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How to understand the absurdity of Lyme Disease guidelines?

Written by Huib, published Friday July 28th, 2017

Many people with persistent Lyme symptoms try reason and information to explain the bizarre politics, policies, misdiagnose and mistreatment of this controversial disease to their friends and family. But what if the situation is so absurd that it defies logic? Could satire do the trick better? An attempt.

‘Reuters’, July 2017: “DON’T PANIC: outbreak of burning cars explained by science”

Scientific automotive experts have reassured the general public that there is no need for any concern. Ongoing multiple outbreaks of spontaneous fires in cars are now scientifically explained as well as remedied by the use of evidence based innovative interventions.

After many cases of spontaneous incidents of burning cars have been reported in Europe, North America, Africa, Australia, China and even Russia, Car Owner Associations urged their national government to initiate ‘Car Burning Expert Centers’. This movement started around 1975.

So only 42 years later , which is a relatively short time considering the speed of scientific progress in general, these Centers have come up with a reassuring solution, purely based on scientific facts. According to these experts, nearly all reported fires can be explained by the ‘TUP’ syndrome.

This ‘Technically Unexplained Problem’ has now been found to not be a problem inherent to the car itself, but rather a somatic and previously undiagnosed disorder of the driver herself. It is indeed mostly found in female drivers and the syndrome is causing them to believe that their car is burning. Without any scientific evidence to support their subjective, anecdotical complaints.

A successful and evidence based solution has however been found to effectively remedy the perceived problem. Based on the premises that, since ‘where there is smoke, there is a fire’, the aim is to clear up the smoke and thus the whole problem altogether.

Wind machines 

The professors leading the Car Burning Expert Centers follow the strict international Guidelines to define, diagnose and treat this “fashionable phenomena”, as many car mechanics call it. The Guideline authors have followed strict logic to define the actual spontaneous combustion or rather the perception thereof:

“Car burning has been found, using ‘very blind lighter controlled studies’, to start from an ignited match. Following the acute fire, black smoke can be detected. By applying wind of moderate speed for 10-21 days, these smoke signs disappear in most cases of spontaneous car fires. Some 10-20% of the car owners report ‘subjective burning complaints’. It should be noted that this somatic perception of subjective burning sensations occurs in 15% of the general population. Spontaneous explosions are best prevented by avoiding matches, wearing a wetsuit while driving and by buying our patented moistening cream.” 

As fire is always followed by smoke, the main solution is focused at getting rid of it. Standard treatment of this problem therefore consists of two weeks of treatment with a wind machine, which blows away the smoke. “We find that this type of intervention is highly effective in 90% of the burning cars”, says professor Jehovius, leader of the Dutch Car Burning Expert Center in Amsterdam. So successful, that if drivers continue to believe their cars are still burning, the cars must be suffering from a ‘TUP’ syndrome.

“Well, if the smoke has cleared, technically there cannot be any fire”, explains Jehovius. “This is the definition of ‘Technically Unexplained Problem’. As cars don’t have any mental capacities, apart from their GPS, it must be a chronic need for attention of the drivers.” 

According to the World Automotive Organisation WAO), spontaneous car fires are a ‘problem of consequence’. According to an official 2006 statement, they state that ‘black smoke causes Climate Change, so it should be monitored internationally’. Yet somehow they forgot to update their ICCP (International Classification of Car Problems), which only include acute explosions and resulting damage to the front windscreen.

The BREAK trials 

In 2011 the prestigious English Automotive Journal ‘Exhaust Pipe’ published the BREAK trial. This research project was financed by 5 million euro of public funds. This was followed by the Dutch WTF studies, which concluded that six 6 weeks in the wind tunnel had no significant better effect on perceived burn injuries, and the DEFEAT prospect studies on the specificity of measuring heat as a predictive factor of both the existence as well as the duration of the continuous car burning.

The BREAK study’s main conclusions were that:

  • the main cause for perceived burn marks due to long term fires in cars were gender based and thus somatic in nature
  • the most effective treatment for these perceived subjective car burning was found to be ‘GET’: Get rEal Therapy

The “Give us a BREAK” committee had to use a FOI (Freedom of Information) request to get access to the raw data used for this much criticised study. It took five years to get the data. Not only did the Committee find that the research design was highly flawed (or even fraudulent, according to some advocates), they also concluded that conflicts of interests were not reported.

The researchers have set up the GET center for drivers with TUP syndromes and trademarked all the educational materials. On each and every website for cars, car parts, fire safety kits and driving lessons for women, Google Ads of their trademarked training as a GET therapist for $ 4,000 show up.

The (male) researchers were accused of gender bias, of over-interpretation (since only women were allowed in the research population) and of changing the success definition of the GET intervention during the research. By labeling the majority of the research population as ‘delusional’, their ongoing complaints and burn marks were categorised as ‘minor’ and their data were discarded as irrelevant. Only the answers of participants who conceded to agree that the incidence of absence of smoke was a perceptual issue only, were allowed to count as results.

