Footscray City Primary well rid of Steiner “education”

Every word and gesture in my teaching as a whole will be permeated with religious fervour…
Such things show us that instruction and education must not come from accumulated knowledge…
What we have educated in children very naturally in a priestly way – what is really a religious devotion – we must now be able to reawaken at a higher soul level during the second stage of life…

Rudolph Steiner The essentials of education pp. 65-69

I can scarcely agree with Jewell Topsfield writing in The Maribyrnong Weekly expressing concern that parents “… at Footscray City Primary have been left reeling…” after the Education Department moved on Thursday to sack the school council and dump the First Class cult driven Steiner (or Waldorf) “education” program. But then maybe I shouldn’t be surprised because Topsfield inexplicably misleads her readers with:

… the Steiner stream, [which] emphasises learning by play rather than formal classes in the early years of school.

Ah, the “early years of school”. And who could fault “play rather than formal classes”? But is that really what’s going on in Steiner’s secretive descendent program? In brief Steinerism (Anthroposophy cult) propagates the belief that human evolution marched on with survivors from a doomed and fictitious Atlantis who inexplicably made it to other continents.

Generations survived through Persian, Greek and Egyptian civilisations – or epochs – eventually into Germanic tribes which, maintaining their Atlantean heritage culminated in the early 20th century with the Aryan civilisation as the pinnacle of human evolution. Those that survived with Atlantean heritage have largely spiritual forces of body and soul that must be “reawakened”, or developed “in the right way”. It is here that Steinerism as a belief system, a religion, and Steiner Education become inseparably entwined.

In one of his Practical Advice to Teachers lectures Steiner offered:

The subjects you teach will not be treated in the way they have been dealt with hitherto. You will … have to use them as a means with which to develop the soul and bodily forces of the individual in the right way.

Steiner teachers don’t so much reject other races, as pity their clumsy inferiority. Asians whilst ancient and wise are vitiated and cannot invent anything. African races are improperly formed, youthful and childlike. How this goes down in history or biology class – or the “narrow homogenised way of teaching” – as one Steiner parent suggested I can only guess.

Childhood development must follow an analogue of evolution as it’s viewed by Steinerism. That this is done by teaching only further blends the mystical aspects with the purported educational aspects. Steiner Cult teachings divide childhood development into 0-7, 7-14 and 14-21 years.

Thus the “early years of school”, as Topsfield so innocently puts it, is also the “second stage of life”. Whereupon the little darlings should be “able to reawaken at a higher soul level religious devotion” that cult members have drilled into them “in a priestly way”. Of course this is no run-o-the-mill reawakening. Each of these stages is under the influence of either the animal, vegetable or mineral Kingdom. Directed by the Principles of thinking, feeling and willing. Controlled by one of three body parts – head, chest and limbs.

But please spare a thought for the cultists cum teachers who must juggle this with the three Aspects of the human being – body, spirit and soul – which are further sliced by thrice into astral, etheric and physical bodies. Just as well they are experts in the art of Spiritual Science. Or rather Steiner Spiritual Science. I don’t want to get out of tri-sequence here.

On top of this they must accept that conventional science is rubbish, homeopathy is real, diabetes is treated with bee stings because, “anthroposophically logically” honeybees like sugar, the body has energy channels and fields (akin to chi, meridians and chakra) that are treatable through more pseudoscience. They are influenced by karma which comes into being by Lucifers’ effects upon their astral body. Lucifer then evokes Ahriman who effects from without, “working upon and in us by means of all that confronts us externally”. Reincarnation is real.

With all this on their mind, teachers appear to forget to inform parents of Steiner’s key revelations that he could encounter a super-sensible reality. This super sensible chap was behind ordinary objects in the world but as “a so to speak divine being” could give Steiner knowledge acquired about these everyday objects. This knowledge was, most fortuitously, secrets of their activities and existence previously revealed to the super-sensible reality. Steiner seemed to take this in his stride and later ascended through etheric and astral consciousness, eventually arriving at the karmic level.

When he ascended to the karmic level Steiner must have had a better view than from Eureka Skydeck

The karmic level must be even better than the Eureka Skydeck because from up there Steiner saw an amazing spiritual panoramic view including all recorded spiritual events in the history of the whole wide world. He probably couldn’t believe his luck, and it turned out this history had a name. The Akashic Records. Akashic is Sanskrit for “Sky” or “aether”. Through these records he could access the known history of the earth. Not his “known history” but the real known history. There were some other nifty tidbits in there as well it turned out, gleaned from clairvoyance. If anything trumps scientific fact, it’s clairvoyance.

With clairvoyance “Anthroposophists can scientifically investigate mysteries in both the spiritual and physical realms”and this is scientifically proven, not an article of faith according to Steiner teachers. Steiner knew that islands “swim in the sea”, that the Earth (nor Venus and Mercury for that matter) does not orbit the sun, but “follows it” whilst Mars, Jupiter and Saturn precede it and clearly the heart does not pump blood like scientists say, but attracts it. Sleep is “exhaling the astral body… awakening is inhaling it”, the earth is a living being and much, much more. This can be discerned through “powerful clairvoyance”.

For Spiritual Anthroposophists (fellow cultists), evolution began on the fictitious continent of Lemuria which was situated where the Indian Ocean stubbornly seems to be today. Evolution was a highly spiritual process overseen by the likes of Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel and positively assisted by other spirit beings. The Christian Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost “is a reality deeply bound up with the whole evolution of the cosmos”, Steiner wrote in 1922. On Lemuria and Atlantis, Lucifer and Ahriman respectively were the bad guys who held back evolution. Spiritual evolution.

For the mythologists out there you’ll recognise Ahriman as a principle evil doer in the Persian religion of Zoroastrianism. According to Steiner in An Outline Of Occult Science:

These two figures — Lucifer and Ahriman — must be clearly distinguished from each other. For Lucifer is a Being who detached himself from the spiritual hosts of heaven after the separation of the sun, whereas Ahriman had already broken away before the separation of the sun and is an embodiment of quite different powers.

The site Overlords of Chaos – that New World Order extravaganza – has much the same in the second paragraph on the Ahrimanic Deception, the Atlantean epoch and destruction of Atlantis and some “insight” into mans ability to manipulate the forces of air and water on Lemuria. What these deviations from Steiner’s teachings and work show us is that Steiner did not break entirely new ground.

Rather, Steiner mixed junk science with ancient mythology that actually went very well with the Aryan supremacy theories of the early 1900’s and the German Nationalist Socialist movement of the 1920’s. Although I rush to add there is no link to Nazism. Steiner’s views on Aryan supremacy were spiritual, not material and benign not malevolent. His schools were closed down by the Nazi party. At the time many Anthroposophists in Germany headed to Switzerland. Dornach, Switzerland was the location of 26 of Steiner’s 38 fabled Esoteric Lessons, allowing entrance into his First Class Cult. Hitler did persecute Theosophists, Freemasons, and Rosicrucians also, arguably as surety against threats to Nazi rule.

Steiner was accused by Hitler of being a tool of the Jews. Other sources claim he was murdered by the Thule Society. Nonetheless, there were secret lodges and occult societies aplenty in Germany in the early 1920’s. The secrecy of Steiner’s First Class Cult happenings is demonstrably impervious even today, though online texts exist (sorry about the eye zap). But persecution and quaint secrecy relate exclusively to the past. Today the realities of multiculturalism have had an eroding impact on attendee genealogy, if not Steiner philosophy.

Spiritual teachings include the belief that Lucifer caused a volcanic destruction of Lemuria ending the Lemurian epoch. The strongest survived and settled on fabled Atlantis. Here they developed a superior and intuitive grasp of the environment and speech. As hinted at above, their nemesis here was Ahriman who sought to lure them toward the material from the spiritual and intuitive. Still today criticism of a material understanding of the world or education remains and plays a major role as to why parents have little say in their childs’ education. Put bluntly, Steiner education is about stomping out critical thought before it takes hold.

