Judy, Judy, Judy…are you attempting to censor others’ right to free speech?

Judy Wilyman is a PhD student who likes to provide information against vaccination. I can’t recall Wilyman providing any information on the benefits of vaccination. If Wilyman would like to correct this, she can comment here. Wilyman is also the go-to, favourite Argument from Authority used by Meryl Dorey, when Dorey needs some local flavour to push her agenda. Judy Wilyman and the Australian Vaccination Network work together to frighten the masses about the Strawman of compulsory vaccination.

Wilyman and the AVN have a close relationship: they often present seminars together; Meryl Dorey publishes every new Wilyman decree, with zeal. However, Judy Wilyman doesn’t like her own history. She strenuously denies any ties with the AVN.

Dr Rachael Dunlop has written an excellent piece about Wilyman’s latest escapades. You see, Judy Wilyman (supervised by Dr Brian Martin, who is a strong critic of any form of censorship; who is a defender of the AVN’s right to spread misinformation; who considers himself to be impartial in the debate about accurate immunisation information; who is a subscriber to the AVN magazine, thereby financially supporting the AVN): Judy Wilyman has sent out some egregiously incorrect and silly emails, calling for censorship of Dr Dunlop and other people she considers to be a part of a pharmocracy of unyielding strength. What Wilyman fails to do is provide any evidence for her assertions. What Wilyman succeeds in doing is making a fool of herself, by using half-baked accusations which are just demonstrably wrong.

Courtesy of Dr Dunlop, here is the latest email Wilyman has sent to the Consumer Health Forum. Note that the importance is “high”:

Oh dear

As above, Dr Dunlop’s post addresses the wild claims in that email.

Here are some other posts regarding the decrees of Wilyman:

PhD Candidate Exposes Vaccine Horror

Should Australia’s Federal Health Minister be for the health or the harming of children?

One for MediaWatch: anti-vaccination nonsense on ABC Science!

LiveBlogging At The AVN Lecture In Perth – Judy Wilyman

I, for one, hope that the University of Wollongong will be having a very close look at the quality of PhD research going on under the guidance of Dr Brian Martin. Like Murdoch University before it, I can’t see how the reputation of UoW is being enhanced by someone spreading such drivel, using the title “PhD researcher Wollongong University”. Of course, Wilyman no longer attends Murdoch: nor does her former supervisor, Peter Dingle.

I would also like to see Murdoch University provide the reasons why Wilyman and Dingle are no longer at Murdoch. This is important information.

Anyway, until Wilyman starts providing accurate information on immunisation, instead of misinformation “solely against vaccination” (thanks again, HCCC Public Warning about the AVN), Wilyman will be regarded as someone who only provides information “against vaccination”: that is, anti-vaccine. It’s not hard. There is no special dictionary required to understand the prefix anti. These people just know it’s not a good look.

Update: 4 hours later.

Okay, this just got really embarrassing. Dorey has just published this blog post asking, Is Rachael Dunlop a purveyor of misinformation?  It is a copypaste of Wilyman’s latest email to Canberra Skeptics. Seriously, you guys: you just need to stop making a public spectacle out of yourselves:

[Forward by Meryl Dorey] Rachael Dunlop has a long history of twisting, skewing and in other ways, torturing the truth to suit her agenda which is pro-vaccination at all costs and despite any information. Judy Wilyman who is a PhD researcher in WA, has brought this misinformation to the attention of those organising a talk Ms Dunlop will be presenting in Canberra this month on inaccuracies found on social websites. We will have to wait and see if the truth can prevail before an audience of committed pseudo-skeptics.

By the way, though I am reprinting Ms Wilyman’s letter with her permission, the title of this blog post and this text is mine alone.

Dear Mr. Le Count,

Thankyou for your reply. It seems that Ms. Dunlop continues to present misinformation on her website rachael@skepticzone.tv I can see why you have engaged her to speak on the inaccuracies that can be found on social websites. I will address these for you and hope that the audience on the 15.2.12 will be informed of the inaccuracies in her information as well as her affiliations when she presents the talk on the 15th.

