Category Archives: Mainstream Attacks on homoeopathy

Are they right?

I took a quick look around the Internet today and there is no doubt in my mind that a concerted effort is being made to discredit all alternative therapies and especially homoeopathic medicine.

This is nothing new to practitioners of homeopathy, and it started within a couple of years of its conception. Any therapy that does not fit in with the current mold of “approved”practice, and does not make a healthy financial return for the pharmaceutical industry and the medical profession, is usually sidelined and denigrated to the general public.

There does not seem to be much that can be done about it. With the exception of a few countries most of the medical authorities favour the heavily drug-based allopathic approach.

More upsetting than this is the emergence and acceptance of a wrong practice in the therapy of homeopathic medicine today. A wonderful therapeutic practice has been diminished in the teaching, utilising quasi-psychological evaluation, the doctrine of signatures, and a complete lack of application of the literal symptoms elicited from provings, and replaced by interpretive assumptions on the meaning of symptoms.

It is getting harder and harder to recommend a homeopathic practitioner that will apply the Hahnemannian principles in their case taking and prescriptions. In fact it would be fair to say that the common practices of the therapy are now no longer in keeping with the principles of practice as itemised by Hahnemann.

For the proponents of the modern system, there is no saving grace in using the materia Medica out of context with its original intent and clinical provings. To attribute a personality to a medicine is just plain foolishness on a number of levels. Firstly a prescription is made on altered symptoms. This means that a medicine that has been imbued with characteristics of the personality, cannot represent the characteristics of a person in daily life, as it should only represent the disease state in altered disposition.

Unfortunately the false Kentian/Swedenborgian overlay on Hahnemann’s words and intentions, have distorted the reality of just matching essential prescribing symptoms which represent both the disease and the medicine with the characteristics of the disease symptoms which can be produced by the substance in a proving.

The Sensation method is the most common form of case analysis of the practice today in the West. Sadly it distorts and goes against the Hahnemannian principles of proven practice on so many levels that it defies the scientific basis for homoeopathy. It has attracted the wrong sort of practitioner to the profession in as much as they have not been taught proper homoeopathy or are looking for an outlet for their wrongly taught and misapplied spiritual longings as amplified by Kent via Swedenborg and the modern gurus. A tiny bit of PERSONAL research on the part of each student would have stopped the false teachings in its tracks.

Until schools and colleges return to teaching the REAL homoeopathy, and the scientific basis for prescribing and case management, Many of us have no case to argue against the governments that want to close the therapy down. If homoeopathy proper will not be practiced, then it is exactly as the detractors proclaim, a useless therapy.

 

 

 

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Hahnemann nails the argument…

By Vera Resnick

Thinking-Man-RodinIn his preface to the proving of Arsenicum Album in Chronic Diseases, Hahnemann really nails many of the arguments we face in our own, modern allopathically brainwashed societies today. Rather than comment, here is Hahnemann in his own pithy, erudite, and very sharp words. I’ve highlighted some words in bold. This is only an excerpt. There’s more. Go read.

“ARSENICUM ALBUM.

“As I write down the word Arsenic, momentous memories seize upon my soul.

“When the All-merciful One created iron, He granted to mankind, indeed, to fashion from it either the murderous dagger or the mild ploughshare, and either to kill or to nourish their brethren therewith. How much happier, however, would they be, did they employ His gifts only to benefit one another! This should be the aim of their life; this was His will.

“So also it is not to Him, the All-loving One, we must impute the wickedness practiced by men, who have dared to misemploy the wonderfully powerful medicinal substances in diseases for which they were not suitable, and besides this in doses so enormous, guided only by frivolous ideas or some paltry authorities, without having subjected them to any careful trial, and without a well-grounded selection.

“If now a careful prover of the effects of medicines arise, they inveigh against him as an enemy to their comfort, and do not refrain from the most dishonest calumnies.

“The ordinary medical art has hitherto employed in large and frequently repeated doses the most powerful medicines, such as arsenic, nitrate of silver, corrosive sublimate, aconitum napellus, belladonna, iodine, digitalis, opium, hyoscyamus, etc. Homoeopathy cannot employ stronger substances, for there are none stronger. Now, when ordinary physicians employ them, they evidently vie with one another who shall prescribe the largest possible doses of these drugs, and even make a great boast of their mounting to such enormous doses. This practice they laud and approve in their fellow practitioners. But if the Homoeopathic medical art employ the same drugs, not at random, like the ordinary method, but after careful investigation, only in suitable cases and in the smallest possible doses, it is denounced as a practice of poisoning. How partisan, how unjust, how calumnious is such a charge made by men who make pretensions to honesty and uprightness!

“If Homoeopathy now make a fuller explanation, if she condemn (as from conviction she must) the enormous doses of these drugs given in ordinary practice, and if she, relying on careful trials, insists that very much less of them should be given for a dose, that where ordinary physicians give a tenth, a half, a whole grain, and even several grains, often only a quadrillionth, a sextillionth, a decillionth of a grain is required and sufficient, then the adherents of the ordinary school, who denounce the Homoeopathic healing art as a system of poisoning, laugh aloud, abuse it as childishness, and declare themselves convinced (convinced without trial ?) that such a small quantity can do nothing at all, and can have no effect whatever, is, indeed, just the same as nothing. They are not ashamed thus to blow hot and cold from the same mouth, and to pronounce the very same thing to be inert and ludicrously small, which they had just accused of being a system of poisoning, whilst they justify and praise their own enormous and murderous doses of the same remedies. Is not this the grossest and most wretched inconsistency that can be imagined, invented for the very purpose of being shamelessly unjust toward a doctrine which, they cannot deny, possesses truth, consistence and agreement with experience, and which practices the most delicate cautiousness and the most unwearied circumspection in the selection and administration of its remedies?

Not very long ago a highly celebrated physician [Marcus of Bamberg] spoke of pounds of opium being eaten every month in his hospital, where even the nurses were allowed to give it to the patients according to their fancy. Opium, mind! a drug that has sent several thousands of men to their graves in ordinary practice! Yet this man continued to be held in honor, for he belonged to the dominant clique to which everything is lawful even if it be of the most destructive and absurd character.

And when, a few years since, in one of the most enlightened cities of Europe almost every practitioner, from the physician of lofty title down to the barber’s apprentice, prescribed arsenic as a fashionable remedy in almost every disease, and that in such frequent and large doses in close succession, that the detriment to the health of the people must have been quite palpable, yet this was held to be an honorable practice, though not one of them was acquainted with the peculiar effects of the semi-oxide of this metal (and consequently knew not what cases of disease it was suited for). And yet all prescribed it in repeated doses, a single one of which, sufficiently attenuated and potentized, would have sufficed to cure all the diseases in the whole habitable world for which this drug is the suitable remedy.

Which of these two opposite modes of employing medicines best deserves the flattering appellation of a “system of poisoning” -the ordinary method just alluded to, which attacks with tenths of grains the poor patients (who often require some quite different remedy), or Homoeopathy, which does not even give a little drop of tincture or rhubarb without having first ascertained whether rhubarb is the most suitable, the only appropriate remedy for the case? Homoeopathy which, by unwearied, multiplied experiments, discovered that it is only in rare cases that more than a decillionth of a grain of arsenic should be given, and that only in cases where careful proving shows this medicine to be the only one perfectly suitable ? To which of these two modes of practice does then the honorary title of “thoughtless, rash system of poisoning” properly apply ?

There is yet another sect of practitioners who may be called hypocritical purists. If they are practical physicians, they, indeed, prescribe all sorts of substances that are injurious when misused, but before the world they wish to pose as patterns of innocence and caution. From their professional chairs and in their writings they give us the most alarming definition of poison; to listen to their declarations it would appear unadvisable to treat any imaginable disease with anything stronger than quick-grass, dandelion, oxymel and raspberry juice.

According to their definition, poisons are absolutely (i. e., under all circumstances, in all doses, in all cases) prejudicial to human life, and in this category they include (in order to prejudice against Homoeopathy), as suits their humor, a lot of substances which in all ages have been extensively employed by physicians for the cure of diseases. (sounds familiar? vr)But the employment of these substances would be a criminal offence had not every one of them occasionally proved of use. If, however, each of them had only proved itself curative on only one occasion -and it cannot be denied that this sometimes happened- then this blasphemous definition is at the same time a palpable absurdity. Absolutely and under all circumstances injurious and destructive, and yet at the same time salutary, is a contradiction in itself, is utter nonsense. If they would wriggle out of this contradiction, they allege, as a subterfuge, that these substances have more frequently proved injurious than useful.

