Andrew Arnold, the Melbourne based chiropractor whose manipulation of the spine of a two week old infant was described as “deeply disturbing” by the Victorian health minister is presently refraining from treating anyone under 12 years of age.
It’s appalling that young children and infants are being exposed to potential harm. That’s why I’ve written to the Chiropractic Board of Australia and AHPRA (the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) to urge them to take the necessary action. There is nothing at the moment that prevents chiropractors from undertaking these risky practices… The advice that I’ve received is that the risk of undertaking spinal manipulation on small infants far outweighs any perceived benefit.
It’s worth noting that chiropractic treatment in general and the manipulation of infants specifically has a history of drawing harsh criticism from health and medical professionals and penalties from regulators. Fairfax reported in December 2011, Doctors take aim at chiropractors. One wonders at the lack of a cogent response to such serious statements from reputable professionals.
The inclusion of a chiropractic course at Central Queensland University prompted 34 scientists, professors and doctors to note federal government funding “gave their ‘pseudoscience’ credibility”. Fairfax reported that their statement included;
…it was also disturbing that some chiropractors spruiked the adjustment of children’s spines for many potentially serious conditions including fever, colic, allergies, asthma, hearing loss and learning disorders.
…the doctors said they were also concerned about chiropractors being the largest ”professional” group in the anti-vaccination network. [Now named The Australian Vaccination Risks Network]
At the time Australian Chiropractors Association president Lawrence Tassell responded by saying the criticism was ridiculous and misinformed. He further contended chiropractic was “evidence-based, including its use on children for the treatment of conditions such as colic.”
Note: The Australian Chiropractors Association was originally The Chiropractic Association of Australia (CAA). [Wikipedia]
Just colic? Was this an admission that fever, asthma, hearing loss, all allergies and all learning disorders did not benefit from chiropractic despite promotional claims that they did? Even so the question of evidence supporting chiropractic for the treatment of colic (crying♣) was not as Tassell suggested. Months later a Cochrane review consulted research into that very issue.
The studies included in this meta-analysis were generally small and methodologically prone to bias, which makes it impossible to arrive at a definitive conclusion about the effectiveness of manipulative therapies for infantile colic.
…most studies had a high risk of performance bias due to the fact that the assessors (parents) were not blind to who had received the intervention. When combining only those trials with a low risk of such performance bias, the results did not reach statistical significance.
This brings to mind criticism of anti-scientific training and ideological dogma favoured by what John Reggars calls fundamentalists. Reggars is past president of the Chiropractors Registration Board of Victoria and past vice president of the Chiropractic and Osteopathic College of Australasia.
In May 2011 Chiropractic and Manual Therapies published Reggars’ wonderfully honest and revealing article, Chiropractic at the crossroads or are we just going around in circles? Reggars is a firm proponent of evidence based therapy. As such he criticises the vertebral subluxation complex and B.J. Palmer’s notion of “dis-ease”. Consider this gem of a paragraph;
The irony of this fervent belief in the VSC and chiropractic philosophy is that its development was not founded on vitalistic theory but rather as a legal strategy, conjured up by an attorney, in the defence of a chiropractor charged with practicing medicine [7, 32, 33]: “Many in chiropractic never learned the origin of the pseudo-religion or chiropractic philosophy. It was nothing more than a legal tactic used in the Morriubo’s case.”, and “B.J. Palmer probably developed his dis–ease theory as a result of the winning strategy used by his attorney Thomas Morris to defend Japanese chiropractor Shegatoro Morijubo in Wisconsin in 1907″.
– Author’s citations in place.
Reggars also concluded that the Chiropractic Association of Australia (CAA) abandoned science for fundamentalist ideologies. He observed that their “all-encompassing alternative system of healthcare is both misguided and irrational”.
Readers are handed the reality of what chiropractors genuinely offer;
Chiropractic trade publications and so-called educational seminar promotion material often abound with advertisements of how practitioners can effectively sell the VSC to an ignorant public. Phrases such as “double your income”, “attract new patients” and “keep your patients longer in care”, are common enticements for chiropractors to attend technique and practice management seminars.
Selling such concepts as lifetime chiropractic care, the use contracts of care, the misuse of diagnostic equipment such as thermography and surface electromyography and the x-raying of every new patient, all contribute to our poor reputation, public distrust and official complaints. […]
For the true believer, the naive practitioner or undergraduate chiropractic student who accepts in good faith the propaganda and pseudoscience peddled by the VSC teachers, mentors and professional organisations, the result is the same, a sense of belonging and an unshakable and unwavering faith in their ideology.
Back in June 2016 Ian Rossborough published a similar video which also drew strong condemnation. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) responded by banning him from manipulating the spines of children under six.