  1. On her website she states ‘that I have misused the Murdoch logo’. This is untrue. As the author of this poster I am entitled to present the poster (see attached). However, if someone wishes to publish this poster they require my permission and Murdoch University’s permission. Ms. Dunlop did not get this permission and she also displayed the poster untruthfully by linking it to the AVN.
  2. Vaccination is a medical procedure and therefore if someone is promoting this procedure they need to make their qualifications and interests clear to their audience. Ms. Dunlop is not a medical doctor. She has a PhD in cell biology and she does research into heart disease. This should be made clear on her websites and at public forums when she makes comments on the topic of vaccination.
  3. Ms. Dunlop is also the vice-president of the NSW Skeptics Group. This is a group of largely non-scientists who investigate paranormal and pseudoscientific claims (not evidence-based immunization policies). The organization was founded by the American Skeptics who are linked to the major corporate lobby groups such as the pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
  4. Ms. Dunlop is also on the editorial board for ‘Focus on the Alternative and Complimentary Therapies’ which is also affiliated with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
  5. Ms. Dunlop’s websites and other Skeptic websites such as http://www.davethehappysinger.com/blog/2011/10/13/mediawatch-anti-vaccination-abc-science-stopavn/are making derogatory comments about academics, journalists and media outlets, such as the ABC, who are presenting the valid science questioning vaccination. Please note that Ms. Dunlop and other Skeptics are not addressing the arguments that are being presented but knocking down the people and organizations that are presenting the science. This shows a lack of integrity and credibility in the information she is providing.

Please will you ensure that the audience on the 15th is made aware of these facts and affiliations. I will provide for you an accurate copy of the conference poster supported by Murdoch University that Ms. Dunlop is preventing the public from seeing. And invite you to provide the arguments against this science. Alternatively I hope that you will ensure that the information in the poster is provided to the attendees of Ms.Dunlop’s talk. Talks by the public need to be presented in the appropriate context to ensure consumers are aware of the source and credibility.

Again I will forward this to the community and the Health Department so they are aware of how the public and media is being influenced on the topic of vaccination.

Kind regards,

Judy Wilyman

PhD researcher

5754-Health PosterA4_no logo

I have a question: if Murdoch University had no problem with Wilyman’s poster, then, why does that little link go to the poster with “no logo” in the URL? Why did the Murdoch University lawyers chase down this poster, all over the internet, making sure Wilyman’s poster appeared nowhere with the Murdoch logo? There are many other questions, but,  you know…

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17 Responses to Judy, Judy, Judy…are you attempting to censor others’ right to free speech?

  1. Jason says:

    I love this bit

    “…a group called the Australian Skeptics. In America this group…”

    Which bit of “Australian” isn’t Wilyman following here? Or are her writing skills that poor that she really feels this is a solid construction?

    Also, Aus Skeptics was not founded by Americans. She’s pretty shit at the whole “research” thing, huh? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Skeptics

  2. Guy says:

    I’m glad you picked up on the title, if any of my PhD students sent out correspondence signed off as “PhD researcher” I’d tell them never to do it again. The title “PhD researcher” is ambiguous. Ms Wilyman is someone doing research in the hope of gaining a PhD, not someone with a PhD doing research (the meaning someone trying to puff themselves up might want the reader to believe and the one I think seems a more likely interpretation by most readers), nor someone doing research about PhDs. When teaching my students about good writing I give them the example “…baby researchers found that…” as an example of ambiguity (are they babies doing research or researchers investigating babies?) – “PhD researcher” is similarly open to misinterpretation. When I was a PhD student I was once interviewed on the radio and described by the host as a “PhD hopeful” – seeing as only 50% of people who start PhDs finish them that’s a fairly good description and a description that should be used more often.

    • Guy, that was my thought as well. The term “PhD researcher” is ridiculous and leaves me with the impression that Ms. Wilyman is studying people who have PhDs for her research. I can see her documentary now: Just look at these PhDs out in the wild! Look at them as point at graphs!

  3. Y U correct her spelling? She had my name spelt “Rachel”. I’ve downloaded me a copy of the poster – with no Murdoch logo, though curiously an email address for Murdoch – and I will happily take it along to my talk where I will use it as an example of misinformation perpetuated by anti-vaxers.

