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Nov 15, 2011      `

me+ME: WPI vs Mikovits in court

   "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and its angels."
    -- Jesus of Nazareth
    (Matthew: 25:41)

By way of introduction, and as a comment to my Biblical quotation:

I have had the great blessing of a thoroughly atheistic family and education. And as Martin Gardner - who was not thus blessed - has put it in his "The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener", discussing the idea that people are to end up in "everlasting fire" as punishment:

"If Jesus did indeed teach such a damnable doctrine, it is the strongest possible reason for not believing him to have been God in human flesh." (p. 301, Oxford Paperback, OUP, 1985)

But then again, to many true believers, this is The Word - The Gospel Truth! - Of The Son Of God, and in any case it much corresponds to their own feelings about their own opponents. Which indeed is the main reason so many supposedly evil, wicked and cursed have been burned alive or otherwise most unpleasantly killed, if not for the greater glory of The Lord then most definitely for the personal satisfaction of many who did it.

And as the world is full of True Believers, in all manner of contradictory faiths, while the US is brimful of True Christians, or so they would truly believe themselves, I had to think of the above heartening Scriptural Quotation when reading the news that the WPI has gone to court to get "Several laboratory notebooks, a personal computer and flash drives containing WPI research data and other information" back that have disappeared, or so Mrs. Whittemore claims, around the time Dr. Mikovits was fired.

The WPI started a court case on November 4 to get their property back, but lots of people on ME-forums just happen to KNOW that Dr. Mikovits is innocent, and the accusations of the WPI therefore MUST be false. There is a thread on Phoenix Rising:

- Letter from Annette Whittemore

The thread has been meanwhile locked, but those who want to know much more about the feelings of anonymous patients can regale themselves at Dr. Deckoff-Jones's blog (*):

- A Game With No Winner

Here one find over 160 mostly anonymous comments that sound for a good part - not all! - as if stemming from drunk morons in a barroom fight, who bask in the full and courageous glory of "Anonymous" or some made up alias (**), and who also in large measure KNOW things as true telepaths do: Having telepathic vision, they just KNOW what MUST have happened, and in the name of Our Community Of Patients, they scream their frustrations away, and attack anyone, "Anonymous" or not, who has the temerity of not quite believing their telepathically blessed opinions.

Speaking for myself, I am not blessed with the gift of telepathy; I did not even once mail, let alone meet, with Mrs. Whittemore and Dr. Mikovits; I have never been in Nevada; and I do not know who is right, either in fact, or in law, or in morals (these three are not the same: see the links).

Many of the over 160 comments under Dr. Deckoff-Jones's brief text linked above, if not from the telepathically gifted, are from reborn fanatics, I would say, only excusable in principle by a low intelligence, brain fog, great amounts of ignorance, no real scientific education, and much personal discrimination, the last of which, as is the human-all-too-human practice since the dawn of human history, they try to pass on to others, many of whom are as gifted and moral as they are. (In cattle, it is called "scapegoating"; among humans "helping our community".)

Then again, Dr. Deckoff-Jones's prose and blog do much to fan the flames. Here is her first paragraph, with numbers to my comments that follow, that also are linked:

Let the lawyer games begin. My blog "Square One", of October 1, was unfortunately prophetic. [1] The WPI is in fact using money donated by patients to pay lawyers to sue Dr. Mikovits. [2] One more in a very long line of horrible decisions. [3] I am truly incredulous. [4] This entire fiasco is doing great harm to the patient community, the extent of which is unknowable at this time. [5] The research is destroyed. [6] The notebooks and specimens are potentially compromised. [7]

[1] Elderly cynics like this philosophical psychologist might rather assume this may well have been one of the ends of that blog (that I commented briefly on in my me+ME: Exit dr. Mikovits? from October 3, last), but since I am not gifted telepathically, I will plainly say I do not know this, but incline towards the assumption: It seems quite clear that dr. Deckoff-Jones does not like Mrs. Whittemore, who dismissed her also.

[2] Not being telepathically gifted, I do not see what Dr. Deckoff-Jones seems to be able to see, from Hawaii also, where she presently abides. Also, not being telepathically gifted, I have no access to the soul of Dr. Mikovits, whom I also never met. Both facts make it quite impossible for me - handicapped as I am by a logical mind all True Believers are without - to assess the veracity and morality of Dr. Mikovits, and indeed of many others whose souls I don't have access to and whose persons I never met and only very superficially know from some of their writings on forums and blogs and such.

