Protest WED 25 Jan 5:30pm Gresham College Holborn, London
WHEN: Wed 25 Jan 2006 Assemble 5:30 pm
Gresham College, Barnard's Inn Hall, London EC1
Nearest underground: Chancery Lane Stn. Buses 8, 17, 25, 45, 46, 242, 341, 501 and 521.
NCP Car Parks in Farringdon Rd and St Andrew St.
Wheelchair users: Buses 8, 25 and 242 are adapted for wheelchairs but please travel early to avoid rush hour. Consider bringing helper as travelling in central London can be quite hectic. Further information from Transport for London 0207 2221234. Also visit
Please note: if you are simply too ill to come, you may send instead a short essay explaining how Wessely’s theories have damaged your life – these will be on display outside the College. You do not need to give your real name. See below for details.
Professor Simon Wessely's name is known to the thousands of sufferers of chronic illnesses in Britain and abroad who have been hurt by his philosophy. A psychiatrist, for years Wessely has been the outspoken proponent of the view that chronic physical conditions such as Gulf War Illness, ME/chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, multiple chemical sensitivity and others are simply "all in the head" of the sufferer.
This view has received great support from the Government and from the Army, both here and in America. It has also been enthusiastically promoted by insurance companies and the Dept of Work and Pensions. Millions in public research funds have gone into the pockets of psychiatrists following the Wessely school of thought.
The result : seriously ill patients have been denied recognition and treatment, disability benefits and dignity. They have been ridiculed by doctors and vilified in the press.
Stigmatised by Wessely and his followers as malingerers, hypochondriacs, or simply "mad", sufferers of chronic physical illness have been left untreated for years, sometimes ending up paralysed, amnesic or even dying. Some commit suicide under the pressure of isolation and never-ending pain.
Providing no evidence base for his conclusions, Wessely nevertheless rides roughshod over published medical studies linking vaccine damage, chemical exposure , depleted uranium etc., with Gulf War Illness; toxic chemical exposure, viruses, Lyme disease bacteria, hormonal, genetic and other causes with fatiguing illnesses. He does not disprove the evidence of physical causes for these disease - he just ignores it.
Perhaps the most tragic consequences of all are to be seen in the children whose serious but difficult-to-diagnose physical illnesses are misinterpreted as "somatisation", "acting up", or even "mental illness", as a result of the dominance of Wessely's views. They may be ridiculed at school, taken out of the mainstream and placed in psychiatric units, told their symptoms are their own fault, forced to do exercises that are beyond them and which worsen their condition, and even taken into Local Authority care if their parents oppose a psychiatric treatment approach.
It is difficult to see how Prof. Wessely can be an objective commentator on chronic illnesses in veterans when his research on them has been funded by the MoD, American Dept of Defense and US Navy. He also works for NATO, currently chairing a committee on psychological responses to WMD. Moreover, the fact that he receives wide support from powerful insurance corporations such as UNUM, and sits on the board of Prisma, a multinational company administering "cognitive behavioural therapy" to patients surely call into question his suitability to decide whether chronic debilitating illnesses are “real” or not.. Recipients of this "therapy" are told they must re-educate their minds to believe that they do not really have pain or disability. To a sufferer of a physical illness, this is damaging and abusive.
On 25 January Wessely will address the public on the subject of "The Real Story of Gulf War Syndrome". Come and help us show the public the "Real Story of Simon Wessely". If you are too ill to come yourself, ask a friend or relative to attend on your behalf. If you have no one, please send in a brief (200 - 300 word) statement explaining how you have suffered as a result of the Wessely dogma. You do not need to give your real name – you may leave a pseudonym, initials etc. Photos are useful but only if you wish. We will mount all the stories on a display in front of the college where Wessely is due to speak, so they may be seen by the attendees, the public and the media.
Please email your stories, photos etc to:
For more info please contact Elena 07729 038 809