Recently the Australian Greens have been speaking out against the deceptively named Australian Vaccination Network, with Senator Richard Di Natale calling upon the Australian Senate to condemn them for their campaign of fear and lies.
So I decided to send a quick thank you note to the Australian Greens for taking a stand against this dangerous organisation.
I am writing to thank you for your party’s stance against the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN).
I first joined the movement against the AVN back in 2010 after learning of the abhorrent behaviour of Meryl Dorey and her supporters, namely the harassment and abuse that was being dished out to the McCaffrey family after losing their daughter Dana to Whooping Cough in 2009. Apparently Ms Dorey felt it was appropriate to contact the local health authorities and demand confidential medical records so she could dispute the cause of Dana’s death.
When Ms Dorey came to Perth in June 2010 I attended her lecture held at the state library to witness firsthand the lies and fear mongering the AVN was said to employ. Ms Dorey did not disappoint and spent her entire talk promoting conspiracy theories between doctors, governments and pharmaceutical companies. She even made derogatory comments about Dr Paul Offit; a hero in my opinion for his work in developing the Rotavirus Vaccine. Ms Dorey refers to Dr Offit as “Dr Profit” in her attempts to demonize a man whos work has arguably saved millions of lives.
Meryl Dorey’s attempts to spread fear and intimidation to well-meaning parents in order to scare them away from providing their children with essential medical care and her unrelenting attacks against medical professionals and anyone who speaks about the danger of vaccine preventable disease are my primary reason for joining the campaign to see this disgraceful organisation shut down.
My actions in speaking out against The Australian Vaccination Network have not been without cost. When Ms Dorey came to Perth in 2010 I wrote to the library beforehand to advise them of the nature of the talk, I also encouraged readers of my website to write to the library and express their concern. As I don’t believe it is appropriate for people to lie about science and medicine in an educational institution such as a library. Ms Dorey was very upset that I and many others had been in contact with the library, she was especially upset with the correspondence that I had sent to the library as I also sent her a copy so that she would have the right of reply. Ms Dorey appears to have held a grudge against me ever since.
Over the past three years I have seen Meryl Dorey and her supporters grow increasingly hostile toward myself and other critics. During this time I have seen Ms Dorey progress from simply making snide remarks against her critics to filling Apprehended Violence Orders with the intent of gaging her critics, the order she’s seeking reads: “The defendant must not mention the applicant in any online forum in any derogatory manner.” I am a defendant of this legal action living more than 4,500KMs away from the ‘Local’ Court in which Ms Dorey filed against me. I have been forced to spend my time and money to defend what I consider to be a fundamental human right; Freedom of Speech.
Other tactics that have been employed in the past by Ms Dorey to silence critics include contacting Internet Service Providers and making a false claim of copyright violation so that material critical of the AVN is removed from the internet. Ms Dorey has even gone so far as to claim under penalty of perjury that she is the exclusive rights holder to a document created by the New South Wales Government in order to have it removed from the internet. Her supporters have taken to reporting my personal Facebook profile to Facebook’s automated abuse system as “Hate Speech” resulting in my account being banned on no less than three separate occasions, causing much inconvenience for myself and people with whom I communicate via Facebook’s services, family, friends etc.
Another underhanded tactic that has been employed by supporters of the AVN is to report the websites of the AVN’s critics to security companies such as Trend Micro and McAfee so that the security products sold by those companies prevent their customers from accessing websites reported to contain malware. None of the reported websites have contained any malware and the security companies involved (through no fault of their own) have now been made aware of the people trying to abuse their products for the purpose of censorship.
In 2012 Ms Dorey set up a website at AustralianSceptics.com which she has titled “The REAL Australian Sceptics” in an attempt to co-opt the trademark of Australian Skeptics Inc (Skeptics.com.au) a highly reputable organisation that has been a long-time critic of the AVN’s dishonest activities. I would not be at all surprised to see Ms Dorey attempting to impersonate the website of the Australian Greens.
But perhaps most concerning of all is an associate of Ms Dorey’s by the name of Patrick Timothy Bolen (Tim Bolen) who in October 2012 publically expressed a desire to lure critics of the AVN “into a dark place, so to speak, where angry friends are waiting (quietly) to make the equivalent of a "citizen's arrest." And, they are allowed to wait there quietly, armed with the equivalent of a baseball bat, or two, or three, to be used to "subdue, with reasonable force". Supporters of the AVN haven’t resorted to physical violence so far, I firmly believe that it is only a matter of time until there is a physical confrontation. The disgraceful behaviour of this organisation appears boundless and their hostility towards people who speak against them continues to escalate.
I commend Senator Di Natale and the Australian Greens for speaking out against the Australian Vaccination Network and have no doubt that you will now be receiving a sizable amount of hate and vilification from Ms Dorey, the AVN and their supporters. I believe this group will stop at nothing to silence, bully and intimidate their critics or frighten confused parents into not vaccinating their children.
The Australian Vaccination Network is an organisation that thrives on fear and dishonesty. It cannot be allowed to continue and must be universally condemned by all political parties in all houses, state, territory and federal.
Please consider doing the same. You can find The Greens contact details here.