Anti-vaccine Zika virus conspiracy fails to surprise

It was an event so impossible to predict it is absent from the highly respected Before It’s NewsWhat Did Nostradamus Predict For 2016? Or the Top 10 Nostradamus Predictions for 2016. Yet anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists reckon neonatal microcephaly associated with maternal infection with the mosquito-borne Zika virus, is actually due to… a vaccine.

It’s not spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito they warn. This truth of course, is being suppressed by a conspiracy.

A few days ago I wondered what potions, cures or other nonsense homeopaths might be selling to save the world from Zika. As it turned out I happened upon an article entitled Zika Virus. Are we being told the truth? The hosting blog, Homeopathy Safe Medicine is concocted by Steve Scrutton. Steve is also upset that the BBC aren’t playing ball with the CDC whistleblower fallacy that there is indeed a link between MMR and autism (also suppressed by a conspiracy)  – “particularly with black children”, and is happy enough to publish a final email exchange.

A little more searching would save Steve ample time on this point. For example Orac at Respecful Insolence, Rene’ Najera at Science Based Medicine and an even earlier article at SBM yield facts.

Or of course one may visit Snopes.

CDC_whistleblower_snopesSo Steve’s a conspiracy theorist. Anyway, to get back on track, you may have already guessed Steve’s answer to that title question above on Zika virus. From there we’re introduced to a fine upstanding crock of a site named The Unhived Mind III.

Here Steve alerts us to the delicate title Brazilians not buying Zika excuse for babies with shrunken brains. Charming, no? The author of this article, Jim Stone, applies the Judy Wilyman theme of logic. Namely that morbidity and mortality are not high enough for all this fuss. Jim quotes the BBC:

Zika is generally mild and only causes symptoms in one in five people. It is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also spreads dengue and chikungunya.

And adds himself:

My comment: Ok so a do nothing virus is going around that only makes one in five people get mildly sick, with no symptoms in 4 out of 5 people.

Had he continued quoting the BBC we’d have read more on this “do nothing virus”:

Brazil is experiencing the largest known outbreak of Zika.

President Dilma Rousseff, visiting Recife in the worst-affected north-east of the country, said Brazilians needed to engage in the fight against the virus. […]

Forty-nine babies with suspected microcephaly have died, Brazil’s health ministry says. In five of these cases an infection with Zika virus was found.

Jim Stone has his own tortuous conspiracy ramble site including an utterly ridiculous piece on the Zika virus. Jim advises his poor readers:

The claim is that a mosquito naturally carried this disease across almost all of South and Central America in only six months. This defies all logic because mosquitoes have a life cycle that is too long for immediate propagation and won’t fly more than a mile from where they hatch, which would limit the movement of a totally new disease to a mile or so a month, not 30 miles a day.

Jim gets pretty worked up about reports on the Wikipedia Zika virus page suggesting the carrier can “just rip across continents to all corners in months, faster than a bush tribesman could travel. It really is that way, Wikipedia said so!”. Well, no not really. What Wikipedia did note but Jim didn’t is:

The global distribution of the most cited carrier of Zika virus, A. aegypti, is expanding due to global trade and travel. A. aegypti distribution is now the most extensive ever recorded – across all continents including North America and even the European periphery. […]

Jim has also conveniently ignored the impact of human travel. Like many who seem happy to blame the Tdap vaccine, Jim is worried that the association between microcephaly and Zika virus has not been made before. It was initially identified in rhesus monkeys in 1947 then in humans in 1952, in Uganda.

Conspiracy theorists fail to grasp that the first documented outbreak of Zika virus in a human population was in 2007 and 2013 in the Pacific (Yap and French Polynesia, respectively), and later in the Americas in 2015 (Brazil and Colombia) and Africa (Cape Verde) [WHO Zika Fact Sheet]. ( Edit: The possibility of sexual transmission {2} is being investigated ). It is believed to have arrived in Brazil in 2014, and spread slowly. The outbreak in Columbia was reported by the WHO on October 21, 2015.

These relatively recent initial outbreaks are exactly why little is known about complications associated with the disease. Experts, including the WHO are not yet certain a causal link has been established between microcephaly and Zika virus. However health officials are operating under the assumption there is one.

