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Follow the Worms

Written by Huib, published Saturday September 16th, 2017

Last week it became clear how Dutch Child Protection Services falsely accuses parents of abusing their children. In a prior broadcast by this same high quality journalistic program, it was shown how at least 50 parents of children with Lyme Disease were also falsely accused of ‘Munchausen by Proxy’. This article discusses the connection between these accusations of child abuse and disputed diseases such as Lyme. 

Both news items together paint a very grim picture, especially as this happens in a country which many still consider as liberal and free thinking. The  last is reposted below and subtitled in English.

One would hope that such a drastic intervention as taking children away from their parents would be based on very solid and objective reasons. Yet simply the fact that the children with Lyme were too ill to go to school or that they were treated by specialists that CPS did not approve of, was enough.

According to several legal experts, the definition of child abuse in Dutch Law is overly broad and can therefore be easily misapplied. Two weeks absent from school? Mental abuse. Long term treatment for Lyme? Physical abuse. So sensitive to light and sound that an ill child with neuro-psychiatric symptoms needs to stay in a darkened room? Social abuse. And so on.

Child Protection Services (CPS) shows strong bias and in doing so are overstepping their mandates. Apparently they even offer career opportunities for those interested in researching for PhDs on ‘Munchausen by Proxy’ (MbP). Multiple parents with children under treatment for Lyme borreliosis are accused of MbP. It is evident the CPS use of this specific diagnoses is often fraudulent.

Reversal of blame

Nevertheless, their abuse of the power of the term has real consequences for the targeted parents and children. As documented in hundreds of cases, the fraudulent application of the term MbP has traumatized them.

According to renowned American psychiatrist Robert Bransfield, author of multiple scientific articles who has treated and testified in such cases, “disagreements regarding diagnosis and/or treatment in medicine are common. However when organizations who hold a particular opinion on a medical issue accuse those with different opinions of creating fictitious disease (Munchausen’s or Munchausen’s by proxy), they are misusing diagnostic criteria, the power of the state and loopholes in the law.

The proper diagnosis of fictitious disease requires proof of actual contrived illness, such as injecting a toxic substance to create illness. An improper accusation that parents are creating a fictitious disease, when it is instead a medical disagreement, constitutes a contrived and fictitious diagnosis of fictitious disease and is an organized and institutionalized form of child abuse.” He encountered one actual case of MbP during his forty year career.

Statistical bias supports governmental practices and policies that also result in many sick children and adults being denied access to medical care for medical conditions such as ME or Lyme. As discussed in the prior article, the actual number of cases of child abuse seems highly overreported. At the same time, numbers of people and children suffering from little understood or structurally marginalised diseases such as ME / CFS or Lyme Disease are most likely underreported.

MRS / DSEMAD syndrome

There seems to be a general tendency of mainstream medical doctors to blame patients or parents for something beyond their own understanding. This tendency is not new. Freud came up with the word ‘hysteria‘ some time ago and doctors happily adopted it to reason away their own failure to treat people with emergent complex health issues successfully.

In 1980, hysteria was relabeled as ‘conversion disorder’, now it’s mostly called ‘Medically Unexplained Symptoms’ (MUS) and soon it seems to be renamed to either ‘Functional Disorders‘ or to ALPIM; the novel ‘Anxiety and Affective Spectrum Disorder of Mind and Body’. The latter encompasses all four categories of ‘non specific‘ complaints most prevelant with Lyme.

Historical examples of stereotyping and marginalisation by this catastrophical kind of thinking in medicine are MS (‘fakers disease’), stomach ulcers (‘stress’), AIDS (the 4H club) and ME (‘yuppie flu’). Currently it is focused on chronic or persistent Lyme (“it doesn’t exist, so it’s all in your head“).

So it does not take much imagination to understand how this bizarre thinking, which is also considered ‘expert proof’ in court, combined with the frenzy of organisations such as CPS to ‘do good’ while using any means available to ‘win’, leads to hidden injustice and misery of unknown proportions.

I just made up the name MRS (‘Medical Reversal Syndrome’), but one could also rightfully call this the ‘deadly side-effects of medical arrogance and dogma’ syndrome: DSEMAD.

Friday the thirteenth scenarios

After the incident of Friday January 13, 2017, when nine government officials took a 15 year old ill girl away from her parents, I fortunately got in touch with the BVIKZ. They are set up as an independant organisation to defend the rights of parents with children who need intensive care.

The CPS ‘trust doctor’ Worm was actually involved in a similar case, in which I tried to help a mother of a child with Lyme in January 2016. Because of this experience, I stumbled upon the many problems of parents of Lyme children encounter with CPS.

Although the BVIKZ never knew Lyme was such a social problem, within two months after our first meeting already 30% of their case load was Lyme-related. This connection was followed by two interviews with both its chairman Vera Hooglugt and with Dutch top lawyer Richard Korver. They both have helped many ‘Lyme parents’, by representing them early in the bureaucratic process to prevent a law suit or in court if needed. Both mr. Korver and mr. Osinga also help parents to file complaints against CPS doctors.

In his Dutch interview mr. Korver explained me how the new diagnostic classification of PDF / FDP seems to provide extra security to the accused. ‘Munchausen by Proxy’ was then already replaced by Pediatric Diagnostic Falsification for the children and Fictitious Disorder by Proxy for the parents. So CPS still uses this outdated condition and a university even allows a PhD student to use an outdated construction?

