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Tags crickets , Cuba conspiracies , Cuba incidents , mass hysteria , psychogenic illness , sonic weapons , US-Cuba relations

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Old 2nd February 2019, 01:03 PM   #601
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
And yet the Havana syndrome (Wikipedia) spread from CIA agents to Canadian diplomats.
What you are acknowledging here is that the "ailment" - being mass hysteria in this case - is contagious, after a fashion; which means removing people from the environment of the "contagion" when that is easily possible is a common-sense safety precaution. In the Emirates Flight 203 hysteria incident, step one was to get everybody off the plane.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Why do you think, literally, that the alternative is "to insist nothing is wrong while sending more staff and inevitably continuing to create new hysteria cases"? Is that what a single one of the many recommended treatments or interventions suggests? Why did you try to "find anything in the researchable internet literature about mass psychogenic illness that suggests a simple authoritative announcement that nothing is wrong and all the symptoms are entirely in the sufferers' own heads," instead of reading what they actually recommend?
What they actually recommend is consistent with Canada's action.

What Canada is doing, insofar as removing sufferers from the environment, is precisely the correct response. According to this article from the American Academy of Family Physicians (note the bold),

Quote:
Recognizing mass psychogenic illness is a critical first step for all health care professionals in appropriately responding to such outbreaks. Approaches to handling mass psychogenic illness are outlined in Table 3. Once the diagnosis is determined, reassuring patients is the primary therapy. Separating them can be beneficial.9,10 Most patients experience rapid resolution of symptoms once they are removed from the environment in which the outbreak started. In treating individual patients, it is important to acknowledge that although no toxic cause of their illness has been identified, the person's symptoms are real. A diagnosis of mass psychogenic illness is not equivalent to saying that the symptoms are just “in the patient's mind.” It is also important to emphasize that mass psychogenic illness affects normal, healthy persons and does not imply underlying psychopathology.
That last part, is particularly important. Mass psychogenic illness doesn't have a biological cause but the symptoms are real, which means deliberately exposing people to the triggering environment without adequate protection (which there is none) is unethical. This can't be helped if the environment is a town, or even something more specific like an apartment building where people have to live and continue living, or a school where children have to continue attending; but that's not true of a voluntary foreign posting, as Canada's decision illustrates.

And lest anyone perchance to interpret the first sentence of that quoted paragraph to imply that "recognizing mass psychogenic illness" means that Canada should be publicly pronouncing the whole business to be a case of mass hysteria right now, that is not the case. The same article outlines two admittedly imperfect strategems, each with potential drawbacks:

Quote:
In approaching mass psychogenic illness, the goal should be to restore individual persons and the community to routine function as quickly as possible. Prompt and definitive identification and labeling of episodes has been advocated as important in terminating them,22 but such an approach can be very difficult in practice. Labeling an outbreak as psychogenic may minimize unnecessary testing and halt spread, but the perception of a less than thorough investigation can lead to mistrust and anger.

Another strategy involves reassuring patients while avoiding naming the illness. This approach does not provide a “diagnosis,” and the absence of an identified source may lead to continued concern, symptom spread and increased testing.
"Restoring the community to routine function" does not apply in this case because as already mentioned, the hysteria did not spread in the patients' own community; that is to say, none of them after recovering is going to have to return to this place to live and work. This was a foreign place that none of them is ever going to have to visit again. If Canada is employing either of these approaches it would appear to be the second one; although they have a unique advantage that abrogates the downside: if the trigger for developing symptoms is being in Havana where the "illness" has been spreading, then all they need to do is not send more employees to Havana, and the risk of symptom spread vanishes. Logical and effective.

And there is precedent; after the mass hysteria outbreak followed by the airing of That One Pokemon Episode in Japan, the particular episode was permanently pulled from circulation, and in 20 years there has not been a repeat incident ever since. Whether the episode actually triggered genuine epileptic seizures in thousands of Japanese children or it simply triggered mass psychogenic illness through no fault of its own, either way the episode was the trigger, and removing it effectively ended the problem.

I haven't been able to find any source that recommends forcing patients or people who are in the immediate pool of potential patients to remain exposed to the environment they believe could be causing the symptoms.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
I don't presume anything about why they are staying. Since they aren't tourists but employees of Canada, my guess is that they are staying because Canada wants them to stay.
As I already said, Canada some time ago publicly announced that any employee who wanted to leave Cuba in the wake of the outbreak was free to make such a request and it would be honored. This means de facto that anyone who is still there is there voluntarily.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, I'm not. But why do you want to watch the Canadian cases isolated from the U.S. American ones that started it all?!
Because Canada's decision regards the health of its own diplomats, not America's.
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Old 3rd February 2019, 02:32 PM   #602
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
What you are acknowledging here is that the "ailment" - being mass hysteria in this case - is contagious, after a fashion; which means removing people from the environment of the "contagion" when that is easily possible is a common-sense safety precaution. In the Emirates Flight 203 hysteria incident, step one was to get everybody off the plane.

Separating healthy from (contagiously) sick people is often a rational precaution. From your link:

Quote:
Ten passengers and crew members who got sick on Emirates Flight 203 from Dubai to New York Wednesday tested positive for the flu and other common viruses including the common cold, authorities said Thursday.
Emirates health scare: Sick airline passengers test positive for flu, cold virus (USA Today, Sep. 7, 2018)

However, so far nothing seems to indicate that the alleged brain damage or inner-ear afflictions in Havana and Guangzhou are viral or bacterial in nature.

Quote:
What they actually recommend is consistent with Canada's action.

What Canada is doing, insofar as removing sufferers from the environment, is precisely the correct response. According to this article from the American Academy of Family Physicians (note the bold),

No, it's not the correct response, and your attempt to prove that it is is weird:

Quote:
That last part, is particularly important. Mass psychogenic illness doesn't have a biological cause but the symptoms are real, which means deliberately exposing people to the triggering environment without adequate protection (which there is none) is unethical. This can't be helped if the environment is a town, or even something more specific like an apartment building where people have to live and continue living, or a school where children have to continue attending; but that's not true of a voluntary foreign posting, as Canada's decision illustrates.

Don't you see what you're doing?! Suddenly living in a particular town or apartment building isn't voluntary, nor is going to a particular school. But working at an embassy is voluntary as if giving it up doesn't imply moving to another house or apartment building in another city and probably country, and as if the children of embassy employees wouldn't have to change schools (or kindergarten) as well.

Quote:
And lest anyone perchance to interpret the first sentence of that quoted paragraph to imply that "recognizing mass psychogenic illness" means that Canada should be publicly pronouncing the whole business to be a case of mass hysteria right now, that is not the case. The same article outlines two admittedly imperfect strategems, each with potential drawbacks:

"Restoring the community to routine function" does not apply in this case because as already mentioned, the hysteria did not spread in the patients' own community; that is to say, none of them after recovering is going to have to return to this place to live and work.

You're proving my point, and you don't even notice it: You are completely uprooting these people from the community they're in, and you're trying to save your explanation by making the subtle distinction between "the patients' own community," which, I assume, is the one where they don't live but might now move to, and the one where they actually are, are making a living and may even have moved their family to, albeit not for the rest of their lives.

Quote:
This was a foreign place that none of them is ever going to have to visit again.

Yes, just like if you would try to solve another outbreak of mass psychogenic illness by having the students go to a different school, the tenants shift to a different apartment building and the city dwellers shift to a different city. You'll have the people at the Canadian do all of these things in addition to shifting place of work.

Quote:
If Canada is employing either of these approaches it would appear to be the second one; although they have a unique advantage that abrogates the downside: if the trigger for developing symptoms is being in Havana where the "illness" has been spreading, then all they need to do is not send more employees to Havana, and the risk of symptom spread vanishes. Logical and effective.

Illogical and ineffective since it all comes down to your "if": The trigger isn't the school, the apartment building, the city or the embassy. The trigger is other people's fear of being sick. Several articles have made it clear that it wasn't Havana or the Havana crickets that made them sick or caused their symptoms. READ THE VANITY FAIR ARTICLE!:

Quote:
If you retrace the key events and anomalies of the outbreak at the embassy in Havana, every step of the way corresponds to those in classic cases of conversion disorder. The first few staffers hit by the symptoms were C.I.A. agents working on hostile soil—one of the most stressful positions imaginable. The initial conversation between Patient Zero and Patient One referenced only the odd sound; neither experienced any symptoms. Then, a few months later, a third embassy official reported that he was losing his hearing due to a “powerful beam of high-pitched sound.” As word spread quickly throughout the small, tight-knit complex of diplomats and other staff, Patient Zero helped sound the alarm. “He was lobbying, if not coercing, people to report symptoms and to connect the dots,” says Fulton Armstrong, a former C.I.A. officer who worked undercover in Cuba.
According to ProPublica, Patient Zero informed Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, in a telling phrase, that “the rumor mill is going mad.” So a meeting was called, which spread the word even further.
THE REAL STORY BEHIND THE HAVANA EMBASSY MYSTERY (Vanity Fair, Jan. 10, 2019)

Havana is not the trigger in any way! The "soil" isn't actually or even figuratively hostile, but I bet the CIA agents are! Their own hostility towards and consequent paranoia of the Cuban way of life that they are there to disrupt and destroy is the trigger. And since that is probably part of their job description, it would be an easy thing to eliminate if the State Department wanted to, but we all know that they don't.

Quote:
And there is precedent; after the mass hysteria outbreak followed by the airing of That One Pokemon Episode in Japan, the particular episode was permanently pulled from circulation, and in 20 years there has not been a repeat incident ever since. Whether the episode actually triggered genuine epileptic seizures in thousands of Japanese children or it simply triggered mass psychogenic illness through no fault of its own, either way the episode was the trigger, and removing it effectively ended the problem.

And I guess that, for some weird reason, in the case of apartment buildings, schools and cities, the apartment buildings, schools and cities aren't the triggers, right?!

Quote:
I haven't been able to find any source that recommends forcing patients or people who are in the immediate pool of potential patients to remain exposed to the environment they believe could be causing the symptoms.

No, I assume you haven't, but again I have to ask you as I did once before: Why on earth have you been searching for that?! Has anybody claimed that the best way to fight mass hysteria/mass psychogenic illness is to force people to do anything at all?! Did I ever say or imply any such thing?! What a weird strawman to come up with - if it weren't for your idea that removing (and again, for some reason, only half of) the staff from the Canadian embassy is the obvious solution: "Logical and effective," as you seem to think. So in your (il)logic, the opposite of forcing half the staff to leave Havana would be to force them to stay, which must then be my position, right?!
It's a very obvious false dichotomy.

Quote:
As I already said, Canada some time ago publicly announced that any employee who wanted to leave Cuba in the wake of the outbreak was free to make such a request and it would be honored. This means de facto that anyone who is still there is there voluntarily.

Yes, voluntarily, and again, I suppose, unlike city dwellers, apartment building tenants and school children who are forced to live, work and go to school where they do, right?!

Quote:
Because Canada's decision regards the health of its own diplomats, not America's.

Yes, obviously, but their diplomats (?) came down with a U.S. American 'disease' that spread to both the Canadian embassy and the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou.
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Old 4th February 2019, 08:11 PM   #603
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Separating healthy from (contagiously) sick people is often a rational precaution. From your link:

However, so far nothing seems to indicate that the alleged brain damage or inner-ear afflictions in Havana and Guangzhou are viral or bacterial in nature.
They are not viral or bacterial; but the problem is contagious. Mass psychogenic illness is contagious. You literally get it from exposure to other people who have it (whether directly or indirectly), and combating it requires containment measures.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, it's not the correct response, and your attempt to prove that it is is weird:

Don't you see what you're doing?! Suddenly living in a particular town or apartment building isn't voluntary, nor is going to a particular school. But working at an embassy is voluntary as if giving it up doesn't imply moving to another house or apartment building in another city and probably country, and as if the children of embassy employees wouldn't have to change schools (or kindergarten) as well.

You're proving my point, and you don't even notice it: You are completely uprooting these people from the community they're in, and you're trying to save your explanation by making the subtle distinction between "the patients' own community," which, I assume, is the one where they don't live but might now move to, and the one where they actually are, are making a living and may even have moved their family to, albeit not for the rest of their lives.
No; there is a marked difference between the two scenarios.

