O Hank, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive

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Response to Hanks blog by Brett Smith in black bold italics
Anti-vaccination doxxing and defamation, the HCCC, and Holdsworth House Medical Practice

Posted on February 8, 2018 by reasonable hank

This post will be a little self-indulgent, in that it has been coming for a long time – fifteen months in the making – and that the circumstances surrounding the doxxing, defamation and vilification of a complete stranger, by anti-vaccination activists, continues to this day.

All your posts are self indulgent. That is of course when they aren’t stalking, doxing & defaming. 

Directly related to the above is another subject which pertains to the alleged illegal sharing of my personal mobile phone number to anti-vaccination activists, I argue, originating out of Holdsworth House Medical Practice (HHMP), in Sydney. Whether or not HHMP knows that they are the source of the alleged illegal sharing of my phone number is up for debate. Below, I will include HHMP’s response to an investigation by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC), regarding a complaint that was lodged about the alleged illegal sharing of my personal information by this healthcare provider. HHMP has not and has never assisted me with any requests I have made of them in this matter.

 

Remember all, that here is where this anonymous little coward was ringing a nurse’s workplace to have her sacked. Let that sink in for a minute. This wretched little thing spends his days stalking and doxing midwives doctors and nurses who actually have the courage to question vaccine safety. Then he has the nerve to complain that somehow his phone number got out into the real world. 

Pete, when you ring as many workplaces as you do trying to have nurses sacked, your number is eventually gonna get out there. Snitches get stitches as they used to say. 

I will also include responses from the investigating police station at the time, which would appear to be in conflict with the claims made by HHMP to the HCCC. I argue that this is enough to have the HCCC take another look at the claims made by HHMP and, in particular, its staff.

So…

My name is Peter Tierney. I live on the New South Wales South Coast. I am not a healthcare practitioner. I am single. I am a full-time, single parent to my two kids. You can hear my voice in this ABC North Coast interview about this exact topic. This exact topic exemplifies best why I keep my identity – apart from my name – and those of my children, a secret. Check out my testimonials page for further examples as to why this secrecy is a good idea.

 

I love it when Pete starts moaning about his lot in life.  He is the gift that keeps giving. 

First up, let me be transparent. I despise the Australian Skeptics and the Friends of Science in Medicine. These are front groups for pharmaceutical companies to attack the families of vaccine damaged children and dox any healthcare professional who raises the urgent issue of vaccine safety. 

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Australian Skeptics L-R; President Eran Segev, Philip Peters, Peter Rodgers, secretary John Sweatman, Dick Smith founder of Australian skeptics, Vice President Richard Saunders, Vice President Rachael Dunlop, Peter “Ratbag” Bowditch.

Only a select few are paid for their antisocial behaviour, Tiernan being one. Most are just lonely degenerates who want to belong to something (anything) so they can get by without the financial benefit. Then you have the poor souls who are actually true believers. They honestly believe Merck has a patient’s best interests at heart and profit is secondary to pharma saving the world. 

Now while I hold a special contempt for the actual doctors in these groups (they can and do know better), at least they have the courage to troll under their own names. They have to really, because pharma wants the public to see a real doctor selling their bogus vaccine schedule. They can’t just have a dole bludging father of two leading the charge. Zero credibility. But, and it’s the only concession I will make for the Skeptic doctors, they do it in their own names. John (JC Bigears) Cunningham of course, has multiple anonymous accounts because his love of trolling and stalking women online is too great to suppress. 

Back to Pete though. For some reason he needs his anonymity. For some reason his case is so ‘special’ amongst his crazed skeptic crew, that he needs to be anonymous. We shall find out why as we move forward. Of course, there is the possibility that Hank is the Skeptic’s biggest coward?

My name is not Peter Tiernan. Peter Tiernan lives on the NSW North Coast. He is a healthcare practitioner (a physiotherapist). He is married. As far as I know he has one daughter. You can hear his voice in this ABC North Coast interview about this exact topic, given the day before my interview.

 

Ok, let’s try & keep up with Pete’s forked tongue and warped mind here, shall we?

So Hank claims to be Peter Tierney and this poor innocent soul above, Peter Tiernan, is just some innocent bystander caught in crazy antivax crossfire. At this point let us accept that as truth. Let’s ask ‘Tierney’ where he went to school and with whom? We’re also curious about his relationship to the McCaffery family. How odd would it be if we had a Peter Tiernan and a Peter Tierney who both went to school with Jane (pharma stooge) Hansen and both were intricately related to the McCaffery family? Wouldn’t that just be an astounding coincidence?

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Peter Tiernan was school captain of Mullumbimby High School in 1983 and was in the same class as Jane Hansen.

In the course of investigations into this whole debacle, NSW Police verified both of our identities as separate individuals living in different regions of NSW. We both did this in person, at our local police stations, using our real faces and our real driver’s licences with our real names on them.

Fact or fiction? As the Skeptic tools are so fond of saying, “citation please”? 

Anti-vaccination activists, led by Belgin Colak-Arslan and the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network’s Brett Smith, both of Sydney, wrongly identified Mr Tiernan as me, because: our names are similar; he grew up with the McCaffery family, whom I have known only since 2009; he went to school with journalist Jane Hansen, whom I have only known, but, never met in person, since about 2010; and he is a healthcare practitioner.

 

Interesting links. Let’s dig deeper. I usually do not like to involve families who have suffered regardless as to whether I agree with their views or not, but Pete continues to hide behind them so I have no choice. 

The McCaffery family tragically lost a baby to whooping cough. Dana McCaffery was only 4 weeks old when she passed away. This is without doubt the worst tragedy a family can endure and for that I am truly sorry. 

This is, coincidentally, where Reasonable Hank was born.  This timing is important. At the time (2009/10), the AVN’s Meryl Dorey was pretty much the only brave soul publicly questioning vaccine safety. She had been subjected to some very vicious attacks by the likes of Peter Bowditch, Ken Mcleod, and Daniel Raffaele. Ultimately this led to public disgrace for the trio when threatening video of them attacking Meryl was posted on youtube (yes, grown men with their own children smh). Here is the link.

 

It all fell apart when Dan R was caught making threatening phone calls at 2am telling Meryl she was “gonna die in a fire” and Ken M posted her address online. Check this video out

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Ken Mcleod posting Meryl Dorey’s address online to incite violence in his hate group Stop the AVN

Pharma was pissed. Their credibility was utterly destroyed and the anonymous Reasonable Hank was born. Check Hank/Bowditch blogs to see how these disgraced creeps nurtured baby Hank into the fully fledged shit sandwich that he is,of course, there is the possibility that Hank is the Skeptic’s biggest coward?.

Hank (‘Tierney’) was outraged that Meryl Dorey publicly challenged the pharma/Skeptic line that poor Dana McCaffery had died from a disease that she caught only because ‘antivaxxers’ refused to vaccinate their children. This truly highlights why morons like Tiernan should never get involved in adult debates, as the pertussis vaccine not only does not work, it spreads the disease it is supposed to protect you from. It is truly criminal to promote this vaccine to anyone let alone the family & friends of new born babies. 

Meryl, correctly, said no. The pharma/government policy recommending that all family members and visitors of new born babies have a whooping cough vaccine, was responsible for spreading the disease and was not only a zero benefit to the community, it probably led directly to the death of this poor child. 

Oh boy, the Skeptics did not like that & voila! a new blogger to attack Meryl and the AVN was born. Peter ‘Tierney’ aka Reasonable Hank aka Peter Tiernan, led the charge with the disgraced trio mentoring his twisted development all the way.

Basically, antivaxers put two and two together and got potato.

Umm, no Pete, we got you. Slowly now, ‘Tierney’ tells us he lives on the South Coast. I don’t deny that possibility, in fact I believe he did at some point. Right next door to his buddy Ken Mc. 

Coincidentally so do many members of the Tiernan family. Same suburb. Interestingly, many have links to the ABC, which I won’t go into at any length right now. Note all the access the ABC gave ‘Tierney’ and Tiernan to tell ‘their’ side of the story. The radio interview where Tiernan actually doxes himself is priceless radio. He also admits to no one having made any threats to his or his family’s safety. When the poor interviewer Joanne Shoebridge, desperate for some juice gives up on any threat made to Tiernan she asks,

What about this Reasonable Hank? Has he had any threats?

“oh yeah, just this morning I, he got this….” whoops! Doxing yourself 101.

Back to this ABC media run of this dull story. Maybe old Hanky can fill us all in on how many Tiernan siblings work for the ABC? Should we look into that mate? Hopefully the public broadcaster was not used to spread a little “Unreasonable Wank” fake news? Hate to see abuse like that. Can you confirm how many Tiernan siblings work at the ABC? Would love to have that cleared up, cheers mate.  

Then they mashed the potato and doxxed Peter Tiernan and his extended family, and continue to defame and vilify Peter Tiernan to this day. They contacted his daughter and his wife on Facebook, for God’s sake. They contacted him at work and threatened him.

Lies. Listen to the interview, particularly at the 2 minute mark. Not once does ‘Tiernan’ say he was threatened. 

At the same time let’s remember that Pete got himself into this position because he rang the workplace of a nurse to have her sacked. No shame. No shame at all. 

He had to shut down his social media presence and change his phone number.

“I was planning to take it down anyway”

“no death threats made” to Tiernan. Poor Hank never lets fact stand in the way of a crap blog.

His work had to start screening his calls due to the threats and abuse. Belgin Arslan even published his address on a public Facebook thread, eliciting a threat from deranged anti-vaccination activist Frank Vazquez:

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For greater detail on the doxxing, please read these two articles on the whole doxxing debacle, by Diluted Thinking:

The Doxxing of Peter Tiernan – an Overview

The Doxxing of Peter Tiernan – the Doxxers

 

Pharma troll referencing pharma troll. How cute. 

So, what tipped these antivax conspiracy theorists over the edge into illegality, apart from their usual Dunning-Kruger certainty?

Look at Pete, so deranged and deluded he actually wrote, “in the course of collecting evidence for my blog series on anti-vaccine nurses and midwives, I came across a Sydney nurse – whom I had noticed some months previously”

Who does this deluded creep think he is? An anonymous little twerp on a mission from Merck?

The nurses and doctors standing up to government & Bad Pharma on the issue of vaccine safety are true heroes. They are losing their jobs and being ridiculed and defamed by an anonymous clown like Hank who spends his days trolling, stalking, & doxing these brave men & women. On taxpayer’s & pharma’s money. 

On October 18 2016, in the course of collecting evidence for my blog series on anti-vaccine nurses and midwives, I came across a Sydney nurse – whom I had noticed some months previously – who bragged in the Anti-Vaccination Australia Facebook group that her workplace knew about and condoned her anti-vaccination activism:

I’m a nurse and will continue to say what I believe about vaccines. They can shove their guidelines up there ass

…my boss and colleagues all know my views on this issue and are fine with it. I have worked here for a long time and my views and beliefs are no secret to anyone in my workplace so I think I’m safe 

 This nurse was Loretta Blaikie (AKA Loretta Salakas, AKA Loretta Baxter). Blaikie included the name of her employer on her public Facebook profile. Blaikie’s employer is/was Holdsworth House Medical Practice. Exercising due diligence,

“Exercising due diligence”?

You mean stalking and doxing taken to it’s most shameful level. Ringing this woman’s workplace to have her sacked. Disgraceful. 

I called HHMP to verify that she did in fact work there. This was confirmed by the receptionist. I advised the receptionist that I would require Blaikie’s AHPRA registration number – to facilitate a complaint about her anti-vaccination activism that cited her employer’s imprimatur

Hank would have been a wonderful gestapo agent except those creeps at least eyeballed you before they shot you in the back. Hank does it from the safety of his mum’s/dad’s/taxpayer’s funded basement. 

– as Blaikie was not using her AHPRA-searchable, registered names in her antivax activism. The receptionist told me I would need to talk to the nursing unit manager, that the nursing unit manager was unavailable, and that I could leave my name and number for the nursing unit manager. I agreed to leaving my name and number for the stated and specific use of the nursing unit manager only, and for no-one else. I stated that the call was confidential.

Ha! ‘Course ya wanted it confidential. You are a born coward. 

I received no reply from the nursing unit manager, and so left another message the next morning, October 19 2016, re-stipulating all of the above. Again, I received no reply from the nursing unit manager.

On October 20 2016, at 0819 hours, I published my article on Blaikie: Anti-vaccine nurses and midwives 26.

Blaikie has since had restrictions placed on her registration:

The registrant must not work as an enrolled nurse until reviewed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of New South Wales and this condition is removed.

A letter sent to complainants, on August 21 2017, by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of NSW, states the following:

Complaint about Ms Loretta Lee Blaikie

Thank you for your letter dated 21 October 2016 about Ms Loretta Lee Blaikie.

The Council considered your complaint and additional information, and decided to take urgent interim action under section 150 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.

Interim conditions have been imposed on Ms Loretta Lee Blaikie’s registration to protect the public. Information about these conditions are available on AHPRA’s website www.ahpra.gov.au. These conditions are temporary and will remain in place until removed, amended by the Council or the complaint is finalised.

This coward is so deluded he proudly displays the results of his despicable activities online. If a normal human being with any decency actually felt committed enough to behave like this you would think they would at least have the decency to be secretly shamed by their actions. Not Hank. Like a sick dog returning to lick up his vomit, he drops this disgraceful act on our doormats as proudly as a sick dog can.

 

On October 20 2016, at 1742 hours, I received a phone call from a senior-constable at a South-Western Sydney police station, who was acting on an in-person complaint of harassment lodged by Loretta Blaikie. I was skeptical that the senior-constable was indeed a police officer due to his thuggish demeanour, his reluctance to provide the phone number for the police station, his vague threats to arrest me, and his devolving argumentation and intimidation which ended in him calling me a “grub.” After some days, verifying with my local police that the call had indeed come from a serving police officer, I lodged a complaint about the officer which resulted in his chief-inspector apologising to me for his behaviour – on November 25 2016 – even though the senior-constable refused to apologise. I agreed to settle my complaint via an informal process. At no stage did I seek disciplinary action. I only ever requested an apology.

 

It’s not often I agree with the NSW police force but in this instance, hats off, salute! You Pete, are a grub. 

When you apologise to all you have slandered, doxed, and called grubs maybe, just maybe, you can bleat about the apologies you believe you deserve. You take the love you make in this world Pete. 

While on the subject of NSW police though, Hank, can you confirm whether or not your/’Tiernan’s’ dad was/is a Byron Bay detective? Hate to see police resources being wasted on pharma troll liars like yourself. 

 

While this NSW Police complaint process was ongoing, a friend had lodged a complaint about HHMP to the NSW HCCC – expanded below – regarding the alleged illegal release of my phone number to anti-vaccination activists. A brief account of the fallout of this alleged illegal release of my number – apart from having to change my mobile phone number for valid safety reasons – is as follows.

You can’t laugh hard enough at an anonymous little creep who was so tight he couldn’t be bothered to buy a $2 sim card for all his defamatory and doxing behaviour. Bet ya have one now you evil little bugger! 

Note to self: next time I dox a hard working health professional I will invest $2 is another sim card. If Hank was a bank robber, the cops would be waiting for him when he arrived home. He would have robbed the bank in his own car. Doh! 

Problem for Hank and this complaint is his number had been in circulation for months before the doxing of this brave nurse. Months you fool and you know it. 

On October 20 2016, at 1833 hours,

 

1833 hours? Hank the dole bludger likes to appear very precise. His buddy Ken taught him well. 

