4 maart 2010


Studies in MEdical Sadism - 3: "The evidence & the techniques"



1. The evidence
2. The techniques
     - a list
     - sadism defined
     - Wessely quotes
P.S. Some real scientific background

This continues what I wrote yesterday, and again consists mainly of fine work done by others, namely Greg Crowhurst and professor Malcolm Hooper.

1. The evidence: First the evidence. The currently best site about ME with much evidence and many papers, links, and pdf-files is this

  • InvestInMe

The link just given links to the opening of the site. The next link provides an excellent collection of information about ME

  • InvestInMe: InfoCentreLibrary

Everybody with ME or with a family member of friend with ME should at least consult the last link, for it contains a large number of very good html and pdf files on the subject of ME.

2. The techniques: Yesterday I quoted Greg Crowhurst's 101 Good Reasons :
Why it is wrong to provide CBT and GET to ME Patients
Today I quote a passage from

  • Wessely's Way: Rhetoric or reason?

by Margaret Williams and professor Malcolm Hooper that introduces Greg Crowhurst and cites his 2008-summary of the techniques used by the pseudo-scientific Wessely-school in England; the pseudo-scientific Reeves-school in the US and the pseudo-scientific Van der Meer & Bleijenberg school in Holland:

In a paper dated 8th March 2008 entitled “The Year of No Compromise” Greg Crowhurst, a health care professional whose wife is one of the most severely affected ME/CFS sufferers in the UK, said the following

“This is a simple summary of the inferred messages underpinning the psychiatric paradigm, currently being heavily promoted in the UK”.

Although written specifically in relation to ME/CFS, the summary applies equally to all disorders designated by Wessely et al as being “medically unexplained” which these psychiatrists assert are Functional Somatic Syndromes (FSS), including the disorders outlined above.  These “Wessely School” psychiatrists in fact believe that ME/CFS, FM, IBS, non-ulcer dyspepsia, pre-menstrual syndrome, chronic pelvic pain, atypical chest pain, “hyperventilation syndrome”, tension headache, temperomandibular joint pain, globus syndrome and multiple chemical sensitivity are but one single psychiatric disorder (Lancet 1999:354:936-939).

Crowhurst’s summary exactly captures the situation in the UK:

“The recommendations:

·         do not investigate ME/CFS patients
·         do not provide special facilities for ME/CFS patients other than
             psychiatric clinics
·         do not offer special training to doctors about the disorder
·         do not offer appropriate medical care for ME/CFS patients 
·         do not offer respite care for ME/CFS patients
·         do not offer State benefits for those with ME/CFS 
·         do not conduct  biomedical research into the disorder

The tactics:

·         the wreaking of  havoc in the lives of ME/CFS patients and
            their families by the arrogant pursuit of a psychiatric construct
            of the disorder
·         the attempts  to subvert the international classification of this
             disorder from neurological to behavioural

·         the propagation of  untruths and falsehoods about the
·         the building of affiliations with corporate industry
·         the insidious infiltration  of all the major institutions
·         the denigration of those with ME

The practices:  

·         the attempt to make "ME" disappear in a sea of chronic     
·         the refusal to see or acknowledge the multiplicity of
·         the ignoring and misinterpretation of the biomedical evidence
·         the suppression of published findings
·         the vested interests        

The impact:

·         the arresting and sectioning of protestors
·         the silencing of ME patients, through being given a psychiatric
·         the suppression of dissent
·         the labelling of ME patients as the "undeserving sick", as
·         the forcible removal  of sick children and adults from their

“It is poignant how an institutionally supported prejudice against people with ME has arisen, based on nothing more substantial than supposition and opinion, carefully disseminated.

“You have to be very careful how you discern the truth; it is an important issue in the corporate wall of collusion surrounding the physically sick people who have ME.

“We have to be very clear about what is the truth about ME and what is either deliberate, naive or ignorant misinterpretation or misrepresentation. The impact of the above strategy on peoples’ lives is catastrophic”.

Williams and Hooper continue these quotations from Greg Crowhurst thus to end the article I linked:

As noted by Hooper et al, the malign influence of Wessely School dogma extends throughout Government departments, throughout the NHS, and even extends to the Judiciary, with one Claimant being told at a High Court Hearing that “Judges regard ME as psychological self-indulgence”. One Local Health Board will only fund treatment for ME/CFS where the focus is CBT/GET. A spokesman for Grampian NHS Trust is on record in 2003 (disturbingly, this was a year after the publication of the UK Chief Medical Officer’s Working Group Report) as stating “ME is not a condition we recognise or treat” (see “Illustrations of Clinical Observations and International Research Findings from 1955 to 2005 that demonstrate the organic aetiology of ME/CFS” http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/Organic_evidence_for_Gibson.htm ).