For someone like me (as an adult), and perhaps even you, there's very little that's voluntary and/or readily mobile about a living situation. They live where they live because it's the most economical (or absolutely the only) available living arrangement within range of their place of work; and moving house is a substantial, highly-impactful and stressful life event that is only done when necessary because it is such a prohibitively expensive thing to do otherwise. Even if a doctor expressly tells a patient that it would be unquestionably beneficial for her health if she were to move to another building or even to a completely different city in a different climate, this is very often simply not a practical option in the real world.

Foreign service is a different kettle of fish. The only thing the situation has in common is that living arrangements are dependent upon work location. Otherwise, everything is different: foreign service employees typically live in apartments or hotel rooms paid for by their home government. Their children typically attend schools that specifically cater to the children of foreign diplomatic and military personnel. Most importantly, foreign service employees very rarely spend more than a handful of years in any one country, or even service in only one particular region of the world over the span of their careers. Moving of course is still impactful; but for foreign service officials and their families it is certainly a more routine thing than it is for your average domestic family; not to mention immeasurably less stressful because the person already has a job and living arrangements waiting in the new location and the government is paying all the relocation costs.

The result is that when an unexpected health problem rears its head and an easy and relatively instant fix like simply moving the diplomat out of the country and into another assignment is available, the foreign service has that option. The government foots the bill for the move, and occasional moves while a disruption are already part of the employee's job description.

During my own childhood, as a child with an active duty military parent, I never lived in the same residence longer than two years. Moving was a thing that just happened every so often, period. That's just what life is like in that sphere.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Illogical and ineffective since it all comes down to your "if": The trigger isn't the school, the apartment building, the city or the embassy. The trigger is other people's fear of being sick. Several articles have made it clear that it wasn't Havana or the Havana crickets that made them sick or caused their symptoms. READ THE VANITY FAIR ARTICLE!:

Havana is not the trigger in any way! The "soil" isn't actually or even figuratively hostile, but I bet the CIA agents are! Their own hostility towards and consequent paranoia of the Cuban way of life that they are there to disrupt and destroy is the trigger.
Your argument here is stressing a distinction without a difference. No, there is nothing in Havana, physically, which is making them sick. But that doesn't matter: it is the fear or mental suggestion that "something" in Havana specifically could make them sick, that ends up making them sick. The fear is inextricably attached to Havana - in the first place because that's where the initial supposed "attack" happened; but unfortunately this fear and its tie specifically to Havana is reinforced every few months when yet another Canadian diplomat in Havana falls inexplicably ill. And as long as Canadian diplomats in Havana continue to succumb to the "mystery illness", that connection WILL remain, no matter how many articles get published saying "there is nothing wrong with Havana". Human psychology is a beach like that.

Genuinely: It would be just spiffy as hell if you could simply tell your people "it's mass hysteria, there is absolutely nothing going on there and you are perfectly safe going to Havana" and just like that, at the proverbial snap of a finger, no more Canadian diplomats get the "illness" anymore. Like Dr. Spock mindmelding with everyone and telling them that Wyatt Earp is a hologram and can't kill you if you don't believe in him. But mass psychogenic illness doesn't work like that, and I think you understand that perfectly well; so continuing to stress that "THERE'S NOTHING IN HAVANA" that's biologically making people sick, is a pointless waste of time. I already know that. It doesn't change anything.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
And I guess that, for some weird reason, in the case of apartment buildings, schools and cities, the apartment buildings, schools and cities aren't the triggers, right?!
Again, for the nteeth time: in the case of most outbreaks, the victims don't have the resources or wherewithal to just "up and move" away from the triggers; so healthcare officials HAVE to contend with that fact. Contrarily, foreign service diplomats and their families "up and move" all the time as a matter of course, so that is a convenient option.


Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, I assume you haven't, but again I have to ask you as I did once before: Why on earth have you been searching for that?!
Just pre-emptively covering a base.
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Old 8th February 2019, 02:25 PM   #604
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
They are not viral or bacterial; but the problem is contagious. Mass psychogenic illness is contagious. You literally get it from exposure to other people who have it (whether directly or indirectly), and combating it requires containment measures.

I don't understand where you're going with this. You link to an article about passengers on a plane who came down with the flu, i.e. something viral. Is your point that they were overreacting?

Quote:
No; there is a marked difference between the two scenarios.

For someone like me (as an adult), and perhaps even you, there's very little that's voluntary and/or readily mobile about a living situation. They live where they live because it's the most economical (or absolutely the only) available living arrangement within range of their place of work; and moving house is a substantial, highly-impactful and stressful life event that is only done when necessary because it is such a prohibitively expensive thing to do otherwise. Even if a doctor expressly tells a patient that it would be unquestionably beneficial for her health if she were to move to another building or even to a completely different city in a different climate, this is very often simply not a practical option in the real world.

Foreign service is a different kettle of fish. The only thing the situation has in common is that living arrangements are dependent upon work location. Otherwise, everything is different: foreign service employees typically live in apartments or hotel rooms paid for by their home government. Their children typically attend schools that specifically cater to the children of foreign diplomatic and military personnel. Most importantly, foreign service employees very rarely spend more than a handful of years in any one country, or even service in only one particular region of the world over the span of their careers. Moving of course is still impactful; but for foreign service officials and their families it is certainly a more routine thing than it is for your average domestic family; not to mention immeasurably less stressful because the person already has a job and living arrangements waiting in the new location and the government is paying all the relocation costs.

The result is that when an unexpected health problem rears its head and an easy and relatively instant fix like simply moving the diplomat out of the country and into another assignment is available, the foreign service has that option. The government foots the bill for the move, and occasional moves while a disruption are already part of the employee's job description.

During my own childhood, as a child with an active duty military parent, I never lived in the same residence longer than two years. Moving was a thing that just happened every so often, period. That's just what life is like in that sphere.

I don't have much experience with moving. I only moved once, so far.
But your "period" and "That's just what life is like in that sphere" don't really constitute an argument.
I can recommend the brief Trauma Faced by Children of Military Families - What Every Policymaker Should Know (National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP)).

Quote:
Your argument here is stressing a distinction without a difference. No, there is nothing in Havana, physically, which is making them sick. But that doesn't matter: it is the fear or mental suggestion that "something" in Havana specifically could make them sick, that ends up making them sick. The fear is inextricably attached to Havana - in the first place because that's where the initial supposed "attack" happened; but unfortunately this fear and its tie specifically to Havana is reinforced every few months when yet another Canadian diplomat in Havana falls inexplicably ill. And as long as Canadian diplomats in Havana continue to succumb to the "mystery illness", that connection WILL remain, no matter how many articles get published saying "there is nothing wrong with Havana". Human psychology is a beach like that.

Genuinely: It would be just spiffy as hell if you could simply tell your people "it's mass hysteria, there is absolutely nothing going on there and you are perfectly safe going to Havana" and just like that, at the proverbial snap of a finger, no more Canadian diplomats get the "illness" anymore. Like Dr. Spock mindmelding with everyone and telling them that Wyatt Earp is a hologram and can't kill you if you don't believe in him. But mass psychogenic illness doesn't work like that, and I think you understand that perfectly well; so continuing to stress that "THERE'S NOTHING IN HAVANA" that's biologically making people sick, is a pointless waste of time. I already know that. It doesn't change anything.

Sorry, I'm not familiar with that episode of Star Trek, but I also don't think that it helps clarify anything.
I think that you're straw manning again when you come up with the idea that the alternative to removing half of the staff from the Canadian embassy in Havana would be to "simply tell your people "it's mass hysteria, there is absolutely nothing going on there and you are perfectly safe going to Havana" and just like that, at the proverbial snap of a finger, no more Canadian diplomats get the "illness" anymore."
So unless you can point out where experts in the field recommend that approach, I consider it an irrelevant distraction.
What you need to prove is that "the fear is inextricably attached to Havana." What I see in the real world is government agencies doing their utmost to maintain the idea that the cause of the anxiety of the embassy workers, US or Canadian, was an actual attack!
That is what has secured the 'attachment' from the get-go when Patient Zero "helped sound the alarm" and since then it has been picked up by the US State Department and any number of US politician, quite a few of them anti-Castro revanchists. That is the inextricability of the fear of "something" in Havana.
You seem to have misunderstood the guidelines for handling cases of mass hysteria. When they say that -
Quote:
Getting things back to normal as quickly as possible should be the goal of all responsible parties, Jones and his fellow researchers emphasize.
Mass Hysteria Is No Laughing Matter (Web MD)

- what is meant is that the circumstances surrounding the case should be normalized. What has been done so far only served to confirm the ideas of the mass hysterics.

Quote:
Again, for the nteeth time: in the case of most outbreaks, the victims don't have the resources or wherewithal to just "up and move" away from the triggers; so healthcare officials HAVE to contend with that fact. Contrarily, foreign service diplomats and their families "up and move" all the time as a matter of course, so that is a convenient option.

That might have seemed like a convenient option if it hadn't been for the planned withdrawal of 50% of the staff, most of whom don't seem to be affected by the mass hysteria. This is a diplomatic move. It has nothing to do with (mental) health care.
It's like applauding and confirming Chuck's 'solution' to his (imaginary) ailment.

Quote:
Just pre-emptively covering a base.
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Old 8th February 2019, 02:33 PM   #605
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The insanity certainly upped a notch here.
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Old 8th February 2019, 03:51 PM   #606
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I don't understand where you're going with this. You link to an article about passengers on a plane who came down with the flu, i.e. something viral. Is your point that they were overreacting?
LOL....okay, look. If you're going to link an article in support of a point, from now on, please make sure you read the article and not just the headline:

Quote:
Ten passengers and crew members who got sick on Emirates Flight 203 from Dubai to New York Wednesday tested positive for the flu and other common viruses including the common cold, authorities said Thursday.
Only 19 people on the plane were found to actually be sick when they were examined by doctors. Only 10 of those (7 crew and 3 passengers, specifically) were found to actually have the flu. But the plane wasn't quarantined when it landed because a dozen or so people had a cough. At the time of landing, nearly 100 of the 300+ people onboard were reporting coughing, fever, and other flu-like symptoms. Those people were not sick; it was a case of MPI. They saw passengers and crew around them coughing and in distress so they began to feel they too were becoming sick. They were not afflicted with a virus. This again is a very close parallel to the "Pokemon" incident, where a handful of children actually did have epileptic seizures, and thousands more children "got sick", but were not epileptic at all.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
I don't have much experience with moving. I only moved once, so far.
But your "period" and "That's just what life is like in that sphere" don't really constitute an argument.
We moved because we had to. There was no choice. And it happened all the time.

So you disagree with my statements. Do you propose that I am inventing the multiple moves during my childhood, or that I am mischaracterizing them as "routine" for a family in that situation?

Originally Posted by dann View Post
I think that you're straw manning again when you come up with the idea that the alternative to removing half of the staff from the Canadian embassy in Havana would be to "simply tell your people "it's mass hysteria, there is absolutely nothing going on there and you are perfectly safe going to Havana" and just like that, at the proverbial snap of a finger, no more Canadian diplomats get the "illness" anymore."
The alternative to removing people is to leave them there - i.e., to do nothing at all, and just continue removing and replacing individuals one at a time as they become "sick". (They could remove slightly less or slightly more, rather than exactly half, of the staff I suppose; but is that really enough of a difference to matter for argumentative purposes?)

