Vaccines contain no aborted fetal cells

One of the most offensive lies peddled about vaccines is that they “contain aborted foetal cells”.

Consider this April 2013 screenshot from AVN Facebook:

Aborted fetal tissue

I noticed an even more absurd take when reading Anti-vaccine chiropractors redux-1, c/o reasonablehank. He was reviewing the anti-vaccine rantings of one “Dr” Koe Davidson who is a chiropractor running Peak Potential Health and Wellness in Mentone, Melbourne. One screenshot includes Davidson addressing vaccine ingredients as listed by the CDC. It includes:

Oh and “egg protein” = fancy word for aborted fetus cells. This wording was changed in mid 2012… Scary stuff.

For a document last updated in February 2012 I’m not sure what he’s trying to convey. The CDC cannot have changed egg protein to aborted “fetus” cells in 2012 as this would be complete nonsense. Thus one must conclude he is either utterly confused on the topic of cell cultures or – as is common with chiropractors aligned with the CAA – misinforming readers.

The CDC write about egg protein as a vaccine additive:

Egg protein is found in yellow fever and most influenza vaccines, which are prepared using chicken eggs. Ordinarily, persons who are able to eat eggs or egg products safely can receive these vaccines.

So how can such confusion on cell cultures come to pass? Today strains of human diploid cell culture are grown in containers in laboratories. In the manufacture of vaccines, viruses that infect humans are grown in these human diploid cell lines. One strain of human diploid cell culture was made in the USA in 1961. Labelled WI-38 this strain came from the lung tissue of an aborted female of three months gestation.

Another human diploid cell culture was produced in the UK in 1966. The tissue came from the lungs of a 14 week old male foetus and the strain is labelled MRC-5. W.I. refers to the Wistar Institute. M.R.C. refers to the Medical Research Council.

The abortions did not take place with the intent of producing human diploid cell culture for use in vaccine manufacture. The biologists who produced the diploid cultures did not induce the abortions. Both abortions were intentional and would have been carried out whether the foetal tissue had that fate or not, post abortion.

These cells used to grow viruses have been reproducing since 1961 (WI-38) and 1966 (MRC-5), respectively. The viruses produced this way are further processed and sterilised in the production of the vaccine. In this way any potential for contamination with foetal material is eliminated. Furthermore, strict quality control measures are employed to examine each vaccine to ensure no foetal material is present.

♣ The USA National Network for Immunization Information state (bold mine):

These two cell strains have been growing under laboratory conditions for more than 35 years. The cells are merely the biological system in which the viruses are grown. These cell strains do not and cannot form a complete organism and do not constitute a potential human being. The cells reproduce themselves, so there is no need to abort additional fetuses to sustain the culture supply. Viruses are collected from the diploid cell cultures and then processed further to produce the vaccine itself. ♣

Vaccines produced using WI-38 and MRC-5 human diploid cell lines include hepatitis A, rabies, rubella, MMR, varicella and Pentacell DTaP-IPV/Hib.

Another abortion was performed on a rubella virus-infected mother in 1968. Both mother and foetus were infected with wild rubella and this posed the risk of major birth defects. Foetal tissues were obtained and wild rubella virus (RA27/3) was isolated. This has been grown in human foetal diploid cell line WI-38. No foetal tissue is present in the vaccine. No further abortions are necessary to produce more vaccines.

Prior to isolation of RA27/3 the USA experienced 800 cases of congenital rubella annually. At the turn of the century only three babies with congenital rubella were born. Research was carried out to study the possibility of using other animal cells to produce the RA27/3 rubella vaccine. However these proved less effective and less safe.

The Vatican accepts the use of human diploid cells in the manufacture of vaccines. A June 9th 2005 Vatican City Statement on Aborted Fetal Vaccines acknowledges this. It notes use of these cell lines is:

…to avoid a serious risk not only for one’s own children but also, and more specifically, for the health conditions of the population as a whole – especially for pregnant women.

For example, the severe epidemic of German measles which affected a huge part of the United States in 1964 thus caused 20,000 cases of congenital rubella2, resulting in 11,250 abortions (spontaneous or surgical), 2,100 neonatal deaths, 11,600 cases of deafness, 3,580 cases of blindness, 1,800 cases of mental retardation. It was this epidemic that pushed for the development and introduction on the market of an effective vaccine against rubella, thus permitting an effective prophylaxis against this infection.

[And observes that]

…the parents who did not accept the vaccination of their own children become responsible for the malformations [due to rubella infection] in question, and for the subsequent abortion of fetuses, when they have been discovered to be malformed.

Think of an apple orchard. The organic material nourishing the trees includes (say) manure, bird droppings, animal carcases, rotting vegetation and so on. If one eats an apple one is not eating manure or the carcass of an unfortunate passing mammal. To say vaccines contain cellular material is to employ exactly such flawed thinking.

