Monday, June 16, 2008



The UK Medical Research Council has a secret file on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) that contains records and correspondence since at least 1988; the file is held in the UK Government Archive at Kew and cannot be opened until 2023.

This present document is an overview of the misinformation and contradictions about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) that have pervaded some UK Departments of State and other agencies since 1988.

It also considers the involvement of certain UK psychiatrists who have proven vested interests in the propagation of this misinformation that is contrary to world-wide scientific evidence and that for two decades has resulted in the medical abuse of UK patients with ME/CFS.

Professor Malcolm Hooper Eileen Marshall Margaret Williams

Contact address:


Professor Anthony Pinching is currently AfME’s Principal Medical Adviser. He is lead adviser on “CFS/ME” to the Department of Health and was responsible for allocating the £8.5 million grant from Government for the new “CFS” Centres that deliver only psychotherapy. His views on “CFS/ME” were set out in his article in Prescribers’ Journal in 2000:40:2:99-106, published when he was Deputy Chair of the Chief Medical Officer’s Working Group on “CFS/ME” (“CFS is not related to on-going exertion”; “the Oxford criteria are too narrow for clinical use”; “over-investigation can [cause patients] to seek abnormal test results to validate their illness”; “complementary therapists sometimes introduce or reinforce unhelpful illness beliefs”; “the essence of treatment is activity management and graded rehabilitation”).

In March 2001 AfME produced an excellent report, Severely Neglected: M.E. in the UK. This report was the result of a membership survey of 2,338 respondents, making it the biggest survey ever done on ME in the UK.

Its confidential Preliminary Report of 28th February 2001 stated: “graded exercise was reported to be the treatment that had made most people worse” but in the published version, this was changed to reporting that graded exercise made 50% of respondents worse.

This makes it all the more surprising that AfME “is working closely with Wessely and his colleagues on research initiatives funded by the MRC and the NHS” when those “initiatives” are based on graded exercise.

AfME’s report found that 77% of respondents experienced severe pain because of ME; nearly two out of three had received no advice from their GP on managing the illness; 70% were either never able, or were sometimes too unwell to attend a doctor’s clinic; 80% of those who were bedridden by ME reported that a request for a home visit by a doctor had been refused, and that many people did not receive State benefits to which they were clearly entitled and desperately needed in order to survive.

By aligning itself with the Wessely School, who have a 20 year published track record of denigrating patients with ME, AfME has done patients with ME a massive disservice and may well have devalued the charity’s own important report.

Michael Sharpe has a similar published track record to that of Wessely: he asserts that in “CFS/ME”, personality factors have been shown to perpetuate disability; that no immunological, virological or nuclear imaging tests should be carried out on such patients; that “the label of CFS avoids the connotations of pseudo-diagnoses such as ME”; that “change in belief is an important factor in recovery”; that psychosocial factors are important in “CFS”; that his own view has long been “the issues around CFS/ME are the same as those surrounding (patients) who suffer conditions that are not dignified by the presence of what we call disease”.

Peter White, another key member of the Wessely School, misinforms medical students and clinicians about ME/CFS: together with Anthony Clare, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Trinity College, Dublin, Peter White contributed the section on Psychological Medicine in the medical textbook that is likely to be on the desk of every GP in the UK as it won the ‘Highly Commended’ British Medical Association Award (Clinical Medicine: Kumar and Clark, 2004, 5th edition: published by Saunders: ISBN 0 7020 25798). It is promoted as “one of the most highly respected textbooks of medicine in the world. It is used by medical students and practising doctors, as well as by many other health professionals. It has been translated into several languages”. One of the editors is Parveen Kumar, Professor of Clinical Medical Education at St Bartholomew’s and The London, Queen Mary School of Medicine (ie. the same institution as Peter White). The entry for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis directs the reader to the entry for CFS, which in turn directs the reader to Section 21 (Psychological Medicine) where CFS/ME is listed under Functional or Psychosomatic Disorders: Medically Unexplained Symptoms. White and Clare assert that the psychiatric classification of these disorders is “somatoform disorder”, which the authors state were previously known as “ ‘all in the mind’, imaginary and malingering”.

It is only when dealing with “CFS/ME” (and Gulf War Syndrome) that these psychiatrists are regarded by Government bodies and the medical insurance industry as “experts”.

These psychiatrists are on record as being actively involved in social engineering via the deliberate creation of “psychosocial” illness.

They believe that the biomedical approach to healthcare (ie. that ill-health and disability is directly caused by disease and its pathological processes) is (quote) “a blind alley” and that the correct approach is the psychosocial one, in which “aberrant” thoughts, feelings and behaviour can be “modified” by their own brand of cognitive behavioural therapy with graded exercise (CBT/GET), resulting in restoration of health and productivity.

