Homeopath confronts magician’s $1000000 Challenge

HOMEOPATH JOHN BENNETH confronts MAGICIAN JAMES RANDI re: his $1,000,000 challenge on the TIME Magazine online forum

BENNETH to RANDI: “Put your money where your mouth is.”

“Dear James Randi,
“In January of 1999 I applied for your challenge after you, in writing, personally offered me your award to prove homeopathy with a simple test . . identify verum from placebo, the active homeopathic remedy from the inert substance in a double blind trial.

“In light of more complex measures, your challenge is a rather simple test that has now been done countless times, biochemically, botanically and physically by spectroscopy (Roy) and other methods, such as by measuring differences in puncture voltage (Brucato). This is a simple test! But what we have seen from you are nothing more than unscientific, dangerous stunts, such as standing in front of audiences and downing an entire bottle of herbal sleeping ills, claiming they’re “homeopathic.,“ when in fact they are not . . not completely. Anyone can see this by simply reading the dilution strength of the main ingredients.

“James Randi, you have yet to put any scientific method that reveals the identity of these substances you say are scams to the test.

“James Randi, put Richard Adams’s money where your mouth is: Put homeopathy to a real test, arbitrated by real scientists, under the terms of a real contract.

“John Benneth, Homeopath”


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20 comments on “Homeopath confronts magician’s $1000000 Challenge

  1. Andrew says:

    Good time of the day John!

    I am a homeopathic patient and from time to time I read materials your site.
    I do this with great interest.

    I would like to ask several questions :

    1) I have and article about James Randy which is called
    I am not able to find it on the web.

    2) What do you think about imponderables ?
    How one can explain their action ?

    3) What do you think about Haral Walach article :

    Sceptics claim that homeopathy is just placebo effect.
    But nobody knows what exactly placebo is : theory of placebo mechanism does not exist.
    So they explain one unexplained phenomenon by other unexplained phenomenon .


    And also , as soon as I know , placebo does not have aggravation effect.


    • johnbenneth says:

      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for commenting.

      I can’t say why you haven’t found that article.

      I find imponderables to be fascinating. Obviously the hydrogen bond network can be imprinted by radiant events as well as by a particulate solute.

      There is now a new type of imponderabilia I call intention remedies, made by thought alone.

      The Harald Wallach article is interesting but too long. As you so intelligently point out, and as Wallach admits, the term placebo is not a very descriptive term. It means anything you want it to.

      I have repeately challenged skeptics to give me one good example of a study that demonstrates the placebo effect for homeopathics, but they can’t do it, because the effect doesn’t exist.

      I don’t know why they don’t just call it psychogenic. It wouldn’t sound so putative that way.

      I didn’t find anything of much interest in the Skeptic’s Dictionary except that they seem to be getting tired of the same old denials and aare softening on homeopathy:

      Skepdic writes,

      “At this point, all we can say is that the labs found a statistically significant difference between the control (distilled water) and the histamine in a double-blind study. If they had not found a statistically significant difference, they would not have been justified in claiming they had disproved homeopathy. Finding an interesting statistic in a single study is hardly proof of anything, but it’s a start. Only time will tell if the experiment can be replicated and, if it can, what it might mean for homeopathy.” http://www.skepdic.com/refuge/funk39.html

      As usual they’re woefully uninformed, or at least try to be. The fact of the matter is, the multi centred trial wa a replicaiton of a test that between 1984 and 2007 was successfully done 24 times, and has been replicated since.

      It happens every time someone “proves” homeopathy with another biohemcial test, physical test using instrumentation or a trial on plants or animals that shows biological results. It’s “the first one test ever done and can’t be replicated” fallacy.
      There are numerous ways to show the action of these substances. they just don’t want to see them.

      What they can’t accept is that homeopathics have to be tested in “provings,” where reactions to a homeopathic remedy are recorded double blind. Homeoapths invented the double blind in medical testing. But skeptics think that because it shouldn’t work it doesn’t work, it can’t work and never will. They never stop to think that the seeming anomallies of homeopathy are things everyone who stuies it has to get over.


