It must beggar the imagination for the opponents of homeopathy to learn of the high and mighty’s endorsement of such, or it must fuel within their minds a kind of begrudging cynicism, that insists fools must by chance alone attain greatness. Abraham Lincoln; Jennifer Aniston; Mark Twain; Mariel Hemmingway; Nadia Sawalha; John D. Rockefeller; Mahatma Ghandi; Mary Baker Eddy; Paul McCartney; the Queen of England; David Beckham; Sir William Osler; Twiggy; Tina Turner; Caprice; Susan Hampshire; C. Everett Koop, M.D. ; Louise Jameson; Gaby Roslin; Catherine Zeta-Jones; Jude Law; Sadie Frost; Jade Jagger; Roger Daltry, Annabel Croft; Meera Syal; Charles Dickens; W.B. Yeats; William Thackeray; Benjamin Disraeli; William James; Pope Pius X; Louisa May Alcott, Susan B. Anthony, William Lloyd Garrison, Daniel Webster, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William Seward, Feodor Dostoevsky; Jackson Pollock; W.C. Fields; Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, MD; Dr. Chas. Frederick Menninger, MD; Charles Darwin; Nobelists Emil Von Behring, Brian Josephson and Luc Montagnier; former American Presidents James Garfield, William McKinley and Bill Clinton, about 500 American MDs and 300 British MDs, and reportedly about 5000 non-MD health practitioners in the US . . to name a few, have all been at least favorable, supportive or admiring of homeopathy if not regular users or openly enthusiastic about it.
Such a conundrum must plague their minds in the case of the English Royal family, under homeopathic care since 1830. There has always been a Royal Homeopathic Doctor. Currently he is Dr. Peter Fisher, MD.
Whereas homeopathy antagonists, usually atheists, can dismiss the credible use of homeopathics by the creative, it must give them pause that such savvies, like atheistic Darwin, street smart Twain and the world’s richest man, the self made Rockefeller, could brook if not quietly use what scoffers have to insist is nonsense, “plain water” . . or witchcraft.
But for the serious student of homeopathy the puzzle is why homeopaths haven’t been more influential, why they haven’t said more when the case for homeopathy is so strong and its paralegal opposition so weak, nothing much more than carping.
Recently what should be the strongest voice for homeopathy, Royal Homeopath Dr. Peter Fisher, MD, has come under some criticism in an online homeopathy discussion group, for what some consider a weak performance in a debate with medical journalist and homeopathy antagonist Ben Goldacre, a well known complainer noted for his constant lopsided criticism of any study, test, experiment, trial or review of the literature that favorably concludes for homeopathy. In fact, such doesn’t even need to be favorable to attract Goldacre’s damnation. All any study of homeopathy need to do for Goldacre to launch an attack on it is fail to condemn it.
Goldacre is a SINO (Scientist In Name Only). SINOs are like playground bullies who think they’ve found an easy target in homeopathy. They think they can call it anything they want and humiliate practitioners, but as time progresses, with the help of the WWW, they’re starting to walk away from online debates with black eyes and bloody noses.
In this rather tame duel, Fisher and Goldacre present their respective points and then field some soft balls pitched from the audience, when there are some of us in the homeopathic community who would like to see Fisher tear Goldacre limb from metaphorical limb . . and not necessarily because Goldacre deserves it, but because Fisher could . . if he suffered the character for it.
So my response to this is to ask that we give Fisher a break. Isn’t he the one who took the spurious Shang metanalysis to the Discreditor’s Ball, held the antagonist’s major piece of bullshit to account by calling for the raw data? We should be down on our knees thanking the guy for the incredible work he’s done for homeopathy. He’s a real MD as opposed to this “medical journalist” clown Goldacre, who just pretends to be an MD. Of course this is just my opinion, but I think that if Goldacre ever actually treated somebody for a disease he’d be at risk of getting thrown in jail for murder.
When I was in England I invited Goldacre to my lecture on the supramolecular chemistry of homeopathy at Cambridge and away he ran, and when I took him to task for it all he could do was whine. He’s quite full of words when he’s sitting in front of a computer monitor, but he’s been as loud as Grant’s tomb on Monday morning when he’s sitting in front of someone he knows will take him to task.
Fisher, on the other hand, is a gentleman, and given his office must maintain the dignity of his position, and as such has to maintain a cheery bedside manner, treat everyone as a patient and sympathize with the sick bastard. As editor of Homeopathy Magazine, with a Royal Warrant sticking out of his back pocket, due to his titles alone Fisher is indeed probably the strongest single voice there is for homeopathy. The limb tearing should be left to the tattooed class, or me. Let me have him.
