papers really do not actually undermine the efficacy and/or the relative safety of the mRNA vaccines. Clearly, you don’t come across as being neutral on the topic.

And, such comments have an effect on people – they really do. While that upsets me, again, it’s more important to me to allow for those who disagree with me to also post their comments rather than to only allow what I personally think is true to be posted.

Beyond this, no one is twisting your arm to post our comments here. You can post or not post as you wish. That’s entirely up to you. But, don’t expect that I won’t push back when you post comments that I think will increase the risk of those who read what you have to say…

Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
The difference between us is that I see people in the ICU, as does my brother-in-law Dr. Roger Seheult (a pulmonologist in S. Cal.). You might see the occasional person die from COVID-19, but those who work ICUs in larger medical centers see far too many people die from COVID-19 – to include young people (not just those in nursing homes). You might offer the vaccine to those whom you see, but if you present arguments to them like the ones you’ve presented here, such advice most certainly does result in increased injuries and even death. For me, that’s a big deal. You might call it “weird and overly dramatic” if you want, but for me the effort to save lives and reduce injuries is neither “weird” nor “overly dramatic”. I mean, that’s why I do what I do…

Now, you say, “The discussions that I have on blogs like this are my personal thoughts and concerns. They don’t reflect the way that I actually practice primary care medicine on a daily basis.”

That would be great if this were a private conversation, but it isn’t. It is a public conversation and your words have an impact on the hundreds who read this blog every day. I mean, in a very real sense, especially given that you include your title “MD” with your name, and often point out that you are a medical doctor when you post to this blog, you are, in fact, practicing medicine when you post public comments like you do. You cannot simply say, “I don’t actually follow my own advice that I post in blogs when I practice primary care medicine on a daily basis.” Your influence simply isn’t limited to what you do face-to-face with patients in your clinic. Your influence also extends to what you say and do in front of people outside of your daily medical practice.

Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
Well, I’m glad you go at least this far… although I still think that the kinds of arguments you present here really do put people’s lives and health at increased risk. I know you don’t agree, but that’s how I see things from my own perspective.

Now, I’m fine with you, and those who think like you, having the ability to freely share your opinions – despite how mistaken and damaging I personally think these opinions may be. That’s just the nature of living in a free society – which I think is far more important than restricting the freedom of speech.

Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

What we believe
The book “Genetic Entropy” wasn’t written by me, but by John Sanford (who isn’t SDA by the way).

I’m glad that you found a saving relationship with God – salvation by faith in God’s grace. While I’m sorry that you didn’t find this in whatever SDA Church you were once a part of, it is, in fact, fundamental teaching of the SDA Church, as an organization, and is also strongly promoted in the writings of Ellen White. The “Investigative Judgment”, by the way, is a very good thing because, according to the Bible itself, judgment is given “in favor of the saints” (Daniel 7:22) – all of whom are saved by faith and by God’s Amazing Grace.

Anyway, it seems to me as though you have the wrong impression about what the Seventh-day Adventist Church is all about. We are all about salvation by faith in God’s Amazing unmerited Grace alone…

Dr. Robert Malone: From Vaccine Inventor to Conspiracy Theorist?

BCC revealed that they use “a little bit of AIDS” in vaccine.

That’s not true at all. The initial concern back in 2020 was that the Adenovirus vector-type vaccines, particularly those that used an adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) vector, (not the mRNA vaccines or other viral vector vaccines) might produce an increased susceptibility in gay or otherwise promiscuous men to HIV infection (Link, Link, Link). This isn’t because there is HIV within this particular type of vaccine. Rather, the concern was that this particular “type 5” adenovirus-based vaccine would enhance the ability of the HIV virus to infect men who were living a risky lifestyle with respect to HIV exposure – due to a form of “antibody-dependent enhancement” or “ADE”.

In this light, note that the Chinese CanSino COVID-19 vaccine uses the Ad5 vector, and the Russian Sputnik V vaccine uses both Ad5 and Ad26 vectors. However, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses Ad26 only. The AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine uses a chimpanzee adenovirus. None of these types of viral vectors have been associated with the ADE problem that is known for the Ad5 vector with respect to enhanced HIV infectivity. Of course, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines do not use adenovirus vectors at all, so clearly these don’t have this ADE problem either.

Now, given the concerns for vaccines based on the Ad5 vector, in particular, authorities in South Africa—where HIV incidence is high declined to authorize the Sputnik V vaccine, and Namibia suspended its use (back in October of 2021: Link).

In short, this isn’t a concern for the mRNA vaccines or any other COVID-19 vaccine used in the United States and Europe – and it isn’t a concern for those who are not exposing themselves to an increased risk for HIV infection (such as living a sexually promiscuous lifestyle).

Pastor Doug Hardt: Vaccines, Liberty and the Bible
A term promoted by Dr. Robert Malone? – borrowed from Mattias Desmet? – attempting to make parallels with Nazi Germany and the rise of Hitler in the 1930s? where millions of people have been “hypnotized” into believing mainstream ideas about COVID-19, including steps to combat it such as testing and vaccination? Yes, I’ve heard of it. What nonsense (Link).

Just because you’re swimming against the crowd, just because you’re in the minority, doesn’t mean that you’re right. Occasionally, the consensus opinion of medical scientists, experts in their fields of study, who have devoted their lives to studying such things as pandemics and vaccines, is actually right.

Pastor Doug Hardt: Vaccines, Liberty and the Bible
I think he’s seriously mistaken regarding pretty much all of his major points (Link).

Pastor Doug Hardt: Vaccines, Liberty and the Bible
Oh, I have, but this “Religious Liberty Weekend” was full of misinformation and outright falsehoods regarding COVID-19 and the vaccines against it – which I’ve discussed in this forum in some detail already.

The talk of Conrad Vine, which you directly link to here, doesn’t make sense to me. He’s discussing a GC position on vaccines published in 2015 – well before the current pandemic began. His claim that the GC ADCOM exceeded its authority by releasing a position statement on immunization in 2015 just doesn’t fly for a number of reasons. I particularly agree with David Hamstra where he addressed Vine’s argument on liberty of conscience regarding vaccines:

As far as I can tell, Dr. Vine’s line of reasoning that makes every health choice a matter for claims of conscience makes every potential choice into a matter for a claim of conscience, for which domain of human activity does the Holy Spirit not want to guide? And if every choice deserves protection for conscience’s sake, then no choices can be given protection for conscience’s sake because sinful human beings would become ungovernable. (Link)

In short, I think one’s personal liberty of conscience ends where the nose of someone else begins. I see this as the very basis of reasonable civil governments and the enforcement of reasonable civil laws – ordained by God Himself (Link). So, unless you’re living on an island, by all means, the civil laws of the land, which Paul claims has Divine Authority to set up civil laws that may in fact restrict individual liberties for the good of society as a whole, should be obeyed unless they directly violate a clear command of God to the contrary. No such Divine command exists regarding vaccines – which I see as nothing short of a gift of God to combat diseases that have long plagued humanity with endless suffering and death – having historically killed off billions of people in this world. Thanks to vaccines, many of these diseases have either been completely eliminated or significantly reduced.