The Sciences

AVN may be closing doors; Meryl Dorey stepping down

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitFeb 3, 2010 3:45 AM

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We have another MAJOR win for reality and skepticism, folks. And this is a good one: Meryl Dorey just announced she's stepping down as head of the Anti Australian Vaccination Network, and that the AVN itself may shut down. Ah, the hits keep on a-comin'. Regular readers may remember Ms. Dorey, that hero of the antivaxxers who has twisted the truth about vaccinations so much it's shocking her tongue hasn't turned into a Möbius strip. She has said no one dies from pertussis anymore... when little four-week-old Dana McCaffery died of that very disease, because herd immunity in her area of Australia was so low. Dorey is an HIV denier. She thinks doctors lie and poison babies. She viciously defames those who disagree with her. It goes on and on. The timing of this announcement is very interesting, seeing as how the Australian Skeptics have been hammering at Dorey and the AVN, and in fact Dorey and the AVN may be held accountable for breaking Australian laws about dispensing medical advice without a license; they are currently under investigation by the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission. They've also been getting a lot of negative publicity, which is the very, very least that they deserve. My friend, the tireless Rachael Dunlop, has been instrumental in exposing the truth about Meryl Dorey, and is largely responsible for holding Dorey's and the AVN's feet to the fire. Reading Dorey's statement on the AVN blog is actually rather interesting. She says:

I am getting older; my children have missed out on so much so I could run the AVN; and at this stage in my existence, I need to be able to work on this subject and still have a life. Without a large injection of capital behind me, I simply cannot continue.

In other words, she's leaving to spend more time with her family. Hmmmm. Also, her use of the word "injection" nearly made every molecule in my irony gland explode at the speed of light. OK, no more snark. Dorey, in that blog post, is asking someone to step up and take her place. I have no doubt someone will, so I expect the AVN will go on without her, spreading their falsehoods, slathering their fearmongering over an unsuspecting and trusting audience, and helping thousands of Australian babies be exposed to pertussis, measles, mumps, polio, and all sorts of other preventable diseases that would have been otherwise eradicated by simple vaccinations. I can hope, though, that without Dorey's voice, the AVN will be far weaker, and if the charges against them hold up, they may fall apart entirely. That would be a very good thing indeed. So whaddya know? Dorey claims she wants to save people's lives. This move on on her part may finally do it.

Tip o' the syringe to HappySinger and the Young Australian Skeptics for this news.

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