On Thursday I successfully defended an attempt by Meryl Dorey of the Australian Vaccination Network to have me silenced on the Internet.
The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) has been trying to silence its critics for a number of years now. So it come as no surprise that the president of the Australian Vaccination Network would eventually file Strategic Lawsuit Agaist Public Participation (SLAPP) suits against critics in an effort to silence them. What did come as a surprise was the choice of legislation. Back in September of 2012 Meryl Dorey chose to file applications for Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO) against myself and two other critics of the AVN.
(Note: During the 11 months between the lodgement of the application and Todays hearing Ms Dorey resigned as president of the AVN).
Ms Doreys application requested that the following orders be made:
1. The defendant must not approach or contact the protected persons by any means whatsoever except through the defendants legal representative.
2. The defendant must not mention the applicant in any online forum in any derogatory manner.
Although Ms Dorey lodged the applications in her personal capacity the intent of this litigation is clear.
Spot the applicant Meryl Dorey or The AVN?
The AVN has been hitting back at it’s critics for a number of years now. The AVN and their supporters employ the following tactics against critics:
- False DMCA reports.
- False reporting of critics websites to anti-virus vendors.
- Threatening Politicians.
- Harassing, abusing, vilifying Grieving Families.
- Impersonating critics websites (badly).
- Spamming, email bombarding Members of Parliament.
- Calling Doctors and Courts peadophiles.
- Accused a mobile health service of kidnapping kids off the street.
- Abusing Facebooks report feature to get critics banned.
- Withholding Financial Reports from the department of Fair Trading.
- Advocating the use of violence against critics.
- Contacting Civil Rights groups and failing to spot the irony.
- Promoting a fake church to dodge the law.
- Lying to fair trading, and it’s not even a very good lie.
- Bullying Doctors.
- Calling their critics terrorists.
So a SLAPP suit is perfectly in line with the AVN and Meryl Doreys standard operating procedures. The timeline of events is as follows:
5th September 2012: Meryl Dorey files her application in a Ballina local court.
14th September 2012: Peter Bowditch notifies me that my name has appeared in the court registry.
20th September 2012: Meryl Dorey goes on public radio to brag about her AVO applications.
25th September 2012: I receive a summons to appear in a court 4,500km in two days time.
27th September 2012: First mention which I am not party to. Meryl Dorey publically announces on the Australian Vaccination Network website that she has scored a legal victory against her critics.
15th November 2012: Second mention. Application to move the proceeding to Lismore local court which has video link facilities.
10th December 2012: Third mention. I am in Paris when I receive a phone call from my lawyer telling me that the magistrate in Lismore does not appear impressed with the applications.
15th January 2013: Fourth mention. The matter is referred to mediation.
6th Febuary 2013: Meryl Dorey fails to attend mediation.
20th Febuary 2013: Meryl Dorey attends mediation, announces her displeasure at the letter I sent to Greg Beattie. Mediation falls apart.
12th March 2013: Fifth mention. A hearing date is set for the 24th May.
26th April 2013: Meryl Dorey loses her AVO case against Peter Bowditch.
21st May 2013: Meryl Dorey submits application for the magistrate to be disqualified. Application is granted in chambers.
24th May 2013: Was a hearing, now the sixth mention. New hearing and new magistrate set for 22nd August.
19th August 2013: An offer is made to Ms Dorey to drop the case and pay smaller legal fees than she will have to if we go to court. She declines.
22nd August 2013: I receive an email from my lawyer at 4:12am containing documents that Meryl Dorey wishes to use in court. We know Ms Dorey likes to file things at the very last minute but this is surely taking the piss. I print the documents out and bring them to court anyway.
1. Ms Dorey included a screenshot of some pornography (“Cunt of the year” award) that she alleges was sent to her, no doubt her intention was to blame me for it despite the fact that she has had it since at least 2011, but claims that a message I sent in 2012 incited people to send her porn. I do not believe that anyone involved with SAVN has ever sent Ms Dorey pornographic material. There is no evidence to suggest that anything I have posted on the internet has ever caused anyone to act unlawfully towards Ms Dorey or the AVN.
2. On 25th of September 2012 I received an email from email@example.com offering to “fuckup those cunts cyber style” to which I politly declined thinking nothing more of it until I saw a post on the AVN facebook wall complaining about a death threat that appeard to be from the same user.
Date: 25 September 2012 10:09:12 AM AEST
meryl be warned we’re coming for you. and you will be sorry you filthy
baby killer. sharpening the knives now.
We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
As you can see it is quite a nasty email so I decided to publicly disclose my earlier correspondence with this individual along with the mail headers that might be used to identify the perpetrator. Below you can see the full exchange of my emails with firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail headers here.
From: Dan Buzzard
Sent: Tuesday, 25 September 2012 8:17 AM
Subject: RE: meryl dorey
While I appreciate your desire to stop these low lives I could never support the actions you propose.
