The Mutliple Sclerosis Society Of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
5th October 1999
I have had a number of Emails in response to your posting of my previous letter on your web page. I am sure everyone will understand that, with the volume of mail I receive, it is pretty well impossible for me to reply to everyone individually, so I hope this will do instead.
The emails had a variety of different views about the inclined bed approach, from people who have felt benefit to people who think it is yet another in the litany of therapeutic claims for MS that come to nothing.
Some people seen to think that I or the MS Society are opposed to the therapy. Not So; like you, we don't have enough information to know whether or not it works. In my last letter I mentioned some of the reasons why it would be difficult to conduct a trial on the treatment. I would highlight two factors: the first is that this doesn't seem specific to MS and it is practically impossible to conduct a trial of something that is thought to work for a whole range of unrelated conditions. The second is that we have not been able to find a reputable scientist who thinks that your hypothesis is testable, or who has another hypothesis for why it might work - on the contrary, all of those we have spoken to are highly sceptical. This is one of the things that leads me to wonder whether the different hypothesis might prove fruitful. I wonder, for example, what a researcher in physiotherapy might think about posture change and its mechanical effects on the body?
The Society's view about alternative and complimentary treatments is that by definition, most people with MS are adults and are entitled to make decisions for themselves. I am sure you will continue to make the information freely available and encourage people who want to try the treatment to talk to their doctors. If something starts to suggest convincingly that there is a specific effect for ms, then we may be able to do something more in the future.
With every good wish.
Yours sincerely, Peter Cardy Chief Executive
25 Effie Road, London SW6 1EE
Tel 0171 610 7171 FAX 0171 736 9861
MS National Help line: Free phone 0808 800 8000
Chairman: Sara Phillips Hon Treasurer: Maurine Dickson Medical Advisor: Professor Alan Thompson
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Patron: H.R.H. Princess Alice,
Duchess of Gloucester, QCB, Cl, GCVO, QBE
Founder: Sir Richard Cave, KCVO, CB, DL President: Michael Willis, IP, RIBA
THE MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS SOCIETY
OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND
Andrew Fletcher 'Summer Haze' 26 Berry Drive Paignton Devon TQ3 3QW
27tn August 1999
Thank you for letting me know about your web-site and for the suggestion that we might meet.
I would not want to drag you all the way to London for a meeting without some clear purpose, and at the moment I cannot see what it would be. I have read all the material on your web-site, and it does not seem to add much to what you had previously circulated. We are not likely to support a trial, for several reasons. The first is that you are proposing an intervention that is not specific to MS or any other condition, and without some clear rationale for why it might work for MS it would be impossible to conduct a meaningful trial. Secondly, given the rather hostile approach you have taken to the Society in communications with me and with the media, it would be difficult to envisage working together satisfactorily. Thirdly, you seem to be selling beds and it is nearly impossible to conduct dispassionate work with someone who has a vested interest of that kind.
I have no reason to doubt your assertion that some people with MS feel better as a result of sleeping in a new position, but the evidence, even from the statistics you provided, is very thin and questionable - and as you know, people with MS benefit from all sorts of interventions, even placebo. I wonder whether your theory about the transport of fluids in the body is barking up the right tree, and whether there might be a much more obvious mechanical explanation?
With every good wish. Yours sincerely,
cc: Dr Lorna Layward David Harrison
25 EFFIE ROAD, LONDON SW6 1EE TEL: 0171-610 7171 FAX: 0171-736 9861
MS NATIONAL HELPLINE: Freephone 0808 800 8000 e-mail: email@example.com web site: www.mssociety.org.uk
Chief Executive: Peter Cardy Chairman: Sarah Phillips Hon Treasurer: Maureen Dickson Medical Advisor: Professor Alan Thompson
Registered Charity 207495
THE MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS SOCIETY OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND
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TEIGNBRIDGE PATRON: H.R.H. PRINCESS ALICE. DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER. GCB.CI.GCVO.GBE.
FOUNDER SIR RICHARD CAVE KCVO. CB. DC
25th March 1996
A. K. Fletcher Esq
On behalf of the Teignbridge Multiple Sclerosis Branch I would like to thank you very much for the interesting and informative talk which you gave to us at our February meeting. Several of our members are having very good and positive improvements i.e., better circulation and sleeping more soundly at night and several others are noticing improvements regarding varicose veins, one of whom is my husband who have suffered from these for a very long time.
I enclose a copy of our March's newsletter and I will also mention the bed raising for the benefit of our members who are unable to attend our monthly meetings.
Once again many thanks for all your help and I will keep you informed of any further developments.
With kind regards
22nd October 1997
The Welfare Dept.,
Multiple Sclerosis Society
25 Effie Road
London SW6 1EE
I believe that you have now been made aware of the results of the trial regarding Mr. Andrew Fletcher's theory regarding the raising of the head of a bed by six inches and its effect on sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis.
As Secretary of the Teignbridge Branch whose members took part in this experiment, I have seen the benefits that our members who took part and am very pleased on their behalf.
I know that you have to avoid building up peoples hopes with miracle cures, Andrew does not claim to cure people, only to help them. So when are you going to go public with the other members of the Society.
I look forward to receiving your comments, I have no vested interest in this but I think Andrew deserves some recognition from the M.S. Society, he has put his life and soul into this project, which he has not done for monetary gain.
Sheila M. Bracey (Mrs)
Hon. Secretary - Teignbridge M.S. Branch
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P.S. Incidentally a few of our members have also felt benefit from Yoga which they attend a class once a week.
Care of John Murray (Publishers) Ltd
50 Albermarle Street,
Tuesday, 04 May 1999
Dear Mr MacKean
I have been advised to contact you by Des Dunne at Qualifications and Curriculum Authority 29 Bolton Street, London, with a view to obtaining you comments on a completely new theory for fluid transport in plants and trees.
In 1994 I picked up your GCSE Biology book and read your comments about fluid transport. It was you honesty with regards to the lack of supporting evidence for current explanations which caused me to take a fresh look at the problem.
I ignored everything, which had been written and looked at the problem from a new prospective. Being a lateral thinker, I took into account only the things I could see to be relevant to a tree.
The tree trunk is near vertical.
The tubes inside the tree are predominantly either vertical or sloping.
98% of the water drawn in at the roots is lost as transpiration through the leaves.
The liquids in the tree contain soluble minerals and sugars, which are heavier than water.
The liquid that is lost in the evaporation from the leaves is pure.
Evaporation must concentrate residual liquids at the leaf. Gravity acts upon the heavier fluids by drawing them down, providing the tree with a power source. An equal reaction must occur in the less dense liquids, as you cannot have something flowing down without something flowing up to replace it.
This simple flow and return system caused water to flow seventy-eight feet up a cliff in Brixham in 1995, in front of Forestry Commission Scientists and Journalists. Given that the apparatus is a single length of open ended tube and a couple of glass open ended bottles filled with boiled water and a small amount of concentrated saline solution provides the power source, one would have presumed that this demonstration delivered a deadly blow to osmosis capillary action and root pressure.
What actually happened was that the people who witness this experiment do not want to rock the boat of accepted science. Following the last five years I have begun to understand why it is so difficult to offer new explanations to established science. But and it’s a big BUT. The truth has to prevail and this simple experiment may be reproduced at Infant level education.
It may not have been written in a way that will suit everyone but it is the truth and to me that’s all that matters in science.
I know that you are the correct person for this to sit with and I would have written earlier but couldn’t get through the red-tape. If you doubt my words then please repeat my experiments.
I look forward to your comments with interest and thank you for showing integrity when you wrote about fluid transport, for if you had not been so honest, I would never have begun this fascinating journey.
Dr David Cutler of the Jodrell Laboratory Kew has said that he will help me to write a paper, Bill Davies from New Phytologist, but we can’t do it alone and hope you might be interested in joining us.
Andrew K Fletcher