Saturday, February 18, 2012

Stephanie Messenger talking SIDS and Vaccines

Yesterday, I went to see Stephanie Messenger give a talk on “Your Vaccination Options” plus “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome”.

Approximately 35 people showed up; plus a couple of babies, toddlers and young kids. A couple ladies were clearly pregnant.

Unless otherwise noted, these are the words of Stephanie Messenger (SM); however I may have paraphrased in places. Here are my notes from the event:

SM starting by making it very clear that she has no qualifications to speak on vaccination or SIDS; however she has been researching the subjects for many years. She also made a point of saying that if you have a problem with this you could leave now and get a full refund.

SIDS has no known cause. There are risk factors, including smoking (no brainer). Babies should be sleeping on their backs.

A book was then promoted: “Cot Death Coverup” from New Zealand, based on the work of Barry Richardson of the UK. The book discusses Toxic Gas Theory. The organisation “SIDS and Kids” are not interested in this theory; they claim it is disproven. The organisation has been hijacked by scientists.

A poster was then displayed titled “SID FACTS” with a number of claims:
  •  In 2008/09 (12mth period) 39 babies died from unexplained causes in QLD alone. That is 1 baby every 9 days.
  •  Close to 50% of these babies were co-sleeping when they died
  •  17 babies were sleeping on their stomach while at least 15 babies were sleeping on their back when found dead
  •  180,000 cot mattress covers have been sold in New Zealand

Next we were shown a graph “Cot Death Rate for 1st and later babies of solo parents (Britain 2005). This basically showed that later children and children of older parents were at great risk of cot death.

Toxic Gas Theory:
  • mattresses contain fire retardants
  • all mattresses (except organic) contain phosphorus, antimony and arsenic
  • mattresses absorb body fluids- sweat and urine
  • heat – fever is enough heat to generate gas
  • something vague about bacteria

Safety Mattress Cover
  •  covers the mattress like a big bag
  •  200,000 sold
  •  not one death

Deliberate Cover Up
  •  table of sleeping positions was deleted from government report
  •  tabled showed nearly half of SIDS babies were on their back

Don’t use normal plastic to cover your mattress
  •  use food grade polyethylene ; has no phosphorus
  •  SM sells this off the roll for larger mattresses; 150 micron

Comment from the audience: Bubs N Grubs sell organic latex mattresses with coconut husks. This resulted in much discussion. SM said “some plant matter has phosphorus”

SM then promoted a study she wants to conduct into the usual sleeping positions of babies
  •  300-350 babies required
  •  need to check the sleeping positions of babies over 14 nights.

Most babies sleep on their stomachs

Babies get fever from vaccinations

The timing of vaccinations co-incides with SIDS

SM stated “I no longer believe vaccines cause SIDS”

Vaccines poisons babies and they take a longer time to die from it; it is not overnight.

We were then taken thru the definitions of “Beliefs” and “Knowledge”

The whooping cough epidemic along the eastern seaboard (Cairns to Melbourne) is mostly in the fully vaccinated.

Vaccine ingredients poster:
1. Amonnium sulphate
2. Beta-propiolactone
3. Genetically modified yeast, animal bacterial and viral DNA
4. Latex rubber
5. Monosodium glutamate
6. Aluminium
7. Formaldahyde
8. Microoranisms
9. Polysorbate
10. Tributylphosphate
11. Glutaradehyde
12. Gelatin
13. Gentaminici sulphate & polymyxin
14. Mercury (still in some vaccines, despite denials)
15. Neomycin sulphate
16. Phenol/phenoxyethanol
17. Human and animal cells

Attributed to vaccines poster (lists each vaccine with relevant side effects, the text of which was too small to read)
  • Hep B
  • MMR
  • Whooping Cough
  • Hib
  • Oral Polio
  • Chicken Pox
  • Flu

Some doctors don’t vaccinate

Packaging inserts:
  • Written in doctors lingo
  • Print too small to read
  • Too hard to understand.
The gist of this was to relay the idea that although information about vaccine side effects are supplied with the vaccine, they written and presented in such a way as to make it as difficult as possible to read and understand.

