"There is one thing a professor can be
absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes,
or says he believes that truth is relative."
-- Alan Bloom: "The
Closing of the American Mind - How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and
Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students."
Indeed I continue being not well, for which reason I still have not yet
on the DSM-5TM I also
wanted to write a bit more
about psychiatry and about
Cargo Cult Science and
pseudoscience, but these things also
have to be queued awaiting somewhat better times.
So that is as was, as is the following:
I intend to write more about
Warren Sturgis McCulloch whose fine, courageous, honest, very
knowledgeable assessment of psychiatry in
"The Past of a Delusion" (pdf, 2.8 MB) I wrote about
the last time, which is a MUST READ for
everyone with ME (with any rational scientific interest), but not today -
but there is a lot of interesting material by and around McCulloch on the
internet, and he was an interesting human being.
Today I have a link to a video and some background and a
quote from someone writing on the
Phoenix Rising forums and I write about it because I wrote
yesterday about the NIH, one of the spokespersons of which, dr.
Paul Plotz M.D., was interviewed with a patient with ME/CFS, author
Deborah Waroff, in a video of a program called White House
Also, I have a tip on how you can learn to write your own
professor Wessely, or doctor Esther Crawley Evidence Based Scientific
It's interesting and there is some 25 minutes of
interview and exchanges between the host Llewellyn King and his
assistant Linda Gasparello and the two guests. Here are first to
links to texts related to the video; if you want to see the video first
read what's below the links, for it starts a little confusing.
CFS: To Suffering, Add Anger, by Llewellyn King.
This is a fine article, by someone who had done his research and can
write. Here is just one quote of from it:
"Breaking down the e-mails, I find these
at the CDC and, to a lesser extent, the National Institutes of Health
and government in general.
Tremendous suffering and horrendous problems with affording
treatment; frequent misdiagnosis, as doctors use a “dustbin” approach
that discards all the possibilities until they get to CFS.
at the media and others for not taking CFS seriously enough.
knowledge, with a cure rate of between 4 and 8 percent, that they are
awaiting the inevitable in huge discomfort. They are on medical death
Sufferers describing themselves as “living corpses.” Alone with their
suffering, many commit suicide.
I’m not a medical writer. Writing about
medicine has never interested me. But in a career of writing for
newspapers, spanning more than 50 years, I’ve never received so much
mail that has so consumed the thought process and torn at the heart.'
Here is a related article by Linda Gasparello, that
supports the above with some facts and quotes
Thank you so much for your recent and excellent coverage of ME/CFS.
I’ve suffered from ME/CFS for 14 years. I first became ill quite
suddenly at age 24, following a viral infection with mononucleosis.
I’m now 38, and have been bedridden for a decade. I cannot walk,
talk, stand, care for or even fully bathe myself.
I’ve spent my entire life savings on various experimental treatments
to no avail. I never have a single moment of genuine reprieve.
I should also note that I am XMRV positive, both by DNA PCR and
My fiance also has ME/CFS and XMRV. He’s been sick 26 years, also
following an infection with mononucleosis at a young age.
You can hear more of our story by viewing my video testimony to
the CFSAC committee from last October.
My health has only declined since that time, and I fear I may someday
soon die of this illness, in part because nothing is being done.
I urge you to do all that you can to continue to raise more
awareness; and urge action so that no one else suffers as I’ve
suffered, and that viable treatments are soon found.
Whether MLV’s prove to be causative or not, we need help. Lives are
being lost by the millions here, and no one seems to care.
Thank you so much for being one of the few to step up and takes
notice. Thank you for being one of the few who care.
Now the video, which has some starting problems, but
otherwise is fine. As others also reported, when you start the video, you
first get 37 seconds of a high sound and a sort of diagram of the
colour-spectrum on a black background; then Llewellyn King, who a bit
surprising - shades of the late Alistair Cooke, to whom I have listened a
lot - looks and talks like bowtied English gentleman, who starts a story
about horses, cows and a fire in Kentucky, and after that, at around 3
min 21 sec the item about ME/CFS starts, mostly called "Chronic Fatigue
Like most of these sorts of things, it looks a bit staged
and artificial, and lots less can be said than people would like to say,
while also all parties try to be fair to all - which in the case of
ME/CFS, as my
ME - Resources
explains, is a bit difficult, since some of the main players really are
neither fair, nor scientific, nor honest (and see
"The Past of a Delusion" for a specialist's
critique of most psychiatry) - but it is well done by all, as such things
I got the reference from the
Phoenix Rising forums and here is the quote from someone with the
alias of pictureofhealth who comments on a point dr. Plotz made or seems
to have made in the video:
It was very revealing, as Dr Plotz points out, that
allocation of NIH money for research is led by the number of scientists
interested in an illness or pathogen, or the degree of scientific
interest generated by particular avenue of research which encourages
researcher groups to apply for grants - not the number of desparate
patients in need, or the degree of devastation caused by an illness, or
the numbers of dead and disabled, or the economic or social, implications
of not treating it and ... etc .
In other words, if an illness catches the interest of a scientist group
because it is 'fascinating' or 'cool' to study, or 'scientifically sexy',
or perhaps because there is a chance for academic prestige or a Nobel -
then it stands a chance of getting studied and funded, because more
scientists will send in applications for grants.
In other words, no one is serving the interests of patients or the public
Well I guess it was obvious really - but it just shows how back to front
the system is. Made me furious actually and muttering expletives under my
breath which are totally unprintable...
I can - sort of - understand the reaction, and what dr.
Plotz said may indeed be understood in this way, but this is not how
things really are in science and science funding in Europe and the US,
about which I know some, and which merits some clarification.
First of all, pictureofhealth takes (or has) a very naive
point of view, and writes as if individual scientists lack moral motives
or feelings, and are out only for something that "is 'fascinating' or
'cool' to study, or 'scientifically sexy'".
This is not so, at least not for many scientists, and
especially real scientists, who tend to have much better intelligence
than others who make much more money or power in business or politics, but who love
science and knowledge, and therefore are in research: this holds for the
best, and those aspiring to be.
But what is true and a fact of life is that medicine and
indeed science is done for money, by money, and only with the help of
monetary funding for many kinds of important research, for large
laboratories + staff can only be funded by governmental institutions or
In fact, there are at least four active levels, so to
speak, on which things happen that eventually contribute to how and how
much money is spent on science and research, and on which kinds of
science and research - and here it should be noted that, as Deborah
Waroff points out in the video, in the US ME/CFS gets funded at the very
lowest end of the scale, with just 5 million dollars. That is at most 1
to 10 dollars per year per patient, many of whom have been ill for
Now here are the levels I have in mind:
1. There is indeed the level of individual research
scientists and their decisions to research a subject and seek
funding, which is necessary for most of the research that is relevant to
ME/CFS. These decisions may depends on all manner of considerations, many
having to with the state of affairs in the next three levels/
2. There is next the level of the institution a research
scientist (or group) works in, such as a university or
pharmaceutical company. Much of what the individual scientists may
do, depends on the sort of climate of opinion, technical facilities, and
ongoing other things (other research and researchers in the place,
3. Then there is the level of governmental
institutions of various kinds that fund research and may coordinate
reseearch or universities, and also of many kinds of organizations,
such as NGOs, pressure-groups, professional groups, interest-groups,
corporations (healthinsurance companies are very important here), all
of which is mostly in the field of politics, while often it is pretended
it is not. And in fact on this level most key decisions for funding and
policies are made.
4. Finally there is the level of the media of
various kinds, including radio, TV and internet, where most of the
players of the previous level try to speak, or sometimes are forced to
speak, where the climates of opinion and the topics of public discussion
are being made, shaped or influenced.
Much could be said about this, but I only meant to create
some terminological and conceptual clarity, so as to show what really is
involved, and to make two general points, for the proper understanding of
both of which you need to read my short and clearly laid out
Realism versus Postmodernism:
What has happened over the last two to three decades is
that post-modernism has mostly taken
over, and has politicized-moralized almost things, into democratic issues
of correctness, that also should be publicly discussed and decided in the
media or by governments or by NGOs or or by corporations, with the money
to manipulate the media, mostly on a public relations level for the
deceived public, and in networks of (semi-)political professional players
in committees behind the scenes.
Hence effectively, the politicians, bureaucrats, NGOs and
corporation have, largely through playing, paying and manipulating the
media, taken over the power in science and research from the scientists
and researchers, and for the most part force these to do what they want
researched and not researched, although always proper care is taken for a
good dose of pr and spin to deceive the public into thinking all has been
done for the best of reasons in the general interest, while this is
normally not the case, as in fact private, political or corporate
interests pay the piper to play the tunes that are most profitable for
them, while appearing digestible to the average - "The Democratic Majority" -
of The People.
This has been argued in various ways for various reasons
in the past 15 years or so by e.g.
And it has been argued by me in Dutch since 1977, for
which reason I was repeatedly removed, while being ill, from the
University of Amsterdam, namely for asking
39 Questions about the qualities
in the Netherlands.
Anyway... this seems to me what has been happening, and
still is happening (*), what has poisoned much of modern Western
civilization; effectively destroyed much of education and most of the
universities; levelled almost all of society to what could be savoured on
TV; whether with Oprah Winfrey or Glenn Beck; and given Wessely, White,
Sharpe, Bleijenberg and others of their lot of scheming pseudo-scientific
politico-bureaucratic institutional intriguers with the academic rank of
professor of psychiatry or psychotherapist to play the media and the
governments for private, professional and corporate interests of their
choice, and to further totally fraudulent pseudoscience - see see
"The Past of a Delusion" and my
McCulloch vs. Wessely - MUST
READ for persons with ME
- as if it it were "Evidence Based Science", which in fact is
normally tendentious nonsense with a statistical sauce and an awful
jargon to make the bullshit invisible for laymen.
Finally... onto a related but other question, namely
how does doctor Esther Crawley - who
wants to impose brainwashing and forced exercise on ill children to
research the question whether this may harm them (see e.g.
Get your whee-whees cuddled...) -
write her scientific publications,
that I do have tried to read, psychologist and philsopher and all?!
I believe she does it by arbitrary substitutions of her
own jargon for standard postmodern jargon in the following infinite
supply of masterworks:
Instructions for use, also for instantaneous
enlightenment and enduring bliss:
1. Click the link
2. Savour and Enjoy (save if useful for your coursework in clinical
3. Reload the page.
4. Savour and Enjoy (save if useful for your coursework in modern
5. Return to step 3.
This will give you infinite supplies of Crawleyesque,
Wesselite, Whiteish, Sharpeish prose!
Have fun (and read the bottom of the produced pages for a
few words of wisdom). (**)
O, and to repeat - like Cato - my repeated
call following the physicist
Archibald Wheeler's, seeing this is
needed in the psychiatric, psychotherapeutic and psychological
pseudo-sciences (and elsewhere too):
Drive The Pseudos Out
Of The Workshop Of Science!
P.S. In case you don't believe me - "hi, you with
your postmodernism: so eighties! chill out!" - it is because you are younger
than me (intelligence apart) and have been breathing it since your birth and
have seen it everywhere practised by almost everyone:
human life as a media-directed soap opera for everyone, with fifteen minutes of
fame for the lucky conformist ones in A Media Event.
And for reasons of health corrections of typos and mistakes must happen another
P.P.S. It may be I have to stop Nederlog for a while. The reason
is that I am physically not well at all. I don't know yet, but if
there is no Nederlog, now you know the reason.