How Meryl Dorey stole $12,000 from AVN members and/or donors

Back in the days just before community members were forced to take a stand against the Australian Vaccination Network for their harassment and abuse of grieving parents, things were different. Having run almost unchecked as a largely law breaking enterprise their confidence and gall in scamming the public was at an all time high.

Yet the basis of Dorey’s urgent threats (directed at parents) of compulsory vaccination for toddlers never existed. Parent’s have never been forced to vaccinate children. The many alerts such as Action Alert – compulsory H1N1 (swine flu) vaccination just around the corner” were all scams to scare members into giving the AVN money. Dorey’s claimed funding destinations never existed. The most famous is the Bounty Bags rort. Assisted by sisters Jane and Nicola Beeby, the scam was to take donations to “fund” AVN material in Bounty Bags maternity packages. The problem was the Bounty Bags company despised the AVN and had nothing to do with them. AVN did the same with Copeland Publishing and their Child magazine – an example of which we’ll see below.

The AVN knew no bounds. They had logo polo shirts, T-Shirts boasting Love Them, Protect Them, Never Inject Them, media appearances, glossy magazines resembling competence, craftily tipping uncertain parents further into a maelstrom of doubt. “Tell them they have aborted foetal cells in them”, Dorey was want to advise her minions. Anti-freeze, immortal cells used in production lead to cancer, crushed up monkey kidney, heavy metals, mercury, mercury, mercury. Dorey zipped from community hall to community hall running the same unsubstantiated claims with photos easily dated from the 1970’s. Horrific injuries blamed on every type of vaccination. For unsuspecting Aussies they were dark days indeed. To this day, not one “vaccine injury” has been backed by evidence or accepted by ADRAC.

Until of course, selfless volunteers followed through with the laws they had flaunted for so long. Eventually The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission found that the Australian Vaccination Network website:

  • provides information that is solely anti-vaccination
  • contains information that is incorrect and misleading
  • quotes selectively from research to suggest that vaccination may be dangerous.

And because of this, in their public warning about the AVN, “the Commission recommended to the AVN that it should include a statement in a prominent position on its website to the following effect”:

  • The AVN’s purpose is to provide information against vaccination, in order to balance what it believes is the substantial amount of pro-vaccination information available elsewhere.
  • The information provided by the AVN should not be read as medical advice.
  • The decision about whether or not to vaccinate should be made in consultation with a health care provider.

The AVN never complied, refuting the HCCC observation of being anti-vaccination, claiming that they are for “informed choice”. Bizarre given that academic Brian Martin writes in defence of their “dissenting” anti-vaccination stance. He echoes Meryl Dorey’s complaint that they are an essential whistle blower suffering suppression of free speech.

Below we’ll get a touch of the charity fraud. But reading the group emails of how they mocked legitimate charities associated with medical care was chilling. “I tell them I’m a charity”, boasted Dorey. Ultimately this scam fell apart. The Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing stepped in conducting an “audit that revealed breaches of charitable fundraising legislation”. From the Lismore Northern Star;

These included fundraising without authority, unauthorised expenditure and failure to keep proper records of expenditure. The AVN offices were searched by the OLGR recently and staff were interviewed.

Dorey lied at the time to the public and the OLGR – as I reveal below. Despite these serious offences she claimed that the OLGR found their donation box was the wrong size and;

…the OLGR had found several errors with the network’s bookkeeping system and some minor problems with the way in which fundraising income was accounted for… errors which any small, volunteer-run organisation can and does make…

So let’s examine one very clear example. Documented no less in their own archives – in their own words. Signed off in the applicable financial statement, no less. Orchestrated by Meryl Dorey and the Beeby sisters and the AVN committee I’d like to bring to your attention the admission and publication by The Australian Vaccination Network that they successfully raised at least $11,910 which was to fund an advertisement.

I believe the manner and timing in which the money was raised, the prompt closing of the donation window and subsequent failure to reference the fate of the $11,910 is significant. The source for this is archived editions of Living Wisdom, running from March 2nd, 2009 to June 25th, 2009. These archives may be found here.

