One thing you would all recognise as a passion of mine is pointing out the breathtaking hypocrisy of the anti-vaccination pressure group, the Australian Vaccination Network.
Today started out like any other. Meryl Dorey, the anti-vaccination President of the AVN, published another blog post, further alienating herself from relevance, by comparing herself to Galileo. Yes, she really did that. It is an embarrassing piece which only deserves ridicule. This Rational Wiki post states nicely:
The Galileo gambit, or Galileo fallacy, is the notion that if you are vilified for your ideas, you must be right. It refers to Galileo Galilei’s famous persecution at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church for his defence of heliocentrism in the face of the orthodox Biblical literalism of the day. People use this argument repeatedly in response to serious criticisms that more often than not they just don’t understand.
At least she didn’t compare herself to Jesus Christ, this time.
Pretty shabby stuff. But, I want to focus upon a comment made by the AVN, on the AVN Facebook page, in reference to critics of the anti-vaccination group:
[P]seudoskeptics…are without morals and without a conscience and thank goodness, there are not many of them around.
This is common fare for those who are being held to account. We see the same tactics being employed by Alan Jones and his 2GB bosses at this very moment. Those who have spent the duration of their activism, in whatever field they are active, vilifying others as a prerequisite of their activism, suddenly play the martyr card when faced with a public revolt to their behaviour. They are being bullied by the horrid people who have no conscience. These bullies are not adhering to standards of decency. These bullies are attacking the poor messenger who is only proclaiming the truth. Martyrs all.
It is the act of the devaluation of one’s critics, to claim a false moral equivalence in one’s own defence. But, it doesn’t work when these critics have a back catalogue of the reprehensible behaviour of any martyr in question. Cry as one might, you will be held accountable for your actions. And, no amount of obfuscatory finger-pointing will make your own actions dissolve into the ether.
So, as slurs about the lack of morals and consciences of AVN critics are bandied about once more, it gives me reason to provide an anthology, thus far, of just some of the behaviour of the anti-vaccination AVN and its anti-vaccination leader.
- Contrary to proclamations by Meryl Dorey, the AVN still welcomes this individual who has sent repugnant emails to grieving parents.
- Meryl Dorey shared a post calling for the summary execution of doctors and researchers, yet waves away any hint of error on her part.
- The AVN sell all manner of questionable content in their online shop: Scientology; AIDS-Denialism; Homeopathy as infection control and prevention; dangerous/corrosive cancer cure advice; and more.
- Meryl Dorey promotes and sells this Measles disease advocacy children’s book.
- Meryl Dorey demonstrably lied about Ken McLeod, to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, in her response to Ken McLeod’s 2009 complaint.
- Meryl Dorey referred to a court-ordered vaccination as “rape of a child…without consent and with full penetration too”. Dorey also referred to pharmaceutical companies and their employees as the equivalent of paedophiles.
- Meryl Dorey sent out a press release defaming journalist Cathy O’Leary, and reiterated her defamatory claims even after being corrected.
- Meryl Dorey and her AVN spread misinformation about Chicken Pox, and mocked the Chicken Pox death of a child as an “April Fools” joke.
- Defending baby-killers, Meryl Dorey uses the term “Shaken Maybe Syndrome”, in her insistence that vaccines are the cause of death from child abuse.
- Meryl Dorey and the AVN consistently refer to critics as members of “hate groups”.
- Meryl Dorey compares herself to the French Resistance, and to ANZACs, whilst decrying critics as Nazis.
- In her attacks on critics, Meryl Dorey started filing fraudulent and vexatious copyright take-down notices.
- The AVN refer to vaccination as “criminal assaults” with dubious evidence for making such a claim.
- Meryl Dorey lied about Whooping Cough deaths, months after being publicly corrected on her same false claim.
- Meryl Dorey instigated the vilification of the McCaffery Family - who lost their baby daughter Dana to Whooping Cough - and enables this vilification to continue:
“Supposedly” (the word which started it all)
This is what Meryl Dorey said on her AVN Yahoo! Group in 2009, in her agenda of denying that Dana McCaffery died from laboratory confirmed Whooping Cough. Remember, Dorey denies that she tried to get information from Dana’s medical records:
- Meryl Dorey and the AVN still welcome this person on AVN fora. The emails sent to a grieving family are just revolting.
- Meryl Dorey and the AVN consistently attack public health officials who the AVN accuse of terrible acts of malice.
- Meryl Dorey advocated that people contact grieving families of babies who had died of SIDS, to enquire if that the child had been recently vaccinated.
- Meryl Dorey continued making fraudulent copyright claims over material which she knows she has no claim. Dorey never substantiates her ownership when any counter-notices are filed.
- When presented with information which conflicts with their message, the AVN refuse to re-invite presenters at their seminars. For the same reason, over 200 people are banned from the AVN Facebook page.
- The AVN consistently misinform parents about school immunisation and exclusion policies, even after being corrected many times.
- The AVN Facebook page, apart from Meryl Dorey, appears to be run by a bunch of administrators who appear to have the courage to say whatever they like, about whoever they like, anonymously.
- Meryl Dorey likes to claim she is being misrepresented by her own words.
- Meryl Dorey callously accused the coroner of Natalie Morton of being involved in a “cover-up”, in her pursuit of blaming Natalie’s cancer death on the HPV vaccine. An AVN member also accused Natalie’s father of being paid off in this cover-up.
- Meryl Dorey consistently claims that Measles is a harmless rite of passage. Remember “you didn’t die of it 30 years ago, and you’re not going to die from it today”?
And they have the temerity to accuse others of not having morals, nor possessing a conscience.
You know what?
I am having a great deal of difficulty aligning both my morals and my conscience with the values of Meryl Dorey and the Australian Vaccination Network.
Update October 10 2012: the next day
I want to provide a real-time example of the hypocrisy of the Australian Vaccination Network. This example of hypocrisy is a daily occurrence. This example is especially pertinent as it appears on the very link provided by Dorey, as noted at the top of my post, where she compares herself to Galileo, and describes herself as a martyr “on the stake”:
As happens every single day, Meryl Dorey and her anti-vaccination organisation provide the evidence of their own deceit.