A vaccine initially made using human diploid cells that passed FDA requirements via another production method is the RabAvert rabies vaccine by Chiron Corporation. When safe and effective alternatives can replace the methodology involving human diploid cells we shall begin to see them. It is a fact that the human strains are superior in many ways. However they are not, in any way shape or form, “aborted foetal cells”.

The claim that vaccines contain the cells of aborted foetuses or are contaminated with any organic material is quite simply false.

Dorey and Dingle’s Vaccine-Autism Doppelgänger

Back on January 15th Meryl Dorey offered a rather messy tweet designed to sustain her fictitious claim that all vaccines are causally linked to autism.

Dorey_Jan15

I say “messy” because the January 14th Huffington Post article linked to, refers to the Vaccine Compensation Injury Program Court, compensating children that the ‘Post author wrongly insists have autism. Yet suppose this author – anti-vaccine terror-tattler David Kirby – was correct. We are still left with compensation awarded to children with autism. Not because of their autism.

Thus Dorey’s misleading query, “… how many more do we need b4 govt admits vaccines cause autism?”, is rather scurrilous. And that’s only if Kirby’s attempt to mislead the reader is based in fact. As it turns out the heading Vaccine Court Awards Millions to Two Children With Autism does not describe the events as they occurred.

In the case of Ryan Mojabi, on page 2 of the Court of Federal Claims Decision Awarding Damages document one reads:

On June 9, 2011, respondent filed a supplemental report pursuant to Vaccine Rule 4(c) stating it was respondent’s view that Ryan suffered a Table injury under the Vaccine Act – namely, an encephalitis within five to fifteen days following receipt of the December 19, 2003 MMR vaccine… and that this case is appropriate for compensation under the terms of the Vaccine Program.

That’s clear. Encephalitis, which is a Table injury under the Vaccine act.

Still, referring to Ryan the family had blamed all vaccines administered between March 25th 2003 to February 22nd 2005 as collectively causing “a severe and debilitating injury to his brain, described as Autism Spectrum Disorder”. Without picking over every detail there is a lack of agreement on exactly when and how persistently ill Ryan became. The family had travelled overseas and whilst the totality of doctor’s visits falls well short of that expected for a child as ill as Ryan’s parents allege, evidence was provided that he had presented with fever and rash in Tehran on January 6th 2004.

In August 2007 Ryan’s parents testified he had (post vaccination) experienced screaming, lethargy, floppiness, fever and shaking hands in 2003, just prior to travelling overseas. Ryan’s doctor has no evidence nor record of these events being reported as claimed. Nor that he had agreed to an overseas trip for Ryan whilst he was in that condition.

On page 15 of an earlier court document, Revised Ruling Regarding Factual Finding (May 2009) Ryan’s performance under Checklist for Autism in Toddlers [CHAT] on two dates well past his MMR vaccination, is discussed.

On May 10, 2004, at Ryan’s sixteen month well-child visit, Dr. Armstrong completed a Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT) screen. Ps’ Ex. 4 At 25. That CHAT screen indicated that Ryan was interested in other children, pretend play, peek-a-boo, points with index finger, makes eye contact, and brings object for show. On January 25, 2005, Dr. Armstrong examined Ryan for his twenty-four month well-baby check. Ps’ Ex. 4 at 31. During the visit, Dr. Armstrong conducted another CHAT screen, and again Ryan positively performed each of the listed behaviors.

The second case involves Emily Lowrie. Emily has a diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder – not otherwise specified and seizure disorder. PDD is not autism, but may be referred to as “atypical autism”. It is a form of ASD. According to Australia’s Raising Children’s Network, symptoms are “usually fewer or less pronounced” than with Autistic disorder or Asperger’s syndrome. There is evidence that Emily did develop a Table injury close to the time of vaccination. Yet there is no evidence that autism resulted and Kirby’s claim is simply false.

The vaccines-cause-autism devotees excel in labeling PDD-NOS as “autism” and often flesh out large samples by including “autistic like symptoms” where clear diagnoses of encephalitis and encephalopathy exist. As it happens Kirby runs off the tried and true Bailey Banks case. Bailey was diagnosed with PDD – a class of conditions to which autism belongs. Meryl Dorey misled her audience at the Woodford Folk Festival by fudging such diagnoses and for good measure plagiarising part of the Banks’ final ruling document. She added “[Autism]” to misrepresent PDD after lifting a quote directly from page 17 of the Banks v. HHS case file.

Other stunners exploiting the “autism-like” symptoms include the Pace Law School student debacle orchestrated by Mary Holland. This motivated Dorey to inform a commercial radio audience “hundreds, possibly thousands of families had been compensated”, as a result of vaccines causing autism. You can chase more on it up here.

Kirby also mentions Hannah Poling as though it is a foregone conclusion she developed autism from vaccination. Hannah’s mitochondrial enzymatic deficit and many environmental factors may trigger the encephalopathy she was compensated for. Many children with her mitochondrial condition develop encephalopathy in the first two years of life. As is often the case when science meets law, evidence is challenged by other dynamics. In this case it was the tireless efforts of her parents.

