Australian Skeptic of the Year 2014

It was with quite some delight and surprise that I found out I was the winner of the Australian Skeptic of the Year gong, awarded by the Australian Skeptics, today. It was, indeed, a pleasant interruption to my usual program of furrowed-brow-fueled curmudgeonality.

I share this award with all of you who have contributed in any way to the blog, wherever in the world you reside. Thank you for all of your help.

As I was unable to attend the Convention my very good friend, Ken McLeod, accepted the award on my behalf:

First of all, a huge thank you to the Committee of Australian Skeptics, my anonymous nominator, and everyone assembled here. I apologise for my non-attendance, but, it really couldn’t be helped.

I also want to acknowledge the crucial ongoing assistance from Stop the AVN, and the Friends of Science in Medicine. The message would not get out without them.

There is a huge range of people upon whom I lean to do what I do. This is a group effort, and I thank you all.

First, there’s about 50 or so individuals who are always available as confidantes. They know who they are.

Second, there is another important group who contribute video uploading, commentary, tip-offs, and corrections; and where would any self-deprecating blogger be without their testimonials page filled with amusing unmentionables and the odd death threat.

Third, I want to acknowledge the slowly increasingly group of moderate chiropractors who are now finding their voice and speaking out against the vitalists. The private messages of support I have received from formerly alien individuals have, at times, taken my breath away. The moderate chiropractors need all the help we can afford them.

Finally, I want to thank my kids who are very, very patient, and occasionally help out.

Australian Skeptics AwardsPhoto courtesy of Shelley Stocken.

Funnily enough, a chiropractor is included on my testimonials page for asking his colleagues, of me, “is he Ken McLeod?”

Well…maybe he is, chiropractor.

Maybe he is.


In other great news, the wonderful people at the Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters won The Thornett Award for the Promotion of Reason [my bold]:

The Thornett Award for the Promotion of Reason commemorates Fred Thornett, a Tasmanian Skeptic who died in 2009. In true awards fashion, we call it “The Fred”. The Fred acknowledges a member of the public or a public figure who has made a significant contribution to educating or informing the public regarding issues of science and reason. In addition to a commemorative certificate, $1000 is awarded to the recipient or to a charity or cause of their choice.

Given the calibre of previous winners, they are now in fine company, indeed.

Posted in chiropractic, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network | Tagged , , | 33 Comments

“Shit on the door step” of immunisation providers, urge Newcastle’s Healing Wave chiropractors

As we’ve come to learn, chiropractors get themselves in trouble due to their own rash actions and claims. Some chiropractors at Healing Wave Chiropractic in Newcastle appear to do this a bit.

Bryce Fleming is a chiropractor at the Warners Bay Healing Wave business. We’ve met him before in my post regarding chiropractors who brag about sneaking into hospitals, without permission, to treat their customers. Fleming stated that the more confident you are, the less questions get asked:

CAA Hospital 12 FlemingTim Shakespeare is a regular attendee on this blog. He featured only very recently due to his penchant for breaching advertising guidelines, as well as for his anti-vaccinationism, among other things. Shakespeare is the principal chiropractor at Healing Wave’s Mayfield business.

Well, today they’ve outdone themselves. In a crystal clear display of their revulsion for vaccines, and towards anyone who provides vaccines, they’ve also gone full bogan.

On June 9 2014, Fleming took a photo of a medical practice, somewhere out near Parramatta, showing his disdain for the provision of an influenza immunisation:


In reply, Shakespeare advocates defecating on the door step of the medical practice. The comment is liked by Fleming:

Attack now! Full force. Take the sign… shit on the door step.

Fleming condones Shakespeare’s proposed course of action:

Hahaha classic!

Shakes 103 shit on the doorstpe of fluvax prov FlemingIf the Chiropractic Board of Australia, the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, and the owners of Healing Wave Chiropractic don’t take action against these guys, then, we know that any pretense of being a reputable health profession is erased.

Note: Fleming’s post was made under the public setting. It is clear that he uses his Facebook profile for Healing Wave, and for chiropractic/wellness business activities. Therefore, the comments made by him, and by Shakespeare, are being made as registered Australian health practitioners, in the public domain:

Fleming 2 HW link

Posted in anti-vaccination dishonesty, chiropractic, Immunisation, stop the australian vaccination network | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Honk if you want a chiropractic college in South Australia

On November 11 2014 there will be an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (South Australia). The meeting has been called so as to request the use of CAA SA members’ funds to further investigate the creation of a chiropractic college in South Australia:

CAA SA 7 letter collegeI can’t help but get a little teary-eyed with remembrance of anti-vaccine chiropractor posts past when I hazily gaze upon the names of the board members of the College Working Party set up to get this little engine chuffing.

But first it is important to remember: these six people are in charge of guiding the CAA SA to the creation of a chiropractic college; they are a steering committee. As you read on, ask yourself what this college will be teaching its students, if it gets up. Ask yourself why they are intent on creating a college outside of already established university curricula which are increasingly focused on more evidence-based practises. Ask yourself why a chiropractic representative body is intent on spending its members’ funds on this college.

We met CAA SA president Andrew Timbs in  Anti-vaccine chiropractors 8. A quick catch-up of his Facebook page uncovered this extraordinary post, which would appear to be in breach of several sections of the Code of conduct for chiropractors:

Timbs 4 explain Lipitor to clientsHopefully someone will notify the Chiropractic Board of Australia of Timbs’ post, and let the CBA decide.

Mario Stefano first made it into  Anti-vaccine chiropractors 29. I only had cause to Tweet about Stefano again yesterday, with this post which speaks loudly to why I think the new college is being sought. You see, they just don’t teach this stuff in university any more:

Stefano 19 subluxations innate intelligenceThey want to bring the BJ back into tertiary chiropractic.