A new interview with the BVIKZ will soon be published on the On Lyme Foundation’s website. In this interview I will specifically ask about the ‘give away’ that Worm let slip: any proof that indicates that the parents are innocent is made irrelevant. “We only base our conclusion on the diagnoses of the child”, she said in the recent broadcast.

Because to me Worm’s statement seems to mean: “we will isolate the child and manipulate it into producing the damning evidence we need to convict its parents and take it away”. As the broadcast clearly showed, even with five negative advices of psychiatrists, a mother can still be convicted. And with five procedures at the disciplinary board, a ‘trust doctor’ is allowed to continue as she did.

Those familiar with how the US government filled their prison system with people accused of ‘drug abuse’ – called the Mandatory Minimum Sentences – during the War on Drugs will have ringing alarm bells. Also back then children were actively ‘encouraged’ to report on their parents. Who were locked up for the rest of their lives, while the State took over custody of the children.

Another calculation error?

Ms. Worm’s frenzy to make her own research more credible and important by telling all Dutch Paediatricians about the ‘tip of the iceberg of MbP’ based on ‘sewage water injections’ (the last open sewer in the Netherlands, the channels in Amsterdam in which the houseboats emptied their toilets, was closed in 2013) reminds me of a former English colleague of hers. He managed to jail hundreds of parents with his MbP hunt, before he was caught out and forced to retire early. This is described in articles by both psychiatrist Sherr and medical research journalist Weintraub.

“One English mother caught in the frenzy, attorney Sally Clark, lost two children to sudden infant death syndrome in 1996 and 1997. After Roy Meadow testified that the chance of two such deaths was 73 million to one, Clark was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in jail. But Meadow’s calculations were wrong. He’d literally made mistakes in math [just like CPS director mr. Klijn did last week]. The correct statistic was 200 to one, a world of difference to the court.

When Clark won her appeal in 2003, it was as if the blinders came off in Great Britain. Excoriated for skewed statistics and the by-then discredited profile (mothers of genuinely sick children are often intensely involved in their children’s care), Meadow almost lost his medical license and soon after, retired.”

Sadly Clark died shortly after this final verdict, at age 42. Recently the BBC reported that a shocking 5,000 English parents of children with a ME diagnosis are now under suspicion of – again – ‘Munchausen by Proxy’. In Denmark children are simply locked up in mental institutions.

It makes me wonder. Why are people who cannot even do basic math still considered ‘experts’ and why are they holding these responsible positions?

Worm, Wormser & Wormest

Sometimes coincidence allows to connect both tragedy and dark comedy. The name of the paediatrician working towards her PhD in ‘Munchhausen by Proxy’ is Worm. Could Worm be somehow related to Dr. Gary Wormser? The same Wormser who is renowned for denying the persistense of Lyme infection and the pandemic spread of the disease, his attacks on peer-reviewed publications that counter his views and for nominating himself to a Nobel prize, for the special anti-science category “It’s all MUS!”.

Wormser was the lead author of the 2006 IDSA Lyme Guidelines, which were highlighted as a case study in ‘poor scientific practices’ by the American Institute of Medicine in 2011 (Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust in The National Academies Press; box 3.1) and which were subsequently taken from the National Guidelines Clearinghouse’s website for reliable guidelines.

Both the Worm and the Wormser appear to share common traits regarding bias to manipulate scientific and medical outcomes. According to Jenna Luche-Thayer, such practices show an affinity for human rights violations that can be monetized to their benefit – this is expressly forbidden under the universally accepted Availability, Accessibility, Acceptability, Quality (AAAQ) framework elaborating the rights to health. Jenna Luche-Thayer is is a former Senior Advisor to the United Nations and US government, with 32 years of human rights experience in 42 countries, and also founder of the Global Network on Institutional Discrimination.

So instead of only following the money to understand methods behind the madness, it might also be worthwhile to use Pink Floyd’s advice: “all you have to do is follow the Worms”.

Suggestions for parents

  • Don’t underestimate what others will do to ‘score and win’, and don’t make the very human mistake to use yourself as a reference for what others are capable of to get their way.
  • Don’t buy into the ‘if you are innocent, you have nothing to hide’ rhetoric. Anything you say will be used against you.
  • Get an insurance for legal costs asap and select one that provides you free choice of lawyer.
  • Make sure you understand your rights and keep a straight spine. Record every conversation and document everything.
  • Organise yourselves in a legal, independent structure like the BVIKZ did. Contact me if you need advice on how to do that.
  • Understand the basic ‘rules of engagement‘ before CPS come to knock on your door.
  • Watch the documentary I am Fishead to recognise corporate psychopathology and sociopathic structures. Some professionals working within the structures seem to be so caught up in their own urge to ‘do good’ and in their circulair reasoning to confirm their own beliefs, while lacking the empathic facilities to understand the consequences of their actions, that thousands of families may end up as ‘professional collateral damage’. The documentary also provides you with uplifting suggestions on what you can do to change things.

And a suggestion for lawyers: mr. Korver is now providing parents with a low cost service, in which they can build up a legal file upfront to be prepared for eventual attacks. You may want to consider setting this up in other countries.

Further reading

‘Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy and Lyme disease: medical misogyny or diagnostic mystery? V. Sherr. 2005

Munchausen: Unusual Suspects. Pamela Weintraub. Psychology Today

“It’s All In Your Head” An Incorrect Assumption Many Doctors Make. Robert Bransfield

Research concludes: not one single accusation of child abuse is valid. Interview with BVIKZ chairman Hooglugt

Interview with top attorney Korver about problems with Child Protective Services with children with Lyme


Huib Kraaijeveld, MA

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

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