We all have a very busy life these days, with work and family and volunteering wherever possible.

Which means sometimes you might not get time to fact-check some of the things written about you before they get published. I often do talks, and organisers always ask me to send a bio or short description of my background which they publish in the programme or on the accompanying website.

Usually they ask me to send my own, which suits me because this way I can ensure it is absolutely accurate and doesn’t contain any inaccuracies.

But here is an example of one which obviously slipped by the person in question without proofreading. It’s only short but there are several inaccuracies which are immediately obvious to me. You can see a link to the web page where this bio originally appeared here.

meryl dorey WFF

The most obvious one is “unbiased” from “…offers her unbiased…knowledge…” (see above).

Following are a few examples of Meryl’s “unbiased” views on vaccination.

“There will come a time – I pray to God that it will happen in my lifetime – when those who have pushed vaccines upon innocent, helpless babies – doctors, pharmaceutical companies, government officials – will be proven to have lied and cheated these instruments of death into our children’s bloodstream. When that occurs, the outcry will be heard around the world and there will not be enough hiding places on the globe for these murderers to hide or enough money to pay for compensation. Of course, it will be too late for the babies, like this poor child, to be saved. But we will be able to take satisfaction from the fact that never again will anyone have to be pushed to poison their child because for once and for all, it will be known as poison and we will all wonder how it was we fell for the vaccine lie for as long as we did.”
Meryl Dorey, President, Australian Vaccination Network, AVN Yahoo group, 17 Dec 2008, message #36449

Another example of Meryl’s “unbiased” opinion/information occurred during a recent interview on Lismore local ABC radio where, despite repeated questioning she was unable to state one childhood vaccine that she thinks is “good”.

This is despite the fact the she insists publicly that she and the AVN are not anti-vaccine, but pro-choice.

Following is part of a transcript from the interview she did about her and the AVN winning the Australian Skeptics “Bent Spoon” Award for 2009.

Interviewer: “Which vaccines do you think are good then in Aust..?

Meryl: “I think that all vaccines are up to the parents and…”

Interviewer: “That wasn’t what I asked though was it. Which vaccines are good? This was the point I think the Skeptics were making is that you’ve never actually said, which vaccine is worthwhile, which scientific designed vaccine is good, worthwhile.

Meryl: “It is not, it is not my role, nor is it the role of the Australian Vaccination Network to tell anyone what to they should or should not do when it comes to vaccination. Now the Australian Skeptics have said that the um, Australian Vaccination Network is responsible for a decline in vaccination in Australia that has lead to an outbreak of pertussis and they accuse us of scientific piffle and yet..”

Cat got your tongue Meryl?

If you spot any more inaccuracies, and can support them with evidence (no defamatory statements please), then please leave a comment. Perhaps Meryl would appreciate the feedback so that her next bio is not quite so misleading. If only for the sake of her members, and other parents seeking advice on vaccination, who trust they get accurate information from the AVN and Meryl.

——

Thanks to Steve for the tip-off. Audio courtesy of the Vaccination Awareness and Information Service.


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  • scep dick

    This interview wasn’t bad at all. I dont know what you are all raving on about! I thought she spoke quite well

  • http://scepticsbook.com Maggie

    @Amanda, Dorey calls herself “Australia’s leading expert in vaccination” and all she has is high school biology and some research from suspect sources. You more than qualify for the gig!

  • http://www.scepticsbook.com Amanda

    I can fulfil the music and sceptic part (going to the Blue Mountains Music Fest in March which mercifully has no tents other than music) but not the doc. I’ve considered Woodford in the past but to be completely honest the quack-enabling aspect of it has always put me off.

  • Craig Motbey

    I’m a regular Woodford attendee. I generally avoid the Blue Lotus (the quackery venue) while I’m there, but I had the misfortune to wander into Dorey’s garbage this year. Although she tried to present herself as not part of the “all vaccines are evil” crew, the talk I heard was blatant garbage from start to finish.

    Woodford is seriously in need of some sane health input, along the lines of what Ben Goldacre did at Glastonbury last year. I know that there’s an audience for it; I’m not the only Woodford regular who is getting increasingly pissed off with the murderous nonsense being spouted at the Lotus.

    However, I’m not really qualified to do it myself (I’m a psychopharmacology researcher, not an MD). Are there any music-loving skeptical physicians out there willing to step up to the plate?

  • http://scepticsbook.com Maggie

    @nudel, whoops! thanks for the correction.

    I will fix it.

    cheers

    Maggie

  • nudel

    While we’re *proof-reading*, the last phrase should read “… this year’s folk medicine program.” The word ‘year’ is missing its apostrophe. :)

  • http://www.mooselet.com Mooselet

    @Maggie – well heck, with those sorts of qualifications I’m just as qualified as she is! I have a brain, took high school biology, have a bit of a science background and done a bit of reading on the immune system. Why, I must be Australia’s leading expert on vaccinations! Where can I publish my bio?
    /sarcasm :-)

  • http://thinkingisreal.blogspot.com AndyD

    Welcome back to blogging. I know you’re always busy but when you do get around to posting, it’s always worthy of a read. Thanks.

  • http://cafe-grendel.blogspot.com Grendel

    Well I know that the last part of her interview is unlikely to go down well with Native Americans – “Indian Giver”? What was Meryl thinking?

  • http://scepticsbook.com Maggie

    @mooselet

    here is an extract from Meryl’s webinar called “voodoo children”. The entire transcript is here http://www.antivaxxers.com/?p=85

    “I studied biology at high school and I was a true believer, I guess, that vaccinations were safe and effective, and that any parent who cared about their child would fully vaccinate them.”

    and

    “Well, I guess having a bit of a science background helped a little bit,..”

    She has also said in the past that the only qualifications she needs is a brain and if you have read a few papers on immunology you are more qualified than a doctor.

    Apart from this, she has been the President of the AVN for over a decade, so in this time she has done a lot of reading, which means she must have acquired some knowledge. Official qualifications? None that I know of.

  • reasonablehank

    “Well researched knowledge…”

    Like this? Originally linked on her blog with the advice “watch it quick before it gets removed”, or words to that effect:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLRQ07xsXi4&feature=player_embedded

    That’s just one of many, many absurd sources she links.

  • http://www.mooselet.com Mooselet

    I would like to know what qualifications Ms. Dorey has to make her “Australia’s leading expert in vaccination”. I would like to see a list of her academic qualifications, research trials, etc. Not quotes from studies of a dubious quality, but her own research trials published in peer review journals. I would like to know what scientific and/or medical qualifications she holds. I would ask what makes her the “leading expert” over others who could lay claim to that title.

    Or am I asking too much?

  • Steve

    Rachael, you point about our busy lives is well made. It must be particularly hard for Meryl as “Australia’s leading expert in vaccination”!

  • Dianne

    Rachael, once again an excellent blog exposing the lie that is Meryl Dorey. But then again, I am totally biased.