Chemical Poisoning, Abraham Lincoln and Flashdarks

Posted: October 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

Click the link for an interesting article by Bonnye Matthews

Do not click the link: It is left to show that someone is trying to conceal this information. Instead scroll down to the comments section to read, in its entirety what is contained in the link.

Links have disappeared and others inform you that it is a site containing malware. What does someone not want you to know?

The link below does contain the info copied and pasted to the web site but I believe that you must join in order to view.

  1. dennytattoos says:
    THE LINK READS BELOW “Chemical Poisoning, Abraham Lincoln, and Flashdarks: The Experience of the Chemically Injured Worker in the United States by Bonnye Matthews © 1999 READER: The information contained here may at first appear to be something which doesn’t apply to you or any people you know. You may have heard terms like multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome (MCSS), environmental illness, and a host of other terms and heard that people who think they’ve been poisoned are crazy, that MCSS is not a diagnosis and therefore people who claim to have it are fantasizing. Those of us who have been poisoned might have agreed with you–once. The fact is that chronic low level toxic exposure can and does poison. It can and does totally and permanently disable people. The information contained here is not pretty, comfortable, or enjoyable. It is information that could mean the difference between your willingness to become informed or unwitting ignorance. What is currently life for the chemically poisoned nationwide should never have happened. It has. What is critical is to go from here with open minds and hearts made of something less than stone — or you could be next. DEFINITIONS. Let’s start with some definitions: Chemical Poisoning — Chemical poisoning is an effect of chemical exposure following which a change in the exposed organism’s structure or function occurs. Flashdark — Most everyone knows what a flashlight is. It’s common; a necessity. Most people, however, have not heard the word flashdark, let alone know what one is. A flashdark is a tool that is used wittingly or unwittingly to suck up all available light. In this case, things which illuminate fact are flashlights and those which hide or cover up fact are flashdarks. Abraham Lincoln — Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. Chemical Poisoning Chemical poisoning can set off a symptom complex called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome (MCSS), a term identified with Mark Cullen, M. D. His definition is: 1. MCS is acquired in relation to some documentable environmental exposure that may initially have produced a demonstrable toxic effect. 2. Symptoms involve more than one organ system, and recur and abate in response to predictable environmental stimuli. 3. Symptoms are elicited by exposures to chemicals that are demonstrable but very low. 4. No widely available test of organ system function can explain symptoms. (Mark Cullen, MD, ” Multiple chemical sensitivities: development of public policy in the face of scientific uncertainty,” New Solutions, 1991; Fall: 16-24) This definition has set numbers of people off on a wild goose chase, just as the term environmental illness has done. Environmental illness is the broader term, however. Environmental illness could be heat exhaustion on a hot day; it could be intolerance to smoke; it could be exacerbation of asthma when there is smog; it could be allergy to ragweed. It could be illness resulting from a chlorine spill; it could also be multiple chemical sensitivity. Multiple chemical sensitivity is a symptom complex that develops occasionally following chemical poisoning. In the first part of Cullen’s definition, it is described as a condition that is linked to an environmental exposure that produced a demonstrable effect. Poisoning by definition is: 1. a disruption of the structure and function of cells by a substance in relatively small amount. The American Medical Association Encyclopedia of Medicine, Charles B. Clayman, MD, Medical Editor (Random House, 1989), page 805 2. an interference with normal physiologic function. Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 16th Edition, Clayton L. Thomas, MD, MPH, Editor, (F. A. Davis Company, 1989), page 1434 Both references indicate that the poison is ingested, inhaled, injected, or absorbed. The second reference makes this statement: “Because the list of poisonous substances is infinite, it defies classification in any way.” Poisoning can result from toxics or an overabundance of some substance thought to be non-toxic (e.g., too much water). The second part of Cullen’s definition narrows the scope somewhat. Symptoms affect more than one organ system and recur and abate with predictable stimuli. To continue the concept of poisoning above, to fit Cullen’s definition, it has to affect more than one organ system and symptoms must respond to certain predictable stimuli. There are known medical conditions that do just that (e.g., porphyria: it affects the liver and either the central nervous system or skin or both — and — symptoms of acute attack follow exposure to some 3,000 known porphyrinogenic chemicals and an unquantifiable number of others). To add a bit of complexit7y, there are chemicals that affect more than one organ system. For example, antibiotics have a systemic affect and if the person taking them has an adverse systemic reaction, chances are that they will have the same reaction if administered the drug again, even at lower doses. Initial poisoning changed the system so that upon re-exposure there is potential for new poisoning. There are also multiple chemical exposures which can affect more than one organ system. Give corticosteroids to a person with MCS symptoms for a brief time and you can precipitate a porphyria attack. Give the same drug for a long period of time and you can induce diabetes. Add the psychiatric pharmaceuticals to corticosteroids and you can easily precipitate a porphyria attack or worsen one already set off. The third part of Cullen’s definition indicates that the amount of the chemical causing the responses is very low. That eliminates large chemical exposures such as being near a large chemical spill. On the other hand, some toxics are so potent or the individual reacts so severely that only a very small amount is necessary to effect change The fourth part of Cullen’s definition is that there is no widely available test of organ function that can explain symptoms. This statement has been changed over time to there is no test for MCS. Well, of course not! In the first place, a medical condition that affects multiple organ systems is unlikely to be identified by one test. Now, if a toxic has affected four systems, the likelihood of finding a single test is highly unlikely. But, does that pass the “so what” test? Any doctor worth the title can identify the difference between reactive airway