  2. Actually, I think Randi nwould be quite happy with incontrovertible proof that homeopathy actually cures something. I know I would.

    However, don’t expect him – or me, because I did offer to do a test personally – to design the experiment. You lot are supposed to be the specialists. Saying “I accept your challenge, now tell me what you’re going to do” is not goig to cut the ice.

    Prove that it works. That’s all. Afterwards, we’ll investigate how it works. But first you must prove it does. The onus of proof is on the person making the assertion., not on the one saying “I don’t see how this can work”.


    • johnbenneth says:

      Dear Milton,

      Haven’t you ever wondered WHY it is that Randi hasn’t simply taken his case against homeoapthy to court? According to him, he’s got a real winner. He says, and you seem to agree, that homeoapthy is “a scam,” “a fraud,” and its makers “criminals.” Those are HIS words, not mine. WOuld you go so far to say that too?

      You can listen to him saying it in his videos on Youtube.

      So, why haven’t all you all-knowing all-seeing skeptics taken homeopathic manufacturers to court . . for FRAUD?

      Maybe you have! Maybe you wouldn’t be the first, and it would seem that, according to you, the case would have been easily won without a whimper from the defense. Maybe that’s where Randi got his million dollars, from random annual suings of the homeopathy trade. Maybe you’re missing out on a big opportunity!
      All you have to do is get a lawyer to take the case and take any and all manfacturers of homeopathic remedies, and all the people who distibute them, to court! And you would WIN MILLIONS!

      Hell, according to you, winning such a case would be SOOO easy . . you wouldn’t even need a good attorney! Any drunk, mentally challenged person, a baby, a corpse, even you, could win such a case, PRO SE! According to you, you wouldn’t have to prove a thing, since (according to you) the burden of proof is on the accused. Right?
      Isn’t that what you’ve written here, isn’t that your TOTAL case against homeopathy? The burden of proof is on me to prove it, TO YOU, to the judge, jury and the world beyond, from horizon tohorizon circumnavigating the globe back to the beginning, even to people who don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, right? So all you have to do is lean back in your chair, clasp your hands behind your head, put your feet up on the bar and say . . “prove it,” and let the good times roll as I and countless others empty our pockets out in the courtroom, filling it with money, your money, all our filthy gotten gains now, by order of the court, belong to YOU!

      Why won’t you do it? Don’t you need the millions you would win, all that wonderful, glorious money the court would give you? In all your Promethean wisdom aren’t you concerned for your fellow man being taken advantage of in such a cruel way? Be a hero, save the world. Save youself, pay for your chemo.Why waste your time here writing to me when you could be collecting big time in court, and outlawing homeopathy once and for all?

      Come on!

      Is it too much for you to do alone? Why not call Randi, Steven Novella, PZ Myers, Bengolare, David Colquhoun, the National Council Against Health Fraud, the AMA, the FDA, the CIA, the FBI? Get them in on it. Use network marketing. Put it on Craig’s list. Get Randi’s mailing list! Get thousands of whizbang scientists, smart doctors, togh lawyers, top pharmacists to join you in this mass campaign. Please, teach us poor deluded homeopaths once and for all that what we’re doing is WRONG! Put an end to this criminal scam. Have a book burning. Have two. Get every copy of the Organon you can find and BURN IT! Make it illegal to own! Throw every reference to homeopathy into a huge bonfire. Make Google and Amazon digitally erase all the e-books, take it off Bing, Facebook and Twitter, barricade Walgreens as a CRIME SCENE!
      Put every homeopath in jail . . FOR LIFE!

      What have you been waiting for? Santa Claus to bring the briefs? Accusations on waterproof labels? Steven Hawkins blow up dolls to lead the charge? Come on, make it real. Don’t just make a few wimpy comments on a blog made by a man you’re (apparently) accusing of dishonesty, type day and night, pour it out, copy the phone book to get names of angry customers for a PETITION (according to you they should be everywhere) and make him PROVE he’s not guilty of what you say he is, in a court of law!. You should be able to do it with that big mouth and brain of yours, you should be able to make the indictment as crystal clear as a liquid aqueous homeopathic remedy.

