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Nederlog
  July 29, 2012                  
     
me+ME: Eye problems + Gerwyn's Geroupies

   Gerwyn

Sections

       1. Eye problems
       2. Gerwyn's Geroupies

1. Eye problems

I still have eye problems, but it seems to be getting better, with the help of eye drops. By the way: I mention this because this is my site and my Nederlog, and that Nederlog is intended to be about what concerns or interests me. And this does concern and interest me, if only because it is quite unpleasant and rather frightening, even if it turns out - as may turn out to be the case, namely if eye drops remove the problem - to be a fairly trivial problem.

Besides, as is it stands in the way of my doing things I really want to do or want to write about, it may be relevant to my regular readers: Yes, there are a number of things I do want to write about and do with my site, but for the time being these have to be put on the back burner. I will have to take care of my eyes, and this will probably take at least one more week.

Then again, you now get a little piece about Gerwyn's Geroupies, cognitive dissonance, and the o so convenient safety that anonymity brings for people who want to totally fuck up the chances of others, or indeed those who are sadists, trolls, or plain dimwits with ego-problems, or who finally those who may not want to fuck up others chances but do so nevertheless, simply because they seem - clearly for nearly everyone who does not belong to their small group - to be half-crazed fanatics, who also interfere in many activities of far saner or far more polite ill people, and pretend to to speak for "the" patients with ME/CFS

Besides - as I argue at the end - fanatic folks like Gerwyn and V99 make it much more difficult for rational and reasonable patients to be heard by health authorities, and constitute a plausible ground for health authorities, especially in Great Britain, to (further) discriminate people with ME/CFS, on the ground that these two are representative of many patients with ME/CFS, who therefore should not be taken serious and deserve no help.

So no: Gerwyn, V99 and friends do not speak for me, and especially not about ME/CFS; I don't think they really know virology, although bullshitted a lot about it; I am certain they don't know philosophy of science or methodology; and I think they are quite unreasonable, in writing and in acting, and I would strongly advice them to shut up, and do something more useful with their lives than making chances even smaller for other people with ME/CFS - who do not share their delusions, and who are generally far more polite and far more reasonable - to be treated as rational and reasonable folks with a serious health-problem who deserve help rather than discrimination, forced labour and cognitive behavioural therapy. (*)

2. Gerwyn's Geroupies

So... who or what are Gerwyn's Geroupies? I wrote about them precisely 8 months ago, in case you have some faint memory of the Great Guru Gerwyn, and of His Prophetesses, V99, Jace and Angela, who then had gathered in a special place for meditatiing and sending bright lights all around the terrestrial globe, to enlighten the unenlightened, and specifically in US courts, where they were then collectively sending mystical rays to:


I ain't kidding, and since Jace boasted an IQ over 150 (which strikes me to be about as likely as her being 8 foot 8, but then I am a bad guy in her books, namely because I said that she lied when indeed she provably lied, and a man who speaks the truth about a liar must be a bad man, according to that liar) while  someone as learned in sociology and social constructs as Angela - aka the sociological scourge of professor Racaniello - cannot possibly be less intelligent than Jace, and indeed neither can Guru Gerwyn nor his loyal servant V99, we must have here an unique collection of the highly gifted, if you believe them.

As it happens, I am highly gifted one and I don't believe them, but then I have the degrees and the website and personal history and background to prove that I am really different from the common run - which, incidentally, is not easy, if one is honest, nor is it something most people would want to be, nor is it something one can be by wishing: It takes no personal effort. (**)

It also doesn't really matter: Firstly, because all true human excellence is individual and is in most historical circumstances in danger because of this kind of reason:

Human nature, now triumphant over the laws and accustomed, even in spite of their laws, to do wrong, took delight in showing that its passions were ungovernable, and that it was the enemy of everything superior to itself.
-- Joseph Heller, Picture this, p. 178

And secondly, because the ordinary course of society or humanity is almost never effected by the few truly brilliant who are alive: Great minds generally have great effects only after they died, and then because the quality of their work is no longer opposed and denied by their contemporaries, or because it becomes only then clear how far they saw. (***)

Anyway... my subjects are these, in fact (Wikipedia links)

Cognitive Dissonance
When Prophecy Fails
Pseudoscience

for this is what drives Gerwyn and his Geroupies: Tĥe Cognitive Dissonance that results When Prophecy Fails e.g. because if fact it was based on Pseudoscience or fraudulence or deception.