Jon Poling a neurologist and his wife Terry Poling a nurse and lawyer unfortunately refer to their victory as a “landmark” in vaccine-autism compensation. Little wonder certain key documents now remain under seal in other cases, providing conspiracy fodder for the likes of Kirby.

Some of Kirby’s conspiratorial nonsense includes:

Some observers will say the vaccine-induced encephalopathy (brain disease) documented in both children is unrelated to their autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Others will say there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise. […] Whether HHS agreed with Ryan’s parents that his vaccine-induced brain disease led to ASD is unknown. The concession document is under seal.

It looked like the family had a weak case.

But then something changed.

In October, 2010, Ryan’s attorney filed four new exhibits (under seal) and proposed amending the court’s “findings of fact.” […]

Readers are supposed to conclude something dark and dastardly has occurred. Never mind Kirby actually repeats the fact that there is no evidence for his supposition.

Orac does a great job of knocking Kirby off and quite rightly refers to one jaw-dropper as “Grade A conspiracy mongering”. We’re asked to accept that Emily’s mother, Jillian Moller, is relaying a factual account when we read:

After the ASD diagnosis, the judge reportedly became convinced that Emily would prevail. “My attorney said she was angry, she felt forced into a corner with no choice but to find for us,” Moller said. “She said, ‘Emily has autism, and I don’t want to give other families who filed autism claims any hope.'”

One doesn’t expect any different from an attempt to amplify the long disproved, non-existent link between vaccines and autism from Meryl Dorey. Yet even amongst our most radical evidence denialists and defenders of alternatives to medicine, should not a PhD give pause to consult the facts? To at least, say, delineate between autism and PDD-NOS. Maintain a bit of fidelissima integritatum with one’s readers perchance?

Not for Dr. Peter Dingle it seems. He’d tweeted recently and placed the same conclusion in the lap of “the independent court”. Could it be? A fortnight later than Ms. Dorey’s effort the event was repeating itself? Surely there was a new story. But no. Doc Dingle had availed himself of Kirby’s caper and leaped to the same conclusion. With exactly the same HuffPost tweet. It was identical. It was… a dopellgänger!

Dingle_Jan29

On a serious note, the damage done by individuals such as Dingle perpetrating this myth is far from insignificant. It ignores the truth and does little for those in genuine need of compensation.

It is right and proper that children injured by vaccines are compensated. With brain damage rates of one in one million related to MMR of course we will see these cases. Yet for cases of measles infection the rates are one in one thousand. Of course there is no anti-vaccine compensation program.

Although differences are subtle, denying the evidence and etiology peculiar to vaccine injury and disability helps no-one. If we consider similar patients all presenting with Acquired Brain Injury, virtually identical symptoms yet various etiology it is easier to see the importance of this. Road trauma, stroke, near drowning, boxing or other sporting injury may all present identical motor, speech, memory and other lifestyle challenges. False links driven by ideology would rightly appear bizarre.

What we do know in these VCIP cases is that several million dollars have been awarded to each child.

Yet it was not because vaccines cause autism.

Manufacturing dissent: double standards in defending vaccine denial

If you happen to pop past the AVN Facebook page you might notice this entry:

Pretty straightforward. A post with three comments. The three comments are…

Oh. So there seems to be a comment missing. In fact it was the original comment, and here it is:

A paying member was censored. In fact their comment was deleted so that a fairly basic request to have emails answered could be hidden. The issue at play is that the AVN owe over $180,000 in magazines for which they have already taken fees. 11 magazines have not been delivered. Already 2 this year on the back of 5 last year. Yet this member appears to have sent at least two emails requesting clarification and they have clearly been ignored. Still the AVN website censors the fact it is in trouble. It is brazenly seeking new members claiming:

Membership includes 6 editions of Living Wisdom magazine (either hard copy or digital or both if you choose) and there are discounts available for 12 and 18 issue memberships.

If you pay extra as a “professional member” you get a “free listing” in the AVN magazine that does not exist.

In the conclusion of Making Censorship Backfire, co-authored by AVN supporter and full member, Dr. Brian Martin, we read:

An examination of cases where censorship backfires provides some valuable lessons in how to make this happen. The first important point is that the censorship should be exposed to audiences who will be outraged by the act of censorship itself or by the disproportion between the act (speaking out) and the censoring response (a heavy-handed attack). It is essential to have solid documentation, which means that only some cases of censorship can be exposed in this way.

It is important not to be intimidated. Censorship is often backed up by threats of what will happen if those who are censored do not acquiesce. It can be rewarding to see these threats as potential opportunities. By exposing the threats, the backlash can be made all the stronger. Targets of censorship need to be prepared for further attack – including personal invective – should they challenge the censorship.

It is unlikely wide exposure of this would help the member Dorey has ripped off. The information quoted above is interesting in that the best response would be to politely reply arguing that Meryl has had ample time to respond. Furthermore you have serious concerns about the AVN selling magazine subscriptions when overdue issues are now clearly unlikely to eventuate. This raises questions of Fair Trading and advertising under false pretences. It would be in the interests of all concerned if members could discuss this in an open forum fashion.

