Cannabis misinformation and the anti-drug lobby

The most dangerous aspect of drug use is that the chemical becomes the centre of life, leads to physical debilitation after tolerance is reached, and no amount of drug produces the necessary euphoria – only coma or suicide are left

- Herschel Mills Baker (Drug Free Australia)

“Suicide/Schizophrenia: Consequences of acute and chronic cannabis use” -

A recent thread on Facebook gave me cause to reflect upon the impact that the anti-drug lobby has had upon community perception of evidence specific to cannabis, its use, abuse and potential.

This perception of course can be traced in part to sensational media headlines following the release of research into the effects of chronic cannabis abuse. Yet the anti-drug lobby has been willingly involved in the perpetuation of self serving and frequently egregious falsehoods that have left inhumane policy sabotage and damaged individuals in their wake. Worse, the very real and well understood problems associated with cannabis abuse have been scattered by the gale of “cannabis psychosis”.

I should stress this is not a pro-drug nor pro-cannabis post. If anything it is a pro-evidence post and I would hope readers can reflect upon the value of evidence in a human rights manner, much as we do in a consumer rights manner. As I suggest under my “About” tab, skeptics make excellent agents of morality because they are agents of evidence. This isn’t to suggest one is endowed with superior morale. Rather, one is bound to reject subjective and predisposed constraints in favour of evidence.

An effective informed policy on cannabis use should not slant only toward the harms caused by its use but also by the harms caused by the social measures/existing policies designed to control or prevent its use. Cannabis is not a hard drug. Cannabis is not a soft drug. Cannabis is a drug, and as such deserves the respect that science and apolitical critiques can bring.

The nonsense above was originally written in 1988 and has been continually polished and rephrased over the years. Its most recent incarnation was Cannabis – suicide, schizophrenia and other ill effects, uproariously tagged “First Edition, March 2009″. Subtitled A research paper on the effects of acute and chronic cannabis use, it is in fact a biased selection of literature. Not research, nor literature review.

Cannabis “potency” is a key driver of fear and a launch pad for ongoing misinformation. This area is fraught with notable disrespect for variables involved. Is “potency” THC content per volume? If so, what strains grown under what conditions provide conclusive answers? Or does one compare the hashish and hash oil of the 1970s and 1980s (at around 20% THC content) with todays plants? If so, what of the famed sinsemilla grown for decades?

DFA choose to refute Australia’s peak illicit drug body, the ANCD, and their “Evidence-based answers to cannabis questions: a review of the literature” (2006), which concluded no significant increase in THC content had occurred. This was challenged by the unqualified lobbyists with a preposterous figure of 30% THC content from an apparent – and unsourced – 1993 Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence claim. Readers were to be very afraid as the equally preposterous and unsourced joint potency from the 1960s was 0.5%

Could this even be true?

In THC content of cannabis in Australia: evidence and implications, Wayne Hall and Wendy Swift reported in 1999:

The major obstacle to testing these claims is that the THC content of cannabis products has not been systematically tested by any Australian police force over the period in which average THC content has been claimed to have increased.

Well, no it appears to be fiction.

So why are DFA misleading the public this way? A primary area of community confusion and angst is the poorly reported association between psychosis and cannabis. The most fallacious is the “puff-puff, go mad” claim. It terrifies parents and this fear can persist in the absence of evidence. I must stress that negative experiences associated with ingesting THC can certainly be exacerbated by ingesting a volume of cannabis that contains more THC than a user is accustomed to. I’m not attempting to refute this possibility. I would add however, that user titration gives control to the cannabis user over the amount ingested. In this light a number of claims pushed by DFA demand criticism.

Primary is that DFA claim that the introduction of hydroponic cannabis (itself a spin-off of prohibition’s failure) brings with it [page 11]:

…a well demonstrated dose-response relationship between cannabis and its related drug-induced psychosis, where the greater amount of cannabis consumed correlates to a higher degree of risk of psychosis any three to fourfold increase is absolutely critical in any assessment of cannabis harms. When it is further considered that changed usage patterns, whereby users smoke only the multiple potent heads of the cannabis plant… the ANCD paper’s approach to potency is of concern.

