Vaccination Panic in Australia - Brian Martin

portions of the draft text, I thank Sudeepa Abeysinghe,. Gabriele ..... carrier. Your body sheds viruses, and others you come in contact with are exposed to the virus. Suppose you go to a party where you are hugging and kissing your friends. If they are .... Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and.
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Vaccination Panic in Australia analyses this campaign from the point of view of free speech. Brian Martin describes the techniques used in the attack, assesses different ways of defending and offers wider perspectives for understanding the struggle. The book will be of interest to readers interested in the vaccination debate and in struggles over free speech and citizen participation in decision-making. Brian Martin is an emeritus professor at the University of Wollongong, Australia, and vice president of Whistleblowers Australia. He is the author of 17 books and hundreds of articles on dissent, scientific controversies, nonviolence, democracy, education and other topics.

Brian Martin: Vaccination Panic in Australia

In 2009 in Australia, a citizens’ campaign was launched to silence public criticism of vaccination. This campaign involved an extraordinary variety of techniques to denigrate, harass and censor public vaccine critics. It was unlike anything seen in other scientific controversies, involving everything from alleging beliefs in conspiracy theories to rewriting Wikipedia entries.

Vaccination Panic in Australia


Brian Martin

Note to readers Vaccination panic in Australia is available as a free download, by courtesy of the publisher. Irene Publishing is

a non-profit operation, committed to providing works relevant to grassroots social change. I do not receive royalties, and the publishers are not paid for their work. Having your library buy a printed copy from is the best way to help. Alternatively, you might like to contribute a few dollars to support this venture. For these options, go to Brian Martin


Vaccination panic in Australia

Brian Martin

Published 2018 by Irene Publishing Sparsnäs, Sweden [email protected]

ISBN 978-91-88061-24-9

CONTENTS Glossary v 1 Introduction 1 2 The vaccination issue 6 3 The vaccination debate in Australia 31 4 Denigration 47 5 Harassment 101 6 Censorship 152 7 Defending 208 8 Contexts 245 9 Moral panics 310 10 Conclusion 358 Index


Acknowledgements When writing on a controversial topic, obtaining feedback on drafts is especially important. Over several years I presented extracts from work in progress to members of the high-output writing group at the University of Wollongong. For helpful textual suggestions and feedback on content, I thank Tonya Agostini, Anu Bissoonauth-Bedford, Zhuqin Feng, Kathy Flynn, Anneleis Humphries, Michael Matteson, Anne Melano, Ben Morris, Adrian Mozejko, Zhuoling Tian and Jody Watts. For valuable comments on specific points or on portions of the draft text, I thank Sudeepa Abeysinghe, Gabriele Bammer, Lee Basham, Daniel Beckman, Stuart Blume, Elena Conis, Michelle Crino, Goodarz Danaei, Evelyne de Leeuw, Mark Diesendorf, Meryl Dorey, Don Eldridge, Kurtis Hagen, Jaron Harambam, David Hess, Pru Hobson-West, Graham Howard, Sue Curry Jansen, Tim Marchant, Sarah Wright Monod, Melissa Raven, Jennifer Reich, Patrick Stokes, Kenneth Thompson, Samantha Vanderslott, Kevin White, Trevor Wilson and half a dozen others who prefer to remain anonymous. None of these readers necessarily agrees with anything I’ve written. I especially appreciate those readers who generously offered comments despite reservations about my perspective. I also thank the numerous colleagues, friends and correspondents who have shared with me their ideas, observations, information and opinions about the topics covered in this book. For me, it has been an experience of continual learning.

Glossary AVN A citizens’ group critical of Australian government vaccination policy and supportive of choice in vaccination decisions. Formed in the mid 1990s by Meryl Dorey, after a few years the group’s name became the Australian Vaccination Network. In 2014, it was forced to change its name, and cha