A lot of people seem to be tuning in to Netflix’s new series “Afflicted,” and no wonder.
The trailer is melodramatic and mysterious – hey, look at all these people suffering from so many horrible and mysterious ailments! – and so some viewers are simply curious. But since these conditions – including chemical and electromagnetic hypersensitivities – have spiraled exponentially and folks living with them have now been medically diagnosed in the U.S. at upwards of 12 percent of the population, and are self-reported among more than 25 percent, chances are excellent that many viewers either have these conditions, or have a family member or close friend that belongs in this truly neglected group. These people are surely hoping for a series that validates and popularizes both the illnesses and the state-of- the art science and medicine that is helping many of those, when they can get access to it. Which, alas, is not very often.
But what viewers actually find is the opposite of this validation. Instead, they watch a nightmarish presentation of the worst aspects of the illnesses – truly devastating, yes – but minus the full portrayal of the subjects as whole human beings who smile and laugh and live in the world, and who valiantly seek both diagnosis and help. That’s a really nasty strategy that dehumanizes and makes freaks out of the subjects, cutting off the usual mechanisms of identification that all of us feel when we watch real people struggle with major challenges. Turns out that the producers lied to the subjects about what they were going to present, and made a series that violated the belief and trust of the people featured, who participated at some great cost to themselves.
|The Truth Behind Netflix’s ‘Afflicted’ – Truth Behind Netflix’s ‘Afflicted’ – Medium
We are some of the subjects of the recent Netflix docuseries, Afflicted.
And worse still, this type of presentation was part of an astonishingly stupid and retrograde treatment of the real state of the science and medicine that has developed to understand the illnesses – their causes, their treatment, and – big omission – the major public health measures that could and should be taken to help so many people, and prevent the further spread of these illnesses, as well as others – cancers, neurological, liver, kidney, respiratory illnesses, including among children – were they instituted.
In fact, a number of the subjects of the series were so horrified when they saw the completed version that they have begun a campaign to tell the truth about the ways they were lied to when it was made, and started a petition campaign to have the series removed from Netflix. Here’s what they said in their collective statement:
“The most serious and central flaw of Afflicted is the way it frames our conditions — which impact millions of people around the world — as psychosomatic or psychiatric disorders. It does this in part by carefully excluding facts, which show that yes, while there is a lot that science does not understand about our conditions, they have an “organic” basis.”
In fact, “cutting edge” Netflix has chosen to fund and offer a series with an ignorant and backward approach that takes viewers back decades. From its broad platform, Netflix is perpetuating erroneous myths that provide further justification for medical neglect and societal shunning for the tens of millions of people suffering from these grave illnesses and for the continuation of the increasing saturation of our lives our lives by chemical and radiation pollution.
All the research of the last 25 years, in the US, in Europe and in Japan – be it in brain imaging and brain injury, in toxic injury and toxics panels, in deficient immune responses, disturbed brain chemistry and metabolic processes, chronic infections such as Lyme and Epstein Barr, and more – has shown that people who are chemically and electromagnetically sensitive (suffering from MCS and EHS) as suffering from bio-physical problems, and not psychiatric ones. Indeed, distinguished French physician-researchers in 2015 proposed key biological biomarkers (scroll down on this page for the abstract), for both MCS and EHS, thus establishing once and for all their biophysical nature. None of this research is featured in the series. The framing of these conditions as psychiatric is both scientifically and ethically unconscionable.
Here’s how the subjects put it. “The damage to each of us personally and to our communities collectively is difficult to overstate and is ongoing, even as we write this post.”
|Sign the Petition
Netflix: Remove “Afflicted” From Netflix
So let’s all sign the petition and tell Netflix: Welcome to the 21st century! And get that garbage out of the ether!
Want to know more about chemical sensitivity disorder? Why not visit the sections of this website and/or spend some time looking through the excellent analytic and experiential material at The Chemical Sensitivity Foundation, and to get a European take on MCS and EHS, based on extensive research and addressing major problems in public health, check out EHS & MCS – Research and Treatment European Group. Also have a look at the biomedical offerings for diagnosis and treatment and the Environmental Health Center-Dallas, to get a better understanding of the complex factors underlying these issues. These are not psychiatric.
Want to know more about how electromagnetic radiation is undermining our collective health (as well as driving a significant number of individuals to the margins of society?) Visit the Environmental Health Trust, especially the Key Issues page. A list of scholarly work from professor Ollie Johansson at Sweden’s renowned Karolinska Institute, if you take the time to look at it and read it, will demonstrate the science behind the critique and offer you many resources, and you may also want to visit the Planetary Association for Clean Energy, an international association headquartered in Ottawa, for additional enlightenment and resources.
Meanwhile, please, sign that petition!
YES, VIRGINIA – THERE ARE BIOMARKERS FOR CHEMICAL AND ELECTROMAGNETIC HYPERSENSITIVITY SHOWING THESE ARE TRUE BIOPHYSICAL PATHOLOGIES
Reliable disease biomarkers characterizing and identifying electrohypersensitivity and multiple chemical sensitivity as two etiopathogenic aspects of a unique pathological disorder
Dominique Belpomme, Christine Campagnac and Philippe Irigaray*
Received September 11, 2015; accepted November 2, 2015
De Gruyter Rev Environ Health 2015; 30(4): 251–271
Abstract: Much of the controversy over the causes of electrohypersensitivity (EHS) and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) lies in the absence of both recognized clinical criteria and objective biomarkers for widely accepted diagnosis. Since 2009, we have prospectively investigated, clinically and biologically, 1216 consecutive EHS and/or MCS-self reporting cases, in an attempt to answer both questions. We report here our preliminary data, based on 727 evaluable of 839 enrolled cases: 521 (71.6%) were diagnosed with EHS, 52 (7.2%) with MCS, and 154 (21.2%) with both EHS and MCS. Two out of three patients with EHS and/or MCS were female; mean age (years) was 47. As inflammation appears to be a key process resulting from electromagnetic field (EMF) and/ or chemical effects on tissues, and histamine release is potentially a major mediator of inflammation, we systematically measured histamine in the blood of patients.
Near40% had a increase in histaminemia (especially when both conditions were present), indicating a chronic inflammatory response can be detected in these patients. Oxidative stress is part of inflammation and is a key contributor to damage and response. Nitrotyrosin, a marker of both peroxynitrite (ONOOÆ-) production and opening of the blood-brain barrier
(BBB), was increased in 28% the cases. Protein S100B, another marker of BBB opening was increased in 15%. Circulating autoantibodies against O-myelin were detected in 23%, indicating EHS and MCS may be associated with autoimmune response. Confirming animal experiments showing the increase of Hsp27 and/or Hsp70 chaperone proteins under the influence of EMF, we found increased Hsp27 and/or Hsp70 in 33% of the patients. As most patients reported chronic insomnia and fatigue, we determined the 24 h urine 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate (6-OHMS)/creatinine ratio and found it was decreased ( < 0.8) in all investigated cases.
Finally, considering the self-reported symptoms of EHS and MCS, we serially measured the brain blood flow (BBF) in the temporal lobes of each case with pulsed cerebral ultrasound computed tomosphygmography. Both disorders were associated with hypoperfusion in the apsulothalamic area, suggesting that the inflammatory process involve the limbic system and the thalamus. Our data strongly suggest that EHS and MCS can be objectively characterized and routinely diagnosed by commercially available simple tests. Both disorders appear to involve inflammation-related hyper-histaminemia, oxidative stress, autoimmune response, apsulothalamic hypoperfusion and BBB opening, and a deficit in melatonin metabolic availability; suggesting a risk of chronic neurodegenerative disease. Finally the common co-occurrence of EHS and MCS strongly suggests a common pathological mechanism.
Keywords: biomarkers; cerebral hypoperfusion; electrohypersensitivity;
limbic system; multiple chemical sensitivity.
*Corresponding author: Philippe Irigaray, PhD, ARTAC, 57-59 rue de la convention, 75015 Paris, Phone: +33 (0)1 45 78 53 54, Fax: +33 (0)1 45 78 53 50, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Association for Research and Treatments Against Cancer (ARTAC), F-75015 Paris, France; and European Cancer and Environment Research Institute (ECERI), Brussels, Belgium Dominique Belpomme: Paris V University Hospital, France; and European Cancer and Environment Research Institute (ECERI), Brussels, Belgium Christine Campagnac: Hospital Director, seconded from Assistance Publique-H.pitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Paris, France; and European Cancer and Environment Research Institute (ECERI), Brussels, Belgium