Should this be the case it appears that infants born to mothers who had the virus during the first trimester are at an increased risk of microcephaly. The failure of the Tdap conspiracy theorists is partially evident in their inability to produce any data beyond a crude correlation. The Tdap vaccine is being offered in the third trimester (28 to 32 weeks). In the US and UK when there is a suspicion of foetal microcephaly where pregnant women have returned from Latin America, ultrasound screening will be offered from 20 weeks every 2 to 4 weeks.

Thus foetal microcephaly due to maternal infection with Zika could be evident 2 – 3 months before the vaccine is even offered. Essentially the conspiracy coincidence is vanishingly small and demonstrably false.

It would thus seem there is an opportunity to identify the time of malformation or the absence of genetic material of the Zika virus in placental tissue, to advance the case of the conspiracy theorists. Their case could do with real hard evidence as opposed to yet another vaccine timing coincidence.

The Internet is of course teeming with rubbish sites pushing the lie of vaccine induced birth defects. The Zika virus gives them something to exhaust the correlation gambit on. A nice twist that appears on No Vaccines Australia evokes The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The release of genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes by a British biotech’ company they fund, named Oxitec has come under scrutiny. However a critical 2010 Science article suggests the Foundation had not funded a 2009 project that saw release of the mosquito on the Caribbean island of Grand Cayman. In a very recent article on the Zika virus the authors give the same GM project the thumbs up.

They write under There must be a better way to control mosquitoes?

Not yet but they’re in the works. A British biotech called Oxitec—which was recently purchased by Intrexon, a U.S. synthetic biology company—has developed A. aegypti mosquitoes containing a gene construct that will kill their offspring before they reach adulthood. When massive numbers of male individuals of this strain are released in the wild, they will mate with local females, producing offspring that are not viable, which has been shown to make a dent in the population.

For now I can offer the below press releases.

To wind up we can turn back to Steve the homeopath to realise that like Nostradamus he’s had a bash at predicting the future.

He writes:

If there is any truth in this, conventional medicine will have to act quickly and effectively.

  • They will have to denounce this as a ‘conspiracy’ theory.
  • They will have to convince us that it is mosquitoes, and not Big Pharma, who have caused this microcephaly.
  • They will have to move quickly to defend mandatory vaccination, especially the vaccination of pregnant women.
  • They will have to convince us that the TDAP vaccine is different to the DPT vaccine that they have been giving our children for decades.

And perhaps most difficult of all, the pharmaceutical industry, and conventional medical doctors, will have to convince us that this time they are telling the truth about this matter!

In fact if there were a conspiracy under way the amount of work needed to pull it off would simply dwarf Steve’s list. More so all evidence suggests it is impossible to convince such minds of the truth – regardless of evidence.

Regrettably this is just another opportunistic and disturbing effort by predictable conspiracy theorists.



Plot to cull humanity via vaccines is “real news” claims Meryl Dorey

Mainstream media won’t listen to or report the REAL news until they are forced to do so. THIS is the real news – and they are intentionally suppressing it.

Meryl Dorey: October 9th 2014

I’ve lost count of the number of times Meryl Dorey has provided evidence of not just her belief in conspiracy theories, but of conspiracy theories wild and whacky.

A strident defender of Meryl, and an active critic of the notion Australian Vaccination-sceptics Network lends credence to conspiracy theories is Professor Brian Martin. Please note from here on I’ll refer to AVsN simply as AVN because in material I’ll source and at the time frame I’ll often refer to, the group was AVN Inc.

I guess Brian has a vested interest in setting up his approach to belief in conspiracy theories about as close as you can get to demanding evidence for a negative without actually saying so. That vested interest is his role as PhD supervisor of Judy – vaccines are a crime against humanity – Wilyman. In “preparing” for her PhD Wilyman has played many conspiracy cards from the paranoid to the dishonest. Little wonder Martin has argued for pointlessly high standards of confirmation before considering the AVN or Dorey entertain conspiracy theories.

