Update January 20, 2013: The woman who left the threatening voicemail on the law professor's work phone has contacted the law professor via email, admitting to her actions and apologizing for them. The law professor has written:
I considered deleting the contents of this post, but decided to let it stand, with the update above. I dislike removing posts. But no further action is necessary.
There is a Facebook group of lay pro-vaccine activists, called The Anti-Vaccine Wall of Shame. It has well over 300 international members, mostly from English-speaking countries. On the whole, posts to the group consist of examples of particularly egregious examples of anti-vaccination counter-factuality, denial of reality, or flat dunderheadedness.
Some of the topics you may see here (not in any specific order): intact penis care, circumcision, natural living, family and infant nutrition, GMO information, medical marijuana, herbs/ homeopathy, natural birth/home birth, breastfeeding, full term nursing, attachment parenting, gentle discipline, homeschooling/unschooling, foreskin restoration, human rights violations, car seat safety, politics, international matters, and more....We firmly believe that vaccines are very dangerous and it is our recommendation that any parent do EXTENSIVE research on the subject.
Hollie, in particular, is rather an extreme "intactivist" who regards all circumcision as wrong. the ultra-Orthodox Jewish circumcision practice of "metzitzah b’peh " as child abuse. Hollie has represented this practice as common among all Jews, not just the ultra-Orthodox. Keep that in mind for the rest of the story.
Some weeks ago, members of the Anti-Vaccine Wall of Shame (AVWOS) discovered Hollie's inaccurate, counter-factual Facebook claims about vaccines and began refuting them, both at the Motherhood: The Truth page and on the AVWOS page. A number of AVWOS members participated in the debunking and fact-asserting, including many who use their real names on Facebook and whose employment contact information is easily available.
In response to the pressure of facts from AVWOS members, on January 11, Hollie posted the following pronouncement at Motherhood: The Truth:
A few weeks ago this page was very ANTI-VACCINATION. We believe that vaccines are poisons and that every parent deserves to be informed. Our mission was interrupted by a group of losers who are terrified that the anti-vaccine movement is gaining ground. In order to keep the integrity of the page, we removed vaccines as a topic here at Motherhood.
One of those "losers" includes an Israeli-born, US-educated law school professor, now employed at a prestigious California law school, who uses her real name in commenting on Facebook. Keep in mind that this person had recently joined AVWOS, and while active, was far from the most vociferous in refuting Hollie's foolishness.
Nevertheless, Hollie chose to target the Jewish professor, rather than the other public figures on AVWOS. Hollie found the professor's listing on the law school's faculty roster, and left the following rather alarming message:
Here's an edited transcript of Hollie's message (uhms, ers, obvious errors removed)
Thursday (I am not sure if the message was left on January 10, 2013 or January 17, 2013).
Hi Dorit, my name is Hollie. I was actually just calling because I wanted to let you know that I found out your address, where you live in South Bay with your husband, and I just wanted to let you know that I am going to be posting that very, very, very publicly on Facebook, if your group does not leave some of the anti-vaxxers alone. So just take this as a word of warning, Miss Professor of Law. You do know how these things work, these threats, work, right? I will be calling the police and reporting your for harassment. I will also be blowing up the internet, showing your address and all of that. I just wanted to let you know. If you don't leave us alone, we're going to be doing this to you. OK? GREAT! Have a good day.
Just in case Hollie's FB pronouncement goes away, here's a screen-shot. As always, click to embiggen.
I will donate $100.00 to your charity of choice if you can prove that a pro-vaccination advocate has threatened an anti-vaccination advocate in this way.
- Just the Vax Blog When the Truth Calls
- The Poxes Blog You Know How Threats Go, Right?
- Facebook Group: I Harassed a Jewish Lawyer at Work and Now I'm On Tape
- Harpocrates Speaks Blog Stop Criticizing Me Or I'll Blow Up The Internet!