Talk:Morgellons/Archive 3

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proposed header for other diagnosed conditions

Will this work without a citation if the individual diagnoses are linked to symptoms?

The Morgellons case definition above includes many symptoms. Patients may also be diagnosed as having one or more of the following conditions based upon their symptoms:

Ward20 00:54, 30 June 2007 (UTC) Ward20 03:19, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

You don't need a citation for every single word. The article is supposed to be a synthesis of sources, not an endless stream of reworded quotes. It's fine to write things in your own words, so long as they reflect prevailing sources, even if it's a combination of sources you can't directly cite in a simple manner. See WP:BB
On your particular question, I'm not sure on the "also" you added, since patients are almost never diagnosed with Morgellons (practically no doctors recognize Morgellons), and the conditions listed are more the diagnoses they get instead of Morgellons.
Herd of Swine 04:51, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

More and more doctors are diagnosing Morgellons all the time. The MRF was recently contacted by a woman who was diagnosed with Morgellons by her doctor at U of Penn. The woman had never heard of the disease before then. The doctor is not affliated with the foundation. 72.231.181.60 11:51, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

I've never heard of of any doctor other that those on the MRF board diagnosing Morgellons. Do you have a link? Herd of Swine 13:49, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Lead Bloat

The lead section is getting too big, and seems to contain material that is incidental background stuff that would be better in separate sections, if it is to be included at all. If you think there should be so much about Leaitao, perhaps you should start an article on her? I feel the lead needs to be pruned down quite a bit, to a description of the situation regarding Morgellons, the various claims made, and a description of the dispute over whether it should be recognized as a new disease. Check some other similar articles for comparison. Herd of Swine 20:28, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

You cited this link Wikipedia:Lead_section: Please give me some feedback on comments below.
I believe the first two sentences should include in some way, "name found...... and used in 2002........10,000 registrations as of July, 2007." That establishes source to present situation
This can go to a different section or go out: "But she never expected it to stick.[1] The illness eventually affected all her three children and she continues to try to find answers to it.[2]"
Whittle down CDC and MAYO about 1/2 without gutting the context of symptoms and professional positions. But, the dates and sources are important to present plainly because of the dynamics of the events and data.
This seems to be pretty close: "There is considerable disagreement between, on the one hand, the patient population, Morgellons disease advocacy groups, medical professionals, and researchers who view and treat Morgellons as an infectious disease[6][7][8], and on the other hand, medical professionals, including most dermatologists, who view and treat Morgellons symptoms as existing medical conditions or Delusions of Parasitosis."
This could be moved to a different place in the article I believe: "Many Morgellons disease patients have been diagnosed with DP, but people who view Morgellons as an infectious disease say DP is a misdiagnosis of Morgellons disease caused by an inadequate examination[6][7][11]."
Reduce last paragraph to a sentence or move to a different section.
Ward20 06:24, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Seems reasonable. Let's see how it turns out. Delusions of Parasitosis is an "existing medical condition". So to be correct, you could remove that as well. But then that's an important element in the controversy, so I'm not really sure. Herd of Swine 14:32, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
The last sentence in the Lead I picked up from the CDC investigation section, "the study is awaiting final approval." can be infered from the cited source, but a lot of things can be infered from the cited source. I can verify this text from the cited source, "there is no projected date when a preliminary report would be ready." Any ideas on which way to go? Thanks.
Ward20 07:32, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

User 66.194.131.130

Your cite is a note and comment letter to the editor (weak primary source) signed by three dermatologists in November of 2006 that does not have any wording that comes close to supporting (not verifiable) what you have edited in the article. You are trying to replace verifiable text from stronger more recent second source material from the Mayo Clinic dated May 2007, with text from a weaker older source that is not accurate or verifiable to your cite. Plus, the next sentence states most dermatologists (not most health professionals) view and treat Morgellons symptoms as existing medical conditions or Delusions of Parasitosis (DP) and cites two articles, one of which is the same article you cited to a different web address.[1]. As your edit is not accurate or verifiable to a cite (let alone a stronger cite) I am changing it back to the old text.

Ward20 04:58, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

FYI Psychiatric News articles

For future reference:

Subject: RE: Strange List of Symptoms Perplexes Patients, Doctors Psychiatry News December 15, (PSYCHNEWS Feedback Form) From: "Psych News Temp" <pntemp@psych.org> To: <xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx.xxx>

Dear xxxxxxxxxxx:

Thank you for your June 11 query (below):

Psychiatric News is a bi-monthly publication of the American Psychiatric Association. With the exception of certain features, such as Dear Editor letters, and opinion pieces in our Viewpoints Column, we publish original news articles researched and written by Psychiatric News staff "writers." Our writers are professional journalists who follow accepted journalistic standards, practices and ethics in which balanced and objective reporting is foremost.

Although Psychiatric News articles are not “peered-reviewed” the same as original published research itself, all of our articles receive a careful, final review prior to publication by our editor-in-chief, who is a psychiatrist and APA member.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Whyche Copy Editor/Contributing Writer Psychiatric News

Ward20 19:22, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

This article isn't NPOV

Let's try and keep it more neutral in tone, there's no scientific evidence for this disease and most scientists say it's non-existent.Merkinsmum 22:16, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

"there's no scientific evidence for this disease and most scientists say it's non-existent". Citations please. Ward20 22:44, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Sorry I shouldn't have said that, it was rude of me. What I meant by it lacking a neutral point of view is that the start of the article (First few sentences/paragraph or two) should summarise believer's views, then 'unbelievers' for want of a better word's views. When I came to the article today it was like 3 or 4 paragraphs down before the fact that it is treated by most doctors as if it were Delusions of Parasitosis is mentioned.
It wasn't rude, it was not NPOV. Believers and unbelievers are only part of the story. The article should establish the origins and background first before theories and treatment.Ward20 03:06, 26 July 2007 (UTC)Ward20 07:14, 26 July 2007 (UTC)Ward20 07:22, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

The introduction should be short ish, and it should contain the major primary viewpoints of all concerned. When I came to it today I had to wade through paragraphs about how thousands of people were flocking to the wonderful Morgellons Foundation, before I got to how most doctors actually treat it. So the impression was that Morgellons Foundation are adoreable and right, and most doctors'/psychiatrist's views are just a side note. See what I mean?

10,000 families have registered with the Morgellons Foundation (verifiable by reference). That is important. Nowhere does the article say the foundation is wonderful, adorable, right or make any such judgment about it, those are your judgmental words. There are 2 1/2 lines about the MRF and just over 10 lines on medical professionals' views. No, I sure don't see what you mean.
The text cited from the Mayo clinic states the various views of morgellons. Your edit, "Most scientists and medical professionals do not see Morgellons as a separate new condition, but a psychiatric one which is usually referred to as Delusions of Parasitosis(DP)." is not verifiable by any source that you state. You attributed, "medical professionals, most of whom treat it as a psychiatric condition" to the Mayo clinic. They actually said, "Some health professionals believe that signs and symptoms of Morgellons disease are caused by another condition, often mental illness." You have inserted some references about how some dermatologists (and you wrote dermatologists which implies all) treat Morgellons as DP but have omitted how other practitioners treat it otherwise. Most of this is covered in sections below. You moved the pro DP section arguments up to the lead and repeated them without the referenced counterpoints.Ward20 03:06, 26 July 2007 (UTC)Ward20 07:14, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

I haven't really altered any of the content but moved the 'conventional medicine's' viewpoint to be after only a paragraph or two of the bit going on about how many people flock to the Morgellon's foundation.Ward20 03:06, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't believe that is true as discussed above. Also, the wording you removed, "who view and treat Morgellons symptoms as existing medical conditions, or a long established previously rare psychiatric disorder, Delusions of Parasitosis (DP)." which has several sources and cites, has quite a different meaning than what you wrote, "medical professionals, who treat it as a psychiatric condition." That statement has no cites and is misleading as (all) medical professionals or dermatologists do not treat it as a psychiatric condition.
As far as I can tell you are substituting your viewpoint of Morgellons is DP for content and context of cited sources.Ward20 03:06, 26 July 2007 (UTC)Ward20 07:14, 26 July 2007 (UTC)Ward20 08:58, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Length/readability

Other people, I notice, have written about the length/readability of the article- they're right, I'm interested, and have a good education but after the introduction, I feel like I've read a whole article already. People need to summarise any developments etc more concisely, not with huge quotes etc, and work on lessening the length of the article. I suspect some of the info in it is in there twice and doesn't need to be, and stuff like that. Work on making it a concise summary of the information (which is what people want from an encyclopedia- if they're really keen they can go to other sites for a more long-winded version. I'm going to start doing this- have faith though, I won't delete views etc just try and make it more readable/less daunting in length.Merkinsmum 01:41, 26 July 2007 (UTC)


Merkinsmum, please stop
You are deleting views, leaving important information out, editing text of the article to a very pro DP attitude and changing the NPOV.Ward20 03:19, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Your edit has been reverted because it is not NPOV, is inaccurate, has selective and misleading context and content of sources, has weasel wording and biased editing.
The present lead conforms very well to the Wikipedia:Lead section, using the latest second source material from the CDC and Mayo Clinic:
The lead should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article, establishing context, summarizing the most important points, explaining why the subject is interesting or notable, and briefly describing its notable controversies, if there are any. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic according to reliable, published sources. The lead should not "tease" the reader by hinting at but not explaining important facts that will appear later in the article. It should contain up to four paragraphs, should be carefully sourced as appropriate, and should be written in a clear, accessible style so as to invite a reading of the full article.
Your edit did not use the best sources available, conform to NPOV, and just tries to quickly introduce the point of view Morgellons is a mental illness. You left out and trivialized many serious Morgellons symptoms the CDC reported. You deleted second sourced material and substituted unsourced text or primary sourced text that tries to promote the view Morgellons is DP. There are other problems with your edit which I am not going to go into right now.Ward20 05:49, 26 July 2007 (UTC)Ward20 05:55, 26 July 2007 (UTC)Ward20 07:27, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Sigh. Previous versions of the article, and now this your latest edit, is not NPOV in my humble opinion. The thing is, few people are as all-consumed by the subject as you so don't have the energy to argue with you about it. Here are some simple/mainly stylistic questions you could work on to improve the intro section

1)Why did you dislike the CDC description of reported symptoms being summarised in the introduction? It's an introduction and the symptoms are laid out in painful detail in the rest of the article.

If you look at the symptoms in the proposed case definition (which also has been condensed) there is much more than what is even on the CDC's site. In the CDC description, your edit omitted granules, threads, skin lesions, fatigue, short term memory loss, mental confusion, changes in vision. The edit said, "crawling sensations and black speck-like fibers coming from the skin. Some also report cognitive problems and joint pain." which was not accurate and does not convey to the reader the seriousness of all the reported symptoms. Some Morgellons patients are being diagnosed with Parkinson's and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from the debility of their symptoms. The lead should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article, establishing context, summarizing the most important points, explaining why the subject is interesting or notable, and briefly describing its notable controversies. Patients and medical professionals report symptoms are serious and disabling no matter what the cause. You will notice there are no judgments in the lead about the theories, only verifiable statements from sources about the theories.
I do believe some redundant words could be deleted without changing the context of the sources. I will try. A huge problem with this article is people writing non-verifiable or out of context text to bolster their position. That is partly the reason for the long quotes. This is a controversial topic and weasel words and non-verifiable text just seems to find it's way into the article. I will address your other concerns on the discussion page after I finish this part.Ward20 19:59, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

2)Why are you mad keen to say that the CDC's investigating it, but not to include the quote giving the CDC's view that it being 'unlikely that it is [an infectious process] but their minds are open to everything including that remote possibility? And the mention later in the article that other areas have thoroughly investigated Morgellons and found it to be identical to DP?

Several reasons, Dan Rutz, who was quoted in the news article, is a communications specialist for the CDC and not a doctor. He may be able to talk authoritatively about schedules and meetings, but his opinion about an infectious process is not worth much, especially when he admits no CDC investigation has been started, and we don't know if anyone in the CDC study group has yet seen a Morgellons patient.
If you want to move the DP vs Non-DP argument into the lead (currently it is in Morgellons theories and research) the lead will grow to several times its size. I believe the articles you are refer to are actually 4 letters to the editors of a dermatology Journal written by about 6 dermatologists total. If you read the letters they make no claims to have thoroughly investigated Morgellons and found it to be identical to DP. The dermatologists write about treating DP and believe from what they have read about Morgellons that the two are the same. One or two of the dermatologists stated they have had a patient come to them claiming to have Morgellons, (but no discussion of proof is offered) and have successfully treated them with antipsychotic drugs. ref 32,33,13,34
Then there are Journal articles (one peer reviewed), a news article, and letters from or about doctors that specifically have treated many Morgellons patients (and talk about the differences in symptoms DP vs non-DP) that refute the previous dermatologists letters. ref 3,10,24,[1][2] So a DP vs non-DP competition in the lead would get very bloated. Write for 3) later. Ward20 00:30, 27 July 2007 (UTC)Ward20 00:45, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

3)Why do you want 'Morgellons Foundation' and the numbers who have contacted them in the first line? You could try writing an article about the 'Morgellons Foundation' and see how long it lasts- or maybe you've already tried that. Surely a concise description of the symptoms should be in the first line, if anything, and that would be a very neutral way to write the article. But instead you want the foundation, and their numbers, mentioned right at the start. How would you like a psychiatrist's view right at the start? Do you see how I mean that the order of things makes it not NPOV?Merkinsmum 12:32, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

P.S. Why I want to introduce in the first paragraph or two the mental illness idea is because as it is, you have the MF and their numbers of contactees right at the top. The DP hypothesis should be in the next couple of paragraphs at least. But I'm reasonably happy with your intro right now, if that's how you want it, because as I said, it's not as important to others as it is to you, for us to fight over it. But you should summarise the CDC symptoms and Mayo paragraphs, they just don't need to be written that long windedly, there are reams of it later on, and the intro should be concise, as others have said. Readers won't be persuaded bya lot of paragraphs in the intro anyway, they'll just switch off before reading the rest.Merkinsmum 18:23, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

The division of opinion regarding Morgellons

Clearly there is a spectrum of opions regarding what Morgellons is, or might be. The article notes that opinion is divided, which is good. But since we want to give an accurate picture of the situation, is there some way we can illustrate HOW it is divided? It would make a great difference if there were a 50/50 split in the medical community, vs. a 99.9/0.1 split. The current article seems to create the impression of "pseudosymmetry", when in reality the belief that Morgellons is a distinct disease is held by a tiny minority of scientists, most of whom are affiliated with the MRF. Are there any references that can be used illustrate this? Herd of Swine 17:35, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

I thought the Mayo division of three camps was probably the best description from the most timely article. The situation is constantly changing. In 2002 there was about zero who knew about Morgellons or had opinions about it. How many know about it now and have opinions? I don't see how a more quantitative statement could come from a reliable source at this point.
Your sentence, "The current article seems to create the impression of "pseudosymmetry", when in reality the belief that Morgellons is a distinct disease is held by a tiny minority of scientists, most of whom are affiliated with the MRF." is your own viewpoint, but you state it as if it were fact. The Mayo quote "Morgellons disease is not a widely recognized medical diagnosis" does not support "pseudosymmetry", in the article. As to the "tiny minority", I don't believe that, but that is my opinion. Ward20 21:35, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
It just seems like the same people keep coming up over and over, Stricker, Harvey, Savely. The anecodotal experiences of patients also seem to indicate that most doctors diagnose them as having something else, or delusions. Does the MRF not say that 95% of the patient will have been diagnosed as delusional? That fact that only these few doctors diagnose Morgellons seems to indicate that it is a minority position, and that really should be reflected. If you go trawling for quotes you can find a lot of people like Stephen Stone, the President of the American Academy of Dermatology, who said: "There really is no scientific basis at this point to believe that Morgellons is real"[3].
You have to be honest here, and reflect reality. The Wikipedia article is not about persuading people one way or the other, but should talk about what the situation is. Morgellons is not an accepted diagnosis, there are only a dozen or so doctors and scientists who lend it credence. Most of them are affiliated with the MRF - either they are on one of the boards, or are associated with some who is. That's not my opinion. It's a fact, easily verified by looking up each of the people mentioned. Herd of Swine 22:11, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
WP will persuade people one way or the other, that is why it should be honest. The quoted statement was much more than you addressed above. The Stone quote is actually, "There really is no scientific basis at this point to believe that this is real." Many patients with symptoms similar to Morgellons respond well to antipsychotics, Stone says. But "admittedly, there are some that did not. I guess you have to keep an open mind to the possibility that something is going on." Ward20 22:55, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
All that implies is that some Morgellons patients have a NON-psychological condition, which is now and always has been explicitly stated by those who do not feel that Morgellons is a real and novel condition. NO ONE has ever said that all Morgellons patients have DP - that is your own unique misrepresentation of the medical community's opinion. A person with late-onset diabetes can show the symptoms of Morgellons, and diagnose themselves with Morgellons, but giving them antipsychotic medications is not going to help them. You also seem to be entirely mistaken about what WP is here for, if you think it has anything to do with persuasion. In fact, this is explicitly supposed to be avoided at all costs, and ESPECIALLY when dealing with fringe theories such as Morgellons. The number of times and different ways you have managed to violate the guidelines set forth on WP:Fringe is remarkable, because you cling violently to the letter of the law regarding one set of guidelines (whether something has been peer-reviewed or not), wielding it like a club, only to completely violate another set of guidelines which you have conveniently overlooked. Consider, in particular, quotes from WP:Fringe such as this: "Parity of sources may mean that certain obscure fringe theories are only reliably and verifiably reported or criticized in alternative venues from those that are typically used in publishing about mainstream topics. For example, the lack of peer-reviewed criticism of creation science should not be used as a justification for marginalizing or removing scientific criticism of creation science since mainstream journals routinely reject submissions relating to the subject." This is EXACTLY what you are doing - because the mainstream medical community is so overwhelmingly against the claims surrounding Morgellons, it is nearly impossible to find anyone who has taken the effort to publish, via mainstream venues, their disbelief. Just because no one has thoroughly and explicitly "debunked" Morgellons, point by point, does not imply that anyone outside the MRF believes in it. The few who have published, you dismiss as outliers and condemn them for not being peer-reviewed, instead of recognizing that they are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. That is EXACTLY what the policy guidelines in WP:Fringe are intended to PREVENT editors from doing - taking the limited citable proof of organized opposition as if it implied acceptance, and editing to exploit that implication. Likewise: "Ideas which are of borderline or minimal notability may be documented in Wikipedia, but should not be given undue weight. Wikipedia is not a forum for presenting new ideas, for countering any systemic bias in institutions such as academia, or for otherwise promoting ideas which have failed to merit attention elsewhere. Wikipedia is not a place to right great wrongs." And, since you have repeatedly used the term "undue weight" as if it somehow supported your anti-scientific editing style, let's add to this an excerpt from WP:UNDUE: "We should not attempt to represent a dispute as if a view held by a small minority deserved as much attention as a majority view. Views that are held by a tiny minority should not be represented except in articles devoted to those views. To give undue weight to a significant-minority view, or to include a tiny-minority view, might be misleading as to the shape of the dispute. Wikipedia aims to present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties. This applies not only to article text, but to images, external links, categories, and all other material as well." Morgellons, as described by the MRF itself, is a skin condition, yet there is not a single quote, anywhere, from a dermatologist who supports the contention that Morgellons is a real and novel condition - they are undeniably the "experts on the subject," and not one of them has come forward in 5 years to support the viewpoint held by the MRF and its affiliated researchers. That makes the MRF's viewpoint a "tiny minority" and it means your editing is giving this viewpoint undue weight, as WP policy defines it. Let me ask you one very serious question about all this: let's suppose, for a moment, that the CDC issues its report and it states something like "We have been unable to find any evidence that any of the sufferers of "Morgellons" are in fact afflicted by anything previously unknown to the medical community; these individuals suffer from a variety of known and treatable conditions, and we urge those who have diagnosed themselves with Morgellons, and their family members, to seek out qualified medical professionals for proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment." Would you accept such a statement from them, and desist, or instead continue to promote the MRF's views regardless? For my part, I will swear never to edit this article or talk page again if the CDC comes out and says that Morgellons is a novel condition, and that the fibers are genuine. It's basically "Put up or shut up" - are you willing to do the same? Dyanega 05:14, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
Dyanega, I will try to answer your concerns tomorrow, I spent a lot of energy on discussions with Merkinsmum recently and am just too tired right now.Ward20 22:03, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Rather than chop up Dyanega's comments I will quote from them.

Dyanega said: "All that implies is that some Morgellons patients have a NON-psychological condition which is now and always has been explicitly stated by those who do not feel that Morgellons is a real and novel condition."

I could be wrong, but I sincerely believe if what you say is the case, Stephen Stone, the President of the American Academy of Dermatology would say something like, Morgellons symptoms are attributable to known dermatological conditions, not, "I guess you have to keep an open mind to the possibility that something is going on." I will write him and ask him what he meant by that statement.Ward20 02:55, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Of course he is keeping an open mind. That's what scientists do. Yet he also said "There really is no scientific basis at this point to believe that [Morgellons] is real", which is much more to the point. These two statemens are not mutually inclusive. He's saying that there is "really no evidence" that is is real, but even so, we should keep an open mind. What exactly is confusing there? Herd of Swine 03:42, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Because "the possibility that something is going on" could mean there is some doubt in his mind and he is reserving judgment until more is known about the condition. If the quote from Stone was just "I guess you have to keep an open mind to the possibility that something is going on." you get a different context than only "There really is no scientific basis at this point to believe that [Morgellons] is real" To separate the quotes is just not the same context. Ward20 06:48, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

NO ONE has ever said that all Morgellons patients have DP - that is your own unique misrepresentation of the medical community's opinion.