I received a phone call from anti-vaccination activist Belgin Arslan, on mobile phone number 04******69, who conveyed to me that she had just obtained my private, unlisted phone number from a ‘private messaging thread where my phone number was being shared amongst dozens of anti-vaccination activists’. Arslan refused to state the name of the individual who had started this Facebook messaging thread. On October 22 2016 at 1415 hours, Arslan called me again, this time denying that she obtained my mobile phone number from a private antivax messaging thread. She instead claimed she was given the number by Herald Sun Health Editor Grant MacArthur. Arslan then claimed it was given to her by a female Herald Sun receptionist who gave Arslan my number, after checking through messages which had been left (I had not left any messages with the Herald Sun). Grant MacArthur expressly denied these claims as false and impossible, in an email to me. Colak then begged for her name to be left out of any reports to police on this matter. Colak called and texted me several times throughout the day. She continued attempting to call and text me until the end of October 2016. In an act which speaks volumes to Arslan’s deceit and attempt to cover her tracks, and the tracks of others, she texted me to claim that she and Loretta Blaikie had only become Facebook friends on October 23 2016. I know this is a lie. They had already been Facebook friends for several months when I posted my blog post on Blaikie:

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Oh what a tangled web we weave when at first we start to deceive. What is and what is not true ?I’m pretty sure Pete does not either. 

October 20 2016, at 2037 hours, I received a phone call from anti-vaccination activist Brett Smith misrepresenting himself as “Dr Andrew Gowrie” of Holdsworth House, on 04******14. He stated that he was the “on-call doctor”. He stated that he was prompted to call me by, and “on behalf of [his] boss” Dr Dick Quan, Managing Director of HHMP. He stated that he was tasked by Dr Quan to investigate any breaches of privacy at Holdsworth House Medical Practice. On October 21 2016, Smith also sent a text, impersonating Dr Andrew Gowers (a real doctor at HHMP):

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Ah the delicious irony. Gowrie, Gower? Tierney, Tiernan? Note the text sender Andrew Gowrie is simply Andrew Gowrie, not Dr Andrew Gowrie. Not very observant is old Hanky. So desperate to have a nurse sacked he does not take the time to read his texts slowly. 

Not a lot of the rest of that little Hank ramble is true either, but suffice to say, old Hankie tried his damnedest to have the nurse in question sacked whilst at the same time bleating long & hard about his lot in life. He was way more pathetic in real life than I could ever imagine. Why don’t you just give permission for the audio to be released Pete? Scared? Worried you will look like the pathetic little creep you really are? What are your real concerns here? You got nothing to hide? Right?

 

October 22 2016 at 1142 hours

I received another phone call from Dr “Andrew Gowrie”. I recognised Brett Smith’s voice on this occasion and searched for a previous message where his number was shared with me. It is the same phone number as this June 16 2016 Facebook message, from Brett Smith:

Smith-3-Lucas-Jackson-Kelly-Fb-message-phone-number

 

And it’s also the same number Smith publicly posted to a friend, in 2016, with Smith going on to threaten to assault my friend, over the phone:

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Ha! Big Smiffy? Let me tell you a funny story about Big Smiffy. For the time being I will keep his identity a secret. Suffice to say, he is a Brisbane Skeptic. He is a big lump of a man (also a big cat) who specialises is stalking the mothers of vaccine injured/killed children online. Like all big, bad, online bullies their resolve dies when faced with the reality of somebody calling them out. Big Smiffy is one of the most (unintentionally) hilarious trolls I have ever come across. The night he doxed himself by posting, get this, his own home rate notice on Twitter was the most fun I’ve ever had with a Skeptic (unless of course we count the time I caught his fellow Brisbane Skeptic scumbag mate at a vaccination safety rally in Mullumbimby). Poor Smiffy, dumb bastard. thought he’d redacted his actual address. Little did this numbskull realise the address was also typed neatly in the top right hand corner. Doh! 

So, Big Smiffy, as per usual, was making all his standard big threats from the safety of his living room keyboard and I sent the above text. To his credit the poor fool rang. Let’s just say, after giving him a few quick tips on Twitter etiquette, I have never heard from that big pussy cat ever again. If you’re still out their Marty, thanks for the memories. 

When I publicly tweeted that I was now aware of Smith’s impersonation of Dr Andrew Gowers, Smith texted me again:

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Smith texted again on October 31 2016, attempting to intimidate me with blog posts:

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The threat of doxing the serial doxer? Exposing this anonymous little creep? When Hank does it, it is “due diligence”, when it happens to Hankie it is “threatening” “intimidation”. This sad muppet has no idea how ridiculous his stance is. 

Also note that ‘Tierney’ was given the right of reply. He could have, at any point, manned up and said hey wait, you got the wrong guy. Did he? Nope. By his own admission Hank just sat back and let an ‘innocent man’ get doxed. Was his cowardice too hard for him to overcome? Why did you sit back and do nothing Pete? ‘Tiernan’ was also given 48 hours to respond/reply to the blog. ‘He’ also did nothing. Wonder why?

The threats, intimidation, defamation, and doxxing of Peter Tiernan and me then kicked off, in earnest. This Dropbox collection contains over a dozen PDFs of evidence of this attack on Peter Tiernan and me. Smith published three blog posts based on his and Arslan’s poor investigative skills, all defaming Peter Tiernan,

 

I love this bit: “defamed”? How so? Because he was ‘mistakenly’ identified as Reasonable Hank? Isn’t Reasonable Hank a brave individual who just promotes vaccination 24/7 as a service to the community? Wouldn’t any virtuous individual love to be mistaken for Hank? Wouldn’t it be like one of the disciples being mistaken for Christ? I would think most would be proud to be just compared to the mighty Hank? Like Spartacus, I am Reasonable Hank? At least Hank has enough self-awareness to realise no one wants to be mistaken for him. No one. 

a completely innocent man.

We shall thoroughly review Tiernan’s innocence as we progress. 

These blog posts remain published and Smith retweets them on a regular basis. Given that Smith is aware – even via his own solicitor – that NSW Police have verified that Peter Tiernan is not me, I would argue that Smith’s continued defamation and vilification of Peter Tiernan falls into the category of criminal defamation:

 

Pete knows as much about defamation law as he does about immunology. Anyone who wants to have a crack though is welcome to step up to the plate… 

No, the police have not advised me that Reasonable Hank is not Peter Tiernan. Ever. Nor have they advised my solicitor. Untrue. A detective from Byron Bay did contact me but I was advised Peter Tiernan’s father was an ex Byron Bay detective. I advised the polite fellow that if he felt a crime had been committed he should arrest somebody. The end result of that was zero.

I then had a female detective from North Sydney turn up at a clinic I once practiced from to tell me,  “no you haven’t committed a crime we are just sending you a message. Take that blog down, now”!?

Huh? Just sending a message? Looks like Tiernan’s dad was a detective I guess.

The blogs were not taken down as I still stand by them. 

“Smith then started implying – with the assistance of Meryl Dorey of the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network – that we are involved in paedophilia:”

 

Feel free at any time to look into the skeptic’s founder, failed magician, James Randi. One very creepy individual who perfectly represents all that the Skeptics are. A dirty front group for one of the most criminally corrupt industries the world has ever seen, the pharmaceutical industry.

I have heard many disturbing things about Reasonable Hank and have seen first hand his disgraceful and disturbing behaviour and that of his Skeptic peers. Do I think Hank is a paedophile? No. Do I think the Skeptics are infested with them? Yes. It will all come out in the wash, it always does. Just wait and see over the next few years how many ‘ex-Skeptics’ end up convicted over these heinous crimes.   

Here is the Skeptic founder and leader James Randi procurring an underage boy for sex.

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“Arslan and Smith have also repeatedly boasted of being in the possession of illegally recorded  telephone conversations between themselves, me, and Peter Tiernan. In NSW, this is a breach of the NSW Surveillance Devices Act. Both are aware that they did not have permission to record the phone calls, nor share the illegal recordings, nor publish the illegal recordings. To date they have not publicly published these recordings.”

 

In the process of making/editing a documentary I was making on the Australian Skeptics at that time, a camera was inadvertently left on during my call with Hank. It has never been shared publicly, though if Hankie had nothing to hide I suppose he could give permission for it to be? 

Your call, Braveheart. What you got to fear?

So, we are back to where we started from. Hank? Who is he? Tierney or Tiernan or both?

This was a text sent to me a couple of years ago, before this blog was even just a glint in my eye.  You recognise the style Hanky? Anyway until this source retires s/he shall remain anonymous. She/he knows you pretty well Hanky…..knows your interesting ‘backstory’ which even I will admit sounds particularly ‘interesting’. I really can’t wait to finalise your story Pete, write that final chapter. Til then, slowly, slowly, catchy monkey. 
“The c%*t  stalked me in the early days of SAVN so I set about researching him. Contrary to speculation, his real name is Peter Alexander Tierney. He used the name Peter Letienne for a while on Facebook and has also used the names Louise Linton and Deb Manion but there would be others. He lives (or at least used to) in
******* St  Narrawallee NSW. He moved there from the Northern Rivers.
His kids attended ****** Public School and it’s possible he is related
to the McCafferys, the original poster parents for WHooping Cough
propaganda. .His picture used to be available on this member list but has since
been taken down. The Wayback machine may have archived it but I
haven’t checked. meetup.com/AustSkeptics “

For Hank’s  moronic blog to be factual Peter Tierney AND Peter Tiernan had to both, somehow, attend the same high school on the North Coast, both be school chums with Jane (Pharma Troll) Hansen, and both cousins/best buddies of the McCaffery family. AND not know it ‘til my blog was posted.

At this point I have not gone into the links between Tiernan’s parents & their links to the McCaffery family. I have not gone into the links between Tiernan’s siblings and the ABC. I have not gone into details of Tiernan family connections to the Byron Bay Police. I have not gone into details of the Tiernan family and the Dana McCaffery charity.  I can though if you really need more info Pete? How deep shall we go? 

So, let’s clear this up once and for all. A public challenge. A charity boxing match? Winner takes all? 

‘Peter Tierney’, Peter Tiernan, and ‘Big Smiffy’ v Me. 

Yep. ‘Three’ skeptics v One Quack. All at the same time. If the Skeptics win, the money goes to McCaffery charity. When I win, the money goes to the AVN. What do you say, Pete?  Come out from underneath that bed. Stop all the cowardice, all the lies, Let the truth set you free. Stop hiding while all your other dirty Skeptic mates shoulder the burden of being. Whadd’ya say punky? 

 

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Posted in Australian Skeptics, Dr John Cunningham, Jane Hansen, Ken Mcleod, Light for Riley, Meryl Dorey, Peter Tiernan, Peter Tierney, Reasonable Hank, Skeptics, Stop the Australian Vaccination Network | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Prominent Blogger Spoke Out About Sexism in her Skeptic Community. Then Came the Rape Threats

It Stands to Reason, Skeptics Can Be Sexist Too

I spoke out about sexual harassment among atheists and scientists. Then came the rape threats.

Screenshot via Skepchick.org.
Rebecca Watson.

Photo by Larry Auerbach.

I’m a skeptic. Not the kind that believes the 9/11 attacks were the product of a grand Jewish conspiracy—we hate those guys. “Stop stealing the word ‘skeptic,’ ” we tell them, but they don’t listen to us because they assume we’re just part of the grand Jewish conspiracy too.

No, I’m the kind of skeptic who enjoys exposés of psychics and homeopaths and other charlatans who fool the public either through self-delusion or for fun and profit. It’s not just me—I’m part of a growing community (some would even call it a movement) consisting of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who value science and critical thinking. We’re represented by organizations such as the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, which was established in 1976 and has included fellows like Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Stephen Jay Gould, and Bill Nye.

I learned about the skeptics back in college, when I worked in a magic store and performed gigs on the side. I was a huge fan of James “The Amazing” Randi, a magician who offers a million dollars to anyone who can prove they have paranormal abilities. (There’s a huge overlap between magicians and skeptics, both of whom are interested in the ways we fool ourselves.)

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When I first started finding a large audience on my skepticism website, on my podcast, and on YouTube, I wasn’t terribly bothered by the occasional rape threat, sexist slur, or insult about my looks. There was something downright amusing about a creationist calling me a cunt while praying that I’d find the love of Jesus. The threats were coming from outside of my community. Outside of my safe space.

It wasn’t until I started talking about feminism to skeptics that I realized I didn’t have a safe space.

When I first got involved with the skeptics, I thought I had found my people—a community that enjoyed educating the public about science and critical thinking. The sense of belonging I felt was akin, I imagine, to what other people feel at church. (I wouldn’t exactly know—like most skeptics, I’m an atheist.) I felt we were doing important work: making a better, more rational world and protecting people from being taken advantage of. At conventions, skeptic speakers and the audience were mostly male, but I figured that was something we could balance out with a bit of hard work and good PR.

Then women started telling me stories about sexism at skeptic events, experiences that made them uncomfortable enough to never return. At first, I wasn’t able to fully understand their feelings as I had never had a problem existing in male-dominated spaces. But after a few years of blogging, podcasting, and speaking at skeptics’ conferences, I began to get emails from strangers who detailed their sexual fantasies about me. I was occasionally grabbed and groped without consent at events. And then I made the grave mistake of responding to a fellow skeptic’s YouTube video in which he stated that male circumcision was just as harmful as female genital mutilation (FGM). I replied to say that while I personally am opposed to any non-medical genital mutilation, FGM is often much, much more damaging than male circumcision.

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The response from male atheists was overwhelming. This is one example:

“honestly, and i mean HONESTLY.. you deserve to be raped and tortured and killed. swear id laugh if i could”

I started checking out the social media profiles of the people sending me these messages, and learned that they were often adults who were active in the skeptic and atheist communities. They were reading the same blogs as I was and attending the same events. These were “my people,” and they were the worst.

Thinking the solution was to educate the community, I started giving talks about the areas where feminism and skepticism overlap. I encouraged audiences to get involved with issues like ending FGM, fighting the anti-woman pseudoscience of the religious right, and aiding those branded as “witches” in rural African villages.

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In June of 2011, I was on a panel at an atheist conference in Dublin. The topic was “Communicating Atheism,” and I was excited to join Richard Dawkins, one of the most famous atheists in the world, with several documentaries and bestselling books to his name. Dawkins used his time to criticize Phil Plait, an astronomer who the year prior had given a talk in which he argued for skeptics to be kinder. I used my time to talk about what it’s like for me to communicate atheism online, and how being a woman might affect the response I receive, as in rape threats and other sexual comments.

The audience was receptive, and afterward I spent many hours in the hotel bar discussing issues of gender, objectification, and misogyny with other thoughtful atheists. At around 4 a.m., I excused myself, announcing that I was exhausted and heading to bed in preparation for another day of talks.

As I got to the elevator, a man who I had not yet spoken with directly broke away from the group and joined me. As the doors closed, he said to me, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I find you very interesting. Would you like to come back to my hotel room for coffee?” I politely declined and got off the elevator when it hit my floor.

A few days later, I was making a video about the trip and I decided to use that as an example of how not to behave at conferences if you want to make women feel safe and comfortable. After all, it seemed rather obvious to me that if your goal is to get sex or even just companionship, the very worst way to go about attaining that goal is to attend a conference, listen to a woman speak for 12 hours about how uncomfortable she is being sexualized at conferences, wait for her to express a desire to go to sleep, follow her into an isolated space, and then suggest she go back to your hotel room for “coffee,” which, by the way, is available at the hotel bar you just left.

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What I said in my video, exactly, was, “Guys, don’t do that,” with a bit of a laugh and a shrug. What legions of angry atheists apparently heard was, “Guys, I won’t stop hating men until I get 2 million YouTube comments calling me a ‘cunt.’ ” The skeptics boldly rose to the imagined challenge.