As the links will show you, the phenomenon of Cognitive Dissonance is fairly well known since Leon Festinger investigated a group of religious folks who confidently predicted the arrival of aliens, and then saw their prediction completely fail: Some quickly give up their former beliefs, but it is quite human to try to cling to fanatically held beliefs, including such means as self-deception and fallacies and a very selective reading of evidence.

This is what happened around Judy Mikovits Ph.D. and the Whittemore Peterson Institute: Their theory about the cause of ME/CFS - "it is XMRV" - got very firmly refuted in the second half of 2011, namely by the U.S. Blood Work Group, that then turned out to have taken the possibility of XMRV quite serious, as indeed they should have, for one cannot allow the blood in blood banks to contain a dangerous retrovirus, and they showed that it was very probably not dangerous to humans; was very probably a lab artefact;  that what was found was very probably due to contamination; and also showed that Judy Mikovits Ph.D. and her staff were not capable - as Ms Mikovits had claimed repeatedly she could and others couldn't do - of identifying blood samples infected with XMRV.

For rational scientists that is the end of the story, and indeed meanwhile even Judy Mikovits admitted, in a recent interview, that her beloved cells, that she had cultivated with such care, had probably been contaminated with cells with XMRV - but it happened, she claimed, in that interview, on the very days she was away - which is the sort of detail that makes a man like me (trained in the science of psychology, among other things, and anyway old, worldly wise and inclined to philosophical cynicism) promptly quite suspicuous: It is evident self-interested special pleading without the least evidence. And besides, while it indeed is very likely that the cells that dr Mikovits used and relied on were in fact contaminated, and while it is also possible that she really did not know this, or at least not until the results from the Blood Work Group were in, it is quite unlikely that such contamination as did happen in fact happened precisely on the day that she was absent, if only because such things can happen quite easily, and can have happened any day, over a period of several years.

Patients are rarely rational scientists, and Gerwyn and his Geroupies had for a long time insisted that they just KNEW that dr Mikovits was right, and besides she also was saintly, and never lied, and had a brain the size of the planet, and many other highly desirable human characteristics ("world class scientist", "benevolent", "heroic" etc.)

It was therefore quite obvious from the start of the collapse of Judy Mikovits scientific career and of  the collapse of the WPI's standing among patients, that collapsed dramatically after the WPI fired dr. Mikovits in the end of September of 2011, that many patients would be very disappointed, angry, disillusioned, or moved into states of denial and cognitive dissonance.

This happened especially to Gerwyn and his Geroupies of the faithful in Gerwyn: Very little is known about Gerwyn (above you see his face), but he claims minor degrees in law and in micro-biology, from which he deduced very easily that he must be right that dr Judy must be right and that anyone who does not see this - prof. dr. Coffin, dr. Stoye, prof. dr. Racaniello, the members of the Blood Work Group, the editors of Science and Nature, and of course Abbie Smith - must be mad or bad, or as little different from that as does not matter much.

Being human, I can understand loyalties, the feelings, the huge disappointment, the anger, and rather a lot more - but the reasoning remains very odd, for what Gerwyn and his Geroupies of True Believers want me to accept is that it is more likely that at least a hundred of very qualfied people (prof. dr. Coffin, dr. Stoye, prof. dr. Racaniello, the members of the Blood Work Group, and many more) must be so stupid or so dishonest that they are all either mistaken or deceitful, and must be all willing to risk a huge epidemy of a dangerous retrovirus, which if it happens or threatens to be so would cost them their careers and might land them in prison, because Gerwyn and his Geroupies, and presumably dr. Judy Mikovits believe, suggest or say so.

