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On Monday, December 19, 2011, Meryl Dorey from the Australian Vaccination Network appeared on radio station 98.9FM in Brisbane. The station is specifically targeted at indigenous listeners, members of the population group with the worst health conditions in Australia. The interviewer was Tiga Bayles. Feel free to count the lies and misrepresentations. I have highlighted as many as I can stand reading again - I sat through the radio broadcast with an ever-increasing urge to throw something. Pay particular attention to where Ms Dorey advises the people with the worst health in the country to avoid doctors and rely on witchcraft like homeopathy. (The transcript was prepared as a community effort by members of the Stop the AVN Facebook group.)
Tiga: [prelude] And today I have a very interesting guest, and an interesting topic. We are talking about freedom of speech, the right to make free and informed decisions, or to give free and informed consent. We are not just talking about black fellas today or First Nations people. We're talking about all Australian parents. The topic, the subject, is vaccinations. You should be in a position where you can make a free, where you can give free and informed consent to that issue, to that topic of do you or don't you get your child vaccinated. So I am talking to Meryl Dory from the Australian Vaccination Network. Meryl, welcome to Let's Talk, it is great to have you join us today. How are you?
Meryl: Good morning Tiga, I am great thank you.
Tiga: It's very good to have you with us. First up, tell us a little about yourself, your background. Where did you grow up, where is home for you?
Meryl: I grew up pretty far away from here, in New York over in the US. But I have been in Australia for 23 years. My husband is Australian and I am an import. So I came out here in 1989 and I have four children that were all born and raised in Australia.
Tiga: Ok and the Australian Vaccination Network, some people, and I was one of them used to call it the Anti-Vaccination Network, but it is the Australian Vaccination Network because you aren't anti-vaccination.
Meryl: That's right. We actually think that it's wrong to be anti or pro vaccination for anyone except for yourself. But being anti-vaccine as an organisation would mean as far we are concerned would mean telling people they shouldn't vaccinate and we never do that. We believe very strongly that it's everyone's right to make that decision but it is also their responsibility to make an informed choice and it they should have access to all the available information before they make the decision. So we advise parents to come to us and get our side of the story, go their doctor or their council clinic to get their side of the story. Make up a list of questions, ask both parties the questions and then when you feel confident make your decision. If your decision is to go ahead and vaccinate, then that is the right choice for you and if it's to vaccinate selectively using some vaccines and not others that's also the right choice. And if your choice to not vaccinate at all after you have looked at all the available information then you have made the right decision for your family.
Tiga: Yes, the system doesn't encourage us as parents and grand parents to do anything other than vaccinate. They are, the propaganda is all out there and there is so much of it and rarely do we get the opportunity to hear somebody say well look here's another angle on things, here is another side to that story, here is some more information regarding what you are doing, regarding what vaccination means. Is that the case?
Meryl: What you said is so true. Not only doesn't it encourage parents or other people who are trying to make a decision about vaccination, to make an informed choice, they actively discourage it. We have the Health Minister in Queensland saying that it is nonsense to look at the other side of the vaccination issue. And the National Health and Medical Research Council, which is the government body that is involved with this says that you have to be able to make an informed choice. So all we are doing is trying to support what the National Health and Medical Research Council says and allow people to make an informed choice. If doctors and the government were doing their job we wouldn't even have to be here, I could be off having fun with my family, instead I am sitting here working. But it's all ok because it is very important that this information is available.
Tiga: You have been a personal experience in regarding to a vaccinated child of your own or somebody in your family.
Meryl: That's right, that's how I became interested in the issue in the first place coz I came from a family with a lot of medical doctors in it, I studied science in university and I never even questioned vaccination. When my son was born we took him in at two months for his first round of shots. Back then they didn't have the shots at birth like they do, I mean it was two months was the first vaccine and I never even thought twice about it because I thought that it could only help it could never harm. And he had a dreadful reaction, and he's 22 years old now and he still suffers from that first lot of vaccines and the vaccines we continued to give him because at that stage I was more afraid of the diseases than I was of the vaccines and I couldn't find any information. I tried really hard to, and my son have 5 hours of high pitched screaming after his vaccine, he had sleep apnea, he stopped breathing in his sleep, a lot of parents will see their infants do this, um he stopped breathing in his sleep, he developed um serious breathing problems where he still has this today, he doesn't breathe very well, um and he also developed immune system problems where he gets sick all the time and he still has that today, even with all of our work it has improved but it hasn't gone away completely. And we were lucky because when I brought him back to the doctor for his next round of shots the doctor said to me at that point, after what had happened the last time, that he was going to leave the whooping cough out. You can't even do that today, because those vaccines aren't available, but um he said that he would leave out the whooping cough and that was the first time I realised that the vaccine had actually caused his problems and it took me almost 12 months, almost a year after that to be able to find any information about vaccination at all and we think it's not fair. Um parents deserve a fair go they need to know this information before they make a decision and doctors and the government in general are not giving this to them.
