Really. Stupid. People.

Sometimes I wonder about how stupid people can be. I mean there are stupid people, there’s a lot of them, I don‘t suppose they‘d be stupid if they weren‘t people.
I wonder if that choice is made in Heaven. Guy says, “God, I want to live this next reincarnation as a really stupid person. I mean not just dumb, but a real idiot. The kind of person that acts like he knows something, but doesn‘t really. Arrogant, full of assertions, the kind of jerk who makes up his mind not to see the evidence. The kind of guy who takes a job as a night watchman in a day camp. He’s so stupid he’ll ask what wine goes best with Alpo. If I do that I’ll bring joy into the world by making other people laugh at me.”

Here’s a statement I got from someone calling himself ISayISaw. Now I’m not saying that he’s dumb, necessarily, but something tells me that if he had a brain concussion it would probably classify as a minor injury. He starts out by quoting me. (Boy, is that ever a dumb thing to do):

“Kaviraj and I have given them more than enough time to respond to our challenge. All we have asked of the critics of homeopathy, like Edzard Ernst, John Beddington, Ben Goldacre, Andy Lewis and their dopey proxies, is to please show us the evidence that homeopathic remedies are “placebos.” Show us just one scientific study that proves it. Please. Just one. That’s all. It’s not too much to ask . . 

But here we are, empty handed.”
And then he does. Show us a “study,” that is.
And then he surly says: “You’re not empty-handed but you don’t only seem to pay attention of the poorest quality evidence and the unsupported claims of homeopathy’s fanboys.”

Okay, the nasty remarks aside, this is good. I SayISaw has coughed up a what purports to be a real “scientific” trial here, even if it is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen, written by the kind of people who are so dim they’d light a match to read a sundial. But look, it’s a hundred times better than the bluff and bluster we get from everybody else.

And published nowhere.
This particular study by Sarah Brien, Laurie Lachance, Phil Prescott, Clare McDermott and George Lewith implies in its title that the effect of homeopathy is a placebo that come from the homeopathic consultation. And I bet they used to save their burned out light bulbs for their darkroom, too. A dark room is the place where these people used to go to retrieve the contents of their photographic memories, but they gave it up because nothing ever developed.
Well, ISayISaw should be congratulated nonetheless for bringing this up. So let’s give a good hand for ISayISaw on the computer keyboard. Let’s give him another good. Actually he needs more than two good hands on the computer keyboard. Maybe he could take his foot out of his mouth an use that. 

Title of the study that presumably “proves” homeopathy is a “placebo” is: “Homeopathy has clinical benefits in rheumatoid arthritis patients that are attributable to the consultation process but not the homeopathic remedy: a randomized controlled clinical trial”
http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2010/11/08/rheumatology.keq234.full.pdf
You can read it yourself, but make sure you’re not operating any heavy equipment if you do because there’s a chance that you might fall over laughing, or start beating your head against the steering wheel.
The objective of this mess was, “To assess whether any benefits from adjunctive homeopathic intervention in patients with RA are due to the homeopathic consultation, homeopathic remedies or both.”
Okay, stop right there. Note the word adjunctive. Adjunct means “something added to another thing but not an essential part of it.”
So now we have to ask an essential part of what? What else is going on in this study they aren’t mentioning here?
The report says this was an exploratory double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial conducted from January 2008 to July 2008, in patients with active stable rheumatoid arthritis (RA) receiving conventional therapy.
So in other words, these people were being treated for rheumatoid arthritis using “conventional drugs.”
Just what drugs might those be?
Celebrex? (Pfizer) Yeah, Celebrex. That’s the one advertised on TV showing a smiling young woman flying a kite on the beach, supposedly having a good time.
Here’s the side effects from Celebrex when she gets back from the beach:
“Increased risk of cardiovascular incidents including blood clotting, heart attack and stroke, kidney problems, fluid retention, liver damage, potentially lethal stomach bleeding.”
There’s that young woman again, on her knees in front of the toilet, spitting up blood from lethal stomach bleeding.
Lawsuit!
Or maybe it was Vioxx.
VIOXX BREAKING NEWS:
“Merck & Co., Inc. has agreed to pay $4.85 billion to resolve Vioxx-related claims in which a claimant has suffered a heart attack, sudden cardiac death, or stroke.”
http://www.levinlaw.com/practice-areas/vioxx-information

They’d be better off with a bottle of whiskey and a couple of tickets to a good cage fight. Get ’em on their feet to go somewhere other than the doctor’s office. Maybe what this study was all about was to look for something else to blame it on.

