Homeopathic Hate Mail

You know the drill by now – guys in Merseyside come up with anti-homeopathy campaign, homeopaths around the world get pissy. Here’s some recent highlights:

From Larry Ericksson:

Why are we even concerned with homeopathy, let them do what they want—why is there a campaign against it??

My response:

Hi Larry

Thanks for your email, and your interest. It’s actually a question we’ve covered here (http://www.1023.org.uk/why-you-cant-trust-homeopathy.php) but in short:
- Homeopathy doesn’t work
- People spend a LOT of money on homeopathy, and a lot of homeopaths make a lot of money out of it, despite it being ineffective
- People take it instead of something that would really help them, with often tragic consequences
- When you let homeopaths do what they want, they claim to treat AIDS, Malaria, Cancer and all manner of serious diseases

Hope that helps, thanks again for your support.

OK, so that one was a bit lame. But how about this one, from Sagar Uubale:

dear sir ,while reading ur issues against homoeopathy i love it .i also one hom doctor. but sir ur immunisation also an homoeopathy. its stimulating system in medicine. and our problem only for reseach in hompathy not compaingn against it. reply please

Lacking capitals? Random punctuation? Poor grammar? Check check check. And my response:

Dear Sagar,

Thanks for your interest. I’m glad you love homeopathy, but unfortunately homeopathy is not a valid medicine. You may find it very stimulating, but your immune system would prefer something it can get it’s metaphorical teeth into. This is where immunisation (not just ‘my’ immunisation, but in fact all immunisation) is utterly different from homeopathy – there is something in immunisation. Vaccines contain deadened forms of a pathogen which the body creates antibodies to fight, and those antibodies are then on hand to fight the live form of the pathogen, if it comes into contact with them. This, I’m sure you can see, is very different to giving somebody water containing the invented vibrations of onion juice.

I’m more than happy, of course, for you to spend your money and time researching homeopathy. I’d even happily have your findings reviewed for plausibility. I take it you don’t sell your homeopathic treatments, then, until you’ve finished your research into whether they work or not? I’m sure as a ‘hom doctor’ your ethics would rightly prevent you from doing so.

All the best in sympathy and stimulation,

Next up, this from the identity-confused Marissa Amarilha/Marie Savignac:


I’ve long been skeptical at about homeopathy, believing like many other that the effect was only placebo. I then witnessed the healing of animals treated only with homeopathy, and on several occasions. And there is no placebo effect in animals!

Additionally after researching the subject, I discovered a precursor to Hahnemann: Hippocrates, who called this principle “the law of similars. ” The effectiveness of homeopathy in fact had been proven many times at “proving” in hospital. If the theory of water memory remains unexplained to this day, it does not prove that it is false. What if homeopathy treats people every day, either by placebo effect or not, it does not take away anything of value, unlike allopathy called “law of opposites” by Hippocrates, which claimed thousands of victims through disease called “iatrogenic”.

Marie Savignac

Ah, it works on animals! Ace…

Dear Marie and/or Marissa

Thanks for your interest in our campaign. I’m glad you once saw that homeopathy was in fact just placebo – that will make it much easier when it comes to correcting your current confusion. Your main point is that animals don’t benefit from the placebo effect, and therefore homeopathy must work. You’ll be pleased to know, then, that animals DO benefit from the placebo effect – just ask a vet. Because our furry friends can’t tell us where it hurts and how much, their feelings are subjectively appraised by their owners, people. People, as we know, are very susceptible to various cognitive traps which convince us things work when they don’t – part of the joy of being human is an awareness of such foibles. So, the placebo effect does work in animals – I take it you withdraw your support for homeopathy and happily join our campaign?

Hippocrates was barely a precursor to Hahnemann, of course – he just happens to have been around first. He’s got nothing at all to do with homeopathy. He also existed at a time when medicine was pretty rudimentary, and not very effective – it’s a good thing we don’t still have to rely on leeches, blood letting and magic pills! As for homeopathic provings, here’s an idea – take 50 people. Give them all the same homeopathic remedy. See what symptoms they develop. If all 50 get the same symptoms, clearly, and with little or no statistical deviance, it works. If all 50 get different groups of symptoms, many of them subjective, then it doesn’t work. Deal?

Michael Marshall/Michael Marshall

And, saving the best to last, here’s this effort from Jeff Cooper:

What a nasty bunch of pseudo-fascists you seem.

There is no way you are putting in all this effort for the good of others. It seems to me that you just have a massive ego-fed desire to exercise control.

Shame on you all.


Oooooh! My response:

Hi Jeff

Thanks very much for your interest in our campaign.

I’m glad you agree that we’re not fascists, but I’m a bit confused – are you saying we’re pretending to be fascists, when in fact we’re not? Seems an odd extrapolation from our actions, but in any case I’m happy to put your mind at rest and confirm that, as you say, we’re not fascists. Unless you are only pseudo-saying that, it’s hard to tell. In any case, I’m sorry to hear you find us nasty – was there something in particular that struck you as nasty? I’d be happy to discuss with you, either over email or over the phone.

Still, happy to put another of your misapprehensions to bed – we are indeed doing this for the good of others. Already we’ve seen lots of people are becoming aware of what homeopathy is, and why it’s sheer nonsense, so that’s enough reward for us. As for control, what do you fear we’re controlling? People’s access to information on homeopathy? Technically we’re putting an end to the control of information, allowing people to make a genuine informed choice. As for the massive ego, I’m sure it’s hard to distinguish between ego and charitable desire from atop your pedestal.

Yours in shame
Marsh, and the 10:23 team

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  1. #1 by Niki M. on January 24, 2011 - 11:44

    They’ll never learn, will they?

  2. #2 by Drew Rae on January 24, 2011 - 11:49

    Marsh and the team,
    I continue to be impressed by the professionalism of the 10:23 campaign. Merseyside skeptics have a great recipe – irreverant and casual to the fanbase, and professional and accessible to the outside world.

  3. #3 by Rhys on January 24, 2011 - 11:55

    Hah! I lol’d hard with the “Michael Marshall/Michael Marshall” bit!

    Rhys Morgan/RhysMorgan

  4. #4 by Gold on January 24, 2011 - 13:13

    Heh. :) These are great. You’re a lot more patient that I would have been. I think…

    Did you get any replies?

    The NZ Skeptics Soc is considering posting a note to the contact form letting people know that we reserve the right to publicly post anything submitted. Hopefully it’ll weed out some of the loons.


  5. #5 by ThorGoLucky on January 24, 2011 - 18:40

    Thanks for sharing the mail, and thanks for your good work. I have had my share of arguments with pseudoscience believers, mystics (our brain is just goo and thoughts magically come from somewhere else), post-modernists (everyone is right), and others in the confused misunderstood-about-science crowd.

  6. #6 by Marc Johnston on January 24, 2011 - 19:17

    Well done for the tact and constraint in replying to the last idiot. I was called anti-xenophobic once in similar argument by an extremely xenophobic fool. It was nice seeing him attacking me with a compliment – sure to this day he thinks he insulted me…. Good luck with the campaign will be following using every means at my disposal.

  7. #7 by KJ Logan on January 24, 2011 - 21:50

    Bloody hell, I had to struggle to get head nor tail of Sagars post. Good work with the translation.

  8. #8 by Declan on January 26, 2011 - 02:25

    You have my sympathies.

    I feel for anyone running this sort of campaign, knowing that they must have to wade thru the worst sort of drivel in the form of complaining emails.

  9. #9 by Techowiz on February 10, 2011 - 18:57

    Excellent campaign, please keep it up.

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