Dr David Tuller: Science Media Centre Chief Compares Patient Advocates to Nazis


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ME advocates are compared to Nazis in new book by the SMC's Fiona Fox


Dr David Tuller: Trial By Error: Science Media Centre Chief Compares Patient Advocates to Nazis

4 June 2022 Leave a Comment

By David Tuller, DrPH
I have called the PACE trial of graded exercise therapy (GET) and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for ME/CFS “a piece of crap.” As I have indicated over the years, I think the trial is an example of serious research misconduct. (Whether it meets legal definitions of “fraud” is beyond my professional expertise, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does.) According to Fiona Fox, director of the Science Media Centre (SMC) in London, these public expressions of my distaste for PACE make me a Nazi. Or Nazi-like. Or legitimately comparable to Nazis.

In a widely hyped new book–“Beyond the Hype: The Inside Story of Science’s Biggest Media Controversies”–Fox recounts her escapades as the head of this purportedly neutral science communications agency. As anyone who has followed events in the ME/CFS world knows, the SMC, founded two decades ago, has played an influential and unfortunately negative role in shaping how the British press has regarded and covered the ME/CFS saga. Chapter 3 of Fox’s book involves what the subhead calls “the bitter row over ME/CFS research.”

The title of this chapter–“First They Came for the Communists”—leaves little doubt about Fox’s perspective. That phrase is the opening line of one version of the famous anti-Nazi statement or poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller. In the statement, the identity of the ominous “they,” a pronoun repeated in line after line, is understood but never explicitly named.

The title of this ME/CFS chapter thus frames patients and advocates–those challenging the hegemony of the GET/CBT ideological brigades—as current incarnations of the “they” in question. That is, Fox is portraying them as Nazis. Among her litany of the indignities and purported persecution visited upon the eminent investigators lauded by the SMC, Fox includes my description of PACE as “a piece of crap.” So that seems to make me a Nazi, too..............................


Senior Member
Robert Christ says,

Their flawed study and ones like it have effectively cut us off from biomedical research, financial assistance, and alienated many of us from friends, family members, and the public at large. And if we point out the flaws in their studies and the damage they are doing instead of refuting them with science and logic like other academic’s would do they call us militant and nazis and accuse us of not understanding them.


Senior Member
Yep, when people say "I wouldn't wish this disease on my worst enemies", I have to admit I can't say the same. I hope all these self righteous executioners get severe ME/CFS. Sadly, I feel like some of them may even contract a karmic case of Long Covid, but it won't change their small minds even then.