Passionflower of the Skeptic

John Benneth, Homeopath vs. James Randi, Pseudoscientist

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”

Herbert Spencer

It’s been said John Benneth carries a grudge against James “the Amazing” Randi because 12 years ago Benneth took Randi’s Challenge to prove homeopathy . . and Randi backed out.

But it could also be said the Benneth carries the torch for Randi, because Randi has been regarded as the King of the Skeptics, a man with a kind of laser like x-ray vision who can see through any kind of deception, detect any kind of fraud, and I, John “the Prosaic” Benneth just keep plodding along in search of the facts.

Take this video for instance. Note the differences in Randi between his stage appearance at TED in 2007 and the video recording done in the JREF library in  2011.  Notice especially his eyes.  It is my suggestion here that Randi’s continued abuse of Calms Forte, which essentially is not homeopathic, but slips past FDA regulations by claiming to be homeopathic, has created irreversible effects, both seen and unseen . . the unseen being intestinal cancer.

Make your own investigation here. Watch the video and then read my commentary below. decide for yourself what is real, what is illusion . .

What follows the commentary is a transcript of the video for your analysis and search engine indexing.

This gets even more mysterious when we examine the item Randi slam dunks . . Calms Forte . . more closely. It isn’t  homeopathic. It may say it’s homeopathic, and by US government standards of the HPUS it may technically may be homeopathic (although I doubt it), but neither are the ingredients of Calms Forte being used homeopathically, nor are they of a truly homeopathic potency! 

That’s right. It only says it is. Because it says it is, the majority of users assume it is.  Homeopathic “drugs” are not subject to the same testing requirements of commercial patent medicines, and so this allows the manufacturer to bring an actual  drug, in it original molecular form, to market without question.

I’ll prove it to you, slowly, inexorably, but with a dogged appetite for reason..

“Why John, why?” you may ask, and the answer is simply this. This is inextricably woven into how we think about what is medicine, healing and cure. This is about a racket, probably the world’s greatest operating sub silentio, protected by illusion, supported by the likes of a confessed charlatan.

Zicam did exactly the same thing, calling a crude molecular concentration of zinc “homeopathic” for its cold remedy, and then got in trouble with the Feds when people began reporting that after using it they were losing their sense of smell . . permanently!

Now how could people lose their sense of smell from something that James “the man with the x-ray eyes” Randi  insists has nothing in it? Because if you read the ingredients, you’ll find that the ingredients are well below Avogadro’s limit, which is the point of dilution where none of the original substance remains, the point where the energetic powers of the solution take over completely, reversing the effect of the diluent, the substance that left its elctromagnetic imprint in hydrogen bonding on the solution used to “medicate” the tablets or pilules, the “little sugar pills” as skeptics love to call them.

Here’ the catch: A substance does not have to be devoid of a molecular substance to be homeopathy. The word homeopathy does not necessarily mean diluted past recognition, as Randi is inferring Calms Forte to be. It is not. Calms Forte has a lot of an herbal sedative in it!

If it seems I’m beating this thing to death, in this case hopefully appearances aren’t deceiving.  I want to make this perfectly clear that Randi is fooling his audience at TED, and anyone else who cares to be duped by this rascal, that he is ingesting an inert susbtance that has no detectable substance of what is listed on the box! And the question that follows should be why?

Why is he gulping something that has a measurable quantity of sedative in it (Passionflower, the main ingredient in Calms Forte), traditionally known for its ability to influence sleep without narcotic effects, when he could just as easily do his demonstration with a homeopathic remedy, indicated for sleeplessness, that is truly without any detectable active substance in it?

“I am satisfied it (Passiflora, Passionflower) is no narcotic. It never stupefies or overpowers the senses. A patient under its full influence may be wakened up and he will talk to you as rationally as ever he did ; leave him for a moment and he will soon be off to the Elysian Fields again. I have tried it, my friend, in all sorts of neuralgic affections, and have usually astonished my more enlightened patients with it. Many times I have them to ask me what in the world it was that had such a sweet influence over them.” Dr. L. Phares, of Newtonia, Miss., States.) from the chapter on “Passiflora” in New, Old and Forgotten Remedies by Edward Pollock Anshutz.