Again, as we shall see below, this is not backed by evidence. What is drug-induced psychosis in this context? Sure, hydroponic production has provided the equivalent of sinsemilla-type product to users. Yet DFA then go on to cite the ANCD paper which confirms a tripling of THC figures in the USA. Quite correctly there is no reason to suggest this hasn’t occurred here, yet as the paper notes:

…the majority of THC levels in studies of [USA] cannabis seizures have remained under 5%.

So the ANCD conclusion that no evidence exists for huge THC increases in recent decades is valid. If anything users have more of the THC rich component of the plant, and less of the THC poor component. Hydroponics ensures rapid maturation and more flowering (head). Per plant there is more THC rich matter. But that matter is not notably more THC potent.

I hate to excessively mull this over, so to speak, but once again prohibition has placed better drugs for the same price into the hands of Aussie kids.

Let’s consider DFA’s claim that, “users smoke only the multiple potent heads of the cannabis plant”. They are challenging figures from 1970 to 1997. Returning again to Hall and Swift 1999, we see on page 8:

HallandSwift_type of cannabis smoked

So consumption of “skunk” or “super-skunk” that DFA claim is driving kids insane increased as much as leaf in the 14-19 year old group, from 1995-1998. Yet head seems to be the main product. Nonetheless users are not “smoking only multiple potent heads”. Which sounds more scary than just “heads”, one presumes.

Under Changing Patterns of Cannabis Use, Hall and Swift write on page 7:

The media preoccupation with the THC content of cannabis has distracted attention from other causes for concern about changing patterns of cannabis use among Australian adolescents and young adults. These patterns of cannabis use, which may encourage younger users to use more potent forms of cannabis, may also increase their chances of developing problems as a consequence of their cannabis use.

This is of course, exactly the point. By pursuing sensationalism, co-morbid health problems and negative lifestyle changes are frequently ignored. That this has been willingly and eagerly encouraged by groups such as DFA as part of their agenda to encourage blanket illicit drug zero tolerance and the public health damage this brings, is deeply concerning.

In 2009 this manuscript of misinformation was used to lobby independent conservative QLD MP, Peter Wellington to push for the old DFA staple of School Drug Testing. Such tactics are typical of the evangelical crusade waged by this conservative Christian group. The Australian National Council on Drugs concluded in 2007 that SDT was technically unreliable, cost prohibitive, morally and legally problematic, prone to exacerbate problems faced by at-risk children, designed to normalise punitive measures and fraught with false positives.

You can read more here about Drug Free Australia and their campaign against evidence. Or just marvel at a school kid’s drawing of God espousing “be drug free and you’ll be with me”. It isn’t just punitive policies DFA seek but a quite inhumane roll back of Harm Minimisation strategies, particularly those involving harm reduction. Whilst it is unacceptable for young Aussies to be under the impression cannabis is entirely safe, we can see without much effort how a spike in reports on cannabis and psychological harm has been exploited.

Claims that cannabis is supposedly endowed with benign or even beneficial properties because it is “natural” are equally concerning. The notion that if something comes from the earth it’s therefore by default superior to a manufactured pharmaceutical analogue is certainly not backed by evidence.

In fact this point is ripe for confusion about the role of evidence, its import and what might be termed insults from intuitive reasoning. Cannabis use as a recreational drug is defended at times with argument from antiquity. Combined with the “mother earth” line it may sound quite compelling. Like many alternatives to medicine (such as TCM), cannabis is also subject to further defence with argument from antiquity. According to The Mayo Clinic medicinal use can be traced back 5,000 years. Yet a crucial distinction is made here.

Research into the medicinal benefit of cannabinoids or their application as medication is quite different from inhaling cannabis smoke and expecting better health. There is quite a lot of rot about cannabis being medicinally magical. Whilst there is some potential for a rather large range of symptoms and side effects, grasping impact on actual pathologies demands extensive investment in research.

As abundantly hinted at above, perhaps the most alarming and challenging theme I’ve faced in recent years is the media construct that cannabis “causes” psychosis or schizophrenia. The primary reason this created so much angst in the illicit drug policy and discourse deconstruction fields was the immediate negative impact on management of the many known psychological issues. The 2007 meta-analysis by Moore et al published in The Lancet was seized upon as conclusive evidence.

It remains an excellent review, and fortunately drew much needed explanation about the nature of meta-analyses and in particular that of Moore et al. Amidst the frustrating and very disappointing bad science reporting to follow (including one of the worst by Australia’s own Jonica Newby on ABC’s Catalyst), were calmer voices such as that found on Storied Conduct: Resources and News in Psychology.

