Meryl Dorey, the former President – but, still Public Officer – of the anti-vaccination organisation, the Australian Vaccination Network, has had her fair share of trouble with government acronyms. Last week this continued.
With some help from her friend, Leon (hoisted by his own) Pittard, Dorey was ordered to publish a retraction on Pittard’s Fair Dinkum Radio website. Fair dinkum. Flat out like a lizard drinking, cobber. Pittard’s internet radio show is a magnet for conspiratorially bent types, such as Dorey, New World Order battlers, and other chemtrailing, uber-libertarian aficionados. Bring your guns, it’s a hoe-down.
The Complaints Resolution Panel of the Therapeutic Goods Administration had acted on an anonymous complaint that Dorey and Pittard had published what was deemed to be an advertisement espousing the curative wonders of the skin and muscle solvent, Black Salve, whilst dissing on conventional cancer treatment as more dangerous and ineffectual.
You can read the findings, here.
As is protocol for such justified findings, Dorey and Pittard were ordered to publish this disclaimer:
That was pretty good. The public needs to made aware of the danger posed by people who promote crank cures which will leave festering holes in your body. But, there was some comedy also included by the “advertisers” (Dorey and Pittard).
They used the Freeman on the Land defence. For a really good description of this wingnuttery see the Rational Wiki page, which explains why this defence was comedy – of the family – gold. The defence is basically, “I don’t recognise your authority over me and I am walking out of this because this is a farce”. Okay, that last bit was Viera, but, it fits. Here is the extract from the findings:
The advertisers’ response to the complaint
11. The advertisers each responded with a letter purporting to respond to an employee of the Panel’s office “in his private capacity”, using words such as “offer to settle in private”, “the Persons Personal Representative after seeking wise counsel writes to [the employee], today in his Private capacity and humbly and sincerely apologises for any dishonour he may cause”, “the Persons Personal Representative in his Inherent Jurisdiction de jure solum et naturale conditionally accepts that [the employee] has made a well pled claim that, Meryl Dorey has advertised and promoted ‘Black Salve’ and that Leon Pittard has further promoted and advertised ‘Black Salve’ by publishing the interview, and offers to settle this matter in private upon [the employee] in his own private capacity providing true, correct and complete proof; that: Relating a personal condition to anyone constitutes advertising; and that the person making the claim has full knowledge of any fees paid for any alleged advertising; and that the right to free speech is not an inherent right; and that any Corporation has the right to sue any individual in their private capacity; and the Persons Personal Representative in his Inherent Jurisdiction is not able to settle this matter in private.”
12. The letters also stated that the employee “in his own private capacity, shall have twenty one days (21) from being served to respond by rebutting all of the above – point for point – or it shall be declared that free speech is still an inherent right, and the Person’s Personal Representative has the proprietary right to settle all outstanding issues in the private.”
13. The advertisers did not respond to the substance of the complaint. [my bold, because it is funny]
With a name change, lack of annual financial statements, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of other people’s money hanging over her head for non-delivery of promised goods (that homeopathic magazine), Dorey must have forgotten one other thing she was meant to do, as ordered by the CRP. You see, earlier, she was found to have breached precisely the same sections of the Act with her promotion of the Black Salve DVD which was sold in her online shop.
You can read the earlier findings, here.
Dorey was also ordered to publish this retraction:
As with the former findings, this is as expected:
The advertiser’s response to the complaint
9. Through legal counsel, the advertiser stated that they had withdrawn the DVD from sale.
10. The advertiser conceded that the advertisement breached section 42DL(1)(g) of the Act and sections 4(1)(a), 4(2)(d), 4(2)(g), 4(2)(i), and 4(5) of the Code. The advertiser stated that the alleged breaches of section 4(1)(b), 4(2)(a), 4(2)(b) and 4(2)(c) had not been breached, and were “a matter for scientific and medical opinion, however, the AVN are not currently in a position to furnish such evidence”.
11. The advertiser denied that any of the other alleged or possible breaches had occurred.
Dorey plugged her ears and said “I ain’t done nothin'”. But, not only has she not published the retraction, she has also used the findings to retain the published advertisement, only replacing the text with a screed about the evil government who are acting under the auspices of Stop the AVN.
Stand up for your rights, folks. Stand up for your rights to smear Black Salve on yourself, with no expertise, trials, or understanding. Stand up for the rights of
scumbags others to sell Black Salve to people with no medical training.
[Picture taken from Topicalinfo Skin Cancer Forum: credit “Hoxsey”. Used under Fair Use provisions of Commonwealth Copyright Act and DMCA]
There is a reason why the TGA have warned against the sale and use of Black Salve:
Adverse reaction reports
What adverse reactions have been notified to the TGA?
As at June 2012, the TGA has received four notifications of adverse events involving the use of products described as black salve, red salve or cansema.
Each of these reports describes damage to the skin, subcutaneous tissue and, in one case, muscle following the application of these products. Three of the reported cases required medical intervention or follow up and in two of the cases significant scarring resulted.
They are not out to shut down your freedom of speech. They are there to protect you from yourselves, and from people like Meryl Dorey and Leon Pittard.
Update February 20 2013.
A friend has just pointed out the results of the above experiment with the skin and muscle solvent, Black Salve:
Just go to the damn doctor.