It is compulsory to vaccinate in the US
  • A vaccination compensation fund was setup with $2billion
  • Capped pay outs, so that amount represents a lot of claims
  • Keeps running out of funds
  • Pays about ¼ of applications
  • Pays compensation for vaccine induced autism.

There was a nurse in the audience who constantly interrupted, I have only noted a few of her comments

Nurse “patients are never told the risks before vaccination”

SM then told us that although babies get sick and even die as a direct result of vaccination, it is not recorded on the chart or death certificate. For example, the vaccine might cause encephalitis leading the hospitalisation or death. The hospital chart or death certificate with say encephalitis as cause of illness or death; not the vaccine. This means that we bury our heads in the sand on vaccine reactions.

Immunisation Vs Vaccination
  •  Two totally different meanings
  •  The name was changed as part of the brainwashing efforts

More talk about packaging inserts:
  •  Does anyone know what Otis Media is?
  •  It means “ear infection”
  •  It is written on the packaging inserts in “doctor speak” so you won’t understand it

Clinical Trial Vs Field Trial

Clinical Trial
  •  Conducted by drug companies on animals and humans
  •  Efficacy determined by raised antibody levels

Field Trial
  •  Not formally carried out
  •  The only people getting sick are fully vaccinated
  •  Medical community says “would have got it much worse if not vaccinated”

In Qld in 1998
  •  Four deaths from measles
  •  3 were vaccinated
  •  The one un-vaccinated death was an immunocompromised aboriginal

“Darker skin or slanty eyes” means more adverse reactions.

Raised antibody levels not scientifically proven to raise immunity EVER

Small pox mass vaccination correlated with a spike in disease

We were shown a graph that measles was already on the decline since 1870 and by the time the vaccine was introduced in 1970 it was already nearly gone.

  •  Diseases already dropping when vaccines introduced:
  •  Tetanus – mostly caused by rose thorn scratches in elderly people
  •  Hib
  •  Measles
  •  Whooping Cough
  •  Polio

Vested interest in vaccines:
Drug company
  •  Multi billion dollar industry
  •  Consultation fees
  •  Government incentives
  •  Funding from drug companies for research
  •  Gifts from drug companies
  •  Free education from drug companies: “junkets”
  •  Prestige
  •  Ego-maniacs
  •  Political parties funded by drug companies
  •  Universities funded by drug companies
  •  Who pays? Taxes!

Why do people have faith in the medical industry?

Fear is used to promote vaccination in hospitals; this is a great reason for home births.

Many people die in hospital for reasons other that what they went in for.

Doctors have gone on strike twice in the world
  •  Once in LA and once in Israel
  •  Death rates dropped both times

Doctors have the shortest life expectancies; why go to them for health advice?

Doctors treat the symptoms of disease, not the cause.

SM recommends you go to a natural therapist before you get sick.

Lady in the audience comments “vaccination in schools without consent is coming soon” *audience gasps* The same lady goes on to say that the Australian constitution has been changed again to allow this.

(For the record, the Australian constitution has not been amended since 1977)

Vaccination is NOT compulsory, you do have choices.

So What Can You Do?
1. Follow the government recommended vaccine schedule
2. Select from the government list
3. Homeopathic vaccination – Isaac Goldens produces a kit, Rachael Gleeson is a Brisbane homeopath, half of homeopaths do not believe in homeopathic vaccination as it goes against like cures like.
4. Create a naturally healthy lifestyle.
5. Do nothing – western lifestyle leads to reduced mortality.

SM says that if you do 1,2, or 3 you should also do 4; but if you do 4 why bother with the others?

Then SM did a bit of showman ship, she held up an object covered with a cloth. With a big gasp from the audience, she revealed a life size baby doll stuck like a pin cushion with needles.
  • Just the needles on the schedule, plus vitamin K
  • Baby gets 4 needles every visit
This is what anti-vax scare mongering looks like

A doctor in the audience then spoke up. She was a pediatrician, but is now a GP. She has been in court for five years because she signs so many conscientious objector forms.

Another audience member then shouted out that injection of RFID chips is coming soon.

The nurse then commented that she refuses to vaccinate kids.

SM then tells us the flu vaccine leads to an increase in Alzheimer’s.

