Entries in Anti-Vaccination Network (102)

Sunday
Jan102016

France knows how to deal with anti-vaxxers.

An anti-vaccination couple in France have been charged and convicted of neglecting their child's health by refusing to vaccinate.

MARC and Samia Larere thought they were doing the right thing by their children, aged three and 15 months, when they refused to vaccinate them against polio, tetanus and diphtheria.

In a sentence handed down in a criminal court on Thursday, the pair received a two-month suspended jail sentence. They have been given time to appeal, but it could’ve been much worse.

They were originally charged with neglecting their children’s health, an offence that could’ve landed them two years in prison and a hefty fine. -News.com.au

Since you aren't allowed to neglect children by refusing to feed them it stands to reason that a person should not be permitted to neglect a child by refusing important medications. I can only hope that one day Australia will follow the French example by punishing anti-vaxxers for being negligent douchebags.

Monday
Sep072015

Australian Vaccination Network crashes and burns.

The infamous public health menace Australian Vaccination-sceptics Network more commonly known as the Australian Vaccination Network has just submitted financial reports to the New South Wales Department of Fair Trading and the news is fantastic, at least for those of us who value the health and wellbeing of the community.

See: Documents Held by Fair Trading 7 September 2015

In 2009 a small but dedicated group of concerned citizens formed a Facebook group called "Stop the Australian Vaccination Network" after the organisation embarked on a campaign of abuse and vilification against a family who had just lost lost their four week old daughter to whooping cough.

See: The Australian Vaccination Network, abuses and vilifies grieving families. 

For the past six years Stop the AVN and its supporters have fought a relentless campaign to hold the AVN accountable for the lies and fear mongering used to scare parents away from vaccinating their children. The responses from the AVN and its supporters has been highly aggressive with abuse, harassment, stalking and death-threats being standard modis operandi of the anti-vaccination movement. We have even witnessed anti-vaxxers plotting to visit the home address of a young woman who criticised a prominent member of the Anti-vaccination movement. The AVN has also filed lawsuits against critics and filed official complains with the press-council against journalists who report on the organisation in an unfavorable light.

However despite such aggressive opposition we are continuing to win or campaign to shut down the AVN. The lastest figures show they are effectivly on life support. From an annual income of $350,000 in 2007 to just $21,000 today. They have been reduced from a registered charity that the media used to turn to as an authoritative source on vaccination information to a paranoid group of fringe lunatics on Facebook who the media now vocally condemns as such.

Graph by Dr Matthew Berryman

Not only have the AVN taken the financial hit but their membership is also in rapid decline.

Graph by Dr Matthew Berryman

Download: Excel Spreadsheet of Income Expenses and Donations here.

So although the organisation still exists, and its likely that we will never totally eradicate it the small group of concerned citizens (Now 15,724 people on Facebook) has made a heavy impact against what was once a David and Goliath battle to bring down the nations most formidable health menace.

More documents relating the the AVNs finance can be found: here.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead
Friday
Jul172015

Anti-vaccination political party loses Domain Name.

In recent weeks a group of anti-vaccination campaigners have attempted to start their own political party called the Involuntary Medication Objectors Party whose goal is to undermine public health initiatives. 

Recent so called No Jab, No Play, No Pay laws discriminating against parents who choose not to vaccinate their children have far reaching effects for the basic freedoms that we have enjoyed.
We object to the our elected representatives making and supporting laws that use financial coercion to compel struggling, loving, caring parents to vaccinate their children with questionable medication.
The injustice of the recent No Jab, No Pay law has motivated us to form a political party that will aggressively agitate for rescission of this undemocratic law. -Involuntary Medication Objectors Party

This party is a response to the Abbot Government "No Jab, No Pay" laws which closed a loophole that people have been using to claim benefits they aren't entitled to. Under this new law if parents want to claim a payment that has an immunisation criteria they must ensure that their children are vaccinated before they can receive the handout.

The party did have a website setup at IMOP.com.au until auDA the government organisation that administers the .au namespace received the following complaint.