Correlation, as our basic research theories tell us, can never prove causation. All of the studies examined by Moore et al. (2007) were correlational in nature. Further, the additional use of meta-analytic grouping techniques cannot turn correlational data into experimental data no matter how sophisticated the statistics. This means that, while the trends and the thrust of the data seems to make marijuana a very promising explanatory causal factor in the development of some of the psychoses that these research participants developed, such a link has not been conclusively demonstrated. And, while the gross odds ratio speaks of a 41% increased risk, the authors themselves acknowledge the impact of confounding and other variables in lowering the risk percentage in the studies they examined. Hence, we are left without a good estimate of what the actual increased risk might be.

The number of media articles poorly reporting findings grew steadily over three to four years. Diligently a steady number of D&A workers, bloggers and independent media contributors used a dual method of exposing predetermined agendas and explaining the results in proper context. Generically speaking – and I stress generically – the headline “Cannabis induced psychosis increases 300% in two years scientists find”, might pop up. On examination it reflects that a sample with 0.2% predisposition to psychotic episodes had two years later, under different methodology, been found to present a 0.6% prediction to experience the transient psychosis they are genetically predisposed to, had they continued to smoke cannabis heavily for another decade.

One of the sadder developments was the establishment in 2008 of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre. The NCPIC. Coined the National Cannabis Propaganda and Infotainment Centre by a contributor to a professional e-list, it regretfully offers themes well documented as not being efficacious in reducing cannabis abuse. In 2009 NCPIC head Jan Copeland was pulled up by the same publication for dodging the need to publish bipartisan research.

The NCPIC is in the habit of presenting the style of faux science we see above from DFA and also using alarming distortion of facts in their supposed quest to “prevent”. The public is seemingly deemed at risk from balanced information which is substituted with bias and deception. In view of the documented harm this approach leads to it is not good enough for a tax payer funded organisation.

One of the best papers I’ve read is Continued cannabis use and the risk of incidence and persistence of psychotic symptoms: 10 year follow up cohort study, by Kuepper et al. This paper controlled very well for baseline incidence (Eg: self medication of psychosis/schizophrenia, supplementation of low cerebral anandamide [thus proposed alleviation of psychotic symptoms] via cannabis, cumulative effect of CBD’s anti-psychotic properties, other drugs, unstable lifestyle, etc.

In doing so, they thus also controlled for the host of suspected [exact cause remains unknown] causes of psychosis (stress, genetic predisposition, changes at puberty, assault, major life changes, biological causes, neuroses etc). This was itself arguably misused by Professor Jan Copeland who we’ve just met.

Wayne Hall and Louisa Degenhardt contributed an excellent review [BMJ 2011;342:d719] at the time. They noted the superior methodology and also that:

In the light of these findings and those of earlier studies, it is likely that cannabis use precipitates schizophrenia in people who are vulnerable because of a personal or family history of schizophrenia… A modelling study suggests that we would need to prevent 2018-4530 young people in the United Kingdom from becoming regular cannabis users to prevent one case of schizophrenia, or to prevent four to five times as many (10,000-23,000) from light cannabis use to achieve the same result.

Of course schizophrenia is a disease with a clear diagnosis. Psychosis is a transient symptom with a much less clear delineation. What’s certain is that the term is misused and frequently in the manner suggesting cannabis use/abuse leads to a permanent state of psychosis.

Copeland is quoted in an article for The Drum by Quentin Dempster:

Professor Jan Copeland, director of the NCPIC  a government-backed preventative agency, told 7.30 NSW that if cannabis was taken out of the picture the incidence of schizophrenia in Australia could be reduced by 8 to 14 per cent. She could not be more specific. That guesstimate was based on overseas studies. There have been no studies in Australia. This is revealing.

I had seen the report and was stunned. Copeland had failed to grasp the import of incident cannabis use to incident psychotic symptoms. More so she had failed to appreciate the basics of the different time periods. What she had messed up re 8% and 14% from the Kuepper et al study came from this line in the Abstract under Results:

The incidence rate of [sub threshold] psychotic symptoms over the period from baseline to T2 was 31% (152) in exposed individuals versus 20% (284) in non-exposed individuals; over the period from T2 to T3 these rates were 14% (108) and 8% (49), respectively.