I got interested in what I initially, and still, think is an unworthy issue for an academic around mid 2011. It struck me as a cheap shot to try to discredit the purpose of SAVN or defend the malignancy of the AVN over something so petty. Brian Martin summed up his viewpoint and level of evidence required on July 27th 2011 as part of an email exchange (emphasis mine):

Thanks for your emails. I think I understand where you’re coming from. You’ve provided what you think is good evidence for AVN members believing in various conspiracies. Let me state again my perspective on this. In “Debating vaccination” I noted that SAVN’s Facebook page had, as part of its basic information, the statement that “They [AVN] believe that vaccines are part of a global conspiracy to implant mind control chips into every man, woman and child and that the ‘illuminati’ plan a mass cull of humans.” I called this an “unsupported claim” because no good evidence for it was provided by SAVN or anyone else. It is, to my mind, a rather extraordinary claim, requiring persuasive evidence to be credible, for example a survey of AVN members. I consider the claim to be an attempt to discredit the AVN based on assertion rather than evidence. The claim was prominent on SAVN’s Facebook page, which is why I gave it such attention in my analysis.

There is a quite a bit of research on conspiracy theories. I believe it is accurate to say that many people believe in conspiracies of one sort or another. The obvious way to find out is to ask them, and that has been done often enough in survey research. To back up SAVN’s Facebook claim, it is not enough to show that some AVN members believe in this or that conspiracy – it’s necessary to show many or most believe in the mind-control-chip conspiracy, as stated.

Okay, so he has set the confirmation bar rather high. In fact out of reach. A survey of AVN members? Impossible for any cooperation. The “good evidence” I “think” I provided was in fact conspiracy references from AVN members, a screenshot of a post by Dorey on a video on mandatory vaccination and microchipping and part of this blurb from Dorey;

Injected Chips? To me, the scariest thing about the health smart card, is that it is only the beginning. The next and most logical step is the use of microchips which will contain all of the same information contained on smart cards but which will be injected into us and read and updated from a distance.

Now, before you start to think that this would never happen and that it’s all a bit too much like science fiction, be aware that as of January 1999, the NSW State Government has mandated that all domestic animals be injected with a microchip which would identify them. Pet owners don’t have a choice – they must do this by law or face fines. And how are these chips being put into the family dog or cat? Why, through their vaccines, of course. These microscopic chips are nothing more than contactless health smart cards. How long will it be before you or your child receive this “gift” from the government? They will sell it to us as a gift too. You will no longer have to worry about robbery because nobody will be carrying cash – this chip will contain your bank details so you can pass your hand over a reader and have the amount of your purchase automatically deducted from your account. Your child will never have to worry about getting lost because they will have an indelible identification mark which would have been inserted at birth. It’s all so exciting, don’t you think?

                            – Source Internet Archive – Wayback Machine

I won’t list all the references I sent to Brian Martin. He was defending Ms. Dorey’s management of, and honesty with free speech at the same time she was falsely claiming ownership of material to execute bogus DMCA take-downs of material on Scribd, actually owned by SAVN members. His erroneous claim that the AVN and Meryl Dorey were quite separate has been shown wrong many times. Reasonablehank touches on DMCA here, along with some seriously messed up AVN conspiracy leaning.

Suffice it to say I decided to take the statement Martin objected to, examine as much material confirming AVN members and Meryl Dorey’s belief in wild conspiracies and see how much of the statement could be supported this way. It turned out not much was needed. The offending comment Brian wanted evidence for:

They [AVN] believe that vaccines are part of a global conspiracy to implant mind control chips into every man, woman and child and that the ‘illuminati’ plan a mass cull of humans.

Could be stripped of one word and remain accurate:

They [AVN] believe that vaccines are part of a global conspiracy to implant mind control chips into every man, woman and child and that the ‘illuminati’ plan a mass cull of humans.

But yes, yes I know. Brian had already told us this. As he finished off in his email to me, it’s necessary to show many or most believe in the mind-control-chip conspiracy, as stated. So. No human culling? Perhaps he was in a hurry or something.

Let us then consult Prof. Martin’s What SAVN doesn’t want you to read, published by Martin last July 14th. I did visit this article in a post and discussed the relevant piece September 2012: SAVN and conspiracy theories. As you can see I chose not to focus on his reference to conspiracy theory, but instead on his reference to Peter Tierney and myself.

Do note however that Martin only refers to the mind control chip conspiracy and omits his initial concern with human culling. Again. It would seem if we were to apply the same standard of required evidence to Martin he appears to have intentionally drifted away from human culling.

Today Meryl Dorey has again confirmed her belief in this wild conspiracy of human culling through mass vaccination.

