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Nederlog

 

11 april 2010

 

Studies in MEdical Sadism - 7: Professor Simon Wessely's many mental issues

 

    He told the court martial: "On the sergeant-major's return I reported to him and said I was sick and could not stand it. He then said, "You are a f****** coward and you will go to the trenches. I give f*** all for my life and I give f*** all for yours and I'll get
you f****** well shot'."

Two men were ordered to conduct Farr to the front. "They commenced to shove me. I told them not to as I was sick enough as it was. The sergeant-major then grabbed my rifle and said, " 'I'll blow your f****** brains out if you don't go'. I then called out for an officer but there were none there." - On private Farr WWI

   "If we believe absurdities,         
     we shall commit atrocities."    
                                         Voltaire      
 

 

 

This continues yesterday's Nederlog, in the series Studies in MEdical Sadism, for the instruction of many.

And let me start with stating - before you think this is just about ME or just about or for patients with ME:

  • This shows professor Simon Wessely is a dangerous madman (or else I am one: I invite him to the Court in Strasbourg).
  • This shows the power of the internet: Virtually never before was the outline of a general case for a position like the previous one produced faster.
  • This shows how dangerous the current English institutions are for ordinary Englishmen.
  • This shows professor Simon Wessely is not only a dangerous madman, but that he is an obvious sadist with many mental issues.
  • It is a disgrace that the General Medical Council (GMC)($) doesn't take the licence to pracrice from a totally obvious nutcase like him - after all, there is no other type of medical specialist with more insanity, more suicides, more proven incompetence, fraudulence, misrepresentation and lies than psychiatric specialists.
  • The writer of this is Dutch, four years older than Simon the Sick Sadistic Shrink a.k.a. Simon the SS-man, is a psychologist and a philosopher, and wants this man removed from his medical jobs and his professorates, and wants him in court for helping to cause great suffering and deaths in many patients with several illnesses, varying from ME/CFS via PTSD in Gulf-War veterans and alumnium-poisoning in English civilans, all of which Simon the sick SS-Shrink - the modern Dr. MEngele of ME/CFS - reduces to "dysfunctional beliefs" by sufferers that do not correspond to any disease but are caused by the patient's stupidity ("dysfunctional beliefs"), weaknes, laziness, malingering and wimpiness, or their refusal to think and feel like ordinary healthy men and women, when Simon the Sadistich Shrink or his cronies and co-workers order them to act, and work, and believe and live like healthy people do.

Now..to start the story: Yesterday I wrote on the Phoenix Forums about ME on

to which the last is a link on the forums.

This led to some researching by members of the forum; it led to my ME: Update, MEdical sadism and some links, that led to more links about professor Simon Wessely's very strange ways and views; and it led today to this, after more clear evidence that the man is a mad psychiatrist, with some very clear issues relating to hurting defenseless people and protecting those who do hurt defenseless people.

The whole thread - Wessely psychologises Chemical warfare - is quite amazing and strongly reminiscent in a number of ways of the Dutch psychiatric sadist Bastiaans, about whom there is more under the last link in Dutch - and don't fear, persons with ME: professor Bastiaans is safely dead, and didn't have anything to do with ME, that I know at least, but he too was a mad psychiatric rotter with a clear wish to hurt defenseless persons, in his case Dutch ex-concentration-camp inmates with PTSD.

What follows is a selection from Wessely psychologises Chemical warfare to help understand the mental issues of professor Simon Wessely.  

In the top of the selections I have given the number in the thread, the writer and the date. Almost nothing is changed (I removed one sentence that referred to a post I did not include, and undid some typos), and inserted some remarks inbetween.

The boxes are quotations (with boxes that contain quotations, in purple); the text outside the boxes is of today and by me and introduces (before) or comments (after) boxed texts.


Here is the beginning, with which I had nothing whatsoever to do. The writer is Orla Ni Chomhrai, an extremely intelligent and brave Irish woman who, like everybody else writing in the following text, has been and is ill since many years with ME.

What struck her is a very strong similarity in Wessely's lies and misrespresentation as regards ME/CFS and as regards Gulf War veterans - and note that in what follows the boxes in greyish purple contain quotes:

#1 - Orla - 080410


Wessely psychologises Chemical warfare

I couldn't keep this one to myself when I saw it. Wessely has done some work for the UK military and was their main (or certainly one of their main) Gulf War Illness deniers.

This lovely little paper is interesting, and has some correlations with the CBT School rubbish on ME/CFS. It is basically a political paper, which becomes more obvious towards the end when he makes a reference to the continuing ill health of Gulf war veterans, which he is clearly hinting that they are really suffering from the psychological effects of warfare, or that they are misattributing poor health to their Gulf War service.

In this paper Wessely is not cited as the main writer, though his finger prints and ideology are all over it.

Contributors: EJ undertook the research, analysis of the data, and wrote the paper. IP collected the data. SW helped to design the study and commented on various drafts of the paper. EJ is guarantor.
Funding: Economic and Social Research Council and the Ministry of Defence

Here are some quotes from the paper:

Enduring beliefs about effects of gassing in war: qualitative study Edgar Jones, professor1, Ian Palmer, professor2, Simon Wessely, professor1

1 Institute of Psychiatry and King’s Centre for Military Health Research, Weston Education Centre, London SE5 9RJ, 2 Medical Assessment Programme, St Thomas’ Hospital, London SE1 7EH

BMJ 2007;335:1313-1315 (22 December),

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/335/7633/1313

[Edit forgot to include this from the abstract:

Conclusions Chronic symptoms and work difficulties maintained beliefs about the potency of chemical weapons. In the period after the war, gas continued to inspire popular revulsion and was associated with a sense of unfairness.]


Recent studies of troops in training or civilians attacked by terrorists have shown that chemical weapons have retained their capacity to frighten.

[who wouldn't be afraid of chemical weapons?]


During the first world war, fears associated with chemical weapons were disproportionate to their killing power

[It was the horrific effects of it and not just deaths I think that concerned people. Also these things are deadly if you inhaled enough, so it was hardly abnormal to be worried about them]


Using records from the first world war, when chemical weapons had become an integral part of the main combatants’ armoury, we explored the ideas and beliefs held by servicemen exposed to gas but not seriously incapacitated. To focus on the psychological effects of gassing, we excluded those who had severe disability. It was important to identify a population for whom corroborative evidence existed of exposure but who could be shown through repeated follow-up and mortality data to be essentially healthy.

[So they tried to pick people who were exposed but deliberately left out people who were worst affected. Talking about loading up your sample (a bit like the way they exclude people with physical signs from CFS diagnosis/studies), and then go on to waffle about abnormal beliefs. And of course if you exlude the sickest it takes the concerns of everyone else out of context and makes them look abnormal for being worried about it.]


We excluded veterans with severe respiratory illness to focus on those whose ideas and beliefs were not grounded in objective pathology directly related to the war
. We included pensioners who had occasional or mild episodes of bronchitis because these were recovering conditions that may have been related to other effects such as smoking, industrial pollution, or poor housing.

[But these people may have had limited/unsatisfactory medical care, so even if there were other possible explanations for conditions they experienced, they may not have been given them. This doesn't mean they have psychological issues]


Repeated follow-ups during the period between the wars enabled us to exclude veterans who had tuberculosis, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema associated with gassing

[So lets try to exclude all the really sick people as they might mess up the study]


In general, this group of veterans believed that the effects of chemical weapons were irreversible, potent, and debilitating. These conceptions stood in contrast with the objective measures of health recorded for individuals in the sample and general observations made by specialist physicians. This raises the key question, why did these veterans take such a pessimistic view of their health?

[But they excluded the sickest so the results were a forgone conclusion. Also in some cases the effects of these weapons would be permanent, so it was not irrational or illogical to be concerned about it]


During the war itself, gas was one of the most feared weapons. It inspired emotion out of all proportion to its ability to kill or wound
 

Next, Orla deals with Wessely's texts:

#2 - Orla - 080410

 


Beliefs and symptoms

[He really has a fixation on beliefs]


Recent studies of US veterans exposed to the threat of chemical weapons have shown that both symptoms and the memory of alerts in war zones are important in establishing and maintaining beliefs about being poisoned

[I remember reading something that US Gulf war vets thought they had been exposed to chemicals in some area during Gulf War 1. The military denied it but eventualy released information that confirmed the veterans beliefs. So one cannot rely entirely on released military data to confirm or deny exposure.]


....We conclude from our war pension data that there was an interaction between ex-servicemen’s symptoms and beliefs, which began with the traumatic experience of being gassed but was also linked to popular convictions about its potency and systemic effects. The conviction of having been gassed, whether accurate or not, had long term deleterious effects on a person’s beliefs about illness and perceptions of health and wellbeing. Our analysis might also assist in understanding the otherwise baffling persistence of ill health experienced by some US and UK military personnel after their deployment to the 1991 Gulf war.

[As far as I know the US military now accepts at least some Gulf War vets have physical health problems relating to the war, but the last I heard the UK military was sticking to its denial, with Simon Wessely being one of their chief denialists. I don't know if anything has changed since then as I have not been following it.