It is not my position the medical community's opinion is all Morgellons patients have DP, that is the main controversy. I do believe a percentage of self diagnosed Morgellons patients symptoms probably do have traditional dermatological conditons or DP. FYI: WP Morgellons, 4 May 2007 before I started editing, "To date, studies from the medical community indicate that Morgellons and delusional parasitosis are the same condition referred to by different names".Ward20 02:55, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Sure, some people have said that Morgellons is the same as DP. I think they are wrong. But what you and I "think" has no bearing here. We have to report what THEY think, what do dermatologists think? What does the CDC think? What do doctors think? Herd of Swine 03:42, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

I pointed out that what Dyanega said, "NO ONE has ever said that all Morgellons patients have DP", is in error, and what I should have said next is I am not editing the article that way, so I can't be misrepresenting it that way, and do not I believe it anyway. And as you said it is neither here nor there what I believe, but it does not sit well with me to be accused of something I didn't do. Ward20 06:48, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Dyanega said: " You also seem to be entirely mistaken about what WP is here for, if you think it has anything to do with persuasion. In fact, this is explicitly supposed to be avoided at all costs,"

I think my statement is taken out of context. If one were to look at my edits I have tried to make sure everything I edit is according to WP guidelines, and verifiable, NPOV, honest, and accurate as I can make it because WP is used as an information source. It is used as a reference and it influences (synonym persuades) opinions. I am amazed when I look for Morgellons facts and I see the amount of discussion groups citing the WP Morgellons article in order to characterize Morgellons.Ward20 02:55, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Your edits do not reflect that the your belief that Morgellons as a distinct disease is a fringe position. That's the problem. You seem to cherry pick quotes to support your view, rather than synthesizing an article on the overall information available. As editors, we need to reflect a neutral point of view. You are not neutral. Herd of Swine 03:42, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

I very much disagree with you about my NPOV. Please give me an concrete example of my edits that are not NPOV as far as real WP guidelines (and not cheery picked ones). I am the one who added Dr. Noah Craft's statements, because he is the only dermatologist I could find that said he biopsied Morgellons patients' skin and found only normal skin and inflammation, especially not fibers.Ward20 06:48, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Dyanega said: you cling violently to the letter of the law regarding one set of guidelines (whether something has been peer-reviewed or not), wielding it like a club,

I disagree. I have never said someone could not use a source that is not peer reviewed. I have commented in discussions that non peer reviewed material's quality is a possible problem and did insert peer reviewed and non peer reviewed labels on Journal materials if those sources were cited. When I first started editing Morgellons, this is what you wrote to me about an actual peer reviewed article (reference 2) I was discussing in talk, "Reference 2 is not a peer-reviewed publication; it was published as an opinion piece, meaning nothing in it was evaluated for accuracy or veracity - since when do "letters to the editor" qualify as scientific evidence? Ward20 02:55, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

The article is not about gathering scientific evidence for the proof or disproof of Morgellons as a distinct disease. It's about describing the situation surrounding Morgellons, relating in clear terms what is claimed, what the evidence is, what the controversy is, what the history of the situation is, who are the major involved parties, etc. Read some other articles, you miss the point of Wikipedia. Herd of Swine 03:42, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Herd of Swine, It is about presenting verifiable information from reliable sources and much more. I believe you are attributing what Dyanega said to myself.Ward20 06:48, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Dyanega said: "different ways you have managed to violate the guidelines set forth on WP:Fringe is remarkable,"

WP:FRINGE: Mainstream here refers to ideas which are accepted or at least somewhat discussed as being plausible within major publications (large-circulation newspapers or magazines) or respected and peer-reviewed academic publications. This should be understood in a commonsense sociological way and not as an attempt to create a rigorous philosophical demarcation between "mainstream" and "non-mainstream". Therefore Morgellons is not fringe.Ward20 02:55, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

No, Morgellons is not fringe, just as dowsing is not fringe. But a belief that there is significant evidence that dowsing works is fringe. A belief that there is evidence that Morgellons is a distinct disease is fringe. There is no evidence, and the number of people claim they have evidence (yet do not show it), is tiny. Herd of Swine 03:42, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

It appears the amount of published information "Morgellons is not a distinct disease" is also very tiny (maybe smaller than "Morgellons is a distinct disease"). So a belief that there is evidence Morgellons is not a distinct disease is fringe too? It seems like we have entered into the rigorous philosophical demarcation between "mainstream" and "non-mainstream". Ward20 06:48, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Dyanega said: "And, since you have repeatedly used the term "undue weight" as if it somehow supported your anti-scientific editing style,"

Really, I have used the term "undue weight exactly 1 time in a quote from NPOV, you have used it 4 times prior to this discussion. WP:UNDUE: "Wikipedia aims to present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties." Since there are many thousands of concerned parties that believe Morgellons is an infectious illness (Morgellons patients), your tiny minority view is flawed.Ward20 02:55, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Dyanega said: "basically "Put up or shut up" - are you willing to do the same?"

No, the report is probably still more than a year away. Rather than participate in dares and bets, I propose we do something constructive. Find a Morgellons patient that we think is representative of one with fibers (I live in the bay area it should not be hard), get them to a doctor with the correct equipment to examine fibers in vivo and you and I witness, photograph, and film the examination and pertinent evidence. Then using the correct chain of custody that you are familiar with, have fibers (if they exist) sent to the CDC, Dr. Randy Wymore, and Entomologist Fagerlund who has offered to help by collecting samples of fibers, seeds, mites, etc. and curate them for further study. I can't physically do this for a few months yet because my mother only has a few months to live and is in Batavia NY. I will have to go back there at any time.Ward20 02:55, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

What you propose has nothing to do with Wikipedia or the editing of this article. Herd of Swine 03:42, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

True, I am sorry, I probably should have taken that to Dyanega's talk page, but I still think it is more constructive. :) Ward20 04:29, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

What IS Morgellons?

The lead paragraph obviously needs a lot of work. It needs to open with a clear statement of what Morgellons is. That's rather difficult, as there is considerable disagreement. Even in the literature, there is no real clear definition, for example, you have the 2007 edition of the "Atlas of Human Parasitology", page 386, which says:

Within the past few years, individuals who often exhibit manifestations of what many consider to be delusional parasitosis have referred to their condition as Morgellons disease. ... Many dermatologists refute the suggestion that this is an actual disease but instead indicate that many of these patients have psychological problems or other common skin disorders. ... Until then, whether Morgellons disease is another name for delusional parasitosis, or a real disease entity with a biological or physiologic basis will remain up in the air. [4]

So given descriptions like that, it's not correct to say things like "Morgellons is an unexplained skin condition", or even things like "Morgellons is a disease that ....", since that's very inaccurate and only presents one point of view.

How about something like:

Morgellons disease is a controversial diagnosis applied to some patients with a set of symptoms including ....

I think that describes the situation reasonably well, describing what is happening, and that it is in dispute, without suggesting one side or the other is wrong. It does kind of gloss over the point that most patients seem to self-diagnose, but that can be clarified later. It introduced that controversial nature of the diagnosis. I'm not sure it it's perfect though, as it could still be taken to imply that Morgellons disease is accepted disease, and it's just the diagnosis that is sometimes controversial.

Anyone want to suggest improvements? Herd of Swine 22:43, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

That seems like a pretty noteworthy quote from a very authoritative peer-reviewed source - why not build a revised intro around that text as you have cited it? Dyanega 23:26, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

All three positions reflected by the Mayo clinic need to be include in the intro72.231.188.136 02:14, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

The quote is still just speculation and not a good basis for the introduction. The reality is the position reflected by the Mayo clinic -- it may be psychological, may be a new disease, and many people are reserving judgement until research is done. This quote would bias the article. Almost every new disease was initally dismissed as psychological. The fact that doctors are skeptical regarding Morgellons is very typical and pretty meaningless. Starting with the CDC work is much better. I disagree that the intro should be changed. 72.231.188.136 11:30, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Dr. Rhoda Casey March. Psychology today article and Dr. Uppal, ny times article, are at least two unaffiliated doctors who believe that the disease is real. In addition, the forensic scientist in Tulsa, from the Primetime Special 72.231.188.136 11:37, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Then make sure you source your changes very carefully. Read this: WP:ECITE
Other concerns about your editing are addressed here: WP:NPOV, WP:OWN, WP:3RR
For information about the lead, read this: WP:LEAD. The lead should reflect well-documented and notable aspects of the article without too much detail and in a summary format. The lead should not contain anything new not found in the body of the article. -- Fyslee/talk 11:59, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with the proposed change to the lead. I think that the CDC adn the Mayo clinic are the most authoritative sources for this article and provide a good summary of the existing understanding of the disease today. What you propose... "Some people with DP think they have Morgellons," is completely unverifiable, since Morgellons cannot be diagnosed at this time. There is no definitive diagnosis for DP either; it's a diagnosis of exclusion. The use of this quote will only bias the article by implying that the two terms are synonomous.Pez1103 16:06, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Whatever the case may be, it is totally irrelevant to this article's lead whether the CDC and the Mayo Clinic "provide a good summary of the existing understanding...." The WP:LEAD here must be a summary of this article, not of the existing understanding. -- Fyslee/talk 16:28, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
We should certainly include what the CDC is saying and doing, but it needs to be in perspective. The "Atlas of Human Parasitology" does reflect the situation regarding how Morgellons is viewed by the majority of the medical establishment. It does not say "Morgellons is DOP", in fact it leaves that question unanswered, and instead describes what the range of opinions is ("individuals who often exhibit manifestations of what many consider to be delusional parasitosis have referred to their condition as Morgellons disease .... Many dermatologists refute the suggestion that this is an actual disease but instead indicate that many of these patients have psychological problems or other common skin disorders"). It's describing what the majority think, not saying "Morgellons is DOP" or "Morgellons is a disease". Herd of Swine 16:18, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. I don't think that the Atlas comments should be included in the introduction. it's like saying many people with fybromalgia think that they have arthritis. Would you include that in the introduction to the arthritis article? One thing that has to be kept in mind at all times is that there is absolutely no proof that Morgellons does not exist and there is absolutely no proof that DOP does exist, except in very rare cases involving drugs and psychosis. There are way too many assumptions out there and very little science.Pez1103 17:07, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
That last comment is that wrong. It is a logical impossibility to prove that Morgellons does not exist, and there is evidence that DOP does exist. In fact, there's more evidence for DoP than for Morgellons. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 17:12, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
If it could be proven that the fibers were textile, if the fibers weren't consistent among sufferers, if the lesions were all self generated, if the lesions healed normally if they weren't picked at, if morgellons sufferers didn't also have a mirade of other physical symptoms, including joint pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, vision loss, neurological manifestations,etc, if the disease wasn't be passed onto family members and friends, including toddlers and infants, then you could probably say with some degree of certainty that morgellons doesn't exist. There is no objective diagnostic test for DOP. It was a diagnosis established over a 100 years ago, based on assumptions. They couldn't find a physical cause for the symptoms, so they must be delusional. Well, now we have scientific tests and the few scientists that are looking into this are finding evidence of Morgellons. Ulcers were thought to be caused by stress -- again, an assumption with no proof, eventually disproved. I'm not going to argue that Morgellons exists here because the scientist need to be the ones to determine this. I don't think that the quote that herd sited belongs in the introduction, and the intro definately should not be built around it. It would unduly bias the article. The existing intro is unbiased, factual, and is based on leading authorities, and should not be changed. It also provides a nice summary of the rest of the article. Pez1103 18:11, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

There is really no basis to definitively prove that DOP exists in people other than drug addicts and people with severe mental disorders. A person has crawling sensations and sores appear on his skin -- the person thinks - bugs! but the doctors say no bugs and the entomoligist say no bugs. So what is left? The person must be delusional, right? NOT. The person has no history of mental disorders and other people in the family have the same symptoms. In fact, over ten thousand families -- including toddlers and infants, have symptoms. Maybe, just maybe, there is another explanation. Maybe there is a fungus or a bacteria or a virus that is causing the sensations and the sores. The idea that it delusional is an assumption based on no scientific evidence. In fact, derms should not be making a psychiatric diagnosis anyway. Pez1103 20:43, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

References

Reference 18 (as we speak) doesn't exist. Could someone try to figure out what it was supposed to be? (As an aside, why are all the newspaper articles from a "Gazette"? Is there a correlation between your local newspaper being a "Gazette" and the incidence of the disease/syndrome/??? ?) — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 16:21, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

DOP Section

Why is it OK to site hinkle and UC Davis entomologists but not SF Chronicle entomologist? What is wrong with this addition? We have to be consistent with what is allowed in the article.

However, at least one prominent entomologist, disagrees. Richard Fagerlund, of the San Francisco Chronicle [5], who has a column titled "Ask the Bugman" stated that he gets letters from Morgellons sufferers daily. He believes that the condition is reaching epidemic proportions, and he doesn't believe that it is "all mental." Instead he believes only a small portion of these cases are delusional parasitosis, and the rest may be caused by something else, such as pollutants.

If this goes UC Davis and Hinkle should also go Pez1103 20:08, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

DOP is a phychiatric diagnosis -- is it appropriate that entomologists are diagnosing it? Pez1103 20:30, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Two points:
  1. The Hinkle resource is a scholarly paper, while the Fagerlund source is an advice column response, which are entirely different matters as regards quality and reliability.
  2. I have removed the Hinkle source for two reasons: (a) it was unnecessary, as the subject is covered pretty well already and related directly to Morgellons; (b) the Hinkle paper doesn't mention Morgellons, but is still a good source for the Delusional Parasitosis article, so I attempted to move it to that article.... Well.....it turns out that resource is already being used there! -- Fyslee/talk 21:07, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
I deleted: Patients who suffer from delusional parasitosis, including those who believe they have Morgellons, will often move from doctor to doctor in search of one who will offer them the diagnosis they are seeking.[2]

I read the actual article. It says that people with Morgellons often go from doctor to doctor seeking help, then often give up because they cannot find help for their illness. It does not say that they are looking for the diagnosis they are seeking. The people just want to get better and being told that they are delusional when they are not, isn't helpful. The article is written about people who suffer from Morgellons, not people who suffer from DOP. Pez1103 01:33, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

If seeking the advice of another doctor when you are seriously ill and your original doctor cannot help you makes one delusional, then we are all delusional. I'm sure everyone who ever had a newly emerging disease went thru the same experience of trying unsuccessfully to get help from multiple health professionals. Imagine what it was like for AIDS patients 20 years ago, before the disease was recognized -- I bet they went from doctor to doctor too. Pez1103 01:33, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Deletion of MRF history content

Pez1103 deleted some long-standing content:

  • Three MRF board members, including former chairman Charles Holman, medical director Greg Smith, and treasurer Judy Smith, resigned in August 2006, over the right to review financial records, or disagreement with Leitao on internal politics (each side has a different explanation). Dr. Randy Wymore, an Oklahoma State University assistant professor of pharmacology decided to distance himself from the controversy and surrendered his position of director of research at the foundation. His Morgellons research program continues and he maintains a working relationship with the foundation.[3]

with this edit summary:

  • "the resignation of 3 people in the foundation a year ago is not relevant to the article." [6]

I disagree with the reasoning in that edit summary. Since Morgellons is a "disease" that was essentially "invented" by the founder of the MRF, this article is just as much about the MRF as it is about Morgellons, thus such content is important. It will possibly become even more important if it is ever concluded (that is a suspicion at present) that this is a delusion invented by Leitao. Then the article contents will focus more on her and the MRF, than on the delusion itself. She and the MRF are responsible for creating and marketing the mindset that goes with it, essentially the spreading of a conspiracy theory/urban legend type mentality.

This type of thing creates a true believer mentality in some vulnerable individuals (surprisingly many), meaning that no matter how strong the evidence debunking their idea, they will continue to devote their life's energies to defending and promoting their belief system. To see how this works, just look at the Aspartame controversy which was created and is vigorously promoted by one woman, with it becoming a contagious idea that spreads among vulnerable individuals. The parallels are rather striking and frightening, considering the consequences for all involved who get locked into an identity as sufferers, an identity they must constantly defend. -- Fyslee/talk 14:57, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

But no one resigned because they became "un-delusioned" about Morgellons -- the people who resigned left and formed their own morgellons organization. They argued that Mary would not show them the financial records for 2004 (the contributions in that year totalled $300 -- $100 of which Mary donated herself). Whether or not Mary showed them the records, or whether they just left because of some sort of internal politics, it really is not relevant. Mary's alledged unwillingness to show financial records is not relevant to whether she created a disease that vulnerable people decided to opt as their own. The reality is, almost everyone who contacts the MRF developed symptoms first, then found the website. Very few developed symptoms after learning about the disease. That is the exception, rather than the norm. How do you explain the thousands of children and infants who have developed symptoms -- are they part of the mass brainwashing by Mary? If this is a delusion created by Mary -- did she suck in the Tulsa police crime lab into her plot? How does she managed to dissemenate unidentifiable fibers to her registrants? What about the doctors who believe that they have patients with Morgellons. There are over a hundred unaffilated doctors who have contacted the foundation saying that they have patients with Morgellons disease -- are they part of this contagious idea? What about the researchers at SUNY, OSU, Cal State, Clongen Labs -- who are largely volunteering their time to do this research. Why would they get involved? They each saw samples taken from patients and became convinced that something real is going on and want to investigate more. Read the research findings section of the MRF website. Several researchers have found preliminary evidence that the disease exists. The story was "much ado about nothing" -- there is absolutely no proof of wrongdoing on Mary's part regarding the financials and to include this information is unnecessary and biases the article unduly. It's been in the article for one year now. I think it is time to let it go. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing. Pez1103 15:36, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Far more scary than the theory you are proporting, is the reality that people have died from Morgellons. The most public person is Tom Dill, a 40 year old Sprint executive who was featured in the Primetime Special. People don't die from conspiracy theories. The fact that every single new disease has to struggle so much to attention and help from the medical community and government health officals is the real story. Look at CFS - it took almost 20 years before the medical community would acknowledge it, and lupus, and AIDS, and MS, and fybromyagia, and lyme. Why must new diseases constantly have to battle before the CDC will actually investigate? The CDC has received more inquiries regarding Morgellons disease than any disease in the agency's history, yet they are moving like snails -- despite enormous antedotal evidence that the disease is contagious and infectious. You have hundreds of nurses, teachers, doctors reporting that they have the disease. Are you concerned about the safety of the American public? Wouldn't you want someone to check this out in a timely manner? Time and time again those with newly emerging diseases have been dismissed, and time and time again the medical community has been wrong. Pez1103 15:52, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Pez1103, I'd like assume good faith editing here, but your edits seem to be increasingly one-sided in nature, basically promoting the current position of the Morgellons Research Foundation (MRF), which is creating a messy and unbalanced article. This is further complicated by the fact that you are actually a volunteer for the MRF [7], and your recent edits have been to delete material that you think of as attacking the MRF, and then when it was re-instated, to make weasel edits to try to place your own spin on events. Wikipedia is not the place the pursue your public-relations goals. Herd of Swine 19:08, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Herd - You run a website devoted to debunking Morgellons. I find your comments one sided and definately biased towards DOP and you make far more weasel edits than I do and you try to place your own spin on events. Wikipedia is not the place to further your agenda and promote your very biased positions regarding the disease. None of the changes that I make have created a biased and unbalanced article. Pez1103 19:13, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
I gain absolutely nothing from volunteering for the foundation. I have never and never will get a penny from the work that I do. However, I do have the opportunity to read hundreds of letters from people who are suffering from this disease -- people who have lost their homes, their families, their health; people who are watching their children growing sicker and sicker from a disfiguring and disabling disease. I have read countless stories of people who developed this disease overnight from staying in hotel rooms, from contact with others with the disease, people with absolutely no history of mental illness. I have read the emails from doctors who believe that the disease is real and are asking for advice. I have read the emails from people who were told by their physicians (who have no affiliation with the MRF) that they had morgellons disease -- and that is how they hear of the disease for the first time. I have read the horror stories of people who have watched people die from this disease,or commit suicide, and from people who lose their teeth, their hair, their bone mass, who develop seizures, people whose health is stripped from them, who can no longer work, children who can no longer play sports or go to school, people who are riduculed by doctors, who are desperate for help. I have spoken to countless people who spread this disease to their children and grandchildren. I have met with the health department and spoken to countless legislative aides. I have knowledge this article needs. You are constantly biased in your interpretation of things and you certainly have an agenda. Pez1103 19:20, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
My "agenda" is to have this article meet WP:NPOV, like, for example: WP:NPOV#Undue_weight
We should not attempt to represent a dispute as if a view held by a small minority deserved as much attention as a majority view. Views that are held by a tiny minority should not be represented except in articles devoted to those views. To give undue weight to a significant-minority view, or to include a tiny-minority view, might be misleading as to the shape of the dispute. Wikipedia aims to present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties. This applies not only to article text, but to images, external links, categories, and all other material as well.
Herd of Swine 19:33, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Everything I put in the article is factual and based on evidence and is properly cited. If I were putting in my views, i would just say that morgellons is real and devastating and contagious and a true public health risk, but I haven't done that. I have not expressed my opinions in the article. Why is it biased to clarify that the financial statements for 2004 only involved $300? To exclude that leaves the implication that there was some sort of financial impropriety. I am just clarifying to eliminate the potential for a biased misinterpretation of the facts. Pez1103 19:38, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Herd - you've claimed over and over that DOP is the majority POV. I'm not so sure that you are correct. If doctors and scientists who really know nothing about the disease assume that it isn't real -- is that an actual POV, or is that just a bias or prejudice? Does prejudice belong in Wiki? If for example, 50 years ago there was an wiki article about jews that said that jews are stingy -- would this follow wiki rules? We all know the dangers of promoting prejudice (think holocost). If we exclude the people who really know very little about the disease, and if we exclude the people who have never met anyone with the disease, who do we have left? We have tens of thousands of people who registered with the MRF who believe that they Morgellons, and thousands of friends and relatives who believe them. We have some doctors who don't believe them and doctors that do. We have a handful of scientists who have actually looked at the fibers who believe that they are part of an infectious process. If you honestly exclude the uninformed masses, the majority of people left may well believe that the disease is real. (real, meaning not DOP) I don't think that the goal of wiki is to promote uninformed bias. The article should "keep an open mind" -- not force the reader to take on a position that really has absolutely no factual basis. There is no evidence that Morgellons is DOP -- just assumptions. Science is needed to determine what is causing these symptoms. Until the scientist figure out what is going on, the Wiki article should be neutral -- not biased towards DOP based on the justification that you are promoting the "majority view." The disease either is infectious or it's not. Opinions aren't really relevant. Pez1103 20:38, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Pez, you wrote that "Opinions aren't really relevant." Well, if we are going to follow NPOV, they are the only thing that is relevant. That's what Wikipedia does, it documents opinions using V & RS. Since your "facts" and my "facts" can be at odds, Wikipedia is not interested in promoting people's "facts." It is only interested in documenting already published facts and opinions in a manner that doesn't promote any of them. If they aren't published and from good sources, we aren't interested in them. So opinions are very relevant. They just have to be sourced. -- Fyslee/talk 21:09, 30 July 2007 (UTC)


