We all know that "millennium" comes from the Latin words "mille" and "annus" and means a thousand years. The word "millenium" comes from the Latin words "mille" and "anus" and means something else. This web site is devoted to the millenium of sites which don't deserve a place on the Web. We are not putting them on a pedestal - we are offering them a stool.
|Offending the offensive since 1999|
May 20, 2013
I said it would be brief (20/5/2013)
As promised this week's update will be short, because everything happened at the weekend. It is also late, because I had to wait until Monday for something I knew was coming. It's all Australian Vaccination Network this week, because the final meltdown is close. The organisation has to appear before the Administrative Decisions Tribunal on June 13 and 14 to argue that it should not be forced to change its deceptive name, and I should get the court transcripts of my AVO hearing about then as well, so hopefully I can ignore this awful outfit until then. For now however, it has been a busy week of AVN bashing from all directions.
The AVO makes the news (20/5/2013)
I woke up on Monday morning to find my Twitter stream and Facebook timeline full reports of a story in the Sydney Daily Telegraph.
The words said:
THE founder of a controversial anti-immunisation group has been accused of using apprehended violence orders to gag her critics. Former Australian Vaccination Network president Meryl Dorey has applied for AVOs against three of her most vocal opponents. As a special condition of the AVOs, she wanted the men banned from making online comments about her in "any derogatory manner".
But she suffered a setback last month when her AVO was thrown out against one critic, Peter Bowditch, who she claimed posted harassing and abusive messages online.
She also took out an AVO against Daniel Raffaele, who helped start the Stop the Australian Vaccination Network group, claiming he made threatening calls to her. Mr Raffaele, who denied making any threatening calls, said he eventually agreed to the order because he was "sick of dealing with it", although he made sure her "gag order" was struck out. "The only thing I was never going to agree to was being silenced on the internet," Mr Raffaele said. "The information (the AVN) spread is dangerous and it's not based on anything other than lies - and it costs lives."
In his submissions to court, Mr Bowditch said he lived 750km from Ms Dorey's home at Bangalow, near Byron Bay, so there was little chance he would come into contact with her if she genuinely feared for her safety. "It is obvious to me that this application ... is actually an attempt to prevent me speaking about or criticising (her) activities," he said.
Western Australia-based Dan Buzzard, another AVN opponent, said Ms Dorey probably saw taking out the AVOs as a "quick and easy" way to silence her critics. He will defend the application today. [Note: the paper got it wrong - the hearing is scheduled for Friday, May 24]
Ms Dorey refused to comment on the applications but denied using the AVOs to shut up her opponents. She said she had received anonymous death threats and had only taken the AVOs out at the suggestion of police. Ms Dorey accused The Daily Telegraph of running a campaign against parents who chose not to vaccinate their children and said she was still "taking legal advice" on appealing the magistrate's decision to dismiss her AVO against Mr Bowditch.
Meanwhile, Premier Barry O'Farrell said he would consider new laws giving childcare centres the power to refuse entry to kids who had not been vaccinated, one of the aims of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph's No Jab, No Play campaign. He said the government was committed to lifting the number of vaccinated children.
And there's Parliament (20/5/2013)
On May 14, the Health Legislation Amendment Act 2013 came into law in New South Wales. The loophole in the 1993 legislation that allowed the AVN to escape its responsibilities last year and claim a massive victory has been closed. Now any concerned citizen can make a complaint to the Health Care Complaints Commission about any quack. And Parliament is now talking about legislation to restrict access of the pox-ridden offspring of vaccine deniers to kindergartens and child care centres. And in the Federal Parliament instructions have been given to health bureaucrats by the relevant Minister that henceforth people who claim to be "conscientious objectors" to vaccination (in order to steal government benefits tied to full vaccination of their children) will be officially called "vaccine refusers".
And then there's the TGA (20/5/2013)
Some time ago Meryl Dorey appeared on the Internet radio station Fair Dinkum Radio and promoted Black Salve as a cure for cancer. This is an escharotic paste, that is it is a caustic preparation that effectively dissolves any tissues it comes in contact with. It is about as useful a cancer cure as burning cancer away with a blowtorch, although it works a little slower. The Therapeutic Goods Administration politely asked Ms Dorey and Leon Pittard at the radio station to display a notice on their web sites admitting that they had been promoting this dangerous and useless nostrum. They refused. The TGA has now gone one step further and issued an order, not a request, to display the following notice on the AVN web site.