Tiga: Yes so you think there's no doubt that it was the vaccine that caused these issues with your baby at the time.
Meryl: I believe there was no doubt, my doctor believes there was no doubt, and um we have an adverse reactions register at the AVN where um, we've collected over 1200 reports of serious reactions and deaths following vaccination, and I can tell you that there are dozens of children that have had exactly the same reaction as my son. Um and what happens in Australia is that only about 1% of the reactions that happen after drugs or vaccines ever get reported. So when the doctors tell us oh the vaccines are perfectly safe what they're doing is they're basing that statement on information that's at least 99% incorrect. Um you know you wouldn't make a decision that's based on information that's so incorrect if you knew how wrong it was. Um so I think that parents need to be aware that doctors are not reporting reactions and we have a reactions database where they can report to us and we can report to the government. Um and of course because we've never had the funding to advertise that except um in interviews like this, the reports that we get are just the tip of the iceberg.
Tiga: And that similar type of reporting, doctors, um we were talking earlier and doctors, you would like to have doctors report, there was another issue wasn't there, when they're treating people ... you were saying
Meryl: That's right. We're going to Canberra to lobby Federal parliament in February for 4 things, did you want me to go through those 4 things now?
Tiga: Let's leave that for a minute, let's go back a step to, sorry to confuse you there, let's go back to ah, Woodford. You're attending Woodford, you've been invited or accepted to do a presentation there ... this is not the first time you've been to Woodford?
Meryl: No this is my third time speaking at Woodford, um and I've been invited to give a talk on the connections between vaccinations and autism and then also to participate in a forum on the issue of toxicity um which is like different toxins in the environment, one of which is vaccinations. Um and on the forum there are two very pro vaccination doctors speaking, so you k now there will be both sides shown but there is an organisation called the Australian Skeptics and they set up about three years ago a sub group called Stop the AVN and as their name says, their goal is to shut the Australian Vaccination Network down and they will do anything and everything within their power to force us to close our doors because they don't believe that anyone, um, should be able to get this information. They just think everyone should vaccinate, just listen to your doctor, nobody who is not a doctor is able or has a right to talk about this information. So, um, what happened is, when they heard that I was speaking at Woodford this year, they started up a campaign, a letter-writing campaign, to the sponsors of the Woodford festival, and the Woodford festival is associated with the dreaming right now, so they've they've called the sponsors of the dreaming as well, it's not just Woodford. Um, so, so they've contacted all the sponsors, they've been harassing, um, the, the, um, administrators, the committee that runs Woodford, they are trying to get them to cancel my talk 'cause they think that it's wrong for me to be speaking there and for anyone to be able to hear me speak. And they say that we don't have freedom of speech in Australia, which is not correct.
Tiga: Aren't they, they sound like they're rather sad and small-minded people to expect, to expect us all, the public of this country, to just accept what the doctor says? I mean, by gee. We, the, the, the health, Queensland Health doesn't have a great track record and health in Australia doesn't have a great track record, and doctors are the, uh, uh, some of the key people there.
Meryl: You are saying, uh, something that is so true, Tiga. Um, every year in Australia about eighteen thousand people die as a result of, um, adverse reactions to properly-prescribed drugs and medical error. And, um, the, the health departments, and the medical community, do not have a great track record when it comes to peop… keeping people healthy. Um, the Australian Bureau of Statistics say that forty percent, so almost half, of all Australian children under the age of twelve, are currently being treated for at least one chronic condition. So they're on medication, all the time, for a chronic condition. And, you know, that was not the case twenty or thirty years ago, this is something fairly recent. Um, the AVN says that the medical literature is showing that vaccinations can be one of the causes, certainly not the other cause, the only cause for that problem. But people need to be aware of, you know, what, what vaccines they're giving their children, why they're vaccinating, and how effective and how safe the vaccines are. And this organisation, Stop the AVN, says that you're not entitled to know that. And I think that people should be aware that there is such a strong push, from a very small section of the community, to stop them from being informed.
Tiga: They are. They would be. I don't know them at all, but they must be a very small section of the community, um, but it sounds like, uh, they could be well-funded by, uh, somebody behind the scenes maybe, if they can put so much effort and energy into this. I mean, why don't they look at, at uh, other more positive things and, and first of all acknowledge that there is freedom of speech in this country, regardless of what they like to think or say, there is freedom of speech.
Tiga: And it's our right, as parents and, and family members, to, uh, to be, to be making free and informed decisions and give free and informed consent to uh…
Tiga: Yeah, if we disagree.
Meryl: Yeah, they disagree with what you've just said. They say that we don't have freedom of speech and you don't have a right to say no.