Brett Hill is one of my favourites. Hill was instrumental in promoting the anti-vaccine film, Doctored, in Australia. He was on the board of the CAA SA when they – and this is not a joke – hired Meryl Dorey to provide CPD training for chiropractors. Hill was also a member of Kathy Scarborough’s dishonest anti-vaccine organisation, VISA. But that’s not all – as Bob Hale would exclaim – because Hill is also a member of the anti-vaccine wellness evangelicals. He’s a busy man, especially now that chef Pete Evans is one of their regulars. Hill posted recently that he was attending the CAA National’s National Development Forum, and that he was learning about subluxations. Just for the record, I am told that the study of the subluxation was not on the menu. It’s true that we see what we want to see:

Hill 28 NDF subluxationI’ve never really come across Aaron Scott before. A quick perusal of his online presence told me all I need to know in relation to this post. From his website:

Scott 1 Vertebral subluxationFrom Scott’s Facebook page:

Scott 2 subluxationsHayden Belle is similarly quiet online. His business website is quite clear about the basis of its practise:

Belle 1 subluxation websiteFinally we come to Patrick Sim, who also presided over the CAA SA decision to hire Meryl Dorey to teach chiropractors about immunisation. Sim is again on the board of the CAA National, having just been elected on the ticket of Helen Alevaki, a subluxationist who is known for sneaking into hospital maternity units without permission. Alevaki is also a member of the anti-vaccine chiropractic organisation, the ICPA. She also lists the poorly evidenced Webster Technique among her qualifications. Sim’s website provides an indication of the basis of his treatments:

Sim 2 subluxationSo, all in all that’s pretty clear: the board of the CAA SA College Working Party, who is charged with the creation of a new chiropractic college, is inhabited by  vitalists, or subluxationists. I believe the aims are now obvious, given this college is to be created outside the already  existing evidence-reliant chiropractic university courses. It’s a new vitalistic chiropractic college. I’m imagining there are to be busts of the Palmers in the forecourt.

I also had a look at the company charged with investigating the viability of this new college. Blue Egg Global Education lists its achievements on its website. It is an education consulting company charged with seeking accreditation for what appears to be mainly alternative health modalities. Here are the relevant successes as alluded to in the CAA SA letter:

Blue Egg 1 accreditation of BCCDid you see that? It’s not a joke. They’re not being ironic. They’re not hipsters. That’s Comic Sans. The. Whole. Page.

I took a quick look at the Facebook page of the Barcelona College of Chiropractic, which is one of the successes – I admit I already knew what was coming here – and with a quick scroll this appeared:

BCC 1 vitalism inherent

Look. If all of the moderate chiropractors in Australia don’t stand up and get outraged about the pillaging of their reputations, then, we can only stand back and watch their reputations burn to the ground. As long as the majority of moderate chiropractors stand silent the vitalists are going to pretend they represent all of you. And as long as the majority stand silent and ignore breaches of the Code of conduct, and the Guidelines for advertising,  without lodging notifications, then, the bonfire is being fed. Stop enabling them with silence.

Does the Australian chiropractic profession want a new college, operating outside the universities, fueled by vitalism and Comic Sans?

Clown collegeSource: Reddit

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

The precedent-setting chiropractor, Tim Shakespeare – with a DeMoss chaser

All Australian chiropractors must operate according to Codes of Conduct and Guidelines for advertising regulated health services. Here is a little snapshot of the advertising guidelines as set out under the National Law. As you can see it could get quite expensive, should they ever be enforced:

AHPRA 2 Prohibited advertising under the National Law

Tim Shakespeare is a New South Wales chiropractor who lives and breathes (and trims and dresses) the vitalistic or subluxationist chiropractic philosophy. I prefer to let his comrades explain the evidence base for this school of thought:

Shakes 97 Snodgrass the depth of our way profile picHmmmm. Deeepth.

Not only does Shakespeare have hands of depth, he is also the principal chiropractor at Newcastle’s Healing Wave Chiropractic – the Mayfield shop:

Shakes 94 principal chiro at Mayfield LinkedinA couple of months ago a mural was painted on the Mayfield premises, and it made a big, bold claim we’ve seen many times:


Did you know

Chiropractic Care Can

Boost Immune Function


Shakes 92 clear mural original

We’ve seen the claim many times on Facebook and other sites, and the claim is utterly false; but no one had ever possessed the moxy of Shakespeare, painting it on a building. But, that wasn’t the only place the claim was made. Here’s the local newspaper:

Shakes 81 Newcastle Herald ad immune boost
Have you seen our

NEW mural at Mayfield?

Damn straight we saw it. Both advertisements are a clear breach of the guidelines, and a complaint was lodged about both versions.

Courting controversy is not a new concept to Shakespeare. When Chiropractors’ Association of Australia president Laurie Tassell thundered his warning at last year’s National Development Forum, Shakespeare and others were firmly in his sights:

The damage to the profession from the unprofessional use of social media…bragging about entering hospitals without permission and posting photos with well known speakers openly critical of vaccination are not acceptable.

(Remember that bit about the hospitals for later down the page).

Indeed, Shakespeare’s online anti-vaccinationism, culminating with a picture pretending to shoot-up vaccines, was the final straw for the CAA NSW, who finally divested itself of Shakespeare and his embarrassing antics.

It didn’t help that a raft of CAA chiropractors were caught out bragging about sneaking into hospitals without permission, Shakespeare being among them. It didn’t help again that many of them were CAA board members from around the country.

