Jan 242008
 

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.

  36 Responses to “What’s the Difference Between Scientology and Homeopathy?”

Comments (35) Pingbacks (1)
  1.  

    I believe John Waters is a homeopath but I’ve never met him.

  2.  

    Hmm. Like a homeopathic maniac?

  3.  

    I don’t trust these homeopaths? Why would they want to kill bungalows? What has a loft studio ever done to them?

  4.  

    I apologise.

  5.  

    from my own experience with homeopathy it has worked every time and quite rapidly too.

  6.  

    No question. Placebos can be quite effective.

  7.  

    Homeopathy is just the use of minute substances that stimulate the body’s own defenses against an ‘illness’ or ailment. Similar to a vaccine. (but without side effects that you have with traditional synthetic substances). The Japanese have been at it for centuries. some ppl swear by it.. you’d have to try it to know really but obviously pepople have a right to express if they think it’s BS.

  8.  

    here are some holistic cures for a hangover..
    http://www.health911.com/remedies/rem_hang.htm
    Prickly pear is known to reduce inflammation, and hangover symptoms are due to an increase in inflammation. Researchers found that C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation, was 40% higher in the group that took a placebo.
    Just one thing what the hell is prickly pear and where would you get it? :)

  9.  

    As you know Bock, I’ve featured a personal hero of mine, James Randi many times on my own site. For your own crowd, here he is giving what can only be described as the very final word on homeopathy. I’ve watched this monologue many times, especially when I’ve needed some evidence of sanity in a crazy world.

  10.  

    James Randi… aka ‘The amazing Randi’. 1960’s magician.. he did a great job there on giving a lecture while secretly playing with his trouser trout.. what a trick :) anyone notice that. :)

  11.  

    Audrey: Saying “similar to a vaccine” isn’t good enough.

    It’s not a vaccine, so why make the comparison?

    If you know what it really is, tell us.

  12.  

    Homoeopathy really works in host of cases both acute and chronic. I was not convinced initially when started using it two decades ago but many of us are now under that system.Homoeopathy is not useful where surgery is quite necessary and so is Allopathy. But under Homoeopathy many cases of tonsils , cysts, tumors are cured without surgery surprisingly where the modern medicine had suggested surgery.
    Regarding the Society of Homoeopaths’ action, it is quite natural that when in the name of science some people start maligning the system without any cause or provocation ignoring all available glaring proof, they are entitled to defend it. Critics of Homoeopathy if they dont like the system they need not go for that. But some groups act as if they are the custodinas of society and try to impose only one sytem on the earth- then it is natural that the reaction will be there.After all every one has to have a free choice of the system of healing based on his or her own experience. He need not base it on some critics perceptions.

  13.  

    Scientologiests would probably argue that
    Homeopathy is a system of belief for people who cannot handle the intellectual demands of Scientology :)

    My belief, both a shower of quacks and shitesters!

  14.  

    Krishna: Its not them defending it that is the problem its the bully boy tactics employed by these “sheisters” (sic).. If they were so confident in what they were doing they wouldnt feel the need for sending threatning emails and going legal at the drop of a hat.Actions like this arouse suspicion that there is something sinister going on (as in the scientologist’s scenario)

    If it works for you fine and you are allowed your opinion based on your experience but criticism is also allowed especially when homoeopathists are flouting the regulations of their own governing body..

  15.  

    Audrey, I’m surprised that anyone is saying, “Homeopathy is just the use of minute substances that stimulate the body’s own defenses against an ‘illness’ or ailment. Similar to a vaccine.”

    There is NO active ingredient in even the least dilute homeopathic preparation. It is just water! There is zero similarity between the magic water and vaccines.

    You finish with he CAM crowd’s usual ‘argument from antiquity’,as if that’s relevant. I however, am grateful to be living in an age of science based as opposed to philosophy based medicine.

    As for the hangover cure; recently my sister and I stayed with our brother and she woke with a hangover. He handed her travel sickness tablets, and she was disgusted to see they were homeopathic. Our poor brother hadn’t even realised since the packaging made them look like proper pills that might actually have an effect beyond a placebo. Poor woman just had to suffer!

  16.  

    Dunk em in the village pond and see if the feckers float, I say.

  17.  

    The Irish Society of Homeopaths is if anything, worse than the UK society. They don’t even show a code of ethics or conduct on their website. There is no information for customers wishing to complain about one of their registered homeopaths.

    On their front page they have a list of celebrities and ‘luminaries’ who have used homeopathy. Jeez, is it handbags or medicine they’re selling; ‘oh look, Jennifer Aniston uses it, I’d better copy her, and her hair is nice, I’ll buy that conditioner too.’

    Instead of research or evidence, they have testimonials. I’m sure loads of people could come on here and say, oh it worked for me. And that’s nice for you. But when homeopaths start saying they can treat non self-limiting conditions and start opening ‘clinics’ in Africa to ‘treat’ AIDS and malaria, and when they don’t even follow their own code of ethics, or don’t have one, or when they use heavy handed threats on those engaging in perfectly appropriate criticism, then they are out of line.

  18.  

    Even Steve Staunton had a testimonial. And we’re still suffering from that hangover.

  19.  

    Darwin: Ba dum Tish!! he he

  20.  

    Krishna: You’re entitled to believe anything you want, but don’t use this site to claim that homeopathy cures tumours. It doesn’t.

    Secondly, there is no scientific basis to homeopathy. It’s a fraud. That’s why people criticise it.

    Thirdly, it’s not about critics’ perceptions. It’s about evidence, and there is no evidence to validate homeopathy.

