The Morgellons Research Foundation is an advocacy group. It has orchestrated the current media coverage by spoon-feeding a story to television news, both local and national. For those in the media who would like to do a similar story, I present the following 12-step method:
Step 1 – Find some Morgellons Patients. This is not difficult. Simply ask around on the Morgellons Research Foundation’s recommended Lymebusters forum. There are many people there who love to talk about their symptoms. Beware, as there are a few oddballs around, who might not quite be on message. Beware of patients with web sites that make them look obsessive, such as Anne Dill on Good Morning America, or Richard Vigil on 10News
Step 2 – V.O. – describe the symptoms of Morgellons in a scary manner, you want to hook your audience here. Note that thousands of people across the country have Morgellons, and there are hotspots of the disease in California, Texas and Florida.
Step 3 – Have the patient describe what is wrong with them, and have them show their lesions.
Step 4 – V.O. – Say these patients are being ignored by doctors, who claim it is all in their heads. It is important to set up sympathetic contrast in anticipation of step 9.
Step 5 – Zooming photos. Show photos of fibers and multi-colored fuzzballs, zoom and scroll while doing this, as it looks a lot more dramatic. Speak with a tone of amazement while describing the photos.
Step 6 – Professor Wymore soundbites – like “there’s definitely something going on“. Show Wymore in his Lab and wearing a white coat. Make it look like he’s an expert in this field. Do not mention he’s not a doctor. Do not mention he’s actually an assistant professor.
Step 7 – (Optional), show Wymore holding the letter he has written for sufferers to take to their doctors.
Step 8 – More zooming photos, this time describe how people find fibers inside their lesions. Try to make it sound impossible.
Step 9 – Find a doctor, interview him for hours, and show the line where he mentions “Delusions of Parasites“. Ignore complex terms like Neurotic Excoriations, Dermiatitis artefacta or “Case Definition“, as these cloud the issue.
Step 10 – Back to Wymore (or Ginger Savely), and have them say something to make the doctor seem silly. If it’s Savely, don’t mention she makes her living treating people who are convinced they have Morgellons.
Step 11 – A ray of hope: say that, at long last, the CDC is investigating Morgellons. Do not mention they are just investigating if there is any evidence that it exists in the first place.
Step 12 – Tie it up, cut back to your initial patient to remind the viewer of the human side of the story. V.O. about the hope they have. Make it real.