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David Tuller: Trial By Error: An Australian Exchange with Professor Sharpe

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Kalliope, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Kalliope

    Kalliope Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    An Australian Exchange with Professor Sharpe

    Below is an exchange between members of the Australian ME/CFS community and Professor Michael Sharpe. The open letter from patients and advocates was prompted by a tweet this week from Professor Sharpe that many considered offensive. He has since deleted it. This post includes the initial tweet as well as the open letter and Professor Sharpe’s response.
     
  2. Andy

    Andy Committee Member

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    Wow, he's got one tactic hasn't he (Sharpe I mean, not Tuller)? This time around his variation is "have you read my tweet?" instead of "have you read my paper". At least this time around he's willing to retract it, unlike PACE, although I'd imagine if he'd built a career on what he'd written in the tweet then I'm sure things would be different.
     
  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    No, they never seem interested in naming individuals. Then they'd have to engage in debate about the truth about the individual critics that they try to smear as a vague group.
     
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  4. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    At least Sharpe retracted the tweet, and, albeit with some ill grace, attempted an apology.

    Perhaps even he is becoming aware of some of the internal inconsistencies in what he says, and perhaps even a little embarrassed when confronted by the realities of life for activists like Alem Matthees.

    Though I am not optimistic, he certainly must realise Twitter is not allowing him to get away with misinformation and nonsense simply because of his academic eminence.
     
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  5. Binkie4

    Binkie4 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I am sorry to see Alem’s family having to deal with this as well as seeing him so very ill as a result of his efforts on behalf of people with ME.
    To write that tweet was shameful, Michael Sharpe.
     
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  6. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    You are too kind Peter! I see no apology or even attempt at one. It's self justification and rudeness. He says he will delete it and didn't intend offence, but makes no attempt to apologise for the offence caused. This effectively says the fault is with his readers for misunderstanding him and daring to be offended.

    Can Sharpe really be so lacking in empathy? Does he really not understand just what this reveals about what sort of person he is?
     
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  7. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    You are probably correct @Trish, though it is hard to believe that someone is so unaware.

    The fact that he deleted the tweet at least indicates he is aware that it makes him look bad even if he has no understanding why.
     
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  8. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think all the credit for that goes to the letter writers, because no way is MS ever going to retract anything for the right reasons; only if he thinks is 'arris is on the line if he doesn't.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  9. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Unfortunately @Trish there are many such people, the worst being those who have it in combination with lack of integrity/morality, and are very self serving with a talent for being so. Oh yes, and extremely manipulative.
     
  10. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Unawareness is nothing to do with it Peter. It's much more about uncaring.
     
  11. dave30th

    dave30th Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I try to stay away from speculating on motives, although not always successfully, because in the end I have no way of knowing what they are thinking, what's intentional, what is self-delusion and what is some complicated mix of all of it. I have a hard time understanding what they are thinking. Or maybe they go back and forward between awareness and unawareness. Who knows?
     
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  12. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Understood. But just being slightly pedantic, I was talking more about mindset than motives. But I'm sure you would say it's better to steer away from that also, which is fair enough.

    ETA: Realise some of my posts, before the one I assumed you meant, do speculate a bit on motives - it's so very hard not to sometimes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  13. 2kidswithME

    2kidswithME Established Member

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    Wow, beautiful letter, well done to our friends down under. And best wishes to Alem and his family. Thanks for posting publicly, @dave30th.
     
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  14. Simone

    Simone Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thanks everyone. This was a good a response as we could realistically hope to get. Alem’s mum is part of the #MEAction Network Australia group now, and we have a connection with his sister too, so this was also about supporting Alem’s family. Credit to Claudia for drafting the letter and driving the process, and to the group as a whole for providing feedback and helping craft the letter.
     
  15. Luther Blissett

    Luther Blissett Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    You can always analyse the type of social structure they form.

    One with no institutional conscience or empathy, a profound lack of capacity for admitting when wrong, superficial charm that is backed up with threats (often the threats are private), a layering of different stories depending on audience, (the stories don't have to be true, just plausible enough), a complete lack of understanding at how or why people might be angry towards them, a talent for manipulating people and systems, a pathological egotism that prohibits them from finding fault in themselves, thus projecting all blame to an external cause, etc, etc.

    To be part of this social structure, they don't have to have all those traits, but be willing to go along with them. Some will be careerists, some cowards, some calculating, some amoral, most authoritarian.
     
  16. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Spot on.
     
  17. Graham

    Graham Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I wouldn't be surprised if many of the BPS crew are quite sincere folk, truly believing that their therapies help patients, and, quite frankly, not scientific enough to understand the criticisms. But equally, I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that some of the more aggressive ones are simply intelligent sociopaths, playing the game with charm and fluency, as Luther suggests.

    Either way, there's no prospect of converting either of them, but with the latter it is important not to be drawn into playing the game the way they want it by coming across as aggressive or destructive.
     
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  18. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    Absolute bullshit. Nothing he enjoys more than trying to provoke and wind up sufferers and their supporters with his unpleasantness.
     
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  19. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  20. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    I hate to be such a stickler, but that stray apostrophe after his name is really bothering me.
     
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