Grabbing the infant’s feet he announces “I’m locking in here”. Really? He lifts the baby offering verbal distractions. “I’m just gunna go upside down for a second… yep and as we go back down just hold his head… Perfect!” Then comes the stick-that-goes-click. Or as chiropractors call it, the Activator. A spring loaded device which delivers an “impulse”. He demonstrates the lowest setting and releases it into what seems to be the right side of the infants cervical spine. Another still image (below) shows Arnold apparently applying the activator to the infants upper cervical spine at the base of the skull.
The application of the activator as seen in the video hurts or distresses the infant immediately and he begins to cry. “…and he’s going to squawk a bit”, Arnold offers as if he planned and expected this all along. Then, he does it again! And guess what? More crying. “Sorry mate” he offers for the parent’s sake. He checks the collar bones “…cause they get a bit crunched up inside”. He checks potential for collar bone crunching by moving the infants hand. “So with this, start to get in the habit of getting a grip here”, and the video finishes with what appears to be reference to the Palmer grasp aka Darwinian reflex.
This reflex in which babies grip fingers develops around three months of age. I do hope Andrew Arnold informed the parents of this. Then again, I hope someone informed Andrew Arnold of this.
There’s little doubt we’re slow to not merely evaluate most chiropractic therapy and indeed most chiropractors as offering nothing more than pseudoscience. That so people many in developed nations believe their demonstrably preposterous claims about treatment is quite surprising. With the amount of pseudoscience and junk medicine accessible online it is little wonder parents will fall for chiropractic claims about treating infants.
Chiropractic clients should be informed that mild to moderate adverse effects are frequently associated with manipulation of the upper spine in adults. Dissection of the vertebral artery and stroke may also occur. [Source]. It’s difficult to imagine more than a very few parents would be comfortable having infants, babies and young children treated if aware of this situation.
A 2008 study found there was very little supporting evidence for the claims chiropractors made regarding pediatric treatment. A 2007 systematic review found that serious adverse effects may be associated with pediatric spinal manipulation. However observation data could not support conclusions on incidence or causation.
It remains firmly demonstrable that evidence to sustain even a fraction of claims made by chiropractors as to how effective pediatric treatment is remains absent. The fact chiropractors themselves have not pursued large scale randomised controlled trials with a vigor akin to that with which they claim an ability to heal is concerning.
I have no doubt there are chiropractors who do strive to follow an evidence based approach to treatment. Yet with some influential chiropractors labelling this approach as out of date in favour of the approach of D.D. Palmer’s 19th century vitalism, they face a struggle to be heard.
As John Reggars noted since the adoption of the fundamentalist approach and application of the vertebral subluxation complex (VSC), chiropractic in Australia has taken a backward step. Chiropractors have abandoned a “scientific and evidence based approach to practice for one founded on ideological dogma”.
Australians are entitled to be protected from expensive, dangerous pseudoscience in the health industry. At present we are faced with regulators who need to develop some rather sharp teeth and make a meal of chiropractic pseudoscience.
♣ (4/3/19) NB: Colic may refer to severe abdominal pain caused by an intestinal blockage or gas. Infants are prone to the condition, responding with constant crying. In fact crying is the means by which “colicky” babies are diagnosed. Paediatricians may use the “rule of threes” in diagnosis, particularly items 2-4.
Crying begins at around 3 weeks of age.
Crying for more than 3 hours.
Crying on more than 3 days per week.
Crying this way for more than 3 weeks.
Because crying is what determines infantile colic there is ample disagreement as to the role of intestinal pain or even if colic itself is a myth. Other criticisms involve the convenient use of colic as a diagnosis for excessive crying.
I worry that, especially as the Millennium edges nearer, pseudo-science and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive.
A substantial reliance on anecdotal evidence;
Without a doubt the alternatives to medicine behemoth would be lost without dramatic tales of self-limiting illnesses merely running their course, or completely false or hugely exaggerated stories of serious, disabling or terminal disease executing an about face due to the power of some wonderful concoction. The frustrating hurdle here for those who promote reason is that almost all work undertaken to convince the patient occurs in their own mind. Scam artists from peddlers of herbs to chiropractors, Baptist religions and indeed even the Catholic Church are swift to take credit if they have been involved.
Extraordinary claims in the absence of extraordinary evidence;
From 9/11 being an inside job to images of the apparent exhumation of giant skeletons to alien autopsy videos and shaky vision of UFOs drifting across a grainy background it seems all these and other extraordinary claims have one thing in common. A powerful need to believe in their truth by those that ensure certain – in fact sometimes many – conspiracy theories indeed exist. Now thanks to Netflix we can wander through a range of delightful titles that offer everything from reasonable special effects to WW2 era reports and “experts” convinced our governments expect us to believe the laws of physics have been broken.
