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Voices:Bristol Uni. both denies and supports Prof Crawley in her career enhancing “heroic vict

Countrygirl

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http://voicesfromtheshadowsfilm.co....her-career-enhancing-heroic-victim-narrative/

Bristol University both denies and supports Prof Crawley in her career enhancing “heroic victim” narrative..
Posted by Admin on November 27, 2017 in News


For such a high ranking Russell Group Institution, Bristol University seems to be getting its facts alarmingly confused. In response to Freedom of Information requests from Tymes Trust the University replied:

“We have received no official reports of harassment of University staff by a third party between September 2010 and June 2015.“ and: “We have received no recorded instances of harassment of staff by a third party between July 2015 and January 2017.”

However, this is seriously at odds with their website, which now echoes the accusations Prof Esther Crawley has been making very publicly at several lectures this year. She claims multiple forms of harassment and abuse and blames and denigrates ME/CFS patients, parents and carers as well as Dr David Tuller, Senior Fellow in Public Health and Journalism, Center for Global Public Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, USA.

In spite of Bristol Uni’s answer to the Freedom of Information requests, denying that any of their researchers have been subject to harassment, they now claim: ”The University has long been aware that Professor Crawley has experienced significant harassment and personal abuse over several years. This has included but is not limited to: vexatious FOIs; cyber stalking; malicious emails; blogs/tweets and other social media posts that could be regarded as defamatory; unsubstantiated complaints to multiple institutions including Ethics Committees, The University of Bristol, The Advertising Standard Authority, the GMC and funders. The University considers this behaviour to be unacceptable.”

If this really is true, then the University has given a fraudulent response to the Freedom of Information requests.

What might be of relevance, given the high reputation of the University, is that Prof Crawley has long been using claims of harassment to further her own career, following the example established by Sir Simon Wessely with the support of the Science Media Centre and the John Maddox Prize. This career enhancing narrative of honest researchers pursuing science in the face of harassment; facing threats from ME/CFS patients, parents and carers, has been developed over the last six years or so and promoted widely by the media. (see their Views From the Frontline publication http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/w...ews-from-the-front-line-essays-on-the-SMC.pdf) The claim is of threats to the psychiatrists and researchers who have been promoting a psychosocial view of ME/CFS, and the validity of this claim has already been dismissed in court in relation to those involved in the PACE Trial. It is being used as a defensive barrier against those who are legitimately highlighting concerns, distortions and inaccuracies in Prof Crawley’s work – work involving children – which should be open to the most stringent of reviews and critique by academics, the press and the public. Such discussion, which involves dozens of international specialists in ME/CFS, should be PROMOTED by the university and not denied under the pretext of harassment.
 
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The legal department of the University of Bristol are continuing this internally contradictory support of Prof Crawley's lies and apparent libel in public talks. Prof Crawley has now several times claimed that Bristol University sent a 'cease and desist' letter to Berkley University in relation to David Tuller's work. Here is the text of the legal department's response to David's request for clarification:

If by a ‘cease and desist’ letter you mean a letter threatening legal action if the recipient does not stop a specified activity or behaviour, then I can confirm that the University of Bristol has not sent you or your institution such a letter.

However you will be aware that the University of Bristol has for many years enjoyed a close and valued collaborative relationship with the University of California, Berkeley, and it is my understanding that private and confidential communication has taken place at a senior level about your actions and behaviour towards staff involved with research into chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis at the University of Bristol.

http://www.virology.ws/2017/11/29/trial-by-error-the-crawley-chronicles-continued/

The first part clearly indicates that Prof Crawley publicly lied but the email offers no apology to David Tuller and makes no mention that they intent to do anything to restrain her. Indeed rather the second part seeks to obfuscate and possibly even threaten, by alluding to a private and confidential email, which can not be that private or confidential if both Prof Crawley and the Bristol legal department are aware of it.

It is somewhat strange that a British University would seek to inhibit valid the academic work and reporting of an American researcher by allowing a member of their staff to libel and slander him in public forums, to use under hand pressure on his University and to send him what could be be interpreted as a menacing email.

It is urgent that the University of Bristol now examines what is happening within its own systems of governance that allows it to both agree that a member of their staff is lying and misrepresenting a range of people from people with ME and their advocates, ME charities and respected researchers and to at the same time defend that member of staff.
 