I might stress at the outset that material in AVN archives of Living Wisdom is in dissonance to Meryl Dorey’s assertion to the OLGR that the AVN did not have access to auditors between July 2nd 2007 and June 2nd 2009, when it was without authorisation to fund raise. The February 2009 edition, under the heading The AVN needs your help, includes;

The AVN has now reached a crisis point and it’s up to you to decide whether or not we are able to continue to provide these services.
Our auditors have told us that they they have serious concerns about our financial status and our ability to continue as a viable entity…. Our debts are just over $50,000 – more than half of that co-signed for by Meryl Dorey personally…..

On October 16th, 2010 Mel McMillan wrote an article in The Lismore Northern Star entitled AVN seeking legal advice. It includes;

It is understood that between July 2, 2007 and June 2, last year (2009), the AVN was without authorisation to fundraise.
Ms Dorey admits this was true but claimed the OLGR was aware of the AVN’s fundraising status. ‘During this time we were unable to find an auditor,’ Ms Dorey said.
‘It took the AVN 12 months to find an auditor and then another year before the audit was conducted because the AVN was put at the bottom of the new auditor’s work pile’, Ms Dorey claims.

I believe this disparity suggesting a delay until mid 2010 in finding auditors, is quite pertinent. Either Ms. Dorey misled members, readers and donors or misled the OLGR. Which brings the next matter – the successful collection of $12,000 into stark consideration. The appeal began in the very next Living Wisdom publication on March 2nd 2009, 11 days after the published claim that AVN auditors had “serious concerns about [the AVN] as a viable entity”.

Regarding the advertisement, the March 2nd, 2009 edition sought donations from members totalling $53,000 by Monday March 9th, 2009. It suggested readership numbers meant a donation of $20 would suffice. The AVN had been in touch with Generation Rescue in the USA (they claimed citing no correspondence) and were “given permission” to run their USA focused advertisement in Australia. Donors could email for internet banking or donate directly into:
Australian Vaccination Network Gift Fund Westpac BSB 032591 Account – 196282

Further ambiguity as to financial record management appears in the same issue under Your support is amazing! It is claimed that the call for $50,000 11 days earlier had allowed the AVN to “continue… for now”. It includes;

The AVN committee is in the process of working with our accountants in order to develop systems which will make our operations more sustainable. In the meantime, if there are any business mentors out there who would like to help us with advice, that would be very much appreciated.

A suspicious typing error led to Generation Rescue being referred to as Operation Rescue, and was corrected later the same day. Yet they’d just been in frequent contact with Generation Rescue, negotiating a deal…. hadn’t they? Four days later on March 6th, 2009 under Update on Fundraising for Autism Ad, the AVN’s Living Wisdom claims a total raised of $5,000.

By March 31st, 2009 the AVN Living Wisdom claims under What’s been happening? – Item 1 – that $7,000 of $53,000 has been raised. At this point the authors claim to have been seeking to; “Fund a full page ad in The Australian newspaper”. However, rather than a one off ad, they now seek;

“a full page ad in every edition of Copeland Publishing’s CHILD magazine…. This will cost $26,000 in total”.

Copeland Publishing do not accept or agree with AVN material. An advertisement claiming vaccines cause autism is factually absurd, deeply offensive, runs against the ethics and standing of Copeland and CHILD magazine, and would have lost them support and paying customers. The closest the AVN have come was a discussion online to have members flood GP offices and “sneak” anti-vaccination material into existing copies of CHILD magazine.

This attack was phase two in a 2010 revenge attack on Copeland for refusing to publish AVN propaganda, earlier reported in an “Action Alert” by Dorey herself, calling for letters to bombard Copeland Publishing. Later praised here. And still later praised as a “fantastic job”.

The next mention of the fund raising drive is in Living Wisdom, June 14th, 2009 [incorrectly headed “July 2009”] under Two weeks left – please don’t let this effort go to waste! They write (again with no citation of Generation Rescue);

We need to raise $23,000 in total and if we get 2/3 of the money, the American organisation, Generation Rescue, will give us the other 1/3. So far, we have raised $7,000 and we need to raise another $8,000 before Generation Rescue will give us the rest. I feel that we have given it a really good go, but it’s time to say there needs to be a time limit.

We cannot get the media to cover this issue from our side at all. They still insist that there is no evidence that children are becomming autistic as a result of vaccination. We know this is not the case. The US vaccine court knows this is not the case. But the average Australian mum and dad still has no idea. It is vital that we get this information out there. It will blow the roof off of the claims by our government, our medical community and others who want to continue the cover-up of this issue.