Claims which cannot be proven false;
Insisting oneself or perhaps a number of people in the world have communicated telepathically at infrequent and random intervals with aliens from a distant star is impossible to disprove on face value. The claimant can continue to insist he/she is unaware of who the other telepathic human recipients are, or when he/she will receive or has received a communication. The communication may be quite benign such as, “Happy Birthday Deepak”.
Ideally the burden of proof should be placed on the party making the claim.
Claims that counter established scientific fact;
Often going hand in hand with claims that rely on anecdotal evidence are those that defy scientific fact. Homeopathy stands atop the podium in this regard. Not only is it absolutely certain to not work but its adherents may insist on relaying impossible tales – often knowing they are outright lies – to besmear evidence based medicine and promote junk, bogus cures. For example pertussis (or Whooping Cough) is sometimes referred to as “the 100 day cough”. Prominent Australian antivaccinationist Meryl Dorey claimed on national TV both her vaccinated and unvaccinated children “got it”. She treated it homeopathically and “none of us were sick for more than two weeks and it was nothing worse than a bad cough”.
Countering established fact may be said of an enormous number of claims made about pseudoscientific “cures” for many ailments. Some treat energy meridians or “chakras” that don’t actually exist. These involve peddling herbs, acupuncture, acupressure, chiropractic, osteopathy, chanting, cupping, aligning activities with moon cycles, astrology and more.
Without a doubt denial of anthropogenic climate change should be mentioned here and we might again reflect upon to Carl Sagan’s worrying prediction.
Absence of adequate peer review;
In 2015 antivaccinationist and critic of vaccine science Judy Wilyman, under the auspicies of antivaccinationist and conspiracy sympathiser Dr. Brian Martin, finished her PhD at the University of Wollongong. The controversy surrounding inadequate peer review between 2012 to 2016 and indeed until today is a function of the copious inaccuracies in her thesis. Entitled “A critical analysis of the Australian Government’s rationale for its vaccination policy”, it was an immature an inaccurate antivaccination conspiracy rant. The fact that it was accepted, and indeed accepted with its discredited bibliography, indicates a clear absence of adequate peer review.
Tragically this eventuality has emboldened Wilyman to demand respect from academics and to level outrageous personal claims at her critics, rather than attempt to publish respectable material.
Claims that are repeated despite being refuted;
Whilst a great deal of the above intellectual repugnance deserves a slice of this pie, the authors at Relatively Interesting have populated it with the anti-vaccination obsession with the globally damaging claim that vaccines cause autism. Originally at a 1998 media conference designed to reassure parents, head author of the now rejected paper Andrew Wakefield proffered the baseless claim that rather than use the MMR trivalent vaccine, parents should consider choosing single shot vaccines. The “vaccines cause autism” claim has not only been shown to be false and cannot be replicated, but it is now well established that Wakefield acted with the sole aim of making tens and probably hundreds of millions of pounds via his plan to establish immuno-analysis laboratories for the new condition he was calling autistic enterocolitis. He also held patents for single shot measles, mumps and rubella vaccines.
A five member General Medical Council panel found Wakefield guilty of over 30 charges including 12 of causing children to endure “clinically unjustified” invasive testing procedures, buying blood at children’s birthday parties and managing four counts of dishonesty. Then, his “continued lack of insight” into his conduct, and consequences thereof, meant that only “total erasure” from the medical register was warranted. Today on the back of countless refutations of Wakefields claims he now pushes the fraudumentary Vaxxed full of false information and complete with the tampered audio of phone conversations.
Regrettably today more than in recent years we can benefit from keeping an eye out for these seven markers of pseudo-science.
For almost 36 minutes Australia’s self appointed queen of medical system dissent sought to terrify and motivate her Facebook Live audience by creating the illusion that child services deployed something like Black Ops caseworkers. Dorey cited a letter from a FACS whistleblower to the minister responsible for FACS NSW. The whistleblower had apparently, “in his six or seven years of working for FACS had not taken a child off of (sic) one family”.
The task of removing children was left to a particular mold of caseworker who the whistleblower advised were known as “removalists”. Dorey couldn’t find the letter, which she had read on her iPad whilst in her bed chamber. I have no reason to believe the letter doesn’t exist and have seen the term “removalists” in a newspaper reader comment published prior to Dorey’s performance. Yet I am skeptical as to certain motives attributed to these “removalists” based on Ms. Dorey’s reading of the whistleblower’s letter. She tells her audience that, “so many of his, um, workmates were actually called removalists because that’s all they did they didn’t care what happened to the children, um, they just thought of it as either their power trip or um, [chuckle] their sadisticness (sic), I have no idea but they were moving so many children off of (sic) families without ever trying to keep them together”.
