Diluted Thinking

in Australian healthcare

AVSN: Meryl Dorey on Vaccine Safety (interview)


The Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network is the subject of a current health warning issued by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission. The warning, in part, states:

"The Commission considers that AVN's dissemination of misleading, misrepresented and incorrect information about vaccination engenders fear and alarm and is likely to detrimentally affect the clinical management or care of its readers."

"Given the issues identified with the information disseminated by AVN, the Commission urges general caution is exercised when using AVN's website or Facebook page to research vaccination and to consult other reliable sources, including speaking to a medical practitioner, to make an informed decision."

For accurate information about vaccination, please visit the Immunise Australia Program website and I highly recommend reading Immunisation Myths and Realities: responding to arguments against immunisation.

Interview transcript.

Host: Hereward Fenton, Truth News Radio Australia.
Guest: Meryl Dorey, Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network.
Date: 19 July 2012

Hereward: Hi, you're with Truth News Radio Australia and it is the 19th of July 2012. Welcome listeners around the world wherever you may be, whether you're in Australia, America or whether you're in some other intergalactic realm tuning in via the cyber frequencies, you're very, very welcome to join the show today. My name's Hereward Fenton and for the next two hours I will be running through a number of very, very important worldwide news stories for you, and in the second hour I will be conducting an exclusive interview with Meryl Dorey of the Australian Vaccination Network.

Meryl Dorey has been campaigning against the dangers of vaccines for decades here in Australia. She has a very large, very well-established group and an excellent website resource which is called AVN, that stands for Australian Vaccination Network, the site is avn.org.au And in the last show, last week, we went through the controversy that erupted over Meryl's apparent endorsement of black salve, the cancer cure, in an interview with Leon Pittard who runs another show. Now of course Meryl's main focus is vaccines but she is currently fighting the Therapeutic Goods Administration over their claim that she advertised this cancer cure whereas, in fact, all she did was talk about it; talked about that she used it once and found it to be quite effective. And due to the incredibly draconian, incredibly bureaucratic, over-arching control systems that we have in Australia, they can interpret that as breaching certain guidelines. Of course, it's completely phony. It's completely ridiculous and we will deconstruct that during the interview.

However, the main purpose of my interview today is to bring our listeners to be familiar with Meryl's work and she's very, very well-researched in many questions about vaccines. She helps parents and people who are trying to decide what they should do, whether they should have a vaccine or not. She's very helpful and, as she puts it, she's simply trying to help people get informed. So that's going to be a really interesting interview in the second hour, so do stay with us for that.

[Hereward proceeds with part 1 of his show. Transcript below is part 2, the interview with Meryl Dorey]

Hereward: Hi, welcome back, you're with Truth News Radio beaming to you from Australia and today we're bringing to you a very special guest who is a leader in the vaccine awareness campaign which, of course, is a very much a global thing with people all over the world have been speaking out and there are many great alternative resources and many really great and principled people, including doctors and medical people, who've actually spoken out about vaccines and safety and some of the, some of the really deceptive practices that have been used by both governments and the large pharmaceutical organisations in terms of keeping the general public in the dark about the real issues of vaccines, the real dangers of vaccines, and even the efficacy of vaccines.

So my guest today is Meryl Dorey and she runs the Australian Vaccination Network which you can find at avn.org.au Meryl was actually on our show about four years ago now, it's amazing how time has gone by. Meryl, welcome back to Truth News Radio.

Meryl: Thank you, Hereward, I appreciate you having me here.

Hereward: Yeah, well it's great to introduce your work to a larger audience and we've got listeners across the US that this show is syndicated through a number of radio stations. It's broadcast out of Austin, Texas, and it's picked up in Oklahoma City and a number of cities around the US and many, many people who are passionate about health issues and the right of people to basically decide how they manage their health, will be listening today.

So Meryl, I've been in the previous hour kind of running through some of the background to this story, some of the background to your, I guess, where you're coming from. And what I was just mentioning there in the previous hour is that we've been subjected to both propaganda of a deceptive nature in terms of the efficacy of not just vaccines, but a whole wide-range of Big Pharma medical products. We've also been subjected to a massive amount of propaganda and disinformation about the negative effects, adverse effects, side-effects of so many drugs and it's really important when you're trying to, I guess, make a decision about whether you want to take a drug, or whether you want to have a vaccine, to understand and get to the basics of what we really do know, because that's where it starts. And you know, all the specific debates about individual drugs, individual vaccines are important but I think it's always really good to actually start with the basics.

