There isn’t a huge difference between the two, it seems.
Scientology has no coherent scientific basis. Neither does homeopathy.
Scientology exploits credulous, needy people for profit. So does homeopathy.
Scientology relies on fake-scientific jargon to baffle you. So does homeopathy.
Scientology can’t survive scientific scrutiny. Neither can homeopathy.
So far so good. No surprises there.
But suppose I told you that Scientology and homeopathy have something else in common? Suppose I told you that homeopathy relies on intimidation to silence its critics? What would that remind you of?
Here’s a case where a blogger with a spineless internet service provider was forced to remove a post critical of homeopathy. Andy Lewis operates a site called the Quackometer, in which he deals with all manner of quacks, frauds and pseudoscience gobshites. Andy wrote a post called The Gentle Art of Homeopathic Killing, detailing the sort of unscrupulous and dangerous practices commonly found among homeopaths. He gave instances where homeopaths in Africa disgracefully claimed to be able to treat lethal diseases such as malaria, AIDS and TB.
What do you think happened?
Some crowd of gobshites calling themselves the Society of Homeopaths immediately issued worthless legal threats against his ISP.
And what do you think the ISP did in defence of Andy’s right to highlight this quackery?
I know what you think happened. You think his ISP told the Society of Homeopaths to go and bottle themselves, don’t you?
Well no. You’re wrong. What they did instead was this: they collapsed in fear. Immediately! The useless prats. They folded and made Andy remove the post but happily, thanks to Google’s cache, copies instantly reappeared all over the internet, and you can read his full text here.
Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve written about homeopathy and the ugly mindset of intimidation that attends it. For example, you might remember the mother of an autistic child who was legally threatened by a homeopath, and you might have stumbled across my views on the idea of people receiving a BSc degree in quackery. But frankly, I think it’s all gone a bit more sinister than that.
Though there was a time when only fruitcakes like Rudolf Hess believed in homeopathy, now the thing seems to have morphed into something approaching a cult, just like Scientology, and with the same sort of aggressive instinct to attack its critics.
I don’t like this. I don’t like dishonest thinking, and I don’t like fraudulent logic.
I don’t like mystification and I don’t like the way every half-educated chancer and charlatan in the last fifty years has hijacked the hard-earned knowledge of generations of good scientists and used it to baffle people out of their cash.
Most of all, I don’t like the thugs from the Society of Homeopaths trying to intimidate an honest man out of his honest opinions.