Heels are being dug in and resistance is building. What is different now is that a couple of newspapers have decided to take on the AVN and all its idiocy, and stories like the one at the right are regularly appearing. (The particular story never made it to the paper's web site, so a picture is as good as it gets.)
Here is the text of the retraction. It should be noted that the TGA set specifications for the size of the retraction and the font colour and size. It also has to be displayed as HTML code, not as an image (which is how most crooks try to avoid such notices being indexed by search engines).
An advertisement promoting illegal therapeutic goods under the name “Black Salve”, which we published on this website, should not have been published. In publishing the advertisement, we misled and abused the trust of consumers.
In the advertisement we unlawfully made claims that Black Salve is safe, and that it can be used as an effective treatment for cancers including skin cancer. We also claimed that cancer medicines are harmful and cause cancer, and are ineffectual.
A complaint about the advertisement was recently upheld by the Complaints Resolution Panel. We provided no evidence whatsoever to support the claims we made, and the Panel found that the claims were unlawful, misleading, and unverified and breached the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (Code).
The full text of the Panel’s determination can be found at: www.tgacrp.com.au/complaints
The delegate of the Secretary for the purposes of regulation 9 of the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990 also found that the claims and representation in the advertisement were unlawful, inaccurate and misleading in breach of the Code.
The attention of consumers is directed to the safety information from the Therapeutic Goods Administration at: http://www.tga.gov.au/consumers/information-salve-cansema.htm
You can read the entire order here.
But wait, there's more (20/5/2013)
As part of the continuous process of monitoring and investigating the AVN and its interaction with government authorities, the correspondence between the TGA and the AVN over Black Salve was acquired under Freedom of Information rules. Most of it was just a to-and-fro of argument about the legality or otherwise of selling or advertising products and what the definitions of words like "advertise" really are. Then, right at the end, Ms Dorey threw down what she assumed would be her trump card. She claimed Freeman Of The Land protection.
I won't go into details of this particular form of insanity here, but it is based on the idea that each person is actually two people - a person and that person's Personal Representative. One of these people (I'm not sure which) is a legal fiction who has no contract with the government or any other institutions of society and therefore is not bound by any obligations to pay taxes, rent or bank interest or to be restricted in action by any law of the government, governments being themselves legal fictions that don't really exist. Or something like that. Look up "Freeman Of The Land" and "One People's Private Trust" in your favourite search engine, but be sitting down and be prepared to laugh heartily at how insane people can be and still manage to turn on a computer.
I listened to Leon Pittard at Fair Dinkum Radio rant on about this nonsense once, so I know where Merly Dorey got the idea. She wrote to the official in the TGA in "his private capacity" (that is, as his Personal Representative, not the physical man behind a desk in Canberra) and tried to set things right. Read. Enjoy. Click on the picture for a larger version. (I have redacted the name of the official. He is probably still laughing, but he doesn't need his name associated with idiocy.)
May 11, 2013
It's a brief update this week for several reasons. I'm still reorganising my real life, I'm still looking for my next accommodation (I looked at a rental property during the week and I must remember to congratulate the estate agent on his PhotoShop and creative writing skills. At least the address was correct.) and while I was away the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reorganised their web site and changed the URLs of the very many media releases that I have linked to from here. If they had just changed folders things might have been easer to fix, but they completely changed the addresses in a way that doesn't allow any systematic fix - each one has to be done manually.
I am still waiting on the transcript and recording of the court hearing. I assume they will eventually arrive, as my credit card was charged with an alacrity that is highly uncharacteristic of the legal world.
Next week's update might be a bit light on as well. I will be going to the MindBodySpirit Festival, listening to a lecture on the supposed conflict between science and philosophy at the Blackheath Philosophy Forum, attending (and maybe speaking at) the monthly meeting of Western Sydney Freethinkers, looking for somewhere to live and squeezing in anything else that needs to be done. Friends have suggested I should drink some mead and chase some wenches at the Blacktown Medieval Fayre, but there is a limit to even my multitasking ability.