Even Dawkins weighed in. He hadn’t said anything while sitting next to me in Dublin as I described the treatment I got, but a month later he left this sarcastic comment on a friend’s blog:

Dear Muslima

Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and … yawn … don’t tell me yet again, I know you aren’t allowed to drive a car, and you can’t leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you’ll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.

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Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep”chick”, and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn’t lay a finger on her, but even so …

And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.

Richard

Dawkins’ seal of approval only encouraged the haters. My YouTube page and many of my videos were flooded with rape “jokes,” threats, objectifying insults, and slurs. A few individuals sent me hundreds of messages, promising to never leave me alone. My Wikipedia page was vandalized. Graphic photos of dead bodies were posted to my Facebook page.

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Twitter accounts were made in my name and used to tweet horrible things to celebrities and my friends. (The worst accounts were deleted by Twitter, but some, such as this one, are allowed to remain so long as they remove my name.) Entire blogs were created about me, obsessively cataloging everything I’ve ever said and (quite pathetically) attempting to dig up dirt in my past. The best they seemed to come up with was that I obtained a bachelor of science in communication from Boston University. The horror! I actually made a joke about this in one of the first talks I ever gave, many years ago: “Don’t take my word for it—I’m not a scientist. I have a BS in communication. I literally majored in talking bullshit.”

Nevertheless, my shameful past as a college graduate was “exposed” and passed around on social media and forums and blogs, as triumphant skeptics demanded I stop writing and speaking about science since I lacked the proper credentials. (Interestingly, no one has ever petitioned for my three non-scientist podcast cohosts to be removed from the show. Probably just a coincidence.)

Just a week after Dawkins’ “Dear Muslima” comment, I was scheduled to speak at The Amazing Meeting (TAM), a skeptics’ conference in Las Vegas that in years past I had fundraised thousands of dollars to send dozens of women to. In the weeks leading up to TAM, a man tweeted that he was attending and that if he ran into me in an elevator, he’d assault me. 

Screenshot via Twitter.

Screenshot via Twitter.

The organizers of the conference, the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF)—the organization started by the person who first introduced me to skepticism—allowed the man to attend the conference and did nothing to reassure me. I attended anyway and never went anywhere alone. This past year I finally stopped attending TAM when the organizers blamed me and other harassed women in our community for driving women away by talking about our harassment.

Other skeptical organizations have been more compassionate. Center for Inquiry (the umbrella organization for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry), American Atheists, and several humanist organizations have enacted anti-harassment policies for their conferences. But still, there are leaders in the skepticism community who refuse to accept that there is a problem, and those who play the “both sides are wrong” game, insinuating that “misogynist” is just as bad an insult as “cunt.”

Meanwhile, other skeptical women are being bullied out of the spotlight and even out of their homes. My fellow writer on Skepchick, Amy Davis Roth, moved after her home address was posted on a forum dedicated to hating feminist skeptics. In September, blogger Greta Christina wrote that “when I open my mouth to talk about anything more controversial than Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster recipes or Six More Atheists Who Are Totally Awesome, I can expect a barrage of hatred, abuse, humiliation, death threats, rape threats, and more.” And Jen McCreight stopped blogging and accepting speaking engagements altogether. “I wake up every morning to abusive comments, tweets, and emails about how I’m a slut, prude, ugly, fat, feminazi, retard, bitch, and cunt (just to name a few),” she wrote. “I just can’t take it anymore.”

I know that this article will only rile up the sexist skeptics. I’ll hear about how I’m a slut who deserves whatever I get, about how I’m a liar who made everything up, about how I’ve overreacted, and about how I should just ignore the trolls and they’ll go away. I’ve written this article anyway, because I strongly believe that the goals of skeptics are good ones, like strengthening science education, protecting consumers, and deepening our knowledge of human psychology. Those goals will never be met if we continue to fester as a middling subculture that not only ignores social issues but is actively antagonistic toward progressive thought.

I also believe that old line about sunlight being the best disinfectant. Ignoring bullies does not make them go away. For the most part, the people harassing us aren’t just fishing for a reaction—they want our silence. They’re angry that feminist thought has a platform in “their community.” What they don’t get is that it’s also my community.

Posted in Anti Science, Atheism, James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), Sexism, Skepticism, Skeptics, Skeptive Dissonance, Social Skepticism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

WHY I AM NO LONGER A SKEPTIC

WHY I AM NO LONGER A SKEPTIC

by
Stephen Bond

Former Skeptic rejects the Skeptic Movement and explains why

REJECTING SKEPTICISM

This is not a tale of how I found Jesus, of how acupuncture cured my haemorrhoids, or of how my alien abductors revealed the ultimate truth about 9/11. I still have no faith in anything supernatural, mystical, psychical or spiritual. I still regard the scientific method as the best way to model reality, and reason as the best way to uncover truth. I’m no longer a skeptic, but not one of my core beliefs has changed.

What has changed is that I have come to reject skepticism as an identity. Shared identities like skepticism are problematic at the best of times, for numerous reasons, but I can accept them as a means of giving power and a voice to the disenfranchised. And indeed, this is how skeptics like to portray themselves: an embattled minority standing up for science, the lone redoubt of reason in an irrational world, the vanguard against the old order of ignorance and superstition. As a skeptic, I was happy to accept this narrative and believe I was shoring up the barricades.

However, it’s a narrative that corresponds poorly with reality. In the modern world, science, technology and reason are central and vital, and this is widely recognised, including at the highest level. On any major political decision, the technocrat speaks louder than the bishop, or anyone else, for that matter. Sure, Bush and Blair were noted god-botherers, but if you seriously think that, say, Gulf War 2 was their decision alone, or that that “God wills it” would have convinced anyone they had to convince, then you’re subscribing to a cartoon view of history. Such decisions are always calculated, reasoned, and backed by dozens of accommodating scientific experts.

Science has a high media profile and a powerful lobby group: in the midst of a global recession and sweeping government cuts, science funding has generally held up or even increased. Hi-tech corporations have massive wealth and influence, and their products are omnipresent and seen as ever more desirable. In fact, the world today would be unthinkable without the products of science and technology, which have infiltrated into almost every economic, political and social process. We live in a world created by and ever-more dependent on science, technology and reason, in which scientists and engineers are a valued and indispensable elite.

That’s right: the nerds won, decades ago, and they’re now as thoroughly established as any other part of the establishment. And while nerds a relatively new elite, they’re overwhelmingly the same as the old: rich, white, male, and desperate to hang onto what they’ve got. And I have come to realise that skepticism, in their hands, is just another tool to secure and advance their privileged position, and beat down their inferiors. As a skeptic, I was not shoring up the revolutionary barricades: instead, I was cheering on the Tsar’s cavalry.

REASON IS NOT JUST FOR AN INTELLECTUAL ELITE

Of course, there is nothing inherently elitist about reason or the scientific method. Critical thinking involves applying a few simple rules that are accessible to everyone, at least in theory. And indeed, a lot of people become skeptics for the best of intentions: to spread the word of reason and critical thinking, to arm the masses rather than shoot them down. In highlighting bunk and deception wherever it occurs, their aim is to protect the vulnerable against the hucksters, charlatans, politicians and priests who exploit them.

But such is the character of skepticism that good intentions quickly get swamped by bad ones. Look past the crocodile tears on any online debunking forum, and you’ll quickly find that the majority of visitors are not drawn there by concern for the victims of irrationality, but by contempt. They’re there to laugh at idiots. I’m not going to plead innocence here: I’ve often joined in with the laughter, at least vicariously; laughing at idiots can be fun. But in the context of skeptic sites, the laughter takes on a bullying and unhealthy tone. It’s never pleasant to watch a group of university graduates ganging up to sneer at people denied their advantages in life, especially when for some of them it’s a full-time hobby. It’s an unfair fight between unequal resources, and far too few skeptics care about this inequality or want to do anything about it.

If anything, I’m convinced that most of them would prefer to keep the resources unequal. The average skeptic has little time for spreading the word of reason to the educationally or intellectually lacking. His superior reason is what separates him from the chumps around him, and he has no interest in closing the gap. For him, the appeal of the skeptic clique is its exclusivity. It’s a refuge from the stupid masses, and a marker of his own special privileges. It’s Mensa rebranded.

About ten years ago there was a short-lived movement to rebrand skeptics as “brights”. This proposal was widely derided within the community, perhaps because it revealed too much about the skeptic mindset. Many skeptics indeed see themselves as “brights” in a world of “dims”. And rather than illuminate the world, they prefer to gather on skeptic forums and try to outshine each other.

Online forums, whatever their subject, can be forbidding places for the newcomer; over time, most of them tend to become dominated by small groups of snotty know-it-alls who stamp their personalities over the proceedings. But skeptic forums are uniquely meant for such people. A skeptic forum valorises (and in some cases, fetishises) competitive geekery, gratuitous cleverness, macho displays of erudition. It’s a gathering of rationality’s hard men, thumping their chests, showing off their muscular logic, glancing sideways to compare their skeptical endowment with the next guy, sniffing the air for signs of weakness. Together, they create an oppressive, sweaty, locker-room atmosphere that helps keep uncomfortable demographics away.

SEXIST BASTARDS

One demographic skeptics are particularly uncomfortable with is the female of the species. It’s an increasingly acknowledged fact that the skeptic community is rife with sexism — especially in the wake of the “elevator guy” controversy, about which more later. Women are a small minority in the skeptic world, and the few who get involved get shit thrown at them constantly by their skeptic peers. Every day, they suffer the whole gamut of attitudes from sneering to leering.

[Note by Jime: see an example of sexism and misogyny by male skeptics and atheists in this link

Skepticism, of course, is only one of the many online interests which attract barely-closeted sexists. But the particular attraction of skepticism is also its particular problem: it allows the sexist to disguise his prejudice as rationality and “common sense”. You can spot guys like this easily on skeptic forums: the word “feminism” brings them crawling out, like slugs after a downpour. For them, feminism is an unscientific discipline (but how could it be otherwise?), as nonsensical as astrology or Roman Catholicism, and as ripe and essential for debunking. They’re okay with women’s lib, within reason; but now it’s gone too far, and the firm hand of reason must rein it in. Reason, weirdly enough, never seems to disrupt their own grip on power. It’s always on the side of the patriarchy.

To be fair, such unabashed sexists are a minority on skeptic forums, but to be fairer, the general attitude to women isn’t exactly healthy. Women are present on skeptic forums in much the same way that women are present in early Star Trek episodes: while the men can take on a variety of roles, the women are always sex characters. Their every attribute is sexualised and objectified. Intelligence in a male skeptic is taken for granted; intelligence in a female skeptic is a turn-on. When a male scientist knows about science, it’s expected and goes unremarked; when a female scientist knows about science, she’s hot! And she’ll be barely visible beneath the throng of nerds trying to fap off over her lab coat.

Too often, the skeptic nerd who tries to display his women-friendly credentials ends up revealing himself only as a sexist creep. He’s all in favour of women, as long as they satisfy his own ideals of what a woman should be. This kind of attitude is typified by the skeptic-oriented webcomic xkcd. “I like nerdy girls”, says Randall Munroe — but can he tolerate any others? I looked through hundreds of his stick-figure strips, god help me, and where his females are characterised at all, they inevitably conform to the same constructed ideal — geeky, quirky, all-knowing, whimsical — an ideal largely constructed around Randall himself, or his own self-image. This female ideal says a lot more about his vanity than his feminism; and it’s an ideal shared by many guys in the skeptic community.

Idealising women is not the same thing as feminism — in fact, it’s usually the opposite. Throughout history, the concept of the “perfect female” has been more about men forcing their impressions on women, stifling them, not allowing them a voice. The Virgin Mary was not a progressive figure, and neither was Joan of Arc, and neither is the skeptic chick of your dreams, guys, whoever she may be. Wrapping women up in your clammy fantasies is not much different from wrapping them up in a burkha.

ISLAMOPHOBIA

Only a minority of Muslim women wear burkhas; some of them do so by choice, as a statement of cultural identity. Some others do so purely on the insistence of the men in their family. Some of those men are traditional sexists of the kind you might find in the skeptic community; many of the others are guided by the same kind of wrongheaded chivalry that makes nerds idealise quirky science chicks.

I don’t want to blow my own trumpet unduly, but I believe the above paragraph to be a more measured and factual statement about Islam than you will find in all the work of Prof. Richard Dawkins or his co-thinkers. In fact, in the skeptic community it’s much more common to find statements insinuating that all Muslims are women-hating, freedom-hating, clit-butchering, suicidal terrorists, and furthermore, find those statements accepted without comment. Under the guise of atheism, liberalism and rationality, ugly Islamophobia thrives.
A recent shocking example occured in the aftermath of the so-called elevator guy controversy. At a skeptic conference in Dublin, prominent skeptic Rebecca Watson (aka “Skepchick”) was propositioned by some creep in an elevator at 4am. She politely refused and later video-blogged about the incident, saying that, guys, elevator come-ons are not such a good idea. Fair enough, one might think. But predictably for the skeptic community, her words incited the fury of a number of sexists, including Prof. Richard Dawkins, who couldn’t resist dragging in one of his other prejudices from left-field. It’s worth quoting his words in full:

Dear Muslima
Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and . . . yawn . . . don’t tell me yet again, I know you aren’t allowed to drive a car, and you can’t leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you’ll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.
Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep”chick”, and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn’t lay a finger on her, but even so…
And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.

This comment was not made by some low-rent Youtube troll, or by a declared BNP member, or even by a malicious impostor; as was later confirmed by PZ Myers, these are the words of Richard Dawkins himself. That’s the Richard Dawkins, author of Unweaving the Rainbow and The Blind Watchmaker, professor emeritus for the public understanding of science at Oxford university, the skeptic’s ultimate skeptic. And his words are hate speech, plain and simple.

As is typical of hatemongers, Dawkins is careful not to name his target directly: instead, he works with insinuation — though that said, calling the victim “Muslima” is particularly crass. As is also typical of hatemongers, he builds us a generalised picture from a number of isolated and unrelated instances. Female genital mutilation, for example, is nothing to do with Islam, as Dawkins probably knows, though he’s quite happy to throw it in there and suggest it’s endemic. The effect of his screed is to portray Islam as a kind of institutionalised woman-torture in which all Muslim men are complicit, thus slandering about half a billion people, and furthering the agenda of Fox News and the “war on terror”. (Incidentally, the irony of the first paragraph doesn’t conceal Dawkins’ lack of compassion for the plight of “Muslima”. Looking for an example of skeptical crocodile tears? I can think of none better.)

To their credit, many big-name skeptics (including PZ Myers and Phil Plait) called Dawkins out on his obvious sexism; but to my knowledge — and correct me if I’m wrong — not one of them has said a word about his Islamophobia. It seems as though this racist trash is as accepted within the skeptic community as it evidently is within the common rooms of Oxbridge.

And racist trash is what it is. Some Dawkins apologists claim that he is not Islamophobic, but simply a militant atheist combatting the evils of religion wherever he sees them; but Dawkins sees his evils rather selectively. Indeed, he is markedly sympathetic towards the faith of his childhood, the good old C of E — so much so that I suspect the “God Delusion” per se is not his main concern. From his writings, I gather that Dawkins would be content to live in a world where gentle Anglican vicars presided over their bored, civilised congregations in England’s vales and hills, while the British Empire did its dirty work elsewhere, in places like Kenya, India, and West Cork. He saves his real ire for the creeds of the unruly natives — all those nasty Muslims and Catholics and tribalists who don’t know their place. Not that he’d want to associate himself with the bloodshed done in his name. Like a lot of gentle liberals, he hypocritically declared himself against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while continuing to poison the atmosphere in their favour with his hate speech. At least his buddy Christopher Hitchens, for all his thuggery, was consistent enough to follow his views to their logical, and repugnant, conclusion. But then, Hitchens is better aware of what skepticism is.

