In the last few days Meryl Dorey of the Australian (anti) Vaccination Network has been publicising a new series of blog posts, which she calls the Dossier of Attacks on the AVN. Because “dossiers” are more important than blog posts, you see. Dorey even sent out a press release of this dossier’s existence. There are several sections, of which I will look at a few. Unfortunately, there will not be enough room on this page, nor time in the day, to include the vast repository of evidence of the behaviour of Dorey and her followers.
It is obvious that Dorey is attempting to clutch at the coat-tails of a current media story surrounding the intense online vilification of Charlotte Dawson, which was conducted with ferocity over a short period. Seriously, there was a hashtag of #diecharlotte. Not cool. I want to focus on Dorey’s attempt to liken herself to Charlotte Dawson’s case. You might find that this exercise from Dorey is also not very cool.
Before I go to Dorey’s blog posts, I want to quickly visit a related post: a picture which was published on the Stop the Australian (anti) Vaccination Network Facebook page (the picture has been removed; but, for the life of me we can’t see who removed it). The picture contains a still of Dorey from her Lateline appearance, where she is caught in the middle of her “did I say that…I don’t believe I did…let me see”, sentence of legend. Superimposed on this still is a mash-up of slurs Dorey has cast on various people; including doctors, judges, pharmaceutical companies, and her critics. Now, some people disagreed with the production of the image, and they have every right to find fault with its usage. It is a provocative image, and it provokes debate on the correctness of using such an image. I’m not going to completely disagree with critics of the image. But, I’m also not going to completely agree with them either. The image is meant to be provocative. Although produced in the format of an internet meme, it is not a joke. The image was produced as a stark presentation of the claims made by Dorey, and her hypocrisy in demanding that people show her some respect. Below the image I’ll provide the sources from where the slurs were taken:
At the precise moment of writing, Dorey has commented on the AVN Facebook page about this image:
Yesterday, a very unflattering picture of myself was posted up there with a list of words that I may or may not have said strung together into a phrase that I’ve never said at all to try and make me appear callous…
…it was admitted openly that I never said those things.
Let’s have a look at the slurs which may or may not have been said by Meryl Dorey.
In one of the posts which cemented my decison to hold Meryl Dorey to account for the lies and conspiracies she uses in her crusade against immunisation and other evidence-based healthcare, Dorey used the SCUMBAGS slur against those who were attempting to hold her to account. It wasn’t the slur which made me angry: really, I couldn’t care less. It was the absolute callousness with which she used the death of teen Natalie Morton to further her ideology. Natalie Morton died of a “malignant chest tumour”. Anti-vaccination liars like Dorey had already been shouting that she was killed by the HPV Vaccine, which Natalie had had administered “shortly before her death”. The results of an autopsy didn’t stop Dorey from lying about Natalie Morton. Dorey insisted that Natalie’s official cause of death was a manufactured cover-up, at the behest of secret, corrupt forces. Dorey wrote this post: Natalie Morton’s death-convenient pre-existing condition or vaccine cover-up, in which she refuses to acknowledge that she was wrong, calling her detractors “scumbags”:
The comments of that post are well worth a read. Dorey gets spanked, and spanked harshly, with facts. After being called an “anti-vaccination liar”, Dorey responds with one of the most stunningly dissonant comments I have seen, given that she made this comment on the same blog post:
“Perhaps the facts aren’t enough for you”: indeed.
[edit: please see this comment from @advodiaboli, at the bottom of this post. It contains a 2009 AVN Yahoo! Group comment from Andrew MacDonald, stating that Natalie Morton's father was paid off for his secrecy surrounding his daughter's death. Here is a screenshot of the MacDonald comment]
In an old document I put up on Scribd (one of the documents unsuccessfully DMCAed by Dorey: Scribd reinstated the document after she failed to substantiate her copyright ownership over images contained therein), I showed how Dorey manufactured a campaign of vilification, based on deliberate falsehoods, against her critics. It was within the context of this anatomy of a lie that critics were labelled as PONDSCUM and uncaring BASTARDS.
And, on Twitter, lying about the motivations and actions of her critics:
To be honest, and I hope someone can remember in the comments, I have forgotten what the acronym CHUMPS signifies. I know it is a derogatory term invented by someone attacking skeptical organisations, but, I can’t remember where it originated. This is of no consequence, here, as Dorey again slurs a group of people (wrongly, and deliberately) as “anti-choice”, in her agenda of insisting that she is the only true one. The most important tactic in the totality of Dorey’s campaign is the devaluation of critics. This is a frequent ploy of the AVN.