The Committee finds it peculiar that the gender or mental state of the driver is chosen as the cause of the spontaneous ignitions, instead of acknowledging that their cars are actually still burning. Technically Explained or Not. The fact that GET was declared most successful was no surprise to the Committee, as no other interventions were compared in the study.

They are concerned that the automotive ‘powers that be’ seem to greet every new technical problem with the Pavlov reaction to blame it on the mental capacities of the drivers. Somehow, modern day drivers are suddenly supposed to so much yearn from endless attention of care mechanics, that they are supposed to set and keep their own car on fire in order to get it.

Regardless of these critical comments, the Exhaust Pipe has refused to even scrutinise or retract the articles of the BREAK trial, as was demanded in a continuous public uproar by seriously burnt car owners (both male and female).

Public protests

Towing their blackened and smouldering cars on a trailer or carrying pictures showing wreckages that have already been demolished, increasingly more car owners gather to protest in France, Canada, the USA, Poland and many other different countries. Facebook groups for mourning or angry former car owners are rampant. A Google search shows 3 million crowd fund campaigns to support repairs for damaged car paint or molten car parts, as only damaged windshields are covered by the car insurance.

Fiery advocates claim that the current case definition of a car fire is currently far too restricted and consist of a circular type of logic. “How can the fire be out, when the flames burned my crotch in the driver’s seat?”, one man exclaimed. “According to Jehovius, my car could not have burned anymore, in the absence of black smoke, so I could also not have sustained third degree burns. He measured the level of smoke while the wind machine was turned on at full speed! How is that for evidence based proof? 

Then he testified against me in court on behalf of my insurance company who refuses to pay for damages caused by the lingering fire. I tried to argue that molten tires, split car paint, cracked windows, broken axes, well basically a total loss, comprised of significant damage. But somehow the Guidelines have defined all damages apart from the windscreen as ‘minor’ and thus dismissible in court. When I tried to argue that my body has burn scars all over, Jehovius basically stated that because I am not female, my car could not have been perceived to be on fire. This beggars belief.”  

Thousands of other protestors, some still clinging to their fuming steering wheels, tell exactly this same story. Firefighters have joined them, claiming that their oath to protect public health is under threat. The firefighters claim that they are not allowed to do their job because of current legislation, but are pulled off the jobs while the flames still burn brightly. Some even lost family members to the fire.

Niki Lauda by Proxy

Some tell the story of how their driver’s licences have been revoked and how they had their smouldering cars taken away from them by force. “I spent all my saving on buying new cars, but they all burnt down”, a young woman in tears exclaims. “Instead of getting help, the law somehow allows the Ministry of Transportation to accuse me of damaging my own car. It was towed away for its own safety, according to the six Policemen who came to take it.”  

The attorney of the accused is fuming as much as her client’s car was. Apart from the fact that circumstantial evidence is used to assess what type of car repair is needed, apparently judges accept the fact that the blown away smoke is regarded as concrete evidence of the non-existence of fire. Based on this, the drivers are thus accused of the ‘Niki Lauda by Proxy’ syndrome. This syndrome explains why drivers set and keep their own car on fire, driven by a pathological need to get endless attention from (male) firemen or car mechanics. “So my client suddenly has psychic powers now?”, the lawyer asks the jury.

‘Niki Lauda by Proxy’ is derived from the Formula 1 driver who nearly burned to death in 1976, although he was never accused of fanning the flames for his own unconscious enjoyments. “These guidelines and laws are turning car mechanics into amateur psychologists! Which would be funny, if not for the fact that the judge accepts this insanity as ‘expert proof’. Why don’t they measure fire directly? Heat might be a better indication than smoke; especially if measured with the wind machine turned on.”, the exasperated lawyer exclaims after the hearing. 

Scientific consensus holds the strong opinion that this is debatable. If heat was the best measure of fire, the sun would not be made of plasma, is their reasoning. So, with the evidence literally blown away, the absence of smoke means the absence of fire in court.

Psychologists are now competing to finish the first phD thesis on the challenging subject of why a whole generation of female drivers is suddenly inclined to collectively yearn for male attention. Some suggest that this may be due to a World War 2 trauma showing up in the fourth generation, while biologists claim there could be a genetical reason.

Quacking mechanics 

While most leading car brands and insurance companies have adopted the ICCP codes, the dissident brand Tesla has educated its mechanics to broaden their scope and watch for possible causes of ongoing fires, rather than solely at the absence of smoke. Tesla offers fire extinguishers as an extra service to new visitors of the Experience Centers, especially if they own cars who still run on fuel.

They believe that the worldwide explosion of spontaneous and ongoing fires has another origin than the mental capacities or psychic supernormal abilities of the drivers. According to a Tesla spokeswoman, the cause may well be an infection of fossil fuels, which is used in most cars. “The fact that fires are uniquely reported in cars driving on fuel and in none of our electric cars, asks for a paradigm shift.” 

“If it quacks like a duck, it must be a quack!”, Jehovius retorts self-confidently. “The fact that Tesla has seen no instantly burning in their cars must be due to the fact that their clients are all rich and thus male. And if not, they may be all non-smokers. Yes, that makes sense, since they would not have matches!  Remind me that I need to start to write a paper on this, after our interview. 