As Roger Rawlings writes in My Experience As A Waldorf Student, about a discussion with his Steiner teacher:

Once he asked me whether he should fire the school’s Latin teacher, and he quickly added “Don’t think about it with your brain”—I should give an instinctive response, not a considered reply. (Which raises the question, what organ should be used for thinking, if not the brain?)

Whilst Steiner’s notions on the linguistic meaning of speech are insightful, valid and at times fascinating, the religious and mystical overtones of his teaching are inescapable. From his first Practical Advice For Teachers lecture:

We could ask why these things are as yet not included in science, even though they offer real practical help. The reason is that we are still working out what is necessary for the fifth post-Atlantean age, especially in terms of education. If you accept that speech in this sense indicates something inward in the vowels and something external in the consonants, you will find it very easy to create images for the consonants.

You will no longer need the pictures I will give you in the next few lectures; you will be able to make your own and establish an inner connection with the children. This is much better than merely adopting an outer image. In this way we recognize speech as a relationship between the human being and the cosmos. On our own as human beings, we would merely remain astonished, but our relationship with the cosmos invokes sounds from our astonishment.

Speaking of making sounds from astonishment. During Atlantean times man could command the creative forces of plant (vegetable), animal and mineral kingdoms, which is mirrored in Steiner Education of children – perhaps your children – today. It was Ahriman the second distinct incarnation of evil, who gradually misled some inhabitants of Atlantis to misuse the power of Earth and Water which led to the divine powers of Nature flooding Atlantis in a particularly nasty storm. So it was that the Atlantean epoch ended and the Persian, Egyptian, Indian, Hebrew, etc epochs followed, right up until the Germanic epoch.

Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy is a religion in every way and should not be tolerated in a serious education system. Fixation with the numbers three and seven is plainly religious. Avoiding the wearing of dark colours is a Steiner religious expression relating to dark forces and the dark side of humanity. The “play” we hear of in place of “lessons” is nothing of the sort. It is designed to avoid structure, reasoning, choice, calculating cause and effect, or indeed any materially oriented activity.

Rather it’s a primitive “play” to reinforce the supposed intuitive correlates to the latent Atlantean self and thus “reawaken” the Atlantean powers as dictated by this religious cult. The most famous are the watery paint blobs kids churn out. Designed to expunge the thought, care and even correction needed to apply straight lines and geometric thinking that children develop with traditional drawing, painting helps to tap into the “forces” of body and soul.

As you may have noticed selling an evidence base for this hanky panky is a big ask. Showing a bit of flare even Scientologists must admire, Melbourne’s Rudolf Steiner School dodges Australian Government guidelines. Although controversial, all schools are to make publically available the performance of their students. This includes the percentage of students meeting reading, writing, spelling and numeracy skills for years 3, 5, 7 and 9. Amongst a cornucopia of feelgood cuddly wuddly spiritual warmth, the Rudolf Steiner School response (item 6) is:

As 98% of parents chose to remove their children from participation in these tests, it did not allow for a large enough sample to be indicative of the School’s Performance. Therefore results are not available.

So what’s the score? Given all the above, Victorians can be grateful for the Education Department action in removing what I confidently predict (without any Steiner clairvoyance) was a school council heavily weighted in favour of psuedoscience and religion dressed up as education. Simple cult observance.

Children are fairly robust and can sort silly parental views from the real world with remarkable skill. Still, that there is such a strong and vibrant abuse of our education guidelines, thus Victorian children, played out in Steiner annexes and at the main campus in Warranwood is concerning. Perhaps the Department should extend its reach.

Clearly Steiner education is designed to propagate religious beliefs. Parents are given no say in their childrens’ “education” under the Steiner banner. Steiner School curricula cannot possibly comply with Government regulations. The inherent racism in Steiner’s teachings are manifest. We need to accept that Waldorf schools hide the truth of their extreme religion from education authorities and prospective recruits alike. In respect of the previous point Steiner Education is to be regarded as a cult.

Yet more specifically is the High Court definition of a religion given in Victoria October 27, 1983 during the Scientology case. Church of New Faith vs Commissioner of Pay-Roll Tax:

We would therefore hold that, for the purposes of the law, the criteria of religion are twofold: first, belief in a supernatural Being, Thing or Principle; and second, the acceptance of canons of conduct in order to give effect to that belief… Those criteria may vary in their comparative importance, and there may be a different intensity of belief or of acceptance of canons of conduct among religions or among the adherents to a religion. The tenets of a religion may give primacy to one particular belief or to one particular canon of conduct. [….]

According to this legal definition Steiner Education, which follows on from and is presented strictly as relevant to a system of belief as outlined above, is clearly a religion.

Steiner education is anti-science and certainly anti-critical thought. Anthroposophy itself offers a non evidence based, completely ineffective alternative to medicine. The inherent dangers of these practices and the thinking it nurtures are well documented. To allow expansion of such illusory beliefs and high risk conduct under the watch of any Education Department, state or federal, is patently irresponsible.

More so, the volume of work produced by Rudolph Steiner goes far beyond belief and ritual to a universal and “cosmic” world view that at it’s heart is demonstrably void of any grounding in reality whatsoever. It is fantasy. Our education system should teach fantasy as fantasy, not permit our corridors of learning to be used for the telling of fables palmed off as fact. The growth of this new age cult belief in adults is at variance to, and an unwelcome intrusion upon, the natural development and educational needs of children.

Any parent who spends some time understanding the purpose of Steiner Education would no doubt, to borrow Jewell Topsfield’s phrase, be left reeling.

Meryl Dorey caught out lying (again) by her own words

After yesterday’s hysteria from Meryl Dorey about “rabid anti-vaccine safety (cough) press”, to describe accurate reporting about her antivaccination lobbying, AVN fans must be much happier with a piece from Lismore’s Northern Star.

It goes very easy on the illegal money raising tricks and public health damage we know and love from the Australian Vaccination Network. However, in a nice surprise it confirms a scandalous grab for money from businesses to help the AVN in it’s civil action against the HCCC. The piece, Vaccine group aims to win out West includes:

The NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) revoked the AVN’s licence to fundraise as a charity last year after a warning from the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) that its website contained information that was “misleading and incorrect”.

The then gaming and racing minister said the group “breached charitable fundraising laws and potentially misled the public” and was no longer permitted to accept charitable donations. The AVN launched a civil suit against the commission in the NSW Supreme Court which is due to begin on November 9 in Sydney.

“We are hopeful of winning on the grounds that the complaint against us was not valid and that the HCCC failed to carry out a proper investigation,” Ms Dorey said.

The AVN had had to depend on donations from members since the OLGR ruling, but its barrister in the civil action was acting on a pro bono basis, she said.

Pro bono eh? Well that immediately calls into question the fate of pledges called for by Meryl Dorey in August 2010. There has been no public announcement from the AVN that donations are not needed. Nor has there been any clear and concise deliberation on the fate of monies donated to and collected by the AVN. This was the case with the raising of almost $12,000 to place a fictitious advertisement in a magazine, and also with the raising of another $12,000 to assist a family “on the run from Hepatitis B vaccination”. Money the family never saw but a story – a lie – which Meryl Dorey still tells to this day along with falsely claiming to have helped a family in QLD.

The AVN has helped not one family in this way. Of course these scams are dwarfed by the money raised through lying to members about placing material in Bounty Bags, given to new mothers. Money was raised but no material produced. So the OLGR has very good reason to revoke the charity licence of a fraudster. You can read up on the court action to date, and how Dorey’s own arrogance actually brought about far worse condemnation from the HCCC than the initial request for transparency on antivaccination status.

Which brings us back to an outrageous email to members in August, 2010. It’s a bumper edition of lies, conspiracies and demonstrable deceit, interspersed with delusions of grandeur. Under the heading Urgent Update – what is happening with the AVN? Dorey goes on a long winded rant of persecution, promises and piffle. Including [bold mine]:

After discussions with our legal advisers, we have been told that there is one chance for us to overcome the push to shut us down – and it is far from 100% even if we are successful.