The paper cited mentions “schizophrenia” twice. Once in describing instruments used to collate data and again under “methodological issues”.

I wrote to Jan and rather comprehensively outlined the incident specific nature of the results, to seek clarification. I received no reply. For the record here is the conclusion from this sterling study.

Cannabis use is a risk factor for the development of incident psychotic symptoms. Continued cannabis use might increase the risk for psychotic disorder by impacting on the persistence of symptoms.

It’s important to realise that this association is emerging as a very small but very significant issue for individuals predisposed to psychotic episodes. “Cannabis induced psychosis” is thus better viewed as schizophrenia. To date new trends and good research has been seized or sabotaged for political gain. There are areas in need of research dollars wherein we should despise bad science or exploitation of good science. Illicit drug policy is one of them.

As I mentioned way above this is not a pro-cannabis post. There are a host of reasons including psychological, physical and social to not use cannabis. Although I note it is Australia’s most popular illicit drug.

Which reminds me. There are no reasons to not use and respect evidence.

Randi Does Radio

James – The Amazing – Randi chats to Jon Faine and Stella Young on ABC 774.

The occasion was The Conversation Hour on Friday November 30th in Melbourne. Randi was in Melbourne for the Australian Skeptics National Convention for 2012. Join in as Randi, Jon and Stella revisit some of Randi’s memories of earlier visits, including the always-asked-about Don Lane episode.

Download the audio of Randi on The Conversation Hour – or listen below.

randi

Randi enjoys a joke during the Australian Skeptics National Convention


Interview: Terry Kelly talks Skeptic Convention with Richard Saunders

President of Australian Skeptics Victorian branch, Terry Kelly, chats to host of The Skeptic Zone podcast, Richard Saunders about this years National Convention.

You can listen by visiting the AuSkepCon chirbit page.

Download the MP3 here.

Or listen by clicking the pointy red triangle bit below:

Active Skepticism at this years national convention

This years Australian Skeptics National Convention looks set to cover a huge range of topics.

Active skepticism – changing for the better is the theme, and subjects involving skeptic and science activists and advocates loom large.

Anti-vaccination, non-evidence based alternatives to medicine, attacks on medical science, science and reason itself will feature during keynotes and panel discussion. Consumer scams, regulation of therapeutic goods, dodgy new age diagnostics, the changing role of social media, upcoming challenges and changes and more, more, more.

Along with Aussie favourites such as Ken Harvey, Dr. Rachie, Richard Saunders, Adam vanLangenberg, Lynne Kelly, Chrissy Wilson, etc will be James Randi, D.J. Grothe, Brian Thompson, Rebecca Watson and more.

Grab all the details and ticketing information from the video below and remember to keep up with developments.

Dates: Friday November 30th to Sunday December 2nd.

More information at Victorian Skeptics.

AuSkepCon is on Facebook and you can follow @auskepcon on Twitter.

Ex-QLD police officer alleges corruption in manslaughter case

I am an ex-Sgt of Police after 20 years in Queensland. Every SIDS mother told me their babies were healthy prior to vaccines and then deteriorated and died after.

Christopher William Savage

The above is from July 29th this year.

It’s in an AVN Facebook thread that again highlights the one way street of free speech down which Meryl Dorey travels. A commenter to a Blogger post joked they wanted to throw rotten fruit at Meryl. Another commenter warned her of the obvious currency the AVN would get from this.

Nonetheless, our stalker-at-large, Liz Hempel had the persons details in moments. She’d discovered the person was a police officer and figured the lodging of an official complaint was in order. Chris Savage is also an ever-helpful conspiracy theorist and antivaccination devotee. He chimed in;

Meryl thanked her loyal minions.

The purpose for this diversion? Well, Savage’s attention to the proper conduct of serving police officers seems to be a new found concern.

On July 2nd, Chris was “being duly” and decided to weave from memory accounts of his time as a police officer that seek to lay the blame for infant and child death at the feet of vaccines.

His Statutory Declaration includes SIDS and Shaken Baby Syndrome. Predetermined agendas on the part of QLD police, illegal conduct on the part of QLD police, apparent planting of evidence, supposed denial of facts by police and more. All this comes through in a sworn “oath”.

