Robert F Kennedy Jr showed up in a scrum of pro-measles whackos recently. It me wonder how he got so nuts.
There’s an extensive wikipedia page for him, starting with a time I remember:
He was 9 years old when his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated during a political trip to Dallas, and 14 years old when his father was assassinated…
Despite childhood tragedy he was a successful academic and he’s done some decent work legally and for the environment. He seems to have started off the rails in the 80s:
In 1983, at age 29, Kennedy was arrested in a Rapid City, South Dakota airport for heroin possession after a search of his carry-on bag uncovered the drug, following a near overdose in flight.
By 1989 he’d started on vaccines — but not with autism …
His son Conor suffers from anaphylaxis peanut allergies. Kennedy wrote the foreword to The Peanut Allergy Epidemic, in which he and the authors link increasing food allergies in children to certain vaccines that were approved beginning in 1989
By 2000s he’d jumped from immunizations causing his son’s anaphylactic disorder to immunization causing autism. He became "chairman of “World Mercury Project” (WMP), an advocacy group that focuses on the perceived issue of mercury, in industry and medicine, especially the ethylmercury compound thimerosal in vaccines”. It was a downward spiral from there.
Despite his vaccine delusions and troubled marriages he seems to have maintained a fairly active wealthy person life. He’s said to be a good whitewater kayaker.
Psychiatrically it’s curious. He combines fixed irrational beliefs (the definition of delusions) with relatively high functioning in other domains. He reminds me of L Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology.
We need to keep him far from the political world.