BBC Radio 4: The Life Scientific with Simon Wessely, 14th Feb 2017

Cinders66

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For Simon we were lab rats and specimens , not sick people.

Interesting he said about thinking it was a type of depression. I got sick in the 90s and had terrible NHS care from the 1996 around the time the Royal colleges CFS report came out. The report presented ME as atypical depression and there's a YouTube clip of Wessely as spokesman for the report on ITN news. He emphasises how important the psychological is in this illness. My NHS care 1996 onwards was lots of GPs treating me as a psychological or depressed case , it was pre internet days and I fell for their assertive dismissal , and I went from house bound to bed ridden. All of this is not ok and the fact that Wessely regards critics of all that at that time as a militant minority who had no right to criticise is astonishing.

Also around this time Simon Wessely gifted the ME community with a replacement name that's loved so much, CFS. I mean what wasn't there to like about Simon Wessely ?
 
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Molly98

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SW:...and that's where I got interested in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, because these patients were being seen there, I have to be honest and say nobody really liked them…
This speaks volumes in itself.
He has such a way with words.
He could have said,
"nobody knew how to treat them"
or
"they felt out of their depth"
or
"patients suffered real discrimination and disbelief".
or
"people did not like them and that upset me or I was not one of them and thought that was wrong".

But no, we, the ME patients are put into one group of unlikeable human beings which NOBODY in the medical profession likes including Wessley who makes no protest at the contempt and discrimination we face and in fact became the ring leader.

I wonder if Wessley had been referring to black people, Asian people, Jewish people whether the BBC would be happy with this going on air.

Can you imagine,

"they were Jews, I have to be honest and say nobody really liked them".

"They were from Pakistan, I have to be honest and say nobody really likes them".

"The were black, I have to be honest and say nobody really liked them"

If this is not evidence of the appalling discrimination we face as a group I don't know what else is. And this is not the general public that is being talked about this is the medical profession.

It's not OK to discriminate based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation but it is perfectly acceptable, even to the BBC to overtly discriminate and dislike an entire population of patients based purely on their disability and medical condition.

I don't know about anyone else here, but I was as likeable as anyone else until I was diagnosed with ME, so it is quite clear that my disability alone makes me unlikeable and OK to hate and treat with contempt.

His utter contempt, hostility and disregard for ME patients is so blatant, why on earth is it going unchallenged? why is this acceptable to the BBC

More rants to come, I am incensed at what this man gets aways with and to be given a platform for his repulsive attitudes on a science program on the BBC, and for them to go unchallenged, it just sickens me.

Oh and also, he did not HAVE to be honest and say no one liked us, no one was forcing him at knife point, he could have chosen not to say that, he CHOSE to say that either
a) to dig the knife in deeper,
b) he found it utterly impossible and irresistible not to air his dislike if us but if he attributed it to all medical professionals it doesn't sound quite so hard 'avoid owning the feeling and attribute it to others' classic give away there for any of his psychiatrist colleagues to notice.

What responsible, professional person CHOOSES to say such things?
 
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Cinders66

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This speaks volumes in itself.
He has such a way with words.
He could have said,
"nobody knew how to treat them"
or
"they felt out of their depth"
or
"patients suffered real discrimination and disbelief".
or
"people did not like them and that upset me or I was not one of them and thought that was wrong".

But no, we, the ME patients are put into one group of unlikeable human beings which NOBODY in the medical profession likes including Wessley who makes no protest at the contempt and discrimination we face and in fact became the ring leader.

I wonder if Wessley had been referring to black people, Asian people, Jewish people whether the BBC would be happy with this going on air.

Can you imagine,

"they were Jews, I have to be honest and say nobody really liked them".

"They were from Pakistan, I have to be honest and say nobody really likes them".

"The were black, I have to be honest and say nobody really liked them"

If this is not evidence of the appalling discrimination we face as a group I don't know what else is. And this is not the general public that is being talked about this is the medical profession.