The domain imop.com.au is registered to Misty Mountain Health and Institute Ltd, ABN 61097939672, so the domain name is clearly not (as required) an exact match, abbreviation or acronym of the registrant's names:
* Better Life Productions
* Misty Mountain Health Retreat, or
* Misty Mountain Aboriginal Healing Place.

Given it is being used to host a political party's web site, I fail to see how it's being used for domain monetisation, or otherwise closely and substantially connected to the registrant under the rules for that use in the guidelines. -Complainant

The registry is now reporting status: pendingDelete (Client requested policy delete)

As we have seen in the past Anti-vaccination campaigners have a psychotic determination to undermine public health. I have no doubt they will return after this setback, and we will be waiting when they do. Every victory against the Anti-vaccination movement is a victory for public health, and we are winning this fight.

Friday
Jul102015

Former Queensland Police Officer calls for murder of medical workers.

Chris Savage is a prominent anti-vaccination campaigner and former sergeant in the Queensland Police Force prior to being thrown out for reasons Qld Police have not disclosed. I will however speculate that they probably didn't want someone who thinks it's ok to randomly shoot people at your own leisure.

Of course this is not the first time Anti-vaccination campaigner have praised murder as a legitimate tactic. Back in Febuary United States based anti-vaxxers openly praised the murder of medical personnel.

In September of last year a leading anti-vaccination campaign tried to convince a woman to kill her own husband via deliberate dissemination of false medical advise.

Way back in 2011 calls to "String the Bastards Up" where made by anti-vaxxers advocating the lynching of medical personnel. Then there is the unforgettable Frankie Vazquez who issues both bomb threats, death threats and more.

So while we are used to anti-vaxxers engaging in threatening and criminal activity it is not often that we have Former Police Offices engaged in such activities. Chris Savage actively promotes himself as a former police sergeant to garner credibility within anti-vax circles.

I will be interested to see what Queensland Police have to say about this. They kicked him out, but he still uses their brand/reputation to promote himself.

Monday
Jun222015

De-anonymised Luke O'Hehir of Elegant Logic loses the plot.

For sometime now an Internet Troll by the name of Luke E Lawless has been hassling skeptical blogger Peter Tierney aka Reasonable Hank, winner of last years Skeptic Of The Year Award. 

Message sent to Peter; from Luke.

Like much of the harassment that members of this community face it was done behind the veil of anonymity as Luke E Lawless is clearly a fake name, this is also confirmed by the fact that this individuals identity has since been revealed. Due to a comment he made on Peters Blog.

Normally an IP address alone is not enough to identify an individual and most people have nothing to be concerned about. However the anonymous Luke E Lawless certainly wasn't happy and immediately accuses Peter of promoting criminal activity. 

So concerned was Luke E Lawless that he found a question on Stack Exchange about IP Addresses and posted it to his Facebook wall in order to reassure himself that everything would be alright.

Actually when a person engages in a campaign of harassment getting their IP address is often the first stage in identifying the culprit. People like Luke O'Hehir owner of Elegant Logic in Melbourne who believe  they can engage in abusive behavior behind the veil of anonymity will always slip up eventually and allow us to build their profile.

Luke O'Hehir was de-anonymised using more traditional investigative methods but a court order against his Internet Service Provider would also have worked to identify him via his IP Address. It wasn't used this time but yes, once we have your IP we can potentially identify you with it.

Since being identified Luke O'Hehir has been posting even more batshit crazy things to Peter. Here's a classic.

This is the old "I have a lawyer and you better believe it" tactic. It's a beyond pathetic attempt to curb criticism. I have yet to meet a Lawyer who uses Facebook to communicate with clients. Luke O'Hehir is simply upset that he was caught.

Equally funny (and Pathetic) is the "I have a cop" tactic.

Keep going Luke O'Hehir. As someone who presents themselves as an IT Professional you seem to have a poor understanding of both the Internet and the law. I look forward to the headline "De-anonymised Internet Troll sues harassment victim for whambulance fees."