At this event the AVN hosted a rogue Melbourne GP who, using bogus claims, was helping parents circumvent No Jab No Play legislation. With video of the GP published online, the outcome was immediate revelation of his identity. Three weeks later Dr. John Piesse faced suspension by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). At that time it was reported he “vowed” to continue placing innocent children and the community at risk until he was indeed suspended. Not long after he agreed to stop practising while AHPRA investigated his conduct.
By mid September he had his licence suspended. The ABC reported;
A Melbourne doctor who has been under investigation for his anti-vaccination stance has had his licence to practise suspended.
Because of the danger posed by Piesse and an unknown number of other GP’s who may be engaging in similar conduct, new No Jab No Play laws were recently announced by Victoria’s Minister for Health, The Hon Jill Hennessy MP. [PDF]
The damage done by the anti-vaccination lobby across the developed and developing world continues. Their lies cost lives and quality of life. In addition they promote angst for innocent parents and attack hard working advocates – who may be grieving parents themselves – with relish.
It is now 20 years since Wakefield published his fraudulent paper in The Lancet contending a link between the MMR vaccine, bowel disease and autism. It was ultimately described by The Lancet’s editor-in-chief as “utterly false”. A 2004 investigation by Brian Deer of Britain’s Sunday Times uncovered enormous financial conflicts of interest. Wakefield was exposed as a liar and fraud and struck off the UK medical register. Astonishingly three dozen charges were found proved. Almost all of his fellow authors withdrew their names and support from the fraudulent paper.
With thunderous arrogance Wakefield “rejects” all of the findings against him.
Years of research failed to reproduce or uncover phenomena similar to his claims. Wakefield continues to push his fraud from the USA, profiting now from the global Conspiracy Theory movement, destroying public health and what is left of his callous character as he goes.
One understands Vaxxed is simply his most recent project. If and when more follow, as has been suggested, they too will be debunked.
Recently BBC 4 produced an excellent review of the anti-vaccine movement titled, In the Wake of Wakefield (BBC).
Twenty years ago, in February 1998, one of the most serious public health scandals of the 20th century was born, when researcher, Andrew Wakefield and his co-authors published a paper in the medical journal The Lancet.
They continue to gain relevance. This year the anti-vaccine lobby in Australia has pushed the Vaxxed mantra of widespread fraud at the CDC, targetted ATSI communities and launched an insulting plan for profit. As usual Meryl Dorey is heading the push for hard cash, this time via the Patreon site. Unfortunate donors will get nothing in return beyond access to “bi-weekly webinars” should she manage an income of $2,000 per month. And why? According to her blurb on patreon.com;
…to keep everyone up-to-date on the most recent news and information from around the world regarding vaccination and health rights
This, dear reader, would preclude accepting that one cannot access such misinformation already in countless anti-vaccine echo chambers. However Dorey really wants $5,000 per month. Again the reward is to nothing more than a rehash of her anti-vaccine beliefs and a smattering of more recent anti-vaccine articles with a very likely history of rejection, retraction or both;
This class will aim to help parents and health professionals to make informed choices regarding vaccination by providing them with a broad ranged (sic) of historical and up-to-date references and outlining some of the questions they need to be asking before saying yes (or no) to vaccines.
Dorey is seemingly on a high thanks to recent attention received because of harm the bogus messages spread via Vaxxed and Vaxxed Q and A sessions can cause public health. Reasonable Hank has published an excellent piece pulling back the covers on Dorey’s latest scam, reminding readers there is still the matter of $160,000 raised for the promised High Court challenge of No Jab No Pay legislation. The video clips provided by Hank are just a couple of those in which Dorey is basking in the controversy created by the Vaxxed production team.
This raises the rather inescapable fact that audio from Dr. William Thompson was manipulated on two separate occasions. Discerning this, shall we say, fraudulent presentation of what William Thompson said when talking to Dr. Brian Hooker is thanks to the publication of Vaccine Whistleblower: Exposing Autism Research Fraud at the CDC, by devoted antivaccinationist Kevin Barry. The book contains four legally obtained telephone conversations between Hooker and Thompson. This allowed for a comparison between transcripts of recorded telephone conversations and the conversation audio in Vaxxed.
The first here was when the Vaxxed trailer was released. You can listen to the audio below;
The two segments spliced together come across as (Thompson broaching discussion with Hooker);
you and I don’t know each other very well. You have a son with autism, and I have great shame now.
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, 15 reputable references were published here last April. The above audio from the trailer was splendidly exposed by Matt Carey of Left Brain Right Brain in March 2016. Carey clearly explains what has happened with manipulating audio here – and the context Wakefield was trying to create for the audience. This is a trailer, so to be sure listeners are indeed misled as they are supposed to be, Del Bigtree follows the spliced sentence with an explanation (10 second mark).
