AIDS Denialism and the Anti-vaccination movement. Two groups that promote what many scientists and and doctors and skeptics alike consider to be the two most dangerous and deadly types of pseudoscience there is. In fact many skeptics have debated which one is more deadly!
Regardless of which one is more deadly, both of groups have an awful lot in common, and I've come up with about ten different things that both groups have in common:
They become very upset when someone questions their claims.
Anti-vaccers and (as I have learned in the past few weeks) AIDS denialists really do not like it when someone questions what they are claiming. It doesn't matter how nice you are to them, or how many facts you present to them, if you question their claims they will become very anger and start throwing around accusations and insults and start spamming people with a bunch of propaganda. This is of course annoying at best, and usually just something that gets them blocked on an internet site, but sometimes they take it to the next level and start doing the next thing on this list...
They use intimidation tactics.
AIDS Denialists and Anti-vaccers just seem to love to use intimidation tactics. Many times these intimidation tactics can be a benign type, like fear mongering and emotional appeal, which is used to sway people who might be on the edge of whether to believe them or not over to their side, or it can be an aggressive type, like death threats, or threats of lawsuits, or harassment, which is used in an attempt to frighten people away from questioning their claims, or to stop skeptics from debunking them.
They claim to do research.
Both AIDS Denialists and Anti-vaccers will often say that they have done their own research into the claims that they are making, and then through this so called research they will claim that they have come to a conclusion, and then proclaim that their conclusion is correct and that all others are incorrect. This is ofcourse if they're not simply claiming that the contradictory information isn't apart of some "big pharma" disinformation propaganda campaign to "slander" Anti-vaccers and AIDS Denialists. And that's another thing...
They think there is some kind of big pharma conspiracy.
Many Anti-vaccers and AIDS Denialists sincerely believe that not only what they believe is true, but they also believe that pharmaceutical companies also know "the truth" and that they're keeping this so called truth hidden from the public so that people will keep buying their products, products that Anti-vaccers and AIDS Denialists believe that no one actually needs and sincerely believes is dangerous.
The reasons why these two groups claim that the pharmaceutical companies are keeping this so called "information" hidden is because if people knew "the truth" (i.e. their truth) that they would no longer buy anything from these pharmaceutical companies and they would go out of business. That, or according to some Anti-vaccers and AIDS Denialists, vaccines and HIV medication is part some kind of NWO/Illuminati plot.
They have no problem censoring people.
Ever make a comment on an Anti-vaccer's or AIDS Denialist's page or comment section for a Youtube video, and said comment either criticizes what they are saying, or debunks what they're saying? Well then you probably know that not many people are going to see it because most administrators of such sites will usually remove such comments pretty quickly... and probably ban you. While this type of censorship is bad they do have every right to do it because they have every right to control the content that is on their webpages.
Some of these people will take the censorship of people who disagree with them to the next level and actually try to get entire webpages and videos from various social media websites removed, either by flagging a webpage or a group or a video as inappropriate or harassing, or even by sending out bogus DMCA takedown notices (which is illegal).
There's no science behind their claims.
While I have no doubt Anti-vaccers and AIDS Denialists sincerely believe in their claims, the fact is that there is no science based evidence behind either of these groups claims. In fact all of the claims made by both of these groups have been disproven by scientific research, which is why no legitimate scientist or doctor takes these two groups claims seriously and try to get other people not to listen to these groups.
They endorse alternative medicine.
Considering the fact that both Anti-vaccers and AIDS Denialist believe in big pharma conspiracy theories it should not be surprising that people in both groups prefer to use and endorse alternative medicine.
Many of the biggest endorsers of the anti-vaccination movement and AIDS denialism are either homeopaths, or naturopaths, or are in some other type of pretend medical field.
Many of the sites that promote these two groups and their beliefs also sell alternative medical products.
They encourage stuff that has legal consequences.
Both groups tend to encourage their followers to do stuff that could lead to a person getting into legal trouble, such as getting sued, being imprisoned, or even having their children taken away.
For Anti-vaccers the legal consequences could result from falsifying vaccination records inorder to get their child in school, to getting sued by the parent of a child that got sick from their child due to a disease that was preventable through vaccination.
For AIDS Denialists, especially for ones that have HIV, the legal consequences could result in them being imprisoned if they have sex with someone and they don't disclose their HIV positive status with simply because they don't believe that HIV exist, or that it causes AIDS.
Their beliefs have lead to deaths.
It is an undeniable fact that the claims from both of these groups have lead to numerous deaths, all of which could have been prevented.
With the AIDS Denialists the deaths are of people with HIV infections who decided not to take any medication that would suppress HIV because they believe that HIV either doesn't exist, or it doesn't cause AIDS. Sometimes it's not just them that die, it's also their children if their children had contracted HIV from their mother while their mother was pregnant with them, and they refuse to let their children have any medication that would suppress HIV.
With Anti-vaccers the deaths come from either their children after they get infect by a vaccine preventable disease and just could not fight it off, or the deaths come from other children that their child infects that were not vaccinated because they were either to young, or couldn't get vaccinated for various medical reasons.
They both act like cults.
Both the Anti-vaccination movement and AIDS Denialists engage in behavior that some would describe as being very cultish like. For example:
They don't like people questioning them. They have enemies lists. They completely disregard what facts are brought before them. They can't stand being question. They put out articles that are blatantly false. They have no regard for rules or laws. And they try to destroy people that take them on.
Sounds like a lot like a cult, and I bet many people would agree with me too.