The people who wrote this study are the kind of people who would hand a drowning man a glass of water. I think their last study was to see if people swallowed firecrackers their hair would grow out in bangs.

I mean, do I need to explain this to anybody except for the really, really stupid? I’m surprised this guy ISayISaw can read. He probably has a kid read it to him.
And who did the authors explain this to in order to get it all typed up so nicely? That person deserves the Nobel prize for patience.

This isn’t a test for placebo. I’m not sure what it’s a test for.  Maybe its a secret IQ test. They sure as hell don’t say. Here’s what they did:

Patients were randomized into five groups. Of the five groups, three received a homeopathic consultation (Groups 1 – 3) and two (Groups 4 and 5) did not. The consultation groups were further randomized to individualized treatment (Group 1), a homeopathic complex for RA (Group 2) or placebo (Group 3).
Non-consultation participants were allocated complex (Group 4) or placebo (Group 5); individualized homeopathy can only be prescribed through a consultation.
This study has not disclosed the homeopathic remedies given to Group 1 patients. it says nothing about (gropu 6) the pill pushers who organized this debacle.

Or (Group 7) the homeoapths. So here comes the homeopath who’s been asked to participate in a study on the effectiveness of homeopathy, and he finds that every one of these people are on racketeceuticals, and they’re having problems with blood clotting, they’re having heart attacks and strokes, kidney problems, they’re puffy from fluid retention, liver damage, and some are having potentially lethal stomach bleeding.

Did the individual consultations focus on totality of symptoms as presented by the patient or the clinical diagnosis as presented by Group 1, or the clinical daignosis as presented by Group 6? Just what was Group 1 given as a result of consulation. A bottle of whiskey and a couple of tickets to a good cage fight. Or how about a carefully folded not that says, “run for your life.” 

Stastically tt appears that Group 6 had a regression to the mean . . spirited that is.
So the challenge to Ernst and the Evil Empire still remains after all this time. Provide one trial that proves homeopathy is a “placebo.”
In the meantime, next time you get rheumatoid arthritis, go to a homeopath before the Vioxx pushers get their hands on you, or you might end up in a study like the one ISayISaw regurgitated here. Unless of course you want your heirs to collect on the settlement.

It might save yo a lot of money, time, pain and an early grave.

You know, I bet the people who wrote the Brien “human science experiment” take rulers to bed with them to see how long they sleep. I bet the real facts in this report could have been written on a piece of confetti. I bet they’re so stupid that if we gave them a goldmedal for it they’d have it bronzed.

They’re so stupid that if . . .

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21 comments on “Really. Stupid. People.

  1. I SayISee. This seems to explain the denialist position quite well. They say something (however inane, like ‘homeopathy does not work, or is placebo’) and then they understand that what they have said is true.

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    • Guy Chapman says:

      Ah, excellent, now we’re all “denialists” are we? And I suppose Louisiana are “denialists” because they reject creation “science” and chose science textbooks based on, well, science?

      Skepticism is not denial. There is nothing wrong with saying “prove it”. When a theory is advanced that conflicts with the body of scientific knowledge, credible proof becomes an imperative. At least of you want to avoid ridicule. Or are you content for homeopathy to be ridiculed?

      Like

  2. xtaldave says:

    I’m just thought I’d ask where do we think the burden of proof lies here?

    Extraordinary claims, etc etc.

    Toodle-pip.

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    • johnbenneth says:

      Boy, I’ve heard that delusion ad nauseaam. Have you ever thought about who decides what’s extraordinary? Cetainly not you. It’s a court of law that decides those things. And have you ever wondered who the burden of proof is on? Cetainly not the homeopath, he’s pracitcing legal medicine. No, the burden of proof is on you, my friend, you’re the one making the accusation of guilt, just as the government recently has been making accusations of guilt against YOUR illegal crap pharmacy, and proving it, to the tune of billions in fines and RICO convictions. What are your connections to that?
      It’s as if the accusations you make aagainst homeoapthy are being made into a mirror. Everything you accuse us of we end up being innocent of, and you get the guilty verdict! LOL!

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      • xtaldave says:

        Mr Benneth, I’m not sure you’ve thought this through – if a court of law gets to decide which remedies/treatments are effective, which aren’t, and which are in need of “extraordinary proof” – this is going to play into the hands of whomever can afford the best lawyers – i.e. – the big pharmaceutical companies you despise so much.

        You should get on the horn to Glaxo or Pfizer, I’m sure they’d snap you up in a heartbeat with ideas such as this. 🙂

        Traditionally, the burden of proof has fallen with those claiming the new remedy or treatment. To do otherwise would allow quacks and charlatans to run amok! Just imagine, anyone would be able to market jelly beans as a cure for cancer or AIDS or anything!

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  3. Simon says:

    I can only imagine what other homeopaths think of the Benneth and Kaviraj show. They must be squirming with embarrassed at their ill manners, bad tempers, arrogance and the fact that they make so many mistakes.

    You called Andy Lewis a liar and you were wrong: no apology. You confused David Colquhoun with someone else and said that he was in the pay of Big Pharma. That too was demonstrably wrong. Again, no apology.

    The only conclusion that any reasonable reader can come to is that you are not men of honour.

    And yet, you continue to scream and call names. Do you honestly expect anyone to respond to your challenges when you call them “dopey proxies” , “stupid idiots” and being part of an “evil empire”. Why would anyone engage with such vile rudeness?

    If I were another homeopath, I would be doing my utmost to distance myself from you. What is frightening is none appear to want to speak out. It is the bond of thieves and the cultist when others cannot speak out against their own kind’s appalling behaviour.

    You clearly do not understand the science. All you have is self-congratulation, abusive name calling and stupid sarcasm. You bring shame on what ought to be seen as a kind and caring profession. And everyone else’s silence is complicity in your dishonour.

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    • johnbenneth says:

      You’ve characterized yourself exactly. we’ve come up with hudnreds of pre-clincal and clinical reports that show the independent actionof ghigh dilutes. WHen we’ve challenged you to ome up with ONE study that proves the placebo effect, you’ve failed. Not one. yet that’s what we hear ffrom your side as to what homeoapthy is.
      As forother homeopaths, some ot them have indeed been disturbed by the usual rancour, but as I’ve just pointed out, it is all your side has to offer, you have no scientific studies to support your position, only criticsms of ours. Prove mewrong. SHow me one study that prove the your placebo hypothesis. You’;regoing to need it to make yo9ur point in front of a judge when we sue you for tortious interference.
      SO see? I’m here to save you from hyourself. If you check through the comments, you will see messages that are from other homeopaths, some of whom are chceering us on inother groups, andlaughing at you clowns.
      You’re just upset because we’re standing up to your paid bullying and proving you and the racketeers you’re working for wrong. You’re not used to that are you? You thought homeoapths were a buncch of soft headed fools who wouldn’t sue you, didn’t you or push criminal charges on you, did you? Thisis the reaon we all became homeoapths, because you’re medicine is so crappy and dangerous. I don’t know who better to do it than homeoapths like Kaviraj, and it needs to be done, because you possess some of the most dangerous and criminal thinking on the planet today.

      Like

  4. ISayISaw says:

    “Ha! That’s just the point, there is [no test for placebo].”

    No one’s really this dim. Are you just pulling our plonkers? Dual controls are what are needed.

    But, you are considering the wrong hypothesis anyway.

    John, what hypothesis is being tested when a protocol compares consultation + homeopathic pill versus consultation plus blank pill?

    We can add this to our list, if you like.

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  5. ISayISaw says:

    John

    “All I’ve seen you reference re the Cuban lepto intervention is a blog review by an anonymous author who llike you fails to cite anything,”

    Again, this obsession of yours with who gets counted as an authority in your estimation. Authority is not relevant. Facts are.

    You advanced claims based on the use of homeopathy in Cuba. Substantiate that claim with facts: list the other factors that were at play in the treated region during the study period. Come on, man, this is your pet topic not mine.

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  6. Kaviraj says:

    That is all you guys got? More innuendo and more side tracking and not answering any of the critiques directed at you. That is because you can’t refute them.

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  7. ISayISaw says:

    John Benneth

    This also bears saying at this point.

    You repeat statements such as the following;

    “Title of the study that presumably “proves” homeopathy is a “placebo”…”

    The idea that a single study proves the validity of an area of science is pathetically naive and simplistic. If you would like to be taken seriously it would help if you approached the subject with circumspection and with evidence of mature thought. I only offer it as a suggestion. It may be that you are too fond of your spittle-soaked megaphone to put it away for good.

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  8. ISayISaw says:

    John Benneth

    While we’re racking up questions for you, here are the three from previously;

    You claim to have evidence of homeopathy’s efficacy against malaria, but it’s a secret. How many people were enrolled in the trial? How were blinding and randomisation performed?

    You are surely aware that homeopathy was not the only intervention used in the treated region of Cuba. Why do you claim that the reduction in the number of cases was due to homeopathy? I’ll now give you a hint for this one: list the other factors that were at play in the treated region during the study period.

    In both of these instances, there is no personalisation and individualisation of the remedy that is given. Nor is there any in the lab-bench experiments that you assert support homeopathy. Will you confirm explicitly that you do not require individualisation to be used in valid trials of homeopathy?

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    • johnbenneth says:

      How do you know that? All I’ve seen you reference re the Cuban lepto intervention is a blog review by an anonymous author who llike you fails to cite anything, and confesses that he/she/it doesn’t undertand anything about supramolecular chemistry to know how the hydroxl/ethanol solution used in homeopathy works. You and the anonymous author you quote apparently think that its possible they’re magical, but it smore likely the CUban homeopaths got lucky. YOurt thesis effectively ends there. You’ve presented an inimical bias followed by a confession that you don’t know what you’re talking about, which is just another way of saying you’ve proved the point kaviraj and I have been making, as everybody else, homeoapth and idiopath alike has done here. There is no reasonable argument against homeoapthy coming from idiopathy, nor would one expect there to be, its out of the range of of idiopathy’s comprehnsion. So post away, show us more of it. It’s what you’re getting paid for, isn’t it?

      Like

  9. ISayISaw says:

    John Benneth

    “This isn’t a test for placebo.”

    Please explain clearly and succinctly what is a test for placebo?

    Like

  10. Simon says:

    I did think for a foolish moment, when reading the first few sentences, that this was the first blog post by you that was showing some personal reflection and insight.

    I was wrong.

    Like

  11. Guy Chapman says:

    So what you’re saying here is that you and Kaviraj are allowed to be rude and use personal attacks to advance you agenda, but anybody who questions your agenda, however politely, is stupid and venal? That would explain why you’re not making much headway I guess. It does tend to encourage people to ignore you as an obnoxious crank and it gives the strongest possible message that you understand perfectly why homeopathy is rejected by science and won’t address it because you can’t. If that’s the message you wanted to send with this post, “mission accomplished”.

    Like

    • johnbenneth says:

      That’s right, Guy Chapman has been so nice and polite, and scientific, too. And of course that just burns us up, to see someone come in here with the facts and so politely ruin our tidy little campaign of rumours, half truths an outright lies.
      Hey everybody, what do you say we nominate Guy Chapman for Politeness of the Year Award? And how another one for always telling the truth and refernicng every allegation he’s made against our sleazy little craft. Certainly he hasn’t missed a step when it comes to the forced march he’s put us all on in the drive to the truth, with those high stepping kicks of his. He’s been a real font of knowledge for us, he has, doing just as he said he would, showering us with study after study showing us just how errant and unscientific we’ve been. He’s totally cleaned my clock. I feel so clean now.
      Hats off and three cheers to Guy Chapman!

      Like

      • Guy Chapman says:

        Well, John, you are making claims that you can treat disease. For a new medicine to be able to make such a claim requires peer-reviewed clinical trials and some kind of evidence of how the drug is supposed to work. The *only* reason you are allowed to sell homeopathic remedies is that they were grandfathered in when this regulation was designed, and being chemically inert they do no harm other than that caused by people using them instead of effective treatments.

        There is nothing wrong with pointing out that your supposed system of medicine lacks any objectively provable scientific basis.

        The Scientologists have shifted to claiming to be a religion, this allows them to escape the lack of any evidence base for their auditing procedures. Homeopaths, by contrast, choose to continue to play on the field of science. It’s not a surprise that when they break the rules on this game, they get called on it.

        Credible and valid tests have been proposed which would help you move away from the criticism. No homeopath is taking these up. Why not?

        Like

  12. Nigel says:

    Keep up the good work John. You are destroying the reputation of homeopathy as a caring, thoughtful, healing profession far faster than any skeptic could do.

    Like

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