"The grand primum mobile of England is cant; cant political, cant
poetical, cant religious, cant moral, but always cant, multiplied
through all the varieties of life."
"For the bullshitter (...) is
neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye
is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the
liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in
getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he
says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them
up, to suit his purpose."
Frankfurt, "On Bullshit"
"Everyone's a critic now"
"The point is that authority has migrated from critics to ordinary
folks, and there is nothing – not collusion or singleness of purpose
or torrents of publicity – that the traditional critics can do about
it. They have seen their monopoly usurped by what amounts to a vast
technological word-of-mouth of hundreds of millions of people.
We live, then, in a new age of cultural populism – an
age in which everyone is not only entitled to his opinion but is
encouraged to share it."
and yesterday's More on bullshitting -
that gets downloaded a lot, and that seems to have struck some chords
- with more of the last, that mostly comments on it.
Originally, I wanted to continue The gentle art
of bullshitting the public for money
But I got diverted from my original course by An
Editorial by Mindy Kitei on her site CFS Central and some emails about
it, so instead I will write about that, with an intro that serves to
explain why I did not know much about ME till 2010 that I know now,
and an outro that serves to explain why I have had it with patients'
So let me write about these subjects, even though it probably
won't help any:
1. Bleijenberg's beastly bullshit
2. Mindy Kitei's Editorial
3. "Everyone's a critic now"
4. On sharpness of language
Bleijenberg's beastly bullshit
I have learned a lot about and around ME the last 15
months or so - say: from October 2009 till January 2011 - that I did
not know before, although I have ME since January 1, 1979, like my ex,
and although I have an M.A. in psychology.
Indeed, that M.A. is part of the reason that I did
not know a lot that ME agenda does and did know for quite a long time
about and around ME, because ca. 1990 I was handed Ger Bleijenberg's
thesis by a professor of psychology who knew me well and who knew I
have ME and how awful that is, since he had seen me arrive at
university sweating like a sponge many times, from sheer exertion with
Now Bleijenberg also is a psychologist, albeit in
the pseudoscience of clinical psychology, and a bit younger than I am.
Also, while I have an M.A. in psychology, it was taken mostly on
logic, physics and mathematics, precisely because I had found very
rapidly that psychology, that I started studying because I am
interested in human reasoning (whence also my interest in logic) is
for the most part hardly a real science, and for a good part rather
sickening baloney and bullshit, as indeed the professor I mentioned,
who taught mathematical statistics to students of psychology, agreed.
The thesis of Bleijenberg deeply disgusted me
because of its stupidity, bad style, pretensiousness, falsehoods,
impertinence, and dishonesty, and indeed also because, while I had
seen a lot of all of those in much that was served as "science of
psychology, this had ME as its subject, albeit Bleijenberg the
bullshitter insisted on calling it "chronic fatigue syndrome" and
pretended he could cure it with CBT.
Since I had anyway developed a considerable disgust
for psychology - with important exceptions, such as the
admirable William James and Kenneth Craik (*) - this turned me off
psychology with great disgust, and in the alas quite false belief
Bleijenberg's bullshit would not be taken serious.
But I tend to underestimate men's minds and men's
morals - I say at 60 - and Bleijenberg's beastly bullshit got him a
professorship, since when he must have driven several tens of Dutchmen
to suicide by his demented, idiotic, and fundamentally sadististic
pseudoscience: You have no right to exclude people from help on the
basis of your false attribution that people with a neurological
disease have a psychiatric one - to do so nevertheless, whatever your
titles and pretensions, is sick if not insane and evidently cruel and
I got to know of
Bleijenberg's beastly bullshit,
and of Wessely's bullshit, whence Bleijenberg's bullshit was derived,
only in October 2009, because of the publication in Science about the
relation between XMRV and ME/CFS, and also because briefly before I
had acquired, at long last, being ill and poor, fast internet, having
worked with a wacky telephone-modem connection since 1996, that was so
lousy I could not decently surf, for which reason I was till 2009
mostly dependent on Ellen Goudsmit's writings, that since have turned
out to be extremely onesided and intentionally misleading,
specifically by Ms. Goudsmits refusal - "as A Scientist" - to even
mention the writings of professor Hooper and Margaret Williams.
