The Homeopathic Cure of Wikipedia

Wikipedia falsifies the placebo claim for homeopathy . . again, shilling  for pharma

Wikipedia has been caught for a third time frantically producing false information about homeopathy on  a shifting footnote intended to support a hypothesis that homeopathic medicine is a “placebo.” A placebo is defined by Wikipedia as a sham treatment intended to deceive recipients.

The problem is that reviews of clinical tests of homeopathy, published in the British Medical Journal and the Lancet, among others, have all shown that the collective weight of clinical trials shows that the ionized pharmaceuticals used in homeopathic medicine are not placebos.

Wikipedia has therefore had to misrepresent the literature,  pretending to quote (1) a systematic review by a defrocked  professor of complementary medicine who garnered a reputation as the world’s leading homeopathy antagonist (2) a US government website that says nothing about placebos and (3) currently, at the time of this writing, the leading meta analysis of clinical trials that actually concludes homeopathics are not placebos.

The Wikipedia article says: “Homeopathic remedies are found to be no more effective than a placebo,[2] defining placebo as “a simulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient.”

The article is locked down, preventing a rewrite neutral to the facts. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has voiced vituperative opposition to homeopathy, calling it the work of charlatans. The talk session of the article is a jumble of opinions by trolls trying to figure out how to reconcile contradicting conclusions in meta analyses, looking for evidence to support the placebo hypothesis in credible publications, and not finding it.

The  scuttlebutt is that whoever wrote the article was hired to keep it in flux by pharmaceutical industry interests, like the Geneva based International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, (IFPMA) for which Wikipedia admittedly provides advertising space. The use of ionized pharmaceuticals, as used in homoeopathy, could break the strangle hold current conventional pharmaceuticals have on modern medicine, and so must be suppresed.

Footnote number two in the WIkipedia homeopathy article seems to prove it. Prior to the current footnote, footnote  number two, which traditionally has been the footnote supporting its placebo accusation,  led to an article by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) that says nothing about homeopathics being placebos. The NCCAM article is entitled Homeopathy: An Introduction (click here and read it for yourself if you don’t believe it).

This changed within the last few hours of publication of this article, as if they’re watching my keystrokes. Now it leads to the 1997 Linde meta analysis published in the Lancet, what homeopathy antagonist Edzard Ernst called “technically superb.” Linde is considered to be the best review of he literature, but is now 17 years old. Linde stated their results were incompatible with the placebo hypothesis, the opposite of what Wikipedia says it said. .

If you’re familiar with Wikipedia’s pseudoscience and fake academic “research” by hired shills for the pharmaceutical industry trying to take attention off their culpability in spawning breasts on boys and two headed girls, then you can imagine pornmeister Jimmy Wales standing in front of a table full of geeks saying something like, “just use any old article, nobody reads the footnotes, I mean you could link it to Bomis and the wikisuckers still won’t check it out.”

The U.S.’s  NCCAM article refused to say what Wikipedia wanted them to say, so the Wiki editors probaly had to switch back to Linde, which addresses the placebo hypothesis directly, but contradicts their undying  insistence that homeopathic remedies are no more effective than placebos.

Perhaps one of the editors actually read the NCCAM article and then hurriedly kicked some cat litter over it and nervously went back to something more sustainable, to make the placebo claim. Give the appearance of attribution and people will think it is.

But when Linde’s 1997 results are read they say:

“The results of our meta-analysis are not compatible with the hypothesis that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are completely due to placebo.”

The reason Wikipedia likes Linde is because in a susequent addendum Linde moderated their results by saying that more rigorous trials revealed less positive results. But Linde never recanted their basic statement that homeopathic remedies are not placebos.

Linde is not the only meta analysis that blows up in the face of those who are desperate to disprove homeopathy.

A 1991 systematic review of clinical trials, published in the British Medical Journal stated:

The amount of positive evidence even among the best studies came as a surprise to us. Based on this evidence we would be ready to accept that homoeopathy can be efficacious, if only the mechanism of action were more plausible . .  “The evidence presented in this review would probably be sufficient for establishing homoeopathy as a regular treatment for certain indications. There is no reason to believe that the influence of publication bias, data massage, bad methodology, and so on is much less in conventional medicine, and the financial interests for regular pharmaceutical companies are many times greater. Are the results of randomised double blind trials convincing only if there is a plausible mechanism of action? Are review articles of the clinical evidence only convincing if there is a plausible mechanism of action? Or is this a special case because the mechanisms are unknown or implausible?Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G. Clinical trials of homoeopathy, British Medical Journal, 1991; 302: 316–323. tinyurl com/kleijnen

If it’s saying what you  want it to say, or, if you know it isn’t true, and you’re motivated to expose the lie, if you have the conviction of your beliefs, it’ll be your red meat, or fakin’ bacon if you’re vegan.

