A fake Church has been created in Australia for those who want to avoid vaccinating their children.
Prompted by the “no jab, no play” childcare laws introduced in two Australian states, a controversial anti-vaccination group have create a “church” of its own that rejects vaccination.
The Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network has set up the “Church of Conscious Living” as a religion that could help avoid the vaccinations now crucial to enroll in childcare under a New South Wales 2013 law, as well as Victoria’s proposed law set to start in 2016.
The Age newspaper report:
Under the NSW government’s 2013 law and the Victorian government’s proposed law due to start in 2016, children who are not fully immunised are unable to enrol in childcare unless their parents declare they have a medical reason or personal, philosophical or religious objection.
To document a conscientious objection, parents must take a Medicare form to a GP to receive counselling about the risks and benefits of immunisation. The doctor can then be asked to sign the form, which must be sent to the federal government’s department of human services.
The same form is required for families wanting to claim the Family Tax Benefit A, which is designed to assist with the cost of raising children.
But with some doctors refusing to sign the documents, the Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network Inc (formerly known as the Australian Vaccination Network), is spruiking the “Church of Conscious Living” as a religion that is opposed to vaccination.
A post on its facebook page recommends it for people who may not want to join the US-based Church of Christian Science “in order to get their children into preschool or childcare.”
But the the Church of Conscious Living, founded eight years ago, is not registered as a church or charity with the federal government’s Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, but rather a business with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Furthermore, it appears to have been set up purely for people to claim exemption from vaccination. An AVN newsletter in December 2007 said the church was being created to make sure people’s rights to refuse vaccination are not eroded.
“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,” it says, adding that it costs $25 to join.