October 10, 2010


ME + me: McCulloch vs. Wessely - MUST READ for persons with ME

Indeed I continue being not well, for which reason I still have not yet written more on the DSM-5TM  I also wanted to write a bit more about psychiatry and about Cargo Cult Science and pseudoscience, but these things also have to be queued awaiting somewhat better times.

However... here is one bit that I did want to write about psychiatry, and very good it is indeed, and definitely a MUST Read for persons with ME, since it will help them a lot to get the right scientific perspective on professors Wessely, White, Sharpe, Chalder etcetera, including professor Wessely's wife doctor Gerada, and indeed defend themselves with in court against their their fraudulent pseudoscience they know to be fraudulent pseudoscience.

Here follows one very clear, courageous and honest exposition why this is so, and why one is entitled to say to in public, here is the link to a pdf-fille of a lecture of professor McCulloch, that I know since 1973, from McCulloch's "Embodiments of Mind", that I then bought and studied with admiration. Most of this is rather technical and mathematical - I loved and love ""

 in which professor McCulloch, for many years professor of psychiatry and a very talented, intelligent, courageous and honest man and real scientist on the reasons why professors Wessely, White, Sharpe, Chalder and professor Wessely's wife doctor Clare Gerada are conscious scientific frauds and conscious liars and doublespeakers:

The Past of a Delusion
Warren S. McCulloch

Professor of Psychiatry and Neurophysiology, an MD also with academic degrees in psychology and philosophy, one of the founding fathers of neural networks and cybernetics

Indeed, who was professor Warren S. McCulloch? A man with a great reputation, and great achievement, and a real scientist as opposed to the pseudoscientists he criticized.:

  • Warren Sturgis McCulloch - from the Wikipedia, from which I quote (*):

    Warren Sturgis McCulloch
    (November 16, 1898 – September 24, 1969) was an American neurophysiologist and cybernetician, known for his work on the foundation for certain brain theories and his contribution to the cybernetics movement.

    Warren Sturgis McCulloch was born in Orange, New Jersey, in 1898. He attended Haverford and studied philosophy and psychology at Yale, where he received an A.B. degree in 1921. He continued to study psychology at Columbia and received a M.A. degree in 1923. Receiving his MD in 1927 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, he undertook an internship at Bellevue Hospital, New York, before returning to academia in 1934.

    He worked at the Laboratory for Neurophysiology at Yale University from 1934 to 1941, before moving to the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

    From 1952 he worked at the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics. He also worked at Yale University and later at the University of Chicago.

    He was a founding member of the American Society for Cybernetics and its second president during 1967–1968.

In brief: Totally unlike the fraudulent liars professors Wessely, White, Sharpe, Chalder etcetera professor McCulloch was a real scientist and a very prominent and scientifically succesful one, totally unlike the English and other pseudoscientific psychiatric and psychotherapeutic frauds that are parasiting on patients and tax-paid government bureaucracies and institutions.

Professor McCulloch's "The Past of a Delusion" (pdf, 2.8 MB) is from 1953, indeed by a - once - professor of psychiatry, who also one of the fathers of neural networks and of  cybernetics, that he both started on since he was disgusted with standard psychiatry and wanted to know how the human brain works: Emphatically not as psychiatrists, including professor Wessely claims it does.

 In "The Past of a Delusion" he explains the reasons for his scientific and moral disgust and does so not as an ordinary scientist would but honestly, courageously, clearly and in fine English prose, before The Chicago Literary Club in 1953, who put it on line, also in the form in which I know it from McCulloch's "Embodiments of Mind" since 1973.

Indeed, I read McCulloch's collection of papers and essays "Embodiments of Mind" in 1973 - and I still have the book, now broken in two parts - and in fact that book, especially because of (i) the article "A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity" (co-authored by the logician Walter Pitts) and (ii) William James's

and (iii) my dominant interest in human reasoning since I was 15, made me decide to study the science of psychology academically - in which I finished with an M.A. with the best possible marks, that were taken mostly on mathematics, logic and physics, since I had meanwhile decided that most of psychology (as it was taught at the University of Amsterdam: See my Spiegeloog-columns, now mostly translated from Dutch to English, though this also holds for psychology in general) was not a real science, for the sort of reasons the space- and computer-scientist Paul Lutus gave here (later): Is Psychology a Science?