In fact, far from ceasing the behaviour as alluded to above, by Tassell, Shakespeare cranked it up a few notches. In this year alone Shakespeare has travelled to the US to appear with anti-vaccine chiropractors Tim O’Shea and Billy DeMoss, at DeMoss’ Dead Chiropractic Society. They even made a YouTube video of their meeting, referring to students as “arrogant”, and to vaccines as “vaginitis”. Shakespeare also appeared in one of DeMoss’ YouTube episodes, Chiropractors in Cars,  in which he manages to denigrate Australian chiropractors, and chiropractic, as well as having some pretty insulting things to say about new grads who don’t subscribe to his philosophy. The word “sheeple” even gets a run, as well as again referring to vaccination as “vagination”, a couple of times. Both videos are highly inappropriate, in content and context:

Shakes 99 DeMoss chiros in cars dissing Aust chiro V-word

And not one to be told when to cool his heels, Shakespeare is also booked to speak at next year’s CalJam, among a whole collection of anti-vaccinationists:

Shakes 100 CalJam 2015 speakers Wakefield DeMoss O'Shea Mercola etcAnd here’s the rub: Shakespeare sounds bad, right? He sounds like a naughty child who is acting out? Hey, he has every right to behave as he wishes. He just has to wear the consequences. But, there are other senior CAA chiropractors who also regularly hang out with DeMoss and Wakefield, and those like them. Simon Floreani and his wife Jennifer Barham-Floreani really couldn’t seem to care. It’s like they are daring anyone to have a go at them. Here they are duck-facing with DeMoss, recently:

JBF 28 Chirofest with Simon Floreani and DeMossAnd that was not the only time the Floreanis have been about and about with the cream of anti-vaccinationism. Here they are recently with Andrew Wakefield. And let’s not forget the president of the Australian Spinal Research Foundation, Martin Harvey, sharing a conference bill with Wakefield, and Jennifer Barham-Floreani. Even turbo-wealth chiro-guy, Laurence Tham, couldn’t stay away from DeMoss’ Dead Chiropractic Society. And what ties them all together nicely, apart from chiropractic? They are all supporters of the thoroughly discredited and deranged Australian Vaccination skeptics Network.

And it is here we must pause for a brief interlude so as to explore Billy DeMoss at his finest. I didn’t even need to delve back very far into the archives for these examples, all having taken place in the last few weeks. Here is some mood music to get you through the pain:

©1964 Verve Records

It is quite important to include these five DeMoss examples, as it becomes immediately apparent the sort of person, or health professional, these chiropractors deem to be appropriate companions. Quite contrary to DeMoss’ online ramblings about trolls and skeptics being big haters or meaners, I delight in seeing his posts. I have been drawn to many Australian and overseas chiropractors due only to their consorting with DeMoss; or, as I like to call him, The Big Red Flag of Orange County.

1. DeMoss really thinks drug pushing paediatricians are destroying children, and he is actually proud that Orange County has the lowest immunisation rate in the United States [update next day: OC doesn’t have the lowest immunisation rates in the US. I checked with some US friends]:

DeMoss 195 antivax County

2. DeMoss really thinks there is no pharmacological difference between a line of cocaine, and a measured, prescribed dose of Adderall. He really thinks there is no difference between a shot of heroin, and a measured, prescribed dose of oxycodone:

DeMoss 196 pharmacology skills3. DeMoss really believes that the whole evidence based healthcare system is one huge experiment in which all participants have been brainwashed and drugged:

DeMoss 197 flu shot mammogram etc4. DeMoss really, really does believe that chemtrails are part of a sinister plan to drug the population by stealth. What is really surprising here is that he throws in the very real possibility (in his head) that Ebola will be spread via chemtrails, just because. You read that right:

DeMoss 198 chemtrails ebola spread by aerosol5. And now the pièce de résistance. DeMoss has managed to secure Alex Jones for next year’s CalJam. That’s right, Shakespeare will be appearing on the same bill as this enraged spittle-flecker from Infowars:

DeMoss 199 Alex Jones at next CalJamNow, getting back to Shakespeare and, more importantly, that mural. As I’ve already told you there’s currently a complaint in about the mural and the associated newspaper ad. What I can say with assurance is that the complaint progressed past the assessment stage, and is currently, technically, still under investigation. What I can also say, with utter certainty, is that the mural was painted over, and replaced with a recalcitrant little message for the public, and the HCCC:


Did you know






Shakes 90 mural painted overI’m wondering where we’ve heard that phrase before: “reasonable expectations”?

Here it is, from the Guidelines for advertising regulated health services:

6.2.4 Unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment

Section 133 of the National Law states:

  1. A person must not advertise a regulated health service, or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that

        D. Creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment

Breaches of that section also carry $5000 (practitioner), and $10,000 fines (body corporate).  It will be interesting once the findings are handed down to see if any fines were imposed. I’m yet to hear of any in the last year, despite the chest-thumping of the Chiropractic Board of Australia.

What we do have here, though, is a precedent. Shakespeare has really dropped his colleagues in it this time. Everywhere we see the “200-400%” claim, we can be assured that a breach is occurring. And it’s all thanks to Shakespeare.

There is another topic which needs addressing before we finish up. The Chiropractors’ Association of Australia is currently having its national elections. I raise this because these elections are sending s some very concerning messages to onlookers. Gone will be the days of Laurie Tassell thundering his expectations that chiropractors behave themselves.

One of the chiropractors vying for presidency is Joe Ierano, who featured in one of my posts at the start of this journey. He is really trying to distance himself from his recent past. Frankly, personally, I don’t believe him. It isn’t Ierano on whom I want to focus. It is the other runner, Helen Alevaki.

Helen Alevaki made it into my post about chiropractors sneaking into hospitals. At that stage she was already CAA VIC president. Remember what the still-president Tassell had to say about these activities:

Alevaki 1 sneaks into maternity wards to check babiesAlevaki is also a subluxationist to the core. From her website:

Alevaki 5 subluxations web pageAnd Alevaki is a member of the anti-vaccine, subluxationist US organisation, ICPA, run by the anti-vaccine Jeanne Ohm:

Alevaki 6 ICPA ASRF member

So, in my opinion, Australian chiropractic is staring down a barrel. This could be a point of no return.