So that's why it took me effectively till 2010 to be
honestly and fully informed about ME, and by and large that was a
quite sickening experience, precisely because it turned out frauds
like Wessely and Bleijenberg (and a handfull of others: Reeves, Jones,
White, Sharpe, Chalder, Gerada, Fink, Kroehnke and more) had been
lying to the public, and more important to the media and the
governments, since 1988 that no, ME/CFS is no disease: It is a
dysfunctional belief system, that merits no help, no medication, no
disability benefit, and can be cured by the frauds, witches and
warlocks who parasite on the administration of CBT to the naive, the
ill, the sick and whoever has money to pay in the name of "science" -
which also is very beneficial for both state bureaucracies and health
insurors, since 8 treatments with CBT are cheaper than real biomedical
research or medication, and here are some 20 frauds, psychoshrinks,
and pseudoscientific bullshitters with professorates in psychiatry who
swear that "No, Maarten Maartensz - and millions like him - is not
ill: he merely thinks he is, and he can be cured by the likes of Ger
Bleijenberg. And if he refuses, force him to work or let him die in
his own excrement without help - he must be mad and deserves it."
Therefore discovering at long last what had been
going on behind my back was a rather disgusting experience, although
there were positive discoveries as well - that I leave unmentioned for
the moment, and anyway relate to persons rather than to science or
opinion or indeed patients' forums.
2. Mindy Kitei's Editorial
Mindy Kitei is an American journalist, who appeared
on the ME/CFS-scene about half a year ago, and who has an interesting
site called CFS Central.
I do not know much about her, but I like her site and have several
times mentioned it and linked to it on my own.
Since I don't know much about her, and never mailed
with her, I know little of her motivation to write about ME/CFS,
but as far as I know, she is interested in ME/CFS at least in part
because 4 people with ME/CFS she interviewed in the 1990-ies now are
dead, much sooner than they probably would have been if healthy.
Indeed, I would feel concerned about such a fact too, if I were a
journalist writing about health topics, and would want to find out
more about it.
So far, she has written a number of interesting
pieces and interviews related to ME, that are on her site, on which
there now also has appeared something called "No
More Psychological Studies - An Editorial", which you'll find
under the link.
You'll also find it below, so as to fairly dissect
it, which is counter to Ms Kitei's wishes, for she has a copyright
section that claims, among other things
may paraphrase or quote directly from each CFS Central article not
more than 150 words, and you must attribute all the material to Mindy
Kitei and CFS Central in the body (as opposed to a footnote or
endnote) of the work.
Now for a journalist that may be fair enough, albeit
arbitrary, but I am not going to discuss what's fair for journalists
who write about health topics, and so far I have never quoted more
than 150 of Ms Kitei's words.
However... this Editorial is not journalistic: It is
opinion, and it touches directly upon the interests of people
with ME, such as myself, and it also touches rather directly - "No
More Psychological Studies" - on the science in which I have an
M.A. viz. psychology.
Since it can hardly be expected that I can fairly,
rationally and reasonably criticize opinions without quoting
them, and since I wish to criticize Ms Kitei's opinion piece, I shall
quote it, and explain where, and how and why I disagree.
I quote in blue with indentation and comment and
criticize in black:
Psychological Studies - An Editorial
In reading the comments on patient forums about the new study, “A
pilot study of cognitive behavioral stress management effects on
stress, quality of life, and symptoms in persons with chronic
fatigue syndrome,” I’m struck by the passion
That sounds rather a bit disingenuous. There is a lot of
passion on ME-patients' forums anyway, as Ms Kitei must have found,
meanwhile, and the patients had a good reason to be passionate about
this, as I explained in More on
bullshitting, where I treated the same subject Ms Kitei treats
in her Editorial, wholly independently of her, and rather more
but wonder if patients’ energy might be better served by renewing
the government phone call, fax and email campaign. Why not
confront the source of the problem—the National Institutes of
Health, which funded the study—and say: No more.
