Judy Wilyman: proof of vaccines’ success

We deserve to see the evidence that vaccinating for all these diseases is good and necessary for the community

Judy Wilyman, June 30th 2010

Read the above statement from prominent antivaccination lobbyist and student Judy Wilyman. It’s a reasonable observation. Defending it would be admirable. Fortunately I don’t have to because the evidence, not only for the success of mass vaccination, but of how this prevents death and disability from disease is readily available.

In fact the success of vaccination is so ubiquitous that vaccines themselves have become a victim of it. Judy Wilyman doesn’t understand she is one of the most fortunate human beings in history. Well into the future even after she dies, billions will dream of the quality of life Judy Wilyman enjoys. Born into the affluence of a developed nation she has lived an entire life protected by medical science, robust economies and public health success stories.

Judy Wilyman is one of the luckiest individuals in one of the luckiest generations in one of the luckiest nations as a mere single offspring of around 107 billion human beings to have lived and died on this planet. She is inestimably healthier, more comfortable, more free and importantly more disease free than around 99% of our species to have seen the sky. With her life protected by her own and others vaccine induced immunity, and now already almost twice the age that genetic predisposition alone permits on this planet, Judy will live on for years enriching her life and exploring any manner of experience.

Every day vaccine success is all around her. It’s invisible. It is the absence of suddenly missing school friends, the grief that parents would bear, the devastation that ravaged cities in the late 17th and 18th centuries. It is the message of those little mossy tombstones I passed that, on rare visits to older family graves, my father would stop and read with reverence long before I knew how to read at all.

It’s removed the throat choking sadness that incredibly meant both my maternal grandparents were long dead and even more years passed before their grandchildren discovered they had an uncle on that side of the family. The only male and last born, he had died within weeks of his birth taking with him my grandfather’s dream of passing on a farm.

Vaccine success is the absence of tears often shed. Tears Often Shed child health and welfare in Australia from 1788, published in 1978 was written by Dr. Brian Gandevia. I’ve heard Wilyman reach into the past to condemn vaccines by misrepresenting the scientific context of the times and wonder if she passed this by on purpose. In 1800 Botany Bay held about 1,000 children, half being orphans. Infant mortality was 11% – over 20 times what it is today. In 1827 pertussis appeared, then measles then diphtheria. Mortality was high.

By 1880 Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane had children’s hospitals. That year a measles outbreak hit Sydney. Henry Lawson’s 1899 poem entitled Past Carin’ reflects the tragedy of harshness in Australian living at that time. This is a short out-take:

Our first child took—a cruel week in dyin’, …

I’ve pulled three through and buried two

Since then—and I’m past carin’.

Judy Wilyman weaves myth and junk science to justify make-believe notions that we are not allowed to see the evidence of vaccine success. All the time unaware that she is this evidence. In more ways than one also. Not only is Judy here due to vaccination regimes and medical science, but the vacuum left by the need to simply survive is being filled by the fantastic fraud and fiction that Wilyman produces to malign vaccination itself.

So absolute has vaccine success been that we can now turn our attention to the rarity of the potential of an adverse event. Unlike Lawson, we’re not “past carin'”. In an era of health luxury we can choose what to care about, and with disconcerting ease antivaccinationists, divested of evidence, play human emotion.

Abuse of innocent Australians:

Her W.A. State Library talk was a hack job of the worst vaccine myths on offer. Yet supposedly worth retelling because Wilyman is studying to complete a PhD in an Arts faculty and labels herself “an independent researcher who has been scouring the peer reviewed journals for 10 years”.

At the same talk Wilyman allows a glimpse into ego clashing with conspiracy beliefs:

If vaccination was based on science then the media would not have to work so hard to suppress the information. You will notice the media reports rely on discrediting individuals and organisations and running fear campaigns to encourage parents to vaccinate. Did they mention in the papers that myself and [redacted] are both PhD researchers? Did they mention that the lowest vaccination rates in Perth are… where the majority of doctors and other professionals live? No. This topic is about the control of information.

That final appeal to authority is meaningless. It is a myth that “doctors don’t vaccinate”. Economic advantage has not only been firmly linked to the Dunning-Kruger effect but we’ve known since last century that the same demographic refuse to register their children on the Australian immunisation register, or complete appropriate forms. Linear skill sets (job training) and consequent income rises correlate to big mortgages, not critical thinking.

