ME/CFS, MMR immunisation and the corporate lobby

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tansy, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member


    On Monday October 31st

    The One Click Group will be launching Martin Walker's latest book

    ***Brave New World of Zero Risk:
    Covert Strategy in British Science Policy***

    Published by Slingshot Publications

    The book, which is in the form of a free downloadable PDF,
    will be available together with background information about the
    book and its author.

    From Wednesday November 2nd

    On the

    Zero Risk web site.


    Brave New World of Zero Risk

    In 1997, New Labour brought to power a strange brew of liberalism,
    anti-socialism, public relations and corporate lobbying. While
    Thatcher had encouraged the pharmaceutical industry, Blair made it
    a partner in government.

    The National Health Service, set up
    originally to provide health care to the British people regardless
    of income, has been sold off bit by bit, mainly to pharmaceutical
    interests. The most serious consequence of ceding to corporate
    interests responsibility for science, medicine and health, is that the
    independence of science and any possible independence of health care
    has been sacrificed.

    Corporate lobby groups, in bed with Big Pharma,
    insurance companies and New Labour, now press for the least expensive
    and the most profitable health care solutions. They
    attack alternative medicine and campaign for animal testing and
    vivisection. They have politicised science and now control its
    methodology and its research results.

    Using spin, lies and
    propaganda they harass and isolate anyone who comes to conclusions
    critical of new technology or pharma-science. They preach zero
    risk and claim that new technologies can cause no harm.

    This book examines the contemporary corporate politics of science
    in two areas, that of MMR (mumps, measles and rubella) vaccination and
    the illness ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis). It shows how those who
    have fought for independent science have been bullied, attacked and
    discredited, using political strategies that have nothing to do with
    science and everything to do with power and profit.
  2. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    nothing surprising there then but it should make a good read.


  3. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hi Sharon

    Martin Walker recognises that immunisation can trigger chronic illness so I am sure his latest book will expose the links between the MMR, vaccines generally, politics, and the corporate world. He is the author of “Dirty Medicine” and “Skewed”.

    A significant % with these DDs say their illness started as a result of immunisation. Vaccines contributed to health issues I developed as a child, so much so that I have avoided vaccines ever since. My son had similar problems, the worst reaction followed a flu vaccine; they insisted he was allergic to eggs - he’s not. He has an IgA deficiency so has been warned never to take the oral polio vaccine since there’s a possibility he could contract the very illness it is supposed to protect him from.

    Vaccines have been important in eradicating smallpox and reducing the incidence of polio. However, if our govts want a higher % of the population to agree to vaccines, they must accept responsibility when things go wrong. Those designated responsibility for the nations health must also take adverse effects from vaccines seriously and look into what may be going wrong. Their patronising spin has failed, and will continue to fail, to instil confidence in nationwide immunisation programmes.

    Love, Tansy[This Message was Edited on 10/31/2005]
  4. tansy

    tansy New Member

    by Martin J. Walker,
    pp. 225-232

    Ganging Up on the Grassroots

    Since the One Click campaign's inception in 2003, the two women who
    set it up, Jane Bryant and Angela Kennedy, have faced a vicious
    onslaught from the psychiatric lobby, its agents and fellow travellers.

    Jane and Angela have been insulted, derided, criminalised and
    ridiculed.(5) The first person to launch an attack on them was Dr
    Charles Shepherd, erstwhile HealthWatch member, adviser and trustee to
    the ME Association as well as adviser to the SMC precursor
    organisation, the now defunct Ciba Media Services. Shepherd has run a
    campaign of criticism so serious against Bryant and Kennedy that they
    felt bound to make a police complaint.(6) He wrote letters to the
    University where Kennedy worked as a lecturer in social science, which
    raised serious questions about her employment, while a psychologist
    colleague suggested that the women's children could be taken into care.(7)

    A number of attempts have been made to close their web site down. In
    order to draw attention away from their own invidious campaign, the
    psychiatric lobby has been using psycop-style black propaganda
    techniques. One of the strategies is to accuse ME and CFS sufferers of
    violent campaigns of intimidation.(8)

    Bryant and Kennedy have been to the fore in criticising the persistent
    attempts to control sufferers of ME and CFS, their carers and their
    support groups, and have argued forcefully for greater authority to be
    accorded to the biomedical aetiology of the illness. They have also
    written and fostered the writing of an exceptional commentary on the
    fraudulent PACE and FINE trials.

