Letter by M:
"Dear Patrick, regarding the article that appeared in The Times titled "ME: Lightning cure or flash in the pan?" it is disgraceful that you are publicising the Lightning Process, when all other evidence is completely at odds to your personal views.
It is ironic that you have previously written award winning articles showing that claims by psychologists that they could cure homosexuals of their sexual preference are nonsense. How would you feel if people started reporting testimonials in the main stream media that they were "cured" of homosexuality by the Lightning Prcoess after just one day? With statements such as "I know it to be the truth it happened to me, they saved my life." Is there any more evidence for that repugnant suggestion than the equally repugnant claim that it is a cure for the terrible neurological illness known as ME? The LP is nothing more than standing on pieces of paper and saying STOP, do you really think that there is any support for the absurd claims that it can change bodily functions? And if they really could, surely it could also change a persons sexuality! As you tell us in your article, the power of the mind is very great.
The true story is that there is no scientific proof behind the claims, that therefore they are criminally illegal under the law. There are always believers, but belief does not make it true. It is a shame that an award winning journalist has been taken in by such a scheme. You report that after doing such nonsense you were cured... in one day. Yet if you had actually read the PACE trial, a controlled medical trial, that included CBT, not one ME patient was cured after doing the same kind of thing for over a year. (CBT comprises the very same STOP technique that is mis-sold as a new invention under the Lightning Process.)
One wonders how Phil Parker has managed miraculous cures that have eluded psychiatrists using the exact same treatment.
In fact in the CBT group 52% of patients reported feeling the same or slightly worse, and 6% reported feeling much worse. Overall, in the groups that excluded patients with depression - the London ME group, physical functioning improved less than 5% over baseline SMC. (Lancet.) That is not an effective treatment at all. Furthermore post-exertional malaise was only reported by just 63% of the control group at follow up, therefore 37% of patients cannot possibly have had ME/CFS. One wonders if you as against real science as the psychiatrists that have damaged so many people with ME given your views.Objective evidence is the only real science, something that the PACE trial refused to use - actigraphy, treadmill tests, cytokine profiles, hours actually worked - instead adopting questionaires and subjective nonsense.
Additionally your piece is full of serious errors and false statements. Phil Parker is not an osteopath, he is no longer registered as his claims of cures are illegal under British Ostepahthic Association rules. The PACE trial did not report any cures, or indeed significant improvement. The mean benefits were less than 5% in physical functioning in the London ME group. The rate of depression in the PACE trial was so high that the only conclusion that can be reached is that those with depression felt moderately better on CBT and GET. This of course we know, CBT and GET are proven treatments for depression. Lastly, Emily Rantzen has now reported that she was "faking" her recovery in 2006 and that she actually "feels infinitely better" now she has discovered she has coeliac disease and not ME. I really hope your previous articles were not as highly flawed as this one.
I’m sorry you were ill, and equally sorry that you believe that you were made well by such an unsubstantiated scam such as the LP. But to publicise your story is an utter disgrace as it gives support to something that is completely unproven, and indeed proven false by medical trials and medical evidence. Just because you "feel" you have been cured by this scam does not give you the right to claim that you have as that is to the detriment of many thousands of sick and very vulnerable people."
My PS: Please remember that anybody who claims to be cured by the Lightning Process, either was spontaneously cured or more likely didn't have ME in the first place.