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On Wednesday, July 25, 2012, an article by me was published on the web site Mamamia with the title "The anti-vaxxers reach a shocking new low". This did not please Meryl Dorey from the Australian Vaccination Network, who proceeded to publish no less than four responses on the AVN's blog over a period of days. Not unexpectedly she did not really address what I had said but instead set out on a "shoot the messenger" frenzy of ad hominem. As I am blocked from responding on the AVN blog I have no alternative but to publish my responses here.
This is my answer to her third post. So that I can't be accused of selective editing, you can see the original here:
The parts marked in yellow are where Ms Dorey has said something which might not necessarily be true (for certain values of "true"). My responses are in italics.
The post by Liz Hempel to which Ms Dorey refers appears below Ms Dorey's effort. For more about Ms Hempel, you can go here.
Ms Dorey starts off with a link to someone else's blog.
Liz Hempel: No Remorse, No Apologies, No Conscience..
Liz has been on the receiving end of Peter Bowditch's abuse and is getting sick of being told that she deserves this treatment simply because of her health choices. Please read this blog post - it is excellent and paints a picture of a very dysfunctional group of people (Stop the AVN and the Australian Skeptics) who have a twisted view of their rights to treat those they disagree with like dirt.
No, Ms Hempel deserves any treatment she gets because she abuses people and lies while hiding behind anonymity.
Here is Liz Hempel's blog post about me. You can see the original here.
(Ms Hempel closed her blog and deleted all content some time during November 2012.The relevant page was originally at http://lizhempel.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/no-remorse-no-apologies-no-conscience.html)
No Remorse, No Apologies, No Conscience.
As recently predicted, my biggest fan, Reasonable Hank (Peter Tierney) has struck again. This time, he scrambles to write a post in defence of his beloved foul-mouthed and seemingly sexually frustrated friend, Peter Bowditch.
Anti-vaccination liars seem to have this obsession with sex, but they get very offended if the fingers point back at them.
Here is a link to Tierney's latest comical rant, where he seeks to justify the words of Mr Bowditch who likened my decision not to vaccinate to receiving sexual gratification from dead children :
No, I asked a question about the motivation of people who seem to derive pleasure from the sight of dead children. I did not, and would not, suggest that they get gratification from the children directly. But they lie about vaccines, so lying about me probably comes naturally.
Diversions indeed. Unfortunately as per usual, Tierney's blog (and his past archives) are sadly lacking in evidence.
As previously mentioned, his post titled 'A Trolls Fixation' https://reasonablehank.com/2012/07/01/a-trolls-fixation/ couldn't possibly be any more inaccurate. Tierney makes plenty of assumptions and demonstrates his true journalistic genius by linking his subscribers to a me impersonator :
Oops! No such MySpace page.
All of this is covered in my last blog post (see below) :
Another page lost when Ms Hempel closed her blog. It was at http://lizhempel.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/when-is-pro-vaxer-hero-by-liz-hempel.html
It looks like I missed out on a mention on that unhinged page. I'm disappointed.
In a last ditch desperate effort to excuse Bowditch for his dispicable actions, Tierney has included previously archived blogs, which (surprise surprise) are also grossly inaccurate and include plenty of conjecture.
Don't get me wrong. I am responsible for SOME of the things I am accused of, though most of what Tierney has written has been grossly exaggerated, and in some instances, is just plain incorrect.
Not long prior to these older blogs, my sister in law was contacted by a supporter of SAVN (which Tierney himself seems to deny, yet condone) via telephone.
I have no idea how anybody could have found out who Ms Hempel's sister-in-law is. Note the word "seems", put in there to suggest that not only did Peter know something but he might have condoned it. This is a form of lying by implication, but as the kids say these days, "Liars gonna lie".
Supporters of SAVN have demonstrated knowledge of the phonecall where an unidentified woman asked personal questions about my relationship to Sharon Hempel. Sharon Hempel is my sister. She has a severe disability. She and my family have suffered immensely over these last few years. Here is why :
SAVN are aware of this, and yet it still didn't stop them from harrassing my family by way of a telephone call. As a matter of fact, Tierney even went so far as to accuse me of using my sister's story of mistreatment to further my anti-vaccination cause.
Until I followed that link from Ms Hempel's own blog I had no idea about her sister's mental condition. I notice that she entered hospital for a "minor surgical procedure" but there was then a dispute over whether permission had been given for the procedure. The Health Care Complaints Commission conducted at least two inquiries into the incident and on neither occasion found that the hospital had acted improperly. The fact that this did not satisfy the family is irrelevant. I am very sorry about Sharon Hempel's medical and mental condition but it has absolutely nothing to do with Stop the AVN or me.
And as for "using my sister's story of mistreatment to further my anti-vaccination cause", the only person I have seen bring it up is Liz Hempel.
How lovely. SAVN exonerated for their dispicable harrassment. Again.
You have to do something before you can be exonerated for doing it.
I am aware that I have a Myspace impersonator (as previously mentioned). It would also seem I have (or had) a Facebook impersonator.
Some evidence of the fake Facebook identity might be useful.
While I admit to partaking in the tit-for-tat rudeness of the past, and have personally said some rather insulting things to some SAVN supporters that I am not particularly proud of, I would humbly suggest that Tierney gets his facts straight before publishing such incorrect and misleading information about me, and my partner, who has not held a facebook account in over two years.
So yes, I am 'just a mum'. That's exactly what I am. I am also just a human, and I have been targeted for no reason other than my health choices, and that which I make for my children. I lashed out over seven months ago and made a very public apology for doing so.
So what do all these archived blogposts have to do with my recent conversation with Bowditch anyway? Absolutely nothing.
Tierney claims that I was trolling Bowditch, and implies that I got exactly what I deserved.
The screenshots on this blog seem to tell another story :
If I had the time I could try to explain the Twitter conversations on that page, but that would involve disentangling them and putting them in chronological order. It would also involve finding and displaying the messages which have been omitted, although this might be difficult as the Twitter account I was conversing with has been deleted, taking its messages with it. You will notice that the blog is anonymous and has only the one entry, a sure sign of cowardice, although it does have a note at the bottom that it was made by "StopAVN God Complex". Oh, and I use the term "anti-vaccination liar" rather than "anti-vaxxer". It's much more accurate.
I called Mr Bowditch a sicko for asking such sick questions. If that is considered trolling, then I am guilty as charged!
So as you can see, a non-vaccinating mother defending their vaccination stance is deemed to be 'trolling'. Bowditch is the hero. Just ask him what he thinks I should do with a red hot rebar.
I'm still waiting for these non-vaccination mothers to defend their stance with science, not with blindly repeated lies.
I don't believe I've ever told Ms Hempel what she should do with a length of red hot rebar. I've left that up to her imagination.
Thats perfectly acceptable though, because I'm the dirty rotten anti-vaxer.
Here is a more recent screenshot to demonstrate that this harrassment is not linked to anything I have said to anyone seven months ago. This is current, and ongoing and there is no excuse for it.
I have good reason to suspect that 'Bangalow Baby Killer' is another one of Mr Bowditch's accounts, but since I have no solid proof of this, I will leave that be.
Ms Hempel has absolutely no reason to think that "Bangalow Baby Killer" is me, something she admits in the final clause of the sentence. Suggesting it and then offering a disclaimer is another case of lying by implication. I have three Twitter handles - @RatbagsDotCom, @Gebesse (used for my business life) and @ActSMARTer (a dormant account for a business project to be launched later in the year). I make no secret of who I am, unlike "@EauTheHypocrisy" which only identifies itself as "Old Mans Obsession" and can therefore be treated with all the respect due to anonymous trolls. Which is none at all.
I guess those other people that Bowditch compared to necrophiliacs all had it coming aswell :
I have never compared anyone to necrophiliacs. I have simply questioned the motivation of people who seem determined to increase the number of dead children.
Invocation of Scopie's Law! Ms Hempel once cited Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group as evidence of my perfidy. Now she is citing whale.to, using a joke of a page that so embarrasses me that I have a link to it from my very own Tributes Page.
I suddenly don't feel quite as special anymore.
Here is a recorded radio interview between Peter Bowditch and Meryl Dorey. Bowditch is asked by the interviewer for his comments about Saba Button, a little girl who was left badly brain-damaged by an influenza vaccine. His indifferent response is enough to make any parent's hair stand on end.
Here is the interview. It's in yellow of course because of Ms Dorey's lies.
"The one who died"?
It was not a "radio interview between Peter Bowditch and Meryl Dorey", it was an interview of me by Howard Sattler with Ms Dorey given the opportunity to respond without debate. I was invited on to speak about an article I had written. That article did not mention any problem with the influenza vaccine. When presented with a name (not the correct name for the child in question) I asked the quite reasonable question "The one who died?". In fact she didn't die (nobody has died from a flu vaccine in Australia), but I don't apologise for being blind-sided by an interviewer who agreed to talk to me about one thing and then decided to attack me over something completely different. As another of my friends, Paul Gallagher, pointed out on his blog, Ms Dorey and the AVN have mercilessly exploited the tragedy of Saba Button. If I had been notified in advance that Saba was to be discussed I would have been prepared. This was simply another cynical attempt to exploit Saba as a tool in the anti-vaccination liar campaign.
No remorse, no apologies. No conscience.
Thank you for expressing your position about dead children so succinctly, Ms Hempel. I could not have said it any better myself.
I was thinking about whether I should be concerned about offending Liz Hempel so I thought I would measure my mood objectively.