The damage perpetrated on those with ME/CFS by Wessely School adherents cannot be quantified.  The Wessely School argument that syndromes like ME/CFS cause “unnecessary expenditure of medical resources” has been criticised by a leading US researcher for its pernicious public policy implications (Lancet, 11th December 1999:354: number 9195).

In the UK, patients with ME/CFS, particularly children, have suffered gross and barbaric abuse and persistent denigration as a consequence of the beliefs of Wessely School psychiatrists who are attempting to control the national agenda for this complex and severe neuro-immunological disorder and who by their words and deeds have wreaked havoc in the lives of many ME/CFS patients and their families by their arrogant pursuit of a psychiatric construct of the disorder in clear defiance of the clinical and scientific evidence of the organic nature of ME/CFS.

There have been persistent and frequently covert attempts by these psychiatrists to subvert the international classification of ME/CFS, with destructive consequences for those affected.

It seems that Professor Wessely is accountable to no-one for his role in determining UK Government policy that the disorders mentioned above do not exist as discrete entities and that such patients should be “managed” by psychotherapy.

Instead, in return for his decades of denigration of patients (for actual quotations from his work see “Quotable Quotes about ME/CFS” available from the charity Invest in ME at email:  [email protected]) and for his denial and dismissal of the published evidence that he is wrong, and for all the seemingly consequential suffering and despair arising from his personal beliefs, Professor Wessely has been lauded and honoured.

On 27 August 2003, Dr George Szmukler, Dean of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College Hospital, London, wrote to the Countess of Mar about Professor Simon Wessely:  “Professor Wessely must be judged one of the most outstanding researchers in the UK, and indeed internationally.  Professor Wessely has been awarded a Research Medal by the Royal College of Physicians specifically for his work on CFS and he has served on many prestigious scientific committees, further attesting to the high regard in which he is held by the scientific community”.

Not everyone – including doctors and medical scientists from around the world -- shares that view.

As I said before, as a patient with 32 years of ME, 32 years without help but minimal dole, with top degrees in psychology and philosophy, both obtained while being ill with ME, like my (common law former) wife, who also has ME, and with a father who survived nearly four years German concentration-camps and a grandfather murdered in a German concentration-camp, both convicted as "political terrorists" in 1941, as co-organizers of the February-Strike and as members of the Dutch (communist) resistance against the Nazi occupiers of Holland and their razzia's on Jews, I regard this as medical sadism - and my own position is worse than that of my father's who survived a German concentration-camp: He could work - as a house-painter - for 20 years afterward and found a family in which I am the oldest child; I cannot work, have be in bed for some 16 hours a day, so as to be able to help myself in the remaining 8 hours, since I get no help whatsoever.

I think professor Wessely and his ilk (co-workers, colleagues, followers, implementors of his lies) are evident MEdical sadists, who should be in jail or in an asylum for the insane as so many MEdical doctors MEngele. (*)

And since I just mentioned this infamous case of medical sadism: Personally, I cannot rationally avoid that hypothesis, that is at least as rational and at least as wellfounded and at least as scientific (and here I am very careful) about professor Wessely and co-workers as is professor Wessely's hypothesis about me that since I claim to have ME, as do my medical specialists and G.P., it is I who must be mad, malingering, possess a dysfunctional belief system, and generally am a very inferior almost subhuman sort of person, like 17 million other human beings who have ME, in professor Wessely's judgment.

Here is my own definition of sadism, as given in my Philosophical Dictionary:

Sadism: pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others or from causing others pain or misery.

The term 'sadism' is derived from the Marquis de Sade, who much exulted in sexual pleasure derived from the infliction of pain and of cruelty to others, and who wrote many books in praise of sadism, especially in the defined sexual sense.

When sadism is defined without necessary involvement of sexual pleasure, but in effect as the human-all-too-human joys derived from malice, it may be seen that sadism, thus defined, accounts for many human acts, especially against those whom the perpetrators dislike, consider as enemies, or believe to be inferior.

Indeed, there is much more sadism in human beings than  most are willing to admit: Very many people derive much pleasure from being in positions of power and by hurting, denigrating, demeaning or displeasing others. It probably does not arouse most of them sexually, but they wouldn't do it if it did not please them. And this kind of pleasure seems to be one of the strongest motivators of those who desire to be boss: To let others feel they are inferior.

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

Together with stupidity, sadism explains two famous and mostly correct observations on history:

"History is little else but the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind"

"Presque toute l'Histoire n'est qu'une suite d'horreurs."

