Caught in the vaccination wars: responding to Dr. Brian Martin Pt.1
August 4, 2011 9 Comments
I happened to notice that a tweet from Meryl Dorey of The Australian Vaccination Network at around 9 am today, led to her Facebook post on Caught in the vaccination wars (Part 2);
Caught in the vaccination wars Part 2, by Dr. Brian Martin to which she refers, is here. It is the second follow up to Debating Vaccination, in which he argues in defence of AVN anti-vaccination lobbyists. Or rather, as the title suggests that vaccine efficacy and safety is a matter for honest debate. Roughly, arguments presented are that attacks on vaccination are usefully observed as “a scientific controversy”, genuine cause for “public debate… differing values”, that vaccine induced autism, autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and under-reported reactions are legitimate accusations from critics. Meryl Dorey is a legitimate “dissenter” acting for the public good. In addition criticism of Ms. Dorey and The AVN is an attack on rights and is conducted unfairly or unethically.
The concern for supporters of evidence based medicine is that Meryl Dorey’s documented risk to public health, breaches of charity fundraising laws, misappropriation of member donations, long standing copyright breaches, sending hate mail to grieving parents and the many falsehoods she has engaged in, seemed justified to Dr. Martin – or at least insignificant. Added to this is that Debating Vaccination supported Dorey’s diversionary tactic that she had supposedly done none of these things but faced an orchestrated campaign to silence her right to free speech. This was doubly frustrating given Dorey’s documented censorship by deletion, refusal to publish evidence based comment replies and banning of her own group members who dared question or expose her mistakes.
At the time a catchy video appeared that was dismissive of Martin’s pro-AVN stance and was no doubt buoyed by his many other works: The suppression of dissent in science, Polio vaccines and the origins of AIDS, The burden of proof and the origin of AIDS and similar works on the “debate” surrounding water flouridation. Dr. Martin also listed “derogatory comments” directed at him in part one of Caught in the vaccination wars. He was quite right to point this out but one suspects he is not familiar with Ms. Dorey or has a predetermined agenda to follow. I don’t mean to be alarmist but when you engage in activity that ultimately leads to infant and childhood morbidity and mortality, crushing heartbreak for families and the resurgence of vaccine preventable disease, people will become angry.
It was felt that, had he spent a fraction of the time reviewing the egregious behaviour of Dorey rather than highlighting an unhelpful Stop the AVN (SAVN) comment about Dorey’s subscription to and publication of David Icke, the Illuminati, deliberate public infection with H1N1 by Baxter and her decade long belief in microchipping by vaccines [Source], a more robust discussion would ensue. Public opinion of Dr. Martin wasn’t helped in that Dorey exploited his work as proof of malignant suppression of herself, abandoning any pretence of answering to her crimes.
Whilst Brian Martin still holds to these views, and has as we shall see been quite selective in the material he chose to publish, I do want to stress that his input is valued. He is of course demonstrably wrong, but unlike Ms. Dorey one can exchange views and differences of opinion with Dr. Martin. He will admit when and where his argument is imperfect and point out the flaws he sees in opposing arguments. More so, it is highly likely Martin is as much a victim of Dorey’s deception as are her members and those who seek to refute her. Which brings us to her latest misrepresentation of his work.
Typically in reviewing Dorey’s publications we find immediate falsehoods. Brian Martin isn’t identifying as a victim saying he was “attacked by members of SAVN”. Nor is it true that attempts “to get him fired” occurred. Dr. Martin contacted one SAVN member directly, prior to publishing Debating Vaccination. Another member had complained about the nature of Dr. Martin’s work. This person, whose contact details are not public, realised these details had been actually passed to Dr. Martin without permission. This one SAVN member complained arguing that this was inappropriate. Yet Dorey writes;
As a result of this article, Dr Martin came under attack by the same group of people. They actually contacted his boss at the University and tried to get him fired! Luckily, the University values free speech and the rights of citizens in democratic nations more than this group apparently does.
During a lengthy Skype conversation the SAVN member gave their side of the story about, and I quote – “veiled intimidation and harassment” – via the tone of emails he sent to the member who had complained. The SAVN member had taken offence at some rather unprofessional observations of Dr. Martins. I can’t comment on the professionalism or otherwise other than to say the quoted material wasn’t indicative of SAVN content. It has now been expunged from it’s initial resting place, suggesting that someone at the University or Martin himself respected the complaint.
Sadly, the complainants details were revealed to Dr. Martin. Yes, that’s correct. Martin responded to the complainant alluding that in his experience complaining to superiors was typical of suppression tactics. Further complaints were made to the university about what was deemed “harassment” from Martin, using the universities email domain and eventually the complainant was reassured Dr. Martin would not be contacting her again.