With this horrifying scene set in our minds we are reminded that it’s now twenty days since Chase has been with his family. A court hearing that day was adjourned until the 22nd of June 2017 and, “until that time the parents have no visitation. They can’t even see their son.” Dorey then continues with a comparison to the stories we read about in the papers, “all the time where DoCS or FACS or Child Protection has been told that a child is at risk, um, where they’ve had, you know, terrible physical harm to the children. Where they’ve been burnt, they’ve had broken bones, they’ve been beaten to within an inch of their lives. And those cases it seems FACS does not, um, does not do anything with them, and too often the child there dies or is, um, permanently injured and nothing is done”.
Yes, you read that correctly.
“But you have a case like Chase and so may other families where parents are absolutely doing the right thing by their children. They are taking good care of their children and, um, they get their kids ripped off of (sic) them and put into hospital situation or care situation where they can be harmed significantly and traumatised”. Dorey continues to customise this invented “hospital situation” horror with the conviction of someone who has actually been there continually monitoring Chase. He’s always been with his family but for the last twenty days has been lying in a hospital somewhere, “without anyone to love him, without anyone to take care of him, without anyone to see when he’s feeling harm or pain or whatever, and this is the situation that so many families find themselves in”.
Yes, she actually said that.
(See related ♣ Updateat end of post)
Then it’s on to the conspiracy behind the most recent update to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders – DSM-5. Dorey reasons that High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s will no longer be diagnosed under autism (“which is a way the government is going to try to reduce the explosion of autistic diagnoses”). However this claim essentially contends that diagnoses of severity have been abandoned. This is not so. What this DSM-5 conspiracy basically supports is the belief that governments and health authorities across the globe will try to suppress the number of autism diagnoses in an attempt to suppress the fictional “vaccine-autism” link.
Note: Individuals with a well-established DSM-IV diagnosis of autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified should be given the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Individuals who have marked deficits in social communication, but whose symptoms do not otherwise meet criteria for autism spectrum disorder, should be evaluated for social (pragmatic) communication disorder.
Antivaccinationists want to have their DSM cake and scoff it down. Changes in the diagnosis of autism based on DSM criteria are not new. Demonstrably so the role of shifting diagnostic criteria in raising autism diagnoses is in no way an attempt to suppress the bogus “vaccine-autism” link . A September 2015 article in The Conversation looked at the widening diagnostic criteria of autism potentially changing what is regarded as normal.
Before 1980, the word “autistic” appeared in the DSM only as a trait to describe schizophrenia. But that doesn’t mean diagnostic criteria for autism didn’t exist. A 1956 article by Leo Kanner (who is credited with “discovering” autism) and Leon Eisenberg focused on two criteria: aloofness and a significant resistance to changes in routines, noticeable in a child by 24 months of age.
Further reading for those who favour or are familiar with Autism Speaks;
Dorey goes to great lengths to weave Munchausen syndrome by proxy into her fear campaign. She argues the DSM-5 term for this diagnosis is Medical child abuse. Rather, Factitious disorder imposed on another (FDIA) is the DSM-5 diagnostic term whilst medical child abuse has been in use for some time. Nonetheless Dorey wanders off into the realm of patently absurd claims as to what this abuse is. Primarily it is not abuse Dorey argues. Rather, “it is more symptoms that are involved with controlling how people raise their children”.
Homeschooling could lead to a diagnosis of medical child abuse. Eating or feeding your child organic foods. Being a vegan or vegetarian. These can all be used Dorey argues, “to say that you are abusing your child medically and, they can be taken off of (sic) you”. And then at last we get to what is indeed child abuse but for which there is no suggestion from government health departments that children will be removed due to medical neglect.
“Not vaccinating your child at all or fully could be medical child abuse and you could get your child removed from you”.
This indeed has meat on the bones. Considering people like Tasha David and others who insist their children are “vaccine injured” without any evidence and who subject these same children to dangerous pseudoscience based on a belief in widespread vaccine induced harm. Chase is a strong example where medical neglect albeit unintentional is clear.
At about the 6:20 mark Dorey tells us that up until about ten years ago she and her husband used to call their home the “underground railroad” due to the series of families they hid from FACS or DoCS. Dorey’s feelings about the “arrogant bastard” doctor from whom a family with a 12 month old baby with infected varicella sore on her face was fleeing are clear.
Dorey claims that about ten years ago the vaccine hadn’t been introduced. It was introduced in 1999. Nonetheless this family had fled from a hospital based doctor who was apparently going to prescribe IV antibiotics. The family wanted to try a topical antibiotic but we’re told the doctor lost his cool and threatened to call DoCS. The family took off and ran to the sanctuary of the Dorey household. A second opinion confirmed infection and puss were present. The advice was to simply keep it clean. As with Chase an alert (All Points Bulletin apparently) had been issued. We never hear of how this was legally resolved.
I must say, I have my doubts. Dorey has never mentioned this before nor any others on the “underground railroad”. I did document the August 2008 AVN money making scam through the shameful exploitation of a family that was hiding from authorities to avoid the neonatal hepatitis B vaccination for a newborn, born to an HBV positive mother. The AVN set up a fighting fund which ultimately made them just under $12,000. Although donors were led to believe this would help the family not one cent found their way to them.