But this whole article is totally doing the thing Wessely and co do so well, implying that symptoms are either in people's heads, or that the silly patients don't understand where their health problems are coming from]

There is a box with this information at the end of the article:


What is already known about this topic

Chemical weapons exercise considerable psychological effects beyond their capacity to kill and wound

Those exposed to chemical weapons, or even the threat of them, often experience chronic adverse health effects

What this study adds

The systemic nature of chemical weapons plays a crucial part in establishing ideas about their potency and long term consequences

The powerful emotions attached to the exposure itself inspire strong beliefs that frame interpretations of subsequent ill health

 

Next, some poetry, by a very brave man who was killed just before the end of WWI:

#3 - Orla - 080410


I kept thinking of this poem as I was reading that article, written by someone who was in the war-zone during World War 1, and who saw the effects first hand. This is a bit graphic/disturbing if you haven't seen it before, so if sensitive maybe skip it (it is about someone getting gased in WW1). I thought it was useful to be reminded of what it was really like, as it is easy to lose site of reality when reading Wessely stuff.

"Dulce et Decorum Est "

by Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! -- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under I green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, --
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

 

Koan, an American woman with a gift for writing gives a good diagnosis:

#4 - Koan - 080410


Orla,

It's hard to credit such blatant madness. That's how they get away with it.

Peace

Dr. Yes is a  very learned American who is very ill with ME, and has lost almost everything besides his health, because of the very bad situation of the US Health Care and the lies that have been spread about ME/CFS by Wessely and co (the American Wessely is called Reeves), who deny ME is a real disease and insist that people who suffer from it are not entitled to any help, so as to force them to work and live like ordinary healthy persons:

#5 - Dr. Yes - 080410


Hi Orla

Do you know if Wessely was a consultant for any military organizations (including NATO) when this 'study' was being done? (Don't bother searching if you don't already know; you're probably already three-quarters insane after all this...)

I didn't think it was possible for my estimation of SW to drop any lower, but I believe it just did.


Our analysis might also assist in understanding the otherwise baffling persistence of ill health experienced by some US and UK military personnel after their deployment to the 1991 Gulf war.

What, after excluding all those with signs of physical illness? How could an analysis of such a group "assist in understanding" those with persistent "ill health"? And who said all those veterans were afraid of gas (which is all they focused on in this study)? And.. so on. This is an example of one of the very common logical flaws in many psychological papers I have seen... drawing inappropriate conclusions and then generalizing them, often into inappropriate associations.

Thanks for the poem, by the way... very powerful, especially as it is so appropriate.

Kim is an extra-ordinarily intelligent American woman - who shows why the likes of Wessely and Reeves are so popular in circles of top bureaucrats, health insurance CEOs, and likeminded persons: It would save such a lot of money (that then can be used to triple their bonuses) if War veterans are not helped medically at all, or only offered CBT-psychotherapy so as to learn to believe the Politically Correct beliefs that whoever believes that war may be unhealthy is mentally sick:

#6 - _Kim_  - 080410


This is actually a topic that I know a bit about. The research lab where I had an internship at (when I got sick) was part of a group called CounterAct that had secured a $19.2 million grant (Army) for the development of therapeutic countermeasures to chemical terrorism. The group I worked had the task of developing countermeasures for the ocular damage that is caused by Sulfur Mustard gas. Though my research focused on the cornea, other nearby labs were working on countermeasures for the skin and lungs. From presentations that I attended, it was clear that many years after being gassed, servicemen continued to experience health problems, sometimes after decades of no symptoms.

This is from a presentation that I did about the lab:


Severe injury usually heals after several months, although permanent impairment has been documented. One of the most disturbing facts about ocular sulfur mustard exposure is that long after the acute injuries appear to have healed, recurrent or delayed symptoms, including ulceration, inflammation, and corneal erosion may occur (Gordon et al., 2008). In fact, some WWI veterans re-experienced symptoms up to 40 years after their initial injuries (Javadi et al., 2005).

And from a chapter that my mentor wrote on the ocular effects of Sulfur Mustard (SM):


Data collected later in WWI and throughout the rest of the 20th century indicates that, if Auld (1918) had seen more cases, he would have concluded that permanent injury to the eye is certainly possible. No one at the time he was reporting his observations could have foreseen the delayed recurrence of eye and skin injuries, nor the downstream neoplastic consequences of exposure to SM. The clinical effects from mustard exposure are related to the concentration and duration of the mustard gas vapor (Derby, 1919; Sidell et al, 1997). Since the vesicating gases persist for a long time, they are effective in extremely low concentrations, provided the victim remains in the contaminated area long enough. As mentioned, severe exposures often take many months to heal, and permanant damage causing blindness is a possible sequela.

 


From: Javadi, et. al. 2005, Chronic and Delayed-Onset Mustard Gas Keratitis.

Mustard gas was first produced by Meyer in 1886 and was used initially as a vesicant agent for chemical warfare in World War I by the German army. Only 15 to 20 years after its use were its late-onset, progressively destructive effects recognized. Experience during the Iraq–Iran war proved it to be a lethal agent. Mustard gas has a strong irritating effect on living tissue and induces long-lasting toxic effects. Additionally, its destructive effects are not localized to the site of application; remote cells and tissues also become affected. Animal studies have revealed individualized innate resistance to this agent. The authors’ observations of human exposure confirm other observations, namely that under similar circumstances, individuals are not affected to the same extent; some subjects exhibitincreased susceptibility.

<---- See Wessely, there is your answer. Some people have increased susceptibility to sulfur mustard. These veterans that you reported on do not have false gaseous beliefs. They were injured long-term, with possible delayed recurrence.

And if you haven't seen what kind of damage blistering vesicants can cause:

 

Here I enter, on a moment I had not read anything of the above, and knew hardly any of it, though I had been thinking about the question what motivates a man like Simon the SS-Shrink (Sick Sadistic Shrink):

#8 - Maarten Maartensz - 080410


Hello all,

I am just awake, and will PM Dr.Yes, Kim, Orla and Koan (and some others, not on this thread, who PM'ed me) later about my plan on another thread 'to roll our own' recommendations or public reference library of what doctors and patients should know about ME but were lied about.

As to this thread: Dr. Yes asked:


Do you know if Wessely was a consultant for any military organizations (including NATO) when this 'study' was being done?

Yes, and his con game with war veterans is the same as with ME-patients: It's neurasthenia, PRECISELY what Wilfred Blunt, Siegfried Sassoon and many others were told during WWI - you're a mad bad wimp if you say this war or this gas is killing you: it's all in you sick and diseased mind - get a grip, be A Real Man and proper Brit, and go back to Passchendaele immediately, if you don't want to be courtmartialed or sectioned for life. And here is the link to his offical bio

-- http://www.iop.kcl.ac.uk/staff/profi....aspx?go=10206

which opens thus


Professor Simon Wessely MA BM BCh MSc MD FRCP FRCPsych FMedSci
Professor of Epidemiological and Liaison Psychiatry
Director, King's Centre for Military Health Research.
Vice Dean, Academic Psychiatry, Teaching and Training: Institute of Psychiatry.

Some bits from it

 

His research has covered epidemiology, post traumatic stress, psychological debriefing, chronic fatigue syndrome, history, chronic pain, somatisation, Gulf War illness, military health and terrorism. In the first part of his career his main areas of research focussed around clinical epidemiology, and with special emphasis on unexplained symptoms and syndromes, most particularly the chronic fatigue syndrome.

 


For the last ten years his research has shifted towards various aspects of military health. Beginning with a a series of multi disciplinary studies into Gulf War Illness, he has also studied psychological stressors of military life, PTSD, risk communication, risk and benefits of military service, screening and health surveillance within the Armed Forces, social and psychological outcomes of ex service personnel, and historical aspects of war and psychiatry.

Under ACTIVITIES AND INTERESTS


Advisory: Advisor in Psychiatry for British Army Medical Services: Chair, Nato Working Group on Psychosocial Consequences of Chem/Bio Terrorism: Risk Communication issues for MOD, NATO and others: Science and Media Centre. Member of the Scientific Advisory Panel on Emergency Response (SAPER) and now the Defence Scientific Advisory Council (DSAC).

In brief: He is a real sadistic creep, very probably quite consciously so, also in very powerful positions in England: A mad and bad rotter, of major proportion - a Dr. Strangelove who knows he is one, and thoroughly enjoys it, a real griefer also. See:

-- http://www.maartensz.org/log/2010/NL100405a.htm
-- http://www.maartensz.org/log/2010/NL100305a.htm
-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griefer

He enjoys power and enjoys harming and hurting people for kicks, for payment or because his superiors tell him so. He knows what he is doing, for decades, which is why he choose these subjects. And he plays the Catch 22 game with relish and on purpose: 'You must be mad to think you're not mad' especially if a man of Simon's eminence, a Real Psychiatrist also, tells you your complaints have no somatic explanation whatsoever.

Anyway... that answers Dr. Yes's question. My own guess is that he reads histories like those of Jonathan, that I quoted here

-- http://www.maartensz.org/log/2010/NL100301a.htm

with a swollen schnozzle, for


"We never hurt each other but by error or by malice."

-- (Sir Robert Chambers + Dr. Johnson,
A Course of Lectures on the English Law, vol I)

Or as Jens BjØrneboe said it, in the first of his three books on The History of Bestiality in human history


"Makt (..) betyr bare én ting: adgang til aa paaf
Øre andre smerte"
      =
"Power (..) means only one thing: the ability to cause another pain".

And what he is playing is the old neurasthenia-card, as in WWI, for the benefit of the state, the insurance-companies (he also worked for: UNUM), and the military, to save these from criticism and having to pay ill people and ill former soldiers, and indeed people poisoned with aluminium in their watersupplies:

"It's all in your head", Simon says, "and if you deny this you just PROVE I am right" (transference and countertransference).

If I were a Catholic, I'd believe he comes from hell, is proud of it, and just loves telling the people he burns personally laughingly that they just imagine their pains because of their false beliefs, general wimpiness, lack of psychiatric nous, and that what they really suffer from is 'dysfunctional belief systems '(1990-2010) a.k.a. 'neurasthenia' (1890-1920) a.k.a. possession by succubi & incubi (1200-1700).

Aahh well... a real rotter.

Now I start waking up properly, and later this day (European time) I'll PM some.

Maarten. (MSc. psychology, BA philosophy)

P.S. Something else: Do NOT underestimate this sadistic creep, not so much because he has real intellectual nous, for he has not (e.g. compared to those who have, like Roger Penrose) but because he has very much power and is the very willing Doberman Pincher of his government, and those living under English law may be sectioned by him or his cronies.

 

Orla finds a surprising image (note that all have penis-symbols around their necks while only the sitting capo di capi doesn't shield off his balls):

#10 - Orla - 080410


Disturbing Image Alert!

Someone e-mailed me this picture after they saw my post.

Front row, furthest to the left, Simon Wessely

Front row, furthest to the right Edgar Jones (main author of the paper)




Prof Edgar Jones bio

Professor Edgar Jones MA DPhil PhD FRHistS DipClinPsych
Professor of the History of Medicine and Psychiatry
Programme Leader, MSc in War and Psychiatry
Visiting Fellow, Department of War Studies, King's College London

Activities and Interests
Military psychiatry, Maudsley history, evolution of PTSD, treatment of war syndromes, psychological effects of war on civilians.

http://www.iop.kcl.ac.uk/staff/profile/?go=1046

Oerganix draws a very true conclusion - and indeed I think this "classic Orwellian doublespeak" is constructed on purpose, and probably also inspired by Orwell's books, his great essay Politics and the English Language - and provides a personal memory:

#13 - Oerganix - 080410
 

This is classic Orwellian doublespeak. He turns the truth back upon itself and makes it into a lie, and lies into "truth". His behavior is classic doublespeak, too. Exclude all those who exemplify those you are claiming to study, include those who will skew your "results" to completely opposite of the truth and call it "proof".

My grandfather was gassed in WWI and continued to suffer some of the bad affects of it all his life. He had memorized that poem describing those effects and recited it stentorianly. In my childhood, it seemed melodramatic, but I now understand how absolutely horrible it was.

Basically, the lungs are liquified by chemical burning and the victim drowns in his own liquified tissues, while in great pain. A truly hellish invention. Only a sadist like Wessely could call it an overreaction to be appalled and fearful of the effects of gas.

Lisette comments - and Koan's thought in Koan's words is about the above picture of Wesselly sucking up to his military bosses:

Look at that body language.
Unless he's farting, it's very telling.

#15 - Lisette - 08041


Koan, I had the same thought, except not so wonderfully succinct and fitting.

I imagined him as a toady trying to get as close to wearing those gold braids as he could for one shining moment. It gives a whole new image of "suck up"-- I think that military general might have suction marks on his arm for life.

Talk about a succubus.

Kim-- thanks for your info. Very interesting, indeed. Have you ever read Senator Reigel's investigative report on GWI?

Orla-- great research and analysis. Thank you so much. In fact the first time I encountered SW was because I was very interested in helping out a family friend who had been in the GW 1. I have written a long list of what happened to him over there, but it's really too upsetting and enraging.

I have lain awake nights thinking of all that SW has to answer for. Not just for people with M.E. and their families, but also for vets and their families. The scope of the damage is just overwhelming.

I can imagine just where the ideas for some of the "educational" literature for VA doctors treating GW vets came from. My family friend would bring stuff back from his doctor visits at the VA, and I was curious enough to look over them.

They felt so similar to what we have read in pamphlets about ourselves. No evidence, of course, but not hard to imagine, since SW was in charge.

One of the hallmark symptoms of Gulf War "Syndrome" is a "fixation (that quote I remember well) on a chemical origin" for one's symptoms. They wouldn't even go so far as to call it an illness. Just "symptoms".

How can you possibly fight this? In both M.E. and GWI, these psychiatrists has made the belief that one's illness is of organic/viral/chemical origin a hallmark symptom itself of the overarching pscyhological state of distorted beliefs.

Distortion is one of the maladaptive thinking patterns outlined in CBT theory. It's like the brain in a vat theory-- it can't be disproven.

I don't think anything that Maarten said was worded too strongly.
Lisette

Min brings in mind Wessely's denial that English people who were in fact poisoned with aluminium in their water supplies were poisoned at all - according to Simon the Sadistic Shrink they were making it all up in a fit of mass hysteria, so that their damages were not fit for help, restitution or payment as an invalid:

#16 - Min - 080410


let us not forget the way he was wheeled out to cover up the Camelford water poisoning incident

http://www.jstor.org/pss/25185888

http://ruscombegreen.blogspot.com/20...r-up-plus.html

Mithriel, a very intelligent Scots woman with ME since 1968 remembers something else about Wessely's lovely ways:

#17 - Mithriel - 080410


I am sure he said that deserters in WW1 deserved to be shot when there was talk of pardoning them.

He was proved wrong in Camelford but it doesn't seem to have slowed him down which says something about modern society and his own arrogance.

Of course, if chemical warfare isn't that bad it's just that people are afraid of it then it's OK to use it. No wonder the military love him.

Mithriel

Dr. Yes replies to my earlier post and explains and infers:

#20 - Dr. Yes - 090410


Thanks, Maarten, for all the info.


P.S. Something else: Do NOT underestimate this sadistic creep, not so much because he has real intellectual nous, for he has not (e.g. compared to those who have, like Roger Penrose) but because he has very much power and is the very willing Doberman Pincher of his government, and those living under English law may be sectioned by him or his cronies.

Yes, it is very unwise to think that he is a moron or that he will be somehow disgraced and destroyed by, for example, the discovery of a causal role for XMRV. He may be a lousy doctor and scientist, but he is obviously a crafty politician, has lodged himself into a position of influence, and has powerful friends.

Lisette:


Distortion is one of the maladaptive thinking patterns outlined in CBT theory. It's like the brain in a vat theory-- it can't be disproven.

The unfalsifiable nature of many psychological 'hypotheses' and 'theories', especially in the psychosomatic field, ought to be their downfall but instead has given them a major niche in medical practice. They take care of a great many 'incoveniences' for incompetent or uncaring doctors and for cost-cutting medical insurers and governments.


Re: Camelford, Was there ever a man so consistently on the side of greed, expediency and nastiness? It's quite a remarkable body of work.

It is.. he's like a psychiatric hitman!

I answer Dr. Yes and provide some background and information:

#21 - Maarten Maartensz - 090410


Dear Dr. Yes,


 Originally Posted by Dr. Yes
Thanks, Maarten, for all the info.

Yes, it is very unwise to think that he is a moron or that he will be somehow disgraced and destroyed by, for example, the discovery of a causal role for XMRV. He may be a lousy doctor and scientist, but he is obviously a crafty politician, has lodged himself into a position of influence, and has powerful friends.

Lisette:
The unfalsifiable nature of many psychological 'hypotheses' and 'theories', especially in the psychosomatic field, ought to be their downfall but instead has given them a major niche in medical practice. They take care of a great many 'incoveniences' for incompetent or uncaring doctors and for cost-cutting medical insurers and governments.

It is.. he's like a psychiatric hitman!

+1 to all of that.

And I think Wessely is a sadist and he knows it. He probably also is a fairly spineless person who adores authorities and wants to be one himself. There is probably something sick in his family background, what with his father in a train to Treblinka (a German Endloesungs-lager). Anyway... clearly he is very dangerous because of his power, position and government support.

Little personal background:

I gave up on reading - scientifically - about ME/CFS 20 years ago ca. 1990 because (i) most of what I'd read (there was no internet then) was waffle (constructed around "may" and "can") and (ii) I'd been given Gijs Bleijenberg's Ph.D. which I considered total rot - intellectually: rot, stylistically: rot, logically: rot, scientifically: rot, medically: rot, psychologically: rot, morally: creepy stinking rot - by the kind of person that never should have been admitted into a university anyway for sheer lack of intelligence, but that could get entrance in Dutch universities over the past 30 years because of great levellings of the total Dutch educational system (that I have protested 30 years against, as a lone individual, but was strongly supported at long last in 2008 by a Parliamentary Committeee that drew most of the conclusions I'd drawn and argued).

Dutch readers: Some of my published papers on that, since proven wholly correct:
-- http://www.maartensz.org/meinadam/sploog_columns.htm

With the internet I did some more (with a telephone modem until last July, that doesn't allow fast or thorough searching at all) but since I am very impatient with academic waffle, and most academic publications are mostly waffle - it is a career, after all, y'understand, for most tenured or would be tenured academics, not a passion for truth or style - and since I am not very interested in medicine as a science and have no special competency in it either, I didn't do much around ME either, having been convinced since 32 years it needs a bio-medical causal explanation.

