Professor Wessely's own lecture notes on ME (12 May 1994)
To end speculation about authenticity, Margaret Williams has released her copy of Simon Wessely's own lecture notes from which she took the quotations in her recent article (Consideration of Simon Wessely's response to The Scotsman). In his notes, a * indicates where he showed illustrative slides during his lecture. The lecture was indeed audiotaped but the tape has never been publicly released.
Entitled "Microbes, Mental illness, the Media and ME: The Construction of Disease", the notes consist of twelve A4 pages and are annotated in Wessely's own handwriting. His manuscript states " NOT FOR CIRCULATION After reading the CFIDS piece I've changed my mind. Here are the speakers notes. If you must quote, do it accurately. I was v upset by CFIDS - currently meeting Counsel for the MDU (Medical Defence Union). I don't mind what people write about me, providing they are accurate with the facts".
Wessely is referring to the article by Eileen Marshall and Margaret Williams called "The Views of Dr Simon Wessely on ME: Scientific Misconduct in the Selection and Presentation of Available Evidence?" which was published in CFIDS Chronicle (Spring 1994, pp 14 - 17) and to Marshall and Williams' response to Wessely's reply, published in CFIDS Chronicle (Summer 1994, pp 77 - 79). The article presented actual quotations from Wessely's published works about ME/CFS; the response to Wessely's reply contained factual evidence (including quotations from his Eliot Slater memorial lecture) which refuted his reply. This exchange can be found in the CFIDS Chronicle itself, but is also contained in an Appendix to "Denigration by Design? A Review, with References, of the Role of Dr (now Professor) Simon Wessely in the Perception of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: UPDATE". There are two volumes of "Denigration by Design?" by Eileen Marshall and Margaret Williams; Volume I covers 1987 - 1996 (pp 217) and Volume II covers 1996 - 1999 (pp 271). Both are available at cost price from DM Jones, 176 Perth Road, Ilford, Essex IG6 2DZ, UK. Together, they form a factual compendium of Simon Wessely's public record on ME/CFS during those years.
It is a fact that in 1994, Wessely personally threatened the UK distributors of CFIDS Chronicle with an injunction unless they removed the Marshall and Williams article before sending out that issue of the Chronicle in the UK. Fearful of Wessely's threatened litigation, the UK distributor removed the article before distributing it. UK subscribers then complained that copies for which they had paid in advance had been defaced. Copies distributed in the US were not defaced.
17th October 2003
To download a .tiff file containing the original fax right click here
and select "save target as" to save this image file to your PC