I got an email from my old ‘friend’, Jane Hansen this morning and really, it’s been far too long since we two have communicated. You know how it is. Life gets busy, kids are growing, places to go, people to see…
But Jane took the time to drop me a quick line and for that, I’m very grateful
I had just sent a copy of Dr Brian Martin’s latest article, News with a negative frame: a vaccination case study, to some social networking pages I follow and the email lists I help maintain. And darned if I didn’t forget to include Jane on that email – so sorry! But all’s well because she got the email anyway.
For those who haven’t yet read this article, I highly recommend you do! It concerns negative and biased coverage regarding Dr Judy Wilyman’s PhD from the University of Wollongong by Kylar Loussikian of the Australian newspaper in particular, and the Australian media in general.
You see, there are some journalists out there who apparently believe that those who hold a contrary position on scientific issues (such as vaccination) should not be able to obtain a PhD – nor, it seems, should they be allowed a voice in the public debate. Hard to imagine, I know!
And Jane, bless her little heart, appears to be one of those journalists too. Jane, we really do have to talk…
In her usual spontaneous style, Jane’s email to me was direct and straight to the point:
You’re the queen of twisting truth Meryl
Gardasil is one of the most heavily studies vaccines around and one of the most effective. To ignore the vast body of science on this is pure ignorance.
Now Jane, I really am trying to work with you on this – really! But I have searched Dr Martin’s article for even one mention of Gardasil and it might surprise you (or not) to know that it is not mentioned even once. There is a short mention of HPV – the virus that Gardasil is meant to protect against – but that mention is made, not to discuss the science behind HPV vaccination, but simply to quote a paragraph from the Australian newspaper article in question.
So, trying to be helpful because after all, I really ‘get’ you, I offered the following response:
Did you actually read the article, Jane? If so, what is your objection to what Dr Martin has said? Where has he gone wrong? Please feel free to share your insight on this article with either myself or Dr Martin.
He was most particularly NOT not talking about the science behind vaccination which is what leads me to believe that you did not read the article you are replying to. Dr Martin was speaking about how the media uses language to frame an argument in such a way that the truth of matters is ignored and instead, a particular barrow is pushed based purely on what it is the media wishes to propound.
Please read Dr Martin’s article and if you have any criticisms, I am sure he would be most happy to hear them and to respond to you.
PS – why are you bringing up Gardasil? What did that have to do with Dr Martin’s article or Dr Wilyman’s PhD from the UOW? You seem to have strayed very far from the point, Jane.
Instead of thanking me for so kindly and politely pointing out the errors of your way, Jane, you instead sent me the following email:
I don’t engage with cherry pickers. Goodbye
Well! May I remind you, Jane, that you were the one who contacted me! So any engagement was totally and absolutely down to you.
Is this any way to carry on a conversation? You start talking and when someone gives a reasoned and civil reply, you attack them and storm off in a virtual huff? That’s neither mature nor is it productive.
These are Australia’s children we are talking about here, Jane. Their health, wellbeing and their very lives. Don’t they deserve better than what you are giving them?
Oh, forgive me! How silly.
I seem to have forgotten that you work for Murdoch.
Forget I said anything.
by Meryl Dorey
Please note: Blog posts are opinion pieces which represent the views of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of the nocompulsoryvaccination blog. This blog is a forum, support and information site and outlet for discussion about the relative benefits and risks of vaccinations in particular – and medical procedures in general. We do not provide medical advice but believe that everyone has the opportunity and the obligation to do their own research before making decisions for their families. The information we provide (including your personal review of the references we cite) should be taken in conjunction with a range of other data, including that obtained from government, your health care provider and/or other medical source material to assist you in developing the knowledge required to make informed health choices.
I was prompted to write this blog by an email I received from Jane Hansen, a ‘journalist’ at the Daily Telegraph and other News Ltd (Murdoch) papers.