"The Past of a Delusion" is a mere 30 pages of fairly large letters, and he is quite right, also about Freud's sources: he stole rather than that he originated, let alone "discovered". There is a record he made in London, when very old, having fled from the Nazis, which I have heard, in which he claims

"I deescoooffert zee ooncooonshus"

which in fact was done by Leibniz and the talk of the time in Germany and Austria through a very popular book among intellectuals by Eduard von Hartmann, a philosopher, called ... "The Unconscious".

And so on, and McCulloch - Scottish ancestry, as he hints in the text - explains and summarizes very well - and fairly too: Freud was a Fraud, and knew it, and wanted to be.

Three more things bear remarking here, I think:

1. The sad thing is that anyone who is intelligent enough can see that Freud is a fraud through his writings. I did so when I was 17 or 18: He uses fallacies galore. In the "Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis", required reading for psychology when I studied, he pulls e.g. the trick that in one chapter he proposes the unconsciousness, in the Freudian sense, as a mere hypothesis, a manner of speaking; then writes some chapters  about something else, and then asserts blandly something like 'now that we've established the scientific existence of the unconsciousness', in his sense, etc.

It just is all evident nonsense, fraudulence and/or fallacy whatever I read of his. And the amazing thing is that so many quite intelligent men have been taken in, while the melancholic thing is that the same holds for religion and politics.

2. One may be reminded of professor Simon Wessely and quite a few - rather a lot, thought not all - postmodern (<- a very clarifying link!) psychiatrists here, of today, and indeed I regard it as far more probable than not that Wessely does know "The Past of a Delusion".

It can be taken as instruction book for psychiatrists with malice aforethought, which is what McCulloch held most of psychiatrists to be: conscious frauds, acting and speaking with "Malice Prépense", because they are out for "filthy lucre" and have only a travesty of a conscience and no scientific or personal integrity:

"We never hurt each other but by error or by malice." 
   (Sir Robert Chambers, possibly inspired by Dr. Johnson)

Incidentally, the same holds for "hurt" replaced by "tell falsehoods". And Wesselyan psychiatry has hurt, demeaned, degraded and denied help to hundreds of thousands, driven many to suicide, and is and was based from the beginning on theories Wessely and his psychiatric fellows know to be lies.

3. Let it be firmly insisted that the same or worse is true today about psychiatry: The same fraudian congame has been continued ever since it was succesful in the media and in fleecing patients or insurance-companies; morally speaking the scam gets more and more sick every day as the real neurological and physiological knowledge about the human brain increases; and not the DSM-5, concocted by the APA (American Psychiatric Association) is introducing a quit UNscientific model for classifying ALL or nearly all disease as having a somatic component (the body, with which real science is concerned) and a psychogenic component (the mind aka the soul), so that psychiatrists can claim almost anyone of almost any disease as patients from which their breed can suck incomes, while offering no more than pseudo-scientific soul-shrinking served in a patter of pretended "evidence-based science" that's mostly or totally fraudulence.

Modern psychiatry is even more of a scam and a fraud for the most part as was (and is) Freudian psychoanalysis, and CBT aka Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a scam as psychiatry or psychotherapy: It is a kind of verbal brainwashing that consists in accepting the myths of the therapists as if they are verities, while being blamed as a neurotic, madman or malingerer if one does not, and paying through the nose for the privilege.

Modern psychiatry - with the exception of a minority - is a sick "science"; its practioners are to a great extent liars and tale-spinners, who do not have real evidence for more than a very small fraction of their claims and stories; and the situation is just as bad in moral and scientific principle as in 1953 when McCulloch exposed these frauds he knew so well so honestly.