For clearly most of the harm that human beings have done to human beings - millions upon millions killed, tortured, raped, exploited, starved, persecuted - was done on purpose, and willingly, and for the noblest sounding moral pretexts.

Accordingly, this 'human-all-too-human' desire to hurt, harm, demean, denigrate, abuse or exploit others is one of the normally unacknowledged forces of history, as is stupidity.

It is probably the normal human reaction to personal unhappiness: Make others suffer at least as much as one does oneself; demean those who seem better of than oneself, if one can do so without danger to oneself; and take vengeance for one's own pains, miseries and disappointments by wrecking even more of the same on the supposed enemies of one's society, or on social deviants or dissidents, since then one also gains moral credits easily, with the majority of one's peers.

See also: Bureaucrats, Leaders, Ordinary men, Power, Sade, Stalin, Stupidity


Chamfort, Conquest, Gibbon, Gregory, Laqueur Ed., Machiavelli, Sade, Thucydides

I am overstating my case? No reader: I am understating it. Here are a few of the quotes of psychatrist

"Professor Simon Wessely, whose  twenty-year published record on ME patients underpins such ill-informed comments, for example:

  • “The description given at the Mayo Clinic remains accurate: ‘The average doctor will see they are neurotic and he will often be disgusted with them’ ” (In: Psychological Disorders in General Medical Settings, ed: Sartorius et al; Hogrefe & Huber, 1990)
  • Blaming symptoms on a viral infection conveys certain advantages, irrespective of its validity (and) is beneficial to self-esteem by protecting the individual from guilt and blame (In: Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome. ed: James Mowbray and Rachel Jenkins.  John Wiley & Sons, 1991)
  • It seems that ME sufferers prefer to feel they have a ‘real’ disease – it is better for their self-esteem (Pfizer Invicta Pharmaceuticals 1992:4-5)
  • Patients with inexplicable physical symptoms are generally viewed as an unavoidable, untreatable and unattractive burden (Brit J Hosp Med 1994:51:8:421-427)
  • Somatisation sufferers consume vast amounts of health resources for little benefit (Clin Exp Allergy 1995:25:503-514)
  •  “The term ME may mislead patients into believing they have a serious and specific pathological process. Several studies suggest that poor outcome is associated with social, psychological and cultural factors (Joint Royal Colleges Report on CFS, October 1996
  • ME has never been fully accepted as a real condition, says Simon Wessely  (The Guardian, 21st April 1998).  Note that the World Health Organisation fully accepted ME as a real condition in 1969 and continues to do so.
  •  “It is only human for doctors to view the public as foolish, uncomprehending, hysterical or malingering (BMJ 2003:326:595-597)
  • Science is indeed socially controlled, and so it should be (The Guardian, 1st March 2003)
  • Functional somatic syndromes include chronic fatigue syndrome  (Rev Bras Psiquiatr 2005:27:3).  This is noteworthy, given that Wessely is on public record as stating: “I don’t classify CFS as a somatoform disorder (Wessely Answers Questions. 10th April 2002: CAME).

This was again quoted from Wessely's Way: Rhetoric or reason? and it should be noted that innuendo, suggestion, defamation and abuse of authority are Wessely's main rhetorical tricks, combined with a considerable amount of explicit and implicit redefinitions of terms, and - for an intelligent and educated man like Wessely clearly intentional - abuse of scientific methodology and philosophy of science. (**)

And note the following fact, reader:

There are many scientific opponents of professor Wessely and his co-workers Sharpe and White in the UK; Reeves and Johnston in the US; Van der Meer and Bleijenberg in Holland, many of whom are real scientists, and not pseudo-scientists like Wessely cum suis, and who are far better scientifically qualified than he is. (For psychiatry is not a real science, or is so only in small - biochemically ascertained and validated - parts: how the brain produces experience is still for the most part a mystery, for which reason most psychiatry is at best a guessing game with scientifically unvalidated labels and concepts.)

The social and scientific problem of competent scientific opponents of Wessely and co. is that they are having a scientific career themselves, and for persons with scientific status it is not done to argue against a person like Wessely in the way that I do, morally and factually justified as this is, in view of the massive harm Wessely and co. have done.

But then I DO have the background; since I AM ill now for 32 years and also some 4 years older than Simon Sadist, my considerable intellectual talents have mostly disappeared in trying to remain alive without any help, in part thanks to Wessely and Sharpe's and to Van der Meer and Bleijenberg's two decades of atrocious lying about ME.

Besides, it has turned out that Sadistic Simon and his co-workers work far from fairly, honorably, morally or scientifically, and are much better funded by insurance-companies than real scientists are, in the field of ME. And since messrs. Wessely and co do not do real science but pseudo-science, they have considerable time and opportunities to work on the media, and to get their views published in ordinary papers and on television as if what they are saying is THE accepted and only acceptable scientific view of ME, which is one of their many lies and intentional misderections of both the media and of proper scientific procedure, for the media are lied to by them and proper scientific procedure is made a mockery of.