And what I actually wanted to do in this show is run through with you, your knowledge about the whole field of vaccines, and some of the key questions I want to address are, do vaccines work; do any vaccines work; what is the overall state of our knowledge about the efficacy of vaccines, and then I want to actually have a look at what the potential risks and adverse effects of vaccines are, generally, across the board. Then I want to look at what the alternatives to vaccines are for people who want to stay healthy, what other things can you do, apart from getting immunised, to keep yourself healthy.

So, I would like to give you the floor, but let's just address, let's get right back to basics. I mean, a lot of people have the knowledge, and certainly the knowledge that I got from school, we were taught that it all started back with Edward Jenner, back in the 19th century and those experiments there with cowpox and the girl who milked the cows, and he did all this research and found out that the girl who milked the cows who got the cowpox, didn't get the smallpox. And then he built, he experimented and he found this sort of amazing technique of innoculating people and that was then replicated and then later on we had many, many different types of vaccines built on the same concept and it is considered to be an established fact of science and medical history that this is incontrovertible fact that this stuff works. I'll just give you the floor to address your views on that, in whichever way you wish.

Meryl: Thanks, Hereward. Yes, I mean I was raised very much believing the party line, that medical party line, that if you're vaccinated you're immunised and that means that you won't be susceptible to getting the disease which is the whole reason that we vaccinate in the first place. And I was brought up to believe that vaccines are the reason that we don't see smallpox, which is the disease that Jenner was vaccinating against. And it was only when I started looking into this issue and started doing the actual research from the medical literature that I discovered that nothing could be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, some of the biggest and deadliest outbreaks of smallpox in Europe and in developing countries occurred immediately following large vaccination campaigns against the disease and that the vaccine itself was causing outbreaks of smallpox. And only when it became legal to say no to the vaccine, because compulsory vaccination against smallpox was the fact in most European countries and developing countries until the early part of the 20th century, only when people were able to start refusing to take the vaccine and the vaccine rates started to go down, did these countries see a precipitous decline in the incidence and deaths from smallpox. So the vaccination had nothing to do with it.

Now, there are tests that are done on medical procedures called double-blind placebo-controlled trials and these are considered to be the gold standard of any scientific investigation and basically, to explain, it's where one group is given a therapy, whether it's a drug or a vaccine, and another group is given something that looks just like the therapy but isn't. And it has to be, by definition, a totally inert substance; in other words, something that will have no effect on the body, on the immume system, on whether or not you're going to be ill or well. So that's something like a saline solution or a sugar pill. And that is the way that any medication is supposed to be tested in order to prove that it works in a safe way. And in over 200 years, we've been using vaccines since the late 1700's, so it's 235-240 years since Jenner, in all that time, we can count the number of true placebo trials of any vaccine on the fingers of one hand. Always when vaccines are trialled, they are either trialled against another vaccine (instead of a placebo), or the components of the vaccination (so many vaccines will have many other components in there; heavy metals, perservatives, formaldehyde, [?] fixitives, all sorts of contaminating tissue from the animal that they were cultured on). So you test a vaccine against another vaccine or a vaccine against something that's almost as toxic, and without that double-blind trial we can't say anything about the safety of vaccines and very little about the effectiveness. And in the United States, in Australia, in the UK - which are the three countries I'm most familiar with when it comes to these sorts of issues - if you look at the government statistics showing the deaths from these infectious diseases - from measles, from mumps, from whooping cough - you will see that before the vaccines were introduced and before the introduction of antibiotics, the death rates from all of these diseases had declined by 90% and more, before the vaccine came in.

Hereward: Right.

Meryl: So, we're looking at whether or not vaccines are effective by saying that vaccines have wiped out these diseases, but's there no evidence for that, and there's no evidence that the vaccines actually prevent you from getting the disease. And in the US and in Australia right now, we're in the midst of a very long-standing outbreak of whooping cough and almost everyone who gets whooping cough has been vaccinated against it. [dropped out] the whooping cough vaccine won't stop you from getting whooping cough, but maybe, just maybe, it will make it milder. So, we're in a situation where there is such overwhelming evidence that vaccines are not preventing disease that the medical community and the governments say now that no, it may not prevent you from getting it, but maybe it will give you a milder case of it.