[3] Dr. Deckoff-Jones does not like Mrs. Whittemore. I know neither woman, and while I am rather sure I would not have written myself some of the things I have read from either, that's more or less the extent of my personal real knowledge of their persons and doings. Moreover, since I have met neither woman - who have met each other - I am not strongly inclined to credit the sayings of either about the other, as long as that does not come with factual evidence I can check. And having a logical mind, I here only can see that Dr. Deckoff-Jones is using a fallacy, viz. that I am to trust her authority, which I can't. (I don't know Ms. Deckoff-Jones, and I anyway don't think she is an authority on the running of institutions.) Similarly, I have not any of the True Believers KNOWLEDGE and certainties about the merits and demerits of the WPI or Mrs. Whittemore: I just don't know, for I do know that I don't know almost all of the relevant evidence that is necessary to make up my mind in a rational way.

[4] Is this English? It doesn't make sense in the terms of my Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Perhaps it's an attempt at irony?

[5] This either is a fallacy or inept writing: First, the reader must take on trust, on Dr. Deckoff-Jones's authority, that something is a fiasco, without having learned what the fiasco is supposed to be. Second, someone who is hiding their own opinion behind what they assert, without any proof, in "the patient community" is bullshitting in a totalitarian way: Communities anyway are abstractions without feelings or morals, just like corporations, and "the people", and "communities" made up of bits of text on social internet-forums from a vast majority of anonymous persons, are about as virtual and fictional and unreal as "a community" can get, outside pure fairy-tales. Third, Dr. Deckoff-Jones asserts "great harm" has been or is being done to that most spooky entity "the patient community".

Let me step aside for a moment and remark upon that totalitarian beastie: In fact, any "community" (***) is the sort of abstract entity that - to repeat - has no feelings, no rights, no intellect, no responsibilities, no accountabiliy, and exists only as some strange virtual posit in the minds of individual persons, who do have, as living and feeling human persons, all those things I just denied that "communities" have, but who, as private persons and patients with ME/CFS, often seem to love to hide there real persons behind an alias or mask, that virtually takes away all of their effective own personal responsibility and accountability, while it allows them to scream  like demented banshees about whatever their anonymous aliases claim "We" "Must" do, think, or feel if "We" are to be PC members of "Our Community". Generally, the same screaming banshees - a solid democratic majority also: Who can seriously wonder, if rational, about the enormous electoral successes of Mussolini, Hitler, Berlusconi, or the Dutch political Marilyn Monroe Greet Wilders (he of the artificial golden hairdo)? - are precisely those who cannot be fairly suspected of a good education, a good intellect, a gift for writing, or any relevant knowledge but - so  very strange, unless you learn to understand ordinary men and women in their full human glory - this only seems to enflame and justify them the more, in their own opinion. (For they can't be found as real persons, without great trouble, so they know they can say virtually anything whatsoever about virtually anyone whatsoever. So brave!)

To return to Dr. Deckoff-Jones's prose: She claims in one sentence "a great fiasco" of unclarified status;  "great harm to the patient community" without saying what the harm consists in; and claims "the extent" of that unspecified harm "is unknowable at this time". I'm sorry, but that is incoherent.

[6] Again lacking telepathic abilities, I don't know whether "The research is destroyed". Also, I don't know which "research" Dr. Deckoff-Jones is talking about: That of the WPI the last two years, an institution she clearly disapproves of? That of Dr. Mikovits, which was shown, with Dr. Mikovits own agreement and signature - see: me+ME: News from Annette W. and from Judy M. - to be not at all what she claimed it to be for two years?

[7] Given that there is a court-order and a court-case, it seems to me an understatement to claim that the "notebooks and specimens are potentially compromised": They are compromised. It is clear they may have been fiddled with, and therefore clear they are compromised.

Then again, being myself undoubtedly morally depraved - read the Son Of God's quotation - and logically capable, I think I can imagine a fair if not very factually based case in which Dr. Mikovits and/or maybe others has been manipulating the WPI, retrovirologist colleagues, Science, and that doubtful entity "our patients community" for two years with faked data. It has been known to happen before, in both science and in Science!

Why dr. Mikovits and/or some of her colleagues might want to do that, I also have no telepathic knowledge of, but it seems lots of money can be made from patents, also if these are patents for stuff that does not really work, as long as it is stuff that is believed to work by paying patients or by prescribing medical doctors (though the last may prescribe it only because they get a percentage).