Well... the question + proposal seems a fair one.
However... it is also what Patricia Carter wants, for whom
On infecting and storming blood banks,
and I suppose the majority on ME-F, for which see:
Animal Forum - 3: Slaughterhouse 11
where also sickening defamation and slander of me was published:
!!HEALTH WARNING!! !!"BEWARE OF THIS SITE"!!, which
incidentally also reports harassment and defamation and slander of
me by Ellen Goudsmit, also supposedly a patient with ME and
another Dutch psychologist, a clinical one like Bleijenberg, indeed.
So although the question seems fair it also seems a bit
manipulative: Why not say straigth away: "Let's all do what Patricia
Carter, Tina Tidmore and Marly Silverman say needs doing?" - for
that is what it seems to come down to, where my problem is that I
think Carter a despicable liar and I don't trust the former US
bankmanager Silverman, who has an awful totalitarian prose style.
But to return to Ms Kitei (I think she is a Ms, but don't know,
just as I don't know whether she is really called Kitei, which also
seems a kind of karate):
The researchers of the new study may all be well meaning,
Ergo, they may be not. I think they are not,
and I do have the education of that kind of pro. Mindy hasn't.
I have read part of the link, which is a doublespeaking interview
on Dr. Antoni's part: He was bullshitting her.
but his agenda isn’t the same as patients’ agendas.
That's a fallacy of (ir)relevance. Of course his agenda is
different from that of ill (or insane) people. The question is
whether "he is sincerely trying to help patients". I am a patient;
I have degrees in his subject; I say no.
He doesn’t understand the real nightmare of this disease
Dr. Antoni may here feel condescended to or reject it. I, for
my part, being a psychologist and a philosopher, and never having
spoken with him, just don't know what he knows or not, but I do
know he is not bright even if he is clever with it.
or he'd know that cognitive behavioral stress management
(CBSM) is not terribly helpful.
No, I don't think so at all, and indeed I am a psychologist. To
First, as a psycho, he was very probably trained to believe CBT is
legitimate psychotherapy that helps people, and what Antoni is
pleased to call "CBSM"
just is CBT by a manipulative new name.
Second, in very abstract principle, as "a scientist"
Antoni may empirically wish to test that proposition of Ms Kitei's, and he may
rejoin with "That's precisely what is at issue against my
colleague professor White, my dear Mindy: My esteemed colleague
professor White said it cures, while I say it doesn't but
helps". (And White will probably smile condescendingly and say "Dr.
Antoni, that's what I really meant, and thank you very much: we
really need to do more research - maybe I can employ you too,
seeing you are so helpful.")
Indeed, my guess is that the last is Antoni's position: He wants to do more
"research" - that's why they called it "a pilot study":
More of this will keep him busy, very well paid for tax money, for
possibly a lifetime.
My own position is that in less than very abstract
principle, there are only so many research dollars for ME/CFS, and
these could have been spend much better than on propping up Klimas ego
in debating points against White - for
that is how she represented it. Moreover, if you do play White's
game, you are defrauding patients by supporting and endorsing and
indeed doing pseudo-science.
CBSM is something most patients learn over time.
Here Ms Kitei is quite right, as indeed I have been argueing
myself on my site, and as is common sense anyway.
So Antoni's starting point is phony, as is Klimas's, and Ms
be able to grasp that, given this statements.
They learn, among other things, to pace themselves, to
distract themselves, to seek support, and to break an
overwhelming project down to bite-size pieces. Are those
techniques helpful? Yes. Do they get patients back to work or
school? No. Do they enable patients to socialize with their
friends and family regularly, or lead normal lives? No.
See my last remark.
When Antoni says that CBSM is used on HIV/AIDS and cancer
patients with success,
I say he is lying. What he wants is subsidies from their
insurances to lead his own happy life as an academic psycho, who
is bent on nannying ill people for money based on pseudoscience.
I say those patients also have retroviral and chemotherapies,
and that is where the real
benefits come. CBSM or
cognitive behavioral therapy or talk therapy is just a little
more icing on the cake.
