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Onward and upward - 2012!
2011 is now gone and good riddance to it, I say. Especially since 2012 is starting out as one of the best years yet for informed vaccination choice!
First, we had a fantastic forum on vaccination at the Woodfordia Folk Festival (technically in 2011, but near enough is good enough). As many of you would have seen in our previous e-newsletter, sent out on December 13th, the Australian Skeptics and Stop the AVN conspired to try and stop me from speaking at Woodfordia. This turned out to be a major backfire with record numbers coming to the forum simply because they had heard and read so much about the controversy in the media, they wanted to know what it was all about. As a result, we had a fabulous reception for the information provided by the AVN with standing room only around the entire inside of the venue, people sitting in the aisles and a crowd around the outside of the venue several people deep. I also received a standing ovation from several audience members who were grateful for the fact that this forum was allowed to go ahead.
More good news is that Dr Andrew Wakefield has just started a court action against Brian Deer (the Murdoch journalist responsible for filing an action against him with the General Medical Council in the UK), Fiona Godlee, Editor of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the BMJ itself. He is accusing them of lying and defaming him and his co-authors. If you would like to read more about this, there is an excellent article on the Age of Autism website which you can read by clicking here. In addition, you can download the pdf of the court documents here and they make very interesting reading indeed! I am sure you will all join with me in wishing Dr Wakefield the very best of luck with his court case and hoping that 2012 will finally bring justice to Dr Wakefield and all the families of children suffering from vaccine-associated autism.
And speaking of justice...our own oft-delayed Supreme Court Challenge to the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) is due to be finalised in late February, 2012. Here's hoping there won't be any further postponements and that right will prevail which means that we will win.
We are also going to be on our way to Canberra in the first quarter of 2012 to lobby for changes to Federal legislation protecting the rights of Australians to choose not to vaccinate or to vaccinate selectively. We basically are asking for the following:
- Requirements for all health professionals to report adverse reactions to vaccinations within a 30-day period. If they fail to report, we want penalties to be in place.
- Requirements for all health professionals to report the vaccination status in cases of infectious diseases.
- Information to be compiled nationally on lot and batch numbers of vaccines so that 'hot lots' can be identified and withdrawn in a timely manner.
- Cessation of any link between vaccination and financial entitlements. Parents should not have to prove they are conscientious objectors since vaccination is still a matter of choice in Australia.
- All parents to be provided with the manufacturer's package inserts to the vaccines they are supposed to be giving their children with the ingredients, side effects and contraindications highlighted. We want this information to be provided well in advance of them having to make these decisions to allow them time to ask their healthcare providers questions about both safety and efficacy.
You will be informed of the date for this lobbying as soon as we know it ourselves. There will be many jobs which we will be asking you to help with including writing letters, contacting your MPs and Senators and (possibly) helping with the media. I expect to have another e-newsletter out devoted to this issue within the next 2 weeks.
I plan on doing many, many seminars in 2012, starting with my appearance in February at the Dynamic Growth conference and running through to seminars in Coffs Harbour, Western NSW, Sydney, Melbourne, SA, Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and (hopefully) Tasmania. All of these take time, effort and a great deal of money. If you would like to be involved in helping to organise these events (find venues, help out on the night / day either at the door or on our book tables, help with putting up flyers, etc.), please give me a ring on 02 6687 1699 or email me at email@example.com.
Yours in health,
Yet another win for the AVN!
|During the AVN's recent seminar tour of WA, Stop the AVN went all out to try and throw a spanner in the works (which sadly, seems to be their reason for being). |
First, they contacted every single venue we'd rented, trying to get them to cancel our talks. This was not successful because I had let all of the venues know in advance that SAVN would be doing this so they were prepared.
Next, they took out ads in many WA newspapers telling people not to listen to anything the AVN says but to only get their information from doctors.
Lastly, they claimed that we were doing fund-raising (something we are not allowed to do, since the revocation of our charity authority back in October 2010). They worked closely with Cathy O'Leary from the West Australian newspaper on this issue. She wrote a highly inflammatory and very incorrect article claiming that the AVN was under investigation by WA Consumer Protection for fund-raising and asking people for donations whilst we were in WA. Ms O'Leary has history of opposing informed vaccination choice and has also been the basis of ethical complaints about her reporting of health issues before (look at the story - Trolley Folly - by Media Watch to find out more regarding the outcome of this investigation).
Not only was she the person who had contacted Consumer Protection (and writing about an issue while you are the person who has been complaining about it without revealing that information appears to be a breach of the journalism code of ethics), but as I said, there was no investigation at the time she wrote the article nor was there any evidence that we had been fundraising. As anyone who was at my talks in WA would know, I informed the audience each time that the AVN can no longer accept new members or take donations and therefore, the only way people could support us would be by purchasing books and subscribing to Living Wisdom.
