When I first encountered the anti-vaccination pressure group, the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network, over 8 years ago, as a part of Stop the Australian (Anti) Vaccination Network, one of the first things which became apparent was that the anti-vaccination activists would become self-fulfilling prophecies – due to their verbose, unearned hubris, along with their vilification of bereaved families, and their attacks on doctors and other public health workers, and their attacks on the media, and their attacks on politicians – who would succeed in bringing about that which they were, at that stage, strawmanning for business: fighting against (then-nonexistent) compulsory vaccination and the censure of their as-yet unchecked and lucrative, awful behaviour.
Now, these 8 years later, we can reflect on the successes of professional antivaxer, Meryl Dorey, and her cabal of dishonest antivax thugs. Dorey has quite a row of notches in her belt, to which antivaxers and natural health therapists can point and say, “thanks, Meryl.”
Dorey and her AVN brought about changes to the NSW Health Care Complaints Act, which was appropriately broadened so as to make complaints easier to lodge, due directly to Dorey and the AVN appealing a previously successful complaint and public health warning against the AVN, in the Supreme Court of NSW. The AVN were re-investigated. The AVN, and Dorey, then promptly gained themselves a brand-new HCCC Public Health Warning that still stands. Health complaints legislations around the nation have also been bolstered following the NSW amendments.
Dorey and her AVN have been instrumental in bringing about the various No Jab No Pay and No Jab No Play legislations around Australia, pertaining to childcare benefits and childcare access respectively. If it wasn’t for the boisterous arrogance of Dorey and Tasha David, Brett Smith and the rest of the AVN, then, maybe none of this would have come about. These types of policies are now being implemented around the world, in response to disease outbreaks and growth in anti-vaccination sentiment.
Thanks to Dorey and her AVN, and other anti-vaccination activists, precedents have also been set in cancelling charitable authorities of anti-vaccination organisations and cover-organisations, like Stephanie Messenger’s fake SIDS organisation.
Thanks to Dorey and her AVN, governments have set precedents in ensuring that anti-vaccination organisation names accurately reflect their purpose.
Thanks to Dorey and her AVN, and their dishonesty, anti-vaccination activists have largely become personae non gratae in the media, with the ABC actually sending out memos to producers and announcers that Dorey cannot be trusted to tell the truth.
This has all come about due to the activism of amateur and professional defenders of public health, from the community, governments and oppositions, and the media. Everyone should take a huge bow.
In 2015, this sort of activism led to the cancellation of an anti-vaccination tour by US antivaxer, Sherri Tenpenny. All venues cancelled her appearances, once they found out what she was really here to say; the venues were not told the truth about the bookings. In 2015, government did not need to step in: Tenpenny and her colleagues cancelled the tour because she wouldn’t make any money.
Meryl Dorey, Tasha David, and their anti-vaccination cult have just succeeded in setting another precedent. This precedent will have far-reaching consequences for all anti-vaccination activists who plan to come to Australia to damage our fiercely-protected public health and safety.
Dorey and her organisation are busily singing the praises of the recent AVN/Vaxxed tour of Australia. They had learned from the Tenpenny failure. Venues were consistently lied to about the true nature of the event, and the antivax film. Venues were kept secret. Some venues cancelled, once they found out, from secret ticket-holders. Many venues were outraged that they had been deceived.
But, the tour may be the last, for all foreign antivaxers. And it will have serious consequences for the proposed Australian expansion of overseas antivax/autism organisations and their related activities. They have really done it this time.
Not only did the much-hyped antivax tour provide defenders of public health with an overwhelming cache of video evidence of the direct harm antivaxers do to public health, but, the tour also succeeded in getting Vaxxed stars banned from Australia for at least 3 years. News of this ban was broken, yesterday, by Polly Tommey:
Today, Tommey expanded. She and her antivax colleague bragged about their departure from Australia, the process of having evidence gathered from Tommey’s electronic device, and the claim that Australian immigration would have stopped her from entering Australia if they had been aware of her activities. This is big:
So, once again, thank you Meryl Dorey, Tasha David, and the AVN. Your service and dedication to public health will not be forgotten.
Update August 9 2017
Tommey posted the notification from Australian Border Force which states that she was banned from Australia for her threat to public health. The section reads:
(e) the presence of its holder in Australia is or may be, or would or might be, a risk to:
(i) the health, safety or good order of the Australian community nor a segment of the Australian community.
Information because of which the grounds were considered to exist:
Open source information indicates that you are a prominent anti-vaccination activist in the United States of America. You recently visited Australia participating in delivering seminars at numerous locations about anti-vaccination and promoted an anti-vaccination film titled ‘Vaxxed’.