We see that a single sentence is the result of splicing together two sections of conversation and removing parts of those sections in Call 2. Looking at the transcript one can see that 90 words from Thompson and 39 words from Hooker are omitted. So 129 words of conversation actually lie between the two segments of audio that make up the manufactured sentence;
you and I don’t know each other very well. [129 missing words] You have a son with autism, (and) I have great shame now.
Next is audio describing the same call from Thompson to Hooker, yet produced for the final film itself. This audio is the product of three separate segments spliced together, with the third introduced in between the original two segments. We can now hear Thompson say, “I don’t know how this is all going to play out”.
It is quite clear that segments 1 and 2 in the transcripts below have been significantly edited with the purpose of creating a certain context.
Brian, you and I don’t know each other very well. I don’t know how this is all going to play out. You have a son with autism and I have great shame now when I meet families with autism because I have been part of the problem.
Click transcript below to embiggen
Click transcript below to embiggen
The anti-vaccine lobby in Australia, particularly members of the AVN should offer their members and those who attend Vaxxed screenings an explanation as to why this audio was tampered with on two separate occasions in two different ways. With apologies to those who dislike colourful annotation I trust the volume of audio modification is clear.
The context sought through modifying the audio is false. William Thompson did not ring Hooker with the aim of revealing that the CDC had suppressed information that any vaccines cause autism. He did not ring to claim the CDC was committing fraud. If Thompson had accused the CDC of fraud in order to hide a link between vaccines and autism, one can be certain that Wakefield would have shouted this far and wide.
I don’t know where in the four transcripts the sentence “I don’t know how this is all going to play out”, has been lifted from. Yet one can see plainly that the sentence has been inserted. It is not an original part of the transcript above.
Finally there’s Thompson’s statement of August 27th, 2014. One cannot reconcile the claims of the Vaxxed charade with Thompson’s position on vaccines. Concerns over the omission of certain findings “in a particular study”, does not a CDC fraud make. As one may well have concluded, Thompson had no control over what his name was attributed to following the deception of Brian Hooker.
I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.
My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub group for a particular vaccine. There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe it is the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with receipt of those vaccines.
I have had many discussions with Dr. Brian Hooker over the last 10 months regarding studies the CDC has carried out regarding vaccines and neurodevelopmental outcomes including autism spectrum disorders. I share his belief that CDC decision-making and analyses should be transparent. I was not, however, aware that he was recording any of our conversations, nor was I given any choice regarding whether my name would be made public or my voice would be put on the Internet.
It seems that despite the increased efforts of the AVN to promote Vaxxed and to push further lies onto Indigenous Australians the reality remains that there is no demonstrable CDC fraud and no viable CDC whistleblower.
Never one to stray far from the spotlight Dorey has been active in promoting the anti-vaccine conspiracy theory propaganda flick, Vaxxed. Along with Polly Tommy, Brian Hooker, Tasha David and Suzanne Humphries, Dorey has recently caused a stir in misleading the managers of venues booked to screen the bogus “documentary”.
Parents are being warned to ignore propaganda promoting the first WA screening of the anti-vaccination documentary Vaxxed.
The screening of the controversial film in Perth on Friday is being advertised through social media, with the southern suburbs location due to be given to ticketholders 30 minutes beforehand.
Directed by Andrew Wakefield — a former doctor whose debunked study played a key role in the anti-vaccination movement — the film reignites false claims about a link between the mumps, measles and rubella vaccine and autism. […]
Australian Medical Association national president Michael Gannon said people only had to see who the filmmaker was to know the content was questionable.
“Andrew Wakefield was found to have fraudulently produced evidence around the original MMR scare in Britain, which led to him being deregistered as a doctor,” Dr Gannon said
By the time the planned July 25th screening in QLD was due, the group was seemingly getting creative. QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk heads a state government that is firmly pro-vaccine. Still, the venue chosen by the Vaxxed crew to peddle their nonsense was Miami State High School. As the ABC later reported;
Earlier this month Health Minister Cameron Dick urged residents to boycott the film that has caused controversy by linking a measles-mumps-rubella vaccine to autism.
In order to slip by the looming conflict of interest and the likely surety that anti-vaccine twaddle would be denied a state school venue, the Vaxxed crew decided to, well.., to lie. About the booking. The, um, purpose. About the purpose of the booking. Mmm, yes um, they did. The ABC quote the QLD Premier;
My preliminary advice is that there has been some misrepresentation to the school in question, Ms Palaszczuk said.