So now who’s administering placebos?

The word “placebo” does not even appear in the NCCAM article, the article that up to a few hours ago Wikipedia listed as its validaiton for the placebo claim. The NCCAM article does not describe homeopathic treatment to be ineffectual or intended to deceive, as Wikipedia suggested it would.

The word “homeopathy” refers to the phenomenon of like cures like, as is seen in the use of vaccines. In an effort to maintain equilibrium, organisms can react intensively to small doses of toxins, especially when dissociated. Hahnemann’s word homoeopathy (meaning same suffering) or the putative word homeopathy (meaning similar suffering) do not refer to the material phase of a pharmacuetical’s content as solid, liquid, gaseous or plasma (ionized). Any phase of matter can induce a homoeopathic reaction. Homeopathic medicines are noted for their use of the ionized pharmaceuticals, created by molecular dissociation when serially diluted in water, but the homeopathic application is not limited to ionized materials.

In the U.S., homeopathic remedies are regulated by the Federal Drug Administration. The original rules covering the use of homeopathics were a part of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act sponsored by Senator Royal S. Copeland, M.D. (D-NY), a homeopath.

That’s right. Your eyes are not deceiving you, you are not hallucinating.

The Godfather of the FDA was a homeopath.

Like the current reference to Linde, the NCCAM article implies the opposite of what Wikipedia claimed it said. The NCCAM article states,

“While many homeopathic remedies are highly diluted, some products sold or labeled as homeopathic may not be highly diluted; they can contain substantial amounts of active ingredients. Like any drug or dietary supplement that contains chemical ingredients, these homeopathic products may cause side effects or drug interactions. Negative health effects from homeopathic products of this type have been reported.”

The NCCAM article was not the first time Wikipedia was caught falsifying the placebo claim. This blog made note of the same charge in its entry on January 29th, 2012. (Wikipedia and the Case Against Homeopathy)

At that time the Wikipedia article on Homeopathy read, “The collective weight of scientific evidence has found homeopathy to be no more effective than a placebo.[2][3][4][5][6]


As you can see, WIkipedia is caught in a crossfire of its own references. Like a ping pong match, once again, tracing back to footnote number two we found, at the end of the rainbow, Edzard Ernst’s Systematic Review of Systematic Reviews of Homeopathy, which stated,

“The existence of contradicting evidence is not unusual in therapeutics. One solution to resolve such contradictions is to conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses of rigorous studies. In 1997, Linde et al did just that. The conclusions of this technically superb meta-analysis expressed the notion that homeopathic medicines are more than mere placebos.”

Not one major meta analysis has been able to effectively conclude that the action of homeopathic remedies is due solely to the placebo effect. Not even Shang, the most popular homeopathy meta analysis among skeptics, was able to clearly conclude that the effect was from chance, iatrogenesis or “placebo,” admitting “a weak effect.” A review of the data by independent analysis of Shang determined that even in this most damning meta of homeopathy, ”Homeopathy had a significant effect beyond placebo.” Ludtke Rutten

The literature for the homeopathic placebo simply doesn’t exist. The urban legend was a badly executed deception popularized by James Randi 14 years ago to support his phony offer of one million dollars ($1,000,000) to prove homeopathy, an offer that his supporters, which includes the pharmaceutical drug industry, are still desperately hanging onto as proof that homeopathy is unprovable.

The question remains, who wrote the Homeopathy article for Wikipedia, and how much were they paid, out of whose pocket?


25 comments on “The Homeopathic Cure of Wikipedia

  1. […] More Information: The homeopathic cure of Wikipedia […]


  2. Penny says:

    DEMOCRACY!! where? every one has the right to treat their symptoms the way they feel best and Pharmaceutical companies have a lot to answer for……….. Greed thats all it is.


  3. Hentrich says:

    “International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, (IFPMA) for which Wikipedia admittedly provides advertising space.”
    sigh…There are no ads on Wikipedia. You still have no idea how Wikipedia works.
    Also, the homeopathy article is not “locked down, preventing a rewrite neutral to the facts.” It’s semi-protected. You want to edit it? Go ahead. All you need to do is register. Other semi-protected articles include Barack Obama, Mozart, and South Park.


    • johnbenneth says:

      Hentrich, go look at the page for hte IFPMA. The Wikipeida header notes say it reads like an ad! If it quacks like a duck . . ? It’s a puff piece! Its just another example of how anyone can write a page on themselves, just like Wales admittedly did with his. And what does semi-protected mean? You really thinki that if I can change WIkipedia page, soneone can’t change it back.
      Since you’re such a stickler for the truth, why don’t you try editing the page to say footnote number two doesn’t suppport the placebo hypothesis, it contradicts it.
      Do it, do it now. .


    • Here’s the page. Hentrich. it certainly reads like a promotional piece to the average reader Mission statement drivel that every corporation uses. “You still have no idea how Wikipedia works” Err… maybe its YOU Hentrick, who doesn’t know wiki. Numerous people report editing their pages to find their entries vanished in a few hours, or even minutes, before their very eyes. The lesson is that, an army of pseudoskeptics sit in their Moms basements waiting to contradict anyone who dares to change THEIR hallowed entries. And/or it could easily be automated.

      You certainly come across as just another literal minded skeptic. They just don’t understand adults use of metaphors. In this case John Benneth’s point is that a self praise article is free advertising for anyone with a keyboard. That’s metaphorical thinking that skeps are blind to. Like colour blindness. So it seems you don’t notice “infomercials” on the TV and in the press where they are simply selling something slightly disguised. as a scientific demonstration. So Hentrich your facepalming “sigh” objection is dismissed. Its a fact that you clearly don’t understand John Benneths sophisticated use of adult metaphorical language. Most of it goes over your head,.and always will. Sigh.


      • Hentrich says:

        John said “Wikipedia admittedly provides advertising space [for IFPMA].” That’s not a metaphor, it’s a distortion. If you think that’s a metaphor, then it’s no wonder that you think water has a memory (A drop of seawater is homeopathic blood, feces, and urine. THAT’S a metaphor.). Facebook admittedly provides advertising space for Disney. Wikipedia has an article that anyone can edit for free. Nobody has touched it for over six months, and the talk page hasn’t had any changes for nearly seven years. If anybody can change your ad at any time, then your ad is not an ad.

        I said this to John in a comment he has yet to moderate, but the article literally asks you to solve the problem you cite (“This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.”). I don’t know why the article is written like an ad. It may have been written by an IFPMA employee or representative. That’s a common phenomenon with Wikipedia articles about corporations, trade groups, non-profits, or other institutions, and is not limited to the pharmaceutical industry. Its content may have been copied-and-pasted from IFPMA’s website by an unaffiliated and lazy third party. The point is that it would be easy to fix, as long as you can cite credible sources to justify your edits, and perhaps have the patience to civilly defend your points in the talk page. If you don’t like what the article says, stop whining about it and change it.


        • “If you don’t like what the article says, stop whining about it and change it.” NO Hentrich I prefer to criticise wiki leaving it the way it is, on display.Your recommended approach is to become another one of the hundreds of monkeys editing wiki.
          A muchly distasteful occupation. I ( we) can just continue to complain about the work of the monkeys. Why shouldn’t they be criticised? (I am skeptic ) Have made 200 videos about pseudoskeptics dialogued with some 10,000 of them, I don’t feel like collaborating with skeptics. to improve their rubbish backyard product. Its not possible.
          “That’s not a metaphor, it’s a distortion.” that’s called splitting hairs, Hentrich its terribly pseudoskeptic, and metaphors are always distortions. anyway
          “(A drop of seawater is homeopathic blood, feces, and urine.THAT’S a metaphor.)” NO that’s you Hentrich revealing your toilet language thinking, character, personality. So necrophillic So classic pseudoskeptic.

          “If anybody can change your ad at any time, then your ad is not an ad”
          You are just being argumentative. Why should anyone who cares, even read wiki?Apathy can let something remain there as a free add. Caring people can have bigger fish to fry. My pharmacist niece, masters degree just finished told me that quoting wiki is an automatic fail for uni assignments. There is no point in correcting rubbish, trying to rehabilitate it. It will never make the grade. Its a monument to misguided malevolence. And wiki is only worthy of our dartboard practice. So please be a good fellow, and stop trying to recruit us to work for idiot wiki.


          • Hentrich says:

            “A muchly distasteful occupation.”
            “(I am skeptic )”
            “You are just being argumentative.”

            Thank you for making my day. You are my new favorite crazy person.


            • Problem is Hentrich is you think you own skepticism, like all pseudoskeptics do. “Crazy” to think, that anyone else could be skeptical too, maybe, even more so than you? Or maybe more balanced open-minded skepticism?.Is that crazy by your measure ? Its quite bizarre for a group of young men to label themselves skeptics, because the average housewife is forced to become a skeptic simply walking down a supermaket aisle, looking at all the deceptive packaging and claims on items.TV ads make everyone into sophisticated skeptics.Then there are deceptive cellphone contracts internet scams identity frauds etc The list is endless.Its our normal environment that we all take in our stride, effortlessly.
              So its quite bizarre for young men like yourself to proclaim themselves “skeptics”, means they are not plugged into the same reality as the rest of us. Crazy ? What’s crazy is for you to come into to this forum and attempt to recruit people for wiki, to join the many monkeys on typewriters there. Not plugged into the same reality as average people, for sure. Can you not understand our great disdain for Wiki ?


            • Oh look ! I have a new youtube fan ! Surprise Surprise .
              hentrichj23 has subscribed to you on YouTube
              1 subscriber
              5 videos

              I wasn’t trying to recruit you , Honest. LOL.

              Are you going to do a wiki page on me ? Oh not that. Anything but that LOL


              • Laurie Willberg says:

                Hi, Steve
                Could you please post a link to your YouTube videos?
                Hentrich or Hen-trick? Maybe just in time for Easter, he’s laid an egg.
                Wiki is disdained by real academics across the board. And so are pseudoskeptics.


                • Hentrich says:

                  Where did I say that Wikipedia was appropriate for academic citation?


                • 200 pseudoskeptic videos

                  pseudoskeptics Victor Zammit On cowardly skeptics Dawkins Krauss Hawking

                  pseudoskeptics The sickness of Evidence Based Medicine

                  Pseudoskeptics Vaccine Fraud History

                  pseudoskeptics Monsanto Hired Gun TROLL dsndicmsa de-sendic MSA

                  Krauss Dawkins Randi -Pedo campaign 40 yr fail

                  Lots of videos showing how police are far superior skeptics using psychics to solve murders, Psychic evidence proven forensically legally
                  rigourous enough to jail numerous murders accidentally proving afterlife in the process. Rendering James Randi irrelevant.

                  Pseudoskeptics Try emulating Police Skeptics- A better model

                  Pseudoskeptics ESP physical evidence Police conviction Case No 11 Nancy Weber


                • Don’t know why the text field is narrowing. Hope its not permanent

                  A few choice videos presented first

                  Here is the youtube search


  4. A placebo? As a homoeopath myself it would amazing if homoeopathy was a placebo and my results would be even more amazing

    Liked by 1 person

  5. After a pharmacy recommended a potentised remedy for his sore throat, Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, vented his thoughts on homeopathy on Quora – and his desire to stop it.

    In a surprisingly ill-informed and slanderous manner, Jimmy said:

    “..homeopathy is a proven fraud.”

    “…makes me ill.”

    “Homeopathic remedies of no value whatsoever are legally marketed…”

    “Who should I talk to about this in order to encourage the creation of a campaign to stop this? This is not my primary area of interest and so I am not the right person to lead it myself. But I would like to help.”

    “It’s a scandal in the modern world”

    “We know with full rational certainty that they do not work at all. They are nothing more than placebo sold fraudulently.”

    “…the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies, relative to placebos, is 0%. Not effective at all. A useless fraud.”

    “This is nothing more than fraud.”

    “There have been no properly conducted large scale studies which suggest in the least that homeopathic remedies are any different from sugar water.”

    “This is false.”

    “Homeopathy does not work at all. It has been shown in an extremely thorough way to be no better than a placebo.”

    When someone speaks their mind, there’s a risk that any ignorance or prejudice will shine through. That’s exactly what happened to Jimmy.

    When we first reported his comments from the Quora post back on the 6th of February, 2013, they were quickly removed. Fortunately, we saved the complete list of comments before that happened.

    You can still read them in the context of the Quora discussion in the sub-link to the information at:

    Thanks for digging around in the muck, John, and do keep up the good work!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. […] April 1st, 2014, the same day as my last blog . . The Homeopathic Cure of Wikipedia . . The Economist posted another smug anti-homoeopathic cavil, and it will have about as much […]


  7. In my many years of jousting with pseudoskeptics online, I have frequently questioned them on their over-reliance on placebo as a dismissive term. it becomes apparent the average skeptic doesn’t understand what placebo even means. Does not care either. Their aim is, never the evidence, data or facts, but always another person, to headkick the reader, or any interlocutor online, that they can seduce briefly, by posing as a scientist initially.
    Experience reveals they are incapable of forming/stating their own opinions on even the most general subjects.Even when specifically asked. That is the depth of their disability.Thousands of them. So they get a James Randi Personality Prosthesis Implant, consisting of 8 Randi maxims and 15 keywords. And mistakenly believe this will enable them to function and pass as a normal personality. They don’t realise the Prosthesis Personality is no better than limping along on a wooden leg, and everybody else can see its a fake leg, But they think it passes for real. And nobody will notice their lameness Because they are still so GULLIBLE, which is why they can’t form their own opinions. They can only stick slavishly to the Randi script.

    Hundreds of times I have told skeps that H works on animals, proven scientifically, to which they answer “Yeah, That proves its placebo !” You see ?

    They seem to think placebo is a hypnotic effect that even works on animals, and thus it seems to be an infantile insistence on magic being real,. when they accuse everyone of placebo. Its overused like their other favourite word “Irrational”. And the other fav word “logic”. Never ask a skep, Who wrote the rules of logic?, Where are they written down? is logic immutable ? Irrefutable ? Who makes up the rules of logic today ? Can anyone do that ? Its definitely religious behaviour. LOL

    Wonder if there is a wiki page on that. LOL

    Wikipedia is a symptom of widescale mild mental illness.
    Certainly large scale mental underfunctioning, like so many other society problems like alcoholism and gambling, people who say nukular like George Bush etc

    These people are the “unteachables” doing great damage which is their intention. They have practically ruined the NET, in particular Youtube.
    The only saving grace is that Google Plus enables much skeptic toilet language and Randi keywords to be filtered out, rendering them unable to make entries, dis-empowering them. So there is small hope for youtube.

    What seems to be needed is an Anti-wiki Database edited only by handful of responsible informed people. None anonymous.They do exist, really.. It would cross reference its pages to wiki pages. Choice pages only. So people like Sheldrake and John Benneth could apply to have a counter page referenced against their obviously false wiki pages.
    It might be done for free if advertising is allowed.

    A dual page display could be used where a wiki page is on the left, and the revised more neutral page is on the right. Wiki couldn’t stop that being done. 2 adjacent windows could easily be organised to run side by side. It could just be another icon on the browser toolbar. Anti wiki LOL
    This could be organised with support from dissident people who have suffered at the hands of Wiki. And there are many.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Laurie Willberg says:

    Well, we know that one Susan Gerbic’s Guerrila Skepticism is behind these edits
    This is the engineered dementia of skeptics quoting other skeptics as factual resources.
    Catching someone with a hand in the proverbial cookie jar is not so simple due to the ability of financial donors to the pseudo-skeptic cause to be listed on their charitable donations reports as “anonymous”. Centre for Inquiry (CFI) certainly funnels a LOT of money towards “educational seminars”, with links to CSI (formerly CSICOP) and JREF (the Amusing Randi).
    Jimbo Wales has been quoted in the media as being extremely hostile towards Homeopathy and could hardly be expected to be impartial.
    Many people do not realize exactly how many of these “skeptics” are computer geeks, like Tim Farley who pens “Skeptools”. This site manufactures such gems as an online program called Fish Barrel that allows skeptic devotees to fire off frivolous consumer complaints to regulatory bodies like the ASA in the U.K.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s still happening, 100yrs later that curing is illegal, since no cures are ever FDA “approved”. Cures mean freedom from chemical dependence: freedom from them.
    John D. Rockefeller pictured in article link
    To ensure compliance from the medical schools, the Rockefeller Foundation born out of the Standard Oil monopoly, frequently insisted that medical schools place Rockefeller employees on their board of directors.
    “The General Education Board of the Rockefeller Foundation, also approached in 1914, pledged $500,000 on the condition that the University raised $1.5 million by January 1, 1916 and paid clinical faculty [allopathic doctors only] on a full time basis. With the Brady money and the hope of GEB funding, the Yale Corporation and the Hospital signed the affiliation contract with the hospital before the deadline of July 1, 1914.”
    – Yale University Medical School Web Site
    The new legally enforceable medical monopoly paralleled the past Rockefeller monopoly from the petrochemical industry of times past. Instead of owning all petroleum, the Rockefeller Empire now controlled virtually all medicine. It owned the lion’s share of the chemical industry, which would later be called the “pharmaceutical” industry. Once again, it was check and mate against the American people. The ramifications would be felt world-wide

    Now the punchline.
    *Interestingly, throughout his life, John D. Rockefeller, Sr.REFUSED TO TAKE HIS OWN CHEMICAL MEDICINE.. He used traditional holistic medicines for his own health, alongside many of his friends at the FDA and the A.M.A.*

    Liked by 2 people

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