    Fourth: Homeopaths might be entitled to defend themselves, but they are not entitled to intimidate people. That makes them thugs, as I already said.

  21.  

    maybe the power of the mind comes into play . the body has the ability to heal itself. as i have said it has worked for me when i was getting asthsma attacks and when ever i have a cold or flu.it offers a good first line of treatment .

  22.  

    I have no difficulty with the idea that our mind can influence our healing. You probably did heal yourself, because you sure as hell didn’t get it from a bottle of water.

  23.  

    I’m a strong supporter of Homeopathy, and have been since the age of 10.
    I used to get nasty tonsillitis quite often as a child, and it seemed to get worse and worse every year, until my mother decided to try something alternative as opposed to getting my tonsils hacked out of my body.
    (she had this crazy idea that removing a part of my body might not be the best solution, and since then has been proven correct!)
    I was cured of my tonsillitis within 15 minutes, and have never had it come back in my 38 years.

    Homeopathy has been extremely useful throughout my life since, and the way it works does indeed appear contradictory to what we think of as modern medicine, but so what?
    The concept behind homeopathy is that the body can adapt itself.
    And the idea behind what is referred to here as ‘just water’ is an un-researched lie.
    There are indeed active ingredients, but the more diluted the better they work.
    Believe what you want, but lying about things just makes you a crappy excuse for a human being.

  24.  

    You know what, Hart? I was with you all the way to the last line when you decided to get personal. So you know what, Hart? Why don’t you go fuck yourself?

  25.  

    This might be somethin like scientology bock, could just be a load of crap though and they are expensive, might be a scam. chapter seven is free though.. http://www.theqxci.com/ interesting stuff, -chapter seven I mean,-the free stuff :) gives me an insight though as to why scientology and homeopathy are both a load of ‘crap’. :) like the rats that were fed eggs kinda thing and the dogs that don’t understand english too :)

  26.  

    just getting back to you on the question you asked me. :) (If you know what it really is, tell us.) I still have no idea really but there ya go.

  27.  

    definitely a load of crap.. they can’t guarentee anythin :) shipping is gAurenteed, at the top of the page. hehe

  28.  

    oh fuck it.. i got it wrong too. nevermind.

  29.  

    I got really sick for no reason and test after test comes back healthy but you dont have the energy to even get out of bed for long.every “conventional” doctor gave me some post viral or other bla bla with no proof or evidence of anything.now i had no belief that homeopathy would work so you can rule out placebo.i went to a homeopath for a consultation to please a friend.and after a small amount of treatment im starting to get my life back.so before you bad mouth things you dont know much about, think someday it could be you that might need this type of healing because theres nothing else

  30.  

    Peter, if you got better after drinking water, I’m glad for you, but that’s all it is: water.

  31.  

    well we are 80% water aren’t we. I guess that’s all we are.. water. glad for you too.

  32.  

    Reading through the posts here I’m disgusted at such a bunch of narrow minded losers. Has anyone of you ever read a book on Scientology? or Homoeopathy? I doubt it. But like the armchair fascists you are, you will slag off things you know nothing about. I’ve read couple of books on Scientology, I’ll never be converted but I appreciate their views on mental illness and their view of where humans should be heading. I didn’t read anything about aliens, but maybe I haven’t studied enough. As for Homoeopathy, I have a friend who’s heart was ‘shutting down’. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t walk more than a few metres. Doctors couldn’t offer much to support her. She had a few visits to a Homoeopath and now she’s mountain climbing!!! Now I regularly visit a Homoeopath and I know the changes it’s made to my own life. So before you slag something off, check it out, make informed decisions instead of blowing out hot air!!!

  33.  

    Shark: You don’t know what books people have read.

    In my view, both Scientology and homeopathy are nonsense, and personal insults from you won’t change that.

  34.  

    There is a huge difference between homeopathy and Scientology. It is easy to try homeopathy at little cost, just from books, without needing to talk to anyone else. If you “convert,” it’s because you experienced something for yourself, by yourself, not because someone else (or a group) strong-armed you into believing something against your best interests.

    Most people who have seen homeopathy work only want the critics to try it for themselves, since it is simple and inexpensive to do so. Intimidation is counterproductive, and it hasn’t really helped Scientology, which is dwindling in number of members.

    Anyone who claims that “science proves that all homeopathy is impossible” has never tried it, or has tried it VERY little. If you think that high potencies can’t possibly work, then try low potencies that still have some of the original substance left in it. I’ve used silica 3x (1/1000 concentration) to fight an infection after having a wisdom tooth removed.

    Modern conventional pharmaceutical practice is very imprecise and unscientific. I’ve seen people given 5, 10, even 15 different prescriptions, and there’s no way the interactions were studied or anticipated before these combinations were taken. Often what happens is that someone takes drug A, tells the doctor about side effects, and is given drug B to fight the side effects. God forbid they are told to stop taking drug A. And maybe they get drug C for the combined side effects of A and B.

    And don’t get me started about drug companies ghost writing articles in major journals, plus essentially bribing doctors into believing that prescription drugs, preferably recent ones that are still on patent, are the absolute best way to treat almost any ailment. (No, I’m not saying this as someone in Scientology, because I think Scientology is vicious cult crap. I’m saying this as someone who’s read serious books like Pharmageddon, and Dr. Andrew Weil’s account of the time he spent in his younger days as an intern at a drug company.)

  35.  

    You did a study involving one single case and you think that’s evidence? That’s one good reason for all patients to avoid you.

    It’s water. It’s a scam.

    You’re promoting a fraud.

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