    Early in 2005, the One Click campaign found itself in direct
    competition with a new organisation called the PRIME Project. At their
    second Steering Committee meeting, this group made an attack on the
    One Click campaign.

    Although it appears that the PRIME project has been set up to help
    ME/CFS sufferers, its objects are entirely restricted to creating `a
    collaboration between patients, carers, researchers and service
    providers who share a commitment to improving our understanding of
    ME/CFS'. Of course, to anyone who is aware of what has gone on in the
    world of ME over the past ten years, this goal seems risible. It is on
    the whole, researchers who have done most to make living with ME the
    Kafkaesque nightmare that it has become. The theoretical paradigm of
    cause, diagnosis and treatment that has been constructed by the
    psychiatric lobby has influenced GPs and service providers. It has
    gradually edged ME and CFS into the classification of mental illness
    and away from the internationally-accepted classification of a
    neurological disease.

    Despite an energetic campaign and some of the best analytical writing
    about politics and medicine, ME/CFS sufferers have lost ground to a
    massively more powerful campaign waged by the NHS, the Dti, the
    Medical Research Council (MRC) and a collection of psychiatrists and
    psychologists. What began as a straightforward confrontation is now a
    fully developed and complex psychological war. Nothing said by
    the establishment about tackling the physical causes of the illness
    has held true, and all the calumny described by sufferers has proved
    to be real.

    Even if there were to be some movement towards co-operation between
    patients, researchers and service providers, at this point it would
    only lead patients ever deeper into the continuum of the psychiatric
    paradigm of the illness. It is difficult to believe that this was not
    the initial intention of the PRIME project.

    Like the other conflicts approached in this book, the battle between
    sufferers of the neurological illness myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)
    and those who support the psychiatric aetiology of the illness, is a
    conflict between those demanding proper scientific method and those
    using the rhetoric of science to disguise a political agenda.(9)

    The State Plan

    From 1985, until around 1998, the State managed to hold a political
    line. Supported by all kinds of organisations and agents, it
    maintained roughly that ME did not exist as an independent organic
    illness. However, as the numbers of sufferers of ME and serious CFS –
    now estimated to be between 250,000 and 300,000 in Britain – grew, and
    as responsible scientists began to report avenues of exploration
    relating to organic causes, the State's line was forced back, though
    never breached. Planning a strategy in the heat of battle, the State
    and its agencies adopted a stance that entailed a `soft' pretence of
    agreement on organic aetiology, while in all `hard' information they
    pursued only the psychiatric paradigm.(10)

    The heightening of the conflict, and the need for the establishment to
    defend the psychiatric position while at the same time appearing to
    pursue science, has backed them into some difficult corners. They
    entered the Chief Medical Officer's Inquiry, begun in 1998 and ended
    in 2002, with confidence. Their position was defended by the Linbury
    Trust, one of Lord Sainsbury's Trusts, which paid for one of their
    number to sit on the most important committee. However, they finished
    the Inquiry by withdrawing their participation and walking out
    collectively in an old-style protest against the consideration given
    by the Inquiry to the organic aetiology of the illness.

    They were again faced with a difficulty when the CMO's Report advised
    more research funding for ME/CSF. Fearful that such funding might leak
    into the pockets of those doing real scientific research into ME/CFS,
    the psychiatric lobby, based now inside the MRC, made sure that every
    penny went yet again to ruminations
    about psycho-medical treatments for `fatigue syndrome' illnesses.

    The MRC-funded PACE and FINE trials are underway. Over the next few
    years they will investigate the relative merits of different
    approaches to activity management, adjustment and rehabilitation,
    formally comparing graded exercise therapy (GET), cognitive
    behavioural therapy (CBT) and adaptive pacing therapy (APT).