“But did the more frequent injury caused by these substances come from these substances themselves, or from their improper employment, i. e., from those who made an unskillful use of them in diseases for which they were not suitable ? These medicines do not administer themselves in diseases, they must be administered by men ; and if they were beneficial at any time, it was because they were at one time appropriately administered by somebody ; it was because they might always be beneficial, if men never made any other than a suitable use of them. Hence it follows that whenever these substances were hurtful and destructive they were so merely on account of having been inappropriately employed. Therefore all the injury is attributable to the unskillfulness of their employers…”.

Killing us softly

Killing-Us-SoftlyRecently, two books have been published by Dr. Paul Offit, the leading proponent of vaccines in the US and one of the main experts featured in The Greater Good. The two books are called Do you Believe in Magic and Killing Us Softly. They laughably denounce supplements and alternative medicine like chiropractic, acupuncture and homeopathy as not only ineffective but even deadly. To be clear, when creating The Greater Good, we did not disclose the following information as we wanted to let Dr. Offit’s perspective stand on its own and not influence the audience with information about his potential conflicts of interest.

Dr. Offit is the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is also a consultant to Merck and the developer of Rotateq, a rotavirus vaccine which he developed with Merck. He has served on the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. He is the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and sits on the advisory boards of Every Child By Two, PKIDS, the Immunization Action Coalition – all groups committed to defending the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Curiously, only the Immunization Action Coalition reveals its funding – it comes mostly from the pharmaceutical industry and CDC.

Dr. Offit is clearly a very busy guy but somehow, despite his work commitments, he has managed to refashion himself as an expert on autism with the publication of two books on the subject and now as an expert on supplements and alternative medicine with the publication of two new books as well as finding time to conduct numerous interviews in print, radio and online (that is the kind of media coverage only big money can buy). He must be exhausted.

Dr. Offit is a real hitter in the medical industry so people should respect his opinion as an independent voice on all these matters, right? One might want to consider the following before deciding. According to a 2008 report by CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson, “Offit holds a $1.5 million dollar research chair at Children’s Hospital, funded by Merck.” Hmmm. So his position at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is funded by one of the leading vaccine manufacturers in the world. He also developed Rotateq, a rotavirus vaccine, together with Merck and according to Attkisson, “future royalties for the vaccine were just sold for $182 million cash. Dr. Offit’s share of vaccine profits? Unknown.”

But surely he is honest and discloses all his financial ties priding himself on transparency? Apparently not. According to a 2011 report in the Orange Country Register, Offit has no evidence to support his claim that Attkisson lied and that she sent him a nasty email. It sounds like perhaps he was the one doing the lying. And the OC Register goes on to state the following after their investigation: “the network requested (but Offit did not disclose) the entire profile of his professional financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies including: The amount of compensation he’d received from which companies in speaking fees; and pharmaceutical consulting relationships and fees.”

So why rehash all of Dr. Offit’s conflicts of interest?  Merely to remind folks that being a doctor does not make one immune to the lure of financial reward, nor does it make one an expert on everything that doctor chooses. So when hearing about Dr. Offit’s farcical denunciation of supplements and alternative medicine as deadly, one might want to consider his financial ties as well as some other information.

Pharmaceutical drugs are the 4th largest killer in America after heart disease and cancer – killing an estimated 106,000 people each year even when properly prescribed, properly administered, and yes, FDA approved. (See Mercola and JAMA.) When one considers complications, errors, etc., fatalities from conventional medicine each year number in the hundreds of thousands to millions depending on data and assumptions – outstripping both heart disease and cancer as the leading cause of death in the US (See Death By Medicine 1 and Death By Medicine 2. To suggest alternative medicine is dangerous and conventional medicine is not (ever hear of Vioxx, Avandia, thalidomide???) requires a degree of revisionist history bordering on the pathological.

While there are indeed reports of death after supplements and natural medicine, they are extremely rare. Indeed it is all but impossible to find data on them. In the absence of reliable data, perhaps the cost of insuring a variety of types of medicine will yield some insight on the relative dangers. Having spoken with several homeopaths, they report it costs between $200 and $1000 per year for insurance. According to a chiropractor I know, chiropractors pay about $2000-$3000 per year for insurance. Compare this to the tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars to insure a conventional doctor each year and one gets a sense of which practices are viewed as the most dangerous by the insurance industry.

