I’m being quite serious when I say she is suffering with delusions
of grandeur and/or a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as if
she somehow holds the power to prevent babies dying. She will
use any possible way to get attention for herself, including casting
herself as the victim – AVN antivax page member Trinity James discussing
Catherine Hughes, whose baby son Riley died from whooping cough in 2015.
Those of us who follow and expose the anti-vaccination movement for what it is – and it certainly is not love and light – are well accustomed to antivaxers’ attacks on bereaved families. We’ve covered this in depth, with examples here, here and here.
Catherine Hughes states this, eloquently:
Since the day after we lost Riley, we were attacked by anti-vaccine activists who mocked, harassed and wrote lies about us. In a sense, I can totally understand why – his death and our immunisation advocacy was a threat to their perception of the world. It confronted their staunch belief that vaccines are bad and that diseases are safe. It must have been deeply unsettling, and it certainly caused some to lash out at us.
At the forefront of this repugnant behaviour has always been Meryl Dorey, the founder and former president of the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network (AVN), who normalised these attacks on bereaved families; her AVN continuing to host posts provoking its antivax devotees into action.
In August 2017, the anti-vaccination movement was panned in our federal parliament for its attacks on the Hughes family, whilst the Hughes have been recognised several times as the public health heroes they are:
Fittingly, Catherine Hughes was awarded the 2016 Western Australia Young Australian of the Year.
On December 28 2017, Light for Riley re-posted their evidence-based May 1 2017 post, noting that this had been their most-shared post from 2017:
Our most-shared post for the year.
I still stand by every point
Ten things I want parents who don’t vaccinate their kids to know:
1. There are no cures for most of the diseases we vaccinate against.
2. Even if you choose not to vaccinate, please please please make yourselves aware of the symptoms of these potentially fatal diseases. Infections like Meningococcal can kill within 24 hours, and every minute counts.
3. If you’re really worried about vaccine “toxins”, you don’t want to see what the toxins from Bordetella Pertussis (the bacteria responsible for whooping cough) can do. Trust me – I watched my newborn son die from it.
4. If your children contract a disease like measles or whooping cough, they usually have no symptoms in the first day or two – yet they are highly contagious. Keeping them away from others when sick is often too little, too late – the disease has already spread.
5. Your children will grow up, and you will need to be prepared to explain why you chose to leave them unprotected from serious disease.
6. Vaccines are not perfect. Like condoms… there’s a failure rate. There’s a tiny chance you might have a reaction. But they protect you from a hell of a lot of nasty stuff.
7. If you are worried about where to get good and unbiased information from, speak to someone who has worked in intensive care. They have seen patients with vaccine-preventable diseases. And if someone was in a serious way from a reaction to a vaccine, they would have seen those patients too. I have never met an ICU doctor/nurse who is against vaccination.
8. Be wary of those selling books, memberships, and alternatives to vaccination. They have rea$on$ for trying to convince you to not vaccinate.
9. In the time you have spent reading this, a few more children under the age of 5 have passed away from a vaccine-preventable disease somewhere in the world. These diseases are serious, they are deadly, and they are preventable.
10. It’s not too late to change your mind!
– Riley’s Mum
From December 28 2017, ongoing, the Hughes family has been barraged with anti-vaccination activists trolling the Light for Riley page, trolling their direct messages, and vilifying them on posts in which the page was tagged (ensuring that the Hughes would see these comments).
The Light for Riley admins have counted that 294 antivaxers were banned from the page, with a conservative estimate that 350-400 anti-vaccination comments were deleted.
The reason for the influx of trolling on the Light for Riley page was – and is always – that the Light for Riley post was shared in anti-vaccination groups and on anti-vaccination pages, with a call-out for antivaxers to flood the page with their comments.
In this case, the main source-group was Stop Mandatory Vaccination, a group consisting of 121,000 global anti-vaccinationists (and those who watch anti-vaccinationists), created by and administered by Californian antivaxer Larry Cook. For perspective, here is Larry Cook, in 2015:
This is the December 28 2017 post in Cook’s SMV group which includes this comment by Amie Walmsley, about Catherine Hughes:
…someone needs to inject her with vaccines until she dies.
Walmsley’s comment was made in reply to veteran AVN member Anita Bugges, who stated the following of Catherine Hughes:
…who knows how many deaths she has been responsible for.
Walmsley took up the offer to troll the Light for Riley page. She went through a series of posts, tagging them with laughing emoticons:
These are just two of the posts that Walmsley decided were hilarious:
The following four examples, from the Light for Riley page, were also captured on December 28 2017.
On January 1 2018, the following was posted on Light for Riley.
January 2 2018.
Tim Shandler sent this private message to the Hughes:
Jessica Parker posted this on the Light for Riley page:
January 3 2018.
Chelsea Kompler trolled the Hughes via private message. Her questions had already been answered on the Light for Riley page, prior to her banning for antivax trolling:
Trinity James is a pseudonymous coward who has been a member of all AVN and other anti-vaccination fora for a few years. James left this repugnant comment on an antivax page – the Hughes having been tagged via Light for Riley – that stated that it does not condone this sort of thing. This comment is still published on the antivax page, seemingly condoned:
Nice piece of fake news to kick off the new year. This was manufactured to cast vaccine choice advocates as dangerous and wanting to silence Catherine Hughes, when the opposite is true. It wouldn’t surprise me if that Hank prick posted it himself. I read an article recently which showed she was a member of SAVN for years before her baby died. SAVN’s key objective is to stop (silence) the AVN. Just a grieving parent my ass.
I’m being quite serious when I say she is suffering with delusions of grandeur and/or a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as if she somehow holds the power to prevent babies dying. She will use any possible way to get attention for herself, including casting herself as the victim. She is supporting the government line. How could she be the victim? Fucking ridiculous.
As always, tell your families and friends about the real anti-vaccination movement and its history of vilifying bereaved families. Nothing speaks louder to genuine fence-sitters than showing the real face of those who would otherwise claim to be ethical, intelligent and honest. We know antivaxers are none of those things.
January 8 2018
Cheyene Hayes comments posted on Light for Riley page:
Bryony Esther direct message sent to Light for Riley page:
Thank you, Hank, for being the voice of reason!