Or else it is surely the PLACEBO effect that causes even the female drivers to BELIEVE that electric cars cannot spontaneously burst into fire. It is all in their head. Or they had some hitchhiker, who was a Loverboy. Loverboys are known to be hot; especially for women with ‘subjective burning sensations’.

Besides, it is a well established scientific fact that matches are significantly and causally related to fires. The fact that the Teslaeans dare to dispute the fact that matches are statistically proven to be the sole cause of ignition, should be called ‘Fake News’ and Tesla should get burned at the automotive stake. Or banished from Facebook, which is somewhat more modern, but socially just as effective.”  

In conclusion

According to Guidelines author Wormtongue, the current solution of windmachines is not only sufficient for getting rid of the fires, but also helping to Unchange the Climate. He feels that he is naturally entitled to obtain another multi-million dollar NIH grant and has also publicly argued that he actually deserves a Nobel Prize for Something. Accusations that he has vested interests have been settled outside of court and are thus dismissed as ‘rumours by disgruntled women with an unmet child wish’. Media articles have suggested a hormonal connection, by framing the victims as the ‘Smoldering Ovaries’.  

Governments have simply chosen to ignore this issue, because “Who would want to pay for the costs and admit that we have been wrong – with al the legal implications that admission would entail?”, as one unnamed government official eloquently put it. The only government measures taken are local counts of shattered windshields and how much money is being made in licensing the wind machines. The Centers for Disasters & Catastrophes (CDC) support the claim of professor Alan Steeringwheel, chairman of the Inflammable Driving Safety Association (IDSA), that spontaneous fires don’t occur that often. Well, at least not after he changed the definition of ‘fire’ as we knew it.

As for long term solutions, a freshly patented moistening cream will prevent for these incidents in the future, as promoted by the national ministries of Transportation: “As most fires in general are caused by matches, we have declared the War on Matches. Keeping the outer surface of the car wet, will prevent the match from igniting and start an acute fire. Without acute fires, women … pardon, car owners …. will no longer be – legally – able to believe that their car is still burning, after we blew away the smoke with our trade-marked wind machines.” 

Pre-orders for the moistening creams have been placed and new laws are being prepared to make it compulsory for every newly produced car. Tesla’s science team has however done critical studies and have found that not only does the moistener does nothing to prevent the fires, it is also found to create extreme rusting in cars that have not yet caught fire.

Car owners’ representatives have however appealed to the UN Special Rapporteur for the Human Right to Drive Normally and another SR for the Free Choice in Philosophy of Car Mechanics. According to them, Wormtongue’s gang can “make wind all they want, as long as they don’t obstruct fire fighters to do their job or allow insurance companies to dive from their responsibilities to pay for damages”. 

Back to reality

“BS is either bullshit or bad science” Jacque Fresco

Well, I think you got the point to show the actual absurdity of the current Lyme policies, ‘science’ and interventions. People who live in ‘Lyme Lands’ will have more easily gotten it than outsiders. I hope it gave a smile on their faces.

For those who wish to understand the connection to the actual reality far too many people live in now, I have made a Legenda. It also includes references to the gender bias in the medical world concerning anyone with ‘Unexplained Symptoms and the Loverboy link, which was an actual ‘medical’ diagnose to explain (away) Lyme carditis by a doctor in the Dutch Lyme Expertise Center.

This article was inspired by two interviews I did during this week for the blog of the On Lyme Foundation. The first was with Jenna on our work with the ICD codes of the World Health Organisation, which only acknowledge acute Lyme infection. The second was with Teike, a young Dutchman who is currenlty doing thorough research focused on the question if there is hope for Lyme patients, like himself. His treatment is not covered by his insurance, but his euthanasia is.

Next to these interviews I again heard so many mindboggling stories, that I decided to make this ‘theatre of the absurd’ style of article. You can also find these in the Legenda as a second post, as it may be easier to compare them in two screens or tabs.

Your turn

I had fun writing down this purposeful nonsense and I hope you had a good laugh about it. Can you like (below), rate (above, with the stars) and share this article on Social Media, in order for more people to get this information and some healthy sense of perspective?

What should be clear, is that a car can be replaced while your body cannot. So if this inspired you to get educated about Lyme, you can either read the short, free introduction booklet or dive into the whole Rabbit Hole and read ‘Shifting the Lyme Paradigm‘. It’s available as a Priceless edition, an altruistic construction that is maintained by readers’ generous donations.


Huib Kraaijeveld

Author of ‘Shifting the Lyme Paradigm‘, chairman of the On Lyme Foundation and founding member of the Ad Hoc Committee for Health Equity in ICD11 Borelliose Codes


* A reader’s reaction: “TUP is actually old English for, erm, the act of mating/intercourse. We are all tupped indeed, but maybe not for much longer.”

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drs. Huib Kraaijeveld

In: Blog Inspiration Lyme Nonsense Science

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