Why is there so much Morgellons in California?

Morgellons.org states:

Note: Although California represents 12% of the US population, 26% of all who have registered with the Morgellons Research Foundation reside in California

Now it’s tempting to say things like “California is full of dirty hippy druggies!”, but that’s not really true. Besides, most of the Morgellons sufferers are nice middle-aged white women.

So, why this disproportionate number of Morgellons sufferers from California?

Note what the above is measuring – it’s a percentage of all who have registered with the Morgellons Research Foundation. i.e, over the internet.

How do people find out about Morgellons – on the internet.

How do people share their photos of fibers – on the internet.

How do people form communities to share stories of their illness?

The internet – a common factor in Morgellons suffers.

Morgellons is an interesting syndrome because of the visual aspect – fibers, and hence photos of fibers. Lots of sites have many many photos of fibers. These sites really need a broadband internet connection (DSL or Cable Internet).

In June 2004, California had 13 broadband lines per 100 persons, and the rest of the US had 9.


Could it be that there is more Morgellons, because there is more broadband?

These simple figures don’t tell the whole story either – California’s population is clustered into cities. The Morgellonites in CA also cluster around the four major population centers. In those population centers, the access to broadband internet is unparalleled through the United States. People in Urban California have the best availability to broadband internet in the country.

If Morgellons is a phenomenon fueled by the internet, then obviously there would be more cases in California.

California is a unique state in many ways – perhaps there are some other factors?


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.


In the Morgellons community, there are several folk who think that their problems are due to some kind of genetically modified organism, typified by this post from TamTam

Fibers are stray target of experimental biology.
In particular experimental micro biology class 3 (C3)

That cellulose type fibers move on its own is because it are micro organisms that go dormant (pseudo apoptotic) In particular micro organisms that breath and become static because of low metabolism.
During formation they show nerve cell type behavior.

Nerve cell type behavior they will show in particular when they unite as a fiber most resembling a shaft that is related to the mold of the cyanobacterium.

This dominant type gene expression in the form of a semi autonomous and sensing fiber is in fact a break away group cell.
A variant form.

Its character is inbetween plant(cellulose) and insect (chitin)cell.

Single cell micro organisms with an aquired property called quorum sensing will make the organisms act multi cellular.

Quorum sensing is a stem cell like property.
Quorum sensing micro organisms unite hence differentiate during formation of a multi cellular organism.

Hence multi lineage differentiation synonymous with stem cell.
Fast dividing tissue forms a base(culture medium) for this organism.
This type target can only be kept alive and cultered in test animal.

Fibers show inbetween behavior like “plant cell that think they are insect cell”

The agent its intermediate stage resembles a protoplasm.
A transparent cloud with basic properties preserved.

All elements are quorum sensing
All elements differentiate

check: chitin / cellulose wound dressing

TamTam writes in an unusual way. Declarative sentences with little explanation. This reminds me of the way AIs are portrayed in Science Fiction. Or perhaps someone with a brain wired a particular way – maybe Asbergers (not that there’s anything wrong with that, Bill Gates has often been diagnosed with Asbergers).

TamTam is probably responsible for this video:


Which shows text similar to the above, overlaid on footage of some microscopic video.

Interstingly, mainstream Morgellons hits fringe Morgellons when Randy Wymore analyses this video on mogellon.org
He basically says “there is no science here”, but uses several more word, trying to be kind.


Over on the incredibly long biology-online thread, someone was going into great detail on his experiences with tea-tree oil. He posted a link to a photo album:


I’d expect a lot of fiber photos, but was surprised to find most of the photos were of things that looked like blobs of some kind of gelatinous stuff, like this:

(lots more on the site, check it out).

Intrigued, I read that all he did was rub tea tree oil on his arm, and the fibers appeared. Fibers? He must include these blobs as some kind of compressed fiber.

Anyway, I got some tea tree oil and rubbed it onto my arm – smelly stuff!

Nothing seemed to be happening for a while, I notice the small hairs stuck to the skin, maybe that’s what people were seeing. Hmm, or maybe as the oil drys, the hairs pop up?