Such a retrograde belief is fallacious, as the regime in question has been shown to be ineffective and even the proponents of the regime are themselves on record as acknowledging that (i) it is not remotely curative (ii) modest gains may be transient and even illusory (iii) these interventions are not the answer to “CFS/ME” (iv) patients have a tendency to relapse and (v) evidence from randomised trials is no guarantee of treatment success.

Tactics of denial used in relation to ME/CFS as a physical disorder

Revisionism and denial of established evidence in medicine is nowhere more apparent than in the case of ME/CFS, and the choice of Government medical advisers is a matter of great economic impact.

To policy makers and commissioning officers in a cash-strapped NHS, the advantages of denial must seem attractive. The last thing needed is a chronic disease which affects hundreds of thousands of people, so accepting advice which promotes the view that the condition in question is neither new nor particularly disabling (and that the disorder is largely self-perpetuated) makes instant economic sense, especially if the advice also recommends that granting state benefits to those affected would be not only inappropriate but counter-productive.

In ME/CFS, denial is directed at undermining the experience and expertise of doctors who hold different views from Wessely School psychiatrists.

In medicine, denial ought to be very rare due to the peer-review system but, as noted above, in the case of ME/CFS, many peer-reviewers and editors of journals appear to share the same views as the deniers, so that articles and research papers which show a lack of objectivity, which misrepresent the existing literature and which make unsubstantiated claims abound, with the consequence that readers are deliberately misled.

In the UK ME/CFS literature (mostly as a result of the assiduous activities of psychiatrists of the Wessely School), there is evidence of a systematic attempt to deny the severity of the symptoms, the role of external causes and the nature of the illness.

Such is the profusion of articles, reports and research papers produced by this group of psychiatrists that there is now a widespread belief that ME/CFS is not a disorder which requires money to be spent on specialist tests or on expensive virological, immunological, vascular or gene research, let alone on long-term sickness benefits.

It may be informative to compare the tactics of denial listed above as identified in the TV programme with a selection of methods and tactics used by those engaged in denial activity relating to ME/CFS:

Deniers consistently ignore existing evidence which contradicts their own preferred theories: they disregard evidence, they misconstrue findings, they distort figures and they speculate

Deniers apply a double standard to the evidence --- they support their own claims with a select choice of studies, with flawed research (ie. with research which has been shown to be flawed in the medical literature), and with a mass of generalisations, whilst insisting that the opposition provides irrefutable proof.

These authors down-play and attempt to overlook inconsistencies in their own research. (Indeed, on one spectacular occasion, when challenged, Simon Wessely actually blamed his peer-reviewers for allowing his own indisputable “mistake” to evade rectification)

• Deniers challenge the expertise of those with whom they disagree, implying that their own claims are based on balanced scientific scholarship whilst those of others are based only on myth

• Deniers portray sufferers as victimisers, claiming that it is patients who are guilty of targetting psychiatrists; who then portray themselves as the vulnerable and wronged group. There is reference to “vicious campaigns” organised by “pressure groups” and to unreasoned hostility on the part of the patients

• Deniers minimise or trivialise the distress and suffering of those with ME/CFS, alleging that patients exaggerate their symptoms and suffering

• Deniers promote the view that patients have only themselves to blame, and that the problem is therefore not external but internal

• Deniers often include a totally reasonable and uncontroversial supposition (for instance, that decisions must be based upon the best evidence), which gives the impression that their other arguments must be equally reasonable and valid

• Deniers often suggest or imply that patients are motivated by financial or secondary gain (even though there is not a shred of evidence to support such a claim), and that their claims for state benefits are unjustified

• Any negative characteristics of a minority of patients are typically generalised and ascribed to all ME/CFS patients, without any supportive evidence

• Deniers suggest or imply that patients have formidable powers, for instance that they are able to influence certain institutions; that they get the media on their side and even that they have managed to influence the World Health Organisation. It is also alleged that patients use such tactics to misrepresent the situation to lead others astray

• Deniers even re-write medical history and alter it so that it appears to support their own claims (this is certainly demonstrable in the psychiatric interpretation of the early ME literature)

• Deniers may attempt to rename or reclassify the condition (for example claiming it as a modern form of an old (psychiatric) illness)

• Deniers make inappropriate comparisons between syndromes, suggesting that they are all simply the same (psychiatric) syndrome, ignoring or downplaying any specific and / or unusual features which are present.

