Anti-vaccine chiropractors 41 – The Wellness Evangelicals

The Chiropractic Board of Australia has had enough:

The Chiropractic Board of Australia cracks down to protect the public.

The Chiropractic Board of Australia is cracking down on chiropractors who step outside their primary role as healthcare practitioners and provide treatment that puts the public at risk.

To protect public safety, the Board has:

– ordered practitioners to remove all anti-vaccination material from their websites and clinics
– removed several courses from the list of approved CPD programs, and
– introduced random audits of practitioner compliance with the Board’s registration standards. [Media Release August 8 2013]

Anyone who promotes healthy eating, exercise, and evidence-based health tips in the pursuit of achieving good health outcomes is doing the community a service. But, when these things are done with an eye to entrepreneurial self-promotion, cross-promotion, relying on buzzwords like “toxins”, “wellness” and “achieving the something something within”, I start to get my cranky pants on. Especially when they spout non-evidence-based rubbish as if they are facts. And, when entrepreneurial wellness evangelicals also spread the faith of anti-vaccinationism, that’s when my jimmies get well rustled. This is when regulatory bodies need to interrupt the cash-flow. Seminars, books, product promotions, conferences, DVDs etc. You don’t get these things for free, folks. For example, here is the price list for the recent Wellness Summit, in Melbourne:

You can buy dinner with them?

You can buy dinner with them?

How did they go? What? 600 people? SOLD OUT!

Tham 8 Wellness Summit sold outAs you can see, that recent wellness church-meet was run by a group of men who call themselves The Wellness Guys. They have branched out into a whole series of spin-offs, such as The Wellness Couch, Up for a chat, and others. The Wellness Guys are Damian Kristof, Brett Hill, and Laurence Tham. They are all chiropractors.

Here they are, at the altar:

L-R: Tham, Kristof, Hill, and Cyndi O'Meara. Can I get a witness, brother?

L-R: Tham, Kristof, Hill, and Cyndi O’Meara. Can I get a witness, brother?

We have met Kristof before in #10. He is a member of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, as if that needed saying. Kristof is/was also a member of the vile anti-vaccination pressure and slur group, the Australian Vaccination Network.

Hill conducts his day-to-day business at Greenhill Family Chiropractic, in Adelaide. He is/was a member of the South Australian anti-vaccination misinformation group, VISA. He is also the past-president of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia’s South Australia outlet:

Hill 11 former CAA SA President
Hill is pretty careful about what he posts online, but he has shared this rubbish, which claims that chiropractic reduced the mortality rate in the 1918 influenza pandemic:

Hill 10 1918 influenza pandemic chiro lower mortality
And he doesn’t mind promoting the odd Scientology video, just like Dorey:

Hill 4 CCHR video
Pass me that emesis bag, because Dr Brett feels the lurve. We see this one so often it deserves its own fallacy. The argumentum ad urdoinsomethingrightium?

Hill 1
Businessman Tham runs Belridge Chiropractic in Western Australia. One of his co-businessmen is Warren Genders, the President of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia’s Western Australia branch. Tham is a member of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia. He is/was also a member of the discredited, callous anti-vaccination fundamentalist group, the Australian Vaccination Network. He is also involved with the Australian Spinal Research Foundation. You can find one of his ASRF articles, here. Tham is basically a motivational speaker. He’s like a life-coach. He’s into preaching chiropractic to the choir, and beyond, and he’s all about practice-building. He’s a true evangelical:

Tham 9 ASRF article
As we would expect, Tham shares the usual conspiratorial misinformation on his professional page:

Tham 27 double Belridge screenshots
And, like his friend Hill, he is quite careful about letting his anti-vaccination freak flag fly. They know it’s bad for business. But, here is Tham spruiking an anti-vaccination seminar, being held by the execrable Meryl Dorey herself:

Tham 3 AVN Perth seminar
Yes. “Make a better choice” by listening to anti-vaccination zealot, Dorey. But, that wasn’t the first time. Here is Tham one year earlier, again pushing a Dorey seminar:

Tham 5 YT vid Dorey flu vaccine talk
And here is the video, shared on his business’s official blog. A chiropractor, using his chiropractic business, to push anti-vaccinationism. Who’d of thunk it was possible:

____________________________________________

In the video Tham claims to be pro-choice. He states he is a “big proponent of not having the flu vaccine”. Tham also claims:

  • that vaccines have “so much toxicity going on” with them
  • “we don’t really know what’s in them”
  • vaccines are a “concoction of a mixture of chemicals”
  • that this concoction will be “injected into your bloodstream”
  • blindly, we don’t investigate these things before “we put it into our body”
  • receiving a flu vaccine is just “injecting toxins into our body”
  • that the government is somehow taking away the choice of whether or not to vaccinate, as per the usual Dorey claims.

I will say this again, because it cannot be said enough. If you claim to be pro-choice, and you only share lies and misinformation as a part of that educative process, which you claim is information leading to informed choice, then, you are talking out of your arse. You are anti-choice. You are also anti-health. You are advocating for the return to higher infant mortality. This leads me to the next individual.

The wellness evangelicals have quite a few tentacles reaching out now. As Tham notes, triumphantly:

Tham 4 Wellness Poscasts

One of those tentacles is the Up for a chat podcast, hosted by Carrin Smith, Kim Morrison, and our next guest, Cyndi O’Meara.

O’Meara is popular. She appears in the media as a go-to health expert, in matters of nutrition and beyond. Her Facebook page has over 22,000 likes:

O'Meara 19 Fb pageAnd, of course, you can buy a lot of stuff in her online shop.

In the past, O’Meara has shared some pretty outrageous stuff. Last year she promoted this cancer scam:

O'Meara 2 cancer is curable promotionAnd some vaccine/autism/antibiotic nonsense, in January 2013:

O'Meara 5 autism vaccines antibioticsO’Meara also refuses to go through airport scanners, because:

O'Meara 7 airport scanner

Did somebody say anti-fluoridationism?

O'Meara 16 fluoride poison in the water supply

Refreshingly, she generally gets a bit of flack from her readers whenever she posts anti-vaccination rubbish. But, when she is challenged by people who really know what they are talking about, this is what she does:

O'Meara 12 banned for profile photosYes, she banned senior doctor Sue Ieraci, who sat on the Medical Board of Australia, calling Dr Ieraci’s profile picture, of her wonderful curly hair, “indecent”. All because O’Meara couldn’t answer the polite questions which were being asked. Nice.

But, it’s okay. O’Meara also calls herself “pro-choice”. She is all about education, allowing others to inform themselves; and she helps them along in this educative process, because she is so nice.

As stated previously, the Up for a chat podcast is part of the creation of the three evangelical, anti-vaccination chiropractors, Kristof, Hill, and Tham. In effect, they are hosting the material which appears on all of their related podcasts. So, when I had this gem pointed out to me by a friend, it had to be included.

In May 2013 O’Meara let fly on this Up for a chat podcast. She used this podium to tell everyone how many books she has read, and how many articles she has read, and how she went to university. All of this in defence of her wont to share anti-vaccination misinformation on her business page. O’Meara wants everyone to know that she is pro-choice (see above). It’s everyone else’s fault for getting all uppity when she shares anti-vaccine material, you see. Just look at the links under the podcast. This is pro-choice, anti-vaccination style:

O'Meara 15 Wellness Couch anti-vaccine episodeThe first link is a book by O’Meara’s deceased sister, who was a chiropractor, not a doctor. Lisa Lovett’s anti-vaccination book can be bought from O’Meara’s online shop. Lovett also left a large bequest to the anti-vaccination zealots, the AVN:

O'Meara 18 Lovett AVN bequestBut, back to the podcast, which also links to the AVN and the anti-vaccine NVIC. I admit I only listened to the first half-hour. I couldn’t take any more damage. Among the points made by O’Meara were:

  • people are mean for questioning her about anti-vaccination misinformation
  • some people do still die of Measles – so what
  • the plague was sent for a purpose, to weed out the weak – soz lol
  • it’s okay for some to die because of the survival of the fittest – soz lol
  • it’s a dog-eat-dog world – soz lol
  • SIDS, asthma, ADHD are all on the rise because of vaccines – can’t be a coincidence
  • have you seen how many people are losing their hair now – can’t be a coincidence
  • one of the co-hosts refused Gardasil for her daughter, due to information provided by O’Meara – come on Queenslanders, let the Qld HQCC know about this unregistered health practitioner
  • one of O’Meara’s pregnant friends refused immunisation for her baby due to information provided by O’Meara. O’Meara sent the friend to Viera Scheibner, and the friend acted on that information – again, come on Queenslanders, let the Qld HQCC know about this unregistered health practitioner

O’Meara says she is pro-choice. She is all about educating. She went to university. She reads lots of books. She reads lots of articles. She sent someone to Viera Scheibner. She cites the AVN and the NVIC. Her information dissuaded associates from immunising their children. She is okay with that.

[Edit December 19 2015

O’Meara is a member of the rabid anti-vaccination Facebook group, Anti-Vaccination Australia:

O'Meara 43 member of AVA December 12 2015

End edit]

And, just to prove how anti-vaccine she is, O’Meara recently let fly with this screed on her Facebook page. Read the comments, please. Kim Morrison uses the word “atrocities”:

O'Meara 14 Dorey the beautiful soulYou see, it doesn’t matter that Dorey was ordered to pay the costs of Dan Buzzard because the AVO application was frivolous and vexatious. What matters to the cult is that poor Meryl lost. It doesn’t matter to the cult that Dorey is using the AVN to cover a personal debt; a debt which she could have settled prior to the hearing for one-third of the cost, but, refused. Facts and ethics mean nothing to these people. Dorey is just like Jesus, Mandela, and Gandhi. Really.

It doesn’t matter that Meryl Dorey did this:  “I never have and never will harass or hurt a grieving parent” – Meryl DoreyOr these things*.

It just matters that she is O’Meara’s friend. Because, as we know, ideology and friendship mean more than ethics, integrity, empathy, and accuracy.

These are The Wellness Evangelicals. They are anti-vaccine to the core. Yet, they’ll deny it, because it’s bad for business. And their anti-vaccinationism trumps the community’s right to accurate information. Because, they’ll claim to be pro-choice.

Remember, as long as you all awaken the change within, folks, it doesn’t matter who’s your friend, and what they’ve done. Ah, can’t you just smell the altruism?

O'Meara 20 awaken the change within

Update October 10 2014

I wanted to add this comment made by O’Meara on the Mamamia site on October 6 2011. I had forgotten to include it earlier. This was made in response to Dr Rachael Dunlop’s evidence-based article 9 Vaccination myths busted. With science! Sit back and enjoy Cyndi O’Meara at her gibbering, conspiratorial, anti-science best; and wonder why anyone listened to her ever:

I just read this article. The author Rachael Dunlop is not somebody I would take much notice of. She is from the sceptic society. I heard her on Richard Fidlers Conversations and all she could do for half an hour was belittle, bag and degrade Meryl Dorey, a woman that has more knowledge on vaccination then anybody I know. Whether Meryl has a degree or not is not the question to her knowledge, she has spent over 20 years engrossed in the science of vaccination.

We all make our choices based on our beliefs.

I believe the body is complete. ‘Propping it up’ with medications throughout our life – vitamin K, vaccinations, antibiotics, bonjello, blood pressure tablets, anti-inflammatories and cholesterol lowering drugs. Has our body over the last million plus years got it wrong and is modern science the only thing that will save us???? Surely not!!!

In fact modern pseudo science propped up with drug money (prescribed not illegal) has created a world where not that long ago our grandparents lived till 70 with 15 months of illness before they died, now the elderly on average live 10 years longer but with 15 years of disease and infirmity and drugged to the hilt. The average Australian will consume 46,000 medications in their lifestyle. We have a drug problem in the street but the home drug problem is far worse. Fix the drug problem in the home and you’ll fix the drug problem in the streets.

I’m 51, my father was a pharmacist, I was not vaccinated, I’ve never had an antibiotic, panadol or any form of medication, my children are 22, 20 and 18 and they too were not vaccinated have never had any medications prescribed or other. It fascinates me that no one has bothered to study our immune systems. And it is not luck, it is good management and a belief in the body’s innate ability to grow, repair and fight disease by giving it real food and without interference. This is the philosophy of Vitalism it is an ancient philosophy.