There is a reason I raise the candidature of Alevaki at this time. She has the full, public support of Tim Shakespeare:

Shakes 96 profile backing Alevaki for president CAAAnd, recently, a flyer was posted out by the Alevaki team. It included many names who were willing to back her ticket, in writing: of the 42 names, 20 have appeared in the pages of my blog, either due to anti-vaccinationism, or sneaking into hospitals, or both. That is really bad. Included in that list are former CAA National and NSW board members, Tony Croke, Nimrod Weiner, and Shakespeare. All three had their terms ended prematurely.

Of Alevaki’s three running mates only Patrick Sim has featured in my blog, for anti-vaccinationism. Courtesy of Shakespeare, again, here is his ballot paper which was posted on Facebook. Man, he really wants Alevaki to get in:

Shakes 101 CAA ballot paperI’m not going to say any more. I don’t need to. Australian chiropractic is sliding quickly back into an evidence-free zone. What it does from here is its own problem. But, sheesh, I wouldn’t want to be an Australian chiropractor right about now.

Posted in anti-vaccination dishonesty, australian vaccination network, AVN, chiropractic, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Whooping cough claims another life in NSW

It is with sadness that we hear of the death of another infant from Pertussis, in New South Wales. There are many silent tears being shed, right now, for this family.

The Australian Medical Association (NSW) have issued the following press release:

AMA (NSW) President: Tragic reminder of the importance of vaccination

AMA (NSW) is reminding parents to check their children’s immunisations are up-to-date following the death of a NSW infant from whooping cough.

“This is a tragic reminder of why vaccination is so important and why herd immunity is necessary to protect the most vulnerable members of our society.

“No parent should have to lose a baby to whooping cough.

“Once an infant is infected, this is a disease that can kill, despite the best efforts of parents and doctors, and the only protection we have is from vaccination,” AMA (NSW) President, Dr Saxon Smith, said.

“Some people cannot be vaccinated due to allergy or because they are too young to receive a particular vaccine.

“Their protection from diseases like whooping cough comes from herd immunity which is provided by the rest of us when vaccination rates are high,” Dr Smith, said.

“The best way to ensure you and your family are protected from diseases like whooping cough is to ensure your vaccinations, and your children’s, are up-to-date.

“This is especially important for young children, who are more vulnerable to the effects of many vaccine-preventable diseases,” Dr Smith said.

“High vaccination rates increase the effectiveness of herd immunity and stop diseases like whooping cough from getting a hold in the community.

“This is the only way we can protect the youngest of children, who do not receive their first vaccination for whooping cough until two months of age and don’t have full immunity until six months.

“However, they are the ones who can suffer the worst effects from the disease,” Dr Smith said.

“NSW Health provides a free smartphone reminder app for parents to remind them when their kids’ vaccinations fall due.

“I would encourage all parents of young children to use the Save the Date app,” Dr Smith said.

You can find out more about the NSW Health smartphone app for Android and iPhone here.

Media contact: Lachlan Jones (02) 9902 8113 / 0419 402 955

At this time no one needs to speculate about this tragedy. The family is going through the worst of times as it is. They just need love. They just need support.

Posted in Pertussis | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Anti-vaccine chiropractors redux 8 – the deed is done

Brian Johnson is a chiropractor from the US who has set up his business at West End Chiropractic and Wellness Centre, in Brisbane. He runs a Facebook page for the business. He also runs an open Facebook profile under the name “Brian Johnson DC”. If that isn’t an official chiropractor’s Facebook profile, used for professional purposes, I don’t know what is.

Let’s get straight into it. The first post is so embarrassing that we should probably just drop the mike after viewing it. Sharing a post from esteemed, world-renowned chiropractic researcher – I’m serious – Deed Harrison, Johnson gives us a stark insight into what is classed as high quality, peer-reviewed literature in the world of vitalistic, anti-vaccine chiropractic [my bold]:

I often get the question why my kids are not vaccinated. And quit often my partner Paola Velez is often made to feel like we are being irresponsible parents. It’s an easy burden for me to bear for the health of my children however I often get upset at the way her “friends” treat her regarding our choice for our children. One even had the audacity to suggest it was “child abuse”.We do not take any choice regarding our childrens health lightly and have done extensive research. I’ve even had Post Graduate Education regarding the mechanisms that vaccines use as well as the research on vaccine related injuries. So for anyone who questions why we make these choices for our family please take the time to review the PEER REVIEWED Medical research listed below.
(We love you all and understand you are viewing the world through your paradigm and experiences…. please understand we are doing the same…

Johnson 19 shared Deed Harrisons list vaccines cause autismThe rest of the text added by Johnson is the original work of Deed Harrison:

Vaccination Using Human Fetal Cells, Hg (ethyl mercury really) and Autism Incidence is Correlated and/or Associated in 4 recent reports:



“Thus, rising autistic disorder prevalence is directly related to vaccines manufactured utilizing human fetal cells. Increased paternal age and DSM revisions were not related to rising autistic disorder prevalence.”


“Association study”

“The present study provides new epidemiologic evidence showing that African American males receiving the MMR vaccine prior to 24 months of age or 36 months of age are more likely to receive an autism diagnosis”


“the present study significantly associates organic-Hg exposure from T-HBV with an increased risk of an ND diagnosis” where ND is Neuro-developmental disorders.


“Routine childhood vaccination is an important public health tool to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with infectious diseases, but the present study provides new epidemiological evidence supporting an association between increasing organic-Hg exposure from Thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines and the subsequent risk of an ASD diagnosis”

My Kids are NOT VACCINATED! And they will not be under my watch–just a personal opinion based on reading evidence on both sides.

Enjoy your night.

Deed Harrison

Okay, I don’t usually go through examples of anti-vaccinationism by these chiropractors; but, to give you a really quick insight into the minds of these guys, let’s have a look at the citations:

1. This paper is so bad that he must be trolling. But, he’s not. Orac ripped through it here:  Religious fundamentalists try to prove fetal DNA in vaccines causes autism and fail.

2. The disgraced, retracted Hooker paper.

3. Geiers.

4. Geiers.

That’s it. That is the sort of “PEER REVIEWED Medical research” presented by chiropractors in defence of their anti-vaccinationism. It is almost funny. Almost. This is the sort of responses they invariably receive. From underneath Johnson’s post:

Johnson 20 followers praising him for that screed*shudder*

Johnson’s professional profile contains much more anti-vaccinationism. Recently the flavour of the month has been the Hooker paper, since retracted, and all sorts of incorrect claims surrounding it. I think iReport may have removed this inaccurate blog post from its create-your-own-article site:

Johnson 21 340% autism increase fraudAnd where would any North American – and Australian – chiropractor be without citing the big kahuna, Andrew Wakefield; the guy who outed the supposed “CDC whistle-blower” without his permission. Nice guy Andy:

Johnson 22 whisteblower video Wakefield via DeMossOf course we see all sorts of claims surrounding death by Gardasil; but, we never see any retractions or corrections when they make false claims, or even when they are just JAQing off:

Johnson 23 HPV girl dead hours laterHere is an excellent related post shared from Billy DeMoss – in obligatory DeMoss Sans™ – again claiming multiple deaths from the HPV vaccine. What the grunts on Johnson’s page won’t ever hear is that the claim is untrue; or that DeMoss thinks like he writes:

Johnson 5 DeMoss Gardasil causes cancer dope pushers etc

Earlier this year Johnson shared this post from the anti-vaccine organisation, NVIC, claiming that vaccines are not safe:

Johnson 4 NVIC vaccines not safeJohnson would also have his followers believe that flu vaccines are just the same as cigarettes:

Johnson 7 dangers of vaccines memeEven back in 2010 Johnson was sharing the lie that vaccines cause autism, exhorting his faithful: “Finally!! Please educate yourself”:

Johnson 17 vaccines cause autism 2010And, finally, in anti-vaccine related skullduggery, Johnson shared this vile post which warns parents off getting the Vitamin K shot for their newborn. Because everyone loves a dead baby, right?

Johnson 27 Vit K Pathways MercolaWe get the usual vitalistic chiropractic unfounded claims as well. Ear infections:

Johnson 8 ear infectionsAnd the claim that chiropractic adjustments boost your immunity. 400% is WAY over 9000, you guys:

Johnson 13 boost immunity 400%Earlier this year Billy DeMoss called out for a “TOR” in Brisbane. Much to DeMoss’ chagrin, I’m sure, we love seeing him post, and getting himself involved in Australian chiropractic:

Johnson 16 DeMoss referralFar from what DeMoss believes – that he is having an impact because he has more page likes – his association with any Australian chiropractors sets them aside from their peers as people of poor repute, to be investigated further. DeMoss is a red flag, and it helps that he is extremely loud.

Anyway, Johnson answered DeMoss’ call, which is how I first noticed him, back in January.  So, Johnson classes himself as a “subluxation based TOR”, yet, does not make any mention of this on his website. Given this is the basis of Johnson’s beliefs, as outed by DeMoss, I wanted to have a look at just some of the anti-vaccine Johnson’s customers who appear in his Facebook advertising. There are too many to include all of them.

A baby first adjusted when he was two weeks old:

Johnson 11 babyAnother baby getting adjusted for some reason, including the claim, “Chiropractic families are the happiest families”. I would like to see that advertising claim tested:

Johnson 25 baby activator chiro are happiest familiesAnd Johnson does not limit himself to humans:

Johnson 24 labradorOf course, this wouldn’t be a post on anti-vaccine chiropractors without the mandatory screenshot of their banned/prohibited testimonials:

Johnson 26 testimonialsI always wonder, I do, when the Chiropractic Board of Australia is going to get around to conducting their promised audits, delivered from on high in their August 8 2013 chest-thumping media release. Scrolling through a Facebook page and looking at the content is quite easy. One might even claim that anyone could do it. They even have these Advertising guidelines which the CBA could apply:

AHPRA 2 Prohibited advertising under the National Law

Posted in anti-vaccination dishonesty, chiropractic, skeptic | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Letting the anti-vaccine freak flag fly – Ohm fires off a last one before teaching CAA members

Tomorrow US-based, anti-vaccine, subluxationist chiropractor Jeanne Ohm will be teaching Australian chiropractors at the CAA NSW AGM seminar sessions. Ohm will be teaching Australian chiropractors the speculative (at best) Webster technique, and CPD points will be granted. Chiropractors’ Association of Australia NSW president Joe Ierano – himself a former member of the disgraced anti-vaccine outfit the Australian Vaccination skeptics Network – is now very, very aware of the poor decision of bringing Ohm here, as are his other board members.

Jeanne Ohm is also the CEO of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, the ICPA. It is also a demonstrably rabid anti-vaccination organisation. 155 Australian chiropractors are members of the ICPA.

Again, 155 Australian chiropractors are ICPA members.

Ohm shared this, this morning, via “Team Wakefield”:

Ohm 25 via Team Wakefield deadly impossibility of herd immunityAnd, because the anti-vaccine Ohm is also the CEO of the anti-vaccine paediatric organisation - the ICPA – the ICPA also shared the same deranged post, via “Team Wakefield”:

ICPA 9 via Team Wakefield deadly impossibility of herd immunitySo, how good was that decision to hire Jeanne Ohm? And why does anyone who was involved in that decision still have a position at the CAA NSW?

This is the board of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, NSW:

Joe Ierano – president

Angus Steventon – vice president

Larry Whitman – treasurer

Leanne Jenkins – secretary

Christine Berman – executive member

Dennis Jang – executive member

Who made the decision that it was appropriate to secure the services of the anti-vaccine Ohm? It was at least one of the above people. It may have been all of them. Who knows? Ohm’s activities are already widely known. Who is going to take responsibility for the presence of an anti-vaccine activist who teaches baseless and speculative content to registered Australian chiropractors, which is done on behalf of AHPRA and the Chiropractic Board of Australia?