She has asked me some leading questions which she obviously thinks the paper’s readers would be interested in knowing the answers to whilst completely ignoring the real burning questions about the safety and effectiveness of Australia’s current vaccination schedule. The questions she asked have nothing to do with the work the AVN has been doing for nearly 20 years to try and protect the rights of Australian families to continue to make free and informed vaccination decisions for their children. Rights which Jane Hansen would like to see ripped away from us. Her questions also had nothing whatsoever to do with what is happening in the world of vaccine science today – including peer-reviewed research which questions whether:
we are using too many vaccines too soon;
if our vaccines have been properly or independently tested;
if vaccination itself could be the cause of epidemics of infectious diseases which are now sweeping the world in record numbers; or
if vaccines could be blamed for the tragic explosion in the incidence of chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, autistm, ADD, ADHD, childhood cancers and more.
Jane has asked me some questions which are completely irrelevant to these important issues which she mistakenly thinks the readers of News Ltds papers are clamouring to know. The AVN, on the other hand, thinks that News Ltd’s readership would find it refreshing and even surprising to read – for once – about the truth of the vaccination issue in Australia and around the world. But will they ever see the truth printed in the Daily Telegraph or the stable of other newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd?
For instance, wouldn’t they love to know that:
A recent study published in Poland (a country which refused to give in to the pharmaceutical hype about ‘swine flu’ and did not buy or administer vaccines against this illesses to their population with the result that they had fewer cases of influenza that year than normal.) reviewed the medical literature on the safety of vaccination. This paper, entitled Neurologic Adverse Events Following Vaccination (which can be downloaded for free by clicking here) states:
“Reports in many Polish and foreign medical journals lead us to conclude that postvaccinal complications among children can be observed in sporadic cases and that they are disproportionate to the benefits of vaccination in the elimination of dangerous diseases in childhood.”
Don’t you think that the readers of the Daily Telegraph – and all other media in Australia – would be fascinated to know that, according to reviews of the current medical literature, any potential benefits of vaccination may be far outweighed by their risk to the developing brain of our children? For those who are interested, a plain-English overview of this study can be found at Gaia Health’s website and at the website of The Refusers.
For years, the Australian government and mainstream media have tried their hardest to convince parents that vaccines absolutely don’t and never have been linked with autism. They want everyone to believe that – aside from one lone-wolf British researcher – not a single other scientist had ever even suspected that injecting babies full of vaccines containing known neurotoxins (substances which have been proven to be poisonous to and kill brain cells) could in any way affect
their brains. Dr Andrew Wakefield, who had already published over 120 peer-reviewed studies prior to the article in question being released in the Lancet in 1998, dared to suggest that perhaps more study needed to be done on the safety of the MMR vaccine. He never said that vaccination caused autism nor did he call on parents to stop vaccinating despite the many media lies to that effect. Instead, after listening to (shock-horror!) a group of parents who claimed that their children’s health and behaviour changed following receipt of MMR, and conducting laboratory tests on these children along with a team of 12 other eminent scientists, he said that the government should study this possible relationship for the protection of future generations. Instead of applauding him for his good work, he was vilified, deregistered and slandered by the same media which is today slandering parents whose children have been so badly affected by vaccines. Since the time of Wakefield’s initial publication, more and more evidence has emerged and the link between vaccines and autism can’t be buried any longer. In fact, surveys conducted both in Australia and in the US have both found that despite the cover-up by some members of the media and the medical community, a significant minority of parents (up to 40% depending on the survey) believe that vaccines can cause autism. And the evidence is mounting. An Italian court recently awarded compensation to the family of a child who became autistic after being vaccinated. Not only that, but the Ministry of Health stated that the vaccine was the direct cause. Funny that we haven’t seen this in the Telegraph. Maybe we missed it? But then again, we haven’t read about the cases of autism which the American vaccine court has awarded compensation for, stating that the child’s autism was a result of their vaccination. If a story falls in the forest of trees cut down to produce your daily Murdoch rag, will it still make a sound?
And hey, when we are talking about autism, it’s important to realise that the link between vaccines and what we now refer to as ASDs (Autistic Spectrum Disorders) predated Dr Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 study by well over 80 years – only back then, it was referred to as post-vaccinal encephalitis. And since his study was published, a swathe of other articles have been released in peer-reviewed journals which support Wakefield’s hypothesis that there is a common link between autism and severe gastrointestinal complications. Moreover, as evidence that pharmaceutical companies have no shame, they have actually begun work to find a vaccine to help autistic children deal with the very gastrointestinal complications that Wakefield was pilloried for saying that they had! And since I know that Jane Hansen must be far too busy digging up dirt on consumer advocates to do any research on actual issues, here is a list of just some of these articles confirming Wakefield’s findings for her – all ignored by the Telegraph and her sister papers, for some strange reason.* Must have been an oversight.