In a previous post of mine I have included the next two slurs made by Meryl Dorey. Comparing pharmaceutical companies to PAEDOPHILES; and comparing doctors, and the immunisations they administer, to the now legendary RAPE CHILDREN WITH FULL PENETRATION, is always going to win hearts and minds.
And the unforgettable, “Court orders rape of a child…with full penetration too”, from January 15 2011:
And, who can ever forget the VACCINES ARE INSTRUMENTS OF DEATH comment, from 2008?
Again…did I say that?
I do believe you did.
I also want to include a section on vilification as practised by Meryl Dorey, her official AVN admins, members, and followers of the Australian Vaccination Network. The targets of the vilification are varied and frequent; but there are some targets who keep on popping up. This vilification is ongoing. It has never stopped. It probably won’t stop. But, the public deserves to know how the anti-vaccination movement, and the AVN, and Dorey in particular, operate. For these people to cry persecution would be thigh-slappingly funny if it were not so unconscionable.
As is well-known to readers here, the McCaffery Family have been a constant target of Dorey and her organisation, ever since Dana passed away. Dorey has always maintained that she will “eject” any member from her organisation who has sent anything to the McCafferys: but, this just never happens. Andrew MacDonald is a Brisbane resident who sent a repugnant email to the McCafferys, denying that Dana had died from Pertussis. MacDonald is still welcome on AVN fora, and only this week Dorey has defended MacDonald’s right to remain, using a distasteful Tu quoque as grounds for his presence on AVN fora. She even claims that she can’t do anything to stop poor behaviour of AVN followers (and, yet, I and others can’t get a comment published on her blog. I’m sure there is some function Dorey could use to block MacDonald and his ilk? Where would that be?). Here is MacDonald only a few days ago, vilifying a doctor, on Dorey’s blog:
It’s not just crackpots like MacDonald who have vilified the McCafferys. Dorey and Judy Wilyman are still doing it; possible Clarence Valley Councillor, Jane Beeby, is still refusing to apologise for her comments made whilst acting as an AVN Facebook admin; former RN Kerry Baker did it at the instigation of Dorey’s claims; the denial of Pertussis deaths is still being practised on the AVN page as we speak, with some clowns repeating Dorey’s “supposedly” comment; and, AVN troll Johanna Holland’s campaign of bile was something which was shocking for all to see. Let’s not forget who initiated and continues to enable the vilification of the McCafferys:
Another prime target of the anti-vaccination movement is Dr Paul Offit. Let’s face it: this guy is a legend. He will have saved more lives than breaths I will inhale this week, with his work in infectious diseases. This guy is a modern-day hero.
Dr Offit has been vilified by Dorey and her cohorts for a long time. Liz Ditz has written an excellent series of posts debunking slurs made by Dorey about Paul Offit. Dorey only ever says one true thing about Paul Offit: that he works in Philadelphia. Yet, the AVN faithful continue to restate the same slurs, without the blink of an eye.
This one was only posted yesterday:
And where did Hempel learn such niceties?
From Meryl Dorey, of course:
And the delightful, anonymous, courageous B52:
So, back to Dorey’s dossier, now that we have a slightly better understanding of just a small snapshot of the way in which Dorey conducts herself, and enables other to conduct themselves, on her fora.
This latest crusade from Dorey smacks of the narcissism for which she is now famous. The inflated conviction of her own importance (that she knows more than doctors and researchers), which is unrealistic; the paranoia which is implicit in her persistent claims that she is going to be at personal threat of real harm; her hyper-sensitivity to any valid criticisms, which she portrays to be personal threats and abuse; and roll it all up with an Almighty Messiah Complex (not that the AVN is anything like Jesus, but…)
Let’s face it: Dorey’s intent is to plug holes in a sinking ship. Much of what she has published in her dossier has been published before; just as ordinary, run-of-the-mill blog posts (which is what they were). Dorey includes no background to any of the evidence she has produced, which is in itself deceitful. Yet, the overwhelming majority of what she has published still serves to paint her in a very poor light.
I’m not making excuses for anything which is included in Dorey’s posts: far from it. Individuals need to (and in this instance they already do), take ownership of their own comments on the internet. This is a far cry from the obfuscation from Dorey and her anonymous friends, who like to vilify and slur, then, deny they did anything wrong. In effect, Dorey provides a series of comments, devoid of context as to what led to the comments being made (given all of the snippets I have provided above, you can have a guess as to what may have led to some of the comments being made). And she wraps this up in a cloak of persecution; the martyr is being unfairly treated, folks; and she is nothing like Jesus, except when she is.