So here is my question to you: Could it be that Randi has found, that repeatedly doing this demonstration  with an actual high dilute as used in homeopathic remedies, has caused long term adverse effects?

It could be possible. The old school medical doctors, who saw the effects of homeopathics on thousands of subjects, reported that too many applications of a remedy of too high a potency could actually graft  symptoms permanently onto the patient!

Perhaps Randi knows this and has found himself to be in too deep, to deep to return tothe Styxxian shore.

Look at his eyes!

The clip of Randi on stage is from TED talks. TED is an acronym for “Technology Entertainment and Design.”  It is a series of conferences, presented globally, produced  by a private non-profit organization . . the Sapling Foundation, which was formed to disseminate “ideas worth spreading.”

The lecture featuring Randi was recorded in February of 2007. The “idea” he presents isn’t worth spreading. It’s a confusion, a menace to the public health. It should either be continued or put into it proper context as it has been done here.

It as worthless as what he claims homeopathy to be.

Two piece of prima facie forensics to note here. One is that Randi explicitly tells his audience to ignore the instructions for use . . the warnings . .  for what are labelled as sleeping pills.

The TED audience seems to think this is funny.

I don’t.

“I’m going to take some medication,” he says, “a full bottle of Calm’s Forte . . ignore the instructions, that’s what the government has put in there to confuse you, I’m sure.”

He then appears to dump the whole bottle of what he just said is medication, a substance used for medical treatment, in his mouth.

Is this a scientific experiment? Entertainment? A publicity stunt? Mass delusion, at $4,000 a throne?

After telling us we need to think critically, he asks us to join him in his assumptions. And the TED audience gullibly swallows it as quickly as he dumps the contents of the container into his mouth.

Randi is a proponent of critical thinking?

What hypocrisy!

“But Pee Wee, what does it mean?”

The word critical is a borderline one-word oxymoron, for it has meanings that are comparatively contradictory . . it can mean expressing or involving an analysis of the merits and faults of something . . or it can mean simply expressing adverse or disapproving comments.

So where’s the science?

What if someone, a young person for instance, who is confused about what is “homeopathic,” repeats this stunt to impress his friends, and in doing so takes something that isn’t as inert as he thinks it is, whether it’s homeopathic or not?

Does he end up with intestinal cancer, like Randi did, two years after this stunt? Or might he  end up dead with little or no idea what caused his final illness?

What Randi is saying, “don’t bother to look more closely at this thing I’m  doing, I’ve got it covered.” In this way it may seem to be a very coherent act, to the impressionable . . which is what magicians want you to be. And Randi is a lifelong magician. And one thing I’ve noticed about magicians, is that they can’t help but eventually reveal the mechanism of their deceptions . . because they’re essentially show oafs, and like most criminals, they actually want to be caught . .

“Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of
the knowing me: it is a wise father that knows his
own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of
your son: give me your blessing: truth will come
to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man’s son
may, but at the length truth will out.”

Launcelot, The Merchant of Venice

Magicians want you to keep your seat. They can’t have you wandering up on stage to look behind and deeply into things, spoiling their act.

And so Randi doesn’t want you Googling the ingredients of Calms Forte, even after it seems he’s have impllied TED should use critical thinking, but not invetigation, to do just that, for these people will see only what he wants them to see, when he wants them to see it.

He’s living off your assumptions.

If you attempt closer analysis, without his invitation or approval, he will metaphorically, or by simile, hang an “Out of Order” sign around your neck . . or call security.

“No no no!  Stay away from that! Don’t go there! Don’t look behind the JREF curtain!”

In Randi’s World, you’re not supposed to read the instructions . . THE GOVERNMENT PUT THEM THERE TO CONFUSE YOU!

You MIGHT actually stumble upon the actual ingredients!

Now, all of what has transpired here  is implied by presentation and performance, and here Randi is demanding critical thinking  about things outside of his venue . . but . . not within. Only things other than what are in his own hands are to enjoy the chimera of scrutiny, at a distance, by dint of the moderator.