Dorey_Abel Danger

Following the link we find at one of the worst of the worst conspiracy madness sites, this delight (scroll down to CDC busted for burying vaccine related autism link);

Nanbot main text

A visit to this site Dorey refers to as “REAL news” reveals ample conspiracy – including the “Hear This Well – Vaccines Do Cause Autism” YouTube rubbish. Nonetheless what Dorey is believing here is clear.

  • Outbreak of the Ebola virus is a hoax and the plan behind it has precipitated removal of anti-vaccine websites.
  • A vaccine designed to kill human cells using a “T4 bacteriophage nanobot” and cause a human cull will be spread worldwide by the “elite” – The Illuminati.
  • This is part of the New World Order for global depopulation “and the establishment of compact slave cities that can be managed with ease”.
  • This is why “they are pushing vaccines so hard”.

♠ Elsewhere on Meryl Dorey’s “real news” page we find material contending that:

  • Jews want to “dumb down” all children via tainted vaccinations causing autism.
  • As owners of YouTube Jews are censoring audio on “many videos” and will likely remove the “Hear This Well – Vaccines Do Cause Autism” channel.
  • Vaccines are a “bioweapon”.
  • “FACT: Vaccine induced autism is an intentional act of war on Western civilization and anyone else who is in competition with a certain tribe (the Jewish race)”.

As an academic who writes extensively on dissent one would expect Professor Brian Martin to address this in depth. Arguing that AVN is not Dorey or a few AVN members are not “the AVN” just does not cut it with this mob. Any AVN members who were not Dorey clones were banned and the content deleted. Martin would argue in the absence of Dorey plainly stating – perhaps via interpretive dance – that she believes every word there is still nothing conclusive. Technically he would be right. But actually he would be wrong. It is clear he has failed to defend his claim that Dorey has no love for this depth of nonsense.


  1. David Icke’s microchips and the human cull – copied and published by Dorey.
  2. Hank responds to Dorey’s “dossier”.
  3. Visit the corridors of Brian Martin’s mind in the comments

♠ 4 points added after publishing.

Vaccination conspiracies in blind hyper-drive

A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
John F Kennedy Meryl W Dorey

Well, New Yorker Meryl W. Dorey has seized it recently and displayed it on her antivaccination Facebook page out of context. So she may have this brief credit. It’s a standard of conspiracy theorists as a visit to Google will confirm. It has of course nothing to do with government secrecy over the public as Dorey seems to have assumed. As with a huge number of Kennedy’s speeches he is alluding to his full term foe – communism – as the reference to free examination of “an open market” suggests.

Kennedy has easily become the US President to be most quoted out of context. Speeches sliced up and overlaid to conspiracy clips, heading up cooky websites or as here, just thrown out amongst fetid posts and paranoid misinformation without another word. No explanation is needed for the (as we’re so often told) “more highly educated” vaccine deniers. Vaccines to them are proof of government cover ups and the malignancy of faceless agents across the world. They squeeze it into the Orwellian nightmare of fluoride drugging, chemtrail poisoning and hidden cancer cures. If Roxon’s incentive to immunise has shown us one thing, it’s that their grab bag of conspiracies was at the ready.

One speech conspiracy quacks love to shred is one of my favourite Kennedy deliveries. Address 153 The President and the press [Audio here]. It’s brilliant stuff, and rightly so. Kennedy’s task that night was to celebrate freedom of the press in a democracy to an audience not short on critical representatives of the press. To respect their role in holding government to account. To place their independence above the duration and mechanics of government. To support and accept media scrutiny. To speak of shared responsibilities. Yet most importantly to impart the knowledge of the huge responsibility this freedom brought to the press during the Cold War.

He pointed out enemy agents had boasted of accessing information usually obtained through bribes or espionage (such as satellite technology) and, “that details of this nation’s covert preparations to counter the enemy’s covert operations have been available to every newspaper reader, friend and foe alike”.

He needed a change in publisher outlook. He points to newspaper patriotism and loyalty. Their understanding of sacrifices that civilians are willing to bear. But he would be failing his duty to not bring to attention the inherent quandary of a free press watched by an enemy and the need of patriotic, self sacrificing newspaper publishers to weigh present dangers.

Kennedy notes Francis Bacon spoke of three inventions that changed the world. The compass, gunpowder and the printing press. His final paragraph is:

And so it is to the printing press–to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news–that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.