Moving beyond this slur on class status, Judy works quite hard to evoke a feeling of manipulation and abuse of personal rights in her audience. She produces a slide of the Australian Framework for Environmental Health Risk Assessment.

At the top is “community consultation”. Has anyone here been consulted on a preventative measure such as vaccination for the health of your child? The public is being excluded from this process because we’re told it’s a medical procedure. So I’m asking you tonight why are you vaccinating? Are you vaccinating because you have a good idea of the risk of disease and the risk of vaccines or are you vaccinating through blind faith?

I hate to interrupt but this is a gross deception played on her audience. What a set up! Nothing on the impact of vaccine preventable disease (VPD). Nothing on risk benefit. This comes well after claiming herself and Meryl Dorey are presenting “peer reviewed science” that proves there’s no evidence to support vaccination. They will tell the real story, not the contrived story the government and media tell. “The government treats vaccines as if they have no harmful effects at all”, Judy claims.

This makes Definition of adverse events following immunisation, published by the Australian government along with Post-vaccination procedures (focused on adverse effects) and reports on the surveillance of Adverse Events Following Immunisation in Australia quite puzzling then. Judy also claims “They are promoted as if we can put as many as we like into our bodies without harm”.

Convinced that the government “coerces” Australians into vaccination Judy argues vaccination is a human rights issue, that (with incentives) she described recently as “a crime against humanity”. In order to understand Wilyman’s primary deception it’s crucial to note her invention is that we live in an Orwellian type society that forces coercive and mandatory vaccination. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are free to be as stupid as we wish and place our children in as much danger from vaccine preventable disease as this madness allows. Even better, we can spread exposure to countless others who had no choice in the matter and belittle those who protect our children with herd immunity as “vaccinating through blind faith”.

Quoting “the health ethics that our immunisation principles are based upon” Wilyman then misleads her audience [bold mine]:

“The state retains the authority to regulate the human body in order to protect the health and safety of the general public”.

So it is the government that’s deciding how many vaccines we can put into our bodies

Even though this is complete codswallop, it prompts Judy to come up with two questions that set “the context and the ethics of these fundamental principles”.

  1. Did vaccines play a significant role in controlling and reducing infectious diseases?
  2. What is in a vaccine?

Let’s focus for now on question 1.

Abuse of Australian History:

Judy is a champion of the misconception that a reduction in overall death rates is proof that improved living standards, and not vaccines, controlled and reduced infectious diseases. Her abuse of the work of early public health authorities is demonstrably hypocritical. Let’s examine her abuse of J.H.L. Cumpston and H.O. Lancester. To Wilyman they “confirm” vaccines did not reduce infectious disease. Cumpston (1880-1954) was Australia’s first Commonwealth Director-General of Health. Known as “the father of public health in Australia” he features prominently in Child Health Since Federation written for the Australian Year Book 2001 by a present day population health scientist.

That scientist would be Professor Fiona Stanley. Founding Director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research she has been receiving awards now for 17 years, and refers to both Cumpston and Lancester in this work. Former Australian of the year professor Stanley is mocked and abused mercilessly by Meryl Dorey of the Australian Vaccination Network for “aggressive commercialisation activities of the Telethon Institute“, being paid off by Big Pharma, hiding the truth and experimenting on children.

She was “invited” by Judy Wilyman to attend the very seminar I’m referring to now. Two days later interviewed on air, Stanley referred to the views presented by Dorey and Wilyman as “bizarre” and “so misinformed that it is scary”.

  • Professor Fiona Stanley speaks about the “so-called” Australian Vaccination Network in Perth

It’s offensive that Wilyman demeans sound legislation and state authority to control disease, just before invoking Cumpston’s name. As Stanley writes in Child Health Since Federation [bold mine]:

He [Cumpston] oversaw the most spectacular falls in mortality and morbidity ever seen in Australia. […]

Essential to this movement was an expert bureaucracy to research, create and administer policy… Other essential ingredients for the success of the public health movement was a competent and independent (from State) group of medical practitioners, devoted to the care of the sick, but willing to accept State interventions for both public health improvements and care (the latter of course on their terms). […]

Throughout the early 20th century, as bacteriology developed, knowledge grew of the role of organisms in disease, and the focus of public health shifted to identifying disease in individuals and control by isolation (quarantine), which opened the way to mass vaccination.

With improvements in sanitation and quality of life came healthier people. Recovery from disease increased and thus mortality fell. But no widespread immunity or viral elimination occurred. Better nutrition certainly increased host resistance to infection. J.H.L. Cumpston died in 1954 just as vaccine success took off.