Shutting down the AVN requires us to keep our footing firmly planted on the moral high ground, so I must decline your offer to “fuckup those cunts cyber style”.
Have a nice day.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, 25 September 2012 8:02 AM
Subject: meryl dorey
nice collection of docs. want me to fuckup those cunts cyber style?
they wont know what hit ’em. i can hack their website with sql injection too. plaster it with all sorts. they lose audiance who are offended by wat i post. its how we operate. i could also organize one of our many botnets to take em down with ddos.
just ask if you need help
We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
You’ll notice that my reply email does not appear in either of Ms Doreys statements of evidence only the email sent by FantasticFox5. Including the entire dialogue would have weakened her evidence. Ms Dorey’s lawyer engaged in a rather pathetic attempt to try and link me to FantasticFox5.
Ms Dorey is aware that I have an account on WhyWeProtest.net. Her lawyer claimed in court that I am active on this forum. I told him that 5 post in 5 years (4 of them in 2008) hardly counts as ‘active’. I only wish I had submitted a dictionary into evidence. He then proceeded to ask whether or not the forum had a private messaging feature, I acknowledge that it probably does as it’s a standard feature. He then suggests that it is entirely possible that I contacted FantasticFox5 via the forums. Of course he had no evidence to backup this false allegation and the desperation was palpable.
There is absolutely nothing to suggest that FantasticFox5 has anything to do with WhyWeProtest.net the Anonymous brand is widely used across the internet and such a person could have come from any of the thousands of sites sympathetic to the goals of anonymous. I find it highly suspicious that Ms Dorey asserts knowledge of an individual who’s identity is still unknown. It is also suspicious that this email is being used as a major piece of evidence in an AVO Application that precedes it. It’s like telling your insurance company that you need to lodge a claim today because your car gets stolen tomorrow.
I consider the FantasticFox5 allegations to be the most serious of all the material as there is a clear and direct threat. However I think Meryl Dorey, or her supporters likely fabricated this bit of evidence. Then her lawyer lied about it in court.
3. On 31st of August 2012 I sent Meryl Dorey a butthurt report form. I originally saw the form posted on the WhyWeProtest.net forum by an anonymous user. Ms Dorey and her lawyer decided to accuse me of being the anonymous poster in their effort to link me to that site. Yet again they had no evidence for any of these accusations, the only name I post under on that forum is ‘CIA_sec‘. So they failed again through lack of evidence. There isn’t much more to say on it but you can read about the time I sent it to Meryl here.
On this forum, a person who calls himself anonymous but who I believe is Dan Buzzard (and the original person who started this thread), posted a copy of a
form called a Butthurt Report Form. Shortly after posting this (please see below), Dan Buzzard sent me a copy of this form via post to my address. He had taken
a picture of the envelope addressed to me and posted that to his blog. The only purpose of this letter was to harass and intimidate me. -Meryl Dorey, written statement.
4. Meryl Dorey also objected to me calling her a liar and assclown.
Do you see what’s missing from the screenshot of my blog? How about everything except the title and first sentence. Wouldn’t want the court to know that you got called a liar and an assclown for doing something dishonest and potentially unlawful would we? Unfortunately this didn’t get brought up, so I didn’t have a chance to ask what they are hiding. You can see what they didn’t want the court to see here.
5. I told the court that if someone is threatening Ms Dorey or sending her pornography then she should file for AVOs against them. What other people choose to do on the internet is nothing to do with me. Ms Dorey’s lawyer argued that I am the only person she can identify with any link to the abuse she’s been receiving. In other words they have no idea who the perpetrator is so they blame me. At one point the magistrate did ask if the person who sent the threatening email was in the court room, they had to admit that the perpetrator wasn’t.
In closing the magistrate read both emails from FantasticFox5, plus my reply email to FantasticFox5 and the two screenshot below.
Let’s not be rude on the internet, right?
So the case came down to these points:
- Meryl Dorey is upset about things being said on the internet.
- She alleges that people are sending her porn and death threats.
- Looking for someone to blame she chooses me. (and Peter Bowditch, Daniel Rafaele)
- I tell the court that she is lying about receiving pornography and I do not know the identity of FantasticFox5.
- Dorey and co admit that the perpetrator isn’t in the courtroom.
- Ms Dorey’s Lawyer tries to draw non-existent link between myself and FantasticFox5, fails miserably.
The end result?
Case dismissed, costs application against Ms Dorey for just over $11,000. The system works.
The Documents presented in this case are as follows. The more familiar you are with these documents the more you will realise what a baseless and vexatious case this was.
Meryl Dorey also lost an AVO application against Peter Bowditch which you can read about here. A third AVO application against Daniel Raffaele was consented to without admission so long as the gag order was thrown out, which it was. So in the end all three attempts to silence her critics have failed and none of the allegations she has made against any of us have been proven.