After several weeks of escalating harassment and threats, ‘opposing interests’ may have added break, enter and theft to their disruptive strategy. The representative offices of CCSVI Clinic in Winnipeg were broken into and burgled over the Christmas break. The incident is currently under investigation by the Winnipeg Police Service.
CCSVI Clinic has been the recent target of a Facebook smear campaign by a certain group of Facebook bloggers, the intent of which seems to be to discredit the organization even in light of what they know to not be true. They have made outrageous claims on several Facebook sites, among them that CCSVI Clinic is an operative of an Indian Medical Tourist Company, that all of our calls are answered from a call centre in India, and that CCSVI Clinic was involved in a previous medical scam of MS patients in Edmonton, Canada.
In fact CCSVI Clinic has no commercial affiliations whatsoever and has never had a single client from Edmonton. Furthermore there are no ties of any kind, financial or otherwise, to any Indian Company. CCSVI Clinic was established by medical researchers and professionals to investigate the CCSVI hypothesis and how it links to MS as an auto-immune disease. The harassment campaign coincided with the report on the CCSVI Clinic website that CCSVI Clinic was about to file a joint application with an International Ethics Board for approval of a patient study that examines an enhanced venous angioplasty aftercare protocol that necessitates hospital monitoring for an extended period of time. The study will then compare the long-term results of those who have participated in the enhanced protocol against those who have been treated over the same timeframe where they had the same ‘liberation procedure’ on an outpatient basis at a different clinic.
Within one day of the announcement being posted on the CCSVI Clinic site, which was subsequently picked up by other Internet sites, there was a well-organized, intensely negative social blog campaign of deliberate misinformation about CCSVI Clinic on Facebook and other social sites, a stream of “hang-up” telephone calls to our corporate number, and multiple incidents of accusatory and bizarre telephone conversations with individuals who refused to identify themselves to our nurse on the switchboard.
We are puzzled as to how the advancement of knowledge about CCSVI can create so much hostility and antagonism, but perhaps not surprised, as many stakeholders have much to lose if the venous angioplasty procedure can be proven an effective treatment for MS.
Meanwhile despite theft of research material, the work to prove the hypothesis, jointly put forward by CCSVI Clinic, will continue without interruption. Extra security measures had been put into place to protect our data previously. Certain steps will now be taken to protect our administration and researchers from continued harassment and other possible risks. However, we still expect to file the study applications on time this week, with quick subsequent approval as we have already met several times with the board.