Science is not the be all and end all, it makes mistakes and lots of them, just ask any mother who has had their child vaccinated, Meryl Dorey, Cathy Ledger, Barbara Lo Fisher, Jenny McCarthy and thousands of others that know that it was the vaccine that maimed or killed their child. We’re playing russian roulette with not only vaccines but psychotrophic drugs that we then prescribe to autistic, hyperactive, asperges, ADD children. Last week in Sydney a 10 year old child on psychotrophic drugs killed himself. That’s not normal.

Wake up Rachael Dunlop and see the real sceptic problem and stop hiding behind modern science that is funded by the drug companies that produce the vaccine and psychotrophic drugs. And stop lying to the public. Post me the double blind study done on vaccines, if you can find it. What really gets my goat is that the placebo in vaccine studies is all the ingredients of a vaccine without the attenuated virus. It should be saline, any scientist would know this.

O'Meara 31 Mamamia comment 2011

O'Meara 32 Mamamia comment 2011 2

_____________________________________________

* Here is a list of the callous and unethical activities of Meryl Dorey and her AVN cabal:

– Contrary to proclamations by Meryl Dorey, the AVN still welcomes this individual who has sent repugnant emails to grieving parents.

– Meryl Dorey shared a post calling for the summary execution of doctors and researchers, yet waves away any hint of error on her part.

– The AVN sell all manner of questionable content in their online shop: Scientology; AIDS-Denialism; Homeopathy as infection control and prevention; dangerous/corrosive cancer cure advice; and more.

– Meryl Dorey promotes and sells this Measles disease advocacy children’s book.

– Meryl Dorey demonstrably lied about Ken McLeodto the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, in her response to Ken McLeod’s 2009 complaint.

– Meryl Dorey referred to a court-ordered vaccination as “rape of a child…without consent and with full penetration too”. Dorey also referred to pharmaceutical companies and their employees as the equivalent of paedophiles.

– Meryl Dorey sent out a press release defaming journalist Cathy O’Leary, and reiterated her defamatory claims even after being corrected.

– Meryl Dorey and her AVN spread misinformation about Chicken Pox, and mocked the Chicken Pox death of a child as an “April Fools” joke.

– Defending baby-killers, Meryl Dorey uses the term “Shaken Maybe Syndrome”, in her insistence that vaccines are the cause of death from child abuse.

– Meryl Dorey and the AVN consistently refer to critics as members of “hate groups”.

– Meryl Dorey compares herself to the French Resistance, and to ANZACs, whilst decrying critics as Nazis.

– In her attacks on critics, Meryl Dorey started filing fraudulent and vexatious copyright take-down notices.

– The AVN refer to vaccination as “criminal assaults” with dubious evidence for making such a claim.

– Meryl Dorey lied about Whooping Cough deaths, months after being publicly corrected on her same false claim.

– Meryl Dorey instigated the vilification of the McCaffery Family – who lost their baby daughter Dana to Whooping Cough – and enables this vilification to continue:

“Supposedly” (the word which started it all)

Judy Wilyman and Meryl Dorey: as low as it goes

Meryl Dorey: when is repeating a lie about a grieving family okay?

This is what Meryl Dorey said on her AVN Yahoo! Group in 2009, in her agenda of denying that Dana McCaffery died from laboratory confirmed Whooping Cough. Remember, Dorey denies that she tried to get information from Dana’s medical records:

This fits in perfectly with the picture of a callous public health nuisance who likes to intrude where she is most unwelcome, and most unqualified.

– Meryl Dorey and the AVN still welcome this person on AVN fora. The emails sent to a grieving family are just revolting.

– Meryl Dorey and the AVN consistently attack public health officials who the AVN accuse of terrible acts of malice.

– Meryl Dorey advocated that people contact grieving families of babies who had died of SIDS, to enquire if that the child had been recently vaccinated.

