Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network

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The Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network, or AVN (the cranks formerly known as the Australian Vaccination Network[1]), is an anti-vaccine propaganda organisation based in Bangalow, New South Wales. It is the collective hellspawn of an American expatriate (She has a dual citizenship in Australia and US) named Meryl Dorey, lobbying against compulsory vaccinations in Australia by denying the overwhelming evidence[2] that vaccines save lives by preventing childhood diseases. It also promotes alternative medicine, such as chiropractic and homeopathy, to combat diseases that would be easily prevented by vaccinations.[3] It has become notorious the world over not only for the dishonesty of Dorey, but also for its harassment of grieving families whose infant children passed away from vaccine-preventable diseases. The most shocking thing that 30% of AVN members are health professionals.[4]

Contents

[edit] Trouble with the government

The Australian state of New South Wales' Office of Fair Trading has ordered Meryl Dorey to change the name of her organization because it is misleading and endangering people. She had two months to register a new name[1]. The organization appealed to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal of New South Wales, but on November 25 2013 the order was confirmed[5]. The Australian government on the 30th of April, 2014 released a public statement warning the Australian public that AVN's information on vaccines was either "incorrect", "inaccurately represented", or "taken out of context."[6] The AVN's charity status was later revoked by the government[7] who considered the whole "charity" as misinformation spreaders and fear-mongers; naturally the AVN complained that the professionals analyzing their site for misinformation were biased and thus unfair.[7]

Despite the government stating that "We will continue to ensure that they[AVN] present themselves as an anti-vaccination advocacy"[7] their attempts force an honest confession from the group of their true nature has failed as the anti-vaccine group continues to claim that "The AVN is NOT anti-vaccination; nor are we pro-vaccination."[8]

[edit] AVN being assholes

The AVN created a fake religion called the "Church of Conscious Living" that basically helps parents get their children a free vaccine exemption on religious grounds.[9] The key word here being "help", in order to get a vaccine exemption for a child that definitely would benefit from vaccines, they would need to find a doctor unscrupulous or "respectful" enough to sign their vaccine objection form.[9] They compared vaccination to rape in a Facebook post[10] which the AVN quickly backtracked saying the AVN "does not own this page and have no power over what is put on it” and “We do not agree that rape and vaccination are the same and believe that this picture should be taken down as it is offensive to rape victims".[11] They state that they want the right for them to refuse vaccinations[12] however critics rebut that the child's right to protection against deadly diseases is more important[13] than their uninformed science illiterate views. The AVN has sent death threats to people criticizing them.[14]

[edit] Stop the AVN

Stop the AVN (SAVN) is a loose group of anti-AVN campaigners organised after controversy surrounding the death of a baby, Dana McCaffery, of the preventable illness whooping cough (Bordetella pertussis).[15]

Although their intents are good, some of them throw inappropriate and digusting verbal abuse against AVN such as "You love dead children" and "Those dead babies don't unload themselves"[16] to members of the AVN.

[edit] The Real Australian Sceptics

In May of 2012 the AVN launched a blog called The Real Australian Sceptics, a blatant attempt both to capitalise on the reputation of their opponents, the actual Australian Skeptics, while simultaneously calling that group pseudoskeptics. This, naturally enough, provoked complaints.[17][18]

The site "stopped functioning on Sunday, January 24, 2016" and still currently is expired.[19]

[edit] External links

[edit] Critics

[edit] Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Minister orders anti-vaccination group to change its name
  2. AVN anti-vaccine screed
  3. Alternative medicine links from AVN
  4. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/a-third-of-the-australian-vaccination-skeptics-networks-members-are-medical-professionals/story-fni0cx12-1226879881819?nk=b7268aa28241a8b5c489a10b58ae60c8-1455348525
  5. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/NSWADT/2013/266.html
  6. http://www.hccc.nsw.gov.au/Hearings---decisions/Public-statements-and-warnings/Public-statement---warning-about-the-Australian-Vaccination-skeptics-Network--Inc---AVN----formerly-known-as-Australian-Vaccination-Network-Inc-
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-18/australian-vaccination-skeptics-network-banned-from-charity-sta/5327378
  8. https://avn.org.au/
  9. 9.0 9.1 http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/antivaccination-group-encourages-parents-to-join-fake-church-20150127-12zcrc.html
  10. http://www.smh.com.au/national/australian-vaccination-skeptics-network-compares-vaccines-to-rape-20150422-1mr0wk.html
  11. http://www.news.com.au/national/australian-vaccination-skeptics-network-compares-vaccines-to-rape-in-facebook-post/news-story/adf91402c9d6d0268bedde998fded961
  12. http://www.northernstar.com.au/news/anti-vaccine-group-denies-opposing-all-vaccines/2770698/
  13. http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/parental-and-childrens-rights-vaccination-mandates/
  14. https://reasonablehank.com/2014/01/03/death-threats-and-threats-of-harm-incited-by-the-avn-nsfw/
  15. [1]
  16. https://avn.org.au/dossier-of-attacks-on-the-avn/verbal-abuse/
  17. Pretending to be something you’re not, Peter Bowditch.
  18. Pseudoskepticism from Australian vaccine denialists
  19. http://australiansceptics.com/
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