Anti-vaccinationists attack the parents and the memorial page of a baby boy

Baby Riley Hughes died on March 17 2015: one month ago, today. He was 32 days old. He died from whooping cough (pertussis). Riley’s mum and dad, Cath and Greg Hughes, immediately set about ensuring that no other parents have to go through what they are going through, right now. On the Light for Riley memorial Facebook page they started campaigning for increased immunisation rates; the roll-out of maternal pertussis boosters around Australia; an awareness campaign to increase pertussis immunisation rates in families of new babies; and they started raising funds towards more research for a more effective vaccine. Incredible stuff.

What most of us knew was coming their way was the anti-vaccination movement. The McCaffery family – having been vilified by anti-vaccinationists, incited by Meryl Dorey, for six years – immediately stood side-by-side with the Hughes family, so that they knew what to expect. Together these two families have done more for increasing pertussis immunisation awareness than all state and federal governments, and all immunisation research bodies, combined. And what did they get? Venom, and vitriol.

In the past, as it is now for both families, the McCafferys received an onslaught of bile from anti-vaccination zealots. And no one lifted a damn finger. Not the regulatory bodies. Not the police. All that these families have in the place of their babies now are graves. And still these families continue to raise awareness with dignity, civility and resolve.

I’ve attempted – roughly – to collate the following screenshots into three sections. First, there are the vile attacks against Cath and Greg Hughes, and against Riley’s memorial page. Second, there are the usual arguments we hear from anti-vaccinationists who will do anything they can to deny the lethality of whooping cough, whilst attacking the safety and efficacy of immunisation in general. Also in this section are any attacks on immunisation policy. Third, there is a smaller section of miscellaneous screenshots, including the peddling of fake cures. Throughout the post some screenshots are fuzzy. I apologise for this. I had to enlarge the images – so some are out of focus – so us old people can see them. I will be adding updates to this post so as to act as an ongoing repository. It is a certainty that more revolting comments will be made against the Hughes family. Wherever sure of accuracy, I have linked to the commenter’s Facebook profile.

Please keep this in the forefront of your mind as you go through these images: these comments were all made on the memorial page of a deceased infant, and hideous comments were also sent directly to his parents. All of this has happened within the first month of Riley’s death. Just one month. Much of it was done with a full intent to harm and hurt. Think about that.

The attacks.

Nicole Johnson/Johanna Holland is a protected troll who has been vilifying the McCaffery family and other grieving parents for almost six years. The troll has been, and still is, protected on the Facebook page of the Australian Vaccination Network, and in the private group, Vaccine Free Australia, holding court in both groups. There are direct links between anti-vaccine ideologue Meryl Dorey, and the troll.

This is the troll, Holland/Johnson, in the not-so-private group, VFA, warning others about the ethical cesspit of harassing grieving parents:

Holland 47 VFA don't comment on Riley's page March 27 2015

And this is the message sent by the same troll two weeks after it issued the admonition, above. As expected the hypocrite disregards any pretense of possessing even a single ethic in exchange for inflicting hurt. It sent this message directly to Riley’s mum and dad via private messaging:

Riley 2 Holland PM

This troll page posted  on the same day it desecrated Dana McCaffery’s Facebook page. Given the arguments it makes, the language used, and the coincidental timing of the above message, I strongly believe that the Holland/Johnson troll is the creator of this now disabled page:

Riley 38 troll page

Troll page:

Riley 39 troll page

Troll page:

Riley 40 troll page

Robyn Jameson (Holland/Johnson troll account which was immediately disabled; private message sent directly to Cath and Greg):

Riley 182 Robyn Jameson troll DM

Frank Vazquez (previously investigated by South Australia Police for sending multiple death threats):

Riley 251 Frank Vazquez

Riley 249 Frank Vazquez

Riley 250 Frank Vazquez

Riley 252 Frank Vazquez

Riley 253 Frank Vazquez

Riley 248 Frank Vazquez

Gemma Clarkson (newly created troll account):