Tiga: Well, I got news for them, Meryl! I've got news for them. Now tell me, um, you have some... You, you're, you have some serious threats, these same people are behind, uh, do you think they are behind some of the threats and, and making life uncomfortable for you?
Meryl: Oh there's no doubt about it. They're behind a lot of the threats. Because, they're quite open about it. Um, some of the things that have been done have been done anonymously, but most of the, um, threats that have been put out, telling me that I should die, um, saying, wha, I've had something on Facebook saying ‘we're coming for you baby killer', all of these things have been done quite openly by this group. Um, I have contacted the police about this three times and the police say that it's not a threat unless it's, um, they call it credible threat, uh, where they say, if they had said ‘We're coming for you, baby killer, on the twenty fifth of December, at three o'clock in the afternoon', that would have been a credible threat. But simply saying ‘We're coming for you baby killer' is not a credible threat. And we know that's not the case, because the police have acted on threats like this before. So, there seems to be a bit of bias amongst the police force itself, um, not wanting to take action against these people for what they're doing. Um, and it's been ongoing for close to three years now. Uh, and it's been very difficult. Um, they have filed complaints with just about every government department they can possibly imagine. And government departments have, um, been complicit with this group and have, you know, uh, gone along with what they've said, and this has caused great distress for the Australian Vaccination Network as an organisation, with me as an individual. We've been a charity since 1997 and because of the action of this group we've had our charity authority revoked. So we can't take members, we can't take donations. I've had to let go of my office staff and I'm doing everything on my own, but I think, and our members think, that it's so important that people are able to access this information that we give freely, that I am not giving up. We're gonna continue as long as we possibly can.
Tiga: Well, it's certainly good news to hear that you're [not] gonna give up, but these people can't shut Meryl Dorey down. That's really good news. Now I've got a caller on the line. Phil would like to, uh, contribute to the program. Phil. Hello. How are you?
Phil: I'm very well, and yourself?
Tiga: I'm very well. On top of the world.
Phil: Haha, good to hear.
Tiga: What would you like to say?
From 15:00 to the end:
Phil: Well, I mean, I have a few issues with what Meryl is saying. Uh, the Stop AVN Facebook group has nothing to do with the Australian Skeptics, for one thing, um, all the activities of Stop AVN is, is crowd-funded, just by members, there's no, uh, big dollars coming in from anywhere else.
Tiga: Are the Skeptics ah, ah, supportive of, um, of, of what Meryl does then I take it, from what you're saying.
Phil: Well the issue with the Australian Skeptics is uh, a separate one, um, but what I'm saying is, Stop AVN and the Australian Skeptics are not linked.
Tiga: Ah, right. So, what's the Australia, you you're, you're with the Australian Skeptics are you?
Phil: Well, I'm a member of both groups, just by coincidence, um, but the big problem with Meryl is she does not stick to facts.
Tiga: Oh, right.
Phil: She constantly repeats myths about vaccinations, um, she has no expertise in, in immunology or, or medicine, um, so anything she says, uh, is tainted by the lies she tells.
Tiga: And the Skeptics in if, if, is it right then what Meryl, was Meryl correct when she said the Skeptics say that we don't have freedom of speech? Is that something that the Skeptics would say? In this regard?
Phil: Well, it may be implied, but this isn't…
Tiga: It may be implied? Okay.
Phil: This is a, someone being given a special platform to repeat lies, essentially.
Tiga: No, this is somebody that's been given a platform to balance up the propaganda that's out there. How often do we get the opportunity, Phil? [talking over Phil] How often do we get the opportunity to what, uh, to hear what, what the propaganda is not about? Or what the propaganda really is about and we should be hearing it. What's wrong with free and informed consent?
Phil: There's absolutely nothing wrong with that-
Tiga: Right. Thank you.
Phil: But this issue is about Meryl telling lies.
Phil: She cannot stick to the truth. If she was telling the truth, we wouldn't have any issues. If she wa to give actual evidence of what was going on in terms of vaccine reactions and whatnot, her talks would be very short.
Tiga: Really? That's surprising even for me. Alright mate, well thanks for your call anyway. You're obviously, ah, don't agree, and, uh, think she's telling lies. Thanks for your call.
Phil: Thank you.
Tiga: It's good that you're making, make your point. Thank you very much. Well, Meryl?
Meryl: (laughs) Yes, well, I mean, most of the people-
Tiga: You're telling lies Meryl! What are you doing on this radio station telling lies? (laughs)
Meryl: It's really sad, Tiga. It, what happen is, if I say something that they don't disagree with I'm lying. Um, and, you know, I can say that too. I can say that the doctors who are saying that vaccines are perfectly safe are telling lies, but I won't say that. They believe in what they're saying, and they may have some evidence to back up what they're saying. What I, when I discuss issues of vaccination I back up what I say with, with references to primary medical, medical literature, to the medical journals. That's not telling lies. That is-
Tiga: That certainly isn't telling lies, you are right.
Meryl: …information. And, you know, it's, it's not right to say that someone is lying just because you disagree with what they're saying. Um, everyone has the right to communicate. The, um, what the Stop the AVN is saying is that if I speak at Woodford people may be convinced to not vaccinate their children, and therefore I'm dangerous by, by actually giving out this information, because they don't believe people are smart enough to make that decision. I believe that people are smart enough to look at both sides of this issue and to make a choice that's good for them. I mean, I am not opposed to them giving out their information, I'm not opposed to anybody giving out their information; we actually support complete information from both sides. We advise people to go to their doctor. Doctors never advise people to come to us. So, you know, I think what Phil is saying is a little bit, um, well, very wrong, I have to say. Because I don't tell lies, I give information, and I advise people to get both sides of the story before they make a decision.
Tiga: And by the way, Phil said, no the Skeptics don't tell lies, well he didn't say they don't tell lies, he said they don't say that there isn't any freedom of speech, they might imply that.
Meryl: Well, they've actually said it.
Meryl: It's been said several times. We don't have freedom of speech in Australia. Many of them have said that and I have quotes on the internet, you can see it. But, um…
Tiga: (talking over Meryl) But even to imply it, Meryl
Meryl: …not true.
Tiga: Even to imply it.
Meryl: Well, it's more than implication, because they actually have said that.
Tiga: Yeah. Yeah. Now, you got, there was an article in the Courier Mail last week, um, that highlighted the, the issue that you were going to be at Woodford, and that, uh, the Health Minister, Rachel, was it, was it Rachel? Uh, the Arts Minister, I think. Rachel, um. Yes, Rachel….
Meryl: I can't remember the name. (laughs)
Tiga: It'll come to me soon. But the, the Arts Minister was, uh, was lobbied and, uh, the, like use, use aid, the organiser of the festival was lobbied to, uh, not have you there. You appear to be a hated woman.
Meryl: Yes, there is a sector of the community that absolutely hates what I, what the AVN stands for, and hates what I do. And, like I said, they will do anything and everything to stop me from, uh, from speaking. And this is really wrong. This is really, really wrong.
Tiga: To hide by, uh, behind anonymity too must, uh, doesn't really make any heroes of anybody with some of those, um, those messages that, uh…
Meryl: No, they're cowards.
Meryl: They're basically cowards, yeah.
Meryl: And bullies.
Meryl: I mean, cyber-bullying is what they do on their website and on the internet, um, they cyber-bully not just me, but anyone who supports the organisation. Our magazine no longer takes advertising, and that's not because we can't get advertising, there are people who are out there willing to advertise, we get contacted all the time, but I have refused to take advertising because what happens is this group then goes out and targets our advertisers, they take their websites down, they hack their website, they tell people not to buy from them. And I won't put people who support what we do in that position. So, I absolutely will not take advertising at this point in time. They do the same thing with anyone who publicly comes out and says they support us.
Tiga: That's criminal activity. I mean, this is outrageous that is, that this can be done and uh, and,
Meryl: Oh, I believe it.
Tiga: Yeah, yeah.
Meryl: The police won't do anything about it, though, um, and we are currently in the New South Wales Supreme Court, we're taking the Health Care Complaints Commission to court, um, in February, ah, because they have issued a warning against us, and we believe that they have done that improperly. Um, and they have issued a warning based on information given to them by this group, Stop the AVN.
Tiga: Right, now there's been other ah, uh, other presentations you've done in other parts of, uh, the state, or the country where you've had local media, some space bought in local media by your nay-sayers?
Meryl: Yes, that's right. Every time I do a talk anywhere, for instance I just did seven seminars out in Western Australia, and it's interesting that Phil said they, you know, they don't have money, but, they took out very large ads, I mean half-page ads in some cases, in newspapers. If I was giving a talk in Geraldton, for instance, they would, they would take out an ad in Geraldton to say don't listen to the AVN, um, they don't have proper information. Uh, we couldn't afford to advertise our own seminars, but they were taking, they had enough money to take out these ads. So I think it's a little bit strange that he says they have no money. Um, and, uh, they, they have contacted all the venues where I'm presenting seminars to try and get them to cancel my booking, um, and they were successful in one case, in Perth, acur, um, about a year ago when all of the, your, your listeners may remember the 'flu vaccination campaign out in Perth where four hundred kids had, had serious reactions and over two hundred and thirty of them were hospitalised. Um, I did a seminar out there at a Uniting Church hall I had booked out, um, and we had a completely sold-out seminar, and as I was waiting at the airport to fly out to West Australia, 'cause I'm in New South Wales, I got a call from the venue to say that they were cancelling, uh, because they'd been lobbied by the Stop the AVN group, and they decided to cancel. Um, and it actually ended up work, it ended up backfiring on Stop the AVN because I managed to find a venue at the state library that held twice as many people, we booked it, they tried to get the state library to cancel, the state library refused, and we had a sell-out of about two hundred and twenty five people there. So, all because of the publicity, um, and all because Australians I think, at heart, really don't like people telling other people that they can't talk.