Please, if you have not already donated towards this cause (please click here [Ed: no longer functioning] to read more about this effort and to see a copy of the ad), do so today. If you can, forward this letter (using the link below) to your friends, family, workmates or anyone else who has an interest in child health.

Today, is Monday, June 15th. We will give it until Monday, June 29th to raise the rest of these funds. Your help and support are very much appreciated.

Oh, one other VERY IMPORTANT thing. When you make your donation via our website, please use this link [archive] so we will know to direct your donation towards this fundraising appeal? It is for a $20 donation. If you want to donate more, just change the quantity (in other words, if you want to donate $100, just change the quantity to 5 and that will be 5 X $20 or $100 in total).

A fund raising closure date of June 29th is now set.
The bank deposit account details change to;
Westpac Account Account name – Australian Vaccination Network, Incorporated BSB – 032 591 Account Number – 188223

At this point the total sought is $15,000 – $7,000 raised plus $8,000 needed. On June 25th – 11 days later – an additional $4,000 is reported, bringing the total raised to $11,000. They write in Living Wisdom;

We are entering the home stretch folks. On June 14th in our last e- newsletter, I put out an appeal for the final $8,000 needed to get our ad regarding the connection between autism and vaccination into all of the Copland Publishing magazines (Sydney’s Child, Melbourne’s Child, etc.). We have raised about 1/2 of that $8,000 but, like the saying goes (sort of!), you can’t be a little bit pregnant or a little bit dead. $4,000 won’t get the ad in these publications – we need another $4,000 and we only have 3 days to get it.

Based on the last receipt of $4,000 in 11 days, or indeed the initial $5,000 in four days, if the fund raising was extended for a short time past the final 3 days, the $15,000 sought may have been achieved. The outcome of this fundraising attempt or the promised advertisement is not noted again. According to the OLGR it reached $11,910.

No mention is made of monies raised over the final three days in which donations would have continued coming in – perhaps the $4,000 sought. Nor indeed was there any mention of whether the AVN itself could contribute with the help of accountants the AVN claimed were making “our operations more sustainable”.

Donations appear to have been made, or at least called for, into two separate Westpac accounts. The AVN Gift Fund and The AVN Incorporated. No mention of trust account deposits is presented to members. Monies raised in this manner are legally bound to be placed in trust accounts and members notified.

The $11,000 is not mentioned again in subsequent Living Wisdom editions. The only reference to money (two weeks later) are calls to buy tickets to seminars, sign up for membership or subscribe to Living Wisdom. The at least $11,000 is by their own admission, in AVN hands. Money raised immediately after a separate appeal for $50,000 to keep the organisation afloat. After financial auditing found “serious concerns about [the AVN] as a viable entity”. The latter being acknowledged again on March 2nd, 2009.

Of course I informed the OLGR of how this “minor problem with how fundraising was accounted for”, by Dorey and most likely the Beeby’s. Both Meryl Dorey’s and Jane Beeby’s signature’s are on the annual financial statement covering this period. Again, in their own words they damn themselves. The question must be asked: Was there ever a real appeal to fund an advertisement? Or was it a ploy targetting readers touched by autism? The average Australian mum and dad still has no idea. It was a government and media cover up.

The evidence is overwhelming. The money appears as good as stolen. Dorey denies accountability to the OLGR, claiming their motivation to act is derived from the HCCC whose motivation was derived from “forces” intent on suppressing their civil rights. To point out these scams is according to Dorey and the likes of Dr. Brian Martin, suppressing their right to free speech.

I’m afraid I beg to differ.

On October 18th, 2010 the NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing wrote to Mr. Ken McLeod in response to his many complaints about AVN breaches of the charitable fund raising act 1991. It included, along with 17 confirmed breaches of the Act:

During the course of the inquiry evidence of possible breaches of the Charitable Trusts Act 1993 was detected in relation to the following specific purpose appeals conducted by AVN: [….]

2. Advertising Appeal – initially this was an appeal for the specific purpose of raising funds for an advertisement in the Australian commencing in March 2009 and concluding July 2009. The specific purpose was changed during the course of the appeal to fund advertisements in Child magazine. This appeal raised $11,910. None of the funds were applied to the specific purposes. It is noted that AVN did spend some $15,000 during the period December 2009 to July 2010 on various forms of advertising.

Two days later the Minister for Liquor, Gaming and Racing revoked the fundraising authority held by the AVN.