Of course, as has happened many times before, this member would be banned (if that hasn’t happened already) and the entry deleted. What follows is touched upon in the quote from Dr. Martin above. Dorey writes scathing and vicious reviews of individuals and her loyal members swoop in to attack them on other social media. Claims of being threatened and bullied and having to hire security to defend herself from bullies who don’t believe in free speech, health choices and your right to choose gradually take on a life of their own. The “backfire” works to Meryl’s advantage.

Dr. Martin’s writings on censorship are part of his much larger body of work on dissent, including struggles for autonomy and democratic rights for citizens oppressed by malignant governments. His work often has an artistic choreographed appeal that whilst interesting reveals an untested work in progress.

What is of interest to this article is his defence of antivaccination lobbyists censoring information in order to convey a fallacious and sometimes dangerous message of authority and accuracy to unsuspecting readers. As I suggested recently extremely serious questions can be asked about Dr. Martin’s moral and ethical conviction. This is only reinforced in finding that altruism is not a feature of his work yet saying and doing what one wants, when one wants regardless of the consequences, are features of those he willingly assists.

Muddying the waters further are his attacks upon community volunteers who have themselves raised dissent. The failure of government regulators to challenge what is a litany of legislative transgression, charity scams and antisocial behaviour by Australia’s so-called Australian Vaccination Network is undeniable. Devoted to attacking conventional medicine and vaccination, the group continued unimpeded for 17 years until individual activists raised dissent with government agencies.

Dr. Martin holds his PhD in physics but does not work in any related area. Apart from being president of Whistleblowers Australia, he is presently Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Wollongong. Thus use of the term “Doctor” is quite misleading in qualifying his skill as a social scientist. It is unclear if he has any requisite understanding of ethics or moral responsibility as it pertains to social sciences and indeed, society as a whole.

One may venture to suggest it is of course unsurprising then, that Martin also writes about “dissident scientists” who work in dissent of what he terms “paradigms”, disagreeing as to what theories are correct. We are left only to ponder how a physicist has found himself well versed in the mechanics of “scientific dissent” whilst at the same time defending the denial of evidence as if it were dissent.

In startling misunderstanding of the scientific method and the value of evidence he notes incorrectly in Grassroots Science:

Dissent is central to science: the formulation of new ideas and the discovery of new evidence is the driving force behind scientific advance. At the same time, certain theories, methods, and ways of approaching the world – often called paradigms – are treated as sacrosanct within the professional scientific community. Those who persist in challenging paradigms may be treated not as legitimate scientists but as renegades or outcasts. […]

For example, there are many individuals who have developed challenges and alternatives to relativity, quantum mechanics, and the theory of evolution, three theories central to modern science. […]

Western medical authorities at first rejected acupuncture as unscientific but, following demonstrations of its effectiveness, eventually accepted or tolerated it as a practice under the canons of western biomedicine, rejecting its associations with non-Western concepts of the body. […]

At the same time, some mainstream medical practitioners and researchers are hostile to alternative health. This is apparent in pronouncements that taking vitamin supplements is a waste of money or in police raids on alternative cancer therapists, the raids being encouraged by mainstream opponents.

Many proponents of alternative health say that mainstream medical science is distorted by corporate, government, and professional pressures. In this context, grassroots medical science presents itself as being truer to the ethos of science as a search for truth unsullied by vested interests.

Whilst one is grateful to Dr. Martin for seeking to identify certain dynamics it is apparent that his reinterpretation of the facts serves evidence denial and pseudoscience very well. Arguably “dissent” as he terms it here may well prove valuable to science. But one might venture to add it’s primary value has been in provoking the need to examine dissenting theories such that they ultimately bring about their own demise.

He has misrepresented vitamin therapy and acupuncture, falsely accused scientists of holding “paradigms” sacrosanct and completely ignored the value of randomised controlled trials in revealing the validity or not of “outcasts” theories. I think it’s fair to accept the final paragraph as an observation, whilst also noting it’s inexcusable to omit that the evidence favours this as a distorted conspiracy. Alternatives to medicine have flourished in Australia, crept into educational institutes and been subsidised by health insurance for many years.

It would be pointless to continue with examples, which go as far as criticising the dismissal of anecdotal evidence by mainstream science. For the purpose of this article this would include vaccines causing autism, SIDS, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and diabetes. I have chosen those examples deliberately. Whilst The Australian Immunisation Handbook specifically states research has constantly replicated no link Martin is supervising a PhD student conducting a literature review, but no research, who continually states vaccines have been shown to cause these conditions.

What is clear from the errors above and the Grassroots Science article in general is that Dr. Martin either has no grasp on the concept of evidence and it’s importance to science, or seeks to misrepresent application of the scientific method to the extent of devaluing it to the status of merely discerning an opinion. One cannot ignore the parallels between the tone of his writing and that of his PhD student Judy Wilyman.