    The PACE trial is a programme originated by
    the heavily criticised charity Action for ME (AfME), which took Section 64-government money to
    promote both trials. It is built on adaptive pacing therapy (APT), a
    management plan that sets goals and has targets.

    FINE is a `randomised controlled trial of nurse led self-help
    treatment for patients in primary care with chronic fatigue syndrome
    (CFS); The nurses act as a `pragmatic rehabilitation and supportive
    listening service'. The objective of the FINE trial appears to be for
    the nurses to go into people's homes so as not to take up surgery
    space. Once in the home, the nurse works on a psychological programme
    with the patient. Both the PACE and the FINE regimes are
    contraindicated for people with ME/CFS.

    The MRC published a Research Strategy for CFS/ME in May 2003, and new
    services for CFS/ME, funded by an £8.5 million cash injection, were
    announced on 20 January 2004. This money will see the creation of 12
    new CFS/ME centres and 28 local support teams in the next two years.

    The NHS moved on the planning of these clinics across the country,
    which are to treat ME/CFS patients. The clinics were to provide
    psychologically based `treatments', the `need' for which had been lent
    authority by the PACE and FINE trials. From this point onwards, the
    whole NHS plan for people with ME and CFS would be organised on the
    basis of Wessely's irrational assertions that patients suffered not
    from an organic illness but from wrongheaded illness beliefs.

    The clinics are mainly headed by psychologists or psychiatrists, with
    a few exceptions such as Amolak Bansal, allergist, and Dr Peter
    Lachman (, a specialist child abuse
    paediatrician. It appears self-evident that the primary role that
    these clinics will play is to provide human fodder for the PACE and
    FINE trials, which will have been in operation for at least two years
    before the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE)
    guidelines for the treatment of ME/CFS come into being. In the
    meantime temporary clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and
    management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)/ME were announced by
    Health Minister Lord Warner in February 2004. This in itself is
    arguably illegal, because the NHS clearly has a statutory obligation
    to treat rather than to experiment upon people with a diagnosed

    Not that anyone is holding their breath for the guidelines. There is
    no reason to suppose that the NICE guidelines will stray from the
    presently trialled treatments. NICE funds the publication of
    `Effective Health Care' bulletins by the department of neurology and
    psychiatry of the Royal Society of Medicine. One issue proclaimed CBT
    and GET to be the strategies that have shown the best `evidence of
    effectiveness' for the management of CFS/ME.(12)

    The clinic teams consist roughly of a specially trained occupational
    therapist (OT) or physiotherapist, providing activity management and
    lifestyle guidance, etc., along with a clinical psychologist,
    counsellor or CBT-trained therapist to help with adjustment and coping
    for those who need it. Some will have nurses, and/or dieticians, as
    well.(13,14) These teams in fact show a considerable resemblance to
    the teams proposed by Wessely to PRISMA Health, the health provision
    company that has been touting for contracts in Britain and on whose
    supervisory board Wessely sits.(15)

    The regard in which the new centres and multidisciplinary teams are
    held by those whom they seek to help is evident from the
    advertisements used to recruit psychologists and others to the teams.

    "As some clients with CFS may be resistant to working in a
    psychological framework there may be exposure to verbal aggression."(16)

    Bloody ingrates! And ...

    "The CFS Service provides an expert multidisciplinary assessment and
    management service for people with persistent fatigue for whom medical
    intervention is no longer appropriate. Patients referred to the
    service often present with complex medical and psychological problems,
    are highly distressed and may have difficulty accepting and be hostile
    to the rationale for adopting a cognitive-behavioural approach to the
    management of their fatigue."(17)

    The Investment Steering Group at the DoH, under Professor Tony
    Pinching, has played a major part in planning and implementing the
    clinics and their multidisciplinary teams. It devised the process and
    criteria for setting up the new services, oversaw the assessment of
    bids and allocated funds. Associate Dean and professor of clinical
    immunology at the Peninsula Medical School, Pinching is the lead
    adviser for the DoH on CFS/ME, and one of the 13 clinical champions
    specialising in the illness across England. He is also Action for ME's
    (AfME) principal medical adviser. Pinching was chair of the CFS/ME
    Independent Working Group of the CMO Report of 2002. The Peninsula
    University is where Professor Edzard Ernst has laid the foundations
    for evidence based medicine as a firewall against the alternative and
    complementary medicine that are supposed to be his speciality.(18)

    For the two years until the NICE guidelines appear, the psychiatrists
    and psychologists have the run of the patient population, making up
    treatments as they go along, and dragooning those they can into the
    PACE and FINE trials. In the case of children, the worst guidelines
    presently in use are those from the Royal College of Paediatric and
    Child Health. We wait to see if NICE comes
    up with anything better – or worse.