Citing Ada and Isaacs, Stanley writes:

Infectious deaths fell before widespread vaccination was implemented. However, since the 1950s, mass vaccination has been the single most effective public health measure to reduce the occurrence of infections, to reduce child deaths and to improve child health

There is of course no doubt that access to good nutrition, clean water, public awareness of cleanliness leading to reduced contact with infecting organisms (good hygiene) and a cleaner environment led to improved health. Yet there is no evidence of vaccination as anything but the greatest single contributor to public health. Lancaster as cited by Wilyman (page 6) actually refers to “gastroenteritis, respiratory and other infections”. This in no way supports her claim that vaccines played no role in reduction of disease.

Wilyman is deceptive in other ways also. When writing on pertussis (linked above – page 6 again) her choice of target is 1954 when the NHMRC advised that pertussis vaccine become routine for new born babies. But fatality had fallen to only 15 deaths per year bemoans Judy.

She avoids informing readers that in the 10 years to 1955, 429 deaths occurred (p.2). In the previous decade – that in which the vaccine was introduced (1936-1945) – 1,693 deaths from pertussis were recorded. In the decade before with no vaccine? 2,808 deaths. So, since the vaccine was actually introduced fatalities had been declining dramatically. Period.

Abuse of Alfred Russel Wallace:

Wilyman refers to Alfred Russel Wallace as “the co-designer of the evolutionary theory with Charles Darwin” and mentions his work, Vaccination a Delusion. If anything exposes Wilyman’s lack of scientific rigor it is the abuse of history and the Victorian antivaccination movement. Wallace himself and his three children were vaccinated. His interest in the movement began once his natural science writings had finished. Whilst a source of income, Wallace was also driven by his spiritualism, social reformist views and Swedenborgianism.

Unlike today’s antivaxxers, the Victorian movements based their position on notions and quantitative approaches that were entirely rational for the day. Science itself was unsettled. One approach was prone to blend with spiritualism (experimental psychology, evolutionary biology, and astronomy), liberty and holistic notions. Another took the view that science should be objective, disinterested, factual and that politics should remain separate.

More so, repeated prosecution from 1867 for not being vaccinated against smallpox or having ones children vaccinated was ruthlessly followed through with. Methods like arm to arm vaccination were high risk and equipment (pins, forks, knives and needles) spoke for themselves. But despite his spiritual leanings Wallace was a scientist. An empiricist. He deplored shoddy record keeping and bad statistics – especially assumptions.

So he set to work challenging the gaping holes in epidemiological data. The vaccine status of between 30-70% of people who died from smallpox was unknown. Not because vaccination failed but records were unreliable or absent. Wallace himself probably had good reason to doubt the disease status of fatalities as recorded by doctors. Thomas Weber looked into Wallace’s role here and concluded in part.

The numerical arguments used by Wallace and his opponents were based on an actuarial type of statistics, i.e., the analysis of life tables and mortalities. Inferential statistics that could be more helpful in identifying potential causes did not yet exist. The statistical approach to the vaccination debate used by Wallace and his opponents could simply not resolve the issue of vaccine efficiency; thus, each side was free to choose the interpretation that suited its needs best. However, despite its indecisive outcome, the debate was a major step in defining what kind of evidence was needed. It is also unjustified to portray the debate as a controversy of science versus antiscience because the boundaries between orthodox and heterodox science we are certain of today were far less apparent in the Victorian era. What the scope and methods of science were or should be were topics still to be settled.

So Wallace had many reasons to challenge vaccination in his time, none of them related to the evidence we have today. Indirectly he helped bring about the success of vaccination as we see it presently. Ever the empiricist there is no doubt how he would form his views with contemporary evidence. Wilyman’s appeal to authority this way is quite silly.

Ultimately Judy Wilyman reinforces the success of vaccination. She has no evidence based argument and shockingly has recycled these old myths for years, masquerading as “an independent researcher”. Without fiction she would have little to say. Despite the cloak and dagger tales of “crimes against humanity” and “government coercion” she is simply free. Free to speak, free to be wrong. Completely democratically free.

Judy Wilyman represents the best in Aussie freedom. The freedom to be stupid.

Religious Instruction brings no Joy to Victorian public schools

What really matters is seizing the God-given opportunity to reach kids in schools. Without Jesus, our students are lost… What a commandment: Make disciples… Let’s go for it!