But time has caught up and passed Randi. Now we have the Internet. We don’t have to pay $4,000 a seat to watch some high school drop out try to pull the wool over our eyes. We can just sit here for free . . and then watch him pull the wool over our eyes . . or we can  let our fingers do the walking and rip off the hoodwink!

Google the ingredients for Calms Forte.

See for yourself what it is made of. 1x means one part in ten! And here they say it is triple strength!  Does that mean that a third of it is the sedative Passiflora?

There is a heavy, measurable crude dose of Passiflora incarnata in Calms Forte . Here is what is listed as the actual ingredient of what Randi is over-ingesting.

Passiflora (Passion Flower) 1X triple strength HPUS
Avena Sativa (Oat) 1X double strength HPUS
Humulus Lupulus (Hops) 1X double strength HPUS
Chamomilla (Chamomile) 2X HPUS
Calcarea Phosphorica (Calcium Phosphate) 3X HPUS
Ferrum Phosphorica (Iron Phosphate) 3X HPUS
Kali Phosphoricum (Potassium Phosphate) 3X HPUS
Natrum Phosphoricum (Sodium Phosphate) 3X HPUS
Magnesia Phosphoricum (Magnesium Phosphate) 3X HPUS

Here Randi can’t demand passivity from his audience given the authority of the stage, the license he’s using to control what he has made out to be an investigation of homeopathy. . but which in fact is a hoax that has more than one layer of illusion.

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Transcript of video:

JOHN BENNETH: My name is John Benneth, honorary post graduate of Hahnemann College of Homeopathy, London,

JAMES RANDI: Hello, I’m James Randi, founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation

JOHN BENNETH: And we’re about to have a little discussion about homeopathy.

JAMES RANDI: I’ve used demonstrations to show audiences the importance of thinking skeptically about pseudoscience.

JOHN BENNETH: Good idea. Let’s take a skeptical look at what Randi is claiming, which you will see is in itself a prima facie example of pseudoscience, beliefs and practices that claim to be science without employing the METHOD of science, So in this case instead of an objective experiment, scientific test, or ranom controlled trial, Randi is using a dangerous stunt to try to prove what he wants to be true.

JAMES RANDI: One demonstration I’ve done many times is downing an entire package of 32 homeopathic sleeping pills. (cut to TED lecture) I have to do something uh now which seems a little bit strange, for a magician . . but I’m going to take some medication . . this is uh . . a full bottle of Calm’s Forte . . I’ll explain that in just a moment . . ignore the instructions, that’s what the government has put in there to confuse you, I’m sure.  I will take enough of these  (appears to empty bottle into mouth)  mmh . . indeed the whole cantainer. (Drinks water. Loud swallowing sound) Thirty two talets of Calms Forte.

JOHN BENNETH: Which is an example of pseudoscience. Randi is asking us to think skeptically about pseudoscience and then uses himself as an example to show exactly what it is that he’s talking about.

JAMES RANDI: The recommended dosage by the way is two to three pills. just to show that these scam medications have no effect.

JOHN BENNETH: Oh yeah? Well, look at his eyes, he can barely keep them open. Don’t do what this man is doing until you’ve heard the whole story, or . . you may saddle yourself with lifelong symptoms. I agree with Randi that you’re being scammed, but the scam here is Randi’s. And in this and other videos I prove it to you. Because homeopathic remedies make use of such highly diluted substances, it is understandable that some people may be doubtful as to whether or not these substances can have any biological action whatsoever, but that isn’t any reason to substitute a pseudoscientific stunt of the type Randi is performing here for the scientific method. Plants, for instance, make much better subjects for testing the action of homeopathic remedies, and likewise extensive testing has been done on plants using homeopathic remedies, objectively showing their biological action. There are simple tests you can do yourself. Homeopathic remedies can either accelerate or stunt plant growth, and they can be used phytopathologically , which means they can be used to control plant pests and diseases. If they work on plants, then it stands to reason tht they can also work on other living subjects, such as biochemical subjects. But Randi, who purports to be a proponent of the scientific method, is not talking about the extensive biochemical testing done on homeopathic remedies. This is a powerful form of medicine that is challenging what is thought to be the only treatments for human illnesses.

JAMES RANDI: There’s a warning on the box to call the poison control center .

JOHN BENNETH: There should also be one of the box made especially for him to call a psychiatrist. This man is publically encouraging people to intentionally overdose on substances he knows little if anything about in order to further a dangerous racket. However, the manufacturer of those homeoapthic sleeping pills would probably sell twice as many if they put a picture of him on the box.

JAMES RANDI: But that’s a joke.

JOHN BENNETH: So is James Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge, and I will prove that to you too in alater video.

JAMES RANDI: But that’s a joke . .

JOHN BENNETH: Tune in and turn on to homeopathy, real medicine that really works and watch as Randi and I continue go head to head on homeopathy. Two men go in, one man comes out. Listen very carefully to what Randi says. Its been carefully scripted, and I will reveal to you his lies. Subscribe to the Bandershot channel here on Youtube for more about the Million Dollar Challenge to homeopathy, and homoepathy’s trillion dollar challenge to the patent medicine racket.

JAMES RANDI: I’ve overdosed on homeopathic medicine many times and my eyes are still open.

JOHN BENNETH: Toothpicks.


(April 2011)

9 comments on “Passionflower of the Skeptic

  1. Simon says:

    Does anyone know why the video was removed from YouTube?


  2. Luka says:

    Interesting article. I always like to see someone disapproving a “wonder drug.” There is so much misinformation out there that its hard to sort the truth from the lies. That being said Ken Travis is right, your dislike for the man comes out a bit strong.


  3. Norbert says:

    When reading through your article I couldn’t help but wonder, whats your point? Is it that homeopathy is real? Is it that a stunt, done by a man who doesn’t claim to be a scientist, doesn’t follow the scientific method and thus proves nothing? Is it that you hate Randi? Is it that you can provide as little proof and act just like Randi?

    You focus a lot on the joke he makes about the instructions. Something said to get the audience to laugh. I don’t think he said it with the malicious intent you seem to give it.

    You also go on and on about the passion flower. You even go as far as to quote someone on its effectiveness. You state that there is a large amount of it in each pill in fact. So you’ve made a point as to its power, yet at the same time offer up nothing to show how it affected Randi. With such a critical point as to why Randi is so bad why do you not offer up its effects upon Randi? Do you have any evidence that when he was no longer engaged that he drifted to sleep?

    Surely if the passion flower is as strong as you state, and is found in “… a heavy, measurable crude dose…” within the pills themself, and he took such a large dose, there must be some effect that you can show from such a thing.

    The other thing you note is that Calms Forte is not a true homeopathic medicine. Yet you do not offer up why. Could you have not stated why it isn’t? If its not diluted enough what would it take to make it so? How much more concentrated is it than a true homeopathic medicine? You offer up none of this.

    You offer up many things, but nothing to backup most of your statements outside of “he’s not following the scientific method when he does the stunt.”


    • johnbenneth says:

      Hi Norbert,

      If he’s calling for the scientific metho, why isn’t he using it? Why isn’t he referring to the literature? You can do it as easily as he can, so why aren’tyou admitting it?. It’s right at your fingertips. There are many scinetific stuies that prove homeoapthy. What more do you want? Have you tried it for yourself?
      People will always choose what they want to believe. So how objective can you be about this? Are you willing to admit that there are positive studies, or will just focus on ones that focus on negative results.

      How do you know that Randi didn’t sleep for three days after taking those pills? I don’t know, do you?

      Your quesiton “is homeopathy real” is a strange one. Of coure it’s real. Maybe not to you and Randi in the same way it is to Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier, who said after conducting physical tests, “homeopathy is real.”

      Calms Forte is classifed as homeopathic, but in my opinion it isn’t a purely supramolecular dose, at least not totally. Andit doesn’t confrom to homeoapthic principles of likecures like. Why not use the high dilutes of coffee that Randi talks about?
      There are dilutions in it, but the major ingredient, passiflora, a well known sleep aid that, as I note, does not drug the recipient into a stupor, is in concentrations unknown to homeoapthy, and is NOT an example of “like curing like,” a concept fro which the word homeoapthy alludes. What’s triple conentration suppoed to mean? Come on!