It's only when the XMRV-news reached me, at the time I just had come to have ADSL, that I dived into the literature on and around ME, and found that Wessely, White, Sharpe etc. and Van der Meer and Bleijenberg etc. have been systematically lying, travestying real science, blocking the roads to real bio-medical research and its funding, and have been manipulating and intrigueing like mad.

Meanwhile, I think I more or less understand Wessely, White and Sharpe's game:

They are faithful government or insurance-firm tools, who want to be so, get well paid for it, and who just love exercising power and hurting people under pretense of being medical scientists.

Bleijenberg & Van der Meer are harder to understand, on my present knowledge:

They don't have the sort of politico-bureaucratic positions of power that e.g. Wessely has (and Reed in the US had, who seems similar to Wessely in outlook and motives), since such institutions do not exist in Holland. (They would like to have it, no doubt, but the instutions are not there for it in Holland.)

Very probably, both crave power and influence, but it also seems to me, from the strong manly faces both have - http://www.maartensz.org/log/2010/NL100405a.htm - that personal failure plays a role: Bleijenberg obviously is a twit, and it seems Van der Meer just can't make it intellectually in real internal medicine, and took to drink (how else he got that face of his with submerged lakes of alcohol apparently swimming under his eyes - always apart from dysfunctional beliefs - escapes me).

What also plays a role, probably, for both groups, is that it is so VERY much easier to publish waffle than real science.

Finally, as to


The unfalsifiable nature of many psychological 'hypotheses' and 'theories', especially in the psychosomatic field, ought to be their downfall but instead has given them a major niche in medical practice. They take care of a great many 'incoveniences' for incompetent or uncaring doctors and for cost-cutting medical insurers and governments.

Indeed... but there is more to it, as also emerges in the DSM-5 threads:

These rotters are redefining what science is to make it fit their own interests, and at least Wessely is doing it on purpose. It's here that post-modernism enters: Everything is supposedly "interpretation"; in the end there is only The Text (so anything goes: facts are texts to); "Everything is relative" .... in brief: all becomes propaganda and turns around acquiring power and influence by spindoctoring and astroturfing.

See: Scientific Realism versus Postmodernism
-- http://www.maartensz.org/log/2010/NL100320a.htm

And the current pomo medical game with regards to ME and the DSM-5 is the "on the one hand", "on the other hand" strategy: There are a soma and a psyche, these nutters hold, as if we are in medical science still in the Middle Ages, and in things human The Psyche (a.k.a. soul) rules, and over The Psyche The Psychiatric or Psychotherapeutical Specialist has the say-so.

This is again a very pleasing story for the state and the insurance-company, for not treating or investigating or helping ill people on the socalled Evidence Based Ground (Wessely fecit: Bona diagnosis, bona curatio....) that they are nut-cases is much cheaper.

And thus it goes...

Anyway - waking up and indulging in some (fairly cogent and informed) speculation.

Glad to see you around, Dr. Yes.

Maarten.

Orla knows more about Wessely's wayward ways of sadistic comforts for sadistic shrinks:

#22 - Orla - 090410


Psychiatrist says pardons for 'cowards' ease our pain

Mithriel, what you were referring to, I have a few other interesting bits and pieces on this issue. Worth bearing in mind that WW1 was an imperial war (so no real justice or "cause" to it), and the soldiers were treated like expendable cannon fodder. It was truly horrific for the soldiers in combat.

Psychiatrist says pardons for 'cowards' ease our pain
By Michael Evans, Defence Editor

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...339261,00.html

THE decision by the Government to pardon Private Harry Farr and the other 304 soldiers executed for cowardice and desertion in the First World War has been attacked by a leading psychiatrist.

Simon Wessely, Professor of Epidemiological and Liaison Psychiatry at King's College School of Medicine, London, said that the Government was mistaken to pardon the soldiers 90 years after the event.


"We should not succumb to the temptation to rewrite history to make ourselves feel more comfortable about the past," Professor Wessely said, writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Professor Wessely, who is also a consultant adviser in psychiatry to the British Army, says that it was wrong to reject the judgments made in 1916, when Private Farr, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, was sentenced to death.

He questions the Government's decision, announced last month, that it intended to put before Parliament an order for a "statutory group pardon" for all 305 soldiers executed during the First World War. If passed by Parliament, the pardon will be included in the Armed Forces Bill.

In examining the case of Private Farr, regarded as one of the
strongest candidates for a pardon because of the circumstantial evidence that he was suffering from shell shock when he refused to return to the front line, Professor Wessely said: "Private Farr had been sent to hospital [suffering from] shell shock on three different occasions before refusing to go to his front line on September 17, 1916. However, shell shock is not the same as post-traumatic stress disorder as we now understand it."

He added: "We can be sure that on the day in question Private Farr was in a state of intense fear, but so were all of the men in his battalion who faced the prospect of going over the top, as indeed they did the following morning, in an attack in which 150 of 600 were killed or wounded."

Shell shock, Professor Wessely said, was seen by many as "a
convenient medical label to avoid duties on both sides of the
trenches". He agreed that Private Farr's execution had been
tragic. "He was very unlucky, since in nine of ten similar cases, death sentences were not carried out."

Professor Wessely added that the experts in 1916 were "better placed than we are to make these terrible judgments about character, mental breakdown and duty. We should be thankful we do not have to make those choices".

 

No doubt Simon the sadist is and should be quite willing to extend his

"We should not succumb to the temptation to rewrite history to make ourselves feel more comfortable about the past,

to the inquisition, the KGB, the Gestapo, Pol Pot and - not to forget - Abu Ghraib: The authorities of the time who tolerated and furthered the acitivities of these military and semi-military men (a class of people professor Wessely has publicly claimed he loves) OF COURSE were "better placed than we are", to judge good and bad: "Everything is relative", you know, and a born torturer knows best.

Orla knows yet more about Wessely's amazing ways to get his very own sick kicks:

#23 - Orla - 090410


Radio interview with Wessely re Shell Shock victim

This is a bit long but worth looking at to see Wessely's absolute lack of compassion for the family of the man they are talking about.

Following publication of his article “The life and death of Private Harry Farr” in the Journal of The Royal Society of Medicine (JRSM:2006:99:440-443), on 2nd September 2006 Wessely was interviewed on the BBC’s Today programme on Radio 4 by John Humphrys. This is the transcript.
 


John Humphries: A few weeks ago the media was full of stories about Private Harry Farr the soldier shot at dawn during the First World War for cowardice, he was one of many, and the big news was that the government had decided he and the others should be pardoned, well
now a leading psychiatrist Professor Simon Wessely of the Institute of Psychiatry at King`s College London who is a consultant to the Army, says he should not be [pardoned]. He`s written an article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine about it and he`s on the line, so is Lord Dubbs the Labour Peer who argued for the pardon , why should he not be pardoned Professor Wessely?

Simon Wessely: Well I think first of all I think like most people listening to the programme I wish things hadn`t happened the way they did because I`m opposed to the death penalty adamantly but I think the problem we have here is two things first most people probably don`t have much idea of exactly what happened that night and why it happened I mean my own children for example get most of their knowledge of the First World War from the last episode of Blackadder..

JH:And we`re talking about that night being a night in October 1916 when he was in the trenches

SW: He was indeed and he refused three times to go forward with his comrades to take part in an attack which all of them knew would be very dangerous and catastrophic for many of them as indeed it was..

JH: Well most of them died it was as simple as that..

SW: Well a quarter of the batallion died and of course he was judged by many of his contemporaries at the time on that basis but more importantly I think it`s that, it`s the issue about, it`s not really for us to, from our extremely comfortable present, to kind of second guess and judge the past we can understand it and understand why things happened the way they did and sympathise with both Farr and also those who were called on to take those decisions and make those judgements about him but I don`t think we can rewrite histroy simply because we don`t like the ending..

JH: But are we rewriting history if we say what we now know is that there is a condition that we now call shell-shock and he, Private Farr, was clearly suffering from that therefore, to execute a man because he was ill, which is what he was, we now believe to be wrong therefore he should be pardoned because even at the time it clearly wasn`t a crime that he had committed or an offence that he`d committed, the man couldn`t help it..

SW: There were two things clearly at the time it was an offence that he`d committed there was absolutely no doubt about that he had deserted he`d shown cowardice in the face of the enemy

JH: But we now know it wasn`t cowardice, that`s my point

SW: We don`t know that, it`s actually back then they called it shell-shock, now we call it something different, they did know that he had a history of shell-shock, but it doesn`t have the same meaning to them as it did to us

JH: That`s really my point, and Lord Dubbs would you like to come in on that, I mean, are we rewriting history?

Lord Dubbs: No I don`t think we are, we`re accepting what happened and it clearly was an offence at the time, but looking at it now we believe that executing several hundred people, young men who volunteered, Private Farr was a regular, but some of them volunteered to fight, they were below age, and they suffered shell-shock and then they just couldn`t take it anymore and we shot them at dawn because of it, don`t forget Private Farr had a trial lasting twenty minutes, he had nobody to defend him and he`d been ill three
times before with shell-shock, and the doctor who had treated him before couldn`t give evidence because he was badly injured, so there was nobody to speak for Private Farr.

