Diluted Thinking

in Australian healthcare

AVSN: Vaxxed Tour 2017 Newcastle screening

Following the debacle of the Gold Coast screening the Vaxxed Tour stayed true to form, creating havoc at the next screening which was held at the Charlestown Community Centre, Charlestown NSW, on 28 July 2017.

Like all the Vaxxed screenings, the audience was only advised of the venue and location two hours prior to the event. One audience member very kindly spread the word at this time, allowing concerned members of the public to notify venue management exactly what was planned for its venue that night (the venue was also contacted by phone).

The event kicked off publicly via live video from the USA Vaxxed team on Periscope, Facebook and YouTube. Polly Tommey interviewed a few people in the venue foyer prior to the screening, then we saw a slight panic as mention was made of the venue manager being upset by the event. More on that in a moment.


Book signed by Suzanne Humphries, Brisbane screening, 24 July 2017
The video published on YouTube shows Meryl Dorey on stage, just prior to the film being shown, addressing the audience. Dorey advises that the original venue, the Exhibition Centre in Newcastle, cancelled the Vaxxed event at 10am that morning due to being misled as to the nature of the event, believing it was for a book launch. Dorey then tried to reinstate the booking for a book launch, as one of the USA Vaxxed team here has just published a book [ping Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton - which visa category did Suzanne Humphries enter Australia?]

Dorey then talks about trying to find a venue for 150 people at short notice. No wonder the screening ended up miles and miles away from the original area advised on its ticket booking page; Newcastle officials had been hard at work to ensure no government or council venue would be used for a Vaxxed screening. But Lake Macquarie City Council had no such warning, and as we will see, were also misled when the booking was made.

In the video published on Periscope and Facebook (both deleted shortly after publication), we saw Polly Tommey and Vaxxed organisers in discussion with the venue manager, who was clearly upset and concerned by this event. Excerpts of this discussion follow:

Manager: "...you knew what was going to happen which is why you didn't tell us… Why didn't you tell us…", "…not until you were almost here".

[Commentary out of hearing of the manager]
Tommey: "This manager is freaking out."
Humphries: "They'll try to cut the Q&A off, probably."

Manager: "So how can you let all of these people know [audience]… you only booked it late this afternoon"

[inaudible response]

Manager: "That's my point, you do it deliberately so it won't cause trouble, which means you have fair reason to believe that it will cause trouble, which is only fair and reasonable that we [venue] were warned about that."

[Manager requests Tommey to stop filming, Tommey refuses]

Manager: "You need my permission to record and publish me…"

[Tommey stops filming her, walks away]

Tommey: "Who booked the venue?"

[non-AVN/Vaxxed individual]: "The booking's in my name."

So there we have it. The Vaxxed screening at Charlestown Community Centre was NOT booked in the name of the AVSN, nor was the true purpose of the event divulged to the venue until after it began to receive negative publicity about hosting an event detrimental to public health. Such was the strength of community concern, it had the Lake Macquarie Mayor, Kay Fraser, tweeting on a Friday night that they will be reviewing policies. The Charlestown Community Centre is a joint initiative with the Lake Macquarie City Council, with some of its councillors and the Mayor serving on its Board.

In a possible attempt by the Vaxxed team to placate the venue, the Q&A session after the movie has not been published online.
edit: The USA Vaxxed team ignored the manager's explicit instruction not to film her and publish it by including footage of the manager addressing the audience in the YouTube video I linked to earlier.

Update: 29 July 2017

The lie-fest that is the AVN Vaxxed Tour made the papers yet again for… wait for it… lying. Article published in Hits and Old School Outrage Over Anti-Vax Doco Screening At Charlestown:

There are calls for an investigation…

The screening of a highly controversial anti-vaccination documentary at a Charlestown community centre, has prompted anger from a Lake Macquarie councillor.

It's now emerged the film was shown at The Place: Charlestown Community Centre, a not-for profit joint venture between Lake Macquarie City Council and the GPT Group.

Lake Macquarie councillor Kevin Baker, who's a director of the centre, says he was horrified to learn the film had been screened there.

"Vaccinations are a vital part of a modern healthy society, and I am a staunch advocate for them. Having close family with Autism, I am extremely offended by the claims made in this so called 'documentary'." he said.

He's called for a full investigation into how organisers managed to secure the venue.

The film's been shown in Queensland in recent days as part of a national tour, generating public outcry and calls from doctors for it to be banned.

Organisers were accused of tricking a Gold Coast principal into letting them hire out his school hall to show the film, after claiming it was a seminar on organic vegetables.

The film has been banned from being shown in cities around the world.

Cr Kevin Baker, Lake Macquarie City Council, posted the following statement on Facebook:

Thank you to everybody who contacted me last night regarding the screening of an anti-vaccination "Vaxxers" film at The Place: Charlestown Community Centre. I was horrified to find out that this had been shown at the facility.

Vaccinations are a vital part of a modern healthy society, and I am a staunch advocate for them. Having close family with Autism, I am extremely offended by the claims made in this so called "documentary".

As a director of The Place, I have called for a full investigation into how this was allowed to happen - and will be fighting to ensure that this does not occur again.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/CrKevinBaker/posts/745063069026669

This Vaxxed tour has been nothing but lies and deception, which I'm sure will continue to the bitter end. I urge everyone to contact the local councils and possible venue operators where Vaxxed is due to be screened, to warn them that a booking will have been made under false pretences and to advise them of the anti-vaccination nature of these events in the interests of public health.

Update: 31 Jul 2017

The Newcastle Herald published the article Anti-vaxxed: anger at Charlestown film screening (30 Jul 2017). It interviewed Cr Kevin Baker, Mayor Kay Fraser, Hunter New England Health, and Dr Michael Gannon (President AMA), who slam the movie and its screening.
Tasha David, AVSN President, stated the venue was advised that a controversial film about vaccination was to be screened. As mentioned above, the AVSN did not make the booking; a local AVN/Vaxxed supporter made the booking so we'll have to wait and see if the ensuing investigation by the local council uncovers who said what and when. I wish them luck trying to uncover the truth from anyone associated with AVSN and the anti-vaccination movement.