As always – and this is exactly what I expect is the main game here – Meryl Dorey led her gullible followers into believing she will save them from the horrors outlined above. Join, donate, harass reputable authorities, MP’s and health advocates. With respect to the 2008 scam NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing (who had cause to investigate the AVN at length) observed in October 2010:
During the course of the inquiry evidence of possible breaches of the Charitable Trusts Act 1993 was detected in relation to the following specific purpose appeals conducted by AVN:
Fighting Fund – to support a homeless family, allegedly seeking to avoid a court order to immunise a child with legal and living expenses. The appeal ran for a short time in 2008 and raised $11,810. None of the funds were spent on this purpose.
Clearly Dorey dreams up these scams and exploitation of gullible followers for her own benefit.
Back to her video and Meryl swiftly moved on to the notion of “communities”. She proposes caring about and protecting each other. If anyone is being pursued by police, “because of a stupid doctor who basically couldn’t care less about the health of the child but is caring more about their ego, come to my house and I will take you in”. Acknowledging what happened at the Church of Ubuntu she realises police numbers outweigh those who have no regard for the law. So the plan is to have 20 or 30 people in each area “around Australia” on call. Human shields, Dorey suggests. To defend against DoCS. Her audience likes the idea.
“It is time to take back control of our lives, our family and our country” rambles Dorey
Of course she’s not looking for confrontation. Nah. They are “Martin Luther King or Gandhi-like people”, Dorey assures listeners. Having just said however, “if the police show up they’re going to have to come through me”. Australia “is becoming a dictatorship”, she offers in way of explanation. Then comes more deplorable deception about Chase. Dorey claims;
I wake up in the morning and the first thing I think about is where is Chase. Is he okay? Is he crying for his parents and doesn’t know where the heck he is? And you know I’ve seen too many families hurt this way and I can’t sit back and let this happen to another family without trying to do something.
This is of course, total nonsense. Dorey was not involved in the Chase Walker issue until all the drama and danger had passed. Then she publically attacked Peter Little on Facebook with the aim of belittling him and painting him as a worthless force. A very easy task to complete. Having pushed her way into the centre she is now busy selling the Meryl Dorey brand. As always you must act because;
“Today it was Mark and Cini. Tomorrow it could be you”.
Dorey is now arguing for the illegal heroics she recently criticised Peter Little for encouraging in others
Meryl had read a story about an elderly man whose daughter had power of attorney over him. She would take him to hospital where he didn’t want to go because “they treated him like garbage, they caused such pain and they were not making him better, the daughter was making him better”. Without explanation Dorey informs us that “the hospital” took power of attorney from the daughter who was arrested for trying to protect her father. She continues without a shred of evidence;
The father was taken to the hospital where he was killed by the hospital, they physically… and it turned out that because the hospital had made themselves guardian – not power of attorney of this older man, when he died half of his estate went to the hospital. There seems to be a financial interest in many of these cases. Not all of them but in some of them there does seem to be a financial interest.
Dorey advises her audience to register with a doctor via ACNEM – Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. This is in case a Fan of The AVN must attend a hospital for an emergency. The ACNEM doctor can be the family doctor and if necessary can provide a second opinion. Hospital doctors should mostly comply. But as Dorey reminds us;
They act like lords and masters but they’re not. They are our employees but they certainly don’t act like it. If I had an employee that acted like most doctors do I would have fired them years ago.
Dorey goes on for another 10 minutes boasting of her moderator power and yet again pretending B52 is another person than her. Mark and Cini through no fault of their own other than not following doctors orders are suffering the consequences of ignoring medical advice. But this is of course misleading and harmful nonsense. Consider the screenshot from NSW Community Services (taken June 12, 2017).
This story starts in 2012, when a much-loved baby boy was born to a young couple. Although the pregnancy and birth appeared to progress normally, the newborn struggled from the outset, with thick meconium in the liquor, early oxygen desaturation and a seizure within hours of birth. As time progressed, the child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, microcephaly and frequent seizures. Eventually, he was requiring multiple medications for seizure control, and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) feeding to minimise aspiration. […]
Early testing has not revealed a cause for the neurological problems, though a rare genetic cause is considered likely.
It is not clear what first set this family on the road to declaring the child “vaccine-injured”, but, by mid-to-late 2016, they had stopped using the recommended PEG formula, believing that he was allergic to it, and began substituting a homemade organic plant food puree diet, without the advice of a dietitian.
They also stopped the pharmaceutical medications and began giving the child unregulated cannabis oil, supplied by a deregistered doctor who had lost his registration due to personal polydrug use. They became part of a “church” that promotes the use of cannabis as a “healing herb” and, at around the same time, met a non-practising lawyer who encouraged them to “fight the system”. Having found in the neonatal records that the child had his first seizure prior to any vaccination, the narrative changed to “vitamin K damage”.
