Chiropractor Simon Floreani issued an official wrist-slap for anti-vaccinationism

Eighteen months ago the Chiropractic Board of Australia, reacting to a string of examples of chronic anti-vaccinationism from its members, issued a press release stating that it was finally taking a stand. On August 8 2013 the CBA stated this:

The Chiropractic Board of Australia is cracking down on chiropractors who step outside their primary role as healthcare practitioners and provide treatment that puts the public at risk.

To protect public safety, the Board has:

  • ordered practitioners to remove all anti-vaccination material from their websites and clinics
  • removed several courses from the list of approved CPD programs, and
  • introduced random audits of practitioner compliance with the Board’s registration standards.

Three months later, after it became quite obvious that many chiropractors weren’t taking the strong advice of the CBA, the President of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, Laurie Tassell, opened up on the recalcitrants in his presidential address, posted in the November 2013 issue of The Australian Chiropractor. Enough was enough. This was really starting to look…well…even worse than before:

Tassell CAA TACThere is one line in there which always gives me cause to stroke my chin. You see, one chiropractor, Tim Shakespeare, has already been booted from the CAA NSW board (yes, he was a board member), for “posting photos with well known speakers openly critical of vaccination”. Complaints were lodged and “disciplinary action” was taken by the CAA NSW. Shakespeare and the business for whom he manipulates were also forced, by the NSW HCCC and the NSW Chiropractic Council, to remove an entire mural containing false claims of the effectiveness of chiropractic and its effect on immunity. There is, however, always a cloak of secrecy surrounding what actions are taken against whom and for what. This brings me to Simon Floreani.

Simon Floreani is the husband of the uber-star of Australian chiropractic, Jennifer Barham-Floreani. Floreani is also the immediate past-president of the CAA National, finishing up his role in 2011 (Laurie Tassel took over in 2012). Here are the Floreanis in 2014 posing with what the CAA president would term a “well known speaker openly critical of vaccination”, Andrew Wakefield:

JBF 12 WakefieldSeriously, you don’t get much higher in the academy of anti-vaccination than the summit of Mount Wakefield. Does it make it worse that the above event was CalJam, run by the delusional Billy DeMoss, a man who claims the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre of innocent children was a “hoax”? Yes. Yes it does.

And here are the Floreanis flicking the bird to the CAA and the CBA, duck-facing with Billy DeMoss on September 20 2014, at Chirofest, in Seattle:

JBF 26 Chirofest photos with Simon Floreani and DeMoss

As a reminder of the esteem with which Floreani is still held, in 2013 he won an award for outstanding service, presented by the CAA Victoria:

Floreani 4 oustanding service award CAA VICSo this guy is still at the top of the chiropractic game. He is receiving awards from the professional association of Victoria, and he is the immediate past-president of the National professional association.

Indeed, so untouchable was President Floreani and his CAA at that stage that Floreani – the professional member, with his wife, of the anti-vaccine fundamentalist group, the Australian Vaccination Network – thought it appropriate to present a video with discredited anti-vaccine homeopath, Isaac Golden, detailing how homeopathic immunisation is “safer” and just as “effective” as immunisation. I kid you not. Paul Gallagher’s post here is mandatory reading for this example in the recent history of the CAA’s anti-vaccinationism. Floreani and Golden kick in at about 3:00 in this video, also created by Paul:


So, what has brought us to Floreani, again? Well, for the sake of brevity – and in the public interest and in the interests of public health and safety – Floreani’s business, called Vitality, in Melbourne, was visited by someone who went for a genuine chiropractic visit. The person noticed several examples of anti-vaccine literature, including AVN paraphernalia, laying around intended for clients, and was rightly concerned enough to lodge a complaint with AHPRA, who investigates on behalf of the CBA. What makes it even worse is that it seems to have been the same anti-vaccination paraphernalia which was seen in July 2013’s ABC Catalyst investigation; an investigation which prodded the CBA into making its August 2013 vaccine/evidence declaration. How we come full circle:

Floreani 16 Catalyst AVN pamphlet on Hep B in waiting room

Also seen on Catalyst, in the Floreani business, was Jennifer Barham-Floreani’s book Well Adjusted Babies, which contains a 40-page anti-vaccine chapter so rife with misinformation it would almost make Meryl Dorey blush (almost). Notable citations in the chapter are ex-Dr Rebecca Carley, Not-a-doctor Viera Scheibner, the NVIC, Jim Carrey, “British vaccine expert Andrew Wakefield” (I’m serious), and homeopath Isaac Golden. Golden is cited, of course, as an authority on the effectiveness of homeoprophylaxis. We now know Golden’s reputation was officially trashed in the recent Federal Court case in which the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission succeeded against Homeopathy Plus!, the court finding that Homeopathy Plus! “engaged in misleading conduct and made false or misleading representations regarding the effectiveness of the whooping cough vaccine and homeopathic remedies as an alternative”. I would argue strongly that Barham-Floreani is doing precisely the same thing.

To quote the Barham-Floreani gibberish which no longer even borders on reckless endangerment; it is a stark example of it, fit for inclusion in any dictionary :

Homeopathic vaccinations are an effective and safe alternative to conventional innoculations and warrant your investigation. [p380]

Floreani 15 Well Adjusted Babies in Catalyst as antivax example

One can only hope the Chiropractic Board of Australia has read the Barham-Floreani chapter on immunisation. I’ll even send them a copy. I am imagining they will need it.

Anyway, after an investigation, findings were laid down by the CBA against all four chiropractors at the Vitality business, and all four chiropractors were issued with a formal caution, in private. The other chiropractors named and cautioned by the CBA were Ian Northeast, Mark Stafford, and Michelle Ronan. Most notably, Michelle Ronan has recently gained a spot on the board of the CAA Victoria.

It would be more appropriate that someone with as much form as Floreani should have such findings attached to his name publicly, and permanently, so as to “protect public safety”, as the CBA claims. A private caution – such as this is – is just not enough. It’s not enough, given his history of recalcitrant anti-vaccinationism practised at the peak of the profession. I mean, compare the slap on the wrist given – in private – to Floreani with the chest-thumping pronouncements of the CBA just over one year ago. One would think at least an undertaking should have been accepted by the board. At least that would have shown up on Floreani’s AHPRA registration page, so as to, as the CBA claims, “protect public safety”. The provision of anti-vaccination misinformation should even warrant that conditions be placed on a practitioner so as to, as the AHPRA glossary states, “protect the public”. All that aside, it appears that the CBA does indeed have an avenue to make a caution public. It would be nice if they would investigate it:

a National Board can require a caution to be recorded on the register of practitioners.

I am always left with a hollow feeling when I reminisce the warnings of President Tassell. What disciplinary action is being taken against chiropractors who hob-knob with the likes of Wakefield and DeMoss? It’s not just the Floreanis. There are also lesser lights like Laurence Tham and Tim Shakespeare – Shakespeare is appearing at CalJam again, soon, along with a cavalcade of anti-vaccinationists like DeMoss, Wakefield, Jeanne Ohm and, this is not a joke, Alex Jones of Prison Planet – and, as already noted above, recently Australian Spinal Research Foundation President Martin Harvey and Jennifer Barham-Floreani also shared the bill with Wakefield at Chirofest, in Seattle:

JBF 19 chirofest Harvey Wakefield

Why is it left to members of the public to do anything about these outliers to reason and evidence? We’ll certainly know what internal action is being taken when it is consistently made available for the public, to whom the CBA owes the greatest duty of  that aforementioned safety.

In general, if the public doesn’t know which chiropractors are practising non-evidence based malarkey and worse, such as anti-vaccinationism, then, how can the public make an informed decision about their choice of chiropractor?

Posted in anti-vaccination dishonesty, australian vaccination network, chiropractic, meryl dorey, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Drs. Wolfson – Incomprehensibly Cruel

I’ll let this husband and wife team of anti-vaccinationists introduce themselves. From their Facebook page:

My name is Dr. Jack Wolfson and I am a board certified cardiologist…I received my D.O. degree from Midwestern University in Chicago, and completed a 3 year residency in Internal Medicine and a 3 year fellowship in Cardiology.

My name is Dr. Heather Wolfson D.C. and I am a healer, a mom, a wife, and a friend.

Wolfson himself has been getting a lot of media attention of late. I’m not going to cover it, but, I highly recommend these two pieces from Orac, and Jeff Kluger respectively:

Antivaccine cardiologist Jack Wolfson and the resurrection of false balance about vaccines - Respectful Insolence.

