The Bachelor and the Bollocks

By now most of you would have noticed that I’ve recently completed a series of fifty posts on Australian anti-vaccine chiropractors. The proliferation of anti-vaccinationism among chiropractors belonging to the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia is astonishing. I wrote the posts because the Chiropractic Board of Australia has decided to crack down on chiropractors who spread anti-vaccination rubbish:

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]

I can’t wait for the team of crack auditors to start wending their way across the nation.

So, a sordid and demeaning, cattle-auction program called The Bachelor started in Australia, this week. I’m not going to focus on it as it’s the sort of thing I think represents many of the things that are wrong on our tiny blue dot. But, I want to focus on the star, Tim Robards.

Tim Robards is above all else a businessman, socialite, and self-promoter. He is a chiropractor belonging to the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, and the Australian Spinal Research Foundation, after all. He’s all PR, and skin, apparently.

In my recent series I didn’t include Robards’ business, Health Space Clinics, as there was only the one anti-vaccine post on their Facebook page. I started Tweeting this screenshot on the TV show’s first night:

It's all bollocks, of course.

It’s all bollocks, of course.

As a quick aside, you can see in the screenshot that the post was shared from Kate Smith, the rabidly anti-vaccine wife of Robards’ other chiropractic colleague, Adrian Dennewald.

Anyway, the news of the anti-vaccinationism of Health Space Clinics must have got around. In yesterday’s Herald Sun, Andrew Fenton wrote an article raising the issue of the anti-vaccine Facebook post. The article has since been deleted and superseded by today’s version, which I’ll address in a minute. Here is the text of yesterday’s article by Andrew Fenton:

The Bachelor Australia star Tim Robards has refused to comment on anti-vaccination propaganda promoted on his chiropractic clinic’s Facebook page.

The Health Space Clinic’s Facebook page features a link to a discredited 2009 article claiming the risks from the Gardasil and Cervarix vaccines are much greater than the risk of cervical cancer itself.

Robards is co-owner and director of the clinic.

Cervical cancer kills more than 200 Australian women each year and is the second most common cancer among women worldwide.

The post appears to contravene a Chiropractic Board of Australia directive to all practitioners “to remove all anti-vaccination material from their websites and clinics … to protect public safety”.

A spokesperson for Network Ten, which broadcasts The Bachelor Australia, said that Robards would not make any public comment about the anti-vaccination material.

“It’s a professional website, it’s related to his business and not him personally,” the spokesperson said. “It’s a link to a website and it’s not an endorsement.”

Nicole Newton from the Chiropractic Board said the organisation took a hard line on chiropractors promoting non-evidence based views.

“The Board takes a very strong view of any practitioner who makes unsubstantiated claims about treatment which is not supported within an evidence based context,” she said.

The Federal President of the Australian Medical Association Steve Hambleton has called for chiropractors promoting anti-vaccination campaigns to be struck off.

I hope Nicole Newton from the CBA has seen the recent series on anti-vaccine chiropractors. I also hope she would have to agree with Steve Hambleton.

Today, the Herald Sun issued this post (yesterday’s URL takes you to this same story), by Andrew Fenton. What intrigued me, and gave me cause to address the Robards/Bachelor issue, was the defiance shown by Robards’ boss, Nick Wood, in stating that old, tired canard, we support our patients’ choice. Of course you do. Everyone does. That does not go anywhere near addressing the question at hand: WHY ARE YOU PROVIDING ANTI-VACCINE MISINFORMATION? Here is the text from today’s version of the Herald Sun article:

The Bachelor Australia’s boss, Nick Wood, has defended the reality TV star and chiropractor over an anti-vaccination Facebook post.

Tim Robards yesterday would not comment on the HealthSpace Clinic’s Facebook page which features a link to a discredited 2009 article claiming the risks from the Gardasil and Cervarix vaccines are much greater than the risk of cervical cancer itself.

Robards is the co-owner of the HealthSpace Bondi Junction branch.

But the clinic’s director, and Robard’s friend Nick Wood, said the post did not reflect either his or Robard’s views.

“It couldn’t be further from the truth,” he said. “We support our patients’ decisions in whatever choice they make about vaccinations.”

The Chiropractic Board of Australia has issued a directive to all practitioners “to remove all anti-vaccination material from their websites and clinics … to protect public safety”.

A spokesperson for Network Ten, which broadcasts The Bachelor Australia, said yesterday that Robards would not make any public comment about the anti-vaccination material.

“It’s a professional website, it’s related to his business and not him personally,” the spokesperson said. “It’s a link to a website and it’s not an endorsement.”

So, in reply to the non-defence provided by Nick Wood, which didn’t address the questions raised about the anti-vaccinationism of Health Space Clinics, I’ll ask this question: why do you sell anti-vaccination bollocks in your shop?