Rather than continually complaining about me creating "straw men" by proposing what I see as the various alternatives and explaining why they're not good ideas, perhaps you can make a tangible statement proposing a specific alternative approach Canada should be taking, aside from simply disagreeing with what they've chosen to do, and we can talk about that proposal.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
What you need to prove is that "the fear is inextricably attached to Havana."
The Canadians who got sick, got sick in Havana. No Canadian diplomats have got sick elsewhere yet, and reportedly the symptoms went away when the patients were brought back to Canada.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
What I see in the real world is government agencies doing their utmost to maintain the idea that the cause of the anxiety of the embassy workers, US or Canadian, was an actual attack!
Their utmost - really? I think if Canada wanted to promote the idea of an actual attack, they could do significantly more than what they have been doing. Even counting drawing back the embassy staff, they still haven't done nearly as much to positively assert an "attack" origin as the US has. And the US has not done all that it COULD do along those lines either - hardly so.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
That is what has secured the 'attachment' from the get-go when Patient Zero "helped sound the alarm" and since then it has been picked up by the US State Department and any number of US politician, quite a few of them anti-Castro revanchists. That is the inextricability of the fear of "something" in Havana.
Exactly how it started, does not matter. It may be interesting from a historian's standpoint, but it is completely irrelevant to the treatment of the mass hysteria outbreak as it occurs. Policymakers in Canada deciding how to respond, can't say "this is the US's fault" and then somehow premise their medical response on that fact; however true or false it is, it's unimportant to the work that needs to be done.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
- what is meant is that the circumstances surrounding the case should be normalized. What has been done so far only served to confirm the ideas of the mass hysterics.
In this case, removing the patients from the "affected" area, allowing their somatic symptoms to recover, and then assigning them elsewhere, is the normalization process. It seems to work well.

Although what's funny about the statement you quoted is, this is the immediately preceding paragraph:

Quote:
"I think that the psychological side of managing building problems is really pretty neglected, and it's quite possible for people to become aversely conditioned to being in a building, just as you can be aversely conditioned to eating pizza if you think it's made you ill in the past. The view that you will only get a reaction to a real physical agent is, I think, an erroneous view. In many instances there's also a very strong psychological component to the reactions that people have."
The reason I find this funny is because the above statement is 100% exactly what I have been trying to say about the relationship between "being in Havana" and succumbing to this illness, which you have repeatedly argued I am wrong about.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
That might have seemed like a convenient option if it hadn't been for the planned withdrawal of 50% of the staff, most of whom don't seem to be affected by the mass hysteria.
How does that change the factor of convenience? Cuba doesn't like the optics, because they view it as "the US winning" which is a bad thing in their opinion and that's fine; but otherwise it changes nothing about the two countries' relations. Canada is not anti-Castro.
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Old 9th February 2019, 01:16 AM   #607
dann
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
LOL....okay, look. If you're going to link an article in support of a point, from now on, please make sure you read the article and not just the headline:

Quote:
Ten passengers and crew members who got sick on Emirates Flight 203 from Dubai to New York Wednesday tested positive for the flu and other common viruses including the common cold, authorities said Thursday.

Only 19 people on the plane were found to actually be sick when they were examined by doctors. Only 10 of those (7 crew and 3 passengers, specifically) were found to actually have the flu. But the plane wasn't quarantined when it landed because a dozen or so people had a cough. At the time of landing, nearly 100 of the 300+ people onboard were reporting coughing, fever, and other flu-like symptoms. Those people were not sick; it was a case of MPI. They saw passengers and crew around them coughing and in distress so they began to feel they too were becoming sick. They were not afflicted with a virus. This again is a very close parallel to the "Pokemon" incident, where a handful of children actually did have epileptic seizures, and thousands more children "got sick", but were not epileptic at all.

Not only did I read the article, I also quoted the exact same sentence that you are now using, so I see no reason to pretend that I didn't. And with a "LOL" too!
If only (!) seven members of the crew are actually sick, I wouldn't want to be on that plane, I would have ample reason to worry about my own safety and the safety of the rest of the passengers and crew. And I wouldn't have to imagine anything to justify my worries. I wouldn't have to make a mountain out of a mole hill or a supersonic weapon out of the sound of crickets:

Quote:
With flu season approaching, the CDC recommends people sick with flu stay home and avoid travel for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone.
(...)
All passengers and crew members were evaluated, with seven crew members and three passengers hospitalized.
Your summary is dishonest when you claim that "Only (!!!) 10 of those (7 crew and 3 passengers, specifically) were found to actually have the flu."
'Only' ten were hospitalized!

Quote:
We moved because we had to. There was no choice. And it happened all the time.

So you disagree with my statements. Do you propose that I am inventing the multiple moves during my childhood, or that I am mischaracterizing them as "routine" for a family in that situation?

Does anything at all seem to indicate that I propose that you are "inventing the multiple moves during my childhood, or that I am mischaracterizing them as "routine" for a family in that situation"?

Quote:
The alternative to removing people is to leave them there - i.e., to do nothing at all, and just continue removing and replacing individuals one at a time as they become "sick".

No, it's not, but keep repeating it and you may end up actually believing that it is! That you are very fond of your strawman argument and that it's the only thing you've got going in this debate doesn't make it true!

Quote:
(They could remove slightly less or slightly more, rather than exactly half, of the staff I suppose; but is that really enough of a difference to matter for argumentative purposes?)

And elaborating doesn't make it the least bit more true!

Quote:
Rather than continually complaining about me creating "straw men" by proposing what I see as the various alternatives and explaining why they're not good ideas, perhaps you can make a tangible statement proposing a specific alternative approach Canada should be taking, aside from simply disagreeing with what they've chosen to do, and we can talk about that proposal.

I've been doing that the whole time! Instead of proposing what I could imagine as the various alternatives, I've recommended using the techniques that the experts recommend.

Quote:
The Canadians who got sick, got sick in Havana. No Canadian diplomats have got sick elsewhere yet, and reportedly the symptoms went away when the patients were brought back to Canada.

And what does that tell you? Chuck only got sick when he was near electromagnetic fields (or thought that he was) and his symptoms went away when he was removed or protected from them (or thought that he was). Yes, I know that it's fiction, but so is the idea electromagnetic hyper-sensibility is an actual thing.

Quote:
Their utmost - really? I think if Canada wanted to promote the idea of an actual attack, they could do significantly more than what they have been doing. Even counting drawing back the embassy staff, they still haven't done nearly as much to positively assert an "attack" origin as the US has. And the US has not done all that it COULD do along those lines either - hardly so.

And if the USA had really wanted to win the Vietnam war, it could have nuked the North Vietcong, which proves that the USA didn't really want to win the war, right?! Canada is playing the good cop in this story.

Quote:
Exactly how it started, does not matter. It may be interesting from a historian's standpoint, but it is completely irrelevant to the treatment of the mass hysteria outbreak as it occurs. Policymakers in Canada deciding how to respond, can't say "this is the US's fault" and then somehow premise their medical response on that fact; however true or false it is, it's unimportant to the work that needs to be done.

You continue along the lines of your strategy, 'how can I make this appear to be logical', but you are right about "policymakers in Canada" being the guys who make the decisions, not the actual experts in the field of mass psychogenic illness. The truth is indeed unimportant!

Quote:
In this case, removing the patients from the "affected" area, allowing their somatic symptoms to recover, and then assigning them elsewhere, is the normalization process. It seems to work well.

There is no normalization about it, but as a diplomatic strategy for Canadian interests it probably does work well.

Quote:
Although what's funny about the statement you quoted is, this is the immediately preceding paragraph:

Quote:
"I think that the psychological side of managing building problems is really pretty neglected, and it's quite possible for people to become aversely conditioned to being in a building, just as you can be aversely conditioned to eating pizza if you think it's made you ill in the past. The view that you will only get a reaction to a real physical agent is, I think, an erroneous view. In many instances there's also a very strong psychological component to the reactions that people have."
The reason I find this funny is because the above statement is 100% exactly what I have been trying to say about the relationship between "being in Havana" and succumbing to this illness, which you have repeatedly argued I am wrong about.

No, the statement isn't even close to what you've been trying to say - and are still saying - but you probably believe that it is. It's possible that the psychological side of managing embassies has also been neglected, but you seem to think that the quotation says that the solution to being aversely conditioned to being in a building or eating pizza is to remove people from the building (or the pizza). That's not what it actually says.
Yes, there is indeed "a very strong psychological component to the reactions that people have", which is why the solution to the problem is different from my solution to my actual allergies (I've got the blood tests to prove that it's not primarily in my head!): If your gluten allergy is imaginary, you shouldn't stop eating pizza. If your sick-building syndrome is psychological, you shouldn't move. And it goes without saying that if the supersonic high-tech noises are actually crickets, you should realize that your ideas are paranoia pure and simple and not the evil Commies trying to get you. (However, if the noise still bothers you, you might consider getting earplugs or calling an exterminator.)
If you pay attention to what I've been writing so far, you'll notice that I haven't said that the solution is to force pizza down the throats of people who are aversely conditioned to it and tell them that they're crazy, which, if you're honest with yourself, is what you thought I said, right?!

Quote:
How does that change the factor of convenience? Cuba doesn't like the optics, because they view it as "the US winning" which is a bad thing in their opinion and that's fine; but otherwise it changes nothing about the two countries' relations. Canada is not anti-Castro.

Cuba doesn't like the optics because it harms the country. From the very beginning, it served to justify the Republican roll-back of Obama's reforms of diplomatic relations with Cuba. And it doesn't stop there:

Cuba Strongly Rejects the Threat to Activate Title III of the Helms-Burton Act (Representaciones Diplomáticas de Cuba en el Exterior, Jan. 17, 2019)
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 10th February 2019, 02:48 PM   #608
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Your summary is dishonest when you claim that "Only (!!!) 10 of those (7 crew and 3 passengers, specifically) were found to actually have the flu."
'Only' ten were hospitalized!
The people who were hospitalized, are irrelevant. The dozens and dozens more who became "sick", due to mass hysteria, are the point.

It is incredibly common for a mass hysteria outbreak to be triggered by one or a handful of people with legitimate illnesses or even non-hysteria psychological afflictions, that everyone around them then begins incorrectly believing they are "catching". I'm unsure what point you're trying to make by so forcefully emphasizing that a handful of people on the plane were really sick, out of the hundred or so who were suffering from "symptoms".


Originally Posted by dann View Post
Does anything at all seem to indicate that I propose that you are "inventing the multiple moves during my childhood, or that I am mischaracterizing them as "routine" for a family in that situation"?
Yes; otherwise I would not have asked you to clarify.

You think I'm wrong to depict moving as "just the way life is" in that situation. I'm not; it's not my opinion, it's an objective fact. Moving every couple of years is routine for a family in that situation. I've lived it, and my family was not special. Why do you think it is wrong of me to say so?


Originally Posted by dann View Post
I've been doing that the whole time! Instead of proposing what I could imagine as the various alternatives, I've recommended using the techniques that the experts recommend.
I seem to have missed it, so please again explain what you believe Canada should be doing in this situation, instead of what it has decided to do. Please be specific regarding what actions Canadian officials should be taking. All I've seen you "recommend" is reading a couple of generalized articles about mass hysteria and generalized quotes about treatment from a couple of doctors; which you are then interpreting according to your own opinion of Canada's response. But relying on such vague generalities isn't going to work, because your interpretation is subjective and mine will differ from yours. For instance, the concept of normalization. To me, "normalization" in the present situation means the patient recovers and then goes back to work and gets on with life. To you, it doesn't count unless they're going back to work specifically in Cuba, while I don't find that condition necessary.


Originally Posted by dann View Post
There is no normalization about it, but as a diplomatic strategy for Canadian interests it probably does work well.
It is normalization. After "recovery", the patients return to work and live life as normal without recurrence.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, the statement isn't even close to what you've been trying to say - and are still saying - but you probably believe that it is. It's possible that the psychological side of managing embassies has also been neglected, but you seem to think that the quotation says that the solution to being aversely conditioned to being in a building or eating pizza is to remove people from the building (or the pizza). That's not what it actually says.
Yes, there is indeed "a very strong psychological component to the reactions that people have", which is why the solution to the problem is different from my solution to my actual allergies (I've got the blood tests to prove that it's not primarily in my head!): If your gluten allergy is imaginary, you shouldn't stop eating pizza. If your sick-building syndrome is psychological, you shouldn't move.
The bolded is 100% wrong. If you so strongly imagine that you are "allergic to gluten" (or whatever the case; a kid in my first-grade class refused to eat pizza because he said the cheese made him throw up) that it causes you to experience actual physical symptoms of illness when you eat pizza, then yes, in fact, you need to stop eating pizza and making yourself sick, because that is a 100% free and 100% effective method of preventing future symptoms, and nobody's nutritive intake or QOL is going to suffer on account of not eating pizza anymore. If you really want to be able to eat pizza, then of course counseling to work through the issue is your personal prerogative. But it's unnecessary.

