Vin Suprynowicz

Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The Vaccination Parade is all 'For The Children'

by Vin Suprynowicz

MARCH 17, 2000

A 1985 federal report prepared for the United States Institute of Medicine concluded that if 3.6 million American children receive three pertussis vaccinations each as recommended, 22 to 36 of those infants will suffer permanent brain damage each year from the vaccine.

This vaccine is intended to prevent whooping cough, mind you — a disease which can now be treated with commonly available antibiotics. Though in fact, even the level of that "protection" is highly debatable. In a recent outbreak of whooping cough in Cincinnati, more vaccinated children came down with the disease than children who'd received no shots.

Nor is the pertussis vaccine alone. Right up to his death in 1995, Jonas Salk warned "The live virus against measles and mumps may produce side effects such as encephalitis." And the oral polio vaccine now favored in America over the safer Salk vaccine actually caused 94 cases of polio in this country between 1969 and 1982, according to the same USIM report.

Donna Burns of Gardner, Mass., whose son Ryan had been normal until he received his recommended pertussis shots, but who immediately thereafter developed high fever, screaming, and swelling of the head and brain, leading to his permanent partial disability (epilepsy, hearing loss, motor problems, learning disabilities) says more than 18,000 permanent damage claims have been filed under the federal Vaccine Compensation Act.

At one point, after she and her witnesses gave statements in Ryan's case, "The stenographer told us she knew exactly what we were going to say because all the cases are the same."

This is why the law in most states instructs that children can be given such shots only after the parent or guardian has provided written, "informed consent."

Of course, our government masters take a somewhat creative view of "informed consent," regularly blackmailing parents into "requesting" every vaccine to come down the pike (no matter how marginal its efficacy) by threatening to exclude kids from the government schools if they abstain. (In reality, of course, this is akin to a threat to throw Br'er Rabbit into the briar patch — nothing could be more beneficial to a child's intellectual and social development than to be afforded a private education outside our government youth propaganda camps, the prime reproductive organ of the collectivist state.)

Anyway: Being dragooned into inoculation, we are regularly told, is for the children's own good.

Let us now see if we can determine whether that was true in the case of little Kameron Justin Demery, aged two-and-a-half and described by his mother, Jacqueline Bishop, as "a mellow, laid-back" kid.

According to reporting by Cheryl Romo in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, which covers legal matters for Southern California's attorneys, Kameron and his twin sister Karissa appeared to be doing fine until one early morning after the Christmas holiday, 1995.

That was when Karissa was taken to the hospital emergency room by her mom, suffering with what would later be diagnosed as bronchitis.

The first thing hospital officials requested from Ms. Bishop (then 29) were the children's immunization records. But since Ms. Bishop had been persuaded by her own mother, a licensed vocational nurse, not to immunize the twins because of the very real health risks, she didn't have any immunization records.

The next day, Ms. Bishop received a call from a social worker with the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services. She ended up getting into an argument with the bureaucrat. Next came an unannounced inspection of her Long Beach home (where Ms. Bishop was caring for the children alone, while their father was doing time in state prison.) This resulted in a state finding of "dirty home" being added to the initial report of "medical neglect" (failure to volunteer for immunizations.)

Jacqueline Bishop does not contest the allegation that her home was disorderly. "It was after Christmas and everything was a mess," she told Cheryl Romo of the Journal.

"My daughter called me and said, 'They are threatening me if I don't get their shots,' " explains Mary Ann Bishop, the twins' maternal grandmother, who lives adjacent to her daughter's home and now blames herself for what happened to little Kameron. "I told her 'This is a free country.' "

Is it?

Frightened, Jacqueline Miller immediately made a doctor's appointment to have the twins immunized. But it was too late. Within days came the late-night government raid in which the twins and their seven-year-old brother were seized from Ms. Bishop by brute force.

The DCFS raid was carried out because the mother "basically had a personality conflict" with the social worker, contends attorney Mark Wood of Beverly Hills, later retained by the family. "Nothing else would explain the ferocity of what happened. They came in with police at 1 a.m."

Because the mother resisted when officials took her children away, the social worker reported Bishop might have a drug problem. The mother said she was advised by social workers to enter a rehabilitation program and agreed to do so because she was told it was the only way her children would ever be allowed to come home.

"I didn't have a drug problem," she explained to Cheryl Romo of the Journal. "But I would have done anything to get my kids back."

The twins, Kameron and Karissa, were placed in the foster care of David and Evelyn Miller, even though the Millers had previously had all foster children in their care removed by the DCFS because of "excessive discipline." The Millers had also been decertified as care providers in February, 1995 by the Foster Family Network, the agency for which the couple worked at the time.

Unfortunately, reporter Romo found the previous abuse allegations against the Millers were not reported to the DCFS hotline. They "fell through the cracks." Instead, the Millers applied for, and were promptly granted, an individual state foster care license.

Jacqueline Bishop and her mother were allowed to visit the twins during 1996 for only one supervised hour per week, in the Millers' mobile home in Paramount, Calif., where there resided four adults, five grandchildren and three foster children. They report they were shocked to hear the toddlers, who are part African American, referring to each other for the first time as "niggers." They say the children "moved like robots" and had nearly stopped talking. Asked why the children had bruises, the Bishops were told the children had hit each other. The same explanation was offered when Kameron turned up with a black eye, and when on one visit they found little Karissa's arm had been broken.

After each of these incidents, the mother and grandmother told the Daily Journal they reported their concerns to the children's DCFS social workers.

Those reports were ignored. On Oct. 14, 1996, little Karissa looked on as her brother Kameron, against whom she had cuddled as she fell asleep each night since she was born, was beaten to death by Evelyn Miller, his state-licensed foster care provider, who reported his fatal injuries were caused by a fall from a chair.

Government forensic experts disagreed, testifying at trial that the child's fatal injuries were inconsistent with a fall from a chair. Rather, doctors testified, he had been struck six times in the head with a blunt object, most likely Evelyn Miller's cane. Little Kameron Demery became one of six children murdered in 1996 while under the supervision of the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services.

Evelyn Miller is now serving a sentence of 15 years-to-life for murder. Kameron's mother sued the county for failing to prevent the toddler's brutal death, in part because social workers ignored numerous child abuse complaints against the Millers, settling for phone calls to the Miller residence in place of "mandatory, non-discretionary, face-to-face meetings with the foster children and the Millers," as required by law.

Los Angeles County responded in court briefs that the county is "immune for discretionary acts by public employees acting within the scope of their employment, and cannot be held liable for the acts of foster parents," but finally settled the Bishops' lawsuit out of court, late last month, for $200,000.

After Kameron's death, Jacqueline Bishop recalls being "startled" that she was suddenly allowed to bring her daughter home as often as she liked, even over the weekend. Finally, on Valentine's Day, 1997, the Juvenile Court ordered Karissa returned to her mother, permanently.

Ms. Romo does not report whether little Karissa ever got her shots, or whether the Juvenile Court even bothered to ask.

Karissa told reporter Romo that she and her brother don't talk any more. But every year, on her birthday cake, there's one pink candle for each year of her life, and a single blue candle for Kameron, who has gone away.

We're told the government does these things "for the good of the children," of course. I Wonder if little Karissa Demery will grow up believing that.


Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
His new book, Send in the Waco Killers is available at $24.95 postpaid from
Mountain Media, P.O. Box 271122, Las Vegas, Nev. 89127; or by dialing 1-800-244-2224

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18 mar 2000