The Duchin Formula

How The Medical Industry Weakens The Lyme Disease Activist Movement


Analysis: Lyme Disease Activism & The Duchin Formula

This is an analysis of how Lyme disease activists fit into the four activist types; idealists, realists, frontliners , and opportunists and how they are manipulated and weakened by the medical industry.

From the Duchin formula ...

The public relations industry skillfully co-opts activists to weaken them all to benefit their corporate clients. This strategy has been outlined in detail by Ronald Duchin, senior vice-president of the PR spy firm Mongoven, Biscoe and Duchin [They eventually became Stratfor.] In a landmark 1991 speech titled "Take An Activist Apart and What Do You Have? And how do you deal with him/her." Duchin described how Mongoven, Biscoe and Duchin works to divide and conquer activist movements. These manipulative tactics are now common among PR firms and the industries that hire them.

Activists and organizations, he explained, fall into four distinct categories: "idealists," "realists," "opportunists," and "frontliners". [ The PR industry calls frontliners "radicals" ]. Then, they use a three-step plan to divide and conquer.

Industry divides activists into 4 types:
  • Idealist
  • Realist
  • Opportunist
  • Frontliner
The 4 activist types. Idealist, realist, opportunist, frontliner.
The four activist types

I will describe how they have deployed the Duchin formula against Lyme disease activists to weaken the movement.


The Four Lyme Disease Activist Types

   The Idealist

The main focus of the Lyme idealists is to pressure the medical system to do the right thing for Lyme patients.

The important fundamental beliefs of the idealist:
  1. Usually altruistic
  2. Apply an ethical and moral standard
  3. Generally unaware of unintended consequences
  4. Normally emotionally involved
  5. Are usually naive
Idealist Views
Lyme-related views that emerge from idealist thinking ...
Views Traits
"The CDC needs to create a good test." 1 altruistic, 2 ethical moral standard
"The NIH must fund research" 1 altruistic, 2 ethical moral standard
"Have all doctors treat us properly." 1 altruistic, 2 ethical moral standard
Lyme Idealist Views
Lyme Idealist

Since idealists apply an ethical and moral standard, and are altruistic, they see that the medical system should provide the medical care needed for patients. It is the right thing for the medical industry to do. They should provide the proper test, and treatment that all Lyme patients need. Idealists want to do what is right from a basic moral standpoint.

Those are all good goals and there is nothing wrong with them. Many idealists though, have traits that makes them vulnerable to manipulation and the medical industry exploits those vulnerabilities...

Lyme idealists may not understand the depth of the corruption in the medical industry. They may not understand the medical industry will lie, and that profit is what matters to them far more than the patients health. Other activist types can be emotionally involved, but emotional manipulation of idealists can be more effective. This naivety and emotional involvement at times allows many idealists to be manipulated into becoming realists. The medical industry prefers to deal with realists over any other activist type. That manipulation [ shifting an activists idealist goals to realist goals ] is the most important part of the medical industries strategy to defeat Lyme activists. I am referring to the PR industry and people that make the big decisions such as Pharma CEO's, the CDC, and the NIH and not your local family doctor. The problem is that your local doctor is taught medicine in a way that benefits big Pharma and not the patient and many don't even realize it.

   The Realist

The main focus of the Lyme realist is to solve the problems ourselves and work with the medical industry for solutions.

The important fundamental beliefs of the realist:
  1. Willing to live with trade-offs (compromise)
  2. Willing to work within the system
  3. Not interested in radical change
  4. Pragmatic
Realist Views
Lyme-related views that emerge from realist thinking ...
Views Traits
"We should all unite" 1 trade-offs
"Let's work with them." (NIH, CDC, etc.) 1, 2, 3
"Non-profits can fund research." 1 trade-offs, 3 no radical change
“We can figure out the best treatment.” 1 trade-offs, 3 no radical change
"We need to create a better Lyme test." 1 trade-offs, 3 no radical change
"It's a small improvement, but at least it's something." 1 trade-offs, 3 no radical change
Lyme Realist Views
Lyme Realist

Much like idealists, realists see that patients need a good test, treatment, and research funding. But if idealists are told "You can't fix the system so you should work with them and get what you can." Idealists might feel disillusioned over time or they may begin to believe they can't win. Idealists might then be manipulated into thinking like a realist. Realists are more pragmatic, so they don't see a need to fix the system if there is some other possible way to get what they need. They may settle for compromise as long as we get something in return, even if it is small. So realists are often willing to work within the system.

Industry exploits realists to gain power over activist movements. realist views create the weakest type of activist. They want you to think like a realist, so therefore it is best to not adopt realist views.

The biggest focus of a PR campaign to weaken activists is to turn the idealists into realists. The Lyme idealists [ and frontliners ] focus on the CDC, NIH, etc. Those agencies do not want us criticizing them or making them change. They want us to shift our focus to our selves and ignore them. Staying and working within this Lyme alternative community keeps us off their backs.

The idea of solving the problem ourselves parallels the wise use doctrine in environmentalism. Get the consumers to think it is up to them to solve the pollution problem and not up to industry. Get activists to start saying "separate your paper and plastics." So they will stop saying "Stop dumping toxins." In Lyme activism it's "Let's get an alternative Lyme test ( CLIA waved ). and not an FDA validated test." That is a realist view. The wise use doctrine is a PR strategy they will use if they can find ways to exploit it.

Realists keep increasing the shift away from fighting against the medical system. The realists focus their efforts on things within the "Lyme bubble" and outside the medical establishment; ILADS, alternative treatments, non-profits funding research, etc. Finding alternative treatments will never help the vast majority of patients who are sick but don’t even know they have Lyme disease.

If everyone became a realist, the CDC, NIH, etc. would have virtually no one making major demands of them or opposing them. They could continue unchallenged with their corruption and crimes. They want the patients to believe that the Lyme community itself can solve these medical issues. That deception, getting Lyme patients to think they can solve it themselves is an important part of the medical industries strategy to win. That is why the medical authorities allow this bubble to exist. It contains a small percentage of total Lyme victims and keeps them off industries backs. They used to fear the Lyme bubble because they weren't sure they could contain it. It was considered high risk. After decades of its existence they have learned they can keep it contained so it's not a high risk anymore. It's not much of a threat to their corrupt system.

The corrupt medical industry also says they want to work with patients and patient advocates. That is merely a ruse to manipulate activists who otherwise would challenge them. They say this yet they still continue to lie to us about Lyme. If you believe you can work with them, you will be nice to them. You get nothing that way. When there is a major power imbalance in any dialog, cooperation and cooptation are nearly indistinguishable. The patients have virtually no power in these deceptive "partnerships". This is step three of the three-step plan and they are fully engaged in it. The patients will heap abundant praise to the powerful medical system for even the smallest crumb they so graciously gift to the patients.

The idealist views were more common in the past when there were more demands made of the CDC, NIH, etc. Sadly the realist views have become more and more popular nowadays where there is less opposition to the medical authorities, more "cooperation" with them, some trust them, and a greater focus on trying to solve these serious medical issues ourselves. This "Lyme bubble" will possibly help a small percentage of Lyme patients who are "in the know". This information will never alter the diagnostic tests and treatments for a vast majority of mainstream doctors because they are not allowed to use it. It is a bad trend that must change.

The realists intentions are good. They believe they are doing what's best for Lyme patients. If you support the realist views, then they have you exactly where they want you. You must understand these methods will fail. The people harming us want us to think like realists. That is fundamental in the three-step plan. They know how to manipulate activists and they have been doing it for decades. Most activists don't even know this framework against activists even exists. That must change.

We have something the medical industry does not have. They have money, but we have numbers. We need to fight using the strongest methods. Realist and even the idealist numbers don't help us. Their ideas are not strong enough. The Lyme community needs to think and act differently. You need to reject the realist views. Frontliner views are the strongest and are best way to create real change.

   The Opportunist

This section is short because the opportunist doesn't have any real position. They will say whatever will get them the personal benefit they are looking for. They will be happy with any perception of victory so they can claim success. They often like to rub elbows with rich, powerful, popular people. Industry will sometimes use opportunists if they choose to. They might "Lead from the back." If their followers change position, they may change theirs to maintain their following.

Calling out a perceived or real opportunist aggressively can do more harm than good to a movement. Mistaken identity and well intentioned defenders can get caught in the crossfire. Too much fighting works to the advantage of industry. They can exploit the arguments "Treat people with love" and "We need to work together" in ways that help industry. It can draw more people to the realist group which will weaken the movement so conversations are necessary, but must be respectful.

The important fundamental beliefs of the opportunist:
  1. Exploit issues for their own personal agenda
  2. Only involved in an issue if personal gain available
  3. Will not sacrifice self at any price for victory on the issue
Opportunist Views

Some observers might perceive realists as opportunists because the realists are often willing to work with industry. That creates the perception that they are "working with the enemy." Realists intentions are good. They believe they can get something out of it. They believe they will get little to nothing if they don't. The best way to move forward is to have positive, honest conversations with others in the movement. Attacks and namecalling is not helpful

There is no graph or table for the Lyme opportunist because they have no solid beliefs on Lyme disease issues. They could present themself as having idealist, realist, or frontliner views and switch to any other if it benefited them.

   The Frontliner

The main focus of the frontliner is to get a good test, treatment, justice for research crimes committed, and a medical system that works for everyone effected.

The important fundamental beliefs of the Frontliner:
  1. Anti-corporate
  2. Do not compromise
  3. Fight to change the system
  4. Fight for social justice
Frontliner Views
Lyme-related views that emerge from frontliner thinking ...
Views Traits
"Strong activism from everyone." 2 Do not compromise
"We cannot work with the medical industry." 1 Are Anti-corporate
"Don't trust the medical industry." 1 Are Anti-corporate
"They committed research fraud." 4 Social justice
"Pursue criminal charges." 4 Social justice
"Solve the problem for everyone." 3 Fix the system
Lyme Frontliner Views
Lyme Frontliner

The frontliners know we need to adopt the strongest positions we can without compromise. The best way to get everyone to fight the same fight is to adopt views that help everyone. Frontliners do not trust the Lyme industry so can't be fooled by their lies. If you assume the medical industry is lying, they probably are. Frontliners have no desire to have a dialog with them because "cooperation" is always a lie. It is an attempt to control and manipulate the activists and patients. The desire to work with industry is often what weakens an activist movement to the point of failure.

Some say frontliners need to compromise with other activists, but frontliners are not realists. You can't unify the idealists, realists, and frontliners . The realists views are not strong enough to create effective change. Frontliners don't oppose the concept of unity because of some negative trait. Any compromise that would be needed for unity would mean the frontliner would have to adopt some realist views. It would lead to weaker tactics and ultimate failure. The combined numbers cannot make up for it.

The only way to be powerful and to fight as one is for everyone to adopt frontliner views. Blending any of the other strategies through compromise or "bridge building" among activists will weaken the movement. We do need to have a dialog, but compromising is not part of it.

   Word Choice Is Important

Terms Lyme idealists use ...
( Realists may say some of these too. )
  • Studies are Flawed
  • Research Bias
  • Researcher Bias
  • Activist Unity
Terms Lyme realists use ...
  • Trust industry at least a little
  • Seat at the table
  • Partnerships
  • Build bridges
Terms Lyme frontliners use ...
  • Research Lies
  • Research Fraud
  • Crimes
  • Criminals
  • Jail
  • Justice
  • Scientific Validity
  • LYMErix
    Use them!
Dirrerent activist types use different key words.

Frontliners use words like crime, criminal, and fraud while the idealists and realists talk about bias. Frontliners replace words such as 'flawed', or 'biased' with words involving 'lies', or 'criminals', or 'fraud' wherever they can be accurately applied. Using stronger words is important. You wouldn't say a bank robber made a flawed withdrawal. That term doesn't even mean a crime was committed. It downplays the seriousness of what the criminal did. Realists do the equivalent regarding medical research. The research manipulation is deliberate. It's criminal. The research is not just flawed it's fraud and many realists know it. So just like no one would call a bank robbery a flawed withdrawal, no one should call research fraud biased research or flawed research when discussing the relevant studies. Using strong and accurate words can shift peoples fundamental views. It amounts to helping a criminal get away with a crime, and no one should do that.


How Do Lyme Patients Fight Back?

In the 50's 60's and 70's in America many activists were the frontliner type. They were all about challenging authority and they did not trust industry. They fought against the system and they fought to seek justice to fix society. Over time, the PR industry grew and improved their tactics to manipulate activist movements to a point where most activist movements can be defeated with the Duchin formula.

The PR industry knows how to manipulate many activists and they are very good at it. The percentage of idealists in the Lyme arena is diminishing as the percentage of realists continues to increase making us even weaker than we were just a few years ago.

Non-profits have also changed to a point where the major ones use very timid language to describe those harming us. There are not opposing the medical system now like they used to. It's all about working in the "Lyme bubble" now. They have adopted realist views. That is a very common shift in activism. Major non-profits becoming realist organizations.

The PR industry uses the derogatory term “radical” instead of frontliner to demean the activists because "radicals" are the biggest threat to their corrupt ways. Another term which describes the "radical" activist type is Frontliner which means The ones fighting closest to the enemy and the most important or influential position in a debate or movement.

   The general framework to fight back ...

The best way to fight back is founded on the PR industries own words regarding how they defeat us. The solution is, become a frontliner. That is the way to win.

The general framework to fight back:
  • Do not work with opportunists
  • Show the realists and idealists that their methods will not work
  • Show them the frontliner views and methods are the best way to win
  • Understand the Duchin Formula
General framework on how to win.
The general framework to get the movement back on track.

These are some of the views that should emerge in the Lyme fight as you begin to realize how they manipulate idealists and realists...

  • Do not compromise on your needs or principles. - Don’t compromise and don't just fight for a better test, or just better treatment, Fight for all of it.
  • Solve the problem for everyone. - Don't keep building up the Lyme bubble. Isolationist methods harm us. Direct your efforts to fixing the system for everyone.
  • Let the world know the CDC and others committed real crimes. - The relevant studies are not merely biased, or flawed (idealist and realist views). They are criminal (frontliner view). They committed research fraud. Never bother saying flawed or biased regarding the relevant research. Always say they committed research fraud. Solve this where they are most vulnerable, in the courtroom. That is the way to move forward.
  • Expose criminal behavior. - We need an investigation of the Lyme criminals. The goal is to seek justice through criminal convictions of the Lyme perpetrators in order for patients to get what they need. The test, treatment, and vaccine are all based on research fraud. We can prove their conclusions are wrong. Criminal convictions will invalidate their official position. Realists say "that's in the past. Let's move on." The only way to move forward is to punish criminal behavior. Letting it go means they never have to follow the law. The only way to get them to do the right thing is to punish them when they break the law. And remember, "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it." Don't forget what they did.
  • Do not trust the medical system. - If they say they will endorse a better test, they are lying. If the say the treatment works, they are lying. If they say they will listen, they are lying. If they say the vaccine is safe, they are lying. You get the picture. They lie about all of it.
  • Do not work with the medical establishment. - So no partnerships. No Lyme Innovation Roundtable. No bridge-building. No 'sitting at the table.' No Bridging the Trust Gap. Just the fact that HHS can state that we should bridge the trust gap without major condemnation shows how successful their strategy has been. They only do those things to manipulate activists and patients. PR reps tell their corporate clients to create partnerships so they can control activists. These partnerships are nothing more than image building for the industry and it gets activists to behave. They use those activists for intel too. They could get all the answers they needed from good studies. That is all they need. Good science, but they won't do that. They want to engage with activists to manipulate them and not to work with them. Remember, "In relationships marked by power imbalances, cooperation and cooptation are nearly indistinguishable."
In relationships marked by power imbalances, cooperation and cooptation are nearly indistinguishable.


The medical industry has devoted a lot of time and effort over the past few decades to weaken the Lyme activist movement. The movement is weaker now than it has ever been. The CDC, NIH, and FDA get far less criticism now than they did in the past. That needs to change.