Tiga: Yes, I think that's, uh, one of the things for sure.
Meryl: That's right, whether you believe in vaccinations, you support it or not, it doesn't matter, at heart Australians are fair people, and they believe that people have a right to know the information and to communicate with each other. And that's one thing that this group does, is they say we can't communicate with each other, and that puts people off.
Tiga: Alright. Now, Meryl, there must be an abundance of these sorts of, of this sort of information and statistics where the, the 'flu vaccination, 400 immunised, and almost half of them adversely reacted, there must be an abundance of this sort of information, even in just the last ten years, say, you don't have to go back too far, last five to ten years.
Meryl: No, there's heaps of information, and actually there's a journalist at the, um, Australian newspaper, her name is Natasha Bita, and she just won the Walkley Award which is the top journalism award, for her coverage of this issue. Um, and, and, what happened is, the 'flu vaccine has never been used in Australia in young children before, the used it from six months of age, um, and this started out as a trial in Western Australia. The drug companies were sponsoring this trial, um, and the parents were not being told their kids were being used as guinea pigs, and the Government wrote letters to all the parents to say we have a new vaccine for 'flu, uh, this was the swine flu, there was supposed to be all these deaths from swine 'flu, um, we have this brand new vaccine, please give it to your children, because it will keep them safe, this is a great vaccine it's been tested, it's perfectly safe. So thousands of parents went out and got their kids vaccinated, they had over 400 reactions, um, in a very short period of time, two hundred and thirty kids were hospitalised, at least one has died and at least one is brain damaged. Again, we don't know how many because most doctors don't report these reactions and the vaccine had to be withdrawn. And what Natasha Bita found is that the government colluded with the company that made the vaccine. They knew that the information that was in the manufacturer's package insert was not correct and they allowed them to put it out that way. They did two studies of the vaccine: one in 2006 and one in 2008. The one in 2006 showed very few reactions, the one in 2008 showed very high reactions, so when they put out their information about this vaccine they ignored the one from 2008 and used the one from 2006 so parents had no idea the vaccine was dangerous, until their kids had been vaccinated. And this is the sort of thing that goes on. And we have information about all of these vaccines that's very similar. For instance, people think that because we vaccinate against these diseases, against whooping cough, against measles, against mumps, uh, that that means that's why the diseases, the deaths from these diseases have declined, but the governemnt's own information shows that at least ninety percent of the decline from deaths from these diseases occurred before the vaccinations were introduced. So vaccination had nothing to do with the decline in deaths from these diseases. And I think if parents knew that they wouldn't be so afraid of their kids getting these diseases, and they wouldn't be so afraid of choosing not to vaccinate. They also don't know that even if you're vaccinated you can still get the disease. So, you know, if you're vaccinated against whooping cough, you can still get whooping cough.
Tiga: So there's no guarantees, and then the health department and doctors will not give you a guarantee that if you get vaccinated, you're safe. There's no guarantees, is there?
Meryl: And that's why we don't call them immunisations, because to be immunised means you're protected, and you're never immunised when you're vaccinated. You can be vaccinated and be protected, or you can be vaccinated and still get the disease. There's no way of telling. So they're vaccinations, they're not immunisations, because you're not immune when you've been vaccinated.
Tiga: Yeah. Just looking at the Stop the Australian Vaccination Network, um, something has come up on the internet, they don't, they don't like, uh, natural remedies? Meryl: (laughing) No
Tiga: They seem to think that pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are the answer. I mean, my goodness me! Meryl: Yes. (interrupted)
Tiga: I mean my people, first nations people, have used natural remedies for long before vaccinations come to town. Come to this country.
Meryl: Exactly. And they were effective and they worked. And, um, that, there, and for instance, Chinese herbal medicine has a history of five thousand years. Um, Aboriginal medication using the natural herbs and the plants in Australia forty thousand years done properly. Um, you know, allopathic medicine and western medicine: less than two hundred years. So…
Tiga: So they hate all natural, natural therapies, natural remedies the, the, the, this is a sad group of people here.