Illustrations of denial by the Wessely School:

In the case of ME/CFS, it seems apparent that the tactics of denial which were exposed in the Channel Four programme mentioned above are indeed being implemented by the psychiatrists of the Wessely School; out of the many available illustrations, just the following are provided: read the rest on Page 92, which you download here with the rest of this excellent document …………….

Great stuff Professor Hooper, Margaret Williams and Eileen Marshall, a much needed antidote against delusional psychiatrists and their vested interests, aka CBT-ism …………..

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Shirley Clarkson, the mother of the famous JEREMY CLARKSON talking about her life, success and daughter with ME in The Times on June 8, 2008:

"Immaculately dressed, Bill kept the office spotless and bought lots of pretty
ringbinders, notebooks and files. But he was useless. Instead of taking pressure off Eddie and me, he merely added to it.

Betty, our bookkeeper, was miffed at Bill's dusting (don't ask) and handed in her notice.

Eddie was laid up in bed suffering from a bad back.

Jeremy was wreaking havoc at Repton, his school;

and Joanna was home with her third bout of ME, sitting in a chair staring into space, hardly having the energy to breathe. (Don't ever let anyone tell you that ME is all in the mind. It's real, it's debilitating and it's frightening.) To top it all, the factory inspector was threatening to close us down because the magnetic catches on our stuffing machine didn't conform to health and safety specifications."

Friday, June 6, 2008

Professor HOOPER and ME, RCGP are you listening ????

CLICK on the picture if you can't read it, it comes straight from the RCGP 'Care of People with Mental Health Problems', see also yesterday's post, this picture is on page 20 of that document from the RCGP.

On the RCGP' site is says:

"The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is the academic organisation in the UK for general practitioners. Its aim is to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the ‘voice’ of general practitioners on education, training and standards issues."

And as the MEA stated:

"The Read code for CFS is F286 and F codes are only used for neurological disorders. Read codes for mental health disorders start with the letter E. You cannot therefore include a Read code F neurological disorder in a list of E code mental health disorders. CFS must, therefore, be removed from the list in Appendix 3."

So what about those HIGHEST STANDARDS RCGP ?????

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post

"Most information about ME/CFS is by a Simon Wessley who has been casted out by the World medical board for false information this is what the UK uses to train people."

I tried to Google and find it but COULDN'T SO is there anybody who knows the answer????

I did find the following amazing, just read in horror and thanks Professor HOOPER, your help is much appreciated ...............


By: Malcolm Hooper
Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
Department of Life Sciences
University of Sunderland
?2003 or 2004

What is the “Wessely School”?
UK policy concerning ME is based on the intransigent beliefs of a group of psychiatrists led by Simon Wessely, for years an adviser to various Government Departments including the Ministry of Defence and who is now Professor of Epidemiological and Liaison Psychiatry at Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ Medical School (GKT) based at King’s College Hospital (KCH) and at The Institute of Psychiatry (IOP); he is also Director of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research Unit and of the Gulf War Illnesses Research Unit, both at King’s.

Other leading members include psychiatrists Michael Sharpe (formerly of Oxford and now at Edinburgh, where Alan Carson now collaborates with him); Peter White (of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London); Anthony David, Anthony Cleare, Stephen Reid and Matthew Hotopf of The IOP and KCH and Richard Mayou, Keith Hawton and Christopher Bass of Oxford. Trudie Chalder, a former Registered Mental Nurse, works with Wessely and her name often appears on their publications and in funding applications.

Other supporters include Elena Garralda, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at St Mary’s, London; Tony Pelosi of Glasgow; Stephen Lawrie of Edinburgh; Alison Weardon and Leonie Ridsdale, Senior Lecturer in General Practice at Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’, London.

The stated aim of Simon Wessely is to “eradicate” ME from the medical lexicon and to re-classify CFS as a mental disorder which does not need biomedical research or explanation and which is to be managed by a version of cognitive behavioural therapy which he claims to have developed.

His own commercial involvement in such a management regime has been established (see below).

The certainty of these psychiatrists that they are right whilst other researchers of international repute who disagree with them are wrong, their power and their influence are destroying countless lives, yet they continue to fly unscathed even in the face of substantial evidence that calls their views into question.

Wessely School psychiatrists have built their careers and reputations on denying the physical nature of ME/CFS, with the result that untold numbers of chronically and seriously ill patients are bullied, derided, threatened and driven to suicide by being told that they are not physically ill but are suffering from “aberrant illness beliefs”.

The constant theme running through the work of this group of psychiatrists is that CFS is a somatoform disorder and that factors such as female gender, too much focus on normal bodily sensations, specific personality traits, avoidance behaviour, learned helplessness, faulty thought processes, lack of motivation, inadequate coping strategies, interpersonal conditioning and contagious sociological hysteria play an important role in the perpetuation of the disorder.