disease and toxic encephalopathy. Nobody would presume that a single test is available. There are many. Why MCS terminology set the medical establishment off on a wild goose chase is not important. It did and it continues to do so today. It is critical to get to the root of the problem and that means re-locating the route. The route is poisoning, not a symptom complex. When a person demonstrates the symptom complex identified as MCS, the workup should test symptomatic systems for effects of poisoning. There are tests known effective for identifying toxicity results in airways, the brain, the liver, metabolic processes, vascular problems, and so on. This isn’t rocket science. It doesn’t require epidemiological studies to demonstrate validity; but, then, neither does putting a man on the moon require epidemiological studies. Science is science. The tests are already there. What seems to be ignored is the significant results people identified with multiple chemical sensitivity symptoms have on these tests. MCS is not controversial except when doctors would have their opinions override simple, repeatable, scientific tests. The wild goose chase has significantly harmed the portion of the public who has the MCS symptom complex. For over a decade, these people have fought for social security entitlements, workers’ compensation, insurance coverage, and so on. They have lost health, careers, financial resources, friends, family, and some have committed suicide because the pressure upon them was too great. This while the media makes of them a laughingstock and doctors play word games and chase geese. The barbaric treatment afforded these people is ignorant, unethical, and amoral. There is another side to this issue. Estimates of 15% of the population being affected generates fear. What seems to have escaped notice is that those affected seem to fit into mild, moderate, and severe categories. Not all people affected are totally or permanently affected. Using the tests that are routine today to detect damage from toxics, doctors can and do identify which individuals are affected and to what degree. There is nothing new here. There is no great big bogey man called MCS. MCS is not a diagnosis. Lots of people have thought there was such a diagnosis because one might say, “He has MCS,” meaning that the patient has symptoms that fit Cullen’s definition. Sounds like a diagnosis, but it isn’t. MCS is a syndrome, just a term for a group of symptoms. Cullen called it a syndrome. The diagnoses depend on what the poison caused (e.g., occupational asthma, reactive airway disease, TMA asthma, toxic encephalopathy, organic brain syndrome, toxic induced porphyria, vascular disease of the brain, and so on). What keeps the discussion focus on MCS? A quote from an article purporting to be about MCS may help: Recognition of this syndrome as an illness, with potential to cause permanent disability, could involve changes in health care coverage and delivery, awarding of workers’ compensation benefits, and the regulation of chemicals in the workplace and the environment in the United States. (P. J. Sparks, et al. “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Clinical Perspective …” Journal of Occupational Medicine [1994; 36: 718- 737]) Does it not sound a bit strange that recognition of a medical condition might be held up because it could affect the administrative functions of health care? What nonsense is this? Flashdark. It is the reverse of a flashlight. A flashlight illuminates the dark. A flashdark swallows light (hides things). The healthcare coverage and delivery systems in place now are already able to handle the problems of etiology and diagnosis. Yet, so many flashdarks have been clicked on that medical practitioners have become concerned over any involvement in something so controversial – – that they ceased to think. Those who did think have faced enormous stress and loss of financial resources from their own community, if they haven’t been prohibited from practicing. We’re losing some brilliant doctors. By continuing to click on the flashdark, we also are losing too many non-medical but equally as brilliant minds from the workforce. When the question of change in health care and awarding of benefits and chemical regulation takes precedence over dealing squarely with a medical issue that severely affects some individuals’ lives, what kind of medicine is this? Has the time come when Learned Hand’s legal answer is applied to medicine in this country? That is, if it costs more to fix a problem than to leave it alone, it isn’t practical to fix it. Are we to think that if the expense and headache of fixing medical administrative functions costs too much, we will just continue to ignore a rapidly growing portion of sick people in the United States and facilitate the poisoning of many more? The average citizen in this country knows better than that, even the ones who are not medically trained! What is needed is not more research but rather literacy and the ability to think. What we have instead is making the simple complex. As if to further complicate things, some medical professionals will masquerade as toxicologists. Some create very complex criteria for defining poisoning, especially when and if the patient’s symptoms are classified as MCS syndrome symptoms. Another flashdark. That just makes the already unscientifically complex more complex. This makes as much sense as telling a fourth grader that even though it would be easier and clearer to simplify fractions, we are going to a new math and complex them. Instead of simplifying 5/10 to 1/2 by dividing both parts of the fraction by 5, in the future we will multiply both parts of the fraction by 27.15876. That works until someone else decides it should be done by multiplying by the square root of 27.1587610. It is an utter waste of taxpayer funds, employee or volunteer time, and resources to keep complexing (i.e., MCS diagnosis out of MCS symptoms). It’s time to drop the MCS or EI or 20th century disease or whatever else one chooses to use and get back to basics. We are dealing with poisoning plain and simple. When we do, there is nothing left to talk about–everything falls into place. When we do, frightened individuals who have MCS symptoms but not to the degree of disability can get to work, some with assistance and some without assistance. Some will never be able to return to work because of their disability. That is when entitlements, benefits, and justifiable law suits are appropriate. When we get back to basics a number of things should happen. When we do, workers’ compensation and social security programs will look for results of poisoning instead of some rare, mysterious, “controversial,” amorphous nonentity. The games will be over and those who have been devastated by poverty and ill health will be able to claim entitlements or benefits or succeed in lawsuits that are justifiable. Until then our medicine operates in a new Dark Age; governmental officials are stabbing in the dark (and actually hurting those people in blindness, when their mission is to protect them or provide for them); judges and juries ponder a mystery disease, instead of recognizing poisoning and then producing judicious decisions. So, the complex is really simple. If so, how did we get here? I will offer the opinion that A former President of the United States foresaw the like of which we, the chemically poisoned, are facing. Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln was a man who saw things clearly and sometimes afar off. The quote below is one which I find particularly far sighted: “We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood. . . . It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.” The passage appears in a letter from Lincoln to (Col.) William F. Elkins, Nov. 21, 1864. The Lincoln Encyclopedia, by Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY), page 40. That traces the quote to p. 954 of Abraham Lincoln: A New Portrait, (Vol. 2) by Emanuel Hertz (Horace Liveright Inc., 1931, NY). The point here is not to condemn corporations but rather to see how these words have found reality in the experience of the chemically poisoned. A corporation is a legal entity formed for the purpose of doing business. It is neither good nor evil. The purpose of a corporation is to make a profit. A corporation may act as a person, but it neither has a heart nor does it bleed. People on the other hand have both a heart and they do bleed. Somehow I, personally, never got into the blame concept. It’s foreign to the way I think. I see problems that need solutions. I’m not interested in assuaging symptoms but rather looking for root causes and finding solutions at that level. What we have seen in our recent past is the tremendous rise in influence over the electoral process of corporations. Now, the Constitution assures us that we are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people — not a government of the corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation. However, when one examines the constant call for campaign funding reform which goes nowhere, questions arise. When one examines the tremendous corporate welfare situation, the amount of time that government spends on fostering the climate for corporate growth, and so on, the questions get louder and louder. Now, when you either cannot get the benefits or entitlements that you were guaranteed when you went to work and were poisoned, the questions keep coming. They rise to a crescendo when things become twisted and there is obvious game playing to prevent you from obtaining what is rightfully yours — not something special, just what is due to ensure that basic needs are met. And, no, this isn’t a scene created so that blame can be placed on corporations. There is much more to this picture than meets the eye initially. There is no real tight conspiracy as conspiracies go. It’s different. It’s the nature of the beast. Something has occurred and that something is just now being recognized. This is what Lincoln saw. This is what frightened him. We have literally had a war that went unnoticed. The war is one of takeover. We have literally become a government of the corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation. The problem is that our Constitution doesn’t provide for such a change, but it already exists and has for quite some time. If you’d like more depth on this subject, there is a series of reports from California that may be found at To get the view from the point of the chemically poisoned, a trip will be necessary. This trip is conducted with the flashdark. You may be surprised at what you hear. The “normal” person is unaware that this is occurring. The chemically poisoned person who often has sustained brain damage has to walk this trip alone much of the time. Families break up over it. Often they go years before they discover the large numbers of others who have been along the trail before them. Not only do the chemically injured have to walk this path, but often they have their most shattering experiences from loss of naiveté. Even as late in life as the 40’s and 50’s, people are still very naive unless they’ve had reason to pull themselves from the frantic pace of life today and away from the enticing entertainment available during leisure time and study the phenomenon that Lincoln saw with ease. Flashdarks For the chemically injured, becoming injured in such a fashion has a terrific impact. For those whose disability is total and permanent, there is another impact and adjustment required. To have to worry day after day, month after month, year after year about financial resources adds another impact. Worse than any of the impacts is coming face to face with flashdarks. The reason? Flashdarks are illogical. They do not conform to expectations that people have about law, rule, regulation, and human decency. There appears no way to communicate validity of a claim under these conditions. When health is gone; when career is beyond reach; when financial resources are gone; and when one cannot reason — there is nothing left but chaos. That can make the chemically injured worker crazy! For the chemically injured worker, some sanity can be restored if he realizes that he is not dealing with government but a corporation. Once that picture is firmly set, the chaos dissolves. The problems are still there, but the chemically injured worker can see what is occurring. In a corporation the function of workers’ compensation becomes saving the corporation money, not the stated mission of paying compensation and medical expenses of injured workers. The purpose of hearings and appeals will not be to straighten the kinks in a claims processing but rather to eliminate the claims. Because corporations have no heart and no ethics, any way that serves the purpose is valued. This is the world of the flashdark and for those who use them well, there can be financial rewards. You’ve already seen a few flashdarks. Here are some of the most memorable: (1) Freedom of the Press Flashdark — Citizens in the United States pride themselves in having a free press. What I found when stories were told about the chemically injured is that when the stories were told they were always done so by pitting one “view” against another, as if there were two sides to the story. The upshot of the reporting was always that “nobody knows.” Well, I began asking and my naiveté really showed as reporters told me the basics. What makes it possible to print a newspaper? Advertisers. What makes it possible to have a network television station? Commercials. Overall, where advertisers and commercials are important, what you hear is what is acceptable to the majority of the corporate backers. There is an enforced media blackout on the subject of chemical injury. Corporate sponsors are not interested in hearing about common everyday products causing brain damage and porphyria. Now, I’ll give credit where credit is due. The Washington Free Press No. 8, Feb-Mar 1994 issue printed a story, “It’s All in Your Head.” It won local and national awards ( The article told the