The LULZ have started (11/5/2013)
So far the best response I've had to the news of my court victory has come from our old friend Patrick Timothy Bolen, spokessphincter for cancer quacks and patient-molesting dentists. Tim made a contribution to the case by publishing Meryl Dorey's court statements before they had been submitted to the court, and he went on to fantasise about pornography. I asked Tim if Ms Dorey had advised him of the outcome of the matter (I won! She lost!) and this is part of the reply he posted to Usenet.
Meryl Dorey just set you up. She just completed one more step in the "How to set up to legally kill a stalker" handbook. Go ahead and act as though you can now keep pursuing her. Don't be a wimp. Go ahead and increase your activities.
Not afraid are you?
Or is your life just about pretty cupcakes?
I don't know what Tim thinks I should be afraid of. There was a court case which I won and the deadline for lodging an appeal has gone. It's all over. But Tim is like that. He continually rants about court cases that are about to destroy some of his enemies, but the court cases fade into history when the actions wither away to nothing.
And the cupcakes thing - Tim has an obsession with cupcakes and cannot understand the concept of doing something for charity. And why would he? He's spent his life working for crooks who steal money from desperate, gullible or ignorant people.
The mail rolls in (11/5/2013)
Now here's a coincidence for you. The television program tells me that if I turn on the TV now I can watch the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan classic "You've Got Mail". I check the computer, and sure enough, I have mail. I don't know if it's the sort of mail that triggers a love affair though.
I was just curious as to how you would explain to me why this so called 'ridiculous' claim that homeopathy is 'ridiculous' in the first place ?
Because the principles of homeopathy deny everything we know about physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, logic and common sense.
As a patient who was bed ridden after having a severe case of food poisoning, the a severe case of adult chickenpox , resulting in chronic fatigue syndrome . I was bed ridden for almost a year . After countless visits to drs , I still had no answers . They were completely useless . Only until I seeked out a homeopath did I start to come good and made a full recovery within weeks.
So, two things that people recover from without much medication or treatment and one that has a large psychological component. And you got better. And homeopathy had nothing to do with either the food poisoning or the chicken pox and provided the placebo that is often necessary for people to get off their arses and stop feeling sorry for themselves. By the way, I had adult chicken pox. It felt far worse than a really bad case of the flu. I think I took a week off work, although it might have been two weeks.
The information I just read sounds like it was written by an ignorant , miss informed teenager who clearly likes to write off who are an obvious threat to them.
Homeopathy is no threat to me. The only way it could harm me would be if I were silly enough to use it instead of real medical care.
The only thing I got from that information was that your a complete tosser and have no 'scientific' evidence to back up that homeopathy does not help autism or help breast cancer .....
It's not up to me to prove that homeopathy or any other form of quackery doesn't cure something. It is up to the sellers of the stuff to prove that it does. So far they haven't even come close, not that they have ever really tried. The quacks know the truth and they know that any properly conducted research would reveal homeopathy for the ridiculous nonsense that it is.
Thankyou for reading you wanker .
Sent from my iPhone
Replied to from my Dell Vostro 460
You can see more about homeopathy here.
The AVN get mentioned in Parliament. (11/5/2013)
It's been a bad week for anti-vaccination liars. A big-circulation newspaper has started a campaign targeting irresponsible parents who refuse to vaccinate their children but insist on sending their pox-ridden offspring to schools and child-minding centres. The big news, however, is that the Bill to remove the loophole that the AVN jumped through last year has been closed. Once the Bill has passed through the final rubber stamping quacks will no longer be able to hide from complaints by relying on legislation drafted before the invention of the World Wide Web.
But first, a question put to the Minister for Fair Trading:
AUSTRALIAN VACCINATION NETWORK
Mr JOHN FLOWERS: My question is addressed to the Minister for Fair Trading. What action is the Government taking to protect the community from being misled by the Australian Vaccination Network?