Hereward: Right, yeah, and so of course the authorities tend to say, well, part of the problem is people aren't vaccinating and, you know, that's breaking the herd immunity, but as you say, most of the people getting it are already vaccinated so that really kind of demolishes that point. But, let's just sort of continue this question about efficacy and the number of vaccines, of course, that have been introduced over time. The vast majority of vaccines were not developed until after the Second World War, would that be correct?

Meryl: That's right. The DPT - diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough - was available before World War Two, but prior to that, there was basically only typhoid and there was the smallpox vaccine, so there were very few vaccinations routinely given before World War Two. But since World War Two, we've had this huge explosion of the number of vaccines being given. Children in the United States right now are given over 60 vaccines by the time they are six years of age, and that's up from maybe two or three vaccines when I was a child.

Hereward: So that is a staggering number. Did you say 63?

Meryl: Sixty. Just over sixty. In Australia, it's over fifty but Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders get more. So, we have this enormous increase in the number of vaccines and there is a doctor at the children's hospital in Philadelphia by the name of Paul Offit who has said that children can easily take up to 100,000 vaccines at one time without any ill-effects and he also owned a patent on a vaccine and sold that patent for, it's reported to be over 20 million dollars. So he's got a little bit of a vested interest in making sure that vaccines are accepted. I don't believe that he should be taken as an authority on this subject.

But when it comes to vaccination efficacy, I'd like to recommend a book. It's only downloadable but it costs under ten dollars and it's one of the most brilliant books on this subject on whether or not vaccines work. It's called the Vaccine Illusion and it's written by a Harvard-educated immunologist by the name of Tetyana - and I cannot pronounce her last name, it's a very long Russian name - but it's one of the best books on this subject. And what Tetyana explains so clearly is that all vaccines are meant to do, and the only way that we test them to find out whether they are effective, is whether or not they induce the production of antibodies in a person's bloodstream. So what they'll do is they'll vaccinate a group of people and then they'll draw blood three weeks, four weeks, down the track and they'll say, yes, we have x number of antibodies to this disease in the person's bloodstream and that means that that person is immune to the disease, therefore the vaccine has worked. And what has been known since the 1930's is that antibodies, whilst they are a part of the immune system, are not the most important part of the immune system, and even if you have high levels of antibodies you can still get the disease because the other parts of the immune system have not been activated. So you are not immune, you are not protected and therefore...

Hereward: [interrupts Meryl] Meryl, we're just about to go to break. Thanks for that. I may actually get you to call back on the landline number, we're actually having little micro dropouts as you're speaking. I'll give you that in the break. We're with Truth News Radio Australia, please stay with us.

[ad break]

Hereward: Welcome back, you're with Truth News Radio Australia. My guest today is Meryl Dorey from the Australian Vaccination Network. We've transferred you to a phone line, Meryl, I think we'll get a better quality voice signal from you now. I do have a guest call in as well, on the line. I've got Logan from Texas and we'll just get that call up. Logan from Texas, welcome to the show.

Logan: My question is pertaining to the efficacy for vaccination, not necessarily if they are injected into the bloodstream, but is it different when you have something, a vaccine that utilises the mucuous membrane rather, if that would have any more significant of an impact?

Meryl: That's an excellent question. The old vaccine that we used to use for polio, the oral polio vaccine, appeared to have a different sort of effect on the immune system because it did pass over the mucuous membranes, and the nasal vaccine for influenza also appears to have a different effect. But again, the only part of the immune system that these vaccines are actually trying to activate, or to bring into play, is the antibody part of the immune system. So, it's not a full-blown immune effect, but the only way to get true immunity to any disease is to contract it naturally and then to recover from it. So, yes, it is a different response from the immune system view when you do something orally or pass the immune system... through the mucuous membranes, sorry, but it's still not a true activation of immunity and that's why constant boosting is needed with more and more vaccines.

Logan: I do have one more question, if I may.

Hereward: Sure, sure, go ahead.

Logan: I'm happy to say that I've got both of my kids a waiver for their school, but I'm serious, but you would suggest that if there was an epidemic and people were clearly dying in large numbers, I guess what would be the driving factor to make anyone think twice about whether they're truly gonna be [garbled]... would that be a good option at that point?