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On a side note, would a C&D-letter even do anything if it was ever sent? I have ever only seen David Tuller scrutinize the work he writes about on a factual basis that could have been answered by simply addressing questions in a proper manner, and he has been - in my opinion - overly nice to the people he has to deal with, if anything, especially considering that he is generally either ignored or fed answers that are dodging the actual question while being so intellectually insulting (even to laypeople, so let alone a DrPH) that I find his ability to remain calm remarkable.

The entire point of science is that you try to provide evidence for something, have other people scrutinize what you did and then reach a consensus on what we can learn from all that. This is not libel, but part of the intended process. If Prof Crawley did good work she could simply be open about her data, answer questions like any adult, let alone senior researcher is expected to in a professional capacity and be done with it. If Bristol University really has people on it's staff that care so little for the principles of science and the reputation of their institution that they would blindly trust EC's increasingly strange interpretation of reality when even the most cursory skim-reading of DT's work would expose her, how can we trust literally anything that comes from there (i.e. peer review, scientific publications etc)?
 

Deepwater

Senior Member
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Can Bristol legally attack David Tuller by claiming there is correspondence about his actions and behaviour towards CFS research staff, whilst avoiding disclosure of this alleged correspondence?

Having put the existence this supposedly private and confidential correspondence in the public domain for the purposes of denigrating David Tuller, are they not now obliged to disclose the details so that the world can see whether he acted improperly or not? Otherwise, if the claim is defamatory he has no redress.

To begin with, I cannot see that these "actions" can possibly have been physical actions since I don't think Tuller met any of them prior to his recent failed attempt to engage Esther Crawley when she gave her talk defaming all pwME who don't submit to her dictates regarding treatment. EC could well have sent him emails complaining about his criticism of her "research", and if that is all it is, then the public now has a right to know.
 
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On a side note, would a C&D-letter even do anything if it was ever sent?

Presumably Prof Crawley is not motivated by scientific accuracy, as she has not responded to a single point David has raised, rather she only wants to block any criticism of her work. Further the 'cease and desist' letter for her is a device to feed into her 'brave scientist fighting anti science harrasment' narrative. It enables her to present objective criticism as some how malicious and illegal behaviour that needs the involvement of lawyers and the police. The actually reality for her is less important, as long as it reinforces her narrative and hopefully bullies David into silence.

Unfortunately it appears that the University of Bristol is currently consciously treading a very fine line between colluding with her deluded narrative and not actually breaking the law themselves.

However given that a modicum of common sense should inform Bristol that David is unlikely to be bullied into silence by such tactics and that Crawley by her increasing escalation of easily falsifiable accusations is building herself up for a fall ... ...
 
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Forbin

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However you will be aware that the University of Bristol has for many years enjoyed a close and valued collaborative relationship with the University of California, Berkeley, and it is my understanding that private and confidential communication has taken place at a senior level about your actions and behaviour towards staff involved with research into chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis at the University of Bristol.

http://www.virology.ws/2017/11/29/trial-by-error-the-crawley-chronicles-continued/

It's actually up for debate whether the part in blue is directly related to the part in black, i.e. whether the "senior level communications" involved Berkeley or were entirely confined to Bristol.

The idea that UC Berkeley, birthplace of the free speech movement in the 1960's, would be scandalized by a mild dust-up between quarreling academics in Bristol is laughable.

This is what a difference of opinion at UC Berkeley looks like.

rawImage.jpg
 

dreampop

Senior Member
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296
Can Bristol legally attack David Tuller by claiming there is correspondence about his actions and behaviour towards CFS research staff, whilst avoiding disclosure of this alleged correspondence?

Having put the existence this supposedly private and confidential correspondence in the public domain for the purposes of denigrating David Tuller, are they not now obliged to disclose the details so that the world can see whether he acted improperly or not? Otherwise, if the claim is defamatory he has no redress.

To begin with, I cannot see that these "actions" can possibly have been physical actions since I don't think Tuller met any of them prior to his recent failed attempt to engage Esther Crawley when she gave her talk defaming all pwME who don't submit to her dictates regarding treatment. EC could well have sent him emails complaining about his criticism of her "research", and if that is all it is, then the public now has a right to know.

Probably not, assuming everything is correct. I also like to think Berkley wouldn't be concerned by any of this, it wouldn't be very "berkleyish".
 

meadowlark

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On a side note, would a C&D-letter even do anything if it was ever sent?

Last year, I was victimized by a company that had bought the rights to a book of mine. Long story, but they not only breached my contract but infringed my copyright (which is theft).