No lesser source than the British Medical Journal (BMJ) reported last week that public health authorities are not necessarily basing their decisions about the need for influenza vaccination on the best available science. Instead, they are giving in to a seductive (and lucrative) marketing campaign being run by drug companies which makes all of us ‘at risk’ of injury and death from influenza without a skerrick of evidence to show that there is any danger at all for the majority. Entitled Influenza: Marketing vaccine by marketing disease, it is one of those rare articles in mainstream medical journals which are completely independent of vested interests – and it shows. You can read the article for free by clicking here. In amongst the Tele’s strident demands that we must all get flu vaccines or face dying and killing others, did anyone happen to see this report mentioned? Maybe I didn’t get the paper that day.
I almost forgot that I started writing this because of my email from Jane Hansen. Well, I will get to her shortly. I have a few more important things to say first.
The government and media are completely out of touch-and it shows
This last week has seen an escalation by certain parliamentarians and the Murdoch media of the campaign to vilify and punish those who have chosen not to vaccinate or to vaccinate selectively. The opposition is becoming ever-more desperate because their message is literally sickening – even to those who believe strongly in the benefits of vaccines. All Australians are appalled by hate speech. All Australians can see that the arguments being made by those involved in this campaign are thin enough to read through and are not based on anything even approaching the smell of an oily petrie dish. Science doesn’t get a look-in because real science doesn’t suit the fear-mongering agenda of these bodies.
So, while politicians are receiving hundreds of letters from constituents telling them in no uncertain terms that they will not be re-elected if they vote for discrimination against fellow Australian families (and I still plan on uploading these letters – my apologies for not having done so as of yet); and when internet polls promoted by major media outlets are virtually ignored while opposing polls put forward by tiny community groups are well-supported; there is only one road left for those running these fear campaigns to tread – the road of personal attacks, character smears and lies.
Enter Jane Hansen
And tread it they will. It appears that some prominent media representatives have a moral compass which is not only broken – it was been sent overseas for repairs where it was lost years ago. At the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. At the base of the Mariana Trench. Where no light will ever find it. Get the picture?
For those of you who are unaware of Jane Hansen, let me explain that she is a ‘journalist’ for the Murdoch media and has been running her own private vilification campaign for many years against anyone who chooses to research their vaccination decision rather than just listening to their doctor.
She has penned such memorable fear-mongering hate pieces such as:
Several days ago, I received an email from Ms Hansen which read as follows:
We are running a story this weekend about the experiences of the McCaffery family and other bereaved parents and their treatment at the hands of members of the AVN, or regular bloggers on your site. I am putting these questions to you for your right of reply.
I had no intention of responding directly to Ms Hansen though I did provide her with a link to my blog posts about the family of Dana McCaffery (see below) – links which, of course, she ignored. Going on previous experience, I would not have expected a fair hearing from her nor could I trust in any way that she would honestly report what I said.
Instead of responding to her in private therefore, I have decided to respond to her publicly and expose the incredible desperation being displayed by those in power who can’t seem to get the public to believe them no matter how hard they lie.
Q- Why did you ring Paul Corben and ask for test results for Dana McCaffery on March 12, 2009?
You wrote in your defence of this action you had a right to, but do you concede the move was an invasion of the family’s grief?
Was it disrespectful of Dana?
Why would you post your vaccination paraphernalia on Dana’s website? Was that insensitive in the extreme?
The answers to these and all other questions concerning the McCaffery’s can be found at:
Q- What is your response to the criticism that you ‘orchestrate’ complaints to media outlets and even tell members what to write?
Was it that group which orchestrates complaints about us that told you that? You know the one… SAVN or “Stop the AVN”? As for your question, gee, I’ve never heard of an activist group which starts letter-writing campaigns with suggested topics for those who support certain issues to discuss with their elected representatives or media outlets. That really IS subversive! Who’d have thought?