SKEPTICISM IS NEOLIBERALISM

As we have seen, skepticism is a broad and varied church — welcoming, among others, elitist, sexist and racist views. One thing all skeptics have in common, though, is that they support the freedoms they believe to exist in present-day western civilization, and think those freedoms should be spread worldwide. In other words, all skeptics are neoliberals. They might disagree, like Hitchens and Dawkins, over the correct strategy to win the latest neoliberal crusade, but they can usually be relied upon to support it, at least in principle.

All skeptics are neoliberals: if you do not consider yourself a neoliberal, you should not consider yourself a skeptic. I realise this can sound like a contentious claim, so please let me explain.
Skeptics are people who believe in the primacy of the scientific method as a source of knowledge. For a skeptic, all knowledge derived through other means is either inferior or spurious. Extreme skeptics like Dawkins come close to claiming that the scientific method is the onlytrue source of knowledge, and that what is presently non-scientific knowledge — like morals and culture — will eventually become more rigorously and correctly established through the scientific method.

The scientific method generally involves observation of reality, hypothesis based on observation, and experimental testing of hypothesis. All of these elements, particularly the first and third, involve the use of human perception — which, when building models of objective reality, can introduce a dangerously subjective element.

We perceive the world through metaphors: mental models that help us interpret and understand our raw perceptions, and construct our observations. Some of these metaphors are inherited and probably immutable without some kind of biological engineering: a rock wall is mostly empty space, but we’ve evolved to see it as solid mass. Other metaphors are learned, and liable to change or be transmitted to others in the environment. As an example, one can regard events as having apurpose, or one can regard events as having a cause; these are very different metaphors, that lead to very different perceptions of reality. The existence of such metaphors is uncontroversial, by the way; this isn’t wishy-washy pomo stuff. Even Dawkins acknowledges them: he calls them memes.

Our observations are conditioned by the metaphors we have been exposed to culturally, socially, and in our society’s history. This is what Newton meant when he said he stood on the shoulders of giants: he was acknowledging the accumulation of metaphors which helped him make his discoveries. Some of these metaphors were provided by scientists, like Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler. Others were provided by philosophers, like Descartes and Francis Bacon, who helped transform the way people looked at the world, introducing a mechanistic and empirical view. Other metaphors still came from the cultural, political, social, economic and even religious transformations experienced in Europe in the previous two hundred years. The decline of feudalism, the emergence of a strong middle-class, renaissance humanism, the Protestant reformation, all had a profound effect on the way Europeans of Newton’s time could perceive the world. (And all those transformations in turn were influenced by the influx of Islamic culture in the preceding centuries, pillaged during the crusades….)

It’s impossible to imagine the breakthroughs of Newton or Copernicus or Descartes happening in 14th-century Europe. The medieval mind did not perceive the world in the right way to make them. It was too clouded with metaphors of heaven and hell and angels and divine will and oaths and tithes and loyalty and hierarchy and feudal exchange; metaphors that, in our understanding, obscured its perception of reality. When these metaphors were transformed and replaced, people could see more clearly; but these transformations were not and could not have been wrought by the scientific method alone, even if such a thing existed at the time. Scientific advance was inseparable from political, social, and economic advance. And the same has been true of all scientific advances. It’s just as impossible to imagine Darwin’s breakthrough in Newton’s time, or Heisenberg’s in Darwin’s time.

Skeptics, in insisting on the primacy of scientific knowledge, deny the value of non-scientific metaphors in future scientific advance. As far as they are concerned, western liberal democracies have made all the political, social, cultural and economic advances they need to. Western thought is already so free that anyone who tries can perceive reality direct and unmediated, with no obscuring metaphors in the way. To the trained western eye, the truth simply reveals itself, in as much detail as our scientific understanding allows. It’s difficult to imagine a more absolute statement of confidence in liberal democracy.

Similarly, when skeptics insist that scientific thinking should be spread worldwide, they necessarily mean that liberal democracy should be spread worldwide. Which is to say, they are neoliberals.

This is not the place to describe the many problems and hypocrisies of neoliberalism. Suffice it to say that I do not believe that liberal democracy, which condemns the majority of the world’s population to varying degrees of slavery, is a perfect system. I do not believe that the metaphors of liberal democracy allow us a perfect view of reality. And therefore I do not believe in the primacy of the scientific method as a source of knowledge. It might be the best we’ve got, but when it comes to human advancement — including the advance of science itself — other sources of knowledge can be just as useful, and often more important.

It is my hope that human beings will one day live in a more just society, a more free society, than any that has yet existed in our history. I am certain that the people of such a society would look back at us and regard our minds as clouded today as we regard those of medieval peasants, and look back on those who insisted we had it all — today’s skeptics prominent among them — as we look on friars, preachers, despots and other historical enemies of progress.

SCIENCE ALWAYS HAS A POLITICAL DIMENSION

Because we perceive the world through metaphors, all observations, theories, experiments, statements and facts have a context, including a political context. Our science is necessarily and unavoidably contaminated by our political system; political ideologies propagate through science, and science on its own is incapable of purging them. This is widely understood by people who study scientists, but less often by scientists themselves, and never by skeptics.

Skeptics like to portray science as a hermetically-sealed, self-correcting enterprise, where false theories naturally yield to conflicting evidence, and the truth will always out. To support this position they always trot out the same old anecdotes. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read the heartwarming tale of the old geologist who happily dismantled his life’s work once the truth of plate tectonics was demonstrated to him. However, the history of science shows that such tales are the exception, and that old theories, and old scientists, have greater stubbornness. Much more common is the scenario described by Max Planck:

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

This “new generation”, not incidentally, tends to be armed with new political attitudes.

The idea that politics could or should have any input into science is anathema to skeptics. They often bring out the examples of Lysenkoism in the Soviet Union, or the racial science of Nazi Germany, to illustrate the dangers of allowing science to be contaminated by political ideology. They less often acknowledge that racial science was not unique to Nazi Germany, and that the same kind of racist garbage was enthusiastically pursued by scientists in the most enlightened liberal democracies of the time, and found in all the standard British and American anthropology textbooks. Eugenics, including racial eugenics, wasn’t just supported by Nazis, but by people who considered themselves among the vanguard of all that was good and progressive. Liberal democracy was no guard against the influence of political ideology on scientific thought. (On the contrary, liberal democracy is a political ideology that influences scientific thought.

What’s more, skeptics never acknowledge that racial science was defeated by political ideology, and not by science itself. In fact, there was nothing that could have defeated it within the empirical framework of racial scientists. Their racist experiments confirmed their racist hypotheses based on their racist observations. But while the science supported them, politics, in the aftermath of World War 2 and the Holocaust, did not. After 1945, racial science became politically unacceptable in western liberal democracies, and remains so in spite of the various attempts to revive it. It was not disproved by the scientific method; instead, the political ideologies behind racial science were discarded, and replaced by new ones that did not accommodate it.

And when the political consensus shifts, other sciences could go the same way. Whatever science you support, future generations might well regard it to be as wrongheaded as we regard racial science today. We look at reality through a thicket of political metaphors; as these metaphors come and go, different parts of reality become more or less visible; it can become easier to see where we were wrong at earlier times, and harder to see where we are wrong at the present.

What parts of reality do the metaphors of present-day liberal democracy obscure? I’m willing to believe that it affords us a very good view of physical reality: the “hard sciences” have truly prospered under the last few hundred years of political progress. Facts like “the Sun is larger than the Earth” or “the Earth is billions of years old” or “humans and chimpanzees have a common ancestor” are unlikely to be rendered obsolete by political progress, certainly not progress of the positive kind.

I’m less willing to believe that liberal democracy affords us a good view of the realities of human experience. I’m as deep in the liberal thicket as anyone else, so I can’t say for sure, but I suspect many human sciences as they are practised today are heavily clouded by dubious political assumptions. The most dubious of these is the assumption the liberalism itself is a politically neutral context. This has led to the widespread fetish for reducing complex psychological or social or cultural problems to “quantifiable” data amenable to scientific study. When this data and the conclusions drawn from it are subjected to the scrutiny of free-thinking liberal experts, the results will necessarily be unbiased — or so the assumption goes. That assumption can fuck right off.

Which is not to say that the human sciences are entirely wrong or useless as currently practised: I’ve no time for the hardcore skeptics who dismiss anything that isn’t maths or physics. But skeptics should be careful of cheerleading indiscriminately for all science, any science. Here are just a few examples of where the problems could lie.

  1. Medical science. In criticising homeopathy, chiropractic, faith healing and the like, skeptics tend to overstate the integrity of medical science, which for all its achievements is still rife with difficulties. I can’t help but be suspicious of a field in which research is dominated by a handful of particularly large and unscrupulous corporations. But even if Big Pharma doesn’t bother you, you should consider, for example, the political assumptions inherent in the sciences of pathology and psychopathology. Symptoms can be empirically there, but the decision to categorise a set of symptoms as an illness is frequently a political call. Over the years, medical science has tended to pathologise those sets of symptoms which interfere with an individual’s participation in the profit system (like physical disability), or which confirm existing social prejudices (homosexuality and female hysteria were once considered mental illnesses), or which can be profitably “treated”, regardless of whether the symptoms are actually debilitating (a process known as disease-mongering). It is conceivable that to a future society all these decisions might seem as barbaric as the decision to categorise a set of cranial measurements as characteristic of an inferior race.
  2. Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, etc. These fields are largely bogus, and almost everyone associated with them, however tangentially, is a purveyor of poisonous bullshit. The modus operandi of evolutionary psychology is to take some observation about human behaviour (which is typically a statistical artifact of dubious significance), shear it of all cultural, historical, social and political context (other than the scientist’s own), and explain it as a necessary consequence of our genetic coding or hunter-gatherer past — typically in a way that endorses the scientist’s political and cultural assumptions. In fairness, skeptics like PZ Myers and Ben Goldacre regularly criticise the most obviously loony excesses of evolutionary psychology — but the methods and conclusions of celebrated friend o’skeptics Steven Pinker are just as bogus, and are seldom remarked upon. Perhaps because his politics are generally in line with the skeptic consensus.
  3. Linguistics, Computational Linguistics. These have been dead-end fields for decades, chiefly because their practitioners are anally obsessed with syntax and semantics, the elements of language most easily tackled by scientific methods and of least importance to human communication. I’m convinced (and Wittgenstein agrees with me) that the pragmatics of language — its use in context — is much more significant; but a proper study of pragmatics (and not the quasi-semantic junk you usually see) would require dropping those clumsy logico-empirical tools and admitting the presence and value of non-scientific knowledge. Want to know why we won’t be remotely close to a talking AI any time soon? Blame skeptics.
  4. Economics. A lot of the claims of free-market economics, such as the notion of endlessly increasing growth, sounded rather dubious to my skeptic ears, and still do. I’ve seen skeptical exposes of Ponzi schemes (where people are incited to buy into an idea that only tiny minority at the top have a chance of profiting from) and Scientology’s Sea Org (where, in order to afford the cult’s most desirable products and treatments, poorer members are forced to slave away at shitty jobs for a meagre salary, or otherwise risk ignominy and destitution), but have yet to see any skeptic make the obvious observation that both of these scams are just capitalism in miniature. Perhaps it’s because the capitalist perpetual-motion-machine underpins the political assumptions of skepticism that no skeptic is interested in debunking it. On the whole, they’d much rather debunk fairground sideshows.

WHAT’S SO BAD ABOUT FORTUNE TELLERS?

In their fevered debunkings of astrologers, hypnotists, mystics, spirit mediums and the like, skeptics usually miss the fact that these are simply sources of entertainment for a lot of people, and taken no more seriously than the plot of any random Hollywood blockbuster. For paranormal sideshow acts, hocus-pocus is all part of the spectacle, a fact skeptics are willing to overlook in performers who meet their approval. If anything, the psychobabble that friend o’skeptics Derren Brown uses to sell his mediocre conjuring tricks is more fraudulent than the the mind-power nonsense Uri Geller uses to sell his, if only because Geller has apparently deluded himself more than his audience.

And if you truly believe in any of these frauds, so what? They’re mostly just a harmless diversion, a faint ray of amusement to guide us through the long and darkening days. Uri Geller fans, if indeed such people exist, are not hurting anyone. Evil hypnotists are not programming people’s minds. And astrologers, except in the paranoid fantasies of skeptics, have virtually no influence in the modern world, for good or ill. Skeptics aside, the only person who believes Ronald Reagan’s former astrologer had an impact on US policy in the 80s is Ronald Reagan’s former astrologer. (That Reagan employed a court astrologer, by the way, was the least of his crimes. Skepticism would be better directed at the scum he put into positions of actual power.)
There’s a lot of phony outrage on skeptic sites about spirit mediums like John Edward, who purport to channel voices “from the other side”, and in so doing exploit the grief of the kind of people skeptics laugh at anyway. Edward is obviously slime, but I’m convinced that many of his customers are quite aware of that. They know he’s feeding them lies, but they’re comforting lies, lies they feel the need to hear at that moment in time. And the cash transaction and the audience setting and the hocus pocus and even Edward’s clumsy name-flailing all help legitimise them. Edward’s customers are looking for the kind of catharsis he provides; to claim he simply cheats them out of their money isn’t the whole truth.

And even at their worst, the hucksters of mumbo-jumbo are only minor-league con artists. Their crimes pale next to those of our financial institutions, and all the others who convince the public to throw their life savings at the stock market, take out mortgages they can’t afford, buy junk they don’t need with money they don’t have, and pay for the fuck-ups of bankers and the greed of speculators. But which skeptic is going to debunk these swindlers?

Cheating people out of their money is one thing, but cheating them out of their lives is quite another. To read some skeptic takes on alternative medicine, you’d think only heart disease rivalled it as a killer. It’s true that alternative medicine is not going to cure anyone of serious illness, but it’s also generally true that the terminally ill only turn to it when real medicine has given up hope on them. And the value of hope in one’s final days is not to be dismissed so easily. The relaxed swagger of a charlatan can be far more comforting than the stress of an overworked hospital registrar, and the charlatan typically receives his patients in more comforting surroundings than a hospital. If I’m going to die anyway, I’ll take aromatherapy over chemotherapy every time.

The placebo value of alternative medicine should also not be so easily dismissed, and neither should its emphasis on “wellness” instead of illness. If a homeopath cures your imaginary itch by giving you diluted water, is it really much worse than a GP curing your imaginary itch by prescribing you paracetamol or antibiotics? It might be nonsense from start to finish, but alternative medicine helps millions of people get through the day, with no side effects apart from spouting the occasional line of bullshit. Real medicine is better at curing its recognised ailments, but alternative medicine seems to be better at helping with a chronic unrecognised ailment: daily life under the capitalist system. And so it shall remain until opiates are freely available in pill form.

SCIENCE AS A WARM BLANKET IN THE DARK

Arguably the worst purveyors of bunk are the conspiracy crackpots and pseudohistorians, who really do fill the minds of their followers with some reprehensible opinions. But in picking apart the nonsense they come out with, skeptics miss the most important question, which is why they felt the need to create this nonsense in the first place.

Our political system, education and culture leave a lot of people marginalised, lost, impotent, irrelevant, and made to feel so daily. But these people are not complete idiots. They know something is wrong (though they’re not sure what), they know they have been denied knowledge and power (though they’re not sure by whom), they know that official life has left them on the scrapheap (though they’re not sure why). They look at the reality that has been dealt to them and ask, can this be all there is? Is this as good as it gets? And so, quite justifiably, they invent an alternative. An alternative reality where the people who marginalised them are reduced to easily-identifiable comic-book villians, plotting in underground hideouts. An alternative reality where, more often than not, they and their people are the heroes: the rebels, the fearless investigators, the pioneers of science, the true keepers of knowledge.