Autism: many studies have duplicated Professor Wakefields work.

There is no autism in the unvaccinated.

Another audience member “treat the side effects with homeopathy”

I now quote SM “It is good for babies to catch diseases at the right time designed by nature”.

Most diseases appear in the fully vaccinated.

Question from the audience: A friend is travelling overseas and won’t be allowed back in Australia without vaccination.  SM answers: only one vaccine is a requirement, that is for yellow fever when you travel to Africa or the Amazon. She suggests you go via another country before coming home to get around quarantine.

The nurse then told us she has a child and is having trouble finding daycare that does not have policy of compulsory vaccination. We were then told they must allow for conscientious objectors.

SM informed us that if required she would supply the name and phone number of a local doctor as required to get your form signed.

From the audience “From July there will be no payments without vaccination”
1997 immunisation act must allow for conscientious objectors.

SM told us that you will always be exempt if you join a religion that won’t allow vaccination. She said to visit, download a form and join.  SM appeared extremely smug as she told us this, so I am guessing she has her finger in that pie. Having a look at the website, it appears the church only exists on the internet.

When her kids were in school, she wrote on the forms “toxic garbage keep it away from my children or I will sue you”.

SM told us a story of a new father who got his conscientious objector forms signed as soon as his baby was born. At the hospital, he insisted that there was to be no Vit K injection. The doctors insisted and the matter went to court. SM advised him to collect the baby and leave the hospital before they could inject. The story carried on for a while, with the father going back to court, SM advising him to move interstate and “go off the grid” and in the end the baby got all the injections.

Our nurse then spoke up again, “tell your doctor, this is NOT for debate, I will not allow vaccination of my child”. SM then suggested to tell the doctor that bullying will not be tolerated.

Homebirths and homeschool give you more control.

People who don’t vaccinate accept responsibility for health.
People who do vaccinate shift the responsibly onto the vaccine

Homebirth deaths make the news, hospital deaths are not newsworthy.

Boiling water makes fluoride worse.

Hospitals use tap water with fluoride to make baby formulae
This was on a car parked outside. There was at least one more anti-fluoride sticker

Grandparents – time to take action kit $7.50

People who vaccinate are loonies.

19th year educating people

Get the message to pregnant women. Buy some of our postcards and hand them to pregnant women you see, just say “you might need this information” and walk away. (I thought this sounded a bit creepy).

Our lovely nurse again “The AMA was setup by political activists to call homeopaths and naturalists quacks”

Someone called out from the back; I didn’t get all the words, but it was something like “Bill Gates….population control…. GMO….” You get the picture.

In the US it is now illegal to grow your own vegetables.

SM now plugged her organisation, for only $25 year you can support my work.

Next we pushed some products:
Negative Ions kill bacteria in 60 seconds

Panty Liners
  •  Green strip is negative ions
  •  Rub on cuts and bites. Malaria was mentioned.

  •  Light activates negative ions in metal rod inside handle
  •  No toothpaste needed

For some reason, we then had some talk about the new airport scanners. They are x-rays that cause cancer and sterilisation (population control was mentioned again).

SM went on to tell a story of going thru an Amsterdam airport. Instead of going thru the metal detector, she got a good frisking from a Dutch woman “rather enjoyed it actually”. SM went on to tell another story of how she managed to sneak thru US customs without being scanned or frisked.

  •  Original tv adds said “may” prevent cervical cancer. The “may” got removed
  •  SM saw “that Frazier person” just after he invented Gardasil
  •  Gardasil was always intended for Girls AND boys.

A picture inside the newsletter. Fair and reasonable vaccine discussion hey?
Then SM promoted a book:
“Melanies Marvelous Measles” for $20
The purpose of this book is to educate children. SM said that she even told her kids to run away from school if they have to to avoid vaccination.

SM told us the Australian Skeptics “those nasty people” don’t like her book; this brought muttering from the crowd. An audience member right behind me said something along the lines of “its run by doctors”.

My original plan was that after the seminar was finished, I was going to hand out the Five Vaccination Myths fliers like I had done at Woodford. At Woodford, these fliers were well received and I met some really lovely people. Even before SM said this about the skeptics, I was re-evaluating my plans. After that comment, I decided to stay incognito. It is a very uncomfortable feeling sitting in a crowd of people who are hostile simply because you do not share their delusions and paranoia.