Moving from a building is indeed harder, because of the prohibitive financial costs associated with moving for most people - as I explained several posts ago. So in many cases, it will make sense to begin whatever therapeutic intervention is necessary to work through the psychological problem in that case - it's a lot less "voluntary".

Diplomats move posts regularly though, and on the home country's dime anyway; so simply bumping their moving schedule up a few months or a year is relatively a low-cost and guaranteed-effective option compared to indefinite-term psychological counseling with a specific end goal of getting them to be able to stay in Cuba for a few more months after the counseling is completed, however long that takes, and if it's actually successful. And of course, after a few months they'll just be leaving Cuba anyway. It's incredibly wasteful of money and certainly of the patient's time, if you could just avoid any further trouble by simply assigning them to some other place instead of Cuba to begin with.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Cuba doesn't like the optics because it harms the country.
From your link:

Quote:
Despite Canada´s government decision, Cuba remains committed to keeping the good state of bilateral relations and strengthening the links with a country with which we keep strong bonds of friendship and cooperation.
So no, actually no harm at all was caused by Canada's decision. To say that it "harmed the country" is every bit as much simple rhetorical jingoism as is the US's claim that its diplomats were being "attacked".
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Old 11th February 2019, 06:25 AM   #609
dann
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Quote:
OTTAWA -- Canadian diplomats who were based in Havana are suing the federal government for $28 million in connection with mysterious health issues consistent with traumatic brain injuries experienced while they were in Cuba.
(...)
“My brain just doesn't work the way it used to,” one woman said, adding that she sometimes suddenly loses her balance.
'Havana Syndrome': Canadian diplomats who worked in Cuba suing Ottawa for $28M (CTV News, Feb. 6, 2019)

She is probably right about her brain not working the way it used to, of course, but I don't think that the reason is what her brain thinks it is.
The article says that -

Quote:
When one diplomat was eventually tipped off by his American neighbour, he said a “light” went off in his head: “This is exactly what's going on in my house,” he recalled thinking.

The statements from different Canadian embassy workers leave a very confusing impression of what actually happened and how Canada tried to deal with it. However, nothing at all makes it seem as if Canada has handled the case the way that an actual attack, mass hysteria or a regular disease ought to be handled.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 11th February 2019, 11:01 AM   #610
dann
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
The people who were hospitalized, are irrelevant. The dozens and dozens more who became "sick", due to mass hysteria, are the point.

It is incredibly common for a mass hysteria outbreak to be triggered by one or a handful of people with legitimate illnesses or even non-hysteria psychological afflictions, that everyone around them then begins incorrectly believing they are "catching". I'm unsure what point you're trying to make by so forcefully emphasizing that a handful of people on the plane were really sick, out of the hundred or so who were suffering from "symptoms".

Should a plane with seven crew members in need of hospitalization be in the air? No!
Is your article about mass hysteria? No!
Is it in any way comparable to the diplomatic incident, i.e. the Havana syndrome? No!
Would I myself as a passenger begin to feel uncomfortable in a situation like that? Hell, yeah!

Quote:
Yes; otherwise I would not have asked you to clarify.

You think I'm wrong to depict moving as "just the way life is" in that situation. I'm not; it's not my opinion, it's an objective fact. Moving every couple of years is routine for a family in that situation. I've lived it, and my family was not special. Why do you think it is wrong of me to say so?

I ask you, "does anything at all seem to indicate that I propose that you are "inventing the multiple moves during my childhood, or that I am mischaracterizing them as "routine" for a family in that situation," and instead of pointing out where I do so, you say that your asking me to clarify is the indication! Brilliant!
It's wrong of you to say so because it's irrelevant.

Quote:
I seem to have missed it, so please again explain what you believe Canada should be doing in this situation, instead of what it has decided to do. Please be specific regarding what actions Canadian officials should be taking. All I've seen you "recommend" is reading a couple of generalized articles about mass hysteria and generalized quotes about treatment from a couple of doctors; which you are then interpreting according to your own opinion of Canada's response. But relying on such vague generalities isn't going to work, because your interpretation is subjective and mine will differ from yours. For instance, the concept of normalization. To me, "normalization" in the present situation means the patient recovers and then goes back to work and gets on with life. To you, it doesn't count unless they're going back to work specifically in Cuba, while I don't find that condition necessary.

Let me remind you that "in this situation" what you have been doing is to create straw man examples of what Canada shouldn't do in order to justify what Canada has actually done, i.e. since it would be stupid to simply tell the afflicted diplomats, agents, embassy staff (whatever!) that they are loonies and then force them to stay, the Canadian 'solution' appears to you to be the only possible sane one. This argumentative strategy is what you call "preemptively covering a base," apparently.
And what I have been doing is to point out to you the argumentative technique you've been using and supply you with links to texts where you could read what is the wise action to take in a cases of mass psychogenic illness if what you're trying to accomplish is to put a stop to it. Some articles contain general recommendations, yes, obviously. Others, however, describe how specific cases were actually handled.
Recommendations need to be generalized when their purpose is to be useful in so far unspecified future cases of mass hysteria. A case of electro-magnetic hyper sensibility is different from a case of mold in a building or a weird smell at a school. What they have in common is that the 'patients' actually believe that something in the environment other than rumors has harmed them. However, when you call in the experts to investigate, the ones looking for mold will be different from the ones looking for radiation.
It would be foolish to simply insist that no harmful substance is present or that the symptoms are merely mental without trying to find out if something is actually there. That is the first step. It requires a thorough investigation of both the environment and the victims to make sure that everybody is out of harms way because no actual harm is (or ever was) present.
The victims of the mass psychogenic illness need to be reassured that nothing's wrong with the environment they're in and that nothing is (physically) wrong with them. (And if something is actually physically wrong with some of them, they need to be told what that something is and what may have caused it if their own conclusion was wrong. And this is very delicate because at the same time they should also be told that they aren't crazy, but merely scared and therefore may have jumped to conclusions. The serious investigation also contributes to this. (And it's probably much easier to convince even highly excited teenage girls that their symptoms and suspicions are taken seriously than it is to convince highly excited CIA agents! It worked in the recent Danish HPV-vaccine scare. (WHO, Feb. 2018))

You can read my links if you are actually interested in further details.
If you consider the implications of your own 'solution,' it becomes obvious why it would never work. (And the irony is that this is exactly what has happened with the Havana syndrome: Since the Havana scare is useful to the State Department in its attempts to roll back the diplomatic openings during Obama’s presidency, the mass hysteria has been kept alive and well.
Your alleged normalization is a state of things where the authorities contribute to the delusion that an attack took place in Havana, thus producing ever more cases.
And now Canada is being sued for not doing anything about … it, i.e. the rays, noise whatever that people at the U.S. and Canadian embassies in Havana are convinced that they have been harmed by.

Quote:
It is normalization. After "recovery", the patients return to work and live life as normal without recurrence.

… forever living in the delusion that they were attacked in Havana, considering themselves lucky that they were among the ones, who fully recovered from the attacks, while watching the list of attack victims grow longer and thus confirm their beliefs.
What could possibly go wrong, right? (No, not really!)

Quote:
The bolded is 100% wrong. If you so strongly imagine that you are "allergic to gluten" (or whatever the case; a kid in my first-grade class refused to eat pizza because he said the cheese made him throw up) that it causes you to experience actual physical symptoms of illness when you eat pizza, then yes, in fact, you need to stop eating pizza and making yourself sick, because that is a 100% free and 100% effective method of preventing future symptoms, and nobody's nutritive intake or QOL is going to suffer on account of not eating pizza anymore. If you really want to be able to eat pizza, then of course counseling to work through the issue is your personal prerogative. But it's unnecessary.

Man, your kind of skepticism is amazing. You are actually saying that people should stick to their delusions and act according to them since that is the optimal solution. (Except for the kid in your first-grad class: I hated cheese when I was a child, primarily the smell, and I would have thrown up if I was forced to eat it. It had [i]nothing to do with delusions[/Ia], however. I didn’t think it was toxic, I didn’t think I was allergic to it, I just really hated the smell.) So I guess that from now on our advice to EHS sufferers is that they should move into the woods and live in tents, far away from cell phones and electric wires. (Chuck will be pleased to hear that!) People living in houses haunted by ghosts should move too - or alternatively call in a ghost exterminator since they seem to work 100%. And if your life is ruined by earth rays, you should call your local dowser so he can tell you where to place your bed: “that is a 100% free and 100% effective method of preventing future symptoms,” right?!

Quote:
Moving from a building is indeed harder, because of the prohibitive financial costs associated with moving for most people - as I explained several posts ago. So in many cases, it will make sense to begin whatever therapeutic intervention is necessary to work through the psychological problem in that case - it's a lot less "voluntary".

I hope that you’ve noticed that you’ve now made superstition a question of affordability: ‘No, a dowser is 100% effective, but unfortunately they’re too expensive for you. I’m afraid you’ll have to resort to therapy.’
(It just occurred to me: Have they tried dowsing in Havana yet? I mean, they have tried everything else, haven’t they?!)

Quote:
Diplomats move posts regularly though, and on the home country's dime anyway; so simply bumping their moving schedule up a few months or a year is relatively a low-cost and guaranteed-effective option compared to indefinite-term psychological counseling with a specific end goal of getting them to be able to stay in Cuba for a few more months after the counseling is completed, however long that takes, and if it's actually successful. And of course, after a few months they'll just be leaving Cuba anyway. It's incredibly wasteful of money and certainly of the patient's time, if you could just avoid any further trouble by simply assigning them to some other place instead of Cuba to begin with.

Aaaahh, but you have to consider that it just got much more expensive and apparently not at all effective, didn’t it? But that is what tends to characterize woo problem solving, so I won’t pretend to be surprised at all. And I apologize to all Canadian tax payers reading this, but I really, really think that your government deserves to be sued!

Quote:
From your link:


So no, actually no harm at all was caused by Canada's decision. To say that it "harmed the country" is every bit as much simple rhetorical jingoism as is the US's claim that its diplomats were being "attacked".

Havana can probably give you the numbers if you seriously want to know how much the cricket scare has cost the country so far. As to Cuban-Canadian relations:

Quote:
Has Canada been a "friend" to Cuba?
(…)
Despite tacit support for U.S. actions against Cuba, Ottawa never broke off diplomatic relations, even though most other countries in the hemisphere did. Three Nights in Havana explains why Ottawa maintained diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba: "Recently declassified State Department documents have revealed that, far from encouraging Canada to support the embargo, the United States secretly urged Diefenbaker to maintain normal relations because it was thought that Canada would be well positioned to gather intelligence on the island." Washington was okay with Canada's continued relations with the island. It simply wanted assurances, which were promptly given, that Canada wouldn't take over the trade the U.S. lost.
Ottawa has not let Washington down in regards to intelligence gathering. For nearly half a century Canada has spied on Cuba. Since the start of the 1960s the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), an intelligence department of the federal government, has listened to Cuban leaders secret conversations from an interception post in the Canadian embassy in Havana. A senior Canadian official, close to Washington, "admitted that the U.S. made 'far greater use' of our intelligence during the [October 1962] Cuban Missile Crisis than has been revealed." Pentagon and State Department sources cite the U.K. and Canada as the only countries that "supply any real military information on Cuba" with Canada providing "the best" military intelligence. Canada has even spied on Cuba from outside that country. The CSE wanted to establish a communications post in Kingston, Jamaica, to intercept "communications from Fidel Castro’s Cuba, which would please [the US government’s] NSA to no end."
Canada and Castro's Cuba: It's complicated (rabble.com, Nov. 26, 2016)

ETA: Interesting book, by the way, Three Nights in Havana. Kindled it this morning. I can recommended for anybody who's interested in Cuban-Canadian-US relations.
__________________
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 11th February 2019 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 12th February 2019, 12:20 AM   #611
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Quote:
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Federal Court, paints a picture of a federal government that was more concerned with keeping a lid on a worsening health crisis that first surfaced for the Canadians in early 2017 in Havana.
Diplomats sue Ottawa for $28 million for health problems suffered in Cuba (The Star, Feb. 6, 2019)