The very fact that Fisher exists is alone a huge testimonial for homeopathy. But more than that he’s done most excellent work in rebutting the UK Parliament’s cherry picked ‘Evidence Check’ for the efficacy of homeopathy, specifically in his Memorandum to the UK Parliament in Evidence from Basic Research and it is from this a telling point, a killshot, arises.
It’s in the Memo’s first line: “Its ‘implausibility’ from a scientific standpoint is often cited as a reason for scepticism about homeopathy, even in the face of positive clinical evidence. For instance a systematic review of clinical trials, published in the BMJ stated ‘we would accept that homoeopathy can be efficacious, if its mechanism of action were more plausible’.”
What? “Its mechanism of action were more plausible”??
Now if the opposition was on its toes, a statement like this would set them back on their heels, if not flatten them. I say and submit to you that the reason it hasn’t flattened anyone is because they’re already there, prostrate, just as much as the corpse that made the statement.
Here, let me explain: What the British Medical Journal (BMJ, impact factor 17.215) is saying is that their problem with homeopathy is not the putative, that there is no evidence of effective action . . no! What they are allowing, if not outright saying, is that they would accept the effectiveness of homeopathy if somebody would explain it to them! LOL! This is tantamount to a man falling off a ledge, and on the way down, proclaiming that he would accept the force of gravity if somebody could tell him how it works!
What the hell, I’d be happy to explain the plasma physics of homeopathy to them. It’s the piezo electric effect transducing the background radiation and other perturbations in hydrogen bonded aqueous nanostructures, like clathrates. Ultra diluted solutions in materials used in homeopathic medicine are electromagnetic emitters akin to conventional radio pharmaceuticals and medical isotopes. Perhaps for a bottle of whiskey, pack of smokes and an English “girlfriend” the editors of BMJ would like to see a power point presentation of it at the Cavendish again.
So why the change in heart? The clinical evidence for homeopathy has remained consistent for 200 years, but this has always been rejected. Up until now, the rejection of homeopathy was supposed to be a cavalcade of absent evidence . . “Oh, homeopathy is not evidence based medicine” when in fact homeopathy, as anomalous as it may be, has never had the luxury of conventional hypotheses and theory . . evidence has been all it’s had, the evidence of action has been the sole cherry red river driving its mill.
When the Internet began to transmit the actual record of pre-clinical and clinical trials, the attack on homeopathy had to shift from absent evidence to bad evidence and the suddenly discovered science had to be frantically picked apart by the SINOs like Goldacre, with vituperative criteria reserved only for homeopathy.
NEXT: The Vindication of Jacques Benveniste:
“Up until 1988 pre-clinical testing of high dilutions as used in homoeopathy was simply ignored as being ridiculous. But that blew up in the SINO’s faces in 1988 with . .”
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libellous tripe “He’s a real MD as opposed to this “medical journalist” clown Goldacre, who just pretends to be an MD” Dr Ben Goldacre has a recognised medical degree, there is no pretending there. That statement is defamatory
LOL! Sounds like Ben Goldacre just weighed in with a comment. “Libellous tripe” is an oxymoron which depends on how you define “medical doctor,” doesn’t it? During the UK Evidence Check which featured an angry little Goldacre spitting about “little sugar pills”, Fisher made an interesting claim, that he was the only practicing physician on the panel, to which there was no contest from Goldacre. Fisher’s patients include the Royal Family. Who are Goldacre’s? Who’s he treating? Gillian McKeith? Melanie Phillips? Jenni Barnett? Matthias Rath? Speaking of libel, why, if he’s a real doctor, is he getting involved in libel suits with people when he could be leeching some of the world’s suffering? Just what kind of doctor is Goldacre supposed to be? Where did he intern? I think all he is is a pain in the ass, a troll who practices more malice than medicine. Prove me wrong. If he was a real doctor he’d be doing something like running a free homeopathy clinic somewhere in Soho and really helping people with real medicine instead of spending all his time writing snotty columns for the Guardian . . and spreading lies.
I will credit him this, though. Now that he’s caved in on homeopathy, he’s turning his malice on big pharma, where it belongs. Maybe there’s hope for him yet.
If he’s a real doctor, why doesn’t he shut up and go to work?
As discerning people often say, “Pick your battles.” Save your strength for the good fight. ♥
Bravo, bravo….deserving of a standing ovation! My take on the skeptics
and their effectiveness is summed up on my blog in a recent editorial::
Homeopathy, the skeptics: How Effective are They Really?
I enjoy reading your opinion pieces. Keep writing.