Next we had a promo for SM’s new book “Sarah Visits a Naturopath” which is out next week.

For some reason, we then heard about GM foods and were told to read the labels and never eat anything with canola.

The doctor in the audience gave another rambling speech that started with GM food and ended with “go with God”.

Then we were told about a poultice to draw out the toxins from vaccination. There are two versions, one made from potato and another from charcoal.

The nurse spoke up again to tell us that Florence Nightingale was against vaccination. Personally, I am not sure how the opinion of a nurse who died 100 years is relevant to modern medicine. I guess this would be appeal to authority and perhaps appeal to antiquity.

SM wound up by telling us that she has monthly support groups in Cleveland, Gold Coast and Toowoomba and another is coming soon to Redcliffe.

Once the seminar was over, two tables were open for business selling postcards, books, negative ion panty liners and toothbrushes.

To summarise my experience, this seminar seams to be a load of scare mongering, leading up to a serious sales pitch.

I guestimate she took in around $600 in ticket sales. That would cover her expenses of hiring the hall and preparation of materials (which would be used over a number of events) with plenty leftover to make a nice paypacket for an afternoons efforts.

At the end of the sermon seminar we had a number of sales pitches for her books, panty liners, tooth brushes and other items for sale at the venue.  I can tell you first hand, the tables were packed with customers.  We also had a big pitch to sign up to help her “work” for $25 year. In return, you get a newsletter, which is littered with adds for her own products and has a an order form on the back for products ranging from $15 to $45.


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  1. Boy I bet your brain hurt!

    Let's look at her claims about the US vaccination program:

    It is compulsory to vaccinate in the US
    A vaccination compensation fund was setup with $2billion
    Capped pay outs, so that amount represents a lot of claims
    Keeps running out of funds
    Pays about ¼ of applications
    Pays compensation for vaccine induced autism.

    She's actively wrong about some elements of the US: we have private health care, and vaccines aren't "compulsory". They are however required for school entry, but in most states, philosophical exemptions are entirely too easy to get. Medical and religious exemptions are also available.

    The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) is funded by a fee (I guess you could say tax), paid by the manufacturers, based on each dose of vaccine produced. It has never "run out of money". I'm not sure what she means by "capped payouts" but she's almost certainly wrong there. Perhaps she was referring to table injuries.

    I wrote a blog post about the facts relative to (NVICP) and payout, Oh NO The US has paid out $2 Billion in Vaccine Injury Compensation--That Must Mean Vaccines are Dangerous!!

    One of my commenters noted think it's also worth noting that of the 2,892 claims compensated, nearly half (1,266) were related to the DTP with whole cell Pertussis. Since the DTPwP is no longer used, it would make sense not to consider these awards if using the VICP compensation figures as an indication of safety.. I should take her advice and re-do the post analysis.

    Exactly one case of "vaccine-induced autism" has been compensated, and that's complicated.

    About HALF the claims are compensated...depending on how you look at the numbers. Again, it's complicated.

    1. I think she meant that each type of injury has a capped amount. I can't open that link for some reason.

    2. Which link?


      I don't believe she is correct about "each type of injury has a capped amount", but I am not a lawyer so I could be wrong.

  2. Stephanie Messenger's claim that "efficacy of vaccines in clinical trials is determined by raised antibody levels" is partially correct. Efficacy is usually determined by incidence of the disease in the study treatment allocation arms.

  3. "SM then promoted a study she wants to conduct into the usual sleeping positions of babies

    300-350 babies required
    need to check the sleeping positions of babies over 14 nights."

    I wonder if she realises that she needs to gain approval from an ethics committee to collect data from humans for research.

    1. I had thought I got one of the forms when I collected brochures, but I must have missed that one. No mention was made of ethics approvals.

  4. So.... basically, nothing new. Nothing at all. Same BS, different seminar.

    1. A lot of it was new to me. Before going, I had heard of SM but no details. The whole Toxic Gas thing was new to me. Considering she is in our home town, I think I will be keeping closer tabs.

