The awful autism obsession of the antivaccinationist

On page 11 of the most recent Health Care Complaints Commission investigation into the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network, we see the absurdity of vaccines causing autism rearing its head.

The AVSN claim to present on their website 68 “medical journal studies [that] support the link between vaccination and autism”. According to the HCCC the expert they consulted concluded a case of correlation confused as causation was evident. A read of the list shows the expert is being kind in no small part. Given that the AVSN claim these studies show a link between vaccines and autism, the list is quite absurd.

Despite the absence of mercury in childhood vaccines we get much on environmental mercury and autism, ADHD and blood mercury levels, swollen brains and autism, etc. But we have a numeric problem Houston. Of the 68 (cough) articles, I could count just 30 that included the word “vaccine” or “vaccination” in the title, abstract or conclusion. But maybe I’m expecting too much. Articles are numbered but items 5, 12, 48, 49 and 68 don’t exist. At all.

The AVSN use the typical misinformation that succeeds at confusing young worried parents and educated, affluent parents who can afford lots of Internet time. Such as citing the damage huge doses of certain toxins or heavy metals can do, without stressing vaccines contain either another variant or minuscule amounts long shown to be perfectly safe. Since having changed their byline from Love them, Protect them, Never inject them to Because every issue has two sides, they have done a poor job of presenting both sides.

The AVSN for example do not provide access to the Institute Of Medicine publication, Adverse Effects Of Vaccines; Evidence and Causality. This has been pointed out by the HCCC along with a host of biased schemes the AVSN execute in the hope of driving the public away from vaccination. In addition the hubris-riddled response that has been crafted for the HCCC and published online, is indicative of a mindset with no concept of community responsibility.

Myths and concerns about vaccination note on page 29 under “Mercury in vaccines can cause autism”:

There is no evidence that thiomersal (a mercury based preservative) in vaccines has caused any health problems, except perhaps minor reactions such as redness at the injection site. […] The form of organic mercury contained within thiomersal is “ethyl mercury” which doesn’t accumulate in the body, unlike the closely related methyl mercury which does accumulate and is neurotoxic. […] MMR vaccine and other live attenuated viral vaccines never contained thiomersal.

Of course there is a dollar to be made insisting vaccines cause autism and other disabilities. As reported recently by Fairfax:

The Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing has confirmed it is investigating ”problems” in the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network’s financial statements.
The anti-vaccine group has raised nearly $2 million in the past seven years but has never done any ”charity”, according to Stop the AVN, a coalition of critics formed after the parents of a baby who died of whooping cough were targeted by the network. […]

The 2008 financial statement said the group had more than $50,500 of assets, yet in its 2009 statement, assets from 2008 are listed as only about half that amount.
And nearly two-thirds of $281,855 in expenses listed on its 2010 financial statements are not explained, given only the title ”other expenses”. The 2012 statement for the group has not been submitted.
A chartered accountant who examined the documents for Fairfax Media, but declined to be named for fear he would be harassed, said the documents were ”the worst set of financial statements I have ever seen”.

$2 million! And where is that money? Well, you see… no-one really knows. A visit to this document reveals a copious tally of financial irregularities and charitable breaches by the (then) AVN. Both the Charitable Fundraising and Charitable Trusts Acts are called into question, “on a number of occasions” according to the NSW state watchdog, the OLGR.

Published just recently at Diluted Thinking the article, AVSN Pays Meryl Dorey is a must read. It is a thorough breakdown of financial irregularities and unanswered questions from 2004 to 2008.

It is of course beyond ironic that a hero of the AVSN is disgraced “vaccine/autism” fraudster, Andrew Wakefield. It’s old news that Brian Deer was able to track Andrew Wakefield’s scam because the latter had left a trail of intriguing financial records and/or references.

Follow the money was what Deer did in true investigative journalistic style. It is indeed somewhat silly that the anti-vaccine lobby today bellow follow the money, but in doing so can draw only one step from a vaccine to its manufacturer. The money trail Deer uncovered was far more impressive.

Wakefield was paid £150 plus expenses per hour by Richard Barr’s law firm. In total this came to £435 643, which was arguably to create a syndrome to drive the class action of anti-vaccine and genuinely misled (by Wakefield) litigants.

But Wakefield needed to ensure he profited from all the sufferers of his syndrome. Once the world had been fooled into believing “autistic enterocolitis” was a genuine syndrome, then it would have to be diagnosed. First he filed for his March 1995 Diagnostic patent that claimed in part:

Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may be diagnosed by detecting measles virus in bowel tissue, bowel products or body fluids

Based on this, on September 9th 1996 a client of Richard Barr known as Child 2 was the first child subject to what the GMC later described as a “clinically unwarranted” ileocolonoscopy.

The day after Child 2 had undergone his ileocolonoscopy Wakefield produced a document headed, Inventor/school/investor meeting 1. 4 which calculated that by working on MMR litigant samples, profits of £72.5m per year were to be had. This document left no doubt as to from where the money should be sourced. The profits would go to a yet to be formed company specialising in molecular viral diagnostic tests:

In view of the unique services offered by the Company and its technology, particularly for the molecular diagnostic, the assays can command premium prices. The ability of the Company to commercialise its candidate products depends upon the extent to which reimbursement for the cost of such products will be available from government health administration authorities, private health providers and, in the context of the molecular diagnostic, the Legal Aid Board.

More could be gleaned from a confidential submission (1999) to the Legal Aid board in his quest to secure the future of an immunodiagnostic business he would be director of. Unigenetics Ltd was incorporated in February of that year with Dublin pathologist, John O’Leary and would be registered in the Republic of Ireland. Here Wakefield argued the link b/w MMR and autism had been shown. Unigenetics scored £800 000 of tax payer funds to conduct PCR tests of dubious pursuit.

In addition to these petty “legal costs and salary” monies Wakefield would get another £90 000 per year – more than half of which was for travel. Deer reported that trading was to be fronted by another planned immunodiagnostic company Carmel Healthcare Ltd (also registered in the Irish Republic) and named after Wakefield’s wife. Within this venture Wakefield would take 37% of the earnings, the parent of child “Number 10″ would take 22.2%. A venture capitalist would get 18%. Royal Free’s professor of gastroenterology, Roy Pounder would get 11.7% and Professor John O’Leary another champion of “MMR causes autism” would get 11.1%.

Deer was given a copy of a prospectus 35 pages long.

This included confirmation of planned “litigation driven testing” from the USA and UK, along with delightful profit. Of course all business relied upon Wakefield’s new syndrome which at this point remained to be proven. As he had not found Crohn’s disease in the 12 children, Wakefield coined the term “autistic enterocolitis”. The prospectus sought to raise an investment of £700 000.