In speaking with many other organisations and seeking out the best possible legal advice, we have discovered that this is not the first time the HCCC has stepped outside of its jurisdiction to persecute a non-profit organisation. There is another group who was in our situation less than a decade ago. They fought against the HCCC  – all the way to the Supreme Court. And they won! It cost them $150,000 – but they got every cent back and more because the court found that the HCCC had acted outside of its jurisdiction when they tried to prosecute this organisation.

As I said, we will not seek donations from our members – so please don’t worry about donating as an individual. If you have a business however, and are in a position to donate a larger amount – say $10,000 to $20,000 – and this donation can be given as sponsorship so it will be tax-deductible, then we want to know about it.

We are not asking you to give us your money at this point in time. Like we did when we had our large fund-raiser earlier this year, we are only asking for pledges. If we get enough pledges to get this action going (and we need a minimum of $100,000 – $150,000), then we will go for it. We will NOT give up if we are given the means to fight. I’m in this until the bitter end if businesses will support me, as is the rest of our incredibly dedicated committee.

“Push to shut us down”? Paranoid much or just misleading readers? All the HCCC asked for was an admission that the group is anti-vaccine and that their advice is not to be taken as medical advice. Today we have a bit more clarity through which to view this piece. On day one in court it was immediately established that Dorey was most certainly within HCCC jurisdiction. Most curious however is this “other group” who fought against the HCCC.

In Meryl Dorey’s trouble with the truth part 3 – Lies and Fraud on page 55, Ken McLeod highlights Dorey’s three comparisons to the HCCC supposedly stepping “outside of it’s jurisdiction to persecute…”. Quoting Peter Bowditch it’s shown that the Walker Inquiry was not “into the HCCC” as claimed by Dorey. The investigation into Graeme Reeves had nothing to do with “those in the natural health area” and Reeves was in fact deregistered. That finally leaves this mysterious group who defeated the HCCC in the Supreme Court NSW getting back their money “and more”. McLeod writes:

I and some lawyers have gone through the Supreme Court Case Law database, and there is no mention of such a case. So, this claim is pure invention.

Which is certainly Meryl Dorey’s form. Fiction. Now that she has publically admitted to pro bono defence one would hope in the interests of transparency that a full disclosure of any pledges given, collected or declined will be made as equally public. Yet this email yields quite a lot more fiction. For example:

And we are certainly not giving up. We have a lot of work to do and an awful lot of plans that are nearing fruition. For instance, we are planning on sending a delegation to Canberra for the next sitting of Parliament (when we actually have a government in place, that is) to request the following changes to Federal legislation:

1- A requirement for all health practitioners to report vaccine reactions to the TGA when these reactions are reported to them by parents.2- A requirement to reveal the vaccination status of those who contract ‘vaccine preventable’ illnesses.3- The funding of a study using the already-available information from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register’s (ACIR’s) database which currently tracks who is vaccinated and who is not.

Completely false. The AVN has to my knowledge not lobbied Parliament beyond urging members to write letters or lying to senators about unprovable vaccine reactions. Certainly the notion of “sending a delegation to Canberra for the next sitting of Parliament”, is close to hilarious. But there’s more:

In addition, we have made contact (finally!) with labs and researchers overseas who are willing to work with us on testing the currently-licensed Australian vaccines for the presence of heavy metals and other ingredients such as vegetable oils. If these results come back as we expect they will, this information may well blow the currently-held beliefs in the safety of modern vaccines out of the water.

Again false. The AVN has no contact with overseas researchers or labs and no-one is willing to work with them to test anything but the vacuum of truth to similar claims. The money needed to pursue such a venture is extraordinary and this lie is designed as a gap filler for the very same money raising scam they have pulled since the early 1990’s. The so-called independent testing has been imminent for almost two decades and it’s high time Dorey abandoned this pie in the sky waffling. I’ll gladly accept any input to prove this wrong.

Dorey also floats off into some quite bizarre musings:

You may not be aware of this, but the persecution of the AVN has started a tidal wave which is reaching out to all other natural therapies and therapists. Many of these organisations have not wanted to be involved with our group though many of their individual members have been long-time supporters. Let’s face it – this is a very controversial issue and as you can see by what’s happened with me and the rest of the AVN – when you raise your profile as being a pro-information advocate, you are likely to get knocked down in a very ugly way.

So for 17 years, natural therapy organisations have used our resources and directed patients to us for help and support, but in general, they, and many therapists have not taken a stand on this issue.

A tidal wave of persecution? Rubbish. The Wellness Industry is thriving in Australia and in no small part thanks to the paper tiger stand of regulatory authorities. All kicked off because Mother AVN is in trouble? Well that scarcely explains Cure All homeopath, Fran Sheffield snubbing her nose at the TGA and Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) after a complaint was upheld on November 26th, 2009 as reported here by ABC Lateline.

For 17 years the AVN has had “patients” directed to them for help and support by natural therapists? I doubt it. The position of the Australian Natural Therapies Association is in support of conventional vaccination. As the CRP reported in upholding a complaint against false claims made about the efficacy of homeopathic immunisation – a favourite of the AVN:

The Executive Director of the Australian Natural Therapies Association has stated that no properly qualified natural therapist would recommend homoeopathic ‘immunisation’ as an alternative to conventional immunisation.

Despite claiming yesterday “I always say to people to go to their doctor and get information”, it seems to be a problem as the email continues under, “What has the result of this been?“:

The National Registration Board of the CAA is trying to put through a policy which will require that Chiropractors not be allowed to discuss vaccination with their patients. Instead, they will be required to direct parents to a GP for answers to any questions they may have.

There is a bloc in the WA Parliament that is trying to get homeopathy outlawed due to one woman’s choice to use homeopathic remedies to treat her cancer – a treatment which ultimately failed – but that was her choice. The 100 Australians who die every day on chemotherapy are not considered in this equation – but one woman who dies whilst using a natural therapy is a reason to destroy a 200-year old evidence-based therapy that is in competition with allopathy.

And every day now, there are more and more supplement manufacturers, suppliers of herbal medicines, Chinese herbal medicine producers and others who provide healthy, natural products, who are being targeted, not allowed to advertise their products or services and shut down by the TGA and their minions. The AVN has always been there for these groups – we and our members have supported you. Now, it’s time to see if you have the intestinal fortitude to stand tall and support not only the AVN’s but your own continued survival.

Stop, Stop, Stop! Dorey goes on to ask for $1,000 from any of these businesses she has “always been there for”. Those that must have the “intestinal fortitude” to hand over money to help out the AVN and thus, save themselves. The size of this woman’s ego and delusional narcissism is breath taking.

Dorey is actually claiming that her unnecessary fighting of the HCCC request to have a sign posted on her website and a public warning they issued, which she herself began civil action over is:

  • Persecution
  • An orchestrated push to shut them down
  • Media, advocacy and government plotting
  • Reason for other businesses to pledge large amounts of money
  • The beginning of the end for the Wellness Industry
  • The catalyst for the CAA Regulation Board to prevent chiropractors discussing vaccination
  • The reason WA parliamentarians are concerned at the lack of regulation of homeopathy as evidenced by Penelope Dingle’s death
  • Increased targetting of natural product and therapy providers who are being “shut down by the TGA and their minions”
  • Reason for small providers to hand over money to Dorey for “your own continued survival”
  • And quite a bit more besides…

Fortunately most decisions are made with neurons surrounded by the skull not the intestine, no matter how fortified. The crucial point here is this cost is a cost Dorey alone brought upon herself. She could have done what most other suspect and shonky providers do and simply ignore the request. The HCCC can realistically do nothing beyond the public health warning.

Far from shutting people down, “the TGA and their minions” are simply ignored. Fran Sheffield of Homeopathy Plus responded to a CRP request to post a retraction of false advertising claims that homeopathy could prevent diptheria, smallpox, polio, influenza, measles, pertussis, rubella, mumps, meningococcal disease, etc with:

“Well obviously I’m disagreeing with them and that’s why the retraction hasn’t gone up”

The real question is why has Dorey chosen to self sabotage and why does she assume it’s the responsibility of everyone else to solve this for her? Her terrifying claims about the TGA are close to insulting. Fran Sheffield is not alone. 80 of 82 complaints pertaining to the Advertising Code this year were upheld by the TGA. The two that weren’t were from competing companies.