At the end of last month I published a post that looked at just how much harm Chase had been potentially subject to, and the shocking consequences to his health. There’s little doubt his parents were exploited by a mix of egotistical, reckless charlatans who hope to be unaccountable.
Meryl Dorey could have made use of evidence from last year’s NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Protection. A number of problems were found with the present system. This is the result of a strong democracy, not Dorey’s “dictatorship”.
However dealing with facts has never been Meryl’s strong point.
Only one member is aware of the Parliamentary Committee and suggests a sensible approach. No “dictatorship” would allow such scrutiny
♣ UpdateJune 16, 2017; Thanks to a comment from Bridgette Fahey-Goldsmith I can confirm that Cini and Mark were offered a visit with Chase which they refused because they were “overwhelmed with fear” according to Paul Robert Burton from the church of Ubunto. One can perhaps find no more striking example of the harm caused to Cini, Mark and Chase by charlatans peddling sheer hysteria with respect to child services.
What appears to have happened is that Cini and Mark believed they would come to harm if they were taken to visit Chase on their own. But why? Given social media chatter planning to snatch Chase, I can only conclude that the army of screaming, spitting “supporters” wanted their chance to chant protest songs, wave signs, abuse staff, disturb patients, terrify Chase and quite likely try to remove him from hospital. FACS and hospital staff would have predicted this also. Thus the option for a family-only visit was offered. As this didn’t suit the hippy behind the curtain, the exhausted, paranoid parents were likely fed this story of them coming to harm, alone, “somewhere on their own without anybody”.
Now I did hear… here in New South Wales, [that] Family Community Services NSW did contact Cini and Mark and they made arrangements for them to go on their own unaccompanied somewhere, and they both freaked, uh, really concerned. I don’t know in truth if they asked for them to go with their children, or they asked to attend somewhere on their own without anybody. I’ve never heard of anything like that in my life, ya know, um, in a situation like this, so I too would be fearful and I wouldn’t go anywhere unaccompanied knowing these kind of things are happening, so they didn’t go for that appointment but not because they didn’t want to see their son, ya know um, just overwhelmed with fear, ya know…
Burton also peddles the “neglected in hospital theme” as Dorey did, for a few seconds later he asks, “Who’s huggin’ him, who’s lookin’ after him, who’s massagin’ him?” The message of fear and the suggestion of Chase suffering alone is unmistakable. Burton claims to have “never heard of anything like this in my life” and that he too would be too fearful to visit his son “in a situation like this… knowing these things are happening”.
What things? No “things” are happening. An exploited and neglected disabled child is having his health restored after months of abuse from calculating and/or deluded charlatans. This is manufactured rubbish. The parents brave enough to flee from authorities across state lines are suddenly in fear of their own safety to seize their proclaimed goal – a visit with Chase. Frighteningly in the near future he may well be back at the mercy of the many circling vultures who await the return of their anti-medicine proxy with glee.
In 2016 use of the terms fake news and post truth became commonplace. Yet for those who address attacks on science, scientific consensus and the use of evidence in designing legislation, both concepts already had a long history.
Evidence based public health policy is attacked through the intentional disinformation of fake news and mocked via the subjective, emotional selective trickery of post truth. Alternatives to medicine rely upon bogus testimonials, false claims of scientific backing and pseudscience.
The anti-vaccine lobby want to be seen to be presenting a range of specific arguments against vaccination. Yet their main aim is to convince the unwary that vaccines cause harm and also kill on a huge scale. This in turn demands a feverish use of fake news and post truth. When their lack of fake evidence fails, post truth themes seeking to enrage an audience because governments “take away their right to choose” what’s best for their children’s health may quite sadly find their mark.
Presently we can see application of these concepts respectively with the promotion of the fraudumentary, Vaxxed and claims that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife profit from their investment in childhood vaccines.
Australia has a long history of holding its elected representatives accountable when there is even a hint of corruption or profiteering – yet the current PM’s wife is Chairman of the Board of a company involved in vaccination and other pharmaceutical pursuits whose value has increased dramatically due – at least on the surface in my own opinion – to policies which her husband has helped push through Parliament. Did Mr Turnbull excuse himself during the debate on No Jab No Pay? Did he tell Parliament that he had a conflict of interest and excuse himself from the vote on this legislation? These are genuine questions – I don’t know the answer and my investigations so far have not been fruitful. Despite the apparent conflict of interest, not a word has been raised about this in the media or by the opposition.
Ah yes. “Not a word has been raised about this in the media or by the opposition”. Not so. Particularly with the number of media reports on the Turnbull’s investments.