It is estimated that the initial market for the diagnostic will be litigation driven testing of patients with autistic enterocolitis from both the UK and the USA… It is estimated that by year 3, income from this testing could be about £3 300 000 rising to about £28 000 000 as diagnostic testing in support of therapeutic regimes come on stream.

[…]

Once the work of Professor O’Leary and Dr Wakefield is published, either late in 1999 or early in 2000, which will provide unequivocal evidence for the presence of the vaccine derived measles virus in biopsy samples the public and political pressure for a thorough, wide ranging investigation into the aetiology of the bowel conditions will be overwhelming.

As a consequence of the public, political and legal pressures brought to bear, the demand for a diagnostic able to discriminate between wild type and vaccine derived measles strains will be enormous.

Deer reported on yet another new company which was for the running of a joint business with the UCL medical school. Immunospecifics Biotechnologies Ltd would produce immunotherapeutics, vaccines and a diagnostic test. Beneficiaries were as with Carmel. Wakefield, the parent of “number 10”, the venture capatilist, Pounder and Prof. John O’Leary.

There are issues around Wakefield’s immunodiagnostics which antivaccinationists should simply admit, and by not admitting such merely lend their cause less credence (if that were possible).

  • Transfer factor for use in vaccines and treatments had basically been written out of the literature. A lack of evidence, risk of infection and unjustified cost had relegated this 1940’s blood product to the realm of an Internet peddled cure-all scam.
  • The Neuro Immuno Therapeutics drama run by Hugh Fudenberg. To cure autism – which he reckons is caused by MMR – Hugh would use, you guessed it, Transfer factor. In August 2004 Brian Deer caught up with him. At the time he was under sanction for use and prescription of controlled drugs. Help yourself to a search-and-read on Hugh. If you remember Bill Maher’s claim that a flu shot five years consecutively equals a ten-fold increase in the chances of developing Alzheimers, you might be relieved to know that the source is Hugh Fudenberg.
  • The Dublin measles tests which could not deliver consistency of results, emerged as a problem years later, during vaccine related lawsuits in the USA and Britain.

One caper of Wakefields that many know of is his “safer vaccine” patent for a monovalent measles vaccine. As the Royal Free Hospital approached the release of his paper Wakefield made copies on tape as to how he should announce his bogus findings. One – which is in circulation today – includes:

There is sufficient anxiety in my own mind for the long term safety of the polyvalent vaccine—that is, the MMR vaccination in combination—that I think it should be suspended in favour of the single vaccines

But of course! Just as well that like the patent for immunodiagnostics he had the “safer vaccine” patent for the single measles vaccine. And he filed for this nine months before his now retracted paper was published.

Wakefield patent

The opening paragraph is breathtaking:

The present invention relates to a new vaccine for the elimination of MMR and measles virus and to a pharmaceutical or therapeutic composition for the treatment of IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease); particularly Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis and Regressive Behavioural Disease (RBD).

After falsely claiming MMR vaccination leads to Crohn’s disease and other forms of IBD we read on page two (far right) above (bold mine):

What is needed therefore is a safer vaccine which does not give rise to these problems and a treatment for those with existing IBD. I have now discovered a combined vaccine/therapeutic agent which is not only most probably safer to administer to neonates and others by way of vaccination, but which also can be used to treat IBD whether as a complete cure or to alleviate symptoms.

This was first revealed in the UK Sunday Times. Wakefield denied this “conspiracy”:

The claim appears to be that, whilst at the Royal Free Hospital, I was developing a new vaccine to compete with MMR and that I conspired to undermine confidence in MMR vaccine in order to promote this new vaccine, and that this represented a conflict of interest. This is untrue. The facts are that: […]

it has never been my aim or intention to design, produce or promote a vaccine to compete with MMR; […]

A provisional patent filing was made for the use of measles virus-specific TF in regressive autism and inflammatory bowel disease (Regressive Bowel Disease; RBD).

The reference to the possible use of TF to protect children against measles infection – the thrust of the Sunday Times’ conspiracy theory – was put in as an afterthought in the patent. It was entirely speculative and never pursued in any shape, manner or form.

The provisional patent filing was entirely speculative and was for a possible therapy; as such, it had no bearing on the 1998 Lancet paper.

That the patent application with its firm conclusion of an MMR derived pathology appeared nine months before publication of his paper is not the only Crystal Ball caper by Wakefield. A fortnight before selecting any children that eventually made up his insignificant 12 child sample, Wakefield and Richard Barr co-authored a letter that included (bold mine):

Children with enteritis and disintegrative disorder, form part of a new syndrome. The evidence is undeniably in favour of a specific vaccine induced pathology

That claim would have taken the word of Hugh Fudenberg at that particular time in history.

The end for Wakefield came just after plans for Carmel Healthcare were finalised, potentially making way for his incredibly profitable business. A new head of medicine, Mark Pepys was appointed to the UCL Medical School (once known as the Royal Free and University College Medical School). He is a fellow of the Royal Society and ensured impressive grant money. He wasn’t impressed by Wakefield, threatening to not transfer his own unit to UCL if Wakefield was even there.

With the help of theoretical physicist Chris Llewellyn-Smith he made his move in December 1999. A mere two months after Pepys moved to the Royal Free Wakefield was called to UCL’s London head offices. There, at last, he was made to face the audacity of his scam and handed a two page letter of his very own to have and to hold and of course, to read. It included:

We remain concerned about a possible serious conflict of interest between your academic employment by UCL, and your involvement with Carmel. This concern arose originally because the company’s business plan appears to depend on premature, scientifically unjustified publication of results, which do not conform to the rigorous academic and scientific standards that are generally expected. […]

Good scientific practice now demands that you and others seek to confirm or refute robustly, reliably, and above all reproducibly, the possible causal relationships between MMR vaccination and autism/“autistic enterocolitis”/inflammatory bowel disease that you have postulated.

Yay verily.

UCL were keen to help, offering him an ongoing position on staff or a full twelve months paid absence to allow for further research. 150 subjects would be provided to Wakefield. 12.5 times larger than his initial sample. Wakefield agreed.

Time passed.

After three months he was asked for a progress report. Six months later in September 2000 Wakefield replied:

It is clear that academic freedom is essential, and cannot be traded. It is the unanimous decision of my collaborators and co-workers that it is only appropriate that we define our research objectives, we enact the studies as appropriately reviewed and approved, and we decide as and when we deem the work suitable for submission for peer review.

Fail. By October of 2001 he was asked not to let the door hit his lying backside on the way out. In January of 2010 the General Medical Council found Wakefield had been “dishonest, irresponsibile and showed callous disregard for the distress and pain of children.”  [Science Based Medicine]

After close to a decade of multiple studies had failed to replicate his “findings” or any link between MMR, its components and autism the Lancet retracted the Wakefield paper [Science Based Medicine] [BMJ] on February 2nd 2010. The journal’s editor, Richard Horton described the statements in the “fatally flawed” paper as “utterly false”.

On May 25th of that year he was struck off the medical registrar by the General Medical Council.

Still today, as is clear above, there are scam artists profitting from peddling the lie that vaccines cause autism. Their paper-thin efforts may well be pathetic but still have a measurably negative effect on public health. With no regard for evidence or responsibility for the consequences of their actions, one can hope that these arrogant fraudsters will one day too face the weight of the law.

Yay verily.

Anti-vaccinationists: “The dirty tactics are unbelievable”

If my family had known about vaccinations, my brother would still be here today

♦ Matthew, whose brother Michael died from Chicken Pox ♦

But not long after Michael’s death, his family got a cruel phone call from anti-vaccine campaigners telling them it was natures way of weeding out the weak in the herd

♦ Neil Doorley: Today Tonight reporter ♦

I don’t believe that any vaccination is effective

♦ Meryl Dorey (Founder of anti-vaccine lobby, the Australian Vaccination Network Inc.) ♦

The month of June 2013 continued with a high turnover of media articles and internet publications of all types examining the antics and lack of evidence presented by Australia’s anti-vaccination lobby.

The No Jab, No Play campaign was launched by The Sunday Telegraph and The Daily Telegraph on May 5th, 2013. It places pressure on parents who deny their own and other children the protection of vaccine induced immunity and herd immunity, to accept the community consequences of their decision.

By May 29th it was announced that NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner had amended the Public Health Act to make the checking of vaccine records compulsory and giving day-care centres the right to refuse access to unvaccinated children. Admitting children not vaccinated, could result in a $4,000 fine.

On June 25th, Victorian Greens Senator Dr. Richard Di Natale reinforced how important it is to speak to a G.P. about vaccination.

Talk to a G.P. about vaccination


On June 14th, Neil Doorley on Today Tonight examined the potential tragedy of the tactics of Meryl Dorey and the deceptively named Australian Vaccination Network.

Helen Kapalos opens the segment in part with, “The dirty tactics are unbelievable”.

Today Tonight and the importance of reputable information


Back in May on Monday 20th The Project ran a piece with plenty of facts. Referring to the many proclaimed links between diseases, certain disabling reactions, outcomes worse than the disease or vaccines overwhelming immune systems it was reported:

Rest assured all of those theories have been scientifically investigated and not one of them is true.

The Project


The most infamous, blatant and callous fraudulent abuse of ignorance, doubt and understandable parental fear was committed by No-Longer-A-Doctor Andrew Wakefield back in 1998. Apart from filing for patents for monovalent (single shot) Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccines he also stood to profit from two immunodiagnostic ventures. He remains an individual of iconic status for anti-vaccinationists, particularly Meryl Dorey.

This deserves notice presently because the Wakefield fraud has recently come home to roost in Wales in the UK. This was the subject of an article on ABC Lateline last April 22nd.

Wakefield MMR fraud comes home to roost in Wales


In response to the No Jab, No Play campaign Meryl Dorey and the AVN were urging vaccine refusers to exploit a loophole and join the Church of Conscious Living. This would permit those refusing vaccination to still receive family benefits. One month ago The Daily Telegraph reported, Anti-vaccine Zealots Form Sham Church:

The Church of Conscious Living was founded by Jane Leonforte and Adriano Regano in Queensland in 2008, with the express purpose of creating a front for vaccination exemptions. In a letter sent by the “church” to their followers, Ms Leonforte and Mr Regano admit “we have decided to create a ‘religion’, so, amongst other things, we can claim ‘religious exemption’, if the need ever arises, for ourselves and our children.”

NSW Health Minister, Jillian Skinner informed State Parliament the Health Care Complaints Commission would launch an investigation, This was after the Opposition raised concerns that the AVN was using it’s Facebook page in this regard as a recruitment vehicle.

More so according to The ABC, during Question Time on May 29th the Opposition’s Shadow Minister for Health, Dr. Andrew McDonald, asked Jillian Skinner:

Minister, what steps will you take to close this loophole?” he said.

After her initial answer, The Health Minister Jillian Skinner later returned to give this update.

“I’m advised that the Health Care Complaints Commission will be launching an investigation into the AVN,” she said.

If passed, the new vaccination laws come into effect next January.

Dorey herself has attempted to use the option of Apprehended Violence Orders to silence and potentially seriously irritate her critics.

This was covered in May in the Telegraph by Peter Bodkin. An article at Diluted Thinking goes into this and the potential consequences quite thoroughly.

The AVN continues to fight an order from the NSW Department of Fair Trading to change its name to something appropriate. That is, to one that represents it’s anti-vaccine stance.

From Anthony Roberts MP, May 9th 2013:

Holding the Australian Vaccination Network to Account


Also, as has been much anticipated, the AVN – involving a time of high activity attributed to Meryl Dorey – are being investigated for fraud.

On June 25th, the ABC reported that the NSW Senate has passed a motion calling for the AVN to disband and cease it’s “unscientific scare campaign against vaccines”.

Finally the month began to close with the AVN itself reinforcing the initial HCCC warning from July 2010. Proving yet again that they specialise in censoring and suppressing accurate information on both vaccines and the diseases they prevent, the so-called health group deleted material, and then blocked any further input from intensive care specialist, Dr. Rachael Heap.

The AVN presented via their Facebook page that tetanus infection could be prevented by using tea tree oil on wounds, and that active bleeding would also prevent infection at a given site.

Non-smokers, diabetics – even the non-elderly would also be afforded protection. Jane Hansen wrote today:

But when intensive care specialist Dr Rachael Heap tried to post information about tetanus to balance the misinformation, the AVN first removed her posts and then blocked her.

Tetanus is a bacterial disease that kills three out of every 100 people who catch it.

It causes muscle spasms in the face, chest and neck, eventually progressing to the abdomen and back, causing the whole body to arch. Sometimes the spasms affect muscles that help with breathing, or can cause fractures and muscle tears. It can be avoided with a simple vaccination.

“Tetanus is horrific, there is no cure if you get it, you end up in intensive care and then all you can do is support the patient and hope they heal,” Dr Heap said.

“I made three posts, trying to give some clear, scientific, medical explanations about tetanus, both the mechanism of disease, some basic wound care tips, and information on just how devastating a disease it can be. I now find myself banned from their site and all my posts deleted.”

