I often get the impression that Prof Simon Wessely, Prof Michael Sharpe and others from the Wessely School of psychiatrists prey on naive young journalists. I suspect these psychiatrists are using their skills in psychology to butter up the journalist, perhaps over a few beers in a bar, playing the nice guy in order to manipulate the journalist into writing positive articles about them. In general, when journalists interview most public figures or persons of interest, sometimes the journalist will write a positive and flattering article, other times the journalist can be very critical. That's the norm in journalism, and as a public figure, you can never know what your interviewer is going to write, and whether they will present you in a good light, or criticize you. So it is just the luck of the draw when you are interviewed: in some media articles you may be criticized, in others you may be praised. But how many newspaper or media articles have you seen where Wessely, Sharpe, White and others have actually been substantially criticized by the journalist? I've never seen any. That defies all odds, because even the most upstanding public figures will get critical articles written about them. So how can Wessely, Sharpe and colleagues always come out smelling of roses in the media? How is it they are never on the receiving end of substantial journalistic criticism? Or even just mild criticism? The only time they have been criticized is in the sterling work of journalist David Tuller. This small, ambitious and self-serving group of Wessely School psychiatrists have wielded enormously global influence, and after their ascendancy in around the late 1980s, were able to successfully dupe the world into thinking that ME/CFS is an "all in the mind" psychogenic condition, whereas previously ME/CFS had been understood to be a real biologically-caused disease. Wessely often denies to journalists that he portrays ME/CFS as "all in the mind", but Wessely is on record as saying "I will argue that ME is simply a belief, the belief that one has an illness called ME", an outrageous statement (but no journalist ever asks him about that). Sadly most of the medical profession uncritically adopted Wessely School ideas on ME/CFS like lemmings. By ambitiously promoting their own entirely unevidenced ideas that ME/CFS is a psychogenic condition, and suggesting that ME/CFS patients simply "think themselves ill", the Wessely School have ended up stigmatizing millions of very sick ME/CFS patients around the world as being lazy, malingerers or having the wrong attitude. Thus the Wessely School caused terrible social as well as scientific harm. So given their enormous and noxious influence on the world of ME/CFS, Wessely School psychiatrists could (and should) be strongly criticized in the newspapers for multiple reasons. Even if we give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume that their intentions were at least honorable, the actual results of their ideas have been disastrous. Their 30 years of research has not led to any cures from ME/CFS, and their PACE trial results on CBT/GET were so bad they had to spin them (these psychiatrists have always been better at spin than science). So media criticism is very much needed. Although you wonder if their motivations were actually so pure, given that all these psychiatrists have had longstanding working and pecuniary relationships to disability insurance companies like UNUM — companies who were able to save millions by withholding disability payment to ME/CFS patients as a result of ME/CFS being refashioned as an "all in the mind" condition by Wessely and his colleagues. Yet in spite of all this wrongdoing, in the media the Wessely School invariably come up smelling of roses. Why is this? I think this in part might be because the Wessely and Co are (consciously or unconsciously) using their psychological talents to manipulate the minds of the journalists who interview them. This is one of the advantages of being a psychologist or psychiatrist: you have the skills to get into the minds of others. Wessely, Sharpe and colleagues, being well versed in psychological techniques, are probably very good at playing the role of "I am such nice, affable and civilized guy, and I've been so misunderstood", thereby persuading a gullible journalist to write an article that portrays them in a positive light, and portrays the real victims of the Wessely School — the 17 million stigmatized and medically neglected ME/CFS patients worldwide — as the bad guys. That is the beguiling power of the Wessely School. Wessely in particular is a master manipulator of the media, and routinely wraps naive journalists around his little finger. Wessely is always playing some media trick, courting some gullible journalist, and indoctrinating that journalist into his worldview. I suspect Wessely and Co are are also adept at pre-selecting young, naive or gullible journalists to talk to, providing easy journalistic fodder for them to manipulate. They probably will not talk to hard-nosed, worldly-wise journalists; just those journalists who are easily duped. And of course with Wessely placing himself on the board of the Science Media Centre, that puts him into the media manipulation hot seat. Simon Wessely also has a history of issuing legal threats to publishers or media organizations, threatening to sue them for libel whenever they write an article about him which is less than flattering, usually resulting in these articles being withdrawn. That is another way Wessely manipulates the media. So the question we need to ask the journalistic community is: why have you never written any critical articles about Wessely, Sharpe and colleagues? Are you too gullible, or just too timid?