Being rational (unless I am very angry, is true), I cannot make rational sense of this reasoning: It seems to me to have a perfect analogy in the flat earthers: Of course physicists cannot admit that the earth is flat, for they are all part of a huge conspiracy - don't you see?!

And the Gerwynites go on and on and on, although I also must admit that those who do go on and on are especially the mystically gifted ray-sending guru himself, and especially his loyal servant V99, who is so ill with ME/CFS that, since three years now that I know of, she is capable of writing 20 to 50 mails a day as V99, and God knows how many in the name of her other pseudonymous identities.

But Guru Gerwyn recently addressed his troopers, and here is the text, with my comments unindented. He starts thus:

Judy Mikovits
would ask people to spare a thought

In fact he meant, as became clear in later mails of his: A dime, or rather a great lot of them: She is in need of money, it appears, and for Gerwynite Geroupies it then is a self-evident moral truth that ill and poor patients should support her.

for Judy Mikovits who is still prevented from defending herself by the dictates of a punitive injunction against her

As tends to be the rule for Guru Gerwyn's pronouncements, no evidence whatsoever is given, as indeed is considered fair among True Believers: You believe the word of The Guru, or out you go. Then again, not having the soul of a follower, I doubt the statement very much, especially since in the US there is a great constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech, and it is scarcely credible she cannot give voice to her own defense. What is credible is that, since she chooses not to speak up, she isn't made from the stuff real heroes and heroines are made of. Also, she spoke to a journalist, and in my estimate what se said were mostly lies: Too pat for her, as illustrated above, by her tale that her cells must have gotten infected on the very day she wasn't there to prevent it.

and the wilfull refusal of the police to return her notebooks.

Bullshit: She had them stolen, and now claims - in the interview I mentioned - to have refound them in her house, where she did not know they were - which requires a far greater faith than I can muster. So I also don't see how the police could return them, at least until the WPI's civil case gets dismissed in court.

If judy tells her story she faces Jail for contempt of court

Gerwyn  has claimed a degree in law, but he is bullshitting, it seems to me: How so? In a civil case? And why would A Real Heroine flinch? Or why would one believe the unsupported claims of a faceless gent like Gerwyn the Guru, with a B.A. degree in microbiology, or so he says? (Dr Mikovits may choose not to tell all she knows, e.g. about the WPI, for various sorts of reasons, but surely she is free to speak about many things, and indeed she spoke - quite freely, it seems - to a journalist after the criminal case against her was terminated.)

and without her books she cant prove the existence of the ME/cfs murine related gammaretroviruses to the world.

As it happens, apart from Gerwyn and his Geroupies, nobody believes in their existence - and besides:
why leave dr. Lipkin and his study unmentioned? And leave it unmentioned that the sainted dr Judy has agreed that when Lipkin's study also showed nothing, her theory was finished? (And that is a line of reasoning that seems rational to me.)

They were never anything whatsoever to do with XMRV.

As Richard Pryour might have put itL You ain't motherfuckin' me, man?! I mean: This Gerwyn guy has been writing a God damn Enyclopedia Brittanica, size-wise, to the effect that XMRV was IT becaause He KNEW, what with a B.A. in microbiology?! No blushes? No excuses? No explanations? Just: "We always knew God was black and a lesbian - we were only kidding about him being a white male"?

She knows a great deal more than she can say

Really now? Take the unknown Gerwyn's word for it? Just like the Pope knows Ineffable Mysteries?

and I know more than I can say

Of course: You can trust Gerwyn! Gerwyn also can see The Ineffable Mysteries, just as He can send Mystical Rays halfway across the globe: me+ME: Bright Mystical Lights and Geroupies.

without getting her into a lot of trouble.

