Woodford Folk Festival organiser Bill Hauritz – anti-vaccination apologist

A Response to Hauritz’s First Public Comment.

By now most of us are aware that the Woodford Folk Festival are giving a platform for anti-vaccine opinions (yes, opinions), to be shared as fact by Meryl Dorey.

This afternoon Mamamia Editor, Rick Morton, was able to make contact with the recalcitrant and unapologetic organiser, Bill Hauritz. Rick states that Hauritz “shouted, quoted Google and didn’t care”.

It isn’t pretty. Let’s go through Hauritz’s responses.

Rick: Does the Festival feel it appropriate to give a platform to a woman who has been officially discredited as any type of vaccination expert?

Bill: Look, I’m not going to get into that. There are a lot of discredited artists and talkers and singers and songwriters at the Festival and we’re about giving a voice to a diverse range … something like 400 artists there.

Hauritz is proud of hosting a lot of discredited people? Look, giving stage space to Michael Bolton is not the same as providing billing to someone who describes herself as an expert in areas in which she is frequently proven to be inept and dishonest. The Arts is not the same thing as Public Health; especially when the speaker has been demonstrated to “pose a risk to public health and safety”, due to her unrelenting misuse and misrepresentation of legitimate research which has been found to be “misleading and incorrect”;  and whose sole “purpose is to provide information against vaccination”. One of these things is not like the other.

Rick: But surely if a singer/songwriter is discredited, that doesn’t pose a public health risk does it?

Bill: Who says it is dangerous? There are a lot of people out there who believe this whole vaccination thing is not an open and shut case. Is anybody willing to say that all vaccinations are 100% safe?

Argument ad populum is not a pretty sight, Mr Hauritz:  it is “a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or most people believe it”. Even worse, Hauritz backs it up with a flaming Strawman fallacy which is almost always at the forefront of any anti-vaccination canard drinking game: the only people who state that vaccinations are 100% safe are the pixies which dwell in the minds of anti-vaccination zealots. It’s sounds like Hauritz has had a briefing from Dorey herself. The basis for the Strawman is, in itself, a Nirvana Fallacy, which anti-vaccinationists frequently abuse: if something isn’t 100% [insert whatever], then, that thing is absolutely [worthless at its proposed intentional use]. My toilet doesn’t function correctly 100% of the time, therefore, all toilets are useless. See what I mean?

Rick: I don’t think even doctors say that, Bill. Is Meryl billed as an expert for her talk?

Bill: I suppose she would regard herself as an expert, yes. Look, when this issue hit the floor yesterday I typed into Google ‘doctors against vaccinations’ and there are pages and pages and pages of results of information. I wonder about the tactics of the science lobby.

So, because Meryl Dorey tells you she is an expert, then, she is an expert? Dorey has absolutely no qualifications in immunology, epidemiology, statistics, ethics, the list goes on. I have a degree in Healing Touch from Thunderwood College. I have been investigating Meryl Dorey and her claims for just over two years. I guess I could say I’m an expert in alternative energy healing, majoring in anti-vaccination skullduggery, but I won’t. What a disgraceful insult to real researchers worldwide. Real researchers. Real researchers actively helping people, in a thankless job.

I have to wonder about the “tactics” of Hauritz. I typed “vaccine safety and efficacy” into Google Scholar (no less) and came back with 283,000 hits in 0.12 seconds. Literally “pages and pages of results of [medical] information”. I typed in “doctors against vaccinations”, and the first hit is Vactruth, with articles that cite Isaac Golden (not a doctor, but, a discredited homeopath), and Viera Scheibner (retired micropaleontologist, not a doctor, and discredited keeper of the Parsnip).

He “typed in Google”. Seriously.

Rick: Why do you call it a lobby? That seems fairly indicative of your personal views don’t you think?

Bill: I didn’t mean to call it a lobby. I just get wary when people are trying to sell stuff on the Internet.

Me too, Bill. I get extremely wary when people are trying to sell stuff on the internet.  You have these deep-seated suspicions that all is not right, and some advantage is being sought over vulnerable people in our community.

Rick: I don’t think scientists necessarily want to sell anything?

Bill: Look, it doesn’t make a difference. We’ve already entered into contracts with Meryl Dorey and we cannot break those contracts now. We’re 10 days away from opening the gates to the festival. The damage is already done.

Well, it does kind of make a difference, when you just accuse a bunch of people of having ulterior, financially motivated reasons for holding you to account. Dorey is not being paid. She stated as much on the AVN Facebook page today. There is no loss which needs to be accounted. Can her, or tell your punters the truth about Dorey’s expertise, stating clearly that she has been found to pose a risk to the community. Yes, the damage has already been done. I don’t think you realise how much, just yet.

Rick: Is Meryl Dorey being paid for her appearance?

Bill: I honestly haven’t seen the contracts. I’d say she isn’t.

As above. Also, you haven’t seen the contracts? Really? Really?

Rick: Can you understand the backlash you have received? You know it isn’t about diverse views. It’s about spruiking information that has been officially debunked. Do you understand the issue many have with Dorey is that she is not a statistician, a researcher, a scientist and has no level of expertise as found by the Health Care Complaints Commission which ordered her to be upfront about her anti-vaccination stance?

Bill: Everyone has a right to their opinion.

What a cop-out. This tired old post-modernist turd has been around so long that it has gone white and powdery. Yes, everyone has a right to their own opinion. What everyone does not have is the right to their own facts. Facts exist independently of us. When it comes to the crunch, Dorey’s demonstrably flawed opinions have the potential to cause dead children. That she spouts these demonstrably flawed opinions under the guise of information which has been “sourced from medical data” (that’s on the Festival website), makes Dorey and the Festival even more complicit in endangering the health of children. Nice work there.

Rick: But surely not to their own facts? Are you worried people will boycott the festival now?

Bill: Let them, they have every right to

Yes. We can only hope that now we have finally seen the hubris-filled lack of concern displayed by Mr Hauritz, on behalf of the Woodford Folk Festival, that people will vote with their feet. The Festival may also have some questions to answer from Local and State Government once next year’s Festival comes around.

Thank you Bill Hauritz, for demonstrating so clearly what those of us concerned about Dorey’s appearance have been stating. Thank you.

About reasonable hank

I'm reasonable, mostly.
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