Vaccination Misinformation – AVN Seminars In Western Australia On NOT Vaccinating

Today is World Polio Day – 24th October 2011. Tomorrow, a notorious anti-vaccination group will be heading to my town.

If you want to challenge anti-vaccination proponents – don’t get mad. Get the facts out. There may very well be members of the public who are seeking information and may need some pointers, rather than Meryl Dorey and the AVN’s misinformation.

This was why I created the website called Australian Vaccination Network’s Seminar on Vaccination: Making The Right Choice. This was a website called ‘Vaccination Facts‘, which created by me back in 2010. It’s now been reworked to provide information to the public in 2011.

When I last attended an AVN seminar in 2010, I live-blogged the proceedings – taking notes of all the claims that were made. About a month later, I also attended the WA Telethon lecture:

Live-Blogging The Telethon Institution Lecture On Vaccination. The Experts. The Facts.

This is the page that was created by the Telethon Institution from the lecture – there’s also recordings and a film:

Audio (mp3)
Fiona Stanley - Professor Fiona Stanley is the Director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research. She is a Professor in the School of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Western Australia.
Deborah Lehmann - Clinical Associate Professor Deborah Lehmann.
Bruce Langoulant - Chairman, The Meningitis Centre.

If you are wishing to protest or raise awareness of this group’s claims – the AVN are ALSO appearing at the Conscious Living Expo doing 3 talks (Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week) as well as in Jurien Bay and Geraldton next week on the 2nd and 3rd of November.

If you are seeking to encourage people to get the correct information, direct them to the WA Health site first and foremost. There are also a number of  updated pages on the Australian Vaccination Network’s Seminar on Vaccination: Making The Right Choice and please send the site further links to help improve its content.

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • MikeMa

    Isn’t (wasn’t) Dorey under some legal threat? Too bad she is still free to roam the streets spewing lies. I’m in the US so as much as I’d like to be in a position to protest, this is the best I can offer at present.

    • Kylie Sturgess

      Hi MikeMa! Here’s the details, in the West Australian:

      The NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing also stripped the group, based at Bangalow near Byron Bay, of its charity status after health authorities found its information was biased and said its website should state that its claims were not medical advice.

      …Australian Medical Association WA president Dave Mountain said the group was trying to whip up anti-vaccine hysteria again.
      “They are zealots who pick and choose bits of information to make it look like they’re presenting real evidence,” he said.
      This led to parents refusing to get children and themselves vaccinated, which affected everyone, particularly the most vulnerable who benefited from herd immunity and, in that respect, they were a danger.

  • Gib

    I wandered by the anti-vax seminar in Floreat on Tuesday (25th October 2011) to see who was about. I was a bit late, thinking it started at 7.30. I got there about 7.00, and most people were inside the room already.

    I went up to the desk, and asked how much it cost to get in, and they were charging $15. I would have paid it to see what the seminar was like, if I knew the money wouldn’t be used for evil. But, alas, I knew it would be, so I just hung around outside and saw the people going in. There were a few people with babies, but not too many….

    The seminar itself was held in a room in the Bourlevard Centre, which was a building that includes a library and some other rooms. To get to the seminar room you had to enter the building through glass doors. These doors were locked, and there was a woman walking around occasionally letting people in who were banging on the glass doors.

    I didn’t see into the whole room, but it seemed fairly full unfortunately. I saw Dorey herself (I think) wander out at some point before the seminar started, and chat with the people taking the money.

    After the seminar started I got myself some food from the Japanese across the way, and then wandered back to my car. On the way I saw a guy trying to gain access to the building from the top entrance, so I suggested he use the bottom entrance. I also enquired if he was there for the lecture. He was, so I warned him not to believe anything from the liar Dorey, and he’d be best off doing the opposite of anything she said. He looked a bit surprised, but scurried on his way down to the lecture…

    • Kylie Sturgess

      Thanks Gib! I’ll be attending their other outreach effort soon! :)

  • Andy

    Hi Kylie. I’ve even reopened my blog in honour of the AVN visit :)

    @ Gib,

    A question I’ve wanted answered for a while… did you see any smokers among the hosts or attendees at the “seminar”?

    • Kylie Sturgess

      Hi ANDY!!

      Actually, I do have an answer to that – at the Library seminar in 2010, I was cornered by two very peeved, chain-smoking ladies who pointedly blew their cigarettes into my face as they shifted goalposts with everything they said. I’ll blog about it tomorrow. I was too busy being polite to ask them about their habit… :p

      • Andy

        Probably natural cigarettes that don’t contain any chemicals or toxins. But whatever they were smoking, I’m sure they weren’t providing financial support to any multinational companies or anyone else who might have profited from the manufacture or sale of them.

    • Gib

      No, I didn’t see anyone smoking, but they weren’t hanging around, just trying to get in.

  • chrissevern

    It’s probably not worth a protest against the AVN at the Conscious Living Expo. The whole expo is full of people who aren’t that interested in logic and reality.

    • Kylie Sturgess

      No, I was just there to get information and see what it was like. The cookies they had from the Bakehouse were okay.