JH: So, hard to see why he shouldn`t be pardoned again I repeat Professor Wessely.

SW: I think, I think it`s because again the people who had to knew the same information that Lord Dubbs has said, that thats` true, but they had to weigh up all the various things that were happening both the events on that night and exactly the circumstances of his offence which was a very very bad time for him to do this most of the times he would of course have been reprieved nine out of ten times those who were sentenced to death it was not carried out usually the military showed compassion towards people in exactly the same situation as Harry Farr, on this occasion they didn`t and there were reasons for it it was partly the nature of his offence, partly the changing views of shell-shock in 1916, partly the wider issues in 1916 we shouldn`t read history backwards..

JH: But wasn`t it mostly because they knew that if they let him as it were, get away with it then others would do the same? That`s a very bad reason for executing somebody.

SW: Not neccessarily, I mean first of all that`s partly true but usually they did reprieve he was very unlucky, of those who are sentenced to death for cowardice only 5% were executed so usually they did show compassion usually they did judge people who had bad nerves, but remember this is a terribly difficult judgement John, that night everybody had bad nerves, they were all scared.

JH: Isn`t that the thing Lord Dubbs?

LD: Well of course it`s a difficult judgement but I`m not
criticising the people who made those judgements at the time,what we`re saying saying now is that 90 years later these are people who fought for our country as Private Farr did very bravely for two years, they fought for our country and in the end we shot them because they were shell shocked, and it seems to me that the compassion we should show is for their families. Private Farr`s daughter is I believe 93 years old, their families and their relatives are desperate that the stigma should be taken away from their loved ones.

JH: And isn`t that really the point in the end Professor Wessely, and it does no harm does it?

SW: No it doesn`t do any harm and you know you could say yes it makes us feel better but I don`t think that`s what we should be doing though I do think it`s more important we understand things as they were, we thank God that we`re never going to be in that kind of situation..

JH: But we can still understand them can`t we?

SW:But we can`t kind of make it better now , those things happened, things have changed, we don`t see things the same way now..

LD: Look, we are making it better we`re making it better for their families who`ve argued for years that the stigma should be taken away and that`s the important thing, we`re doing for doing it for their families.
 

Simon, my littlen sadistic freak: Don't you dare utter one word about the supposed suffering of your supposed father in the train to Treblinka! You do not know shit about it, and the authorities and military men of his day did there very human moral best to provide your dad with all mod cons of those days. WRF does it matter that 6 million Jews were gassed, after all, on your accounting:

"we can`t kind of make it better now , those things happened, things have changed, we don`t see things the same way now.."

The reader should have noticed, incidentally, that Simon the Sadistic Shrink has gone WAY out of his normal paths just to get the kicks of denigrating and hurting the grandchildren of war victims of WWI.

And the reader should also notice Wesselies and twists and misrepresents, also in front of the microphones of public radio, as he sees fit: "Only" 5% got shot, he says, and earlier it were 10% according to him; no one knows what happened in 1916, he says, but he describes what "must have" happensed as if he was there; he is "opposed to the death penalty adamantly" but does not want to pardon a man convicted to it 90 years ago, on very flimsy evidence and having no proper defence whatsoever; again he is "opposed to the death penalty adamantly" but dialogues like so: "JH: That`s a very bad reason for executing somebody. SW: Not neccessarily". Here is the sick sadistic joker in his full human glory:

JH: And isn`t that really the point in the end Professor Wessely, and it does no harm does it?

SW: No it doesn`t do any harm and you know you could say yes it makes us feel better but I don`t think that`s what we should be doing

That is: Even if - especially if - something doesn't do any harm, while it does a lot of good, professor Simon Wessely will go farr out of his way to see to it that the good he acknowledges is good is not done, so that the bad triumps.
 

#24 - Orla - 090410


Just to put the human face on the background to the story. This is part of an article from a UK newspaper


At last the family shame has gone


Sunday TimesAugust 20, 2006


John-Paul Flintoff meets the family who last week won their 14-year fight to lift the taint of cowardice from their grandfather, and asks: are we sanitising history

Gertrude Harris was 40 when she finally learnt what had happened to her father. Harris, now 93, was at a dinner with her extended family when an aunt asked: "What's all this I hear about Harry?"

The aunt had left home after the first world war, ignorant of the details of her elder brother's death. But her surviving brothers declined to comment. "They said, `Oh, we don't talk about that'," Harris recalls. That dinner took place in the early 1950s. Afterwards, Harris confronted her mother, Harry Farr's widow.

"And she said, `Well, I've kept it to myself all these years, but now I will tell you that your father was shot for cowardice'."

This week the Ministry of Defence announced a pardon for Private Farr, along with 305 other servicemen executed between 1914 and 1918.

In the light of modern ideas about soldiery and a somewhat clearer understanding of shell shock, or post-traumatic stress disorder, most people have greeted the news with approval.

After all, the number of soldiers deserting and absent without leave has more than doubled since the start of the Iraq war. Nearly 2,800 went missing from their units between 2003 and 2005. These days the army tends to write them off in their absence, not even bothering with a court martial. Just imagine the outrage, today, if they were rounded up and shot. Or if the same fate attended the 800-odd troops
who have been sent home from Iraq for treatment at the Priory clinic after developing psychiatric illnesses in the war zone.

Sceptics argue that a retrospective pardon of soldiers executed 90 years ago is meaningless. Correlli Barnett, the military historian, says the decisions were taken from a different moral perspective. Another, Sir John Keegan, says a pardon essentially seeks to impose "a sanitised version of the past".

Farr's family has campaigned in the courts for years to achieve this. The news, conveyed to Harris by telephone by John Dickinson, her lawyer, on Tuesday, was utterly unexpected. "He said, `Gertie, you've got it.' I didn't understand. I said, `Sorry?' And he said, `You've got the pardon for Harry'."

That night she was unable to sleep at her home in Harrow, northwest London. She kept the radio on and hourly news bulletins reminded her that her father had been cleared.

Government figures, including John Major, the Conservative former prime minister, and Geoff Hoon and John Reid, the Labour former defence ministers, have persistently opposed a pardon, presumably on the grounds that it might present an unwelcome precedent.

Des Browne, the current defence minister, was careful to emphasise that the pardon was aimed substantially at easing the suffering of the executed men's families: "Although this is a historical matter, I am conscious of how the families feel today. They have had to endure a stigma for decades."

Gertrude Harris was born a year before the war started. Her mother, also called Gertrude, had met Farr when she was 16. Having already served in the army as a regular soldier, he was among the first troops sent to France.

He saw action at the battle of Neuve Chappelle in March 1915, when 11,500 British soldiers died or went missing in three days. In just 35 minutes, more ammunition was fired than in the entire Boer war. In May he fought at Aubers Ridge, in which another 11,000 British soldiers were lost. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with shell shock.

Officers in similar situations were sent home to recover, but not Farr.

After five months of treatment in France — during which time nurses had to write letters home because he could not hold a pen in his shaking hand — he was sent back to fight at the Somme in July 1916. But he was not ready and by September he had lost his nerve irretrievably.

He told the court martial: "On the sergeant-major's return I
reported to him and said I was sick and could not stand it. He then said, `You are a f****** coward and you will go to the trenches. I give f*** all for my life and I give f*** all for yours and I'll get you f****** well shot'."

Two men were ordered to conduct Farr to the front. "They commenced to shove me. I told them not to as I was sick enough as it was. The sergeant-major then grabbed my rifle and said, `I'll blow your f****** brains out if you don't go'. I then called out for an officer but there were none there."

A captain in the 1st West Yorkshire Regiment reported that Farr had shown good conduct and character — except under fire: "I cannot say what has destroyed this man's nerves, but he has proved himself on many occasions incapable of keeping his head in action and likely to cause a panic."

The tribunal disregarded Farr's medical history. "He was in hospital for five months," says his daughter now. "Would they have kept him there if he was well enough to fight? No, he was a helpless mess."

Farr represented himself at the tribunal, which lasted just 20
minutes. He was shot at Carnoy at 6am on October 18, 1916. He refused to wear a blindfold.

Shortly afterwards his widow received an official letter: "It is
with regret that I have to inform you that Pte Harry Farr has been shot for showing cowardice." It would have been bad enough to learn that he had been killed in action. This was much worse. She shoved the letter away and told nobody.

However, she started to look unwell and as people challenged her over this she admitted the truth to her parents and in-laws. Harry's own father was a military man. As soon as he was told, the blinds of the home were drawn in shame. Nobody mentioned Harry in front of him again.

Soon after, Farr's widow went to the post office to be told that her pension had been stopped. She was 21 with a three-year-old girl to support. Unable to pay rent, she was turned out onto the streets. So she went looking for a job in service, eventually finding a post as kitchen maid at a house in Hampstead, north London, where she was allowed to take her daughter.

She had only one photograph of her husband and every year at Armistice Day she suffered terribly. "Nobody knows the feelings," she once said. "Every year I feel worse because I look at all those men who've been through it and came home and I think my husband should be with them."

Mother and daughter kept the secret until the late 1980s when Gertrude Harris's daughter, Janet Booth, said that she was taking her family to France and wanted to visit her grandfather's grave. "There was a look passed between my grandmother and my mother," Booth recalls. "And my grandmother said, `He hasn't got a grave'."

