Diluted Thinking

in Australian healthcare

AVSN: Living Wisdom Ceases Publication

For background to this post I recommend reading AVSN: Living Wisdom Scam.

On 12 January 2013 the AVSN announced in this e-newsletter that it was ceasing publication of its magazine Living Wisdom.

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announcement that Living Wisdom publication has ceased AVSN announcing cessation of Living Wisdom magazine

Living Wisdom ceases publication

It is with a great deal of sadness and not a little regret that the AVN national committee announces that Living Wisdom magazine will no longer be published.

I'm fairly certain that existing members and subscribers had worked it out for themselves that Living Wisdom was not being published. Since January 2010 the AVSN had not managed to publish the equivalent of a single year's quota of magazines up until the start of 2013.

As to sadness and regret this must surely be the understatement of the century.
From January 2010 the AVSN has conned, banked approximately $340,000 in receipt for magazines that it's never published. The only expense incurred for this profit was payments made to Meryl Dorey.

I am unable to tell you the amount Dorey was paid due to the AVSN's obfuscation of its finances to all and sundry, including its regulator, Fair Trading, which is still waiting for the AVSN 2011 Annual Statement (six months after the deadline). I can tell you Dorey received $15,840 in 2007 and $17,490 in 2008, and it was back in March 2005 when Dorey first suggested publicly that she pay herself $300 per week.

The AVSN confirmed in the above newsletter that Meryl Dorey will no longer be paid in light of Living Wisdom being discontinued.

We are currently negotiating with several other health and lifestyle publications to continue to serve our readers and hope to have the final candidates ready to reveal to you by late next week.

If all goes according to plan, you will all be able to choose from several publications to give you the number of editions you would have been entitled to had Living Wisdom continued.

No mention of refunds. And no mention if non-members who subscribed via a third-party provider will be able to transfer their subscription to another publication.

The AVSN is already deleting posts on their Facebook page from members who mention "refund".

People are entitled to a refund; the AVSN has failed to supply goods they sold. Unfortunately, consumers who subscribed directly through the AVSN are not covered under Australian Consumer Law. If the AVSN is unable or unwilling to refund subscriptions, the consumers only option is civil action. Consumers who subscribed through third-party providers are protected under Australian Consumer Law.

True to past form, the AVSN also announced a new fundraising drive. These usually coincide with an effort to publish a magazine, or in this case, have the funds to swing a deal to get a replacement magazine for its subscribers. In other words, members and subscribers are once again being asked to pay for their magazines multiple times.

We are sorry that we will not be able to continue producing Living Wisdom. The AVN has published a newsletter first and then, a magazine since 1994 and we had planned to continue publication until our services were no longer needed. Due to the extraordinary pressures placed on us by both the government and those organisations whose goal is to shut our group down, this will no longer be possible.

Nearly all the pressure placed on the AVSN is due to citizens reporting various breaches of government regulations that the AVSN flaunts with gay abandon. Operating within mandated requirements, like the vast majority of other charitable institutions, would see this pressure disappear.

The AVSN announced that Living Wisdom would change from a quarterly publication to bi-monthly at the start of 2010, nearly a year after the AVSN came under scrutiny from the public and government authorities. From the very start, the AVSN never came close to its promises with only two magazines published in 2010, one in 2011, and two in 2012. It is highly questionable if the AVSN honestly intended to publish six magazines per year, and was simply offering a shinier carrot to lure new subscribers.

For now however, we have reintroduced AVN membership which, while it won't give you a magazine to read, will enable us to continue publishing e-newsletters (like this one), blogs and working for you and other Australians.

E-newsletters and blogs. A refreshingly honest statement from the AVSN.

Membership, which will now be annual and not reliant upon magazine subscriptions, is $25 a year. If you are already a member, please don't rejoin right now - we will be contacting all members over the next couple of weeks to let them know how much time their membership has left to run and also to find out what publication they would like to select to replace the balance of their Living Wisdom subscriptions.

But the honesty didn't last long. Membership to the AVSN has consistently been advertised as annual. The only mention of membership being connected to magazine subscription was when Meryl Dorey stated this in a newsletter to defend herself against claims the AVSN was being dishonest and/or running a scam. The final Living Wisdom, published last year, clearly shows that all levels and types of membership was per year.

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Advertisement in Living Wisdom 10 clearly showing membership is per year Advert in Living Wisdom showing all membership is per year

The absolute proof that Meryl Dorey's explanation was dishonest is contained in the AVSN's Model Rules (constitution) which states:

Part 2 Membership

1. Membership Qualifications

A person is qualified to be a member of the association if, but only if:

  • the person is a natural person who has paid their annual membership fees.

6. Fees and Subscriptions

A member of the assocation must on admission to membership pay an annual membership fee as determined by the committee. Membership fees must be paid for each calendar year of membership.

Membership is annual. The constitution makes no reference whatsoever to magazines. The AVSN is welcome to provide evidence that it obtained a vote from its membership to change its constitution from annual membership to membership based on magazine subscription, and that it held another vote of the membership to change it back to annual membership again.

If your membership has lapsed however and / or you are not a member but would like to join and support the AVN, now would be a great time to do so!

Please click on the link below to be taken to our website.

Caveat emptor.

No Australian business could sell goods and not supply them for three years without authorities stepping in and taking action. It seems ridiculous that this charity - an incorporated association operating with an authority to fundraise - can do what it pleases and the public has no protection. For the ultimate in irony, the government authority that protects consumers in New South Wales from shonky businesses is NSW Fair Trading, the same body that regulates the activities of incorporated associations.

And do take care when visiting the AVSN website, it is still hacked.