Indeed, the only somewhat optimistic consideration I can think of as regards modern psychiatry since 1953 is that non-psychiatrists (bio-chemists and pharmacologists) have found quite a few substances and medicines that help patients with problems to sleep much better, be less depressed, less anxious, and far less of an easy prey to parasite on for the pseudoscientic psychiatric lobby - that now seems to be trying to have a stake in the healing of all diseases, through the fraud of pretending all diseases have a psychogenic component psychiatrists are qualified to deal with.

Psychiatrists for the most part are liars, conmen, frauds and McCulloch clearly explains why and for what reason: for "filthy lucre", in his and Shakespeare's terms.

As it happens, originally, I had made quite a number of screengrabs from the pdf that is the internet-version of "The Past of a Delusion" and made quite a few comments, but my health is no good and I do not have the energy to put it together.

Even so, here are some choice quotations, in the order in which they appear in "The Past of a Delusion", with page references to McCulloch's "Embodiments of Mind", in which I first read it myself in 1973, that is on pages 276-306:

p. 289-290: Psychiatric pseudoscientific pretentious nonsense and lies:


p. 295-6: The Freudian and psychiatric habit of stealing from others:

p. 298: Psychiatry's falsehood, pretense and - thereby - enormous prestige, based on the - carefully perpetrated - fraudulent myth that a psychiatrist can see through one or understands the human mind in a rational, empirical way:

p. 299: The dishonesty and social influence of psychiatry in education:

p. 299: Scientology started out as Dianetics, and is an offshoot from psychiatry, that also seems to have contributed a lot to the Lying Process.

In any case, the techniques are the same: brainwashing based on pretense of knowledge, to enrich the therapist, whether these techniques are called Dianetic, Scientologic, Psychiatric,  Pychotherapeutic, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Behavorial Therapy of Neuro-Linguistic Programming:

p. 299-300: It is fundamentally bullshit, and what is a lot worse: It is bullshit meant to defraud distraught or ill people from a lot of money:

p. 300-302: McCulloch's own approach, till the end of his talk:


So I end once again with the physicist John Archibald Wheeler's call, seeing it is very much needed in the psychiatric, psychotherapeutic and psychological pseudo-sciences (and elsewhere too):

Drive The Pseudos Out Of The Workshop Of Science!

and with my sincere hope this may be starting to happen in the US.

P.S. Including the above quotations - that are images since the original consists of images - swells this file to over 300 Kb when downloaded, but is well worth it.

To repeat or restate:

  • The situation in pyschiatry now in 2010 is worse than in McCulloch's days, for psychiatrists are even more powerful, and also more dangerous with modern psychofarmaca (as in the Soviet-Union and in The Netherlands)
  • The techniques are just the same as Freud, Jung, Ranke and Ferenczy introduced:

    Lies, pretense, fraud, fallacies, and nonsense, but these days the pretense is that it is "evidence based science", through the trick of doing scientifically seeming statistical studies on methodologically useless or heavily massaged data (e.g. through defining things very vaguely, as in the case of the definitions psycho-frauds like Wessely use to produce pretentious "evidence based" pseudo-science about ME/CFS: The groups of "researched" "patients" are SO vaguely defined, or so carefully not selected or ill selected, that the "research" in fact may be about anyone at all, so that "the findings" are always arbitrary and poly-interpretable.)
  • The situation in pyschiatry now in 2010 is institutionally much worse than in McCulloch's days:

    The American Psychiatric Association is redefining psychiatry in such a way that, according to their handbook-to-be, the DSM-5, nearly everyone who is ill is in need of a psychiatrist or psuchotherapist of some sort, since every illness, the APA now wants it to be believed, has a bodily and a mental component - just as the theologians and inquisitors of the Middle Ages insisted, and the APA seems to be reinventing psychiatrists themselves as the New Doctors Of The Soul, trying to replace the priests and the clergy, while getting themselves much better paid for it as well. (And don't you dare deny it, for professor Wessely and his gang will accuse you of all manner of complexes, and they have academic titles and the power to section and drug you if they don't like you.)

Of course, scientific frauds like Wessely, White or Sharpe will try to tell one "that nowadays it is different" from what it was in McCulloch's days: Well, it is not.

In fact it is now worse, because postmodernism has introduced the fact that the proportion of incompetent but academically nominally qualified pseudo-scientists is far larger than ever, namely since "we are all equal" since the 1960ies, and especially in intellectual abilities, for saying otherwise would be o so very "discriminatory", of the vast majority that would love to be Doctor of something, and that without having the least real  intellectual talents or interests.

This human ideal - to be a titled academic fraud without any intellectual talents, but with huge claims about his own pseudo-science and the taxpayer's moral duty to support his financial demands to be able to do "research" or "help people with their problems", that is, to be a sort of witch-doctor with academic titles and hardly any questions asked, has been realized over the past four decades of postmodernism.

Thus it has become possible and practicavle that even or especially the majority of the mediocre and those without any real interest or ability in real science were made these last forty years or so into pseudo-academics of all kinds, namely in all kinds of the soft sciences - such as into Doctors of Clinical Psychology or Doctors of Psychiatry or such (Doctors of Media-Sciences, of European Studies, of Freedom Theology (**))

 all equipped with an enormous desire for large incomes and high status, so that in fact there is a present only a rather small minority of the remaining real scientists capable of refuting their fraudulent cant, while most (the large majority!) or the postmodern nominal academically qualified are neither interested in real science nor capable in it.

P.P.S. It may be I have to stop Nederlog for a while. The reason is that I am physically not well at all. I don't know yet, but if there is no Nederlog, now you know the reason.


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

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon
     insufficient evidence
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.

    "Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 

    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)


See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources

P.P.S. ME - Resources needs is a Work In Progress that hasn't progressed today.

(*) The lemma in Wikipedia is OK, but it must be mistaken about McCulloch's date of birth, which it attributes both to 1898 and 1899, a state of affairs only possible in the eyes of Maoists, Marxists, Marcuseians and, of course, psychiatrists and clincal psychologists (who, as McCulloch explains, get away with that by insisting their kind of "science" refutes logic). According to my copy of The Oxford Companion to the Mind, Ed. R.L. Gregory (first reprint of first edition, both of 1987), it is 1899.

(**) Name a kind of fashionable bullshit, and these days there are doctorates and university courses in it: Sports sciences, Media sciences, European Studies, Freedom Theology with a minor in sports, Pedagogical Science, Nursing Science ... the list is endless, as are the special professorates for former politicians and CEO's, who usually again "teach" some form of personalized bullshit they are supposed to be "specialists" in.

Ca. 1985, the average IQ of the students of the University of Amsterdam was 115. Twenty-five years on, with 50% or more 18-year olds receiving the formal qualification to enter a Dutch university, it can hardly be higher than 105.

There is a VERY simple cure for this, that I have been called "a fascist" for in the UvA quite a few times, because it is "elitatarian, therefore fascistic" (as is NOT argued in Holland about sports idols and media-personalities: For these receiving millions a year and the public status of  semi-divinity are self-evident to all Dutchmen, with an IQ under 115, that is, the Proud Democratic Majority of the people of the country I try to survive in).

That solution is this: Admit only people who score better than 1 in 50 or 1 in 1 a 100 on a scholastic aptitude test or IQ-test, and deny all others entrance to a university as a student. If asked for a reason, insist that all Dutchmen feels entitled to the best doctor or  engineer for any of their problems, and it in intellectual and scientific matters just as in soccer, as all Dutchmen know: There are only very few geniuses and few who excel in it.

But in Holland this rational measure will not be taken without a major revolution or collapse of the whole Dutch society, for by now the academically titled morons are in great majority in all universities and in all institutions, and they also have learned that once being there they can play elite over the rest and get well-paid for it as "scientists", as long as a pseudo-civilization like the Dutch one can last and last profitably, which cannot be long, on a historical scale. (See also "The Undutchables", a fair portrayal of Holland and the Dutch, that was also translated into Dutch, and was well received in Holland, even though its writers were lucky enough to have US passports and the ability to remigrate, as they did, having had their fill of the always levelling and always hypocritical Dutch they lived with for ten years.)

Maarten Maartensz

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