Consumer Protection has now made its decision in favour of the AVN. They gave the complainant over 2 months to produce even one scrap of evidence that fundraising had taken place and of course, they were unable to because we did NOT fundraise! They have therefore closed this case and found no reason to go any further or to open an investigation (this was an assessment process which is why Cathy O'Leary was so wrong when she stated that we were under investigation).
The AVN has filed complaints against both Cathy O'Leary and the West Australian with the Australian Press Council (I hope to blog about their response to this shortly), the MEAA and Media Watch. We are hopeful of another positive response (for the AVN) from these organisations but the fact that Consumer Protection supported the AVN's statement that we were not fundraising demonstrates, yet again, the way in which these organisations are not afraid to waste the time of these government organisations and the tax-payer dollars that fund them as long as they feel they are making life difficult for the AVN. It is time for the government to start taking action against groups and individuals who continually make vexatious complaints which have no basis in fact.
Accountability and Hard Yakka
It is necessary, once again, to ask you to read about another ignorant and vicious allegation by Stop the AVN (SAVN) and the Australian Skeptics. Without any cause whatsoever, both myself and the AVN National Committee are being accused of fraud because our magazine, Living Wisdom, is late.
You would know - and I have been quite open about this - that Living Wisdom magazine is very delayed in its publication. And there is good reason for this. Here are just some of the jobs that are necessary, day-to-day for the AVN to continue operating:
- answering all phone calls;
- entering all orders;
- keeping the accounting programme up to date and reconciling all accounts;
- sending out all orders;
- writing the blog;
- maintaining the Facebook and Twitter sites;
- producing this e-newsletter;
- moderating and contributing to the email discussion group;
- organising regular seminars (arranging venues, accommodation, transport, slides, advertising, etc.);
- preparing webinars; and
- assisting an ever-increasing number of people who are in legal strife because of their vaccination decisions (more about this a bit later on)
Previously, we had 5 people in our office to perform these jobs - a graphic designer, a bookkeeper/office manager, her assistant, an advertising salesperson plus me. Now, there is just one person to keep it all under control - me. When it comes to the day-to-day work of the AVN, there is nobody else besides me to do the job (though our committee does an incredible amount to support me and other AVN members, the tranny of distance means they cannot be working here on the spot).
The Australian Skeptics and SAVN keep thinking that if they just do one more thing - file one more complaint, harass one more person - the AVN will have to close down. Instead, their efforts have backfired in so many ways and they are very frustrated about that fact. Instead of the AVN having to close its doors, this last 12 months have seen us become more active on these issues, more effective and more visible then ever before
To date,we have not had one AVN member or subscriber complain about the delays in the magazine production. Indeed, there has been a steady stream of subscribers who have contacted me over the past few months, telling me that they really could not care less about whether or not they get their magazine. They have even suggested changing the AVN membership to an annual fee and if they get magazines, fine. If not, also fine.
To those of you who have asked why we can't do this, all I can say is that it is impossible at the moment because we owe our subscribers this publication and we will not let them down. In addition, Living Wisdom is one of the best vehicles we know of to keep people informed about the vital health issues they need to be aware of so we will keep the magazine going no matter what.
Where do the Australian Skeptics and SAVN come in on this issue? Well, despite the fact that they are not subscribers or members, they are filing complaints about the slow production of magazines. They have taken it upon themselves to say that slow magazine distribution somehow indicates that I and the AVN committee are stealing from the organisation, committing fraud and taking advantage of our members. They have sent this information to the media and it is possible that the media will cover this without asking for our side which is what has happened very often in the past.
But back to the magazines. What SAVN doesn't realise is that our memberships and subscriptions are tied to a specific number of magazines. So if someone renews their membership or subscribes for 6 issues, their membership or subscription doesn't expire until they have received 6 issues. This means in effect that any loss is borne by the AVN as members have not been expected to renew until all designated magazines have been delivered.
If anyone has any concerns about this, please feel free to contact me during business hours on 02 6687 1699 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have been unsettled by this situation and would like a refund in lieu of any magazines, please just let me know.The AVN has always been here for our supporters and we hope we always will be.
|Tug of war - who has the right to decide about vaccinating children?
For the last couple of years, it has been a rare month when I haven't received at least one call from a mum (almost always - though there have been one or two dads in this time) whose relationship has broken down and whose partner is now trying to use the vaccination issue to gain custody of their children or to just get back at her for some grievance that occurred during the relationship.
Never has it been a case of the partner actually caring about the health of the children (in some of these cases, the children had been near death after previous doses of vaccines). It has always been about power and control (and sometimes about a new relationship started by either the woman or the man).
Usually the male partner is the one with the funds to hire lawyers while the single mum is left trying to get legal aid assistance (not easy) from attorneys who often have preconceived notions about vaccines and don't represent the conscientious objector fairly.
This situation is now becoming rampant with calls from 3 separate mums on Friday, Saturday and Sunday last week who are all being taken to court by the non-custodial parent who wants to vaccinate. In one case, the father actually took his children to be vaccinated during an overnight visit without asking his ex-wife's permission even though they had a court order stating that all medical procedures require signed permission from both parents.
In another case, the father, who has a long history of physically abusing both his ex-wife and their children, is being awarded full custody of their children because the court said that the mother's 'delusional' attitude to education and medicine (she homeschooled and didn't vaccinate after her eldest child had serious reactions to all of his previous vaccines) meant she was not a fit parent for her children. Instead the court wants to remove them from her care and place them with a known abuser!
The AVN has been in contact with a solicitor and a barrister who are interested in these issues. If you or someone you know is in the situation of trying to defend yourself against court-ordered vaccination, please contact us. There may be strength in numbers and we have to defend our rights when it comes to medical procedures that can and do cause harm to some children.
If you are a legal person who has knowledge of this area (family law) and would like to help with cases of this sort (we currently only have someone in one State - it would be good to have a list of practitioners across Australia), please contact our head office during business hours on 02 6687 1699.
One other suggestion I have for all parents of young children is to put something in writing about medical procedures - have it signed and witnessed by a JP. If you both disagree with vaccination (or any other medical issue), have it set in writing so that in case anything happens (even the death of one partner leading to potential problems with in-laws), you will have that to fall back on. We have investigated other options such as a power of attorney on minor children but so far, nothing has emerged that will enable a custodial parent to make these decisions without the interference of the court system. If anyone has information they feel might be helpful, please contact me at the phone number above.
New videos to watch on the internet
|This last few weeks have seen a large number of excellent videos coming out on the internet about the subject of vaccination and health. Below are a few that we highly recommend you see and share.
Nancy Turner Banks is a doctor whose own health problems has led her to investigating the safety and efficacy of vaccines. This excellent video is a must-see! Please share with anyone who has children and especially with health practitioners.
This is a very
professionally-made look at the very personal and tragic stories of how some children have been seriously affected (and even killed) by the vaccines their parents were told would keep them healthy. It is made for a mass-market audience so perhaps does not go as far as it could have, but you will get a great overview of the problems with vaccines and how those problems are kept from those who are trying to make an informed choice about what to do. This site has the whole video (almost 1 1/2 hours) on it so be prepared to sit and watch for a while - you will be glad you did.
Of all the vaccine safety advocates in the world today, I think I can honestly say there is not one who is as articulate when discussing this issue as Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Centre. In this Christmas / New Year's message, Barbara asks where the compassion has gone. She demonstrates how society is prepared to ignore, denigrate and even penalise families who have been adversely affected by vaccines whilst living in fear of the diseases they are meant to prevent - even when they are supposedly protected. Where has the compassion gone? As the government which openly vilifies those who have chosen not to give their children vaccines.
|Could you use a buddy?
With the new policy linking receipt of $2,100 in government entitlements to compliance with the vaccination schedule, it is even more important than ever to be able to register as a conscientious objector (CO). COs are able to access all government payments whether their children are partially vaccinated or completely unvaccinated.
As many have found, some doctors and clinic nurses have used an appointment to have these form signed as an opportunity to abuse, harass or straight out yell at parents for making a decision that they (the doctor) disagree with.
For this reason, the AVN has decided to try and start a buddy list. Buddies are people who will go with you to the doctor when you go to get your CO form signed. They will know what your rights are (and if they don't know now - we will help them get up to speed!).
They will also know that the doctor's obligation is to sign the form without argument. Doctors are required to counsel parents on the benefits and risks of vaccination and then, to sign the form stating they have done their job to counsel. They do not sign the form to say they agree with your decision - they don't have to agree or disagree - they just have to counsel.
We have already gotten 3 buddies (including the AVN supporter who developed this idea!) on the Sunshine Coast, the North Coast of NSW and the ACT. But of course, in such a big country, we could really use many more.
If you are someone who is confident and has some time to give in helping out - perhaps you are someone who has been there, done that and now feel that you want to help others - please send an email to email@example.com
We will get your contact details and suburb and then, as people contact us to get some help with going to the doctor, we will contact you and give you that person's contact details and you can decide whether you want to help or not. We will NEVER give out your details to a third party - it will always be up to you to decide if you want to take this on or not.
If you are feeling intimidated by the idea of having to front up to a doctor to get your form sign, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
. Be aware that we will be giving your details to one of our volunteers and allowing them to contact you.
This is a trial and we will work out the inevitable kinks as we go along - but this is one of the best ways of using grass-roots assistance to help Australian parents preserve their rights to access all of their government entitlements.
Don't forget to let all of your friends, family and anyone with young children know that conscientious objectors can still access their $2,100 in Family Tax Benefit part A supplement. It's up to you because the media doesn't seem to want to do their duty to let Australian's know the truth. For more information on this, please read the article above.
Below are just a few of the MANY new DVDs we have just gotten in about health, vaccination and rights. Reading books is a fantastic way to become better informed about these issues, but for those whose time is limited, a DVD is a great tool to use for information and we have selected some of the top DVDs for you! If you know of another DVD (or book) that you think we should be selling, please send an email to email@example.com with your suggestion.
To see the full list of DVDs we carry, please click here and have a good browse!
|Swine Flu? Sure! And Pigs Can Fly|
by Dr Sherri Tenpenny
The Swine Flu vaccination caused more pain, grief and death that the flu itself. It is time for us all to take a common sense look at the mind games.
The Drugging of our Children
by Dr Gary Null|
For most people, vaccinating themselves and their children seems like a good idea. Vaccines are safe, effective and are supposed to protect us against dangerous infectious diseases - Right?
What you don't know can harm you or kill you!
How are large drug companies benefiting from the latest trend of selling powerful psychoactive drugs to children? Do these drugs really help our children cure symptoms of supposed mental illness, or do they tend to increase depression, violence, and suicide? Are we really treating the root causes of mental illness, or are we just eliminating annoying symptoms?
Gardasil - HPV Vaccination
This DVD will shock you with information on how the Gardasil vaccine is not only failing to prevent cervical cancer, but is killing and injuring thousands of girls, women and now young boys. Since this shot has now been expanded to include all children and many young adults, it is important to be aware of the issues surrounding this vaccine.
New Books, Resources and DVDs just in!
Whilst we are limited on taking new memberships and donations, ANYONE can buy our books and DVDs and we have some fantastic new titles to offer our readers which are absolutely 'must reads'! Remember, your purchases and subscriptions help keep the AVN strong
Below are a few of the newest.
The DEAL for Happier, Healthier, Smarter Kids
by Dr Peter Dingle
The DEAL (Diet, Environment, Attitude, Lifestyle) by Dr. Peter Dingle- A Twenty-first Century Survival guide for parents. This is a fantastic book, one of those ones you can''t put down. Dr Dingle is a senior lecturer in environmental and nutritional toxicology and leading researcher in health and environment at Murdoch University, WA.
by Don Chisholm
The message is this, "We are not what we eat, we are what we absorb and this is the very issue Don has concentrated on for the last 10 years. It is with this concept that conditions that have lasted for decades have disappeared in just a few months.
Sugar cravings cured, energy increased, short term memory improved, 47 years of diarrhea gone in 60 days, autistic children going to normal school, operations cancelled, all by learning the simplicity of being healthy and it is all done by simply improving the gut.
The Great Cholesterol Deception
by Dr Peter Dingle
This book provides a thorough, clear and concise explanation of the real problem we face it is not a heart attack or stroke. The real problem is the modern pharmaceutical industry. For many, these drugs are the beginning of a viscous cycle of drug dependency. If you're sick or being sick and sick of taking drugs, this is the book you need to arm yourself with to change that!
Investigate Before You Vaccinate Postcards
|Investigate Before You Vaccinate Postcards|
At just $7.50 for a pack of 25 (including postage within Australia), these postcards are a fantastic way to help others learn what questions they need to ask before deciding whether to vaccinate or not.
by Eric Merola (1 hr 48 mins)
We are quickly approaching the point where 50% of all Australians will be diagnosed with cancer at one point in their lives. With the 5-year survival rate for those treated conventionally with chemotherapy and radiation at only 2.5%, it is clear that there must be a better way. Dr Burzynski has found one of those 'better ways' but those whose livelihoods depend on maintaining the status quo, want to stop you from knowing about his treatment. $20 plus postage
The Virus and the Vaccine
by Debbie Bookchin and Jim Schumacher
Vaccine contamination is medicine's dirty little secret. Only this secret is now out of the bag. The polio vaccine is and was contaminated with at least one (and possibly dozens) of pathogenic viruses - one of why, SV40 - is associated with cancers in humans and lab animals. In this page-turner, read about how this information was covered up for decades, how doctors and government officials lied to keep this information 'in house' and how one of vaccinations 'miracle cures' has turned out to be a cause of cancer in children and adults for the past 50 years.
$34.95 plus postage
Vaccination & Homoeoprophylaxis? A Review of Risks and Alternatives
- 7th Edition
A classic since 1989, Vaccination and Homoeoprophylaxis has just been completely updated and re-released in its 7th edition. For anyone who wants to know about how homeopathy can be used to not only treat but prevent infectious diseases - without the dangerous ingredients and side-effects found in medical vaccines, this book is the best overview of the issue. Dr Golden has conducted a multi-decade study on this issue and cites research from around the world comparing the safety and effectiveness of both medical vaccination and homeopathic preventatives.
$53.00 plus postage