Meet the Latest Driver of the Anti-Vaccine Clown Car (Who Thinks You’re a ‘Bad Mother’) - Time.

I want to include this section also cited by Orac as a teaser to the type of person we are dealing with. Here Wolfson goes postal at immunising parents who dare criticise him:

Finally, be angry with yourself for not opening your eyes to the snow job and brainwashing which have taken over your mind. You NEVER asked the doctor any questions. You NEVER asked what is in the vaccines. You NEVER learned about these benign infections.

Let’s face it, you don’t really give a crap what your children eat. You don’t care about chemicals in their life. You don’t care if they sit around all day watching the TV or playing video games.

All you care about is drinking your Starbuck’s, your next plastic surgery, your next cocktail, your next affair, and your next sugar fix!

This post was created with love and with the idea of creating a better world for our children and future generations. Anger increases your risk of suffering a heart attack. Be careful.

Before I get to the post at hand I want to travel back almost six years in time to when a family who had lost a baby to whooping cough tried to put aside their pain for the benefit of our community; they went public about the existence of a whooping cough epidemic in order to protect other families. This was selfless. This was altruism in its purest form.

This family was set upon by the fundamentalist anti-vaccine group, the Australian Vaccination Network, and its then president, Meryl Dorey, who went about blaming this family for the death of their own baby. This evil act brought about the creation of Stop the Australian Vaccination Network, which I’m proud to say has changed the way in which callous anti-vaccine liars are now treated. Ultimately, Dorey brought about her own demise, by her own cruelty. She had been lying about deceased babies for quite some time, regardless of the impact on grieving parents. She and her husband even defended a baby-killer, for their grubby cause.

Anyway, back to now.

On April 18 2014 Wolfson and his wife posted an anti-vaccine screed to their website. Here is what it looks like, now:

Wolfson 3 page not found anti-vaccine postIt had remained on his site right up until January 31 2015, when having come under appropriate scrutiny by normal people who objected to the callousness they witnessed, Wolfson removed it. A copy has been kept, here. Another image is located, here, courtesy of the swift work of Narad at Respectful Insolence.

The post was written in response to a mother whose child had died from chicken pox. Remember this: this is directed at a grieving mother whose only provocation was to attempt to warn other parents of the need to immunise their kids, because she lost a child.

MOTHER ON A PRO-VACCINE CRUSADE

Jack Wolfson:

Recently, a child died from complications of the chicken pox and now her mother wants to make sure everyone gets injected. While the death of any child is a travesty, this one could have been prevented, not with injecting more chemicals into this young girl, but with good nutrition and chemical avoidance. She was likely fed GMO, sugar, gluten, soy, corn, and other items that led to her demise. Her mother sadly blames the doctor (who advised her against the vaccine) and the rest of us who demand the freedom to choose whether or not to inject chemicals into our children.

Heather Wolfson:

First of all, the little girl was born without a spleen therefore she was immunocompromised since birth. The lack of this vital organ was probably caused by some drug the mother took while pregnant! Immunocompromised individuals are not supposed to receive vaccines. Kudos to the pediatrician who steered the mom and child away from the chicken pox shot. I’d like to shake his hand. He probably saved the girls life given she may have died due to complications of vaccines based on her poor immune status. i Maybe the mother got an extra five years of life from her daughter by not participating in vaccine schedule folly. She should be thankful to the doctor.  

Secondly, the mother probably gave fever reducers such as Tylenol. This depletes glutathione and is a sure fire way to allow your child to succumb to such a benign childhood illness. In this country, one in 30,000 of those with chicken pox died every year, for a grand total of 100 per annum. Those were usually adults. Please don’t pass a law forcing us to vaccinate and inject chemicals into our children because 100 people died per year. What was the health status of those 100 prior to chicken pox? Probably not good. Your healthy, breast fed, organic child will not suffer the same fate. If this mother would have sought out chiropractic care, gave just two simple vitamins A and C, she would have never developed pneumonia. Also, mom fed her garbage food and exposed her to thousands of chemicals. This little girl is dead, not from chicken pox, but from chemicals and poor nutrition. Additionally, she probably had at least one vaccine, hepatitis B, when she was first born in the hospital which would have destroyed her immune and nervous system from the start. The mother is ignorant, uneducated, and a danger to all other parents and children. She should spend her time learning how the human body works instead of spreading her deadly advice to the rest of the world. 

I don’t usually bother debunking these vile creatures any more – it has been done to death – but, just so everyone knows, immunisation with most vaccines is recommended for Persons with functional or anatomical asplenia.

Remember what Heather Wolfson said above: “I am a healer…and a friend”.

Okay, I got nothing. I hope the media takes note of what these health professionals say to people who are in pain.

Wolfson 4 cover photo Facebook publicImage courtesy Facebook: publicly available.

I’ve just found out that Orac has covered this at Respectful Insolence as well:  Antivaccine cardiologist Jack Wolfson and the resurrection of false balance about vaccines…again!

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The Church of Conscious Living – another Stephanie Messenger Anti-vaccine Enterprise

Stephanie Messenger is in the business of anti-vaccinationism. She’s an old hand.

Messenger is one of the founders of the Queensland anti-vaccination group, the Vaccination Awareness and Information Service. She ran the group with anti-vaccine stalwart Susan Lindberg and Roxanne Iwinski, the latter leaving later to gain a conscience. Messenger and Lindberg even wrote an anti-vaccine manual with Meryl Dorey, called Vaccination Roulette, which was published by the hideous anti-vaccine pressure group, the Australian Vaccination Network. Messenger’s husband, Leslie Bailey – remember that name – is the business name holder for Vaccination Awareness and Information Service.

Healthy Lifestyles Naturally is another business run by Messenger which seems to be a portal into which the pouring of money is partaken: other people’s money. HLN is the business entity to whom marks part themselves from their cash to pay for such things as the recent series of seminars which are no longer occurring where they were going to occur, past seminars (below), and that grotesque book intended for children – a boys’ and girls’ death and disfigurement manual – Melanie’s Marvelous Measles:

Messenger 36 MMM cover

The main website for HLN is Nature Matters, from where many Messenger-related purchases can be made. HLN has been the business underpinning Messenger’s seminars throughout the years. All of her seminars are anti-vaccine, and tied in with them is one of her other organisations, Get Rid of SIDS (more below). Another of her clever business opportunities is taking a piece out of the feminine hygiene market. Peter Bowditch was able to get hold of a sample when he took one for the team a few years ago:

These things emit negative ions which can cure a range of medical and physical conditions. It almost goes without saying that they cure PMS, but it is the other things they work on that make them worth every cent of the price. They came with an A4 page covered on both sides with testimonials in very small type. The first one of these is from “Garry”, who put them in his underpants to take away the pain and discomfort of diverticulitis. Not only that, but Garry had a PSA reading of 14.2 (doubled in a year!) and the pads took away the incontinence and “irritating pain” caused by his enlarged prostate.

Messenger 37 ion padsPhoto courtesy Peter Bowditch.

What is much more disturbing is the advertising claims Messenger uses – more sinister than the testimonials noted above – so as to terrorise her marks into buying her pads by claiming that normal pads and tampons cause cancer. From Working Women magazine, Spring 2011:

Messenger 35 pads tampons causing cervical cancer Spring 2011 Working Women magazineThere isn’t a cesspit these people won’t swim through.

Of course, the business name holder of HLN is – you guessed it – Leslie Bailey.

Get Rid of SIDS is Messenger’s registered health promotion charity. It has Deductible Gift Recipient status. Along with Messenger’s other organisation, GanKinMan Foundation (more below), GRoS was listed as the organiser of the recent anti-vaccine seminars which feature anti-vaccine fundamentalist Sherri Tenpenny as the lead speaker. Read that out aloud again: a registered health promotion charity organised an anti-vaccine tour. The basis for Messenger’s GRoS charity is the promotion of the Toxic Gas Theory, by Dr Sprott. SIDS and Kids, a real SIDS organisation, states:

Rigorously conducted, scientifically based research has concluded that there is no evidence to support the link between wrapping mattresses and the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

and:

Dr Sprott’s hypothesis has received vigorous criticism from major SUDI researchers and Paediatric experts. They consider that there is insufficient scientific evidence to support the theory. Dr Sprott’s book is said to contain “factual errors and presents an unproven hypothesis as scientific fact”

So, the foundation stone of Messenger’s charity is false.  And she uses the legitimacy of the word “charity” to organise and plug an anti-vaccine series of seminars, tricking venues into accepting her booking by conveniently refusing to disclose that she and the lead speaker are anti-vaccine fundamentalists.

