You may also enjoy V for Ventosity.
You may also enjoy V for Ventosity.
Meryl Dorey has resigned as president of the AVN.
Her replacement is the splendidly eccentric Greg Beattie.
Here is the AVN’s announcement of the news:
Greg Beattie, long-time vaccine researcher and author of two books, the latest of
which guides readers through an in-depth analysis of the benefits of vaccination
with a focus on Australia, has stepped in to fill the role of President of the
Australian Vaccination Network, Inc. (AVN). This position was recently vacated by
Meryl Dorey, who resigned effective January 1, 2013.
Ms Dorey is a founding member of the national health watchdog and support group,
established almost 19 years ago in 1994. The AVN has over 2,000 members both within
Australia and internationally and has been active in both supporting the right to
free and informed health choice and opposing medical discrimination.
“There are several very important projects which have been neglected due to the
pressures of running this organisation”, said Ms Dorey. “A sabbatical will enable
me to do this work while knowing that the AVN is in the best of hands with Greg
Beattie and our Management Committee in charge.”
Mr Beattie is the father of 7 children and first rose to prominence during his appeal
against the Maroochy Shire Council whose discriminatory policy excluded his healthy
unvaccinated children from council-run childcare centres.
His account of that process, including an in-depth analysis of Australian Government
data demonstrating that vaccination had little to do with the decline in deaths
from infectious diseases over the last century, quickly became the ‘go-to’ book
on this issue. Called, Vaccination: A Parent’s Dilemma, it was Greg’s first publication
on the subject. His second volume, Fooling Ourselves on the Fundamental Value of
Vaccines, expands on and updates earlier research, again using Australian data
on mortality and morbidity from infectious diseases.
“The future for this organisation is very exciting”, Ms Dorey continued. “Strong-arm
tactics by the Australian Government and medical community have virtually guaranteed
that more and more parents will be asking questions about the safety and effectiveness
of vaccination. The demand for our services has never been greater and with the
help of our new President, we will continue to provide both information and support
to Australian families into the foreseeable future.
For interviews or further information, please contact:
Greg Beattie – 0400 045 504
I’ll write more later, but this is awesome news. Thanks, Meryl!
The Australian Vaccination Network’s Meryl Dorey has offered up a stinging rebuke to NSW Fair Trading, ordering it to change its name.
The demand comes less than 24 hours after Dorey was served with a direction to change the AVN’s name or be deregistered as an association.
In an open letter published exclusively on her website, Dorey said:
Dear Minister Roberts,
I am writing in response to the letter you delivered to my house yesterday. I’m sorry I wasn’t in to meet you personally. I was out at a bullying seminar, looking for someone to care about my hurt feelings.
Regarding the name of the AVN: look, we’re a network, right? Well we’re not really a network. We’re a blog with a shop selling Scientology DVDs, but we have a mailing list.
And we’re Australian, right? Well, I’m not Australian. But I live in Australia.
And we talk a lot about Stop The AVN, and what does the V in Stop The AVN Stand for? Exactly: vaccination. So there’s nothing misleading about the AVN’s name.
I don’t think it’s fair that we should have to change our name, and if this Commissioner or Director-General or Minister or whatever thinks so then they aren’t fair either.
So you should have to change your name, because you aren’t really trading fairly at all. In fact, you people don’t even have an online shop, so how are you even trading at all?! Don’t confuse them with logic!!
(BTW, speaking of online shops, we have a special offer on bootleg photocopies of 20-year-old articles right now. $2 each, or $50 for a parsnip-box full. We also have a DVD with all 8 issues of the six-times-annual Living Wisdom magazine, dating back to 1994!)
But anyway, NSW Fair Trading are clearly not actually fair. And another thing: where is this directive actually coming from? You are only a state government and the Australian Medical Association and News Limited and Fairfax Media and the Queensland Minister of Health and the HCCC and OLGR, so I think you must have some undisclosed backing from pharmaceutical companies who only want to make their customers sick. It makes you think!
