I had reason to be flicking through the pages of Living Wisdom magazine tonight (the publication of the AVN) for a little light research.

Odd that this should happen really, since I often get accused of not reading what the anti-vaxers have to say. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In additional to the tripe on the Facebook pages, the forums, the mailing lists and comments on news articles, I have perused the information pack for conscientious objectors, flicked through Living Wisdom and looky over there >>> a copy of Callous Disregard by Andrew Wakefield.

It’s more than I suspect they do with respect to research. Although, Meryl Dorey says she reads papers about vaccination but apparently comes away with completely different conclusions to the authors, making the exercise rather futile.

Indeed, the recent HCCC investigation concluded that whilst the AVN may cite peer-reviewed research, they quote selectively from it, often in contradiction to the conclusions or findings of the studies themselves.

Ms Dorey explained this discrepancy with the following:

“It is true that oftentimes, our information will contradict the conclusions or summaries of the studies. This is because, as opposed to most doctors and government officials, we actually read the studies and frequently, the summary and conclusion does not agree with the raw data itself…..Many times, that disconnect can be explained by the financial links between the study’s researchers and the companies whose products are being studied. So, whilst the AVN does frequently draw different conclusions to those printed at the end of these articles, it is because our analysis of the data shows that the printed conclusions do not correspond with the raw data. This is not selective reporting – it is accurate reporting.”

Raw data. It doesn’t mean what you think it means Ms Dorey. And the financial links? Oh course, the old shill canard again. When you ‘aint got nothin’ else.. (and you don’t know how to read papers).

The AVN have been in oodles of trouble lately, the most recent being for multiple breaches of copyright associated with selling material on their website without permission. Which is funny, because one of the things I came across in the information in Living Wisdom was their permission to reproduce policy:

“Whilst reproduction and dissemination of the information found in Living Wisdom is actively encouraged (unless otherwise stated), it is expressly forbidden for anyone to reproduce any of this information for the purpose of profit…”

My emphasis.

Which directly contradicts the reason they were recently in strife – for selling other authors’ material on their website, without permission.

An article from the Sydney Morning Herald describes:

“an anti-vaccination group is under fire for allegedly breaching copyright laws by selling newspaper and medical journal articles online without permission from the authors.

The packs, which were selling for up to $128, included home-made books filled with articles photocopied from journals around the world, information on drugs taken from MIMS, the medical guide used by doctors and nurses, and copies of brochures inserted in medication boxes by pharmaceutical companies.

Under the Copyright Act, articles can be copied for personal research or for use by students but cannot be disseminated widely or sold.”

In response, Meryl said she was “unaware she had breached copyright”. This is despite the fact that she is listed as the editor of Living Wisdom and therefore probably wrote the policy. Even if she didn’t, one would think it is part of her job to understand copyright restrictions as the editor of a magazine for more than a decade.

But the duplicity of the AVN is something we have come to know well. This is a recent screen capture from their website.

couple of years ago

So it appears Meryl knew about some of these copyright rules “a couple of years ago” at least.

One wonders if the authors contacted by the Sydney Morning Herald decided to take any action against the AVN given some might be owed a nice wad of booty. Based on the AVN’s permission to reproduce policy, they themselves would be joining a queue to recoup any lost funds. So what’s good for the goose is good for the gander right?

Oh wait, except when you’re a bunch of hypocrites.


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  • whoops! I see you weren’t talking about me :/ #interpretationfail

  • Hi Richard, where did I say I wasn’t a scientist?

  • RichardJ

    Maggie I think you’ll agree that admitting to not being a scientist but then having the audacity to re-interpret data without the statistical and knowledge of a trained scientist such as yourself, is COMPLETELY egocentric and smacks of anti-intellectualism.

  • Chris

    More John Fryer here. He retired over a decade ago.

  • Whatthe?

    Hi John Fryer

    My apologies, I have tried reading through your posts a number of times and I still can’t make sense of what you’re on about.

    Perhaps it is because I am not a researcher or maybe it’s because I worked a double shift last night and am feeling a bit groggy today. Either way if could re-post in a more reader friendly format I will try again.

  • Skeptiverse

    @John Fryer, One would reasonably suspect that a reasearcher of almost 20 years would at least have a semblance of skill when it comes to sharing/expressing their opinions/research. Maybe i (a ridiculously under-experienced first year scientist) am expecting to much in assuming that researchers of 20 years experience are able to express their ideas intelligibly.

  • Ken McLeod

    Sorry John, your posts just do not make sense. Can you break your view down into bullet points please.

    And where were you a researcher?

  • Hi @johnFryer, I fail to understand your position. Can you be more succinct?

  • reasonablehank

    @John Fryer Chemist. You had me quite engaged, and I believe you made some accurate points, up until you said “Meryl is quite correct”. I couldn’t really grasp much of what you said after that, though. My apologies.

  • John Fryer Chemist

    As a researcher for nearlt 20 years unpaid and not rich, I can concur that selling information which for my own research I am unable to obtain is distasteful in the sense I am working in a vaccuum not only of material but also blanked off by those saying they desperately want to know why we get so many neurological cases today.
    On all sides of the argument there are good and bad.
    .

    Even my heroes make me cringe and even my opponents who discredit my ideas do find information valuable for me.
    We live in an imperfect world but name calling and denying facts or accepting several changes in data and turning a blind eye to those that go to top jobs where discussion is forbidden shows the sleazy nature and contempt for harm to children whatever is the real cause.
    .

    and the final irony often is to blame the parents before the increasingly toxic world the new born enter.

  • John Fryer Chemist

    Meryl is quite correct.
    .

    The recent article suggesting no link between mercury vaccines and autism actually shows an increase of cases from 3 compared to 1 microgram of mercury for prenatal children.
    .

    So an increase in numbers of autistic children results from an addition of mercury much less than in a single mercury vaccine.
    .

    This hardly ties in with the abstract which says the opposite, implying mercury (a brain destroying form of it) aids the brain and protects it and the child from autism.
    .

    They also explain this finding (untrue and contrary to the raw data of there own discovery) of a brain destroying compound increasing brain cells has no biological sense – SPOT ON CORRECT!
    .

    In fact Meryl is correct all of the papers are political to help defeat the legal cases going through court but leave enough sense in the hidden text (hidden if you study abstracts only) to justify I TOLD YOU SO when they find that a brain destroying compound has been doing that so in the USA one child in three has issues with their brains.

  • Mark

    @Squillo – You forgot:

    d) All of the above

  • So which is it, Meryl? Were you:
    a) Too stupid to understand that selling other people’s work without permission is stealing;
    b) Too incompetent to know that your staff or volunteers were stealing other people’s work;
    c)Lying about your stupidity or incompetence?