plans b, c, etc.
The possibility of a plan b, or later in the alphabet, is actually encouraging for me. I believe we are seeing something psychologists call "cognitive dissonance". What they know and what they believe no longer match.
If you will forgive me for saying so, I think we are dealing with people who are wrong about facts, not intrinsically evil. After years of defending your turf in organizations, you tend to lose sight of any bigger picture. I've seen remarkable examples totally unrelated to medicine.
The phrase I've found most useful in describing human behavior is "bounded rationality". Present people with facts in some context and they will make decisions others describe as rational. Change the context to something sufficiently strange and they will do the most amazingly irrational things. In an organization, it typically takes all the running you can do to stay in one place. A paradigm shift, like the one going on, causes a kind of mental earthquake. This is where you discover which people have been thinking things out, and which operating on autopilot. Most people in organizations are on autopilot. (A psychologist friend calls them "stimulus bound".) There are days when the null hypothesis on human reason seems very strong to me.
Nothing any of the people you regard as enemies can do will make XMRV go away. It is undeniably real. It is found in association with prostate cancer. It is a unique human retrovirus. The very fact that all these groups used XMRV cutures from cloned cell lines of prostate cancer cells to provide positive controls for tests testifies to the acceptance of these facts.
Funding for cancer research is orders of magnitude beyond anything committed to CFS. The social networks of cancer researchers are far more extensive than those advocating CBT for CFS. This led to a major miscalculation in this particular fiasco. The Nijmegen group thought they could bruskly dismiss work by a group of obvious nutcases off in Reno Nevada. They totally forgot that they were effectively slapping the faces of prominent researchers at NCI and CC, who have laboratories with international reputations. Those researchers refused to back down and cut WPI adrift.
With questions raised about cancer, and the safety of the blood supply, nothing will stop the development of carefully validated tests for XMRV accepted by international organizations. People are starting to make plans for what they will do when those results come in. They are far from giving up, but -- just in case -- they are reserving seats next to the life boats.