Entomologists

RF states that he believes a "small percentage" have DP He makes no mention of skin irritants. He said that he takes this seriously. My edits reflect what the article states. Pez1103 19:09, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

"My theory, and it is only a theory, is that a small percentage of these cases are delusory parasitosis, but the rest may be the results of something else, possibly pollutants. " — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 19:13, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
According to the DP wiki article -- DP is rare and primarily affects women over 40. Morgellons, according to RF, is an epidemic, and according to the MRF website, affects entire families. Pez1103 19:38, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
The Delusional parasitosis article says (and sources agree) that the incidence is higher past age 40, and it's most common in women. This does not preclude it affecting entire families. DP also affects entire families. I'm not sure if Fagerlund's thoughts in an advice column are really notable. But he seems to be suggesting what is essentially a distinction between "primary" delusional parasitosis (where it is actually "all in their heads"), and "secondary" delusional parasitosis (where there is some other cause). Secondary is further broken down into "secondary functional", where the DP is associated with psychiatric condition such as depression, and "secondary organic", where the cause is a medical illness, such as diabetes, or substance abuse.(see [8]) It seems like Fagerlund, with his talk of pesticides, is suggesting that some cases are "secondary organic" cases of DP cased by pesticides. It's rather odd that that's all he offers as an alternative, and it seems like he has a bee in his bonnet about pesticides. Herd of Swine 20:04, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
The information from the MRF registration data base is not consistent with the DP findings that it is most common among women over 40. It doesn't seem to me that Fagerlund is suggesting primary or secondary DP. He clearly says that he does not believe it to be mental illness at all.Pez1103 20:22, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
You aren't listening to what people are telling you - I have SPOKEN to Richard, he says that many of the people who have contacted him have DP, and he even indicates this in the article! It's called "polite understatement" - the "small percentage" Richard is referring to is, in fact, over 50%, but he understated it in order not to scare away all the readers who do have DP and who mistakenly interpret any objective statements as "someone telling them they're crazy" - Richard told me "I suspect most of the cases of Morgellons are DP, but I won't go so far as to say all of them are. I have never said Morgellons is a real disease." He attributes the rest to various skin irritants, especially pesticides (a common thread among the hundreds of patients who have contacted him) - "from an outside source (pesticides) and in some rare cases, from an infestation of larder or hide beetles in their house. I have said in my upcoming column that I will continue to look at samples and if I find any insects or mites I will write about them. I don't expect that will happen." In the column cited here, he said "pollutants". Like I said, he does not appreciate the misuse and misinterpretation of what he wrote, as if it supports the pro-Morgellons position. The column does not say Morgellons is real, does not even IMPLY that Morgellons is real, and does NOT say that he does not believe mental illness is involved. Dyanega 17:07, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The MRF registration does not record the gender or the age of the person registering. So it's perfectly in line with the DP population from that statistical viewpoint. Herd of Swine 23:51, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
No, but it does record the names, which indicates gender. And it does list other family members with the disease. A large percentage of people with the disease list their children in the household as also having it -- you can assume that the children in the household are generally under 40. Pez1103 09:56, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
If you're going to throw your opinion on this around, do some research into Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy beforehand. Dyanega 17:07, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I have some concerns about this quote from the website of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, of the University of California, Davis: "If symptoms of itching and crawling sensations in the skin persist and no evidence of parasites can be found, then a syndrome called Delusional Parasitosis must be considered. A variety of causes have been suggested for these sensations, including parasitism by Collembola and Strepsiptera or the presence of organisms called Morgellons. "Morgellons" is a term used to describe what are purported to be fiber-like parasites of the skin, but after decades of detailed study there is no evidence of an unknown organism fitting this description. There is also no evidence that Collembola or Strepsiptera are biologically capable of parasitizing humans. However, there are quite a number of physiological, hormonal and neurological syndromes that will cause these symptoms."[24]

1) The website is using "Morgellons" in a manner which is completely inconsistent with the way the MRF uses the term and the rest of the wiki article. Nowhere in the MRF website does it say that the term morgellons is used to describe "fiber like parasites." Morgellons is the name of the disease. The fibers are a symptom. Nowhere on the MRF website does it say that the fibers are parasitizing the skin. UC Davis seems to be describing something that does not belong in this article.

You're wrong again. Kalani's report on the MRF website states: "We hypothesize that this organism is a more complex fungus, algae or a novel parasite" Dyanega 23:14, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

2) The website sites "years of detailed study" -- yet there is nothing published to back this up. Who did the study? What exactly was done to the fibers? Were the fibers just given a quick visual once over and thrown in the garbage? Were they evaluated in a lab?

I think that this quote should be deleted or qualified in some way. It seems that UC Davis lacks a basic understanding of the disease. Pez1103 14:03, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I have some concerns that you are proposing a double standard; if a quote from the MRF website can be used in the article, without actual printed citations to back it up, then the UCD website is perfectly equivalent and exactly as valid a source of information. If you wish to remove it, then we can apply the same editorial standard to all the other sources mentioned in the article, and delete everything else which appears solely on a website, including the MRF website. Who did THEIR studies? Where are THEIR years of detailed analysis, and peer-reviewed compilations of data? If you wish to limit sources for this article strictly to books and journals, then that should work just fine, and restore some much-needed balance. Along those lines, it seems that some editors lack a basic understanding of WP:FRINGE, and WP:UNDUE. Dyanega 17:07, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
My primary concern is that they are misusing the word "morgellons" to describe organisms. This is very inconsistent with the rest of the article.Pez1103 17:16, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
It may be inconsistent with the rest of the article, but there's no reason (other than MRF) to believe it's not as common a usage. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 17:20, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I spoke to the director at the Bohart Museum today. He said that their study consisted of looking at fibers under a microscope. 18:06, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Your point? The article cites a similar effort, which you accept as completely credible: "Dr Casey examined many patients skin via a dermatoscope." If you will accept one as credible, then they are both credible. A pediatrician is just as authoritative as to the nature of a fiber as an entomologist - and far less likely to be objective, given Casey's connection to the MRF. (e.g., [9])Dyanega 20:53, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Casey looked at fibers beneath the skin. This is relevant. It proves that there are fibers growing underneath the skin and growing out of the skin. Looking at a fiber on a slide doesn't show anything. Casey has NO connection whatsoever to the MRF. Pez1103 16:25, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

"Growing"?! Did I read correctly? Do you have some evidence for this "growing" you're talking about? -- Fyslee/talk 16:31, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
For the record, and to stop this constant bickering about Casey, she is one of the three members of the research team at OSU that is supported by the MRF's funding (explcitly listed as Wymore, Casey, and Eddy), and she has co-authored (with Wymore) one of the boilerplate pieces used on the MRF's website. It also appears (though I have yet to find any documents confirming it) that the "two physicians" Wymore recruited to obtain fiber samples for the Tulsa police study were Casey and Eddy. She collaborates with Wymore, and is funded by the MRF: that is a rather substantial connection. Dyanega 22:11, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Authoritative Sources

It seems like a lot of the current material in the article is sourced from news reports, or just loosely references the MRF site. I'd like to suggest we concentrate on more authoritative sources:

The 2007 edition of the Atlas of Human Parasitology (published by the American Society of Clinical Pathology), Pages 386-387 ([http://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Human-Parasitology-Lawrence-Ash/dp/0891891676/] you can search the amazon version for "delusions", then click on page 386)

Within the past few years, individuals who often exhibit manifestations of what many consider to be delusional parasitosis have referred to their condition as Morgellons disease.
One of the chief criticisms by many [Morgellons] patients has been that they feel the medical community and other scientists consulted have not been open to the idea that there is possibly an as yet undescribed infectious or physiologic causation for the disease. However it is certainly true that in fact many expert parasitologists, medical entomologists and other microbiologists have in fact carefully examined fibers and other materials expressed or extracted from such patients and found that biological organisms are not present.

The eMedicine site, which has a peer reviewed article [10] which says:

Savely et al introduced the term morgellons disease to describe a type of infestation characterized by fibers attached to the skin. The entity appears to be little more than a new designation for DP. Koblenzer and Waddell and Burke have discussed the utility of the term, with Murase et al finding the term useful for building a therapeutic alliance with patients with DP. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently investigating Morgellon disease.

Then there is the article in Nature Medicine (the highest cited research journal in preclinical medicine), 30 August 2006, which I've copied here for reference: User:Herd_of_Swine/nature

After months of futile campaigns—and claims of a cover-up by the government—she and her fellow sufferers can claim a small victory: in June, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began investigating the phenomenon.
The agency plans to first define Morgellons with a set of criteria that distinguishes it from other illnesses. "It is likely that for many of these people, they can be helped through another case definition," says Dan Rutz, a CDC spokesman.
Dan Rutz has a Maters in Public Health and is a Communications Officer for the CDCWard20 19:25, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Rutz is being diplomatic.
Most dermatologists deny the disease exists, saying the people who claim to suffer from it have either common skin illnesses or psychological disorders such as delusional parasitosis, in which people become irrationally convinced that they harbor parasites. In such disorders, people often have lesions, but those are caused by the patients' own scratching and picking.
Those statements are by Emma Marris, the reporter writing the articleWard20
"There really is no scientific basis at this point to believe that this is real," says Stephen Stone, president of the American Academy of Dermatology. Many patients with symptoms similar to Morgellons respond well to antipsychotics, Stone says. But "admittedly, there are some that did not. I guess you have to keep an open mind to the possibility that something is going on."
Herd of Swine 16:17, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
This is a news article and I don't believe it has the same level of peer review as a normal article.Ward20 19:03, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Are you proposing eliminating all cites that reference websites and publications, other than those that are peer reviewed? This appears to be inconsistent with wiki rules.

WP:NPOV: [emphasis added] "All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV), representing fairly and without bias all significant views (that have been published by reliable sources)."

What does that mean? WP:SPS: "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. "Verifiable" in this context means that any reader should be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source. Editors should provide a reliable source for quotations and for any material that is challenged or is likely to be challenged, or it may be removed."

Verifiability means that "any material that is challenged or likely to be challenged needs a source"; and that source is not limited to "peer-reviewed journals":

WP:RS: "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published sources. This page is a guideline, not a policy, and is mandatory only insofar as it repeats material from policy pages. The relevant policies on sources are Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:No original research, and Wikipedia:Neutral point-of-view.

Wikipedia:Verifiability says that any material that is challenged or likely to be challenged needs a source, as do quotations, and the responsibility for finding a source lies with the person who adds or restores the material."

"Reliable sources are credible published materials with a reliable publication process; their authors are generally regarded as trustworthy, or are authoritative in relation to the subject at hand."

"Wikipedia welcomes material written by scientists, scholars, and researchers, particularly material published by peer-reviewed journals. However, these may be outdated by more recent research, or may be controversial in the sense that there are alternative scholarly and non-scholarly treatments. Wikipedia articles should therefore ideally rely on all majority and significant-minority treatments of a topic, scholarly and non-scholarly, so long as the sources are reliable." Pez1103 17:21, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

No, I'm saying we should concentrate on more authoritative sources first. The key from your quote above is "significant views". Obviously the more significant the view is, the more it should contribute to the article. A quote from an encyclopedia that "many expert parasitologists, medical entomologists and other microbiologists have in fact carefully examined fibers and other materials expressed or extracted from such patients and found that biological organisms are not present", should be given vastly more weight than a news report that a Tulsa Police investigator was unable to identify some fibers. Herd of Swine 17:42, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The tulsa police investigator is a forensic scientist. He is a fiber expert. He has more expertise regarding fibers than dermatologists. The opinions of parasitologists and medical entomologists are really only relevant if the fibers are known parasites or bugs. I would like to see the reports of microbiologists -- because the ones looking at this now are finding things. The fact that people "carefully examined fibers and other materials expressed or extracted from such patients and found that biological organisms are not present" does not mean that this is DOP. The fibers could be bacterial, they could be fungal. They could be a by-product of an infectious process. It seems like the scientist are looking at this too narrowly.Pez1103 18:03, 1 August 2007 (UTC)


Does it give the primary sources for," However it is certainly true that in fact many expert parasitologists, medical entomologists and other microbiologists have in fact carefully examined fibers and other materials expressed or extracted from such patients and found that biological organisms are not present."
It was discussed and determined this assumption rests on letters to the editor which were not good sources (I had nothing to do with it), "The entity appears to be little more than a new designation for DP. Koblenzer and Waddell and Burke have discussed the utility of the term, with Murase et al finding the term useful for building a therapeutic alliance with patients with DP."
This is being used in the article now," "Most dermatologists deny the disease exists, saying the people who claim to suffer from it have either common skin illnesses or psychological disorders such as delusional parasitosis, in which people become irrationally convinced that they harbor parasites.", And "There really is no scientific basis at this point to believe that this is real," says Stephen Stone, president of the American Academy of Dermatology. Many patients with symptoms similar to Morgellons respond well to antipsychotics, Stone says. But "admittedly, there are some that did not. I guess you have to keep an open mind to the possibility that something is going on." Ward20 18:14, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
As I mentioned above, I spoke with the director of the Bohart Museum and asked what their fibers studies consist of. He said that they look at them with their eyes, or they look at them with a microscope. This type of study reveals nothing about the actual composition of the fibers. I forwarded him the Tulsa forensic scientist findings and he said that they would reach out to them for more information. I asked if they would be willing to have a materials scientist analyze the fibers -- they have never done this before. It's a shame that more thorough analysis has not been done sooner -- especially when you are looking at a potential epidemic. Pez1103 18:19, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

removeal of some CDC text in lead

the CDC's role is already established in the lead. The details below are explained in the body and should be deleted in the lead.

A CDC task force first met in June 2006 to plan an epidemiologic investigation into Morgellons, and as of June, 2007 a study protocol was being developed.[5][6][2]

contradictory fiber reports

Pez has objected to a lack of discussion regarding the inclusion of the recent report by Stricker, Savely and Vitovsky that states that Morgellons fibers contain bacterial cellulose. This report is on the MRF's own website, and you can verify the citation yourself [11]. That this is directly contradicted by the report on the fibers by Ahmed Kalani, ALSO on the MRF's website [12], is significant, and bears mention. Is that what you are objecting to? That one MRF research team says it's bacterial, and another says that bacteria have been ruled out? And that BOTH of these hypotheses contradict Haverty's and Wymore's analyses, which both exclude cellulose and fungal hyphae from consideration? They represent at least three incompatible hypotheses regarding the nature of Morgellons fibers, all proposed by MRF researchers, and all of these hypotheses appear in the links at the bottom of this webpage. Either all of the MRF reports are valid citations, or all of them are not - you can't have it both ways - and since they are in direct contradiction, this needs to be made clear to readers. That what NPOV demands. Dyanega 23:20, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm just trying to get the facts straight. There was some research that indicated that the fibers may be cellulose. I can't find the site, because it has been deleted. Based on that preliminary finding, S and S asked Citovsky (an agro expert) to check for agrobacterium since agrobacterium produces cellulose fibers in plants. Citovsky checked 5 samples and found agro in each. He asked for a NIH grant to continue this work, and it was denied. Kalani's preliminary research led him to hypothosize that it was not bacteria, but fungus or a parasite. I'm not sure what you are referring to in terms of Wymore. I am not aware of his preliminary findings; maybe you can direct me to them. These are both preliminary findings. Wymore and Kalani strongly believe that the fibers are indicative of an infectious disease. Citovsky has never said one way or another that I am aware of. I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. Citovsky has not said that agro causes Morgellons. In order to prove cause and effect they would have to use teh "Koch's hypothesis" (i think it's called something like that) where you inject rabbits with agro to see if they produce morgellons symptoms. Agro has also been found in people who are immuniocompromised, so this finding may just be coincidental -- it may just prove that people with Morgellons have developed compromised immune systems. Either way, none of these scientist are drawing the conclusion that the disease is psychological Pez1103 01:35, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that Citovsky found cellulose. He said that there was a report that the fibers may contain cellulose. That report used to be in the article, until you took it out. Citovsky just checked for agro. (Let me know if you've found something else) Citovsky is hardly an "MRF researcher." The foundation provided him with start up funding to do some preliminary research. Citovsky is a professor and an agro researcher -- he's published many articles on agrobacterium. Pez1103 10:26, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
What do you mean "you don't think he found cellulose"??? READ THE REPORT. It says specifically: "Morgellons skin fibers appear to contain cellulose. This observation indicates possible involvement of pathogenic Agrobacterium, which is known to produce cellulose fibers at infection sites within host tissues." They tested for Agrobacterium AFTER determining that there was cellulose in the fibers. Dyanega 15:59, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
This is from Citovsky: "Treatment for Morgellons disease remains problematic. Although some patients respond to antimicrobial therapy, many have inadequate responses and the optimal therapy for the disease is unknown. The development of effective therapy requires better knowledge of the nature of the putative infectious agent associated with the disease. That Morgellons fibers may contain cellulose raises an intriguing possibility of involvement of pathogenic Agrobacterium, which produces cellulose fibers in the infection sties within host tissues.

Agrobacterium is a soil pathogen that elicits neoplastic growths on many plant species. Although plants represent the natural hosts for Agrobacterium, this microorganism can also transform a wide range of other eukaryotic species, from fungi to human cells. Furthermore, inoculation with Agrobacterium may can cause teratoma-like growths in sea urchins. Our preliminary experiments also indicate the presence of Agrobacterium in tissue samples from two patients with Morgellons disease." This is not inconsistent with the idea that Morgellons may be caused by fungus, for example. No where does it say that Citovsky concluded that the fibers were cellulose. He never tested the fibers for cellulose -- he just tested them for agro.Pez1103 13:49, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I really don't see any inconsistencies. Haverty just said that fibers from different morg patients were similar to one another and probably caused by the same thing. Wymore just said that he found fibers under patients' skin. Citovsky said that he found agrobacterium in 5 samples. Kalani said that the preliminary analysis he's done has led him to tentatively conclude that they may be the result of fungus, algae or parasites. Pez1103 13:53, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
This must be some strange new use of the word "similar" that Haverty is using, perhaps "similar in their huge diversity"? Her report describes:
Red fibers 48.64 microns wide
Clear fibers 23.04 microns wide
Black fibers 28.16 microns wide
Clear slender fibers with prong like structures 7.68 microns wide
Red to red & black fibers with an internal structure that resembled ladder-like rungs, 17.92 microns wide
Clear fibers 12.8 microns to 20.48 microns wide
Blue fibers 15.36 microns wide
red fibers 15.36 to 17.92 microns wide
blue fibers 30.72 microns wide
clear tubular fibers 7.68 microns wide
clear ribbon-like fibers 15.36 microns wide
black fibers 12.8 microns wide
blue fibers 23.04 microns wide (some of which were ribbon-like)
clear fibers 15.36 microns wide
large clear fibers 33.28 microns wide
brown fibers with ladder-like rungs 12.8 microns wide
brown fibers with prong-like structures along the sides 3.84 to 10.24 microns wide
brown fibers with ladder-like rungs 33.28 microns wide

and then concludes:

"There were many similarities in fibers from all four individuals, both in size and color"(!!!?)
The range of fibers that Haverty is describing is the exact same range of fibers that are found in clothing, dust and laundry lint. Her observations suggest nothing suspicious.
Herd of Swine 15:04, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

It's been noted by many people that the fibers among morgellons sufferers are generally consistent. For example, the red and blue are always the EXACT same shade of red and blue. No one is finding orange or pink or purple, for example. The red and blue are generally flat, like ribbbons. The black and clear or white fibers are generally tubular. The Tulsa police said that they were not textile, not dust or lint. Haverty and the forensic scientists are experts.

Yes, the vast majority of lint fibers are red, blue, white and black. That's just the most common fiber colors you find in lint, nothing unusual there. Haverty describes a huge range of fibers (color, shape and size) and then says they are "similar". She also describes autofluorescence as if it is something unusual, when the majority of white fibers autofluoresce[13].
Haverty is also not an independent "expert" here, she started out a believer [14]
Jenny Haverty, a clinical microbiologist at Marin General Hospital, also believes the condition is real. Her adult daughter began noticing the fibers emerging from various parts of her body in 2003, but she has never had lesions.
"It's just disgusting," Haverty said. "It's all over her shower and her bedding. It's pretty frightening.
She is neither an expert, nor credible as an independent scientist. Her analysis is only notable in that it's the type of evidence the MRF presents.
Herd of Swine 15:35, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Let's review the inconsistencies, so you can appreciate how significant they are:

(1) Vitovsky found evidence of cellulose in the fibers - that is a FACT, according to the MRF's own report. (2) He found evidence of a bacterium that can produce cellulose in Morgellons patients - that is also a FACT, according to the MRF's own report. (3) Another MRF researcher, Kalani, SPECIFICALLY says ""Based on the structures that we observed microscopically from a number of Morgellons patients and the clinical profiles, we have reasons to believe that this organism is not a virus or bacteria." - That is a direct contradiction. (4) Kalani goes on to state that he believes it is a fungus - fungi do not contain cellulose, they contain chitin. (5) Wymore's lab analysis was that the fibers were of unknown composition, and would not combust; this is a direct contradiction of the finding that the fibers contain cellulose, which is the most common organic fiber on the planet, and highly combustible, AND it is likewise incompatible with the theory that the fibers are fungal for the same reason. (6) Haverty's report lists a host of different fiber types, as noted above, some of which might be compatible with Wymore's findings, but most of which are NOT either bacterial or fungal (e.g., those which are blue, red, black, and autofluorescing).

I'm going to ask you politely to stop deleting this information from the article. It is all equally verifiable, since it all uses the MRF's own reports. Do you believe the MRF's researchers are lying, or mistaken? Dyanega 15:59, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

You are incorrect on all counts. I'll make my comments in CAPS so that they are easy to see

(1) Vitovsky HIS NAME IS CITOVSKY found evidence of cellulose in the fibers - that is a FACT, according to the MRF's own report. IT SAYS THAT HE READ REPORTS THAT THEY WERE CELLULOSE.

That is not what it says, and you and I can both read plain English. Dyanega 17:44, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

IT WAS THIS REPORT THAT RESULTED IN S&S CONTACTING HIM TO CHECK FOR AGRO. HE CHECKED FOR AGRO. HE NEVER TESTED THE FIBERS FOR CELLULOSE. EMAIL HIM AND ASK HIM IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME. (2) He found evidence of a bacterium that can produce cellulose in Morgellons patients - that is also a FACT, according to the MRF's own report. HE FOUND EVIDENCE THAT AGRO CAN PRODUCE CELLULOSE IN PLANTS. HE FOUND AGRO IN MORGELLONS PATIENTS. HE SPECULATED THAT AGRO MAY BE INVOLVED IN THE ETILOGY OR PROGRESSION OF THE DISEASE. HE NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THE COMPOSITION OF THE FIBER -- HE DID NOT SAY THAT THEY CONTAIN CELLULOSE.

He wrote: "Morgellons skin fibers appear to contain cellulose. This observation indicates possible involvement of pathogenic Agrobacterium, which is known to produce cellulose fibers at infection sites within host tissues." The finding of cellulose came first, the testing came second. That is what the report says. Dyanega 17:44, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

(3) Another MRF researcher, Kalani, SPECIFICALLY says ""Based on the structures that we observed microscopically from a number of Morgellons patients and the clinical profiles, we have reasons to believe that this organism is not a virus or bacteria." - That is a direct contradiction. IT DOESN'T CONTRADICT ANYTHING, (BESIDES EVEN IF IT DID, WHICH IT DOESN'T, PRELIMINARY RESEARCH IS OFTEN CONTRADICTORY AND THIS DOESN'T DISCREDIT ALL THE RESEARCH. THE MRF WEBSITE SAYS OVER AND OVER THAT THE CAUSE OF THE DISEASE IS UNKNOWN AND ADDITIONAL RESEARCH IS NEEDED. THEY DON'T SAY THAT THEY HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS.)

If that's the case, then are you arguing that none of this research is credible? You can't have it both ways; if you wish to delete the Kalani reference as not being credible because it is preliminary, then Citovsky's report should also not be included, nor Wymore's, nor Haverty's. Dyanega 17:44, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

(4) Kalani goes on to state that he believes it is a fungus - fungi do not contain cellulose, they contain chitin. SO? (5) Wymore's lab analysis was that the fibers were of unknown composition, and would not combust; this is a direct contradiction of the finding that the fibers contain cellulose, which is the most common organic fiber on the planet, and highly combustible, AND it is likewise incompatible with the theory that the fibers are fungal for the same reason. MAYBE THEY CONTAIN CELLULOSE WITH SOMETHING ELSE, OR MAYBE THEY DON'T CONTAIN CELLULOSE AT ALL. NO ONE SAID THAT THEY ABSOLUTELY CONTAIN CELLULOSE.

Cellulose "with something else" would still give a positive test for cellulose, and that is not what the Tulsa Police found. Dyanega 17:44, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

(6) Haverty's report lists a host of different fiber types, as noted above, some of which might be compatible with Wymore's findings, but most of which are NOT either bacterial or fungal (e.g., those which are blue, red, black, and autofluorescing). ARE YOU SAYING THAT BLUE, BLACK, RED FIBERS CANNOT BE FUNGAL? WHAT IS YOUR BASIS FOR THIS? HOW DO YOU KNOW IT ISN'T A NEW FUNGUS? FUNGUS DOES AUTOFLOURESCE.

Chitin[15] and cellulose autofluoresce blue, not aqua, which is what Haverty reports. Chitin under visible light is translucent white, as are most fungal hyphae. The fruiting bodies of fungi (basidia, sclerotia, etc.) are typically what contain pigmentation, rather than the hyphae. Bacterial cellulose is not pigmented. Hyphae are septate, as well, and only a few of those fibers in Haverty's list, therefore, could possible be fungal hyphae.

THE INITIAL REPORT -- CAN YOU CITE IT PLEASE SO I CAN READ IT AGAIN -- SAYS THE FIBERS MAY CONTAIN CELLULOSE.

Citovsky does not cite any "initial report". Dyanega 17:44, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

WELL, MAYBE THEY DON'T. IT FURTHER STATED THAT ADDITIONAL RESEARCH WOULD BE NEEDED TO CONFIRM THESE FINDINGS.

These are all independent researchers, not MRF researchers. Some of them were given start up funding, but that doesn't make them MRF researchers.

Researchers who receive funding from the MRF are NOT independent. How could you possibly fail to understand something so simple as the word "independent"? FURTHERMORE, they are listed as members of the MRF's Scientifc Advisory Board, on the MRF's own website:

Douglas Buckner, Ph.D. Vitaly Citovsky, Ph.D. Kenneth A. Curr, Ph.D. Ahmed Kilani, Ph.D., MT( ASCP) Joseph A. Price, Ph.D. Cynthia A.Villarimo, Ph.D

These individuals are not "independent" - they are MRF Board members! Dyanega 17:44, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I added something to the article about the cellulose since you think it is so important. Please add the cite when you have a chance. Pez1103 16:49, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Emailing Citovsky would be a bit pointless, since it would constitute WP:OP, but a reading of the SUNY "Finding" does not suggest that Citovsky personally found Cellulose, however it states "Morgellons skin fibers appear to contain cellulose.". The "findings" is co-authored by Stricker*‾, VR Savely and A Zaltsman. The point is not who found cellulose, but that this particular source says that the fibers appear to contain cellulose. Cellulose gets mentioned a lot, so should also be mentioned in this article. Herd of Swine 17:20, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

The basis for the statement that the fibers consisted of cellulose came from the earlier report. Why do you keep deleting this earlier report whenever I try to add it back in, and instead try to attribute it to Citovsky? Pez1103 18:31, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Citovsky says: "That Morgellons fibers may contain cellulose ...." He didn't say that they do, he didn't say that he tested them and found that they do. The only thing he tested for was agrobacterium. It's very clear. Pez1103 18:51, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

It would be clearer if you did not paraphrase him and report it as a quote. The

SUNY findings to which his name is attached say: "Morgellons skin fibers appear to contain cellulose. This observation indicates possible involvement of pathogenic Agrobacterium, which is known to produce cellulose fibers at infection sites within host tissues.". You can either attribute it Citovsky, or to all the authors, or to SUNY. But that's what the Jan 14 2007 paper says. Herd of Swine 19:40, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Greg Smith submitting samples to the CDC

There was some dispute about the sentence:

This statement is at odds with a report in Time Magazine from a physician with Morgellons who attempted to send samples from his own body to the CDC, but stated that the agency "blew it off."

As noted in the Time article[16], the physician was Greg Smith, and he believes he has Morgellons, and he was sending "his own specimens". It should also be noted that at the time Smith had retired from practice due to "neurological and cognitive problems". Also at that time he was the "Medical Director" of the MRF, and his wife was the treasurer. [17]. Simply saying that the CDC "blew off" a physician who tried to send them samples does not tell the whole story. Herd of Swine 00:22, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

If you read the CDC page on the MRF site, the CDC states that it cannot accept samples from patients because only doctors know how to correctly collect samples. The fact that the samples came from his own body is irrelvant. He would still know, as a doctor, the proper way to collect them. Pez1103 00:25, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps it was because he was no longer a doctor, and was collecting samples from his own body? Why not have Stricker collect and send in samples? Or would he be disqualified because of his prior faked results? Surely there must be some doctor in the last four years who could have done it? Herd of Swine 00:37, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Most doctors consider Morgellons to be akin to Delusional parasitosis

Saying that most doctors consider Morgellons to be akin to delusional parasitosis is not arguing that it IS DP, it is just reporting what the opinions of the doctors are , and is backed up by the vast majority of the referenced material. You could easily have twenty articles that say the same thing, but it's better to pick one. Koblenzer works well as a source, but you could add countless others. Here's a list of some [18]. Here's eMedicine, which quotes Koblenzer: [19]:

Savely et al1 introduced the term morgellons disease to describe a type of infestation characterized by fibers attached to the skin. The entity appears to be little more than a new designation for DP. Koblenzer2 and Waddell and Burke3 have discussed the utility of the term, with Murase et al4 finding the term useful for building a therapeutic alliance with patients with DP. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently investigating Morgellon disease.5

Nature Medicine [User:Herd_of_Swine/nature]:

Most dermatologists deny the disease exists, saying the people who claim to suffer from it have either common skin illnesses or psychological disorders such as delusional parasitosis, in which people become irrationally convinced that they harbor parasites. In such disorders, people often have lesions, but those are caused by the patients' own scratching and picking.

I'm not tryting to push a POV - it's quite obvious that a majority of doctors agree with the above. Nearly every story about Morgellons describes it as an underdog struggle against DP. I just think that we should describe the story. Herd of Swine 15:20, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Kobl. was already removed as not being an appropriate site. Someone quoting an inappriopriate site, doesn't make it appropriate. Mayo Clinic doesn't see it the way that you are suggesting. I think that the vast majority of doctors have never heard of the disease at all. I would certainly hope a significant portion of medical profession would reserve judgement until there was research, at minimum until the CDC completes its study. The CDHS doesn't agree that it is delusional, or they wouldn't have invited the cdc in. The cdc does not assume it is delusional, or they wouldn't do the study. The mayo clinic site is the best source to describe the current situation. You already added most derms think it's delusional. Pez1103 15:30, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Herd - you are making bad faith edits by making major changes without discussing them and getting agreement first. Pez1103 15:38, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

This is a collaboration here. I think the source is appropriate. Nobody made a ruling, as you see to be suggesting.
I just want the article to reflect what is really going on. If you want I can line up twenty references that say most doctors treat Morgellons as DP. Heck, that's what Leitao, Savely, and Wymore say, that's what they are fighting against. If it were NOT the case, then what's the problem. Obviously your entire struggle is based on this DP diagnosis, with which you disagree. Herd of Swine 15:45, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
And in case you wish to argue that Wymore disagrees, here's a quote from Wymore - from the MRF website - regarding DoP: 5. Does everyone who thinks they have Morgellons Disease actually have it? Undoubtedly, the answer is no. There is no way to determine the percentage of self-reported registrants that actually have Morgellons Disease. Of the many thousands who have self-reported at the OSU web-based registration site we do not know whether 1% actually suffer from DOP or 90%. There's you star witness, admitting in front of the courtroom that HE THINKS it could be as much as 90% of Morgellons patients that actually have DoP. That's a pretty substantial degree of uncertainty, don't you think? Or are you now going to claim that Wymore is not a reliable source of opinion? Dyanega 16:09, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
why leave out the next sentence which says 97% of the people they saw had morgellons, not DOP? Looks like you are trying to distort what she is saying. Kb was in the article, Flysee took it out. Someone else quoting Kb doesn't belong either. Pez1103 16:30, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Of course Wymore thinks it's "Morgellons", that's what he does. The point here is that even Wymore would agree that most doctors treat Morgellons as if it is DP. He's been quoted many times discussing how the patients are "dismissed as delusional", Like [20] "Until recently, most of these patients have been grouped as a subset of the diagnosis of Delusions of Parasites". He even admits the evidence is against his observations:[21]
"Pathologists and dermatologists and lab reports [said] that these were textile fibers appearing in the skin of the sufferers. Now that's just not true, to be perfectly blunt about it," says Prof. Wymore.
Herd of Swine 17:05, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

But Dr. Casey discusses how she observed who pathologists make this determination -- just by eyeballing the fibers. They do not conduct any tests at all on the fibers. UC Davis confirmed this yesterday. Eyeballing fibers produces no meaningful information. Pez1103 17:52, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

That is a SIGNIFICANT criticism, given that Dr. Casey herself admits that her examination of fibers is also exclusively by eyeball, without any tests (a dermatoscope is a VISUAL examination of the skin). Would you therefore agree that we should remove the section regarding Dr. Casey's opinions? Dyanega 18:11, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Casey is not making a determination as to the composition of the fibers. There is a distinction. The pathologists are supposedly trying to determine what they are composed of. Casey is observing that fibers are actually imbedded in the skin and underneath the skin, which confirms that they are not textile. Pez1103 18:29, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
But Wymore said "Pathologists and dermatologists and lab reports [said] that these were textile fibers appearing in the skin of the sufferers" Herd of Swine 18:43, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

New section on diseases which have initially been dismissed as psychological, which were later found to be infectious

I think that a new section about this issue would be relevant to this article. Pez1103 16:30, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Why? Should we then also have a section on causes of disease that we though to be real, and then were found not to be? Herd of Swine 17:08, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Do you know of any? Pez1103 17:46, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Uterus Ailment? Railroad Spine? Tooth Autoinoxication? Phrenology? Miasma? I think the point is well understood that science changes, medicine changes as out understanding of the world changes. But it changes based on evidence, and in this case (Morgellons), there is not enough evidence. You want to add a section to indicate that "it might be possible", well, of course it might. But just because the status of some other contested diseases changed, that does not give any more weight to your argument. The evidence is what will decide it. What's the evidence? A bunch of conflicting fiber analysis, and a few doctors on the MRF board who are 100% convinced, vs. thousands of dermatologists? Herd of Swine 18:41, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Show me the evidence that delusional parasitosis exists -- real evidence, not just doctors opinions. Pez1103 20:11, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
There are countless case studies that show people with DP symptoms, they are examined and nothing is found, they are treated with psychotropics, and they recover. Here's a few: [22]. It has been well described consistently for a hundred years. If you say there is no evidence of DP, then you might as well say there is no evidence of ANY psychological disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder for example, where's the evidence for that? What about Schizophrenia? Herd of Swine 20:24, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
"not just doctors opinions"? This is one of the most remarkable statements I've seen yet. Wikipedia is EXPLICITLY based on content that states what the authorities in a field have to say. This is a page about a presumed disease, and you now insist that doctors' opinions regarding it are not good enough to be included in the article. That is as blatant a violation of WP:NPOV as one can conceive. Just because you personally disagree with what doctors say does not mean you can edit Wikipedia to reflect your dissatisfaction with doctors. WP is not the place for personal grudges. Dyanega 21:04, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Morgellons Research Foundation

This is what wiki says now: The foundation raises public awareness of Morgellons via web and media campaigns; conducts letter writing campaigns to the U.S. Congress"; and, "is also committed to raising the funds required to research this medical mystery, and has funded three university research scientists thus far."

I don't think that this reflects the goals and objectives of the foundation. I quoted what the web says their priorities and concerns are. Pez1103 21:38, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

But you also work for them (the MRF), don't you? Herd of Swine 21:57, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Changes to the lead

I treid modifying the lead to this (converted refs to links):

"Morgellons" or "Morgellons disease," one name given to a controversial medical condition characterized by non-healing skin lesions associated with fiber-like structures. Patients also report fatigue, mental confusion, short term memory loss, joint pain, and changes in vision.[23] Morgellons is referred to as "unexplained dermopathy" (skin disease) by the CDC. The CDC indicates the etiology of this condition is unknown and there is insufficient information to determine if persons who identify themselves as having Morgellons have a common cause for their symptoms, share common risk factors, or are contagious.[24]

But was reverted. I modeled my changes after the Chronic fatigue syndrome page, which starts: "Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is one of several names given to a poorly understood, highly debilitating disorder". This sums things up nicely, points out the lack of understanding (or controversy in the Morgellons case), and briefly characterizes what it is (a "highly debilitating disorder"). The old Morgellons lead is a rather confusing list of symptoms taken directly from the CDC page, which does not really do a good job of describing the article. I would like the lead to be more like the above. Any objections, yays, or suggestions? Herd of Swine 21:49, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Should there also be a list of names? Morgellons, Morgellons Disease, Morgellons Syndrome, The Fiber Disease, Elliot's Disease, Neurocutaneous Syndrome and USPI seem to be the most common. Herd of Swine 21:53, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't agree. I think that the existing language - the CDC language -- offers the best, most recent description. Adding the other language just makes it more confusing and is unnecessary. Practically every single day you try to change the lead. Why? It reflects the CDC, it summarizes the article, it provides the most up to date information about the disease. Leave the intro alone. Nothing has changed. There is nothing happening that would necessate a daily, multi-daily change in the introduction Pez1103 23:11, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

It needs changing because it's a terrible lead. I'm trying to improve it as per Wikipedia:Lead section. The changes are to clarify it. The CDC language is an almost direct quote from the CDC page, which does not reflect the article as a whole, which is what the lead should do. I simplified the list of symptoms, and put back the emphasis on the fibers, which is what 905 of the articles on morgellons do. Simply quoting the CDC is highly misleading as a lead section. Unless there is agreement that lead needs to stay the way it is, then I think it should be changed. Anyone? Herd of Swine 23:16, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
For a more up-to-date source of information on the lead, I think we should use this article from the August 2007 edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry. [25]. Here's what they say about Morgellons:
A controversial phenomenon possibly related to delusions of parasitosis inspiring discussion and media attention is Morgellons’s disease. As in delusions of parasitosis, patients describe insects/parasites crawling on or under the skin, are convinced they are infested and contagious, and produce physical "evidence" of infestation. In particular, though, patients complain of fibers extruding from the skin; such particles produced for examination have been variously identified as cellulose, fibers with "autofluorescence," fuzz balls, specks, granules, Strongyloides stercoralis, Cryptococcus neoformans, "alternative cellular energy pigments," and various bacteria. In no case, however, has an infectious etiology for these mysterious symptoms been confirmed. Morgellons’s disease is largely regarded in the dermatology literature as a manifestation of delusions of parasitosis (and potentially a means of promoting patient rapport through destigmatization), despite the efforts of the Morgellons Research Foundation to promulgate an infectious rather than a neuropsychiatric etiology. Until a treatable infectious component is identified, patients can continue to be treated with neuroleptics—pimozide, risperidone, aripiprazole—which have been reportedly effective.
How about a lead that basically says all that? It's an up-to-date and authoritative source, peer reviewed, multiple authors. Herd of Swine 23:37, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
that is extremely biased and inaccuratePez1103 00:10, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
How so? Herd of Swine 00:56, 3 August 2007 (UTC)


It says that DOP is only "possibly related" to morgs. There is no evidence that it is related. the author is basing his comment on two letters to the editor derm journals. this is a dop article. it does not belong in the lead. it does not summarize the article. it just gives the dop perspective only, which is only one side of the wiki article. the lead already says that most derms think it's dop. this has been beaten to death. the CDC doesn't think its dop - they have said repeated that they are keeping an open mind. the CDHS doesn't think so -- they are concerned enough to ask the cdc to investigate. thousands of families don't think so -- they have been begging the cdc to investigate. Over 40 members of congress have been concerned enough to write the cdc and ask them to investigate. over a hundred doctors beleive that they have patients with the disease. The vast majority of the population have never heard of morgellons, so they don't think it's dop. Pez1103 08:16, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

But this article is peer reviewed. Herd of Swine 01:49, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I know that, but it doesn't belong in the lead. It is a peer reviewed article on DOP, it only mentions Morgellons incidentally. It doesn't summarize the wiki article -- just gives one perspective. It doesn't really say anything new either.Pez1103 07:17, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
It summarizes the situation very well. It seems ideal as a basis for the lead, and for the article as a whole. Herd of Swine 02:20, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

It summarizes just one perspective. It offers no evidence of anything -- just relies on two derm letters to the editor. There is no evidence that morg is dop. it ignores the majority of the wiki article. this position is already included in the intro. it will distort the article in the intro -- remove any nuetrality. force the reader to draw conclusions in conflict with other portions of the article. it doesn't belong in the intro. It also ignores the many other debilitating symptoms of morgellons. DOP doesn't produce neurological symptoms, it doesn't produce the lab abnormalities indicated, it doesn't result in a decline in vision, it doesn't produce fybromyalgia, and chronic fatige symptoms. DOP doesn't explain the findings of the tulsa police. it doesn't explain the presense of agro and presence of fibers underneath unbroken skin. DOP does not address so many important aspects of the article. [User:Pez1103|Pez1103]] 07:17, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

It seems quite neutral. It says "possibly related to delusions of parasitosis ", it also says "Morgellons’s disease is largely regarded in the dermatology literature as a manifestation of delusions of parasitosis", that's true, even handed, authoritative and up to date. What's the problem here. Is there any evidence of this decline in vision, lab results or anything else? Where exactly is this evidence? If there is no other evidence, then reports in peer-reviewed journals are the best basis for the article. Herd of Swine 05:16, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

We've all read the derm. lit. regarding Morgellons. it consists of five or six letters to the editor and one peer reviewed article by Savely.

