The twitching teens of LeRoy, N.Y.

by Walter Olson on March 11, 2012

Susan Dominus explores an outbreak of tics and other neurological symptoms among teenage girls in a town near Rochester, as hyped on outlets like “Today” and CNN. Roving Tort-Finder Erin Brockovich, who parachuted into the town to blame possible chemical spills, does not come off well either: “Things only go wrong,’ [King's College London epidemiologist Simon] Wessely wrote in 1995, ‘when the nature of an outbreak is not recognized, and a fruitless and expensive search for toxins, fumes and gases begins.’” [NY Times Magazine]


1 Ariel 03.11.12 at 11:41 am

Think Salem, Mass. c. 1692.

2 Robert 03.11.12 at 12:40 pm

If you want your mind to be blown, read the comments in the NY Times. Housewives across the nation are weighing in, blaming everything from fracking to vaccines to sugar to “Smart Meters”. This is a textbook (and literal) definition of hysteria, literally a mania caused by one’s lady-parts or lady-hormones and a vivid imagination.

3 smart dude 03.11.12 at 8:23 pm

The presence of Erin Brockovich is a well established indicator of fraud.

And yes, the New York Times Comments section is mind blowing. Not just in the carefully crafted loonie posts, but also how popular these various crackpot theories are among the NY Times readership.

4 L Nettles 03.12.12 at 7:58 am

Paging Erin Brockovich, Paging Erin Brockovich!!

TAYLOR, Mich. – A sports complex in Michigan was evacuated Sunday night and about two dozen high school hockey players were treated by emergency crews after they suddenly became violently ill.

Several were taken to the hospital and it was not clear yet what caused the sudden illness at the Taylor Sportsplex in Taylor, 18 miles south west of Detroit, reported.

Read more:

5 DensityDuck 03.13.12 at 12:28 pm

I bet it’s Morgellon’s Syndrome.

6 crashvelvet 03.20.12 at 12:24 am

@Robert – clearly you are wholly unfamiliar with “lady-parts.” Stick to subjects upon which you are knowledgeable, unless you enjoy publicly airing your ignorance.

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