Many have sought to have Brian Martin answer how he can ignore the devastating impact of his support of the AVN. As I noted recently this goes as far as making excuses for Ms. Dorey’s refusal to engage in scientific discourse with those who seek to challenge many of her claims. A substantial amount of his work claims to expose censorship and the tactics of those who refuse to accept “dissident” or “grassroots scientists”.

Thus it is deeply troubling that he defends Ms. Dorey’s censoring of material. More troubling is his making excuses for Dorey’s refusal to accept to enter into discourse as a “grassroots scientist”. Yet most bizarre is his championing of Dorey actually censoring material to sabotage engagement as a “grassroots scientist” – and actually blame this on those who were censored despite them offering Dorey an avenue to provide evidence.

Consider this recent censorship by Dorey. It served to censor the truth and defend several demonstrable errors. In Martin’s view Dorey has no need to engage because people have “attacked” her. Despite this being a self serving interpretation, what it demonstrates is the perpetuation of misinformation. This is exactly why individuals have raised concern about overlap as an academic, an advocate for truth in evidence, the supervisor of Judy Wilyman and defender of Meryl Dorey.

This post below appeared on AVN’s Facebook page with the following comments. The first from Dorey makes the head spin. There is only one type b strain of Haemophilus influenzae (called Hib). Yet she informs readers that the Hib vaccine caused an increase in diagnosis of other types of Hib caused by yet even more Hib strains. Later she mentions “Hib (all strains)”:

Later this reply was added:

And yes, it was part of the thread:

Now if you pop back you’ll find it has been deleted and the other poster to take issue with Ms. Dorey’s creativity has now taken issue with Tristan’s rather divisive “us” reference.

The individual censored is also a member of the AVN and yes, is also wondering whatever happened to the magazines promised so long ago. Is this honestly how paying members are treated by Meryl Dorey? If so then one must begin to wonder exactly how Dorey and Dr. Martin are so certain that anonymous threats apparently come from people who have not been schemed, dismissed and discarded.

In Suppressing Research Data: Methods, Context, Accountability, and Responses, Martin writes:

Censorship, fraud, and publication biases are ways in which the availability of research data can be distorted. A different process is distortion of the perception of research data rather than distortion of the data itself. In other words, data is openly available, but efforts are made to shape people’s perception of it.

There appears to be little doubt of a significant conflict of interest. Martin is well aware of and extremely deft with tactics used to deflect the problems noted above. He is defending censorship and fraud at the AVN and his student has an exclusive history of publication bias. More recently Martin himself has distorted data by selectively using a misrepresentation of usual chatter on the Stop The AVN Facebook page. The aim – as he himself offers above – is to shape the public perception of those who challenge Ms. Dorey in such a way as to vilify and defame them.

As time passes I’ll endeavour to look closer at Martin’s work attacking those who essentially accept the overwhelming evidence on vaccination. Already we can dismiss his defence of impartiality. Yet so blatant and unethical is his present state of evidence denial a close look at parallels between defending antivaccination groups and his earlier work is warranted.

Given that Judy Wilyman and Meryl Dorey rely almost entirely on imagined conflicts of interest, this very conflict of interest within a conflict of interest to bolster manufactured dissent from outright denial and censorship is beginning to look very tacky indeed.

I do hope the University of Wollongong have a clear conscience.

Meryl Dorey’s Great “Vaccine Testing” Swindle

It doesn’t take much digging and delving to discover that Meryl Wynn Dorey is committing fraud and always intended to commit fraud.

In what will be the first post to examine fraud capers perpetrated by Meryl Dorey we’ll have a look at the false promises and schemes used to mislead members about the always imminent “vaccine testing”. One may wonder, where is that money now?

Charity fraud is known to be the choice of cowards. The callous, the cruel, the weak. Fines are so puny as to render the prospect of prosecution remote. The maximum fine for an offence (regardless of it’s size) that can be imposed upon the guilty is $5,500. Little wonder then that in NSW the OLGR has prosecuted one person in seven years. Jesse Phillips informed us of this last July 24th, when writing Why Charity Fraud is The Softest Crime.

He also noted:

Gaming and Racing Minister George Souris has pledged that investigating charity fraud will be a priority and that he will initiate prosecutions where appropriate. […]

Reports of bogus charities were rare but all complaints about suspicious charities were investigated, he said.

Last year the office cancelled the fundraising authorities for Solutions to Obesity Problems and the Australian Vaccination Network.

Solutions to Obesity Problems had its charity status revoked following publicity from radio presenter Ray Hadley while the AVN’s charity status was revoked after it was found to have breached charitable fundraising laws and potentially misled the public as its appeals were not done in good faith.

Neither was prosecuted.

I suggest checking The Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 (NSW Legislation) for a better understanding of “fundraising appeal”, “participating in a fundraising appeal”. etc. Do note however that Section 10 Participating In Unlawful Fundraising states:

A person who participates in a fundraising appeal which the person knows, or could reasonably be expected to know, is being conducted unlawfully is guilty of an offence.