Ms Kitei - so far as I know, and from what she writes - has no
degree in psychology, but this is a good reply. Having the education and the
degrees, I repeat my last remark.
I believe the time has come to renew the campaign, to flood
members of Congress, plus Drs. Francis Collins and Tony Fauci at
the National Institutes of Health, Secretary of Health and Human
Services Kathleen Sebelius, and Centers for Disease Control
Director Dr. Thomas Frieden with faxes, emails and phone calls
every day, saying, among other things, no more psychological
studies. No more.
No, for at least three reasons.
First, I disagree with bothering Collins, Fauci, Sebelius and Frieden: Not by Bobs
- see below - and
Wildaisys aka Patricia Carter and God knows what number of morons and asses and trolls
and idiots who can't write a coherent argument, don't know science
from fiction, and are only propping up their egos or trying to
forget their pain. Instead - for example - get a good letter or
argument ready, made by some who do know science and who can write -
ah yes: there's the rub! - and then serve that to Congress and the
media and the NIH.
I do not want functional idiots who are half
literate speak for me - see below - not even with what they pretend are the best
of intentions. (Which is a delusion, for they for the most part
speak about something they have a personal interest in, but no
knowledge of that can impress any pro, and no talent to write. But
then they have all had years of education that they are all leaders
and all equals of Martin Luther King Jr. and are themselves on
average neither bright nor educate nor erudite, is also true.)
Second, what is proposed sounds a bit like concerted harassment.
That's OK for politicians, but not for health bureaucrats: They
never got there "in the name of" whatever principle politicians use
- they are doing a job, and until they fuck up badly and personally,
they must be given the benefit of doubt that they mean well and do
the best they can, little as that may be. (If they start
bullshitting one, then they are fair game to be satirized, but that's a
Third, for me most of psychology and psychiatry is not a real
science, and much of it that's sold for money to the public is
flimflam. But then I am a M.A. in psychology, and I do know what I am
talking about. Most patients don't, and then they are bullshitting
if they are telling scientists what they should not do as scientists. Indeed, what
is much more sensible, along the same lines, is to campaign -
reasonably, if you please - for real biomedical research.
(But there is a difficulty here: Wessely, White and Reeves will smile
like villains and say they quite
concur: They do do 'biopsychomedical evidence based science', don't
In addition, in my view it's time to stop heeding the advice of
anyone who cautions ME/CFS patients to stop hounding government
officials. Are you kidding me? Change occurs only when people
make government officials so uncomfortable, so embarrassed and so
beleaguered that they finally relinquish control and begin
We are talking about ill people: In fact
you kidding me?
It's my belief that patients should stop bombarding government
officials with reasonable demands after the following events
occur: The psychological studies stop, more money is allocated
for excellent physiological research, effective treatments are
found, and patients quit being patients and, instead, live healthy
3. "Everyone's a critic now"
I quoted in my opening a sickening piece by one Neal Gabler, that
although sick and sickening nicely illustrates the postmodern times
I live in. Here are its beginning and end, minus the very last
"Everyone's a critic now"
refusal to heed the advice of highbrow cultural critics is
nothing new. But when the public can quickly share their own -
different - views on Twitter, Facebook, myDigg and other
social media, is criticism dead?
The point is that authority has migrated from critics
to ordinary folks, and there is nothing – not collusion or
singleness of purpose or torrents of publicity – that the
traditional critics can do about it. They have seen their
monopoly usurped by what amounts to a vast technological
word-of-mouth of hundreds of millions of people.
We live, then, in a new age of cultural populism – an
age in which everyone is not only entitled to his opinion but is
encouraged to share it."
