Popular Science YouTuber Explains Why People Become Anti-Vaxxers

Popular Science YouTuber Explains Why People Become Anti-Vaxxers March 18, 2019

Last night YouTube star Jeff Holiday stopped by “The Smoking Nun” to debunk the anti-vax movement. In the episode, Jeff provides a high-level overview of the anti-vax documentary “Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe.” After a quick breakdown, Jeff debated an anti-vaxxer. The debate that ensued was so hilarious that the episode will go down in history as one the best in non sequitur history.

If you are not familiar with Jeff Holiday, he runs a YouTube Channel with more than 100,000 subscribers. In his about section, Jeff says he’s, “Just a humble neuroscience student using his free time to debunk bad science, discuss current issues with logic and have a good time.”

Holiday’s most well-known work is his series of videos where he debunks Jillian Epperly’s “Jilly Juice” protocol. His videos debunking Jillian landed him on the Dr. Phil show in the spring of 2018. On the episode, he and Jillian squared off and debated her outrageous claims that her juice could regrow limbs, cure homosexuality, and cure cancer.

Following the episode, Holiday’s channel snowballed. He’s used his newfound success to focus his energy on debunking the conspiracy theory anti-vaccine movie “Vaxxed.”

The five-part series “Inoculating Against Vaxxed,” breaks down the key players, exposes director Andrew Wakefield, and answers the most significant questions posed by the documentary. With nearly 200,000 total views, the series is quickly becoming a go-to for individuals interested in learning the truth behind the movie.

Naturally, when we explored a guest to talk about “Vaxxed,” we believed Holiday would be the perfect fit. He started off explaining the basics of Andrew Wakefield’s study and subsequent fraud. Then offered key reasons about why the movie and anti-vax movement has become so large.

When we asked him why so many people were drawn to the anti-vax movement, he explained the answer was two-fold.

The film “Vaxxed” lays out a government conspiracy about withholding information from citizens about the link between vaccines and autism found in a scientific study. By highlighting the dirty secret, viewers feel they have gained access to classified information that no one else knows.

As a result, viewers end up feeling special for knowing details that the government does not want us to know. This fosters a US vs. Them mentality. The individual becomes part of an inside group that “knows the truth,” and for many this feeling becomes intoxicating.

The other reason the movie is compelling Holiday says is that the film offers parents of children with autism an answer to the cause of the disorder.

Since Autism Spectrum Disorder’s root cause has not been identified, many parents feel helpless after receiving the diagnosis for their child. Doctors most often tell families that the disorder is genetic. When parents learn the disorder is a result of their genes, many feel guilty or angry with themselves.

However, Vaxxed offers these parents a “get out of jail free” card by telling them that they did nothing wrong. Because the government withheld data that suggested a link between vaccines and autism, the government is the real culprit and guilty party for the child’s autism.

Additionally, the film offers them solutions of how to treat ASD through the use of a doctor that specializes in detoxing and stripping the “heavy metals” left in the child’s brain.

As a result, parents that once felt enormous guilt with themselves feel a sense of relief. For the first time, someone has told them that they did nothing wrong to harm their child.

With so many parents stories shared in the movie, the film offers a sense of community for the parents.

Our conversation took a sharp left-turn when an anti-vaxxer spontaneously joined our stream. Flat Earth Aussie Jesus shared his belief that sanitation, clean water, and nutrition have led to the end of many diseases. He also shared his disbelief in modern medicine and said he relies on colloidal silver for all his health issues.

As the debate unfolded, the nonsense that dribbled out of Flat Earth Aussie’s mouth made it hard for the co-hosts to keep a straight face. What unfolded was a truly classic episode that will leave most viewers with a side-ache from laughter.

Holiday debunks nearly all of the anti-vaxxer’s arguments. The show ends with a not safe for work expletive rant by Holiday about how to best enjoy St. Patrick’s Day.

I will include a link to the show – as embedding the video will not make my advertisers happy.

Watch the Live Stream here: Jeff Holiday Debunks the Anti-Vaccine Movement in Hilarious Debate

Also, if you want another side-splitting laugh, watch my video on Kat Von D’s claims that she’s not an anti-vaxxer


*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.

Communicate with Katie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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  • WallofSleep

    “The film “Vaxxed” layouts a government conspiracy about withholding
    information from citizens about the link between vaccines and autism
    found in a scientific study.”

    Which Netflix, in their infinite wisdom, has chosen to serve up to their customers among a number of other conspiracy theory ‘documentaries’. :sigh: Fucking Netflix.

  • Tell me about it – there is one about adderall – that I refused to watch because it makes people with ADHD look like drug addicts. There is another one on Kratom that makes it look like a harmless “supplement” that has never killed anyone

  • WallofSleep

    Isn’t Kratom that thing/stuff that The Liberal Redneck raves about?

  • frostysnowman

    One of my anti-vaxx FB friends posted a portion of Vaxxed on her timeline. I reported the post.

  • WallofSleep

    I just don’t understand how grown ass adults fall of this bullshit.

  • Kratom IS harmless — the federal government is just doing what it always does with new drugs: whip up overblown lies about the dangers.

  • Lolana

    The only deaths associated with unadulterated kratom involve other substances, some of which are heavy-duty drugs. Kratom leaf with nonthing added cannot cause an overdose at any level. The body rejects it (vomiting). There’s a lot of evidence on kratom’s safety and effectiveness. I’ve taken it safely and at the same dose, for anxiety, for 12 years. I met a number of people on botanical forums, in 2006, who also still take it—–and they are also fine.
    In 2016, the DEA for the first time ever backed off of a ban on kratom, after 51 senators and congress members signed their names to a petition to halt the proposed ban.
    These lawmakers are people with access to whatever information they need.

    ….If you, on the other hand, have properly sourced information on *any* death from kratom alone, please follow up by posting it.

  • No. Kratom is not harmless.

  • MystiqueLady

    I subscribe and follow Jeff Holliday — He is AWESOME!!

  • [Citation Needed]

  • Jet King

    Try reading wikipedia. Education before spouting ignorant opinions is a wonderful thing.

  • You first.

    PS: Why do you hate disabled children so much, that you’d describe them as “incapable of love”?

  • kenofken

    If there are any deaths from Kratom alone, it is likely because people trying to stave off withdrawal from heavy narcotics are taking absurd amounts of Kratom. It’s also probable they are tossing down things like xanax, alcohol and whatever else they can get their hands on.

  • Lolana

    There aren’t any deaths from kratom alone. I’ve followed this issue for over a decade. There’s a leaked FDA email saying “hopefully” adverse effects will be found from kratom. Check twitter for a photo of it. The author isn’t going to respond, apparently, but should correct her story.
    Otherwise it’s crappy herd-following stenography—not journalism.
    Sadly, plenty of news outlets fall for it because reporters do not research the issue, and post the same false information.

    This is not something to play with. It helps people get off opiates and has saved lives, not cost them, by orders of magnitude.
    Let me repeat that. #KratomSavesLives. Enter that in twitter or YouTube and see numerous testimonials. This isn’t hard. Search engines work.
    So does Kratom. That’s why the Big-Pharma-paid government wants its hands on it.

  • Ditto cannabis.

    The worst thing weed has ever done to me is make me eat and sleep, two things I’m prone to forgetting to do.