      John Benneth, Homeopath


      • David W says:

        He doesn’t have standing for one thing.

        Second, his approach is to try to prove it works (after all, a negative cannot be prove ).


        • johnbenneth says:

          No its not, he’s not trying to prove it works, he’s trying to prove it doesn’t work. He’s trying to prove a negative. If he was trying to prove it works, he’d simply go to a homeopath for a real assessment.
          But nooo!
          Look what he’s asking me to do. He doesn’t want me to apply it the way I’ve been educated to apply it, he wants me to misuse it, to make him sick or dead with it. he wants me to give him something he can feel, he wants me to use it in a negative way, he wants to pass out from it, he wants to die, and if you ask me, I’d say if his body hasn’t been cooperating, it will soon.
          There are remedies that have reportedly grafted synptoms onto people for life. You can take too much of a remedy, which he’s says he’s already tried to do.
          What I’ve suggested he do is simply take a homeopathic assessment and try out a course o action that would help him. I’ve even offered free consutlation.
          BUT NOOOOO!
          That’s not good enough! He says he knows more about it than I do So what am I suppose to do? Argue with him? Argue with you? I got better things to do with my time.


  3. Stephen Ward says:

    John – I’m going to call shenanigans on you. You say ‘Okay, if homeopathy is ineffective, then why is it now being used at MD Anderson in Houston, the US’s top rated cancer clinic, to cure cancer?’.

    The MD Anderson website has a scientific review of homeopathy – it’s here to refresh your memory: http://www.mdanderson.org/education-and-research/resources-for-professionals/clinical-tools-and-resources/cimer/therapies/alternative-medical-systems/homeopathy-scientific.html

    The conclusion is : ‘Conclusions are based upon the 2006 collaborative review of controlled trials, in which five of the six trials suggested that homeopathic remedies were beneficial. However, only two of these trials reported statistically significant positive results: relief of chemotherapy induced stomatitis in children undergoing stem cell transplantation20 and transient relief of radiation dermatitis19. These findings need replication in large studies with study designs that minimize bias.

    How on earth did you draw the conclusion that this means they are using homeopathy as a cancer cure?


    • johnbenneth says:

      I’m not drawing conclusions, I’m just reporting the facts. Here’s the PDF, the actual report where people were cured of gliomas (brain cancer) at MD ANDERSON
      published in the INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ONCOLOGY 23: 975-982, 2003 “Ruta 6 selectively induces cell death in brain cancer cells but proliferation in normal peripheral blood lymphocytes: A novel treatment for human brain cancer” http://www.virtualtrials.com/pdf/ruta6.pdf
      Read it for yourself if you don’t believe it here: “Fifteen patients diagnosed with intracranial tumors were treated with Ruta 6 and Ca3(PO4)2. Of these 15 patients, 6 of the 7 glioma patients showed complete regression of tumors.”
      Your conclusion implies homeoapthic remedies are beneficial. Why would MD Anderson present this information on their website if they thought they weren’t?
      Given my experience iin arguing with skeptics, you’ll probably want to find something wrong with this, even though the basic premise that homeopathy doesn’t work, that there is no science behind it, has been debunked in front of you. ANd this only the tip of the iceberg. It emonstrates your inability to process this kind of information.
      Opponents will say that Ruta 6x isn’t homeopathic, but say nothing when Randi does an “overdose” on a Passiflora 1x .
      The use of homeopathics in the treatment of cancer has a long historical prededent. My references show around different 70 homeoapthic remedies for cancers.
      The point is that what is being presented as skepticism and science by the opponents of is eposed as being netiher. You imply global standards but apply what amounts to nothing more than dismissals locally.
      Let’s see you now turn your touted powers of logic, rational and objectivity on allopathic medicine and condemn Pfizer for its racketeering conviction for bribing doctors to push untested medicines on the unsuspecting public, results in untold deaths.
      How is it that with these apparent xray powers of laser sharp logic, you are unable to see through numerous medical shams perpetrated by allopathy, poisons that have now resorted in numerous lawsuits, such as Accutane poisoning, an acne “medicine” that has resulted in ulcerative colitis, crohn’s, just as homeopathy predcicted.