Quote:
Paul Miller, the lawyer representing the 14 diplomats, spouses and children who are suing, compared the attack that preceded their illnesses to “a science fiction horror film.”
(…)
One Canadian career diplomat who is party to the suit, said that her family’s lives had been turned upside-down. The diplomat, who requested anonymity because she still worked for the government, said that while stationed in Cuba in 2017 she suddenly fell ill with debilitating headaches, which she initially attributed to stress.
After hearing about the American cases of Havana Syndrome, she said she connected her symptoms to high-pitched noises that had been coming from her backyard.
Canadian Diplomats Sue Their Government Over Mysterious Cuban Disease (NYT, Feb. 7, 2019)

Quote:
“Canada downplayed the seriousness of the situation, hoarded and concealed critical health and safety information, and gave false, misleading and incomplete information to diplomatic staff”
In addition to poor handling of the crisis, the lawsuit also claims that the government knowingly sent additional citizens “in harm’s way” by sending new families to Havana while personnel were presenting with symptoms similar to those of American diplomats.
Canadian Diplomats Sue Government for $28 Million Over Illnesses Related to Sonic Attacks (Hearing Health & Technology Matters, Feb. 8, 2019)

Quote:
Josefina Vidal, Cuban ambassador to Canada, criticized Ottawa's decision to cut staff as an "incomprehensible" move that "fuels speculation," and said that "this behavior favors those who in the United States use this issue to attack and denigrate Cuba."
Canadian diplomats sue their government over mystery illness in Cuba (CNN, Feb. 7, 2019)

Quote:
The Canadians interviewed by NBC News said they were suffering from headaches, dizziness, visual issues, problems concentrating, and extreme fatigue, among other symptoms.
“For us to be discredited or for us to have to fight for credibility has had a huge impact on us as people and professionals,” said another diplomat, referring to public suggestions that the diplomats weren’t really injured or that the sound heard in Havana was merely crickets.
(…)
Many of the U.S. diplomats affected have also hired lawyers as they contemplate legal action and work to navigate the complex U.S. government’s medical bureaucracy in seeking medical care and lost wages.
Meanwhile, an American government-accountability group this week sued the U.S. to try to force the public release of a report, known as an Accountability Review Board, that the State Department conducted to evaluate its response to the initial incidents.
Canada insists it takes health of diplomats ’very seriously’ amid suit over Cuba incidents (NBC News, Feb. 9, 2019)

Quote:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that Canada was taking the situation seriously.
"There is no question that the health impacts on diplomats in Cuba have been visible and real," he said.
"We are continuing to work with local authorities and work with the RCMP to determine what is the source of these sounds or this issue they are facing," he added, referring to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Force.
Canadian diplomats file suit over injuries suffered in Cuba (Miami Herald/AP, Feb. 7, 2019)
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 12th February 2019 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 12th February 2019, 06:27 AM   #612
dann
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So far, I haven’t seen anything in Scandinavian news media about the most recent development. This one is from Austria:

Quote:
Die nun klagenden Kanadier berichten jedenfalls von schweren Schäden. "Meine Frau ist nicht mehr dieselbe wie zuvor", sagte einer von ihnen unter Schutz der Anonymität dem staatlichen TV-Sender CBC. Sie leide an Erinnerungslücken, Kopfschmerzen und Hörschäden. "Sie hebt das Telefon ab und weiß nicht, warum. Sie geht ohne erkennbaren Grund von einen Raum in den nächsten."
Kuba-"Geräuschattacke": Kanadische Diplomaten verklagen Ottawa (Der Standard, Feb. 7, 2019)

My translation:
”The Canadians who are now suing also talk about severe damages. ”My wife is not the same person she used to be,” said one of them anonymously to the public TV station CBC. She suffers from memory loss, headache and impaired hearing. “She picks up the phone and doesn’t know why. She goes from one room into another for no apparent reason.”
Cuban “Sound Attacks”: Canadian diplomats sue Ottowa
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 13th February 2019, 12:00 AM   #613
dann
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The actual words in English:
Quote:
"My wife, she isn't the same anymore," one unnamed diplomat told Canadian broadcaster CBC.
"She has gaps in her memory, headaches, problems hearing. She picks up the telephone to make a call but forgets why, enters rooms without reason."
Diplomats sue Canada government over mystery illness in Cuba (BBC, Feb. 7, 2019)
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 13th February 2019, 07:13 AM   #614
dann
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
All I've seen you "recommend" is reading a couple of generalized articles about mass hysteria and generalized quotes about treatment from a couple of doctors; which you are then interpreting according to your own opinion of Canada's response. But relying on such vague generalities isn't going to work, because your interpretation is subjective and mine will differ from yours. For instance, the concept of normalization. To me, "normalization" in the present situation means the patient recovers and then goes back to work and gets on with life. To you, it doesn't count unless they're going back to work specifically in Cuba, while I don't find that condition necessary.

It is normalization. After "recovery", the patients return to work and live life as normal without recurrence.

We've been there before: You've made claims about what constitutes mass hysteria/mass psychogenic illness, and I've had to point out why you were wrong.
So I apologize if some of the quotations below have been used before, but here goes:

Quote:
ABSTRACT
(…)
RESULTS:
(…)
Symptomatic and asymptomatic groups differed in frequency of several physical and psychological variables, but observing a friend become sick was the best predictor of the development of symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: These results confirm earlier research demonstrating multiple psychological and physical factors that contribute to such outbreaks, particularly symptom transmission through social networks. Investigators should explore social transmission as an additional characteristic feature of mass hysteria in order to facilitate early identification of future outbreaks.
Mass hysteria among student performers: social relationship as a symptom predictor (The American Journal of Psychiatry, April 1, 2006)

April 1st, yes, I know, but it seems to be kosher.

Quote:
CASE MANAGEMENT
(…)
When emergency personnel have completed their assessment of the extent and nature of the problem on site, specific decisions can be made regarding return of residents to the facility. In the case study presented, [hilite]it was decided to close the dining facility for an additional 24 hours so that a more thorough investigation could be completed, although it appeared unlikely that a physical cause for the incident would be identified. The more extensive assessment, and the precautionary evacuation completed shortly after the incident began suggested a tone of thoroughness and care that helped reduce anxiety.
A case of Mass hysteria or toxic fumes? Considerations for University Administrators (Indiana University/NASPA Journal, Spring 1996)

i.e. ”shortly after”. It does not say, ‘a couple of years later’!
It continues:

Quote:
(…)
In the days following the incident, questions will remain as to what caused of the illness, what safeguards are there to prevent a reoccurrence, and what assurances are there that the facility is now safe. Answers to these questions when no physical cause is identified, as is the case in a mass psychogenic illness, must focus on building confidence that adequate care has been taken. Inquiries can be expected from students, parents, and the media. The ease with which individuals with questions can receive a reply from an appropriate university spokesperson can affect the level of trust perceived in the answers given. It is appropriate that at the end of the professional investigation of the incident, a report be issued to all interested parties. Because indeed the symptoms experienced by the victims were real, it is important to acknowledge that. Especially in cases of mass psychogenic illness, a coordinated staff response is essential for minimizing the disruption to the student community.
A case of Mass hysteria or toxic fumes? Considerations for University Administrators (Indiana University/NASPA Journal, Spring 1996)


I’m not sure if this measure would have been appropriate in the case of Havana’s Patient Zero/CIA Agent ZeroZeroZero, but I think it’s still worth considering:

Quote:
Bearing in mind the spread of mass anxiety hysteria along 'line of sight' a policy of 'divide and rule' may be successful. The advice of Johann Weyer cannot be faulted: 'It is necessary first of all that they all be separated and that each of the girls be sent to her parents or relatives' (Weyer, 1600).
(...)
Should social validation be granted, the epidemic may persist. This can occur when onlookers have a vested interest in supporting the authenticity of the hysteria.
Mass hysteria: two syndromes? (Simon Wessely in Psychological Medicine, 1987, p. 118)

The U.S. State Department has obviously had a very vested interest in the current case!
And the following is obviously not true in the case of the Havana syndrome:

Quote:
Contemporary society does not knowingly reinforce hysterical behaviour but may do so inadvertently, as in the coverage of 'prowler' epidemics or imaginary gas leaks.
Mass hysteria: two syndromes? (Simon Wessely in Psychological Medicine, 1987, p. 118)

In the case of the Havana syndrome, “contemporary society” has ”knowingly” done what it possibly could to ”reinforce hysterical behaviour."
Another suggestion also doesn’t seem to have been followed in the case of the Havana syndrome:

Quote:
Many authors show that the simplest and most effective measure is the restoration of communication between those affected and authority.
Mass hysteria: two syndromes? (Simon Wessely in Psychological Medicine, 1987, p. 118)

Quote:
Experts said the most recent precedent of the Ebola risk, psychologically speaking, is the anthrax scare that followed the Sept. 11 attacks. In the weeks after an unknown assailant sent deadly envelopes with powdered anthrax spores to public officials, people across the country were seized by anxiety.
Some duct-taped windows and stayed away from work. In pockets of the country — Tennessee, Maryland and Washington — people reported physical symptoms like headaches, nausea and faintness. Ultimately they were determined to be the result of hysteria.
(…)
The Ebola outbreak has many of the elements that could quickly stoke instinctual panic, experts note. It is invisible and deadly, a point graphically communicated in nonstop pictures and videos from Africa. Like SARS, and more recently MERS, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, and bird flu, it is a strange, exotic threat, and there is little that can be done personally to limit it.
These elements are precisely those that are most likely to cause contagious anxiety, researchers have found.
(…)
At the moment, health authorities are struggling to retain the public’s trust, a crucial brake on runaway anxiety. The most important factors, Dr. Slovic said, will be competence and fairness: communicating the risks clearly, reporting all cases as quickly as possible, and treating each infection with the maximum level of care.
Officials will be walking a fine line, he said. “This could tip very quickly.”
Experts Offer Steps for Avoiding Public Hysteria, a Different Contagious Threat (NYT, Oct. 15, 2014)

Unlike the alleged Cuban super weapon, Ebola, SARS, MERS and bird flu are real. However, what the imaginary threat has in common with the real ones is that “there is little that can be done personally to limit it,” obviously.

Quote:
Notoriously, in Singapore in 1967, hundreds of men became convinced that eating pork meat taken from a series of vaccinated pigs would lead to penis shrinkage or disappearance, and potentially death.
The “penis panic” or “koro” required a concerted effort from the country’s government to educate the male population about their genital organs to convince them that their conviction was not, and could not, be true.
Mass hysteria: An epidemic of the mind? (Jul. 27, 2018)

No ”concerted effort” seems to have been taken to educate the co-ed populations of the U.S. and Canadian embassies in Havana ”to convince them that their conviction was not, and could not, be true.”

Quote:
While circumstantial evidence is readily available, empirical data for mass hysteria is elusive and difficult to quantify. Physicians have, however, identified a “confluence of eight symptoms” that commonly describes cases of mass hysteria. These symptoms include the following: Symptoms with no plausible organic basis, symptoms that are transient and benign, symptoms with rapid onset and recovery, occurrence in a segregated group, presence of extraordinary anxiety, symptoms that are spread via sight, sound or oral communication; a spread that moves down the age scale, beginning with older or higher status people; and a preponderance of female patients. The most common physiological symptoms include headache, hyperventilation, syncope, and abdominal distress.
(…)
“Physicians are trained to search for an organic cause of disease and it can be very difficult to resist pressure to perform increasingly obscure tests and search for an elusive diagnosis, particularly amid the substantial public concern frequently generated by such outbreaks,” said Timothy Jones, MD, an epidemiologist who has researched MPI. “Nonetheless, ordering large numbers of tests can be problematic.” In addition to the expensive costs of these excessive tests, the physician may face other negative effects as well. The continual ordering of tests will statistically produce an abnormal result, leaving a physician with the task of explaining a negative test that may have no clinical significance.

In this age of ‘orange alerts’, terrorists threats, and media overload, mass hysteria is sure to be a worsening issue. In order to prevent unnecessary financial burdens and undue patient stress, it is important to minimize patient exposure to other anxiety-stimulating situations in the ED and media coverage. Physicians have to be the example of calmness while being compassionate. Physicians must be the bedrock by which the staff, patients and visitors can build their secure foundation upon.
Handling hysteria (Emergency Physicians Monthly, year???, )

We know the role that physicians have played in the current case. If you don’t, you will have to read the articles about it in JAMA!