There is evidence in a peer reviewed article of numerous, non skin related symptoms that DOP does not address. The Savely article mentions hair loss, teeth loss, neuro, fatigue, joint pain, etc, which DOP does not explain. The Savely article is based on observation of dozens of patients and collection of data from thousands of people who suffer from Morgellons.

I disagree with adding this quote to the intro because: 1) The new article relies solely on two "letters to the editor" for all of its statements about morgellons. 2) The new article certainly doesn't trump the existing lead which cites the cdc and mayo clinic articles, which are more authoritative and neutral and present all sides, not just the dop side. (The CDC has been studying the issue for at least a year to prepare for the study.) 3) The new article does not summarize the wiki article -- it just gives one of the three sides to the issue. It is a DOP article. Adding it to the intro would unduly bias the wiki article. 4) The existing lead already covers the the issues presented in the new article by saying that most derms believe it is DOP. The new article does not provide any new information that isn't already covered. Adding large chucks of text to replace what is already stated nicely in one sentence is an effort to provide undue weight to one side and eliminate the article's NPOV. Pez1103 07:17, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't think the quote should be added as is, there is far too much quoting already. It's just a good summary of the situation. You seem to be very selective in what sources you are willing to accept. So far you have dismissed Nature Medicine, the Atlas of Parasitology [26] and now The American Journal of Psychiatry, and instead prefer anecdotal reports from researchers funded by the MRF, an organization for which you work. You will need to make some compromises here. You do not own this article. Herd of Swine 14:52, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Emerging public health problem

This is important and belongs in the lead. It is a public health statement about the disease from the country's leading authority on emerging diseases. No one can say that Morgellons is DOP is the majority point of view -- it seems to be limited to "most dermatologists." No one can say that the belief that Morgellons may be other than psychological is "fringe." The CDC doesn't spend millions on some fringe theory. The CDC believes it is an emerging public health concern WITH SYSTEMIC SYMPTOMS.

http://www.fbo.gov/spg/HHS/CDCP/PGOA/Reference-Number-2007-Morgellons/Attachments.html

"Morgellons is an unexplained and debilitating condition that has emerged as a public health concern. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received an increased number of inquiries from the public, health care providers, public health officials, Congress, and the media regarding this condition. Persons who suffer from this condition report a range of coetaneous symptoms including crawling, biting and stinging sensations; granules, threads or black speck-like materials on or beneath the skin; and/or skin lesions (e.g., rashes or sores) and some sufferers also report systemic manifestations such as fatigue, mental confusion, short term memory loss, joint pain, and changes in vision. Moreover, some who suffer from this condition appear to have substantial morbidity and social dysfunction, which can include decreased work productivity or job loss, total disability, familial estrangement, divorce, loss of child custody, home abandonment, and suicidal ideation.

As of February 2007, approximately 10,000 families had registered with the Morgellon’s Research Foundation (MRF) and felt they or a family member met criteria for Morgellons as defined by the MRF. Of the U.S. families in the MRF registry, 24% reside in California with geographic clustering in the San Francisco metropolitan area.

The etiology of this condition is unknown, and the medical community has insufficient information to determine whether persons who identify themselves as having this condition have a common cause for their symptoms or share common risk factors. An epidemiologic investigation is needed to better characterize the clinical and epidemiologic features of this condition; to generate hypotheses about factors that may cause or contribute to sufferers’ symptoms; and to estimate the prevalence of the condition in the population; and to provide information to guide public health recommendations. A contractor is needed who can provide timely services to assist the CDC in the investigation of this emerging public health problem." Pez1103 10:53, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Here is the requested summary: The CDC calls "Morgellons "an unexplained and debilitating condition that has emerged as a public health concern." They describe the disease as follows: "Persons who suffer from this condition report a range of coetaneous symptoms including crawling, biting and stinging sensations; granules, threads or black speck-like materials on or beneath the skin; and/or skin lesions (e.g., rashes or sores) and some sufferers also report systemic manifestations such as fatigue, mental confusion, short term memory loss, joint pain, and changes in vision. Moreover, some who suffer from this condition appear to have substantial morbidity and social dysfunction, which can include decreased work productivity or job loss, total disability, familial estrangement, divorce, loss of child custody, home abandonment, and suicidal ideation. . . The etiology of this condition is unknown, and the medical community has insufficient information to determine whether persons who identify themselves as having this condition have a common cause for their symptoms or share common risk factors." They have begun an epidemiologic investigation to better characterize this "emerging public health problem." Pez1103 13:26, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

You need to parse what the CDC is saying carefully. It is an emerging public health concern because people are REPORTING these symptoms, they REPORT systemic manifestation. They make extensive use of the health care system without insurance coverage, so it's a public health concern. If they actually though there was some rapidly spreading infectious disease, do you think they would wait two years before doing anything? They are investigating this because of advocates like you, who spend all day calling Senator's offices [27] until they get sick of you calling and they write the CDC just to stop you calling, and writing hundreds of letters [28]. The evidence does not justify an investigation, but they will hopefully still get something useful out of it. Right now they are just being political. The summary above just says "People are reporting these symptoms, and we don't know why", they really add nothing - there are symptoms, there is no explanation. Many authoritative sources HAVE expressed opinions as to why, and that will be reflected in the article.Herd of Swine 15:09, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Wow! what a lot of assumptions! Didn't you notice that they say that they have been contacted by health officials and physicians? You need to be careful not to distort what the CDC says. They are very clear. Morgellons disease IS an unexplained and debilitating condition that has emerged as a public health concern -- that's what it says. The quotes are very important to prevent distorting the facts of what they actually say. Pez1103 16:01, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
DOP does NOT explain the SYSTEMIC symptoms of Morgellons disease. DOP doesn't cause vision loss, joint pain, etc. Yesterday, you asked me what source I had to show that these other symptoms exist -- how about the leading health authority in the country -- the CDC. Sounds less like DOP every day. Pez1103 16:03, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Lead (again)

We need to say what the disease/syndrome/(?) is (my first paragraph) before we state current events (CDC "study" or RFQ). We can discuss the details of the quotes (which are not from that web page, see my tag) separately, but the "what it is" paragraph must come first. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 16:03, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I did add "reports of" to the CDC section; that part is based on others' interpretation of the documents which I can't read at the moment, and are not exactly at the specified web page. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 16:07, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, you *must* say what it is before you say why it is important. I do think that Pez1103 has it wrong in this instance. Can you not say "Morgellons is a name given to a medical condition, the causes of which are disputed." ... or something like that ... and then go on from there? --Tagishsimon (talk)

The first paragraph clearly states what Morgellons is according to the leading health authority in the nation. the second paragraph says others perceptions of it. I think everyone should be happy wiht the existing order Pez1103 16:25, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I think it's terrible. The article is not about what the CDC is currently saying about Morgellons, the article is about the subject of Morgellons as a whole. More accurate would be something like:
Morgellons is one name given to an unusual and controversial set of symptoms, most notably characterized by non-healing skin lesions and fibers found in and on the skin, as well as a host of other physical and neurological symptoms similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The medical literature generally equates Morgellons with forms of delusional parasitosis, some doctors associated with the Morgellons Research Foundation advocacy group promote the possibility that Morgellons has a non-psychiatric origin. The CDC is currently investigating the clinical and epidemiological features of persons who have reported themselves as having Morgellons.
How about that? Herd of Swine 16:38, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I think it's terrible. It ignores the most significant facts in the article. Pez1103 16:40, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

What facts does it ignore? Why don't I incorporate this new lead, and you can add the facts that you feel are missing. Herd of Swine 16:46, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
If you change the intro - it will be a bad faith edit. We really need an abritrator. I don't know why you think that your opinion superceeds that of the CDC. There is no basis to change the intro other than that it doesn't support your position that Morgellons is DOP. Pez1103 17:00, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Your behavior is not acceptable -- you cannot keep changing cited material without consensus. You should be blocked. Pez1103 17:12, 3 August 2007 (UTC)


Absolutely wrong. The CDC paragraph, as written, does not belong in the lead, at all. (It's also clearly not correctly cited.) You, on the other hand, are near a WP:3RR violation. (I'm heading off on the road, so I won't be able to report it.) — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 17:14, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Pez it seems there is a consensus for the changes to the lead, as only you personally are against it. Please remember this is a community of editors, and no one editor has the right to impose their version of events on an article. Feel free to add what you feel is missing, but understand other editor may disagree as to notability and appropriateness. Herd of Swine 17:31, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
You all believe in the DOP theory adn distort the article according. The article does not follow wiki NPOV rules. Pez1103 18:29, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Additional changes to the lead without getting input from anyone with an opposing point will be deemed to be vandalism. You are changing cited material from THE LEADING AUTHORITY IN THE USA on newly emerging diseases to further your own agenda. Pez1103 18:36, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
No one CARES whether an editor has a viewpoint one way or the other - the viewpoints of editors ARE NOT what matters, and we already HAVE your viewpoint. It is irrelevant - what matters is what the authorities say, and to date they say that there are no patients with Morgellons whose symptoms cannot be explained by any of a number of medical conditions already known to the medical community. Just because you have been diagnosed with DoP does not mean that every Morgellons sufferer has been diagnosed with DoP - many have other medical problems, known and treatable. These people can use a source of information that is FREE of your personal bias and beliefs. You are tremendously mistaken in your warped idea of what NPOV means. You volunteer for the MRF and bombard public officials with mail to push your agenda - you are now pushing your agenda in this Wikipedia article. If you do not acknowledge this and change your behavior, you will face arbitration, and I can assure you the outcome will not be in your favor, given how many WP policies you have violated in just the last week. I'll also ask you the same thing I asked Ward: since you acknowledge that the CDC is "THE LEADING AUTHORITY IN THE USA", what will you do if they conclude that the medical community was correct all along, and that there is no new disease here? Will you then claim that the CDC knows nothing about Morgellons, and is not a reliable source of information? Dyanega 18:53, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Pez, we got input from you. There is no consensus that the lead should stay at your version, and everyone except you takes issue with you simply paraphrasing a single CDC statement (from a boilerplate RFQ document) as somehow encompassing the whole subject. I'm editing the lead to reflect the guidlines in Wikipedia:Lead section to summarize the article, describe what Morgellons is, and why it is interesting and important, and what the controversy is, and who the parties are - all in one concise paragraph. You continual reversions to your own personal version are not constructive, and possibly a violation of Wikipedia:Three-revert rule. Instead you should make edits to the new version if you feel it is lacking in some way. Herd of Swine 19:23, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Herd - you are the one who is removing cited reference from the leading health authority and replacing it with your own language -- which is biased and lacking. Why should I have to work with your language when I can just work from what CDC stated two days ago? Why do you think your personal opinion superceeds the cdc? I can't imagine that you are making good faith edits. Reinstating cited material that never should have been deleted should not violate any rules. Your behavior constitutes vandalism. Pez1103 19:46, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

No, we are supposed to synthesize from multiple authoritative sources to make it informative and accessible. we SHOULD use our own language, so long as it reflects the sources. Simply quoting or paraphrasing the CDC for the WP:Lead section is not acceptable. It is simply a bloated list of reported symptoms and effects. The story of Morgellons is FAR more complex than a simple list, and the new lead [29] works far better. I did the original change, you reverted, rubin changed it back, you reverted, I changed again, you reverted. You need to work with us. The need for a better lead is obvious, and it seems everyone but you agrees on it. I would be happy to work with you if you could make some constructive suggestions. Herd of Swine 19:55, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Personal attacks

For several years, anyone who tries to edit this article who does not agree with the DOP party line is attacked, ganged up against and bullied. DOP is NOT the majority point of view any more. I've been accused of having a conflict of interest, but I believe that is true of the other editors. I am recording this because I want a record of the type of inappropriate behavior that is displayed on this board. Pez1103 21:29, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

It has nothing to do with whether editors agree or disagree with ANYTHING. That's exactly the point: WP editors are supposed to be NEUTRAL. The editors whose edits are not welcome here are only those who do not follow WP's guidelines. Have you ever read WP:NPOV? Have you read WP:SOAP? You are editing the article to make it conform to your personal viewpoint, and that of the organization you work for. It is one case where WP policy explicitly allows for personal information regarding an editor to be used as evidence against them. More to the point, you are yourself guilty of the very crime you accuse others of: you decided, today, to post personal attacks on Herd on multiple wiki pages - Herd of Swine keep deleting cited material from the country's leading authority to further his own agenda. He abuses everyone who disagrees with him. It's a nightmare to try to make the Morgellons article have a neutral point of view. The editors gang up on anyone who does not assume that it is delusional -- despite the fact that the CDC has called it an debilitating, emerging public health concern which warrants a multi million dollar investigation. People are dying of this disease and efforts via wikipedia to trivialize the disease HURT SICK CHILDREN AND ADULTS. It is morally reprehensible, and incredibly distructive. Anyone who tries to make the article balance is abused -- there entries destroyed without discussion -- weasel words added. Herd and his cohorts are wiki-bullies. Someone needs to monitor that site or eliminate the whole article. The CDC's response is, in fact, precisely what they are expected to do and say in cases of mass hysteria; your interpretation of their public statements is far from an objective assessment of the situation. Dyanega 22:29, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Message I received on my personal board and my response.

Conflict of Interest warning regarding Morgellons article

Information.svg Welcome to Wikipedia. If you are affiliated with some of the people, places or things you have written about on Wikipedia, you may have a conflict of interest. In keeping with Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy, edits where there is a conflict of interest, or where such a conflict might reasonably be inferred, are strongly discouraged. If you have a conflict of interest, you should avoid or exercise great caution when:

  1. editing or creating articles related to you, your organization, or its competitors, as well as projects and products they are involved with;
  2. participating in deletion discussions about articles related to your organization or its competitors; and
  3. linking to the Wikipedia article or website of your organization in other articles (see Wikipedia:Spam).

Please familiarize yourself with relevant policies and guidelines, especially those pertaining to neutral point of view, verifiability of information, and autobiographies.

For information on how to contribute to Wikipedia when you have a conflict of interest, please see our frequently asked questions for organizations. Thank you.

By way of clarification, here is a pertinent excerpt from WP:COI:

"Activities regarded by insiders as simply "getting the word out" may appear promotional or propagandistic to the outside world. If you edit articles while involved with organizations that engage in advocacy in that area, you may have a conflict of interest."

You are hereby being asked, politely, to refrain from any further editing of the Morgellons article; your position as a volunteer for this advocacy group is a conflict of interest, and in promoting this organization via Wikipedia you have repeatedly violated guidelines such as WP:NPOV (especially WP:UNDUE), WP:FRINGE, and WP:3RR. If you wish to continue contributing to the article, you need to familiarize yourself with these guidelines and learn to abide by them, in order to avoid administrative intervention. Dyanega 20:46, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

It is a violation of Wiki's rules to use someone's affiliations in an effort to attack them. You need to leave me alone.

I could say that herd has a conflict of interest because he runs www.morgellonswatch.com. I could say that you have a conflict of interest because you are an entomologist and have a vested interest in protecting the position that entomologists have taken over the years telling morgellons sufferers that they are delusional. Maybe you're afraid of a lawsuit when the truth come out. I have no conflict of interest. I'm trying to help people who are suffering and are being abandoned by the medical community.

Pez1103 21:23, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

There is no "DOP Party Line", I personally don't think that equating Morgellons with DOP is very useful, as there are generally many physical symptoms as well, and people are not aware of the secondary organic forms of DOP, or of the nature of neurotic excoriations, so it seems like they are saying "those lesions are all in your mind".
Bit that's all beside the point. Source after source indicates that medical opinion DOES consider Morgellons to be at least a form of DOP. This is reflected in every story about Morgellons. The point that needs to be in the article is just that.
Wikipedia cannot come out and say "Morgellons is DOP", but it can say, very accurately, "Most doctors consider Morgellons to be a form of Delusional Parasitosis" - because that's what all the literature says. There is no literature that says this is a minority viewpoint, or that the split is even close to even. Every source says that most doctors treat Morgellons like DOP. Herd of Swine 21:54, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
A review of your changes makes your DOP bias very obvious. DOP is NOT the majority point of view. The CDC does not believe it is DOP. The symptoms that the CDC described do not match DOP. If the leading health agency in the world believes it is an emerging public health concern, then I think that this trumps a few derms writing letters to the editor of a derm journal. DOP is incompatiable with Morgellons -- it doesn't explain the sytemic aspects of the disease. Pez1103 23:20, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
The CDC does not say what they believe. They simply list the symptoms that people are REPORTING, and say they don't know what the causes are, or even if there is a common cause. One possible cause is obviously DOP, but they don't say that, any more than they list any other cause. Article after article says that most doctors believe that Morgellons is similar to DOP. There are no known common system aspects other than the usual laundry list of ailments, which match hundreds of known illnesses. Non-DOP symptoms can be attributed to non-DOP illnesses. All sources agree that most doctors think that DOP is involved. Herd of Swine 23:51, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

question about morgellonswatch.com

In the discussion above, Pez1103 writes:

I could say that herd has a conflict of interest because he runs www.morgellonswatch.com.

I would like to ask directly, Herd of Swine, what is your relationship to that website? Is it your project or are you involved with it in any way?

Thank you in advance for clarifying. --Parsifal Hello 03:23, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

I run morgellonswatch.com in that I write posts and comments on it as "Margellons". I am not responsible for the contents of the other comments on the site. I try to write my articles, even on morgellonswatch, from a NPOV. I do NOT promote the view that Morgellons is "just delusion". In particular I point you to my recent post Morgellons is not a Delusion and the older posts Physical and/or Mental and Morgellons is not Delusions of Parasitosis. I do not mention or reference MW in the article because I wish to avoid COI. I do not promote MW via wikipedia. I only link to MW on the talk page when it is a convenient way of quoting restricted articles, such as the American Journal of Psychiatry.
MorgellonsWatch has no agenda other than "debunking", in the neutral sense of the word - meaning pointing out what aspects of Morgellons rest upon weak or non-existent evidence. I have no vested interest in any aspect of Morgellons. I am a retired computer programmer and I run MorgellonsWatch as a hobby out of personal interest. I have no personal or business contacts in the medical, pharmaceutical, entomological or public health worlds, or in any other domain that might raise a conflict of interest. I attempt to always write on Wikipedia using a neutral tone.
I have substantial knowledge of the subject, and I feel I can make valuable contributions to the article. If it is felt I might have some conflict of interest, then I welcome guidance as to how I might avoid this. I was involved in changing the lead from quotes from the CDC and Mayo to an overview of the article, but I did this in cooperation with several other editors. Since COI issue were raised recently, I have avoided making major changes to the article, and have been suggesting changes on the discussion page instead. I have made one major addition to the background section, but first suggested it on the discussion page, quoted three authoritative sources and got feedback from two other editors. I would be happy to continue editing in this style if it is agreed that an accusation of COI should preclude me from [Wikipedia:Be_bold being bold] in my edits. Herd of Swine 06:52, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your explanation. I did not intend my question to imply there is a problem. The editing procedure you listed in your last paragraph seems like an appropriately careful approach. I'm not sure that you are "precluded" from bold edits, but I do think that you are on the right track with letting others do the bold edits in this situation. With that understanding, I don't feel the need to continue to discuss your website, unless something changes and it becomes more of an issue later.
Your website is currently listed in the external links section of the article, but since the MRF website is listed also, that seems balanced and both links seem OK to me. --Parsifal Hello 19:29, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Undue emphasis on the CDC statement

This rather selective quote from the CDC was added at the top of the article, I moved it to the CDC section:

The CDC issued the following on August 1,2007: "Morgellons is an unexplained and debilitating condition that has emerged as a public health concern. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received an increased number of inquiries from the public, health care providers, public health officials, Congress, and the media regarding this condition." The CDC further calls this disease an "emerging public health problem."