So, we know Messenger is the treasurer, and the founder of GRoS. But who was the trademark holder for GRoS? Indeed it is: Leslie Bailey.

This leads us to the next organisation, the GanKinMan Foundation. Born of an ugly union between greed and deceit the fake foundation is not registered anywhere. So, it isn’t a “foundation”. It got its name from exploiting the names and images of three of the world’s best ever human beings: Mandela, King, and Gandhi. Hopefully the lawyers of the Nelson Mandela Foundation are still chasing the hideous Messenger for this brazen desecration of Madiba’s memory.

The foundation was created for the purpose of organising the Tenpenny tour, alongside and using the reputation of the Get Rid of SIDS charity, whilst at the same time deliberately hiding the identities of those pulling the levers. Diluted Thinking notes, of the confusing payment delivery:

Payments for seminar tickets go directly to Stephanie Messenger and NOT the advertised organisers and please note that both advertised organisers are controlled by Stephanie Messenger…

Payments for goods (including the seminars) on behalf of Messenger’s “Healthy Lifestyles Naturally” and “Vaccination Awareness & Information Service” are to be deposited into a bank account in the name of “GanKinMan Foundation”.

In addition to this, an email received from the domain name of gankinman.com originated in Brisbane (QLD), a From: field in the header shows the term “StephaniePC” and its attached pdf document shows the author as “Stephanie” in the document properties.

I must stress that no published information from GanKinMan Foundation – its website, seminar advertising or emails – provides the name of any individual.

So, having gone to so much trouble in de-identifying those who run the fake foundation – Messenger would never give a straight answer to journalists, saying only that she was “involved” – who else is behind this non-foundation? I’ll let the wonderful Diluted Thinking tell you, again:

Its website http://www.gankinman.com/ provides no contact names but the contact phone number listed belongs to Les Bailey, Eclectic Services (QLD) Pty Ltd, according to WHOIS data for a different domain name. The gankinman.com domain was first registered on 3 November 2014 using an anonymising service.

That’s right. Leslie Bailey, registered using an anonymiser. And the contact number for GanKinMan is the business phone number of Bailey’s business.

Now we get to the main story, and I apologise for the necessary delay.

Many of us have heard of the Church of Conscious Living. It gained some notoriety in the press a couple of years ago, with Jane Hansen writing in the Daily Telegraph, in May 2013:

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.”

And in June 2013, Jane Hansen again writes in the Daily Telegraph:

Anti-vaccine activists have created a sham ‘Church of Conscious Living’ to exploit a loophole in federal and State vaccination laws, which allow parents to claim childcare rebates and access daycare centres if they have a religious objection.

Catherine Cusack MLC also covered the topic in her op-ed for the Daily Telegraph, in May 2013:

We don’t need a “religious exemption” as there are no recognised religions opposed to immunisation. Most of the world’s religions are united in the fight to save children from disease and death, which is why we have reached the remarkable point where, thanks to vaccination, polio can be wiped from the face of the Earth.

So, we’ve known about the CoCL for some years. After all, it has been around since 2008. But we were always under the impression that the fake church was run by Jane Leonforte. How wrong we were. Leonforte ceased officially running the church in early 2010. And, in a mea culpa, I and others hadn’t checked behind the scenes of this fake church. Well, we have now. Again, I’ll pass to Diluted Thinking, to whom all of the glory must be bestowed:

It appears that Stephanie Messenger and her husband, Leslie Bailey, have been running this church for some time now.

Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) records show that the business name “Church of Conscious Living” was registered by Leslie Bailey on 29 Dec 2009.

The WHOIS record for the Church of Conscious Living domain, churchofcl.com, shows all registrant and contact details as Les Bailey, Eclectic Services (QLD) Pty Ltd;

The postal address for the church is the same postal address as Eclectic Services (QLD) Pty Ltd and the church has been using that address from at least July 2013;

A membership form’s document properties shows author “LesLapTop” with creation date June 2013;

A membership form’s document properties shows author “Eclectic” with creation date of February 2010.

SING IT WITH ME SISTERS AND BROTHERS OF THE FAITH: IT’S THE LES AND STEPH DONATION FOUNDATION SENSATION. YEEEEEEAAAH.

And it’s not like they’ve only been involved since after the fake church was founded.  No. They were there for the opening ceremony:

Messenger 28 present at first COCL meeting 2008 with Lindberg and Iwinski VAIS

Indeed, Messenger was present at first COCL meeting in 2008, with Lindberg and Iwinski of VAIS. She gave a talk. She was there for the inaugural cutting of the watermelon!

And not only was Messenger at the cutting of the watermelon, she was involved in actively promoting the fear required surrounding the creation of the new church – along with the church’s creators – before the inaugural cutting of the watermelon. This is from the December 2007 AVN Doing the Rounds newsletter:

COCL 4 Messenger create a religion

Before we go there is another item we want to keep an eye on. I know of several substantial complaints which have been lodged with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission regarding the many regulatory anomalies surrounding Messenger’s and Bailey’s various organisations. Only today there have been many changes on their ACNC Charity Register Summary:

Messenger 38 ACNCMessenger 39 ACNCWe can see a lot of detail has been removed, and it also notes an annual report was received today.  It was nine months late. This is something to watch. If this despicable organisation is stripped of its charity licence and DGR, it can’t come soon enough.

For a magnificent summary of this extremely confusing collection of businesses, organisations, non-entities, and the charity, see Diluted Thinking’s new page, here.

Thanks.

Update January 28 2015

Purely for ease of access I thought I should include this post from the Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network, posted to their official Facebook page, on May 29 2013. This post is the one to which various media outlets are referring when they cite the AVN’s promotion of the sham church. The AVN have only ever promoted the church. They have never been involved in the operation nor the set-up of the church:

COCL 5 AVN May 29 2013 promo

Posted in anti-vaccination dishonesty, australian vaccination network, AVN, meryl dorey, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Seven of seven venues now cancelled for Tenpenny anti-vaccine seminars

Venue number seven has cancelled.

Stephanie Messenger is now busy finding new venues which are appropriately ethically corrupt enough to host her, her fake foundation, and anti-vaccine fundamentalist Sherri Tenpenny. This is now seven venues out of seven who have cancelled. Good. Some of them even confirmed they were misled by Messenger, which I have always assumed went without saying.

Whilst we are still waiting for a statement (which I will add, if it happens), from Rydges South Park Hotel Adelaide, the Eventbrite page currently gives this pro-forma oppressed health freedom warrior shtick from Messenger, stating that the “venue has cancelled our booking”:

Messenger 34 Adelaide cancelled freedom bullies censor etcWe will keep you informed of any statements forthcoming, and any new venues advertised by Messenger.

A big thank you goes out to anyone who has been involved in this campaign (so far). It is only by standing up and declaring that “this will not do” that venues can adjudicate what is and is not acceptable in the interests of public health. Venue owners can’t be expected to know everything, and most of them act swiftly when made aware of the intent of those who would attempt to mislead them. So, kudos to them.

Posted in anti-vaccination dishonesty, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Another venue cancels Tenpenny anti-vaccine seminar

Confirmation has just come in that Michael’s Oriental Restaurant, in Brisbane, has cancelled the upcoming seminar and dinner events booked by Stephanie Messenger and her fake anti-vaccine foundation, GanKinMan. Anti-vaccine activist Sherri Tenpenny has been ejected from yet another venue. This is proper. Owner Michael Nee has confirmed in private:

Both Functions have been cancelled.

The cancellation was also noted on Facebook at 1820 hours:

we act based on our courtesy, which we appreciate that the actual organiser have given great consideration to cancel the event at our venue.

Tenpenny 47 Michael's cancel

On behalf of babies, children, adults, and especially public health: thank you Michael.

Of the seven venues booked by Messenger, six have now cancelled. Of those six cancellations, three have stated they were misled into accepting the booking by Messenger, being told only that they were booking a child health or SIDS charity event.