As it happens, I live in between a generation of morons, who
are proud to be morons, as ill-educated as they are ill-behaved, and
as it happens, since that is where I got the phrase from,
to quote from Answers.com (with some correction of typos):
Jesus used the expression "offspring (or
generation) of vipers" in reference to the religious leaders of
his day. John the Baptist also used this expression toward these same
The reason that these men were labled as such was because of their
misleading the people. This is indicated by what Jesus says in Matthew
chapter 23 from verse 1 onward. He states that these men were "blind
guides" teaching false doctrines and using their positions to get
rich. Jesus use of the term "offspring of vipers" also reminds us of
when he referred to these same religious leaders as being the
offspring of the Devil at John 8:44, which the Bible calls the
"original serpent." (Revelation 12:9)
Here is what this leads to -
Bob the bullshitting beast from
Phoenix Rising, on May 5 to me, in private mail, when I had
merely said, very truly, that he doesn't know what he writes about:
A few people have told me that you are a decent member of the
You have been so unreasonable towards me that I can't quite see
this myself... but I will take into account the fact that this
particular subject raises strong emotions, for many of us, before I
form an opinion of you.
I think that your personal attacks have perfectly demonstrated the
point I was originally making...
You saw someone who disagreed with your own views, and you attacked
me personally, rather than discussing and arguing the issues...
I assume that you would do this with anyone who disagreed with your
And would you would do this to anyone who said that they had
benefited from LP?
It is very unpleasant to be on the receiving end of a personal
And my original point was that I believe this sort of behaviour
will not progress our cause...
If you just attack someone because you disagree with them, but
refuse to address the issues intelligently and courteously, then
you just come across as ignorant, and people will not listen to you
or take you seriously. So it does nothing for your cause.
I remain of the view that we should address the issues, and not
attack individual people.
You have refused to enter into a discussion with me, and you
haven't raised any specific issues of debate with me, but you have
just continuously attacked me instead. It is a very sorry way to
conduct a discussion.
I stick firm to the belief that we shouldn't personally attack
people who we disagree with, however passionate we are about a
If you personally attack someone just because you disagree with
their point of view, then you immediately lose the argument.
As Jesus' Matthew asked, in the King James version of the Bible:
serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of
Well... "patients" like
Ellen Goudsmit and Bob the beastly
bullshitter, plus rather a lot of their likes, male or female as
they may be, anonymous evil tongues as
they are, usually, are my main reason why I do not want to
do any advocacy for any patients with ME, unless I have met them in
the flesh and/or mailed or talked long enough with them to know they
are not this kind of beastly rotters, not pomo morons, not dishonest
anonymous trolls or impostures, not fatigued from lack of sanity, and
not trying to prop up their very well deserved lack of self-respect by
demanding it from others and by
levelling anyone to their own moronic level:
Idea 107. I will
tell you how respect(1) came in the world.
Pygmee was of small stature and
loved seeing others from above.
Which he rarely succeeded in doing because he was so bitterly small.
He went voyaging looking for people
that were smaller than him but found them not. And his desire to look
down upon others became more and more strong and fiery.
He came in Patagonia where the
people are so tall that a child, immediately after birth, looks down upon
This did not please Pygmee... in
someone else. But in his desperation to find human beings smaller than
him, he thought of a means. He invented a virtue that prescribed as
first principle : whoever is greater than Pygmee, must bow
down till below the line of sight of Pygmee, and this new value
found acclaim. All Patagonians became virtuous. If anyone sinned against
these "first principles" by standing straight, he was punished in a
peculiar manner. Everyone bowed down and virtuous jumped the sinner
around the neck and pulled him down, until his head had reached the level
of Patagonian correctness. And who carried all of Patagonia on his
shoulders without becoming virtuous, was put on view with a sign around
his neck on which was written a Patagonian word that really means:
this man stood in the way of Pygmee.
This word is translated into
English(2) with: selfrespect(3).
the conformist stupid and ignorant - approve of is the vanity of
chauvinism as in "gay pride", "black pride":
(1) a.k.a. humility a.k.a.
(2) or Dutch or Doubledutch
(3) a.k.a. highmindedness a.k.a. arrogance a.k.a.
