EDIT: BREAKING NEWS! It appears StopAVN have done something fantastic and unexpected at Woodford Folk Festival! Please scroll down to the next bolded “EDIT:” and ensure even if you don’t read most of this, you at least read that!!!
Who are the Australian Vaccination Network?
The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), despite all claims to the contrary, are an anti-vaccination group. They are headed up by Meryl Dorey and claim they’re not, they claim they just support informed choice and provide a counter to the governments provides. However, the information the AVN provide is wrong on almost all counts which means it’s not really an informed choice they’re providing but a misinformed one, and if the governments provides is pro-vaccine, then any stance counter to that surely must be anti?
Their preferred sources of information are not scientific studies, but rather conspiracy theorist sites such as whale.to (a site that collects any and all articles and claims no matter how crazy and unsubstantiated they are), conspiracy theorists such as David Icke (who promotes world leaders and the royal family being lizard people), and people with revoked medical licenses such as the disgraced Andrew Wakefield.
They’ve had their charity license revoked. In the last two years, only two issues of their 6/year magazine “Living Wisdom” has been released (and despite being so far behind in issues owed, they’re still actively pushing subscriptions). They regularly cry oppression, censorship and demand free speech, despite blocking/banning anyone who dares counter their supposed-not president Meryl Dorey with information that is nothing more than factual. They have also been caught filing numerous false DMCA requests to hide public and factual information they don’t like. The Australian Vaccination Network about as hypocritical as one can get. Read more…
After my post last week about #Ten23 many of you may be asking why people fall for homeopathy. Well, one reason is because many people don’t completely understand what homeopathy is, they think it is something that it’s not. There is another reason, lined out quite well in the little video below which was made by Kylie Sturgess of Podblack.com and Token Skeptic. Take a look, and don’t forget to subscribe to her podcast.
Don’t forget about 10:23 this weekend. Sydney is on Sunday the 6th at 9:30am in the Royal Botanic Gardens, we’re meeting at the Opera House entrance. For other locations in Australia check out the Kylie’s website here and for international visit the official site here.
The weekend of February 5th and 6th will showcase the second year of the #Ten23 campaign across the world. It is a campaign with similar goals to World Homeopathy Awareness Week. WHAW seeks to educate the public about what homeopathy is and how it works, and tell people it does work. 10:23 seeks to educate the public about what homeopathy actually is, how it actually works, and its actual efficacy.
The events in Australia are being centrally co-ordinated by Kylie Sturgess at the website for her podcast, The Token Skeptic, with (currently) more cities in Australia being involved than any other country. For more information on what’s happening near you, just keep an eye on that page for updates.
Those overseas, there’s no better site than the official 10:23 website.
I should have spoken up earlier. It’s currently 6pm in Western Australia, Meryl Dorey is setting up for her talk at the State Library of WA. As a believer in science and reality based medicine, I am disappointed this is going ahead. I am also glad.
When Meryl first announced her talk in Perth at the Uniting Church in The City, many people from the StopAVN group contacted them to let them know the reality behind the Australian Vaccination Network, what they really stood for and would really be talking about. UCiTC were shocked, and decided in the end to cancel the booking.
The Australian Vaccination Network then looked around and lined up a new venue, the State Library of Western Australia. They told Meryl they often have controversial groups talk, so would not cancel. True to their word, once contacted by StopAVN members they responded in a similar way and allowed the talk to continue. Read more…
Australia’s Anti Vaccination group, the Australian Vaccination Network are doing a seminar tomorrow in Perth. They like to claim they give parents both sides of the vaccination “debate” to “let them decide”, a statement I covered in yesterday’s post. However, I am yet to see them give any positive information on vaccines. As a matter of fact, the only information I have seen from them on vaccines has been completely wrong. This is quite disturbing for a group who claims to be the “vaccination watchdog”, and run by someone who claims to be “the leading expert in Australia on vaccines”.