This is the list of my posts regarding the Tenpenny seminars, so far:

The original post contains all of the venues and their contact emails, with cancellations noted in retrospect. The post also contains an important section on Stephanie Messenger, her fake foundation, and the alleged financial shenanigans going on behind the scenes:

2015 anti-vaccine tour of Australia – the Tenpenny caravan of hurt

The second post contains a list of all media items – around 50 links, so far – regarding the Tenpenny tour. There is also an extensive collection of screenshots which show why the callous Tenpenny is a direct threat to public health to whom facts mean nothing, as do ethics:

Getting to know Sherri Tenpenny – a guide

The third post is an update of the venue cancellations, also containing evidence to show that at least three venues were misled into accepting bookings from Messenger. There is also information contained regarding Rydges South Park Hotel Adelaide and their insistence on maintaining the Messenger booking regardless of a similar, previous decision they took to the contrary:

Venues confirm being misled by anti-vaccine Messenger – Tenpenny tour

The fourth post is a letter which was written to Michael’s Oriental Restaurant, and Rydges South Park Hotel Adelaide, two nights ago. The letter contains clear examples of the threat posed to public health by Tenpenny, as well as Australian evidence rebutting the claims of free speech which have been made in defence of Tenpenny’s right to misinform wherever she likes:

Tenpenny: Letter to Rydges South Park Hotel Adelaide, and Michael’s Oriental Restaurant Brisbane

This leaves one venue still willing to support hosting Messenger and Tenpenny.

Rydges South Park Hotel Adelaide is now well aware just how much of a threat Tenpenny poses to public health. They are aware that they are not obliged to provide Tenpenny a forum. They are aware that they denied Julien Blanc a forum in which to conduct his vile seminars. And, as of last night, Rydges is aware that their own Code of Ethics and Business Conduct  states this (AHL is the parent company of Rydges):

AHL and the Community:

As individuals and as a Group, we contribute significant time and resources to promoting the health, welfare, and economic stability of the communities in which the Group operates.

Rydges 1 AHL code of conduct health of the communityThe AHL Code of Ethics also says this:

Employee Health and Safety

All employees have a responsibility to ensure that the Group’s products, services and operations, meet applicable government health and safety standards, and AHL standards.

Rydges 4 AHL workplace health governemnt standards

And if that isn’t enough of a reminder for them, AHL is a Silver Partner of the Starlight Foundation:

Rydges 3 AHL silver partner StarlightI’m quite sure all of you know what the Starlight Foundation does.

Spoiler: they do the opposite of what anti-vaccinationists do:

Rydges 5 Starlight helps sick kids

Please consider sending them a polite, yet, firm email:

Adelaide: Rydges South Park Hotel [CANCELLED] 

Emails:

reservations_southpark@rydges.com;

stam_archontoulis@rydges.com;

info@ahl.com.au;

media@ahl.com.au

Posted in anti-vaccination dishonesty, australian vaccination network, AVN, meryl dorey, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tenpenny: Letter to Rydges South Park Hotel Adelaide, and Michael’s Oriental Restaurant Brisbane

To whom it may concern,

You are about to host an anti-vaccine seminar and dinner.

I fully understand you were not made aware that this is an anti-vaccine event. Three other venues, of the five who have cancelled their bookings, have stated they were directly misled by Stephanie Messenger. The evidence of those statements is contained in this blog post:

Venues confirm being misled by anti-vaccine Messenger – Tenpenny tour

The speaker you are hosting in your venue is Sherri Tenpenny. Tenpenny states that babies should receive no vaccines. This can only lead to more dead babies if successful:

Tenpenny 38 give no vaccines to babies January 2013

Tenpenny has stated that it is her goal to scare parents out of immunising their children:

Tenpenny 34 May 12 2013 how to make parents fear vaccines

Tenpenny claims that vaccines are responsible for mass murderers, precisely like the mass murderer who massacred children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I want you to let that sink in for a moment. There is a level of callousness at work here which is beyond most of us:

Tenpenny 14 vaccines mass murderers

Tenpenny refers to childhood immunisation as “torture…child abuse…dark superstition…black magic…a war on the human constitution”, and provokes the vilification of health care professionals using defamatory and violent speech. For direct evidence of all of the preceding, please read the following blog post. In it you will notice 47 separate media items linked, none of which support Tenpenny’s anti-vaccine claims, and most  of which note the threat posed to health by anti-vaccine campaigners:

Getting to know Sherri Tenpenny

Another argument being used pertains to free speech. Proponents argue that Tenpenny’s free speech is being impeded if venues cancel her seminars.

In Australia we have no implicit right to free speech. We have freedom of expression; but, that freedom of expression is limited. Two of the areas in which freedom of expression is limited are public order, and public health. So, the free speech argument has no bearing on any of Tenpenny’s activities in Australia. From the Attorney-General’s website:

Attorney-General Freedom of Expression Limitations

Free speech experession limitation Attorney General site

Associate Professor Bruce Arnold, School of Law, Canberra University has also stated quite clearly that the claim of a right to free speech in Australia, for those making misleading health claims, is simply wrong. This is his submission to the recent Parliamentary Inquiry, regarding the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, into misleading and dangerous health claims:

Associate Professor Bruce Arnold HCCC Parliamentary Inquiry Submission

AP Bruce Arnold HCCC Parliamentary Inquiry Free Speech.

So, as we can see, there is no inherent right to free speech in Australia. There are certainly limitations placed on the freedom of expression in law. Put simply, no one has the right to a pulpit from which to spread dangerous and misleading information which most certainly comes at the expense of public health and safety. And venue owners, as citizens of the community, have a duty to protect all members of the community, especially the most vulnerable: babies.

Tenpenny herself does not allow for any free speech on any of her fora. She actively censors anyone who would correct her misinformation. Why would anyone give her another forum when she heavily censors her own? From her Facebook page, Dr Tenpenny on Vaccines:

Tenpenny 40 censorship of her Facebook page

I sincerely ask you to reconsider your decision to host an event run by people who pose a threat to public health and safety. They have plenty of their own fora from which they spread their misinformation at the expense of the speech of critics whom they censor with a heavy, heavy hand; critics whose only goal was to correct health misinformation.

Public health is too important to us all to allow exponents of misinformation to use the legitimacy of established, trusted venues such as yours.

Kind regards,

[RH]

________________________________________________________

Brisbane: Michael’s Oriental Restaurant & Function Centre [CANCELLED]   

Email: info@michaelsoriental.com.au;  lauren@michaelsoriental.com.au

Adelaide: Rydges South Park [CANCELLED] 

Email: reservations_southpark@rydges.com;  stam_archontoulis@rydges.com

Please let them know how you feel, with polite, but, firm emails.

Thanks.

David Morrison Chief of Army

Posted in anti-vaccination dishonesty, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Venues confirm being misled by anti-vaccine Messenger – Tenpenny tour

Four venues have cancelled their bookings with the Sherri Tenpenny anti-vaccine tour organiser Stephanie Messenger, and her fake foundation which distastefully exploits the names and images of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, and Mahatma Gandhi. It should be noted that the Nelson Mandela Foundation is already in discussion with its intellectual property and governance personnel about the abuse of Madiba’s name and image.

For an in-depth investigation of the concerning backroom financial irregularities apparently being conducted by Messenger and her three organisations, in concert with her fake foundation GanKinMan, please read this post on Diluted Thinking:

Anti-vaccination Seminars in 2015 by Stephanie Messenger

My original post on the Tenpenny tour also contains a list of updated email addresses for the venues refusing to budge, also below:

2015 anti-vaccine tour of Australia – the Tenpenny caravan of hurt

BIRTH, BABY & BEYOND

Brisbane (seminar and dinner) – Sunday 8 March, Michael’s Oriental Restaurant & Function Centre [CANCELLED] 

Email: info@michaelsoriental.com.au;  lauren@michaelsoriental.com.au

RAISING HEALTHY CHILDREN NATURALLY

Adelaide (seminar and dinner) – Tues 3 March, Rydges South Park [CANCELLED] 

Email: reservations_southpark@rydges.com;  stam_archontoulis@rydges.com

Gold Coast (seminar and dinner) – Wed 11 March, Quality Hotel Mermaid Waters [CANCELLED] 

Email: mermaid.waters.resort@alhgroup.com.au;  cara.flannery@alhgroup.com.au

More on Rydges Hotels below.

My second post includes a list of media items (33 at present, but, updating every hour), as well as a collection of the atrocious claims made by Tenpenny, including that babies should receive no immunisations, and her repugnant claims that vaccines lead to the creation of mass murderers, precisely like the murderer who massacred the innocents at Sandy Hook Elementary School. There are just no words:

Getting to know Sherri Tenpenny – a guide

Two of the four venues which have cancelled their booking with Messenger’s fake foundation have had something more concerning to convey; although, anyone who has had any dealings with the anti-vaccine movement will expect this behaviour in the first instance. The venues have stated they were misled by Messenger about the beliefs and intent of the events.