In Denmark, by the way, two things contributed to the recent HPV-vaccine scare:
1) a couple of girls with actual diseases among the hundreds of girls who claimed to have been harmed by the vaccine
2) ignorance about the way that rumours spread nowadays (social media!) made a group of doctors believe that the girls were right about their suspicions: Since they were from different parts of the country, they couldn't possibly have known about each other, the (elderly!) doctors thought! This contributed to making the girls feel that they had been let down by the medical establishment, and it took a very long time to produce proof that the vaccine didn’t have the serious side effects that the girls imagined.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 13th February 2019 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 16th February 2019, 03:51 AM   #615
dann
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Unfortunately, I don't have access to this article about how to respond to MPI:

Robert E. Bartholomew, M. Chandra Sekaran Muniratnam:
How Should Mental Health Professionals Respond to Outbreaks of Mass Psychogenic Illness? (ResearchGate/Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, Nov. 2011)


But another Bartholomew article mentions a couple of things that don't bode well for the Havana MPI victims who are now suing their governments: Going to court will probably make it more difficult for them to recover!

Robert E. Bartholomew, Simon Wesssely, G James Rubin:
Quote:
The financial burden can be enormous. (…) Finally, victims can get trapped in wider social arguments and conflicts, especially when the veracity of their symptoms is challenged, impeding their recovery.
(…)
However, it is certainly possible that the initial index case may have an organic diagnosis, but not those subsequently afflicted. This is a pattern that is frequently reported in other MPI episodes.
(…)
As individuals they become caught up in the battle of diagnosis, both on and offline. And, as Hadler memorably said when discussing a non-contagious but contested diagnosis, fibromyalgia, ‘if you have to prove you are ill, you can’t get well’.
(…)
Public health officials and those in authority, such as head teachers and school superintendents, often manage successfully to strike the right balance between investigation, reassurance and confidentiality, creating an atmosphere in which anxiety can dissipate, fear subside and those affected can return to health with their dignity and self-respect unaffected. The rise of social media means that all of these goals are far more difficult if not impossible to achieve, as seen clearly in the Leroy case.
The advice on handling episodes has until now not changed since that given during the latter Middle Ages to quell outbreaks of conversion disorder in European nunneries and repeated over the centuries since: offer reassurance, separate the victims and keep them out of the school environment until the symptoms disappear. Given the proliferation of the Internet and social media networks, this latter recommendation may prove problematic. Local priests, who were inevitably summoned to exorcize the ‘demons’, faced a daunting task given the widespread belief in witchcraft, but they were fortunate in one regard: they did not have to contend with mobile phones, Twitter and Facebook.
Mass psychogenic illness and the social network: is it changing the pattern of outbreaks? (ResearchGate/Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Dec. 2012)
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 19th February 2019, 05:46 AM   #616
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Rob Palmer, ‘The Well-Known Skeptic,’ writes about his contributions to the Wikipedia article about the ‘Havana syndrome,’ as it is now called:

Quote:
Bartholomew: ”I have no doubt that the Trump Administration, which has consistently claimed that an attack took place (including Trump himself), now realize that they have made a mistake, but they do not want to admit it. The facts in this case are beyond clear and compelling; they are definitive. Any talk of a sonic attack is science fiction. Now some people are trying to move the goalposts and claim it was a microwave attack. There is even less evidence for that than a sonic attack.”
(…)
Bartholomew: I have just completed an 80,000-word book manuscript on this episode with UCLA neurologist Dr. Robert Baloh. We look at the history of claims that sound waves have caused illness, and we also examine the microwave claims. To think that someone could hold a weapon—sonic, microwave or otherwise—and target U.S. diplomats while deep inside a major hotel, while people standing next to them were unaffected, is James Bond science fiction. It is clear that embassy staff heard cricket and cicada sounds and mistook them for a sonic attack. Bug experts who have heard the sounds reached similar conclusions.
(…)
Bartholomew: The evidence of mass psychogenic illness is not suggestive or even compelling; it is definitive. There is no question about it.
Were the ‘Sonic Attacks’ on American Diplomats Just Sci-Fi? (Skeptical Inquirer, Feb. 5, 2019)

As you can see, the article includes a brand new interview with Robert E. Bartholomew – and if I had wanted a really controversial headline for this post, I might have called it: 'Bartholomew supports the Taliban'

Quote:
”Similar incidents of “mass poisonings” of Afghan schoolgirls have been reported for the past decade. The Taliban have vehemently denied any involvement in these cases, and the evidence supports their contention.”
.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 19th February 2019, 07:11 AM   #617
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I have made a new thread in Trials and Errors to discuss the lawsuit that Canadian and U.S. American diplomats have made against their respective governments: US & Canadian Diplomats Sue Their Governments.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 23rd February 2019, 07:06 AM   #618
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Two lawsuits in the USA may help bring to light some of the many things that have been kept secret in the case of the 'Havana Syndrome':

Quote:
Meanwhile, an American government-accountability group this week sued the U.S. to try to force the public release of a report, known as an Accountability Review Board, that the State Department conducted to evaluate its response to the initial incidents. Only a brief summary of the results of that report, which found no wrongdoing but several shortcomings in the U.S. response, has been released publicly.
A lawsuit from The James Madison Project and New Yorker journalist Adam Entous seeks to force the State Department to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request by Entous for a copy of the report. The lawsuit alleges the State Department hasn’t handed over the report and has missed the statutory deadline for responding to the request.
Canada insists it takes health of diplomats ’very seriously’ amid suit over Cuba incidents (NBC News, Feb. 9, 2019)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 3rd March 2019, 02:50 AM   #619
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On Feb. 28, 2019, The Ottawa Citizen published a whole series of articles about the Canadian diplomats who are suing their government after having experienced the 'Havana syndrome' on Feb, 28, 2019:

The Havana Syndrome: Why Canadian diplomats have accused their government of abandoning them
The Havana Syndrome, Part 2: How a dog's brain may help solve the mystery of Canadian diplomats' Cuban nightmare
The Havana Syndrome, Part 3: Insiders say ordeal has 'struck a nerve' in Canada's diplomatic community
The Havana Syndrome, Part 4: What it could be and how experts will try to crack the case

So far, I've only read the first article. This is how one diplomat describes the beginning:

Quote:
In the late winter of 2017 the previously healthy members of the Allen family began experiencing symptoms, from nosebleeds to headaches, that they couldn’t explain.
They would wake up with excruciating headaches. They experienced nausea and vision problems.
Their youngest son, 12, was getting as many as four nosebleeds a day, even passing out. Mrs. Allen began hearing high-pitched noises. The couple became uncharacteristically irritable.
“We knew there was something, but we just couldn’t figure out what was going on.”
And then, one evening in early April, there was a knock on their door. An American diplomat who lived across the street asked if Allen would go for a walk. “Living in Cuba, we understood that our houses were bugged.”
What Allen learned shook him.
His neighbour told him a dozen Americans had already been evacuated from Havana after suffering from symptoms including nausea, headaches, nosebleeds, hearing and eye problems.
He told Allen the symptoms were believed to be the result of attacks with some kind of a weapon, maybe sonic.
“It just hit me, ‘Holy crap, this is going on in my house.’”

The American diplomat was upset that the U.S. government had not told the Canadians about the situation. His colleagues had been sworn to secrecy, but he hadn’t yet been “gagged,” so he took the opportunity to warn Allen, “because we lived so close and he thought we were in danger.”The Havana Syndrome: Why Canadian diplomats have accused their government of abandoning them (Ottawa Citizen, Feb. 28, 2019)

So the Canadian diplomats and their families, didn't suspect that their symptoms had anything to do with sonic or other kinds of attacks until one of the Americans gave them the idea. The most common symptom experienced by the children seems to have been nosebleeds about which KidsHealth writes as advice to parents:

Quote:
Nosebleeds are common in kids 3 to 10 years old, and most are caused by nose-picking or dry air. They can be scary, but are rarely cause for alarm. Most will stop on their own and can be easily managed at home.
(...)
Causes and Remedies
The chief cause of anterior nosebleeds is dry air. A dry climate or heated indoor air irritates and dries out nasal membranes, causing crusts that may itch and then bleed when scratched or picked.
Nosebleeds (KidsHealth)

In Havana, most people complain about the humidity, but in the case of the Canadian children I suspect that excessive air conditioning may have contributed to their nosebleeds.

Quote:
The statement of claim contends that Global Affairs “actively interfered with the plaintiffs’ attempts to receive proper health care, including going so far as instructing hospitals to stop testing and treating them.”The Havana Syndrome: Why Canadian diplomats have accused their government of abandoning them (Ottawa Citizen, Feb. 28, 2019)

To me, this sounds as if Global Affairs were well aware (or at least assumed) that the whole thing was a case of mass psychogenic illness. See this quotation from post 614:

Quote:
“Physicians are trained to search for an organic cause of disease and it can be very difficult to resist pressure to perform increasingly obscure tests and search for an elusive diagnosis, particularly amid the substantial public concern frequently generated by such outbreaks,” said Timothy Jones, MD, an epidemiologist who has researched MPI. “Nonetheless, ordering large numbers of tests can be problematic.” In addition to the expensive costs of these excessive tests, the physician may face other negative effects as well. The continual ordering of tests will statistically produce an abnormal result, leaving a physician with the task of explaining a negative test that may have no clinical significance.
Handling Hysteria (Emergency Physicians Monthly)
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 3rd March 2019, 08:41 AM   #620
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The second part of the series in Ottawa Citizen supports the idea that the Canadian government considered it to be a case of mass psychogenic illness:

Quote:
According to documents obtained through access to information by the National Post, a federal government official suggested early on that the symptoms could be psychosomatic.
The Havana Syndrome, part 2: How a dog’s brain may help solve the mystery of Canadan diplomats’ Cuban nightmare (Ottawa Citizen, Feb. 28, 2019)

But the article is a disappoint if you expect to see the answer to "how a dog's brain may help solve the mystery". The article doesn't really say how or even if:

Quote:
During the summer of 2017, before the family returned to Ottawa, their three Shih Tzu dogs were behaving strangely, said Allen. Almost every night, the dogs would run to the corner of their yard backing on to a house where American diplomatic staff lived and bark frantically, for no apparent reason. “There was nothing there.”
(…)
One of them, a seven-year-old, subsequently began behaving strangely — suddenly biting at non-existent flies, arching its back and lying on its back and putting its feet in the air. A veterinarian diagnosed seizures and told the family there was something wrong with the dog’s brain. The vet recommended the dog be euthanized.
(…)
In December, researchers at Dalhousie told Allen they had found “something significant” in the dog’s brain and needed more samples. “It could be related,” Allen was told.
(…)
All of us have brain bleeds that we shouldn’t have — and our thought processes are slower than people our age,” he said. MRIs show bleeds coming from small capillaries in their brains, he said, which are completely different from the control group.
The Havana Syndrome, part 2: How a dog’s brain may help solve the mystery of Canadan diplomats’ Cuban nightmare (Ottawa Citizen, Feb. 28, 2019)

I have no idea what the significance of the "bleeds coming from small capillaries in their brains" is supposed to be. Is it an example of what the epidemiologist said in the quotation in the post above?

Quote:
“Nonetheless, ordering large numbers of tests can be problematic.” In addition to the expensive costs of these excessive tests, the physician may face other negative effects as well. The continual ordering of tests will statistically produce an abnormal result, leaving a physician with the task of explaining a negative test that may have no clinical significance.

