In the book “The Chain of Chance”, by Stanislaw Lem, a detective is investigating a series of mysterious deaths occuring to foreign businessmen at a seaside spa. If you’d like to read the book, then don’t read this article, as they share many of the same themes.

Consider a magic trick – a performer is in a fairly large theater, it holds 2000 people. He asks them all to take out a coin and flip it. He then asks all the people for who the coin comes up heads to flip it again. This repeats, and more and more people are eliminated. Eventually after ten tosses, only one person remains – the magician calls this person to the stage, the winner.

Now consider this from the point of view of the person who “wins”. They flip the coin, it comes up heads – they flip it again and again, it keeps coming up heads! Something must be going on? From their perspective, the continual heads is very surprising.

But it had to happen to someone.

Consider now, that 5% of the US population have some form of Eczema. That’s about 15 million people (out of a total US population of 300 million)

Consider furthur, that 2.2 million Americans have Obsessive-Compulsive disorder, that’s about 0.73% of the population.

Now, assuming an even spread, then of our 15 million people who have eczema, then 0.73% of them will have both eczema and OCD. That’s 110,000 people.

The numbers get larger if we consider the number of americans who have a Major Depressive Disorder. That’s 9.5% of our 15 million, or 1,425,000 people who have Eczema and a Major depressive disorder.

So out of those, who also has Fibromyalgia? Well, the prevelence of Fibromyalgia is 1.36%, so out of the people who have a major depressive disorder, and Eczema, then 19,380 also have Fibromyalgia.

So that means nearly 20,000 people will have the combined symptoms of:
- Eczema
- A Major Depressive Disorder
- Fibromyalgia.

That means they will have
- Intense itching
- Rash
- Lesions
- Major Depression
- Abnormally irritable mood
- Fatigue
- Brain fog
- And several other symptoms.

Some of these 20,000 people meet one-another and compare symptoms. They find they have the same symptoms. They figure they have the same disease. They call it Barstow Syndrome after the town it was first discovered in. They form a support group, they start a web site, more people find out about it, everyone thinks it’s a real disease. They start to speculate as to the cause of the disease.

But there is no Barstow Syndrome – they are simply the 20,000 people who were unlucky enough to get combined Eczema, Major depression and Fibromialgia all at the same time. From their point of view this is very unlikely. But right now, 20,000 people HAVE all three problems. It’s just simple statistics. It’s unfortunate for them, but it’s nothing special.

The Barstow Syndrome Research Institute dislikes this analysis. How likely is it, they ask, that all these people, thousands and thousands, all have the exact same symptoms? Well, as we just saw, it’s not only likely, it’s inevitable. Like the guy who tosses heads ten times in a row – it just had to happen to someone. It HAD to happen to 20,000 people.

  9 Responses to “The Chain of Chance – Introduction”

  1. ‘I wish to note the “Barstow Syndrome” wherein the audience acts like they’re at a football game and talks and walks around.’
    from:
    http://www.desertdispatch.com/2001-2003/104999311787042.html

  2. Maybe that’s a symptom? Barstow is close to Edwards AFB after all. Some kind of group hallucination?

  3. You left one common thing out. We all have these colored fibers that only are visible by a 100X (Radio Shack has a beeper looking microscope) microscope and non-healing skin lesions filled with these microscopic fibers. These fibers are the link that links us all. Do some more research.

  4. I know, I was describing a hypothetical syndrome.

    I suppose I should cross-section it with the percentage of people who would find fibers everywhere they looked if they examined their skin with a 100x Radio Shack microscope. Out of the sampling I’ve done, I find myself in that group (see other posts here), so I suspect it’s a large group.

  5. Since morgie believers deny so vehemently that obsessive/compulsive delusions are to blame, I wonder why they seemingly haven’t yet done any important research looking into the possibilty of the microscope manufacturing industry (if anybody), conspired to release sumfin of an infectious nature, to increase their sales?

  6. The morgellons sufferers may (or may not) have an identifiable illness. These people are not the only sick ones around here.

    Any fool can see that your site is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You advertise healthy skepticism, while you resort the crude disingenuous tactics to “prove” your point and you declare opinion as fact. I don’t care what you do or think, clinical evidence will decide the issue, hopefully sooner rather than later. Do you guys really want to have the facts, I wonder. It seems to me you’d support the research. Dare you say that it is illegitimate research at O.S.U!? You guys obviously spend allot of time wasting your breath and energy. You know, if someone told me of Mogellons before I came down with it (almost ten years ago), I most likely would have be skeptical also, I can only hope that I would have been a little more open minded. You woun’t have to be the Doubting Thomas’s for long.

    I have a suggestion, instead on concentrating so much on all this flagellation on your site and blog, how about putting some money where your mouth is: see if you can come up with some CLINICAL EVIDENCE one way or the other. If you really want to find the truth, & I hope you do. It all boils down to two simple questions: What’s the composition of the fibers found under the skin? and how did they get there? Get some “Morgies” to volunteer (If you ask on your web site, I bet you’d get some), have the fibers removed from them, Then have to fibers tested by the best lab(s) you can find (all in a verifiable clinical setting). At that point you would be closer to the truth. Heck, if you really did it and got some answers you guys could end up being heroes for many people who are suffering, but I don’t suppose you’d be interested in that. Or you could donate what you can to the Morgellons Research Foundation @ OSU; these are REAL SCIENTISTS and REAL DOCTORS who are REALLY trying to get to the bottom of this. They are SHORT ON FUNDS. The C.D.C. hasn’t done anything but lip service, they say they “have a team” so far they haven’t done a single test. I’m lucky to have found a very well respected Dermatologist with a PhD at Major Medical University, for two years he’s been trying to diagnose and treat me. He is convinced that I have something (not dilutions) so far his lab does not have the ability to identify the composition of the fibers. He’s still working on helping me, but like all Dermatologists it’s a painfully slow process of testing for R.O.’s with very long wait times between visits.

    You state your B.S. opinions (that you obviously pulled out of your A.) and you state them as fact: “fibers are Kleenex”. And you through out accusations of conspiracy and call people liars without any evidence to back it up (people that are REALLY trying to help). You are guilty of doing the exact same things that you accuse of others. You sir, apparently are not interested in facts or evidence, and you apparently have the morals of a run-of-the-mill sleazy politician! If want to promote healthy skepticism, than just do that with real facts and evidence and statistics.

  7. I watched LB run off significant investment money a couple of weeks ago. So please do not complain about lack of funding, unless and until the Morgellons community is prepared for true, scientific processes.

  8. Igi, you really should post on the top post:

    http://morgellonswatch.com

    Otherwise your comments get lost to regular viewers.

    You are right about the “fibers are Kleenex”, It’s a misleading title for the contents of the article. I’ll change it.

    Again though, I don’t understand why you want me to analyze the fibers, when you are the one making the extraordinary claims. Where are your lab reports? On what do you base your claims that your fibers are at all unusual?

  9. And where was I making accusations of conspiracy and calling people liars? I’ll have to fix that one.

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