– Meryl Dorey continued making fraudulent copyright claims over material which she knows she has no claim. Dorey never substantiates her ownership when any counter-notices are filed.

– When presented with information which conflicts with their message, the AVN refuse to re-invite presenters at their seminars. For the same reason, over 200 people are banned from the AVN Facebook page.

– The AVN Facebook page, apart from Meryl Dorey, appears to be run by a bunch of administrators who appear to have the courage to say whatever they like, about whoever they like, anonymously.

– Meryl Dorey likes to claim she is being misrepresented by her own words.

– Meryl Dorey callously accused the coroner of Natalie Morton of being involved in a “cover-up”, in her pursuit of blaming Natalie’s cancer death on the HPV vaccine. An AVN member also accused Natalie’s father of being paid off in this cover-up.

– Meryl Dorey consistently claims that Measles is a harmless rite of passage. Remember “you didn’t die of it 30 years ago, and you’re not going to die from it today”?

Such a “beautiful soul”.

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About reasonable hank

I'm reasonable, mostly.
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13 Responses to Anti-vaccine chiropractors 41 – The Wellness Evangelicals

  1. Sue says:

    Laurence Tham seems to be some sort of business coach. He runs courses called Nitro that are promoted in this way: ”If you are ready to accelerate your practice and be part of a group of like minded chiropractors are passionate about growing their practice fast.” (http://www.driveyourpractice.com/programs/nitro)

    His next webinar is promoted as:
    ”I’m going to SHOW you…
    5 Key Principles to get out of survival
    How to have clarity, confidence and certainty in your Vision, your Message, and your Practice
    The one key phrase that doubles your retention rate
    How to receive referrals without “asking”
    (copied from https://laurencetham.leadpages.net/how-to-escape-the-survival-practice/?subdomain=laurencetham)

    Retention rate? Soliciting referrals? Both these principles seem to be contrary to the Chiro Code of Conduct advertising guidelines: What is unacceptable advertising?
    ”(b) encourage (directly or indirectly) inappropriate, indiscriminate, unnecessary or excessive use of health services;”
    ”(e) directly or indirectly encourages the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of regulated health services.”

    His video entitled ”How to be an Authority” contains the following components:
    “0:36 The importance of Position
    1:05 how do I get attract new clients?
    1:36 being a trusted advisor means
    1:54 are we under servicing in chiropractic?”

    Code of Conduct. Unacceptable advertising. Indiscriminate or unnecessary use. It’s all there.

  2. Sue says:

    And more about Tham and colleagues, who self-promote as The Wellness Guys:
    “Who are The Wellness Guys?
    The Wellness Guys are three dynamic young wellness experts: New Zealand TV star Dr Damian Kristof, Perth-based wellness coach Dr Laurence Tham, and Adelaide’s own wellbeing guru Dr Brett Hill, author of How to Eat an Elephant.”

    Where do they explain that these people are chiropractors, not medical practitioners?

    Code of Conduct again, guys:
    ”c) ensuring that when using a title, it is not used in a
    way that may mislead or deceive, for example the title “Doctor”/“Dr” must only be used in a manner
    which clearly associates its use with the practice of chiropractic (e.g. Dr J Smith – Chiropractor). Also refer to Section 6.4 Advertising of qualification”

  3. Darkly Venus says:

    I hate to say it Hank, but the HQCC has no mechanism for dealing with unregistered practitioners in Qld. As far as I can tell, they function as a filing cabinet/black hole for such complaints and a referral service for AHPRA if the complaint is about a registered practitioner.

    And I thought the NSW HCCC was useless.

    By only regulating registered practitioners AHPRA is doing a less than a half arsed job of protecting the Australian public.

    Great post. Have you considered making a tabbed Naming Names page? Once you’ve outed them, stick them all on a directory page. I know mine’s effective because the cult have sent cease and desist complaints to Google to have it removed from Google searches.

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  7. Sue says:

    On the Cyndi update – you’ve gotta love the non-scientists telling scientists what proper scientific method for testing against a control substances is! The hubris and lack of insight are astounding!

  8. Sue says:

    Oh – and I’d forgotten about that banning for a photo of a curl – hilarious! (And NATURAL too!)

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