An article in ScienceDaily says:

Quote:
Neurologist Dr. Mark Fisher and neuropathologist Dr. Ronald Kim found that cerebral microbleeds are highly prevalent in the aging brain -- and not primarily products of stroke-related injury, hypertension or neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, as had been thought.
"Prior work relied on brain imaging to show cerebral microbleeds," Fisher said. "But in this study, deep regions of the brain were closely examined under a microscope, and nearly all subjects had evidence of small areas of bleeding."
Brain bleeding is common with aging, study finds (Science Daily, Nov. 9, 2010)

And ordinary drugs like aspirin may cause this kind leakage:

Quote:
"Drugs that interfere with platelets and blood clotting, such as aspirin, are known to be associated with microbleeds seen in brain imaging studies," Fisher said.
Brain bleeding is common with aging, study finds (Science Daily, Nov. 9, 2010)

It would be interesting to know what kind of drugs were used by the Canadian diplomats, their families and pets in Havana. Two years ago, I had to take Xarelto and had headaches the entire time, something that I almost never have otherwise. I haven't been happier than when I could stop taking it.
I'm happy to report that it doesn't seem as if the physicians have recommended that any of them be euthanized!
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 3rd March 2019, 10:04 AM   #621
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The most interesting thing in the third installment of Ottawa Citizen's story is probably when the diplomats explain how an alleged attack in Havana became so much more frightening than an actual fatal attack in Nairobi:

Quote:
They cited the 2013 death of Annemarie Desloges, a Canadian diplomat in Nairobi who was killed when terrorists attacked a local mall.
“When Annemarie died, that was tragic and shocking, but that’s really far out of the norm … and it’s one person, and one incident,” they said. “This time you see a pattern. There’s so many people affected, so many children. … And they’re still around to tell their story.”
“These are the people who have come back and are now working in the cubicle or the office next to you, or your friends you were posted with in other countries. So I think it’s kind of hit a lot more people closer to home,” the diplomat said.
The Havana Syndrome, part 3: Insiders say that ordeal has ‘struck a nerve’ in Canada’s diplomatic communty (Ottawa Citizen, Feb. 28, 2019)

Dead people don't tell and they don't spread rumours ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 3rd March 2019, 01:53 PM   #622
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In The Havana Syndrome, part 4: What it could be and how experts will try to crack the case (Ottawa Citizen, Feb. 28, 2019), Eric Arts, chair of the microbiology and immunology department at Western University’s medical school, compares the ’Havana syndrome’ with AIDS in the early 1980s: the most difficult problem, he thinks, is ”figuring out what general category this new medical condition fits into.”
The ”causes that have been speculated about” are mentioned ”in no particular order”:
• Sonic attack
• Crickets
• Electronic attack
• A chemical spill
• Mass hysteria
• Disease spread human-to-human
• Disease spread by non-human contact

Go to the article itself to see the comments to these hypothetical causes. There is nothing really new to those of you who have been following the case.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 7th March 2019, 09:15 AM   #623
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I missed this article at the time, Nov. 2018, but it adds the the description of the 'contagion' described in a quotation from a Canadian diplomat in post 619:

Quote:
What is clear is that the Canadians began experiencing unambiguous symptoms in April of 2017, shortly after they had learned from U.S. diplomats about the symptoms the Americans had been experiencing since December. (...) Two staffers realized that something more serious must be wrong when they realized that both of their young children had violent nosebleeds on the same night at roughly the same time.
“We had heard rumours [from American diplomats]. And our understanding of it was that you would hear something very loud and immediately feel very acute symptoms," a diplomat said. "Most of us did not have that experience. A lot of the symptoms appeared either inconsistently or [intermittently] and grew with time, and could be explained by other things. … So it took time to realize that we were having the same issues and the same timing of issues.”
(...)
In April, [the U.S. official] walked across the street and he said, ‘You know we’re being evacuated. This is not right and you should know this, because our governments are not telling us, you need to know,’ " a diplomat said.
Canada’s brain-injured Cuba diplomats speak out about Ottawa’s silence (The Globe and Mail, Nov. 18, 2018)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 7th March 2019, 07:06 PM   #624
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Sounds like a diet deficient in Vitamin K. Maybe instructions to "don't eat the Cuban pork"?
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Old 8th March 2019, 03:49 PM   #625
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Pork contains a good deal of vitamin K, and so do avocados. The quality of both is excellent in Cuba. However, the Cubans would like to have more beef, which is why one song by Buena Fe & Eliades Ochoa sarcastically proposes to award pigs the title of national mammal: El Puerco, Mamífero Nacional:

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(Notice the references to Animal Farm by George Orwell. The video begins and ends at the old Hemingway bar La Bodeguita del Medio.)
Vitamin K deficiency might explain nose bleeds as well as cerebral micro bleeds, but I can't imagine that people working at the Canadian and U.S. embassies haven't been tested for all kinds of deficiencies. And vitamin K deficiency couldn't explain most of the other symptoms.
(Insects tend to have a pretty high content of vitamin K, too, so eating crickets might be a good nutritional supplement and also help get rid of the noise.)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 14th March 2019, 03:37 AM   #626
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I quoted professor Beatrice Golomb in post 495, Sep. 9, 2019: ”Researcher links diplomats' mystery illness to radiofrequency/microwave radiation. She was the one who found similarities between the 'Havana syndrome' and people who think that they suffer from electromagnetic hypersensibility:

Quote:
the cited symptoms -- headache, cognitive problems, sleep issues, irritability, nervousness or anxiety, dizziness and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) -- occurred at strikingly similar rates.

However, Beatrice Golomb didn’t compare Chuck’s imaginary illness with the ailments of U.S. diplomats in Havana in order to dismiss the latter as mass psychogenic illness. Instead, she appeared to hope for official recognition of the former as an actual disease.

Later that same month, the International Microwave Power Institute (IMPI), "an organization devoted to microwave energy and its usage," which has "conducted surveys as well as educated the public to dispel microwave myths," (Wikipedia) published this:

Quote:
Editor’s Note: After the September 2nd New York Times article broke, we turned to IMPI Fellow, Dr. John M. Osepchuk, for his reaction to the piece.
(…)
The most prominent reference is given to the opinions and publications of Beatrice Golomb. especially to a forthcoming paper, which is extraordinary: 63 pages with 656 references. The paper is rambling over many disciplines—chemistry, medicine, sociology etc. but with little or no reference to the actual literature on the microwave auditory effect. Prominent in her discourse is the suggestion that literature funded by industry can be ignored because of likely bias. This accusation is more like that of malfeasance and is truly unacceptable to a reasonable observer.
(…)
One also can conclude that the allegations lack scientific support suggesting that the claim that industry supported research cannot be accepted is truly a reflection of desperation on the part of those alleging a microwave hazard.
Conclusions:
There is no scientific support for the thesis that microwaves caused sonic attacks on embassy people in Cuba and elsewhere.
.
NY Times Publishes Extensive Speculation that Microwaves May Be Cause of Embassy Employee Ills in Cuba and Elsewhere (International Microwave Power Institute, Sep. 25, 2018)

A very different organization writes this about professor Beatrice Golomb:

Quote:
She sits on the scientific advisory board for the anti-vaccine organization CMSRI. In the same interview, she repeats many of the anti-vaccine dog whistles that are used to gain support from mainstream audiences, for example the need for “vaccine choice” or that we are receiving “too many” vaccines.
(…)
Besides participating in an anti-vaccine conference, Dr. Golomb once sat for an interview with noted conspiracy theorist Dr. Joseph Mercola. Dr. Golomb also participated in an interview on an online radio show that focused on electromagnetic hypersensitivity but also endorsed other conspiracy theories, its descriptioneven mentioning the notorious “Agenda 21” theory.
Reporting on the edge: Authority, dog whistles and the politics of the unknown (Science Based Medicine, Sep. 28, 2018)

It is worth noting that unlike Dr. John M. Osepchuk from the first quotation, the author of the article in Science Based Medicin sympathizes with Golomb's skepticism of industry-supported research but not when it makes people embrace pseudo-science.


ETA: other Golomb articles:
I urge in the strongest terms that you vigorously oppose California SB 649. (Scientists for Wired Technology, Aug. 22, 2017)
Dr. Beatrice Golomb, UCSD researcher, speaks out about 5G dangers (Smombie Gate, Aug. 18, 2017)
Microwave RF Radiation and Cuban Diplomats - Golomb's Central Role in the Microwave Diplomat Story: Correcting the Record (golombresearchgroup.org)
Diplomats' Mystery Illness and Pulsed Radiofrequency/Microwave Radiation (ResearchGate, Sep. 2018)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 23rd March 2019, 02:18 AM   #627
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Sunday March 17, 60 Minutes reported on the 'Havana Syndrome'.
If you have been following this thread, there was nothing new, but you get to see some of the alleged victims that we have only read about so far.
And then there was this gem, but it's 'news' from the 1990s:

Quote:
In the 1990's Beck and an NSA co-worker were on assignment overseas. Years later, he says they developed Parkinson's Disease at the same time.
Mike Beck: In 1996 a colleague of mine, Chuck Gubete, and I traveled to a hostile country and worked there for about a week. And um, I can't say where the hostile country-- the identity of it.
Scott Pelley: Because it's still classified?
Mike Beck: Yes.
But it was not Cuba or China.
Scott Pelley: You believe that you and Chuck Gubete were attacked with this microwave weapon?
Mike Beck: Yes. I had a pretty good working knowledge of the hostile country's intelligence services, what they do to people, what they have done, what their modus operandi is.
Brain Trauma Suffered by U.S. Dipolomats Abroad Could Be Work of Hostile Foreign Government (CBS News, March 17, 2019)

I'm very disappointed that 60 Minutes didn't interview Robert Bartholomew and that they leave out the cricket story. It seems as if the weird sounds that were so important back in September 2017 are now completely ignored.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 24th March 2019, 06:23 AM   #628
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Backlash in Scientific American against the 60 Minutes report

Quote:
The report is an example of how a once credible press has been supplanted by tabloid sensationalism and fearmongering. The program featured interviews with staff and family members at the US embassy in China who believe they have suffered traumatic brain injury from an energy beam weapon of some kind. This included interviews with a man who had Parkinson’s disease; a woman who developed a rash and experienced dizziness, auditory and vestibular symptoms that accompany many common illnesses; her young toddler who fell down more than once, and a person with preexisting traumatic brain injury, which even the US State Department agrees could not have been caused by the supposed brain-damaging energy beam. All of these health complaints are experienced routinely in medicine, and many legitimate diagnoses could be made without jumping to such an extraordinary conclusion.
(…)
The sources interviewed on the program voiced only personal speculation, without evidence.
The report lacked verification, fact checking, and failed to provide objective and alternative viewpoints.

CBS 60 Minutes Sensationalized Report on a Sonic or Microwave Weapon Harming US Diplomats (R. Douglas Fields, Ph.D, March 21, 2019)

Quote:
As a panelist I expressed my view, which I reached after traveling to Havana and carefully reviewing the evidence, that the “Cuban sonic weapon attack” is not about neuroweapons. Rather it is about the core values and mission of the AAAS: to promote scientific integrity and to communicate science accurately to the general public. I expressed my view that the media sensation that has swept through news outlets and major scientific journals for over two years, is fueled by a failure of journalism. The din of sensational coverage in the media overwhelms the accurate reporting by science writers.
The Cuban "Sonic Attack" and Journalistic Ethics (Scientific American, March 18, 2019)

An earlier article in Scientific American by the same author:

Quote:

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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 24th March 2019, 08:48 AM   #629
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Miscellaneous

The David Icke Social users have discovered the ‘Havana syndrome’.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire: Letter to Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, Feb. 1, 2019, about the U.S. diplomats in Guanzhou.


Quote:
The relative lack of U.S. authorities’ cooperation with Cuba on its investigation into the incidents did not tally with the concern it alleged, he added.
By contrast, cooperation with Canada had been much better, he said. “Canada did not make accusations toward Cuba regarding attacks; Canadian politicians have not come out threatening us or making irresponsible declarations,” said Fernandez de Cossio.
The Cuban government criticized Canada’s decision in January to cut the number of diplomatic staff in Cuba by up to half after another person fell ill, bringing the total of Canadians suffering unexplained symptoms to 14.
It said the move would not help solve the mystery and would hurt bilateral relations.
However Fernandez de Cossio said cooperation was satisfactory and would continue.
“We aspire for there not to be any greater damage to our relations (with Canada), nor do we see any reason for there to be,” he said.
Cuba says USA, not Canada, manipulating diplomat health incidents (Reuters, March 14, 2019)


This one makes me wonder why an electronics security expert has no better proof than his belief that he was the victim of a microwave attack:

Quote:
Mark Lenzi, a State Department security officer who worked in the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, believes he was directly targeted by an energy weapon – RF, or radio frequency energy, in the microwave range.
“This was a directed standoff attack against my apartment,” said Lenzi, who believes he was targeted because he used top secret equipment to analyze electronic threats to diplomatic missions.
CBS: Foreign Government Could Be Behind Brain Trauma of US Diplomats (Newsmax, March 17, 2019)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 24th March 2019, 09:59 AM   #630
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The Washington Times think that they have discovered the actual weapon - leaving out all references to microwaves and crickets:

Quote:
The weapon (!) includes an MP3 player (I) and powerful directional microphone that allows the user of the gun (!) to issue verbal commands. It has a maximum range of 3,000 meters.
(...)
CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday interviewed several American diplomats who suffered brain trauma from suspected sonic (!) attacks in Guangzhou, China.
China's acoustic cannon (Washington Times, March 20, 2019)

Crazy **** like this gives me a headache!