Concord Function Centre, in Sydney, have made their views known to all who have emailed them:

Tenpenny 22 Concord Function Centre Messenger lied to them
And they had this to say in many other emails:

Thank you for writing to us with your concerns. We appreciate that you have written to us in such a professional and well explained manner. We have taken into account the email you have sent below. The lady that had booked the event with us never mentioned that this event would be held for such a nasty cause.

The Concord Function Centre takes its social responsibilities very seriously, and after much research and consideration of all available facts we have decided to withdraw from providing our services to the event being held in March 14th and March 15th. In short – Tenpenny is banned from entering Concord Function Centre!

The Concord Function Centre deserve all our thanks and support that we can muster.

The same can be said for the Kareela Golf Club, in Sydney’s south. They made it quite clear to ABC News that they had the same experience as above:

Tenpenny 23 ABC News Kareela Golf misled by MessengerThe Amora Hotel Riverwalk has also stated that they were deceived into taking a booking for the anti-vaccine event, and should be congratulated for canceling it:

Tenpenny 35 Amora not told of identity

All of these venues and their staff must be applauded for their strong stance in defence of public and paediatric health. Kudos.

The same can’t be said for Rydges Hotels. Overnight they confirmed that they would not be cancelling their booking, stating they would censor no one:

Tenpenny 26 RydgesAnd they added that all are welcome at Rydges as long as they don’t break the law:

Tenpenny 28 Rydges operate within law all welcomeBut, that’s not what they said last year. And, this is directly relevant: the argument from those opposed to Tenpenny clearly cites a real risk of harm (as well as poor character), to the community, and public health, if venues allow anti-vaccination campaigners to hold these seminars. And risk of harm, and poor character, are also arguments used against one person whom Rydges did cancel:

Tenpenny 27 Rydges no to BlancAstonishing.

Feel free to email Rydges. I have already witnessed major bookings being cancelled immediately, because of this decision.

Thanks.

Update January 9 2015

At 1705 hours the folks at Quality Hotel Mermaid Waters announced they have cancelled the Gold Coast event. Congratulations to them, as well as a hearty dose of thanks on behalf of public health:

Tenpenny 32 Quality Hotel Mermaid Waters cancelledThis leaves only Michael’s Oriental Restaurant, in Brisbane, and Rydges South Park, in Adelaide.

Posted in anti-vaccination dishonesty, australian vaccination network, AVN, meryl dorey, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Getting to know Sherri Tenpenny – a guide

As most of you would be aware by now US anti-vaccinationist Sherri Tenpenny is heading Down Under to share her evangelical horror – with another anti-vaccinationist, Norma Erickson – at a series of seminars being run by Stephanie Messenger, the author of the despicable children’s book, Melanie’s Marvelous Measles. My original post contains the contact details of the venues we are urging community members to contact. Diluted Thinking also has a startling in-depth investigation of the individuals behind the anti-vaccine seminars.

I wanted to list the media where the story has now been taken up, as well as add a series of screenshots which give a clearer picture as to why there is so much opposition to these childhood infectious disease advocates.

The media, so far [list will remain live]:

- (1) Pro-vaccine lobby fight to stop US anti-vaccination campaigner Sherri Tenpenny lecturing in Australia – The Daily Telegraph.

This woman is a danger to children, and she’s coming to Australia – Mamamia.

Should this woman be allowed to preach her anti-vaccine warnings in Australia? Parents’ outrage over American doctor’s child health seminars – Daily Mail Australia.

Uproar as US anti-vaccination campaigner Sherri Tenpenny announces trip to Australia – News.Com.Au.

‘Hugely successful’ US anti-vaccine activist plans Australian tour in March - The Guardian.

Victorian Health Minister slams anti-vaccine movement (audio) – 3AW. Audio pertaining to Tenpenny starts at 6:15.

Calls for government to deny visa to US anti-vaccine activist - SBS Online.

Vaccine row about to boil over (video) – The Age.

- Push to ban anti-vaccination campaigner from Aussie tour - Sunshine Coast Daily.

- (10) No vaccine for Mandela-itis - Times Live.

Controversial anti-vaccination campaigner to visit Australia (audio)- PM: ABC Radio

Australia’s anti-vaccine movement in decline as membership drops off – The Guardian.

- Ms Information (video) – The Project.

Doctors want to bar anti-vaccination campaigner - The Age

Calls to deny visa to American anti-vaccination campaigner Sherri Tenpenny to speak in Australia - PM: ABC Online.

Why You Should Join The Campaign To Stop Anti-Vaxxer Sherri Tenpenny Coming To Australia – Junkee.

Scandal in Australia : the inhabitants of the country are outraged at lectures about the dangers of vaccines (in Russian) – Health of Ukraine.

Health Minister urges organisers to cancel event featuring anti-vaccination activist Sherry Tenpenny - Herald Sun.

‘Deny her a visa’ – Australian outrage over anti-vaccination activist’s speaking tour – World – NZ Herald News – The New Zealand Herald.

- (20) Queensland Health’s response to anti-vaccination discussions - Queensland Health.

7:30 falls into vax wars - The Guardian: The Weekly Beast.

Sherri Tenpenny: Who is the controversial anti-vaccination campaigner planning to visit Australia? - ABC Online.

Sherri Tenpenny: Sydney venue cancels seminar of US anti-vaccination campaigner - ABC Online.

A controversial American anti-vaccination campaigner may be prevented from entering Australia. (video) - SBS World News.

Sydney venue cancels seminar of US anti-vaccination campaigner (video) – ABC News.

Anti vaccination, anti women — who gets to speak in Australia? - Women’s Agenda.

Two hotels needled by protesters bow to pressure to cancel anti-vac campaigner events - Smart Company.

Sydney club refuses to host seminar by American osteopath who doesn’t believe in vaccinating children… after outraged parents complained about her ‘vile lies’ – The Daily Mail.

–  A shot in the arm for free speech - The Age.

(30)  Anti-vaccination extremist’s right to visit Australia is question facing govt – Sydney Morning Herald.

– Lives of our kids at risk until anti-jab myth dies – Daily Telegraph.

– Anti-vaxxers: so friendless that free speech is enough to defeat them - The Guardian.

– Sydney venue cancels seminar by US anti-vaccine activist Sherri Tenpenny - The Guardian.

– Sherri Tenpenny: US anti-vaccination campaigner’s Sydney and Melbourne shows cancelled - Sydney Morning Herald.

– Venues cancel events featuring US anti-vaccination campaigner Sherri Tenpenny - Sydney Morning Herald.

– Doctors protest anti-vax speaking tour - Medical Observer (log-in required).

– More venues cancel anti-vax seminars - The Daily Mail.

– Prof Peter McIntyre refutes Dr Tenpenny anti-vaccination beliefs - The Today Show.

Misinformation tour by anti-vaccination activist – The Today Show.

(40) The anti-vaccination advocate - The Today Show (print).

– Anti-vaccination campaigner compares critics to Charlie Hebdo attackers - The Guardian.

– Anti-vaccination views are misguided – but not illegal  – Sydney Morning Herald.

– Anti-vaccination advocate’s tour in tatters after most venues cancel - Daily Life.

– Health experts urge parents to vaccinate kids (video) – Sunrise.

– Anti-vaccination campaigner’s Aussie tour in ruins - Toowoomba Chronicle.

– Sherri Tenpenny’s anti-vaccination seminars flounder as venues pull out - Mamamia.

– Doctor: My newborn son was exposed to whooping cough - Mamamia.

– Should we be concerned about campaigns to ban speakers we don’t like? - Daily Life.

Stop Tenpenny Campaign on 7 News, 12th January 2015 (video) – Channel 7 News.

– (50) Gold Coast mum warns on vaccinations after little Bree almost killed by whooping cough - The Gold Coast Bulletin.

– ‘No jab, no play': Victoria to become the second state to make vaccinations compulsory for children in day care – Daily Mail.

– Anti-vaccination seminar venues all pull out – but tour ‘will go ahead’ - The Guardian.

– Vaccinations To Be Compulsory For Children Attending Nursery In Two Australian States - Yahoo! Lifestyle UK.