Mr ANTHONY ROBERTS: I thank the member for Rockdale for his question and applaud his determination to ensure that the people of New South Wales are not misled by false claims emanating from fringe groups such as the Australian Vaccination Network Inc. As members of this House know, the Australian Vaccination Network [AVN] actively advocates against the use of vaccinations and denies that immunisation is responsible for a dramatic reduction in many serious diseases in the past century. It does this despite overwhelming evidence that vaccination is a safe, effective and rigorously studied practice that provides people with a high level of protection against numerous diseases, including several that can be fatal.
It is incredibly irresponsible for an avowedly anti-vaccination group to advertise itself as a balanced source of information on vaccination. Such action is not only misleading to the public but also dangerous to those who believe they are referring to evidence-based medical advice. This danger is further highlighted by recent comments by the head of this group, Mr Greg Beattie, who stated, "Don't trust your GP." The Australian Vaccination Network does not provide comprehensive or credible information on vaccinations. Nor does it offer a balanced view on immunisation.
The Government, the medical community and the Australian Medical Association led by Associate Professor Brian Owler are in agreement that the name "Australian Vaccination Network" is unacceptable. To address this issue in the public interest, in December last year the O'Farrell-Stoner Government introduced the Associations Incorporation Amendment (Unacceptable Names) Regulation 2012. This amendment expanded the classifications of unacceptable names to include any name that is likely to mislead the public in relation to the nature, objects or functions of an association. Following the commencement of this amendment, on 14 January this year Fair Trading issued the Australian Vaccination Network with a direction to change the name of its association. This was done on the basis that the name was undesirable because it had the potential to cause confusion, mislead the public and, most importantly, it was against the public interest.
On 8 February 2013 the association sought an internal review by Fair Trading of that decision. The internal review was completed by the principal solicitor of the Department of Finance and Services on 19 February and affirmed our original decision. The review found that the Australian Vaccination Network does not provide a balanced view of the processes, benefits and risks involved with immunisation and that, "Its views are anti-vaccination, and it advises against being vaccinated or taking part in immunisation programs." The review went on to comment that when issues have two sides the Australian Vaccination Network takes just one of them. On 8 March the association put forward some alternative names and Fair Trading responded to the association on 12 March.
I and, I believe, this House and the Government are of the opinion that the names proposed do not accurately reflect the true nature, objects or functions of the association.
At the eleventh hour, the association lodged an appeal in the Administrative Decisions Tribunal against the name-change direction. At the most recent hearing of the tribunal on 22 March this year, the president of the tribunal placed conditions on the organisation, including that a prominent consumer warning be published on the association's website and its Facebook page by 26 March this year. This warning states that Fair Trading has directed the association to change its name because it regards the name as misleading, and that the direction is currently being challenged in the tribunal. The warning will reduce the chances of consumers being misled while the tribunal proceedings are finalised. I inform the House that this matter is currently listed for hearing on 13 and 14 June this year. The Liberals and Nationals are determined to safeguard public health and have acted decisively to do so. Associate Professor Owler stated:
The State Government should be commended on its efforts to improve the health of children through its support of vaccination and its stand against the anti-vaccination lobby.
He added that the Government has shown a strong commitment to children's health. The recent introduction of the Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2013, which I can proudly say has been supported by both sides of the House, is further evidence of the action the Government is taking in this space. Two members of this House to whom I wish to pay tribute are the Minister for Health, and Minister for Medical Research and the shadow Minister for Health. Through their strong cooperation and hard work in this area, they have united in a common cause. [Extension of time granted.]
The people of New South Wales may rest assured that the Government and this House stand firm in their commitment to protecting our community. I thank all members of the House for their continued support as this issue is being tackled. On behalf of this House, I give notice to the Australian Vaccination Network that we are united in our stance to protect the most vulnerable in our community. The best way to do that is to ensure that we have a vaccination program that increases our level of herd immunity.
You can see the full day's transcript of Hansard for the Legislative Assembly here.
Watch this space for an update during the week covering the debate on the Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2013, but I would just like to quote one Member's speech now. This person is a member of the Parliamentary Committee with oversight of the Health Care Complaints Commission, so we can expect prompt action as soon as the Bill becomes law.