Now let’s visit the mind of the Meryl Doreys of this world. Who claim as she did once that we’re controlled by “a sinister cabal of interbreeding criminal families”. The Illuminati pop up when it suits her also. These secret societies are so powerful it is beyond comprehension. Human beings are controlled like cattle – sheeple. These faceless people control governments, information and wealth keeping us sickly, poor, ignorant, in need. They run the media. Decide what we watch on TV. They seek to cull the human population. Vaccines are a means to do everything from forcing us to comply to being sheeple to injecting microchips at birth that will scan and monitor humans. We are in effect Guinea Pigs.

Imagine you’ve been fed this and more. Shown so-called proof. Imagine you almost believe it. You watch a “documentary”. Scenes of wars and human misery slowly numb your critical faculties. A sprinkling of facts. Yes, BMW did profit from war. Dick Cheney did privately profit from supplying troops in Iraq. Newspaper identities have run campaigns to shape the outcome of elections. A mushroom cloud appears for no apparent reason. But you get the meaning. Evil. The world is evil.

Images of corporations, drug companies and the seats of government. Then the words below begin to play as a background soundtrack. Half way through an new scene appears. An open topped car we know well. A smiling man in his prime. A boulevard in Dallas. An exploding head. An assassination. The words are Kennedys from his address to the press and refer to communism. But you aren’t told this.

The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings.

And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning…  Our way of life is under attack. The survival of our friends is in danger.

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice… its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.

… I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.

… that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.

The meaning is unmistakable. Kennedy was onto The Illuminati and the faceless ones. The repugnant secret societies. This “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy”. With Kennedy relying on honesty and our help humans would realise their destiny and become “free and independent”. So, they killed him. You’ve never heard of this because as Kennedy said, the conspiracy “relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence… its preparations are concealed, not published. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised”.

Of course it’s an oldie but a goodie. A standard for New World Order conspiracies. It surfaces in one form or another time and again. In understanding the rank falsehoods and intractable devotion of anti-vaccine conspirators we can learn a lot from the above. The power of the free press can be gleaned from the fact Kennedy had to ask for acquiescence to considering a change in tactics as a matter of national security. To think people today argue that the media are agents in a malignant scheme of vaccination doing the bidding of governments and pharmaceutical companies is patent absurdity.

Yet we’ve had plenty of it this last week or so with the AVN getting airplay for their falsehoods and fears. Dorey has cried foul that the government and media are not leading with advice to conscientious objectors. She lied on air and online so hard about pertussis vaccination it’s hard to not imagine some infants being struck down as a direct result. Government coercion and government cover ups were her messages. Conspiracy! Her flying monkeys attacked and harassed any journalist who defended vaccination.

When the Fluvax debacle hit W.A. supporters of conventional medicine were horrified at the event then outraged at the contributing factors. Conversely a satisfied glow emerged from the antivaccination lobby. Yet the most vocal critics of drug company power and TGA apathy are medical professionals. Perhaps the most successful in Australia is also a regular at skeptic gatherings.

When Natasha Bita won a Walkley for her coverage of CSL’s poor manufacturing standards and shortfalls in the TGA Dorey posted on her Facebook page:

Natasha Bita wins the Walkley Award for her coverage of the Australian flu vaccine scandal! Times are changing!

Again the message is unmistakable. Journalists don’t normally report on vaccine or regulator problems. This is an aberration or signs of turning a corner. At the same time Dorey and fellow conspiracy theorist Judy Wilyman were accusing the media of being beholden to their drug company commissions and reporting biased messages on Roxon’s Immunisation Incentive. One Facebook member wonders how much “underground” work Bita did and “perhaps risking her safety at times”. She would have worked alone, “…where one person like this can feel insane and give up the fight for truth”.

Truth? Insanity? Glad he mentioned those points. At the time Virus in the system was written Meryl Dorey published an “Action Alert!” on Facebook, Yahoo! and Twitter. It contained the bald faced lie that supporters of vaccines were “mobilising” to attack Natasha Bita for simply reporting the facts. In Dorey’s twisted conspiracy world that would be routine. When journalists report facts supporting vaccination or about the effects of not vaccinating, Dorey attacks. Anger, vicious language, persecution and vitriol to put it mildly. The “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy” she believes in is all powerful. There can be no discussion.