The CDC did not "issue" anything, this is just part of the CDC's RFQ (Request for Quotations), where they simply give a description of the reported symptoms. Placing this at the top give the mistaken impression that this is some kind of press release, or health bulletin from the CDC. If anywhere, it belongs in the CDC section of the article, with a full explanation of its context. Herd of Swine 23:47, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I said and removed this a week or so ago, too. All the CDC stuff needs to be in the same place so people can make up their minds. You don't see the proponents putting the quote from the CDC spokesperson that Morgs being an infectious disease is 'unlikely' and a 'remote possibility' in the introduction.:) As it is now is good, at the mo the intro just says the CDC are conducting an investigation, with no other comments about it until the relevant section in the article. This is NPOV- charitable, actually.Merkinsmum 12:08, 4 August 2007 (UTC)


lead again

The paragraph from mayo clinic was there for weeks. It is properly cited and expresses the three viewpoints regarding morgellons. It was removed without discussion or concensus and replaced with a biased statement about DOP that exclude the other viewpoints. This is a bad faith edit bordering on vandalism. Pez1103 00:39, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

No, it was not removed. It was moved out of the lead into a different section where it was more appropriate. That's several times today you've assumed text was deleted when it was simply moved - are you even TRYING to cooperate any more, or are you just auto-reverting any edits anyone else makes? Dyanega 01:08, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Can we agree that blocks of text that simply paraphrase or quote other web sites (such as Mayo or CDC) have no place in the Lead Section? It's debatable that they be in the article at all, but certainly not in the lead. Such blocks are unnecessarily restrictive, and do not summarize the wikipedia article (since they are just extracts of other web pages). See Wikipedia:Lead section Herd of Swine 01:13, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
The lead section shouldn't have large quotes/blocks of text/summaries of the views of one org/website. It should be a summary of the main symptoms/arguments, in a good style. As it is now. A good piece of work.Merkinsmum 12:02, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I didn't realize that the text was moved because no one discussed this on the discussion page before making this change.

It is completely inaccurate that the medical literature predominately supports that Morgellons is delusional parasitosis. Pub Med has letters to the editor which we have been told cannot be used. It has the nature article which says that most derms believe it is DP. It has the savely article which says it is infectious. It has the new article which cites the letters to the editor which cannot be used. This is hardly predominate. The paragraph from mayo already says that most derms think it DP. Adding this language to the intro destroys any NPOV. This does not summarize the main symptoms well -- it forces someone to look up the symptoms of CFS. The list of symptoms from the CDC website summarizes the symptoms well. It was deleted in bad faith, with no discussion, for no reason and should be reinstated. Pez1103 12:38, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

The existing intro ignores the fact that the overwhelming majority of the medical profession has not concluded that morgellons is DOP. This includes: the california health department, the numerous health departments that contacted the cdc, the cdc itself, the hundreds of doctors who wrote the CDC, the over 100 doctors who wrote the MRF. The continued efforts to promote the DOP theorgy are bad faith edits. I gave a long list of reasons why replacing the CDC definition with your own biased version was inappropriate. You just did it anyway. There is no good faith effort at all. The fact that a disease which is considered a public health concern by the CDC with significant MORBIDITY is continuously minimized by a group of editors is indicative of the blantant predjudice and bias of these editors.Pez1103 14:30, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

This is the lead that should be reinstated. Referencing other diseases in the lead is sloppy and unnecessary.

"Morgellons" or "Morgellons disease," which is also referred to as "unexplained dermopathy" (skin disease) by the CDC, whose sufferers report cutaneous symptoms, including crawling, biting, and stinging sensations; granules, threads, or black speck-like materials on or beneath the skin; and/or skin lesions. Some also report fatigue, mental confusion, short term memory loss, joint pain, and changes in vision. The CDC indicates the etiology of Morgellons is unknown and there is insufficient information to determine if persons who identify themselves as having Morgellons have a common cause for their symptoms, share common risk factors, or are contagious.

That's not a good lead, all it does it take a list of symptoms and some quotes for the CDC page. The lead should describe the entire story, and the primary interest in this story is the contested causation. The CDC makes no statements as to a cause, and it's quite possible (probably, some would argue), that they will eventually find psychological origins of many of the problems of people who report they have Morgellons. That does not conflict with anything they are saying Herd of Swine 15:35, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
The cause is unknown. You are assuming you know the cause. 72.231.188.136 15:45, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
the mayo article lists your opinion regarding the cause. Since you beleive that it's essential to be in the lead, it added it back to the lead. I don't understand why it was removed from there in the first place since someone did this without any discussion. The first paragraph gives the symptoms of Morgellons without having someone rely on looking up the symptoms of DP or CFS. It gets rid of weasel words like "host" of other symptoms and the incorrect assumption that the majority of the medical profession believes it is dop. 16:37, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
It's been explain several times that blocks of text paraphrased from other web sites are not suitable for the lead. The lead should summarize all the relevant topics surround the subject, which is mainly characterized by the conflict. All the articles agree that most doctors treat Morgellons as DOP. (that does not mean it IS, but that's how they treat it). You can't just take quotes that seem to support the position of your own organization (the MRF) and say that's a good lead.
Let's try to work on smaller portions. The lead covers a lot of topics (as it should). What is missing? What individual statments need revising? Should we add something about advocacy groups and their PR efforts? Herd of Swine 17:03, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
The lead should describe the symptoms, according to earlier comments. A statement of teh symptoms is more appropriate rather than a list of symptoms that other diseases have that may be similar. The diabetes article doesn't reference other disease in the lead, for example. The positions regarding the medical profession's viewpoints are expressed in the mayo paragraph in a NPOV. Pez1103 17:22, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
The nature of diabetes is not contested. The contested causation is the majority of the story surrounding Morgellons. Just look at EVERY article about it, they all are basically about the dispute. That's why it's interesting. Herd of Swine 17:36, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

order of sections

The CDC section and the MRF sections should be rotated. The CDC is more important than the MRF to the article. It is also consistent with the lead which discusses the symptoms and the CDC before it discusses the MRF. Pez1103 16:42, 4 August 2007 (UTC)Pez1103 16:40, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Lead changes to describe the controversy.

I added to the lead the describe the controversy, with:

The medical literature frequently equates Morgellons with delusional parasitosis[2], but this is strongly contested by the Morgellons Research Foundation advocacy group.

It think that sums it up, "frequently equates" is true, and even handed, and more detail can be added in the body. Herd of Swine 17:14, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

It is also contested by the CDC. That would have to be added. The medical literature frequently equates the two is a gross overstatement. Three letters to the editor equated the two -- and they were banned from the article. I believe that you are making bad faith edits. I believe that you are using wiki to further the propaganda campaign that you maintain on your website. Pez1103 17:26, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

It is not contested by the CDC. They are just investigating it. As for "frequently equates", you've got Nature Medicine, eMedicine, The Atlas of Parasitology, The American Journal of Psychiatry, Psychiatric News, Archives of Dermatology, Perspectives In Psychiatric Care and the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. All either directly equate the two, or describe how most doctors equate the two. The arguments against ALL come from MRF board members (Harvey, Stricker, Leitao and Bransfield ). Herd of Swine 17:44, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

We don't need to say "unusual and controversial", the facts will speak for themselves. Is there a source that describes the condition as unusual and controversial? A condition can't be "controversial", conditions just exist. The definition of a condition might be controversial, or or claims as to the cause of the condition, but not the condition itself. Also, to claim "frequently equates", we need a source that says the equation is frequent. Or we could list 10 references that make the equation and then say "at least 10 sources equate the two". Sancho 18:03, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Here's a quote from the American Journal of Psychiatry, August 2007 (the most recent article in the Morgellons literature): [30]
"Morgellons’s disease is largely regarded in the dermatology literature as a manifestation of delusions of parasitosis (and potentially a means of promoting patient rapport through destigmatization), despite the efforts of the Morgellons Research Foundation to promulgate an infectious rather than a neuropsychiatric etiology."
Herd of Swine 18:09, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Okay, lets put that reference in front of frequently equated then. Also, what about changing "unusual" to "mysterious". That's the language that the Mayo Clinic article uses. I guess all diseases/conditions are unusual, as they're not the usual case of life. Mysterious better describes this I think. Sancho 18:11, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
"mysterious" seems a little imprecise, but I can't think of anything better. It does get described as "mysterious" in the media a lot, as well as the Mayo page. Herd of Swine 18:14, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I made the change and included the reference for frequently equated. Sancho 18:31, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
This "largely related" comment was based on references to two letters to the editor from two dermatologists. It was determined that these letters were unacceptable and could not be included in the article, therefore, someone using these letters to form an opinion does not belong in this article either User:Pez1103 72.231.188.136 21:10, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
We're not using the Journal article to form opinion, we're just reporting what the Journal article said: that "Morgellons’s disease is largely regarded in the dermatology literature as...". This has been accepted in the peer reviewed, reliable source: American Journal of Psychiatry. This isn't based on letters, it's straight from the text of the journal article at http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/164/8/1166 Sancho 21:18, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
CDC's position regarding Morgellons is the single most important part of the article and must be included in the lead. The CDC section must be included up front -- not relegated to the last section of the article.

I revised the lead to include the CDC's position -- they are not dismissing it as delusional.

Morgellons or Morgellons disease, is a name given to a mysterious condition characterized by non-healing skin lesions and fibers found in and on the skin, as well as several other physical and neurological symptoms similar to known medical conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,[1]. There is controversy regarding the nature of this condition. The medical literature has sometimes equated Morgellons with delusional parasitosis[2][3]; however, this presumption is being contested by the Centers for Disease Control, who has launched an investigation as a result of receiving an increased number of inquiries from the public, health care providers, public health officials, Congress, and the media regarding this condition. Morgellons has received coverage in the media, after first being brought to public attention by the Morgellons Research Foundation in 2004.User:Pez1103 —Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

The CDC is not dismissing it as delusion, nor are they challenging (the generally accepted assertion) that it is a delusion. They're investigating. The reason they are investigating, if that could be sourced, might also go in the lead. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 21:35, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
The involvement of the CDC is very interesting though, and could merit some discussion as to WHY they are investigating. Unfortunately there is not much information, the best I could find was from Psychology Today
It's very interesting that the investigation was essentially precipitated by the repeat calls from "irate people" (which includes, as she admits, Pez1103), and that the CDC is actually indicating that there is NOT any credible indication of an emerging problem. Herd of Swine 21:46, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Duplicate and spam links

On another topic, there are also a lot of duplicate links. If there are links already in the references section, they don't need to be in the "in the news" section. I also found some spam-ish links, including one to the MRF registration page. We should clean these up.Sancho 18:31, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Suggestions for background section

The background section (and maybe also the MRF section) is a bit sparse regarding the details of how Morgellons started. This is covered in many media stories, examples: Psychology Today, ABC and Pittsburgh Post. The story is fairly consistent, Mary Leitao had a 2 year-old son, he's sick, but Leitao is dissatisfied with the doctors diagnoses, she found bundles of fibers on his lip, and decided it's a new disease, she continues to be rebuffed by doctors, who now find "nothing wrong" with her son, Leitao is diagnosed with Munchausen's by Proxy, she starts the MRF, lots of people register. Perhaps a composite version of the story should be included as background? Herd of Swine 19:16, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Oooooh, I didn't know she'd been diagnosed with Munchausens by proxy, that would certainly be interesting to include.Merkinsmum 20:44, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
How is it possible that this information hasn't made it into the article? -- Fyslee/talk 21:16, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I've added it now. Note the Munchausens info also comes from Leitao herself [31]: "“They suggested that maybe I was neurotic,” Leitao said, “They said they were not interested in seeing him because I had Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.”" Herd of Swine 22:25, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

CDC citation

The most recent CDC statement (the RfQ) is difficult to cite - it a a document which must be downloaded - the link I use to access it is [32] but this link does not function when inserted into the article. The page the link appears on is [33] but this does not contain the text of the document itself. There is no question that the citation is legitimate, but the problem is a way to reference it. Dyanega 23:30, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

{{DOClink}} seems the appropriate addition to the actual cite. My Internet connection is unstable at the moment, or I'd do it myself. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 01:08, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

morgellonsusa.com should not be used as a source of medical information

I do not believe that http://www.morgellonsusa.com qualifies as a reliable source. As an activist website, I can see that it deserves a place somewhere in the references or external links, but I don't think it is correctly used as a reference for the current opening sentence (note 1 is a citation of a case definition at that web site):

Morgellons or Morgellons disease, is a name given to a mysterious condition characterized by non-healing skin lesions and fibers found in and on the skin, as well as several other physical and neurological symptoms similar to known medical conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,[1].

The Morgellons Research Foundation is not the kind of an entity that can create case definitions that we should be using in Wikipedia. Their attempt at a case definition is not published in a scientific journal and is not peer-reviewed. Also the phrase 'is a name given to' sounds like weasel wording. I believe that we should report medical facts only from scientific literature. We can collect allegations and editorial opinion from activist web sites, but I think the text of this article should be improved so that it only backs up medical claims using scientific sources. Newspapers can also be used as a source of allegations and opinions, but in my view they should not be cited as a source for medical facts. I would welcome comments from others on the issue of reworking the references. EdJohnston 23:41, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Are you confusing http://www.morgellonsusa.com with http://www.morgellons.com ? The former is a personal site of a single person who diagnosed themselves with Morgellons, the latter is the site of the Morgellons Research Foundation. I certainly agree http://www.morgellonsusa.com is not a reliable source.
The MRF though, is a big part of the story. I suppose it's more of a primary source, and we should use secondary sources where possible.
The language "is a name given to" was taken from the CFS page in an attempt to avoid some kind of declarative saying what Morgellons IS, (Like, Morgellons is a disease, or Morgellons is a Delusion), there is a lot of debate about what "it" is. There are also several names used, like the CDC's "unexplained dermopathy". Herd of Swine 23:48, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
There are a number of Morgellons sufferers and anti-science proponents who themselves read and edit this article, and the restriction of references to solely those from scientific literature is unacceptable to them, as can easily be seen from the talk page and article edit history. The owner of morgellonsusa.com is himself an editor of this page (see [34]), and, as seen from the recent edit wars with Pez1103 and Ward20, biased editors are capable of obstructing any attempts to follow or enforce WP:UNDUE, simply because they do not perceive themselves as belonging to the minority viewpoint, or think that the minority viewpoint deserves "equal weight". It is also unfortunately true that since Morgellons is, by definition, a fringe theory, the medical community has NOT yet produced many peer-reviewed works challenging it. Many of the citations required to demonstrate the nature of mainstream opinion are therefore NOT peer-reviewed works themselves. That being said, Herd of Swine has recently suggested adding a few recent peer-reviewed statements regarding mainstream opinion of Morgellons, which Pez1103 found unacceptable, but perhaps they need to be reconsidered for inclusion and given a prominent position in the article. Would it perhaps help to restructure the article to sections labeled "mainstream theory" and "alternative explanations" and simply point out which citations are from the scientific literature? Dyanega 00:13, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Those suggestions are kind of buried above, so I'll bring them down here:
August 2007 edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry. [35].
2007 Atlas of Human Parasitology [36]
EMedicine [37]
Herd of Swine 00:27, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Removal of Jenny Haverty?

I think the reference to Jenny Haverty should be removed. The "study" has not been published anywhere. She describes about ten different types of fibers of all shapes colors and sizes, and then concludes they are "so similar to each other other that the causative agent may be epidemiologically the same" - which is quoted in the article. She's also not independent [38]:

Jenny Haverty, a clinical microbiologist at Marin General Hospital, also believes the condition is real. Her adult daughter began noticing the fibers emerging from various parts of her body in 2003, but she has never had lesions. "It's just disgusting," Haverty said. "It's all over her shower and her bedding. It's pretty frightening.

Herd of Swine 00:12, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Haverty's findings are given by the MRF in their "research" listings, and it is highly significant that they contradict the findings from their other research teams, which only describe a single type of fiber (Wymore), and fibers inconsistent with Haverty's descriptions (Citovsky and Kalani). Insofar as letting the evidence speak for itself, I'm inclined to present all of the MRF's evidence so readers can see that the evidence is inconsistent even among their own researchers. Dyanega 00:20, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Morgellons as an "unidentified" condition

The Morgellons Research Foundation (MRF) is an advocacy group, not a neutral observer in search of the truth. Therefore its POV and the website cannot be considered or used as reliable sources. Right now significant portions of the article are linked to and quote them. They are significant players and deserve mention, but only as representatives of an advocacy POV, not as authoritative or reliable sources.

Why the mention of UFOs? Well, the MRF is similar to many believers in UFOs who are advocates rather than searchers for truth. The MRF advocates Morgellons as a physical and biological pathology, rather than trying to find out just what it is, regardless of the possible consequences of that discovery. This parallels the situation with many believers in UFOs who are absolutely certain that UFOs are visiting extraterrestrials, and they are thus unwilling to entertain the possibility that they might be mistaken or deluded.

The article needs to be gone through and all quotes and references from the MRF reduced and treated as advocacy POV. -- Fyslee/talk 08:10, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree, but I do fully expect that editors other than Pez1103 will insist that anything deleted now be re-inserted; if not immediately, then one by one over the coming months. The majority of these citations were Ward20's contributions, for example, often added one at a time, while mainstream citations were removed systematically, until the article is as it stands now - overwhelmingly composed of MRF citations. I'll give some thought as to how best to reduce it, but I think there will be significant resistance to outright deletion of all the existing citations. Dyanega 10:01, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, one can hope that such editors will learn from the fate of Pez1103 (now banned, including IPs) and be more careful about promotion and advocacy of the MRF agenda. It will not be tolerated at all. Any new editors or IPs should be watched closely as possible reappearances of Pez1103 in another guise. -- Fyslee/talk 10:12, 5 August 2007 (UTC)


(←)Excuse me, but having read the COI report about Pez1103, I saw that the administrator stated that he did not address the COI issue and that Pez was blocked specifically for making legal threats. There was no determination about advocacy at all.

Editors continuing to work on this article need to follow WP:CIVIL and WP:NPA as usual, and avoid making comments about an editor who is not able to respond in their own defense. There is no need to discuss editors as people; focus on the content of the article.

Also, your comparison of this situation to UFOs is throwing me off. I showed up here after noticing the editing conflicts reported on multiple noticeboards, and as an impartial third party have been reviewing the sources and trying to make sense of the situation.

All references used in any article should be based on reliable sources, so if an MRF reference is used, it's reasonable to review it and make sure it is based on a reliable source as well. If it's not, there could be grounds to remove it. But there are at least some PhDs and MDs quoted on that website and it's not automatic that they should be discounted just because of the website that quotes them. The research needs to be done to vet the source.

I'm sure you can make your point more effectively if you leave out the UFO comparisons.

I'm not saying that the MRF is correct - I am not making a judgment about that at all. But your UFO analogy could be somewhat insulting to the suffering people who have the Morgellons Syndrome (per CDC terminology). Whether the condition is physical or psychological, the pain and fear are real either way.

I respectfully request that you find a different way to express your concerns about the article so that you don't make their suffering worse by appearing to make fun of them, even though that was not your intention. A good place to start would be to re-edit the header to this section to remove the word UFO that shows up large. I know you will edit the article according to NPOV and Verifiability, and a dose of compassion would be a welcome addition. --Parsifal Hello

But I think Morgellons has been said to have some connection to aliens etc. A wikipedia article does not exist to compassionately humor believers with pity, but to neutrally present the facts.Merkinsmum 11:47, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I did not ask for the article to be limited to "humor believers with pity". If there is evidence with reliable sources that the condition has been associated with UFO believers, that would be acceptable to include in the article and should not be omitted out of pity, or to humor someone.
To be clear, I did not user either the words "humor" or "pity" at all. I used the word "compassion".
And, this is the talk page, not the article.
And, the UFO comment was not written as a topic for the article or based on references, it was written as an analogy.
So, here on the talk page, unless it is about a topic being discussed for inclusion in the article based on sources, yes,I do feel that compassion is warranted. Whether you think the people who are suffering from this condition are only "believers" or they have a are really "sick" or they have a psychological condition,... none of those views affect the fact that they are suffering from something. And in that respect, even though the article may have to include information they don't like to read, compassion is an appropriate consideration for us in our discussion. --Parsifal Hello 19:06, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

(←) As an aside from the rest of this discussion, I would like to express appreciation to Fyslee for modifying the heading of this section, thank you. --Parsifal Hello 19:06, 5 August 2007 (UTC)


This article now includes some sources in which PhDs and MDs are quoted, but in non-scientific publications, for instance the regular press or on the MRF website. I don't believe we should accept that such statements establish medical facts, unless those same people succeed in getting their work published in refereed journals. Otherwise those people will never have got their statements past a scientific peer review, and the quality of their data will never have been examined. EdJohnston 13:46, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I agree peer-reviewed are stronger references (and are preferred, though not required by WP:V#Sources). My comment was not intended to indicate we should accept a source just because it's a PhD or MD. That's why I included this part in what I wrote: The research needs to be done to vet the source.. The point of my comment about the references was just that they should not be assumed to be bad because they are listed on that particular website. If we can find peer-reviewed sources, we should use them. I'm not arguing in favor of any one source, I was arguing only against overly-quick prejudice against any particular quote from a source solely because the quote is listed on the MRF website. --Parsifal Hello 18:43, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree we should favor more authoritative sources. However the article also discusses the history of the creation of "Morgellons", the advocacy efforts of the MRF, and the media coverage. So non-scientific publications seem appropriate for those aspects. Caution should be exercised in referencing the MRF web site though, since it is an advocacy and funding organization, and the board members of the MRF are responsible for all of the literature that advocates the position that Morgellons is an infectious disease.
I can see some validity in the UFO analogy, and there are fringe elements that lump Morgellons in with general extreme conspiracy theory (search, for example, Morgellons and Chemtrails). But a better analogy would be other medical areas of contested causation, like Multiple chemical sensitivities Herd of Swine 15:19, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I concur that caution is advised in referencing the MRF website, but also, some of their references may be valid, so when there is a question about that, we should look deeper at who is making the statement. If they are connected to the organization, that can be noted when referring to the reference. A doctor or PhD unaffiliated with and simply quoted by the organization is a different kind of source than a doctor or PhD who is part of running the organization or who works for them full time --Parsifal Hello 19:06, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I think the examining of sources is also important when characterizing the scale the of the "division" of opinions in the medical community regarding Morgellons. If you search pubmed for morgellons, it returns eight results. Two of which are very supportive of the theory of Morgellons being an infectious disease. However both those were written by board members of the MRF. The literature is clearly "divided" into papers and letters written by the MRF board members (Leitao, Savely, Stricker, Harvey and Branfield), and everyone else. Five people vs. the medical establishment is not a "division". Herd of Swine 19:26, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
An earlier version said the fringes of morguellons speculators say that it comes from outer space. If we can find a ref that some people believe that, that would be interesting to include. But drawing an analogy, unless we have a citation of someone else drawing the same analogy (which might be easy to find) could be a form of O.R. (Not that I disagree with the point necessarily.)Merkinsmum 16:02, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Morgellons "disease" title?