Wessely School psychiatrists have been described in the eBMJ (N Portman, 3rd December 2003) as “a small clique of undemocratic, unaccountable, self-serving psychiatrists who have managed to monopolise most of the research funding in this field and, thanks to their prejudices, have been its downfall ever since”.

Without doubt, the influence of Simon Wessely has resulted in a cascade of horrors which most people in the UK do not know about and when they do, they find scarcely believable.

It has taken 25 years for the notorious Professor Sir Roy Meadow to be exposed and discredited as “world expert” on Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy, whose views Lord Howe described as “one of the most pernicious and ill-founded theories to have gained currency in childcare and social services in the past 10 to 15 years.

It is a theory without science. It rests instead on the assertions of its inventor”. The downfall of Meadow, who is finally to appear before the Professional Conduct Committee of the General Medical Council, serves to prove that a so-called “medical expert” whose views apparently portray incontrovertible medical judgment and certainty may, in fact, be wrong, but the damage done cannot be undone. So it is with ME.

It must not be allowed to take 25 years before the views of the Wessely School on ME are subjected to similarly rigorous public examination and exposure.

What is CFS?: In the 1980s in the US (where there is no NHS and most of the costs of health care are borne by insurance companies), the incidence of ME escalated rapidly, so a political decision was taken to rename ME as “the chronic fatigue syndrome”, the cardinal feature of which was to be chronic or on-going “fatigue”, a symptom so universal that any insurance claim based on “tiredness” could be expediently denied.

The new case definition bore little relation to ME: objections were raised by experienced international clinicians and medical scientists, but all objections were ignored.

In 1991 in the UK, Wessely and Sharpe were amongst a group which produced their own criteria for “CFS” and this definition became known as the Oxford criteria.

In 1994 these same psychiatrists were instrumental in yet another revision of the criteria known as the CDC or the Fukuda criteria because they were produced under the auspices the US Centres for Disease Control.

Of great significance is the fact that both the Oxford and the CDC criteria specifically include psychiatric conditions which are known to feature prolonged “fatigue” or “tiredness” and, crucially, they specifically exclude all physical signs from the case definition of CFS, including the signs of neurological disease which had been noted in the ME medical literature for many years.

Thus the quite specific neuro-immunological disease ME became subsumed within the heterogeneous label of “CFS”.

This marked a turning point in the “eradication” of ME by psychiatrists and of the campaign to designate CFS as a “mental” disorder.

CFS is clearly listed at G93.3 as a term by which ME is also known, whilst other syndromes of chronic fatigue are listed under Mental and Behavioural Disorders at F48.0, a category from which ME/CFS is expressly excluded by the WHO.

Moreover, the WHO has confirmed that it is “unacceptable” for the same disorder to be classified in two different places and does not accept this to have occurred.

It is necessary to be aware that the patients studied by Wessely are largely obtained from either his own 1991 Oxford criteria or from the 1994 CDC criteria which he helped to develop, neither of which selects those with ME."

So now we know that CBT-ism rules the GOBSART ACADEMY of denying EVIDENCE but also the RCGP, well done guys..............

Thursday, June 5, 2008

RCGP refuses to change their classification of CFS as a mental health disorder

“Back in April The MEA wrote to the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to
ask them to change their decision to classify CFS as a mental health disorder in an important training document for GPs:

Care of People with Mental Health Problems.

We have now received a very disappointing reply.

The MEA has written back to the RCGP to ask them once again to change this inaccurate classification.”

RCGP reply dated 15 May:

“The group that developed the curriculum were aware of the difficulties of assigning this condition to a specific grouping and eventually elected to include it within the statement on 'Care of People with Mental Health Problems'.

It was a difficult decision but it was taken largely on the grounds that many specialist services are currentlyl configured and based in, or are linked to, psychology services. No assumptions should be drawn from this about the college's views on causality.”

MEA’s reply:
“If the RCGP is not prepared to reverse the decision to inaccurately classify CFS as a mental health disorder, we will raise our concerns with the All Party Parliamentary Group on ME when they next meet at the House of Commons.”

Full text and letters are available here as a brilliant PDF file:
The rcgp also known as the royal college of psycho wanna bees

And if GOYA would have still been alive, this would have been his reply, chappies from the Royal College of Psychiatrists aka GP's ... downloadable here ….....

ADDED 6.6.08 PS: the pictures that you can download are very effective but also, what shall I say, not to everyone's taste, so be WARNED......................


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