One of the deleted posts outlined what tetanus actually does. “I have cared for a patient with tetanus in Australia. It is agonising, and relentless. It can be fatal,” she said.

Dr. Heap has made a complaint about this matter to The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission.

Fortunately the AVN is now being held to account more often, with their tactics more regularly exposed.

Natasha Bita: Award winner to crisis spinner?

The TGA is concerned by assertions that a number of deaths resulted from influenza vaccinations. In fact there have been no recorded deaths from influenza vaccine in Australia.

– Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration respond to Natasha Bita’s article “linking” vaccination to fatality –

Natasha Bita published Virus in the system on May 28th, 2011.

The article presents an extended account of the heart wrenching story of Saba Button who suffered permanent brain damage due to the CSL Fluvax influenza vaccine, in April 2010. A combination of H1N1 and seasonal influenza strains Fluvax is tolerated very well by adults. However for children under five a febrile convulsion rate of 0.33% was later clearly established in the only state to involve this age group: Western Australia.

At the time the ABC reported hundreds of reactions. Of the 47 children taken to hospital, The West Australian reported 23 admissions. Saba Button was one such admission. Bita doesn’t provide these details, though to her credit does report that in 2009 fifteen kids under the age of 15 died after contracting swine flu. Each year between three and nine children die from influenza in Australia.

The situation in W. A. following the use of Fluvax on small children reflects a 2006 study in which 1 febrile convulsion was recorded in a sample of 272. What emerged as deeply concerning is that 2006 fever (not convulsion) trial data rates were 39.5%. Yet Fluvax manufacturer CSL informed the TGA of their 2005 trial data on fever. A much lower 22.5%. Public confidence in regulation, safety, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and ultimately use is vital. I’ve previously looked at the importance of holding CSL to account.

A primary reason is that such stories are fodder for anti-vaccination lobbyists. Public confidence in immunisation was at stake, and proper context was much needed. One glaring absence from Bita’s article was reinforcement of the importance of vaccination in preventing influenza. With the internet awash with dangerous anti-vaccination propaganda readers need to know that all vaccination schedules are of paramount importance.

The day Bita’s story was published anti-vaccination guru Meryl Dorey falsely claimed that “the skeptics” and Stop The AVN were “organising forces” to complain.

Meryl Dorey’s Yahoo! Twitter and Facebook libellous claims

I emailed Natasha that day seeking confirmation. After no reply I tried again on June 1st and CC’d The Australian online address. 16 days later I repeated this. Natasha eventually replied that no, she had received no complaints. Not one. However she had been away, she qualified. Strange, I thought. Was Bita suggesting that her absence equated to an inability to access emails, either later or indeed at any time?

I began to feel somewhat uneasy about Bita’s impartiality. Clearly she knew who Meryl Dorey was. She was the woman who had just hijacked her published account to falsely claim, “babies were being used as guinea pigs in a trial that was paid for by the drug companies involved.” Dorey was also harassing the Buttons by phone and had appointed herself the family’s unofficial conspiracy consultant.

Shortly after I’d finally received a reply from Natasha Bita she published an article on the very rare past occurrence of transverse myelitis following oral polio immunisation. Bita did little to quell the fear and uncertainty to follow in the wake of Virus in the system. The purpose of her piece was to report on the MJA article, A no-fault compensation scheme for serious adverse events attributed to vaccination published by Kelly, Looker and Isaccs. I was familiar with the article having referred to it myself almost three weeks earlier.

It’s inexcusable that Australia lacks such a scheme when we note Germany began theirs in 1961 and across the Tasman no-fault compensation has been a reality since 1978. Seventeen other nations have a scheme that relies upon WHO criteria for Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI). It is of even greater relevance in Australia because arguments for its implementation rely upon factors anti-vaccination lobbyists deny. Firstly that vaccination provides immunity and secondly the principle of herd immunity.

The authors write:

Any person who is injured while helping to protect the community — for instance, by contributing to herd immunity, such that there are sufficiently many people immunised to prevent widespread disease transmission within the community — should not bear the consequences of injury alone. In essence, the community owes a debt of gratitude to that person.

Natasha Bita, whether consciously or not, fed the anti-vaccination machine. The piece firmed her position as a journalist lacking in scientific literacy or having a grasp of risk-benefit ratios. She belittles the term “adverse reaction” and leaves the most crucial fact that Australia’s current inactivated polio virus vaccine carries no such risk, until the last few words. In a poorly written piece she completely misses the reality that Australia’s vaccine injury chic groupies will not back this scheme, have never mentioned it and deny the merit raised by Kelly, Looker and Isaacs.

When Virus in the system won Natasha Bita a Walkley for Sustained Coverage Of An Issue Or Event, she was embraced totally by the Dark Side. Her appearance on conspiracy and vaccine denialist site The Refusers perhaps underscored just how important a few lines reminding parents that vaccines save lives can be.

On August 3rd, as Queensland mum Katrina Day lay fighting for her life against influenza, Natasha Bita published a fraudulent article falsely “linking” 10 deaths to influenza vaccines. Bita ignored the TGA warning on interpretation of data. The article highlights how dangerous it is to allow sensation-seeking journalists to consult such information. Her headline outs her as unconscionable and callous as she proceeds to ignore any difference between correlation and causation.

Bita writes misleadingly:

TEN deaths have been linked to the nation’s flu immunisation program since the 2009 swine flu pandemic, including elderly patients and unborn babies.

The CSL flu vaccine, Panvax – which taxpayers spent $131 million stockpiling for the 2009 swine flu outbreak – triggered 1716 adverse-event reports, including seven deaths.

Whilst it is well understood that seasonal influenza vaccines will not include all circulating strains (meaning one may still catch influenza) she offers:

The Therapeutic Goods Administration database of adverse events, made public this week, lists the death of a grandmother who caught the flu after vaccination last year.

This is exactly the problem faced by VAERS in the USA, which is set to be superseded. Events are reported so that trends will be picked up and viable research launched in response to perceived problems. Nonethelesss all events remain on the database. Here we have an apparent award winning journalist reporting 10 deaths “linked” to ‘flu vaccines, whilst the total is actually zero. Visitors to TGA’s Database of Adverse Event Notifications are met with:

Her article drew the following response on the same day from the TGA:

TGA is concerned by a media story that may mislead consumers and could potentially discourage them from receiving influenza vaccinations.

Vaccinations play an important role in the prevention of diseases such as influenza, which can be life threatening in some patient groups. […]

The first line of text on the Database of Adverse Event Notifications states that: An Adverse Event does not mean that the medicine is the cause of the adverse event.

