Anti-vaccine campaigner Sherri Tenpenny has been forced to cancel her Australian tour due to all of the venues hosting her seminars mysteriously pulling out.
Sherri was due to visit Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane to give a seminars around the dangers of vaccines, including the belief that that vaccines are linked to autism, asthma and auto-immune diseases.
However, the controversial subject attracted strong opposition in the form of bomb and death threats to the venues who had preliminarily booked her. It is likely that these threats caused them to subsequently cancel her appearances.
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Speaking to Channel 9 from her home in Cleveland, Ohio, Ms Tenpenny said she was still hopeful of making a trip after a strong backlash from pro-vaccine campaigners forced many venues to cancel events.
“I know that we’re still trying to find locations, but it’s become quite difficult with the extremists there, they’re making it very challenging to schedule another event,” she said.
“Of course, I wasn’t the one who set these up, it’s been an organiser in Australia and I was coming as an invited guest to speak.”
Ms Tenpenny said she believed some venues pulled out after bomb threats and death threats.
“I’m not really speaking against anything, I’m just pro-information,” she said.
Pro-vaccination group Stop the Australian Anti-Vaccination Network campaigned strongly against the visit, saying Ms Tenpenny’s views endangered people’s health and targeted vulnerable patients.
The Kareela Golf & Social Club, in Sydney’s south, was among the first to cancel. A spokesman said the club didn’t want to be associated with the controversial topic.
The club’s Facebook page was subsequently flooded with messages from Ms Tenpenny’s supporters, criticising the back-down.
At least five venues then followed suit, bowing to public pressure and cancelling the event.
Some punters had paid as much as $200 to attend.
Ms Tenpenny said she “did not know” whether those who bought tickets would get their money back.
“I believe they will, but that’s not in my hands,” she said.
The following note has been added to the event organiser’s bookings page on Eventbrite:
“The venue has cancelled our booking due to bullying by vested interests who do not believe in informed consent, free speech and respect for other’s rights, and who appear to support censorship of thought and science. A new venue is being sought now so please book your ticket. You will be notified of the new venue in due time. Thank You.
The organisers have been contacted by SBS.