December 4, 2011 1 Comment
A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
John F Kennedy Meryl W Dorey
Well, New Yorker Meryl W. Dorey has seized it recently and displayed it on her antivaccination Facebook page out of context. So she may have this brief credit. It’s a standard of conspiracy theorists as a visit to Google will confirm. It has of course nothing to do with government secrecy over the public as Dorey seems to have assumed. As with a huge number of Kennedy’s speeches he is alluding to his full term foe – communism – as the reference to free examination of “an open market” suggests.
Kennedy has easily become the US President to be most quoted out of context. Speeches sliced up and overlaid to conspiracy clips, heading up cooky websites or as here, just thrown out amongst fetid posts and paranoid misinformation without another word. No explanation is needed for the (as we’re so often told) “more highly educated” vaccine deniers. Vaccines to them are proof of government cover ups and the malignancy of faceless agents across the world. They squeeze it into the Orwellian nightmare of fluoride drugging, chemtrail poisoning and hidden cancer cures. If Roxon’s incentive to immunise has shown us one thing, it’s that their grab bag of conspiracies was at the ready.
One speech conspiracy quacks love to shred is one of my favourite Kennedy deliveries. Address 153 The President and the press [Audio here]. It’s brilliant stuff, and rightly so. Kennedy’s task that night was to celebrate freedom of the press in a democracy to an audience not short on critical representatives of the press. To respect their role in holding government to account. To place their independence above the duration and mechanics of government. To support and accept media scrutiny. To speak of shared responsibilities. Yet most importantly to impart the knowledge of the huge responsibility this freedom brought to the press during the Cold War.
He pointed out enemy agents had boasted of accessing information usually obtained through bribes or espionage (such as satellite technology) and, “that details of this nation’s covert preparations to counter the enemy’s covert operations have been available to every newspaper reader, friend and foe alike”.
He needed a change in publisher outlook. He points to newspaper patriotism and loyalty. Their understanding of sacrifices that civilians are willing to bear. But he would be failing his duty to not bring to attention the inherent quandary of a free press watched by an enemy and the need of patriotic, self sacrificing newspaper publishers to weigh present dangers.
Kennedy notes Francis Bacon spoke of three inventions that changed the world. The compass, gunpowder and the printing press. His final paragraph is:
And so it is to the printing press–to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news–that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.
Now let’s visit the mind of the Meryl Doreys of this world. Who claim as she did once that we’re controlled by “a sinister cabal of interbreeding criminal families”. The Illuminati pop up when it suits her also. These secret societies are so powerful it is beyond comprehension. Human beings are controlled like cattle – sheeple. These faceless people control governments, information and wealth keeping us sickly, poor, ignorant, in need. They run the media. Decide what we watch on TV. They seek to cull the human population. Vaccines are a means to do everything from forcing us to comply to being sheeple to injecting microchips at birth that will scan and monitor humans. We are in effect Guinea Pigs.
Imagine you’ve been fed this and more. Shown so-called proof. Imagine you almost believe it. You watch a “documentary”. Scenes of wars and human misery slowly numb your critical faculties. A sprinkling of facts. Yes, BMW did profit from war. Dick Cheney did privately profit from supplying troops in Iraq. Newspaper identities have run campaigns to shape the outcome of elections. A mushroom cloud appears for no apparent reason. But you get the meaning. Evil. The world is evil.
Images of corporations, drug companies and the seats of government. Then the words below begin to play as a background soundtrack. Half way through an new scene appears. An open topped car we know well. A smiling man in his prime. A boulevard in Dallas. An exploding head. An assassination. The words are Kennedys from his address to the press and refer to communism. But you aren’t told this.
The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings.
And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning… Our way of life is under attack. The survival of our friends is in danger.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice… its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.
… I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.
… that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.
The meaning is unmistakable. Kennedy was onto The Illuminati and the faceless ones. The repugnant secret societies. This “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy”. With Kennedy relying on honesty and our help humans would realise their destiny and become “free and independent”. So, they killed him. You’ve never heard of this because as Kennedy said, the conspiracy “relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence… its preparations are concealed, not published. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised”.
Of course it’s an oldie but a goodie. A standard for New World Order conspiracies. It surfaces in one form or another time and again. In understanding the rank falsehoods and intractable devotion of anti-vaccine conspirators we can learn a lot from the above. The power of the free press can be gleaned from the fact Kennedy had to ask for acquiescence to considering a change in tactics as a matter of national security. To think people today argue that the media are agents in a malignant scheme of vaccination doing the bidding of governments and pharmaceutical companies is patent absurdity.
Yet we’ve had plenty of it this last week or so with the AVN getting airplay for their falsehoods and fears. Dorey has cried foul that the government and media are not leading with advice to conscientious objectors. She lied on air and online so hard about pertussis vaccination it’s hard to not imagine some infants being struck down as a direct result. Government coercion and government cover ups were her messages. Conspiracy! Her flying monkeys attacked and harassed any journalist who defended vaccination.