The TGA is concerned by assertions that a number of deaths resulted from influenza vaccinations. In fact there have been no recorded deaths from influenza vaccine in Australia. […]

To my knowledge Natasha Bita is yet to publish a retraction, explanation or apology. On August 27th it was reported that Katrina Day had passed away after falling into a coma. The 38 year old leaves behind four children and a husband.

Yesterday new directions for the CDC were reported in Flu Creates High Risk Of Death In Children With Neurological Problems:

A disproportionately high number of children with neurologic disorders died from influenza-related complications during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, according to a study by scientists with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report in the journal Pediatrics underscores the importance of influenza vaccination to protect children with neurologic disorders. CDC is joining with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Families Fighting Flu and Family Voices to spread the message about the importance of influenza vaccination and treatment in these children.

Influenza kills and vaccination saves lives. For certain groups this is a very real decision arising every year. In very, very rare cases adverse reactions occur. To date in Australia no fatalities have been conclusively linked to influenza vaccines, including during the CSL debacle.

It’s a shame that so-called “consumer editor” Natasha Bita has to mislead her readers to suit her own agenda.

The Australian Vaccination Network

From the very beginning in 1994, the AVN has always been a membership and donation-driven organisation, relying on the support of our members… All memberships include a subscription (either hard copy or digital – your choice) to the AVN’s magazine, Living Wisdom. (Meryl Dorey – AVN president)

Is The Australian Vaccination Network Australia’s leading Charity Fraud?

In 2009 a small group of concerned Aussies began to raise dissent with health authorities about a group of vaccine conspiracy theorists known as The Australian Vaccination Network. It very quickly became apparent that something much darker was unfolding behind the locked and censored doors of the leader of this cult-like group, Meryl Wynn Dorey.

The AVN was like a black hole for money and their Charitable Fundraising Authority was the Event Horizon. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were sucked into their two bank accounts as promise after promise and scam after scam was presented to members. It seemed that every remote issue related to vaccination was cause for a new fund raising drive.

The vital need to test vaccines, the need to protect health workers from vaccination, the need to save school girls from HPV vaccines, the need to allow unvaccinated children into childcare, the need for $52,000 seemingly just to have and to hold from this day forth. The need to advertise about vaccines and autism, the need to help a family “on the run from vaccination”, a competition to beat a $500 donation, the need to fund legal fees for another family in court (over $100,000). On and on and on came the demands for money.

Yet no project ever eventuated. No family received so much as one cent. They were abandoned to the courts with the AVN nowhere in sight. No feedback on any of this money has ever been provided.

Then the little group discovered the AVN’s false use of business names. AVN members were paying to fund AVN material to be produced and passed to new mums under the auspices of certain businesses. Except the businesses had never heard of this and recoiled at the mention of the AVN. It was a complete scam to fleece members. Then came the “information packs” being sold. Except they were full of stolen copyright material. Once again, scam after scam going on and on with excuse after excuse.

The totality of fraud is mind boggling and after a couple of initial jaw droppers, I’ve only returned to writing about it recently.

As you’ll see in the video below the text at the top of this article is misleading. Dorey’s genius is in picking a passing demographic. Expectant parents will be drawn in to her scams, subscribe, join and then be overwhelmed by the reality of a new family or a new child. Few will chase up the one or two hundred dollars that nice lady took. Like all scams, embarrassment and red tape, with the possibility of more expense to get back much less inhibits victims from taking serious action.

Consider the 205 professional members I can glean from Meryl’s listing at present. One can pay up to $1,500 for a Gold Professional. It includes:

Gold Professional Membership to the Australian Vaccination includes a Subscription to Living Wisdom Magazine  for 1 year

Now, this is curious. Some ordinary members have asked why there was only one magazine out of the nine promised from the start of 2011 to the middle of 2012. They were told if they weren’t so stupid and actually read the announcement Meryl published they’d know that “6 magazines per year” now just meant “6 magazines… when the AVN is good and ready”.

Yes the new Join Us page has no mention of any time limit you silly members. Then again it isn’t very clear in explaining that you may need to leave the subscription to your grandchildren:

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.

Eighteen issues?! At the present rate that’s going to take twenty seven years… and counting.

So, why are Gold Professionals still being sold yearly subscriptions as above? Indeed, what of professionals who bought annual or three year memberships because of the frequent and regular exposure promised in the Living Wisdom magazine? Gold and Silver Professionals were promised:

A Healthy Choices ad in Living Wisdom magazine for 3 issues – value $450.00

So whether professionals paid $275 for one year or $700 for three years, let’s check what they relied on in making that decision.

  • A free listing for your business or practice in Living Wisdom magazine and on the AVN website. Just hang in there another 18 months or more.
  • 6 issues of Living Wisdom magazine in the printed format. At one issue per 18 months that’s going to take nine years.
    The magazine covers the most up-to-date news happening around the world involving vaccination. The last issue contained a PDF by Judy Wilyman’s supervisor that’s all over the internet for free, and some whacky conspiracy claims arguing against the real science of vaccination that you copied and pasted from elsewhere or just made up.
  • 6 issues of Living Wisdom magazine in the digital format
    Digital magazines are the way of the future, with a simple click of a button you can have a magazine downloaded to your computer to read at your leisure. The “click of a button” eh? My that does sound all space agey. Thank goodness they’re “the way of the future” because we have no way of predicting how the world will even look by the time they all come out.
    A link will be emailed to you every time we have a new magazine ready for you to read. All you will need to do is click on it and you will have all our great articles at your fingertips. Of course by 2021 and beyond information will be beamed directly to your eye lens display, and the magazine will simply appear as if floating right in front of you.
  • 10 free issues of Living Wisdom online magazine to give away to clients or colleagues. Remember to leave instructions in your will so your descendents can visit your dying clients or colleagues, or perhaps leave them at the graveside. Don’t let on – it’ll be a terrific surprise.
  • A 10% discount on books, CDs, DVDs, etc. from the AVN shop. AVN Books, DVD’s and CD’s etc are available for free all over the internet or at much less price than the AVN want.
  • Advance notice of seminars, webinars and workshops around the country and, in many cases, a membership discount. Wow. I get to find out about the same repetitive autism and cancer claims and actually pay to fly there.
  • Access to the AVN website. This contains pages and pages of great news articles on vaccinations and childhood immunizations collected over many years. You haven’t really had a close look lately have you Meryl.
  • Discounts and premiums from some of our other Professional Members. These include specials on everything from homoeopathic and chiropractic visits to purchases at retail shops. You have 1 occupational therapist, one physiotherapist, one Bowen therapist, one herbalist, one TCM practitioner etc, etc… and 135 chiropractors! Who goes to a chiropractor associated with the AVN anyway?!