      I think what they did in order to avoid having to do expensive long term tests was include enough homeopathic ingredients in order to technically to call it that.

      But then why would Randi choose a dose that has a detectable amount of passifflora in it in a test where he’s implying it’s undetetable and inert?

      Compare the Calms Forte ingredient lit with Boiron’s for their sleeping aid product, Quietude (TM)
      Active Ingredients: Hyoscyamus Niger 3X Relieves: restless sleep associated with nervousness (3.6 x 10-8 mg alkaloids), Nux Moschata 4C Relieves: restless sleep, Passiflora Incarnata 3X Relieves: s;eeplessness associated (with worries & exhaustion), Stramonium 6X Relieves: sleeplessness with intermittent awakening.

      These ingreients are not entirely devoid of the indicated molecular content either! Themoelcular limit haas been thoeried to be at 10-23, which by HPUS standards is designate as 23X, more than seven times the idlutions of of several intgredients.

      If you’re going to debunk homeopathy, then do it in a way that is convincing to you. Are you trying to judge it through other people? It should be obvious to you that Randi, using his own implied standards of proof, hasn’t proven anything. How do you know what he took was even what he said it was? Maybe it a handfulTums that he slipped into the box An why is he poing this onstge when he’ all revved up? WOuldn’t it be more scinetii to try it for what it ws prsumably esiged, to help people get to sleep at bedtime?
      You ask what my point is, what do you think his is? If you compare his so called test, what makes it more significant than a biochmeical test done by Montagnier?

      So who are you going to believe? A Nobel laureate scientist, theanwho discovered the HIV virus, who has actually conducted experiments, or an entertainer with a million ollars to lose if they are what the scientists says they are?
      And do you believe tht there is only one test that shows the action of these substances? There are hundreds, pre-clinicals an clinicals
      Borion’s studies say ‘Homeopathic medicines are made of very dilute substances and are regulated as drugs by the FDA.”
      If you’re interested in it, don’t take either of our words for it, study it. Try it.
      There is another thing that should make you think. Randi has acused homeopathy of being a scam, a fraud, criminal.
      To make charges like that stick, he or someone else will have to PROVE it in a court of law, which brings me to the bottom line, as frustrating as it may be to you, why isn’t Randi pusuing it in court?
      Ask good quesions and you’ll get good answers.
      John Benneth, Homeopath


  4. Ken Travis says:


    Your point would be much more effective in just one line. “You know that homeopathic remedy, James Randi is using in his anti-homepathy talks? It ISNT a homeopathic remedy!” Then list ingredients or add a link.
    The style of the blog and your obvious dislike for the man detracts from the message.


    • johnbenneth says:

      Good points, Ken. And I know I write too long, the reason being that I feel compelled to explain whyI make the assertion I do. If I just say Clams Forte isn’t homeopathi, the next question is why? How is it that they can claim that it is when it isn’t? And I must also add, the fact that you’re saying Clams Forte isn’t says to me that you got it. Thanks for reading my blog and thanks for commenting.


  5. eyeonicr says:

    Are you saying that the homoeopathic pills caused his cancer? That he only pretended to take them or that the pills aren’t really homoeopathic? And what is your take on the 1023 stunt?


    • johnbenneth says:

      I can’t say that for sure, but Clarke does list Mag phos, one of the ingredients of Calms Forte, in connection with stomach cancer, and the materia meica list a lot of stomach probelms assoicated with it and other ingredients, such as violent cramping. My guess is that overdosing repeatedly probably did have something to do with it.
      1023 is organized hypocrisy. They put contempt beore investigation, ignore the pre-clinical and clinical evidence for homeoathy and then stage a stunt to prove homeoapthy isn’t “scientific.”
      They’re tools of the wretched pharmaceutical industry that now is the biggest part of the third leading cause of death, autism, etc.


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