When the Fluvax debacle hit W.A. supporters of conventional medicine were horrified at the event then outraged at the contributing factors. Conversely a satisfied glow emerged from the antivaccination lobby. Yet the most vocal critics of drug company power and TGA apathy are medical professionals. Perhaps the most successful in Australia is also a regular at skeptic gatherings.
When Natasha Bita won a Walkley for her coverage of CSL’s poor manufacturing standards and shortfalls in the TGA Dorey posted on her Facebook page:
Natasha Bita wins the Walkley Award for her coverage of the Australian flu vaccine scandal! Times are changing!
Again the message is unmistakable. Journalists don’t normally report on vaccine or regulator problems. This is an aberration or signs of turning a corner. At the same time Dorey and fellow conspiracy theorist Judy Wilyman were accusing the media of being beholden to their drug company commissions and reporting biased messages on Roxon’s Immunisation Incentive. One Facebook member wonders how much “underground” work Bita did and “perhaps risking her safety at times”. She would have worked alone, “…where one person like this can feel insane and give up the fight for truth”.
Truth? Insanity? Glad he mentioned those points. At the time Virus in the system was written Meryl Dorey published an “Action Alert!” on Facebook, Yahoo! and Twitter. It contained the bald faced lie that supporters of vaccines were “mobilising” to attack Natasha Bita for simply reporting the facts. In Dorey’s twisted conspiracy world that would be routine. When journalists report facts supporting vaccination or about the effects of not vaccinating, Dorey attacks. Anger, vicious language, persecution and vitriol to put it mildly. The “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy” she believes in is all powerful. There can be no discussion.
But vaccine supporters did nothing. Dorey, claiming to be oppressed, suppressed and maligned, had no mud to throw. Using reverse psychology she posted these false warnings, urging her fellow devotees to bombard Natasha with praise. Apparently vaccine supporters and skeptics did NOT want the media covering this from a freedom of choice point of view. Freedom of choice? I mean… I don’t even…
There are few better examples of a conspiracy theorist caught red handed exploiting their own members than this. Sure it doesn’t have sliced up Kennedy quotes as a voice-over but the concept is the same. Serve it to the paranoid mind and it will stick.
There can be no doubt Natasha Bita produced some great journalism. She exposed inexcusable apathy on the part of the TGA which is only made worse by Dr. Rohan Hammett’s defensive position at a Senate estimates hearing. She highlighted wasted money, government obstruction and ran a front page story on a youth who developed polio-like symptoms from oral polio vaccine. CSL’s failure to supervise Good Manufacturing Practice and their thumb twiddling until FDA representatives arrived to ultimately threaten revocation or suspension of their licence was galling. TGA attempts to cast this as almost routine were laughable. Complications such as polio like symptoms from OPV are rare yet well known and rightly deserve compensation. It made for great reading because most Aussies do not follow vaccination intricacies and would find this almost incomprehensible.
Although she now occupies a shrine for antivaccination devotees Natasha Bita confirmed nothing of their beliefs nor conspiracies. She did not find sanitation, not vaccination, reduced disease. She did not uncover any link to hidden deaths, diseases, disabilities or the big one – autism. Her entire story grew from the widely known fact one child suffered permanent injury and a nine times higher febrile convulsion rate followed administration of Fluvax to under five year olds. Anaphylaxis? Not a single case. Pertussis vaccination doesn’t work and this has been demonstrated around the world, as Dorey told ABC? No.
Mercury – not ethyl mercury is in vaccines? No. Aluminium and formadehyde poisoning children? No. Human cells floating around? No. Aborted fetal cells? No. A trail of untested vaccines? No. Secret monolithic societies? Hidden cancer cures? Proof of immune suppression? Proof vaccines do not work? Proof they all make people sick? Proof they are the cause of all allergies and the so-called “sickest generation in history”? No. In short, you think of a vaccine conspiracy and Natasha did not find it.
There were four failures and one deficiency at CSL specific to one influenza vaccine uncovered by the arch nemesis of vaccine deniers, the FDA. Hence problems with what is broadly known as Good Manufacturing Practice. Natasha Bita actually “uncovered” nothing here – the letter is publically available on the FDA website. This was crucial to her story and her publication of it’s import was swift and to the point. I probably couldn’t agree more with the sentiments she raised on this issue. But to hear the antivaccination crowd you’d think Bita broke into CSL Mission Impossible style. That she downloaded crucial top secret files before abseiling out a window clad in black leathers to her waiting Ferrari. She just escaped the black helicopters touting blazing machine guns with her uncanny driving skill, quietly slipping into work without a hair out of place.
Even reporting on Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation members Professor Terry Nolan and Peter Richmond of the National Health and Research Council having honoraria and advisory board ties to CSL, took a phone call to the Health Department. That they were involved in drug company sponsored trials and worked as investigators on CSL’s child H1N1 trials may be because they are, to quote Bita, “eminent researchers”. All conflicts of interest are declared and taken into consideration.