This is another reason why I, who am a logical philosopher and psychologist, and who does have ME since 32 years, and who does have a considerable experience in written and spoken controversy, and who does have a very special personal background, have chosen to publicly write and sat the thing few can say without fearing the consequences for their reputations or careers:

Professor Simon Wessely and his co-workers (Sharpe and White in the UK; Reeves and Johnston in the US; Van der Meer and Bleijenberg in Holland) are liars, cheats and sadists, who should be suspended as medical doctors and as psychotherapists, and whose many commissions and ommissions as regards the patients with ME who have depended on them, or on their human or medical integrity, or on the rationality of their claimed science, some of whom have died horribly and many of whom have been badly mistreated by sadism dressed up as psychiatry or psychotherapy, should be investigated and prosecuted judicially.

If the kind of psychiatric pseudo-science of Wessely and co-workers is medicial science, then medical science is sadism and has been travestied.

This is also why medical doctors and psychiatrists who are scientific and moral, and who are in a position to take steps against Wessely and his co-workers qua medical doctor or psychiatrists should take steps to remove these pseudos from science.

Real science and real medicine should not be contaminated and falsified by psychiatric misrepresentations, by pseudo-science, by lies, and by abuse, maltreatment, defamation and sadistic treatment of ill people, even (or especially) if that serves the financial interests of sadistic psychiatrists and psychotherapists and of insurance-companies bend on profits rather than on doing the humane and moral thing, which is to honestly help ill people and not to lie about science.


P.S. Some real scientific background

The present text is a first effort, and may take some reviewing, for which I don't have the fitness just now.

Since I complain of the "science" of the psychosomatists, let me repeat and extend a list of real scientific facts and reasoning. It is all well worth reading by anybody interested in ME, psychology, psychiatry, philosophy of science, the morals of and motives of psychiatrists, or rational thinking:

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 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.

And let me note that there are now approximately 17 million persons with ME all of whom have been and are slandered, defamed, lied about and misrepresented by the schools of sadistic pseudo-science I have been talking about.


(*) I am very well informed about the implications and presuppositions of this statement - and it is in fact my suspicion that professor Wessely's delusions may have been caused in part by his father's having on the train to the German concentration camp Treblinka, in a file that I can't find anymore on line. Quite possibly his father passed on his pain from the camps to small Simon, who in turn passed it on to ill people. Such things happened before and indeed quite a few times, and deserve also to be investigated: When did Simon Wessely's father cease maltreating his son?

(**) Another part of Wessely's game with ME may be a wider psychiatric game with psychiatry and disease, since psychiatry and psychotherapy have been in fact loosing terrain and money for their supposed therapies by the advances in real science of the last decades: It now seems that the DSM 5 - the handbook for psychiatrists to base their diagnoses of patients on - is to be extended and changed in 2013 in the sense that, at least according to the psychiatrists and psychotherapists themselves, who have a very strong personal financial interest to remain active in their respective fields, every somatic disease, or at least many of them,  will be assigned some psychological dimension (in the manner of the medieval body and soul), that may be made the subject of psychiatry and psychotherapy, e.g. to "cure" the patients' so called "dysfunctional beliefs" about his or her somatic illness, namely by royal doses of Cognitive Behavorial Therapy or some forced heavy labour conveniently labelled Graduated Exercise Therapy.

This seems a related scam to me, but also is a much wider psychiatric game, that probably also would exist (even) if professor Wessely would not exist, and is a game by the psychiatric brotherhood to bring about that

Science is indeed socially controlled, and so it should be (Professor Wessely in The Guardian, 1st March 2003)

that is presently is played off on world scale, for it is in the obvious economical interests of psychiatrists and psychotherapists, and also in economical interests of insurance companies, for medically insured persons who die - "unfortunately", the Wesselys will say - while being treated with CBT for their supposed dysfunctional disease about their cancer, in fact do not need expensive surgery anymore.

This is why many psychiatrists, psychotherapists and insurance companies try to control science socially - or speaking more kindly and with a realistic eye to money and income: in order to keep and extend the remunerated employment for psychiatrists and psychotherapists, even while more and more of their therapies have been refuted as pointless or harmful if very remunerative psychobabble or chicanery. And they try to do so, being human and having a major financial interest in employment, by lies, spindoctoring and by astro-turfing to the media, so as to try to decide by uninformed public acclaim what should be decided by real scientists on the basis of real scientific knowledge.

Maarten Maartensz

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