Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What we have here is... a failure to communicate 3

My third and final post about my recent correspondence with three leading figures who, in one way or another, represent mental health charities here in the UK.

This will be my last say on the matter - Seroxat Secrets is still digging and unearthing a plethora of information regarding this issue and as I have said previously, does a much better job than I.

My previous two posts should be read before continuing - (1) & (2)

To recap:

Amelia Mustapha, Dr Chris Manning and Jim Thomson were at some point working for the mental health charity Depression Alliance who, in the past have been chastised for accepting up to 80% of Pharmaceutical funding (see the Select Committee on Health Minutes of Evidence)

Depression Alliance have never spoke out against Seroxat despite the thousands of adverse reactions reported by patients.

It was Amelia who first brought my attention to the way Depression Alliance thinks with a post on her blog entitled ' Seroxat Turned Me Green' and then later another post entitled 'Taking the Devil's Money, Doing the Lord's Work'. Although she does not advocate the use of Seroxat, she dismisses those who speak out against it. Amelia and I entered into email correspondence but she called it a day when her name was mentioned on Seroxat Secrets. She never told me she was going to cease communication with me, that was left to her friend, Jim Thomson. Mr Thomson was later to inform me that Dr Chris Manning had also decided to stop communicating with me.

This leads me to believe that Jim Thomson was copied in on my correspondence with Amelia Mustapha and Chris Manning although this cannot be proven (it is just a belief) - Jim was, after all, the CEO of Depression Alliance.

I entered into email correspondence with Jim Thomson after I saw he had commented on an article written by Seroxat Secrets ' What a tangled web we weave…'. Personally, I thought it was a brave thing to go public on a site that has a growing number of daily visitors. His comments came across as someone who was angry, some might say he had every right to be angry considering what had been wrote but as a former CEO I would have thought he would have at least learned decorum and people skills. His lack of tact became more apparent during our email correspondence as you will see when reading this.

At the end of this post I will leave Jim to have the final say - He wrongfully assumed that I would not let him - I always allow people to have their say on this blog, unless they advertise or use foul language.

Before reading on, please remember that Amelia Mustapha, Dr Chris Manning and now Jim Thomson all decided to cease communication with me. Read into that what you will.

I contacted Jim Thomson after I read his comments on Seroxat Secrets. His opening paragraph to the author of Seroxat Secrets was straight on the defence:

...I have been alerted to your comments about me and have just spent a most diverting half hour reading them. You are extremely lucky that I am not the litigious type. What you have “uncovered” is a tissue of conjecture and you are, clearly, a master at putting two next to two and seeing several dozen. For the record (and this will be the only message you receive from me as I have far better things to do with my days) I’ll try to sort out your maths. Just this once. (see here for full response)

Mr Thomson added further comments despite stating in the opening paragraph that he wouldn't. ( '...and this will be the only message you receive from me as I have far better things to do with my days'). In fact Mr Thomson added a further 4 comments!

In response to my first email I sent him he told me that he had spoken with Dr Manning and had learned that Dr Manning had decided not to sue for libel, although Mr Thomson was unsure whether he was referring to me or the author of Seroxat Secrets. I pointed out that I had never even mentioned Dr Manning on this blog, the only correspondence I had ever had with him was via email. Mr Thomson went on to tell me that Dr Manning was hurt by the comments/articles written on him and suggested that I find out more about him before any further implications about his integrity or that of Primhe. He went on to tell me that Dr Manning had once opened a blister pack of tablets live on air, he informed listeners that the medicine 'kept him alive'

I took tablets for nigh on 6 years but didn't feel the need to make a show of it. I really can't see why a doctor would do such a thing other than to prove to the listener that the product he was consuming was safe... this begs the question, why would he do such a thing? Was it to play down the talk that these particular drugs were dangerous?

Once again I pointed out that I had never spoken out against Manning - Jim replied with ' And he has chosen – rightly in my view – to cease communicating with you.'

Once again I had learned third party that an ongoing communication had been stopped, you may remember Amelia Mustapha had decided to cease communication with me too. Neither Dr Manning nor Amelia Mustapha had the decency to tell me, instead I was informed by the former CEO of Depression Alliance, Jim Thomson!

Jim later moved the goalposts when I brought him to task regarding my apparent 'dissing' of Manning. ' When you criticise Primhe, you criticise Chris Manning, because he IS Primhe'

So Primhe are not an organisation then, they are merely one person?

Jim asked me to provide him with evidence where he had endorsed any Pharmaceutical drug, he went on to say that he had previously asked Richard Brook (formerly of MIND), Paul Flynn MP, Charles Medawar, and Andrew Herxheimer to supply evidence. Incidently, the aforementioned have all spoken out against Seroxat and suppressed data. Coincidence that Jim Thomson should mention these names?

He claimed that there was a raging silence from us all because there is no evidence that he has ever endorsed any pharmaceutical product. I found this statement rather odd as I had never once said that he had? I will however go on record to say that although he does not 'endorse' pharmaceutical products, he does not speak out against them either - despite the overwhelming evidence that people are suffering at the hands of them, despite the fact that the MHRA are currently investigating GlaxoSmithKline, despite the fact that there have been four Panorama programmes on the subject and countless internal documents released on the internet.

I felt, as with Amelia Mustapha, that Jim and I were making headway when he informed me that he would contact the MHRA to verify the status of any investigation. We were on the same page when it came to the MHRA so that was enlightning.