Yet to the devotees this is Big Pharma proof. Who would they suggest? Viera Scheibner? Judy Wilyman? Peter Dingle? Fran Sheffield? Simon Floreani, Isaac Golden or Nimrod Weiner? Let’s face it. Like any life long discipline the top jobs attract the top people. There is going to be overlap and to suggest this always leads to malignant outcomes and the control of “sheeple” says more about the true believers than intricacies of research institutions and business boardrooms. As fate would have it, others are well aware of this. Regulation is the key. Which is why regulators, their income source and their powers are absolutely crucial in the current environment.
Which brings me to another Facebook member who links to Natasha Bita’s article AMA urges watch on vaccines, writing, “and she’s continuing to stand up to them”. Stand up to who? This is a statement from the president of the Australian Medical Association, Dr. Steve Hambleton. Isn’t he pretty much “them” in a nutshell? He’s easily one of “them” and is echoing the concerns of medical supporters in that public trust has been damaged by the Fluvax issue. He is acutely aware of the spread of misinformation into vacuums that could be better filled by facts or dynamics that are conspiracy resistant. Dorey’s paranoid member fits the quintessential conspiracy profile of spotting one or two words and reacting like a programmed machine.
The article includes what is in effect the Last Post for yet another vaccine myth. That GP’s are in on the conspiracy:
DOCTORS demanded more monitoring of vaccine side-effects yesterday after the federal government announced penalties for families who fail to immunise their children.
Australian Medical Association president Steve Hambleton said the government must introduce “active surveillance” to monitor side effects instead of relying on doctors and patients to report problems through “passive surveillance”.
For a vaccine, you are taking healthy people and trying to keep them healthy so surveillance of the side effects is doubly important,” Dr Hambleton said.
“We need to maintain confidence in the program. We can’t just say to people, ‘Don’t worry, it’s safe'” [….]
Dr Hambleton said doctors strongly supported immunisation to protect children against life-threatening illness.
But he called for taxpayer funding of Australia’s medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which is entirely funded by user-pays charges on the pharmaceutical industry.
He said the TGA needed to work “better and quicker” to ensure prescribing advice to doctors always included the most up-to-date data on clinical trials and side effects.
“We have to make sure regulators do their job,” Dr Hambleton said. “We do rely on the TGA for good quality, independent advice.
“Everything the TGA does is in the public interest so it should be publicly funded to do the extra work and notify the public of any changes that do come up. If it can’t do what it needs to do, we need to ask why.” […]
Vaccination protects against “life-threatening illness” and we need to maintain public confidence. It’s a smart move. Roxon’s method will only do so much to arrest falling vaccination rates. It will also do plenty to give conspiracy theorists “sheeple” leverage. Giving the anti-vaccine mob less and less to seize upon and fill with conspiracy twaddle is essential.
For Dorey and her ilk there may never be any hope. People must escape these belief systems much as one escapes a cult. They can’t be forced to change and in the main need help. Consider the person who introduced the above story. “[Natasha Bita’s] continuing to stand up to them”. Yet the story is not novel journalism but a mere AMA report. It supports immunisation as effective, promotes the TGA as acting in the public interest and shows doctors wanting better and faster information so they can continue to immunise without concerns.
Yet all these idiots (and I mean that nicely) on Facebook, including Dorey do not respond or correct or even comment. It’s just a dumping ground for quackery related to Natasha Bita’s Walkley, and that means victory over vaccines. Standing up to the monolithic and ruthless conspiracy. If Dorey did her homework she’d know the piece also contains an aim of her hated foes “the skeptics”. That being independent funding of the TGA. And I’m happy to admit that will help expose the fraud and inefficacy attached to the alternatives to medicine that the antivaccination lobby so often profit from.
The quote from Kennedy used by Dorey, above, is actually prefaced by, “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values”. Strangely enough, most untruths and distorted claims used by vaccine deniers exist because they have accessed such facts, ideas, philosophies and values. The abuse of package inserts is perhaps the golden example of what conspiracy theorists do with facts about vaccines. They craft fiction and spread it far and wide.
The truth is vaccine deniers cannot be entrusted with facts. Now, in possession of Natasha Bita’s facts and information followed by Roxon’s incentive, they have hit hyper-drive. Saba Button has been exploited by those who would see a nation of sick children. They don’t see good journalism dealing with the dynamics of a public health debacle. They see “us and them”. Whatever problems ultimately lay at the feet of the Fluvax scenario, none will question the efficacy of vaccination as a public health measure.
None will challenge the horror of what vaccine preventable diseases can do. None will justify the rise of vaccine preventable disease and the deaths of babies from flu and pertussis. Nothing will ever emerge to support the claims of the antivaccination lobby and their alternatives to vaccines. Nothing they do will ever make Dorey’s lies on ABC or the misrepresentation of Natasha Bita’s work factual. Yet to win support, they don’t have to. All they need for their conspiracy to bloom is a seed of doubt.
Which reminds me again of Kennedy, speaking to the press in 1961:
But I do ask every publisher, every editor, and every newsman in the nation to reexamine his own standards, and to recognize the nature of our country’s peril. […]
But I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to reexamine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self-restraint which that danger imposes upon us all.
Given recent advantage taken of Bita’s work and ABC air time those words resonate rather strongly here today.