As written in the recent Auditor Generals performance audit into the regulation of complementary medicine:

The size of penalties attached to criminal offences may also mean that it is seen as not in the public interest to proceed. This view is consistent with legal advice provided to the Advertising Unit about specific breaches.

The TGA has also observed that “prosecution is currently the only available option where administrative requests fail to achieve compliance”. There have never been any cases that have been referred for prosecution action and accepted. As a consequence, the prospect of using prosecution action against noncompliant behaviour, and as a deterrent, seems limited.

In 2010 a DoHA review found 90% of products reviewed were found to be non-compliant with regulatory requirements. The infamous 31 products selected at random yielded 68 breaches;

  • 20 medicines had labelling issues such as noncompliance with labelling requirements and/or breaches which may mislead consumers.
  • 12 included incomplete and/or inappropriate information on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).
  • 22 were found to have manufacturing and/or quality issues.
  • 14 did not have adequate evidence to substantiate claims made about the medicines.

No-one is being “shut down” by Australia’s appalling feather touch of the TGA. More so, Meryl Dorey’s claimed position as being the head domino is some cascade of Wellness Industry persecution is demonstrably false and a product of her own ego, cunning and imagination. It’s high time Meryl Dorey stopped crying persecution and took responsibility for her own conduct.

The real victims are the innocent children, babies and parents who suffer from the consequences of decreasing vaccination.

The Rabid Truth and Meryl Dorey’s Failed Vaccine Myth

Meryl Dorey has chucked a wobbly over an article written by Medical Editor for The West Australian, Cathy O’Leary.

Entitled Anti-vaccine lobby back in W.A.the piece is factual and balanced. Which at this point in Dorey’s career heralds disaster for the flat earthers. Today the truth includes a little analogy about vaccination being rape with full penetration and losing charity status for withholding transparency about non medical and antivax information. Schadenfreude aside, what did Cathy write?

An anti-vaccination group that sparked a political row in Perth last year is back in WA charging parents $15 for its public forums. The Australian Vaccination Network held meetings in Busselton and Perth this week and will hold others in Jurien Bay and Geraldton next week. Last year, the Uniting Church in Perth refused to let the NSW group use one of its halls and the State Library came under fire when it let the group use one of its buildings instead.

The NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing also stripped the group, based at Bangalow near Byron Bay, of its charity status after health authorities found its information was biased and said its website should state that its claims were not medical advice.

Spokeswoman Meryl Dorey attracted criticism this year when she likened a court order for a child to be vaccinated to rape. She wrote on the group’s Facebook site it was “assault without consent and with full penetration” but was forced to apologise after some of her own supporters found the comments offensive. [….]

Dorey summoned her flying monkeys on Facebook and set them to work:

More rabid anti-vaccine safety press from… I would think that the hundreds of families whose children have been hospitalised because of a dangerous flu vaccine might have something to say… Please comment on this page and write a letter to….

Wait, wait, wait. “Hundreds of families whose children have been hospitalised”? Really? This didn’t sound right. I was at the meetup of Vaccine Myths on Tuesday morning and can’t remember seeing any Myth or Lie by the name of Hundreds of hospitalisations or anything remotely similar. I’d been handed a card from head myth, Sir Vaccines Cause Autism. Could he help? I hesitantly dialled the number. A very pleasant voice with a British accent answered.

Sir Vaccines Cause Autism speaking. How may I be of service?”

Nervously I ventured, “Er… Vaccines Cause Autism, you probably don’t remember me but I met you…”.

“Nonsense! Paul isn’t it? I’ve a rather thrifty ear for voices, old chap. My what a pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect to hear from you until my next incarnation. What can I do for you?”

“Well, I just wanted to check up on the likelihood of a certain porky pie Meryl’s spreading on Facebook about…”,

“About the hundreds of hospitalisations following adverse reactions to the flu vaccine in April 2010, yes old boy?”, he sighed. “Hmmmm, you’re not the first to call. Not the first at all. It’s an absolute disgrace Paul and Dorey is making us all look ridiculous. There’s no-one here by that name at all. Firstly, there appears to have been a total of 23 hospitalisations, reported in WA Today. Twenty Three! Then the ABC reported that 45 children were taken to hospital. This doesn’t mean all were admitted, but I’m happy to go with 45. More to the point it was reported that there were just over 60 children in total who had an adverse reaction across the entire state. My office has received no applications for any new Mythology titles referring to WA and there’s no way we’d approve any new Lies or Myths without prior telling, reporting, retelling and debate…. Just a minute… Oh, Vaccines Contain Mercury says Hello dear fellow, and that he wants to launch a coup. He’s very keen to pass that on.”

“Give him my regards”, I replied. “I noticed he doesn’t trust Meryl. Smart chap. What’s this about approval… do you have an actual process?”

“Of course dear boy, of course. We don’t approve any Myth or Lie – no matter how small – unless they’ve been printed in the media as or within a story or opinion piece, brought up in debates at least 100 times, repeated in social media, online forums or talk-back radio, used in logical fallacies almost daily and make good sense to Mike Adams. Only then do we forward the application to Castle Cockamaymee where the committee meets to discuss the merits of the Myth. We do background checks to make sure there’s no truth at all and all Myths undergo a Working with Idiots check. Occasionally we make some exceptions for material on whale.to. Of course there’s a six month probationary period. Then we consider our Myths fully qualified.

“In fact we have a new Lie on this trip. My Uncle Went Into Hospital For Cancer Treatment And Died Perfectly Healthy or just “Uncle“, as we call him. Meryl has tried him a few times. Very funny chap, very funny. We get a lot of laughs. In cases like this, when Lies can’t even trust the liar, the committee looks into the background of identical Lies being told by others, the size of the Burning Stupid it gives off, and the amount of hilarity generated in evidence based circles. We also calculate the probability of future use and growth based on other factors, such as (in this case) the rise of Mythical Natural Cancer Treatments, use of the Lie by identities like Peter Dingle, distrust of conventional medicine, support from other lies like Medicines Are Toxic and the history of the Lie spontaneously arising in unrelated areas. Of course, Dorey’s Lies are quite pathetic and we’ve never approved a single one Ipso Facto. Perish the thought. Uncle made it through because he has a robust presence across the globe already. In effect Dorey – as always – was simply using him. Does that help at all old bean?”

“That’s tremendous”, I replied. “So I presume all’s going well with the trip apart from this?”

“Well, we can only try”, he answered. “Stiff upper lip and all. We may well have never ever existed, but we do have standards. This type of behaviour is typical from Dorey and it’s exactly what some of the lads predicted. It reflects badly on all of us and shows how little respect Meryl Dorey has for a good, well constructed, fully qualified Myth. Counter-intuitively, we thrive on Burning Stupidity and Dorey’s full of it. We all feel terrific! Our P.R. guys are working flat out, so only time will tell. Anyway dear chap I’m rather busy. There’s a confused looking mother nearby so I’ll need to pop over and completely terrify her. Man I love this job, what? I’ll email over a link to the W.A. Today and ABC pieces from April 23rd 2010. Just a minute… Oh, Vaccines Contain Mercury now says to say Goodbye. Hope I’ve been of some help”.

“Awesome, Sir Vaccines Cause Autism. That’s been very helpful. Hope to catch up again”, I replied. “And congratulations on the Knighthood”, I added.

“Oh, jolly good thank you. Always glad to help Paul, And remember… Vaccines really do cause autism. Bwahahahaha”.

With that he was gone. Shortly after his email arrived, with the promised links to the articles. Flu vaccination ban goes national after fever, convulsions in children:

Seasonal flu vaccinations across Australia for children under five have been suspended after 23 children in Western Australia were admitted to hospital with convulsions following their injections. One child, aged 1, remains in a coma in a Perth hospital. [….] More than 60 children around the state may have had adverse reactions to the vaccine, including fevers, vomiting and febrile convulsions – a type of fit brought on by a high fever. [….]