The Hon. CATHERINE CUSACK [6.25 p.m.]: The Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 proposes several amendments to the Health Care Complaints Act. As a member of the Parliament's Joint Committee on the Health Care Complaints Commission, it is those issues to which I wish to address my remarks. The new provisions will allow the Health Care Complaints Commission to initiate and investigate on its own motion. This addresses a disappointing situation concerning an organisation known as the Australian Vaccination Network, which is a Bangalow-based organisation that is opposed to childhood immunisation that has successfully undermined many parents' confidence in the benefits of immunisation. The Australian Vaccination Network's former director and founder, Meryl Dorey, has undertaken extensive media interviews across Australia using free national media, radio and print to promote her claims that vaccines are toxic and harmful to children. Ms Dorey claims:
Passing through measles infection is sometimes required, for whatever reason, to strengthen some part of a person's vital force.
Ms Dorey insists that highly infectious childhood illnesses such as measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox are benign. There are many good reasons to spare our children the illness and scarring that can result from these diseases. The foremost in my mind is to protect unborn children who are exposed to horrific consequences in the event that their unprotected mothers are exposed to and catch rubella. Ms Dorey reportedly insists that whooping cough cannot kill children. Whooping cough is an horrific disease that causes immense distress and suffering to babies and their tiny lungs.
In addition to all the media coverage, there is a website and a quarterly magazine called Informed Voice. The zeal and success of the Australian Vaccination Network accumulating scientific fact and truth about immunisation is, sadly, having deadly effects. The Australian Vaccination Network's campaign has been rampant in my community of Northern Rivers, and childhood immunisation rates have fallen below 70 per cent compared with 90 per cent for the rest of Australia. In the Byron shire, which is home to the community of Bangalow, the rate has fallen below 50 per cent.
In 2009 tragedy struck in my community of Lennox Head when four-week old Dana Elizabeth McCaffery died of whooping cough. By all accounts, this newborn baby fought bravely, but in the words of my local paper, the Northern Star, she never had a chance. The standard schedule of immunisation at that time was two months, four months and six months. The Northern Rivers Health Service, given the appalling immunisation rates in the region, has brought forward the first round to six weeks, but because Dana was four weeks this would not have saved her life. Her parents support immunisation, but they never had that chance.
The only things that could have prevented her death would have been if there had been no whooping cough outbreak in the region and if the disease had not been rampaging through the community. That is why our low immunisation rate can be held directly responsible for this tragedy. Following Dana's death responsible and qualified members of the medical and scientific communities formed an organisation called "Stop the AVN". However, the network lodged a complaint about the organisation with the Health Care Complaints Commission. The commission's investigation concluded:
In addition, the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing investigated and cancelled the network's charitable status. The network appealed against the Health Care Complaints Commission ruling and the Supreme Court found deficiencies in the authority of the commission to investigate. That was a disaster. The network had shielded itself from the commission's orders by the clever use of legal technicalities and the decision was presented in the media as a court endorsement of the organisation. I was horrified when I saw the front page of the Northern Star featuring a full-page photo of Ms Dorey with the headline "Vindicated!".
I have pursued the problem of the Australian Vaccination Network as a member of the Joint Committee on the Health Care Complaints Commission, and I know that others have also pursued the issue. I am surprised that the commission and NSW Health have not acted more promptly to make these amendments, although I am delighted to see them before the House today. They will close the loopholes that allowed the Australian Vaccination Network to continue issuing its misleading and deceptive information. Countering the dissemination of dangerous information by any non-health care provider is the highest priority. I hope that when this bill is passed the Health Care Complaints Commission will immediately return to its investigation of the Australian Vaccination Network. The whole point of Parliament's passing this legislation is to empower the commission to do just that.
I understand that NSW Fair Trading has ordered the Australian Vaccination Network to change its name. That order has been appealed and it is now being considered by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal. I wish it well. I point out to the Health Care Complaints Commission and the Minister for Health that irrespective of NSW Fair Trading's success it will not be enough. The network will continue its activities and the Government must do whatever it can to protect the lives of our defenceless babies and small children. I call on the Health Care Complaints Commission immediately to stop the Australian Vaccination Network spreading misleading information and I ask the media as a whole not to facilitate the dissemination of such dangerous messages to vulnerable parents who are already bombarded with confusing information and who somehow believe that the network's role in the immunisation debate is evenly balanced. It is not.
You can see the full day's transcript of Hansard for the Legislative Council here.
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