    I LOLd at most of this. My favourite bits have to be that my email address is a website and that because I am on the editorial board for FACT I am a Big Pharma Shill. They really are clutching at straws here aren’t they. Yet, still no examples of my apparent “regular misinformation”.

    They are making themselves look very silly indeed.

  4. Jason says:

    I liked that Australian Skeptics have no business confronting antivax because they only investigate paranormal and pseudoscientific claims.

    Errr… what was that second one again?

    Sorry Judy, I didn’t hear you clearly. All I could hear was a crowd of ten thousand robots shouting “ANTIVACCINATION RHETORIC IS BASED ON PSEUDOSCIENCE!”

  5. Pingback: » A lesson in “do your research”

  6. Greenwhat says:

    We must all bow down before the glory of the POSTER! (Not anywhere near being a) Dr. Judy is so proud of it. Cutting edge research there – 2 of her references date to 1952 and 1966! No wonder Murdoch University sent in the lawyers to make sure its logo was no longer associated with this.

  7. AndyD says:

    I will provide for you an accurate copy of the conference poster supported by Murdoch University that Ms. Dunlop is preventing the public from seeing.

    Err, I thought “Ms” [sic] Dunlop posted the damned poster on her public website (not an email address). How is that preventing the public from seeing it? In fact, if she didn’t publicise it, why did Murdoch ask her to remove it?

    And, again… she’s warning a skeptic organisation about skeptics? Seriously?

    My head’s gone all asplodey and stuff.

    • Actually Andy, I think in her twisted prose, what she is trying to say I altered her poster (which is true – I annotated it) therefore she can provide an unaltered version. It’s often hard to follow what Ms Wilyman is trying to say because her written word is not of a high standard.

      For example, see this sentence from her first email: “She has incorrectly referred to me as an “anti-vaxer” and her derogatory remarks about the ABC’s policies are offensive to the community who would like an academic debate on this important topic”

      Which to me, reads, “she called me anti-vax” and “the community wants a debate about the ABCs policies”. I don’t think that’s what she means, but since she has problems structuring sentences, it’s difficult to know.

      So, there are two things she’s not very good at, research and writing eligible English. And UoW will probably give her a PhD. Just like mine. Bless.

      • AndyD says:

        Which still leaves me wondering how you were preventing the public from seeing the poster. Were you travelling the country tearing them down and lodging DMCAs on websites or something?

        I’ve never posted it on my blog – ever. I wonder if I’m preventing the public from seeing it too?

  8. @advodiaboli says:

    Judy not anti-vaccine? Of course not. She proves this by:

    “There is no democracy in a country that doesn’t have a transparent government. The Australian government will be committing a crime against humanity by [introducing immunisation incentives]”.
    “We’re being educated by the media who have pharmaceutical interests” (speech).
    The media “coerce us into vaccination” by scare mongering with articles on childhood deaths from influenza (speech).
    “There is no historical evidence that vaccines controlled any of the infectious diseases listed in government immunization policies – in any developed country.”
    “Government immunization policy is founded on biased science funded by pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies that has never been independently tested because of trade secrets.”

    But her rubber stamp as a non-scientist is her abuse of the memory of Russel Wallace famous for his work in forming evolutionary theories and corresponding with Darwin. Cherry picking a few Yuk Factor quotes he can be made to sound hysterically anti-vaccine. Wilyman loves doing this. A kind of “if you believe in vaccines, you don’t believe in evolution” taunt.

    But as a scientist, it’s clear how he would think when presented with new evidence.

    Something Judge Judy is obviously incapable of.

  9. I haz a question. If she’s a scientist why is she doing a PhD in the Arts Faculty at UoW?

    http://www.uow.edu.au/~bmartin/

    Also, I’m going to be picky here since I am one, but in the profession we don’t consider you are a fully fledged scientist until you’ve actually had some research experience. Until then, you either have a PhD in some science discipline, or a BSc or whatever – but you are not a “scientist”. I would even question she will be a science PhD given she will (presumably) graduate from the Arts Faculty. Perhaps she picked the wrong supervisor? At least Dr Dingle was in the Science Dept.

  10. Pingback: Jumping the Brownshirt Nazi Godwin Shark, with Meryl | reasonablehank

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