November 2006

Oh Fox!

Oh dear, it looks like Fox News took my script, and had a hollywood screenwriter make it more interesting:

Mysterious Condition Finally Acknowledged!”, they say, which is a total misunderstanding. I’ll repeat what I said earlier:

The CDC is investigating why there seems to be an increase in the number of people reporting symptoms that look like DOP. Maybe there is an actual increase in cases due to some environmental cause (like pollution or fiberglass) or infectious agent (like MRSA), or it’s just a demographic shift with baby boomers hitting menopause, or maybe it’s an illusory increase, focussed by the media’s coverage of Morgellons, or maybe it’s magnified by the internet’s villagification of the world. Maybe a combination.

If you are new here, and really want to know what the medical community feels about Morgellons, read this link:

Or this one, if you really want to get into details:

Finally, I don’t want to pick on the people in the video, they are suffering enough. But really Fox, what was with that close up of the woman picking at her lip. The “white specks” which she claimed were emerging fibers looked just like dry skin peeling off her lip.

This is unprofessional scaremongering, which is HURTING PEOPLE. Fox should be ashamed. I only hope that the recent OJ reversal might prompt them to have a degree more oversight in the future.

[Addendum: Nov 23 2006]

I watched the video again, and one thing that grated was Professor Wymore again relating the story of how someone suggested that fibers might be getting under the skin by people injecting their skin with fibers in a saline solution mixed in a syringe. The way he says it suggests that’s the only explanation that has been offered by doctors.

Are thousands of people injecting themselves with fibers? Of course not! That is just ridiculous, and nobody is suggesting otherwise. And for anyone reading who thinks they have Morgellons, I’m not suggesting you did it either.

But might a few people be doing something like this? Is Wymore’s total rejection of this theory justified? It actually turns out that there are many well documented cases of people injecting themselves with things in order to get medical attention. People even inject their children with things, things much worse than fibers.

I’m not suggesting that Morgellons is caused by people injecting themselves with fibers! I’m just disappointed in Professor Wymore’s portrayal of a false dicotomy – for him it’s either a bizzare mind blowing disease new to science, or people are injecting fibers under their skin. Wymore takes the former, since he’s staked his reputation on it being true. Occam, if pressed, would take the latter, since it’s something known to happen. It explains a few cases, but don’t forget hot tubs, and menopause.

Mom Accused Of Injecting Human Waste Into Daughter
Test Results Show IV Fluid Contained Substance Consistent With Fecal Matter
Mother Charged with Injecting Fecal matter into Toddler Son
McMullen is a former nurse at A.I. duPont Hospital for Children. She is accused of deliberately injecting fecal matter into her son, causing the toddler to be hospitalized numerous times.
Occasionally, patients with Munchausen’s syndrome inject their knees to produce swelling, ingest agents to distort their laboratory findings, rub irritants on their skin to produce rashes, or wear splints or braces unnecessarily.
A woman presented to our emergency center after self-injection of human chorionic gonadotropin in an attempt to gain admission to the hospital.
The patient presented with bleeding from various sites; repeated subcutaneous emphysema of the face, orbit and upper chest; ulcers on the tongue, and dermatitis autogenica. The illness was confirmed to be factitious and self-induced when she was caught red-handed trying to inject air.
We report herein a male patient displaying factitious disease of the breast due to injection of a high viscosity liquid plastic material. RESULTS: Establishment of the proper diagnosis was greatly delayed due to a lack of suspicion of this entity. Only direct confrontation of the patient with the biopsy results (lipogranulomatosis) led to a reluctant and then only partial admission of the self-induced nature of this patient’s illness.

Is Schwartz a Quack?

How can you tell if someone is a quack?

Here’s someone who recommends Doctor Schwartz:

I found a Dr. Schwartz at book on morgellons at
I bought his book. I’ve been with Morg for about a year and have a low immune system because of kidney transplant.

He will work with you to find a doctor to follow his protocol. But, I couldn’t wait and followed his book (broke the law and took horse dewormer I bought at the feed store and made my own eye drops with sulfa-liquid for cattle water, also at the feed store) Also, using the dermatexrx sprays and daitomacious earth mud packs) My doctor told Dr. Schwartz she would follow it and then later changed her mind. So we need another doctor. This is why I did what I did.

I had hundreds comming out each day. In just a few days I’ve gone from hundreds comming out each day to just a few today maybe 2. After the first “treatment” I was able to sleep without any creepy crawling… My sores are almost healing.

I have had some of the worms come out in my stool and the larval migrans are evacuating my skin.