    With funding secured and the PACE and FINE trials up and running,
    there were however, major problems still to be tackled. First, there
    was the matter of take-up. How was it going to be possible to get
    those hostile, resistant, aggressive, irrational sufferers into
    clinics, especially when they understood that this could mean their
    being labelled as mentally ill? The second, no less serious problem,
    was how to continue experimenting on people with ME/CFS, without their
    falling into the hands of real scientific investigators.

    The modernised NHS has ways of making you into a pliable patient and
    to welcome your role as a research subject. Social psychologists have
    been working on this challenge for the past ten years. These,
    undoubtedly, were the people to employ to herd the ME/CFS community
    into the clinics and further trials. Inevitably, the scepticism of the
    subjects would have to be overcome, and a considerable battle would
    have to be fought to persuade sufferers that the social engineers and
    the benefits personnel from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP),
    who were about to take on this project, had nothing to do with the
    psychiatric lobby.


    5. For the full account of this see the One Click campaign site

    6. The police refused to investigate that complaint. However, in
    October 2005, Angela Kennedy made another complaint against Shepherd.
    The One Click group are now waiting for the police to process this.

    7. Shepherd also conducted a damaging offensive against Margaret
    Williams and Professor Malcolm Hooper. For an account of this see SKEWED.

    8. Op. cit. Walker, SKEWED.

    9. The exact nature of this political agenda in the case of ME/CFS is
    hard to discern. In SKEWED I concluded that the agenda was probably
    shaped by the Insurance companies, who would be faced with
    considerable payments if it were to be shown that ME/CFS had its
    origins in chemical toxicity. However, there are a number of other
    propositions about the construction of a political agenda, which
    should be investigated.

    10. This strategy is exemplified in the sayings of Professor Wessely,
    who is practised at obfuscating. He often couches comments using a
    conflicting duality, like: physical causes, such as vaccines in GWS,
    are possibly responsible, while also saying sotto voce that
    psychological fears about the vaccinations,communicated between
    soldiers, were, however, probably primary.

    11. Published: 23 February 2004. Reference number: 2004/0068 NICE to
    produce guidelines for the management of CFS/ME.

    12. Interventions for the Management of CFS/ME: Effective Health Care
    Bulletin, May 2002:7: (4); RSM reference 43. Cited in Margaret Williams.

    13. Editor Theresa Coe interviews Professor Tony Pinching for the
    February 2005 edition of InterAction magazine.

    14. `The multi-disciplinary team will comprise of a Consultant
    Immunologist, Clinical Psychologists, Occupational Therapist,
    Physiotherapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist amongst others. A
    Clinical Psychologist with considerable experience of working with
    patients with chronic conditions is already in post.' Epsom and St
    Helier NHS Trust. Job title: Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist
    in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Management.

    15. Op. cit. Walker, SKEWED.
    PRISMA (Providing Innovative Service Models and Assessments)
    Healthcare has become increasingly involved in attempts to
    rehabilitate patients who suffer from ME/CFS, MCS. But their policies
    of GET, CBT and pacing, have often proved of little use to patients.

    16. Copied by the ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia Information Exchange Forum
    to the CO-CURE@LISTSERV.NODAK.EDU13 Feb 2005. Job vacancy: Employer:
    Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust Job title:
    Trainee Clinical Fatigue Therapist.

    17. Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust. Job title: Highly Specialist
    Clinical Psychologist in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Management.

    18. While frequently described as the only Professor of CAM in
    Britain, Ernst is close to both HealthWatch and CSICOP.[This Message was Edited on 10/31/2005]
  5. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

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