MEETING REPORT 11th FEBRUARY 2014
Reporter: Roy Garrett
Chair: Roger Thornton
Visiting Rotarians: Terry Valentine, RC Dandenong South East
Gabriel Hau, RC Southbank
Guests: Pamela Robertson, guest of Doug Robertson
Kerrin Howard, guest of Gabriel Hau
Stella Avramopoulos, guest of Neville John
Guest Speaker: Dr Elizabeth Pittman
City of Melbourne White Nights event, Rotary Rest Centre (Community Village location), Sat 22nd Feb. Needing volunteers for 2 shifts: 6:30pm – 12:30; 12:30 – 07:00am
1) Working Bee, McAuley House, assisting with tree pruning. 22nd March, 08:30 – 3:00pm. Volunteers needed
2) Camp Getaway, 9th -11th May. Volunteers needed
Morning Meeting of 11th March, guest speaker is Peter Wilson, Chair of Australian HR. An excellent speaker and topic to bring a friend / business colleague. Topic is “Mentoring, its Origins and Value to Today’s Leadership”
RCCMS are manning a barbeque Moomba Monday, 10th March. Two shifts: 10:00 – 15:00 and 15:00 – 20:00. Volunteers needed.
Vocational visit to Australia Post’s stamp manufacturing operation in Rowville is on 6th Feb, 0800. Interested attendees please let Kevin know.
Sgt. Session: Sgt Michael Bromby alluded to a possible fundraising competition for Selfies and demonstrated how good a selfie can be by putting up a pic of daughter, son-in-law and baguette, all on bikes and in Paris. All members agreed that Michael’s daughter looks vastly better than he does and also that it was indeed a good selfie – and a RCCMS contest sounds very interesting.
Michael then introduced Richard Stone and a “Would I lie to You” scenario wherein Richard confessed to us all that when bank managing in Normanton, FNQ, he arrested the local police sergeant. He did too. And we (nearly) all believed him.
Finally, Michael added two more stanzas via Alan Seale and Neil Salvano to the Tangled Tawdry Tale of lurid love, lust and lies. This literary masterpiece is headed for an interesting conclusion – maybe in 2014?
"Would I Lie to You" Richard trying to tell a lie. A study in Neuro Linguistic Programming.
Guest Speaker, Dr Elizabeth Pittman: “Medical Charlatans and Frauds”
In a fascinating address, Dr Pittman started with some discussion on definitions. A charlatan is a dishonest or unprincipled person. A fraud is someone who takes people down, for money – money overcomes ethics.
She illustrated some of history’s medical scoundrels:
Dr Goddard was a 17th century doctor who claimed he could cure pretty well everything. His potion seems to have been mostly ammonium carbonate – smelling salts. Charles II, a sovereign of certain tastes (ie 11 mistresses), believed Dr Goddard had a winner and bought the recipe (for £6,000!) so he could manufacture in his own laboratory. Charles duly had a stroke, was bled, purged bowels, took his Goddard potion and died.
Dr Perkins was an 18th century respected surgeon who took to the new-fangled product – electricity - and invented “tractors”. These were sort-of mini chopsticks made of gold and silver which would be drawn across the body to remove electrical malaises and would cure pain “everywhere”
He had followers in the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the President, but was expelled from the Medical Society of Connecticut – not because of malpractice, but because he was a patentee – a manufacturer of things.
He developed a “cure” for yellow fever which at that time was rampant in New York. There, he caught the disease and died. His son went on to found the Perkinean Association in England from where he returned to the USA £10,000 better off!
Richard Wallace had a medical degree and took on a great many more initials. He served in the British Army, in Prahran, St Kilda and then Sydney where he tablished the Freeman & Wallace Electro-medical Institute. He believed a great many medical interventions could be undertaken using electricity. His book “Rescued at Last” contained “naughty” drawings and was withdrawn. He also produced the “Electric Invigorator Belt” although from this time, 2014, one cannot imagine where the electricity came from. There was one for men, one for ladies. RCCMS members were impressed.
Then there was Dr Jukes, who thought that water enemas were such a good idea that he had one himself, daily and invented a very disquieting portable model. Some RCCMS members blanched at the photograph of this apparatus! Dr Jukes claimed that “French people had a water enema daily, after dinner”. More blanching.
And there was Dr Cotton who thought surgical removal of infected organs was a sure-fire cure for psychosis. Maybe the high death rate from these procedures could be taken as a cure of the psychosis? In some instances, many organs were removed. Whether this was because more infected organs were located or the psychosis had not gone is uncertain. Dr Cotton was discredited after a two year investigation but the investigation went unreported for a long time to preserve the reputation of John Hopkins Hospital, with which he was associated.
Last, but not least and still current and still having followers is Dr Wakefield, who promulgated the absolutely false claim that MMR vaccinations could lead to autism. Some countries which abandoned MMR vaccination actually showed an increase in autism. “There are still quite a number of adherents to this foolishness today!”
Aologies for the long-winded report, but Dr Pittman’s presentation was indeed fascinating. Roy.
President Doug with two of our three visitors, Kerrin Howard [left] and Stella Avramopoulos
The third visitor was Pam Robertson!