  4. Paul Morgan says:

    I’m sorry, but I can almost taste the bullshit from here. When subjected to appropriate rigorous scientific trial, homeopathy has been shown to be just placebo. Are you planning to rewrite the laws of chemistry and physics? None of the articles you reference stand up to rigorous scientific scrutiny. By the way, the laws of chemistry and physics are real laws proven by scientific testing and experimentation, unlike the “laws” of homeopathy which are figments of the imagination, i.e. delusions. Q. How does homeopathy work? A. It doesn’t. http://www.howdoeshomeopathywork.com/


    • johnbenneth says:

      Thank you Paul, you just made another point for homeopathy. Maybe the bullshit in your mouth comes from the people at 10:23 who have been feeding it to you. When asked for specifics, all they can do is repeat themselves to say “It doesn’t work, because we’ve been told it can’t work.”
      There have been five major metanalyses of homeopathic testing. Not one of them says that homeoapthy is just a placebo. Only one, Shang, says that homeopathics are no better than placebo, but even SHang admits what it calls a weak effect. And placebos in this context can be taken to mean that it effects are psychogenic, i.e. that the body’s innate healing powers, which are quite formidable, are what have effected the cure. Well, homeoapthy can’t technically argue with that, because it triggers those powers. Furthermore, Shang i only reaing others reports. This is a report by people who have are not eperienced in using or testing homeoapthics.They are not an authority on what is a comprehensive subject.
      For intance, if you wanted to know the bottom line on something, why would you go to somebody who isn’t an authority on it? I mean, do you really think that if offering people money to prove something will make the peson offering it an authoirty on it? If your car’sbroken , why would you go to a dentist to find out what the problem is, much less a magician?
      Just like you and 10:23, Shang does not reveal his sources of information that led him to hi onclusion, and has been wiely discredited as poor science. That should be a red flag to you that mething i amiss. They’re oing exactly what they’re leading some people to belive we are doing. Once again, the taste of bullshit. SO where are your refernces, and what is it that you mean when you say homeopathy is a placebo?
      Are you they saying its ineffective? Okay, if homeopathy is ineffective, then why is it now being used at MD Anderson in Houston, the US’s top rated cancer clinic, to cure cancer? Why is it being used in clinics thorughout Africa to inexpensively cure poor people of malaria and AIDS? WHy id Cuba give out over four million oses of homeoapthics to stop the lepptosirosis clinic?
      If you read the science you seem to be saying doesn’t exist you’ll find numeorus in vitro tests of homeopathy that shows its action BIOCHEMICALLY, tests that have been rated on a number of criteria, like statistics, double blinding so on and so forth. Read the WItt review of biochemical tests.
      So theres PROOF that you’ve been lied to, and for the usual reasons.
      The people who run 10:23, JREF, the pharmaceutical companies, they want you to keep taking the drugs that make them rich, the drugs that make you feel better if you keep taking them, but create different symptoms that eventually catch up and kill you. Homeopathy on the other hand is curative meicine, so you’re cured of the disease using your own curative powers.
      You see, I can give you a lot sientific studies that show the action of homeopathic medicine. I can also explain to you how it works, without just saying that it does in the same way that the 10:23 has said that it doesn’t.
      Before you make another statement like the one you’ve already made, before you simply call this bullshit, investigate it. If you have the passion to call this bullshit, then you should also have the passion to study it objectively while putting your prejudices aside. Read up on it. Study both sides. If you replace questions with contemptuous answers you’ll never learn really what you need to know to make an informed opinion about anything..