Meryl: They hate anything that is not pharmaceuticals, anything that is not medical. Um, they, they don't believe, they think that the government should shut down all homeopaths, all natural therapists, um, all ayurvedic therapists, anyone that uses Chinese herbal medicine, anyone that uses acupuncture, they call it ‘woo' (laugh) Tiga: Right Meryl: Um, it's just a way of saying that it doesn't work, and anything that comes out and says that it works, even if it's published in a medical journal, they say that that's not true and it was somehow done improperly. So, you know, they call themselves ‘sceptics' but they're not at all sceptical about western medicine, they're only sceptical about anything that is natural.
Tiga: Good point to make. Good point to make. Yup. True sceptics would be sceptical about everything.
Meryl: That's right.
Tiga: Yeah. Meryl: That's the definition of sceptical.
Tiga: I'm talking to Meryl Dorey from the Australian Vaccination Network, a network is not, that is not people who are not anti-vaccination, they are in favour of free speech, and, uh, making sure the information is out there, uh, for you to make an informed decision about whether you wish to be uh, your children to be vaccinated or not. Meryl, there is a big push on at the moment, my kids have raised it with me in the past, in past weeks regarding the uh, the government's payments and things and how they, you can only get half the payment if you're not vaccinated, fully vaccinated, and stuff like this. What's the situation, because my kids have, have always been conscientious objectors, and have been able to fill out a form with…
Tiga: …with that regard. What's the situation with this push?
MeryL: And they still can.
Tiga: (Begins) Th…
MERYL: They still can. Um, the way it works is uh there is both there are two different forms, there's a conscientious objector form and there's a medical objector form. The medical objector is if your child has had a reaction to a previous vaccine, the conscientious objector is if you just say you don't wanna vaccinate. Now, uh, an important thing for everyone to know is that vaccination is not compulsory for school, for preschool, for child-care, nothing. No, no um none of those things can exclude a child simply because they're unvaccinated um and that's there's a lot of misinformation about that. But the other thing is with this new payment, it's gunna total twenty-one hundred dollars, so it's quite substantial, and most parents could actually use that money. Um, the government has put out a lot of information saying that right now you need to vaccinate in order to get that payment, but that's not true, and all the media's been saying that you have to vaccinate or get that payment.
Tiga: So the government is responsible also for misinformation.
Meryl: Mmm (agreement). Very much so. And we're going to be, um, complaining about that (small laugh) but unfortunately what happens is you complain to the ombudsman and the ombudsman says ‘Oh, well, you know, tell the minister for health about this' and it's the minister for health who's misinforming people in the first place, so, (laughs)
Tiga: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Meryl: There's really
Meryl: There's no way to complain, I know. But, um, the me-, that's why the media's so important and why programs like yours are so important, because if parents know that there's an out, and there is an out, because vaccination is not compulsory in Australia, um, and it would be illegal for the government to say you needed to vaccinate and not give you an option to say no. So, what you need to do is register as a conscientious objector and what that involves is getting this form, now all centerlink offices, all medicare offices and all GPs are required by law to have it, but usually when you go there they don't. So we have it on our website, you can download it. There's a link on our website that they can get it. And if parent… they have to go and see what's called an immunisation provider so that's either a GP or a council nurse that gives vaccines. If you are intimidated, if you are afraid of going to one of these doctors or to the clinic nurse without someone to support you we have a buddy system. We have people, in Brisbane, who are, who have said that they're willing to go along with you to support you when you get this form signed. So, all they need to do is contact us and we'll find a cn- um, a buddy in their area who'll go along with them. Um, because doctors are required by law to sign the form, but some doctors are saying no, and, um, they're saying no in a very nasty way. We've had some people be absolutely abused by their doctors, simply because they wanted to be registered as a conscientious objector. So, the government cannot withhold these payments, every parent is entitled to get it whether they vaccinate in total, um, selectively, or not at all. And people need to know that.
Tiga: And Meryl, you know, for a long long time um I'm not, I'm that close to sixty it's not funny, for a long long time I've heard these stories about communism, about how wicked it is, and how controlling of people they are. What are these people, like, governments, doctors, and ah, stop the anti… the stop the vax… the Australian Vaccination Network, the sceptics, what are these people, when it's controlling and, and the haters that are out there and the people that (mumble), I mean what's the difference, they're probably much better under a communist system.
Meryl: That's right, there isn't any difference. And, and, you know, Stop the AVN is a hate group, they definitely are. They act like a hate group, they're abusive they're bullies. Um, so, yeah, I agree with you a hundred percent with what you're saying. And it's anti-democratic, you know. In a democracy we do have this right to choose, we do have the right to speak, so anyone who says we're not is not democratic, and I think we all wanna live in a democracy.
Tiga: First nation's people's health: deplorable. Epidemic proportions right across the board in this country, has been for a long, well since colonisation. And… vaccines can impact quite severely on some first nation's… uh… especially people of poor health. Is that a fair comment?