In 1990 the government released papers relating to the first world war courts martial. Farr's widow watched a television interview with Andrew MacKinlay, the Labour MP for Thurrock, who said that he was going to try to secure pardons. Booth got in touch with him and introduced him to her grandmother, then 99 years old.

They brought Julian Putkowski, a military historian who had written extensively about the executed men. Putkowski recorded an interview with Farr's widow in which she poured out her memories for the first time. It was broadcast on Radio 4 and a copy remains in the archive of the Imperial War Museum.

Three months later she died. But the campaign was unstoppable, Booth says. "The reason I started was for my grandmother, and when she died it was for my mother. It's been 14 years. It's taken a long time, but we can't take all the credit. We have had so much help. We're delighted that not only have we got a pardon for my grandfather but also for the other 305. That's the icing on the cake."

Later on in the war, relatives of executed men got letters saying they had been killed "in action". Many relatives remained ignorant of the truth for decades, Booth says: "One chap found out only two days ago what had happened to his relative."

Of the 306 men who will now be pardoned, 266 were executed for desertion, 18 for cowardice, seven for quitting their posts, six for striking or showing violence to their superiors, five for disobedience, two for sleeping at their post and two for casting away arms. Another 37 were shot for murder and three for mutiny.

Gary Sheffield, professor of history at King's College London, says a general pardon fails to distinguish between those who deliberately let down their comrades and those who did not....
 

An aside on professor Sheffield, who is a mate of professor Wessely's at King's College London: (1) it is over 90 years ago (2) the interests of children, grandchildren etc. are at issue, not the reputation of the English Army (or only it it concerns stupid insensitivity close to sadism (3) you can't do the court trails again (4) everybody who is not a professor at King's College London and knows a little of WWI knows that the behaviour of the English military command in WWI towards their own troops was often atrocious and devoid of all reason, rationality and common humanity.

Orla knows even more:

#26 - Orla - 090410

 


The life and death of Private Harry Farr


Simon Wessely

King's Centre for Military Health Research, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London SE5 9RJ, UK.

J R Soc Med 2006;99:440-443
http://jrsm.rsmjournals.com/cgi/content/full/99/9/440

A few comments on parts of it


We for example have shown that the ‘flashback’, characteristic of modern posttraumatic stress disorder, is absent from medical files of shell shock victims of the First World War; but this is not an important point.

Just because they are not on the medical notes doesn't mean it didn't happen.

I am not convinced that Shell Shock was purely a psychological phenomenon. I wonder whether it was something of an umbrella terms for people with a range of "unexplained" health conditions who had been at the war front?

Having seen footage of people who had "shell-shock", some had real difficulty walking, were sort of wobbling all over the place, and not just psychiatric problems. I think in some cases this carried on for years. Of course it cannot be studied properly now but I wonder whether there was some sort of neurological injury in some cases?


So the label of shell shock, which to our modern mind is synonymous with psychiatric disorder, and should automatically have meant mercy for Farr, was more ambiguous to the people of 1916. It was already falling into disrepute, and was being increased seen on both sides of the trenches as a convenient medical label for people to avoid their duties, and would be banned completely as a diagnosis in 1917

That view was obviously coloured by military/political policy. (He is, in theory, putting what happened in context, but in a way accepting politically motivated decisions as if they were acceptable or reasonable)


There were no psychiatrists available on the Western Front (psychiatrists were mainly asylum doctors anyway who looked after the insane), but if a modern psychiatrist had made the journey back in time to interview Farr, it is probable the diagnosis would be of some form of anxiety, phobic or post-traumatic stress disorder (the diagnoses are not exclusive). A phobic disorder is when a person experiences severe irrational disabling symptoms out of proportion to any actual risk. There is no rational reason to be crippled with anxiety when confronted with a spider, nor to have panic attacks inside a supermarket. But there was nothing irrational about Farr's fears that night—indeed, one might argue that refusing to go ‘over the top’ was the most rational response to the situation

A bit off topic for this discussion, but when I saw this comment on phobias, I thought I would point it out. Exercise phobia came up onanother thread. I mentioned on that thread that phobia would mean something in particular to mental health professionals, not just a little rational worry about something, and that is basically (in bold) what they would mean by a phobia.


It seems very probable that Farr was suffering from a psychiatric disorder, even if we do not know which one

 

And yet, he insists on being against the pardon.


Competing interests Simon Wessely is Co-Director of the King's Centre for Military Health Research, part of King's College London. He is also Honorary Civilian Advisor in Psychiatry for the British Army.

Edit, in theory he is putting the event in conext in this article, but in practice he is avoiding mentioning the bigger picture of the war, motivations for the war, how the "higher up" people in the army or government viewed the people on the front (basically as expendable). And another poetry moment thay I think illustrates some of what I am talking about:

Base Details

by Siegfried Sassoon

If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath,
I’d live with scarlet Majors at the Base,
And speed glum heroes up the line to death.
You’d see me with my puffy petulant face,
Guzzling and gulping in the best hotel,
Reading the Roll of Honour. “Poor young chap,”
I’d say—”I used to know his father well;
Yes, we’ve lost heavily in this last scrap.”
And when the war is done and youth stone dead,
I’d toddle safely home and die—in bed.
 

Sassoon - if you didn't notice - satirizes the English military command and higher officers, who indeed had a farr better chance to survive the war than the ordinary soldiers, as is always the case since troopleaders ceased to walk in front of the troops and fight their fights with them.

And yet again the mighty Orla knows more:

#28 - Orla - 090410


I have some notes I took from a documentary on the first world war which covered the issue of shell shock. I will look for it and see if there is anything relevant.

And if people can bear it, here is another article on Wessely, with some interesting history and comment on CFS. Sandhurst is some sort of military training college. I have put some of the text below in bold and underlined to highlight some important points.

The Lancet, Volume 369, Issue 9575, Page 1783, 26 May 2007

Perspectives, Lunch with The Lancet
Simon Wessely


by Geoff Watts


I tell an acquaintance I'm having lunch with the man who leads the UK's King's Centre for Military Health Research. He offers sympathy. "Bit of a stuffed shirt, I suppose. Very proper." Actually, no. In outlook and demeanour the entirely unmilitary Simon Wessely is less Sandhurst than S & D—this latter being his shorthand for the Sun and Doves, the local gastropub where we met. And the royal patronage
implied in the Centre's title is merely a reference to its home in King's College, London. Wessely, a psychiatrist, works with the military, likes and respects them, but is definitely not of them. "Some people go to the Amazon rain forest to study strange tribes. I go to Sandhurst and Colchester. They have their own rules and customs."

Set up in the mid 1990s, the King's Centre studies the health of service personnel: Gulf War veterans in the first instance. Wessely had already made waves with his research on chronic fatigue (CF). The work played a big part in changing the way that the illness is treated, and his doubts about the popular viral theory of CF made him some enemies. "There's a small number of people who are almost psychotically obsessed with me. But I'm used to that."

Then came the Gulf War and its aftermath. "I started seeing reports of soldiers who were exactly like my CF patients. At the same time it was clear that the MoD [Ministry of Defence] was making a dog's breakfast of dealing with it. Every time a Gulf veteran died, the headline was `Veteran dies of Gulf War Syndrome'. The MoD hadn't got even the most elementary mortality statistics." Wessely saw a research opportunity, and seized it. More controversy. Is this something he regrets or enjoys? "A bit of both." With hindsight he admits "I could have been more diplomatic. I wasn't thinking about the language I used or its impact. I was just keen to get into print." He understands why patients would prefer to be told they've acquired a virus. Nowadays, he reckons, he can make a better fist of handling controversy.

What Wessely loves most about psychiatry is the multiplicity of factors that contribute to every condition. Nothing, he says enthusiastically, is ever clear cut. Which is perhaps why, if he had to choose an alternative occupation, it would be history. When writing about neurasthenia in Victorian England and charting the management of shell shock in World War I, he's taken pleasure in these opportunities to taste his alternative career. Leaving Wessely outside the S & D I recall his advice on what not to do when working with the military. "You mustn't try and pretend you're one of them", he cautions.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/la...08022/fulltext

He is saying that he would choose his words (rather than ideas) more carefully if he had to do it over again. I have noticed that the psycho-social school sometimes write more diplomatically now, same ridiculous ideas, but more manipulative language. Personally I prefer it when they come straight out and say what they are thinking.

Orla

Note incidentally as regards to

What Wessely loves most about psychiatry is the multiplicity of factors that contribute to every condition. Nothing, he says enthusiastically, is ever clear cut.

This is astrofturf and lies for the media: In his published work he never admits that he may  be mistaken; he studiously avoids mentioning any scientific publications that show he is mistaken (there are many); and he presents his sick sadistic shrink wrapped madness always as if it is uncontrovertible solid scientifically established fact.

Koan is somewhat amazed by learning all of the above:

#29 - Koan - 090410


Thank you, Orla and Mithriel, for reminding me of all the grim details of this tragic story. I can sometimes begin to feel pity for Simon Wessely because he begins to appear such a sad a desperate little fool but when I am reminded of his immense cruelty... Base Details was just right. Just right.

It's unbelievable, really, that someone could go on and on being pathologically cruel and be well compensated for it. I forget, sometimes, that something so bizarre is possible. I really do think he gets away with it because ordinary people, like me, find it hard to remember that this kind of thing really does go on and that sadistic people can appear banal and slightly idiotic.