– Anti-vaccination campaigner Sherri Tenpenny’s tour in jeopardy after every venue pulls out of hosting her seminars - The Age.

– Anti-vaccine campaigner Sherri Tenpenny cancels Australian talk - SBS News Online.

– Sherri Tenpenny tour in chaos (video) – The Today Show.

– The anti-vaxxers have come up with a sickening new scam – Mamamia.

– Anti-vaccine campaigner Sherri Tenpenny cancels tour amid ‘safety’ fears - SBS News Online.

– Anti-vaccination campaigner Dr Sherri Tenpenny cancels Australia tour amid security concerns - ABC News Online.

(60) Sherri Tenpenny’s anti-vaccination seminars flounder. Update - Mamamia.

– Anti-vaccine campaigner Dr Sherri Tenpenny cancels Australian talks over safety concerns – News.com.au.

– US anti-vaccination campaigner Dr Sherri Tenpenny cancels tour of Australia - The Age.

– Anti-vaccination ​campaigner Sherri Tenpenny cancels Australian tour - The Guardian.

– An Anti-Vaccination Campaigner Has Cancelled Her Tour Of Australia After Receiving Threats - Business Insider.

– Science 1, dangerous nonsense 0 - Sydney Morning Herald.

– Controversial US anti-vaccination campaigner cancels her Australian tour for the sake of her own personal safety – Daily Mail.

– Controversial anti-vaccine activist Dr Sherri Tenpenny ‘should be allowed in to Australia’ (audio and text) – 3AW Neil Mitchell.

– School threat a shot in the arm for pro-vaccine lobby - NT News.

The following screenshots feature Tenpenny in her own words [collection will remain live]:

Vaccines “cause more harm” than good:

Tenpenny 52 vaccines cause more harm than good website aboutTravel vaccines for children are not required for Cuba or the Dominican Republic:

Tenpenny 5 advising no vaccines for Cuba Dominican RepAsked what vaccines should be given to a baby, Tenpenny recommends , “none”:

Tenpenny 38 give no vaccines to babies January 2013Tenpenny recommends no Tetanus boosters:

Tenpenny 7 avoid Tetanus shotsTenpenny claims there is “no need for travel vaccines at all”:

Tenpenny 8 no need for travel vaccinesTenpenny supported baby killer Alan Yurko in a campaign which attempted to blame the horrific injuries suffered by a baby, whilst being beaten and shaken to death, as being those of a vaccine adverse reaction. She is not alone in this hideous campaign; you will also see the name of another DO, Joe Mercola, there. Meryl Dorey has previously joked about requiring a sound bite to give the Yurko campaign thrust; her husband Ken Dorey coming up with the abominable “shaken maybe syndrome“. From the Free Yurko site list of supporters:

Tenpenny 46 Free Yurko list Mercola

Tenpenny recommends against Hepatitis A and Tetanus vaccines for unvaccinated children traveling to Thailand:

Tenpenny 9 Thailand don't worry about vaccinesThis, from our friends at Dr Tenpenny – the Woo is not Enough:

Tenpenny 10 missed the whole third grade

Tenpenny claims that a survey of unvaccinated versus vaccinated children, using school attendance as a measure, could be done: until she is reminded of the above. This video is well worth a watch:

Tenpenny appeared on rabid conspiracy YouTube channel, Infowars – shared on the Sanevax anti-vaccine site run by Norma Erickson – under the title, Gardasil vaccine. Injection of Death!: Dr Sherri Tenpenny reports.

In the second video on that site, Tenpenny  calls childhood vaccination “torture”. She also equates it with abuse which would see social services called around, if it was done in the home. She does.

Tenpenny 11 Sanevax InfowarsWhat does Tenpenny say about Gardasil, the extremely effective and safe vaccine against HPV? “Just say no to Gardasil“. I’m convinced these people want more women dead:

Tenpenny 12 say no to gardasilTenpenny also refers to Gardasil immunisation as “carnage”:

Tenpenny 13 Gardasil carnageTenpenny also brags about wearing her “DNT VCN8″ (don’t vaccinate) t-shirts around airports, whilst showing the hand to anyone who wants to grill her about it. Now that is sass, sister:

Tenpenny 15 don't vaccinate tshirt airportIt takes a special kind of person to cite Edmund Burke in defence of your evil intent.

I’ve saved this crackingly insane screenshot for last.

Vaccines cause mass murderers:

Tenpenny 14 vaccines mass murderersShe’s one of the best the global anti-vaccination movement has to offer.

Update January 6 2015

I wanted to add this extra screenshot I’ve procured from Peter Bowditch’s site. This is a comment Tenpenny made in 2012, along the lines of the one above. In it she blames the massacre of innocent schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary School on vaccines. There are times I wished there was such as a thing as hell. People like Tenpenny belong there:

Tenpenny 17 Sandy Hook killer vaccine damagedAnd because I’m not certain what Tenpenny really thinks about vaccines, I thought I better add this. Just so we’re clear:

Vaccines and drugs are a war on the Human Constitution. It is a Dark Superstition that should never be part of the 21st century. It’s Black Magic to think that injecting foreign matter, dead pathogen, animal DNA can give any benefit. Ever.

Tenpenny 18 war on human cnstituion black magicTenpenny, the expert, had also not heard of norovirus:

Tenpenny 19 had not heard of norovirusIn May 2013 Tenpenny also put out a call to her cult acolytes. Tenpenny makes her dangerous, despicable desires crystal clear:

How do we convince parents to be more fearful of a vaccine…?

Tenpenny 34 May 12 2013 how to make parents fear vaccinesAnd for evidence that Tenpenny relies upon and provokes the vilification of health care professionals – “vilification” interestingly being one of the exclusion criteria of the visa character assessment – one need only look at the thread of Tenpenny’s Facebook post linked above. Tenpenny goes after Dr Paul Offit in the original post. The cult acolytes respond in rote:

Tenpenny 36 Paul Offit provocation of violenceIf all of that wasn’t bad enough – and it really was – Tenpenny posted this on her Facebook page:

Very good article by Bill Sardi

Tenpenny 42 I will never vaccinate my child articleHmm. I will never vaccinate my child. That’s not overly surprising to us, knowing Tenpenny as we do. But, there’s a nasty little twist in this one:

we have chosen not to vaccinate our child but rather let him get exposed to the various pathogens naturally (chicken pox, pertussis- whooping cough, polio, measles, etc.)

Tenpenny 43 I will never vaccinate my child polio measlesThat’s right. Sherri Tenpenny recommends an article which advocates exposing unimmunised children to Polio, Measles, Whooping cough, and Chicken Pox. I’m still attempting to figure out in my inside voice why there are no child protection officers beating down the door. I’ve got nothing.

And where would any deranged, rabid anti-vaccinationist be without pincushion baby, decorated with the skull and crossbones, and the “POISON” tag? This is from Tenpenny’s website which she claims to be a repository of reputable anti-vaccine evidence. It’s an anti-vaccine repository; that’s about it:

Tenpenny 44 website pincushion baby poison skull crossbones

Posted in anti-vaccination dishonesty, australian vaccination network, AVN, Immunisation, meryl dorey, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

2015 anti-vaccine tour of Australia – the Tenpenny caravan of hurt

Anti-vaccinationists have their own anti-Hippocratic oath: first do harm. First and foremost they must evangelise, like any fundamentalist organisation. First and foremost they must persuade vulnerable parents – those sitting on the fence – that vaccines are dangerous, poisonous, unsafe, untested…you know the drill. Time and again they are shown to be nothing but brazen liars; not by people who merely disagree with them, but, by evidence.

We have just been advised that US anti-vaccine campaigner Sherri Tenpenny is coming to Australia to do a series of seminars with a host of other anti-vaccine campaigners. Among them is Isaac Golden, the homeopath recently torn to shreds in the Federal Court, in the humiliating Homeopathy Plus! case. That’s quality information for you right there.

If you haven’t heard of Tenpenny, she’s one of the leaders of the global anti-vaccine cult. She’s like the duchess, to Barbara Loe Fisher’s queen. She is right up there. This article gives a pretty good run down on her as an inductee into the Encyclopedia of American Loons.

I don’t have many stored screenshots of Tenpenny because she is so consistently barking mad it never takes long to find evidence. For example, this very recent post should send shivers up and down the spines of every health minister and health department in Australia. Tenpenny exclaims:

print this and hand it out to your friends, family, teachers and healthcare workers!