Meryl: It's very much a fair comment, and I'm not sure if you've ever read Archie Kalokerinos's book Every Second Child…
Tiga: I knew Archie Kalokerinos, he was the doctor for my third eldest… second eldest child.
Meryl: Oh, was that in Collarenebri?
Tiga: No, it was in Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service.
Meryl: Ah, okay, yeah.
Tiga: Before he went back to Collarenebri.
Meryl: Okay, well he worked at Collarenebri for many years and wrote this book based on his experience and he found that fifty percent of aboriginal babies were dying after vaccination, so half of all Aboriginal babies were dying, and you know that when he published his book it was banned in Australia.
Tiga: He was discredited…
Meryl: That's right.
Tiga:…by the, um, medical association, the health department, everybody. Yes.
Meryl: That's right, but when he left Colla… when he was a doctor for ten years in Collarenebri they had no sudden infant deaths at all. No infant mortality, um, amongst Aboriginals, um, and then when he left it went back up to fifty percent…
Tiga: Yeah, there you go.
Meryl: …because he didn't vaccinate, and when he left, they did. And he, he also gave the women, um, vitamin C in high doses and he made sure they breast-fed, and those are the best things you can do to make sure you have a healthy baby. If your diet's not great, lots of vitamin C, and breast-feeding for as long as possible. And, and the babies were healthy, they were growing up healthy.
Tiga: While he was at the Aboriginal Medical Centre in Redfern, who've just celebrated their fortieth year.
Tiga: Um, and he was there for quite a number of years, I saw him, he had a formula, a mixture, vitamin… largely vitamin C but there was one or two other things in it and he would, um, intravenous, intravenously, intravenously, um, ah, put that into a person that suffered from heroin addiction.
Tiga: 4/5 hours at a time for a couple of days and there was complete withdrawal without any either the negative side of withdrawals and stuff but he was an amazing man.
Meryl: I think he is still around but I don't think he's very well but I'm pretty sure he's still around and he was an amazing doctor and there are so many very affective and safe therapies that have been suppressed because of the pharmaceutical companies protecting their own interests.
Tiga: What are the alternatives now for people who want to become conscientious objectors?
Meryl: Well all they have to do is get that form filled in ...
Tiga: Sorry no but yes as far as taking care of the health of their children if they don't want to go down the vaccination pathway what are their options?
Meryl: I get you now. I'm not a medical professional so I can't give medical advice but I can tell you some of the information that has been published in magazines by medical professionals. Now there is something called homeopathic vaccination or homeopathic prophylaxis and this has been studied, it's been used in South American countries, in India, in Cuba, uh Cuba is using it almost exclusively now for for many diseases. It, it um, and you can get this from homeopaths every single disease that we currently vaccinate against there is a homeopathic preventative so you know, there is information on there, I won't recommend that people do it without looking into the information but certainly get the information, it's a valid alternative to medical vaccination. Um a lot of people just say that I'm going to keep my children healthy by making sure they have really good food, feeding organic food, lots of fruit and vegetables, you know if they have meat it's organic, um and, and, or free range just for as few chemicals as they possibly can. They use naturopathy and um, um herbal medicine to treat and prevent diseases um and basically they don't necessarily worry about some of these diseases. Measles, in a healthy well nourished child has never been considered a killer disease, at least not in the last 100 years and before the measles vaccine came in we had three deaths a year from measles in Australia, so you know, why they brought it in when so few children were dying I have no idea but in a healthy well nourished child, diseases like measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox were never considered deadly diseases for at least for the last 100 years so get over the fear of disease and start looking at the information. What vaccines do we want to choose, what diseases are worth preventing and will the vaccines actually prevent them? Those are the questions parents need to ask themselves. Um, and get, you know, speak with a good natural practitioner, speak with a homeopath/naturopath, the chiropractor, you know, speak with other practitioners who have different ways of dealing with infectious diseases and illness and you probably will end up being a lot healthier for it.
Tiga: Yes there's no question about that. My daughters children, grandchildren they've been using homeopathics for a long, long time as I have and um, I don't trust the medical system, I'm sure there's, and this is my own personal comments and experience, but there is a time when you need to go to a doctor, and I go when I need check ups and things like that but no I prefer the homeopathic, I've got a great homeopath.
Meryl: It's a tough word isn't it
Tiga: It can be a tongue twister, I've got a great homeopath and I've had some great results and I've just gotten a call from a listener, Sue's called in and said her daughter uses a homeopath and is getting great results and has been using it for some time so thank's for your call Sue.