Lastly, Dr. Offit says that none of these natural healing modalities work beyond the placebo effect. If that is the case, then why is there so much research on the safety and efficacy of acupuncture that it is now provided in conventional medical practices and hospitals across the US and even provided on the national health services in other countries? Why are acupuncture and chiropractic care covered on many health insurance policies if they are either unsafe or ineffective? And why are there dozens of studies published in peer reviewed journals attesting to the safety and efficacy of homeopathy as posted on the National Center for Homeopathy’s website?

The flu pandemic of 1918 is a great opportunity for a quick history lesson. But first, let’s go back even further, to 1844 and the founding of the very first medical organization in the US, the American Institute of Homeopathy (AIH). The AIH was founded by physicians who were also homeopaths to standardize the teaching and practice of homeopathy. Then in 1847, conventional doctors answered with their own organization, the American Medical Association (AMA). According to Dr. Domenick J. Masiello in his History of Homeopathy, “The A.M.A. charter contained specific language against movements such as homeopathy and its members were forbidden to consult with homeopathic physicians.”1

Why would the AMA be so threatened by homeopathy if it did not work? Jane Tara Cicchetti, a homeopath, may have the answer. She writes: “In a 1903 meeting of the AMA one respected allopathic physician admitted that they never fought homeopaths because of their principles, they fought them because they moved in and got the business.”2 So the AMA did not seek to destroy homeopathy because of lack of safety or effectiveness, it was about money. Some things never change!

Now back to the flu pandemic. Few folks know that in the early 1900′s there were 22 homeopathic medical schools, 100 homeopathic hospitals and 1,000 homeopathic pharmacies in the US.3 4  Hence when the flu pandemic hit, there was ample opportunity to assess the relative risk and success of what we today call conventional care versus homeopathic care. Normally when we read about the 1918 flu pandemic, we hear the horrors of how that flu killed over half a million Americans but one never hears how the fatality rate of homeopathic hospitals and physicians was but a fraction of that of the conventional hospitals. According to many accounts, the homeopathic hospitals lost 1%-2% of patients whereas conventional hospitals lost 20%, 25% or over 30% of patients. So much for homeopathy being nothing more than a placebo effect. (You can read physician accounts here.)

So what are Dr. Offit’s two books really about? Money, the proverbial wheel greaser. Unfortunately for Dr. Offit and those behind him, all the money in the world can’t make the facts go away – or change history.

Clearly, some folks are feeling threatened that millions of people in the US and around the world are questioning the safety and efficacy of conventional medicine and pharmaceutical products and are opting for truly safe and effective natural solutions to their health concerns, so it was time for a hit piece or two. Educated consumers can connect the dots and see what is going on here. At some point, Dr. Offit may be the architect of his own undoing…perhaps that time is not far away now.

http://www.greatergoodmovie.org/news-views/do-you-believe-in-magic-no-but-we-believe-in-facts/

Free Speech Rights Under Attack in Australia

Free Speech Rights Under Attack in Australia

March 29, 2013 by admin in Featured, Politics, Vaccines with 0 Comments

Whatever you believe about vaccination, surely those who disagree with forced inoculations and medical treatment have the right to their views and to choose whether they’ll be subjected to medical treatments of any sort, including vaccination. But the right is under siege in Australia, as the Australian Vaccination Network struggles against obvious attempts to shut them down.

Australian Flag with Fist-Held Syringe Superimposed

Australian Flag (by erjkprunczýk) with Fist-Held Syringe Superimposed

by Heidi Stevenson

The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) has actively advocated for vaccination choice and provided information about vaccine risks for many years. Suddenly, the New South Wales Department of Fair Trading (DFT) has decided that their name is misleading and demanded that they change it. They have refused to state how it’s misleading and provided no advice about what change is required. They simply demand that the name be changed.

This may seem like a minor problem, but when an organization has existed for a long time, has a website based on their name, and trades under that name, being forced to change it is onerous. Nonetheless, AVN has done its best trying to cooperate, but they haven’t even been informed of how their name is supposed to be misleading! They have sent polite letters stating that they want to cooperate and asking the DFT to provide guidance. You can see three of them by clicking on these links: 27 December 201318 February 2013, and 6 March 2013.

They’ve gotten no response to their requests. So AVN requested a stay of the order, which is normally a fairly routine procedure. But their response was to declare that they must change their name immediately because it’s an emergency! AVN has existed since 1994—nearly 20 years—and it’s suddenly an emergency that they change their name?

After all, their actions against AVN clearly demonstrate that the Department of Fair Trading is most assuredly not living up to its name. It is, in fact, doing the oppositve—attempting to shut down a legitimate organization that is precisely what it claims, an organization that is a network of people in Australia on the subject of vaccination.

Obviously, there’s more to this than the desire to see their name changed. This is nothing less than part of an ongoing program designed to destroy the AVN. What reason could there be, other than to silence their voice?

So, AVN’s president, Greg Beattie, attended a hearing on 20 March 2013 regarding their request for a stay. Note that this now has moved into a legal matter requiring attorneys and their costs. Clearly, there’s no reason for doing this. After all, the AVN indicated willingness to cooperate, but they don’t know what needs to be done to satisfy the DFT—and the DFT has refused to advise them.

For this hearing, the DFT paid a group of people as expert witnesses. Why would they need expert witnesses for a simple extension hearing? And how much was paid to them? In any case, their expertise—whatever it is—seems not to have come into play, or if it did, it wasn’t clarified to AVN. Perhaps they should, instead, look inward and consider changing their name. I’ll even help them out: The Department of Speech Suppression would be ever so much more accurate!

AVN’s barrister laid out the reasons for granting a stay to allow the AVN staff time to consult with the membership. The government’s solicitor didn’t respond to what was said, merely stated that the public’s interest requires that AVN change it’s name now! Why, though, wasn’t explained.

To save money, both Beattie and AVN’s barrister appeared by telephone, since they are not located in New South Wales. DFT’s solicitor, though, in a show of pettiness, complained that it was an imposition, and the Member—Australian term for a judge—went along with it. Therefore, AVN’s barrister must show up in person, which means that AVN must cover the cost of flights and expenses.

Lest you have any doubts about DFT’s attitude towards AVN, the night before the hearing, AVN’s barrister was contacted by DFT’s legal representative. He treated AVN”s barrister extremely rudely and called AVN “fucking wackos”. They don’t like having their actions pointed out to the public, so deny AVN’s right to post the fact of this abominable behavior.

Attack on the Right to an Independent Viewpoint

AVN is clearly under attack. It isn’t because of any actual crime. It’s simply because they’re espousing a viewpoint that runs counter to the government’s. What’s under attack is the right to free speech. The point that needs to be understood is that this is not about whether vaccinations are good or bad. It’s about whether an organization or individual has the right to espouse a point of view that’s different from the government’s.

As it now stands, the government is acting as an enforcer of corporate interests. Big Pharma and Big Medicine want to promote and sell vaccines. AVN, apparently, is making headway against their profit machine … so the government is attacking AVN in the pettiest manner possible. There can be little doubt that the goal is to shut them down, to quiet their voice.

This is not the first attack on AVN. As reported earlier, a vicious attack on Meryl Dorey, AVN’s founder, was launched. She was subjected to vile pornographic messages and threatened over and over by phone. A distributed denial of service attack was launched against their website. Yet, the police and agencies that are supposed to protect people from such treatment failed to respond.

Last year, on the basis of two complaints, the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) launched an investigation of AVN. They ordered AVN to include a statement on their site that states:

the Australian Vaccination Network’s purpose is to provide information against vaccination in order to balance what it believes is the substantial amount of pro-vaccination information available elsewhere;
the information should not be read as medical advice and;
the decision about whether or not to vaccinate should be made in consultation with a health care provider.

Obviously, only the medical monopoly is granted the right to make statements about health issues. It matters not if they’re right or wrong, the general public is not supposed to question them.

The HCCC also stripped their right to fund raise. AVN fought back and that right was returned to them.

Current Status

The AVN has won an extension until June to consult with members, but have been forced to place a consumer warning notice on their website reading:

Consumer Warning: NSW Fair Trading has directed Australian Vaccination Network to change its name because it regards the name to be misleading. The Australian Vaccination Network is challenging this Direction and the challenge is currently before the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal.

AVN was quite happy to do so. It clearly indicates to anyone who isn’t completely blinded to the corporate-owned government that freedom of speech is no longer considered a right. You can see it posted proudly at the top of every page on their site.

If you can possibly help AVN, please do. It’s clear that they’re in a battle for their existence, and equally clear that they’re also fighting for our right to hear the other side of the vaccine debate. Surely it’s obvious that this is everyone’s cause. Whether you agree with AVN or disagree vehemently, surely it’s obvious that they have the right to express their point of view. If the suppression doesn’t stop here, where will it stop?

You can contact the New South Wales Department of Fair Trading and tell them that their function is not defined as suppression of speech. It’s to provide a fair ground for everyone to trade. The right to free speech belongs to us all, not only those who agree with the government.

The phone number is (02) 9228 5276.

As AVN has stated, “You can act now—or you can wait for the knock on your door telling you your right to say no to drug-based therapies and medical vaccination has been taken away for good. The choice is yours.”

Scientists say homeopathy is undiluted hogwash. But it CAN work – and that’s all that matters

Scientists say homeopathy is undiluted hogwash. But it CAN work – and that’s all that matters

By James Delingpole
UPDATED: 10:52, 1 March 2011

 

Believers: Some homeopathists argue that water is capable of retaining some form of 'memory'Believers: Some homeopathists argue that water is capable of retaining some form of ‘memory’

Just what is it that makes so many people so angry about homeopathy? I’ve been using it on and off for years — arnica tablets for when the kids fall over, a magic box of special remedies which helped cure my hay-fever. I’ve always thought it was something harmless, something all of us did now and again.

Apparently not, though. In the past few months, whenever I’ve mentioned my guilty homeopathy secret to friends, it’s as if I’ve confessed to a penchant for child sacrifice.

‘What?’ the general reaction has been. ‘Don’t you realise all homeopaths are charlatans; their remedies are nothing more than sugar pills; they’re a drain on the NHS; they’ve resulted in the deaths of gullible innocents all over the world?’

This surprises and saddens me, for there have been times in my life when I’ve found homeopathy beneficial. I wouldn’t class myself as an ardent believer — I won’t shun coffee or mint toothpaste, or any of those other boring things you’re supposed to do if your remedies are to work properly. But I’m not a virulent sceptic, either.

Probably the greatest success I’ve had has been with my hayfever. It made my childhood summers a misery of itchy eyes, sneezing and almost flu-like debilitation.

Yet by my mid-30s it had all but vanished thanks to a wonderful little Welsh firm called Ffynnonwen (which makes a special homeopathic anti-hayfever kit) and to the miracle worker who sent me there, a homeopath called Fiona Gross.

Fiona was just an ordinary London housewife who got into the business quite by accident when her daughter broke out in terrible eczema which conventional medicine couldn’t cure. After much reading, research and experimentation, Fiona did cure it, and decided thereafter to make a career of her new-found expertise.

One of her recent success stories was a woman struck down with a mysterious  respiratory illness acquired on holiday in Greece.

Using her Sherlock Holmes-like skills, Fiona eventually narrowed it down to the pollen of olive blossom. She sent some olive blossom to Ffynnonwen, which made up a remedial homeopathic tincture. Within a few days, the woman’s problems had gone.

Almost as interesting as Fiona’s cure was the reaction of the woman’s GP: he was livid.

Though he’d failed to cure the problem himself, he refused to accept that homeopathy could have done the trick. Clearly, her illness had been all in the mind.

Of course, I understand why the medical establishment is sceptical. As campaigners such as science journalist Ben Goldacre tirelessly remind us, homeopathic remedies are so dilute that they’re unlikely to contain any pharmacologically active molecules.

Success story: The greatest success James Delingpole had with homeopathy has been with his hayfeverSuccess story: The greatest success James Delingpole had with homeopathy has been with his hayfever

And I’m well aware that in countless tests, homeopathic remedies have been shown to be no more effective than sugar pills. In other words, its power may lie purely in the placebo effect.

Perhaps they’re right. Certainly, almost everything I’ve read on homeopathy convinces me it’s bunk. That’s why, every time I take a homeopathic remedy, I mutter to myself: ‘You don’t really believe in this nonsense, do you?’

And why, though I use homeopathy for routine ailments, I very much doubt I’d rely on it, say, as a prophylactic against malaria or as a miracle cure for cancer. Well, not except as a last resort — which is how most people come to homeopathy anyway.

Where I seriously find myself in disagreement with the anti-homeopathy lobby, though, is over the shrillness of their bullying intolerance.

They pride themselves on their rationalism, yet the foaming fury with which they pursue this modern heresy owes more to the religious fervour of Witchfinders General or Spanish inquisitors.

There’s often something insufferably smug about their attitude, too: ‘See how clever and rational I am! I know my science, I do. That’s why I hate homeopathy! I am a real sceptic, me.’

Well, yes, I too am all for the principles of post-Enlightenment rationalism. But surely one of those principles is a healthy awareness that none of us yet knows everything there is to know about everything. The history of scientific progress, after all, is the history of old ‘consensus’ theories being discredited and being replaced by new theories.

Until the 1880s, the experts would have laughed in your face if you’d suggested that malaria was caused by anything other than the miasma of foul air that emanated from swamps.

Until the Seventies, you’d have been ridiculed for positing that stomach ulcers were caused by a bacterium; until 1934, nobody even suspected that the major part of the universe might comprise something called ‘dark matter’.

Does that mean that everyone was totally thick then, and that we have all the answers now? One day, perhaps, scientists will prove beyond all doubt that homeopathy is hocus pocus nonsense. But there are other possibilities, too.

The principle of homeopathy is that a remedy can be as dilute as Goldacre points out because the water retains the memory of the active ingredient; it doesn’t need lots of the remedy to work. This has been scoffed out of court by the sceptics.

However, Dr Luc Montagnier, the French virologist who won the Nobel Prize for discovering the Aids virus, and Nobel Prize-winning Cambridge physicist Brian Josephson both argue that water is capable of retaining some form of ‘memory’.

Josephson accuses homeopathy’s critics of ‘pathological disbelief’ — that is, they hold the unscientific view that ‘even if it were true, I still wouldn’t believe in it’.

‘The practitioners I’ve known have been sincere, thoughtful people who give their clients the kind of attention you’d almost certainly never get from a GP these days’

Not being a scientist, I’m keeping an open mind. What I’m wholeheartedly against are the anti-homeopathy brigade and their attempts to destroy this harmless cottage industry through expensive over-regulation.

I find their complaints about homeopathy on the NHS overdone (just £4 million out of the NHS’s annual £104 billion budget goes on homeopathy: that’s a mere 0.004 per cent).

Nor am I persuaded by their line that homeopathy is denying genuinely sick people proper medical treatment.

No one is forcing cancer sufferers to use pulsatilla extract rather than radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Almost everyone who uses homeopathy does so out of informed choice, rather than ignorance — often after they’ve been through all the conventional remedies and found them not to work.

And if we’re going to come down hard on ‘sugar pills’, what about all the cases where the pharmaceutical industry’s licensed drugs have done far greater damage — such as the teenage suicides linked to the antidepressant Seroxat, or the increased risk of heart disease caused by the diabetes drug Avandia?

That’s why I’m laying my neck on the line and sticking up for homeopathy. Not because I know for certain it’s true, but because I’ve met too many people whom it has helped not to give it the benefit of the doubt.

The practitioners I’ve known have been sincere, thoughtful people who give their clients the kind of attention you’d almost certainly never get from a GP these days.

Homeopathy has helped many thousands of people feel healthier and happier than they were before, fairly inexpensively and without any unpleasant side-effects.

Call them gullible fools, call them what you will: the point, surely, is that it worked for them — and that’s all that really matters.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission attack on alternative views of illness and treatment of.

Alert

This is the latest from http://www.homoeopathyinfo.com/?p=2206

UPCOMING COURT CASE – WILL YOU HELP?
(This is a redacted version of the original post. If we had not removed certain points by midnight tonight, we may have been in sub judice and tomorrow, in goal. Please continue to help by sharing this post as much as possible).

You are probably aware that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) commenced proceedings against Homeopathy Plus, my husband and me last week in the Federal Court of Australia.

(If this is news to you, you may like to read: A Letter from Fran Sheffield – Today I will be in Court).

At last we are free to tell what happened, and we hope you will read to the story’s end as the events involved have the potential to affect you as much as us. We also have four important areas in which you may be able to help.