Arguably, there are plenty of reasons for victims to not want to draw much attention to themselves after being tripped up by self-confessed “rabid, idiotic fringe dwellers”.

Dorey has at least ceased using the title “Australia’s leading vaccination expert” as she amusingly used to bill herself.

But Australia’s leading charity fraudster is sounding pretty good about now.

Wollongong Uni, Brian Martin & Judy Wilyman: How Far Is Too Far?

As many of you know a recent comment from one Judy Wilyman has drawn enormous attention.

Judy is a strident antivaccination lobbyist. On the matter of addressing or providing evidence, Judy’s record is arguably less than ideal. Perhaps more times than a reasonable person would accept Judy has inferred conspiratorial motives block her from exposing vaccines’ flaws.

Judy told an audience in W.A. that only “scientific research” would be presented to them. Then that the media only report on vaccine preventable fatalities in order to, “coerce us into vaccination” and as such “run fear campaigns”. It follows then that “We’re being educated by the media who have pharmaceutical interests”.

She continued with her Orwellian “science”:

There is no measure of delayed responses of vaccines or long term health studies of children monitoring the combined effects of vaccines. That’s the hard evidence that we would need to say this programme (childhood vaccination) is safe.

Writing to the Hon. Ms. Nicola Roxon [then] Federal Minister for Health, in November 2011 Judy asserted, “The Australian government will be committing a crime against humanity by introducing [immunisation incentives]”.

And that:

There is no historical evidence that vaccines controlled any of the infectious diseases listed in government immunization policies – in any developed country.

There’s a video considering this point here. Still, Judy worries over the “Conflicts of interest that exist in the science that is used in policy-development”. Or as she claimed with unusual confidence, when putting Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek “on notice” last January :

Until these issues are addressed the public is rejecting coercive or mandatory immunization policies that result in the discrimination of healthy individuals

What are these issues Judy has taken up on our behalf? You can read them in full conspiracy tilt here. Suffice it to say the lead up included:

The community has lost confidence in the ability of the Health Department to make decisions in the best interests of the public due to the lack of integrity in the science being used and the conflicts of interest in individuals on government advisory boards. There is overwhelming evidence for this and I will list this below. As a result of this corruption of the scientific process the community has lost confidence in the Government’s Childhood Immunisation Schedule as it is clearly driven by profit and not safety.

The community, for whom this policy is designed, is saying no to coercive mandatory immunization policies. Choice in vaccination in Australia exists more in theory than practice and this is not acceptable to the public. It is unethical for a Government to link considerable financial benefits to a Public Health policy involving a medical procedure which has not been proven safe or effective.

The community?! Yet this is not the view of the community. Judy signed the letter, “PhD Candidate”. She is studying at the University of Wollongong under Dr. Brian Martin – himself a defender of antivaccination “dissent”. How far is too far? Is Dr. Martin in agreement? Does the University of Wollongong condone ultimatums to our Health Minister, made in reflection of their student body?

Former Australian Of The Year and Founding Director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Professor Fiona Stanley, is someone who has received awards for 17 years due to her work on children’s health. Long described by Judy Wilyman and Meryl Dorey as a corrupt human being who forces what Dorey calls “instruments of death” onto children, she merely described their combined message as “bizarre” and “so misinformed it’s crazy” [MP3].

Mind you, I have no problem with addressing conflicts of interest related to therapeutic goods’ manufacture, use and/or regulation. Far from it. Yet the need to ensure best practice in legislation and industry does not equate to verification of blanket corruption or hard evidence of “a crime against humanity”. The fact is that the evidence to support attacks on vaccines is simply not there.

Which raises a question of profound morality. Judy Wilyman makes much of her “PhD researcher” status. She makes excessive use of her association with the University of Wollongong. Her supervisor Dr. Brian Martin is president of Whistleblowers Australia and a professor of social sciences at the same university. Dr. Martin has been investigating “suppression of dissent” for around 33 years. He has authored a great number of articles and papers on the topic, 15 books and 5 booklets.

Perhaps Judy is selective in the conflicts of interest she rails against?

Some of you may remember the name David Lewis. He wrote a letter in response to Brian Deer’s BMJ articles on Andrew Wakefield. He chose to defend Wakefield after attending “a vaccine safety conference in Jamaica, where Andrew Wakefield discussed his research”. It was a five star extravaganza paid for by the “vaccine-safety” promoters. Wakefield was the headline act. Why was he there? Lewis is from The US National Whistleblowers Center, and was luxuriated with others similarly inclined.

In attending what was a grand conspiracy-riddled event designed to polish the evidence vacuum of “vaccine safety” into a slick profit making machine, Lewis informs us greatly as to how whistleblowers and dissent observers network, think and of course, defend those who claim innocence regardless of evidence. The US National Whistleblowers Center contact details are on Brian Martin’s website under “Suppression of dissent” Contacts. I stress strongly I am making no assumptions from a listed contact. However, one is able to identify trends emerging here.

Whistleblowers must surely hold evidence and facts above the status quo. They aim to expose wrongdoing at risk and/or great cost to themselves. As such they have contributed greatly to justice and in cases where the greater good has not been realised, have educated the public and made us aware. Yet a whistleblower is an individual. Usually focused upon one case of wrongdoing. What of those who form these organisations? Is their reliance upon dissent and whistleblowing a conflict of interest?

What of those, like Lewis, who would insert themselves into a controversial case of profound impact that has run it’s course? The whistleblowers in the Wakefield/MMR scandal were those who exposed his fraud. His colleagues who dissented, other staff at The Royal Free who were misled and of course journalist Brian Deer. Deer, asked to do a ho-hum story on the matter discovered a trail of money and wrongdoing and ultimately blew the whistle.

A glance at Dr. Martin’s publication list is informative. Understanding, defending and profitting from dissent is Dr. Martin’s life’s work. His Suppression Of Dissent website opens with:

This site deals with attacks on dissenting views and individuals. The general field of “suppression of dissent” includes whistleblowing, free speech, systems of social control and related topics. The purpose of the site is to foster examination of these issues and action against suppression. It is founded on the assumption that openness and dialogue should be fostered to challenge unaccountable power.

I do rush to add I have no problem with this. Dr. Martin claims a very neutral tone. I perhaps have more than a neutral interest. I spent many years investing huge amounts of time in defending the magnificent strides Australia made in illicit drug policy. Human Rights gave us Harm Reduction. Then suddenly, from world innovators in the mid 1980’s to the Evangelical puppetry that took hold during the great stupor of the Howard years, I saw incalculable inhumanity in my own nation.