Meryl: Ok, I can't give medical advice, I'm not a health professional myself, but I have considered this issue for my own family, and I can only tell you this from my perspective. To my way of thinking, I haven't yet seen evidence that any vaccine can prevent you from contracting a disease. And even in epidemic situations only about 5% of the population will contract the illness that's going around. There have been exceptions like the black plague but you know, in general, only about 5% of the population will contract the disease. The question isn't necessarily what will help prevent myself from getting the disease, but why are other people not getting it? And from my research, the immune system is the main protector for all of these diseases. And if you keep your immune system healthy you should be able to a) prevent yourself from getting the disease and b) if you do get it, recover from it. So to my way of thinking the best thing you can do for yourself and for your children is to make sure that their immune system is strong. And that's a whole range of options which we'll probably be talking about later on, like nutrition and natural therapies, vitamin supplementation, that sort of thing. And that's what we've chosen to do with our family. We also use homeoprophylaxis, sorry, I used it only during an epidemic of whooping cough, but a lot of people use it all the time; and that's homeopathic remedies that are meant specifically to prevent the infection [garbled] and that's an option for parents to use.

Logan: Fair enough, thank you very much.

Hereward: Thanks very much, Logan. Look, we've got another caller on the line, Meryl, let's just take another call and we'll probably move on with the rest of the questions I've got for you in the next segment. I've got Mike from Florida on the line. Mike, welcome to Truth News Radio.

Mike: Hi, how are you doing?

Hereward: I am extremely well, it's great to have you on the line today. What sort of questions would you like to pose for Meryl, or what are you basically calling in about?

Mike: Well, I'm calling about where's the natural vaccinations. Is there no natural vaccinations being talked about, it's all [garbled] government gives our children and our senior citizens and even the ones [garbled] and not knowing any better what's in that. You know, I mean, if you go back to our ancestors, before there was vaccinations, before there was any of this, they used what earth provided us.

Hereward: Yeah, look, really excellent question. And what I might do is I'll just get Meryl to answer it briefly now because I actually want to go into it in more depth later on in the show. But Meryl, can you just respond to that briefly now?

Meryl: Yes, the thing is that both immunisation in every other developed country, information on natural preventatives has been suppressed, simply because there is no money to be made by pharmaceutical companies in publicising that. Natural products can't be patented and therefore the drug companies can't make money off of them. But there are a huge range of natural ways to stay healthy and to maintain your health. And we are hoping, that's one of the things the Australian Vaccination Network is very active in and your American groups are also, is trying to push for open information, open access to all information, so you can make those decisions and know about them.

Hereward: That sounds great. Mike, are you still there? I think we may have lost Mike, are you there, Mike?

Mike: I'm here.

Hereward: Any further questions there?

Mike: Yeah, I think she's spot on about there not being no money made and the more they vaccinate people and get them to get these sicknesses and illnesses then they have to spend more money and more money and the circle goes on. I think that you know that the people, we need to know about natural things, we need to know that there are natural herbs out there that can boost our immune systems, it's going to take us to make that happen. But without knowing about it, it's never going to happen. I hate to say it, but a lot of people.. it's inevitable.

Hereward: I really strongly agree with what you're saying there, Mike. In this country we have a government and a kind of a cartel of interests that are working very, very relentlessly to make it difficult for people to get that information and we'll be talking more about that later on in the show. Basically, the organisations that are set up to supposedly protect the consumer are being used to actually keep the consumer in the dark about alternatives. Meryl, do you want to make a quick point on that?

Meryl: Sure. What you're saying is absolutely right. The Food and Drug Administration in the US is the group that's supposed to be protecting your health, making sure that foods are safe and drugs are safe, and yet they do absolutely nothing to do that. All they do is try and suppress information on the other side. And they are right now under huge amounts of pressure because there are people from the inside, whistleblowers, that are coming out of the Food and Drug Administration to talk about how they have been quashed, how they've not been allowed to give out information on the dangers of drugs and vaccines and food products, the things that are approved as food in the US and in Australia too, that you wouldn't want to feed to your farm animals, let alone to your children, is just amazing. So the tide is turning but it's going to take a lot of people getting very active and well-informed before we actually see these changes.

Hereward: Great. Look, we're about to go to break shortly. Thank you very much, Mike, for those calls, it's been great talking to you today.

Mike: Thank you, and it was great talking to you guys.

Hereward: Absolutely, thanks. Meryl, in the next segment I want to get into the questions about the adverse effects and the reasons we really should be concerned about vaccines, beyond the question of efficacy. You made the really important point there, that the whole case for efficacy is based on essentially antibody counts, which really doesn't prove that you're immunised, it only proves that you got an antibody, but then we've shown that people can still get sick even though they've got the antibodies.

