Woodford Folk Festival Promote Dangerous Anti-Vaccination Myths

That’s a Blue Lotus flower. Beautiful isn’t it?

The perfect delicate corolla of petals opening up as if to embrace as much of nature as possible whilst it presents that corona or crown of pollen for harvest. For a short time it will maintain this wonderful display and then subside to make way for the next generation.

Humans have appreciated it’s beauty for thousands of years. Essential to life and death ceremonies, Egyptian artwork shows the priest Nebsini holding and gazing deeply into a Blue Lotus. Beautiful noble women reclining in splendor are also depicted holding the long stem, gazing as if hypnotised into it’s centre. The most important cultivated plant of ancient Egypt it was the flower of the water lilies that grew in the Nile. Nymphaea caerulea. The Egyptian water lily.

In Egyptian mythology it was believed to be the original container of the sun gods Atum and Ra. To Buddhists all Lotus flowers symbolise divine birth as they represent purity and spontaneity. The Blue Lotus itself represents:

The symbol of the victory of the spirit over the senses, of intelligence and wisdom, of knowledge

It contains the alkaloids nuciferene and aporphine which have mildly sedating effects. It is thought to be the plant eaten by Lotophagi in Homer’s Odyssey. “Loto” – lotus. “Phagi” – to eat. It is a favourite compound for aromatherapy and can be used to produce perfumes. Little wonder the Blue Lotus is a favourite of those who seek a more natural path in life and is often used to represent new age pursuits or brands. Blue Lotus means something to alternative mindsets.

Little wonder the guys at the Woodford Folk Festival extracted the essence of marketing from the Blue Lotus as it’s more modern property to claim with a straight face:

Pick up a steaming cup of herbal tea and head to the Blue Lotus, the Festival’s home of healing. Talks, workshops and forums invite conversation from some of Australia’s premier practitioners and open the door for Festivillian involvement…. Late afternoon forums nurture, with health, politics, beauty, revolution and adventure all playing their part. The Blue Lotus is a venue for adventures of the heart, mind and soul.

One of these “premier practitioners” is of course no such thing. How Buddha would react to see intelligence, wisdom and knowledge replaced with the cunning, recklessness and ignorance of the antivaccination lobbyist I can only guess. Last time Meryl Dorey met “lotus” on this blog was in exposing her lie that “measles in ancient Sanskrit means gift of the goddess”. It is actually a curse of the goddess Sitala Mataji, and the mother of the first child “burned” in revenge by the goddess fell into the holy lotus position to beg forgiveness.

I can guess what a great deal of Meryl’s misleading and potentially fatal scam will consist of. There will be the claim that the pertussis vaccine is not working because with 95% vaccination coverage, we happen to have the highest notification levels ever since records began, in 1991. As I noted yesterday however, Dorey will not tell these sitting ducks that of the 18 age groups making up notifications only 2 correspond to the 95% vaccination rate. The vaccination of small children is entirely unrelated to raw notification figures that contain no data on vaccine status or immunity.

16 age groups fall outside that at which immunity begins to wane. In these 16 age groups vaccination coverage is only 11.3%. When we add on numbers of infants too young to have completed pertussis vaccination, it’s clear Dorey’s figures are made up of the unvaccinated and non immune. She won’t tell these young people, young parents that yes, vaccinated people do contract pertussis – but a much milder form. That fatalities are only in the unvaccinated. Those not vaccinated who do not die yet fall gravely ill will be disabled for life if cerebral hypoxia ensues.

The Ancient Egyptians would be appalled at the abuse of their Blue Lotus

Dorey is touted by the promoters thusly:

Investigate before you vaccinate is the motto of the AVN. Having collected reports of thousands of Australian families whose children have been killed or injured by these shots, Meryl knows that the benefit of vaccines don’t always outweigh the risks. Her information is sourced from medical data and is necessary for anyone who is thinking about being vaccinated.