Actually, he also gets away with it because the people he works for have the same feelings for him, one would confidently guess, as dr. Mengele's superiors had about dr. Mengele: He is a very useful and willing servant, worthy of protection and assistance, to get all manner of dirty work done under the guise of a medical diploma, and to get all manner of lies accepted by the public as if it were real science.

Next, I enter with a little piece of logic and an interesting literary reference:

#30 - Maarten Maartensz - 090410


Hello Mithriel,

 Originally Posted by Mithriel 
I was reading a novel which had a lot of detail about shell shock and WW1. Not the same as a factual book, but it got me interested and if I feel well enough I will try to find out what I can.

I think it is important for us because some of the ideas of somatisation and hysteria come from studies of soldiers. There were psychiatrists who got very interested and did lots of work, some compassionately. (Though the criteria for damage was changed to reduce the number of pensions paid out.)

Recently, they have shown that percussive damage causes micro brain injuries. They are trying to develop helmets which will cushion the brain because as it is shook by blast small tears and damages occur which do not show up easily but cause lasting problems.

I am convinced that many of the cases of "shellshock" and the like were actually percussive damage. The strange movements, dystonias and tics of ex soldiers were seen as psychological and experiments done then are the basis for somatisation in neurology.

One experiment struck me. When soldiers with difficulty walking were hypnotised they resumed a normal gait. This was taken as proof that psychology cause walking difficulties. Yet if one part of the brain was sending a signal causing contractures then deep relaxation could damp down that signal and release the muscle to walk properly. I doubt if they had the men walk far and they may well have exaggerated how "normal" the gait was the same way "recovery" for us is so far from the usual meaning of the word.

Mithriel

Meant to say thanks to Orla for all the information, very interesting.
 

Quite so: Just as I thought (hypnotised, the brain uses other circuiting than not hypnotised, and since hypnosis is unexplained, mostly, the reasoning used for the "proof" is fallacious).

Also, a very nice novel about it is Reginald Hill's "The Wood Beyond", who seems to treat Farr's case, novellistically but quite well. I think you'll like it if you didn't read it: he is an excellent and witty writer.

Best wishes,

Maarten.

Dr. Yes is once more amazed and disgusted by learning what Orla presented:

#33 - Dr. Yes - 100410


Orla, thank you once again for filling me with disgust.

SW:


"A phobic disorder is when a person experiences severe irrational disabling symptoms out of proportion to any actual risk"

That is an incredible statement, even for him. The "actual risk" in this case was being blown to bits, shot dead, or gassed. How can any concern be "irrational" or "out of proportion" to the high probablility of one of those things happening in WW I trench warfare? It would technically be more irrational to obey orders...


And yet, he insists on being against the pardon.

It has to be for political reasons, i.e. an effort to quash sympathy for and discussion of victims of GWI and PTSD. He is doing exactly the same thing about ME/CFS; trying to prevent the governments and insurers from having to compensate victims of this disease (or any other one he and his colleagues can manage to label as "medically unexplained symptoms").

Btw, as you noted, I didn't know that 'cowardice' was a psychiatric diagnosis.


"There's a small number of people who are almost psychotically obsessed with me. But I'm used to that."

Oooh, can I make that my signature?


"What Wessely loves most about psychiatry is the multiplicity of factors that contribute to every condition. Nothing, he says enthusiastically, is ever clear cut."

Of course, that spares him from ever having to REALLY figure anything out. It becomes a playground for weak minds.


"Which is perhaps why, if he had to choose an alternative occupation, it would be history."

He would be well suited to the history departments in many universities. You can arrange or ignore evidence however you want to fit your own biases, and rewrite reality on a daily basis.

Great points by you as well Mithriel. I was thinking the same thing. All the explosive devices used in WW I (and even worse since then) are capable of shattering ear drums and damaging peripheral vestibular systems that control equilibrium. They also induce concussions, which cause brain damage themselves. Quite a few American football players have suffered from something called Multiple Concussion Syndrome; the first time I read about the symptoms of one player, I was stunned by how closely they resembled my own. It can't have been 'deconditioning'; these guys are of course in incredible shape; yet they suffered some of the same symptoms that for us are dismissed as 'deconditioning effects' by so many doctors.

Can we get this information on Wessely out to a wider audience? Not just within ME/CFS communities... all of this would, for example, be the basis for a great piece in Harper's or any number of other magazines. I can see the caricature now..

(Also, perhaps certain people within the ME/CFS community who feel it is appropriate to try to convince or be convinced by the arguments of people like Wessely would benefit from knowing what they are dealing with.)

Justin Reilly registers his own amazement and provides more of a link to Wessely busy with lying in front of cameras originally found by Koan:

#36 - justinreilly - 100410


Wow, he never ceases to amaze me. Veterans get PTSD because they saw in Platoon that they're supposed to get flashbacks?? Shell-shocked veterans were 'unmanly'?- look who's talking! Will someone flush this turd already?

[MM: Youtube video footage of Wessely]

Orla answers Dr. Yes and considers a very sensible diagnosis of Mithriel:

#37 - Orla - 100410
 


Dr Yes
Orla, thank you once again for filling me with disgust.

No problem, my pleasure

About the phobia thing, I should have quoted the full thing. The link to the article is not working as that journal website seems to be down today, so I cannot go back to put in fuller quote which is what I was going to do now.[Edit, I have now done it] But I think he was saying that you couldn't say this guy had a phobia, because in a phobia the fear has to be out of proportion to the risk, but in this case fear would be normal.

I just quoted what he said about what a phobia is, not because of the discussion here, but because of the discussion on the CAA thread where it was being implied (by some CAA matieral, apparently) that some ME/CFS patients were exercise/movement phobic, and I thought it was useful to be reminded of how psychiatrists view phobias in general. It is clearly not irrational to be a bit worried about exercise in ME/CFS.


<What Wessely loves most about psychiatry is the multiplicity of factors that contribute to every condition. Nothing, he says enthusiastically, is ever clear cut.>

Dr Yes
Of course, that spares him from ever having to REALLY figure anything out. It becomes a playground for weak minds.

 

Yes, he can waffle to his hearts content, and also be right so many times, as like a psychic he is spreading the risks by saying a few different things at the same time, so that one of the things he says might be right.

"Which is perhaps why, if he had to choose an alternative occupation, it would be history."

Dr Yes
He would be well suited to the history departments in many universities. You can arrange or ignore evidence however you want to fit your own biases, and rewrite reality on a daily basis.

 

What is that you are saying about historians! ok just kidding I agree.


Great points by you as well Mithriel. I was thinking the same thing. All the explosive devices used in WW I (and even worse since then) are capable of shattering ear drums and damaging peripheral vestibular systems that control equilibrium. They also induce concussions, which cause brain damage themselves. Quite a few American football players have suffered from something called Multiple Concussion Syndrome; the first time I read about the symptoms of one player, I was stunned by how closely they resembled my own. It can't have been 'deconditioning'; these guys are of course in incredible shape; yet they suffered some of the same symptoms that for us are dismissed as 'deconditioning effects' by so many doctors.

That is very interesting.

Orla

 

Orla has more on how Wessely made out - for the financial benefit of the aithorities, the insurance industry and himself - that people who were poisoned with aluminium in their water supply made it all up by dysfunctional beliefs:

#39 - Orla - 100410

Thanks Min, Camelford water incident


    Originally Posted by Min
let us not forget the way he was wheeled out to cover up the Camelford water poisoning incident

http://www.jstor.org/pss/25185888

http://ruscombegreen.blogspot.com/20...r-up-plus.html

Thanks for the link. Is there no end to what this man well get up to? He is like a gun for hire to help cover things up.

That second article there has this:


In the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Vol 39, No 1. pp.1 9. 1995, Wessely together with his colleague Anthony David, published a paper entitled 'The Legend Of Camelford : Medical Consequences Of A Water Pollution Accident' (http://tinyurl. com/3a4fev). "There was little cause for concern," announced Wessely. He also accused Camelford residents of somatisation and the media of irresponsible reporting of this water-poisoning incident. Wessely apparently also blamed those affected of sensationalising their symptoms in order to get compensation.

Here is one recent comment from a Green party member: "It was a scandal. As in the Black Report on the Seascale leukaemias, they used the scholastic method, not the scientific method, to decide that there was no causal link between the chemicals in the water and the symptoms suffered."

I have heard about a few other things Wessely has been involved with (when I have the energy I will look for the information). He seems to have roughly the same script for every condition.

And Koan, thank you for that lovely little video of him waffling away as usual. I have the notes from his speech at Gresham college (aren't I lucky?).

Orla

V99 imagines what would be the case if Wessely had spoken about 9/11:

#40 - V99 - 100410


Imagine what he would make of those who were at ground zero breathing in the dust.

Orla knows what happened in fact:

#41 - Orla - 100410


Unfortunately we don't have to imagine V99. I have out some of the text below in bold.


World Trade Centre syndrome
We are healthier than ever - but fear is making us ill.


by Simon Wessely

Similarly, the emergence of 'World Trade Syndrome', a vague collection of symptoms among the residents of Lower Manhattan, blamed on various 'toxins' released after the collapse of the Twin Towers, only makes sense in the context of a seemingly endless list of other mysterious symptoms and syndromes that are blamed on similar toxic disasters.