So, the next question we want to address is what are the risks. So you're with Truth News, stay with us, we'll be right back after these ads.

[ad break]

Hereward: Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome back, you're with Truth News Radio Australia, it is great to be with you today. I am talking to Meryl Dorey from the Australian Vaccination Network. Meryl, let's continue with the questions about the risks and adverse effects of vaccines.

Meryl: Yes. Now we're told many times that vaccines are perfectly safe and one of the reasons why they're never tested against the placebo, as we talked about in the last segment, is that they are assumed to be safe and effective and the government and the medical community then consider it to be unethical to test them for safety and effectiveness by leaving one group unprotected. So, a lot of what we know about vaccinations - and we don't actually know, it's guesswork. There's a fantastic list of vaccine ingredients and their side-effects, and if somebody wants to email me I'm happy to send it, but what we know is that the individual ingredients of vaccinations are very toxic. They have a long history of toxicity and the side-effects that happen from vaccinations are very often related to the ingredients that are in the vaccines themselves. And these range from what most parents would know about which is swelling at the site and fever, which are not considered to be serious unless they go beyond a certain number of days of swelling or a certain temperature for fever, all the way through to permanent brain damage, death, sudden infant death syndrome, autism, ADD/ADHD, probably most people would know that we're in the middle of an epidemic of autism right now. And thirty years ago, when our vaccination schedule only contained about 18 doses of vaccines by school age, 1 child in 20,000 was considered to be autistic. Today, that figure is 1 child in 20. So, you know, we've had an enormous increase in the rate of autism, and behavioural disorders are even higher. One American child in two now is being treated for chronic condition, a chronic health condition. So they're on medicine every day for some sort of chronic condition and that never used to happen. We don't even know what a healthy child is anymore and vaccines can be related to a lot of those situations, as well as the over-use of antibiotics and our poor diet. And one child in six in the United States is learning disabled.

Our kids are suffering from over-vaccination, from over-drugging, from so many other situations, and we're not doing anything about it. Our governments are saying there is no problem, our medical community is just saying let's write another prescription, and our kids are failing in school, they're failing at life, they are sick all the time and it's a really sad situation. And vaccines have a lot to do with that. They're not the only cause but they are contributing, and this sort of information has been written about in medical journals and peer-reviewed literature and yet parents are not being made aware of this fact and unless they actually do some research on their own, they're never going to know about it. And that's why the AVN says that as a parent, it's our responsibility to know what it is we are giving to our children, not only through what we feed them which is extremely important - our diet determines so much about our health - but about what sorts of treatments we give them when they're sick and how we keep them healthy. You know, if we were going out tomorrow to buy a new car, we would probably read articles in magazines, we would speak with friends about what cars they were happy with, we would do test drives. We wouldn't lay down our money on the counter of that car yard...

Hereward: Absolutely

Meryl: ...until we knew that we were buying the best car. But we don't do that sort of research when it comes to our health, and we should.

Hereward: Yes, we should and, of course, that should be upheld by the regulatory, I guess, systems that are set up should also be there to ensure that the market is free and fair. But unfortunately the game appears to be fixed. So they're basically, they're in bed, the government is in bed with the manufacturers, the Big Pharma, and they're trying to limit our choices and they're trying to keep us in the dark about the dangers. And of course one of the things that I think is a real problem with a universal healthcare system like we have in Australia is that the government is then entering into these massive contracts, they are monopoly, really, arrangements with the few big players who dominate the industry, and they decide what is best for us. Then you go to your doctor for your free medical care but well, a) it's not free, you are paying for it out of your taxes, but b) you're only getting what they decide you should have. I know it's a little bit off-topic here, but what do you think about that, the framework of the way the society runs universal healthcare. We've got a real problem there, haven't we.

Meryl: It's so corrupt it's not even funny. In Australia, just like in the US, the government is trying to stop access to all natural therapies. And the way of proving how even-handed the government is, they have appointed someone to study which natural therapies are approved in Australia to say whether or not we can use them. And the person that they've chosen to study these natural therapies is the Chief Medical Officer in Australia, a man who is a doctor and is medically-trained, and has absolutely no expertise in any natural therapy. And he is going to be the final arbiter as to whether or not we are able to use homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic care, all of these other natural therapies, many of which like ayurvedic medicine and chinese herbal medicine have been used for thousands of years, whereas mainstream medicine maybe a 100 or 150 years, and yet because the government says that this is approved, even though they've never tested any of these things, we may lose our access to use these therapies. And it's crazy and people are going to die as a result.

In the US, western medicine is the number one cause of death. So you are safer driving drunk than you are going into a hospital in the United States. Those are the official statistics. And yet, we are doing nothing to control the out of control death rate that's occurring because of western medicine, but we're trying to suppress and take away the rights of people to choose natural therapies, which have been proven over time to be safe and effective.

Hereward: And we also suppress the research that is being done even by highly qualified people that would alert us to the dangers. And I just wanted to get your take on the Andrew Wakefield saga because obviously that was one of the... Dr Andrew Wakefield of course did a very important study into the MMR vaccine and its connection with autism. His reputation was completely destroyed by a series of very, very aggressive, very underhanded journalistic attacks, which then actually led to his being... his licence being revoked by the General Medical Council in the UK. And yet, the research he's done hasn't actually been refuted. I mean, can you just give your take on that, Meryl?

Meryl: Yes, well, Andrew Wakefield is actually living in Austin, Texas, now and still doing research and work out there even though he's no longer licensed as a doctor. As he said, they can't take his education away from him.

Hereward: Indeed.

Meryl: Wakefield published a case series, it's not merely a research paper, a simple case series along with twelve other researchers and it was published in The Lancet, which is one of the top medical journals in the world, in 1998. And because it was such a controversial subject, they actually had twice the number of peer-reviewers - now these are people who read an article to say that everything is fine and dandy before it goes to print - and there were twice the number of peer-reviewers working on this article and they published it because they said that it was true. And all he did was he said that they had these twelve children who came through his doctor's office - now he was a gastro-enterologist, he worked on the gut - and he had these twelve children who he treated, and all twelve of them, their parents said that their children got problems and autism started after the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. And at the end of the article he said, I believe that we need to look at whether or not combining these three vaccines in one, is causing this problem. He didn't say that it caused autism, he said that he felt that there needed to be more research into it. But because anything that calls into question the safety or effectiveness of vaccinations must be stopped, he was stopped. And all of his researchers who worked with him were stopped. Ten of them recanted in order to keep their jobs. Three of them lost their licences and one of those three, John Walker-Smith, recently got his licence reinstated by the High Court in the UK.

Hereward: I'll just have to pause you there, Meryl. We're going to break, we'll continue with that very important topic there about Dr Andrew Wakefield after the break. You're with Truth News Radio Australia, really really important interview, please stay with us, we'll be right back.

[ad break]

Hereward: Hi, welcome back, you're with Truth News Radio Australia. My name's Hereward Fenton and I am talking to Meryl Dorey who runs the Australian Vaccination Network. If you'd like to call in and have a chat, you can call us on 1300153372 in Australia or 5126461984 in the US.

Meryl, just finishing off the story there about Dr Wakefield, of course, his practice, his licence to practise, was revoked after Brian Deer wrote a series of horrendous articles about him in, basically, a tabloid newspapers, and then that led to this inquiry by the General Medical Council. I think this chap Brian Deer certainly seems very suspect to me in terms of what his motivation is for doing this. And now Dr Wakefield in Texas and currently trying to sue the General Medical Council.

Meryl: Yes, he's taking legal action against the British Medical Journal which published the articles, the slanderous articles by Brian Deer. He's taking action against Brian Deer and the editor of the British Medical Journal, Fiona Godlee. And those cases are going to be heard in Austin, Texas, and I really hope that he prevails. The interesting thing is that Andrew Wakefield is not at all the first person to link vaccination with autism. Now autism was first described in the medical literature in the late 1930's, early 1940's, by someone named Tanner. But if you look back in medical journals - and I have medical journals going back to the year 1910, 1911 - there was something called postvaccinal encephalitis, and encephalitis is a brain condition - where doctors were describing conditions that looked and sounded just like autism, but there was no name for it at that time. And they were saying that vaccinations were causing it and that these conditions were occurring following vaccination. So it's...

Hereward: Ok, it looks like we've had a dropout here, we're having a few problems with the internet today. I do apologise to our listeners for that.

Meryl: Ok, I'm not sure of how much of that got ahead but the connection between vaccines and autism has pre-dated Andrew Wakefield by a good 70 years. And since Wakefield published his first article in 1998 there have been dozens of articles published in medical journals saying that what he originally postulated, that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine could be related to autism, is true. And in fact, all vaccines have been linked with autism in susceptible children. And there have been two court cases that are very public in the US for children who developed autism after vaccination, and the vaccine courts have granted compensation because they said that the vaccines caused the autism, and there's at least 80 more that have not been publicised, where the vaccines causing autism led to compensation. So, there's no doubt that vaccines can cause autism, it's just a matter of whether or not the media or the government or the medical community will admit that openly.

Hereward: Let's hope that Dr Wakefield's able to restore his reputation because from everything that I've seen, and I've watched a number of interviews with him, he seems like a person of integrity. He seems like a true whistleblower and what we've seen again and again is whistleblowers tend to be punished and persecuted in our society. And he's really suffered to an extreme degree. I mean, he's really, they've really destroyed this man who appears to be someone who was just motivated by the real greater good. I mean, we hear this term the greater good bandied around and used in a completely dishonest way to basically sell us things, but this is a man who really is concerned about it and he clearly had a lot of moral dilemmas in his mind about even doing what he did. I mean, it's just... we are reaching a point now where I think it is going to change. I think the tide is turning.

And Meryl, we don't have much time left in the show. Let's just quickly run over the current controversies and problems you are having with the Australian government. Last week I covered on the show the fact that the Therapeutic Goods Administration here is after you because you advocated the use of a herbal ointment for cancer. Now, maybe if you could give a quick run through of that and other topics you are basically having trouble with in relation to the government.

Meryl: Yes, now I never advocated the use of black salve, I have to correct you there. The Therapeutic Goods Administration came after me the first time because we've sold a DVD on our website - now we've got a web shop with books and videos and DVDs in there - and one of them was called "One Answer to Cancer" which discusses the use of black salve to treat cancer. And the Therapeutic Goods Administration forced us to take that down off of our website because they said that even talking about black salve was the same thing as advertising it and black salve is banned in Australia, so you can't advertise it. And then Leon and I discussed this on the Australian radio program, Fairdinkum Radio, and a second complaint was filed again saying because we discussed this issue we were advertising the use of black salve. And the program was discussing how our rights are being taken away because we can't discuss it. So...

Hereward: [interrupts Meryl] Incredible. Absolutely incredible. And the mere fact that you described an experience you had with this, is now called advertising. I mean, that's just such a bending of the definition of the meaning of the word that it just boggles the mind. But do continue.

Meryl: It is. It is. I don't sell black salve, I don't make money off of it, I did use it and it did cure cancer that I had. But I'm not allowed to say that. And here I've said it again.

Hereward: Oh dear, here we go again. You're only making it worse for yourself, Meryl. I mean, I'm going... I'm expecting an email any day now, too. I mean, I talked about it, I said the forbidden word, you know. Reminds me of Monty Python, a scene from a Monty Python movie. But anyway, so the TGA wants to shut you down because of that and what about the whole business of what you're doing with vaccines, what are they saying about that?

Meryl: There's an organisation that's worldwide, skeptics, and they have a group in Australia, the Australian Skeptics. And the Australian Skeptics have set up an organisation called Stop the AVN. And their job, their role and goal in life, is to shut our organisation down anyway they can. And they have done everything from death threats through to absolutely abusive language. They send violent pornography to myself and other members, they've threatened our advertisers, they've done everything they possibly can. They've just taken out an ad on Facebook, I'm looking at it right now, it says "Stop the Australian Vaccination", there wasn't room for "Network", so it's kind of ironic, and it says "find out the truth about vaccination and the lies spread by Meryl Dorey and the AVN". So slander and defamation are nothing to these people. And they basically want to shut us down and they've been trying very hard to do that for almost three years now.

Hereward: Incredible. Incredible. We're just running to the end of the hour. Meryl, your website of course, avn.org.au, an extremely useful resource. It's been really really good to have you on today, I do apologise for the technical hitches we had today, I'd love to get you on again and I'd like to go through maybe a series of interviews with you where we get into more of these details. And I think a lot of people are interested and will probably call in. So, thanks a lot for your participation today.

Meryl: Anytime, that's wonderful, thank you for that.

Hereward: Absolutely. Thanks, Meryl. Well, that about wraps it up for Truth News for this week. We'll be back next week, see you then.

Source: Meryl Dorey on vaccine safety