real story ( ). (2) Pink Pearl Flashdark — A Pink Pearl is a type of eraser. They belonged in pencil boxes for people who needed to erase a lot. They were great as long as they continued to be used. When they sat a long time, they’d get hard and make marks instead of erasing. Pink Pearls are used by medical professionals and government officials, both of whom may behave in corporate manner while using them. There are two basic edges to the Pink Pearl. First, a chemical injury does not exist, if it hasn’t been studied and proved to link to the toxic by medical experts. Second, nothing happens without tremendous pressure. Simply put, in the twentieth century there is no chemical injury unless government and their selected medical professionals agree — even in the face of voluminous medical documentation to the contrary This set of flashdarks can be illustrated by using the wars in which toxic chemicals have been a part: World War I: Chemical warfare began in 1915 with the use of chlorine. To get past the protection of face masks, the Germans sought out a poison gas which would affect the skin. In Belgium in July 1917 mustard gas was first used, causing almost 400,000 casualties. World War II: WWI did not end chemical warfare, though it was not really used in WWII. In preparation for WWII, the United States did secret studies on humans with mustard gas and another compound called Lewisite. Injury during WWII occurred during an air raid by the Germans on a U. S. ship that destroyed some bombs containing mustard gas. Otherwise injury was limited to those who participated in secret testing or who handled the chemicals during their military duty. Not until the early 1980’s did related health problems surface. Despite the secret nature of the experiments, some individuals connected their health problems with the experiments and sought compensation. Word got out and others came forward. It took pressure from the chemically injured, the press, and Congress. Some veterans were compensated in June 1991 if they had one of 7 compensable conditions. Vietnam: Since 1962 use of Agent Orange as a herbicide has been a source of concern and controversy. Veterans began to connect health effects with the use of Agent Orange. One veteran initiated a lawsuit against 3 chemical manufacturers. The suit became a class action and settled out of court. Public awareness increased. Hearings were held. Studies were initiated. Eventually some health conditions were accepted as compensable. Compensation became available for two medical conditions in 1984. Persian Gulf War: Returning veterans from the Gulf War experienced what their predecessors had experienced. Initial denial of exposure which could have caused adverse health effects followed by studies. The veterans applied pressure and some funding became available after media attention and pressure was applied. In each war above, the veterans have served their country whether in combat or in experiments or in spraying herbicides or in catching a toxic exposure from a source in the Gulf. When they become ill and the government first denies the possibility of the connection with toxics which could cause the condition, then belittles the condition, then refuses to compensate until proved conclusively, during which time the veteran may stand to lose all. One of these veterans whose story I was given had been one to volunteer to get supplies transported even in torrential rains. He drove the truck through gullywashers and made it through. But he was poisoned. He returned home to find that his medical problems were explained to be all in his head. His wife and children left him. He was unable to work. He had been a hero to many, but when the chips were down, he was utterly let down. He shot himself. Help came too late. It may be consistent with the corporate mentality to insist upon meeting a tight burden of proof before compensating injured workers, but that is not the principle that workers compensation programs used when they were formed to lessen the burden in court. When workers compensation programs were originally created the basis was no-fault. If the worker became disabled, the compensation was designed to make him whole. Both the federal and state governments have lost sight of that foundation despite the fact that the laws have not. There is a legalism that applies to the chemically injured that is extraordinary. This legalism has more to do with the bottom line and money than anything to do with the medical problem. In fact, many cases would resolve very quickly if they were taken to court rather than linger in the government program administrative programs. Unfortunately, the model for dealing with chemical claims derives from the military experience. As has been shown that process is entirely too slow and demanding. The flashdark, it doesn’t exist if it hasn’t been linked to the toxic by medical experts, immediately throws blocks to progress. Medical experts posture about skepticism when it comes to these cases. They do not carry that posturing into the full scope of their work, however. Though skepticism is a valuable tool for medical research, it has no place when a heroic veteran is facing the decision to end his life. It is heartless. It is corporate. These same experts will call for epidemiological studies. Epidemiology at best is a good guess–not scientific proof and far from establishing certainty. It also violates a mathematical principle to take results from epidemiology and apply them to the individual. Science is science. If we can get a man on the moon without epidemiological studies we certainly ought to be able to identify humans who have been poisoned and determine the levels of severity without them. This isn’t rocket science. The flashdark, nothing happens without tremendous pressure, is also heartless. Why, when a person is the least capable point in his life, does it require tremendous effort to gain what rightfully should be his? Who wins in this Pink Pearl Flashdark? First the government wins — by not having to pay. Second, the medical experts win — they have a great supply of funding for research. So one feeds the other. Endless studies which reveal nothing, perhaps in some cases by design, increase the time before the government need pay. By then, perhaps, many who need the compensation will no longer be alive, and the government in corporate behavior can insist that the connection with the long term effects of the exposure be conclusively proved, knowing in advance that studies do not exist which supply that connection. The point here is not how bad the military or the federal government is; it is rather that early on handling of chemical injury cases in the military established a model for federal civilian administrators and for state officials and for medical professionals who work in the occupational and environmental fields. This model has been followed time and again with respect to workers who have been chemically injured on the job, military or civilian during times of war or peace. (3) The Ostrich Flashdark — The Ostrich Flashdark is based on the defense doctor option. It occurs when defense doctors are willing to put their heads in the sand and fail to see or to test, but instead routinely enable administrators to deny claims by writing negative medical reports even in the face of evidence to the contrary. Defense doctors are selected by government officials administering claims for worker injury. They are not required. They occur when claims administrators have a real medical opinion conflict or they create one. In a no-fault compensation program there is no reason for these defense doctors to exist. The entire case should rightly be handled through the injured worker’s primary care physician or a specialist they select. If and when a claims examiner feels that more information is needed they could simply ask the primary doctor to refer the patient out. When claims examiners are given the authority to select doctors whose opinions they already know, then the patient is ill served, because the claims examiner who has no medical education takes over the position of the patient’s primary physician and practices without a license. So much of what workers’ compensation claims examinerrs do is done with the thought of preventing fraud. This idea is triggered by the perceived high cost of workers’ injury expense. Workers compensation officials will readily admit that only an infinitesimal percentage of workers comp claims are fraudulent. “Fraud, therefore, may represent roughly 2% of workers’ compensation costs nationwide.” That quote is from a letter, dated January 26 published in the American Medical Asssociation’s Archives of Internal Medicine 1998; 158:195-197. Interestingly the letter ends with this: “In short, waste, fraud, and abuse do exist in workers’ compensation. The dollar amount, however, is small compared with the injuries, diseases, and costs that workers’ compensation does not cover. It is not the workers’ compensation system that is repsonsible for the high costs of occupational injuries and illnesses, it is the great number and severity of these injuries and illnesses that are responsible.” And what’s not covered? The same letter indicates that “workers’ compensation systems probably miss even more than 60% of nonfatal injuries” because: (1) “workers may not report injuries”; (2) “workers’ compensation does not cover many long-term effects of job injuries”; and I will add this reason (3) workers’ compensation excludes numbers of appropriately filed claims by the use of fraudulent reports from their defense doctors. Here is an example of an instance of the Ostrich Flashdark with which I became involved: Two chemically injured workers from one of the states in this country contacted me and asked whether I’d ever heard of an expert I’ll call Dr. Eks. Dr. Eks is not his name. The state was requiring a defense exam by this doctor after already having made it clear that they intended to controvert chemical injury claims of about 10 years. I had no knowledge of Dr. Eks, but I agreed to check around and see what I could find. I found that he is board certified in internal medicine and geriatrics. He was licensed in California, his state of residence, and in Hawaii, and had been licensed in the State in question just prior to serving as defense doctor for the patients who contacted me. He had not written any articles contained in the medical literature. After the exams these individuals contacted me complaining of lack of relevant testing or no testing at all and repetitive use of discriminatory epithets based on national origin during the exam. I asked for copies of Dr. Eks’ reports. I received the two reports, complete medical files on both individuals, and copies of the controversion notices for both claims. I analyzed both reports. To gather additional data I checked the Internet and found two cases in Hawaii in which Dr. Eks also served as a defense doctor. What I sought was whether there were any pattern that might lead me to conclude that anything was out of the ordinary. The four reports all showed a distinct, unquestionable pattern: (1) the doctor either insinuates or outright claims prior misdiagnoses either by (a) simple disagreement or (b) literally taking the words of previous doctors and changing them 180 degrees to meet his desired outcomes, and (2) the doctor arrives at a diagnosis that no doctor in the historic file has made. In doing this Dr. Eks has diagnosed outside his board certification while other have not. To make matters worse there is reason to question Dr. Eks’ own board certification knowledge, internal medicine. Dr. Eks changed one of the diagnoses of chemically acquired porphyria to inherited acute intermittent porphyria. He had absolutely no genetic basis for his decision. Worse, he ignored Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine which states that “The porphyrias are inherited or acquired disorders of specific enzymes . . . .” Incredibly, Dr. Eks gave away his ignorance of the whole subject of porphyria: the low enzyme in this case was coproporphyrinogen oxidase which is associated with coproporphyria; acute intermittent porphyria is associated with a different enzyme, low uroporphyrinogen synthase. (For more information on porphyria, go to your local library and check out or obtain through interlibrary loan my book, Defining Multiple Chemical Sensitivity [McFarland, 1998], and read pages 31-58.) That Dr. Eks lied in order to accommodate the workers comp administrators is evident in his willingness to change a doctor’s finding of no allergy to one of allergy to support his diagnosis. In the other case he took these words from a psychiatrist, “emotional problems were a result of conflicts with the State of Alaska and physical limitations,” and changed them to read, “emotional difficulties lead to situation of present conflicts with state and chronic physical limitations.” These examples are the tiniest fraction of the problems with the reports Dr. Eks wrote following his exam of these two Alaskans. That Dr. Eks patterns his reports ostensibly to arrive at pre- determined completely different diagnoses that will enable workers compensation officials to controvert claims is clear. It is clear that he will go to any length to do so, even if it means deceptively rewriting another doctor’s diagnosis to support his. To me this is utterly unethical and leads to malpractice, because if the patients/claimants followed his treatment recommendations, results might be life-threatening. These are real U. S. citizens involved here. What occurred following my analysis is that I wrote a point paper which documented my findings. The point paper was sent through the attorney representing both of these individuals to the Governor of the State, the Commissioner of the Department of Labor and the Director of the Workers Compensation Program, to selected members of the State Legislature, and to various other officials. Two days after the document was mailed in mid-September 1997, I received a call from the office of a State Senator asking what