Love and light,
P.S. Sorry we haven’t submitted our 2011 Annual Report yet. I can’t find my green crayon.
This post is satire. It shouldn’t need stating, but then nor should the fact that vaccination is a vitally important part of healthcare policy. Join Stop The AVN to find out more.
Meryl Dorey, crazed anti-vaccination conspiracy-theorist and Scientology propaganda seller, has announced that her lucrative marketing business, the Australian Vaccination Network is to change its name early in the New Year.
The newly rebranded outfit will be named ‘Stop Stop The AVN‘, in reference to notorious cyberbullies and beastly rotters Stop The Australian Vaccination Network.
The name change has been prompted by an order by the NSW Office of Fair Trading.
In a Media Release published exclusively on her website, Ms Dorey stated: ‘Look, all I do is piss and moan about Stop The AVN anyway. It’s been months since I could be bothered writing any magazine articles, and it seems none of my subscribers have even noticed that their six-issue annual subscriptions consist of one real magazine and five imaginary ones. I mean, why even bother pretending any more?’
‘According to Meryl Dorey, it’s an incredible strategy. The harder Meryl fails, the more successful she is, according to her’, said Ms Dorey’s accountant, Leo Bloom. ‘It’s a bit like vaccination in that respect, according to Meryl.’
NSW Fair Trading Minister, Anthony ‘Awesome’ Roberts said:
“This is not a victimless issue, it’s about the ability to stop pain and suffering,”
Mr Roberts likened the AVN’s message to sanctioning speeding.
“People do not have the freedom of choice when it comes to endangering others … it’s the equivalent of saying a bloke can speed down the road and endanger others,” he said.
Mr Roberts said he was prepared for any appeals the AVN might make.
“This is an order, it is not a request,” he said.
In response, Meryl Dorey pointed out that the Nazis also gave orders.
“Just today, I was at an anti-bullying seminar when they told me I should not be defined by bullies. What better way to show that Stop The AVN don’t bother me in the slightest, than by spending all my time writing blog posts and updating Facebook to show everyone what they’re up to? And if that’s the case, then why not literally define myself as the very opposite of Stop The AVN?”
A spokesman for Stop The AVN said no decision had been made on the future direction of the group, but a change of name to ‘Stop Stop Stop The AVN’ had not been ruled out.
This post is satire. It shouldn’t need stating, but then, nor should the fact that vaccination saves lives. Join SSSAVN today.
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit…
…by their fruits ye shall know them.
- Matt 17-20 KJV
Julia Gillard should never have agreed to speak at the Australian Christian Lobby’s annual conference.
Now, she’s finally seen sense and pulled out. The final straw was a comparison made by Brigadier Jim Wallace (ret.1) between homosexuality and smoking. Jim Wallace, who had previously blamed homosexuality for child rape by priests, made the comments in a recent debate with Greens leader Christine Milne.
In a subsequent Media Release, Jimbo the Clown was very upset that ‘gay activists’ had ‘misreported’ this comparison, and to clarify he made the same comparison again:
I was not comparing homosexuality with smoking at all. What I was saying is that on one hand we are vocal on our discouragement of people to smoke and on the other we are suppressing public dialogue about the health risks associated with homosexuality.
Jim seems to think that his free speech is being suppressed somehow. Yet he is entirely free to talk rubbish, just as we are free to laugh at him. Jim has his website, and his Twitter account, where he can gay-bash all day long. He has semi-regular webcasts into churches the length and breadth of the land. He has conferences and debates with massive media coverage, funded by wads of corporate cash from Gloria Jean’s Coffees.
No-one’s suppressing you, Jim. In fact, I’d prefer to do the opposite. As Christopher Hitchens said, some arguments don’t so much need rebutting as underlining. The more people hear what Jim has to say, the better.
Jim goes on to do a little magic trick with statistics:
We rightly warn of the health impacts of smoking. Surely we cannot allow these aggressive activists to conceal the facts of a lifestyle that accounts for over eighty percent of new HIV cases in Australia annually.