This alone is a collection of lies. Meryl has no reports of children “killed by vaccines”. For the organisers to simply repeat this atrocious lie of “thousands of Australian families” is a public irresponsibility of thunderous immorality. Whist it may seem idiotic at first glance, innocent Aussies will buy into these lies. The benefits of vaccination dwarf the infinitesimal risks. Her fear mongering is not sourced from medical data but cobbled together from conspiracy sites and unrelated data sets such as above.

measles mumps risk benefit chart from the encephalitis societyBasic MMR vs measles risk comparison presented by the Encephalitis Society New England

Dorey is unable to produce these so-called cases of injuries. She will maintain SIDS is due to the hepatitis B vaccine. That Shaken Baby Syndrome – what she calls Shaken Maybe Syndrome – is due to vaccines. She will perhaps misrepresent recent changes in SBS research as proving her point, as some of her members have done. Research is indicating babies may present without problems for many hours following injury. Thus, suspicion cannot always be levelled at the last person to be minding the baby before collapse. This also allows consideration of unseen or seen falls. In the USA convictions have been overturned and innocent people released from prison in light of this. But no, headlines claiming, New thinking in SBS cases, does not implicate vaccines.

For years the insinuation of knowing and having, “vaccine injured” children has sustained Dorey. Yet never have they been produced. No proof exists. Although seemingly delighted at Saba Button’s misfortune I doubt the bragging runs both ways. But at last Dorey has a token victim to abuse in pursuit of more converts. Yet will her audience be told that children die every year from influenza? Or that the risk from severe brain damage is up to 1,000 times greater for measles sufferers than in children with mitochondrial enzyme deficiency, who react to MMR? That MMR produces no fatalities.

Where are Dorey’s citations of vaccine deaths? Simple. Post hoc ergo propter hoc: After this therefore because of this. Confusing correlation with causation. In Dorey’s case (as evidenced by SIDS or claims) the time frame can be years or several years. Yet as many as 1 in 2,500 can die from measles. Deafness from mumps, blindness from rubella. Dorey will raise the isolated cases of mumps infection in unvaccinated religious communities and how such concentrations can overwhelm vaccinated subjects. She will claim this is proof vaccines do not work. She will ignore that “the outbreak is due to infection in an unvaccinated community”.

She’ll insist the autism rate is 1 in 38 using one Korean study. That vaccines are to blame. Yet the Australian rate was recently cited by Swinburne researchers as 1 in 160, as documented by MacDermott et al.2007, The prevalence of autism in Australia. Can it be established from existing data? whilst Baird (USA) and Brugha (UK) suggest 1 in 100 – that’s 1%. Other later reports in 2009, suggest it’s 1 in 100 in Australia. Famously the autism rate for adults using today’s criteria is also 1%. Using the DMS on novel adult groups we find 1 in 100 have autism and don’t know it. That’s also 1%. No adults found to have autism knew they had it, the study reports.

So in 30 years there may have been no change in autism frequency. The primary variable is diagnostic criteria. This in no way dismisses the seriousness of autism, or suggests runaway diagnosis. If anything it reflects sadly on the fact so many in-need children have been previously missed. Yet what it does do is debunk the claim that over the last 30 years autism has become an epidemic and thus, vaccines are to blame.

There’ll will be no end to Dorey’s misinformation. Homeoprophylaxis will be suggested. Natural immunity is the only real immunity. Perhaps a pox party for chicken pox immunity. The immunity equivalent off throwing your child of a bridge to learn to swim. The new P.G.S. – Post Gardasil Syndrome – strangely absent from medical literature. Clean water, fresh food and sanitation wiped out disease, not vaccines, she’ll insist. Which fails utterly to appreciate the Hib vaccine – which she’ll omit.
The success of the Hib vaccine 1993 – 2005 immediately dismisses the claim “better living conditions alone” wiped out some epidemics

Running hot with the pertussis deception will be her new trick, as she opined on the ABC, that the danger in vaccines is made worse by the fact Nicola Roxon and the media did not lead with stories on explaining Conscientious Objection, over the recent immunisation incentive. As if the first piece of advice we need is how to avoid vaccination. Tragically, Dorey will give very detailed instructions on how to avoid vaccination as a C.O. and still receive government payments.

So what do people need to know?

On July 26th, 2010 the HCCC published a public health warning following the AVN’s failure to post warnings that it was anti-vaccination. Prior to this the HCCC had investigated two complaints that the AVN provided false and misleading information. The HCCC concluded it’s investigation on July 12th and gave the AVN 14 days to publish the following on it’s website:

  • The Australian Vaccination Network’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 should not be read as medical advice; and
  • The decision about whether or not to vaccinate should be made in consultation with a health care provider.