Riley 183 Gemma Clarkson

Nell Jones (confirmed Johanna Holland/Nicole Johnson fake profile; AVN/Meryl Dorey protected troll; activist with the anti-vaccine protests: Facebook username  is “NoJabNoPayNoBloodyWay.”):

Riley 163 Nell Jones

Stephanie Messenger (Messenger posts her fake story of vaccine harm to Riley’s page like a ghoulish competitor):

Riley 119 Messenger

Jessica Fyfe (brand new troll account):

Riley 221 Jessica Fyfe

Helena Denley (who – along with her husband, Warren Denley, and her mother Olya Szewczukkilled her 13 month old daughter Isabella Denley by withholding seizure medication, in 2002):

Riley 216 Helena Denley

Nicholas Moore (after 2016 Young Australian of the Year was announced, messaged the LFR page, immediately; the troll account also posted to the LFR page):

Riley 237 Nicholas Moore

Riley 238 Nicholas Moore

Sarah O’Reilly (unqualified health practitioner at Butterfly Dawn):

Riley 123 Sarah O'Reilly

Riley 122 Sarah O'Reilly

Chantel Galwey (sent this disingenuous private message of support to Cath and Greg; but, in the meantime, she was bragging to her anti-vaccine colleagues about her actions, on the Things pro-vaxers say Facebook page, which is run by Ian Hastings):

Galwey 3 PM sent to Cath and Greg trolling as planned

TPVS 30 Hughes Chantel Galwey

Sasha Masko (Alex Masko):

riley-254-sasha-masko

Melinda Kennedy (troll profile spammed this comment four times):

Riley 181 Melinda Kennedy

Emma Cameron (newly created troll account):

Riley 201 Emma Cameron

Riley 202 Emma Cameron

Jenny (deleted troll page):

Riley 177 Jenny page

Riley 178 Jenny page

Kim Singh:

Riley 220 Kim Singh

James Gilbertson:

Riley 174 James Gilbertson

Julie Black:

Riley 214 Julie Black

Rose Sutherland:

Riley 3 Rose Sutherland

Nick Waterhouse:

Riley 4 Nick Waterhouse

Persephone Rose:

Riley 217 Persephone Rose

Rhiannon James:

Riley 5 60 Rhiannon James

Laura Leslie Murphy:

Riley 124 Laura Leslie Murphy

Amy Kelly:

Riley 6 Amy Kelly

Melissa Jade Heath:

Riley 7 Melissa Jade Heath

Sharon Lee Berg:

Riley 9 Sharon Lee Berg

Zoe Lee Hall:

Riley 10 Zoe Lee Hall

Riley 11 Zoe Lee Hall

Jane Wilson:

Riley 13 Jane Wilson

Jordan Marks:

Riley 14 Jordan Marks

Tegan Dwyer:

Riley 16 Tegan Dwyer

Eric Watson:

Riley 19 Eric Watson

Leeann Gardner:

Riley 20 Leeann Gardner

Melissa Mccudden (Mel Leicester; Mel Issa):

Riley 67 Melissa Mccudden

Riley 66 Melissa Mccudden

Sandra Vilosky:

Riley 29 Sandra Vilosky

Riley 30 Sandra Vilosky

Riley 31 Sandra Vilosky

Jacob Hales:

Riley 32 Jacob Hales

Emily Batchelor:

Riley 33 Emily Batchelor

Andre Colbert (this was sent in a private message directly to Cath and Greg):

Riley 41 Andre Colbert PM

Unnamed:

Riley 49 unnanmed

Jeremy B Bowers:

Riley 50 Jeremy B Bowers

Katie Williams:

Riley 52 Katie Williams

Candice Gallagher:

Riley 53 Candice Gallagher

Ian Hastings (AKA Ian SmithSapere Aude; and No Fluoride Australia, No Vaccines Australia, Refutations to Provax MemesThings Pro-Vaxers Say, End the Illusion of Choice, and Worried Mama Facebook pages):

Riley 55 Ian Smith

Smith Satya:

Riley 57 Smith Satya

Cass Rowe:

Riley 59 Cass Rowe

John Wong (this was sent in a private message directly to Cath and Greg):

Riley 63 Wong PM

Joanna Castro-Micos:

Riley 75 Joanna Castro-Micos

Jo Ferguson:

Riley 84 Jo Ferguson

Karyn King:

Riley 92 Karyn King

Trevor Simons (conspiracy post, sent in private message directly to Cath and Greg, contains Nazi references and a big picture of Hitler. Others are anti-vaccine links):

Riley 98 Trevor Simons

Getting no response via personal message Simons also posted this link to the main page. Note his Tony Abbott/Swastika/vaccine image:

Riley 99 Trevor Simons

Anna Kaszonyi (private message sent directly to Cath and Greg):

Riley 100 Anna Kaszonyi

She was asked to leave the family alone. She couldn’t:

Riley 101 Anna Kaszonyi

Will Edwardson (this is a brand new troll account which uses the same phrases and makes the same arguments as those used by Kayla Shields and Ivan Bortic. It could be a coincidence):

Riley 102 Will Edwardson

Anita Theriault:

Riley 105 Anita Theriault

Gemma Evans (troll account):

Riley 112 Gemma Evans

Samantha Lee (troll account):

Riley 111 Samantha Lee

Jason Pilnt:

Riley 114 Jason Pilnt

Amy Apple (troll):

Riley 115 Amy Apple

David Gajić:

Riley 121 David Gajic

Fiona Smith (Fiona Henderson):

Riley 125 Fiona Smith

Riley 126 Fiona Smith

Shell Wellington (Shelley Thomas):

Riley 129 Shell Wellington

Kader Lorenzo (owner of OMEGA Security):

Riley 130 Kader Lorenzo

Anna Patel (AKA Anna Stancombe: vicious anti-vaccine Queensland teacher who has featured in this postattended the Brisbane No Jab No Pay No Way anti-vaccine protest; Stancombe/Patel has previously attacked a baby store proprietor because he would not going along with her scheme to defraud an airline of money for alleged damages to a baby stroller. Stancombe/Patel then went on to accuse the proprietor of being at the helm of a paedophile network, along with the moderator of the consumer protection site, Ripoff Report, who also refused to acquiesce to Stancombe/Patel’s outrageously deceitful claims):

Riley 131 Anna Patel Anna Stancombe

Amber Grace:

Riley 132 Amber Grace

Jamie Taylor (troll account with only four friends. One of them is Stephanie Messenger):

Riley 133 Jamie Taylor

Kelleigh Rae (concern-trolled page in relation to troll account, Jamie Taylor, above):

Riley 134 Kelleigh Rae

Elizabeth Summer Kaye:

Riley 139 Elizabeth Summer Kaye

Sandra Ganey:

Riley 141 Sandra Ganey

Laney Lex:

Riley 142 Laney Lex

Tami Mays White:

Riley 144 Tami Mays White

Linda Racey Bogle:

Riley 145 Linda Racey Bogle

Katherine Wendel:

Riley 146 Katherine Wendel

Clarice Larson (Clarice Sutterfield):

Riley 148 Clarice Larson

Melissa Dunn (concern trolled page with lies, then, attacked):

Riley 149 Melissa Dunn

Riley 150 Melissa Dunn

Gavin Rider (friend of Chris Savage):

Riley 153 Gavin Rider

Julie Santall:

Riley 154 Julie Santall

Julie Ford:

Riley 152 Julie Ford

Lacie Parker (concern trolling):

Riley 156 Lacie Parker

Felicia Beaumont:

Riley 165 Felicia Beaumont

Riley 167 Felicia Beaumont

Riley 168 Felicia Beaumont

Brenda McManus:

Riley 166 Brenda McManus

Kristy Anne (AKA Kristy McCarrick. At the urging of anti-vaccine activist Trevor Simons, in closed Facebook group, Unvaccinated Australia, antivaxers start spamming LFR with Kelly Winder’s deceitful anti-vaccine blog post):

