In the wake of the anti-vaccine Health Australia Party’s poor showing at the recent federal election, the party has been busy imploding with all of the juvenile aplomb we would expect from a party made up of alternative medicine types. The party’s two founding members resigned citing a campaign of blame and recriminations from the party’s National Executive.
That founders Andrew Patterson and Judy Cooke were forced to resign over their online anti-vaccination and other conspiracy posts is bewildering, given that many other members and leading spokespersons of HAP have practised the same delusional social media activities. Maybe it was the chemtrails post which crossed the line?
The various HAP spokespersons have been at pains, before and after the election, to howl that the party is “not anti-vaccine”, and that HAP is “pro-choice”. We know this is simply dishonest.
Antivaxers know their beliefs are anathema to public health, and decency, so they know not to call themselves “anti-vaccine.” It doesn’t matter what your policy says; it matters what your people do and say. The people and/or their representatives are anti-vaccine. I have seen no pro-immunisation activities from any HAP spokespeople. But, we have all certainly seen the opposite.
The National President of HAP is Kerry Bone, a naturopath, herbalist, and business owner from Queensland. Bone’s business is called MediHerb. This is from the HAP’s website:
Bone has been one of those claiming that there has been a biased media campaign against the party, claiming that misinformation has been spread about the party’s anti-vaccination stance.
HAP member Shawn Dhu (yes, the same guy who has been making video threats of violence) posted Bone’s post-election-implosion email-to-members, on his Facebook profile [my bold]:
“Dear Friends of the Health Australia Party,
The election is less than two weeks past, but the work must continue. In particular, we need to confirm our membership to prepare for an audit which the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) conducts some time after every election.
Significant changes have already occurred since the election. Andrew Patterson and Judy Cooke, founders of the Natural Medicine Party in 2013, resigned from the executive and as members of Party. New members have already joined the executive and new positions lodged with the AEC. We are still seeking expressions of interest from Members who would like to participate on a National or a State level. We have begun addressing the misinformation campaign perpetuated by an extremely biased media leading into the election, and will soon be making changes to the website. In time, all our policy positions will be reviewed, and so on.
A full review of the work undertaken leading into the election will also be undertaken, and the lessons learnt implemented. It looks like we achieved a national vote of around 0.4% after adjusting for the 0.5%-1.0% benefit that experts say comes from winning the #1 position on a ballot paper (the so called “donkey vote” which fell to NSW in the pre-election draw). This means that around 45,000 supporters gave us their first preference vote in the four States where we stood candidates. It won’t be known how many second preferences we received for some weeks. This is an excellent base from which to build, especially as we have also received many offers of help from high quality people across the country.
Prof. Kerry Bone
National President – Health Australia Party.”
Over on the HAP Facebook page Bone’s email was repeated (not verbatim), with an excellent reference to the delusional social media posts made by many of the National Executive [my bold, again]:
Dear Friends of the Health Australia Party,
The election is less than two weeks past, but the work must continue.
We are well over 62,000 primary votes which is a great effort for a brand new party running in just four states.
Significant changes have already occurred since the election.
The party has undergone an honest self assessment which included looking at all aspects of how the party performed during the election. The party was subjected to a withering and biased media campaign, but there were also issues with material being posted on social media platforms that was not congruent with party policy. There is no doubt that this hurt us, but it has provided strong impetus to ensure it does not happen again. The party went into this election as a very ‘young’ organization – we are pleased with what we have achieved, but our goal now is to continue to build a robust and resilient force in Australian politics.
The party has also accepted the resignation of NSW Senate candidate Andrew Patterson and Judy Cooke from the party. New members have already joined the executive and new positions lodged with the AEC. We are still seeking expressions of interest from Members who would like to participate on a National or a State level.
Despite the misinformation campaign directed at HAP we now have an excellent base from which to build, especially as we have also received many offers of help from high quality people across the country.
At the end of this post I’ll include screenshots from that Facebook post’s comments thread, in which the Health Australia Party labeled me as a troll, amongst other immature comments.
So, the National President of the Health Australia Party, Kerry Bone, is claiming that “misinformation” has been spread about the party by an “extremely biased media.”
Now, we already know about the anti-vaccinationism and other anti-health posts of many on the HAP National Executive, and its candidates. But, Bone is adamant that the party has been misrepresented. Just how distant is the National President from the type of delusional anti-vaccination misinformation we have seen from other HAP leaders?
This is the Facebook page of Bone’s business, MediHerb, of which he is the founder.
March 2013, citing a post from the ranting, homophobic, US loon, Tim Bolen. For those unaccustomed to the anti-vaccination movement, citing Bolen is akin to holding a dinner party with your pissed great-uncle who yells about poofters and baseball bats, whilst defecating in your elegant fruit-bowl centrepiece, slowly spinning on the mahogany dinner table’s Lazy Susan with his pants on his head:
January 2013, citing the embarrassingly awful German homeopath:
December 2012, MediHerb being one of the likers of the antivax comment under the post:
October 2012, that execrable, anti-fluoride “Harvard study”:
September 2011, Wakefield; nothing more needs to be said:
And just as an added bonus, these posts showing the apparent quality assurance of the naturopathic industry…
In a garage:
And, in a caravan park:
Going through the MediHerb Facebook page last night, I could only hear one voice, and it was a good voice:
Original public image courtesy Twitter, Mad as Hell.
Text altered by my friend the Super Shooper.
As mentioned, above, last night, the Health Australia Party’s official Facebook spokesperson behaved in the immature fashion which we have come to expect, regarding the dishonest blame-shifting which the National Executive has undertaken since…well…since it first plopped into existence, really.
I requested the anonymous spokesperson’s name; but, they decided to hide, instead:
Can I come over next time your Great-Uncle comes for dinner
I’ll rinse the crystal.
And this is what I love about you Hank. You use their* own arguments to engage them (right down to quoting them) and they find it unpalatable … even threatening. Love it.
* “Their, them and they” being those to whom you serve your aces.
Yes, and that’s all I have ever done, really. I re-publish their own comments and show them to a wider audience, and that audience can then see for themselves what awful people these are. What I do is nothing special. Time-consuming, yes; but, nothing special.
I love the reference to you “hiding in the shadows” Peter. If that’s your idea of hiding you must have been really bad at “go home stay home” in your childhood!
Indeed. The only reason I don’t allow my address into the public domain is because of death and other threats I’ve received from these types. I’m a single, sole carer of my twins. We can’t afford to have any surprise visitors for quite a while. They can’t perceive of any world in which some broke, unqualified bum can possibly do this for (less than) no money. Although, when finances permit, I can be found at my favourite café.
I don’t know why, but your response of “If I need to hear from you; I’ll grunt” had me laughing hard enough to wake the wife upstairs.
This just made my rare sojourn to the HAP page worthwhile.
I’m glad I could help you with that. I’m a long time reader, but I tend to lurk. You and Orac have probably been two of the greatest contributors to my knowledge and understanding of how quacks operate and the medical issues that they effect. Thank you.