I think the question of whether it's a "disease", "syndrome", or just a diagnosis, is a matter of bias, and we should use the most commonly used term, which is probably the unadorned word. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 13:57, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

The title change was made without any discussion at all! Private individuals like Mary Leitao who are not licensed medical authorities can't just name a disease and consider it to be recognized because they named it. In fact that is illegal in some countries because they are making a diagnosis, which is the sole prerogative of MDs in those countries. Until the WHO lists it as a recognized "disease", it should remain a "condition" or "syndrome" and the title should be reverted. It should not be addressed as a disease in the title or article unless from an authoritative source. Arthur, you're an admin. Could you do it please? -- Fyslee/talk 15:29, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, if you look at the medical literature [39], "Morgellons disease" is the most commonly used term, including in the three most recent authoritative sources I quoted above. I'd grown accustomed to using just "Morgellons", but it does actually seem like "Morgellons disease" might be better. Herd of Swine 15:36, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Controversial name changes are usually handled through the WP:RM process, which allows for a period of discussion and votes pro and con. Before we get started, has anyone done Google research on how this set of symptoms or proposed disease is usually referred to elsewhere? One of the criteria in WP:MOS is the most commonly-used name. EdJohnston 15:43, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, see above, [40]. "Mogellons disease" is by far the most common in the medical literature. Herd of Swine 15:47, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
It does seem controversial as according to one side of the argument, it's not a disease at all. But then I suppose even if Moruguellons isn't a disease, the sufferers are still suffering from a disease, just not a physically-caused one.Merkinsmum 15:56, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I moved the article to the title "Morgellons disease". A Pubmed search for "Morgellons" reveals eight articles, seven of which use "Morgellons disease". The other article uses the title "Morgellons: disease or delusions?". Axl 17:17, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I think the lead section makes it clear: "Morgellons disease is a name given by Mary Leitao to...". It doesn't claim that Morgellons disease is actually a condition, just a name given by somebody to describe a condition. This might be too subtle a difference, though. Perhaps the general reader will not pick up this distinction and the old article title is better? I'm neutral at this point as to the name change. I just wanted to give one possible reading. Sancho 17:22, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
If the title were about practically any other type of non-scientific matter, using the principle of "most common usage" would be fine, but this is another mattter entirely. Wikipedia is not in the business of naming diseases or supporting the private invention of such. Wikipedia should not be involved in such OR, but follow the official naming conventions established by the WHO, CDC, etc.. NOR means we follow, not precede. We don't make diagnoses by naming things as we wish. Where I live (Denmark) I (an authorized non-MD health professional) could get arrested for making such a diagnosis. (It wouldn't happen, but I could get in serious trouble. Only MDs are allowed to make diagnoses and officially name diseases, and that's how it should be.)
The fact that Leitao's and the MFR's publicity has caused their OR title to become used so widely is no justification for simply adopting it here. They are guilty of OR and we should not support it. Our position should not be to "by default" adopt their title, just because the medical community ignores it. That's why the medical community's terminology doesn't count very often in the statistical usage of the term. It is an ignored condition sponsored and very actively pushed by an activist minority, and therefore the minority position's unorthodox and unoffical title should not be given undue weight. When it gains sufficient attention in the official medical world, then Wikipedia can follow and we can change the title, but not before then.
PLEASE revert the title immediately. There was no discussion and it is certainly a controversial change. It was fine before. Search engines are going to pick up this change and it will give credence and support to the invention of myriad weird and unoffical names, thus supporting private individuals and quacks in the promotion of their ideas, organization, products, and methods. This is a slippery slope with potentially dangerous consequences that can cost lives in the other end. We need to be careful, and the NOR policy is designed to prevent things like this from happening. -- Fyslee/talk 05:30, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure about Mary Leitao being called out in the intro. Sure, she is the driving force behind Morgellons, but she's not the only person now who calls it that. Written as is looks a bit like a personal attack. I'm also not sure of the point of saying the Merck Manual (1997?) does not refer to something that was named in 2002. Herd of Swine 00:47, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Oh, I see the online Merck is much more up to date than I thought, with articles continually updated (Their delusional parasitosis page [41] was updated November 2005), okay. Herd of Swine 00:55, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
In keeping with the principles outlined in WP:LEAD, it is so important a fact that the name originates with a private, non-medical person, that it should be mentioned in the lead. It isn't a matter of calling her out, and if it can be worded better then please do so. It just needs to be mentioned immediately so people don't get the false impression that they are reading about a disease named and recognized (as is the normal procedure) by the medical community. That is not the case. This is one of many self-diagnosed conditions. -- Fyslee/talk 05:03, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I tend to side with Fyslee in this case; I see no problems with having "Morgllons Disease" acting as a redirect to Morgellons, as it had been since the article's inception. To use the word "disease" is to adopt a misleading non-medical classification, and I don't see why we have to follow the "most common" principle - we ARE free to override the recommendation, and I for one believe that is the most appropriate course. If the CDC had taken to calling it a disease, that would be different, perhaps, but given that they have decided to classify it as a "syndrome" I think we can invoke the use of "Morgellons" (with appropriate redirects to it) as a compromise position. It's worked this long, I see no reason not to keep it that way. Dyanega 17:05, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't object to using Morgellons disease as the name of the article, provided that Mary Leitao's name is kept high in the lead. That makes it clear that it is not widely recognized in the medical world; we are mostly reporting on the history of her effort to have it recognized as a real disease. EdJohnston 17:56, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I concur. Morgellons disease is the most used phrase for this condition. In any case, the article should not simply be titled "Morgellons" because that is not at all descriptive. Another option could be "Morgellons syndrome", but that is not used nearly as often as the more notable phrase "Morgellons disease". --Parsifal Hello 18:35, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

use of the word "promoting" re the MRF

I removed the word "promoting" from the following sentence and substituted "regarding". That change was reverted so I am bringing it up for discussion.

Here is the sentence:

The primary source of information promoting the theory that Morgellons is a distinct physical disease is the Morgellons Research Foundation

My goal is not to support one view or another, only to assure the NPOV of the article. In this case, "promoting" seems unsupported. The footnote shows that they are supporting research into the disease, but "promoting" is not part of their mission statement and does not appear in that reference. If there are no references showing that MRF is promoting anything other than scientific research, then the references should be added to that sentence, or the sentence should be clarified.

It would be fine to write something like this:

The primary source of information regarding the theory that Morgellons is a distinct physical disease is the Morgellons Research Foundation, and they are promoting scientific research to determine if this is correct and if so to find the cause.

That would be NPOV.

I have not yet reverted the change, but unless additional references are found to support the use of the word "promoting", that sentence should be made more neutral. --Parsifal Hello 18:29, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps: The primary source of information supporting the theory that Morgellons is a distinct physical disease in the Morgellons Research Foundation, and they are promoting scientific research to determine that this is correct and to find the cause. (Changes from Parsifal's suggestion in bold.) — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 18:42, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I concur with this change and welcome you to make the edit. Thanks. --Parsifal Hello 18:45, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure if "promoting" is the right word, but the MRF themselves describe their primary focus as one of raising public awareness of the disease via an extensive media campaign [42]

Herd of Swine 19:56, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree completely with Herd in this case; the MRF is quite explicit in their attempts to "promote public awareness", and the phrase "promoting the theory" is neutral and factual, and - in fact - crucial to maintaining NPOV, since whether or not anything the MRF puts forth actually constitutes "support" for their position is a matter of opinion! I feel it is essential to change this back. Dyanega 20:39, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
The quote you listed states that their goal is to "raise public awareness of the disease." I don't have any problem with stating that in the article. But that is quite different than the prior version of the article text that stated: "promoting the theory that Morgellons is a distinct physical disease".
They're not promoting the theory, they are promoting scientific research and raising public awareness. The NPOV version that Arthur Rubin suggested above fairly describes what the organization is doing. --Parsifal Hello 01:49, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Now you're quibbling, really - consider this: in order to "raise public awareness of the disease" they have to CALL IT A DISEASE. That is a theory, and by calling it a disease, they are promoting that theory. The medical community considers it to be several diseases all lumped together, and all of them known already. The MRF has not produced any information yet to "support" the theory, in the conventional sense of scientific, peer-reviewed evidence. The one peer-reviewed publication to the MRF's credit was an opinion piece, with no actual data or replicable study whatsoever. That does not constitute "support". Dyanega 03:30, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I did not use the word support. That was added by someone else. I used the word "regarding" about the MRF as a source of information, as you can see if you look at the first entry in this talk page section and check the completely NPOV version that I wrote. And I added that they are "promoting" research, to make sure it did not seem like I was saying they are sitting idly by on the sidelines, which they are not- they do have an agenda and I acknowledge that.
Your argmument about the "medical community" is a reification fallacy because it assumes that the medical community is a unified thing. There is no medical community, there are only many individuals of varying qualifications. Most of them at this time don't even know of the Morgellons condition. Of the small number of doctors and researchers who know about it, most consider it a form of DP, but not all agree about that, which is confirmed by references.
I have no agenda here other than keeping this neutral. I am not taking one side or the other. Subtle uses of language can make a big difference. You have not shown any references that the MRF is doing anything disingenuous so all of the words used in describing their actions should be carefully neutral.
No-one is arguing that they are not promoting investigation into the Morgellons condition, certainly they are. It's fine to say that in the article. But promoting research is different than promoting a forgone conclusion of that research. I've not seen any reliable sources that provide support for the viewpoint the MRF is doing that.
Here's a reliable source, then, from the article in American Journal of Psychology, quoted twice above, and cited THREE times within the article itself: Morgellons’s disease is largely regarded in the dermatology literature as a manifestation of delusions of parasitosis (and potentially a means of promoting patient rapport through destigmatization), despite the efforts of the Morgellons Research Foundation to promulgate an infectious rather than a neuropsychiatric etiology. This is NOT my own opinion; it is the opinion of people who work with such patients, and who are familiar with the MRF. Dyanega 05:54, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
As far as I can tell from the references I've read in the article and on Google - the MRF is trying to help the sufferers of this condition by supporting and yes, promoting, research to discover the cause and treatment of the condition.
The MRF repeatedly and explicitly has stated that it is an infectious disease; they treat this as a foregone conclusion, and are not seeking any treatments or pursuing any research into possible psychological causes. If there are Morgellons patients who are not suffering from a physical ailment, then the MRF's approach is not going to be very much help, and presenting their opinions as if they were facts is (1) not neutral, and (2) going to prevent those Morgellons sufferers whose problems are psychological from seeking the appropriate medical care. It is the job of responsible editors to see to it that all viewpoints are presented, but making it clear as to the credibility of the opinions represented, who is presenting them, and the distinctions between them. We are not here to tell readers who is right, who is wrong, or make judgments as to who is telling the truth - but we CAN tell readers enough background that they have an idea of the exact nature and degree of the controversy. Part of that is making it clear that the MRF and its adherents are in a tiny minority, as well, and this needs to be emphasized. Dyanega 05:54, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
What's wrong with that? I really don't understand why that bothers you so much. Why not just let it be and focus on finding out more facts about the condition for the article, based on reliable source references? --Parsifal Hello 03:51, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Part of what's wrong with it is that there is also little in the way of evidence that the MRF is trying to help the sufferers of this condition. Evidence of such help would be in the form of peer-reviewed scientific studies, or clinical research; it is their contention that they are trying to help, and they are welcome to say so, and we certainly can and should indicate in the article that this is what they say, but we, as editors, cannot take that as if it were a FACT, and we should therefore avoid any wording that implies such a thing. Dyanega 05:54, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
There are two things here. The MRF is promoting research into Morgellons, BUT they are also asserting very strongly that it is a "newly emerging infectious disease"[43], when there is no evidence to support this. Their research is not neutral, as they are strongly predisposed to discard any evidence of psychological factors. They even cast doubt on the existence of Delusions of Parasitosis - their case definitions seems to suggest that ALL cases of DP (not just Morgellons) might be attributable to an organic disease. Their media campaign seems focused on getting Morgellons recognized as a physical disease, rather than simply promoting research into the epidemiology and causes. Herd of Swine 04:46, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Presentation: A dermatologists opinion

Some possible reference material - a presentation made by a dermatology assistant professor from the University of Texas at a conference in Dec 2006. This link [44] goes to the original, which is in some web Media-Player format, tricky to view (use IE). This link [45] goes to the original powerpoint. It's a little irreverent, but very interesting to see the opinion of a working dermatologist. Interesting quote:

"I see scabs with fibers stuck to them all day. Most do not feel they have a syndrome…just fibers stuck to scabs."

The author, Jeffrey J. Meffert MD, is an editor on eMedicine, and has authored 15 dermatology papers on PubMed. Herd of Swine 05:02, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

I - and the other editors- know that you have an endless source of information like this from maintaining your debunking website. I see that you posted this same link on your website today. I am also are aware that many, maybe most, dermatologists don't consider Morgellons a physical condition. I've read the article on eMedicine and some of the others. They don't say it doesn't exist, they say they don't know, but they don't have evidence to prove it does exist, so they usually treat it as DP - for now.
But 10,000 people suffering from it believe that's wrong, and they are notable enough for there to be a CDC investigation and an article in Wikipedia. Maybe they are all suffering from DP. But maybe they're not.
An irreverent dermatologist does not change any of that. I still don't understand why it's so important to you, or any of the others here, to impose a particular viewpoint on the article.
It is not about imposing a viewpoint - it is about pointing out exactly what, in the way of expertise, credibility, and evidence, each viewpoint represents; the article as it stands gives undue weight to the fringe viewpoint, and discounts the mainstream viewpoint. If the article on schizophrenia were written to give "equal weight" to how schizophrenics personally view and describe their condition, then there would be an immediate and understandable outcry from the editors of that article. You ask what the problem is, and that is pretty much at the core of it. Dyanega 06:03, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you that fringe views should not have equal weight. But I don't see that happening in this article. It's a list of symptoms, it says the CDC is investigating, it describes an organization advocating that research be done, there's a prominent section about DP indicating that most doctors consider it to be a psychological condition, there's a background section that includes lots of quotes by doctors saying they don't believe it's an actual disease, and it has a section reporting on unproven theories and the researchers who have put them forth, with references, and without implying that any of it has been proven.
In the lead of the article, it clearly states that it's mostly regarded as DP. Multiple viewpoints are presented, with references. The mainstream is not being discounted. There are doctors and PhDs researching this condition at places like Stanford and Marin General and various other universities. I don't believe that Wikipedia editors are qualified to decide that those researchers are on the fringe. We can only report their work, if it's been reported elsewhere first. The article also mentions the UCLA medical center saying that they're not finding fibers in the skin. That's not undue weight. This article is nothing like an article about schizophrenia written by schizophrenics, that's a false analogy. The researchers quoted in this article are doctors or PhDs, not Morgellons sufferers. --Parsifal Hello 07:17, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
You need to consider two things: (1) the article as it stands now is quite different from how it was while Pez1103 was still editing it regularly; Pez was an admitted Morgellons sufferer, and the article when edited by Pez profoundly reflected the sufferers viewpoint - the analogy is not false. Just go back one week, to an August 1st edit such as [46] and you'll note that quite a bit has changed. Especially note how the dissenting mainstream opinions in the "Research" section in that version are deliberately counterpointed by fringe opinions which dismiss them; the ratio of mainstream to fringe quotations there is 3/8, and essentially still is (or, of the 54 lines of text, 44 refer to the MRF's findings). That's undue weight. (2) Some of the "researchers quoted in this article" are doctors or PhDs who are ALSO Morgellons sufferers (or who claim their children are): Mary Leitao, Greg Smith and Jenny Haverty are the ones who have declared it publicly, and Leitao is co-author of the only peer-reviewed MRF publication to date. It would not be surprising to discover that other MRF researchers are also sufferers. Dyanega 16:02, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Also, the symptoms are not all dermatological. There are all sorts of debilitating problems reported in association with the condition. Maybe they're real, or maybe they're psychological, or maybe they're coincidental.
It's a list of symptoms, and some number of people who believe they have a disease, and a mom who thinks her familiy is sick and started an organization, and a few doctors gathering information, and a CDC investigation. Eventually the science will get done and then we'll know the answer. In the meantime, what's the problem? --Parsifal Hello 05:33, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that there are a lot of very vulnerable people out there, and encouraging them to distrust their doctors (usually many doctors) is damaging to their health. I support the NPOV here, Pez was pushing the MRF POV, I was pushing the NPOV, which was to accurately report the majority opinion in the medical literature, and to place the claims of the MRF in context. Since I've been accused of COI, I've refrained from major edits. This link was just brought to my attention today, and I thought it might be useful, or at least interesting to the various editors here. What do you think the problem is? Herd of Swine 06:01, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for asking. I don't know what the problem is. I didn't intend my question as a rhetorical one, I meant it sincerely. As I said above, the level of emotional intensity in the discussion here is surprising to me. Now that Pez is not editing, it's easier to see that it was not as simple as an edit war instigated by Pez.
I do appreciate that you have refrained from major edits, and I think you're doing the right thing, all considered. I also recognize that you feel you are protecting gullible people with your website and that you mean well. You've shown more NPOV than I expected at first when I saw the COI discussion. But it's hard to be neutral when you have an agenda, even an admirable one in that your goal is to protect people. That's similar to why we need double-blind tests, in other words, one can't remove observer bias by "deciding" not to be affected by one's bias or to compensate for it; when we try to do that we are really good at fooling ourselves. Please don't take that personally, I meant it in general, not about you in particular.
What if - I'm not saying this is so, just posing the question - what if it really is a disease with a physical cause? If there were no MRF, no-one pushing the CDC to investigate, then it could be missed. [This comment continued below following the inter-threaded discussion --Parsifal Hello 08:50, 7 August 2007 (UTC)]
There are at least hundreds of qualified medical professionals who have had the opportunity to examine these patients, thousands if you assume that the condition did not spontaneously appear in 2002, and goes back any farther in time; according to the MRF, there are something like 10,000 of these patients - and we know that MANY of them have been to a dermatologist or two, or three. It seems to be stretching the imagination more than just a bit to think that all those dermatologists could have examined all those patients, encountered a new infectious skin disease, and NOT recognized it as something out of the ordinary. I rather suspect they are not really prone to "missing" things like mysterious black, blue, and red fibers embedded in the skin of patients who are covered in sores. The point is this: dermatologists HAVE examined these people, and concluded (without any documented exception) that they suffer from known conditions, some physical, some psychological, but nothing new or unusual or involving endogenous fibers. The article needs to state that this is the opinion of the people who are the experts on the subject, that there are some who have come forward and stated this, and that none of them have come forth to state otherwise. They are the reliable sources, and they deserve to be presented to the readers as such. Let me fire a question back at you: if this really were a new skin disease, wouldn't the dermatologists be the first ones to jump on the proverbial bandwagon, since they'd be in position to make ALL of the money from it - from seeing the patients, doing the research, writing the prescriptions, and such? Dyanega 08:05, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I started to answer your closing question, but after I saved a first version, I thought it was off track so I deleted it. If you're curious you can check the history, but I don't stand by that reply because it's a speculative question and I got diverted from discussing the article and what we can or can't support with WP:RS. If we were doing this as a voice conversation rather than a written debate about a Wikipedia article based on policies, the question would be an interesting one to discuss, and also my reply would have more dimensions than what started to write. So I'll move on to something I can answer that directly addresses the article:
The article needs to state that this is the opinion of the people who are the experts on the subject, that there are some who have come forward and stated this, and that none of them have come forth to state otherwise. - The article does state this, even in the lead, where it is written: . The medical literature largely regards Morgellons as being a manifestation of delusional parasitosis. and Neither the "International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems" (ICD) nor the Merck Manual list the condition in any manner. In the section on DP, there are around 11 or 12 references and only one of them is from an entomologist who believes the condition exists, all the other references there support the DP diagnosis. I could go on, there are many references like that in the article. When I read the article as a lay person, here is the impression I get:
  • Some people think there is a disease about fibers in the skin that has a collection of disturbing symptoms related to Chronic Fatigue syndrome and other mysterious conditions.
  • Most doctors think there is no such disease and that those patients have delusions.
  • An organization is supporting research about the condition
  • There are enough people complaining about it (around 10,000) that the CDC wants to see if it's real so they're doing some research
  • People with this condition are often diagnosed with various other conditions, like Lyme Disease or Scabies or Bipolar or Autism of all sorts of other things
  • There are a few doctors researching it who say they've found something unusual, but most say it's just lint or something like that
No-where in the article do I get the impression that a mysterious invader is on the rampage and we all need to worry about it (that would be the fringe approach). --Parsifal Hello 08:50, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Again, that is because we have had an opportunity to edit it over the last week. You'll note that the ICD and Merck references were not there a week ago, nor were the quotes now in the background section, which Pez had rejected for inclusion when they were first proposed. Also, the entomologist (a colleague of mine) who is quoted as believing the condition exists does NOT believe the condition exists - that's exactly the sort of bias that manipulative editing can create. In fact, that particular example highlights precisely the nature of the problem, if you can read the statements attributed to Fagerlund and come to the OPPOSITE conclusion regarding his true opinion. Dyanega 16:02, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
[...continued from above the inter-threaded comments] Mostly, this is a Wikipedia article, not a place where we determine if something is right or wrong, we just report. And we don't just report what we see, we report what we see that others have said. If you believe that MRF is harming people by encouraging them not to trust their doctors, you can write that on your website. But here, that can only be written if someone else has written it - someone who is a reliable source, for example a fact-checking newspaper uncovering a scandal, etc. But we need to abide by WP:NOR, ie, avoid original research, avoid assumptions or "synthesis" of facts into a new theory.
As far as why this particular topic has attracted so much heated debate, I'm stumped. It has one of the longest talk pages I've ever seen. I archived it today and was just amazed at the amount of discussion it's generated. --Parsifal Hello 07:05, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Almost all of it provoked by two or three editors who absolutely did not grasp what WP:NPOV actually means, and a mountain of argument, mostly futile, trying to get them to realize this. Dyanega 08:05, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Also, editors should remember that nobody is going to live, die, or be hurt because of the content of this article. (I've actually seen a few comments along these lines.) Editing with the belief that this article is that important is sure to contribute to heated debate. Sancho 16:58, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, there are potentially cases where it could be that important; a person who develop's Parkinson's and self-diagnoses themselves as having Morgellons might not seek appropriate medical attention if they believe that a doctor will diagnose them with DP. It's important that readers know that there are many other conditions which have symptoms that match those listed (e.g., the MRF symptoms list include "Gastrointestinal symptoms: dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux, swallowing difficulty, and bowel changes similar to IBS or Crohn’s disease.") That makes it all the more important to clarify that the mainstream opinion regarding sufferers is that there are other known PHYSICAL conditions, not just psychological ones, that people suffer from and call Morgellons, and that doctors, including dermatologists, recognize this and will make objective diagnoses. The thrust of Pez's edits was the mistaken contention that the ONLY explanation for Morgellons offered by the mainstream was DP, and that is simply not true, and it is potentially harmful to state this. Consider the insistence by Pez, once again, to remove the quotation which states: "Many dermatologists refute the suggestion that this is an actual disease but instead indicate that many of these patients have psychological problems or other common skin disorders". That quote makes it quite plain that DP is not the only explanation offered by dermatologists, but Pez has criticized it specifically on that basis. It is entirely possible for a Morgellons sufferer to see a doctor, and be diagnosed with a common skin disorder and NOT diagnosed with DP, and removal of quotes such as this will not be helpful. Dyanega 18:47, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