He [WA’s chief public health officer Tarun Weeramanthri] said that since this year’s vaccine program started a month ago, 23 children under the age of 10 had presented to Princess Margaret Hospital with convulsions related to vaccinations they had received less than 12 hours before.

Another 40 convulsion cases had been detected in the past month in children at other metropolitan hospitals and in Bunbury. Doctors are now working to determine how many of those children received the flu vaccine. Aside from the convulsions, affected children were suffering fever and vomiting within 12 hours of their flu shots.

The ABC reported on the same day:

The Western Australian Government has suspended all flu vaccinations for children under five while it investigates a spike in admissions to Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth. The Health Minister, Kim Hames, says 45 children have been taken to hospital suffering high temperatures and febrile convulsions after receiving the vaccination.

Well there it was. In black and white. Dorey’s lie wasn’t even a real lie. It was just a Doreyism. A possible maximum of 45 hospitalisations morphed into “hundreds”. Much like the 21 Vaccine Injury Compensation Program cases for encephalitis and similar injuries magically became “hundreds, possibly thousands” of cases of autism when talking on KOFM radio, last May. I wonder what else Cathy O’Leary had reported:

“I always say to people to go to their doctor and get information but get the other side as well so they can make a real decision about whether to vaccinate,” [Meryl Dorey] said.

Well that’s complete bollocks right there. Dorey never tells people any such thing about visiting doctors. Oh well, I hope people at least take that advice. It certainly isn’t hard to see why The Mythical Realm demand such high standards of their Vaccine Myths.

Australian Medical Association WA president Dave Mountain said the group was trying to whip up anti-vaccine hysteria again. “They are zealots who pick and choose bits of information to make it look like they’re presenting real evidence,” he said.

This led to parents refusing to get children and themselves vaccinated, which affected everyone, particularly the most vulnerable who benefited from herd immunity and, in that respect, they were a danger.

That’s about the size of it. The AVN is certainly a danger. That Dorey claims to have scammed up $1350 for a night of fear mongering is pretty galling. Such as claiming there were “hundreds” of hospitalised children in Perth following the Fluvax debacle. Or as WA’s AMA president Dave Mountain said, “They are zealots who pick and choose bits of information to make it look like they’re presenting real evidence.”

Of course some of Dorey’s servants obeyed her command to harass The West Australian for the quality journalism that may very well have saved children’s lives. Everything written is simply factual but Dorey, outside of her censorship comfort zone, needed her minions to attack the source, not the evidence. I understand AVN members wrote to The West Australian unjustly accusing it of seeking to achieve unquestioning support for vaccination and of purposely misrepresenting members of the AVN. It was suggested certain information, perhaps Ms. Dorey’s claim of vaccination being “rape with full penetration” was only there to encourage readers toward an unfavourable view of the AVN.

The hypocrisy here is breath taking. Dorey told AVN members she’d been contacted by Cathy O’Leary and told her of attendance numbers and how attendees were not being told AVN propaganda “of the downsides” of vaccines by their doctors. Remembering that the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission found the AVN “quotes selectively from research to suggest that vaccination may be dangerous”, it’s not surprising doctors aren’t lying to their patients. Yet Dorey had another falsehood up her sleeve.

Eye witness reports suggested a handful of people attended at Floreat. Dorey herself described the turn out as “smallish”. Still The West Australian was duped by Meryl Dorey and reported:

About 90 people, mostly parents of young children, had attended a forum in Floreat on Tuesday night

Strangely no AVN member complained about that error. Perhaps the only actual error in the story. The Big Pharma conspiracy was raised by one supporter suggesting that The West Australian sought to profit from pharmaceutical companies. AVN member and antivax PhD candidate Judy Wilyman was particularly misguided. Writing to the editor of The West Australian, but mistakenly emailing a copy to just under 100 recipients and thus the internet itself, this letter took on a life of it’s own.

I have a terrible memory but remember spotting it on a website, or public email list or one of those ever changing Facebook threads. Either way it’s here now and that’s all that really matters. I guess I could paraphrase her PhD supervisor Dr. Brian Martin regarding the privacy of a third party when he emailed me in August. “Was it marked confidential?”.

Wilyman launches into conspiracy thinking and blame, giving responsibility for truth a wide berth. It included:

The West Australian has stooped to a new low in investigative journalism… Perpetuating misinformation to achieve the desired response from its readers (unquestioning support for vaccination) is irresponsible reporting. [….] …the name of the AVN is the Australian Vaccination Network and the message this organization is promoting is freedom of choice in vaccination. The editor has purposely misrepresented the parents and health professionals who are members of this organization.

In addition, the article includes unnecessary information that has been used to influence the opinion of readers. [….] Unlike the West Australian, the primary interest of consumers is children’s health and not the profits that can be made from the sponsors of newspapers such as pharmaceutical companies. [….]

Why is the media unable to report accurately about the consumer groups who are asking valid questions about vaccination – a medical procedure. If this is an evidence-based policy and if the government is presenting all the known science on its website, it would not be necessary for parents to form organizations to inform themselves of the science that is not being presented to support this policy.

In the interests of democracy it is time for the West Australian to demonstrate some quality journalism and find out why an increasing number of educated parents are not choosing to vaccinate.

Investigative journalism? Science? Anyway… So The West Australian is in on the Big Pharma Myth? The answer to Brian Martin‘s student’s last query is clear. These groups deal in pseudoscience and deception, placing the health of our community and the lives of children at risk. Only last year Wilyman referred to media reporting of three infant fatalities from influenza as designed to “coerce” readers into vaccination, and that the media “run fear campaigns”. Speaking of “science” she quoted from a hundred year old text and referred to much older material, then rattled off the standard vaccination myths. The ones that science has debunked time and again.

Wilyman told her audience at the State Library in Perth last year.

We’re being educated by the media who have pharmaceutical interests

Really? This is what it comes down to time and again. There’s no evidence to refute vaccine efficacy or their success in changing our quality and length of life. So it must be a plot. Judy Wilyman works hard to mislead Australians. Consider the misleading poster below on Coercive and Mandatory Immunisation. Despite the sub-heading How Ethical is The Policy? and Wilyman’s accusations above including “Perpetuating misinformation to achieve the desired response”, “unnecessary information that has been used to influence the opinion of readers” and intentional misrepresentation the reality is far different. Without vaccination of health care workers patients would be at risk, workers would be at risk and institutions would be at risk of law suits from those who catch a vaccine preventable disease.

Judy Wilyman’s abuse of Murdoch University Logo

Ethics? Judy Wilyman did not have the permission of Murdoch University to use their logo. Then writing an Investigate before you vaccinate brochure for the AVN once again used the good name of Murdoch University. Little wonder she is now at Wollongong University supported by AVN advocate and defender, Brian Martin. Finally despite the support above, travelling interstate and presenting antivaccination material with, writing for and being an active supporter of the AVN, Wilyman publically distances herself from the AVN, denying membership. Perhaps this is true but in reality Judy Wilyman does more to support the AVN than any “member” in history.

As the NSW HCCC found quite justly after investigating The Australian Vaccination Network:

The Commission’s investigation established that the AVN:

  • 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.

On this basis, 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 Commission recognises that it is important for there to be debate on the issue of vaccination. However, the AVN provides information that is inaccurate and misleading.

There is no “educated”, informed or as Wilyman claims, “freedom of choice”. Parents are making the mistake not to vaccinate because they are misled by the lies and myths told by antivaccination lobbyists. As the HCCC also stated in the Public Warning, the lies peddled by the AVN such as that presented in W.A. and advanced by Wilyman herself:

…may result in members of the public making improperly informed decisions about whether or not to vaccinate, and therefore poses a risk to public health and safety.

So, the AVN ilk were true to form. Information that is factual and documented was deemed conspiratorial, misleading and wrong. Information that is false was considered fine by AVN supporters. The conspiracy and persecution twaddle is designed to justify why these dangerous risks to public health and innocent children behave as though above the law.

For all her Flying Monkey urging to comment, Dorey’s Facebook command appeared to be quite unsuccessful.

That’s some comfort.