Thus I strongly agree that “openness and dialogue should be fostered to challenge unaccountable power”. The evidence for even greater change is overwhelming. I dealt in it for many years. Similarly I was exposed to ample abuse of minority groups and am familiar with appalling abuse of power and corruption.

Also then, I would hope I have the experience that justifies my bemusement of Brian Martin’s self righteous defence of this “Air Guitar” of suppression of dissent and claimed oppression put on by Meryl Dorey and his student, Judy Wilyman. Their endless mantra is an insult to so many tangled in corruption from the gutter to the halls of power. It is bereft of morality and I sincerely question Dr. Martin’s defence of neutral academic interest.

When it comes to critical thought and morality we have a grave responsibility. To evidence. Not the evidence that we want, but that which is.

So now we must ask more about our devotee to suppression of dissent, Dr. Brian Martin, who inserted himself in the defence of the AVN. How far is too far? Why did he attack the real whistleblower, Ken McLeod, and in doing so wrench the hearts of the McCaffery family? The whistle was blown on a cruel charity fraudster, a scam artist, a fear monger and one who had made a long living from donations gathered from members with the promise of urgent action to solve manufactured dissent.

The AVN took in $1.8 million between 2004 and 2010. It’s estimated they owe over $180,000 in unprinted magazines for which they have already been paid the subscription fees. This blog is dotted with the fraud making the AVN many tens of thousands more and numerous scams to keep fear running. Does Brian Martin seriously defend and enable such conduct with the defence of academic neutrality?

Brian Martin publishes using his title at University of Wollongong and his UOW email address. So again, how far is too far for this university to turn a blind eye to sickness, degradation and incredibly the corruption that yields a profit for the AVN? Research and academia at the University of Wollongong appear synonymous with antivaccination schemes.

At what point does dissent become denial? Or rather, why should denial ever be labelled dissent? How can a PhD supervisor support denial and antisocial tactics in the name of education? Wilyman markets herself as currently completing my PhD in environmental health policy at the University of Wollongong, very quickly moving on to claim against all consensus:

The diseases that have been increasing since the late 80’s include allergies, anaphylaxis, ADHD, autism, coeliac disease, cancer and autoimmune diseases (e.g. arthritis and diabetes). The medical journals and animal studies link the ingredients of vaccines as a cause of these diseases. Although the increase in these diseases correlates to the increasing use of vaccines, the government has not funded research that would prove or disprove this plausible link.

However, The Australian Immunisation Handbook notes; Research has constantly replicated no link in the following:

  • sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and any vaccine.
  • autism and MMR vaccine.
  • multiple sclerosis and hepatitis B vaccine.
  • inflammatory bowel disease and MMR vaccine.
  • diabetes and Hib vaccine.
  • asthma and any vaccine.

If Judy Wilyman has her way, Dr. Brian Martin will turn a blind eye from evidence, from research and from moral obligation. His position at UOW brings more responsibility. Has he already jettisoned it in lieu of allowing dissent to thrive, no matter the consequence? How far is too far to move the line of ones personal interests and career over ones responsibility in academia?

If Wilyman has her way she will become perhaps the first person to receive a PhD solely from attacking successful public health policy. From lying. From selectively abusing research. From ignoring evidence. From appealing to conspiracy. Judy is doing no research as we understand it, despite the puffy chested bragging. She is reviewing literature from which she draws scurrilous error to envelope in semantics and put forth as argument.

In the last 2 1/2 years Wilyman appears to have completed 3 papers. All on the same topic. Arguing that not enough Aussie women die from cervical cancer to justify the HPV vaccine. Her 4th project was a poster – a synopsis of this argument using the same graphic. In 6 1/2 years she has published 12 times including another poster and a brochure.

Vaccines only exist thanks to corruption, Wilyman ultimately concludes in light of them having no benefit. Some dark, wicked machine that runs only to profit from making fellow humans sick. Sadly, Wilyman now adds, this includes the grieving parents of a tiny baby. Somehow in this delusion Judy includes others who value evidence, human and consumer rights and the quest for truth more than anything. “They” are all against Judy Wilyman.

This video out-take from Lateline is a quick synopsis of how Meryl Dorey sought the medical records of the same infant. Dorey demanded access to the infant’s medical records and contended that Paul Corben, Director of Public Health at the North Coast Area Health Service misled the public by confirming a pertussis fatality. Corben wrote to the family:

Ms. Dorey called me on the 12th of March seeking details of your daughter’s illness and death… Ms. Dorey contended that I had misled the public in attributing your daughter’s death to pertussis.

This was a key reason for forming Stop The AVN and lodging a complaint. Since then slurs against and abuse of the family has been arguably frequent. Reasonablehank covers the latest in a long string of pleas from the family for compassion.

The University of Wollongong look set to bestow a highly prized academic title upon a fraud. A woman who, no matter how passionate, no matter how driven, no matter how dedicated, is quite simply wrong. How possibly can the University of Wollongong award a doctorate to an antivaccination lobbyist? In absolute dissonance to the position of the worlds medical community no less?

There is no scientific doubt. Vaccination is an overwhelming success. All that Dr. Martin and the University of Wollongong can achieve by affirming and rewarding a fraud, is to drive down vaccination rates, mislead and confuse the public, spread disease, counter public health programmes, cost Australia ongoing millions and ultimately take lives. Innocent lives.

Dr. Martin insists he has no opinion either way. Just an interest. His topic list includes ample conspiracy theory interest however. Origin of AIDS, fluoride in water, vaccination. Areas wherein “dissenters” cause harm. Indeed his article defending Meryl Dorey attacking her critics and science itself, was published with reference to The University of Wollongong.

Thus this raises their position on the support or not of Australia’s vaccination regime. The article is entitled Debating Vaccination: understanding the attack on the AVN.

Debating vaccination quote

Dr. Brian Martin: Debating Vaccination

Should Dr. Martin justify how he can defend Meryl Dorey’s conduct as “dissent” when it is not backed by evidence. At what point does Ms. Dorey’s misinformation cause harm and how does seeking to impede public harm by legislative and regulatory means constitute an abuse of free speech? As an observer or an interested academic at what point should Dr. Martin accept he has already legitamised the antivaccination stance?

What ethics apply to someone who calmly claims to have a neutral interest in what is apparently dissent? When is the outcome of Dr. Martin’s work deemed to have contributed to a demise in public health? There is no doubt persisting with the demonstrably flawed antivaccination mantra at academic levels has catastrophic effects on vaccination rates. Can Dr. Martin really claim impartiality as he contributes to the reduction in immunisation? Indeed, is defending the AVN even moral or humane?

Ms. Dorey quotes Dr. Martin on her website to justify her actions. This pseudo-neoconservative plan has worked well. Dorey’s aim has been firstly to avoid serious discussion or examination of evidence. In creating an enemy and fabricating malignant actions such as threats, bullying, abuse of venue owners, needing security and so on the illusion that Dorey is abused begins to take hold.

Secondly, by continually naming and embellishing an entity as the enemy, whilst attributing malignancy, gives a constant psychological peg for readers to identify with. So it’s constantly “skeptics, The Australian Skeptics or Stop the AVN”. Dorey argues all are linked and an abundance of funds is bent on destroying her. To the conspiracy mind this makes absolute sense.

I’ve already deconstructed Dorey’s claim that her opponents don’t believe in free speech. It is fallacious and again fills the void that should be filled by evidence confirming she is an authority on the topic.

Recently in preparing more work Dr. Martin sent, as is his practice, a copy for comment to critics of Ms. Dorey. I asked why Meryl censors her websites and why she had not replied to emails I had sent defeating her pertussis and autism arguments. He replied in part:

Can you give me any example of a person who has been systematically vilified, subject to numerous formal complaints and who has received threats and pornography and yet who is quite happy to open the target group’s discussion forum to people from the attacking crowd? As soon as SAVN launched its campaigns, it closed down most prospects for genuine dialogue. I think it is completely unrealistic to expect openness from targets of this sort of attack. To complain about censorship by those being attacked this way is, to my mind, to misunderstand who are responsible.

Complaints are justified and serve a larger public interest. They are a legal avenue to raise dissent – something Dr. Martin would be well aware of. The HCCC findings were not quashed by Justice Christine Adamson in The Supreme Court of NSW and accordingly remain valid. Thus, I would argue Ms. Dorey is taking an easy way out. Dr. Martin is an intelligent man. Clearly he must realise that orchestrated attacks upon a public health policy such as vaccination will be resisted.

Ms. Dorey and the AVN were found to be dishonest and pose a risk to public health. That an appeal was won against displaying a web page to this effect does not change this.

The reality is that Meryl has no evidence and even more so, less regard for authority. Asked recently to remove an advertisement promoting an illicit and dangerous therapeutic good – the subject of a TGA warning – Meryl opened an appeal for $50,000 to fight the TGA. A “legal fighting fund”.

Threats and pornography cannot be levelled at opposition to Ms. Dorey. It is a cheap shot in no way linked to those keen to engage with Ms. Dorey and Dr. Martin lowers his own image in repeating these manufactured tactics.

Dr. Martin co-authored the article Exposing and opposing censorship: backfire dynamics in freedom of speech struggles in which we note:

The normal aim of censorship is to suppress speech, publications and other forms of expression in whole or part. But sometimes the act of censorship creates more attention to and support for the censored work and its creator than would have occurred without the intervention of censors. This process, which we call backfire, is most likely to occur in societies that place a high value on freedom of expression. […]

Devaluing the target makes attacks seem less objectionable, at least to most people. Censorship of liars and thieves does not generate the same outrage as censorship of courageous dissidents. Therefore it is predictable that those who want to curtail free speech will denigrate targets and critics. […]

Devaluation of targets can be countered by arguing for the value of all people, by exposing double standards and by exposing the technique of devaluation.

In his own words then, by devaluing “the target” (SAVN) through baseless accusations of intimidation, pornography, threats, oppression and labelling legal and vital defence of public health as an “attack”, Dr. Martin can defend Meryl Dorey’s censorship. She has no obligation to provide any evidence or engage in discourse. Yet, this is defensive relativism. By coaching Dorey to continue with the plan of persecution over evidence, filling her blogs with endless self pity and insinuation of abuse, threats… etc, attention is (in theory) drawn away from the lack of evidence.

But how far is too far? It is still cowardly censorship and such defence does not fool observers. By attacking critics as “vile, hate groups, pond scum, communists, losers, paedophiles” and more, Meryl has significantly weakened the justification of the argument. If the McCaffery’s can reciprocate in a polite and pleasant manner – albeit they’re begging for mercy – may I highlight the double standard at play and simply reject this defence.

More so, as has already happened by ignoring any discourse and censoring her sites Dorey has lowered any respect that critics and other interested parties would gladly afford her. Her only avenue to integrity is by engaging with the scientific and medical communities and all families of Australia.

Clearly serious questions arise as to Dr. Martin’s very well experienced manipulation of both sides of this issue. Given the absence of evidence to support antivaccination arguments and the abundance of evidence supporting all vaccine regimes Australians have a right to ask questions. Is Dr. Martin really an impartial observer or now an active player lending academic credence to the antithesis of the Immunise Australia programme, cleverly playing off two groups for his own benefit? In the present climate documenting and publishing on the antivaccination issue would prove very interesting.

In the past Dr. Martin has avoided answering what he thinks of the abuse of the McCafferys because, “I haven’t studied the area of offensive speech sufficiently for me to express an opinion.” Thus he abstained from “a viewpoint”. Will his answer about all of Dorey’s and Wilyman’s transgressions similarly come from hiding behind the emotion of a computer terminal? Is his entire zeitgeist of human morality, compassion, right and wrong down to what he has studied?

Review the above conduct of Meryl Dorey if you wish and ask if lacking sufficient knowledge of a very specific notion would let you off the hook for moral awareness or moral obligation. How many of you studied the area of offensive speech before forming an opinion well enough to express it on the treatment of the McCafferys?

I for one suggest this is a crafty defence. In defending and enabling antivaccination fraud there is a cost to Australian health that is solely the responsibility of Dr. Brian Martin. Already he is in quite some debt.

Is Dr. Martin incapable of discerning when denial has replaced dissent and in doing so destroyed the truth? It appears he would argue so. How far will the University of Wollongong go in defending this conduct? Do both Dr. Martin and the University condone an organised risk to public health, demonstrated to mislead the public through selective use of research. One that now seeks to use it’s Fundraising Authority to fight a Therapeutic Goods Administration order to remove advertisements for a dangerous, corrosive and illicit cancer “cure”?

What is the stance of both regarding Judy Wilyman’s misguided PhD venture? Her academic freedom is of great significance but if that freedom is allowed to be abused under the auspices of Dr. Martin and/or The University of Wollongong then not only have they failed Ms. Wilyman, but made a mockery of Australian Higher Education.

We don’t need a PhD to work this out, University of Wollongong. You have an ill informed renegade student threatening Federal Health ministers, our national immunisation programme and also the health of the Australian public. Her supervisor has burned the moral bridge between personal gain and community responsibility.

How far is too far? The time for action has long since passed.