This is a version of a talk I gave to SkeptiCamp Sydney in October 2013. As it was essentially a PowerPoint show with me chatting about the slides I'm reproducing it here with the slides.
I'm going to talk today about some of the email I've received over the years. Sometimes people disagree with me, which is their right, and I have always allowed and encouraged everyone to contact me with their comments.
But first …
I would like to start out by quoting someone expressing my position on threats and abuse. As it came from Meryl Dorey from the Australian Vaccination Network and she spent more than a year trying to get the courts to stop me talking about her, I have offered a response to her hypocrisy. If you place your cursor over the picture you can see my response.
I've divided the mail collection into several categories (and I should point out that this is just a sample of what I've received over the years). Some messages fall into more than one category, of course.
So, off we go …
And where better to start than with our very own Meryl Dorey? This was one of the first examples of the Pharma Shill Gambit I had ever come across, and was posted to a mailing list from which I was banned . Of course. If you place your cursor over it you can see my opinion of anti-vaccination liars in general.
There have been many more of these over the years, but my favourite came from a man named Raymond Gallup who was the head at the time of an anti-vaccination group called The Autism Autoimmunity Project. Unfortunately I haven't been able to track it down (it was made in a Usenet newsgroup), but he declared that he had solid evidence that I received my payments in the form of accommodation at luxury holiday resorts. I replied that he didn't have the full story and I was about to contact Pfizer to get my Ferrari replaced because it had a scratch on one of the doors. The melt-down of group members' brains at this "confession" was a joy to watch.
So, let's move on …
The following words have appeared on the front page of The Millenium Project for as long as I can remember. (Maybe I could remember more if I took my naturopath's advice and consumed some gingko biloba, but I digress …). It confuses people.
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.
I replied to the following complaint by asking if it meant that the word should be spelled "millennnnium" but I got no answer.