Nothing really going on, I stared at my arm, shining a flashlight, wishing I had a magnifying glass. Then suddenly I noticed a tiny little speck at the base of one hair. Whoa! I’m infected! I pinch the skin, and gently scrape it off with a sharp knife, and transfer it under the microscope, x200.


Hey, that looks familiar – it’s a “fiber” thing. I have Morgellons!

Zoom out a little:


It’s about 1mm long, 0.25 mm wide. Not sure where that fiber came from.

Okay, so I’m not itching. I probably don’t have Morgellons. So what is this thing?

It’s a sebum plug.

Hair on your arms is rooted in little pits called follicles. Sebaceous glands in the follicle secrete an oil substance called sebum. The follicles can become blocked (both with or without a hair growing from them). A plug of sebum forms in the follicle and can harden.

Tea tree oil dissolves the material (skin and hardened sebum) blocking the top of the follicle, and allows the sebum plug to emerge. Tea tree oil is a well-known treatment for blocked pores.

Tiny fibers could quite easily become trapped in the follicle and become part of the sebum plug. Not many of the photos actually have fibers though.

Shutterfly guy – you are collecting sebum plugs.

He also has a video of a sebum plug dissoving in some alcohol. It’s quite an energetic dissolution – titled “supernova”. Sebum is fat, alcohol dissoves fat. Fat is semi-soil and dissolving it is a naturally violent reaction due to localized changes in surface tension and density.
Here’s another sebum plug (60x)


You can see how people might think it was some kind of fibrous organism.


Right now you are surrounded by billions of fibers.

This is perfectly natural, since fibers are everywhere. But if you think you might have a fiber disease such as Morgellons, then you need to able to distinguish normal fibers from fibers that are part of the disease.

Here’s a quick experiment. Turn your monitor off for a second and look at the screen. Covered with dust right? Look closer (get a magnifying glass if you have one), you will see the dust is mainly comprised of tiny fibers, about 1/16th of an inch long (1mm or so).

Where do they come from?

The biggest sources of fibers in the home are paper products and clothing.

Paper products are things like facial tissues, toilet tissue and paper. Paper is actually MADE from fibers. When you tear paper, the edges look like this (60x magnification):

That’s just regular letter sized paper, the kind you use in your printer. Paper is actually made of millions of fibers!

Here’s the same piece of paper at 200x


Those are some pretty serious fibers. Tiny though, only about 20 microns in diameter. They are visible to the naked eye if you have good eyesight.

Another common paper product is facial tissues such as Kleenex. Here’s some Kleenex at 60x:


See it’s just like paper, made from millions of fibers – the fibers are just more spaced out to make it softer.

All paper products are basically the same, made entirely from cellulose fibers (extracted from wood).

What about clothes?

When you wash your clothes and dry them in the dryer, some of the fibers in the clothes come off, and that’s what makes the lint. If you look at lint under a microscope, it looks like this:


You can see it’s made from all different kinds of fibers, all different colors. Both from the clothes that were in the dryer, and other fibers the clothes might have picked up as you wore them, perhaps in contact with other clothes, or the clothes of other people you touched, or off furniture.

When paper, clothing or furniture shed fibers, the tiny fibers float around in the air and land on surfaces. Often they will land on you. If you take a fresh post-it pad and dab the sticky part over your face a few times, you will find it get quite a few fibers on it. Like this (10x):


Here’s a close-up (60x):


Not many, but I bet you did not think there were any fiber on your face, eh?

So, all these fibers flying everywhere from natural sources. If they touch something soft, they stick to it. So you tend to always find a few embedded in (and under) scabs or any mucus-like stuff you have one your body. Like this:


Notice how the fibers here are just the same as the lint in the dryer. This indicates they are probably fibers from clothing. Paper fibers are probably there as well, just a bit harder to see.

What can we conclude?

There are lots of fibers on every surface and floating around in the air. This is not a bad thing, as the fibers are just paper or clothing fibers. The fibers will get on your skin, and get inside any damp lesion.

It’s almost impossible NOT to find fibers on your skin. Everyone has them, just most people don’t notice them, since they don’t look closely enough.

© 2012 Morgellons Watch Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha