iStock_000011256677XSmallThis last week has been a time of tough decisions. A time when I had to make a choice between pursuing justice in the courts or cutting my losses and pulling out of what I saw as a totally biased system where the cards are stacked against me – not because of a lack of evidence but simply because of a perceived bias against my stance on a political and scientific issue.

I chose to withdraw my Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) appeal against Peter Bowditch and, true to form, the skeptics and SAVN have been making false statements about my reason for doing so to members of the media – statements which I believe require a response.

Let me preface this by saying that these cases were initiated by me personally. They are not AVN matters, though I believe it is my involvement with the AVN which has influenced the courts against me, causing them to be decided on the personal preconceived opinions of the magistrates involved, rather than on the merits and the evidence presented.

A bit of history

Last year, at the suggestion of police in two NSW jurisdictions, I filed three separate APVOs: against Daniel Raffaele, founder of Stop the AVN (SAVN), Peter Bowditch, committee member of the Australian Skeptics and Dan Buzzard, WA member of SAVN.

I could have filed APVOs against many more SAVN members. So many have threatened and harassed me, as well as inciting others to do me harm, but these were the three whom I considered to be the ‘ringleaders’ – whose abuse and harassment were unremitting. My reasons for taking this action were two-fold

1-    To stop them from continuing their criminal campaign of abuse, harassment and threats against me; and

2-    To send a warning to others that the justice system would protect someone who was being openly abused, harassed and threatened.

My family and I were living in great fear that one of these individuals would either harm us or would incite someone else in the community to do so. I had no funds for legal advice but I was told by the police that applying for an APVO would be straightforward and simple, so I proceeded to make the application. At no time did they inform me that they themselves could have applied for the APVO. Had they done so, I would have insisted that they do it and a whole lot of time, heartache and expense could have been saved.

Simple and Straightforward

At the time I first applied, I had no idea that the ensuing process would be incredibly slow, outrageously expensive to me – the victim of this abuse – and a total waste of time.

I admit I have become jaded over the years regarding the expectation of fair treatment from our bureaucracy. However I still believed it was possible to get justice from the courts, and that magistrates would pass judgment without allowing their personal preconceived biases to interfere. I was a babe in the woods in that regard.

It is my firmly held belief, based on the evidence from both cases that actually went to trial, that my losses had nothing to do with the evidence presented to the courts. Based on that evidence alone – APVOs should have been granted without question. But both magistrates showed a strong disapproval for the work that I have done for the last 20 years with the AVN and I feel that they were unable to separate Meryl Dorey the mother, woman and victim of institutionalised and long-running abuse, from Meryl Dorey, ex-President of the AVN and vaccine rights advocate.

Just a clarifying note at this point for those who are unaware of my case against Daniel Raffaele: the APVO against him was granted without his making any admissions of wrongdoing even though threatening calls to my home were made from his house in the middle of the night. I was advised to accept these terms rather than going to trial. In retrospect, I think I made the right choice since even with the damning evidence against him, I am unsure that the courts would have granted my application had Raffaele opposed it.

SAVN Untruths and a complicit media

To make matters worse, however, SAVN and the Australian Skeptics are now using my withdrawal from the case against Peter Bowditch as an admission that I only took these actions in order to silence my critics.

Their excuse for saying this is based on a lie and they know it is based on a lie yet they continue to state it anyway.

When I went to the courthouse last year to make the initial applications, I selected several of the standard orders from the list available (orders which limited the perpetrator’s ability to come near me or enter my property or threaten me). I also asked that they not be allowed to mention me in any online forum in a derogatory manner. At the initial mention in Ballina Courthouse almost a year ago, the magistrate said that he did not have the power to grant the latter order and I agreed to withdraw it. All I was asking the court to do was to prevent them from coming near me or physically threatening me. None of that would in any way ‘silence’ them.

Having since spoken with a solicitor about this, I have been told that there was no problem with my asking for these latter orders because my intention was to stop them from inciting others to commit violence against me or to join in harassing, abusing or stalking me as they and their cohorts had done for some time. My wording was the only issue and this became a moot point since that order was removed before either hearing.

Dan Buzzard and Peter Bowditch are perfectly aware that this is the case – but they have continued to mislead the media – and the media have continued to print whatever they are told about me – stating that I only took out these APVOs in order to silence my opposition.

In fact, during the time when these cases were still before the courts, sub judice reports were appearing in the media to the effect that taking away my opposition’s right to free speech was the only reason I made these applications.

In addition to this and in a move that can only be called bizarre, Greens Senator Richard Di Natale stood up in Federal Parliament and stated that these applications were only being made to silence my opposition and he thanked two of the three perpetrators by name for their ‘work’ in this regard!

Decisions based on fact or bias

It is my belief that the magistrate in my case against Dan Buzzard may have used this misinformation in his decision since he did refer to media reports when making his summation. In fact, he criticised me openly many times during the hearing to the point where I was relieved to only have to pay $11,000 in court costs – at one point, I had the distinct impression that I was going to be sent to gaol. I do not remember him sanctioning Dan Buzzard even once despite his admissions to having asked people to send me violent pornography.

I am currently awaiting delivery of the transcripts from these cases and when I have received them, I will be updating everyone with exactly what occurred and why I feel that there were grave errors not only in law but also in fact which led to these adverse decisions.

Freedom of speech

If by silencing my opposition, SAVN and the Australian Skeptics mean that I wanted to stop them threatening, harassing and stalking me as they have done for so long and prevent them from inciting others to do the same, then I admit that’s what I was trying to do.

If however, they mean that I want to take away their freedom of speech – their ability to engage in respectful and non-threatening debate on this or any other issue, I’m afraid they are completely wrong.

Because I welcome that debate. I have asked for it publicly – over and over again. I support freedom of speech 100% and in fact, have been lobbying to have an Australian Bill of Rights introduced to codify this right and the right to other freedoms which most democratic nations take for granted but which, shamefully, do not exist in Australia.

This is not a matter for question – it is and has been my stance in public and in private for 20 years now.

It is SAVN and their members – including Daniel Raffaele, Dan Buzzard and Peter Bowditch, who are the ones trying to silence their opposition. And they do it over and over again.

  1. In the initial complaint to the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC), SAVN member Ken McLeod asked that the HCCC issue a Prohibition Order against me using their powers under the Health Care Complaints Act 1993. He asked that this order be used to stop both myself and the AVN from publicly discussing the issues surrounding vaccination.
  2. The purpose and reason why Stop the AVN exists is to silence the AVN, our members and anyone who openly asks scientific and legitimate questions about this medical procedure. It is their goal to take away our freedom of speech and to remove our inalienable rights to both question and make informed choices on this subject.
  3. SAVN Supporter and head of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Steve Hambleton, stood on the steps of NSW Parliament not long ago stating that any individual or group who criticises vaccination should be subject to punishment.
  4. Greens Senator, SAVN supporter and doctor Richard di Natale proposed and passed a motion in Federal Parliament stating that the AVN should be disbanded simply because he disagreed with our viewpoint on the issue of vaccination.
  5. SAVN members, including Dan Buzzard, Daniel Raffaele and Peter Bowditch have written to venues where I was booked to present seminars, requesting that they stop me from speaking there. They have also contacted media outlets asking them not to interview me, and filed complaints against those who have allowed me the right to comment on vaccine-related issues.

These people are truly guilty of using bureaucracy and the media to silence their opposition.

All I asked was that the courts protect me from these abusers who had openly threatened and harassed me. This is a protection that should be available to all Australian citizens and residents – indeed – to everyone in every country around the world. It is a basic human right which, thanks to what I consider to be the bias of the courts, was denied me in these cases.

Please note: I have sent a copy of this blog post to Jane Hansen of the Daily Telegraph and the Murdoch media. She had contacted me because she plans on writing a story for Sunday’s paper about my APVO applications. I hope that, having set the record straight, her article will cover this issue fairly and truthfully.

28 Comments

  1. If, as you keep stating you are all for freedom of speech, then why am I blocked from your facebook page? I have never been abusive, never been anything less than respectful, and never threatened anyone at all.

    Quoting directly from your blog above: “If however, they mean that I want to take away their freedom of speech – their ability to engage in respectful and non-threatening debate on this or any other issue, I’m afraid they are completely wrong.”

    And why will this comment, like several others I’ve posted on your blog, not be approved?

    1. I could ask the same question. My first and ONLY post to the AVN facebook page simply asked Tristan Wells to name the supposed “senior immunology lecturer” that quote – did not know how a vaccine worked.

      Yet instead of an answer all I received was silence and blocking from making further comments. As I am a professor within a university myself, I would have been more than happy to follow up this matter with the relevant people and even contact the person in question directly to discuss the matter in detail. I would assume this (if the claim were indeed true) would be more of a help to the AVN, rather than a hindrance.

      Despite the silence, and blocking from your pages – the offer still stands.

      1. Prof John Andrews and Leonie … It’s not Meryl’s facebook page you have both been blocked from. It’s the AVN FB page, which is for supporters of the AVN, to discuss and support each other. The AVN created a forum especially for you both, but you have not used it. It is for debate. AVN members need a forum where we feel safe, from attacks from SAVN. You may be ever so polite, but the AVN FB page is simply not for you. I was banned from the SAVN FB page, and am pleased, because I found it simply vile. The publication of your comments in Meryl’s blog, negates your point. Should you indeed wish to help the AVN, why not become a member, and shop from the AVN? The AVN have excellent educational resources available.

      2. Don’t take it personally, I am also blocked yet do not appear on the blocked list so cannot be ‘unblocked’. It appears to be a facebook glitch or possibly a facebook staff member with an agenda and behind the scenes abilities.

      3. What is the link to the forum that Prof John Andrews and Leonie could use to express their views and questions?

      4. There’s a place for debate but you haven’t found it yet.
        The AVN FB page is for support, now, not debate.

      5. Meryl, I cant write there.
        One month since last post.
        Nothing much before.
        Even if I write something, It disappears.
        You could tell me, please, what happens there.

      6. Another AVN supporter – I’ve left comments on this page before too (albeit under another alias). All were respectful and all were simply asking questions of the publication or of the responses from other users. However, the vast majority of these comments are either ignored (as they remain “awaiting moderation” ad nauseum) or they vanish and never see the light of day again (presumably deleted by the administrator).

        My question is why? A question well worthy of an answer; especially in light of both Meryl’s and the AVN’s calls for – a balanced argument; a respectful debate; not to ignore issues; and (most of all) to not gag our human right of free speech. A freedom described by the author of this page as “useless unless it allows us the ability to say things other people think are false”.

        There are so many calls of “needing to be heard” and “not being silenced”. However effective communication involves both listening to others (even when they dont agree) and stating our point in turn. God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth, so I take that as a hint we should be listening twice as much as we are speaking.

        While I agree comments stating abuse should not be granted the dignity of publication; the same cannot be said for the comments I (and others I know) have left on this page, or other pages associated with the AVN. Accountability is essential for an honest and worthwhile debate! When outlandish comments are posted, or information is posted that is wrong, these should be tested and held to account – not ignored!

        1. Prof Andrews – you state that when outlandish comments are posted or information is posted that is wrong, these should be tested and held to account. Well, please give us an example of this wrong or incorrect information. My personal experience has been that by ‘wrong’, you mean you disagree with it and ‘outlandish’ can mean that it disagrees with your worldview and what you’ve been taught.

          By all means, discuss these issues, but join our Vaccination Respectful Debate page since that is the best place for this conversation to take place – this is just a blog.

      7. Prof John Andrews, you appear to have many unanswered questions. Perhaps you could join the AVN and be part of a community which also has many questions with regards to vaccines and its’ current schedule.
        As for commenting on this blog, do you have any concern that the complainant and victim of violence was unable to gain the support of the court and ended up paying K11 court costs etc. Personally, I lost more than that when I could not afford the legal system to seek what was due to me from a past employer. So I am aware of our legal system failing the general population. In Meryl’s case, the bullying displayed by Bowditch and Buzzard, was praised by the Green’s senator and supported by the Court. This can only be described as a regime which supports bullying. This blog is so descriptive of bullying in today’s society and of those who are providing a barrier to dismantling it.

      8. Know I am on gmail foe years.
        Not able to post on your google plus site.
        Only other people a month ago.
        But I pressed for enter and it gone.
        Have I typed it wrong?
        Even tried again and maybe I wait for modeartion.
        After all, you must expect respectful debate.
        Debate should not be stifled but helpful.
        Soon global appreciation of goodwork for AVN.

  2. You’re absolutely correct.
    we nied to be heard.
    Its not right to be silenced.
    we must have a voice
    Debate them with facts Meryl.
    Keep up the good work. your great.

  3. I doubt you will get any balanced coverage from Jane Hansen. From what I have read from her it looks very much like it is written by the SAVN and she just prints it, she is but a puppet with power of the press. We know the truth.
    There has been a news article the last few days about children bullies; perhaps we should show the world that the adults are much worse at it and they can get away with it easier. They are only tough when they can’t be seen, meet them in the street and they are cowards.
    Meryl and her family have endured such horrid bullying from these small minded people. I am glad I am not one of their family members, it must be hell living with them. Imagine what they are teaching their children.

    1. tracy here again. On reading the last bit I hope readers realise I meant it must be hard living with a bully from the SAVN.

      1. Tracey Hansen hounded a man to his death, all in the name of reporting. If that’s not bullying at its’ worst, I don’t know what is, and two Australian families suffered to the extreme.
        Tracey Hansen leaves no stone unturned, but ignores what is behind the boulders. Her ignorance of the dangers of vaccines is loud. Does she think our legal system aided Meryl, or will she publish her usual trash?