Vaccination: Making the right choice seminar with Meryl Dorey

A strange scene unfolded in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday in a run down hanger on an abandoned air strip just outside of Bungalow NSW. Meryl Dorey was preparing for her Perth seminar, Vaccination: Making the right choice.

All night trucks and vans had been delivering the Myths and Lies Meryl would be using in Perth. Coffins, boxes and sarcophagi had been brought in and stacked strategically around the hanger. Containing the non existent and the long dead mummified remains of the most faithful vaccination myths, all that remained was to bring them back to life with the power of Burning Stupid.

Clad in hobnailed boots and a paramilitary uniform Dorey held aloft a copy of Living Wisdom from August 2008 filled with requests for donations to a fictitious Fighting Fund. With such blatant lies that had worked so well, the Burning Stupid crackled and sparked upon the pages of this near sacred text. Dorey intoned the Restoration Spell at times flinging open a page with an ad’ for colloidal silver or immune boosting herbs, while the heavens boomed and thundered. The few journalists who had bothered to come crept a bit closer.

Double, double toil and trouble, I recall ye myths back from argument rubble

For we shall say again with bland impunity, That vaccination gives not immunity

Toxins and metals. They’ve never been tested, And natural disease has never been bested

Autism, cot death, high pitched crying, And fetal cells with our interminable lying

Sanitation, fresh food and clean running water, is all ye need for viral slaughter

And we shall charge them an entrance fee, To claim all vaccines contain MERCURY!

As Dorey intoned “Mercury” a loud crack rang throughout the hanger and the heavens clouded over with menacing clouds. At the same time the lid shot off one of the coffins and a very dead very mummified corpse sat up clad in some type of armour clutching a sword. Reporters recognised him from the battle of Castle Mamamia as the powerful Myth Vaccines Contain Mercury.

He glared at Meryl and said, “I thought we agreed last time we’d change it to Sanitation, fresh food and clean running water, is all ye need or all ye oughta? I mean, seriously who’s gunna keep fallin’ for vaccine slaughter? Even the allopaths don’t go that far, not to mention treading on the toes of Natural Immunity. You just wait ’till Improved Living Standards comes ’round and he’ll agree, you’ll see. I sometimes wonder if you even know what you’re doing woman. The parsnip lady would never go that far. I mean you are just so, so full of bollocks it staggers me and comin’ from a long dead myth that’s really sayin’ somethin’ that is. The idea is to lie to ’em not treat ’em like complete fools. An’ what’s with that last line? It makes me look responsible for stealing their hard earned money, an’ that’s your doin’ that is, not mine.

“I mean, we might be liars, murderers and bringers of pestilence but a man’s earnings are rightly his, an’ I ‘aint no thief, no Sir. An’ I suppose you’ll be asking for donations too eh? Yeah? Blimey you’re pathetic Dorey, just pathetic. Money, money, money. Got another Fighting Fund in the makings ‘ave we? Help ya out in court maybe? Ooooh. Aaaaah. They’re suppressing my right to speak. Whaaah. Yeah right. Forgotten where we’re headed today have we? You’re gunna parade us Lies and Myths up and down the Boulevard Centre in Perth with… what was it again..? Oh yeah, Impunity. Impunity!? Hardly suppression of the right to free speech Meryl, blimey. Just remember we made you Dorey, not the other way around. I’m going out for a reefer if anyone cares to join me”.

With that he headed for the doorway mimicking Dorey’s duck bum walk reciting her spell in a high pitched tone. Before Dorey could open her mouth a polite round of applause broke out from the ever increasing crowd of Mummy’s, Myths and Corpses roused from stasis in part by Dorey’s spell but perhaps more completely by Vaccines Cause Mercury‘s speech. After all, it had been a contentious issue this trip with many Lies and Myths voting against helping out Dorey at all.

Her self pity, cries of oppression, outright criminality and the inability to tolerate dissenting comments was enough in itself. Yet falling under the spell of this Brian Martin chap who was rorting the entire Vaccination Myth empire for his own gain with cowardly and underhanded tactics was an affront to chivalry. Now here, her prancing about in a paramilitary suit just seemed to confirm everything.

Always the quintessential gentleman with impeccable manners learned from his time at the Royal Free Hospital and within the pages of The Lancet Vaccines Cause Autism strode out from behind his sarcophagus. “Yes, yes we thank my good friend Vaccines Contain Mercury for the light entertainment. Always unpredictable after a long rest. But of course we thank our hostess for bringing us here, Ms. Meryl Dorey Australia’s foremost expert on vaccination”, he managed with a flourish which was met with muttering guffaws and the odd clap. Someone may have farted.

Vaccines Cause Autism shot a quick glare in the direction of the offending noise. Having taken the time for a quick snoop, he continued without missing a beat, “Now there’s coffee and tea towards the front, fresh sandwiches and wraps over to the side, vegetarian a bit further along and vaccinated infants and children hanging in cages above each table. Do keep in mind you have absolutely no effect on them so let’s try to not get sidetracked like the debacle over at Jim Carrey’s back in 2008. Any questions so far”?

“What’s that awful smell”?, asked Vaccines Haven’t Been Tested.

“I’m… I’m not feeling very well”, answered Improved Living Standards Wiped Out Vaccine Preventable Disease.

“No, that’s not it”, chimed in Vaccines Contain Toxins, “I can smell it too. It’s worse than that new Lie over there, My Uncle Went Into Hospital For Cancer Treatment And Died Perfectly Healthy – and he’s still decomposing”. Vaccines Cause Autism chatted quietly with Meryl for a moment.

“That’s Nimbin”, he announced. “Slight North Westerly breeze this morning chaps. Awfully sorry what, but let’s just get on with the task at hand. Tally Ho and all. We may be dead, decomposing and mummified but Nimbin residents have a power we can only dream of”. The crowd mumbled it’s grudging admiration. Vaccines Cause Disease giggled in his usual insane manner.

Without warning, Improved Living Standards collapsed. “Medic!”, screamed Meryl Dorey. No-one moved. The sound of crickets could be heard coming from the long grass outside. One of the Myths mumbled quietly to Dorey. “New Age Wellness Volunteers!”, she yelled. Suddenly the hanger was bustling. There was Reiki, Reflexology, Quantum Healing, Succussing, Diluting, Succussing, Diluting… and herbs. By golly there were herbs. Cries rose above the din. “Ear candles!”… “Acupuncture needles!”… “Positive vibes”… “Cosmic consciousness”…

“What’s wrong with him?” cried a homeopath.

“He doesn’t exist”, came the reply.

“Perfect!” responded the excited homeopath. “You”, he cried pointing at a Reiki guru with his chin. “Take this phial of nothing and dissolve it in this beaker of water with more nothing”.

“You just did that 1400 times already”, replied the Guru.

“Fool! It just looked like nothing. One day quantum physics will explain it, but we don’t have time to wait. Now pour, shake, succuss, empty and repeat 1000 times. Speed is of the essence”.

“Did someone call for essence?”, cried the Aromatherapist, who reporters confirm smelt absolutely gorgeous. They continued this way for an hour or more. Eventually some New Age weirdo looked up and explained. “It’s useless… it’s the Mamamia article. It’s been shared countless times on Facebook, emailed across the globe, retweeted again and again and again. With Hib vaccine success between 1993 and 2005 no-one believes in this Myth.

“Judy Wilyman does”, announced Dorey. “You know… PhD Judy!” The assembled crowd stared, blinked, shook their heads and sighed deeply. Improved Living Standards faded away to dust in the absence of any belief. Dorey tried hard but the possibility of profit and media attention filled her head.

During the futility of reviving a Myth the other Myths had backed away. This could happen to any of them. In fact, it regularly did. Which is why they remained partially optimistic. Hoping to brighten the mood Diseases Are Harmless looked at Vaccines Cause Autism. “Don’t you have something to say?”, he asked grinning suspiciously.

“Oh yes”, answered Vaccines Cause Autism. “A big welcome to our newest Lie, My Uncle Went Into Hospital For Cancer Treatment And Died Perfectly Healthy. He’s likely to get a run if things go quiet so make him feel at home”. A cheer went up and some back slapping ensued. All agreed their freshly decomposing friend would be best off known as just Uncle.