Q- Is Bernice London, a regular on your site, a real person? If so is she a member of the AVN.?
No idea. Never heard of her before. Do you think she is a real person?
Q- What responsibility does the AVN take for vile and insensitive comments that have been made about the McCaffery’s.
Not having ever made vile or insensitive comments about anyone including the McCafferys – nor do I know of anyone who is associated with the AVN who could have or would have done such a thing, I’m afraid I can’t comment. Now, a question for you, Jane: What responsibility does the Daily Telegraph or Rupert Murdoch take for the vile, insensitive and harassing comments you have made about parents who are making educated choices for their children’s health? Two words for you – “Leveson Inquiry”. Oh, I almost forgot, a few more words – “GlaxoSmithKline”, “Brian Deer” and “Sunday Times”
Q- Did you ring Chris Kokegei, the father of the boy who died of chicken pox, and tell him your views on vaccination?
Q- Was this necessary?
Since I’ve never heard of him, I can honestly say that I never called him. And if anyone wants my views on vaccination, they are available in almost 20 years of magazines, newsletters and website posts. Oh, and for your second question, was this necessary, great use of the loaded question fallacy, Jane. You are obviously a pro at this slander thing.
Q- He feels you, or someone from the AVN told him that he was doing society a disservice by discussing vaccination, is this true?
Sometimes when I’m sleeping, I feel as though the media and the government have somehow found a conscience. But then I wake up and I realise how silly that feeling is. How can someone possibly claim to feel that they were contacted by another person. Either they were or they weren’t. If they were, they should be able to say who the person was and what they said. If they can’t provide this evidence, then why are you even asking me these questions? Is it a slow news week, Jane?
Q- Did you threaten to take out an AVO against Cecily Johnson because she attended you talks on vaccination?
Considering the fact that I have no idea who Cecily Johnson is nor do I remember anyone by that name attending any of my seminars (though of course, there have been lots of people who have attended my seminars and I can’t possibly remember all of their names) I can answer by stating that I have not taken out an AVO against her nor have I threatened to do so since I don’t know her nor, to the best of my knowledge, have I ever had contact with her. I’m curious though. Why are you asking this question? Have you taken out an AVO against Cecily Johnson? How’d that go for you, Jane?
Avoiding the REAL issues
Now that I’ve answered your ‘insightful’ and ‘important’ questions, perhaps you will return the favour.
Q- Jane Hansen, when are you going to stop abusing families who have made decisions you don’t understand and start doing what journalists are supposed to do – investigate both sides of the issue without any preconceived notions and write an honest, unbiased research piece?
Q- Since you obviously think that science is important, will you support the Australian Vaccination Network in our campaign to get the Australian government to finally fund and conduct an independent study comparing the overall health of the fully vaccinated vs the fully unvaccinated? After all, since you believe that vaccines convey health, both you and the government should be anxious to do such a study to set the minds of parents at ease and increase our already record-high rates of vaccination. The results of this study could do just that.
Every single day in Australia and around the world, children are injured by vaccines because their parents were convinced by articles they read in the Murdoch media – many of them written by you – that vaccination is a one-size-fits-all safe and effective procedure even though an unknown minority of those who are vaccinated can and do suffer permanent damage and even die from their vaccines. Because of your refusal to report fairly, they don’t feel a need to become better-informed on both sides of this issue to learn about their own family’s particular susceptibilities prior to agreeing to have their children vaccinated. Perhaps even worse, parents of children who have already had serious vaccine reactions continue to allow the administration of more and more shots because neither their doctors nor, apparently, you will inform them that accelerating reactions are a real and present danger and contraindications do exist which they should be made aware of before continuing to vaccinate. While we have gone from 1 child in 20,000 to 1 child in 50 with autism (and before you say it – let me stop you! This has nothing to do with better diagnosis since these are all diagnosed as per the guidelines in the DSM IV) you and your colleagues have continued to claim that there is no evidence linking vaccination with autism, neurological or behavioural disorders – leading to more and more children being diagnosed with this condition which mainstream medicine has no cure for. So Jane, when are you going to step down off of your high horse and acknowledge the harm that your suppression of scientific evidence has caused within the Australian community? I await your response with great interest – as do the readers of the Murdoch media.