Dr. Martin concludes that it’s reasonable to infer he could have been fired. Which begs the question: why intimidate of even directly approach a member of the public who already feels you’re behaving unprofessionally. In this case, Dr. Martin has only himself to blame. In representing the University of Woolongong, he is rightly subject to scrutiny. Such scrutiny and justified complaints about defending Meryl Dorey’s enterprise are not suppression tactics. If it can be inferred that job loss from an account of ones conduct is realistic, then that conduct must be called into question.
Dorey omits of course, that Dr. Martin now accepts that her claim of SAVN members sending her pornography as intimidation is unsubstantiated. He writes that he previously should have written that this conduct was “separate from SAVN”. Secondly, in view of accusations from Dorey that the SAVN threaten her, and her telling refusal to provide evidence of this Dr. Martin was provided with extensive evidence and screenshots (one example) of AVN attacks on grieving parents, SAVN members and cyber-stalking via false identities. He wrote;
What I can say is that I oppose the use of personal abuse by supporters or critics of vaccination, and I have sympathy for all those who are subject to it. Not only is abuse in poor taste but I think in many cases it is counterproductive.
This is a significant blow to Meryl Dorey, perhaps explaining why she lied about the content of Dr. Martin’s article, and uses the fabrication to yet again argue that her opponents are out to suppress free speech “and the rights of citizens in democratic nations”. In a nutshell Dr. Martin is defending his own argument, not Dorey’s. This is the second article by Martin since Debating Vaccination and nary a syllable has been voiced in defence of Dorey. She seemingly wants to bask in his integrity and gain credibility by dent of libelling key members of SAVN, by extension of Martins work. She is clearly desperate.
On June 26th Brian Martin published Shouting down our freedom to choose, in the Illawarra Mercury. He defends his, albeit mistaken, belief that SAVN tries to suppress free speech critical of vaccination. He confuses the input on Facebook from thousands of Australian’s disgusted with Meryl Dorey with an imagined stated intention of SAVN. He wrongly claims “dozens of complaints” have been lodged. Essentially, Dr. Brian Martin is quite mistaken about the key activists of SAVN, and the wider involvement from citizens, skeptics, science advocates and health oriented media identities across Australia, much less the independent activity of government health agencies.
In defence of so many mistakes on the part of Brian Martin I would suggest that he completely fails to see the impact of social media. Struggling to comprehend global and national networking, online activism and an entire new language that has grown to describe it he has been easily misled by Dorey’s neoconservative “the enemy is upon us” protest. Perhaps the most significant flaw in this article from the Illawarra Mercury is that it paints the AVN as benign citizen campaigners.
The criminal activity, business name or copyright theft and exploitation of members is not mentioned. The lies and cleverly crafted false stories of “vaccine reactions” are not included. It omits Dorey’s never ending threat that mandatory vaccination “for your family” is imminent or that claims of toxic and foetus cell filled vaccines that cause cancer, autism, immune disorders, death… has damaged public confidence. Likening a judges decision to back a father’s right to vaccinate his daughter to “Rape with full penetration” is absent, as is demanding to see the laboratory confirmation of a deceased infants COD from pertussis.
He forgot taking a neonate from maternity to avoid hepatitis B vaccination, hiding from police and DOCS then leaving the parents to face jail sentences – only later prevented by DOCS. Her defence of child murderers and use of the term “Shaken Maybe Syndrome” (because vaccines really kill babies) went unnoticed. The bogus 1998 threat to sue Michael Wooldridge for his role with Immunise Australia, refusal to cooperate with the HCCC, breaches of charitable status uncovered by the NSW OLGR, the rise in vaccine preventable disease, permanent disabilities, brain damage and death and on and on and on… all missing. No, this was no group meeting to discuss a noisy freeway, dredging the bay or the importance of ducks crossing a new bicycle path.
Still, Dr. Martin has a right to voice his views. This article led to further involvement of myself and others due to his final paragraph;
I wrote a careful response to the comments by SAVN members, documenting their methods, and posted it on my website. This seems to have worked a charm: no SAVN member has challenged my account.
This wasn’t correct in the eyes of many. I wrote a comment;
Here is my email of April 23rd clearly refuting your claim “I wrote a careful response to the comments by SAVN members, documenting their methods, and posted it on my website. This seems to have worked a charm: **no SAVN member has challenged my account.**”
Not only did I challenge your account – I provided evidence refuting it.
Links to 3 articles: later removed temporarily by false DMCA claims by Ms. Dorey (I have her submissions).
And you claim Ms. Dorey is subject to attacks on free speech?!
I also wrote in another comment;
The UDHR Article 30 states no one article may be exploited to suppress any other article. Hence free speech in this case goes further than the right to speak in dissent. It challenges the international right to health, of which the UN has a Special Rapporteur.
We all have a right to freely voice our own opinion. I find my defence of free speech stops at the border of freely voicing our “own facts”.