I felt completely helpless til two kind friends funded a lawyer on my behalf--specifically, to write a cease-and-desist. So I learned a lot about them in a very short time.

Most C&Ds are about copyright infringement or harassment. Obviously, Crawley envisions the harassment type.

There are always slimy lawyers out there who will send such a letter, even if your claim is nonsense, as long as you pay them. And then there are really upstanding lawyers who will examine your case closely and send the letter only if your case is sound. I had an upstanding lawyer. I imagine that Bristol realized that any letter representing Crawley would be of the nonsense kind and would not reflect well on them, and so they appeased her by complaining privately to U of C.

Anyway, in the U.S. (and U.S. law would apply to a cease-and-desist sent to an American resident) a cease-and-desist letter has absolutely no legal force. A cease-and-desist ORDER, on the other hand, is issued by a judge, and it must be obeyed. You can petition a judge to issue one if a matter is a huge crisis with a ticking clock.

People send cease-and-desist letters just to scare the pants off someone else, to present the facts (or what they say are facts), to show how angry they are and to hint at a lawsuit. If the case is sound and it’s about money, the result is usually a negotiated settlement. But if it’s about harassment—well, you want the harasser to disappear, and you cross your fingers, hoping the letter shocks them into doing that. Hard to shock David Tuller, though, into not writing responsible journalism. And that’s why the letter would make no difference. It has no legal force, and he isn’t scared.

Incidentally, Crawley doesn’t have to use Bristol for that letter—she could pay any American lawyer to do it on her own behalf. My friends didn’t tell me how much they were billed for the letter they funded on my behalf, but by my calculations it was probably $5000 U.S. (The lawyer spent significant time verifying that my case was absolutely sound.) That’s a lot of money for a letter that, in her case, would be absolutely futile.
 
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Countrygirl

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Anyway, in the U.S. (and U.S. law would apply to a cease-and-desist sent to an American resident) a cease-and-desist letter has absolutely no legal force. A cease-and-desist ORDER, on the other hand, is issued by a judge, and it must be obeyed. You can petition a judge to issue one if a matter is a huge crisis with a ticking clock.

People send cease-and-desist letters just to scare the pants off someone else, to present the facts (or what they say are facts), to show how angry they are and to hint at a lawsuit. If the case is sound and it’s about money, the result is usually a negotiated settlement. But if it’s about harassment—well, you want the harasser to disappear, and you cross your fingers, hoping the letter shocks them into doing that. Hard to shock David Tuller, though, into not writing responsible journalism. And that’s why the letter would make no difference. It has no legal force, and he isn’t scared.

Incidentally, Crawley doesn’t have to use Bristol for that letter—she could pay any American lawyer to do it on her own behalf. My friends didn’t tell me how much they were billed for the letter they funded on my behalf, but by my calculations it was probably $5000 U.S. (The lawyer spent significant time verifying that my case was absolutely sound.) That’s a lot of money for a letter that, in her case, would be absolutely futile.

Thank you for that information @meadowlark and I am sorry to hear that you experienced that unpleasantness over your material.

As you know, I witnessed EC's accusations against David, and after he left the room and the audience were expressing their sympathy to her and asking her such questions as 'What makes people with this illness behave in this way?', she first said a C&D letter had been sent to his university, but then added her problem was that the cost of filing a defamation suit in the US was formidably expensive, so she gave the audience the impression that she had tried to do this. She then added that she had also been advised to go to the police over David's actions. She didn't actually say she had done this.
 

ukxmrv

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One issue she might face with this is a counter-suit for vexatious litigation. If she loses that her entire professional standing would probably crumble.

The establishment in the UK doesn't care about litigation in the USA so I doubt if that would happen. We patients would comment on it but the powers here would move around her for protection and support as they are doing now. The UK club isn't ready to abandon her yet.
 

alex3619

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Interesting. How does that work exactly?
If someone brings a legal suit that is wrong or unfounded and in any way malicious, in many countries this opens the possibility for a counter suit. I think both are tried together.
The establishment in the UK doesn't care about litigation in the USA so I doubt if that would happen.
I doubt she will sue. If she does so she opens herself to major legal risk. The value to her of her claims go to commanding the story to maintain the perception of what she is doing. If she loses control of the narrative then, rightly or wrongly, it will damage her position.
 
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I doubt she will sue. If she does so she opens herself to major legal risk. The value to her of her claims go to commanding the story to maintain the perception of what she is doing. If she loses control of the narrative then, rightly or wrongly, it will damage her position.
I agree, in a court setting, as the PACE researchers found out, Crawley would lose control of her narrative and actually have to present concrete evidence. Given she has now invested so much into being a victim it would cost her any credibility.

If she seriously believed what she said and had the full support of the University of Bristol such that they actually believe her accusations against David Tuller their lawyers would have been writing to Phoenix Rising, to Science for ME, to the various ME charities and to each of us commenting here demanding the deleting an awful lot of web posts and comments.
 

meadowlark

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Thank you for that information @meadowlark and I am sorry to hear that you experienced that unpleasantness over your material.

As you know, I witnessed EC's accusations against David, and after he left the room and the audience were expressing their sympathy to her and asking her such questions as 'What makes people with this illness behave in this way?', she first said a C&D letter had been sent to his university, but then added her problem was that the cost of filing a defamation suit in the US was formidably expensive, so she gave the audience the impression that she had tried to do this. She then added that she had also been advised to go to the police over David's actions. She didn't actually say she had done this.

Yes ... if a comparatively simple cease-and-desist costs in the thousands, imagine the cost of a defamation lawsuit! But I doubt that Crawley actually investigated starting one--beyond the basic task of finding out the cost of a reputable American lawyer. Not some high-priced Famous Case type. Just a skilled professional. The cost is still hundreds of dollars an hour.

And of course, she doesn't mention that she has no case. I have no idea if she actually knows that. I can't imagine her trying to scare up the evidence that a credible lawyer (not a Saul Goodman type) would ask her for. I found that providing my lawyer with the documentation, dates, etc. that he needed was incredibly stressful--and I had a slam-dunk case. You'd have to be insane to think I wasn't in the right. So I don't know what kind of stress Crawley would experience if she actually had to demonstrate Tuller's specific offences against her. I just can't imagine what goes on in her head. Does she just over-dramatize in the moment and then persuade herself that what she said is true? (See the American news guy Brian Williams.) Does she have a victim/martyr complex? (Actually--I'll answer "yes.") Does she consciously create these lies? Is she so emotional she can't reason (thus, her terrible science)?

Why didn't she go to the police, then? Would have cost her nothing. Probably--I say this only partly in jest--the people who advised her to do this watch too much police drama. I used to be a magazine journalist, and I must have been told a hundred times that someone would sue me or the magazine. "If you print that, I'll sue you!" (And "that" was usually something completely innocuous--e..g someone's middle name, where they went to school, a joke they told at a party.) They think they've just pulled some sort of wonderful rabbit out of a hat--when, in fact, they've made themselves look ridiculous.

I've got to hand it to you, Countrygirl, for continuing to take notes after Tuller left the room. I would have let out a bloodcurdling scream. You played the long game, on behalf of Tuller and all of us.
 

Countrygirl

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I've got to hand it to you, Countrygirl, for continuing to take notes after Tuller left the room. I would have let out a bloodcurdling scream. You played the long game, on behalf of Tuller and all of us.

It was a close call @meadowlark .

I found myself instinctively about to leap to my feet (not that I do much 'leaping these days :) ) when David was escorted from the room as I wanted to walk out with him in solidarity; however, it made more sense to witness what comments were to be made and record them.Glad I stayed! The evidence is useful. :)
 
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andyguitar

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This Crawley womans comments make me laugh, they really do. Defamation claim, complaining to the police. What a load of cobblers. David should complain to the UK Gov education minister. The idea that staff at a UK university are spending their time making mad accusations against a US citizen, and having 'secret and confidential' contact with Stanford about him is totally out of order and is not what the UK education budget is supposed to be spent on. These people (Crawley, Patterson) should be sacked for gross misconduct.
 

Seven7

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Yet again I wonder. Is this another tactic to diviate from the main issue and makes us chase our own tails? David was asking history questions, what happened on the initial outbreak....
David is asking the right questions and this is just putting attention to a personal level, which can later they say ls all David’s personal vandetta vs the results of David’s investigation. Eyes on the price.
1) how did everything started.
2) why and who and what are the psy covering for.
3) why did the psy forge the study. Who benificciated?
4) why did gobernantal institutions went along w the psys.
5) what is really CFS.
6) why do they keep sabaging progress with funding Dinials to legit researchers yet giving money where convinient....,