So let’s ease in to the “vaccine testing” swindle with a generic gimme ya money appeal, that sort of morphed into having a partially stated purpose of vaccine testing. Around June of 2006 Meryl was availing her members with a magazine called Doing The Rounds. In this first issue Meryl opines that the catchy themed “$26 donation from every member donation drive” has yielded a puny $1,700.

Unfortunately, the $26 from every member donation drive has been floundering. After a flurry of donations and pledges in the first days of our appeal, the not-so-grand total to date is just over $1,700. Considering the fact that we have over 2,000 AVN members and another 800 or so readers of this email who have never joined but are reading this information, I hope that this tally can be lifted substantially in the next week or so. If you haven’t donated yet, please do so and if you are not a member, have a think about joining. Also, remember to forward our information on to friends, family and acquaintances who you think might be interested in joining.

Nothing like a bit of flounder to get an Aussie interested. By issue two of Doing The Rounds the total was $6,016 – “a fantastic start” Meryl enthused. We also learn there’s a total goal of $52,000. The detective in you has spotted that 52,000 divided by 26 suggests 2,000 members. And Meryl has put the guilt trip on another “800 or so readers”.

Also great news! Meryl has announced “Our First Project With These Funds”. She has arranged with an independent laboratory to test two different vaccines for the presence of heavy metals. One will be a “supposedly mercury-free shot”. Also this money should now be going into a trust account with a stated purpose.

Issue 3 of Doing The Rounds brought more updates. Another 2 grand had hit the target, but there was $48,000 to go.

As you no doubt remember, we are looking for total donations of $52,000 which equated to a donation of only $26 from each one of you. Since the last newsletter, we have raised an additional $2025 in donations which is lovely but means that we still need more than $48,000 to get to our goal.

And there was a graph headed “How Close Are We Getting?” to prove it:

Next came Doing The Rounds Issue 4. Since July 1st $3,114 had rolled in. One generous donor had given $2,000. Two things also happened in Issue 4. The promise of putting the $2,000 toward testing vaccines for heavy metals “such as mercury” was made. This now locks the AVN into certain conditions laid out in The Charitable Fundraisng Act 1993 (NSW Legislation).

  • Division Three: Application of funds raised

20 Proceeds of Appeal

(1)  Any money or benefit received in the course of a fundraising appeal conducted by the holder of an authority is to be applied according to the objects or purposes represented by or on behalf of the persons conducting the appeal as the purposes or objects of the appeal.

21 Investment

(1)  Money received in the course of a fundraising appeal which is not immediately required to be applied to the purposes or objects of the appeal may be invested only in a manner for the time being authorised by law for the investment of trust funds.

The Charitable Trusts Act 1993 notes:

In this Act:

charitable trust means any trust established for charitable purposes and subject to the control of the Court in the exercise of the Court’s general jurisdiction with respect to charitable trusts.

Effectively money raised toward “vaccine testing” must go toward vaccine testing, or into a charitable trust. Other monies not earmarked for vaccine testing, but raised from the $52,000 donation drive must be invested in a charitable trust as money raised in the course of a specific appeal.

Also, The AVN had applied to be a tax deductible gift recipient. Perhaps being over confident of success changes were made to their constitution. It all got confusing when they accordingly opened a new bank account called Australian Vaccination Network Inc. Gift Fund. Although the AVN’s application “to be a tax deductible gift recipient” was, to this day, never accepted (like say, with Charities), the practice of switching between these two accounts remains a feature of this and future scams.

Next up is Issue 5 of Doing The Rounds. There’s $8,541.59. $2,500 has been “set aside” for testing vaccines for the presence of mercury. I do hope you have no liquids in your mouth dear reader, because it was also announced that a new goal of submitting the “results of these tests for publication in a mainstream medical journal”, had been established.

So to date there should be one trust account holding $8,541.59 as the total so far of the “$52,000 donation drive”. And another trust account holding $2,500 for vaccine testing. The confusion with money going into Australian Vaccination Network Inc. and the meaningless Australian Vaccination Network Inc. Gift Fund bank accounts should also be corrected.

Things go a bit quiet on the Vaccine Testing front for 15 months, until January 2008. Members are then told about Your Donations At Work. Or rather, it seems their donations are not doing much work at all.

No more gushing detail about totals is forthcoming. Indeed members will never hear of any financial total related to vaccine testing again. They will also never hear of the fate of the $52,000 donation drive. Exactly how that $11,000 in total of theirs in the above screenshot is to be (or was) spent is a mystery. The fate of that money is never mentioned again.

Oh, never fear though. There were other feverish donation and fundraising drives in the meantime. Girls were being savaged with “mandatory HPV vaccination”. Only an “urgent $2,000” could save them. Legal action was to be launched by the AVN to save hospital employees from immunisation. I’ll cover those later. But in January 2008, Dorey had cranked up ye olde “vaccine testing” myth again.

You see, the donations aren’t at work because the AVN now needs a “couple of people with expertise in [vaccine testing]”. Perhaps a Laboratory Scientist, a Research Scientist, a Graduate Scientist or a medical or healthcare professional previously involved in research. They still “plan on submitting it for publication in a medical journal”.

Then came February 2008. Can You Help With Raising Funds For This Project? Suddenly donations weren’t at work anymore. In fact, they apparently weren’t even enough anymore.

I don’t have a problem with total donations not being enough to test vaccines for heavy metals. In truth the entire hoped for $52,000 would have delivered little in that respect. It’s the way this phoney caper is presented that’s concerning. And we see more polish to AVN’s standard conspiracy laden scheme of them saving members from the danger of vaccines.

The call for money blurb was:

In 1999, the Australian government ordered the removal of mercury from all childhood vaccines. It was several years however before the old mercury-laden vaccines were actually used up and in all that time, children continued to receive mercury – a known killer of brain cells – in their shots.

Recent vaccine tests conducted by HAPI (Health Advocacy in the Public Interest) indicate that many if not most childhood and adult shots may still contain this toxic heavy metal. Independent testing is needed!

The Australian Vaccination Network is planning on testing every currently-licensed vaccine for the presence of toxic heavy metals. Funding is required to perform these tests properly. Without proper independent tests, Australian children and adults may continue to be poisoned by the failure of the government to ensure the removal of toxic ingredients from vaccines.

This continued on for four more months. You can check in Doing The Rounds March, April and June 2008. Of course it’s entirely bogus. Whatever amount was needed was never conveyed. Clearly they were not consulting, or knew it was financially prohibitive. Whatever total was raised was also never conveyed. It was a crude grab for dollars. Nothing less.

Nobody ever heard of this “scheme”, any respondents to the request for research help, the proposed medical paper or a single cent related to it again. Nonetheless every AVN publication during and since 2006 have provided options for donating, getting slicker and more bold over time.

To the delight of AVN watchers however, Meryl Dorey did make one other attempt to keep the “vaccine testing” scam afloat. Heavily weighed down with donor dollars Dorey was off to the USA in October 2010. Donors had paid for multiple iMacs, iPads and countless flights around Australia. Why not a trip to good old USA? Why not indeed?

Exciting Times Ahead! gushed the October 2010 edition of Living Wisdom/AVN newsletter. Meryl was off to the Freedom For Family Wellness Summit in Washington. Just in case you were wondering what Meryl was doing jetting off to the USA almost 5 years after first promising to spend your money on Vaccine Testing you got this *:

Of course no feedback followed and no-one was kept up to date with what is essentially the last entry (to date) in the sorry saga of Meryl Dorey’s promised vaccine testing.

Just this one example indicates that the up to 25 breaches of The Charitable Fundraising Act uncovered by the OLGR were not “minor”. Indeed the most basic requirements have not been adhered to. No member has a clue where any money is, exactly what it has been spent on, or in this and other cases at what stage, and indeed how likely, the fruition of certain projects are.

All that is constant is the ongoing siphoning of money from a rapid turnover member base. Rather than accusing her critics of libel Ms. Dorey would do well to address the damning evidence that comes from her own hand. That is published under her own name.

In closing one can only be drawn again to consider the many claims of threats and harassment Dorey claims comes her way from Stop The AVN or members of various Skeptic groups. It’s a tired old line and few believe it. Her critics work from evidence not emotion.

However, if it were true I’d be worrying about the thousands of members schemed and lied to for financial gain.

Maybe someone really wanted vaccines tested.

* I’m indebted to an alert AVN watcher for knowing where to recover this text.

Scientific consensus is a myth and flu vaccine infects with influenza

I was astonished to read this tweet today from well known anti-vaccination identity, Meryl Dorey:

Certainly, I agree that science never “proves” anything. Mathematics and logic have “proofs”, but not science. Which is why scientific consensus provides us with invaluable insight into evidence that applies to matters of science. More so, it is the flexibility of scientific consensus that gives one confidence in science. Dorey’s proposed infinite loop of unending testing is a semantic trick, designed to convey a feel of impotent stasis.

Scientific consensus provides the best explanation from the very best and most reliable of all possible theories. It has after all, extended lifespan and quality in the developed world. Surely there must be more to this reworking of reality. Facebook rewarded my curiosity.

I see. Further application of what we consulted just recently. Meryl’s Equation: < 100% = 0%.

Thalidomide was a watershed in how drug trials are conducted. The tragedy forever changed the way trials proceed before drugs are released onto the market. Vioxx – Merck’s COX-2 inhibitor – is equally concerning. Yet Vioxx represents regulator apathy and a triumphant change in scientific consensus. The FDA approved it in April 1999 and it was recalled completely by Merck in September 2004. There was no “ignoring evidence that their consensus is wrong”.

I’m not seeking to whitewash either event but they do not render scientific consensus as a valuable and crucial notion, suddenly useless.