“Not that”, urged Diseases Are Harmless nodding at a shiny new ring on Vaccines Cause Autism’s finger. “Don’t be shy now”.

“Well, I wasn’t going to make a fuss…”. The crowd looked on expectantly and Vaccines Cause Autism was clearly embarrassed. “Oh well chaps if you insist. As vulgar as I find self promotion, I guess it’s in everyone’s interest… I was Knighted for services to the Realm of Mythology in sustaining the Power of The Burning Stupid. I suppose they reasoned if anyone was stupid enough to keep coming back time and again when he clearly doesn’t exist, then why not annoy him by making his name a bit longer”. A great cheer went up and arms, legs and heads were thrown into the air in celebration. A few verses of “For He’s A Jolly Good Myth” followed.

“Now, now”, Vaccines Cause Autism went on. “I myself argued there are much older myths more worthy of a title. Improved Living Standards for example is, or presently was, a generation older than I. Vaccines Contain Toxins was out and about terrifying innocent people back in the 1930’s with stories of puss and blood. Whilst Diseases Are Harmless is a senior amongst seniors”, he added raising his sword in a gentlemanly salute, ‘”Not to forget Vaccines Contain Mercury without whom I would never have gotten started. My old friend Vaccines Contain Monkey Kidney Cells also has quite a history. I say, Monk old chap what’s happened!?”

“I’m only half a myth these days lads”, replied Vaccines Contain Monkey Kidney Cells, crawling legless across the floor. “Never mind, I chip in where I can. The Parsnip woman mentioned me on 60 Minutes a while back. Most invigorating”.

“That’s the spirit that’s sustained me chaps! Not only is he a myth today, he’s never even existed. We should all take a leaf out of his book”, intoned Vaccines Cause Autism.

“Yes but you’ve done the most damage by far and been shown to not exist most thoroughly”, added Vaccines Haven’t Been Tested. “Even that law firm paid that no-longer-a-doctor chap who stood to gain by using you and a bum disorder to make money from so-called treatment and also filed patents for a mono-what’s it vaccine, has been crucified man. And the paper he fraudulated got with-tracted.”

“Ahem”, began Vaccines Cause Autism looking for all the world like a professor. “A few corrections. The ‘bum disorder’ or disorders you speak of are Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia and non-specific colitis, to be more accurate. The paper that was retracted from The Lancet was titled Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children and was indeed fraudulent. It is still cited as accurate by crackpots such as dear Meryl over there and adds considerably to my mythical powers as part of my hectic schedule entails being Vaccines Cause Pervasive Developmental Disorder In Children. Yes, the chap, Andrew Wakefield if I recall, did stand to make a great deal of money from keeping me captive to serve his own purposes and he did file a patent for a monovalent vaccine. A beastly man with an appalling ego, would you believe he is also worshipped by our friend Dorey who insists he will one day be vindicated?” Laughter.

“It’s all a bit academic now, this trivalent MMR vs monovalent shots business. I say, hard to believe I began my first assignments as MMR Causes Autism, what? Ghastly chaps, just ghastly. Imagine if all I’d achieved was to scare people into thinking just one lot of shots caused autism, and the only one to benefit would have been a stuffy British crook hired by a stuffy British legal team. My powers of course, have since expanded exponentially – especially since I joined up with you chaps under the Realm Of Mythology. I could not have done it without my best and most loyal friend, Vaccines Contain Mercury, who is just as entitled to a knighthood as any Myth I’ve known. No braver Myth would I choose to have at my side. Only after years together was I able to expand from MMR causes autism, to the number of shots causes autism to now… well, pretty much any vaccine causes autism. Ha! Three cheers for human stupidity!”. The crowd cheered.

“Did I hear my name?”, came a muffled response from Vaccines Contain Mercury who had found the refreshment table and was shovelling in sandwiches by the handful, enjoying them immensely. “We can’t take any contraband so…”, he shrugged his shoulders, handing out what was left of his stash to his fellow Myths.

“Oh, rather! Just saying what a loyal and fast friend and Myth you’ve been dear chap”, Vaccines Cause Autism replied.

Always quick on his feet, Vaccines Contain Mercury winked, “I see you’ve told them then… Sir”, he grinned. Then, “Well I say lads, he should be havin’ none of this Dorey woman who would hand our new knight of The Realm back to Wakefield in handcuffs if she could. They’re just usin’ us. We always cop a decent hiding in her hands. They can’t frame their arguments to keep us going for long. And they’re weird. Who’s that Gollum looking guy on a leash by Dorey’s side?”

“That’s Andrew MacDonald”, quietly offered Diseases Are Harmless. “Keep ya distance. Mad as two hens on a honeymoon. He’s the guy who wrote to parents who’d lost a baby to a vaccine preventable disease, saying… get this, that God chose the baby for this purpose. The baby hadn’t been vaccinated, but he starts using us myths in this rambling abuse”.

“What the…?”, Vaccines Haven’t Been Tested cursed as Vaccines Cause Disease shrieked and leaped about on all fours ready to devour MacDonald. Even My Child’s Immune System Will Be Overwhelmed, usually a timid pathetic little myth was on his feet swearing and peering toward this Andrew MacDonald character. Voices were raised in agreement that God was off limits. Unprovable either way. Known for their tolerance, Vaccine Myths themselves are multi-faith and of no faith.

Diseases Are Harmless continued. “He reckons that people who use vaccines must by definition think God is not perfect. That they must think God forgot to add toxic heavy metals, pig cells and chicken cells ‘found in vaccines’ to people. He goes on to claim research, not Myths, support the choice not to vaccinate”. With a roar Vaccines Contain Mercury was on his feet sword at the ready.

“I’ll kill him myself. How dare he tamper with my ontology! He places us all at risk. I decide how I’m used in tormenting humans – not stupid humans themselves. Research? Bah! There is no research to support antivax arguments, only us Myths. Without constant retelling as Myths we face potential doom. I have an analogue in that some vaccines contain ethyl mercury. Thus, I volunteer to skewer the critter. WTF do you think will happen if we allow insane humans to begin to voice their own myths? I told you this Dorey was bad news. First the disgraced physicist, Brian Martin – now this lunatic. It’s simple exploitation. We are all more powerful than her. Without us, she is nothing! Nothing! I say we waste the bastard”.

A large muscular Myth whose face was hidden was standing nearby. It was Big Pharma. “You don’t think that’s hasty? This thing may be of use to us. I mean, chicken cells, pig cells? Ha! They aren’t even here. They are ex-Myths. Clearly MacDonald is regarded as a fool by human standards. Thus he has no power over Myths beyond incoherent insanity. The lack of retelling led to the demise of Chicken cells and Pig cells years ago. He cannot revive them. His story sounds like rubbish even to us Myths. Surely we can torment him simply for satisfaction. For practice”.

Diseases Are Harmless cleared his throat. “Big Pharma, he also asked these parents if they had so much faith in you outstripping God do they not doubt you at all. Or something… he’s clearly insane and it’s hard to…”.

“Blasphemy!”, thundered Big Pharma drawing his sword, assuming a battle position. “That’s settled then. We waste the bastard! Slowly”. There was vigorous agreement.

“I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit”, offerred Vaccinated Kids Get The Disease. Everyone turned to look at him. “Sorry, I’ve just always wanted to say that”.

“Gentlemen, gentlemen, gentlemen. And monkey and ladies”, interrupted Vaccines Cause Autism nodding suavely toward the few blushing ladies who had recently joined as Lies about high pitched screaming, disturbed sleep and fever caused by vaccination years after the event. “Surely we can agree on an accommodation that will suit us in general and solve this particularly repugnant revulsion known as Andrew MacDonald. I say we play along with our hobnailed friend over there. Take full advantage of the refreshments and Stupid on offer.