Trust Gerwyn! He KNOWS things you don't know, and because he says so, you must believe him.  In fact, I think he is bullshitting, and I do not know what would keep Judy Mikovits from spreading whatever dirt she knows about the WPI - except selfinterest.

And besides, there is something quite unsavoury about this often repeated gambit of Gerwyn and V99, to the effect that there are lots of other things at play than science - but that they can't say, for then the dear sainted one gets in trouble. Trust them!

Well, I don't, and it also doesn't matter to this ill patient: Judy Mikovits's job was to get the science right. She didn't. End of story.

If you feel able to spread the word about her plight

No: Totally unable - and unlike Gerwyn, ill since 6 or 8 years or so he claimed, with a wife and sons in Cambridge, or so he claimed, who may be concerned about "her plight", I might wish "her plight" was mine and mine hers, before I am going to spend money, energy, and pain to help her:

She is healthy, she is a Ph.D., it is very probable that she lied about lots of things, and these lies served her own patent interests. I am not interested in punitive exercises, but it is plain she was mistaken about ME/CFS, and it is very probable, as I read the evidence, that she cooked her data to have her stuff published in Science. Also, while she may not have an easy end of life with lots of money, her life, compared with mine, in terms of chances, well-being, income and health were nearly paradisical compared to my life since I was 28 and fell ill. (I don't envy her, but then folks rarely want to be other folks, and as it happens I am pleased with the quality of mind I do have, illness or not, and would not want to exchange that with Judy Mikovits's.)

you will be doing the world of research into ME a great service.

He really is dishonest if not hopelessly bonkers: She is finished, as a research scientist - the only very small hopes left for her for a position in a retrovirological lab are (i) that Lipkin and his co-worker produce strong evidence she is right (but she herself now admits her cells were contaminated, and she never produced any evidence for her claims about "HGRV" no reputable scientist seems to take serious or (ii) that she finds another very rich family willing to support her and to buy her a lab. To pretend or think otherwise is just dishonest or stupid.

Even if she is right - which I do not believe - she has offended too many people in her own field to stand any decent chance of ever working again as a research scientist. Also, that was mostly her own doing.

The forces against us cannot be allowed to destroy her like they have destroyed other independent scientists in the past

Well... I think she has mostly destroyed herself, as a researcher. She should have been more polite to at least some colleagues, like Coffin and Stoye; she should have been able to find some XMRV after having claimed she could do it better than anyone else, but wasn't; and she should not have let her assistant steal the lab books.

But OK: She will never be taken serious again by anyone in science, so these are just the antics of the  few remaining faithful in the Church of Gerwynite Geroupies who are going through the motions of denial, and the difficulties of major
cognitive dissonance..

Finally, here is my reason to write this out:

I think Gerwyn and his Geroupies, especially a nutcase like V99, are a major force helping Wessely, White, Sharpe c.s. namely because almost anyone reading their prose will conclude Gerwyn and V99 are bonkers (I agree, except that I allow the possibility - which I do not know, and one the things that disgust me is that I can't know, because these heroes choose to remain anonymous - they also may have ME/CFS), which will reflect on everyone with ME/CFS, especially in Great Britain, and makes it much easier for
Wessely, White, Sharpe c.s. to argue along lines like this, which I think they are quite capable of: Look what nutters these folks with CFS are! Let's deny them all dole, and see whether they can't find work! We're living in times of crisis, and can't have nut jobs malingering in our dole! Our bankmanagers need our help! We are better off without ill folks!

And while I think it might be an interesting experiment to find out whether V99 is really not an assistant of Wessely or White or is really as ill as I am, for example, I much would like to see genuinely ill people treated well rather than ill, for which reason it would be nice if Gerwyn and co just shut up, instead of playing their sick ego-games, and instead of pretending they know retrovirology better than anyone else, also after real retrovirological professionals have repeatedly said they don't even know elementary stuff in their science.

---------------

Note

(*) Let me also remark that I am ill far longer than this couple of fanatic fools; I have better degrees than they have; I am older than they are; and that, speaking as a psychologist, I see two fanatics who can't even write a decent argument; who hide themselves carefully in cloaks of anonymity; who pretend to speak for all persons with ME/CFS whereas they do not do so at all; and whose prose must strike nearly everyone who receives it as grossly impolite uninformed fanatic bullshit, that also is so boring, so ill written, and so obscure that no one can take it serious as information or communication except themselves and their small circle of fanatics and fools.

Finally, I write this also because, unlike most English people with my disease, I am a lot safer from abuse by health authorities than they are, were it only because I am 62 and a psychologist, with a large site and habits of sharp, satirical and sarcastic prose, and I am also more intelligent and learned than these couple of handful of fanatics centering around Guru Gerwyn and his faithful acolyte V99: For one thing, unlike almost all patients with ME/CFS, I do know science and philosophy of science, for which reason, again
unlike almost all patients with ME/CFS, I immediately decided not  to get involved in XMRV-theorizing: I know when and why I am ignorant, and I know how difficult it is, even for gifted persons, to get a real understanding of a real science, like retrovirology undoubtedly is.

(**) Nor is it easy to explain the differences with ordinary folks or ordinary academics, except that two main ones are that one is just more interested in intellectual or artistic things than almost anyone else, as can be illustrated from one's life and choices, and that one is plainly and effortlessly better at whatever one is good at than most others.

Also, it is easy to dramatize, but it is very unlikely I would have escaped becoming a tenured academic (probably not in Holland, as one can grasp from reading my Spiegeloog-columns) if I had been healthy, or indeed if I had studied in a better organized and generally better university than the University of Amsterdam, where key members of the Dutch Communist Party and Dutch Labour ruled and exploited the university from 1969-1995 for their own interests, which were tenure, status, and a place to parasite from for their kind of people, and their families.

All of this brilliantly succeeded all these years, and still continues:

The same bastards who betrayed science, civilization and education are still professors or lecturers, though they are being pensioned off now, all with the best possible pensions, often after 40 years of parasiting, lying, deceiving, and intrigueing.

The Dutch universities and schools have been almost completely destroyed by their efforts to allow everyone, completely regardless of one's motives, intellect or talent, to reach any position in any university, because that was their idea of equality:

Level everyone to that of the most stupid and least civilized, for that happens to be their kind, their family, their friends: The large class of the talentless political leftist totalitarian intriguers who fight their way upwards in political parties, anyway the chosen field of the psychopath and the parasite,
while in any case the majority is not gifted, but much interested in becoming a professor in some pseudo-science, as happened to many of my generation:

The more dishonest, the more stupid, the more political, the less interested in science, the greater the chance one would be elected by one's peers and personal friends from the Communist (later: Green Left) Party and Labour Party to a professorate or lectureship. And thus it happened, all as foreseen by me since decades, as indeed written out 24 years ago in my Spiegeloog columns, like

       Mandarins with an IQ of 115

for that was the ideal of the University of Amsterdam from 1969 to 1995, and is effectively still practised, because it completely succeeded: A university where the totally ungifted and uninterested had an excellent chance of an getting an academic degree and university position, not because of any personal excellence but because of having the excellence of being a leading party member in a - leftist - political party.

(**) There are exceptions, but I can explain what I mean by briefly discussing one such exception, John von Neumann, who was evidently a mathematical genius from a young age onwards, and had a brilliant career for that reason. Even so, I'd say that much of his work got really appreciated only after he had died (unfortunately, he did not get old): The Von Neumann-architecture of computers; Hilbert spaces in physics; and the importance of game theory in economics and politics, although welcomed as works of genius by a few of his contemporaries  only showed their real depth and applicability later.



P.S.     Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.


 

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




1.  Anthony Komaroff Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)
2.  Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT: 
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
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)
9.
 Maarten Maartensz
ME in Amsterdam - surviving in Amsterdam with ME (Dutch)
10.
 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 understa, but nds 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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