I’d like him to do. The jury is still out on this one at the time this paper is written (July 1999). (4) The Shell Game Flashdark — A fascinating flashdark occurred in my state, Washington. I call it the shell game flashdark, because it reminds me of the 3 walnut halves under which someone puts a small object and then moves the three shells about quickly, having the observer guess which walnut shell contains the small object. Unknown to the observer, the small object “magically disappears” so that it remains under none of the walnut shells when the observer is asked to “find it.” There are 3 documents which if put side by side and their purposes are laid out provide a very good picture of the chemically injured’s plight. Here are the documents: ——————————————————————— ———– I The Boeing’s IME Protocol for Chemical Claims (7/89) This document makes the following statements among others: [page 6] Effects of solvent exposure on the central nervous system (CNS) may be manifested as a mental disorder, an impairment in psychologic functioning, or as nerve damage. Symptoms resulting from acute exposure to solvents include feelings of intoxication, difficulty in concentrating, and dizziness. Headache, nausea, and vomiting are also known to follow exposure. Chronic lability, depression, and short term memory disturbances as well as impairments in psychomotor speed, attention, and complex verbal reasoning. This has been referred to in the literature as a psycho- organic syndrome, implying damage to a neural element or from a biochemical disorder in the brain. Psychological tests are more sensitive than clinical medical examination in detecting early disturbances of the CNS due to solvents. [page 8] Chronic exposure to many neurotoxins may cause disturbances of psychomotor function, deterioration of intellectual capacities, and alteration of emotional states. [page 9] If the Panel psychiatrist feels neuro-psychiatric testing is warranted Boeing requests a forensic neuro-psychologist be used and that he/she schedule those tests which are deemed appropriate to assess brain impairment. [page 6] CNS imaging techniques (CT and MRI) are rarely abnormal in neurotoxic disease and are most useful for ruling out other conditions. [page 6] Nerve conduction velocity, electroencephalogram (EEG) in neurotoxic conditions usually disclose only evidence of non-specific axonal dysfunction (diminished amplitude, minimal slowing). For patients complaining of numbness, tingling, or weakness, which are signs of peripheral neuropathy, the NCV test should be performed. [page 7] So far sensory evoked responses use in occupational neurology is limited. By using sensory inputs from the visual, auditory, and somatosensory systems and a computer-averaging technique, the physician can obtain latencies from stimulus to evoked response. Abnormalities of latencies can localize disease in the central and peripheral pathways of these sensory systems. Now, Boeing’s IME Protocol for Chemical Claims is accurate and far ahead of its time. It was delivered to every defense doctor who saw Boeing patients who submitted chemical claims. Boeing self-insures and had the right to do this. What is highly significant is that Boeing employees who submitted these chemical claims were not given the tests. Some were given MRI’s but the protocol makes it clear that it is unlikely that MRI’s will show anything. They were not given neuropsychological assessments but instead were sent to psychiatrists who diagnosed psychological/psychiatric problems. (Psychiatrists are not equipped by definition to administer these neuropsychological assessments.) It was as if Boeing handed over the document and doctors took their cue and did none of the recommended tests. If that were the case, Boeing was very wise and the doctors never suspected that they were being set up. In a corporate world this potential boomerang exists: Let’s say that the employees sought legal action against Boeing. Boeing always has the ability to state that they provided the medical professionals a reasonable, appropriate protocol to follow. That the doctors chose not to follow it lays the responsibility at their feet. In other words, if push comes to shove, it is the medical professionals who will be sacrificed, not the corporation. ——————————————————————— ———– II The Environmental Protection Agency’s Draft Report: “Principles of Neurotoxicity Risk Assessment” Federal Register (8/4/93) This document stated: [page 41571] A number of recently developed computerized imaging techniques for evaluating brain activity and cerebral/peripheral blood flow have added valuable information to the neurologic diagnostic process. These imaging methods include thermography, positron emission tomography, passive neuromagnetic imaging (magnetoencephalography), magnetic resonance spectroscopy, computerized tomography, doppler ultrasonography, and computerized EEG recording/analysis (brain electrical mapping) . . . . Although the equipment for brain imaging is expensive and nor portable, neuroimaging techniques promise to be valuable clinical and laboratory research tools in human neurotoxicology. ——————————————————————— ———– III Washington State Interim Agreement on Chemically Related Illnesses (CRI) (9/3/93) The Interim Agreement was designed for one purpose: to clarify the policy adopted in April that said that the State would pay refuse payment for any of the following tests performed on chemically injured workers: qEEG PET scan SPECT scan evoked potentials brain mapping immunologic testing Essentially the Interim Agreement gave the impression that if a direct correlation between a chemical substance and a specific disease were not already part of medical knowledge, it could not exist. (Pink Pearl Flashdark) Also, the state would not pay for tests which might make that connection clear, tests recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency. In other words, the very tests which would have enabled claimants to prove their cases would not be reimbursed or considered by Labor and Industries, the state’s workers compensation administrators. To summarize the appropriate tests for neurotoxicity, they are: Boeing IME Protocol EPA’s Principles of Neurotoxicity –psychological tests administered by a forensic –thermography neuro-psychologist –positron emission tomography –sensory evoked responses –passive neuromagnetic imaging (magnetoencephalography) –magnetic resonance spectroscopy –computerized tomography –doppler ultrasonography –computerized EEG recording/ analysis (brain electrical mapping) –neuropsychological assessments [page 41569] Now, by placing the two sets of recommended tests against the ones the State of Washington disallows, we can see: Boeing IME Protocol EPA’s Principles of Neurotoxicity WA State’s Interim Agreement –psychological tests –thermography –qEEG (neuro-psychologist) –positron emission tomography –PET scan –sensory evoked responses –passive neuromagnetic imaging –SPECT scan (magnetoencephalography) –evoked potentials –magnetic resonance spectroscopy –brain