Personal Opinion about the Whittemore Peterson Institute
By John Herd
December 3, 2011
Early on I had felt very enthusiastic about the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI).
Having had quite a bit of experience in the medical research realm, in CFS advocacy, etcetera, I thought I could possibly help WPI as an independent advocate. I stuck my neck pretty far out publicly supporting and promoting them because I thought they had a lot of potential. When I saw them making some [in my opinion] poor choices I offered them my assistance. They did not take me up on it which was okay. Later on I became very thankful they hadn’t.
Sadly, I watched them continuing to make one strategic and/or PR blunder after another. Finally I decided that I could not support them any longer because I felt their actions were increasingly hurting the CFS community more and more.
As a past advocate who singularly cares about the patient sector I felt obligated to say something.
It’s important to note I never took sides on the conflict between Judy Mikovits and WPI, but rather only commented about how WPI actions were (a) hurting the CFS community, and (b) that WPI had let down the patients who had invested their hope, faith and dollars in WPI. I felt both to be unforgivable.
As I’ve stated earlier, it then got personal when I got that unsolicited email from WPI’s law firm.
There seems to be in my opinion a perpetual pattern of WPI ignoring other’s sound advice, instead taking actions that further damage their organization, the field of CFS research and the overall CFS community.
WPI now seems tragically to represent little more than a blight of potential and opportunity lost. I do not see how they can survive. Given what I believe to be their destructive and self-destructive activities, the future likelihood of WPI remain open seems unlikely, unless the Whittemore family keeps infusing it with funds. Given WPI’s track record I can’t imagine any sound doctor wanting to work with them, any institution feeling comfortable giving them a grant, or any informed person wanting to give them a donation.
To all in the CFS community, I now realize the faith I placed in the WPI administration was a mistake, as was all the public support I gave them. For that I apologize to the CFS community.