It's not OK to discriminate based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation but it is perfectly acceptable, even to the BBC to overtly discriminate and dislike an entire population of patients based purely on their disability and medical condition.

I don't know about anyone else here, but I was as likeable as anyone else until I was diagnosed with ME, so it is quite clear that my disability alone makes me unlikeable and OK to hate and treat with contempt.

His utter contempt, hostility and disregard for ME patients is so blatant, why on earth is it going unchallenged? why is this acceptable to the BBC

More rants to come, I am incensed at what this man gets aways with and to be given a platform for his repulsive attitudes on a science program on the BBC, and for them to go unchallenged, it just sickens me.
Yes that really jarred with me.
 

A.B.

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I try to remain objective but having witnessed so much and seen people die or remain ill, I can honestly say there is hate inside me.

Simon Wessely and his clique have been an obstruction to research and also to correct diagnosing of many diseases.

Jokes are fine but not when dealing with people's lives.
Indeed. Sorry Simon, but our lives are far more important than your career, ego, or desire to see misanthropic bio-psycho-social models validated.

The BPS model seem to be nothing more than neo-crypto-freudianism. Rather than accepting defeat, the psychoanalysts accused of ignoring biological aspects of illness and promoting bizarre illness explanations such as the oedipus complex, rebranded themselves as enlightened bio-psycho-socialists with a holistic view of illness. In the end it's the same insanity of trying to cure disease with talk therapy. Thanks to the "bio" in bio-psychos-social they can continue to ignore biological aspects while superficially paying attention to them.
 
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user9876

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He couldn't bear that his so called science was wrong, and feared that his planned glittering career was likely to be revealed to be built on sand. He couldn't stand the scrutiny of science. Part of their game is to bundle together scientific challenge and complaints from patients as 'harassment'.
I wouldn't be sure that it was that he science was wrong but more that he couldn't get away with poor practice and presenting inferences and beliefs as fact without patients questioning him. Instead of improving he moved on. Most scientists realize that criticism is an essential part of the process but I guess it is disheartening when you find so many people can spot that you have the fundamentals wrong.
 

rosamary

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Haha!!! Some of these recent posts have had me laughing out loud.

I am pleased the programme wasn't aired at night too. It usually is.

(And, for anyone who listened to the programme, I nearly fell off my seat when he said he was in Czechoslovakia in 1968! Phew! Near miss! I was there the year before AND two years later.

Shame really, maybe I could have encouraged him to go into acting? Oh wait...)
 

Valentijn

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I'd be very surprised if there is not some kind of lobbying mechanism, whether owned up to or not, aboveboard or clandestine. And lobbying will be the sort of skills these folks really do excel at.
People floating to the top in academia and business are likely to be the ones who know how to network and market themselves. I think Simon Wessely has been so successful, despite being a spectacularly poor scientist, because he is extremely good at playing that game. Unfortunately he decided to use that skill to advance his own career at the detriment of patients.

As an example of Wessely's successful networking, it is very clear that the person interviewing him is completely on his side and is happy to regurgitate questions and statements which Wessely has fed him:
JA: Because this was the 1980s and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, CFS, wasn’t a new condition, but at the time I remember it being misleadingly dubbed ‘yuppie flu’, and yet it was a real debilitating disease.
....
JA: So why was the research you were doing, Simon, so unpopular with the vociferous minority who really turned you in to a hate figure?
....
JA: You’ve personally been threatened haven’t you?
These are not things which would be said by someone who hadn't been prepped, including the Yuppie Flu slur. With those and the other "questions", I think some posters here may have previously over-estimated the intelligence and/or credibility of the host.

I think this reveals what really made him leave the front line of ME research and retreat to manipulating from behind the scenes, putting up 'front men' like White and Chalder to take the flak.

He couldn't bear that his so called science was wrong, and feared that his planned glittering career was likely to be revealed to be built on sand. He couldn't stand the scrutiny of science. Part of their game is to bundle together scientific challenge and complaints from patients as 'harassment'
Yes, this ties back into playing the political game. He's seen where ME/CFS research is going, and has carefully retreated for that reason. Maligning patients as violent terrorists is just his bullshit excuse. The psychobabblers remaining in the ME/CFS field are the ones who are too daft to see where it's going, or too close to retirement to switch fields.
 
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Cinders66

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Interesting 1994 interview with Simon Wessely and Dr Charles Shepherd on IBS and CFS. I have never understood how people treat the two as almost the same conditions. Anyway I think here, after the viral trigger, Simon Wessely makes it clear his primary perpetuating factors are psychosocial rather than organic.
 

lilpink

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Thank you, @Esther12 . It reads like SW wrote the questions! Perhaps they should just let him interview himself next time.
Absolutely my thought also. I would also say that I thought he was rather bland. Compared to his usual manipulative 'avuncular' persona he seemed somewhat 'off the boil' as though his batteries required a re-charge.. which would be ironic. I felt he was being very careful *not* to say things that could be easily picked apart as being false.
 
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The one consistency in Wessely's interviews/presentations is his comic turn - for instance, oh the DMS, no one uses it, mine's gotten smaller (only because its printed on smaller paper ha ha)

DSM 1 100 disorders - DMS V 800 or more disorders.

Wessely has perfected a self-deferential comedy - where he is the joker but also the serious scientist who stood up to abuse and threats from patients (eh those with a debilitating fatiguing illness most housebound thats the real joke here)

I liked how he played down the power couple status of him and his wife - two of the most powerful doctors in the land. - ofcourse that wouldnt fit with the narrative of the fearful scientist going about his work under threat
 

TiredSam

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But no, we, the ME patients are put into one group of unlikeable human beings which NOBODY in the medical profession likes including Wessley who makes no protest at the contempt and discrimination we face and in fact became the ring leader.

I wonder if Wessley had been referring to black people, Asian people, Jewish people whether the BBC would be happy with this going on air.

Can you imagine,

"they were Jews, I have to be honest and say nobody really liked them".
Simon Wessely's father was on the last trainload of Jewish children to escape from Prague on the Kindertransport, the rest of his family was wiped out. SW is obviously suffering from transgenerational trauma:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgenerational_trauma

The science on this is quite clear and based on epigenetics.

His treatment of ME patients and ill people in general is clearly driven by a subconsious desire to avenge the fate of his father's family. He should be sectioned and given therapy to protect society at large and for his own good.
 

trishrhymes

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Absolutely my thought also. I would also say that I thought he was rather bland. Compared to his usual manipulative 'avuncular' persona he seemed somewhat 'off the boil' as though his batteries required a re-charge.. which would be ironic. I felt he was being very careful *not* to say things that could be easily picked apart as being false.
I noticed that - he very carefully didn't mention actual theories about, or treatments of CFS. Not a word about false illness beliefs or deconditioning, no mention of PACE, no mention of the biopsychosocial model in this section, though I seem to remember he did waffle his way through it rather incoherently at the end. So nothing specific we can challenge him on.

But he was very specific about Gulf War illness not existing. I do hope the military charities will challenge this and challenge hard. Maybe they have the fire power to bring him down...
 

chipmunk1

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Interesting 1994 interview with Simon Wessely and Dr Charles Shepherd on IBS and CFS. I have never understood how people treat the two as almost the same conditions. Anyway I think here, after the viral trigger, Simon Wessely makes it clear his primary perpetuating factors are psychosocial rather than organic.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irritable_bowel_syndrome

A number of treatments have been found to be effective, including fiber, talk therapy, antispasmodic and antidepressant medication, and peppermint oil.[76][77][78]
Psychological therapies[edit]
The mind-body or brain-gut interactions has been proposed for IBS, and is gaining increasing research attention.[85] Hypnosis can improve mental well-being, and cognitive behavioural therapy can provide psychological coping strategies for dealing with distressing symptoms, as well as help suppress thoughts and behaviours that increase the symptoms of IBS,[85][87] although the evidence base for effectiveness of psychotherapy and hypnosis is weak and such therapies are in general not recommended.[46] However, in treatment-resistant cases where pharmacological therapies over a period of at least 12 months have failed to give relief, NICE clinical guidelines recommend that consideration should be given to psychological treatment strategies such as cognitive behavioural therapy [CBT], hypnotherapy and/or psychological therapy.[120]
 

Molly98

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Simon Wessely's father was on the last trainload of Jewish children to escape from Prague on the Kindertransport, the rest of his family was wiped out. SW is obviously suffering from transgenerational trauma:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgenerational_trauma

The science on this is quite clear and based on epigenetics.

His treatment of ME patients and ill people in general is clearly driven by a subconsious desire to avenge the fate of his father's family. He should be sectioned and given therapy to protect society at large and for his own good.
It's funny isn't it, we are all affected by our subconscious childhood traumas which are making us ill apparently, but Wessley is way above that, the same doesn't apply to psychiatrists it would seem. Course his awful family history is going to of affected him, if he is human like the rest of us, and the denial of that is keeping him acting it out on the world and ME suffers in particular. Persecuted turned persecutor.

It seems the psychological theories apply to us minions but not to those in the lofty heights of psychiatry.
 

Sean

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This is how seriously Wessely takes the alleged threats:

He gave a lecture a decade back, which included his usual fear and smear routine about threats.

Wessely claimed he had received "intimidatory" emails [to stop him giving the lecture], and had reason to believe he would be physically attacked.
So dangerous a situation, apparently, that he brought a child along.

Professor Wessely himself turned up early, with a boy of about 14, presumably his son. It seemed odd that a man who claimed he felt so in fear of his life that he had nearly cancelled his talk, should choose to bring a child with him. Odder still was the fact that the boy was later allowed to approach the "dangerous" protesters, on his own.
And he has not improved since. The man is a fraud and a coward.

http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/Report_on_Wessely_Protest_250106.html
 

Barry53

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Perhaps they are trained to think that patients in clinics are just mad people who will never understand anything presented at scientific meetings or written in scientific papers.
I agree, but I also think it goes beyond this, and is not simply training. The personality type lacks empathy, and are so conceited in their own self-perceived cleverness, they simply do not comprehend (I really do believe it is beyond their comprehension) that others - sane or otherwise - can see through their flawed presentations/writings. I believe that such personality types are inevitably drawn to roles (across all walks of life) where they can acquire power over others, and so further their own ends with no regard for those they use/abuse as stepping stones along the way. I also believe these people model the world very differently to normal folk, and truly have no in-build concept of truth/untruth, other than an academic notion, practised by other lesser beings, but are driven instead purely by cause/effect. The do/say/behave in ways to trigger their desired effects, and truth/untruth/compassion/cruelty are just side effects their world model and lack of empathy simply does not register. Chilling but true as I see it.
 
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Cinders66

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"Oh no, patients I kept seeing all the time, it’s like A. J. Cronin’s Adveentures In Two Worlds, there’s the world of the clinic, but there’s this other world of politics and internet and things like that which is pretty unpleasant at times."

I think this is deeply revealing. For me there was only ever one world - the real world. The clinic is not in a different world from politics and the internet. It seems that it is because this group of psychiatrists somehow think that their clinical work occurs in some other world from normal human communication that they fail to see that the same patients they are talking to in the clinic are in a position to see straight through their integrity. Perhaps they are trained to think that patients in clinics are just mad people who will never understand anything presented at scientific meetings or written in scientific papers.

I think psychiatrists hijackung the field was dangerous because in their line of work they are taught to respond to the patients own witness of events as unreliable - Psychiatric patients can be deluded or deeply depressed so the psychiatrist has to almost over ride the patient voice with their own opinion whereas in physical illness clinics I assume a drs keen to learn from the patient voice and experience. If physical illness, particularly the unexplained, is treated by a skeptical psychiatrist this is disastrous because if a patient expresses for example a truth that they can't do something as it will make them ill and the dr thinks " that's just negativity and catastrophising and avoidance behaviour" then the drs treatment as we know will be wrong.