“They conveyed to the principal that it was to be conveying information about organic produce.”
A report at Diluted Thinking (which I recommend reading) includes a statement from the Miami State High School Principal, Sue Dalton. It’s quite clear that at no time was the intention to screen or the eventual screening of Vaxxed conveyed by those deceiving Miami State School. Sue Dalton’s statement notes;
The school hall was hired to an independent local business owner to promote their healthy lifestyle business of organic foods and coffee. It is incredibly disappointing that the agreed purpose of the use of hire did not reflect the forum that was presented last night.
Reasonable Hankalso covered this abuse of state education facilities and has fortunately included video of Polly Tommy revealing her unstable anti-vaccinationism. This would appear to be a woman crippled by malignant ideology and intent on spreading potentially lethal falsehood.
The next morning, July 27th, The Gold Coast Bulletin published an ideal front page.
Incredibly the dishonest Vaxxed crew again played their hand at deceit on July 28th taking advantage of Lake Macquarie City Council. Diluted Thinking covers this matter in depth presenting an excellent examination of the facts leading to a comprehensive conclusion. Dorey and Tommey are exposed as the amateur charlatans that they are.
HEALTH authorities and a Lake Macquarie councillor whose son is on the autism spectrum have slammed a decision to screen a film linking vaccines with autism at a Charlestown community centre.
On Friday night The Place, a not-for-profit centre set up between Lake Macquarie council and property group GPT, hosted a screening of Vaxxed, a documentary that is being toured by the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network (AVN).
The AVN told Hunter ticket-holders of the venue by text and email two hours before the screening.
Lake Macquarie Liberal councillor Kevin Baker, a director of The Place, said he was shocked centre management had agreed to screen the film, whose central premise is that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine may be leading to an epidemic of autism diagnoses in children.
“It’s something that’s pretty close to me. I’ve got close family with autism including my nephew, and my son sits on the spectrum,” he said.
Hunter New England Health firmly refuted the film’s portrayal of vaccination as harmful to children.
“High vaccination rates have ensured that serious childhood diseases including measles have become rare in Hunter New England,” a spokesperson said.
“We will continue to encourage parents to vaccinate their children.”
The health service also took aim at Vaxxed director Andrew Wakefield, the lead author of a controversial study published in 1998 and since retracted that claimed the autism link.
On the topic of Dorey deception, she was behind a microphone the following day, July 29th, at the Club On East in Sutherland NSW. Dorey spends almost ten minutes preaching to the converted. However this doesn’t lend a grain of truth to anything she says. Except of course that they find it harder getting media attention than previously. This is due to the effective and ongoing work of Stop The AVN which has simply held the AVN and AVsN to account with respect to various health, fair trading and business legislation in NSW and Australia.
Dipping into her fantasy bag Dorey claims that “we have pushed really hard to try and make vaccination reaction reporting mandatory for doctors”. It seems that until doctors report vaccines as striking down huge numbers of children through illness and death, Meryl Dorey will not be satisfied on adverse reaction reporting.
They have also tried to get an ethically impossible study completed to compare the health of the fully vaccinated and the fully unvaccinated. Perhaps this is part of the reason anti-vaccinationists dismiss herd immunity. Sound methodology for such a study is quite a challenge given that the health of “the unvaccinated” benefits from herd immunity.
Dorey then claims that following a visit to Canberra the head of the Liberal Party wrote a letter to the AVN stating, “we know why you’re asking this question and we will not do this study, because it could lead to changes in vaccination policy”.
To laughter Dorey contends that this response she has plainly made up means that, “vaccination policy is what requires protection in Australia, not the children”.
Later Dorey argues that, “we have the Health Minister in Victoria saying there are no side effects for any vaccine”. Jill Hennessey said no such thing. In fact I remember this incident because there was anti-vaccine hysteria splitting hairs. It was the media release in concern that led to the wave of abusive emails, Facebook posts and tweets. The minister never mentioned “side effects”. She mentioned vaccine “risks” and unfortunately she suggested there “are no risks”, when in fact there are minuscule risks.
There are no risks in vaccinating your children, the science is really clear. Talk to a G.P. Don’t get your advice from a quack on the Internet.
This anti-vaccine video channel has the minister’s media appearance. Still whilst she was likely overly focused on the fear being pushed by the anti-vaccine lobby and made a general statement she has since made other statements. A media release in 2017 again never mentioned “side effects”, but included.
Despite scientific evidence proving they are safe and effective, and have saved millions of lives, around 25 per cent of people still have concerns about vaccines.
