Stop the Australian Vaccination Network

It started after the second “Sunday Night” program dealing with Meryl Dorey and the AVN. I was appalled. How could anyone sit there and say that? How could anyone, in good conscience, sit there and tell a grieving mother whose child had died at the age of four weeks from whooping cough that her daughter’s death had nothing to do with whooping cough? How could anyone send hate mail to these people?

Yet that is what was happening. Members of the Australian Vaccination Network had been sending hate mail. I was furious. Sitting there in the studio, not three feet from Meryl Dorey, it took all of my strength not to launch at her. I can only imagine what the McCafferys were saying to themselves, listening to this woman rant.

I decided then and there to do something about it. I turned to Rachael Dunlop after taping was over and the conversation had degenerated into a slanging match between pro and anti-​​vaxers.

“I don’t care what it takes, I’m shutting these idiots down.”

That night, I went home and started pacing back and forth in my room. Something had to be done. The only forum I had to reach as many people as possible was Facebook. So I logged in and set about creating a group to counter the AVN’s presence there. I was floored by the immediate response and watched as the membership doubled on a daily basis. The biggest single increase came after Rachael Dunlop gave it a plug on the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast. A petition was started and we were under way.

Our first major battle with the AVN occurred on their Facebook fan page. Our members, asking there members one simple question “Where is the evidence to support the claims made by the Australian Vaccination Network?” It didn’t surprise us that the only material we were provided with was the same, tired old quackery that we were used to. They obviously weren’t used to having this material criticised.

What followed was, on one hand, hilarious, and on the other, disturbing. The Australian Vaccination Network rank and file simply resorted to attacking those asking the questions. I can’t repeat here the things that were said there. Needless to say, it was the most base level ad hominem attack — childish and immature to say the very least.

What was eventually uncovered was something none of us expected. The true motives of the AVN were nonetheless exposed. They may sell themselves as “pro-​​choice” (the latest buzz-​​word in the anti-​​vax arsenal) but they are purely and simply conspiracy theorists.

No-​​one would be the least bit surprised that they invoke the “Big Pharma” conspiracy, but some would baulk at the depth of their lunacy. Indeed, it’s not just the big drug companies trying to take your money, it goes much deeper than that.

The AVN believes that there is a global conspiracy by a European based illuminati that wants to implant mind control micro-​​chips in every man, woman and child. They believe this illuminati plans a mass cull of human beings.

From Meryl Dorey:

“While we are already seen as rabid, idiotic fringe-​​dwellers by so many in the mainstream, it does our argument no good at all to bring in conspiracy theories which, though we may subscribe to them, are unprovable.

We have mountains, acres and incredible numbers of medical journal articles that prove our case — why weaken it by bringing up something that will turn 99.9% of the population off of what we are saying? Stick with the facts and our cases will be strong.”

The Australian Vaccination Network engaged in a campaign of censorship designed to silence its critics by summarily deleting all posts made by our members on their Facebok page and banning any of us they could identify.

This initially worked, but as our ranks grew and new members took up the fight, it wasn’t long before they were forced to shut their public page down and resort to a private group, with too few members to matter. This was our first major win against the anti-​​vax nutters.

The Health Care Complaints Commission will investigate after a comprehensive complaint was lodged by one of our members from the South Coast region of New South Wales. This complaint, if upheld, may see then end of the AVN for good. However, it alone will not be enough and we are appealing to the public for assistance.

If you would like to help shut down the Australian Vaccination Network, you can do so a number of ways. You can join the Stop the Australian Vaccination Network group on Facebook, you can download the complaint made to the HCCC, read it and if you agree you can do one or all of the following:

Sign the petition in support of the complaint

Write a letter supporting the complaint to:

ATTN Ms Kristie Brown — Health Care Complaints Commission, Locked Bag 18, Strawberry Hills NSW 2012

Also, send a copy to PO Box 51, Moruya NSW 2537

If you would like to make your own complaint to the Health Care Complaint Commission against the AVN, you can do so by downloading the form from their website.

Meryl Dorey and the Australian Vaccination Network have proven themselves to be deluded, dangerous people who are not only anti-​​vaccination, but anti-​​science. They must be stopped.