‘Go hang yourself’: Anti-vax campaign targets senator
A federal senator who called out the disinformation of an anti-vaccination letter campaign has been bombarded by hate mail, telling her to "go hang" herself, labelling her an "evil Satanist" and accusing her of causing autism in her son.
Senator Hollie Hughes was one of many politicians bombarded with over 1000 letters from anti-vaxxers in a social media offensive spearheaded by a Facebook group run by Anthony Golle, a former NSW chiropractor and supporter of anti-vaccine group the AVN.
Last month Mr Golle and wife Kate enlisting their Empowered Lifestyle Revolution group of 40,000 members to pay $5 each for a series of proforma letters to send to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Federal Minister Health Greg Hunt and other leading politicians including Senator Hughes protesting vaccination.
The Sunday Telegraph does not suggest that Anthony and Kate Golle had any involvement in the hate messages sent to Senator Hughes.
The couple, who also run a multi-level marketing business selling powdered juice, are in "phase three' of their letter writing campaign and give online directions on how to send the letters on 'non consent".
As the mother of an autistic child, Senator Hughes recorded a video to respond to the letters and debunked their claims.
"I got thousands of letters so we thought rather than reply to them, we did a video, we posted it a few weeks ago, but last week we sent it to all the letter writers as our response and then I got emails and comments that I caused my own child's autism, that I don't understand science," she said.
Some of the comments include 'f. k you and your poison vaccine', 'you f. ken idiot, go hang yourself' 'you stupid fat mouth' 'forced vaccination is medical rape, are you a rapist?'
Many have also taken aim at Senator Hughes' autistic son Fred.
"I'm getting comments that I caused my son's autism, that I am wracked with guilt."
'You caused the autism in your child and now you feel guilty about it' 'you call your three children healthy but then anyone has autism. Since when is an autistic child healthy?'
"The effect is nothing on me, I know how lunatic these people are, but the effect on the parents that don't have the same level of resilience is obviously really concerning because there are a lot of parents out there who are frightened when they get overwhelmed and they are told autism is the worst thing in the world, when it is not, death by measles is considerably worse than autism," she said.
In her video, she took aim at the struck-off doctor Andrew Wakefield. whose discredited research linked MMR vaccine to 12 children with autism and which has been responsible for scaring many off vaccination and rising measles rates in western countries.
"There is no link between vaccines and autism and we have spent far too much time and money disputing that than actually helping the families with kids and people with autism, but it is scaring vulnerable families pre their vaccination programs unnecessarily and scaring families that do have kids with autism." Senator Hughes said.
"These people are totally irresponsible, they are enclaves in small areas, like the far north coast of NSW and the inner west of Sydney but all seem to be in enclaves and it is cult-like their belief in a discredited doctor who has been struck off proven to be have fundamentally abused children with a disability and they have a cult-lie appreciation for him.
"There needs to be a calling out of these people and we need to look at continuing public education campaign to ensure people are given real information.
"They are lucky there is herd immunity but if there was any outbreak of polio, or rubella or measles, we know how devastating they can be, and these people should be culpable, it is only by luck that and everyone else's adherence that their selfish acts of these people allow their children to escape that."
The Golle's have been contacted for comment however their Facebook site says they don't respond to mainstream media.
Originally published as 'Go hang yourself': Vicious anti-vax campaign targets senator