Firstly had Dorey done her research well (or is that not employed the post truth tactic of cherry picking?), she’d know that six months earlier Lucy Turnbull was questioned about potential conflicts of interest for an article that was published in the media. Most importantly, quoting Mrs. Turnbull;
“I am currently in the process of assessing my role on company boards to ensure there are no conflicts of interest,” she says.
“We are seeking advice from various sources, and we hope to be in a position to decide in the next fortnight, whether I can keep doing what I am doing,” she says.
Labor’s attacks look like a shabby smear, but the bar is set very high for prime ministers and their partners.
Now in fairness to Meryl I should address why Bill Shorten didn’t challenge the PM for not excusing himself from the vote on No Jab No Pay, based on that conflict of interest. Firstly, Dorey did contend that “on the surface in my own opinion”, the value of Prima BioMed “increased dramatically due to policies which [Turnbull] helped push through Parliament”.
Okay, so it was a feelpinion. Worthless. But we can do better.
Two paragraphs earlier Dorey was ranting at Malcolm Turnbull, including;
Are you afraid that your wife’s profits at Prima BioMed (profits that jumped to AUD $5.5 million mere weeks after No Jab No Pay legislation was announced) might be affected if enough people start to question vaccination?
Above Dorey has linked to a May 21st, 2015 Financial Review piece headed, Patience Pays Off for Prima Chairwoman Lucy Turnbull. A small three paragraph piece, it finishes;
After a $15 million equity injection from US firm Ridgeback Capital last week at 1.73¢ a share, the stock has climbed from 2.2¢ to 16¢ after the bell on Thursday – jumping 190 per cent yesterday alone. And Turnbull’s stake? Now worth a tidy $5.5 million.
Clearly Dorey has fabricated the notion that the value of Prima BioMed increased due to the passing of No Jab No Pay.
Dorey can claim any rubbish she likes to try to sell the line Turnbull is shaping legislation to boost the share value of Prima BioMed. But the $15 million from Ridgeback Capital didn’t go to a company that manufacturers childhood vaccines. Yes Lucy Turnbull is Chair of the board of Prima BioMed, a biotechnology company working on cancer immunotherapy. Dorey really stretches the facts to contend it is accurately described as, a company involved in vaccination and other pharmaceutical pursuits. The company presently focuses on three main products targetting autoimmune disease and cancer which you may read about here.
The most notable link to vaccination is the development of CVac, the commercialisation of which was one reason for the formation of Prima BioMed in 2001. CVac, targetting ovarian cancer, ultimately trialled unsuccessfully. A potential trial for pancreatic cancer was cancelled in Febuary 2015. Read up on CVac here and Lucy Turnbull’s personal financial loss here.
More on the Turnbull’s investments here. Remember it’s now 18 months since Lucy Turnbull told Fairfax she was, “assessing my role on company boards to ensure there are no conflicts of interest”. Her full history of board, Foundation and senior committee positions indicates a person devoted to the success of not for profit, charity and with a love of science and medical innovation.
There is simply no substance to the claim by Dorey and others of a conflict of interest based on profits from childhood vaccines.
Belgin Sila Colak/Arslan
Last October when Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy was targetted by antivaccinationists the public got a glimpse of the name behind the Facebook group Anti-Vaccination Australia. Belgin Colak, aka Belgin Sila Colak, aka Belgin Sila Arslan.
Earlier this Month (March 6th) she posted this on her public timeline.
A “Yale study” eh, I thought. I followed the link and ended up at a “trueactivist” Feb. 17 piece. Under that deceptive headline the authors ran through a number of bogus, disproved claims about vaccines based at best on temporal correlation. A number of comments were scathing as to the misleading intent of the article. Now have a good read of Belgin’s claims above. “Multiple studies and other countries” report vaccine induced disorders. And these “very brave and unabashed scientists [who] have been able to show a correlation of what many have known for quite some time”? Where are they?
Had Belgin read the comments she’d have picked up on the objections to the alternative facts the authors had used. The worst was;
As with most research studies, the researchers stop short of claiming the vaccinations cause the all too common brain disorders.
In other words there really was no study from Yale suggesting autism and multiple brain disorders were linked to vaccines. Belgin’s love of fake news was on display here, for there was in fact an accessible link to the actual study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry. The title was Temporal Association of Certain Neuropsychiatric Disorders Following Vaccination of Children and Adolescents: A Pilot Case–Control Study. The institutes involved were, 1) Department of Public Health Sciences, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA and 2) Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
What conclusion did these “very brave and unabashed scientists” offer? Bold mine;
Conclusion: This pilot epidemiologic analysis implies that the onset of some neuropsychiatric disorders may be temporally related to prior vaccinations in a subset of individuals. These findings warrant further investigation, but do not prove a causal role of antecedent infections or vaccinations in the pathoetiology of these conditions. Given the modest magnitude of these findings in contrast to the clear public health benefits of the timely administration of vaccines in preventing mortality and morbidity in childhood infectious diseases, we encourage families to maintain vaccination schedules according to CDC guidelines.