Riley 184 Kristy Ann

Persephone De Kari (as above):

Riley 186 Persephone De Kari

Jacqui Soliman (as above):

Riley 187 Jacqui Soliman

Lynne Hopewell (concern trolling):

Riley 169 Lynne Hopewell

Riley 170 Lynne Hopewell

Kate Larvin (registered midwife NMW0001101809):

Riley 189 Kate Larvin

Riley 190 Kate Larvin

Anne Mitchell:

Riley 191 Anne Mitchell

Elena Rouge (Elena Kardash):

Riley 192 Elena Rouge

Riley 193 Elena Rouge

Shaun Mcdonald:

Riley 194 Shaun MacDonald

Dorothy Cooney:

Riley 195 Dorothy Cooney

Ryan Alamein:

Riley 196 Ryan Alamein

Riley 197 Ryan Alamein

Julie Mansfield:

Riley 198 Julie Mansfield

Tonya Grant:

Riley 200 Tonya Grant

Ben Grassham (trolling Riley’s page; final screenshot, taken from anti-vaccine group VFA, shows Grassham’s real intent):

Riley 203 Ben Grassham

Riley 204 Ben GrasshamRiley 205 Ben Grassham

Riley 206 Ben Grassham

VFA comment about Riley’s page:

Riley 207 Ben Grassham VFA comment stupid

Em Taylor (trolling Riley’s page; three following screenshots, taken from anti-vaccine group VFA, show Taylor’s true intent, supported by Daielle Seymour and Alex Smith):

Riley 208 Em Taylor

VFA comments about Riley’s page:

Riley 209 Em Taylor VFA

Riley 210 Em Taylor VFA

Riley 211 Em Taylor VFA Daielle Seymour Alex Smith

Rolf Haugen:

Riley 215 Rolf Haugen

Jarl Nieminen:

Riley 219 Jarl Nieminen

Joanne Abela Akom:

Riley 230 Joanne Abela Akom

Scott Mcgahey:

Riley 232 Scott Mcgahey

Riley 233 Scott Mcgahey

Jason Richards (Jason Van Krieken):

Riley 234 Jason Richards

Bruce Meers:

Riley 241 Bruce Meers

Hayley De La Rue:

Riley 242 Hayley De La Rue

Maria Macdonald (registered nurse midwife):

Riley 243 Maria MacDonald

Irina Berryman (she posted this antivax article twice):

Riley 244 Irina Berryman

Rachel Ann Elizabeth (Rachel Perkins):

Riley 245 Rachel Anne Elizabeth

Vaccine safety and efficacy, and immunisation policy.

Damien Poulsen (organiser of the Sydney No Jab No Pay No Way anti-vaccine protest march; partner of Breanna King/Breanna Stanley, who believes people who hold cruel anti-vaccine commenters to account should be shot. Poulsen thinks he has uncovered and posted a gotcha moment. Unfortunately for this anti-vaccination zealot, no reputable person claims that the whooping cough immunisation is perfect; no one claims that immunised individuals cannot contract whooping cough, nor pass it on; whooping cough immunisation lessens the severity of the disease, if contracted; and whooping cough immunisation – especially if recently fully immunised, as opposed to historically fully immunised – greatly lessens the chances of catching the disease, compared to unvaccinated individuals like Poulsen and his selfish, ignorant cohort who think  it is appropriate to post what they believe are gotchas on a baby’s memorial page):

Riley 151 Damien Poulsen

Poulsen trolling:

Riley 173 Damien Poulsen

Belgin Sila Colak (co-organiser of the Sydney anti-vaccine protests, with Poulsen):

Riley 158 Belgin Sila Colak

Riley 159 Belgin Sila Colak

Belgin Colak (using a different Facebook profile posts more anti-vaccination comments):

Riley 239 Belgin Colak

Riley 240 Belgin Colak

Mindy Raelynne Danison:

Riley 5 Mindy Raelynne Danison

Roslyn Ross:

Riley 222 Roslyn Ross

Shari Zumba Smoker (Shari Letchford):