Why did Savage not report corrupt conduct at the time? One event – tampering with a prisoners property – applies to the rights of all prisoners, regardless of the cause for arrest. What was Savage thinking? Was corruption and tampering with property so common he only deems this occasion worth recounting because it helps firm the theme of his “oath”?

In fact, by “recounting” this, Savage has confessed to a serious misdemeanor, if not crime, on his own part. One that saw an innocent man charged with the manslaughter of a 5 year old, if Savage’s oath is true as he alleges. If so and if this person was convicted and jailed he may well still be in custody. The man was charged in September 2009. This dear reader, is way beyond joking about throwing fruit.

Immediately his sworn oath becomes a sensational account of how QLD police arrested an innocent man, planted evidence and because they, “did not have any evidence against the father of foul play”, chose to label the cause of the child’s death as Shaken Baby Syndrome.

How did police get the “medical evidence” of Shaken Baby Syndrome? Was there no autopsy? Did they make it up on the spot as Savage seems to infer?

Surely the best interests of Queensland, QLD police, the person arrested, the child’s mother, the child himself and all Australians are now best served by an examination and investigation of this matter.

Clearly there are more questions raised here than just one troubled man’s opinions about vaccines. To be sure he intends to convey a link between vaccination and dangerous adverse reactions. As do countless others. Yet, what we have entered into oath are accusations that go to the very heart of the integrity of QLD police. To the very basis of justice.

I trust Christopher William Savage is willing to assist with any developments as they arise.

Below is the apparent sworn oath. A copy is available on Chris Savage’s Facebook Notes page. Item 51 includes the account of misconduct on the part of detectives and a “colleague”.

I, Christopher William SAVAGE of 160 Amamoor Dagun Road AMAMOOR in the State of Queensland Australia being duly (sic) make on oath and say:
1. I joined the Queensland Police Service in 1989 at the age of 27 years.
2. My training commenced at Oxley Police Academy in June 1989 and was completed on Friday the 19th day of January 1990.
3. One a previous Friday in October 1989 our Squad members were told to line up for Hepatitis B vaccines. I joined my squad members and we received the Hepatitis B vaccination at about 11am that day.
4. After that I went to lunch and in the afternoon I participated in the third of four Physical Training Tests. At the conclusion of the test, which lasted 40 minutes, I was totally exhausted.
5. A short time later we all went home.
6. I expected to recover from the exhaustion but didn’t. I lay in bed for the next two weeks with no energy. I could barely get up and drag myself to the toilet.
7. After a week I went to a mainstream medical practitioner and said: “I am totally exhausted all the time. Could it have been the Hep B vaccine?
8. The doctor snapped: “Oh no it couldn’t be that.”
9. I was given a medical certificate but no medication. I then went to a Naturopath and was given large doses of ascorbic acid and after a few days I felt my energy return.

10. I then returned to the Academy to resume studies which included the promotion of the Hepatitis B vaccination program but nothing about the issue of investigating the impact of vaccines when babies die.
11. On the 19th day of January 1990 I was sworn in as a Constable of Police.
12. I was posted to Gympie Station from January 1990 to January 1991. After that I was transferred to Caboolture Station and then to Zillmere station from April 1993.
13. In July 1993, I clearly recall being called to an incident involving the death of a six month old baby boy in the division.
14. I was tasked to attend the Prince Charles Hospital where Queensland Ambulance Services had transported the baby.
15. I observed the deceased baby at this hospital. The baby had a pale white skin and a darker skin tone patches below the eyes. I completed details of a Form 4, which is Sudden Death information sheet for the Coroner. I also collected vials of samples of bodily fluids and arranged for these to go to the John Tonge Centre.
16. I then went to the residence of the mother. When I first met her I sensed she was in a state of shock and of bewilderment.
17. I took possession of the sheets, mattress and also medications. I also arranged for the mother to attend Zillmere Station so I could obtain a witness statement from her.
18. Around that time I spoke to a detective in the Juvenile Aid Bureau (JAB) who advised me to ensure blood samples were taken. I confirmed this had been done.
19. In one of the days that followed I met the mother at the Boondall Police Station. She was in her late 20’s and was a single mother.

