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Censorship and Suppression

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Return to Dossier of Attacks on the AVN

Since Stop the AVN was founded in 2009 by Daniel Raffaele of the Young Australian Skeptics, this organisation has continually attempted to stop our organisation from hosting seminars, from being interviewed in the media or even from being allowed to have a website, Facebook page, Twitter site or being involved in any other social media outlet. Below are extracts from some of the letters and other correspondence sent by SAVN members to venues and media outlets.

To a church in SA that was providing a venue for an AVN seminar:

In the letter below, Mr Raffaele makes certain claims about the supposed beliefs of Meryl Dorey, President of the AVN. He makes these claims even though he knows they are untrue. The basis of his statements is an article posted by Ms Dorey on the AVN’s blog in 2009. The article, sourced from the newspaper, the Pakistan Daily, was about the dangers of influenza vaccination. This piece was attributed to a journalist at that newspaper but the full article was sourced from the website of David Icke, a British researcher who has certain beliefs about the illuminati and reptilians on Earth. Ms Dorey was unaware of the connection between this article and Mr Icke and in fact, the article did not mention any of these beliefs. Despite this, Mr Raffaele and many other members of Stop the AVN and the skeptics continue to claim that Ms Dorey agrees with these beliefs because it suits their agenda to do so despite the fact that it is verifiably untrue.

Dear Pastor,

It is my understanding that Meryl Dorey is scheduled to give a talk at your church. I urge you to reconsider the invitation for the following reasons:

– Meryl Dorey and the AVN are anti-vaccination conspiracy theorists and are currently under investigation by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission.
– Meryl Dorey subscribes to many conspiracy theories, including:
– The Queen and Presdient Obama are reptilian aliens with a thirst for human blood.
– There is a European based “Illuminati” that plan a mass cull of human beings by way of the swine flu vaccine.
– Vaccines given at birth are a cover to implant micro-chips into people for the purpose of mind control.
– Meryl Dorey denies the existence of the AIDS virus which has killedm millions.
– The AVN has caused, by way of their rhetoric, a sharp decline in vaccinations in the Northern Rivers region of NSW and as a result there is an epidemic of whooping cough, which has already cost the lives of 3 children.

Yours sincerely,
Daniel Raffaele.

The letter below was written by Dr Rachael Dunlop. In it, Dr Dunlop makes many blatantly untrue statements about Ms Dorey and quotes her out of context. She claims that the AVN, by providing information about vaccination to the general public, caused a reduction in vaccination levels, leading to the death of Dana McCaffery. Of course, this is completely untrue and is intended to incite hatred and fear towards those who have made an informed choice not to accept vaccines.


I write to inform you that Meryl Dorey, the President of the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) is scheduled to give a talk at the XXXXXXXXXXX on Saturday August 15th.

The deceptively named AVN is a rabid anti-vaccination organisation. Ms Dorey, describes vaccines as “instruments of death”, the “biggest hoax of the 20th century” and on the current H1N1 epidemic; “This is a manufactured outbreak, I have no fear in saying that.” Ms Dorey also believes that recent outbreaks of measles were orchestrated by governments for nefarious purposes.

Ms Dorey and the AVN have maintained a consistent anti-vaccination campaign for over 15 years, and her actions have been roundly condemned by experts in the field of immunology and the medical profession.  Although she claims to be “pro-choice” and simply a provider of information to allow parents to make an informed decision about vaccination, the truth is her and the AVN reject vaccination as an option and condemn many other forms of conventional medicine. Indeed, her website sell T-shirts with the slogan “Love them, protect them, never inject them”

The result of the AVN perpetuating misinformation about the safety and efficacy of vaccines has contributed in a reduction in the level of vaccination in some parts of Australia, leading to a loss of herd immunity. Tragically, this contributed to the death of a 4 week old girl from the NSW North Coast recently from whooping cough (pertussis). (See https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/news/2009/20090310_00.html).


Dr Rachael Dunlop (PhD)

In addition to writing letters to venues, SAVN, which is apparently a well-funded organisation, regularly takes out ads in newspapers that serve locations where AVN seminars are being held. Below is one of those ads:




They spent $2,800 hiring an airplane to fly over the venue where I was speaking in December 2011 at Woodford in QLD.

SAVN and the Australian Skeptics have been running a campaign to block all websites and other internet outlets (Facebook, Twitter, etc) that are run by either vaccine critical organisations such as the AVN or natural therapies or therapists. One of their tools is a page called the Web of Trust (WOT). WOT works with Facebook to block any pages which have been rated as being ‘risky’. They way they determine a risky page is through reports from the general public. SAVN and the Skeptics sensed an opportunity very early on in the piece and started to use WOT complaints against the AVN’s website and the websites of others. As a result, Facebook blocked links from within their site to any link on the AVN’s page. This meant that the AVN’s ads which were running on Facebook at the time, were also being blocked. A SAVN member by the name of John Cunningham who is also a doctor, claimed that AVN President, Meryl Dorey, had actually spent all of the AVN’s money so we could no longer afford advertising. Of course, since the AVN’s financials are audited and approved yearly as part of our registration, this is completely untrue. This situation is one more demonstration of how SAVN not only censors information put out by the AVN, but then tries to deflect attention from their own role in this censorship as well.

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