In recent posts referencing Brian Martin’s defence of the Australian Vaccination Network I’ve stressed that there is a marked disconnect between the many defences against demonstrable falsehoods raised by the AVN and Martin’s contention that;
The methods used by SAVN disturbed me. SAVN essentially rejects free speech critical of vaccination.
Martin advances a weighty defence of Meryl Dorey and the AVN based on unusual comments on a Facebook page. Comments well removed from vaccine efficacy and safety. A late comer to the debate he failed to comprehend the level of manipulation and censorship conducted by Meryl Dorey. Understandably in writing Debating Vaccination he zeroed in on material that sustained his argument. But he did so to the detriment of publishing a robust academic critique of the vaccine controversy.
Martin painfully selected material and apportioned “assumptions” and flaws in reasoning to those volunteers who defend the health of innocent children. What is striking is the sheer lack of evidence refuting anti-vaccination arguments. The debunked Wakefield claims of autism, his “erasure” from the medical registry and his fraudulent callous disregard, are absent from mentions of AVN complaints. The many “vaccine injuries” and pollutants in vaccines from anti-freeze to aborted foetal cells are not sustained. SIDS and “Shaken Maybe Syndrome” as caused by vaccines remain claims void of evidence. Indeed the plethora of ridiculous claims about “vaccine dangers” go unchallenged. “New Yorker Meryl Dorey” floods her members with USA dynamics begging for money to help hospital workers in NY. Her USA members can demand banning of Australian members who admit to vaccinating children. Yet AVN complainant Ken McLeod is dismissed by Martin for quoting international pertussis figures on vaccine efficacy on the basis it is not local.
Martin’s intent was to confirm, indeed prove his own assumption that the AVN are a “citizens group” raising a voice of dissent. As vice president of Whistleblower’s Australia he was lending them credibility. Credibility that he granted the AVN based on a one sided, biased and inaccurate account. As I’ve written before, Martin is certainly a victim of the AVN’s deception and dishonesty. Much of the material Martin used is from SAVN sources with all the scars and imperfections that this emotive argument elicits.
Deleting material that casts Stop AVN in a negative light is unthinkable to members grounded in science, integrity and skepticism. Members who delight in being proven wrong and welcome such as a test of academic maturity or a new doorway to what evidence reveals – a new challenge. In this light Martin had a banquet to select from in forming his “defence” of Australia’s most dangerous public health antagonists.
Dr. Martin did initially contact members of SAVN. However the die was cast and his status as an “enemy of reason” more than apparent. He seemed to be on a fishing expedition and follow up writings confirmed this. His conclusion was drawn up well before looking for evidence, and his work reflects this admirably. However, he never asked if his proposed assumptions were correct. He never asked for explanations or indeed for an account of debate. If he had he would have been afforded (as he has recently been) the viciousness of AVN abuse of SAVN members and children or babies alive and dead. Material they quickly delete from public view but which is kept by certain SAVN members.
Also he would have been afforded countless polite evidence based rebuttals or mere queries from AVN pages that led to the banning of members and deletion of the material. In this light he may have understood the frustration of those seeking to “debate” and perhaps seen the folly of his title “Debating Vaccination”. Or the censoring of input by Meryl Dorey to convey a false impression to readers. A rambling post followed by gushing appraisal and testimonials of same. Calm evidence based rebuttals are known as “typical skeptic nyah nyah” with claims comments aren’t published because they threaten violence – a lie so overdone and so likely of their own construct it is embarrassing;
I approve unfavourable posts – the only ones I don’t let through are those that are abusive, threaten violence or are the typical skeptic nyah-nyah – you’re wrong and we’re right – immature garbage. Your post does not fit into those parameters.
In fact, I recommend reading that thread. Rob pleasantly leads Meryl in and snaps the trap shut. Meryl responds with…. silence. So, I’m not launching into Dr. Martin here. I maintain the reasons for his flawed stance can be at least partially explained by the schemes of Meryl Dorey. Plain, simple censorship and obfuscation. This calculated manipulation is hard to prove in most arenas. Yet a visit to her site and a brief perusal of posted comments shows gaping holes in the sequence.