20. I asked her to describe her life from the time that the baby was born.
21. She said “When the baby was born I couldn’t breast feed so I gave the baby formula,” or words to the same effect.
22. She also said: “The baby was eating and sleeping well,” or words to the same effect.
23. She then said: “I took the baby to clinic and there was no problems except for a sniffle, he was fine and they agreed.”
24. She also said: “After 8 weeks the clinic nurses gave him the DPT vaccine. He started crying and wouldn’t stop. That night he wouldn’t sleep properly,” or words to the same effect.
25. She also said: “I took him to the doctor and they gave me some children’s Paracetamol. I gave it to him and it seemed to help but he would vomit his food up and the poo that came out of him was black and horrible,” or words to the same effect.
26. She also said: “He would just scream sometimes so I take him to another doctor and they gave him another drug but it didn’t seem to help anymore. He would frequently wake up at night crying and I wouldn’t get any sleep,” or words to the same effect.
27. She also said: “I then went to another doctor who gave me yet another drug. It didn’t seem to do anything. He cried through the day. Hardly slept and continued to wake me up at night,” or words to the same effect.
28. I could see that the mother was beside herself with tiredness and frustration.
29. She also said: “I went to all these different doctors and they gave me all the different drugs but nothing helped. He started having convulsions as well,” or words to the same effect.

30. She also said: “I have been having terrible nights with him crying and vomiting and finally got him to sleep after he was exhausted. That was about 5am so I then went to sleep too. When I woke up at about 9.00 o’clock in the morning I checked and found he wasn’t breathing. I called the ambulance. I told the lady on the phone he wasn’t breathing. They seemed to take a long time. They arrived after about 15 and tried to revive him and then took him to hospital,” Or words to the same effect.
31. The statement ended up being about 6 pages long. She signed it and I witnessed her signature.
32. Over the next month I received a Certificate of Analysis from the John Tonge Centre.
33. I then took this document to the Government Medical Officer who advised that the levels of drugs in the baby’s blood were higher than normal but weren’t so high as to cause him to believe that it contributed to the baby’s death.
34. I also made submissions that whilst the mother appeared to have given the baby medicine slightly over the prescribed amount. At the material time the mother was suffering extreme sleep deprivation and also administering medications during the night. The mother was also confused by the variety of medication and treatments, which lacked continuity.
35. I completed my investigation and submitted a covering report, Form 4, Certificate of Death and the mother’s statement to the Coroner.
36. I had no further dealings with the matter.
37. A few months later I read a report that the JAB detective I had spoken to about samples for testing had actually criminally charged the mother with Manslaughter (killing without intent).
38. I was very surprised but it wasn’t my place to interfere in that process.
39. About a year later I received further information that the DPP had decided to not proceed with the charge of Manslaughter. I was relieved by this information for the sake of the mother.

40. In September 1993, I transferred to Biloela Police Station and remained there until October 2004.
41. In about the year 1999, Detective Sergeant Roger Lowe went to Moura 40 km from Biloela to investigate a ‘cot death’. On his return he told me something. I later viewed the Criminal Investigation Branch Occurrence Sheet and read that the mother’s baby had died this was the second baby of hers that had died from Sudden Infant Death Sydrome but Detective Sergeant Roger Lowe was conducting inquiries into criminal responsibility with reliance on medical evidence.
42. I said: ‘Have you done any inquiries as to the condition of the baby prior to and after vaccination before death?” Or words to the same effect.
43. He said: ‘No not in relation to vaccines, or words to the same effect.’
44. I said: ‘You should because I have had a case in Brisbane just before I came to Biloela where the baby suffered significant symptoms immediately after the DPT vaccine and then died a few months later. I have a video of doctors who expose vaccines can cause injury and death,’ or words to the same effect.
45. He said: ‘Ok you better get a copy to me.’

46. I left the video on his desk but he later told me that he wasn’t interested in watching it.
47. I became aware that Detective Sergeant Roger Lowe had decided not to charge the mother from Moura who had suffered the loss of two babies. I am not aware of his reasons for taking this action.
48. In October 2004, I was transferred to Townsville Station and to the Townsville Watchhouse in December 2005.
49. In about 2006, at Townsville Watchhouse I saw a young mother and father both charged over their baby’s death. The baby had died after complications that only appeared after vaccines were administered. I read the court brief and the case against these parents was largely based on ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’ and attacks were made on the parent’s credibility due to minor differences in their testimony.
50. They were accused of shaking their baby but had denied doing so.