Evonne Paddison, CEO of ACCESS Ministries

Scott Hedges of Fairness In Religions In School chats to Doug Pollard from Joy FM’s Rainbow Report.

In a comprehensive chat they cover the FIRIS campaign, Special Religious Instruction (SRI), legislation, indoctrination in public schools, religious discrimination and the upcoming VCAT challenge. This alleges that the Education Minister’s interpretation of legislation is a violation of the Equal Opportunity Act leading to compulsory segregation based on attendance to SRI.

Scott touches on a point close to one of my own issues with government funding of religious organisations. That faith based welfare is vastly different to faith based practices. The former poised to benefit all, the latter designed to expand a belief system.

In this case we can compare the altruistic work done by religious welfare organisations to the intentional, calculated conversion of primary school children, both at taxpayer expense.

FIRIS parent Scott Hedges interviewed on Joy FM

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Pertussis notification and vaccination status in context

Across the globe it is known how important the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine is in preventing both infection and severity of infection with Bordetella pertussis.

Along with vaccines for diphtheria and tetanus, then polio (1950’s), measles, mumps, rubella (1960’s) the Australian pertussis vaccine has contributed to an astonishing 99% reduction in deaths from vaccine preventable disease. Just after the turn of the century pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus vaccines alone had saved over 70,000 lives whilst the population had almost tripled since their inception. Since then pertussis vaccination alone has saved around another 10,000 Australian lives.

From the World Health Organisation, to national or state health authorities across developed nations to your local doctor, the evidence is compelling. Although anyone can catch pertussis it is babies under 12 months who are most vulnerable to infection. The disease can cause disability and death in the unvaccinated. Whilst immunisation provides antibodies to fight pertussis, it does not provide “magical protection”. For that you need chiropractors or other practitioners of alternatives to medicine.

Immunisation against pertussis does mean:

  • A significantly reduced chance of being infected
  • A significantly reduced severity of infection if infected
  • Protection of unvaccinated individuals that one may come into contact with
  • Low levels of community infection with high levels of immunisation

Pertussis epidemics follow on from reduction in immunisation across the community, leading to a drop in herd immunity. The present epidemic Australia is experiencing began in Byron Bay, an area with very low immunisation rates, and then spread to other areas of low immunisation. From the backyard of Meryl Dorey’s anti-vaccination lobby group the seeds for this epidemic were sown a decade ago. Brynley Hull and Peter McIntyre wrote in January 2003 [page 12]:

Although immunisation coverage has greatly improved over the past five years in NSW, and many areas have reached coverage targets, there are areas in NSW where the level of registered conscientious objection to immunisation is great enough to affect immunisation coverage, as measured by the ACIR. One such area is northern NSW, and the Byron Bay SLA in particular, where the rate of conscientious objection is one of the highest in the country.

Despite the crystal clear science and undoubted success of immunisation, movements against all vaccines have grown. They have kept pace with internet driven conspiracy theories, imaginary diseases, imaginary cures and new age beliefs. The most successful currency used by those opposed to scientific success is ignorance and misinformation.

An excellent example regarding pertussis vaccination is that many people incorrectly believe all vaccines, with the exception of influenza, provide lifelong immunity. With pertussis, vaccine induced immunity wanes over time and as noted above whilst it reduces the chance of infection, it is not an impervious shield. Antivaccination lobbyists have taken advantage of this to infer that the pertussis vaccination schedule itself has failed. First, we have ignorance – the expectation that immunity is lifelong. Then follows misinformation.

For example as debunked here more than a few times, figures describing vaccination levels and notification of infection are frequently misused by the Australian Vaccination Network to falsely refute the efficacy of immunisation. Yet these clumsy attempts are piecemeal and misleading. Time and again infection notification and vaccination status is highlighted and infused with qualities that serve to misinform. Placing figures in context yields a very different picture which, given that they seek to deny international trends that have existed for decades, is not surprising.

The question, or challenge if you will, is about the veracity of the pertussis vaccination schedule. Thus we must take care to ensure we elucidate notifications related to full immunisation as per the schedule. Take the following table of children between 0 – 4 years old, diagnosed with pertussis:

Pertussis notification by vaccination status 0-4 years, Australia August 2011

We see that a total of 9,333 notifications have been tabulated. 5,296 or 56.7% are fully vaccinated.

986 are partially vaccinated. 800 are not vaccinated. 754 are ineligible for vaccination. This gives us a total of 2,540 or 27.2% who are not fully vaccinated.

1,497 or 16% are unknown.