I don't know. I do know that I do not know most of the relevant facts - about the WPI, the Whittemores, dr. Mikovits, doctors Ruscetti, the money one may make from patented medicines/"medicines", the US legal system, the conflict between Annette Whittemore and Judy Mikovits, and rather a lot more, including the truth about the data or "data" in Science in the Lombardi et.al. paper - but I also know that, given that state of ignorance, I would be very silly if I were to believe that I KNOW that such persons as Dr Judy and Dr Jamie are Right and Good, and those who disagree with them Wrong and Bad.

For I just don't know. And I don't want to be played for a sucker either.

Anyway... I fear this too will not quench the torrents of anonymous filth from anonymous "patients" or patients on forums or blogs, who write in droves as if they KNOW the cause of ME/CFS and KNOW who means well and did well - and I also fear only those patients who qualify for Mensa or better will be able or indeed willing to understand most of my reasonings. The rest rather believe with the majority of "the communities" they fancy themselves to belong to, alas. Well... take heart from Jesus' words, o true believers!

As I have said and suggested before: Most of the evil that men do and have done is and was done by ordinary men, believing to do the morally right thing, but who were in fact deliberately taken in by men and women who were not ordinary, but successful deceivers out for money or power. See my:

    - A realistic numerical look at human morality + 12 references
    - On a fundamental problem in ethics and morals

"The truth will set you free", but generally ordinary men prefer to believe wishful thinking, because doing so provides them unfailingly with the illusions they have or will have what they desire.

(*) I've earlier called it "site", but it is not, or not quite: It is her blog at blogspot.com, that provides blogs for free to people, which is nice, but not quite a full site owned by a person, like my sites are.

(**) I am an alias too, but (1) a thinly veiled one, (2) with more information about my real self and my real opinions than almost anyone ever put on line, and (3) with an alias because in Amsterdam my life has been very credibly threatened by a mafia-capo who has been protected now for over two decades by the mayors, aldermen, municipal police and municipal bureaucracy and court, I assume because in Amsterdam every year billions of dollars of illegal drugs are turned over in a semi-legal way that depends on the protection of the mayors, aldermen, municipal police and municipal bureaucracy and court, without whose approval the Dutch law, that forbids the semi-legal trading in illegal drugs, would not have been shortcircuited for decades now.

Personally, I feel quite confident said mayors, aldermen, municipal police and municipal bureaucracy and court do not do this gratis and out of pure love for the Amsterdam drugs mafia, but then I am old, cynical and for more than 2 decades in constant pain because of my experiences with the Amsterdam drugsmafia, protected by said mayors, aldermen, municipal police and municipal bureaucracy and court.

So... I am not an anonymous alias on a social forum who doesn't really quite (wish to) know that he/she is indulging his her proclivities to hurt, denigrate, demean or destroy others: I come from an uncommonly brave family, and have dared to do and say things almost all Dutchmen will claim to have dared and said when it becomes safe to claim so, and I am dead.

As to "Anonymous" (including aliases):

I can understand why some quite reasonable people do want to remain anonymous on a site and in a world where anonymous persons feel free to spout and spread the most atrocious bullshit and lies about them. So I don't recommend all be heroes, which anyway won't happen, if only because the cowardly anonymous attackers will not drop their masks, and if they do will deny they said what their aliases said.

But this whole internet set-up where anonymity for almost everything has become normal is much like democracy: It sounds nice in principle, but in practice dictators get elected democratically, and scumbags and morons get to rule many a social internet-site, simply because they are scumbags who cannot be kept to their legal or moral duties because they are anonymous, and there are many morons lapping up their baloney.

(***) "Community" as in "communism" and indeed usually in a totalitarian sense, much beloved by Mussolini and Hitler, who invariably did everything they did, very nobly and altruistically, for "Our Community", and never for themselves. And is the vast majority of any community incapable of realizing they are indulging in groupthinking and wishful thinking, and that "internet communities" are merely collections of bits of text and images rather than living human persons meeting in real life in a real place?! Why do so many people systematically confuse the menu with the diner?!

P.S. Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.
-- Nov 16, 2011: Corrected some typos and supplied a book reference.

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1.  Anthony Komaroff Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)
3.  Hillary Johnson The Why
4.  Consensus of M.D.s Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5.  Eleanor Stein Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)
6.  William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7.  Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8.  Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
 Maarten Maartensz
ME in Amsterdam - surviving in Amsterdam with ME (Dutch)
 Maarten Maartensz Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Short descriptions of the above:                

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:

7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
9. I tell my story of surviving (so far) in Amsterdam/ with ME.
10. The directory on my site about ME.

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.

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