Eighty percent! That is (and here I use a technical term) a Big Number. But it’s also a very irrelevant number. Jim is using a statistical misdirect that is identical to one that antivaccination liars like Meryl Dorey regularly use. I’ll let Jason Brown (with whom I do a skeptical comedy podcast) explain over at My Colleagues are Idiots:
A veteran liar-with-statistics-she-doesn’t-understand, Meryl Dorey has fold us that 80% of pertussis cases happen in the vaccinated population, as if to suggest that the vaccinated are somehow, illogically, more likely to contract whooping cough than the unvaccinated. This we know is not the case – the vaccine is shown to have a good – though not by any means perfect – efficacy rate in preventing infection. This still doesn’t stop Meryl throwing the percentage out there in support of her topsy-turvy world view.
Still, so what if 80% of cases are in the vaccinated? The important question is whether you’re more or less likely to contract an infection if vaccinated, and for that you need to know rates of vaccination versus rates of infection with a solid contextual basis. From Meryl’s 80% claim alone, it is impossible to tell – and therefore the assertion is useless, as well as being flat-out wrong.
In the case of STIs, things are somewhat different: there is a higher prevalence among men who have sex with men than among the general population. (I understand prevalence also varies among ethnic groups, but Jim didn’t mention that. He a homophobe, not a racist).
But the prevalence of HIV relative to the demographic of gay people is, in media terms, a Small Number: it’s less than 10%. See? By saying same-sex attaction ‘accounts for over eighty percent of new HIV cases’, Jim gets to use a Big Scary Number. Even if it’s irrelevant.
Of course, rates of HIV infection are too high, generally and among MSM. Jim Wallace agrees with me:
As I said yesterday, I am deeply saddened by the human suffering that is behind the poor health data of the gay community.
It’s vitally important that public health resources are employed to tackle this. It’s also worthwhile to target communications at demographics who are at somewhat higher risk.
Here, for example, is a fantastic example of a campaign raising awareness of STI prevention among gay people. It’s called Rip and Roll. You may have heard of it.
It’s the campaign that the ACL tried to ban.
The moral cesspool that is the Australian Christian Lobby actively fights to stop sexual health campaigns. While bleating pathetically about others ‘suppressing public dialogue’, they work to shut down potentially life-saving public health efforts. All to score political points in the name of homophobia.
Well done, Ms Gillard. You’ve called it right.
1 No, it stands for ‘retired’.
— Dave The Singer (@HappySinger) August 6, 2012
When Peter Irvine bought Gloria Jean’s coffees he wanted to make it the ‘most loved and respected coffee company in the world’. The Hillsong elder and former Mercy Ministries head couldn’t have failed harder if he’d tried. His firm proudly has proudly funded or otherwise supported the Australian Christian Lobby, Family First, Hillsong church, Mercy Ministries, Jesus Racing, Hope 103.2 Christian radio and a plethora of other homophobic or fundamentalist Christian causes. Many of these are simply not respectable these days.
When the firm was roundly excoriated for a $30k donation to the rabidly gay-obsessed ACL, the company put its very best Social Media Expert Gurus on the case. On its Facebook page, Gloria Jean’s Coffees apologised for our offense rather than their evil homophobia. They claimed the $30k they gave to the Australian Christian Lobby was simply a fee for advertising, not a donation. They were lying: the Australian Electoral Commission lists it as a donation. Their notpology was co-signed by quite a number of senior GJ’s executives: but notably absent was Peter Irvine. Was he unrepentant? It looked like it.
Further more, Gloria Jean’s ignored any mention of a further donation, one of $10k to anti-gay party Family First. They lied about their affiliation with Hillsong. They claimed no religious affiliation at all, when the opposite was embarrassingly evident.
The Internet was not impressed, and the outraged comments still continue to flood on to every post, faster than they can censor them. Hillsong’s social media strategy could hardly get worse.