This is so clear we should thank Belgin. This study offers what antivaccinationists often demand. It’s saying there may be correlation in a small group but not causation. Vaccines work. Keep on vaccinating. The end.
A week ago I noticed Belgin post what can only be described as simply reprehensible exploitation of Saba Button.
The health department knew this vaccine had been reported several times, yet they still administered this vaccine on (sic) children regardless of numerous ER reports. You’re told a fever, seizures and crying is normal. Some never wake up, some end up with autism, and some are permanently disabled. Every vaccine causes damage! They’re still out there murdering babies, destroying lives, pushing more vaccines on children and now on expectant mothers. Every parent should be aware of this and have a choice!
Alternative facts and post truth galore. I addressed this case back in November 2011, because of similar exploitation at that time by Meryl Dorey. There are no excuses or denials to be made. Fluvax was not suitable for under 5 year olds. There were problems with both CSL, who incorrectly advised the TGA and the W.A. Health Department. Meryl Dorey was variously, fallaciously claiming hundreds of cases and hundreds of admissions. The ABC reported “hundreds of reactions” on April 18th, 2010 with 47 taken to hospital reported on April 23. The West Australian on the same day reported 23 admissions. This led to the suspension nationwide by Commonwealth chief health officer Professor Jim Bishop.
Why was it even used? During a 2006 Fluvax trial with a sample of 272, 1 child had a febrile convulsion. The TGA argue that one adverse event in a clinical trial is “not usually regarded as an adequate signal of a major safety problem”. In 2010 the febrile seizure rate caused by Fluvax was 3.3 per 1,000. This is remarkably similar to the rate in the 2006 trial. Yet TGA national manager, Dr Rohan Hammett told a Senate estimates committee hearing that the 2006 data showed “no sign of a febrile convulsion signal”. More so CSL may have advised the TGA of fever (not seizure) rates from 2005 – far less than 2006 fever rates. It is a convoluted, detailed issue. Do read this post. Fortunately Saba was compensated.
Belgin Sila Arslan claims there were or are fatalities and cases of autism. False. Every vaccine causes damage! False. Babies are being “murdered”. Repulsive. A visit to The Saba Rose Button Foundation presents a very different view.
The SABAROSEBUTTONFOUNDATION is a not-for-profit charity focussed on raising funds to help children who have special needs and their families. The funds raised will pay for these special children to participate in ‘intensive blocks’ of physiotherapy, for specialised equipment that is needed, for parental respite and for care in the home.
I stated above that antivaccinationists ultimately seek to convince the unwary that vaccines harm and kill on a significant scale. Both references here to Belgin confirm this. Dorey also insists vaccines injure and kill – but never has the subjects or the evidence to confirm this. On her blog she lies smoothly, as here;
Many of you know of children who were injured or killed by vaccines. I personally know the families of at least 10 children who died as a result of vaccination and dozens (this is within my family and my close friends) who are permanently injured.
Other material above shows Dorey beating the conspiracy drum: profit from evil vaccines. Fortunately for me she raised the passing of No Jab No Pay legislation. Professor Julie Leask is not a fan of No Jab No Pay. This may well delight the anti-vaccination lobby. During the Social Services Legislation Amendment (No Jab No Pay) Bill hearing in Brisbane on November 2nd, 2015, Professor Leask answered questions on vaccine injury. Her submission to the inquiry was firmly against No Jab No Pay. Thus with some hope one may view her information on vaccine injuries as something antivaccinationists might entertain.
Put simply there are between zero and less than five injuries that would require compensation each year, according to Leask citing a vaccinologist.
The audio and text below is from page 41 of the hearing.
If you listened to the audio you heard the anti-vaxxers in attendance groan in denial at the “zero to less than five” serious vaccine injuries per year figure. But this didn’t stop Meryl Dorey publishing Julie Leask’s anti-No Jab No Pay submission to the Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill on her blog. Splendid post truth cherry picking right there.
To conclude we can expect to see anti-science groups gradually develop skills in the use of fake news/evidence and post truth. Recent stories in Australia involving measles cases in the unvaccinated and a case of tetanus are concerning. Cases of vaccine preventable disease are likely to become more and more common. As the unvaccinated spread their wings management of imported disease will demand more resources and frustrate health authorities.
Politically, science has lost a certain respect and may be under threat as rabid post truth movements such as Trumpism take root. Yet the harm such thinking and ideologies cause, and the cost inflicted financially and socially is easily seen and eagerly discussed. Exploitation has its limits.
And that is always a positive.
UPDATE: What does a health minister and an anti-vaxxer have in common?
Pod On The Hill podcast (by Victorian Labor). Episode 6, March 30th 2017.
Outtake of discussion of anti-vaxxers – 3min 27sec – Download mp3