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A Meryl Dorey story – or not?

May 6, 2012

Update: The link to the Good Weekend story is no longer active. To find the article, you’ll need to use the Advanced Search function at Press Display. The date you need 5 May 2012 in Good Weekend, and just search for Meryl Dorey in the body of the article. You’ll still need to pay, unfortunately.

This weekend’s Good Weekend magazine (paywall) has a story by Benjamin Law titled Adverse Reactions. At first sight, it looks as though it’s going to be a profile of Meryl Dorey from the discredited AVN, including benign photo. But it turns out to be a well-written and well-researched piece that eventually puts Meryl in her place. There’a some good background on the reality behind the MMR scare, and although Meryl’s views get more attention than I’d like, Benjamin is obviously not a subscriber to the usual depressing false balance nonsense of the mainstream media.

I particularly appreciated the sting in the tail of the article:

“What are you more afraid of,” I ask, “whooping cough or its vaccine?”

Dorey smiles. “I’m more afraid of ignorance.”

When I tell her that doesn’t answer my question, Dorey laughs brightly. “I think it’s a really good answer!” she says.

In any case, Dorey gives the impression whooping cough isn’t all that bad. she says it can be treated with alternative remedies. When her husband and all their children contracted it years ago, they treated it homeopathically. I am quietly appalled. Two years ago, I contracted whooping cough (even though I had been vaccinated as a child: immunity recedes as we age). For three months I suffered from an uncontrollable racking so intense I wept and almost vomited every night. Surely in babies, I suggest to Dorey, the disease is far more dangerous and warrants vaccination.

“If it were me,” she says, “I would use homeopathy.”

“What is in it exactly?” I ask.

“Nothing,” she says, a little mysteriously. “It’s energy medicine, like quantum medicine.” She pauses, then laughs. “I’m not a homeopath, so I’m probably not the best person to tell you exactly how this works.”

But because she is Meryl Dorey, and because she’s here to help, she proceeds to explain it to me anyway.

So there you go. Meryl can tell as all about not only the failings of the scientific community, but the mysteries of ‘quantum medicine’ and homeopathy as well.

Nicely written, Benjamin Law.

By the way, Michael Simpson at Skeptical Raptor’s Blog has regular updates about outbreaks of whooping cough and other preventable diseases.

  1. Michael Simpson permalink

    I also write about Zombies.

  2. I actually think the article is far too nice to Meryl. Giving her airtime or column inches only feeds the nonsense, no matter how subversive the journalist. Mia Freedman was quoted in the story as saying she wouldn’t give Meryl/AVN validation by contributing to the article: Mia was right, Ben Law was a facilitator.

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  1. More science denialism from Meryl Dorey

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