Where is the transparency and where is the accountability which are owed to CAA members, and the broader community?

At the very least it is now apparent that the right to secure and teach professional training on behalf of the CBA and AHPRA should be stripped from all CAA associations – state and national. For goodness sake,  in only the last few years they had anti-vaccinationists providing CPD training in a couple of states (two state board members from this latter one are now on the national board). And the only reason they stopped is because they got caught! And two board members of the CAA national board are also board members of the anti-vaccine-ridden, subluxation-based research organisation, the Australian Spinal Research Foundation! Is there any wonder why observers are justifiably perplexed?

Yet CAA board members around the country dig their heels in and shoot the messengers. All of this bad publicity is the fault of the nasty skeptics, and other critics, they claim.

Listen, if someone defecates in the middle of your lounge-room floor, I’m going to point it out. Especially when it is a concern for public health. Your act of ignoring it, and blaming me and others for pointing it out, doesn’t negate the need for the carpet cleaners. Pick up your shit, CAA board members. You created it.

I hope the board members of the CBA are really sitting up in their boardroom chairs. Perusing the interests and claims of CAA board members around the country, this is only going to get worse.

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

Anti-vaccine chiropractors redux 7 – HANDS OFF THE BABIES

With many thanks to Ebony, who commented on the Stop the Australian (anti) Vaccination Network Facebook page, today we tone it down a little compared to the previous two anti-vaccine chiropractors. This doesn’t mean this post contains anything appropriate, or what we might expect to call “evidence-based”. It’s just the crazy hasn’t been ramped up like the previous chiropractors.

Ms Amanda Boyd is a chiropractor who owns Flemington Chiropractic in Melbourne. She is a member of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia. She is/was a member of the thoroughly disgraced anti-vaccination group, the Australian Vaccination (now) skeptics Network.  Boyd’s website bio also states that she is a member of the anti-vaccine, subluxationist, US-based organisation, ICPA, which is headed by anti-vaccine chiropractor Jeanne Ohm:

Boyd 1 bio ICPA Webster CAAIt is clear from Boyd’s Chiropractic web page that she is an adherent of the vitalistic, or subluxationist, movement of chiropractic; which has as its major stumbling block the small impediment that subluxations aren’t a thing which is a thing in the minds of non-subluxationists like you and me:

Boyd 1 subluxations websiteOkay, now we know what it is, or isn’t, Boyd treats, or does not really treat, we can skip over to her Chiro 4 KIDS web page. You can see that Boyd is making some pretty big claims about chiropractic being able to treat some pretty specific issues [my bold]:

There are many common childhood problems that Chiropractic is beginning to show effectiveness in treating.

If you wish to find out more on the current level of research supporting the effectiveness of Chiropractic in treating ear infections, infantile colic, bedwetting, asthma, scoliosis, ADHD and headaches, to learn more about chiropractic care for children -go to…

And if you look at the bottom of the image you’ll see that Boyd links directly to the website of the maladjusted, anti-vaccine AVsN – this is on a kid-specific health information page:

Boyd 1 website AVN ICPA claimsBoyd has been quite careful to keep anti-vaccine stuff off her Facebook page. But – and if you were going to delete any anti-vaccine stuff from your Facebook page, really, you’d do this first – look who remains, from 2013: VINE, and a post which states vaccines have caused 145,000 deaths in the last twenty years. Astonishing:

Boyd 8 145000 deaths from vaccines VINESo, we have a known member (past or present) of an Australian anti-vaccination organisation, an organisation which totes an albatross around its soiled neck in the form of a Public Health Warning from the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission; a person who is also a member of an anti-vaccine, US-based chiropractic organisation which calls itself “paediatric”, the leader of which is demonstrably anti-vaccine, who just so happens to teach the Webster technique in prenatal care, just like this chiropractor (for a most excellent exposé of the baseless Webster technique, which is being taught at the CAA NSW AGM seminar weekend, in two days, see this post by Dr Mick Vagg in The Conversation); a person who is demonstrably treating patients according to the outdated and evidence-free tenets of vitalism and the subluxation; and this person treats babies.

I want to show you an excerpt from Murdoch University’s chiropractic department’s about page. Specifically, what Murdoch has to say about the treatment of infants and children, and what claims can be made about certain treatments. It ends with this sentence:

Musculo-skeletal conditions in infants are uncommon as babies are delivered with mostly pristine spines.

Murdoch 1 MSK babies pristine asthma bedwetting ear infectionIf you need to, feel free to scroll back up the page and compare the following images with what the evidence-based chiropractic department at Murdoch has to say above about some childhood conditions, and the manipulation of babies, and whether or not it is advocated by evidence-based practitioners, or indeed required.

You see, I have a real ethical objection to any health care professional using babies and children in their advertising – and let’s not be mistaken, this is advertising and seen as such by the CBA – and I am starting to believe that the use of babies and children by these subluxationist chiropractors would constitute breaches of the advertising guidelines I have previously included, which cover the encouragement of the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of a health service. All of the following images [redactions mine] are advertising for the purposes of promoting a service, the adjustment of babies and children, for which there is little to no clinical indication, and which is not substantiated by any robust evidence.

Boyd 1 kids babyIf there is some risk, and no benefit (in this plane of reality anyway), then, why is this okay?

Boyd 2 14 day old babyI placed these two images side-by-side for the purposes of this post; they appear as consecutive, vertical posts on Facebook. Apart from some coincidental change in this baby’s demeanors, one day apart (obviously it is cranky baby versus happy baby – go figure, right parents?), what merit is there in this chiropractor making any claim of successful treatment? And this chiropractor is doing just that, as advertising. Confirmation bias is a helluva drug, boys:

Boyd 5 comparison of baby pre post chiroApparently chiropractic makes your kids “chilled out”. Another advertisement offering expectations to those who would be reading. A clear breach of the advertising guidelines:

Boyd 6 5 week old babyNow we come to the mostly meme-based claims. Remember what Murdoch University has to say about them.