Dorey has a long history of claiming that she has received real threats of violence. There has always been one major flaw in her argument: she can’t produce the evidence; or, when she does, it isn’t what she claims it to be. Therefore, the NSW Police have never acted. If there was any credible threat, we would hear about it, and we would also act swiftly and decisively. On August 22 2012, almost a fortnight ago, I posted a Public Notice to Dorey replying to what she claims were “very serious threats…from one of the more prominent member[s] of Stop the AVN”. Dorey was requested to provide contact details and incident numbers of the NSW Police, so we could also accelerate the investigation of any such behaviour. Dorey has steadfastly refused to provide us with any such information. Dorey has restated these claims a few times since, slowly watering down her initial claim that these “very serious threats” were from a prominent member of Stop the AVN.
In Dorey’s dossier on Daniel Raffaele, she again leaps from comments she publishes in her post, to inventing a real threat of harm (whilst she thought about it over night). I’ll be blunt. Daniel Raffaele’s comments are harsh: but, they are serious, and provide a very good insight into what drives some people to get Dorey to tell the truth. Dorey may have even erred grossly by publishing them. What is clear, however, is that there is nothing in Raffaele’s comments, published by Dorey, to suggest that Dorey is at risk of harm from him. To suggest otherwise will probably eventuate in blowback from making false claims about Raffaele. That doesn’t stop someone from commenting that “this guy WILL go too far, and if you are still around after he does, well, you can at least hold the police accountable for doing nothing.”
There were also some incredibly choice comments made about Raffaele on the AVN Facebook page. The whole post now appears to be gone:
And, of course, the old he doesn’t have any children…he lives with his mother comes out:
I’m actually surprised Hempel didn’t come out with something she thought was hilarious, like when discussing Daniel Raffaele, with her friend, on her old SAVN attack page:
Dorey also published a page on Peter Bowditch, which is just a reproduction of her old blog post about his dealings with the poor, innocent mum of a vaccine-injured child. I’ve covered that before in this post. I won’t bother again. Peter Bowditch has also addressed the claims made by Dorey and the poor innocent mum. The links are in my post.
Also included in Dorey’s dossier is an attack on Ken McLeod. Dorey has been lying about Ken ever since she defamed him in her HCCC Response of 2009. In that document, Dorey accused Ken McLeod of being so aggressive that she feared for her safety, and for the first time ever had to hire security at her seminars (as an aside, see this document for an insight into this lie about hiring security: Meryl Dorey and the Security Guards: May Contain Lies). The problem for Dorey arose when McLeod published his own document, proving that Dorey had lied about him: McLeod, as always, had the foresight to retain all documentation of his correspondence with Dorey. Dorey refused to respond to McLeod’s calls for a retraction, even after attempts via barristers. McLeod’s document exposing Dorey’s defamation of him is here: A RESPONSE TO MERYL DOREY’S LETTER OF 7 SEPTEMBER 2009 TO THE HCCC.
Dorey also repeats the claims that Stop the AVN was responsible for sending pornography to herself, via mail; and to AVN members, via Facebook. I’ll only state that her own Professor Brian Martin has this to say about these allegations:
Concerning AVN members receiving pornographic images, kbnz said “The article makes it sound like they were sent by SAVN members, which is completely untrue.” Peter Tierney made a similar point.
In my article, I first referred to SAVN (Stop the Australian Vaccination Network) and then referred to “Other opponents of the AVN”. That was the context for my sentence about pornographic images.
I accept and respect Peter Tierney’s rejection of such tactics. It would have been better for me to make my reference to “other opponents of the AVN” clearer by adding “separate from SAVN”.
Brian Martin has the decency to correct inaccurate comments made about Stop the AVN, regarding the pr0n allegations: one would think that Dorey would do the…oh never mind.
Dorey also includes a dossier page entitled Help the AVN Facebook Page, in which she provides evidence of the nasty Stop the AVN people. Problem is: I don’t recognise the people making distasteful remarks included in the Dorey screenshots. I attempted to comment in reply to Dorey’s accusation, but, my comment was deleted by Dorey:
Let’s just say, I have only provided a tiny portion of evidence of the activities of Meryl Dorey and her brigade of foam. There are reasons why people do not like Dorey, or what she does, or the fact that more babies will die if Dorey gets her way in reducing immunisation rates. But, we all need to be mindful of what we say online; how it can be interpreted; and how it can be misused, when devoid of context, by unscrupulous purveyors of lies and misinformation. There are really good reasons as to why we need to speak up about misinformation and lies, such as this repugnant entry posted by Dorey only two days ago:
But, the days of trolling are over. It only feeds the legitimacy of anti-vaccination liars.
Sorry for the length: there was so much to include. And there was so much which could not be included. Because Meryl Dorey was unhappy with the image at the top of this blog post, I thought I should make another one, from a newspaper photo. Please note: this image is also not a joke.
Thanks for reading.