In fairness to Dr. Martin he still doesn’t fully accept that anyone challenged his account. He has written that more accurate wording would be, “no SAVN member sent me abusive comments”. In fairness to SAVN that’s shifting the goal posts. Regarding myself he wrote;
Paul Gallagher posted this claim: “Not only did I challenge your account – I provided evidence refuting it.” He provided a link to http://i.imgur.com/JAA30.png
I failed to see how this link to an article about microchipping and cancer related to my account, much less refuted it. I emailed Paul asking him to explain.
You can compare that to my actual comment/s above. You may wonder what the second link points to. Regrettably, despite the fact I point to four items in the email Dr. Martin uses only the first image – selectively leaving out the second and larger part of my email. The evidence he omitted has been published on this site here as 1.) How the AVN misleads Aussies on pertussis vaccination and 2.) How Meryl Dorey plagiarised and edited a WHO graph on pertussis.
The third document I provided a link to clearly demonstrates how Meryl Dorey misled the HCCC over pertussis in The Netherlands and Denmark. So I still maintain that yes, I both did challenge, and provided evidence refuting his account published here in clear dissonance to his conclusion. The original email of April 26th – that led me to comment – is extensive and contains 14 hyperlink references, 8 of which are of Meryl Dorey’s own writings. How Dr. Martin could have missed this challenge is beyond me.
Nonetheless Dr. Martin did email me and quite delightfully asked if I wished to offer any corrections before he published Part 2. I pointed out that he had shifted goal posts again, now writing that he “had received no substantive corrections”. I also offered many thoughts to Dr. Martin hoping they would be acknowledged. The full email is embedded below. Now that he has published his article I can see he has selectively quoted the email text. As we see above, he writes “I emailed Paul asking him to explain”. Then;
He replied on 6 July saying “the screenshot I sent you plainly shows Meryl Dorey’s post”, and then quoted its text:
This is an excellent video about the dangers of mandatory vaccination and microchipping. I had never heard of the link between microchips and cancers before. This is something we all need to be aware of!
He continued by saying that the screenshot provided
a video offered by Dorey entitled ‘Mandatory Vaccination and Forced Microchipping’. More so, Dorey states she hasn’t heard of microchips and cancer before – not microchips and vaccination.
By now, it must be clear I have refuted … Ms. Dorey’s denial that she believes in a conspiracy.
The sections quoted by Dr. Martin as my explanation are highlighted in red;
I was a tad cranky. It was becomming clear that Brian was going to maximise my reference to Dorey’s conspiracy – a topic I consider extremely time wasting. This was most unfortunate as we can all see the screenshot of Meryl Dorey’s comfort with vaccines and microchipping is not the only point made. Nonetheless, Brian wanted proof positive, “for example a survey of AVN members”, about a certain comment that was prominent on the SAVN Facebook page. It is of course, entirely correct to challenge accusations of conspiracy leanings. Brian Martin is correct in that the comment below cannot be fully substantiated. I have no idea who the author is;
They [AVN] believe that vaccines are part of a global conspiracy to implant mind control chips into every man, woman and child and that the ‘illuminati’ plan a mass cull of humans.
I was of the mind that it was ambitious but could reasonably be inferred. Having ridden the 2009 H1N1 insanity from Jane Burgermeister’s enforced human cull via vaccine, to claims of mind control chips in vaccines, and knowing the AVN were conspiracy devotees I felt he was being deliberately pedantic in order to avoid more pressing matters. One I had raised was that if Meryl Dorey publically denied being “anti-vaccination” where did this leave his role as a defender of her as a dissident? Nonetheless, my disdain for conspiracies was, as we shall see in the next post, about to be put to the test with more and more requests to provide evidence to justify that single comment.
As I mentioned above, the email I had initially sent Dr. Martin on April 26th precipitating my comment was far more extensive, and had already gone over this ground. It included links to much of Dorey’s legal transgressions and I provided Dr. Martin screenshots and links to AVN material supporting David Icke, the “human cull” but most importantly a post by Meryl Dorey arguing that whilst the AVN subscribe to conspiracy theories it was unwise to be seen publically to do so. I identified Dorey’s habit of denial and censorship.
I had requested that future writings of his include these observations as a possible reason for the comment he had made much of in Part One of Caught in the vaccination wars. I also asked for a brief deconstruction of Ms. Dorey’s conduct, that I had documented such that he could show it “as anything but unconscionable”.
Sadly, whilst it is his right to choose, Dr. Martin has not seen fit to offer either transparency.
In the next post I’ll introduce the evidence for Meryl Dorey and the AVN’s cornucopia of conspiracy theories which were sent to Dr. Martin with a further request he list them as “possible reasons” Dorey was linked to the only game in conspiracy city over 2009: The Human Cull via H1N1.