Do these figures reflect infection in the community? No, they reflect the vaccine status of children diagnosed.

Firstly as the table informs us “fully vaccinated” does not necessarily conform with fully vaccinated under the National Immunisation Program. Ineligible cases between 6-8 weeks of age that had received one dose in 2009 are included in “fully vaccinated”. Both these facts artificially inflate the “fully vaccinated” category.

Next we must accept that this table underestimates the actual number of infections in the community. The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System relies on a passive surveillance system which does not capture every case of pertussis in the community.

Which raises the question. Who is not making notification? Can we infer anything about the vaccination status of those not recorded in the above table? If so, does this help us understand the figures in the table better? As a matter of fact, yes.

Do these figures reflect the efficacy of pertussis vaccination? In other words, is this telling us that there are over twice as many infected children in our community who have been vaccinated (56.7%), than those who have not been fully vaccinated (27.2%) and thus reflect low vaccine efficacy? No.

Far more children are vaccinated against pertussis than those who are not. 95% vs 5% in fact. Even with greatly reduced chance of infection the sheer numbers of vaccinated children mean that “fully vaccinated” will dominate notifications. These figures also reflect the greater likelihood of parents who vaccinate to take their child to a GP and follow through with reporting, and also reflect the likelihood of conscientious objectors to avoid a GP and to not follow through with reporting.

For example a USA study published in Vaccine in December last year showed that parents who do not vaccinate their children are four times more likely to take their child to a chiropractor than a conventional doctor. In Australia we already know that chiropractors are vocal antivaccination proponents with strong links to antivaccination lobby groups such as the Australian Vaccination Network. Many chiropractors in Australia actively mislead consumers on the topic of vaccination making impossible claims, actively deriding vaccination.

But we can do much better than this and begin to build a profile of parents who refuse vaccination and later choose conscientious objection. Five days ago Australian Doctor reflected on the study:

A US survey found parents who refused childhood vaccinations were four times more likely to have sent their youngest, school-aged child to a chiropractor than parents of vaccinated children. Parents who conscientiously objected to school immunisation requirements were also more likely to have strong concerns about vaccines, to distrust local doctors and to have had one or more births in a non-hospital, alternative setting. […]

Are naturopathic and complementary healthcare providers reinforcing parental concerns and ‘anti-vaccine’ opinions or promoting exemptions, or are they providing healthcare without emphasizing vaccinations?

The pattern emerging is one of anti-conventional medicine, reinforced by alternatives to medicine masquerading as “complementary healthcare”.  For our purposes we must now accept that unvaccinated children may be up to four times less likely to visit a GP when ill with pertussis. This means they may be up to four times less likely to appear as a notification. Regardless of exactly how many unvaccinated children are missed, we can see with confidence that the total is skewed away from highlighting unvaccinated children.

Thus the 8.6% of unvaccinated children noted in the table above (n=800) is possibly a significant underestimation. As parents who do vaccinate are more likely to visit a GP and report diligently, the total is additionally skewed toward the fully vaccinated. What this actually means regarding community impact is best captured in this post written by a mother whose vaccinated child was infected by an unvaccinated child who had been sent to school.

Now comes the fascinating aspect. “Unknown”. What does this mean? Really? For whatever reason, somewhere along the line the child’s vaccination status is not recorded at all, is recorded and fails to make it to the final notification table or is lost to genuine confusion or poor record keeping.

However if parents are not registered on the ACIR as conscientious objectors or as completing their children’s vaccination schedules they are also listed as “unknown”. Thus the following from Brynley Hull and Peter McIntyre is compelling [bold mine]:

Additionally, the proportion of conscientious objectors on the [Australian Childhood Immunisation Register] ACIR is likely to be an underestimate of the proportion of parents who don’t immunise because they disagree with immunisation, particularly in more economically advantaged areas. There are some non-immunising parents who ‘object to registering’, and they will refuse to complete any government-provided form.

“Refuse to complete any government-provided form”. Such as those that question the immunisation status of one’s child? That also is where a significant number of “unknown” cases have their genesis.

In tandem with our emerging profile of anti-conventional medicine beliefs driving the decision to not vaccinate and combined with the observation that CO’s are likely to contribute to the “unknown” category by not registering on the ACIR, we are able to make a strong inference that unvaccinated out-rate vaccinated in this category.