Tenpenny 2 10 Reasons not to vaccinate See the shares under that post? 2515 shares. Most of them wouldn’t have read it, much less understood it; but, the point is, she has some sway at the top of the cult. And she’s coming here. I want to include the 10 Reasons from that blog post so you can gauge the quality of the reasons Tenpenny deems worthy of dissemination to healthcare workers, family etc:

1. Vaccines have never been proven safe or effective.

2. Vaccines do NOT work.

3. The very first vaccine was a disaster.

4. Vaccines are highly profitable for pharmaceutical companies and the health care industry.

5. All vaccines contain a number of toxic poisons and chemicals that are linked to serious neurological damage including aluminum, thimerosal (methyl mercury), antibiotics, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and formaldehyde. [seriously, read that again – ed]

6. Every study comparing unvaccinated to vaccinated children demonstrates that unvaccinated children enjoy far superior health.

7. Vaccines cause a host of “chronic, incurable, and life threatening diseases,” including autism, asthma, ADHD, auto-immune disorders, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, food allergies and brain damage.

8. The only way to create true life-long immunity to a disease is through natural exposure to the disease in which the body creates true antibodies and immunity on many levels.

9. Vaccines kill infants, children and adults.

10. If you or a loved one suffers from a vaccine injury, pharmaceutical companies and physicians hold no medical liability.

Every time I see “10 reasons” somewhere I immediately think of the execrable article written by Meryl Dorey which was the foundation of the first finding against the Australian Vaccination Network by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, in 2010. Her 10 Reasons were so bad she removed them from her site. The 10 Reasons above are way worse than Dorey’s.

Tenpenny, an osteopath – which in the US is an equivalent qualification to an MD. Joe Mercola is also an osteopath; maybe there’s a trend there – is also not averse to ragging out on members of the medical profession, for innocuous reasons. In this juvenile attack she likens a doctor to a “Reptilian” for merely expressing a valid opinion that health workers have an ethical and professional responsibility to their patients to ensure they have an annual influenza immunisation:

Tenpenny 1 reptilian doctor attackAnd we’ve seen the company Tenpenny keeps, before:

DeMoss 133 Tenpenny and Wakefield at CalJam DeMoss the full-blown conspiracy theorist chiropractor is even more effusive in his admiration for Tenpenny, here:

DeMoss 74 Tenpenny CalJam Look, I can’t speak for any of you. But, if someone of the calibre of Billy DeMoss is showing me the love seen above I’d need to pack up, go home, wash, and take up drinking again. So, what do we do? We have someone coming to our country who is a clear menace to public health and safety. We need to let every health minister know. We need to let every health department know. And, because you can put money on the venues being unaware of just what is happening on their premises, write to the venues politely requesting they investigate fully the people they are hosting, and the possible repercussions for the health of our babies, our children, and our community. A friend kindly put this list together:

BIRTH, BABY & BEYOND

Melbourne – Sunday 1 March, Bayview Eden [CANCELLED]
Email: bayvieweden@bayviewhotels.com

Melbourne (dinner) – Saturday 28 February, Amora Hotel Riverwalk [CANCELLED] 
Email: [redacted at]amorahotels.com.au

Brisbane (seminar and dinner) – Sunday 8 March, Michael’s Oriental Restaurant & Function Centre [CANCELLED] 
Email: info@michaelsoriental.com.au;  lauren@michaelsoriental.com.au

Sydney (seminar and dinner) – Saturday 14 March, Concord Function Centre [CANCELLED] 
Email: info@concordfunctioncentre.com.au

RAISING HEALTHY CHILDREN NATURALLY

Adelaide (seminar and dinner) – Tues 3 March, Rydges South Park [CANCELLED]
Email: reservations_southpark@rydges.com;  stam_archontoulis@rydges.com

Gold Coast (seminar and dinner) – Wed 11 March, Quality Hotel Mermaid Waters [CANCELLED] 
Email: mermaid.waters.resort@alhgroup.com.au;  cara.flannery@alhgroup.com.au

Sydney (Sutherland Shire) – Sunday 15 March, Kareela Golf Club [CANCELLED] 
Email: contact@kareelagolf.com.au

If anti-vaccinationists reach the logical conclusion of their aims, more babies die.

Update December 30 2014

I had a pretty good inkling of this yesterday, but, now I’m certain; one of the main organisers behind the GanKinMan Foundation, the organisation holding the series of anti-vaccine seminars,  is none other than Stephanie Messenger, the author of that vile book written for children, Melanie’s Marvelous Measles. On Messenger’s publicly viewable Facebook profile she advises she is emailing flyers:

Messenger 8 email for Tenpenny tour flyerOn December 22 she shares the GanKinMan website:

Messenger 10 GinKanMin Foundation photoAnd on December 16 she puts out a call for singers at “upcoming” events:

Messenger 11 singers for events neededThe community needs to know who is behind this tour of hurt. It is already  extremely concerning that Tenpenny is coming here to misinform parents. Knowing that Messenger is behind it should have venue owners barricading their premises to keep them out. And if the two names featured above – as well as the disgraced homeopath Isaac Golden – weren’t bad enough, the Sydney lie-fest also features US anti-vaccinationist Norma Erickson, the head of the anti-Gardasil organisation, Sanevax. They’re the ones who consistently claim deaths have resulted from HPV immunisation, although there have been none. It is a lie. They are liars.

Update January 5 2015

I want to include some new information about the organisations – and there are many, all run by Stephanie Messenger – which has been coming to light, which we can now bring to you. I should say instead that this information has not been easily forthcoming, the circumstances of which we argue should now be in the hands of the regulators. Given that there has been higher than usual traffic on this post, due to readers accessing the contact details of venues, I want to include a full excerpt from the Diluted Thinking website, an astonishing read in itself:

Organisers

Payments for seminar tickets go directly to Stephanie Messenger and NOT the advertised organisers and please note that Both advertised organisers are controlled by Stephanie Messenger.

Get Rid of SIDS Project Inc

The Get Rid of SIDS Project Inc is a Queensland-based charitable association founded by Stephanie Messenger. According to its regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), Get Rid of SIDS Project is 9 months late in submitting its annual return. And please note that this charitable association which is organising these anti-vaccination seminars around Australia, is also a Deductible Gift Recipient meaning that donations to it are tax-deductible.

GanKinMan Foundation

The GanKinMan Foundation does not exist. It is not even a registered business name with ASIC: gankinman.com was only first registered on 3 November 2014. What I can tell you about the GanKinMan Foundation is that it is run by Stephanie Messenger. A health website forum has a post from a supporter of Stephanie Messenger which contains the text of an email sent by Messenger around 2 December 2014 plus the flyer (word document) that was attached to the email. The flyer was advertising a range of goods for sale (including tickets to the seminars) from Messenger’s other unincorporated groups “Healthy Lifestyles Naturally” and “Vaccination Awareness & Information Service”. NOTE: whilst Messenger runs these two other groups, ASIC shows that both are Queensland registered business names by her husband, Leslie Bailey. Neither of these groups is incorporated and therefore have no legal status. To order goods the flyer instructs consumers to:

email your desired order to stephanie@naturematters.info – You will be emailed the postal charges (or you may pick up in Cleveland if you prefer).

You can then do an E.F.T. to BSB 032-563 A/C # 371362 Name on Account: GanKinMan Foundation. Your order will be shipped within one week. Seminar E-tickets will be emailed to you.

So there we have it. Payments for goods (including the seminars) on behalf of Messenger’s “Healthy Lifestyles Naturally” and “Vaccination Awareness & Information Service” are to be deposited into a bank account in the name of “GanKinMan Foundation”. In addition to this, an email received from the domain name of gankinman.com originated in Brisbane (QLD), a From: field in the header shows the term “StephaniePC” and its attached pdf document shows the the author as “Stephanie” in the document properties. I must stress that no published information from GanKinMan Foundation – its website, seminar advertising or emails – provides the name of any individual. To further confuse consumers, the GanKinMan Foundation facebook page made a series of posts on 3 January 2015 advising that:

“We have teamed up with the Get Rid of SIDS Project, Inc. – a registered charity doing research and education about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – Come along to support the charity and cause, and hear what the team have been up to lately.”