Also as I said yesterday, you cannot give information and misinformation on equal platters and ask people to decide for themselves. That’s just unproductive and dangerous as it gives people the false impression that the misinformation is justified and supported. So, to counter the misinformation and blatant lies by the AVN in tomorrow’s seminar, a website has been launched specifically to correct the AVN’s incorrect claims. Read more…
Just got home from the Mind Body Wallet Spirit Festival in Sydney. This is a bi-annular (twice a year) festival that happens in most major cities across Australia promoting woo of all kinds. It’s the biggest woo-fest in Australia.
Met up with some friends out the front (Richard shown here doing what he does best, nomming the sign that was made to get our group’s attention), and in we went. Unlike my recent visit to Newton’s Pharmacy (a “pharmacy” that deals 100% in homeopathy and other woo, no legitimate medicine to be found), my nasal senses weren’t violently assaulted upon entering which was good. I didn’t last as long as the people I went with, and it wasn’t from the woo. More on that later.
There were numerous stalls I wanted to look at to see what the woo was they were offering as a quick glance didn’t make it overly clear, however more often than not if I wanted a closer look there was already a large group of non-moving people in front of the stall not allowing me to get close enough without actively engaging a stall holder. I’m not exactly good at confrontations and taking people on, so this is something I don’t quite feel comfortable doing as yet. Read more…
This week just gone has been World Homeopathy Awareness Week. I would not be surprised if you didn’t. For an event that is supposed to promote Homeopathy, they are sure doing their best to keep it quiet.
A week ago I decided to try to help them out a little. I jumped on their facebook page and started posting useful information in regards to homeopathy. Websites that have been used in the last year already to promote homeopathy and its efficacy, such as 1023.org.uk and What’s The Harm’s pages on Homeopathy. Surprisingly, I was booted from their fan page and have been rejoining twice at day at the very least ever since. Read more…
The Science and Technology Select Committee in the UK has delivered its verdict on homeopathy, calling for the withdrawal of NHS funding and official licensing for homeopaths.
Podblack also has a VERY impressive collection of news stories and blog posts on this story, I highly recommend checking out her blog to see what other bloggers who have had more time than myself have to say on the subject.
Homeopathy is one of those backwards things that no matter how you look at it, doesn’t make the slightest lick of sense. It goes against physics, it goes against chemistry, it goes against biology, it goes against logic, it goes against everything. Most people when asked though don’t actually realise the supposed claims about how or why it works. Even though it can be explained in plain English in a matter of minutes or even seconds, most people don’t even bother to go that far and know it as nothing more than an alternative medicine. Many even think it’s just a more natural medicine even though in most cases there’s nothing about it which is more natural than science based medicine.
To help people understand and entertain them at the same time, Depleted Cranium have come up with an illustrated guide to Homeopathy which explains in detail how this “medicine” “works”. Quite entertaining and worth the read.
Sourced from: James Randi Educational Foundation.
A man and his six year old son sit down in front of the TV one Saturday afternoon and turn it on. An old black and white western is showing. The father sits back and enjoys, while the child watches with intrigue. A gentleman with an elaborately painted cart enters the screen and starts making boasts about a new medicine he has that will “cure what ails ya”. A clearly sick person at the back of the newly gathered but inquisitive crowd wanders up and takes a sip of the salesman’s elixir.
Within minutes, the sick person’s face is clearing, voice is becoming less hoarse and energy is filling his body. He buys two bottles of the elixir and wander off happily as the crowd behind him suddenly fill with excitement and start clamoring to be the next customer. The sheriff then turns up, settles the crowd, shames them by telling them this man is nothing more than a snake-oil salesman and sends him out of town to the sound of boos and hisses.
Son: Dad, what’s snake oil?
Father: Well son, many a year ago men like that used to wander from town to town selling fake cures. That first person who came up was actually in league with the salesman, a friend, acting and pretending to get cured.
Son: So the oil of snakes has no affect?
Father: No son. It was all a scam.
Son: Wow dad, how did they fall for it?
Father: Medicine back then wasn’t what it is today. There were many many more things it couldn’t cure or help with, and communication was also much slower which gave these people the ability to wander from one town to the next before word of their fraudulent activity could be passed on. Today though, people are much smarter and medicine is much better.
Son: *laughing* Yeah, nobody would be silly enough to fall for that today.