      • Kei says:

        “And placebos in this context can be taken to mean that it effects are psychogenic, i.e. that the body’s innate healing powers, which are quite formidable, are what have effected the cure. Well, homeoapthy can’t technically argue with that, because it triggers those powers”

        So… It doesn’t do anything, it just convices you it’s doing something. Yeah, real convincing *shakes head* try harder next time.


        • johnbenneth says:

          Wait a minute, Kei. You wrote, “It doesn’t do anything, it just convices you it’s doing something.” Isn’t that kind of oymoronic, like “skeptical argument?” If it convinces you it’s done something, it’s just done something That’ s pretty impressive for something you thought couln’t do anything. Not bad for something you thought was no different than tap water, don’t you think?


  5. David W says:

    If you want to do the James Randi challenge, all of the information is at http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html and you can fill out the forms there. You do have to go through the full process, like you would for any other test!

    It’s worth noting that the challenge is for any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event though. I am not sure that homeopathy falls into that category.



    • johnbenneth says:

      David, did you miss the part where I said I applied twelve years ago, after he offered it to me? Randi sent me over 70 emails about it over the course of six months of negotiating, and then broke it off after trying to get Benveniste and Brian Josephson to take the challenge, who sent him back to me. Whenever I call JREF, they hang up on me. If you think Randi’s offer is valid, then why won’t he put it to a real test overseen by real scientists, intead of some camera crew from the BBC?
      It’s the same as him saying the no one an do the five minute mile after he takes half an hour.


      • David W says:

        Well, if you filled it out 12 years ago, I’m sure you won’t mind filling it out again! It does sound like you’re making this a little personal though!

        Coincidentally, I think you’re onto a loser. Homeopathy is indistinguishable from water by every test thrown at it, including clinical tests. If it looks like water, reacts like water and rehydrated like water, should we call it a rose?


        • johnbenneth says:

          What makes you think its a valid offer? And how do you know there aren’t any indistinguishable characteristics? Have you actually read the scence on it? Has it ever occured to you that the tuies you seem to think don’t exist do? Isn’t that exactly the point that I challenged Randi on?
          Look, David, if Randi, who I presume you’re taking 100% of your information from here, is so sure of his position, then why can’t he simply put the disposition of the million in the hand of real scientist who are informed on this subject, and let them decide? If you run a soccer game, are you going to choose players from one siide to be the referees? Would you play in that game? No? Then why is it that you accept Randi as the sole arbitrator of the test? Read his “rules!”
          Read my response to Paul Morgan, and follow some of the links. Take a look at the physical teting of high dilutes. There are numerous reporters who are saying there are differences.


          • David W says:

            I haven’t taken my information from anyone in particular. I’m not even in the USA.

            His rules don’t state that he is the arbiter, as anyone who actually goes and reads them can see. His rules state that a mutually agreed test is carried out which is overseen by an appropriate panel of experts. In the case of homeopathy, an appropriate test would be a double blind presentation of (say) 5 different homeopathic samples and 10 controls (water) in the same design containers; they would. E randomly presented. The proponent would then test all 15 samples and identify (say) 4 of the homeopathic samples and identify which remedy they contain. This would probably have to be repeated for statistical purposes.

            I’m not sure why this needs a scientist to oversee it?

            And please don’t make assumptions about what research I have or have not read 😉


            • johnbenneth says:

              Yeah it does, or at least it’s tantamount to it, Whereas the rules have been changed and no longer say that Randi is the sole manager of the challenge, they still keep management of the challenge within the JAMes Randi Eucational Foundation (JREF), which isn’t really any different than having Randi do it:

              “This offer is made and administered by the JREF, and no one may negotiate or make any changes, except as set forth in writing by an officer of the JREF.”

              So JREF can decide who is and isn’t a candidate, which means they can pick nothing but the losers. But they can’t afford to let it even get that far . . that is, they can’t aford to even let a sure loser take a test. if they did, it might generate too much attention to the test.

