(NaturalNews) Australia may be a democracy but in the case of the Australian Vaccination Network, the government is acting more like Communist China.
A government entity, the New South Wales Department of Fair Trading, is requiring the AVN to change its name after 16 years over what sounds like the most dubious of reasons: concerns from "within the community," according to a blog site LivingWisdom.com.
According to the site, the AVN is a community-based information and support group that advocates for the right of people "to make free and informed health choices" - namely, whether or not they choose to receive vaccines.
The AVN's rules and code of ethics "restrict them from taking an anti-vaccination position," the website said, "they are opposed to any form of compulsory vaccination or medication."
The website said two groups appeared to be behind the effort to force the AVN to change its name.
So much for the 'community' objecting
One is called Stop the AVN (SAVN), "a hate group whose sole reason for existence is to force the AVN to close in any way they can," said LivingWisdom.com, whose tactics have "included harassment, death threats, posting of violent pornography, hacking the AVN's website and a flood of vexatious complaints" to local and federal government agencies - complaints that have led to "investigations which may have cost the Australian taxpayers millions of dollars."
The second group is the Australian Medical Association (AMA), an industry lobbying organization that represents about half of all Australian physicians (who obviously have a stake in administering vaccines). "The collective prestige of the medical profession obviously suffers each time vaccination is called into question," said the website.
From all indications it sounds like the "community" doesn't have as much of a problem with the AVN as do the two groups opposed to it. Nevertheless, the groups successfully convinced a government minister to not only order AVN to change its name - "the first time this had been done for these reasons, according to preliminary searches," the website said - but to also introduce, and have passed in record time, legislation aimed at making it easier to do so in the future.
This isn't the first time the AVN has had trouble with a government agency.
In 2009, a member of the SAVN lodged complaints against the AVN and its president, Meryl Dorey, with Australia's Health Care Complaints Commission, another New South Wales governmental body, claiming their information did not support vaccination and, therefore, should not be allowed to carry on.
The complaint sought a gag order against Dorey and AVN, which would have prevented them from speaking about any health-related issue.
Making immunization freedom permanently illegal?
A three-year legal battle ensued, with the AVN being cited by the HCCC as "dangerous, deceptive and misleading," a ruling that cost the organization its charity authority and ability to raise funds.
"A decision by the NSW Supreme Court in April 2012 overturned the HCCC's warning, reinstated the AVN as a charity and informed the HCCC that the complaints which it had spent a year investigating were not valid complaints in the first place," the website noted.
At the request of the HCCC, the site said, the Australian government is now in the process of changing the law so that anyone or any organization can complain about anyone who talks about health, unless you're a doctor, who would be exempted.
"Bear in mind that the HCCC was formed to act as a 'policeman' for rogue doctors but has, over recent years, been effectively coopted into a police force for the doctors and government-approved medicine," said LivingWisdom.com.