51. In August 2009, I was promoted to Sergeant at the Ipswich District Watchhouse.
52. In September 2009, I was on duty as shift supervisor working from 3pm to 11pm at the old Ipswich Watchhouse.
53. At about 6pm in the evening two detectives brought a male person, about 45 years age and charged him with manslaughter of a 5 year old boy.
54. I read the facts from the Court Brief. The 5 year old child had died after he succumbed to a brain injury which had occurred at the age of 2 years. The police were alleging that the defacto husband had assaulted the child however there was no indication of there being any investigation of symptoms before and after vaccines. The father had denied assaulting the child. Medical evidence of Shaken Baby Syndrome was adduced.
55. The police did not have any evidence against the father of foul play so they relied on medical evidence relating to ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’ to charge him.
56. One of my colleagues put a copy of an article by Dr Vera Schreibner into the property of that prisoner.
57. The article is titled ‘The Shaken Baby Syndrome – The Vaccination Link’…I am able to produce that document.
58. Tendered and marked exhibit…..
59. I believe it was my experiences and suffering post Hepatitis B vaccination during my training has led me to believe it is necessary to objectively investigate all evidence, especially vaccines and to encourage parents to speak out without fear of prosecution and persecution.
60. I ceased employment with the Queensland Police Service on the 21st of October 2010 at the rank of Sergeant and Registered Number 4007505.

I understand that a person who intentionally makes a false statement in a statutory declaration is guilty of an offence under section 11 of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959, and I believe that the statements in this declaration are true in every particular.

Declared at Gympie Qld Australia on Monday 2nd day of July 2012)…………………………………
Before me……………………………………………………. JUSTICE OF THE PEACE


Whilst I acknowledge that Chris’ intent is – albeit with no evidence – to blame vaccines for a vast range of shocking injuries, I can’t help noticing that he glossed over the corruption of a colleague. He alleges at point 56:

One of my colleagues put a copy of an article by Dr Vera Schreibner (sic) into the property of that prisoner.

Whilst that publication and Scheibner herself are both thoroughly discredited, one cannot ignore the accusation being made. Although the chronology as to when this occurred is unclear, Savage claims that one of his colleagues placed an article by Scheibner into a prisoners property.

Why did Savage not report this absolutely black and white breach of conduct at the time? Did he observe the event? Hear of the event? Dream the event? Either way accessing a prisoners sealed property should occur in the presence of the prisoner or an independent witness. Preferably both.

That single accusation simply obliterates the intended relevance of the so-called “oath” concocted above.

Why was the article placed in the prisoners property? To infer the arrested male had schooled himself on Scheibner’s “vaccination link” to use as a defence? Did Savage’s mate aim to help or hinder the arrested male, who was charged with manslaughter? Was it done at the request of the detectives who arrested the prisoner? The detectives who, “did not have any evidence against the father of foul play”, so then relied on Shaken Baby Syndrome to charge him.

These are very, very serious accusations. More so there is an undercurrent of police apathy running through the entire “oath”. Savage can apparently remember conversations from 19 years ago. No doubt then, he can recall very fine details from just three years ago. After all he stated under oath:

I understand that a person who intentionally makes a false statement in a statutory declaration is guilty of an offence under section 11 of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959, and I believe that the statements in this declaration are true in every particular.

So what will it be I wonder? His colleagues are corrupt and (as far as we know from Savage) sought to destroy the life of an innocent man? That they planted false evidence in a prisoners property for what appears to be a self serving abuse of justice? The evidence of Shaken Baby Syndrome was used without legal justification?

Did Detective Sergeant Roger Lowe secretly watch the vaccine conspiracy video Savage gave him and, duly influenced by this video, fail to charge a mother from Moura over the death of two of her babies?

Or, Chris Savage deliberately made a false statement under oath and is thus guilty of an offence under Section 11 of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959? If so, what are we to make of the rest of his Declaration?

No doubt the intellectual repugnance of the SIDS and Shaken Baby myth will deeply offend those touched by these tragedies. From individual parents to medical staff and support agencies the impact is one of universal disgust. That vaccination is associated with a lowering of SIDS cases is widely known. In fact early social media chatter is not terribly kind to this “despicably insane former Queensland Police Officer”.

Whether Savage gets what he deserves or what he needs, it would be very helpful if he soon got some due attention.

Or words to the same effect.

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