Chiropractic is absolutely magic! It will even stave off tonsillitis, as well as the usual inane clown posse of claims, just with the power of adjustments:

Boyd 3 meme inferring less allergies tonsilitis ear infections asthmaDon’t forget, children have nervous systems which can only be freed up by chiropractors who can rid the nervous system of the subluxations:

Boyd 4 Ohm restore nerve system function Pathways meme95% of infants have misalignments after birth? It says it right here. But, hang on a minute, Murdoch University’s chiropractic department says that babies are born with “mostly pristine spines” and that “musculo-skeletal conditions in infants are uncommon”. I just don’t know who to believe any more: a university which roots itself firmly on the side of evidence, or a chiropractic Facebook meme:

Boyd 7 95% babies misalignments

All of the above chiropractic memes are absolutely ubiquitous to the Facebook pages of subluxationist chiropractors. And they are only few grains of sand compared to the unsavoury beach of chiropractic advertising. What you have just seen is extremely common. Are you depressed, yet?

Here’s a message for the Chiropractic Board of Australia, and the various CAA outlets around the nation: you will never be taken seriously while the subluxationists and anti-vaccinationists speak for you on your boards and in the media and on their own Facebook pages. And you will never be taken seriously when the premier chiropractic research organisation in this country, the Australian Spinal Research Foundation, steeped in anti-vaccinationism and founded on subluxations, exists.

Posted in anti-vaccination dishonesty, australian vaccination network, Health Care Complaints Commission, meryl dorey, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Anti-vaccine chiropractors redux 6 – Fruit Mumma

In my most recent post in this series,  Anti-vaccine chiropractors redux 5 – so bad it’s like we stepped in something, or Clicking the Pug, I included several of the Chiropractic Board of Australia’s codes and guidelines, as well as statements by the CBA, and the president of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, regarding the very subject matter included here. It may be worth having a quick read if you aren’t aware of the professional requirements to which chiropractors must adhere.

On to today’s talent.*

My friend Rosalie introduced me to Fruit Mumma. My friend said Fruit Mumma is a chiropractor. So I thought I’d better see for myself. Yes, indeed, Fruit Mumma is a chiropractor and advertises herself, and trades on her profession, as such:

McBurnie 1 about page chiropractorI asked Fruit Mumma if the name I suspected to be hers indeed matched up with the AHPRA registration number I found. Instead of answering my simple question, she wanted to be a smartarse:

McBurnie 1 registration question So I checked for myself by going to her website:

McBurnie 1 website aboutAnd I also checked her Facebook profile, which is often linked from the Fruit Mumma page. Meet Ms Carlie McBurnie, who is indeed a registered chiropractor, who plies her business at Chiro & More in Victoria. Her business partners will thank her later, I’m sure:

McBurnie 21 profile pic chiropractor at Chiro and MoreI’m not going to beat around the bush, today. You guys all know just as well as me what sort of information is bad, or poor, or just stinking with the rot of a thousand fungating masses.

Speaking of the latter, this is what McBurnie thinks is information which is just right for her customers. Scheibner. Viera Scheibner. Viera Scheibner denying the effectiveness of the Polio vaccine on the Polio virus, which has of course just been redefined. And spelling like an absolute champion:

McBurnie 17 Scheibner Tolman Polio LIED TOO


I could just stop now. I really don’t need to add anything else which could possibly top citing not-a-doctor Scheibner. But, there’s just so much.

McBurnie shares the Greater Good and Safeminds as though it is an admirable thing, and alerts us all to an alternate universe in which vaccines do indeed cause autism:

McBurnie 6 Greater Good mercury vaccines autism

Behold! The Argumentum package insertium:

McBurnie 9 vaccine package insertsRemember how the Hepatitis B vaccine killed eight babies in China? No? That’s because it didn’t happen. As hard as I tried I couldn’t find any retractions from McBurnie on any of her sites:

McBurnie 14 HepB vaccine kill kids in China Natural NewsMcBurnie warns us that there’s definitely “something that all parents need to be aware of”, and it’s that…the vaccine hoax is over! Really:

McBurnie 19 vaccine hoaxOn McBurnie’s Facebook profile, the recent manufactroversy from the anti-vaccination movement gets the nod, via Jeanne Ohm‘s anti-vaccine chiropractic baby manipulating organisation, ICPA:

McBurnie 22 profile CDC liesThree months after the Chiropractic Board of Australia laid down its August 8 2013 press release, a template of acceptable conduct for chiropractors, McBurnie laid this steamer down on her Facebook page. It would almost be true if the opposite wasn’t indeed factual. This is a lie. This is a lie shared by a registered Australian chiropractor on her main Facebook business page. And it is a lie which has been there for almost one year:

McBurnie 26 HepB vax linked to SIDS

Here is a sentence which turns on itself with gnashing fangs: ‘Here are ten true facts from Mike Adams’. Behold, this was also laid down on McBurnie’s Facebook page after the CBA said “NO MORE”:

McBurnie 27 outrageous facts about vax Nat NewsAnd, finally, what is an anti-vaccine liar worth without lying about Gardasil? This registered chiropractor clearly has no clue about this topic. Not a clue. Yet it doesn’t stop her from commenting:

McBurnie 29 Gardasil liesNext we have a series of informative posts in which McBurnie tells us all about the benefits of water fluoridation.

First up McBurnie warns us that there is indeed fluoride in our tap water. She cites an article which misrepresents the Harvard Study. WARNING!

McBurnie 10 anti fluoride warningThat wasn’t so bad? How about FLUORIDE CAUSES MORE HUMAN CANCER DEATH?