NNow, Meryl, tell me about the Canberra trip because you're on a mission, you want some changes made, tell us about
Meryl: That's right. We're going in February when parliament sits again. Um you know people have been saying you're just a small group of mums really, um how do you expect to make changes? But the whole reason that we have a CO available in Australia is because in 1998 we went to Canberra and we got legislation introduced in parliament to allow parents to be CO's to vaccinations
Tiga: So that small group of mums can be effective
Meryl: That's exactly right so never say never. We are asking the government for 4 things, um the first one is by law doctors should report ALL adverse reactions to vaccinations, right now we only get around 1% of reactions reported and that's not good enough when we're told that vaccines are safe they're basing that on information that is 99% wrong and I don't think anyone could feel comfortable with that, so I think doctors should be required, by law, to report all reactions that are reported to them. The other thing is we say the doctors should be required to say, when someone gets ones of these diseases, whether or not they were vaccinated. Right now if you go to your doctor and your doctor says "oh your child's got whooping cough", by law he has to tell the department of health that your child has just come down with whooping cough but on that form where he reports that, there isn't even a place where he can put whether or not your child was vaccinated and right now we've got the biggest epidemic of whooping cough we've ever had in Australia, and we also have the highest level of whooping cough vaccination we've ever had in Australia and yet the government is saying we need to do more vaccines because we've got so many cases.
Tiga: How do they explain that? if they've got the highest rate of vaccinations and the highest rate of what they've been vaccinated against, MY GOD
Meryl: (Giggling) How do they ignore that, they don't explain that they just ignore it, or they say that it's happening in the unvaccinated and there is no evidence that that's the case, because they're not even saying whether or not these people are vaccinated. So if doctors are required to say that your child's got the disease, they should also be required to say that your child's been vaccinated against it. What if we have 35,000 cases of whooping cough and 31,000 of them are in children who are fully vaccinated, don't you think that's important information? The government needs to keep track of this.
Tiga: Now that's highly likely isn't it, the way the government's been pushing vaccination for quite some time, it's highly likely that the majority of these cases have been vaccinated.
Meryl: Well South Australia did a small trial where they tracked how many were vaccinated, this was about 10 years ago, they stopped it I think because they got the results they didn't want to get. And they found that 87% of the kids that came down with whooping cough were fully vaccinated against whooping cough, that's for the ones they had vaccination status for, so almost 90% of those kids were fully vaccinated ....
Tiga: Say no more
Meryl: ...and they stopped the study, they just stopped it. So we really want the government to do this.
Tiga: Of course, thats not a good enough reason for people to be open minded, and look into this vaccination issue and make an informed decision, that's all that you ask, and propose that they make an informed decision. Now look what else is happening for you in Canberra, any other issues?
Meryl: Another issue is we want is by law, all doctors to provide parents with the manufacturers package inserts for the vaccine. Now in Australia our government does not test or study any vaccines, all of that is done by the drug companies. Um and the drug companies put out these package inserts, they're leaflets that come with all the vaccines, and we want the government to give this to the parents and we want them to highlight three sections so that parents can have this information before they say yes or no. So those three sections are the ingredients, so what's in the vaccines, you know does it have mercury, does it have heavy metals, does it have formaldehyde, does it have aluminium in there? We want them to know that, we want them to know the known reactions that can occur after the vaccination, that's in the package insert and we want them to see what's called the contraindications. Now these are the reasons why the vaccine may not be appropriate for everyone. Do you have a family history of seizures, do you have a family history of asthma, or food allergies? Do you have a family history of reacting to a certain antibiotic? Parents need to know this before they make a decision to vaccinate and doctors are not giving them this information. We want this to be passed into law so that parents HAVE to get this information before they say yes or no. And the first thing we're going to do is we're going to try and get the government to look at this requirement to be vaccinated in order to get certain payments, even though there is a CO available which of course they don't make parents know very easily, we want to look at the constitution and say what this says is your policy of linking vaccinations with government payments is unconstitutional and get rid of any link between government payments and vaccinations. If parents want to vaccinate that's their right, if they don't want to vaccinate that's their right and it should have nothing to do with money and nothing to do with the government
Tiga: Well that's like cash for comment on the radio! If you're going to be handing out money to be vaccinated you may as well just allow us to be paid with little brown envelopes like a few other mainstream well known Australian talk show hosts were doing some years ago. No difference.
Meryl: Exactly, exactly. It's unethical, immoral and just plain wrong
Tiga: It's outrageous. You know woman, you know it's amazing you can stay so strong and positive in the face of haters I mean you' should be given a medal because it's amazing you can do it
Meryl: Thanks I don't do it on my own, we have members that are very supportive of me, they write letters to thank me
Tiga: How can people contact you you've got a newsletter Living Wisdom that people can subscribe to, you've got a website
Meryl: We do, we've got a magazine and a website all the information's there, it's avn.org.au and they're welcome to call us as well. It's 02 6687 1699 so they can either email through the website or give me a call. And I really urge anyone who's listened to this if they or their children have had an adverse reaction to vaccination please visit the website and fill out the adverse reaction form