I replied to Meryl last night. Like most comments I seek to refute her central claim making up the blog post. It was not published. As always one screenshots material one suspects will be deleted. It is this very material Dr. Martin has not accessed in making up his mind on which side the suppression of free speech comes down. On this occasion less than a third of comments (to my knowledge) were published.
This remains the most frustrating and deceptive tactic on Ms. Dorey’s part. Whilst pleading that citizens, government departments, media and medical authorities actively suppress her right to free speech, she quite knowingly denies right of reply to others. This skews perception. Withholds facts and debate strategies. Leaves demonstrable (even if well meaning) falsehoods seemingly unchallenged.
Done properly, comment censorship can turn a demolished post argument into what looks like a post followed by glowing support and ridicule of any opposition. What’s inexcusable is Ms. Dorey’s exploitation of other parents pain and the misleading of her own members and supporters. From Scientology links and promotion of CCHR to theft of donations, most members are distracted by cries of persecution and oppression.
There’s an emotive issue afoot. Meryl is milking the deaths of two children in Bajna and Akhepura villages of Nagaur district in India. They were injected with tainted vaccines. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a massive problem in developing nations. Mishandled and diluted vaccines riddled with pollutants do emerge. This is what killed these children – not vaccine ingredients. You decide on the morale and the intelligence of a “vaccine expert” who capitalises on this.
Nonetheless, Dorey persists on exploiting the apparent vaccine injury of young Ella from Iceland. Eventually her mother comments. Again, vaccine ingredients are not the confirmed variable but possible genetic predisposition. Sadly, anti-vaccine lobbyists seize upon these cases as proof positive vaccines will do this to anyone. These cases are rare but certainly make up many of the vaccine injury compensation payouts. The comment included (with language difficulty);
Ella’s dad is now also in contact with a genetic specialist in NIH in USA to see if there was a genetic factor involved (just for our curiousity) and it is thought that one of Ella’s gene is mutated or damaged, one of her gene that builds protein in her imunesystem .
Correctly, the mechanism of the injury is questioned by medically trained personnel and scientists. The replies aren’t terribly helpful and even become quite bizarre. I do wonder what the bulk of the unpublished comments presented. Talk about shouting down and suppression of free speech. I do hope Dr. Martin takes the time to digest this conduct.
But what of my comment? Why did Meryl not publish it? I actually said it is an abuse of the international right to health that Australia has no vaccine injury compensation programme. Surely Meryl can’t disagree. Perhaps it was the facts and challenges I included. What is unusual is that I hadn’t read the comments on Ella not the predisposition admitted by her mother. I feel for this family and I am appalled that Australia has no compensation scheme for similar injuries. I also call Dorey’s bluff on vaccine injury.
On radio back in May she claimed “hundreds possibly thousands of families” had been compensated by the USA Vaccine Injury Compensation Court. Indeed, even the horrid folk at Age of Autism admit to 21 VICP cases and 62 phone interviews. So, I ask Meryl how 21 became “hundreds, possibly thousands”. My first link is to The Encephalitis Society who offer a compelling document on MMR and disease injury. My second to Wakefield’s monovalent vaccine patent – an issue stridently denied by Dorey. It’s not really framed as a good comment. I guess I wasn’t in a happy frame of mind.
On page 23 of Debating Vaccination Dr. Martin writes;
How should scientific research be done? In the 1940s, sociologist Robert Merton enunciated four norms of science: universalism, communalism, disinterestedness and organised scepticism. What these mean is that science should operate on the same principles in different societies, scientists should freely share their findings, scientists should not be committed to particular positions, and the system of science should encourage critical examination of all viewpoints.
Clearly Meryl Dorey and The AVN have little regard for such an approach to reciprocation. Attempts to discuss scientific data or reach a compromise are attacked as biased, brainwashed or malignant. Mature discourse is impossible and clearly the censorship continues unabated.
Suppression of free speech is something Meryl Dorey excels at, not those who challenge her for evidence.