Saturday, June 3, 2006

Was Morgellons Disease Created as a Viral Marketing Campaign for A Scanner Darkly?

Via Adrants:
There's a little rumor going around that a disease called Morgellons, a creepy skin disease that involves little bugs a bug-like sensation under the skin, and the websites associated with it are just a viral marketing campaign for the upcoming movie A Scanner Darkly. Michael Shostack of The Halting Point has collected some information pointing to the likelihood the disease is, in fact his opinion, a viral campaign. Shostack, who, since one never knows when it comes to virals, may actually be part of the viral campaign, points to a Slashdot story which says "Imagine having a disease that is so controversial that doctors refuse to treat you..."

UPDATE III: CDC Communication Specialist Dan Rutz returned our call and has verified that Morgellons is a syndrome, as he refers to it, the CDC is looking into. The CDC has received numerous calls from those citing symptoms associated with what is being called Morgellons Disease and has, in fact, formed a group to explore the syndrome and define it. All angles from environmental to medial to psychological will be taken into consideration. Rutz says, based on information the CDC has collected to date, it's highly unlikely this syndrome was "invented" as some us originally thought. Whether Morgellons is being leveraged in some clandestine fashion to promote A Scanner Darkly is unclear bit if it is, it's sick, twisted and wrong.
The single paper in Medline (so far) on Morgellons disease is here.

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Anonymous said...

Sounds like scabes to me.


Test said...

You'd think! But no.

Anonymous said...

Morgellon's Disease is like chronic fatigue syndrome, Gulf War Syndrome, systemic candidiasis et al. Even the implied etiology of these clinical phenomenon challenge some premises of conventional medicine so the regular medical crowd go into total denial. If it pans out, the docs figure they can climb on board later and nobody will notice.

The problem is there are just too many 'weird' conditions popping up with AIDS being the biggest. And every time the standard reflex of the medical establishment is the same - deny it exists, say the patients are nut cases, claim somebody is promoting it for money (like the drug companies don't do this!) or whatever.

People aren't as stupid as the arrogant doctors think. They see the pattern. Like they see the procession of 'breakthrough drugs' that have to be hauled off the market later for killing more people than they cured.

I'm glad that so many medical neanderthals have dissed this condition. They will all be useless for treating this anyway.

Let us prick them down though and confront them with their words and the consequences of their actions.

Thank God for class action lawyers.

Robert McMaster

Anonymous said...

Yes: bizarre. And from a large percentage of the content on the Internet on "Morgellons," it would be easy to dismiss it as a ploy for attention. A lot of the sites are on par with alien abduction and crop circles.

Take a look at, especially "physicians only," "nurses only," "case definition," and "letter to your doctor," and you may find something more convincing.

Personally, I would know nothing about this disease aside from a recent news spot about a couple of locals who are suffering, except that someone I have been close to for 36 years just notified me that he seems to have it. He doesn't seem particularly delusional. Notably he is a little casual and is not seeking treatment. His doctor doesn't care and he has only had two short-lived real outbreaks [unless you consider that he has Parkinsons and probably Lyme disease, and his wife has MS, and Morgellons seems to be associated with similar neurological and other symptoms.]

Delusional parasitosis. I don't know about you, but the first thing I'd do if weird stuff came out of my skin is show it to my doctor.

Now I'm remembering local reports a few years ago where suddenly two-year-olds were showing up in hospitals saying they felt bugs crawling on them that no one could see.

Mystery diseases. Anonymous mentioned chronic fatigue, gulf war syndrome, and candidiasis; let's not forget multiple chemical sensitivity. Not too unlike AIDS, this thing seems to be spreading pretty quickly. I guess it's a joke until you or someone you love and trust is suffering or dying from it.

One thing I will say: uncurious people who enter medicine are in the wrong profession.

Anonymous said...

If you are interested in Morgellons Disease or experience Morgellons symptoms, I would like to invite you to participate in the Morgellons Disease Information Community and Message Board at