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Pity the poor UK homeopath…

…because, via Skeptico and DC’s Improbably Science, I’ve learned something that could only warm the coldest cockles of my evil scientific and skeptical heart. It’s something that tells us that, maybe, just maybe, what we bloggers do in favor of evidence-based medicine may actually be having an effect. British homeopath Manish Bhatia, Director of, has sent out a frantic e-mail bemoaning how those poor, poor homeopaths are having trouble making a living, going so far as to say that homeopathy is “bleeding to death” (great analogy, given that homeopathy is a lot like the medieval medical intervention of bleeding for everything):

Do you know that Homeopathy is facing such a huge and systematic campaign in UK and most parts of the western world that even its existence is now threatened?

We have always heard about the 1 Million prize to prove homeopathy and the numerous skeptics forums on the Internet that try to ridicule our Homeopathy but things are rapidly spiraling downwards since last 3 years. The big slide started after the Lancet issue.

Would it were the case that there was an organized effort to get rid of homeopathy! In reality, all this “huge and systematic conspiracy” is nothing more than a handful of bloggers who can’t abide this nonsense, one of which was actually almost silenced with threats with legal action by the Society of Homeopaths. But, let’s hear Bhatia tell us more of this lovely news:

After that there have been VERY SYSTEMATIC efforts to clip homeopathy from the corners. Look at the occurrences below:

1. Homeopathic Remedies were publicized as TOXIC! As a result Nosodes got banned in France and many western countries. You can not even buy Arsenic-alb, Nux-vom, and Opium in 30C or 200C in Canada, US and many other places ..because they are toxic! What a big joke!

But the bigger joke is that practitioners, schools and organizations of the world’s so called second most popular system of medicine, i.e. Homeopathy, are unable to do anything to prevent that!

2. Homeopathy Remedies are then publicized as PLACEBO! The Lancet issue just fueled the propaganda. The biggest scientific minds and political leaders (idiots!) can not decide whether our remedies are placebo or toxic.

But what have YOU done so far to make the people aware of the truth??

Heh. But homeopathic remedies are placebos (except when they contain contaminants or actual pharmaceuticals put in them to make them actually do something), which is the truth…

But let’s not forget the massive conspiracy:

3. Then a couple of UK scribes setup a sting operation against Homeopaths in London to prove that Homeopaths are looting people of their money by giving them prophylactic remedies for Malaria. And next day Homeopathy was again in the headlines ..for all the wrong reasons!

And what did the homeopathic community do? Everyone made a big round mouth and said ‘Oh! How could those 9 fools do that!’. NOBODY tried to defend these people by giving forward our own philosophical approach and historical evidence. Whether the remedies work prophylactically or not is debatable.

BUT WHY WAS THE COMMUNITY NOT ABLE TO SEE THE LARGER PURPOSE OF THE WHOLE INCIDECE? It was a stage managed negative publicity event for homeopathy! Nobody asked the most basic questions – who tipped of the scribes with such information? Who financed the sting operation? And WHY??

It’s tempting at this point to wish that we skeptics were so powerful and ruthlessly efficient in stamping out non-evidence-based medicine and magical thinking. Instead, we’re more like a rag-tag posse of snake oil vigilantes. At best. (Well, that and the occasional broadside by someone like Richard Dawkins.)

Bhatia goes on to whine about how skeptics have supposedly threatened the B.Sc. in Homeopathy to the point where UK universities may not offer it anymore and have campaigned to close the homeopathic hospitals being run by the UK NHS on the premise that the government should be spending health care dollars only on effective remedies.


But pity the poor homeopath. Look at the horrible price homeopaths are paying for this evil conspiracy:

Those who are organizing this anti-homeopathy campaign have been SO SUCCESSFUL that most homeopaths in UK have seen a 50% drop in their practice in the last 2 years. In fact most of them get to see only 3-4 patients a week…


We know that Homeopathy has revived in the last 3 decades, that Homeopathy cures, that Homeopathy remedies are not placebo, that the Big Pharma and so called scientists are raging an anti-homeopathy war fact an anti-alternative medicine campaign.

Damn. Skeptics in the U.K. are so much better organized than here in the U.S. I’m with Skeptico, though, on this one. Why should these homeopaths be worried about declining income? Wouldn’t diluting their income make it stronger, according to homeopathic principles?

Oh, wait. That’s what they’re doing. To make ends meet, they’re diluting homoepathy with other forms of woo:

Most of them are looking to add other things with their practice like massage, acupuncture etc. They can’t earn their bread with their homeopathic practice.

Hilarious! Given the way that homeopaths and other advocates of “alternative” medicine castigate Big Pharma for supposedly being concerned about only profits, it’s hard not to feel a little schadenfreude looking at homeopaths complain because their profits are falling. Because people are starting to realize that homeopathy is woo, making it difficult for homeopaths to profit, what are homeopaths doing? Adding different woo to their practice!

Just as any business would do.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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