And the same is true of almost all bunk, from cryptozoology to Christianity: it’s an alternative reality for the disenfranchised, a wonderland where the losers are promised triumph, and The Man holds no sway. The masters of bunk — the bishops and wizards and cult sages — can wield considerable power in objective reality, but their greatest power is always over the downtrodden and the cast aside.

To convert their followers to skepticism, there’s no use in preaching, like Dawkins and Phil Plait, about the wonders of objective reality, however eloquently they may do it. Objective reality in a liberal democracy might well be wonderful if you’re a media personality or a tenured professor in a leafy college town. But for most people, reality sucks. And if they choose to reject it, I can’t blame them. Proselytising skeptics certainly offer them no incentive to change their minds. Skeptics ask society’s castaways to leave a reality in which they are good and valued people, and enter one in which they are pieces of warm garbage. Little wonder that so few take up the offer.

But as much as hocus-pocus is a comforter for the disenfranchised, skepticism is a comforter for nerds. Even the privileged need to be reassured in their ways; no one is too old or too grand to be tucked in at night with a conscience soother. For nerds, skepticism is the perfect self-justifying schema: a personal theology that validates their interests, their deeds, their prejudices and their politics. In this sense it’s markedly similar to one of skepticism’s favourite targets.

That skepticism is a religion is a idea frequently ridiculed and debunked on skeptic forums. As so often in the skeptic world, PZ Myers says it best (and here, by “the New Atheism”, he means more or less exactly what I understand by “skepticism”):

“[The ‘New Atheism’] is about taking a core set of principles that have proven themselves powerful and useful in the scientific world — you’ve probably noticed that many of these uppity atheists are coming out of a scientific background — and insisting that they also apply to everything else people do. These principles are a reliance on natural causes and demanding explanations in terms of the real world, with a documentary chain of evidence, that anyone can examine. The virtues are critical thinking, flexibility, openness, verification, and evidence. The sins are dogma, faith, tradition, revelation, superstition, and the supernatural. There is no holy writ, and a central idea is that everything must be open to rational, evidence-based criticism — it’s the opposite of fundamentalism.”

I’ve got a lot of time for Myers, but I can’t agree with his claim that dogma plays no role in skepticism. The skeptic dogma is, of course, the belief that “a core set of principles that have proven themselves powerful and useful in the scientific world also apply to everything else people do”. This belief is as simple and seductive as any of the claims that priests and mullahs and gurus have made over the millennia — and almost as wrong. While science in its material domain has worked miracles, in the social and emotional and political domains its achievements are highly questionable, to say the least.

But if the skeptic dogma sustains you through the day, I can’t blame you: most of us here are just trying to get by, with as much comfort and dignity as we can scrape together. And indeed, skepticism was once a faith I found comfort in myself. And as long as it does no harm to them and others, I wouldn’t want to disabuse anyone of their faith, or deprive them of their warming blanket. While ultimately I believe the world would be better without religions of any kind, faith can still motivate people for good. Skeptics follow a faith with fundamentally well-meaning principles; not all of them are kneejerk science fans; some of them make a decent and positive contribution to the world through their skepticism. I’m not going to dismiss them personally just because their creed is even more discredited than Christianity.

POSITIVISM IS PAST IT

“Positivism” is not a word you see often in skeptic circles, which is odd, because it’s basically the old name for skepticism. The positivist movement in philosophy, which began in the mid-19th century, involved a loose collection of thinkers who to some extent or other believed in the primacy of reason and the scientific method, and set about trying to establish the basis of human knowledge on those terms.

One reason you don’t hear about positivism often in skeptic circles is that skeptics have no time for philosophy; many skeptics hate and fear it. It’s the skeptic Kryptonite. As a fundamental, rigorous, intellectually respectable but defiantly non-scientific discipline, philosophy makes a lot of skeptics feel threatened. Skeptics are like a naval fortress, with weapons fixed to sea; while they regard themselves invulnerable against fleets of art grads, paranormalists, and true believers, they know that philosophers can strike them freely in their defenceless rear. Little wonder that philosophers bring out their inferiority complex. Some skeptics would love to dismiss philosophy, all philosophy, in the same way they dismiss religion, but they’d be afraid of appearing stupid or attracting ridicule in doing so. If anything, they’re afraid philosophers already find them ridiculous.

Which brings us to the other reason positivism isn’t mentioned in skeptic circles: it failed, badly, and became discredited, badly, to the extent that “positivism” is almost a swearword on many philosophy campuses, and “positivist” an all-purpose insult. As a philosophical movement, traditional positivism has been dead since the 1950s (though it lives on in the natural and human sciences in all but name). “Postpositivists” like Karl Popper have tried to salvage something from the carcass, but among philosophers, their work is widely seen as reactionary. (By contrast, Dawkins in The Devil’s Chaplain disdains them as he would disdain new age crystal merchants.)

But why did positivism fail, and why did it become discredited? Well, I’m no philosopher, but I was for some years unwittingly involved in one of the last holdouts of hardcore, balls-out, unabashed logical positivism in all academia. And having seen some of its contradictions and failures firsthand, I think I have a good idea of the answer. But that’s something I want to cover elsewhere at greater detail and from a different angle. Christ knows, this webpage is already long enough.

SKEPTICISM’S UGLY AESTHETICS

Philosophising won’t persuade anyone to change their views; we’re all epicureans, and we believe whatever gives us the biggest kicks. If one philosophy doesn’t do it for you, you can easily find one that does; there are plenty of fish in that sea.

The truth is, I became a skeptic for aesthetic reasons, and the truth is, its aesthetics now repel me. I increasingly find the core skeptical output monotonous and repetitive: there are only so many times you can debunk the same old junk, and I’ve had it up to here with science fanboyism. And when skeptics talk about subjects outside their domain of expertise, I’m struck by how irrelevant their comments are, and how ugly, shrill and trivial.

Dawkins was a big influence on me in my early 20s, so to repeatedly call him out feels a bit like patricide; but it must be said that this kind of stuff does not cast him or his followers in a good light. In the linked article, Dawkins uses Pat Robertson’s comments on the Haiti earthquake as a launching point for yet another rant about religion. It’s an unreadable screed, the ravings of an obsessive, in style and content hardly less repulsive than Robertson’s original. And it’s all too typical of Dawkins’ output lately.

It also must be said that on many topics, the best religious people have more of interest and insight to say than the best skeptics. Take this Christian response to the above Dawkins article, for example. Its author Doug Chaplin rightly criticises Dawkins’ explanation for the “catastrophe” in Haiti. It was not, as Dawkins says, due to tectonic plates colliding; that was simply the cause of the earthquake. Thecatastrophe was caused by the earthquake happening in a poverty-stricken, overcrowded nation which has been raped by imperial powers for its entire existence. Scientific facts alone give a completely inadequate picture; but you won’t find too many skeptics admitting that. Chaplin also astutely observes that Robertson and Dawkins are two sides of the same coin: both hide behind a shallow empiricism to justify their right-wing politics. When they come to pronounce on world events, they’re both equally ignorant and self-serving.

And Dawkins is far from the worst offender in the skeptic community. At least when he sticks to the science, he reliably brings an infectious passion and sense of wonder; I still have a lot of respect for him as a science communicator. A lot of the most prominent skeptics, though, are ugly all the time. Loudmouth libertarians like Penn Jillette, touchy-feely dorks like Randall Monroe, lazy comedy hacks like Robin Inceand Charlie Brooker, neoliberal thugs like Christopher Hitchens and David Aaronovitch, the sniggering philistines at reddit/atheism: no one I respect could hang out with this crowd. I feel a rush of self-loathing just browsing the same web forums.

And so I came to look at skepticism as I’d look at an old embarrassing album by a band whose work I’ve long since disavowed. Any time I found it taking up space on my mental shelf, I’d think “why is this crap still here?” And now that I’ve thrown it away, I feel much the better for it.

Source
Posted in Anti Science, Atheism, Rejecting Skepticism, Richard Dawkins, Skepticism, Skeptics, Social Skepticism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Greens leader supports skeptics and loses fight to introduce “offensive and disrespectful” changes for complementary medicines

Greens leader supports skeptics and loses fight to introduce “offensive and disrespectful” changes for complementary medicines

IN a major win, the Federal Government has ignored the Australian Greens and anti-complementary medicine activists like Doctor Ken Harvey, from Friends of Science in Medicine, and passed a reform package that protects traditional medicine.

The Therapeutic Goods Amendment (2017 Measures No. 1) Bill, which passed Parliament on February 15, supports positive claims for complementary medicines based on traditional evidence, and abolishes the current complaints system. A move, which according to a Your Health Your Choice Senate Submission will “remove a mechanism of influence for the anti-CM lobby”.

Greens voters were shocked to learn Greens Leader and General Practitioner, Senator Dr Richard Di Natale was aligned with skeptics, whose platform is: “There is no alternative to Medicine”.

A Senate submission states: “The Australian Greens concur with the concerns of stakeholders including … Friends of Science in Medicine (FOSM)…”

One of his “concerns” was that people were being “misled” by traditional claims about the effectiveness of complementary medicine. He, and the skeptics, wanted labels on complementary and traditional medicines to state: “This traditional indication is not in accordance with modern medical knowledge and there is no scientific evidence that this product is effective”.

The Minister for Rural Health, Senator Bridget McKenzie, told Di Natale:

“I think it is offensive and disrespectful to those who practice traditional medicine. It’s not consistent with the World Health Organisation.

“We as a country, have endorsed the World Health Organisation position on the role of complementary medicines in the national medicines framework, and this position acknowledges that traditional medicines do have a valid function in the modern medicinal framework,” she said.

“For some, particularly those using Chinese medicine, the history of practising in that traditional medicine paradigm goes back thousands of years. It’s been extensively refined, practised and documented and in many cases incorporated into mainstream medicine. So, a statement required by the Australian Government that the indication is not in accordance with modern medical knowledge and that there is no scientific evidence will be seen as arrogant and insensitive to those practising and using traditional Chinese medicines, Senator McKenzie said.

Here is what it means:

Informed choice protected

The Bill allows complementary medicines to continue to make traditional use claims (ie. what a particular complementary medicine has been traditionally used for).

For consumers, it means they’re able to continue making informed choices because complementary medicines will continue to carry claims such as “traditionally used to relieve muscle aches and pains”.

Skeptics had argued against the use of traditional claims saying it was an “endorsement of pseudoscience”. Skeptics wanted the Government to introduce mandatory disclaimers that complementary medicine products were “based on alternative health theories that have been discounted by modern medical science”.

New complaints system

As of June 30, the current Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) which has included members of Friends of Science in Medicine and their supporters will be shut down. A Your Health Your Choice Senate submission argued by abolishing the existing Complaints Resolution Panel powerful skeptic groups would lose influence.

Australia’s medicines watchdog, Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), will be responsible for a new complaints system as of July 1.

Fast-tracks approval of medical products and medical devices

The Bill allows the TGA to use the work of comparable overseas regulators in the course of making assessments.

For consumers, it can mean medical products can gain domestic market approval from the TGA in a shorter timeframe.

Tougher penalties for advertising breaches:

As part of the Bill advertisements for complementary medicines will no longer need pre-approval with tougher penalties being used as a deterrent.

In a desperate bid to try to stop the Bill high-profile skeptics such as Doctor Ken Harvey and highly influential decision makers launched a scaremongering campaign in the media claiming the change would put public safety at risk.

Ludicrous stories included claims like: “dangerous products falsely touted as cures for cancer” would be advertised on prime time TV if the Therapeutic Goods Amendment Bill was passed.

Anti-complimentary activist, Professor John Braithwaite was quoted as saying: “People could die in the period between the shutdown of pre-approval of advertisements and the post-marketing prosecutions replacing them”.

Advertising safeguards

The TGA says the Bill will improve consumer confidence when choosing self-selected medicines and advertising will be subject to the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission rules.

Source

https://www.yourhealthyourchoice.com.au/news-features/greens-leader-supports-skeptics-and-loses-fight-to-introduce-offensive-and-disrespectful-changes-for-complementary-medicines/

Posted in Australian Skeptics, Dr Ken Harvey, Dr Ken Harvey,, Friends in Science and Medicine, Richard Di Natale | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The REAL STORY About the “Skeptic” Attack on Del BigTree…

Are We Sick of The Threats, Lies and Misdirection?

Opinion by “Deplorable” Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen

The photo at the top of this article is indeed worth a thousand words, for it explains a lot about WHO, and WHAT, attacked “Vaxxed” producer Del BigTree.

Let’s explore that WHO, and WHAT.  Yes, the attack was easily repulsed THIS TIME, and yes, there will be a reckoning.  For it is time for a reckoning.

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For as long as I can remember there has been a version of the current “Skeptic” organization operating in North America.  Each time they appear, so to speak, they have been beaten, and shoved back into the septic tank with the lid closed tightly, right where they belong.

The earlier version of the current “Skeptic” organization was called the “Quackbusters.”  They were led by Stephen Barrett of the infamous quackwatch.com scenario.  It took a while to crush him and them, but, in fact, crush them we did – lawsuits, traps, media campaigns, you-name-it-we-did-it operations designed to rid the North American health care world of a cockroach infestation.

What is consistent in the “Skeptic” and the “Quackbuster”    worlds is the “quality” of the people that run them.

In my earlier article on the attack I showed you another important photograph, reprinted just below.  It shows some VERY important things about “skeptic leadership.”  Let’s look at it again:

Skeptic Leadership Orac (David Gorski) and James Randi at an “Amazing Meeting” TRAINING younger people…

I pointed out, in that article, just exactly who and what James Randi is with an audio tape of him recruiting sex from a young boy.  Here it is again:

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After I ran this story, and it picked up all over the internet, the “Skeptics” tried to circulate a story claiming  (insert laughter here) that “the local Chief of Police asked him to make those kind of calls…”

Go ahead – take a moment to laugh…

For the Story is About To Get Even Better…

Lets explain the photo…

On September 17th, 2011 I wrote a story about James Randi and his “live-in-lover” Jose Luis Alvarez (the person in the photo) called “US Federal Agents Arrest Top “Skeptic…”

Below is an excerpt from that piece that puts all of this into context:

“James Randi, the man who bills himself as the “Amazing Randi,” is one nasty little piece of work.

James Randi, along with CSICOP‘s Paul Kurtz, are the two people who organized, I believe, and run today, the worldwide “Skeptic” (pseudo-skeptic) organization.  At the second level of management are people like Steven Novella, David Gorski (Orac the Nipple Ripper)Paul LeeStephen Barrett, etc.  Although the group is essentially small, they organized to control health care articles on the Wikipedia website, and created a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) network designed to catapult their anti-good-health-care articles to the first page of Google and other Search Engines.  Viciousness is their game.

On September 8th, 2011, Federal Agents working for the US State Department, knocked on James Randi’s door, not particularly looking for Randi, but for Randi’s live-in-lover, a  person who calls himself “Jose Luis Alvarez,” a name stolen years ago, say the Feds, from a New York man.  In their newspaper article, “Celebrated South Florida artist Jose Alvarez accused of identity theft” the Broward County Sun Sentinel says:

Here is the quote from the Broward County Sun Sentinel:

“Celebrated Plantation artist Jose Luis Alvarez has earned an international reputation with colorful, modernist paintings that have been showcased in South Florida museums and galleries.