As you can see this is markedly more tame than the public health warning, that followed in the wake of her refusal. Which also added that the Australian Vaccination Network;

  • 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


… the AVN provides information that is inaccurate and misleading. The AVN’s failure to include a notice on its website of the nature recommended by the Commission 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.

Dorey will plead conspiracies to suppress her right to free speech. But she is the author of her own dilemma. So to spell out the obvious, most of what Meryl Dorey is railing against is by her own hand. Do not be fooled by Meryl Dorey. She is adept at conning audiences and continually seeks her own gain. Do not be fooled by this woman.


  • Ms. Dorey is a discredited anti-vaccination lobbyist deemed a threat to public health and as such can not be trusted to give reasonable or factual information.
  • Ms. Dorey has no qualifications in health, medicine, nursing, midwifery, public health or any discipline that would legitimise her argument.
  • Ms. Dorey misrepresents the import of overall infection by omitting proper context.
  • Ms. Dorey misrepresents the import of pertussis vaccination by omitting crucial information.
  • The information above is factual yet Ms. Dorey will not present it.
  • Ms. Dorey does not cite any reliable scientific information and presents arguments that are not supported by any public health authorities or published literature.
  • Ms Dorey’s aim is to discourage vaccination, to misinform – not promote informed choice.

Whether or not you become one of her victims, or the victims of irresponsible and selfish organisers is really up to you.

ABC Tonic – Whooping cough Advice


2 thoughts on “Woodford Folk Festival Promote Dangerous Anti-Vaccination Myths

  1. Great article.

    I sent an email directly to the Woodford Folk Festival organisers. Here it is:

    Dear organisers,

    I find it troubling that you have chosen to provide a platform on which
    Meryl Dorey can promote, once again, her dangerous lies about vaccination.

    Meryl is nothing if not a tireless campaigner against a technology which
    has saved hundreds of millions of lives over the last 100 years. Measles
    alone has been estimated to have killed over 200 million people in the
    last 150 years. The MMR vaccine is 99.9999% effective at preventing
    Measles death in the immunized. Yet Meryl continues to fabricate a case
    about why vaccines are harmful, or the “childhood” diseases aren’t so bad,
    in fact they may even be a good thing. Bollocks!

    In 2010 the NSW Health Care Commission found that Meryl and her organisation
    the “Australian Vaccination Network”,

    (a) provides information that is solely anti-vaccination,
    (b) contains information that is incorrect and misleading, and
    (c) quotes selectively from research to suggest that vaccination may be dangerous.

    Meryl cannot claim ignorance of the truth. She has been told, again and
    again and again, why her position is wrong and what the facts are
    regarding vaccination risks and benefits. Yet she continues to mislead
    the Australian people about vaccination.

    I sincerely believe that Meryl bears responsibility for individuals that
    have died in Australia, that her anti-vaccination message is dangerous
    to public health. Already this year we have had an outbreak of Measles in
    the ACT among a largely unvaccinated community linked to the Orana school
    run using the Steiner system. Meryl’s message provides justification to
    hundreds of parents to not vaccinate their kids. Some of these families
    will suffer personal tragedy as their child sickens and dies (e.g. Measles,
    Meningococcal), or incurs a permanent injury (deafness, Mumps) or a baby
    is born with birth defects (Rubella).

    So far we have been able to wipe out Smallpox and Rinderpest. We can
    do the same with Measles and a whole bunch more, but only if everybody
    gets with the program, and vaccinates themselves and their children. A
    very high level of coverage stops the disease spreading, and it will
    die out.

    In 2009, Australia was declared “Measles free” as having less than one
    case per million people. That declaration is now at risk, thanks in
    part to the efforts of Meryl Dorey and her “Australian Vaccination Network”.

    • Excellent email Nick.

      It’s hard to believe but the AVN is now selling a kids book with a measles embracing, anti-vax message called Melanie’s Marvellous Measles.

      Another member’s child was answering a biology test question on vaccination. He crossed out the word “helpful” wrote in “dangerous” and added a new multiple choice category, “all of the above” and circled that.

      Mother was delighted telling him “Good boy, you told the truth”.


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