Friday, July 29, 2011

#233: Mary Leitao

The inventor of Morgellons Disease, the biologist Leitao found the term in a very old reference book and used it to describe her child's rash, which doctors described as common eczema. Fuelled by various sensationalist news stories, Morgellons has achieved a life of its own, despite the fact that few serious researches have found anything novel about the conditions (apart, possibly, from the fact that the patients may suffer from delusional parasitosis). The disease seems to affect a particular group of people predisposed towards mistrust towards “established medical science”, and the people doing serious discussions of the condition at morgellonswatch appears to have closed down.

No one doubts that patients are suffering, of course, but the "research foundation" (where Leitao is executive director) has already decided what’s going on. They have started with a conclusion rather than a hypothesis, and are hence working on making the data fit. Which is, of course, not how science is done. In fact, the little research there is in support of the diagnosis is often (well, consistently) rather poor, such as this one (where Leitao herself was involved).

This is, in short, one of the plagues of modern day healthcare. The afflicted people surely need treatment, but knowing about your own symptoms does not confer authority regarding what the cause of the illness, or the correct diagnosis, is. People who have encountered Morgellons usually ask for the medical establishment to show some empathy, be tolerant and open-minded – failing to recognize that it is they who have already decided on what the correct conclusions are (which is, of course, anything but open-minded), not those who are skeptical of the nature of the disease. Having reached the conclusion without evidence (and then attempting to fit the evidence to the conclusion) makes Leitao and her associates (such as Marc Neumann) crackpots (and that is the case even if it should – contrary to what evidence suggests today – turn out that she is, in the end, correct about Morgellons being a real disease).

Diagnosis: Surely worthy of empathy, and Leitao certainly has people’s best interest in mind; but she is definitely a crackpot, and as such, she may end up – unintentionally – doing quite a lot of harm.


  1. For those still in doubt about the status of Morgellons, this is recommended reading.

    1. This is an excellent article, thank you for posting! I just posted this a second ago but not sure if it went through so sorry if it’s a double post (first time poster here).

  2. Dear Chaospet:
    It is repulsive that you could and would allow your own stupidity to form such a strong ill-fated opinion about Leitao, as well as those of us who suffer from Morgellon's Disease.
    I would never wish this disease upon anyone, not even for you.
    Best wishes to your pitiful soul in 2012.
    Heidi Potter

  3. Leitao is a loon. No one doubts that people who have been said to have Morgellon's suffer, and they deserve empathy and the best possible treatment. To that effect, they should distance themselves as far as possible from Leitao, for Leitao is a delusional crackpot. She isn't helping anyone, but hurting a lot by pushing the wrong diagnostic criteria and (as a result) wrong treatment regimes. Those who suffer could actually have received a lot of help, but relying on Leitao's bullshit is a surefire way to ensure that they don't receive this help.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Here's even more evidence that Morgellons is delusional parasitosis, or at least no infection, as Leitao, Wyman and others claim. And it is worth repeating: no one is claiming that those who claim to suffer from Morgellons aren't really suffering, or that they are crazy or anything. The point is that the cause of their suffering isn't what Leitao and others claim it is. So instead of helping people who suffer, the Morgellons proponents are making things worse by diverting attention from other probable causes and remedies that may work, and instead opening up for quackery and inert bullshit remedies being pushed on people in a desperate situation. So who are the villains here again?

  5. I posted this comment below, but feel like posting it as a reply as well: Here's even more evidence that Morgellons is delusional parasitosis, or at least no infection, as Leitao, Wyman and others claim. And it is worth repeating: no one is claiming that those who claim to suffer from Morgellons aren't really suffering, or that they are crazy or anything. The point is that the cause of their suffering isn't what Leitao and others claim it is. So instead of helping people who suffer, the Morgellons proponents are making things worse by diverting attention from other probable causes and remedies that may work, and instead opening up for quackery and inert bullshit remedies being pushed on people in a desperate situation. So who are the villains here again?

  6. Wow! I thought this was delusional also. Saw all of the news reports and don't know anyone with this disease. Until I got it myself! I have searched for everything to why my skin feels like something is crawling on or underneath it. Can't find bugs or anything in the environment. Physician and dermatologist of course can't find anything. I've mysteriously lost my appetite and have been fat for 20 years. My husband started feeling the crawlies at the same time. That's ok that this site insults us because its only a matter of time until these people get it too. I'm going to laugh! Can't wait!

    1. I would be grateful if you told me how this entry is in any way insulting to people who suffer from the condition they mistakenly take to be Morgellon's. No one denies their suffering. Pointing out that you are wrong about the causes and pathology of your suffering is not an insult.

      Good lord; what has the world come to when pointing out an error or a mistake is considered an insult? What kind of arrogance is it that leads people to think that pointing out the possibility that they are in error is a violation of their personal integrity?

      We are insulting Leitao, however, since Leitao is a loon who is (probably unintentionally) misleading people in a manner that may not be harmless. We are not insulting you, VeronicaStarBright.

  7. I am not very technically savvy so I hope that somehow Leitao gets this. My friend has had all of the symptoms for months. Colored fiber coming out of her skin, a rash, the sensation of bugs crawling under her skin, etc. Her dad told her she needed to see a shrink. After multiple doctors visits with no help she starting researching her symptoms. She created a treatment that actually made little black parasites come out of her skin. I would not have believed it but I saw it with my own eyes. Bugs and some grainy substance. She has also been doing internal cleanses and some other things. My hope is that if someone has what she has they can do what she has done. Her rash is going away and she is feeling better. She is still working on this by using a topical concoction. Her young son and husband are also doing this and they have the parasites coming out of their skin. I know very little of this disease, only what I read while walking through this with my friend, who is not crazy. She wants to help anyone that she can. This post is to hopefully help me get people in touch with her if they are suffering like she was. I am not some crazy person trying to make money with some scam. My friend has been through the ringer with this and she is finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

  8. I have read a lot of the posts taking Ms. Leitao's side.

    Here is my viewpoint. I am a student of Psychology and have read the Morgellon's, Leitao case.

    The facts are thus:

    She has a son who complained about a rash and was determined to have a skin disorder.

    She picked fibers from the rash and assumed it was something greater.

    She took the boy to 8 different doctors, disagreeing with the prognosis.

    She searched for an answer to her assumption (which is NOT the way science is done. If I look for proof of fairies, I will find proof of fairies.), and then created a fake disease.

    She is now getting a lot of attention and exposing her child to unnecessary medical treatment.

    I have seen video footage of both Ms. Leitao and her son.

    Other doctor's believe she is suffering from Munchausen's by Proxy.

    Rather than looking critically at what is happening, people are latching on to this disorder and claiming it is real. I recently, myself, developed a sore on one of my fingers as a result from picking an ingrown nail. I went about my daily routine. Washed it, even put neosporin on it. By the end of the day I had fibers, dirt, and diatoms in that wound (I use diatomaceous earth when I garden). That people get fibers and other items in rashes or sores is common.

    What we should be doing is wondering why her son has not been taken away. I am URGING everyone to research Munchausen's by Proxy. If this woman is truly suffering from Munchausen's, then what is really happening is child abuse. And those that support her "cause" are aiding and abetting the abuse of her son.

    Her son needs to be taken from her care and given a proper physical, both physical and psychological. I can almost guarantee that he has some psychological issue such as a tick, or a neurological issue which causes some of his symptoms. Many neurological issues such as ALS, MS, and even epilepsy will have similar skin-sensation symptoms.

    Ms. Leitao also needs to have a thorough psychological exam before that child is placed with her again. In fact, I am going to contact Child Protective Services in her county, with evidence for the fact that she is committing psychological child abuse which may lead to further injury or death.

    We should be outraged that she is doing this to her son. Woman are the primary sufferer's of Munchausen's by Proxy.

    I am urging everyone, to take a thorough, scientific look at what is happening. Mary Leitao is abusing her son. She has created Morgellon's to get attention and that is all. This is insidious and disgusting.

    As of writing this, the CDC and other scientists have just released results of their study into Morgellon's and have said, conclusively, that it is not a true illness.

    Please, petition to have her son removed before he is harmed further or killed by her psychosis and negligence.

    1. Christine Kelley, I urge you to quit your profession as soon as possible before you endanger more people with your ignorance and self-righteousness.

      Most diseases of this century were at first thought to be mental, and were later found to be real. You have not even taken a look at these people, I recommend you watch this video before you commit the stupidity of trying to accuse this woman of anything. It's such a shame that there are psychologists so ignorant and self-righteous, no wonder they get the bad reputation they have.

      Here, real doctors and researchers, not speculating loons like you:

      Special attention to: 8:46 - 10:20

  9. Why would anyone believe the loon who started this blog instead of real university researchers? Just watch this:
    8:46 - 10:20
    Those are the findings of real researchers, you can't just come check any blog of some ignorant fool and believe it.

  10. Um, people who've taken a few undergraduate biology courses are not biologists, much less researchers. Leitao is a stay-at-home mom and a former laboratory technician. To be regarded as a scientist these days one requires a Ph.D in the relevant discipline, funding, and publications in legitimate journals.

  11. I believed morons like this guy at first, 1 1/2 years later, medical society still have not been able to diognose my family and I, except now they are telling my wife, both of my daughters and me that all this suffering is in our heads! What the "heck"?, really.... where's the science now, when they don't understand something, they automatically consider the patient a nut-job, or "crack-pot"!
    This gentleman is right....FUCK YOU!!!
    I have dedicated my life to prove this disease exists and how I can find or create a cure for my beloved wife and two young daughters with their life ahead of them......
    For the last year and a half, I've invested thousands of dollars, and countless of hours..... probably well over 2000 hrs
    Of actual research, experiments, and data gathering. ..... I have more evidence and understanding of this disease than all the things I found on the Internet "COMBINED"....
    Yes, I could see why so many people are scaptical and why there's so much confusion. ... however not only did I take well over 3k pictures of morgellons in different stages, not just this week, I finally figured out at what stage of their life cycle they are active and move around. .... and last night after 1.5 years.... I finally got these bastards on video moving around ... not only that, but after countless experiments I found out how to draw them out to the surface of the skin and extract them alive! !!
    Now that I finally figured this out, I can start to experiment on what can kill them, yet will not harm my children...
    This disease has ruined my life, and brought endless suffering to my daughters, wife, and me!
    It will be a glorious day when I will create a cure, and vaccine against this terrible and horrible disease! ( so that this nasty disease doesn't ruin any other family )

  12. If you want info or images (proof ), email me and I'll do my best to open your eyes and see that people with morgellons are not crazy,...... that it really does exist!
    My email address is :

  13. Ok buddy, first off, for someone who doesn't know anything about this disease you sure talk like you have done research and have evidence to prove to people who suffer from this nasty disease that morgellons does "not" exist ! Whereisthe proof of your research and how did you come up with this idiotic conclusion? Second of all, I was just as ignorant as you when both of my daughters first got sick with this disease. ....refused to even listen to my wife when she first brought this up.... because I believed that neither I, nor anyone in my family is mentally ill!
    And yes I thought that everyone who supported or said that they have or know someone who has morgellons disease was crazy and mentally ill.
    But than my wife and I got sick, with the same thing that my daughters had....
    After countless medical tests, and countless more different treatments and diagnosis.... the symptoms were still there, the suffering only got worse, and our (my kids,wife, and I ) only got worse. .... more visible sores, filements, and a lot more sicker and miserable. ...
    Finally after doctors ran out of things to test for, or diagnose us with conditions.
    They than finally, told my family and I to seek mental health expert!
    I was (still am) so bitter, that after all the tests, and all the treatments that they had my family and I do. After all this, they turn around and implied that my family and I are crazy! !! Just like I considered all the morgellons people crazy and mentally ill. ..... now that YOUR science failed to properly diagnose and treat our disease, we are just as crazy ( how insulting and low for scientific community to become like this)!
    So I bought a $2,700 microscope, cashed out all of my savings accounts, sold few valuable items that I didn't need, and I dedicated my life to finding a cure for my beloved wife and kids! I cut my days at work from 9 months a year, to just 5 months. .... I no longer had family life, sex life, or even relationship with my wife. ... I dedicated every waking moment to researching the disease that my family had ( at this point I still considered morgellons a pyschological disorder ), although all of the symptoms were the same as morgellons, I knew that neither my family nor I was crazy, so that's why I wouldn't even consider looking into morgellons disease. .... that is until my wife forced me to look at tons of pictures from morgellons research center. .... at that point I saw that all of the samples that I looked through microscope, was identical to the same pictures morgellons patients were posting online. ... from that point on, I knew that all of those people who suffer from morgellons are not crazy or mentally ill. They are suffering from the same condition as my family and I.
    It just about cost me my marriage ( this nasty disease, and the amount of time and attention that I dedicated to researching this disease and finding a cure for my beloved wife and kids. ... ( and myself of course ).

  14. My kids almost don't know that they have a father, ( since every waking moment gets spent on researching and discovering a cure).
    My credit is ruined (from all the doctors office visits ( for my kids, wife, and me), all the false diagnosis and treatments that they had us do..... from having a surgery in both lungs, only from them to say that they are sorry, but they couldn't identify the thick mucus thay filled my lungs up and almost killed me.
    (Which my lungs filled back up with it, and I'm still suffering).
    And my wife, kids and my teeth are rotting from the inside out ( as if somting is liquifying our teeth from the root, out.
    And we no longer have most of our old friends (including family ), because they are all afraid that they'll get infected with the same thing, if they associate with my family.
    So yes, the price of having this disease is not life altering, but it literally ruins everything you ever is, or was...
    That's why most of the people who suffer from morgellons, will tell you that they would not wish this on their enemies.
    That's why they get so upset when people like you post such dumb things!
    If you genuinely want to do your own research and come up with your own opinion and understanding of this disease, email me at :
    And I'll share some pictures, videos, and things that I discovered since I dedicated my life to finding proof and cure for morgellons disease.

  15. To whoever wrote this YOU ARE SO SMALL AND SIMPLE MINDED. Do you really think the "establishment" will have all the answers? YOU are a loon if you think so.

    1. "Do you really think the "establishment" will have all the answers?"

      No one is saying anything about the establishment. In particular, I am not claiming that the medical establishment has all the answers. In fact, I am pointing out the opposite: They don't have all the answers, and they admit that they don't.

      That the medical establishment doesn't have all the answers doesn't mean that Mary Leitao has them. She doesn't. That's the point.

    2. Thanks Ashley, I hope you are fairing well! He's probably a paid troll. I can't wait to meet his type!

  16. the article was boring as hell but the comments were amazing

    it's like if alex jones was a tumblr fibromialgia blogger collective

    holy shit what a trip

  17. In light of previous studies of MD,1–7 a case definition for MD is proposed: a somatic LD-like illness associated with spontaneously appearing, slowly healing, filamentous, ulcerative skin lesions, with the key diagnostic criterion being colored, white, or black filaments protruding from or embedded in skin. Patients diagnosed with MD, either by self-diagnosis or by a health care practitioner, are not a homogeneous group, thus highlighting the need for a universally accepted case definition.

    Filaments in MD lesions usually require magnification of 50× or more to be seen, and at that magnification they can be mistaken for textile fibers. Health care providers need to be objective when viewing these fibers: a patient must have unusual filaments visible under 50× magnification or higher (as opposed to the magnification of 10× normally used in dermatology) and embedded in or extruding from skin to be diagnosed with MD. The filaments are relatively easy to see with proper visualization tools, and detectable fibers should not be automatically dismissed as “self-implanted” or composed of synthetic substances without an appropriate evaluation. Mental health status is not a diagnostic factor in MD cases, as outlined herein.

  18. Funny thing: "Leitão" in my language means piglet... Interesting how this kind of thing happens to loons.

  19. Check out our new documentary on Morgellons disease, Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons at

  20. Check out this YouTube interview with Morgellons researcher, Marianne Middelveen