HSC 3 sell Sipser antivax bookIf you have a look above, third down on the left, you’ll see 7 Things your doctor never told you. That is a book written by anti-vaccine chiropractor Warren Sipser, who is a board member of the CAA’s Victoria outlet. Fortuitously, I covered Sipser’s vaccination chapter in my most recent post:  Anti-vaccine chiropractors 50 – the CAA Boards ExtravaganzaHave a look. It is one of the most embarrassingly inaccurate pieces of crap ever written on the subject of vaccination. And Wood, and Robards, and Health Space Clinics, sell it in their shop. They also sell anti-vaccine chiropractor Jennifer Barham-Floreani’s book, Well Adjusted Babies, which contains anti-vaccine misinformation.

So, has Health Space Clinics removed the lie about Gardasil and Diane Harper from the Facebook page? Of course they haven’t. Here is the link. It’s okay. I’ll do your work for you.

HSC 2 Dianne Haper lie 2And we thought the bollocks in this link was the worst we would see (NSFW).

Robards headTim Robards’ head: full copyright and full attribution to Tim Robards.

Update September 14 2013.

I’m kicking myself a little that I didn’t include this screenshot of Nick Wood, sharing the dishonest petition by the callous anti-vaccine zealot, Meryl Dorey. I already possessed the screenshot, but, due to the volume of anti-vaccine chiropractors, I forgot about it. Not only is the petition dishonest in its claims, Wood adds this dishonest comment:

Would you inject a drug into your arm that you knew killed your brother? I think not.

Buck up with the evidence, Mr Wood. I’m waiting to see it. Pro-choice, my arse.

Wood 1 Dorey petition killed by vaccines

At least he got a caning from his friends due to that horrid little post.

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About reasonable hank

I'm reasonable, mostly.
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12 Responses to The Bachelor and the Bollocks

  1. Darkly Venus says:

    ‘We support our patients’ decisions in whatever choice they make about vaccinations.’

    And take no responsibility for pushing the misinformation upon which those decisions are made.

  2. mochuck says:

    You do know that you could have posted a photo of The Bachelor’s actual bollocks? . The Daily Telegraph even posted a more family oriented version of the photo here http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/pants-down-moment-for-rising-star-and-aussie-bachelor-tim-robards/story-fni0cvc9-1226683968329

    The photo of his bollocks can be found on his Tumblr account and is freely available on the interwebz
    WARNING! GRAPHIC IMAGE!
    http://timrobards.tumblr.com/post/55318937267

    If Tim Robards participating in The Bachelor was intended to confer respectability on the chiropractic profession it has failed miserably. Tim Robard’s participation and his willingness to share photos of his bollocks demonstrate that he is a poor choice of a role model for a profession trying to maintain credibility.

  3. shellity says:

    Similarly, I support my clients’ choice in their decisions about whether or not to wear pelicans on their heads. But I don’t discuss it with them because I’m a copywriter, so that really has nothing to do with my expertise.

    SEE HOW EASY IT IS, BACK-CRACKERERS?

  4. Sarah says:

    We support our patients’ health decisions, including their decision to smoke, take street drugs or not wear a seat belt. In fact, we’re going to supply links to local drug dealers in order to support freedom of choice.

    I hate that “support choice” canard – it’s such a lie! Thanks again, Hank!

  5. Andy says:

    Google has a “mums and bubs” page cached from Sept 3 – but it seems to have disappeared from the Health Space site… cache link

    It’s not exactly anti-vax but does recommend having a kid adjusted before and after vaccination. In as much as it implies vaccinations cause problems that requires dedicated treatment, I’d hardly call it supportive.

    It also recommends chiropractic for “Colic, reflux, constipation, explosive stools, feeding difficulties, bed wetting, digestive issues, allergies, behaviour & concentration issues, co-ordination problems, postural problems, scoliosis, flat or mis-shaped heads, ADD or ADHD.”

    It’s like BCA versus Singh never happened.

    • Sue says:

      So much for the Chiro Board Code of Conduct – guidelines on advertising:
      “3.3 Substantiation of claims
      Practitioners must be certain that they can substantiate any claims made in advertising material, particularly in relation to outcomes of treatment, whether implied or explicitly stated. Unless there is accepted scientific evidence that there are no material risks associated with the type of treatment, an advertisement for health services should alert the public to the fact that there are associated health risks.”

  6. Andy says:

    I wonder if The Project will (be allowed to) cover this story?

  7. Greg says:

    Does he really have qualifications or is he just a co-owner?

  8. Pingback: CAA chiropractor Barham-Floreani presenting and posing with rabid antivaxers #CAAGotYourBack | reasonablehank

  9. Pingback: Antivaxers Gone Wild – meet “The Unreasonable Wank”! | reasonablehank

  10. Pingback: Australian chiropractor’s baby book creates antivaxers – in their own words | reasonablehank

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