Human degenerates - the majority of the conformist stupid and
ignorant - are so vain of their own conformist excellency that they
look down upon all form of pride and selfrespect that do not derive
from being a chauvinist conformer:
One must be much advanced in the study of morality to be able
to distinguish between pride and vanity. The former is lofty,
calm, highminded, tranquil, unshakable; the latter is base,
unsure, shifty, restless and changeable. The one makes men great,
the other inflates them. The former is the source of a thousand
virtues, the latter gives rise to nearly all vices and every form
of deceit. There is a kind of pride that comprises all the
commandments of God, and there is a kind of vanity that comprises
the seven deadly sins.
The only "pride" such naturally low born -
humans who have handed in their personal guts and balls to the
local authorities as heartfelt honest proof and pledge of their
to Our Leaders
are publicly applauded for doing
performance for bland
onlookers that generally stresses precisely those
charicatureistically denigrating features attributed to the group
that insists on public chauvinistic displays of group chauvinism and
correctness falsely called "pride". (American example: Al Jolson and
his corksooted crew). (*)
4. On sharpness of language
I use sharp language; I have a sharp mind; I am capable of satire.
Bureaucrats, Dutch academics, bureaucrats, politicians, health
officials, pseudoscientists, and quite a few claimend and/or real
ME-patients and their "leaders" - Ms Goudsmit, Bob, Cort The Creator,
Patricia Carter, and their likes and followers - this is much frowned
upon: One should R E S P E C T people, of "our community".
Selfevidently, unconditionally, proudly, morally, whatever
bullshit, nonsense, idiocy, incoherencies, stupidities or harmful
proposals they make, in public, anonymously, saying they are ill, and
claiming the right to write about everything, however ignorantly,
however execrably. In the name of "our community" of "patients with
ME", as if they have any verifiable qualification beyond a usually
anonymous claim that they too are ill.
They don't speak for me, whatever ails them.
What I think is on my site - that is not only about ME/CFS, but
about very much more.
(*) James's "The Principles of Psychology" is on my site (full
text); Kenneth Craik's essay "The Nature of Explanation" should be,
and if you are interested in explanation, theories, mental models,
philosophy of science or psychology, you should read it.
(**) Ms Goudsmit seems to pretend she didn't do no wrong. Richard
Feynman very much disagrees, as I do:
Now it behooves me, of course, to tell you what they're missing.
But it would be just about as difficult to explain to the South Sea
Islanders how they have to arrange things so that they get some
wealth in their system. It is not something simple like telling
them how to improve the shapes of the earphones. But there is one
feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science.
That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying
science in school--we never explicitly say what this is, but just
hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific
investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now
and speak of it explicitly. It's a kind of scientific integrity,
a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of
utter honesty--a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if
you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you
think might make it invalid--not only what you think is right about
it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and
things you thought of that you've eliminated by some other
experiment, and how they worked--to make sure the other fellow can
tell they have been eliminated.
For me it is despicable. "But that
is just my personal opinion, of course." (David Miller)
(***) Being an
atheist who does believe in no
God, I can't tell
how can ye
escape the damnation of hell - but I surely can assure you that I
feel free to damn anyone who is bullshitting about science or disease,
in whichever way I believe will make my
In every generation, in every race, in every culture, in every
faith a new bunch of born rotters, genetical fascists, natural nazis
and sadistic creeps gets born, and in every generation, in every race,
in every culture, in every faith it is these creeps who easiest and
soonest get to the top, and who rule the human world, or the part they
can control, for their benefit, income, and status. And it is
especially to these that I attribute malevolence: Many of their
willing executioners are mostly deceived if also willing conformists
and willing collaborators.
See me + ME: Causal explanation:
It's malevolence, stupid! And I am kind
enough to suppose that most of the bullshitters I met anonymously as
"patients" are merely in the last class, but I donot want to be
vomited in the face by anonymous assholes like Bob, just as I do not
want to be vomited in the face by anonymous assholes who are
bureaucrats in Holland,
where likewise almost any bureaucratic asshole you meet only wishes to
declare a first name, and is free to say and do anything, in practice.
P.S. Corrections must wait till later.
-- Feb 4, 2011: Actually, this file got uploaded only around noon
today, because I have finite energy and had to go to bed.