[LINK] Re: Link Digest, Vol 170, Issue 19

Stewart Fist stewart_fist at optusnet.com.au
Thu Jan 11 12:19:43 AEDT 2007

In reply to my statement
>> There's no evidence that the bones of a depressive take longer to
>> mend than
>> the bones of an eternal optimist.  If there were, hospitals would
>> load their
>> patients up with a good high dose of morphine or opium to enlist
>> euphoria
>> and hasten the healing process.

Kim replies
> Actually, it's called a medically induced coma and they do do it.
> Most healing is effected by the immune system and takes place during
> sleep so there are good reasons for doing it.

I would have thought the coma is evidence of exactly the opposite -- which
is what I was saying.  Being in a coma or being asleep clearly removes the
mind, or the person's positive attitude, or will-power, or whatever you want
to call it, from contention as a curing mechanism.   The less the conscious
brain activity, the better.

> Remember there is also the nocebo effect so to get placebo or nocebo
> there must be some brain involvement.

The promotion of the nocebo idea (that you can make yourself actually ill by
worrying about things) was promoted by (if not originated by) two very
dubious scientists in Washington in the early 1980s (George Carlo and Ernst
Wynder), and by the neo-con lobby group they were both associated with
called the Washington Legal Foundation (funded by tobacco, cellphone
companies and some others).

The main promoter of Nocebo was Dr George Carlo, who was a science-for-sale
operator working with Philip Morris, the Chlorine Institute (on dioxins and
pesticides), and a few other industry group.

He was selected by the cellphone industry to head its $27 million 'research'
effort through a group known as "Wireless Technology Research" (WTR).  It
was later said of this group that it 'managed to spend the whole $27 m
without ever getting a test-tube wet'.

George ran through the Cellphone Industry's money, then when they wouldn't
put up more, he suddenly had a Damascian conversion, discovered that
cellphones were causing acoustic neuroma, published a scare-book, and went
(temporarily) into business with Peter Angelos, the main public-liability
class action lawyerin America.

When Angelos woke up to George's dubious reputation, Carlo moved out to
became a best-selling author and consultant on the dangers of cellphones.
(See his role in Melbourne RMIT, etc,)

He knows Melbourne well after having prepared a report for the water
authorities which proved the drinking water was safe (in 1990) after a
dioxin spill at a Nufarm factory near Werribee.  He forgot to tell the
government that he was a consultant and technical director for the New
Zealand company Fernz which owned Nufarm, and also that he was a consultant
to the Chlorine Chemical Association in the USA.

For those that are interested:

Here is some indication as to the documentation available on these shonks:

ETS = Environmental Tobacco Smoke   TI = Tobacco Institute
E. Bruce Harrison was the company employed by the Chemical Manufacturer's
Association to counter the book "Silent Spring" on chemical pollution.

1.  <http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/bfm86d00>

2.  <http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/upw43d00>

3.  This is from a document which essentially rehashes an old piece of mine
on Carlo and the Nocebo effect written about ten years ago:
(CTIA - Cellular Telephone Industry Assoc)

Dr George Carlo is not an employee of the CTIA, he contracts to them and
acts as research director, funder and controller of research, and spokesman
for them on all such health-related matters. He is an expert in lobbying
governments, in promoting health policies, and in helping industries under
attack from environmental and health activists.

He is basically a technocrat and administrator, and his reputation in much
wider circles is now well known -- he has been an opponent of the
environmental and health activities and activists since his first days with
the Arkansas Health Department, defending the Arkansas Light & Power nuclear
power station in a controversy surrounding a increase in still births,
blamed on radiation leakage.

In March 1979, he was involved again with the power companies who had
problems with the Three Mile Island incident, and he claims to have had a
hand in writing the official government report on this affair.

He was also a consultant to the land developers in the Love Canal incident
(toxic substances used in landfill), and later to the Chlorine Institute and
paper manufacturers (dioxins and other chlorine-based chemicals in drinking
water, causing mutations of fish, among other things), and still later on
some pesticide and herbicide cases.

He surfaced again when Agent Orange created a problem for Dow Chemicals and
other chemical companies, and now we find him once more performing research
and interpreting scientific reports over the recent silicone breast implant

You¹ve got to admit that this record is quite impressive. In his spare time
over the years his biography claims the became a lawyer (J.D.) through the
George Washington University, a lecturer at the Georgetown University, a
speaker and lecturer on ŒHealth Policy Issues Management¹, and a prominent
lecturer in Washington DC on ŒThe Nocebo Effect.¹

 Here¹s what his documentation says about the Nocebo Effect:
In distinguishing the positive from the negative effects of belief,
scientists use the term placebo, based on the Latin verb placere (to
please), for positive effects and its opposite nocebo, based on the verb
nocere (to harm). The phrase nocebo is also commonly used to refer to the
negative placebo. 

Over the past two years, a small group of leading scientists, academicians,
and professionals has initiated scientific inquiry into the nocebo
phenomenon. Are nocebo effects having an impact on symptoms among Gulf War
veterans, women with breast implants, users of cellular telephones, and
consumers of fat substitutes and artificial sweeteners that some refer to as
junk science? 

Experts from a variety of disciplines have been brought together for a
series of scientific meetings to discuss what is known and what we need to
know about nocebo effects and expectation mediated symptoms (EMS). The first
meeting, The Negative Placebo (Nocebo): Its Scientific, Medical, and Public
Health Implications, was sponsored by American Health Foundation in November

As a follow-up on issues raised at this meeting, the National Institutes of
Health, American Health Foundation, and The Institute for Science and Public
Policy sponsored Placebo and Nocebo Effects: Developing a Research Agenda in
December 1996. On 18 February 1997, an entire day will be dedicated to
evaluating the wide ranging implications specific to the nocebo phenomenon
and EMS at A Breakthrough Workshop on Nocebo (Negative Placebo) Effects and
Expectation Mediated Symptoms.

Notes:  The AMF is run by Ernst Wynder, an associate of both George Carlo in
the tobacco industry research area.  The Institute for Science and Public
Policy is a fake institute owned and controlled by Carlo.

It is fairly obvious where they come from and where they are going with all
of this, and it seems to be a Carlo initiative.

He now runs an organisation called the Safety Wirless Initiative, and
consults to various companies offering 'protective mechanisms'



4.  I wrote a three-part piece on Carlo which you can still find somewhere
on the Internet by searching for "Dr George Carlo and the WTR"

5.  There's also my submission to the UK House of Commons in which I mention
George and the Nocebo effect, if you've got a few hours to waste.

Stewart Fist, writer, journalist, film-maker
70 Middle Harbour Road, LINDFIELD, 2070, NSW, Australia
Ph +61 (2) 9416 7458

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