Riley 223 Shari Zumba Smoker

Rebekah Mae Parker:

Riley 224 Rebekah Mae Parker

Riley 225 Rebekah Mae Parker

Nikki Ivess (Nikki Vaughan):

Riley 226 Nikki Ivess

Tom Tenbohmer:

Riley 12 Tom Tenbohmer

Renee Bulman Allen:

Riley 15 Renee Bulman Allen

Jerome Romus:

Riley 17 Jerome Romus

Stella McLeod:

Riley 18 Stella McLeod

Karly G Oodall (Karli Goodall):

Riley 82 Karli G Oodall

Riley 83 Karli G Oodall

Riley 81 Karli G Oodall

Melissa Mccudden (Mel Leicester; Mel Issa):

Riley 80 Melissa Mccudden

Sandra Vilosky:

Riley 27 Sandra Vilosky

Riley 28 Sandra Vilosky

Jon Stroud:

Riley 73 Jon Stroud

Kerianne Bartlett:

Riley 36 Keriane Bartlett

Michelle Smith:

Riley 37 Michelle Smith

Michael Wolny:

Riley 42 Michael Wolny

Anna Munro:

Riley 43 Anna Munro

Marnie Newton:

Riley 45 Marnie Newton

Louisa Smith:

Riley 46 Louisa Smith

Danielle Jupp:

Riley 47 Danielle Jupp

Claudia Gata:

Riley 48 Claudia Gata

Ted Wozniak:

Riley 51 Ted Wozniak

Angelic Cooke:

Riley 54 Angelic Cooke

Greg Wilson:

Riley 56 Greg Wilson

Kayla Shields directly concern-trolled the Hughes family via private message after her boyfriend, Ivan Bortic, had done the same [please see the update at the end of this post which shows how Bortic pretends to be a concerned citizen, just asking questions. His own images prove him to be precisely as depicted here: a callous ghoul intent on inflicting hurt]. Bortic was politely requested to leave the Hughes family alone. Again, Shields started emailing the family after Bortic was requested to stop. They started out Just Asking Questions, then hit the anti-vaccine pedal full-throttle with their second message. It’s a common tactic anti-vaccinationists use [update April 18 2015: Bortic sent threatening emails warning that legal action would commence and police would be called, and that Riley’s parents, the page admins, and this blog would all be involved]:

Riley 62 Kayla Shields 1

Riley 62 Kayla Shields 2

Riley 62 Kayla Shields 3

Kyla Davis:

Riley 64 Kyla Davis

Riley 65 Kyla Davis

Amy Kaal-Stork:

Riley 68 Amy Kaal-Stork

Krystal Reid:

Riley 69 Krystal Reid

Sasha Jelacic:

Riley 70 Sasha Jelacic

Aidan Blanch:

Riley 71 Aidan Blanch

Stacey Golley:

Riley 72 Stacey Golley

Wayne Armstrong:

Riley 74 Wayne Armstrong

Hur Ka Ahmed:

Riley 76 Hur Ka Ahmed

Roulf Commandeur:

Riley 77 Roulf Commandeur

Joshington Braham:

Riley 78 Joshington Braham

Leigh Martin:

Riley 79 Leigh Martin

Jo Ferguson:

Riley 85 Jo Ferguson

Steve Durmaz:

Riley 86 TC Steve Durmaz

Lina Torkington:

Riley 87 Lina Torkington

Jennifer Claire Rodda:

Riley 88 Jennifer Claire Rodda

Riley 89 Jennifer Claire Rodda

Cori Walker:

Riley 90 Cori Walker

John Drakos:

Riley 91 John Drakos

Connie Wilson:

Riley 95 Connie Wilson

Ishmi Bohn:

Riley 96 Ishmi Bohn

Riley 97 Ishmi Bohn

Stuart Everson:

Riley 103 Stuart Everson

Riley 120 Everson

Kate Hollingsworth (private message sent directly to Cath and Greg. The link she included goes to a news story about Saba Button):

Riley 104 Kate Hollingsworth PM

Sacia Edwards:

Riley 109 Sacia Edwards

Jillian Seger (this person actually has the wontons to go crowdfunding for legal fees and everyday living expenses):

Riley 106 Jillian Seger

Riley 107 Jillian Seger

Riley 108 Jillian Seger

Chris Savage (anti-vaccine, chemtrailer, anti-Semitic former Queensland police officer who has been lying about vaccines, SIDS, and Shaken Baby Syndrome, and related health topics for years. Was removed from the QPS due to his delusions. Has recently been escalating his anti-Semitic rants, befriending many white supremacist activists. He was a One Nation political candidate in the late 1990s, and still supports Pauline Hanson):

Riley 110 Chris Savage

Mark Mcdougall:

Riley 113 Mark Mcdougal

Emily Zelig Barr (concern troll):

Riley 127 Emily Zelig Barr

Debbie Titanahley:

Riley 128 Debbie Titanahley

Kelleigh Rae (concern-trolled with anti-vaccine links; then, concern-trolled in defence of a real anti-vaccine troll account: see Section 1, above):

Riley 135 Kelleigh Rae

Tracy Nicole (Tracy Maynard):

Riley 136 Tracy Nicole

Riley 137 Tracy Nicole

Nadia Rosen:

Riley 138 Nadia Rosen

Tami Mays White:

Riley 140 Tami Mays White

Riley 143 Tami Mays White

Linda Racey Bogle:

Riley 147 Linda Racey Bogle

Tonya Grant:

Riley 155 Tonya Grant

Jasmine Aslanides (Jasmine Corbett):

Riley 157 Jasmine Aslanides

Sarah Deacon (Sarah Cole):

Riley 160 Sarah Deacon

Riley 161 Sarah Deacon

Riley 162 Sarah Deacon

Deacon also  posted this in the Vaccine Resistance Movement group:

VRM 4 Riley not real Sarah Deacon

Bernadette Harrison:

Riley 164 Bernadette Harrison

Anna Horváth (Anna Sikes):

Riley 179 Anna Horvath

Jenna Dallos:

Riley 188 Jenna Dallos

Heidi LaRue Wubbels:

Riley 199 Heidi LaRue Wubbels

Ofé Ly Massilia:

Riley 212 Ofe Ly Massillia

Riley 213 Ofe Ly Massillia

Tim Doult:

Riley 218 Tim Doult

John Banks:

Riley 227 John Banks

Riley 228 John Banks

Riley 229 John Banks

KaylaJerry Sears:

Riley 235 KaylaJerry Sears

Alicia Mullins:

Riley 236 Alicia Mullins

Peddling of fake cures and miscellaneous.

Stella McLeod:

Riley 8 Stella McLeod

Mel Thornburg. AIDS-denialism, for some reason known only to her:

Riley 35 Mel Thornburg

Kelly Winder is the proprietor of Belly Belly, the online anti-vaccine, alternative parenting business:

Riley 44 Kelly Winder

The Paleo Recipe Cookbook – Cheap and Easy. Because there isn’t a rock low enough from which paleo promoters won’t scuttle, and then spam:

Riley 58 Paleo spam

Thanks for reading.

Update April 18 2015

Ivan Bortic and Kayla Shields run a business of what appear to be questionable therapeutic practices which include neurolinguistic programming, a thoroughly discredited therapy. I cannot see any qualifications listed on their site, so I’ll be sure to pass this on. Shields notes of herself that she is “gifted with strong empathic abilities”. Bortic describes himself as “intelligent and wise beyond my years”. Anyway, let’s hear about the real Bortic.

I want to be clear about Ivan Bortic’s rabid anti-vaccine beliefs from the outset. This is a man who is a follower of and a disseminator of the anti-vaccine ramblings of Sherri Tenpenny. Tenpenny, you would all be aware, is the queen of extremist US anti-vaccinationism.  Bortic posted Tenpenny misinformation on the cancer-cure crank Tyler Tolman’s page:

Bortic 1 Tenpenny

Bortic is also precisely the callous type of individual who blames the weakness of the victims of contaminated raw milk for their death. He even lies about the victims “dying from a serious illness” before the raw milk killed them.  A despicable troglodyte, to be sure:

Bortic 2 raw milk kids who died were weak

So, we can be entirely forgiven for being cautious about a person who sends private messages under the deceitful cloak of concern, when in actual fact he is a demonstrable liar who strung out a series of private messages with grieving parents who were wondering why he demanded to know such private information about their deceased infant.

The very final screenshot in this series, all made publicly available by the liar, Bortic, proves his intent all along was to hurt a grieving family. He is a liar, and a conspiracy theorist, and he needs to hurt others due to his own anti-social personality disorder.

Here are the Bortic messages:

Pretend concern:

Bortic 4 Riley

Pretend support:

Bortic 5 Riley

The badgering of grieving parents starts:

Bortic 6 Riley

The mock community sentiment of a liar:

Bortic 8 Riley

The fake community concern continues, and Bortic has the audacity to demand that he has the right to private information, telling the Hughes they have lost that right:

Bortic 9 Riley

And the hideous final message we all expect from these hideous, horrid people:

I would ask you only this, would your sons legacy forever be tainted by hiding the truth, or will your sons legacy remain strong…

Please, I beg of you, please be honest with us all.

Bortic 10 Riley

I thank Bortic for making his images publicly available for all to see what a man he is.

About reasonable hank

I'm reasonable, mostly.
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20 Responses to Anti-vaccinationists attack the parents and the memorial page of a baby boy

  1. The poor parents being subjected to this, the most obnoxious berating the family for ‘getting it wrong’ or ‘not having the facts’. The family lost their child to a vaccine preventable disease. End of.
    PS, I’ve just had my pertussis booster shot, and the only side effects are righteous indignation and sorrow for baby Riley Hughes and his family.

  2. Toni McCaffery says:

    Disgusted. Sadly it was expected. Am I right in assuming that the people that attack us have formed a secret group where they discuss tactics and then celebrate attacking us? It’s interesting being hated because your child died and you thought you should warn other parents, because the system failed you and no one warned you.

    • binny says:

      That’s terrible. I’m so sorry. The willful ignorance of anti vaxxers and their self righteous idea that their ’cause’ justifies such actions is so disgusting. My heart goes out to you.

  3. The disgusting levels of torment and ignorance shown by these keyboard warriors, shows them as the lowest humans ever to breathe!

  4. Suzy Gee says:

    I’m not defending this type of behaviour, however, unfortunately social media is a platform where people can express opinions and unfortunately common decency can go out the door, with little regard to how others may feel regarding comments being made. This isn’t the platform for presenting information about the ineffectiveness of the Whooping Cough vaccine. Despite this being fact and thankfully researchers are working on why this is the case, people need to be respectful of this family who have lost their child, and others. Its tragic that this happens in our day and age. There are other avenues to vent concerns regarding vaccine safety, efficacy and issues regarding vaccination. I just hope those who have been touched by this problem, use the fire in their belly to right this wrong and head down the path of science, put pressure on them, to help mitigate these tragic circumstances from happening to others.

  5. Peta says:

    What utterly cretinous behaviour! The ignorance shown is sadly no longer quite beyond belief – but I would have thought that with such ready access to “research” via the Internet, these delightful folks would at least be able to discover that whooping cough has an incubation period of up to 20 days & generally first manifests as an illness virtually impossible to differentiate from a cold for about a week?
    Given that most babies are born in Hospitals, which are full of all sorts of adult visitors, many of whom unwittingly bring in airborne illnesses, I fail to see how anyone could even dare harass or blame the parents. Can these types not contain their bile to their own fringe-y websites and backwards Facebook groups?

  6. Someone on this page told me that they were sad that pro-vaccinators put themselves above others. We don’t: Anti-vaccinators lower themselves with their disregard for knowledge and science. They also lower themselves and their cause – by harassing grieving parents.