  5. The Church of Conscious Living was set up by Jane Leonforte, a former vice-president of Vaccination Information South Australia, after she moved to Queensland. This is why it was created:

    "To this end, we have decided to create a 'religion', so, amongst other things, we can claim 'religious exemption', if the need ever arises, for ourselves and our children."

    ... excerpt from AVN newsletter, Dec 2007

  6. They have quite a history of stalking pregnant women. The VAIS newsletter contained instructions for activism, one point was if you noticed a pregnant woman in your area, note her address (you don't have to know her name) and let VAIS know so they would then send antivax material to her home.

  7. Phil, was it SM or an audience member or SM who claimed

    In the US it is now illegal to grow your own vegetables.

    Somebody tell Michelle Obama, she has a vegetable garden at the White House.

    Growth of the “kitchen garden”

    Roger Doiron is a founder of Kitchen Gardeners International and a big part of the movement that convinced Michelle Obama to plant an organic vegetable garden at the White House.

    Honestly, the gullibility of these folk is bottomless.


  8. SM then tells us the flu vaccine leads to an increase in Alzheimer’s.

    Autism: many studies have duplicated Professor Wakefields work.

    There is no autism in the unvaccinated.

    To pubmed!

    CMAJ. 2001 Nov 27;165(11):1495-8.
    Past exposure to vaccines and subsequent risk of Alzheimer's disease.
    Verreault R, Laurin D, Lindsay J, De Serres G.

    After adjustment for age, sex and education, past exposure to vaccines against diphtheria or tetanus, poliomyelitis and influenza was associated with lower risk for Alzheimer's disease (odds ratio [OR] 0.41, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.27-0.62; OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.37-0.99; and OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.54-1.04 respectively) than no exposure to these vaccines.

    None of the studies that Wakefield and his supporters claim "replicate" his work have replicated the claim. Here's a partial list of (from Wakefield) and They are not independent confirmation of Wakefield's work.

    No unvaccinated children with autism: that's harder. I don't think there's been a US study. There's anecdotal reports. For example, Kim Stagliano (who runs the Age of Autism website) has 3 daughters, all with autism. She has said the youngest is completely unvaccinated. An unscientific study was discussed at LeftBrain/RightBrain (LB/RB) Internet Survey Shows High Autism Rate in Unvaccinated Children (If you are interested in autism, I recommend LB/RB as a reliable source.)

  9. It's worth noting that the supposed "church" that is the church of councious living is in fact not a church but a registered business under the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (QLD BN21471629) so how is it possible that they claim religious exemption?

  10. Thank you for posting this. I just saw her advert for the exact same talk here in the Blue Mountains and vaccination debate aside, what really sickened me was advertising a 100% cure for SIDS. How can she do that? This is totally misleading. Nothing is 100% certain, including vaccination. I don't like all the cloak and dagger approach either. Sending the venue address once you have paid via an SMS. This is highly suspicious stuff. It just worries me that people might actually believe this and get hurt. How can officials allow this to happen?

  11. Oh sorry I forgot...just want to reply to something SM wrote on her advert... Well SM I have raised 4 healthy children, all fully vaccinated and with no childhood diseases. Oh sorry I tell a lie my two older children both had measles before getting the vaccination for it..go figure! And just an example of their health, my 12 year old hasn't been to the doctors since he was 5 when he got his last vaccination before starting school! Both myself and husband have been vaccinated and couldn't have better health...big scare tactics on SM's part.

  12. Thank you so much for this, it was too funny and you deserve a medal for having to sit through all of that and keep quiet. Years ago I did the same at one of those seminars by Meryl Dorey and her mixed bag of fellow loonies. Same old tripe being recycled after 15 years. A lot of the stuff comes from Veira Scheibner's ridiculous book. The anti-vax movement always attracts the same kind of misfits - incompetent pseudo-medical wannabees; quacks; self-taught nobodies; control freaks and many clearly suffering from untreated personality disorders. They always seem to be attracted to each other. Shame on this woman for targeting pregnant women and attempting to indoctrinate children. Really, someone mentioned it on another skeptical site, that the anti-vax movement is cult-like. They pretty much operate the same way, and have the same paranoid delusions.

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