McBurnie 16 fluoride causes cancer deathsAnd if that wasn’t bad enough, how about a fright-meme from the Drinking Mums. Remember, this is from a registered Australian chiropractor (and she’s not alone):

McBurnie 28 fluoride memeOne of the worst breeds of alternative health movers and shakers is the cancer cure crank. Preying on the vulnerable elicits a visceral reaction in most of us, but, unfortunately, not all. And let’s face it, some are just too stupid to recognise when they are an advocate of a substance which indiscriminately burns flesh off bodies. The Therapeutic Goods Administration advises against the use of the corrosive, Black Salve, and all its cousins. And the TGA’s Complaints Resolution Panel have repeatedly found against anti-vaccinationist Meryl Dorey for promoting the use of Black Salve in what was found to be advertising for the product. Just like this:

McBurnie 7 Black SalveThis chiropractor is clearly deranged. Whilst advising one of her mugs about the danger of facial application of the solvent, McBurnie quips, “Better out than in”. That is, ‘go ahead with the treatment anyway’. There are no words.

The thread continues with the registered Australian chiropractor telling her marks, “As far as I know it only reacts & removes to cancerous tissue”. This claim by a registered health practitioner is not only untrue, it is dangerous and negligent to the point of sociopathy:

McBurnie 8 Black Salve contThat’s not the only crank cancer cures we see on Fruit Mumma’s page. There is the ubiquitous healing cancer via detoxifying:

McBurnie 11 healing cancer via detoxThe cancer cure which is being hidden from everyone, via Tolman:

McBurnie 12 Tolman cancer cureThe astonishingly vile “Curing Cervical Cancer Naturally” (from someone who lies about the HPV vaccine – let that one sink in), via the Tolmans:

McBurnie 13 Tolmans curing cervical cancer naturallyAnd on her Facebook profile, of course, Gerson therapy; which is also, somehow, being hidden:

McBurnie 23 Gerson secret cancer cureAnd, on a different note, just to round things off in the WTF ARE YOU DOING? stakes, have some Scientology:

McBurnie 25 CCHR DVDNothing says credibility like linking to the CCHR. I mean, selling the above DVD and three others got Meryl Dorey all the accolades she carries with her to this day.

I don’t know what to say about this chiropractor. I know that a couple of chiropractors have got minor slaps on the wrist for sharing anti-vaccine misinformation. I just can’t reconcile myself to thinking that that minor punishment is even enough. These are meant to be university trained evidence based practitioners.  When and where did it become acceptable for these people to share the rubbish – and outright demonstrable lies – that they do, and call it “looking after the clients”. If you keep giving wrist-slaps, they’ll continue to laugh behind your back. And that is exactly what these chiropractors are doing with the CBA. Nothing short of deregistration is acceptable for McBurnie.

*In the time which has elapsed since the beginning of this post, until its conclusion, now, McBurnie has been busy deleting anti-vaccine misinformation from her Facebook page; blocking the public from creating new posts on her Facebook page; changing the Facebook page info so as to give the impression she is no longer giving information as a registered chiropractor; and rewriting her website, which is currently offline. It is a poor attempt. McBurnie missed heaps of anti-vaccine posts, and the other outrageous and downright repulsive stuff is still there. It is astonishing that it took members of the public to suddenly change McBurnie’s professional online claims, and her behaviour. 

McBurnie 24 new website coming soon


Again, a huge shout out to Rosalie who has done her fair share of cancer cure claim debunking on her site

Posted in anti-vaccination dishonesty, australian vaccination network, AVN, chiropractic, Health Care Complaints Commission, meryl dorey, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Chirofest Seattle – starring Martin Harvey, Jen Barham-Floreani, and Andrew Wakefield

On September 19 2014, in Seattle, there is a happening. It’s called Chirofest.

Two Australians are appearing on the bill: Jennifer Barham-Floreani, the anti-vaccine chiropractor we’ve met many times, some of those because she appears in photos with anti-vaccinationists after appearing on the same festival bill as them; and the anti-vaccine president of the Australian Spinal Research Foundation – the board of governors of which is 89% anti-vaccine – Martin Harvey, previously seen here innating with the anti-vaccine lads. Both Harvey and Barham-Floreani are/were members of the thoroughly discredited anti-vaccination pressure group, the Australian Vaccination (now) skeptics Network. The ASRF is a registered charity. Its prime area of research is the magical subluxation.

I’ll say that again: the ASRF is a registered charity  whose main aim is chiropractic research, the board of which is 89% anti-vaccine, whose main area of the aforementioned research is the magical, mystical, invisible vertebral subluxation complex.

These Australian chiropractic leaders, one a research charity president, the other repeatedly cited as though her information is accurate, are appearing on the same bill as the big kahuna – the emperor – the honcho of global anti-vaccinationism, Andrew Wakefield:

Chirofest 1 Harvey JBF WakefieldAnd even better, for the charity I mentioned, they get to have their name associated with an event dripping with anti-vaccine notoriety, along with a donation from the same notorious event:

Chirofest 2 ASRF receiving funds

A Subluxation Based Chiropractic [what?]

I have raised this issue laboriously. In November 2013 Laurie Tassell, the president of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, slammed chiropractors who are bringing the profession into disrepute. From his President’s Report in The Australian Chiropractor:

Tassell 2 CAA antivax speakers not acceptable

…not acceptable.

It’s time for more evidence-based chiropractors to start demanding to know what is happening with the November 2013 promises of Laurie Tassell. There is no point critics like myself, outside the profession, seeking answers. They don’t even return my emails.

Enough evidence has been presented against Harvey and Barham-Floreani, in my blog posts alone. What is the CAA doing about it, and what has the Chiropractic Board of Australia got to say?

This isn’t going to go away.

Anyway, this is what punters missed out on if they didn’t make it last year. “Brother DeMoss” says more about this congregation than anything I could:

Chirofest 4 brother DeMoss


Posted in anti-vaccination dishonesty, australian vaccination network, AVN, chiropractic, skeptic, stop the australian vaccination network | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments