German court orders anti-vaxxer to pay doctor prize money

During 2011 German biologist Stefan Lanka posted on his website, Virus Myth, that he would pay €100,000 to anyone who could prove that measles is a disease. Lanka, as it turns out, is an open anti-vaccination activist and has claimed that measles is a psychosomatic illness. Dr. David Bardens decided to take Lanka up on his offer and produced six scientific studies to prove his case. Lanka wouldn’t have it and refused to pay Dr. Bardens the €100,000 he advertised he would pay if proven wrong.

Undaunted, Dr. Bardens then sued Stefan Lanka in German court. His defense was that he took Lanka up on his challenge and produced scientific studies proving measles is a virus. The court ruled in favor of Dr. Bardens and ordered Stefan Lanka to pay Bardens the €100,000. According to The Independent, Lanka original statement was:

“Because we know that the ‘measles virus’ doesn’t exist, and according to biology and medical science can’t exist, and because we know the real cause of measles, we want the reward to get people to enlighten themselves, for the enlightened to help the less enlightened and for the enlightened to influence those in power.”

This coming from a guy who denies that HIV is the cause of AIDS. This judgement couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. I have had contact with numerous people like Lanka where I have shown people who make certain conspiratorial claims proof their assertions are wrong. Despite the evidence, they push back saying they still don’t believe it. The reason for that is that subscribing to conspiracy theories are similar to a religious belief and any attempt to refute assertions made based on them brings resistance because the person in question has made their conclusion a core belief.

Stefan Lanka was obviously trying to get publicity or some sort of fame by attempting to disprove science and then refused to acknowledge the facts even when presented to him. Lanka’s intent was to gain fame over the truth and his denial, rightly, cost him big time.