I imagine mentioning “mercury” is aiming to cast the removal of thimerosal from childhood vaccines, in response to unfounded fears and a drop vaccination rates, as evidence it was causally related to autism or other horrors. In fact, speaking of consensus this remains a topical point. Many insist it was foolish to pander to the anti-vaccine lobby as it may be abused to legitimise their false claims. Such is exactly what we see here.

Depending upon what it is confirming, scientific consensus may come under attack as its relationship to the scientific method is open to exploitation and abuse. Denial of anthropogenic climate change, vaccine efficacy and promotion of intelligent design (biblical creationism), rely heavily on trying to undermine the fact of overwhelming scientific consensus. A key weapon here is in producing “their” scientists to attack the work of others and advance a sham alternative.

The relationship between scientific consensus and the scientific method is perhaps poorly understood. Thus, it befalls us to educate ourselves about the sources of proposed consensus. And by that I really mean finding reputable sources and knowing how to spot disreputable sources. I found myself recently struggling to explain these notions to a friend.

In Australia a documentary aired called I can change your mind on climate change. Presenting both “sides” (denialist rehash vs evolving facts) it was followed by an episode of QandA that offered a terribly worded poll. The question was “Would you change your mind on climate change”? By itself, my answer to that question is an unhesitating Yes. Availed of convincing evidence and a change in consensus I have no problem answering that I “would”.

Yet I suspect the question was worded to be seen in the context of the programme. In which case it should have read “Would you change your mind on climate change given the pathetically, preposterous, piffle to poke at the periphery of your predisposition to weigh dissenting views?” Er… No.

Nonetheless I spent a futile half hour attempting to explain to my friend that whilst I need no convincing of anthropogenic climate change, those very views are important to me because of the relationship between the scientific method and scientific consensus. It is because the scientific method makes scientific consensus so potentially frail, that I back the notion of anthropogenic climate change.

So it is with any consensus arrived at within science. The scientific method is the weapon of choice with which consensus is changed. Little wonder then, an anti-vaccination crusader seeks to demean both.

Prior to this another tweet had caught my eye:

This is pure nonsense. Being infected with influenza is “one of the most common side effects” of vaccination against influenza? I think not.

In fact the NCIRS have a handy Fact Sheet on influenza vaccination. Influenza vaccines used in Australia are inactive. Influenza cells in vaccines cannot cause infection. They have lost their mojo.

As Julie Leask pointed out, in what a betting person might argue was the catalyst for Meryl’s merriment, only 1% – 10% of recipients report symptoms of mild infection for “a day or two”. In fact the article entitled Monday’s Medical Myth: the flu vaccine will give you influenza also noted other reasons for claims of inefficacy-by-infection.

  1. Anyone vaccinated might get another virus that feels like influenza.
  2. Some people’s immune system does not respond to the vaccine.
  3. Anyone vaccinated may get another strain of influenza.
  4. (As mentioned) less than 10% have mild flu-like symptoms for up to 48 hours.

Other strains of influenza exist because at the time production began, the vaccine strains targeted were calculated to be in circulation months later. This isn’t always correct. Combined with the other issues influenza vaccine is suboptimal. And suboptimal is manna for application of Meryl’s Equation.

Leask points out that we under-react to the risk of influenza. Costing Australia $115 million annually, it kills 3,000 and hospitalises over 13,500 people over 50 each season.

Nonetheless a visit to Facebook was a definite must.

Writing in Science-Based Medicine about problems associated with suboptimal flu vaccination Mark Crislip touches on “vaccine goofs” prone to Meryl’s Equation (<100% = 0%).

So it’s a suboptimal vaccine.  And that’s a problem. One, because it will make it more difficult to prove efficacy in clinical studies and two, there is a sub group of anti vaccine goofs who seem to require that vaccines either be perfect, with 100% efficacy and 100% safe, or they are not worth taking.

The CDC have this to say:

At least two factors play an important role in determining the likelihood that influenza vaccine will protect a person from influenza illness: 1) characteristics of the person being vaccinated (such as their age and health), and 2) the similarity or “match” between the influenza viruses in the vaccine and those spreading in the community. During years when the viruses in the vaccine and circulating viruses are not well matched, it’s possible that no benefit from vaccination may be observed. During years when the viruses in the vaccine and circulating viruses are very well matched, it’s possible to measure substantial benefits from vaccination in terms of preventing influenza illness.

NCIRS:

[In older people] influenza vaccine is about 30– 40% effective in preventing symptoms of the flu, 50–60% effective against hospitalisation due to influenza, and 70– 80% effective against death from complications of  influenza. Influenza vaccination also appears to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. When there  is a good match between the influenza strains in the vaccine and those causing current disease, the vaccine can prevent illness in about 70–90% of healthy children and adults. The vaccine is less effective in those with an impaired immune system

Certainly then there is no evidence that the influenza vaccine doesn’t work or as claimed, “causes the flu”.

I don’t quite know what sparked this most recent attack on “skeptics” and science in general but I would hope to see better from a so-called “health educator” able to raise funds as a charity.

For now the scientific consensus is sound and overwhelmingly in favour of mass vaccination.