Payments for Seminars

A PayPal receipt for the purchase of a seminar ticket shows the merchant as “Healthy Naturally” with an email address of stephanie@naturematters.info. This email address belongs to Stephanie Messenger. There is no registered name for “Healthy Naturally”. Unless you were already familiar with Messenger, it is not immediately obvious that Stephanie Messenger is involved. An email in regard to changes to a ticket purchase originated from the gankinman.com domain and did not provide any contact names.

Consumer Protection

There are now a number of major concerns for consumers in how Stephanie Messenger is selling and advertising goods for sale:

  1. Messenger is trading under the unregistered business name of “GanKinMan Foundation”. As far as I know, even a name used for a personal hobby must be registered with ASIC if it’s trading (Non-registration aside, the size and scope of the seminars and dinners might stretch the ATO‘s definition of a hobby);
  2. Messenger is using a registered charity (Get Rid of SIDS Project Inc) in an apparent attempt to lend legitimacy to an unregistered and unincorporated body;
  3. Use of the word “Foundation” is potentially misleading because use of the word “may create a public perception of substance, stability and integrity” even for a legitimate registered charity (NSW Fair Trading);
  4. No GanKinMan Foundation publications (website, emails, advertising) provides the names of any individuals involved with it;
  5. Messenger is intentionally hiding her association with GanKinMan Foundation in regard to the seminars;
  6. Messenger is promoting her seminars as being run by a legitimate charity and a group ‘masquerading’ as a charity without advising at any stage that payments will be made into a bank account operated by herself and not in the name of the advertised organisers (with the exception of the abovementioned flyer).

Note: according to Messenger (re: the flyer), a bank account does exist in the name of “GanKinMan Foundation”. Whilst it is possible that tickets purchased through PayPal are deposited into this account, consumers are led to believe payment has been made to the entirely non-existent entity of “Healthy Naturally”. In short, Messenger appears to be trading under an unregistered business name, misleading consumers as to who/what is in receipt of the funds, is using a registered charity to lend legitimacy to a misleadingly named non-entity, and is using a registered charity to sell goods where payment is made to account/s operated by herself and not the charity. The size and scope of the seminars may generate substantial income if well-attended. For example, a couple attending the Sydney seminar plus dinner at the best table will have to pay up to $612. Tickets for the Birth, Baby and Beyond seminars alone range from $80 to $100 and tickets for the Raising Healthy Children Naturally are $39. Tickets for the dinners range from $100 to $200. Consumers have a right to know exactly where their money is going and especially when charities are being used to promote and sell goods for sale.

Posted in anti-vaccination dishonesty, australian vaccination network, AVN, meryl dorey, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Anti-vaccine chiropractors redux 9 – Balloons and Onions R Us

Ackerman 1 YT still

David Ackerman is a registered chiropractor who plies his trade in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales. He is a member of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, as we have come to expect from the stars of this series. He has a website, and an open Facebook profile which he also uses for his business activities:

Ackerman 1 account used for business

Ackerman operates out of a business called Jade Tortoise Clinic of Natural Medicine, located in New Brighton. A look at the chiropractic tab on the website immediately rings alarm bells: absurd claims are made for treatments of “ADD/ADHD, learning difficulties…allergies, asthma”, whilst promising that treatments will include benefits such as “More Energy, Increased Clarity and Concentration, Emotional Balance and Ease, Greater Wellbeing and Health”:

Ackerman 9 Jade Tortoise ADHD allergies asthma learning difficulties
A perusal of Ackerman’s Facebook profile soothes one’s raging confirmation bias that, surely, this guy will post anti-vaccination screeds worthy of the worst. Yep.

Here’s one from a couple of years ago which would tug at the heartstrings of any conspiracy theorist. Baby monkeys! Needles! Vials! Skulls! BABIES:

Ackerman 1 baby monkeys autism

And because Ackerman was told he’d get bonus points for this, underneath that post is his Facebook friend, Michael Jensen. Yes, that astonishing Michael Jensen:

Ackerman 2 Jensen comment autism

Next we see one of the anti-vaccination movement’s favourite strawman arguments: claiming that vaccines didn’t save us, by using mortality graphs, devoid of nuance.  I think the worst part of these arguments is that anti-vaccinationists don’t really care if a small cohort of kids still die; as long as they think they’ve won an argument – which they haven’t – then a few hundred/thousand/hundreds of thousands of dead kids is a mere piffle to them:

Ackerman 3 vaccines didn't save us mortality graph

Where would any self-respecting, conspiracy-mongering, anti-vaccine chiropractor be without claiming that providing the Gardasil vaccine is exactly the same as murder? This is a man worth his salt:

Ackerman 5 Gardasil murdering of our daughters

And, of course, Ackerman shares one of Meryl Dorey’s misleading petitions, like so many other of his chiropractic brethren who are enamoured of the vile, discredited anti-vaccination group, the Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network:

Ackerman 6 Dorey NSW Parl petition
What led me to Ackerman was some keen-eyed WTF-spotting by my friends who noticed an ad placed by Ackerman in The Byron Shire Echo. So, really, his advertising dollar bought space in this blog. Kudos.

Ackerman claims to be a Neurocranial Restructuring practitioner, in which he “unwinds the skull” to alleviate a range of conditions which include “anxiety/depression” and – shut up, it’s there in the ad – “improved facial appearance”:

Ackerman 1 newspaper ad

And not only that; he also advertises it on his Facebook profile:

Ackerman 4 NET neurocranial video

The Facebook post takes us to this YouTube video , wherein Ackerman explains how he carries out all sorts of techniques – to manipulate the facial bones so as to alleviate a range of conditions – including guiding a balloon up the nose, inflating it in situ, thereby creating a greater space in which the brain can relax, imbuing the inflatee with a “pleasant sensation” like an “endorphin rush” leading to “emotional balance” whilst being “mentally clearer”, and having a “shift of consciousness”. As an aside, this is also a testimonial, provided by the practitioner, himself. There will also be the waving of hands:

Ackerman 4 YT still waving of hands

All I can do is cite an anonymous, senior clinician who states, simply:

Balloon up nose to ”rearrange” facial bones and sphenoid = dangerous pseudoscience

Chirobase also notes that the technique is “irrational and unsafe”:

There is no published scientific evidence or logical reason to believe that NCR is effective for treating any of the conditions for which it is recommended. There is no reason to believe that the sphenoid bone can be safely manipulated or that moving it would provide health benefits. In addition, although few complications have been reported, there is good reason to believe that it can be harmful.

In 1983, during treatment with Bilateral Nasal Specific (a variant in which a finger cot is used as the balloon), a Canadian baby was asphyxiated after the finger cot slipped off the syringe on which it was mounted and lodged in the child’s windpipe. The practitioner was found guilty of manslaughter, fined $1,000, and ordered to stop using BNS [5].

A case has reported of a 51-year-old woman who sustained fractures in two sectors of her nasal septum (the bone between the nostrils) during an NCR treatment in which balloons were inflated inside her nostrils. During the procedure, the patient heard a crunching sound and experienced severe midface pain accompanied by nosebleed. Surgery was required to reposition her nasal septum. The authors noted that if the balloons had been placed more deeply into the nose, disastrous complications could have occurred [6].

I highly recommend you spend 6 minutes watching the video. Hopefully the Chiropractic Board of Australia will do the same. Maybe they could also look at Ackerman’s claims underneath the YouTube video, in the comments:

Ackerman 4 comments realign lopsided eyes

Maybe I should give him a call. My eyeballs just popped out.

Of course, where there’s one or two streams of crackpottery happening, there’s always more. Here is the old aspartame-is-poison meme, shared via that prestigious medical journal, A Sheep No More:

Ackerman 8 aspartame poison

However, of much more concern are the sinister, illegal claims to cure cancer, not once:

Ackerman 10 hemp oil cures cancer

But, twice:

Ackerman 11 cannabis oil cures cancer

And, just for good luck, here is some advice which might just save your life. Put an onion in a bowl which will draw in all of the bacteria and viruses in the room. I did search the whole post for mentions of placing one in your sock, or on your belt, but, there was nothing:

Ackerman 7 onions in bowls suck in all the bacteria and viruses

Ackerman needs to be reported. He is in breach of a plethora of guidelines, and codes of conduct. He is also in breach of the law for advertising to cure cancer. Notifications for NSW chiropractors must be made through the Health Care Complaints Commission, here.

As promised, here is that video:

_________________________________________

Thanks for reading.

And a big thank you to my friends for pointing out the initial advertisement.

Posted in anti-vaccination dishonesty, australian vaccination network, AVN, chiropractic, meryl dorey, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments