Friday, January 7, 2011

Homeopathy overdose: Frauds and children

Well, it's been over a month since I started my homeopathy overdose, and my sleep is, as yet, undisturbed (apart from being woken towards the end of December by a mouse. I don't think any homeopath is going to claim their insomnia remedy works by bringing mice in to produce disturbed sleep as a symptom to cure disturbed sleep).

What's been most interesting to me is the reactions of homeopaths.

Dana Ullman of Homeopathy Education Services sadly no longer trusts me, and doesn't wish me to quote his emails. Despite seeing my willingness to correct my mistakes and the fact that I was genuinely asking questions about homeopathy, I was told I lacked a spirit of enquiry and had false assumptions. In an email I wrote "Also, I have updated my blog accordingly. I did make a false assumption when you mentioned combination remedies, I also realise that for a proving you'd obviously want just one the one substance, otherwise you couldn't attribute what caused symptoms. However, isn't it time for combination provings? Take two things together, which are known to produce certain symptoms, and see what happens if taken together." Surely this demonstrates both my willingness to enquire, and also demonstrates my ability to correct false assumptions I've previously had.

(Incidentally, in my last email to Dana I said "I will be blogging about this exchange, but will keep it entirely anonymous if you prefer, and refer to you as "a homeopath". Given that I've dealt with people from the USA and the UK, this should be sufficient." As he didn't reply, I've made the assumption that he won't mind my identifying him).

The Society of Homeopaths told me to see a registered homeopath. I got in touch, by email, with six local registered homeopaths. Not one has got back to me. I'm contemplating registering a complaint with them.

The night before last there was also this tweet from @homeopathy info:
Another skeptic being treated for mental health problems [also @tkingdoll @mjrobbins] worries about placebo effects

However, as @mjrobbins tweeted:
The response to @homeopathyinfo 's pathetic use of depression as a smear on me and the others is heart-warming

Ben Goldacre described homeopaths as "hpaths are an angry nasty bunch, which is why ppl write about them so much!"

I tend to agree - I'd like to add thin skinned as well. Also reckless with the health of those that don't beleive in, and question, homeopathy - they quite clearly say that there are risks to a homeopathy overdose (see the article that got this whole thing started), however, if someone goes ahead and (in their eyes) puts their health at risk, they don't care.

In the original article, Martin asked of the homeopathic community: Are you as a community mature and capable enough to look at the evidence and reach a consensus?

Quite clearly the answer is no. The questions that springs to my mind is: How many of them react this way because they are willfully perpetrating a fraud; and how many are essentially children with fingers in their ears going "La la la! Can't hear you! La la la!"?

(I'm aware that the above might be a false dichotomy, but I really can't think of any more than those two ways to describe them, but I'm open to suggestions).


  1. Real is scientific homeopathy. It cures even when Conventional Allopathic Medicine (CAM) fails. Evidence-based modern homeopathy is a nano-medicine bringing big results for everyone

  2. Until you actually produce any evidence, you do nothing but look like somebody attempting Cargo Cult Science. Also, you've posted exactly the same before - join in an actual discussion, or I'll just delete you as spam.

  3. By careful what you ask Nancy for, she doesn't understand evidence and will post a zillion irrelevant links instead.

    Nice post and very nice blog by the way, but it's annoying not being able to post with my blogger id (Skepticat_UK).

  4. Thanks for your kind words, and the heads up on Nancy, Ariadne. Why can't you post with your blogger id? Was that an issue with Blogger itself, or is there a tick box in my settings I need to sort out?

  5. I've managed it now, thanks. Did you change the tick box settings or did I just miss them at first. I was pretty mashed in the small hours when I posted. ;-)

  6. We'll have to blame this one on being mashed I think!