Whilst it is impossible to make outright factual quantified claims and rewrite that table, we may conclude that placed in the context of community trends it gives a less than reliable indication of infected subjects within the community. What it does give us is a snap shot of the vaccine status of notifications. Placed in context those notifications appear to be skewed away from unvaccinated and toward vaccinated subjects.

The most significant reason is the overwhelming numbers of vaccinated children in the community. Although appearing as a notification they have a far less severe case of pertussis and are unlikely to suffer disability or death. Other reasons for this would appear to be the intentional avoidance or substitution of conventional medicine, diagnosis and reporting of vaccination status by those in denial of vaccine efficacy.

Of course, people will use these figures to attack the overwhelming evidence in support of vaccination. That’s just what eccentric parent Greg Beattie has tried. It’s simply gobsmacking to read his misleading claim that only 11% of pertussis infections aren’t vaccinated. Actually it’s only 8.6%.

But the point to be made is whilst only 5% of 0-4 year olds aren’t “fully vaccinated” they make up a disproportionate 27.2% of infection notifications. Unsurprisingly his novel mathematics have been dealt with unceremoniously by A Drunken Madman.

There is no debate here. Pertussis vaccination saves lives.

ACCESS Ministries: Back to religious discrimination in Victoria

FIRIS Billboard hits on religious discrimination in schoolsStory here

Don’t be fooled by ACCESS ministries’ attempt to rewrite history and obfuscate their intention.

Victoria’s legislation provides for public school education about all religions. Yet this privilege has been usurped by a scheme to “save children” through conversion to Christianity.

In a multi-faith, multi-ethnic, secular community the choice of any religion or of no religion should be the right of every family. Not a struggle against a dominant force.

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In her own words… again: Evonne Paddison seeks to rewrite history

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Victorian skeptic & school teacher Adam Vanlangenberg discusses his lunchtime class

The rise of pseudoscience has been significant since cheap, rapid access to information has been the norm.

Regrettably the extreme beliefs held by many have been massaged by those who benefit such that Choice and Point of view (no matter how wrong) is taking the place of Evidence and Peer review. The trendy phrase that bothers me most is “health freedom”.

It’s one thing for hanky panky nonsense to make promises from shop windows and festivals. Yet quite another when it begins to shape the quality of science education on offer in Australian Universities. This rise in what I consider outright scams driven by those who are motivated by ego, self serving ideals and profit has a long history. I accept that many have genuine beliefs in the “wellness” industry. But I am yet to be availed of any evidence that consumer service and health is taking precedence over a vindictive confrontational trend by the many Enemies of Reason.

Recently the group Friends of Science in Medicine formed to address this:

A group of concerned Australian health care researchers and providers has set up an organisation that aims to discourage universities from offering accreditation in unproven medical therapies. The group would also like such therapies to be removed from claimable benefits by health funds.
Currently 19 (out of 39) Australian universities offer courses in unproven and often bizarre treatments such as iridology, aromatherapy, homeopathy and chiropractic.

Keeping up to speed with the norm of attacking Australian Skeptics as the proxy demon for anything evidence based, Meryl Dorey of the Australian Vaccination Network fallaciously wrote on this development:

There is an organisation in Australia which hates every natural therapy. They hate the healthcare practitioners and they hate the healthcare consumers who ‘turn their backs’ on Western medicine in favour of a range of other modalities which put no money in their pockets and take away their prestige. Worst of all, they hate anyone who chooses not to use  vaccines! That is the ultimate heresy, as far as they are concerned.

But it’s OK – because they have a plan and they have the money and media backing, they think, to bring this plan to fruition.

This group, the Australian Skeptics, has been instrumental in setting up the organisation, Stop the AVN.

Quite a lot of hatred to go with the free speech they are usually accused of suppressing. This is of course as noted before, simply scurrilous deflection from presenting any evidence or explaining missing funds. Stupidly many believers have taken up the trend. Meryl is under instruction from the Alliance for Health Freedom Australia to maintain the “enemy behind the curtain” slur on all things skeptical but ultimately it is very telling that Godwin’s Law out paces evidence provision in this matter.

Being tricked into conflict and betrayed by connivance is really what’s happening to many innocent minds. The big regret in some aspects is that heated young minds are misled as to the notion of skepticism and the aim of skeptic movements. Recently Adam Vanlangenberg, a Victorian school teacher and skeptic spoke on TV about the popularity of his lunchtime skeptic class.

Adam manages to capture in a few minutes a great deal of the bipartisan respect, tolerance and quest for verifiable knowledge that real skepticism is known for.

Adam Vanlangenberg on The Circle