I mentioned my correspondence with Amelia to Jim Thomson who informed me the reasons for her ceasing communication with me had nothing to do with the Seroxat Secrets website, later in the paragraph he told me ' You (or your chum – again, it’s hard to tell) chose not to remove the offending comments about her, so she broke off communication.'

Hmmm, so she did cease communication with me because of something that was written about her on another website?

Jim seemed to be hellbent on finding out whether or not I was party to a class action lawsuit. I pointed out to him that I wasn't aware that any such application had been made to the courts and if indeed I was part it would be improper to discuss it on a public forum that was visited regularly by GSK and it's lawyers.

His response?

'...Oh for God’s sake grow up man.'

' should declare whether you stand to gain financially from your stance on Seroxat.'

'...if you are pursuing GSK, then I think you should say so.'

'...if you are, you might also be getting very rich quite soon and I think your readers (or at least those who are not also part of the action) deserve to know.'

I am aware of the parallel Mr Thomson is trying to make here and if such a case is applied to the courts then he will be made aware if I am part of that case. Until then, I cannot make assumptions as to whether or not I am part of such a case.

I had previously asked Jim whether he had ever publically criticised any of the Pharmaceutical Companies that you receive funding from? He informed me that he had done so three times, two that featured the same company. He also stated that he had criticised the industry as a whole in front of the OECD, the WHO and the US Senate.

Strangely Jim asked me whether or not I had embarked on any previous compensation cases against large corporations, adding, ...' I know the answer anyway'

The only time I have ever had to use a solicitor was when I went through a divorce. I used the services of an Employment Law Advisor once when the company I worked for couldn't find me alternative employment when I developed bi-lateral osteoarthritis. If this is what he means by ' I know the answer anyway' then I really cannot see the parallel he is trying to make?

Then we have the issue of charity law. I've never disputed that charity have guidelines. I know charities have to accept funding from Pharma - my gripe is that some of these charities refuse to speak out against any of the drugs their funders manufacture. For me that is a conflict of interest. Jim mentioned that I would probably quote MIND to him (I had no intention of) then added ' my view they are acting contrary to Charity Law. Incidentally, I broke off contact with them when they wrote threatening to sue me for having the audacity to criticise them'

Don't you just love the last line?

Audacity to criticise, threatening to sue - Exactly what Dr Manning had 'threatened' to do because someone had the 'audacity to criticise' - Pot, Kettle and black spring to mind.

Jim believes that Pharma set out to make profit by improving life, he wrongfully assumed I believe they set out to kill people. I just highlight the facts where they have killed people, something Depression Alliance, Primhe and Healthwell have never done. Why bite the hand that feeds you eh?

Jim eventually got around to talking about Paroxetine (Seroxat), telling me he knows how many prescriptions have been written for Paroxetine since it was launched and adding '...if the medicine is “a killer”, the numbers just don’t stack up. The suicide statistics alone do not support the argument'

Maybe he could be given access to the records David Healy was when called as an expert witness in June 2001, with the judgement in a Cheyenne, Wyoming court that paroxetine (Paxil/Seroxat) had contributed to the wrongful and violent deaths of Don and Rita Schell and Deborah and Alyssa Tobin and that SmithKline Beecham (now part of Glaxo SmithKline) had been responsible for failures to test and warn. In the course of this case, David Healy (as an expert witness for the Plaintiffs) discovered key company documents, detailing the results of very early studies in which paroxetine had been taken by healthy volunteers.

There were a further number of emails between myself and Jim Thomson, basically which went over old ground about whether or not he or his organisation were right. He had wrote a 'scathing' reply to me (his own words) but apparently could not send it due to a malfunction in his email client... he, once again wrongfully assumed it had something to do with me, '...but I assume it is something you have done to your outgoing messages'

His last email was to let me know he no longer wished to correspond with me and, as promised, I shall leave the last words with Jim Thomson. I will not add any further comment other than to offer Amelia Mustapha, Dr Manning and Jim Thomson the further right to reply via the comments section of this blog.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all three concerned for communicating with me.

Here are Jim Thomson's final words.

I decline to play your game and you intend to publish my declination anyway. You do not have my permission to publish any of our exchange. If you decide to do so anyway, which I am fairly convinced you will, then so be it. I trust if you have a shred of decency, that you will also publish the following comment, without commentary from you, and that you will let your readers judge….

“I went to great lengths to illustrate to Mr Fiddaman that he and others are totally mistaken when they imply that I and my colleagues, are in some way a mouthpiece for big pharma. At no point in our exchanges, did I conceal any information from Mr Fiddaman. I was at all times honest. I have never, in over a quarter of a century in the charity sector, received any funding based on any endorsement of any product – pharmaceutical or otherwise. None of those questioning my integrity have, or ever will, provide evidence to the contrary. On the other hand, I have been targeted and criticised by people who do stand to gain financially and reputationally (and in some cases have already gained) from their position regarding pharmaceutical products. I will no longer play on such a sloping playing field. Eventually, it became clear to me that Mr Fiddaman had no intention of listening to anything I had to say. There was no point in continuing, particularly as the final response that I wrote was, on reflection, extremely scathing. I decided not to send it. I wish the readers of this blog nothing but the best – and in particular I wish you all good health. Above all, I ask you all to do this one thing. When you see or hear anything in this context, ask yourself one question….”What does this person, or this organisation, have to gain from taking this position?” All may become marginally clearer. Jim”.