This more recent and more accurate statement is what Meryl Dorey should focus on, rather than conveniently making up something based on the hysteria of almost 18 months ago. This doesn’t stop Dorey getting audience members “who know someone with a vaccine injury” to stand up. About 25 people stand up. Dorey suggests this is about half. Yet not only is this an inaccurate manner in which to gather data Dorey was present when this statement listing serious vaccine injuries between zero and five per year was made to the Social Services Legislative Amendment in 2015.
After misleading her audience on the topic of vaccine injuries Dorey leads into “the right to have free and informed health choices for our children. Nobody has the right to take that away”.
In fact I agree. So one must ask Meryl Dorey why she would seek to sabotage the Australian vaccine schedule and place countless individuals at risk of vaccine preventable disease? Why take away the very best informed health programmes that evidence based medicine has to offer? What she calls “free and informed health choices”, are in fact misinformed and radically dangerous choices prompted by fear and ignorance.
To the pile of misinformation that Meryl Dorey has been pushing onto the ignorant for her own gain for years we must certainly add Andrew Wakefield’s latest scam; Vaxxed.
There is absolutely no doubt that the fraudumentary “Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe” is demonstrably bogus nonsense.
It is also potentially very harmful nonsense and as such deserves to be debunked when the opportunity arises. There are a huge number of references that outline just why, and indeed how, this intellectual revulsion is firmly discredited by evidence. More so, there are a range of approaches presented in various critiques. This isn’t a result of authors seeking to be creative. Rather the final product of Vaxxed is so egregiously wrong on so many levels, it can be nudged into a pile of rubble from so many angles.
Interestingly the argument can be made that the main claim put forward in Vaxxed helped in destroying any attempt at credibility. The story of a so-called CDC whistleblower was easily revealed as bogus. The companion claim, that suppressed data showing a 340% increased risk of autism among specific populations of African-American boys resonated only in the echo chambers of antivaccinationists. Particularly when in the only official statement  from the “whistleblower”, we read irrefutable support for vaccination;
I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits. (William Thompson)
I trust these references are helpful.
1) This article from Snopes covers various sources of disinformation that sustain the primary lies in Vaxxed. Using articles that address the fallacious claims of Brian Hooker from an evidence based background and a range of other sources Snopes offers a compelling rebuttal.
Fraud at the CDC uncovered?
Rumour: Data suppressed by the CDC proved that the MMR vaccine produces a 340% increased risk of autism in African-American boys.
2) Did a high ranking whistleblower really reveal that the CDC covered up proof that vaccines cause autism in African-American boys? David Gorski; Science Based Medicine, August 25th 2014 [Source]
3) Autism, Atlanta, MMR: serious questions and also how Brian Hooker and Andrew Wakefield are causing damage to the autism communities Matt Carey; Left Brain Right Brain, August 26th 2014 [Source]
4) Hey, where is everybody? The “CDC whistleblower” manufactroversy continues apace Orac; Respectful Insolence, August 26th 2014 [Source]
5) Journal takes down autism-vaccine paper pending investigation Adam Marcus; Retraction Watch, August 27th 2014 [Source]
An article purporting to find that black children are at substantially increased risk for autism after early exposure to the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine has been shelved.
Although we don’t know if the events are related, the move comes amid claims that a CDC whistleblower has accused health officials of suppressing information about the link.
Not surprisingly, the prospect that the CDC has been sitting on evidence of an autism-vaccine connection for more than a decade has inflamed the community of activists wrongly convinced that such a link exists.
Translational Neurodegeneration, which published the article earlier this month, has now removed it and posted the following notice:
This article has been removed from the public domain because of serious concerns about the validity of its conclusions. The journal and publisher believe that its continued availability may not be in the public interest. Definitive editorial action will be pending further investigation.
6) Retraction Note: Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination timing and autism among young African American boys; a reanalysis of CDC data [Source]
7) CDC Whistleblower William Thompson Breaks Silence Todd W; Harpocrates Speaks, August 28th 2014 [Source]
8) The “CDC whistleblower saga”: Updates, backlash, and (I hope) a wrap-up David Gorski; Science Based Medicine, September 1st 2014 [Source]
9) MMR, the CDC and Brian Hooker: A Guide for Parents and the Media Todd W; Harpocrates Speaks, September 8th 2014 [Source]
10) Kevin Barry, you magnificent bastard, I read your antivaccine book! Orac; Respectful Insolence, August 25th 2015 [Source]
11) Reviewing Andrew Wakefield’s VAXXED: Antivaccine propaganda at its most pernicious David Gorski; Science Based Medicine, July 11th 2016 [Source]
12) Andrew Wakefield releases the trailer for his William Thompson video. Slick production and dishonesty Matt Carey; Left Brain Right Brain, March 22nd 2016 [Source]
I can’t recommend this article highly enough. In just a few paragraphs readers can see how Thompson was exploited by Hooker and Wakefield. We have this claim from the Vaxxed fiction;
“There’s a whistleblower from the CDC who is going to come out and say that the CDC had committed fraud on the MMR study and that they knew that vaccines were actually causing autism.”
Also we find when the genuine chronology of the Hooker/Thompson discourse is applied that Thompson is not a so-called “CDC whistleblower”. The manner in which Wakefield spliced unrelated conversations together to produce his fallacious narrative becomes clear. As Matt Carey writes (emphasis mine);
Well, Thompson never says in his statement that there was fraud or misconduct by the CDC team. He does say “Reasonable scientists can and do differ in their interpretation of information.”
Let’s back up a bit, what is the Hooker/Wakefield claim of fraud? In a nutshell, they claim that the CDC team found a result they didn’t want to make public and then changed the research plan/protocol so they wouldn’t have to report that. In this exchange from a phone call we can see Hooker apparently trying to get Thompson on tape saying this. Trying because Thompson refuses to say it:
Dr. Hooker: And then you basically deviated from that particular plan in order to reduce the statistical significance that you saw in the African American Cohort.
Dr. Thompson: Well, we, um, we didn’t report findings that, um…All I will say is we didn’t report those findings. I can tell you what the other coauthors will say.
As to the claim by the narrator that Thompson stepped forward and stated… “that [The CDC] knew that vaccines were actually causing autism”. Nope.
Also, Thompson provided a summary statement to Member of Congress Bill Posey. That was made public along with a great deal more documents when I released them here. What does Mr. Thompson have to say about the study in question showing that vaccines “actually cause autism”?
The fact that we found a strong statistically significant finding among black males does not mean that there was a true association between the MMR vaccine and autism-like features in this subpopulation.
It’s clear that Thompson struggled at times with mental illness. He was deeply concerned that it would become public knowledge. Wakefield’s callous disregard is on display again as we read:
The lie Del Bigtree smothers his uncritical audience with is that, “there is not a safe vaccine out there” presumably because as he continues to lie, “there is not a decent safety study on any of the vaccines”.
What we learn from the video above is that there are six main stages of vaccine development is the US. Including;
Regulatory review and approval
During the exploratory stage scientists focus on identifying an antigen that can prevent a specific disease. Without success during this process development goes nowhere. It cannot continue. Nonetheless, the exploratory stage takes years of diligent laboratory research.
When the exploratory stage yields viable results production continues into the pre-clinical stage. Here progress with tissue or cell-culture preparation involves animal testing. This aspect of the pre-clinical stage will assess the safety, or lack thereof, of any potential vaccine. Another aspect of the pre-clinical stage is assessing the ability of the potential vaccine to stimulate an immune response.
Despite the cost and time invested by this point, the majority of potential vaccines do not satisfy the rigour of the pre-clinical stage. In these cases again development cannot continue.
The diligence of the clinical stage can be seen as a three part process.
In the quest to ascertain safety, trial vaccines are tested on a small sample of healthy adults.
Vaccines are tested on a sample of several hundred adults.
Finally the clinical stage involves testing the vaccine on tens of thousands.
With vaccines being developed for children the clinical stage process continues. The age of test subjects is lowered incrementally until the target age is safely reached.
The final stages of clinical development include randomised and double blind trials. The potential vaccine is tested against a placebo. It takes from six to ten years to complete these safety tests.♣ Whilst medications in the USA are subject to the same intense testing it’s worth noting that sample populations are three times smaller than for vaccine studies.
There are six more stages overseen by the FDA for regulatory review and approval of vaccines. This involves safety inspection of manufacturing facilities♥ by the FDA and even more testing.
Safety monitoring, including phase IV trials, continues indefinitely once a vaccine has been approved. In the USA there is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and the Vaccine Safety Datalink – a nationwide set of linked databases.
I certainly recommend watching this video because it is clear that safety is the primary element in vaccine manufacture. Claims to the contrary by Del Bigtree and the Vaxxed cronies are demonstrable lies. Under present manufacturing guidelines and restrictions most potential vaccines do not reach clinical development. As is clear in this video the reason is safety.
Professional anti-vaccinationists like Bigtree, or any who promote Vaxxed in order to consciously profit from their manufactured controversy, are a malignant force in public health. As such they deserve our derision.
♣ Despite this reality, in Australia the self appointed “vaccine experts” from the anti-vaccine lobby such as Meryl Dorey, Judy Wilyman and Tasha David insist no randomised double blind trials or testing against placebo has ever been carried out.