From: Wessely, Simon
Sent: 12 December 2012 10:50
To: MAR, Countess
Subject: RE: My letter of 5 December 2012


Dear Lady Mar


May I ask, genuinely respectfully, am I writing to you, or am I writing to all the internet?

When you wrote to me, you said it was an “open letter”, and indeed, it appeared on the internet as you sent it me


Personally, I don’t particularly like that way of communicating. If I write to a newspaper, or have a paper in a journal, then clearly that is public. But if I write to a private individual, then that is private, unless I indicate otherwise (as you did in your letter to me) or the other person asks for permission to repost, I think the word is.


So if we are to pursue this, can I first of all establish what is the basis of our correspondence. Is it private, or is it public? I can cope with either, but I think it’s only fair to both of us to establish which it is.


Simon Wessely



From: MAR, Countess
Sent: 12 December 2012 17:12
To: 'Wessely, Simon'
Subject: RE: My letter of 5 December 2012


Dear Professor Wessely


Thank you for responding to my letter of 12 December 2012.


As this correspondence began with an open letter I believe that it should continue as such. Unless you can give very good reasons why it should not, I can see no reason why your private response should be any different from your public response. Your answer to my question should be the same to whomever you reply.


Much of this debate has been conducted in the public arena, but a public arena from which people with ME/CFS are largely excluded. I am sure that you are aware that they do not have the same access to press, radio and television as you do. As we are concerned with their health, they should be privy to your honest opinion. Do you still believe that ME/CFS is “perpetuated predominantly by dysfunctional beliefs and coping behaviours”?


I still look forward to your reply.


Yours sincerely