One of the main reasons I was drawn into Skepticism was the innate feeling of distaste I felt whenever I saw someone being preyed upon by those devoid of anything approaching what we could call ethical. The exploitation of the vulnerable was always something for which I had a visceral contempt. I felt this before I even knew that a thing called a “Skeptic” was a thing. My reactions are still physically unpleasant. To put it simply – because I am simple – to this day, I cannot understand how one of our fellow humans can dupe another, for profit, regardless of the harm done to those who are sucked dry of life and finances.
There are three areas of crankery which are extremely upsetting: upsetting because of the callousness and cruelty with which they are practised, under the guise of health freedom and the love of Mother Earth and all things natural. They are nothing of the sort. Scratch the skin of the loving, informed healer and you will reveal fangs. Ask for evidence and the retraction demands of lawyers will start flooding in.
Orac describes these three areas better than I could. The first two:
HIV/AIDS denialism is, at its heart, no different than anti-vaccinationism. It’s pure pseudoscience and, more than that, it’s utterly hostile to science because science doesn’t support its conclusions.
But worst of all, HIV/AIDS denialism is, like anti-vaccinationism, deadly. It’s a perfect example of how pseudoscience can kill. [link]
And, the third; the dubious cancer cure:
the cost is personal in terms of giving patients false hope and of unnecessary side effects for little or no benefit and financial in terms of bills that run from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars charged to patients who are so desperate that they will pay them for even a glimmer of hope. [link]
What does this have to do with the Australian Vaccination Network?
Following are some of the products available from the AVN’s shop (I won’t bother showing the plethora of anti-vaccination paraphernalia, as we already know about that)…
Meryl Dorey introduced this piece of AIDS-denialism via a link on her AVN Facebook page (the video is from none other than Gary Null):
In honour of Australia winning the ‘right’ to play host to a huge international conference on AIDS and HIV, here is a DVD that will give you information on the origin of and treatments for this disease that is being blamed for tens of millions of deaths since the 1980s.
It is worthwhile noting that Meryl Dorey is a signatory to this list of AIDS-denialists
Meryl Dorey and her organisation are also not shy about promoting dangerous, fraudulent or dubious cancer cures. There is some history here too:
This video on the wonders of black salve even comes with a personal recommendation from the shop owner; the entrepreneur, if you will:
“This DVD should be viewed by ALL Australians. Statistically speaking 50% of us will face cancer in our own lives at one time or another. That means that either we or someone we love will have to face the choice of how to treat our illness – using toxic drugs or safe, effective, time-tested natural remedies. I feel that Elaine’s work will be life-changing and indeed life-saving for many. If you or someone you know is facing this issue or if you just want to be prepared for any future cancer diagnoses, this will be the best $25 you have ever spent!”
– Meryl Dorey, Australian Vaccination Network
I often wonder to myself, “how low can Meryl Dorey go in her pursuit based solely on ideological reasons?” I mean, her shop is certainly a black hole from where no ethics can escape. There is no form of denialism from which Meryl Dorey will not seek a buck: hang the cost to the community.
Really. What’s next? Scientology?
No way. Really?
They sell two Scientology DVDs? What? Three?
Meryl Dorey and her AVN sell three Scientology DVDs? That’s just…
I don’t know that there’s anywhere left for Dorey to slink. Maybe she could lower herself to claiming that “homeopathy can be used to not only treat but prevent infectious diseases – without the dangerous ingredients and side-effects found in medical vaccines.”
No one would do that, though? Right?
I have heard that there may be evidence of an event horizon near the Northern NSW town of Bangalow.