              The fact that Randi has changed the rules and even wanted to withdraw the offer back in 2008 after it ame under fire, shows that he really wan’t and still isn’t sure of what he’s doing. LIke any trik, its dicey. it is eaisly deonstructed and exposed.
              The rules only serve to at as a foil to the applicant.
              The second out for JREF when confronted with an obvious win like homeopathy, is that the offer is dependent on there being an agreement on the protocol between the applicant and JREF. When I was negotiating a test for homeoapthy with him he kept dismissing me with statements like “quit stalling” and “read the rules.” But he refused to be specific about what he was talking about and refused to agree to a time or place for a test.
              He refused to even agree on what the protocol was even after he had essentailly agreed that the protocol was indentification of high dilutes in an RCT. First he said I could use any method, but then kept insisting on knowing what the method was, as if that would be of any importance to him. What would the difference be if I was using my psychic powers or not, if I could successfully identify the verum fromthe placebo? In other words, just schedule the test and get on with it. But then he insisted on testing Benveniste instead because I was a nobody, and finally broke off negotiation all together, implying I was crazy.
              A good question to pose here, to show motivation to not test anyone, is to ask what happens to the interest on the million dollars. If it goes to the JREF for admin purposes, salries, expenses, Randi’s cancer treatment, etc., then it shows that the organisation is dependent on it for its survival and viability and has an innate bias against losing it. Without the money no longer hanging out there like bait, the organiation would be humiliated and the winner would be rewarded with more than just the initial million, but would become the winner of the MIllion dollar Challenge. JREF would be “damaged” which is what randi accused me of back in 1999 when I began asking questions of the account manager and expopsing discrepencies.
              So it can easily be seen, that despite words to the contrary by JREF and its atheist supporters, the challenge is constructed NOT to be won. The award is NOT its intent. Its intent is to defeat the applicant, demoralize and humiliate him, and to promote the JREF and atheism.
              Somebody got hold of the old copy of the Challenge and said “look, you don’t need all these extra requirements, like saying that it can’t be adjudicated in a court of law in case of aa dispupte.” That makes it obvious its an invalid contract and is probably the reason why Randi has never signed it. A legal contract provides for arbitration within the laws under which it was made. If you or JREF are so sure of your position, or if you are not invested in the outcome, then you want third party arbitration.
              Note that the headquarters for JREF have traditionally been Ft Lauderdale, Fl., but it has now hanged to Hollywood. The earlier versions ouldn’t have been written by an attorney with a straight face, and I question whether the latest incarnation was written by one either. They can’t afford to do that. If they made the protocol negotiations binding under an independent third party, they risk losing, because they can’t trust what they can’t control. Like any magic trick the magician has to retain complete control of the procedure. So he does a lot of misdirection. In this case it comes out under the guise of a lot of aruging, NOT deciding unilaterally what the protocol is with the applicant. They have even stated that they reserve the right to say that an appliant has never been an applicant! He argued with me for at least seven months before dropping me. He argued with another homeopath, Vithoulkas, for FIVE YEARS before stating that he wasn’t an applicant. So although the new Challenge is more sophisticated, it still hangs on the same issues.
              Randi, JREF, Penn an Teller, his supporters, “skeptics,” whoever, will have a convincing offer when they place its dispostion in the hands of an independent third party. But I predict it will never happen. It’s too dicey. They know they’d lose a million bucks fast if any one of a number of in vivo, in vitro and phyical homeopathic tests were used. A perfunctory search online will reveal dozens, the most notorious bow being Montagnier’s EM detection. See ibid for link.

              As you may note in the challenge rules, they state no one has ever got past the preliminary stage of testing.
              Now you know why.


  6. Jan Pirnat says:

    Here, here!!! John Benneth, you are right on. I am in the process of completing a dissertation on homeopathy for the International Quantum University for Integrative Medicine, and determined you cannot prove homeopathy by using Newtonian science such as physics, chemistry and pharmacology. Homeopathy is a different kind of energy and can only be proven through Quantum Physics and Quantum Medicine. Homeopathy works with the vital body which is a blueprint of the physical body.

    Randi wears blinders. He can’t see past his nose. He is just a clown who makes jokes at the expense of Progressive Quantum Science. This is truly sad!!!


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