But it did. Gloria Jean’s thought now was a great time to start bragging about the donations they make. Leaving out the obvious hate groups, their arrogant boasting used charities such as Variety, Miracle Babies and the Bone Health Foundation to try and fix the PR mess created by Australia’s most hated coffee company.
And (even better!) they did it on Twitter. With a hashtag. A medium thoroughly beyond their control. Apparently their SMEG was off sick when #qantasluxury happened. The #WithHeartLocal hashtag they chose for their public masturbation has been thoroughly claimed for the forces of good.
And it’s fucking glorious.
Gloria Jean’s have to fire their PR firm. They need someone with a real understanding of the 21st century, its rejection of immoral bigotry and its fresh frontiers of digital communication.
I’m happy to volunteer my services. In fact, I will even give them a free sample of my wisdom. Here’s what they must do:
Admit that they donated to the ACL and Family First. Apologise sincerely and humbly for those donations, rather than everyone else’s reaction. Donate at least $50k to Australian Marriage Equality.
They will never, ever be the most loved coffee company in the world. But right now, they seem to be running blindfolded in the opposite direction.
Not much more to add, is there? From the Australian Christian Lobby, to Family First, to Hillsong to bloody Jesus Racing, wherever there’s Big Jesus, there’s seemingly Gloria Jean’s nearby with a cheque-book.
The denials are wearing thin.
Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!
-Sir Walter Scott
I wrote earlier about Gloria Jean’s awful attempt to quell the anger at their $30k donation to the vile Australian Christian Lobby. In their statement, they tried to distance themselves from the idea that their contributions were for the purpose of furthering the ACL’s aims:
As a company we hold no position on marriage law, and in line with our values support people’s freedom to choose who they love. We are not homophobic and are proud that our team members come from all walks of life and sexual orientations, and we respect everyone’s opinion and the right to freedom of choice – political, religious, marriage or otherwise.
Again we would like to apologise for any hurt or offence which may have been caused by the paid advertising we undertook for the 2010 prime ministerial debate event, hosted by the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL).
The paid advertising was undertaken on a commercial basis only, and it appears that there is now a perception that we endorse the views and values of the ACL. This is not the case. Gloria Jean’s Coffees does not support the independent views and values of the ACL.
So it was just a good advertising deal, right? Definitely not a political donation to further the homophobic aims of the christian right, despite what the Australian Electoral Commission might think. What do they know about coffee, anyway?
Well now here’s the weird thing. The other day, when Gloria Jeans were claiming ‘it is important to reiterate that we are not religiously affiliated‘, I remembered (as did Chrys Stevenson), that Gloria Jean’s holding company is called JIREH International Pty Ltd. If that doesn’t ring any bells, check out Genesis 22. Jehovah-jireh is the site where Abraham was all down for killing his son because the voice in his head told him to. And Gloria Jean’s owners thought that was a fitting thing to commemorate by selling coffee. If that doesn’t strike you as mad-as-a-box-of-frogs religious, then their American subsidiary is much less subtle: Praise International.
I chuckled at the obvious untruth, and filed it away in the back of my mind.
And then today, it struck me as interesting that the ACL donation was listed by the AEC as coming from ‘Gloria Jean’s Coffees International’, not their parent company Jireh. I had a hunch, just as I had when I checked the Google cache for Hillsong Conference sponsors.
Had JIREH International Pty Ltd made any political donations, I wondered?
Boom! In 2004, Gloria Jean’s holding company donated to the NSW Liberals and an entity called Families Australia. Pulling up the return [PDF] for Families Australia, we see that it received $105,000 in three donations, promptly donating that same sum on to…
And whose name do we find next to one of those donations? $10,000 came from:
So unless I’m mistaken, in 2005 Gloria Jean’s donated $10k to the Family First party, via GJ’s parent company and a thin wrapper around the political party.
Which is a pretty big sum to give to an anti-SSM party while claiming to have no opinion on the issue, eh?