  4. The bullys from the disgusting SAVN are totally chicken – they have removed their photos off google images – what a bunch of sad chicken-necked perverted geeks….if they were men they would put a face to their disgusting words of hate…

  5. I feel sorry for you Meryl.
    Do these people not understand the enormity of the situation?
    If we can not retain self-determinism, we are lost.
    Otherwise, we bend to their every order.
    Then we are not free.

    Clear your name and fight for the truth!

  6. Its funny reading the comments and looking at the thumbs down symbols, you can see the pseudo-skeptic idiots all over the comments section of this page. They make a b-line to every forum or FB page they can relative to Meryl and or the AVN, pretending that they only want to engage in meaningful debate and that they themselves are the innocent victims, when in fact the opposite is true. They are seriously a twisted bunch of people.

  7. Leonie and Prof Andrews,

    Will you both please stop whining about FB and start figuring out how we can have a nationally televised and publicised debate about the risks vs the benefits of vaccines. Professor, I don’t know your own field of expertise, but surely you must know someone who is qualified to answer questions and concerns put forth by an audience of citizens who have questions and concerns about the current vaccine program. Perhaps one of your many “likers” right here could help you out if you yourself are not confident of your ability to debate in an open, televised format.

    Leonie, I’m not leaving you out here; if you have the knowledge, please make yourself available for a debate or if not, suggest someone else. Use your circle of friends/colleagues and make this happen.

    We all need a debate, or better yet, a series of debates for two primary reasons:
    1) we as citizens and parents are expected to follow the vaccination schedule without question – even when there is clear evidence that the current vaccination schedule neither works nor is safe for all children.
    2) we as citizens and parents are the ONLY ones responsible for our children’s continued health and well-being and we cannot make INFORMED decisions without adequate information provided by our immunisation provider about each vaccine recommended. We have the right to know.

    So, how about we all get over the whining about who’s dissing who on social media and move toward something constructive such as an open, engaging, informative series of debates on this topic that impacts each of us whether we know it or not.

    Surely one of you or your followers knows someone who can organise this. How about on one of the new independent TV stations? I’d bet they would be very glad to boost their viewer numbers and exposure.

    What do you say?

  8. I doubt that Meryl and the AVN will get a fair and balanced article written in the Telegraph by Tracey Hansen. It was the Telegraph, working with the Pseudo-skeptics that was lobbying for compulsory vaccination. Their articles never listed the author. In one of their articles they went out of their way to smear Meryl and paint Raffaele, Buzzard and Bowditch as innocent victims. The police track the phone call back to Raffaele’s home phone and he doesn’t get prosecuted?Instead Raffaele get the Skeptic of the Year Award from the pseudo-skeptics group. They are sick. And I bet the article by Tracey Hansen wont mention any of this. The article will be another hatchet job on Meryl and the AVN for sure.

    1. Yes – but the good news is that the only people who read & believe the lying mainstream media are sponge heads that dont matter – these skeptics are whinging idiots who were bullied in school and now its their payback time, so they pick on a percieved easy target – this is weakness & because of their behaviour, they are all ugly, inside & out……

  9. Meryl,
    are you aware that you can apply to the Senate to request a right of reply to Senator di Natale’s comments?

    From the Senate website: “The right of reply consists of an opportunity for a person who claims to have been adversely affected through being named or otherwise identified in Senate proceedings to have a response incorporated in the parliamentary record. The person makes a submission to the President of the Senate requesting publication of a response.”

    See this link
    http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/~/link.aspx?_id=6C6C4FD4DA774605B0DD6370598569FB&_z=z

  10. Hi Meryl, in trying to go through the “system” to try to protect yourself and your family, you probably have come to realise that the Nazi-like criminals who try to force
    the injection and consumption of toxic poisons into us and our children have far reaching tentacles. There is an agenda, governments have become the lap dogs of corporations and the owners of the corporations all the way up the line of consolidated companies and banks are the real rulers. For big pharma, there just happens to be a good dollar to be made in our ill health so hence the poisonous injections, terrible food additives and in my opinion the most abhorrent of all, the fluoridation of our water supply, which is another forced poisonous medication with no benefit.
    So Meryl the little germs that have been harassing you are the bottom of the barrel scum that are either totally brainwashed T.V worshippers or they are working for the drug pushers and the harassment is a sign that you are waking people up and they don’t like it. My final comment is keep up the fight for true freedom you are a true warrior and the only way we can defeat this mammoth beast from turning our future generations into mindless drugged up debt slaves is to keep shouting the truth and keep reminding others of the lies throughout history. T.V is brainwashing! if you want the real news INFOWARS.COM

  11. Professor James Allan in the Australian today ….

    ……. any commitment to free speech is a commitment to allowing people to say and write things you may not like, that you may detest, that you may disagree with and find offensive. If the words spoken are words we all agree with and find congenial, then there is no need for any commitment to free speech…

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