He’s always dabbled in abstract concepts involving personal and artistic identity, an exploration that began as a young man when he teamed with famed magician James “The Amazing” Randi on the world stage.

Now, there are deeper questions surrounding Alvarez and who he actually is — a mystery about the man himself, beyond his creative persona.

To federal authorities the 43-year-old Alvarez is a cipher, a man truly without any identity. They refer to him as “FNU LNU” — law enforcement acronyms for first and last names unknown.

Alvarez is now in federal custody, accused of stealing the identity of a New York man and misusing it for more than 20 years. Goateed and scholarly looking in hip eyeglasses, Alvarez — if that indeed is his name — had his first appearance Friday morning in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.

“We don’t know who this person is,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Bertha Mitrani told a magistrate, while explaining that authorities would seek to hold Alvarez without bail at a hearing next week.

Alvarez first began performing to international audiences in the late 1980s as “Carlos,” channeling the spirit of an ancient seer in contact with other worlds.

It was an elaborate hoax carried out as performance art.

Alvarez’s transformation into “Carlos” was part of Randi’s crusade to expose mystics and psychics around the world as frauds. The two men, who live together in Randi’s Plantation home, met when Alvarez was a teen, and they put on the “Carlos” performances for 15 years.

More recently, the artist’s paintings were featured this spring at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, and have graced Art Basel in Miami and galleries in New York and San Francisco.

Alvarez’s alleged alternate reality came apart Thursday morning, with the arrival at his door of an investigator from the U.S. State Department who specializes in fraudulent passports, visas and other travel documents. Alvarez initially said he was born in Venezuela, then said New York, according to court records. He was arrested on a charge of supplying false information to obtain a passport, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The charge filed against Alvarez alleges he stole a New York man’s date of birth and Social Security number, which he used to obtain a U.S. passport in 1987. He has since renewed the passport twice.”

Did you get the picture here?  It is ALL About Lies and Misdirection…

From another article in the Sun Sentinal comes:

“Alvarez is not just an artist, but an ardent backer of Randi’s philosophy of using science to debunk the assertions of people who fraudulently claim to possess paranormal abilities, Dmitrovsky said…

A lecture he gave at the University of California in Berkeley earlier this year about his artistic pursuits was described thus: “Jose Alvarez will guide us through his own personal journey of investigation into the realms of consciousness, mysticism, spirituality, magic, shamanism, space exploration, and paranormal phenomena. Utilizing the concept in theoretical astrophysics of parallel universes and space as a continuum membrane with no beginning or end, Alvarez will place his cast of characters as a stand-in for the strong human desire for knowledge and transformation and his continued visual inquiry into the realms of the fantastic and the philosophical.”

State Department investigators got onto his trail last August, when a New Yorker named Jose Luis Alvarez applied for a passport to attend his sister’s wedding in Jamaica. His application was flagged as potentially fraudulent, because a passport had already been issued in his name.

“He’s had my identity for 20 years,” the New York Alvarez said Friday, when reached by telephone by the Sun Sentinel. “Why is he stealing my identity? Is he illegal?”

The Attack on Del BigTree…

Is very similar in design, and execution, to the attacks on Andy Wakefield, Mark and David Geier, AVN’s Meryl Dorey – and, in fact, Suzanne Humphries MD.

Are We Sick of The Threats, Lies and Misdirection?

Let’s make this simple.  It is time for a reckoning…

Stay tuned…

Opinion by “Deplorable” Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen

Source

http://bolenreport.com/real-story-skeptic-attack-del-bigtree/

Posted in Andy Wakefield, Anti Science, Del Bigtree, Dr David Gorski, James Randi, Jose Luis Alvarez, Meryl Dorey, Skeptics, Social Skepticism, Tim Bolen, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ten Reasons People No Longer Find Skeptics Credible

Skeptics are losing the argument; losing the war for the American mind, and for good reason. Their actions appear to indicate confidence in the strategy of screaming louder, accusing everyone of being anti-science, conducting more personal attacks and pushing more idiot-but-celebrity personalities into the journalistic limelight; hoping that this approach will somehow rescue themselves in their plight.
However, in the end all this bray will prove to constitute is not a defense of science, rather simply the squeaking noise of their fingers desperately clutching at the metal surface, descending down the slide of irrelevance into posterity.

t1larg.angry.toddler.thinkstock - Copy - CopyVirtually all skeptics believe that, in order to improve the quality of life experienced by those who inhabit this world, then the scientific literacy of our leadership and that of the general population must be enriched. I agree with this sentiment. This Kantian a priori reasoning is belied however, as skeptics are frustrated by an ever increasingly difficult or opposition-minded audience with regard to the conclusions they attempt to foist under such a guise – on both the American population, as well as their elected representatives.

Scientific American published a series of articles recently by Joe Horgan, director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology. The articles revolved around an original work criticizing the skeptic movement for focusing too much on soft/easy targets, and contending that ‘the skeptic movement needs shaking up’.  Coupled with a complete change of landscape towards specific issues of social conscience since the Social Skepticism movement was launched to protect corporate/social/political client interests in 1972, specific mistakes are combining to change the dynamic of how the public conscience is swayed regarding critical issues of research and epistemology. Ways which were not anticipated by the smarter-than-thou leadership the skeptic community hails; indicating an ominous foreboding for Social Skepticism. For instance, celebrity skeptic PZ Meyers has decided he is done with the ‘asshole skeptic’ movement for good. Fake skeptics, science communicators, MSNBC, CNN are all being collectively filed in the circular file of the American public mind. Heck, even celeb-wanna-be and journeyman skeptic Sharon Hill has thrown in the towel over disgust with the intransigence and fecklessness of the ‘skeptic’ community:

I am not happy with the status quo in what is termed the “skeptical community” and have removed myself from group activities. My beef has been with the lack of effectiveness of promoting a skeptical worldview. The reason for this ineffectiveness has multiple factors. I’ll leave that longer discussion for some other time (or never, since I might as well talk to a wall for all the good it does). But here, in a nutshell, is what is going on in my head right now on the topic:

The fundamental shortcoming of the various organizations and the collective network is that it is missing a thoughtful mission with coherent goals.

I’d suggest such a mission would be simply to promote skeptical evaluation of questionable claims for the benefit of society.

This mission has nothing to do with secularism, humanism or atheism at all and it’s not simply cheerleading for science and reason. If anyone thinks that progress has been made by skeptical organizations to make society better, show me the metrics. I would be so happy to see them.‡

To her credit, Sharon gets that there exists a problem in the community, as exemplified no better than in her last two sentences; however she does not yet grasp the philosophical and scientific bad habits which have served to precipitate this problem.

  1. Skepticism, at least real skepticism, does not possess a ‘worldview’. Only noisy fake skeptics foist this idea.
  2. Skepticism does not ‘evaluate questionable claims’, science does.

‘Skepticism’ which attempts to foist a worldview and preempt and act on behalf of science – is known by another name. But delving into that is not the purpose of this blog post. In a nutshell, Ms. Hill is experiencing what is called Skeptive Dissonance. She is stepping into the realization that what is taught as popular skepticism stems simply from feckless ego. She is undertaking the Road Less Traveled By, and on to maturity out of  anosognosia and concealed tantrum.

Skeptive Dissonance

/philosophy : pseudoscience : ethical dissonance/ : the difficult to articulate or grasp, cognitive discomfort experienced upon one’s first perception of the disconnect between fake skepticism and real or effective science. The discomfort one experiences in overcoming a former fake skeptic anosognosia. Usually considered the first step in ethical skepticism.

Skepticism is a philosophical disciplining of the mind undertaken by the person who intends to conduct science. Ironically, the role of skepticism is to protect from ‘worldview holders’, the prejudicial status of ‘questionable claims’ and challenge the assuredness of their favored provisional ones. The role of skepticism is to protect us all from social justice warriors and their ‘worldview’ taking over science in the first place. Ms. Hill does not get this at all. Never has. Only science can evaluate questionable claims, and science does not possess a ‘worldview’ – other than the gnosis-body of what it has found.  These bad practices of skepticism promoted by Ms. Hill, are exactly why the community is disintegrating through dissonance. They are falling apart because of bad instruction as to what skepticism even is. Bad skepticism.

So, perhaps this failure in mission on the part of Social Skepticism (not real skepticism) is indeed not indicative so much of a decline in the rational/scientific mindset of the general population, as it is reflective of a specific set of mistakes being wrought inside the skepticism movement itself.  Perhaps, the public is a lot smarter than social skeptics give them credit. They can sense chicanery but find it hard to articulate their discomfort around it. Fake skeptics exploit this, along with errant descriptives of science and skepticism to enforce their agendas. ‘Worldview’ in their jargon has increasingly come to be associated with a specific political party, a specific paranormally-obsessed religion, specific medical diagnoses/obfuscation and specific view on failed economics; all compressed inside the circumspection and experience-lacking footprint of arrogant cubicle-constrained and celebrity infatuated academia. Americans get this.

Our feckless, low value/soft target fake skeptics do not get this. As a skeptic, if you are worried about tin-foil hats, bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, brainwashing children and how stupid everyone is, you are going to lose credibility, period. Americans are smarter than this, and they demand more than rhetosophy dressed up as science.

Skeptics are Losing the Battle for the American Mind and Here are Ten Reasons Why

Why do leading periodicals such as National Geographic today decry the “War on Science?”  Perhaps this conclusion is not so much an outcome of diligent epistemology, as it is a push propaganda message on the part of social skepticism’s effort to dominate the media. An effort we have observed to be riddled with critical and harm-enabling mistakes. Through our research conducted over the past decades across a wide range of social topics, we have drawn this conclusion: Cognitive biases cause skeptics to habitually skip past critical research, fail to understand the actual scientific method, focus too much on correctness and control, instruct others as if they are idiots, try too hard to fit in with each other (ironically as if a ‘community’), chronically seek celebrity status and depend too much on experts in a single sub-field to provide a basis for opinion on broad venues of life and social discourse. All serious mistakes of non-science and Popper/Wittgenstein Error. In this article we discuss how these deeply ingrained skeptic foibles interfere with their message—through ten specific weaknesses in message and practice which have manifested over the last 20 years.

     Skyrocketing Medical Debt and an Increasingly Sick Young US Demographic

so-much-more-important-copyAside from the argument surrounding the latest “1 in 45” autism parental survey, an entire list of new diseases has not only sprung up, but have become the top ten most prescribed-for maladies; and only in the United States for the most part, and within the last 20 years.(1) (2) In their report “U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health (See more at: http://iom.nationalacademies.org/Reports/2013/US-Health-in-International-Perspective-Shorter-Lives-Poorer-Health.aspx#sthash.BMz0Py3C.dpuf) the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine cites the condition wherein Americans are watching our selves and our children grow increasingly sick as a nation. And as we watch our loved ones suffer and die from a new class of diseases which did not exist 80 years ago, and as our family medical budgets rise by an average of $3,185 per year† and destroy our lifestyles (not to mention economy), the arrogant screams of the self-proclaimed ‘skeptics’ at Science Based Medicine begin to ring hollow and appear more and more malevolent to the average American. With autism skyrocketing in our children, IBS skyrocketing, alimentary canal cancers growing, diabetes skyrocketing much faster than calories, sugar and lethargy can explain, and our loved one’s beginning to die earlier, people are beginning to doubt what oppressive groups claiming to represent medical science in the media have to say. This is not a Baby Boomer phenomena, as these diseases are now regularly striking victims in high school and college. Being a skeptic is one thing, and most of us will afford you the leeway to play your virtue signalling game into bounds of intellectual arrogance, so long as it does not affect our families. But now it is personal, deadly and despair inducing. People are no longer tolerating the arrogance of voices of denial and correctness when it pertains to national health moving in the wrong direction.

And while parents and their children suffer, as if the ‘movement’ was rubbing salt and taunt into the public’s wounds, they insist on using their holier-than-thou science minds and superior knowledge of scientific reduction to what?  …waste copious amounts of time debunking the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot, for the 400,000th time. People get the malicious insult, perhaps even more than do the social skeptics themselves. This fakery and misplaced priority set may serve to do more damage to the ‘community’ than any other single issue.

     The Social Pressure Crucible They Created Around Fringe Subjects Has Been Shattered

The internet and social media is serving to shatter the social pressure crucible that has traditionally bound us from speaking of our paranormal experiences.(3) Ghost hunting, ancient mystery and bigfoot hunting shows are the rage. Despite the fact that every single social media site which even remotely discusses fringe topics, is assigned a team of 3 to 6 token skeptics to patrol the site and ensure that secular nihilism is taught as if it were true science, people are not buying this. They are rejecting the message along with the arrogant meatpuppet patrols who act as their prison keepers. They are buying the evidence instead. Society no longer regards the 768 subjects condemned by the Skeptic’s Dictionary (with very little real research), as all invalid. I have had four close friends, friends who have died – dead – on the operating table, all of whom have come to me (because they trust my ability to be objective and not call them crazy) and shared privately the extraordinary experiences they had. Experiences during, and only during the time in which they were dead.  Four incredible, honest and information verifiable experiences. Were this thirty years ago during the golden age of methodical cynicism, they would never have come forward to anyone. How do I dismiss their observations (they are not ‘claims’)? As a skeptic I do not dismiss them. I ponder, catalog and watch for further information. These four persons are no longer afraid to come forward, much to the chagrin of the fake skeptic crowd of thugs seeking to enforce their religious choice, Secular Nihilism. Most everyone is understanding that two things now are invalid responses to such challenging observations: Knee-jerk denial, and Noelle-Neumann’s Spiral of Silence-styled oppression. Those days, along with those fake skeptics are all a thing of the past.

     Statistics Show that People are Not Buying ‘Big-A’ Atheism

Despite the fact that a recent Pew Research study elucidates that a full 50 million Americans have departed or declined traditional religion(4), fewer than 12% of those in this newly apostate population even privately profess atheism when queried. Given the enormous amount of vitriol spewed by the group claiming scientific knowledge as to the basis of their belief validity concerning religion and gods, why then the refusal by even the most open minded of the general population to accept what this group has to say? The simple fact is that ‘Big-A’ Atheism (as it is commonly called – the A standing for a variety of terms) is shallow, arrogant and every bit as dogmatic and religious as is fundamentalism.(5) It is a fundamentalist religion after all. ‘Big-A’ Atheism (Secular Nihilism) is a religion; but quietly, rational people regard ignostic atheism as not constituting a religion, rather simply a thinking disposition regarding gods only. This allows them to ponder something besides the false dilemma of Atheism and Theism. Something more intellectually challenging and stimulating; something which does not boast of knowledge one cannot possibly hold.

     Science is Being Abused to Enslave Not Free Us

The University of California Berkeley cites in its guidance on science, that “Science doesn’t tell you how to use scientific knowledge” and “Science doesn’t draw conclusions about supernatural explanations.”(6) Despite this, science under the SSkeptics’ watch since 1972, is not being employed to free us and our minds; rather is being abused to support specific oligarch businesses, an oppressive religion and to harm/economically enslave families.(7) The Social Skepticism movement manifests its goals through support of several specific special interest groups. These are interests of allegiance without exception inside the ‘community’, in which Social Skepticism seems to have an irrationally high focus, were it solely comprising an unstructured movement of individual ethic and science alone. Key among these partner special interests are the very familiar laundry list of control groups which manage our economically inflating agriculture, healthcare, health insurance, education, asset insurance, pharmaceuticals and universities. Science in the hands of, and under the watch of Social Skepticism, has played a key role in precipitating economic predation inside these seven hyper-inflating verticals, damaging Americans, their families, their nation. Most people are beginning to see this manifestly.