article seems OK as it is

In replying to the various comments above, I read through the article again, and I just thought I'd mention, it seems pretty much OK to me as it is now.

I recommend removing the disputed tag and letting it be for a while. If editors are willing to stop inserting small changes to sway the POV, it could be in a steady state for a while, and editors' time could be used for other topics.

The article as it is does not give a skewed view. Someone reading it would not assume the disease is "known" to be real, would think it's "probably DP", that there is a small chance that something strange is going on so it's good that the CDC is checking it out. That seems about right to me.

The various viewpoints are intertwined in the article and there are not major POV forks or bad style. There is a variety of references. Some of the external links would be better as inline references, but that's a minor detail. Overall, I think it would be a good thing to let it rest. --Parsifal Hello 09:43, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Replying to my own comment - it's clear from the lack of response to my suggestion, and the following discussion, that editors aren't happy with this article on either side of the fence. I still don't know why there's a fence at all... --Parsifal Hello 01:57, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm actually fairly happy, at least with the lead section, and most of the first three sections. The rest still needs some work - especially Morgellons#Theories_and_research, which is an impenetrable mess. I'm not sure how to approach that. Perhaps, given the section title, there should be more focus simply on the actual theories, and less on the minutia of the findings. Like, "Dr. Wymore collected fibers from clothing, carpet, and sporting goods in 4 states ... etc ", seems a little TMI for the article - simply "the fibers were unidentified" would convey the point? Herd of Swine 03:33, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the theories section needs more organization and trimming - my first thought would be to make a bulleted listing of the different researchers or "opinion sources" (however you want to view them), if only to make it a little easier to read; then work on trimming the content from there. Would that help? Dyanega 03:42, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Existing Bias in Intro and Backround

I appreciate that a neutral editor has reviewed the article and has made comments and additions. I respectfully disagree that the intro and background sections of the article reflect a NPOV for the following reasons:

I believe that recent changes to the Introduction and the Background do bias the article and are not consistent with NPOV.

Last week, the introduction consisted of a description of Morgellons which was based on information taken from the CDC website. This definition has been removed entirely from the article. It has been replaced with a statement that the disease is similar known diseases such as CFS. For one thing, this does not provide much information to the reader, who would have to go to the description of CFS to try to find that disease’s symptoms and then guess which apply to Morgellons and which do not. It also implies that the disease is not new at all, but a collection of existing conditions, which is contrary to the CDC's position and is part of the contraversy. “The medical literature largely regards Morgellons as a manifestation of DOP” is an overstatement. There is very little medical literature on the subject at all – five letters to the editor (3 pro DOP; 2 anti DOP) which have been determined by Flysee to be inappropriate to be included in the article, a peer reviewed article which says it is not DOP, a two articles which state that it is DOP. One of these articles which says it is DOP relies solely on two of the aforementioned letters to the editor.

Who does NOT believe that Morgellons is DOP? (1) The CDC which has described Morgellons as a “newly emerging public health concern,” (2) the California Health Dept who stated that the symptoms of Morgellons do not match any exisiting disease, infectious or otherwise, (3) the health officials and health care practitioners who contacted the CDC urging them to investigate. Pez1103 00:16, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

You might find it interesting to know - though this is based on a private communication, and thus cannot be included in the article - that the CDHS' comment regarding the statement "the patients appear to have a constellation of symptoms that do not fit any currently definable disease, infectious or otherwise" is (a) based solely on the list of symptoms listed by the MRF on the MRF website, and not based on examination of any patients (a point which did actually appear in the text of the letter, and is now correctly cited to indicate this), and (b) was intended to point out that there is no ONE disease which has all of those symptoms, though all of the symptoms are associated with other conditions. In other words, the CDHS assumes that Morgellons is several medical conditions all being lumped together under a single name, and the list of symptoms indicates this. Your intrepretation of that letter differs from that of the agency that wrote it. The point was also raised that the large number of cases clustered in San Francisco is apparently composed largely of patients who are being treated by or seeking consultation with Raphael Stricker and/or Ginger Savely, or whose knowledge of Morgellons (and self-diagnosis thereof) is based on awareness of Stricker & Savely's work there in San Francisco. The term "mass hysteria" was raised more than once, and it will be interesting to see if any health officials ever release a report along these lines. Mass hysteria would certainly qualify as a "public health concern". Dyanega 20:19, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
The duval county conclusion was based on a literature search and did not involve looking at the patients. According to the SF Chronicle, the disease is an epidemic in that area. Pez1103 00:16, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
This has nothing to do with Duval County. This is the letter from the CDHS to the MRF, as posted on the MRF website. Dyanega 03:18, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

The CDC definition of morgellons and their August 1 statement describe symptoms of Morgellons which are incompatible with DOP – not the least of which is the fact that they have received substantial reports of people DYING of Morgellons disease. Pez1103 00:16, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

The lead has been worked on by several editors, and the current lead works very well. I understand that you want to change it to extracts from the CDC and Mayo web sites, but this has been discussed extensively above, and I suggest again you read WP:Lead section.
You say "the fact that they [the CDC] have received substantial reports of people DYING of Morgellons disease.". That is entirely inaccurate. There are NO reports of anyone dying of "Morgellons", not even on the MRF web site. Perhaps you are confusing the word "morbidity" with "mortality".
Herd of Swine 15:04, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
You're right, I misspoke about the dying part. I think that the lead is only acceptable to those with a dop bias. There are still several symptoms incompatible with dop. Pez1103 00:16, 8 August 2007 (UTC)


There was no basis for removing the original language and I objected to having it changed and was ignored, my concerns not addressed and the change was made anyway. Before the recent changes were made, the second paragraph in the introduction was taken from the Mayo Clinic website and set forth the three prevailing views regarding the disease: (1) that it is infectious, (2) that it is an existing condition, or mental illness, and (3) reserving judgement until future research. This was removed and put in a later section. I think that this more accurately reflects the perceptions of the medical community regarding the disease. The existing language implies that the medical community as a whole believes it is DOP. That is inaccurate. Pez1103 00:16, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

It certainly would be inaccurate if that was what it said or implied. The medical community believes it is a number of different medical conditions, which includes, but is not limited to, DP. That is the way the article is phrased, and I don't see how it could be made any more explicit. Further, the Mayo Clinic page specifically indicates the MRF was a source for information for their page. I will note that there are other statements on the Mayo Clinic page besides the one cited that might also bear inclusion for purposes of balance: Be patient. Your doctor will likely look for known conditions that point to evidence-based treatments before considering a diagnosis of Morgellons disease. and Keep an open mind. Consider various causes for your signs and symptoms, and follow your doctor's recommendations for treatment — which may include long-term mental health therapy. Those statements indicate a position that Morgellons refers to a variety of different known medical conditions, and not just an infectious disease. Dyanega 20:45, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

The Background section is also biased. “In 2002, Mary Leitao's 2-year-old son developed sores under his lip and began to complain of "bugs". Leitao examined the sores and discovered "bundles of fibers" of various colors.” The use of the term “various colors” is not NPOV. Morgellons fibers are very specific colors – red, blue, black and white. The fibers are consistent in color, shade and texture among all Morgellons sufferers.

You have just made an unsourced claim that you cannot support, and that is contradicted by the MRF's own research. Of the four MRF self-published reports dealing with fiber analyses - Wymore's, Haverty's, Citovsky's, and Kilani's - only ONE of them (Haverty's) mentions the color of the fibers, and it lists no fewer than 20 different types of fibers, including "brown" ones and "red and black" ones (single fibers with both red and black in the same fiber), and has a sample size of FOUR patients, all from the San Francisco area. The one peer-reviewed paper produced by the MRF refers to the fibers as being blue and white in some patients, and black in others, with no mention of red, let alone all four types being present in all patients. None of these refer to the texture. Furthermore, not one citation, even from the MRF itself, says that ALL Morgellons sufferers exhibit fibers. Is there any reason why anyone here should not assume that you simply say whatever you think will support your arguments, even if it is indefensible? How can we assume that you are attempting to resolve the disputes here in good faith, given statements such as these? Dyanega 21:26, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
The psychology today article said that the fibers were black, red, blue and white. Wymore has stated that the fibers are generally black, red, blue and white and that the fibers are consistent among sufferers. Cut the personal attacks. (per the OSU website on morgellons)Pez1103 00:16, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I was not referring to the Psychology Today article - I was referring to the five reports on the MRF's "Research" page. I read very carefully through Wymore's statements there and he says nothing about the fibers being colored, nor do Kilani or Citovsky. If you believe Wymore has made such a statement, please give the citation. The PT article quotes Rhonda Casey, and she did not say that ALL Morgellons patients had red, blue, black, and white fibers, nor did she say that these were the ONLY colors she saw. The point remains: you said "The fibers are consistent in color, shade and texture among all Morgellons sufferers." - this is a statement that you cannot ever hope to support. An editor who makes such statements and then, when confronted with them, continues to try to defend the position, is one that has forfeited a certain degree of forgiveness. You insisted that a comment was biased, and wanted the article to be changed, and as your supporting evidence for making this change you MADE SOMETHING UP. You're violating the rules of editing, and I'm entitled to challenge bad faith edits, and entitled to question whether you are even willing to act in good faith. Dyanega 03:18, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I am acting in good faith and not making something up. Listen to the audio of wymore from an interview from the OSU cite. Pez1103 11:46, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

There is no cite for the quote: “Morgellons is not a widely recognized medical diagnosis, and sources other than the MRF consider Morgellons to be a variety of different known ailments:” The three quotes stating that Morgellons disease is DOP were removed from other sections and all added to the background section. Why? I think it was to bias the article toward the DOP perspective by putting them in the beginning of the article, before the August 1st statement by the CDC. They belong in the theories section or the DOP section where they were originally.

"In August , 2006, Nature Medicine correspondent Emma Marris, wrote in the journal: Most dermatologists deny the disease exists, saying the people who claim to suffer from it have either common skin illnesses or psychological disorders such as delusional parasitosis, in which people become irrationally convinced that they harbor parasites.[2]" This is a comment made by the reporter. Pez1103 00:16, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Indeed it is. You seem to have no problems with comments from reporters in all of the other citations in this article; and this one happens to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, rather than, say, a Mobile, Alabama TV station webpage. Why do you find this statement to be any less reliable? Dyanega 21:26, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

The article also includes statements by Wymore that he has found that Morgellons patients have masses of dark fibers visible at 60x magnification under the unbroken skin, while unaffected individuals do not. "That took away any possibility that this was not a real thing," Wymore says." This finding which is not DOP from this same article was stuck towards the end of the Morgellons article and there is no specific mention next to this statement to indicate that it is also from the Nature Medicine article.

The 2007 Atlas of Human Parasitology states: Within the past few years, individuals who often exhibit manifestations of what many consider to be delusional parasitosis have referred to their condition as Morgellons disease. ... Many dermatologists refute the suggestion that this is an actual disease but instead indicate that many of these patients have psychological problems or other common skin disorders.[14]

The basis for this conclusion regarding derms positions is based on the two letters (not peer reviewed) to the editor which it was determined that should not be included in the article. Pez1103 13:53, 7 August 2007 (UTC)Pez1103 00:16, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

That is yet another claim you cannot support. Where in the text of the Atlas of Human Parasitology entry on Morgellons do you see a reference to Koblenzer? You cannot make unsupported assumptions and personal interpretations and expect to have the article edited to reflect those. Now you're violating WP:NOR. Dyanega 21:26, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Read the article -- look at the referencesPez1103 00:16, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
It's not an article, it's a book. I believe you are thinking of a different reference. Dyanega 03:18, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
You're right -- it is the article on DOP that citest those two references. Pez1103 11:46, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Specific points:
The lead should describe the disease/syndrome/whatever, and the contraversy about it. The new CDC RFQ is news, but doesn't really say anything about the disease/syndrome/etc, itself, so it probably doesn't belong in the lead.
The RFQ from the CDC (which may or may not actually have been written by the CDC; the details are unclear — it might actually have been written by the GAO with some input by the CDC) is news, but it looks like a boilerplate description of investigation of an unknown syndrome. The CDC carefully avoided stating that they think it's a disease. It can be an "emerging public health problem" whether or not it has a physical carrier.
We have no reference to a paper which explicitly states that Morgellons is not (usually) DoP; your quote above seems to be out of context. And if the peer-reviewed paper is based on the letters, it's still peer-reviewed, which leans toward it being a WP:RS. That the Nature article includes a statement from an individual that it's not DoP may deserve comment, but omitting it is not a clear error.
Note: it's not omitted; it still appears, cited, in the Theories and research" section, which is what it describes. Dyanega 20:19, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
As for Morgellons not being a widely recognized diagnosis, it's absence from the two lists of diagnoses seems adequate support for the statement it's not recognized. I suppose it might be WP:SYN, though.
Arthur Rubin | (talk) 15:02, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
From Mayo [47] , line 3 : "Morgellons disease isn't widely recognized as a medical diagnosis".
Herd of Swine 15:06, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Arthur - I was stating that the CDC definition of Morgellons from the CDC WEBPAGE should be in the lead, not the definiton of from the RFQ. The exisiting language which points the reader to another disease is not helpful or descriptive, and it biases the reader by making one believe that Morgellons is an existing medical condition, and not a new disease. Pez1103 15:18, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Herd - you are right, I was confusing morbidity and mortality, tho you are incorrect that no one has died from Morgellons disease. Tom Dill of the Primetime special did die from morgellons disease. Pez1103 15:20, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
He died of ALS, according to his doctors. Herd of Swine 15:23, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Have you spoken to his doctors? The diagnosis was atypical ALS and I know someone who actually spoke to his doctor who said that the symptoms really did not fit ALS. Since his whole family all have morgellons symptoms, since tom dill was producing fibers from underneath his skin, one would reasonably conclude he had morgellons disease. Pez1103 15:29, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Pez1103, you're guessing that Dill had Morgellons. You are also guessing that Morgellons caused his death. Have you spoken to his doctors? Are you implying that his doctors told you that he died from from Morgellons? Axl 06:45, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
But what reliable source has made this conclusion? Sancho 15:33, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Regarding my comment: There is no cite for the quote: “Morgellons is not a widely recognized medical diagnosis, and sources other than the MRF consider Morgellons to be a variety of different known ailments:” Obviously I agree that Morgellons is not a widely recognized medical diagnosis. There is absolutely no basis for the second part of the sentence. The CDC, Congress, the health departments, the health professionals and public who contacted the CDC don't believe it is a variety of known ailments. It appears that the only ones who do believe it is true are "most dermatologists." 15:38, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
To summarize, the intro and background are not NPOV. The intro should state what morgellons is, not what it is like. The CDC website is the best, most unbiased source for that. The intro should not conclude that the medical community thinks it's DOP, since this is inaccurate.
The second part of the uncited sentence needs to come out and all the DOP quotes should go back to where they were before -- either the DOP section or the theory section. Pez1103 15:42, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
The intro references an article in the Journal of Psychiatry for the statement that Morgellons is largely regarded as a manifestation of DOP. Sancho 15:47, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Also, the second part of the sentence is just an introduction to a section that talks about and provides sources other than the MRF consider Morgellons to be a variety of different known ailments. The second part of the sentence, sources other than the MRF consider Morgellons to be a variety of different known ailments:, ends with a colon. It is introductory. It only claims that more than one source other than the MRF considers Morgellons to be a variety of different known ailments. Then, the article gives five examples of this. Sancho 15:55, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
How's about "sources other than the MRF consider that Morgellons may be a variety of different known ailments"? Because though the CDC are investigating morgs, that hardly means they admit there's anything too that "remote possibility" (in their words) that it's an infectious disease. They just have to investigate it due to the mass hysteria around it.Merkinsmum 21:55, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
The DP quotes do not belong in the background section. They belong in the DP section. To leave them where they are biases the article and are a clear violation of NPOV. Dan Rutz said that he didn't think that the disease was infectious -- that doesn't mean that they don't believe the disease is physical. Maybe they think it's an autoimmune disease. Infectious means caused by bacteria, virus, parasite or fungus. The CDC's August 1 statement does not indicate that they are initiating a multi million dollar investigation to placate anyone. The call it an emerging public health concern. Pez1103 00:05, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
See Morgellons#In_the_news, most of the stories about Morgellons discuss the delusion aspect of it. That has always been part of the story - the Morgellons background really IS the story of how the MRF seeks to show that it is not delusional. The quotes show what they are up against, and establish context for their actions. Perhaps there could be some more detailed exposition of the MRFs stance against DOP? Or maybe the section could be split into "mainstream medical response"? I'm unsure. Herd of Swine 00:32, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Calling this a mass hysteria, which Dan Rutz did not say, belittles the disease and the people suffering from it. This is a definate pattern in this discussion page, and a clear violation of wiki rules. Pez1103 00:18, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Rutz may not have said it, but lots of people have [48] It's quite valid to mention it on the talk page, and even in the article, given correct context. Herd of Swine 00:38, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
NPOV means you quote even people who you disagree with, and even if you find the things they say objectionable. There are people using the term in relation to Morgellons, and I expect it will be included in the article eventually. There are plenty of quotes in the article I find personally objectionable, but I haven't attempted to remove them - I've even ADDED some of them myself. Dyanega 03:18, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Ooooooh if sources have said it's mass hysteria, please add that to the article! My comment was just based on my own surmise, nice to know I'm not original lol.:)Merkinsmum 16:30, 8 August 2007 (UTC)