Of course I’m vacuming like crazy, wash everything immediately after I wear it, mop the floors each day, wipe down the counters and even spray the walls. I bought some Neem oil, plant mite spray and use that on the walls as a mist and even on myself.

This can be beaten. Dr. Schwartz book has accounts of others he has treated who are healed of this parasite. Don’t live with it. It eventually will kill you!!! His consult fee was worth every penny.

Now, there are ways of discerning is someone is a quack. But really a quack is just someone who makes money from dubious medical practices. Someone who takes your money with no evidence that they are doing the right thing, and often much evidence that they are not.


“How can thousands be experiencing the same DOP at the same time? That does not make sense.”

That’s a good question, because it’s a point often used by people who believe they have “Morgellons” to “prove” that it’s real.

Dismissing things because they “don’t make sense”, is an “argument from a lack of imagination“, which is somewhat ironic, since the one thing that Morgies do not seem to lack is imagination. They believe in several things that do not make sense, but they believe them because they seem to fit their view of the world.

So, how can thousands of people have the same condition? Obviously that’s the wrong question right there, as nearly every medical condition has thousands of sufferers.

No, the question being proposed is “how can thousands of individuals have the EXACT SAME DELUSION”?

This question actually has two complementary answers. 1) Easily, and 2) They don’t.

Let’s be clear about the delusion. A delusion is fixed false belief, held contrary to the evidence. The Morgellons delusion is not that people have sores, which they obviously do. It is not the fibers themselves, as there are clearly fibers everywhere. It is not the itching, since itching is a subjective experience. No, the Morgellons delusion is that the fibers are somehow connected to the sores and itching.

(1) How can people share this same delusion? Easily. People itch for a lot of reasons, some scratch a bit too much, forming blisters and sores. Sores are wet and sticky, they get debris in them, people think the debris (fibers, dirt, etc) is what is causing the sores, so they try to pick them out. Later they hear of Morgellons, and think “that’s it!”

(2) How can people share this same delusion? They don’t. They all have different delusions. They all have different experiences with their symptoms. Their physical illnesses are varied. Their theories are varied. Even the fibers are different. Compare Anne Dill, Greg Vigil, Stan Skoumal, Andrew Leitao, Mister X, Ever Hopeful, Cindy Casey. There’s a lot of variety there. They don’t all have the same thing.

People are ill. People are genuinely ill. They deserve compassion and they deserve treatment. Some of them have a lot of imagination. I just wish they could use that imagination to try to imagine the possibility that they might have been mistaken in some of their beliefs, and imagine the possibility that their lives might be a little better if they let go of Morgellons.

CDC Latest

Here’s an interesting article. Interesting in two parts, firstly because it contains more detail on what the CDC is doing, and secondly because it’s got such a ridiculous headline.

Skin-sore sufferers cast off as delusional

The headline is “Skin-sore sufferers cast off as delusional, and the article also says: “Most have bounced from doctor to doctor and been dismissed as delusional“, and “ Doctors tried to blame her case on stress and depression from the death of her husband in a car accident five years ago.”

Here’s the problem. Obviously people are sick, and they have physical problems. They are not imagining their sores. Yet the article says they have been “cast off” and “dismissed” as “delusional”. This gives the impression that the doctors think the patients are imagining their sores and other symptoms.

Symptoms are not delusions. Symptoms are symptoms. The delusion is in attributing the cause of their symptoms to a new disease which is making fibers come out of their skin. The delusion is thinking that there is stuff under your skin that you have to dig out with your fingernails.

The cases presented in the article are very sad. One woman digs out “grains of sand” and “curly white fibers” with her fingernails. She refuses to take the medication her doctors prescribe. The other woman pulls out “threads, black specks and crystals” from her skin, with tweezers, causing her pain. She also “follows doctors’ advice to bathe in bleach and vinegar baths.”

Are their sores entirely self inflicted? Or are they compounding a skin condition like pseudomonas folliculitis? Either way, they are not helping with their scratching and tweezing. I’d like to know what kind of “doctor” told her to bathe in bleach.

Clearly a lot of people who think they have Morgellons are delusional (or, as Randy Wymore says: “a bit eccentric”). This does not mean that their entire condition is delusional, it just means that delusion is a component of their condition.

The article clears up one thing: it was a 900 fiber database, and a 100,000 organic compound database used by the Tulsa PD, not a 100,000 fiber FBI database, as some reports suggested.

Read the article for the information on what the CDC is doing. I’m looking forward to the CDC’s initial report. It should clarify things immensely.