by Danny Ze-dog on Tuesday, August 23, 2011:
Researchers Face Threats from Militant Islamic Extremist Terrorists
"Err.. not quite." says Simon Wessely, correcting the title of this piece.
Researchers Face Threats from Militant Survivalists?
Researchers Face Threats from Giant Sea Scorpions?
"No, you're getting farther from it, now.."
Researchers Face Threats from Militant...
Militant... Patients? Seriously?
In The Face of Terrorism, Fundamentalist Researchers Remain True To Their Faith
by an Impartial Observer
Professor Simon Wessely has recommended that the UK government go to Orange Alert due to the threat of terrorist violence from a new breed of militants - people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome.
"Do not underestimate the Militant Sick." says Wessely, a London-based psychiatrist. "There is a whole cadre of extremists out there, who are even more deluded than average CFS patient. We must consider them a threat to national security."
Many of them "incite violence with rabid conspiracy theories and anti-Wessely propaganda", according to Wessely.
These include the assertion that Wessely and some of his colleagues have ties to insurance giants who do not want to have to pay out if CFS/ME is universally recognized as a physical disease.
"The idea that some of us are Chief Medical Officers for insurance giants is ridiculous", says Wessely's colleague Peter White, Chief Medical Officer for an insurance giant.
Yet, as this reporter reminded Wessely, members of a 2006 Parliamentary Inquiry group came to the same conclusion that many patients have about possible vested interests, describing them as "an area for serious concern". That group included a Minister of State for the Environment (The Rt Hon Michael Meacher MP), a former President of the Royal College of Physicians (Lord Turnberg), the Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords (the Countess of Mar), and a former Health Minister and Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (Baroness Julia Cumberledge).
"Sociopaths, every one of them." says Wessely. "It is indeed a serious concern that there is a CFS terrorist cell in Parliament."
Could it be argued, using Wessely's own logic, that the active efforts by the so-called "psych lobby" to prevent research into a physical cause of CFS/ME, to discourage doctors from ordering laboratory tests for CFS/ME patients, as well as to separate patients from 'enabling' influences such as like-minded family members and support groups, as well as the sporadic use of forced psychiatric hospitalization, qualify as state-sponsored terrorism?
"We are not threatening patients with death", replies Wessely. "We are just saying that if they don't cooperate, we will force them to do things that they think might kill them, or make them want to kill themselves. I don't see why we can't agree to disagree on that."
Most biomedical researchers disagree with Wessely and his associates. Some argue, for example, that evidence suggests that CFS and ME patients could suffer serious damage or even death as a result of the exercise programs prescribed by the psychosomatic school. On the other hand,
they point out, there is no scientific evidence that people can imagine themselves into debilitating chronic illness.
"Shhh!" urges Wessely in reply, grabbing a copy of the DSM-IV and appearing to cover its 'ears'. "Not in front of the Book!"
When asked if he himself and like-minded professionals might be the real extremists, Wessely's face hardens and he throws open the DSM-IV, pointing to the definition of somatoform disorder.
"I believe the words in the Book." he says firmly. "It is what it says it is. No evidence for a physical cause for CFS can change my mind, any more than your ridiculous 'science' can convince me that the Earth is older than a few thousand years. If that makes me a fundamentalist or an extremist in some people's eyes, so be it."
"Yo, you don't KNOW me, black! You don't KNOW me!" yells Michael Sharpe, a psychiatrist, to this reporter, who is white.
Like some other fundamentalists, Wessely says he feels safer in Iraq than in, say, Britain.
"Everyone's out to get me here - especially Satan." When asked who Satan is, he says "We believe he's taken the form of a woman in a bed in Dorset or maybe Cornwall, pretending to be sick."
"Don't be fooled by appearances - there are few things in Nature as deadly as a bedridden CFS patient." he adds. "They're capable of anything. Once you tell a sick person they're not sick, and deny them benefits and medical treatment, and tell their family and their friends and their doctors and their government that they're not sick, and insist that they exercise or you'll take them away from their parents or lock them up in psych wards if you have to, they become quite unreasonable."
"Bitches be stalkin me/ tryin' to knife me/ I can't be silenced/ by no threats of vi'lence", explains Sharpe, nodding to an imaginary beat.
Many researchers, according to Wessely, have been threatened. One of them is purportedly Myra McClure, who co-authored a paper with Wessely last year which concluded that British patients cannot have an American retrovirus.
"Somebody threatened to rearrange Myra's teeth!" he says. When asked if that threat might in fact have come from her dentist, he says "Possibly, but either way it really shook her up."
"Sum fool walked up and punched me in my grill yo" says Sharpe, Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh. Asked if he reported this to the police, he pauses and then waves his hand dismissively. "EFF the po-lice, man." he growls.
"I resent the implication that we are manufacturing these death threats." snaps Wessely. "That's crazy."
How many death threats has Wessely himself received? "Millions. Dozens. Several. I could show you a couple." he says.
He produces a note written in crayon. "This came from a seven year old girl who a colleague of mine managed to separate from her mother, who was abusing her by telling her she was sick with ME." The note says 'My mummy says you a bad man and your friend tried to took me away from her so I hate you and when I grow up I'm gonna beat you up.'
"That one still makes me shudder," says Wessely.
He reads another aloud. 'Leave me alone, leave my friends alone, or I will bludgeon you to death with a bottle of Prozac.' This reporter notices that the note is written on Wessely's own stationery. "Err.. yes.. that's a particularly disturbing feature. This individual must have broken into my office, stolen my stationery, and used it to write a letter to me." This reporter also points out that the note appears to be in Wessely's handwriting and is also signed 'Simon Wessely'.
Wessely sucks in his breath for a moment and says "This individual is sicker than I thought."
See also: The first picture of the death threats against Prof Simon Wessely has now been released
See also: Premorbid risk markers for growing nose syndrome in a large cohort of CBT psychiatrists