mapping –computerized tomography –immunological testing –doppler ultrasonography –computerized EEG recording/ analysis (brain electrical mapping) –neuropsychological assessments [page 41569] Boeing and the EPA agree that neuropsychological assessment is a valuable tool. That is not addressed in the Washington State Interim Agreement. Sensory evoked responses from the Boeing list are the same as computerized EEG recording/analysis (brain electrical mapping) on the EPA list and both are the same as the Washington State’s Interim Agreement evoked potentials. Except for the neuropsychological assessment, Washington State completely eliminated the best tool available for assessing neurologic damage done by toxics. Effects on the brain from chronic chemical poisoning can be shown in various tests on various systems (this chart oversimplifies the test data): Test Function evoked potentials electrical function of brain is the brain receiving electrical signals are they arriving: on time, at the right place, with adequate information PET scan metabolic function of brain is the brain adequately nourished SPECT scan vascular function of brain is the brain adequately oxygenated The qEEG is a test done on the same machine that does the evoked potentials. When Washington State authorized the Interim Agreement, science died for chemically injured workers. The significance of this event can be illustrated in the fact that the State Director of Labor and Industries received numbers of letters from national chemical injury experts. Here’s a quote from two doctors at the University of Pittsburgh: In your draft of September 3, 1993 you state that one of your goals is “to assure that accurate diagnoses are made.” It seems that you are doing everything in your power to not obtain accurate diagnoses. I hope that you and your committee members will weigh the evidence carefully before discounting years of research and clinical evidence in the field of medicine, psychiatry, psychology, and occupational medicine. Another flashdark set in concrete. Here’s another example of the shell game flashdark. When OWCP insisted against the advice of all of my treating physicians that I attend a downtown appointment with a second referee doctor in a tight building, I complied rather than face removal for obstruction. Attending that exam cost me 17 IQ points on a permanent basis. While I was in a zombie state, my attorney filed a tort claim. The medical documentation surrounding that event proves the loss of the cognitive function, evidences that there were 3 brain lesions, and that I exhibited a clouded sensorium. Subsequent testing revealed that the cognitive damage was permanent. The Office of the Solicitor at Department of Labor wrote my attorney asking for more information. My attorney wrote back asking what type of information was desired. All the documentation had already been sent to OWCP. There was never an answer. When ECAB finally tossed out my case based on OWCP’s finding from the doctor who literally watched the brain damage occurring, they did so on the basis that the symptoms I had were work-related (OWCP had already accepted the symptom complex: MCSS as a diagnosis) but by letter dated September 9, 1991, OWCP assured me that the symptoms would have ceased by September 22, 1999. There went the pea under the walnut. The symptoms obviously did not cease. The Office of Personnel Management immediately opened my disability retirement file based on the same symptoms and maintains it based on the diagnoses. My diagnoses have been shown conclusively to be: occupational asthma, organic brain syndrome/toxic encephalopathy, vascular disease of the brain, toxic induced porphyria with a 4 of 5 enzymes tested low. These findings were obtained through: methacholine challenge, neuropsychological assessment, PET scan, SPECT scan, evoked potentials, and testing through the porphyria lab at Mayo’s in Rochester, Minnesota. I tried following the ECAB ejection to discover from the Solicitor’s Office what had happened to my tort claim. To this day, they have refused to provide any answer. They have all the data, but they simply refuse to respond. Another pea slipped from under the walnut. Notation on some of the correspondence makes one wonder whether my tort claim was misfiled in someone else’s file. One thing is clear: the Solicitor’s Office is not going to address the tort claim. Flashdark! (5) “Here, let me help you” Flashdark — In what was designed to be helpful, the federal government determines what attorneys can charge for legal service for injured federal employees and what services are chargeable. After all, they are ready to point out, federal injured workers really don’t need attorneys. The truth is that attorneys are needed badly, especially by workers who have sustained brain damage, but the practices of OWCP no longer follow law, rule, regulation, so whatever is paid to an attorney may avail nothing. Nevertheless, finding an attorney who will take a federal workers comp case is next to impossible. I have personally been dealing with this system for over a decade. I know the names of 5 attorneys nationwide who have taken federal workers comp cases. Five! Yet I’ve dealt with an enormous number of injured federal workers. (6) Corroded Flashdark — Another flashdark that is characteristic of the federal system is that of corrosion. Corrosion occurs when there is no oversight, just as corrosion occurs on certain surfaces which are not maintained and evaluated. In the federal system, the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) and the Employees Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB) both exist within the Department of Labor. For quite some time the ECAB ruled in what appeared to be a judicious manner. Somewhere in 1998 a change occurred. This change was noticed by the injured workers who follow the outcomes of these appeal decisions. Appeal decisions took on an appearance of irrationality. Former appeal decisions were ignored and the decisions shifted to much higher numbers of OWCP decisions being upheld. That would be understandable if the rationale were supportable. But from the perspective of the injured workers, that simply is not the case. The utter lack of any external oversight since the Civil Service Reform Act of the early 1980’s has created a monster in federal workers compensation administration. The monster has swallowed ECAB. I can remember well a conversation I had with a claims examiner who sneered at me and told me “I can do anything I want and nobody can stop me.” Right now that’s only too true. Injured federal workers are working to change that. One of the issues is to provide equal justice. You see, federal injured workers have no recourse to the court system following final appeals. State workers have this right. Where a claims examiner can make such a statement right now, he will eventually have to eat his words. (7) Non-acquiescent Flashdark — Now, even if the injured worker has faced all the trials and finally gets to court and prevails in court, there is one further flashdark. This is a legal tern, non- acquiescence. It simply means that the court orders the agency to pay and the agency doesn’t. They don’t acquiesce. Now, what’s a judge going to do? Go over to the agency and find the pay clerk and write out a check? A new order can be issued. The agency can continue non-acquiescence. In the federal government this should be grounds for termination of all employees up the chain of command from the pay clerk to the top level manager. It doesn’t happen. Additional Corporate Shadows One day I was leaving the Post Office after mailing some of my books to New Zealand. I stopped for a minute and suddenly found myself in shadow. The U. S. flag flying on the pole above had cast its shadow over me. I had to smile as I thought in terms of significance. The words, “I’ve been here a long time,” ran through my mind. For that brief instant, the whole journey through the chemical injury process with the federal government washed over me. I have been in the shadow of the United States for a long time. But there are other shadows that contribute to this shadow. These are the corporate shadows. Corporations flourish when their employees take opportunistic risks and succeed. One of these corporate risks that has been highly beneficial is the contributions that are made to universities. A few decades ago universities were suffering for funding. Research is a critical aspect of the univeristy, yet the money was drying up. Corporations were quick to seize the opportunity to assist. States operating as corporations also contributed, but it should be recognized that corporations also contribute to elected officials so in some respects, state funding can be viewed as having strings attached back to the corporate giants that exist in that state. The funding sources from both corporations and from states can be the most significant financial resources available. The universities come to rely on it. When any research done at institutions of higher learning can affect the financial suporters, corporations and state officials are aware of it. The institutions are aware of the biases of the financial backers. To make the situation even more complex, the federal government also funds research done by universities. The same corporate influence over the states is felt at the federal level as well. In the case of the federal government, when research for medical studies is funded, there is an oversight group. It is the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) in the Department of Health and Human Services. If, for example, someone felt that research was being done in a biased manner, a complaint could be filed with the ORI. What process does the complaint set off? If it is viewed as serious, the ORI asks the univeristy to investigate itself. This leads back to the corroded flashdark. The university knows about the financial backing and the biases of corporations. The corporations understand the need of the universities for funding. Where is the oversight? Then, once the studies are completed they need to be peer reviewed and then published in the medical literature. This process is held up as one which takes place among distinguished scientists with impeccable credentials and pure motives. After all, there are times when this research will be used in legal situations. Courts will rely on peer reviewed material. Before much credence is given to the medical literature a few things should be known. First, the peer review process may appear to apply to the article but the article may never have seen any review. How is that possible? Take a medical journal. Look at the Board of Directors. Notice how many of the members come from business and industry. Now, these members will offer to the journals free peer review, using their experts. Conflict of interest? There certainly is potential for conflict. In other cases, peer review simply means that the entire issue is reviewed in part. Not all articles are reviewed. An article carries the imprimatur of peer review when it never has been reviewed. Now, peer review is possible in hindsight from the subscribers or others who read the articles and evaluate them critically. They can write to the journals and have their comments made part of a subsequent issue. I have already seen this process circumvented. A doctor whose patients were used in a study was outraged over a glaring shift in his patient group. His patient group contained those who had MCS symptoms, those who did not have MCS symptoms, and a third portion which were a toss up at that stage. In putting that article together, the authors decided to lump the entire group as if they all had MCS symptoms. Obviously that error invalidated the entire study. What happened? The journal simply refused to print the letter from the doctor. The information later came out in another journal, but who will take the time and effort to locate it and invalidate the study? Finally, medical literature can be sculpted. Do a thorough search in the literature for MCS. Soon you’ll discover for yourself that there are numbers of articles by pockets of people. There is a name for this. The term is “mutual attribution.” X, Y, and Z write an article about MCS. Then, Z, Y, and X write an article based on the same data. They reference X, Y, and Z’s article. Then another article appears written by Y, Z, and X. They reference both of the prior articles. You’ll see that there are articles that are significant in number but are all about the same thing and they are written by essentially the same people. The references don’t look that way because they are arranged by the last name of the first listed author. This is mutual attribution. In that manner, the study with the bogus group of people supposedly having MCS symptoms has become one of the most used articles of all times on the subject. Is it valid science. Hardly! Is it accepted as such? Absolutely. Against such, the chemically injured person is totally helpless. Well, about as helpless as I am. As long as there are people who can think and reason and read, there is hope. Low levels of toxics destroy that function, however. But even with severe brain damage, it is possible to unearth the truth. I may have to read a paragraph in a medical journal 25 times before I get it. I may have to check some assumptions out with the doctors I know. I can do that. Knowing the truth makes it possible to educate others. It gives reason to hope that some may learn and avoid potential poisonings. It fuels the fire that some day there will be fewer flashdarks and healthier workplaces. For those who wish more depth on this subject, go to your local library and check out or obtain through interlibrary loan my book, Defining Multiple Chemical Sensitivity [McFarland, 1998], and read pages 103-130. This material is taken from Section III of my book and focuses on Science and the Literature. The two parts cover: “Junk Science” and “Medical Literature and MCS: An Analysis of Seven Papers.” Dan1971

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