But vaccine supporters did nothing. Dorey, claiming to be oppressed, suppressed and maligned, had no mud to throw. Using reverse psychology she posted these false warnings, urging her fellow devotees to bombard Natasha with praise. Apparently vaccine supporters and skeptics did NOT want the media covering this from a freedom of choice point of view. Freedom of choice? I mean… I don’t even…

There are few better examples of a conspiracy theorist caught red handed exploiting their own members than this. Sure it doesn’t have sliced up Kennedy quotes as a voice-over but the concept is the same. Serve it to the paranoid mind and it will stick.

Meryl Dorey’s Fake Yahoo! Twitter and Facebook Action Alert!

Click, read, be amazed

There can be no doubt Natasha Bita produced some great journalism. She exposed inexcusable apathy on the part of the TGA which is only made worse by Dr. Rohan Hammett’s defensive position at a Senate estimates hearing. She highlighted wasted money, government obstruction and ran a front page story on a youth who developed polio-like symptoms from oral polio vaccine. CSL’s failure to supervise Good Manufacturing Practice and their thumb twiddling until FDA representatives arrived to ultimately threaten revocation or suspension of their licence was galling. TGA attempts to cast this as almost routine were laughable. Complications such as polio like symptoms from OPV are rare yet well known and rightly deserve compensation. It made for great reading because most Aussies do not follow vaccination intricacies and would find this almost incomprehensible.

Although she now occupies a shrine for antivaccination devotees Natasha Bita confirmed nothing of their beliefs nor conspiracies. She did not find sanitation, not vaccination, reduced disease. She did not uncover any link to hidden deaths, diseases, disabilities or the big one – autism. Her entire story grew from the widely known fact one child suffered permanent injury and a nine times higher febrile convulsion rate followed administration of Fluvax to under five year olds. Anaphylaxis? Not a single case. Pertussis vaccination doesn’t work and this has been demonstrated around the world, as Dorey told ABC? No.

Mercury – not ethyl mercury is in vaccines? No. Aluminium and formadehyde poisoning children? No. Human cells floating around? No. Aborted fetal cells? No. A trail of untested vaccines? No. Secret monolithic societies? Hidden cancer cures? Proof of immune suppression? Proof vaccines do not work? Proof they all make people sick? Proof they are the cause of all allergies and the so-called “sickest generation in history”? No. In short, you think of a vaccine conspiracy and Natasha did not find it.

There were four failures and one deficiency at CSL specific to one influenza vaccine uncovered by the arch nemesis of vaccine deniers, the FDA. Hence problems with what is broadly known as Good Manufacturing Practice. Natasha Bita actually “uncovered” nothing here – the letter is publically available on the FDA website. This was crucial to her story and her publication of it’s import was swift and to the point. I probably couldn’t agree more with the sentiments she raised on this issue. But to hear the antivaccination crowd you’d think Bita broke into CSL Mission Impossible style. That she downloaded crucial top secret files before abseiling out a window clad in black leathers to her waiting Ferrari. She just escaped the black helicopters touting blazing machine guns with her uncanny driving skill, quietly slipping into work without a hair out of place.

Even reporting on Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation members Professor Terry Nolan and Peter Richmond of the National Health and Research Council having honoraria and advisory board ties to CSL, took a phone call to the Health Department. That they were involved in drug company sponsored trials and worked as investigators on CSL’s child H1N1 trials may be because they are, to quote Bita, “eminent researchers”. All conflicts of interest are declared and taken into consideration.

Yet to the devotees this is Big Pharma proof. Who would they suggest? Viera Scheibner? Judy Wilyman? Peter Dingle? Fran Sheffield? Simon Floreani, Isaac Golden or Nimrod Weiner? Let’s face it. Like any life long discipline the top jobs attract the top people. There is going to be overlap and to suggest this always leads to malignant outcomes and the control of “sheeple” says more about the true believers than intricacies of research institutions and business boardrooms. As fate would have it, others are well aware of this. Regulation is the key. Which is why regulators, their income source and their powers are absolutely crucial in the current environment.

Which brings me to another Facebook member who links to Natasha Bita’s article AMA urges watch on vaccines, writing, “and she’s continuing to stand up to them”. Stand up to who? This is a statement from the president of the Australian Medical Association, Dr. Steve Hambleton. Isn’t he pretty much “them” in a nutshell? He’s easily one of “them” and is echoing the concerns of medical supporters in that public trust has been damaged by the Fluvax issue. He is acutely aware of the spread of misinformation into vacuums that could be better filled by facts or dynamics that are conspiracy resistant. Dorey’s paranoid member fits the quintessential conspiracy profile of spotting one or two words and reacting like a programmed machine.

The article includes what is in effect the Last Post for yet another vaccine myth. That GP’s are in on the conspiracy:

DOCTORS demanded more monitoring of vaccine side-effects yesterday after the federal government announced penalties for families who fail to immunise their children.

Australian Medical Association president Steve Hambleton said the government must introduce “active surveillance” to monitor side effects instead of relying on doctors and patients to report problems through “passive surveillance”.

For a vaccine, you are taking healthy people and trying to keep them healthy so surveillance of the side effects is doubly important,” Dr Hambleton said.

“We need to maintain confidence in the program. We can’t just say to people, ‘Don’t worry, it’s safe'” [….]

Dr Hambleton said doctors strongly supported immunisation to protect children against life-threatening illness.

But he called for taxpayer funding of Australia’s medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which is entirely funded by user-pays charges on the pharmaceutical industry.

He said the TGA needed to work “better and quicker” to ensure prescribing advice to doctors always included the most up-to-date data on clinical trials and side effects.

“We have to make sure regulators do their job,” Dr Hambleton said. “We do rely on the TGA for good quality, independent advice.

“Everything the TGA does is in the public interest so it should be publicly funded to do the extra work and notify the public of any changes that do come up. If it can’t do what it needs to do, we need to ask why.” […]

Vaccination protects against “life-threatening illness” and we need to maintain public confidence. It’s a smart move. Roxon’s method will only do so much to arrest falling vaccination rates. It will also do plenty to give conspiracy theorists “sheeple” leverage. Giving the anti-vaccine mob less and less to seize upon and fill with conspiracy twaddle is essential.

For Dorey and her ilk there may never be any hope. People must escape these belief systems much as one escapes a cult. They can’t be forced to change and in the main need help. Consider the person who introduced the above story. “[Natasha Bita’s] continuing to stand up to them”. Yet the story is not novel journalism but a mere AMA report. It supports immunisation as effective, promotes the TGA as acting in the public interest and shows doctors wanting better and faster information so they can continue to immunise without concerns.

Yet all these idiots (and I mean that nicely) on Facebook, including Dorey do not respond or correct or even comment. It’s just a dumping ground for quackery related to Natasha Bita’s Walkley, and that means victory over vaccines. Standing up to the monolithic and ruthless conspiracy. If Dorey did her homework she’d know the piece also contains an aim of her hated foes “the skeptics”. That being independent funding of the TGA. And I’m happy to admit that will help expose the fraud and inefficacy attached to the alternatives to medicine that the antivaccination lobby so often profit from.

The quote from Kennedy used by Dorey, above, is actually prefaced by, “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values”. Strangely enough, most untruths and distorted claims used by vaccine deniers exist because they have accessed such facts, ideas, philosophies and values. The abuse of package inserts is perhaps the golden example of what conspiracy theorists do with facts about vaccines. They craft fiction and spread it far and wide.

The truth is vaccine deniers cannot be entrusted with facts. Now, in possession of Natasha Bita’s facts and information followed by Roxon’s incentive, they have hit hyper-drive. Saba Button has been exploited by those who would see a nation of sick children. They don’t see good journalism dealing with the dynamics of a public health debacle. They see “us and them”. Whatever problems ultimately lay at the feet of the Fluvax scenario, none will question the efficacy of vaccination as a public health measure.

None will challenge the horror of what vaccine preventable diseases can do. None will justify the rise of vaccine preventable disease and the deaths of babies from flu and pertussis. Nothing will ever emerge to support the claims of the antivaccination lobby and their alternatives to vaccines. Nothing they do will ever make Dorey’s lies on ABC or the misrepresentation of Natasha Bita’s work factual. Yet to win support, they don’t have to. All they need for their conspiracy to bloom is a seed of doubt.

Which reminds me again of Kennedy, speaking to the press in 1961:

But I do ask every publisher, every editor, and every newsman in the nation to reexamine his own standards, and to recognize the nature of our country’s peril. […]

But I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to reexamine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self-restraint which that danger imposes upon us all.

Given recent advantage taken of Bita’s work and ABC air time those words resonate rather strongly here today.