     Skeptics Tend to Scream Conclusions and Not Conduct Research of Ideas

As ‘fringe’ and ‘paranormal’ researchers bring a continuous flow of higher and higher quality evidence, skeptics do absolutely nothing but scream louder and continually demonstrate that they do not possess the grasp of science nor scientific method of which they all-too-frequently boast.(8) Increasingly, the Baloney Detection Kit produced by Carl Sagan in 1995, is simply being employed to enact the squelching of thought, observations, research and ideas. Ideas which social skeptics do not favor, and seek to have blocked from access to science. Proof gaming (demand to see final proof before research ever starts) and squelching of Sponsors and Discovery Science Methodology are the chief tactics of fake skeptic. Americans get this hypocrisy intuitively, and sense a reason to distrust this group. This is one reason why skeptics are not well liked people – and not because they represent science. People grow in their insistence regarding observations under a paranormal moniker, and grow increasingly tired of being called delusional, stupid or liars by those in the arrogant Social Skeptic community. Besides the role models are often horrible persons, ones whom most Americans find shallow, attention seeking and mean.(9)  Celebrities, blogs, defamation and social exclusions are no longer enough weaponry in the Social Skeptics’ arsenal, wholly now insufficient to keep the population in line. The community is viewed as a cabal of spoiled screaming children. Sorry Social Skeptics, it’s just not working anymore.

     Employment of Trolling Punks Obsessing Over Persons & Politics and Not Science

Social Skeptics coordinate through specific social media sites such as Reddit and patrol a variety of popular fringe topic forums. According to Google Ad Planner the median Reddit user is male (59%), 18–29 years of age, and is connecting from the United States (68%). Pew Research has stated that 6% of all American adult Internet users have used Reddit and males were twice as likely to be Reddit users as females.(10) Reddit is a notorious hangout for the arrogant, inexperienced, shallow and criminally defamatory. These are persons who suffer Fanaticist’s Error. Skeptic ranks increasingly comprise inexperienced, thug minded, Reddit-styled-gang mentality, ignorant, hot-headed, overconfident punks. Most Americans either sense or see this, fully cognizant of meaning behind the Shakespearean quote “Methinks he doth protest too much.” When the number one circulated presentation at TAM2014 involved instructing Social Skeptics how to “Not be A Dick,” you know that there is a high-visibility problem in the Cabal with this.(11) Social Skeptics mistakenly think that this negativity will constitute a strategy of success. They routinely underestimate the ethical quality of Americans, presuming us all to be exactly like themselves. This approach will not succeed with Americans. The last few years have seen our first serious lawsuits requiring Social Skeptics to establish legal defense funds because of tortious interference and business tampering litigation regarding persons and businesses. People of science, like me, have already seen the political motivation, and the puppet show of fake science. We are not buying the poser posture.

     The People Impacted are the New Peer Review

The availability of information and scientific studies is allowing diligent common persons to conduct in-depth research on their own. Contentions can be readily presented and refuted. Mom’s in particular are the primary observers of their childrens’ health for example, in contrast to ‘Science Based Medicine,’ who is not. They are disagreeing and are speaking up. Fake skeptics will tell you that skepticism is about the ‘simplest explanation’ (see the fake Occam’s Razor) and then turn around and tell smart mom’s that they are too dumb to understand the science, so shut up. Let’s be ethically clear here: if  you are the victim, impacted by a new action of science – then by default – you ARE the peer. These stakeholder peers are questioning when government regulators take Vice President and higher jobs inside the corporations for which they just crafted legislation. They are elucidating the malfeasance, financing and a priori influences on authors involved in studies touted as being ‘unbiased’. They are not intimidated by extraordinary claims that others represent science, and that mom’s are stupid or delusional. Again, it is just not working. Moms are the scientists now, they are making the first hand observations and doing the testing – mostly because they have to. Social Skepticism has abandoned them, for the Potter’s Gold of celebrity and career promotion. In comparison, the fakers are simply talented at making 80 year out-of-date noise. Activist organizations such as Thinking Moms’ Revolution are making a big splash – a manifest of the increasing health and financial pressure on us which has resulted from the abuse of science by Social Skepticism since the 1970’s.

     Scientists Quietly No Longer Support Social Skepticism

Scientists do not think as does the Cabal of Social Skeptics and studies make this clear.(9) (12) Scientists after all are people. Their kids get sick, their food damages their health and they have paranormal experiences too. A recent Edge Survey of science journalists and real scientists reveal an enormous schism developing between these two groups as to what constitutes good science, and the chief concerns of scientific endeavor.(12) In fact, the number one regarded issue among real scientists expressed inside that study was concern over ‘Screening of Information/Control of What is Regarded as Acceptable Science’. This contrasts dramatically with science communicator top two concerns focusing on ‘pseudoscience/religion promotion’ and ‘conspiracy theory/anti-big institution activism’.  At a certain point to the ethical mind, tenets of philosophy must yield to sound evidence. The evidence is around us every day – we are being media manipulated by social skeptics. Scientists have strange occurrences in their houses, some have seen Sasquatch and UFO’s or have children who have had vaccine injuries or an entire neighborhood with allergies, cancer and diabetes. Does this make them immediately credulous on such issues? Does this mean they are making a claim to proof? No, of course not. They simply may desire some of the 768 forbidden subjects of skepticism be in fact, …I dunno, maybe researched? An inverse negation fallacy in contrast is a condition wherein you decry the de rigueur 768 topics, and the set left standing after all this rancor, just happens to overlap 100% with the religion you adopted at age 14. This fakery is tantamount to making a pseudoscientific claim – and dressing up as a scientist in an attempt to belie that reality. It cannot be defended by masquerading an Omega Hypothesis through a ‘Oh it’s the null hypothesis’ baloney – real scientists get this. All this does serve to give them pause, and opens the question: “Are our arrogant voices of conclusive certainty, maybe premature?”  The resounding answer to the ethical scientific mind, is Yes.

     People Now Think Outside the Box and are No Longer Intimidated by a Claim to Represent Science

Media is discovering that not only are people interested in the strange; moreover, and even more importantly, they possess an increasing thirst to know more about the world around them. They are not afraid of out of the box thinking or tough questions; a fear socially enforced through Bernaysian Engineering 150 to 50 years ago. This public sentiment makes Social Skeptics scoffing and furious – the 1972 handbook on fake science skepticism is not working! Don’t they know who we are? Why does the public not come to them, the smartest people in the room, for such information? Obviously the public is a bunch of idiots. The growth in paranormal oriented media, has not only detracted from the stream of violent soap-opera-fiction big network and fake news fare, but has spawned a whole new generation of channels dedicated solely to paranormal, science fiction and the strange.(13) The public grows ever more suspicious of people who make the extraordinary claim to represent science, yet at the same time refuse to examine the evidence on a variety of challenging issues. An interesting dichotomy in character.

     The American Public is Weary of Being Called “Anti-Science”

The American public is simply and justifiably tired of this; and they are calling out people like Steven Novella for making such grandiose and unfounded claims: “Not only do people reject the science specific to their issue, they reject science itself.”(14)  So claims Steven Novella (and yes, this is a claim and not an observation, under the scientific method). National Geographic recently produced a rather shallow and associative condemnation laden article on everyone who disagrees with five litmus scientific ideas, as all being one tin-foil-hat-wearing ‘War on Science‘ crowd. Social Skeptics everywhere giggled with joy. The simple fact is that the Anti-Science accusation crowd acts more like unto a political party and oligarchy movement, and nothing else. People sense this, and science is damaged in the process of its being used as ruse and football for these, less than scrupulous persons.(15) When one issues a MiHoDeAL Claim – people are no longer seeing such a claim as being based upon science. Religion, it is not just about a bearded grandfather in the sky anymore. We are not stupid, delusional, irrational, unscientific, anecdotal-conclusion vulnerable, not as susceptible to hoaxes nor are we liars as your ‘community’ implies. This continual insult of the American public, is nothing more than an attempt to remove constitutional rights, import votes from foreign countries and increase your client billing revenues. It is simply the squeaking noise skeptic fingers make as they desperately cling to the metal and skid down the slide of irrelevance into posterity.

Guys. You are losing the battle. Your horrid behaviors, darkened hearts, and control freak minds are sticking out like dead tree stumps in a forest. Those of us highly involved in science and the questions on the mind of the American population, are going to make sure that you do lose. Our society cannot afford your fakery any longer. In the end, Social Skepticism will prove simply to be a cautionary tale parents tell the children of the future.

epoché vanguards gnosis


1.  “Endocrine-Immune Disruption and the Exorbitant Cost of Social Skepticism Induced Bliss,” The Ethical Skeptic, Aug 2, 2014; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2014/08/02/the-exorbitant-cost-of-sskepticism-induced-ignorance/.

2.  “The Urgent Need to Reform the Cartel Science Around Glyphosate,” The Ethical Skeptic, Nov 19, 2014; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2014/11/19/pseudoscience-in-action-the-urgent-need-to-reform-the-science-around-glyphosate/.

3.  “Obedience, Social Pressure, and their Fatality,” Anti Essays, extracted Nov 15, 2015; http://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/Social-Pressure-425975.html.

4.  “If the New Religiously Unaffiliated are Not Atheists, Then Just Who are They?,” The Ethical Skeptic, May 15, 2015; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2015/05/15/if-the-new-religiously-unafiliated-are-not-atheists-then-just-who-are-they/.

5.  “No You are Not an Atheist, You are a Nihilist,” The Ethical Skeptic, Jan 7, 2015; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2015/01/07/no-you-are-not-an-atheist-you-are-a-nihilist/.

6.  UC Berkeley, “Understanding Science: How science really works,” extracted Nov 15, 2015; http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/whatisscience_12.

7.  “The Corrupt Oligarchy of Social Skepticism,” The Ethical Skeptic, Apr 18, 2014; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2014/04/18/the-oligarchical-goals-of-social-skepticism/.

8.  “Survey Shows Rise in Paranormal Beliefs,” Center for Inquiry, Dec 12, 2009; http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/entry/survey_shows_rise_in_paranormal_beliefs_blending_of_christian_new_age_easte/.

9.  “U.K. paranormal survey shows rise in belief,” Doubtful News, Sep 16, 2013; http://doubtflnews/2013/09/uk-paranormal-survey-shows-rise-in-belief/.

10.  Duggan, Maeve, Smith, Aaron, “6% of Online Adults are Reddit Users,” Pew Research Internet Project.

11.  Phil Plait, “Don’t Be a Dick,” Discover: Bad Astronomy, Aug 17, 2010; http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/08/17/dont-be-a-dick-part-1-the-video/#.VkjIrOJOqZM.

12.  “Real Scientists Disagree with SSkeptics About World’s Top Concerns for the Future,” The Ethical Skeptic, Apr 3, 2013; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2013/04/03/real-scientists-are-not-concerned-about-the-same-things-as-are-sskeptics/.

13.  “Paranormal Media: Audiences, Spirits and Magic in Popular Culture,” Oxford Journals, vol 53, issue 4; http://screen.oxfordjournals.org/content/53/4/495.extract.

14.  “The Rising Age of the Cartel: Your Freedoms Were Simply an Experiment,” The Ethical Skeptic, Jul 7, 2015; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2015/07/07/the-rising-age-of-the-cartel-your-freedoms-were-simply-an-experiment/.

15.  “The Anti-Science Party,” MSNBC, May 15, 2014; http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-anti-science-party.

†  Bob Bryan, “Americans’ out-of-pocket healthcare costs are skyrocketing”, Business Insider, Sep 14, 2016; http://www.businessinsider.com/out-of-pocket-healthcare-payments-skyrocketing-2016-9 – 10% annual rise on individual average US cost (as identified by the Commonwealth Fund annual report) of $7,960 in 2011, for a family of four.

‡ Sharon Hill, “Teaching the kids critical thinking looks like the BEST place to focus efforts”; I Doubt It, May 24 2017; extracted same; http://sharonahill.com/teaching-the-kids-critical-thinking-looks-like-the-best-place-to-focus-efforts/.

 

Source https://theethicalskeptic.com/2017/05/24/ten-reasons-nobody-is-believing-skeptics-any-more/

Posted in Anti Science, Atheism, Autism, Bernaysian Engineering, Childrens health, conspiracy theory, Fake Skeptics, Joe Horgan, Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot, obfuscation, real skepticism, Sharon Hill, Skepticism, Skeptics, Skeptive Dissonance, Social Skepticism, War on Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

McCaffery hate group tried to bully TV station into canning vaccine injury story

I’m not ashamed to say that I wept hard when the New South Wales parliament recently passed a totalitarian vaccine law prohibiting my children from being enrolled in any kind of early education service from January next year.

My sadness soon gave way to anger as I reflected on the cold, hard reality that my children’s life opportunities are being curtailed due to a nasty and dishonest, eight year long campaign, conducted by Toni and David McCaffery, and their well-connected associates.

I am an Ex-Vaxxer not an Anti-Vaxxer

For the record, my daughter suffered Encephalitis following her 12 month vaccines, and now has the diagnoses of Epilepsy, Esotropia due to cranial nerve damage, and developmental delay.  Prior to this she was hitting all of her milestones.  She was walking independently, saying a few words, and sleeping and feeding well.

All of this changed when she received the vaccine poison!

I now have an extremely difficult life raising a disabled child, and it will only get harder now that I will not have access to childcare services for my two pre-school aged children, both of whom are not vaccinated due to what happened to my daughter.  I also have two other school-aged children, both of whom are vaccinated, however they will not be receiving any more vaccines so will also fall foul of future school mandates, which the McCafferys also have firmly in their sights.

Toni and David McCaffery are Vaccine Injury Denialists

It’s quite telling to me that not once during their eight year long campaign have Toni and David McCaffery acknowledged or expressed empathy for vaccine injury victims.

Not once.  Ever.

They are what is known as vaccine injury denialists, and as you will see below, they and their associates will go to any lengths to ensure vaccine injury victims have no voice.

It’s all about them, and their selfish, evil crusade to force vaccinations on anyone and everyone just because their baby died.

Dana McCaffery’s death was not preventable

Dana McCaffery, who died from Whooping Cough, was too young to be vaccinated, and contrary to what the McCafferys have been telling any politician willing to listen, vaccination of every single close contact of Dana (so-called cocooning – a scaled  down version of herd immunity) would not have helped.  Whooping Cough vaccination doesn’t even protect vaccine recipients, let alone third parties who have not been vaccinated.  That cocooning does not work, is, in fact, the reason why vaccination of pregnant women in the third trimester of pregnancy is now recommended in Australia (not that I agree with that recommendation either).

The McCafferys know this, yet continue to promote the cocooning/herd immunity lie to this day.

Picture: Toni McCaffery lying to the Prime Minister: “if all of the children in my daughter’s child care centre had been vaccinated, Dana would still be alive”.

This is the reason I have decided to speak out now.  The real McCafferys are anything but sugar and spice and all things nice, as they are portrayed by their supporters, and I will do everything in my power to expose them for what they are: spiteful, lying hate-mongers.

While they are courting politicians all over Australia with their cocooning lie, I’m having panic attacks about how I am going to cope without access to childcare services.

In the end, I’m just so sick of liars getting away with being liars, and these liars are now hurting me and my family!

The McCaffery Hate Groups

hate group is a social group that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, nation, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other designated sector of society.

Source: Wikipedia

Contrary to what their supporters portray, the McCafferys are not merely grieving parents.  Stop the Australian Vaccination Network (SAVN) is a hate group formed in 2009 to avenge the death of Dana McCaffery as well as silence all dissenting voices against vaccination.   Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters (NRVS) is a subsidiary group of SAVN  formed a couple of years later, and based in northern New South Wales.  Toni and David MCaffery are active members of and contributors to both SAVN and NRVS.  A third group, Light for Riley, was launched in March 2015, by long-time SAVN member Catherine Hughes, and her husband Greg Hughes.  I intend to write about Light for Riley in the not-too-distant future.  Watch this space.

NRVS made a vexatious complaint to the media regulator

An investigation report, found on the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) website, reveals that NRVS made a complaint to the media regulator against 9 News Perth, which, during 2014, had run a story about a man named Ben Hammond, who had been permanently disabled by a dTap vaccine he had received in 2012.  You can read the full report here.  The complaint can be found at Attachment B on page 18 of the report.

Unsurprisingly, ACMA found that the story did not breach the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice 2010 in any respect.

The complaint was all about trying to suppress the danger of vaccines and silence the inconvenient voice of vaccine injury victims.

Toni and David McCaffery have blood on their hands

Ben Hammond’s injuries are actually a legacy of the McCafferys evil agenda to have every adult vaccinated against Whooping Cough, which may explain why they were so committed to erasing his story from the public record.

In May 2012, Toni McCaffery petitioned four states’ health ministers, including Western Australia’s, to continue funding cocooning vaccines.  The petition was in response to announcements by a number of states that cocooning vaccines would no longer be funded after June 2012 due to an absence of evidence for the effectiveness of the strategy.  In fact, there has never been a hint of evidence to suggest that vaccination of close contacts of newborns prevents them suffering Whooping Cough.  It’s a strategy which was concocted by vaccine manufacturers to sell more product.

During 2011, two applications were made to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) for subsidisation of cocooning vaccines under the National Immunisation Program, one from GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Boostrix dTap, and another from Sanofi-Pasteur, the manufacturer of Adacel dTap.

With respect to both applications, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) admitted to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee that there was no evidence to support the cocooning strategy.

The submission and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) pre-PBAC submission advice acknowledged the absence of empirical data supporting the effectiveness of a cocooning strategy. (page 2 Adacel Public Summary Document)

The PBAC, in its findings, also noted the dangers of expanding the immunising population.

However, the PBAC considered that should a cocooning strategy be approved, it would likely result in an expansion of the immunising population, which may be associated with an increase in adverse events due to differing levels of experience in injection technique. (page 6 Adacel Public Summary Document)

Unfortunately for Ben Hammond, Toni McCaffery’s petition found favour with the Western Australian government and the rest, as they say, is history.

I wonder if Toni and David McCaffery have ever apologised to Ben Hammond?

There is much more to report about Toni and David McCaffery but this will have to wait for another day.  Before I finish I will leave you with one final insight into Toni McCaffery.

Toni McCaffery’s Tough Love

Back in March 2017, Toni McCaffery described totalitarian vaccine laws as “tough love”.

Tough love?  Really?  Love or narcissism?

Well, how’s this for tough love Toni McCaffery?

Game on.  You will not get a free pass to lie anymore.  I will ensure every politician in Australia knows that when you claimed Whooping Cough is an easily preventable disease you were lying.  You will not deny my children’s right to an education.

That’s a promise.

Next Week: Toni McCaffery is a lying mouthpiece for Sanofi-Pasteur

 

Source: https://vaccinenewsaustralia.wordpress.com/2017/10/02/mccaffery-hate-group-tried-to-bully-tv-station-into-canning-vaccine-injury-story/

 

 

Posted in Australian Skeptics, Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI, Ben Hammond, GlaxoSmithKline,, Light for Riley, Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters (NRVS), Sanofi-Pasteur, SAVN, Stop the Australian Vaccination Network, Toni and David McCaffery, Uncategorized, Vaccine Injury Denialists | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Death threat Skeptic crowned 2017 Skeptic of the Year

Source: https://avn.org.au/2017/11/death-threat-skeptic-crowned-2017-skeptic-year/

Christine Bayne, who, back in 2010, implored her Twitter followers to “put a bullet” in AVN founder Meryl Dorey’s brain has taken out the Australian Skeptics top award at Skepticon.

In an attempt to avoid responsibility for those tweets, Christine Bayne made her tweets private for that Twitter account shortly after she posted them in 2010.  Her main Twitter handle currently is @DilutedThinking but there are others.

It is always a great source of amusement when the deceptively named Australian Skeptics hands out awards to its own for seriously questionable, if not, downright illegal activity, and let’s be honest; it’s not as if one would list this award on one’s CV.

The award seems to be reserved for the most repugnant of a repugnant lot.

Previous winners of Skeptic of the Year include anti-complementary medicine campaigner, Ken Harvey (2016), serial cyberstalker Reasonable Hank aka Peter Tierney (2014), Friends of Science in Medicine (2012) and Stop the Australian Vaccination Network (2010).

Dr. John Cunningham, a long time member of hate group, Stop the Australian Vaccination Network, was, quite ironically, awarded the 2017 Thornett Award for the Promotion of Reason.

Previous winners of the Thornett Award include none other than Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy (2016), Catherine and Greg Hughes (Light for Riley) (2015), and Toni and David McCaffery (2009).

Readers may recall that, earlier this year, the Murdoch media reported that Cunningham had attempted to coerce Village Cinemas in Melbourne into breaching its contract with the AVN, using financial inducements, after cinema management had refused to buckle under the weight of heavy mobbing and bullying from Cunningham and other fanatical sceptics.  Nice promotion of reason doc.

The AVN had made the booking with Village Cinemas as part of the hugely successful Vaxxed tour of the eastern seaboard of Australia, which included a screening and Q and A session at The Australian National University (ANU), no less.

Cunningham has a longstanding obsession with freedom of choice/vaccine safety advocates.  In addition to relentlessly bullying and attacking AVN founder Meryl Dorey and Dr. Judy Wilyman for years, he has also targeted current AVN President (and widowed mother of eight), Tasha David.

In 2015, he publicly questioned the paternity of Tasha’s eight children not once but twice in two separate articles, claiming that the older six children had a different father from the youngest two.  He did this for the sole purpose of trying to discredit Tasha’s lived experience of raising six vaccinated children who suffer from a range of developmental and immune disorders, and two completely unvaccinated children who are extremely healthy and disorder free.  For the record, Tasha’s healthy unvaccinated children and severely vaccine injured children have the same father.

Cunningham’s defamatory claims are made worse by the fact that Tasha’s husband died suddenly in late 2010, and Tasha and their children were the ones who found him. Cunningham knew this before making his callous and false statements but he chose to disregard the emotional impact that these hurtful mistruths would have on Tasha and her family just so he could try and undermine Tasha’s family’s vaccine injury experiences.

In our opinion, Cunningham is not a fit and proper person to be a member of a profession which the general public holds in such high regard, yet the government have rewarded his tactics with an Order of Australia Medal for promoting immunisation.

Alas, an Australian Skeptics event wouldn’t be complete without some serious hating on, and mockery of vaccine safety activists.  In fine sceptic tradition, Catherine Hughes of Light for Riley fame gave a presentation denigrating “anti-vaxers” and “conspiracy theorists” on Day 2 of Skepticon.  Her presentation was called “The harsh reality of the anti-vaccination movement”, in which she even employed the cliché, tinfoil hat meme so loved by the sceptics.

Such love from a person purporting to be merely promoting awareness of so-called vaccine-preventable disease.

Light for Riley followers could be forgiven for believing that Catherine Hughes is only a newcomer to the dirty business of vaccine activism.  After all, she’s only been at this since March 2015, right?

Wrong.

She’s actually a veteran anti-choice groupie.  On 27 March 2015, she made the following post to Stop the Australian Vaccination Network (SAVN) Facebook page, admitting to her longstanding commitment to the silencing of vaccination sceptics (the real sceptics).

Finally, in a major sceptic fail, Jane Hansen’s article about the so-called baby formula tampering scandal, has provided free, unprecedented, and worldwide publicity to Brandy Vaughan’s organisation, LearnTheRisk.Org.  Brandy went Live on Facebook to thank Jane for her help.

Thanks Jane. XXX

Posted in Australian Skeptics, Catherine Hughes, Christine Bayne, Dr John Cunningham, Dr Judy Wilyman, Jane Hansen, Light for Riley, Meryl Dorey, SAVN, Stop the Australian Vaccination Network, Tasha David, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

How skeptics are trying to influence the Senate


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AUSTRALIA’S anti-complementary medicine groups have launched a scaremongering campaign claiming changes to the Therapeutic Goods Act will put public safety at risk, which is nonsense.

The amendment Bill they’re fighting protects the current labelling that consumers rely on to make informed choices about complementary medicines, which two in three Australians use to support their health.

The truth is the public health scare campaign is a smokescreen for anti-complementary medicine lobby groups such as ‘Friends of Science in Medicine’ (FSM) that want to preserve their influence on government bodies handling complaints against medicines.

The Position of Friends of Science in Medicine for example is that: “There is no alternative to Medicine”. Dr Ken Harvey, a FSM Executive, is leading the current campaign.

Right now, members of at least four groups with a history of anti-complementary medicine activism sit on the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) – the government committee that considers complaints relating to medicine labelling and claims:

  • – Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM)

(FSM’s Dr Ken Harvey was a representative of Choice on the CRP until early 2017)

  • – Choice (Australian Consumers’ Association)
  • – Consumers Health Forum (CHF)
  • – Access2 (The Foundation of Effective Markets and Governance) – Allan Asher, the CRP Chair.

The new TGA Bill takes away these groups’ power by shutting down the CRP and handing responsibility for investigating complaints to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) – a more impartial body.

According to the Your Health Your Choice Senate submission:

“… the abolition of the Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) removes a mechanism of influence for the anti-CM lobby to target CM products and advertisers”.

Skeptics Senate submission One submission, many voices

Dr Harvey’s Senate submission protesting abolition of the CRP, is on behalf of the anti-CM groups he belongs to and shows how they are networked:

  • – FSM
  • – Choice
  • – CHF
  • – Access2
  • – Australian Skeptics

As well as being a FSM Executive, Dr Harvey is also:

  • – Life member of the Australian Skeptics
  • – Life member of Choice
  • – Representative of the CHF as a complementary medicine ‘spokesperson’

WHY THE SKEPTICS NETWORK IS REALLY FIGHTING

Skeptics are against the new TGA Bill because if passed, it will abolish the CRP – which is stacked with representatives from these anti-complementary groups. These uncontrolled conflicts of interest have irreparably compromised the CRP as a workable instrument.

EXAMPLES OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AND THE CRP

The Your Health Your Choice Senate submission details how Dr Harvey, while he was a member of the CRP, ran Monash University ‘summer school’ programs in 2015 and 2016 where he coached his students to generate complaints against complementary medicine products to the CRP. Student submissions were ‘checked by a FSM reviewer’ before being lodged.

COMPLAINTS PANEL – A “LIKE-MINDED” GROUP

While Dr Harvey was a member of the CRP, he described the Panel has a “like-minded group” in a public speech (ANZAAS Medal Speech), referring to its active support for his anti-CM activism. He also acknowledged the support of his colleagues at FSM, Skeptics, Choice and the CHF.

YHYC SUPPORTS ABOLISHING THE COMPLAINTS RESOLUTION PANEL

Your Health Your Choice supports the TGA Bill to abolish the existing CRP, ending a culture of cronyism and bias in the complaints handling process.

In its Senate submission YHYC wrote: “The abolition of the CRP removes the mechanism of influence for the anti-CM lobby to target CM products and advertisers”.

SENATE PUBLICATION RULES BREACHED

More than a month before the deadline closed, Dr Harvey published three of his students’ Senate submissions as well as the CRP Chair’s submission on his blog, Medreach – breaching Senate rules.

The student submissions were removed from Dr Harvey’s page after Your Health Your Choice notified the Senate secretariat of the breach on 19 December, 2017 – but he kept the CRP Chair’s submission up “for ideas” to inspire others.

Dr Harvey coached students in preparing Senate submissions as part of his 2017 ‘summer school’ program at Monash University.

Read the Your Health Your Choice Senate submission here.

 

Source: https://www.yourhealthyourchoice.com.au/news-features/how-skeptics-are-trying-influence-senate/

Posted in AHPRA, Dr Ken Harvey, Dr Ken Harvey,, Friends in Science and Medicine | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Jane Hansen’s trail of lies and deception.

Jane Hansen has written a Daily Telegraph hit piece about blogger and mother Taylor Winterstein. Taylor has amassed a huge social media following sharing her journey from a toxic lifestyle to health and wellness in her blog ‘Tay’s way’

Taylor will soon be joining the Australian Vaxxed tour in January 2018 where she will be interviewing vaccine -traumatised families who are ignored by the mainstream media, and giving them a much-needed platform to be heard!  Jane Hansen has used a misleading and dramatic headline ‘Manly star’s wife Taylor Winterstein takes on role as Aussie face of movie Vaxxed’.

Jane Hansen is attempting to make Taylor the “face” of the movement. Taylor disagrees with this label and says

‘I am part of a large team who are fearless in the pursuit of spreading truth and awareness’.

The Pharma-backed press ignores vaccine injury stories as they, along with pharma-backed government, fear that covering them will discourage people from vaccinating. This issue affects the lives of millions of children worldwide. Parents deserve to hear the science without conflicts of interest.

Jane Hansen is often assigned to the dirty work in Australian media . Her previous job for Murdoch was selling the lie that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, so the government could justify the Australia’s senseless involvement in the war. The US government had to finally admit the truth after the war was over.

In 1997, she was a journalist on tabloid TV show A Current Affair where she did a story on electronic repair man ‘Benny Mendoza’ and exposed him for not fixing some equipment he claimed to have fixed. The advertising for the story ran all weekend and sadly he committed suicide.  Upon reflect ion over this senseless tragedy Jane Hansen told Australian Story

I was just doing my job and I know that’s the Nuremberg defence but I wasn’t in the position to say, “Shove it, I don’t think it’s a good story.” Which is how I felt anyway. I didn’t think it was a good story. It was my job and I wasn’t in a position to be a prima donna.’

With over 20 years of tabloid journalistic experience Jane Hansen is still ‘just doing her job’. For the last few years she’s been assigned to sell mandatory vaccination policies to the public. She is dismissive of anyone who disagrees with flawed vaccination science and ignores all vaccine injury stories. This is because she works for Rupert Murdoch who used his paper the Daily Telegraph to drum up public support for the No Jab No Pay/Play policy they created. Murdoch has financial interests in the pharmaceutical industry and his son James Murdoch was even on the board of GlaxoSmithKline.

Jane Hansen exploited the tragic death of Imogen Petrak from pneumococcal meningitis by implying that her unvaccinated child gave it to her. This resulted in public backlash against Imogen until her grieving family called out her lying on social media. Jane also failed to disclose that Imogen’s health went downhill 2 days after she received the whooping cough vaccine. 

Jane Hansen is a friend of cyber bully and harasser of vaccine-injured families Reasonable Hank . He helps her find smear stories to write against vaccine-choice advocates.  He has been awarded ‘Skeptic of the year’ in 2014  and is a proud member of the hate group Australian Skeptics and Stop the AVN. In the past they have sent death threats to pro-choice activists such as Meryl Dorey founder of the Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network. You can get an idea of how creepy the Skeptics are here

https://youtu.be/IXIOUcdpmYM

 

Alison Greig questions Hansen’s journalistic integrity in her article ‘Jane Hansen – A seasoned journalist with a murky past’ and writes

 “And we have to ask Jane Hansen, what choices do journalists make when they choose one side of a story? It is a choice it seems to exclude balance. It is a choice to manipulate the news and what the public know when they only report what they want  to report, rather than to offer their audience a choice as to discern the truth. “

Posted in Jane Hansen, Uncategorized | Leave a comment