AT THE BEGINNING
When the ACCC decided to commence fast-tracked proceedings against us we had little more than a week’s notice to prepare for the Directions Hearing. The ACCC was concerned that three pages on our website (one of which had been removed almost a year ago) were misleading or deceptive. These pages contained information about whooping cough, the whooping cough vaccine, and [REDACTED].

When we were advised that proceedings would be commenced, we decided to defend the action as we believed (and still believe) the information we provided was correct.

THE DIRECTIONS HEARING
At the Directions Hearing in the Federal Court last Friday (March 1, 2013), the ACCC sought immediate orders and a fast-tracked date for when the case would be heard in full.

So what was the outcome of this hearing? Thanks to excellent representation by our barrister, the Justice removed the fast-tracking; the case is now scheduled for late August, at which time we intend to defend our position vigorously. In the meantime we have agreed to remove the pages in question from our website until the case is heard.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
There is still a long way to go. The case is significant and a lot is at stake – not just for us but for anyone who accesses and wants to continue to access information on vaccines and healthcare from an alternative viewpoint.

When our case reaches court in August, the following questions will be asked:

1. [REDACTED]
2. [REDACTED]

You may be wondering if the repercussions of this case will extend beyond Homeopathy Plus, my husband and me. You may also wonder if a precedent will be set that not only affects the practice of homeopathy in Australia but also the practice and supply of information by many other complementary and alternative therapies. And, like others, you may be asking, “Is it fair for someone to be prosecuted by a government agency just for questioning certain aspects of government health policy and offering an alternative view?”

We have received advice that the right to publicly question government information about vaccines and provide alternative information on homeopathy will be a central issue in this case (i.e. the extent of those rights and when they can be censored) so obviously, important issues are at stake.

We cannot say more at this time about the details of the case, but we hope this has gone some way to explaining its significance. We need your support and are asking you to help in a number of important areas.

THE FIGHTING FUND
If you have ever practiced or been helped by homeopathy, now is the time to show your support. A conservative estimate for legal and court costs in this case is at least $50,000 – an incredible amount of money in one lump, but not so much if divided between many. Just 500 homeopaths donating $50 each would create a fund of $25,000 right there!

If other alternative therapists – chiropractors, naturopaths, herbalists, acupuncturists (the list goes on and on) – joined with us, we would all be in a much stronger position.

And for those who want to protect their right to alternative information and natural healthcare, your donation, no matter how big or small, will help provide strong and effective legal representation.

You can donate in any of the following ways:

1. Fax your credit card details and the amount you want to give to 02 4044 0153 (international faxes: +612 4044 0153)

2. Make a PayPal payment at: fransheffield@homeopathyplus.com.au – Remember to add FIGHTING FUND in the comments section and we will send you a receipt.

3. Direct deposit funds into the following designated account – be sure to email us at office@homeopathyplus.com.au with the amount and FIGHTING FUND in the subject line so we can send you a receipt:

Westpac Account: Fighting Fund
BSB: 032 627
Account: 198475

4. Pay by card over the phone at 02 4304 0822 (International callers: +612 4304 0822)

5. Mail your cheque to Homeopathy Plus at:
7b/1 Pioneer Avenue
Tuggerah NSW 2259

Remember to provide your name and address so we can send you a receipt.

To those who have already contacted us with offers of help and donations, thank you so much! Your support is greatly appreciated and means a lot to us.

OUR LEGAL TEAM
Our legal team is still being assembled for this important case. If you are a solicitor, barrister or Queen’s Counsel and would like to be involved, please contact us on 02 4304 0822 or send an email to fransheffield@homeopathyplus.com.au

CALLING ALL EXPERTS
If have expertise in the area of whooping cough, vaccines, or the [REDACTED] and would like to help with the case, please contact us on 02 4304 0822 or send an email to fransheffield@homeopathyplus.com.au

GETTING THE STORY OUT
Help spread the word about this case in any way you can. Tell your family, friends and patients about it and the implications it may have for their access to alternative health information and treatment. Post it on your blog and Facebook pages. Tweet it and pin it up on Pinterest. Share it on other social media sites. Send the information to any email lists you may be involved with. It is important to get the word out to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

IN CONCLUSION
If you love homeopathy and want continued access to information on vaccines and healthcare from an alternative viewpoint you MUST choose to act. Please help us and please help homeopathy. By doing that, you will also help yourself.

Thanking you so much,

Fran Sheffield.