.... it is precisely because we are healthier, with higher expectations of the power of medicine, that we have actively encouraged the spread of medicine into areas where it has not gone before. We medicalise the non-pathological - and this is instituted not just by the medical professions but by the consumers themselves. So the normal symptoms and malaise that are part of the human condition, exacerbated by encounters with adversity such those on and after 11 September, are now more likely to be medicalised.


Who do I blame for this? In the UK, I blame generations of politicians who have been in charge of the health service, and who have found it hard to say 'enough is enough' - instead writing 'patients' charters', which perpetuate the idea that unrealistic expectations can be met.

...research has shown that one explanation in particular is on the increase, and that that the 'environment'. Increasingly, it is the environment - mystery bugs, toxins, chemicals, pollution, and so on, that is blamed for those non-specific symptoms that have always been with us.


One reason why this has happened is our increasing awareness of risk.

....We only have ourselves to blame for allowing this to happen. Anthraxiety and World Trade Centre Syndrome are the latest consequences of an ideology that tells us that our physical environment is responsible for most of our bodily discomforts and ills. We have created a climate in which a maverick, disgruntled individual can bring a society to its knees by adding anthrax to a letter.


Simon Wessely is professor of psychiatry at King's College London, and is speaking at the spiked conference After 11 September: Fear and Loathing in the West, on Sunday 26

http://www.spiked-online.com/articles/00000006D903.htm

 

These are just some extracts, worth reading in full if you can stomach it.

Orla

Note Wessely's witchdoctor-like claim (amidst a lot of insane prose, in which he promptly and impertinently found yet two more 'somatoform psychiatric disorders': 'Anthraxiety' - full cousin of 'kinesophobia' - and 'World Trade Centre Syndrome', which is no doubt the New York firebrigades' form of 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome') that

"We only have ourselves to blame for allowing this to happen. Anthraxiety and World Trade Centre Syndrome are the latest consequences of an ideology that tells us that our physical environment is responsible for most of our bodily discomforts and ills."

That is: Unless you are a rich or powerful private patient of Simon, who always promptly paid Simon's hefty bills also, you are not really ill; you are yourself responsible for dysfunctionally believing that you are ill; you are yourself responsible for dysfunctionally feeling that you have pains; YOU THOUGHT YOURSELF SICK YOURSELF; you are a wimp, a malinger, a liar or a financially costly personally worthless parasite; and you urgently need CBT + GET in order to brainwash you back to a proper ordinary well-adjusted lover of society while righeously punishing you with work you cannot do for having the temerity to say you are ill while the savants of King's College deny you are.

Moreover, Simon the Sadistic Shrink tells you and everybody else "our physical environment" has nothing to do with your beliefs and feelings that you - yes you, who are not rich or powerful, and can pay private practice and real science from your own pocket - are merely "ill": Professor Simon the Sadistic Shrink has personally proved that all medicine, all biochemistry, all physiology, indeed the whole "physical environment" is nothing but an illusion or a text in the mind, about the truth-value and probability of which ONLY psychiatrists approved by Professor Simon have the right to judge (you are a dysfunctional with dysfunctional beliefs, unless rich, powerful or staff at KCL).

From Professor Wessely bio-medical science is an illusion, is "all in the mind", is "only between the ears" ('see' Simon the Sadist yells here triumphantly: 'See that I allow the brain as a valid explanation, since it is between the ears?!'), and in fact the inquisition had it pat long ago: Confess you are insane when you think you are ill to an inquisitioner with a CBT diploma, or get ready to be stretched on the rack by KCL-diplomaed givers of GET.

Back to Koan, who still is amazed and asks a very relevant, indeed psychiatrically justified question:

#42 - Koan - 100410


This diatribe is dated May 23, 2002. So, SW had formed and was shopping a theory regarding what ailed people who lived in an environment which was literally blanketed in a thick snow of pulverized buildings and airplanes - a hitherto unique situation - following a terrorist attack which took place just 8 months earlier.

I cannot understand how he is allowed to carry on with his half baked ideas which drip with psychopathology consistent with having a big, big issue with illness in others. I am left, always, wondering who in this man's early life was ill -- one of his parents, his mother perhaps? Why did that upset him so much and why has he been unable to come to terms with his anger and anxiety as an adult doctor.

No matter what scenario he is faced with, he finds a way to explain all symptoms and distress as whinging. It's stunning. It's also pathological. I do not believe he is a happy or a well adjusted human being.

Here I enter again, for I happen to have some relevant knowledge and background, psychologically, psychiatrically and personally speaking:

#43 - Maarten Maartensz - 100410


Partial elucidation of professor Simon Wessely's many mental issues

Hello Koan,

This is an amazing thread with lots of facts I did not know but that certainly strongly support my analysis of the man. I'll probably work this over for my site.

I do have one elucidation. You wrote (I snip what I don't react to):


    Originally Posted by Koan
I am left, always, wondering who in this man's early life was ill -- one of his parents, his mother perhaps? Why did that upset him so much and why has he been unable to come to terms with his anger and anxiety as an adult doctor.

No matter what scenario he is faced with, he finds a way to explain all symptoms and distress as whinging. It's stunning. It's also pathological. I do not believe he is a happy or a well adjusted human being.
 

He clearly isn't and seems to be compensating a lot. My own guess is that it may have to do with his father, who was in a train to Treblinka during WW II, which was a German death-camp ('Vernichtungslager', in German). The least this caused in many people who survived this (few) was PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). He may well have been maltreated by his father.

I don't think that excuses anything he did - and my father survived almost 4 years of German concentration- camp, but not for being Jewish, but for being a communist resistance fighter. These tended to survive the camps in better condition than people arrested for being Jewish.

As it happens, I am an atheist who is circumcised (not a common operation in Holland, as it is in the US), and I have known several Jewish Communist comrades of my father - "Jewish Bolsheviks": The most hated by the SS in the concentration-camps - who indeed were in the same camps as my father was, for the same reason (and who didn't let on they were of "an inferior race", in Goebbels' terms).

This is one of the reasons, by the way, I am no fan of 'human equality' all the way down, or 'respect' for anyone for being there, in an apparent human form: I know more than most of my generation and later ones about what happened in German concentration-camps, and there simply were human beasts, like dr. Mengele.

Anyway... Simon Wessely is a very despicable man, and the fact that there may be some sort of lame excuse and partial explanation changes nothing about it and is no exonaration or mitigation.

Also, if necessary I will needle him in this way, psychoanalytically perfectly justified also, on my site, for I despise people out on harming, hurting, denigrating, maltreating and deceiving people who did them no harm whatsoever. And I despise post-modern dr. MEngeles who can't even excuse themselves they did their misdeeds during a war, in a totalitarian state.

They make me sick with moral disgust, as indeed my father was sickened with moral disgust on seeing the razzias on the Jews in Amsterdam.

Maarten.

P.S. One reason Simon Wessely sickens up to the military so much may well be that after WW II many of the surviving Jews blamed themselves for not having resisted (more).

A little later: See

Title: ME: Elucidating professor Simon Wessely many mental issues
Link: http://www.maartensz.org/log/2010/NL100410a.htm

for some posts of mine to the Phoenix Forums - new logo in place: Yay, as they say - with some added frills.

For Dutchmen: Here is my father on his experiences in the camps when applying for a socalled Resistance-Pension, which he got - a miserably small one, on purpose, because he still was a communist:

Title: Mijn vader verhaalt van concentratie-kampen:
Link: http://www.maartensz.org/meinadam/vader.htm

 

 


And about there it stands at the moment, and I have compiled this in one file, with my remarks, so that it is available in one file as food for thought about modern psychiatry in general and professor Simon Wessely in particular, the sick sanctiomonious sadist, who will no doubt like to say that I am one of those who belongs to this class of people:

"There's a small number of people who are almost psychotically obsessed with me. But I'm used to that."

No Simon Wessely: You are just a despicable piece of human shit, a degenerate sadist, an evident dr. Mengele in human motivation. You're the born personal physician of Heydrich, Goebbels or Hitler. If you want to section me, you must go to court - and I am glad you have to go to court in Europe, and then we will see whether your tales, your lies, your deceptions, your misrepresentations, also in the light of the God knows how many people you have indirectly killed or driven to suicide, hold water when an independent judge takes an independent look at the evidence, some of which you find in ME-documentation.

For my part,

I hope that you die, and your death wil come soon
I'll follow your casket on a pale afternoon,
And watch while you're lowered unto your deathbed
And stand over your grave till I am sure that your dead. (*)


P.S. This is it for the moment, and eventual corrections must wait till later, in view of my many dysfunctional beliefs, Simon says.

And only I have the responsibility for my words - and Maarten Maartensz is mad iff Simon Wessely is not mad, according to Simon Wessely's own teachings, also as seen above.

Indeed, dear reader: I fear you are mad - KCL-style(**) - if you dare disagree with Simon Wessely's teachings. I can't help it that he is that manner of a man.

See also: P.S. of 12 april

Note

(*) End of "Masters of War" by Robert Zimmerman, as it sits in my memory.

(**) KCL = King's College London, an English university where Wessely teaches.

($) Correction Apr 14 2010 (as informed via the Phoenix Forms) from "British Medical Association".


Maarten Maartensz

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