Here are some of your fabulous letters being sent to the Daily Telegraph by supporters of the AVN. Please use these as examples when you write your own letters and remember to BCC me – firstname.lastname@example.org. and send your letter to email@example.com
If you haven’t yet read the article about how the government wants to SMASH the AVN, please click here to have a read.
I am a PROUD parent of an UNVACCINATED HEALTHY 7 month old boy.
My husband and I made the decision to not vaccinate after countless hours of research before my son was born, we didn’t know of the existence of the AVN until our son was 4 months old.
It amuses me nonetheless that a few months ago, the health minister admitted the whooping cough vaccine didn’t work in protecting newborns from whooping cough and was scrapping the free whooping cough vaccine for parents and care givers of vaccines yet months later, you’re putting up a story making out the vaccines work..
I think the AVN are an important group to help parents see the bigger picture but parents need to find their own research to form their own opinions.
Your article about the Australian Vaccination Network (22/07/2012) gave the impression that medical opinion on vaccine efficacy and safety is unanimous. It isn’t. As a post graduate researcher on this issue, I have been in contact with some of the world’s most highly-regarded immunologists and vaccine safety researchers, and I could provide literally countless academic papers detailing the problems with vaccines.
Vaccine makers openly list the possible adverse reactions which in some cases are known to be severe. They also do not claim 100% efficacy. In Victoria the whooping cough vaccine is no longer available freely because ‘cocooning’ was not working. The efficacy rate of the vaccine is in some instances no better than the toss of a coin, and infection rates were increasing in vaccinated people.
Claims that vaccines are responsible for the diminishment of polio are deceptive. Polio rates had decreased by around 94% by the time vaccines were introduced, largely due to better hygiene
The Australian Vaccination Network fulfills the cornerstone of Western medicine’s concept of ‘informed choice’ by allowing people to access information about vaccine adverse reactions and efficacy rates.
I read with interest your article on Vaccination and the Australian Vaccination Network.
As I am interested in this subject, would it be possible to interview a member of the AVN ?
I understand that it is an association of parents, who give advice on vaccinations available to children.
Could you please give me more information on this group, so that I may make an informed choice on vaccinations for my family.
You are wrong to ascribe the fall in infectious diseases to vaccination ( Sunday Telegraph July 22nd, page 15). Infectious diseases were dropping steadily since 1890, & there were no routine childhood vaccine programs then. The reasons the diseases declined were the gradual social improvements: sanitation, better hygiene, refrigeration, better food storage & handling, improved food supply & better, less crowded housing. Vaccination had very little, if anything, to do with it. Medical doctors like Professor Robert Mendelsohn, Dr Baratosi, Dr Ritchie, Dr Richard Taylor & countless others have admitted this. Any medical history book will have graphs of this decline from the latter part of the nineteenth century.
You also imply that vaccines were introduced in the 1930’s, but they were not widely introduced then, or even, in some cases, discovered. Vaccines were not widely introduced until the 1950’s, & the drop ion infectious diseases had been obvious for 60 years before that.
It’s disappointing to read an article by an author who clearly has an agenda, & will not let the facts stand in her way.
At least please get your facts right & tell the truth,
This will short and to the point. The AVN is a valid legal entity which works under the constructs of a free and democratically established country. Why you are entertaining the idea of changing the name and ‘smashing’ this parent led organisation is beyond me. Just a rudimentary browse through the health care industries (lets not kid our selves that it is purely a ‘service’) own literature will give you some idea of the level of fatalities and misdiagnosis present in the current system. No sane person can deny these very real and present risks.
To tell a parent that somehow they have the right to decide what type of margarine to provide for their children or what video game they can watch but then to turn around and take away their fundamental right to decide on such crucial matters as health care and vacine choices is ludicrous.
The Sunday Telegraph should be about decent journalism, freedom of speech and upholding the democratic traditions of this country, not joining in with the ‘boys club’ to help tear down those very structures. A fair and reasoned argument publishing both sides of a story is basic journalism, I hope that you are brave enough to do this despite your increasing propensity to worship the advertising dollar rather than decent common sense.