In the meantime, tourism in Cuba appears to be doing great:

Quote:
Greater service quality and diversity constitutes the cornerstone of efforts, supported by the intangible value provided by the security of the country, which leads to increased tourist arrivals, as visitors recognize and appreciate the safe conditions to undertake activities.
A series of international awards vouch for such conditions: Varadero features second place in the TripAdvisor 2019 Travelers’ Choice Awards for the world’s best beaches, after having placed third in 2018; while the hotels Paradisus Princesa del Mar, located at the same beach destination, and Havana’s Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski and Hotel Nacional, were all recognized in different categories of the 2018 World Travel Awards, which identify excellence in all activities linked to the global travel and tourism industry.
Such honors, together with last year’s record number of international visitors, only serve to refute the U.S. State Department’s Cuba Travel Advisory, warning its citizens to reconsider travel to the island.
(...)
Likewise, Cuba Educational Travel, a U.S. organization, reported that in an anonymous survey of citizens of that nation, 99.13% felt “safe” or “very safe” during their stay in the Caribbean country. The same opinion is shared by U.S. Senators who have traveled to the island, and refute the story of sonic attacks on diplomatic staff at their embassy in Havana, instead advocating the restoration of all operations of that mission.
Cuban tourism grows despite U.S. obstacles (Granma.cu, March 21, 2019)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 25th March 2019, 01:10 AM   #631
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The electromagnetic-hypersensitivity crowd are having a field day with the 60 Minutes report:

Quote:
Microwave Weapons cause 'Brain Network Disorder' or Electromagnetic hypersensitivity in US and Canadian diplomats:
- evidence of brain injuries by Diffusion Tensor Imaging MRI
Electromagnetic Warfare, Weapons, Weather Modification, Climate Change, Geo-Engineering and Earthquakes (electrosensitivity.co)

Quote:
Silent, sleuth and without warning, American diplomats in China and Cuba testify that they were targeted via Electronic Microwave Frequencies, here’s the 60 minutes presentation. Brain Tumor Sufffered by US Diplomats
(Citizens for 5G Awareness)
(The actual title of the 60 Minutes report is ”Brain Trauma Suffered by US Diplomats …,” but tumor is much more dramatic!)


Quote:
Since 2016, dozens of American officials have come home from Cuba and China with unexplained brain trauma. Evidence shows it may be the work of another government using a weapon that leaves no trace
Brain trauma suffered by U.S. diplomats abroad could be work of hostile foreign government (e-waffen.de)

So far, I haven't seen them post links to R. Douglas Fields' article The Cuban "Sonic Attack" and Journalistic Ethics
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 25th March 2019, 05:38 AM   #632
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In the Science for ME forum, one leokitten loves the 60 Minutes report and has started a thread about it. He thinks that:

Quote:
I specifically made this post because of the parallels there are with ME/CFS — sufferers not being believed since standard tests show nothing wrong even though doctors find and clearly acknowledge neurological clinical symptoms.
CBS News is a major news organization and 60 Minutes is one of the premier investigative news shows in the U.S. They wouldn’t broadcast this story on prime time TV without doing a detailed investigation revealing significant evidence supporting it.
Havana Syndrome: U.S. and Canadian diplomats targeted with possible weapon causing brain injury and neurological symptoms (Science for ME forum)

Too bad the actual report lacked "significant evidence supporting it."
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th March 2019, 04:55 AM   #633
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Due to cuts in spending, the working conditions of Canadian diplomats seems to be almost as uncertain as those of the Americans in November 2016:

Quote:
Funding is a major issue, as GAC’s spending is projected to drop by nearly $1 billion between 2016 and 2019. Fewer resources, both human and financial, means constant pressure on staff and managers to “do more with less.” PAFSO will keep reminding the Government of Canada of the real effects of resource cuts on our important work, and on our members’ lives.

The devaluation, dilution and lack of recognition of our role is another problem, as more and more senior managers come to GAC without working-level foreign service experience. Foreign service officers are spending less time abroad doing the jobs they were hired to do, lowering Canada’s level of diplomatic expertise.
A new full-time voice for Canada’s diplomatic corps Open Canada, Feb. 14, 2019)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th March 2019, 02:30 PM   #634
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NPR News has an excellent eight-minutes-long presentation of the story about the 'Havana syndrome'. One of the many researchers who are interviewed is Douglas Field, who was mentioned in post 628:

Quote:
Even some scientists who once believed in the attack narrative now reject it.
"When I first heard about it, I think, like everybody, I was very concerned. It's terrible. Americans injured. I was very concerned that there was a weapon," says Douglas Fields, a brain scientist who spent months investigating the events in Cuba.
Fields read the medical studies. He interviewed experts on brain injury and inner ear problems. He even went to Cuba. But he didn't find any evidence to support the claim of an attack.
"And then the story keeps changing," he says. "Not a sonic weapon. Then it's microwaves, and then it's hysteria and then it's an infection and on and on and on."
Now Fields thinks Havana syndrome is really a collection of symptoms and health problems you might see in any group of people — and especially people doing a highly stressful job in a sometimes hostile environment.
And Fields believes the truth will emerge, eventually.
"Science has gone astray, gone off the rails many times," he says. "But eventually it self-corrects and we get to the right answer."
Doubts Rise About Evidence That U.S. Diplomats In Cuba Were Attacked (NPR, March 25, 2019)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th March 2019, 06:31 PM   #635
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Don't know whether I e said it before, but thanks for collating this stuff. It's been really interesting.
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Old 31st March 2019, 11:42 AM   #636
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Thank you. It's been an interesting journey for me, combining my interest in pseudo-science with my interest in most things Cuban. And I am very grateful to the members who have contributed with knowledge of mass psychogenic illness and acoustics.

When I went to Havana for the first time in 1998, I didn't know anything about the country and considered Cuba to be nothing but a remnant of the old Soviet Bloc, but I was impressed with the honesty, the level of education and the willingness to discuss anything of most Cubans. And very soon a couple of things made me realize that most of what I’d heard about Cuba so far were lies:
1) The story of Elián González: If everybody wanted to defect to the USA, how come the boy’s father and grannies didn’t stay with Elián in Miami instead of returning to Cuba now that they had the chance?
2) The story of the Miami Five: How come Cuba had to defend itself against regular terrorists living and thriving in Miami - during the Bush Administration's alleged War on Terror? I can recommend Stephen Kimber’s book What Lies across the Water, which in being adapted for the big screen in a Cuban-Canadian co-production, hopefully to premiere later this year.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 31st March 2019 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 7th April 2019, 08:02 AM   #637
dann
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U.S.,Cuban Experts Demand Evidence on Case of Diplomats Health (Prensa Latina, Feb. 22, 2019)

Doubts Rise About Evidence That U.S. Diplomats In Cuba Were Attacked (WJCT - Freakonomics Radio, March 25, 2019) Seems to be identical to the NPR link from March 25 in post 634 But with transcriptions of the interviewees.

Culprit in Cuban Sonic Attack Revealed! (RDouglasFields, Sep. 28, 2018)

At the Root of the Cuban Embassy Mystery: Bad Science Journalism - Journalists covering the supposed sonic attack have abandoned fundamental principles of sourcing, verification, and fact-based reporting. (Undark, Sep. 27, 2018)

Quote:
Cuba's government on Thursday presented the results of its investigation into the unusual health symptoms that led dozens of diplomats from the United States and Canada to leave Havana, once again ruling out the possibility that they had been the target of an acoustic attack.
Cuba: No acoustic attacks on US, Canadian diplomatic personnel (Agencia EFE, March 14, 2019)
Also in:
Cuba: No acoustic attacks on US, Canadian diplomatic personnel (News 4 Europe, Mar. 14, 2019)

Cubans again dispute claim attacks made diplomats ill (SF Gate, Mar. 14, 2019)

Cubans again dispute claim attacks made diplomats ill (ABC News, Mar. 14, 2019)
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/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 7th April 2019, 10:56 AM   #638
Jack by the hedge
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Quote:
"And so we were treated to the hysterical spectacle of the Associated Press broadcasting a supposedly crippling audio over the internet and becoming unwitting co-conspirators in a plot to maim millions."
I hadn't thought of that until now. Funny.

I rather like the idea of a "neural weapon" whose principle of operation is that in your mind, there's a weapon.
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Old 7th April 2019, 12:10 PM   #639
dann
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I forgot to mention that the article in Undark is another one of the many written by R. Douglas Fields, excellent as always. Journalists ought to ask him whenever they hear new rumors about super hightech, brain-damaging weapons ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 13th April 2019, 05:35 AM   #640
dann
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An article in The Hearing Journal quotes William A. Yost, PhD, a research professor in the spatial hearing laboratory at Arizona State University in Tempe:

Quote:
“If you do not know much, speculation could harm or help, and the possible scenarios of what good or bad might happen are infinite,” he told The Hearing Journal. “What I am suggesting is great caution.”
For his part, Yost has a theory, although, for reasons previously stated, he shared it with some hesitation. He wonders if a compromised blood supply to the inner ear and subsequent brainstem damage to the stria vascularis—the metabolic engine of the inner ear—could be the cause of the hearing and vestibular dysfunction among affected embassy staff.
“Brainstem function, such as memory, requires good metabolic controls. Decades of work on tinnitus show that it is not necessary for there to be an actual sound for one to perceive a sound, even a loud sound in some cases,” he wrote. “It seems reasonable to assume that sudden metabolic damage throughout the brainstem might trigger a tinnitus-like perception of sound.”
As to what caused the compromised blood system, possibilities span sonic and concussive sources or even bacterial or viral pathogens.
Yost has heard from other audiologists who read his letter that his hypothesis has merit, although he said many have also pointed out issues with it. Those same colleagues have also questioned the cricket theory, as has Yost, particularly in light of the patients’ reported balance and cognitive symptoms after the sound exposure.
‘Sonic Attacks’ on U.S. Diplomats in Cuba - Auditory Dysfunction Remains Unsolved Mystery (The Hearing Journal, April 2019)
You can download the article in a pdf version with color illustrations here: https://journals.lww.com/thehearingj...px#-1544289644


CBC Radio interviews one of the (anonymous) plaintiffs in the lawsuit of Canadian diplomats against Canada:

Quote:
PLANTIFF: It was a spring 2017 I started to have sleeping issues waking up in the middle of night and not feeling well, headaches, balance issues.
(...)
PLANTIFF: What I knew at the time was that some Americans had been victim of sonic attacks and during those attacks you know they heard very loud noise and they had very acute symptoms at the same time. So I never thought that could be related. And I didn't really talk about it you know only with one colleague and my husband and that was it. But when it is beginning of June 2017 when they intervened all Canadian base staff and the ambassador told us there was a family in Miami later they were diagnosed with a brain injury. So all of them, two kids and my colleague and his spouse and the asked us if we had any weird symptoms. So I made the list and I was sent to Canada for further testing.
'We had to fight': Canadian diplomats accused of faking brain injuries, says plaintiff (CBC Radio, Feb. 8, 2019)
I have corrected the transcription of the second quotation from the 'Plantiff'. In the transcription it appears to be from the interviewer, but it's obviously from the interviewee.

It appears to confirm that the rumor spread from the Americans to the Canadians in the Spring/Summer of 2017.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 13th April 2019 at 05:44 AM.
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