“Partake of Vaccines Contain Mercury‘s herbs – the only ones here that do what they claim to (laughter) – and then enjoy a most invigorating, splendid regeneration as old Dopey parades us about in Perth, what? We are above this AVN train wreck, and we don’t even exist! Her time is almost over. We shall abandon her when it suits us. Or when she starts groping for money. Whatever comes first. Then move on to better things. Before that however, there is Burning Stupid galore so I urge to enjoy your fill. If perchance, MacDonald is harmed in the process, burned by his own Stupid or dies of influenza you have a Knight of The Realm to vouch for your innocence. Does that not make sense?”

Another cheer and the crowd dispersed to enjoy the rejuvenation.

“Fancy a stroll to take in the morning air”, Vaccines Cause Autism asked Vaccines Contain Mercury. “I hear the breeze is no longer coming from Nimbin”.

“Care to partake?” tempted Mercury with a large reefer.

“Why not? You only live 764,842 times… so far”, joked Autism.

“Remember Smoking Is Good For You?”, asked Mercury wistfully.

“I often think of him. A dear friend sadly missed. You know, we shall outlive a few of those here today but ultimately….”.

“Yes, ultimately we too will cease to exist… forever. Say, if I happen to accidentally stub out this roach on the back of Andrew MacDonald’s neck, would…er…?”

“Would anything happen? Why no, my friend – you don’t even exist”, replied Autism with a grin.

“Repugnant Revulsion? You actually said Repugnant Revulsion?”

“Did you like it? I thought it was rather fitting”.

“Well, I had a few ideas myself. But with the ladies present…. and a Knight of The Realm also… Sir”, answered Mercury.

Vaccines Cause Autism let out an audible groan.

And so it was, two chuckling dear old friends, Vaccines Cause Autism and Vaccines Contain Mercury, more aware of their own non-existent mythical status than the predatory human antivaxer about to put them to use, shot her a withering glare of disgust and strolled out into the morning air.

Andrew MacDonald trapped in a prison of his own making, chewed on his leash.

Berkeley Earth Project supports global warming trend

In the wake of the much touted UEA “climategate” emails, climate change denial took on a new confidence. Although shown to be a storm in a teacup, denialists still claim that data was manipulated to show exaggerated anthropogenic global warming – AGW.

Other concerns thus spread to the IPCC, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other climate scientists about secretly reviewing each others data. These claims have and do attract genuine concern. In effect this arguably limited opportunity for criticism prior to publication, watering down the veracity of peer review. It also gave a ready weapon for politically motivated denialists and conspiracy theorists alike to dismiss on an ad hoc basis conclusions of global warming, regardless of data origin.

Aiming to deal directly with both the stain of climategate and a number of misconceptions seized on by denialists is the Berkeley Earth Project. Established by University of California physics professor Richard Muller the project was funded by a number of groups including those lobbying against action on climate change such as the Koch brothers. Muller was “deeply concerned” that discordant data had been concealed. According to the BBC;

Funding came from a number of sources, including charitable foundations maintained by the Koch brothers, the billionaire US industrialists, who have also donated large sums to organisations lobbying against acceptance of man-made global warming.

Physicist Saul Perlmutter, who won the Nobel Physics Prize this year for research on the accelerating expansion of the universe was one of a team of ten. Broadly speaking the Berkeley team has validated the warming trends documented before, reinforcing a global temperature rise of at least 1 ℃ since the mid 1950’s. This followed a review of 40,000 weather recording stations, looking at the global temperature trend over land since 1800.

Global warming is real according to a major study released today (October 20th, 2011). Despite issues raised by climate change skeptics, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study finds reliable evidence of a rise in average world land temperature of approximately 1 ℃ since the mid-1950s.

Comparison of NASA GISS, NOAA and Berkeley temperature anomaly data

More so, they have addressed some standards amongst the cynics camp, such as islands of warmth distorting a global view. This rather logical criticism of an urban heat island effect, notes that weather stations are located close to or within cities thus cannot be a reliable reference point for global temperatures. Only 1% of the globe’s surface is industrialised.

It’s arguably a slightly selective criticism because another flawed criticism of a warming globe is that over the last 50 – 70 years many weather stations have shown a decrease in temperature trends. However, the ratio of warming sites to cooling sites is roughly 2:1. This global trend was mimicked in the USA. Clumping is evident yet it’s possible to find “long time series with both positive and negative trends from all portions of the USA”. The authors stress that detection of long term trends should never rely on individual records.


USA and surrounding weather stations: Red – Net warming. Blue – Net cooling.

A comparison of all weather sites (blue line) and very rural (red line) that would be immune from the heat island effect yields a striking challenge for proponents of this criticism of AGW data. It was also noted that weather stations ranked as “poor” showed the same overall trends as stations ranked as “OK”.

Recorded Temperature: All sites and rural sites from 1800 – present

In general their findings have been summarised as:

 ¤ The urban heat island effect is locally large and real but does not contribute significantly to the average land temperature rise. That’s because the urban regions of the earth amount to < 1% of land area.

 ¤ About 1/3 of temperature sites around the world reported global cooling over the past 70 years. Bur 2/3 of the sites show warming. Individual temperature histories reported from a single location are requently noisy and/or unreliable and it is always necessary to compare and combine many records to understand the true pattern of global warming.

The large number of sites reporting cooling might help explain cynicism toward global warming. Humans can’t feel global warming and information suggesting your local temperatures are the same or cooler than a century ago can be mistaken for representative of the entire globe. It is difficult to measure weather consistently over decades or centuries. Sites reporting cooling is a symptom of the noise and variation that occurs. A good determination of global land temperature takes hundreds or thousands of stations to detect and measure the average warming. Only when many nearby thermometers reproduce the same patterns can we know that measurements were reliably made.

 ¤ Stations ranked as “poor” in a survey by Anthony Watts and his team of the most important temperature recording stations in the USA, (known as USHCN – the US Historical Climatology Network), showed the same pattern as global warming as stations ranked “OK”. Absolute temperatures of poor stations may be higher and less accurate, but the overall global warming trend is the same, and the Berkeley Earth analysis concludes there is not any undue bias from including poor stations in the survey.

The Berkeley Earth Study authors are anxious for open and honest discourse, peer review and criticism of their work. To this end it will be available on their website for review:

The Berkeley Earth team has now submitted four papers for peer review. We are making these preliminary results public, together with our programs and data set, in order to invite additional scrutiny. The four papers are:

The aim of the Berkeley Group was to confirm AGW and the extent to which this is occurring. This appears to have been done. Some conclusions differ from earlier views of annual climate changes in that global temperature correlates more strongly with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) index. This is a measure of north Atlantic sea surface temperature. Whilst El Nino Southern changes have traditionally been attributed to annual changes, the team now want to examine long term AMO cycles for impact on the rise-fall-rise seen over the 20th century.

As the final touches were being put to this report popular “theatrical” shock jock Alan Jones (left) was dodging questions and pushing ye olde climategate email conspiracy line on the ABC.

Under a heading Time for Apology the BBC write:

Prof Phil Jones, the CRU scientist who came in for the most personal criticism during “Climategate”, was cautious about interpreting the Berkeley results because they have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

“I look forward to reading the finalised paper once it has been reviewed and published,” he said. […]

In part, this counters the accusation made during “Climategate” that climate scientists formed a tight clique who peer-reviewed each other’s papers and made sure their own global warming narrative was the only one making it into print. […]

Bob Ward, policy and communications director for the Grantham Research Institute for Climate Change and the Environment in London, said the warming of the Earth’s surface was unequivocal.

“So-called ‘sceptics’ should now drop their thoroughly discredited claims that the increase in global average temperature could be attributed to the impact of growing cities,” he said. “More broadly, this study also proves once again how false it was for ‘sceptics’ to allege that the e-mails hacked from UEA proved that the CRU land temperature record had been doctored.

“It is now time for an apology from all those, including US presidential hopeful Rick Perry, who have made false claims that the evidence for global warming has been faked by climate scientists.”

Given the nature of denialism and creatures like Jones, I would suggest reasoning with the rusted on cynics is futile. Any apology will only be forthcoming from those with an appreciation for science, not faith based movements.

I predict regular stormy seas ahead for this manufactured “debate”, for some time to come.