  7. @advodiaboli says:

    Wow. Notice the inordinate immediacy, scale and tone of vitriol directed at the Hughes family this year compared to that directed at the McCaffery family in 2009. I’m not suggesting quantifying such repugnance reduces the thunderous immorality behind such attacks, but the attacks on the McCaffery’s were crafted and outsourced by the (then) AVN and particularly Meryl Dorey. At the time Dorey could produce no children harmed by vaccines – something that is as true today as it was then (bar one case in W.A. that has occurred in the interim).

    The illogical reasoning stems from the same lies and manicured misinformation. Ergo: Vaccines kill and harm large numbers of babies/children, therefore to recommend them (in this case for pertussis) is to place large numbers of young children in harms way. Yet, the complete opposite is true. The failure to respect reputable information on this topic places our own children, and the children of the community at risk of disability and death.

    Thus it appears, despite the odd academic dismissing the phenomenon, that belief in conspiracies, antivaccinationist reasoning and the consonant rejection of science based medicine has likely increased significantly over the past six years. In fact so ingrained and passionate is antivaxxer madness that brutal and groundless attacks on grieving parents appeals to more of their ranks than it did half a decade ago.

    Once again we should remember the debt we owe to these parents and others like them for seeking to spread nothing more than facts and an understanding of consequences. Vaccination saves lives. Get vaccinated.

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  12. I’d invite an anthropologist and/or a psychologist to weigh in here.
    I “get” why a handful of sociopaths with something to gain might be lead the anti-vaxxer movement (e.g. making money off “alternative medicines” or publications or as a speaker or just narcissistic gratification at the “recognition”).
    But I don’t “get” why so many (presumably) non-sociopaths jump on the bandwagon.
    I’m in my fifties, and all the elders in my family were staunchly pro-vaccination because they remembered first-hand what it was like before (esp. polio).
    Is there a specific demographic aspect to the anti-vaxxers, something that disconnects them from the experience and learnings of their familial elders?

    And perhaps a lawyer could weigh in here too? Freedom of speech is curtailed (at least anecdotally) by the classic example of “you’re not free to yell Fire! in a crowded theatre”. If somebody did, and there were injuries or deaths resulting from the panic, presumably there would be prosecutions and/or civil lawsuits. So why does the same not apply here? Why are these nasty venomous conscienceless aberrants free to spread lies and misinformation that (if they are successful enough) could plausibly lead to mass deaths, and some of them making money out of it along the way?

    • Fiona says:

      Yes, someone should do some research on what turns someone into an a passionate anti-vaccinationist. It would be a fascination social study to identify what causes the lack of empathy and narcissism that is clearly present before they start to identify with these people. I could make some anecdotal observations but that would be unfair to people who might share some common .

      However, one thing worth consideration is that Gen X (which includes me) is a generation that was raised when scientific information was available in the family Encyclopedia Brittanica. We weren’t taught to apply scientific rigour to freely available information because somebody else (usually qualified) had already done that for us. Everyone knew someone who said their warts had been cured by rubbing them with snails, for example, but we all knew that the best bet was the doctor because there was only one snail-curer (and their believers) around. We never even expected the snail-curers might learn to write sciency-sounding articles that looked legitimate, that might need some questioning. We weren’t taught much about the WHO and how they eradicated smallpox without the assistance of snails or other alternative “cures”. We never expected that people would believe some of the conspiracy theories on GMO and aliens on the X Files, but they did! And then.. came.. the internetz… and gave the snailcurers a voice.

      We can’t change these people, all we can do is stop the spread of their poisonous messages and keep them away from our children, who are the ones we can teach properly.

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  17. Sally Smith says:

    It makes me sad that this happens, but even sadder that there seems to be no legal recourse for people being targeted in this fashion.

    This information on restraining orders in WA would seem to apply to the situation:

    Misconduct restraining orders are intended to restrain a person:
    * from behaving in a way that is intimidating or offensive to you or a person for whom you have legal responsibility
    * likely to cause damage to your property or
    * from committing a breach of the peace.

    It’s awful that no-one in authority is able or willing to stand up for these families.

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