Meryl Dorey, of the anti-vaccination pressure group the Australian Vaccination Network, sent out two press releases yesterday. One was posted to Facebook (briefly, before it was deleted when someone asked the AVN a question) and Twitter. That press release has been investigated by Dan Buzzard, here. Further analysis of the press release was conducted on Diluted Thinking, here. Here is the post on Twitter, which Dorey forgot to delete:
It takes courage and nuance to declare community members, who have done nothing wrong, and committed no crime, to be a “hate group” and “attackers”, in a press release.
What happened to the second press release? It wasn’t shared on Facebook and Twitter with the usual flurry of a Viagra spammer. Maybe it had something to do with the content.
Being the brave and courageous person I know myself to be, with my commitment to the cause, knowing full well the danger inherent in possessing such bravery and courage, I thought it my duty to share the second press release to Facebook and Twitter. This is one small step for me; one giant leap for more people like me.
Here is the full release. The chivalrous full release:
This morning, a newsletter was sent out in error by myself, Meryl Dorey, regarding the procedural unfairnesswhich both I and the Australian Vaccination Network have been subject to over the last 4 plus years. This newsletter was drafted on the 22nd of February and concerned the large number of investigations by government departments which the AVN has had to endure since winning our court case against the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) last year.
Though every word of this newsletter was correct and true, it should not have been issued. I had written the newsletter and sent it to the committee for discussion and approval. After consulting with our legal advisor, we realised there were two different Acts at play here, and that meant the situation was not as clear as we originally thought. The Incorporaed Associations Act does not have provision for suppression of the names of committee members – even if there is a real and valid threat against them should their names be made public. Therefore, we decided to not send the document out and instead, our committee made the very brave and difficult decision to provide their names to the Department of Fair Trading.
Unfortunately, in order to share this document with the committee, I had to schedule it for distribution and had chosen the arbitrary date of March the 1st, thinking that when it had been edited, the scheduling would be changed and it would be sent in its new form. When the committee decided not to send this message because it was pointless to try and oppose the regulations requiring that their identities be released, I forgot to go back into our newsletter program to delete the scheduling. As a result, the newsletter was sent out this morning.
I accept full responsibility for this error – it was mine and mine alone.
Just as I accept full responsibility for making this mistake, I do want you all to know that the AVN National Committee has accepted full responsibility for their commitment to the issue of protecting the health rights of all Australians and ensuring that information which is of interest to consumers, concerning vaccination will always be available.
Our committee members decided to reveal their names to the Department of Fair Trading – the only other option would have been to allow the Department to fine us out of existence, leaving Australia without a national body for support on this vital issue.
The committee names were sent yesterday and our committee is painfully aware that providing this information can and most likely will see them, their families and their businesses or employers subject to the same sort of harassment, intimidation and threats that I have endured for the last four and a half years.
Please have a think about what sort of strength and courage that takes on their part – much more than it took for me because I was not subject to these threats for the first 15 years of running the AVN – I honestly don’t know if I would have become involved had I known about this in advance.
So, though I am sorry that this newsletter was sent out in error, I am happy to have had an opportunity to tell you about our committee who have displayed courage and commitment far above the call of duty – simply because they believe so strongly in justice and equity for all Australians and the freedom to make our own health choices and to speak about them without any fear of discrimination, penalty or threats.
Please join me in saluting this brave group of Australians who I am so proud to be associated with as I am so proud of all of you – the members of the Australian Vaccination Network. May we be allowed to help protect you for as long as our help is needed.
Yours in health,
For the Committee Members of the anti-vaccination pressure group, the Australian Vaccination Network:
And, for those of us with the courage and bravery to use this mighty internet to its almightiest power: