It’s high time I took another pop at homeopathy. I know more and more people are wising up to this particular brand of quack lunacy but, as someone who each morning receives a new list of web articles written by delusional homeopaths happily promoting their bogus therapies, I believe it’s important in the interests of balance to keep ridiculing it.

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Quacks love anecdotes. They seem to love them even more when they’re not true. On the web I’ve seen, for example, homeopaths claiming to have successfully cured cancer and kidney disease to the rapturous applause of their imbecilic devotees. I recall one even claiming to be able to treat third-degree burns better than conventional medicine and encouraging his sceptical critics to go burn themselves badly so he could prove it. Ethics aren’t something common or garden quacks like to bother their pretty little heads about, evidently.

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Awww…just when I was planning a blog post examining some of the outrageous and unsubstantiated claims being made on the websites of countless British chiroquacktors, I come across the email — courtesy of Chiropracticlive.com and copied below — telling them to take down their websites. As I’ve been sitting back munching popcorn for the last week while others have been toiling away in pursuit of truth and justice I can’t, alas, take any of the credit for provoking this extraordinary panic action, so I feel I must at least do my bit to help spread the good news. It’s only fair.

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Ever open-minded and keen to learn about the complexities of one of the most popular alternative therapies and unwilling to rely on the biased news media and sneering science blogs, I tried to find a trustworthy source of information about the homeopathic product, Malaria Officinalis 30c, which has been in the news a bit lately.

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“I’m a Lib Dem, so you’ll have to forgive me but this is the biggest crowd I’ve seen…” said Dr Evan Harris, MP,  to an audience of fired-up skeptics in the Penderel’s Oak pub in London last night. He was joking but the turn-out to the meeting in support of Simon Singh was impressive, nevertheless.

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Yesterday I sat in an English courtroom and and witnessed a travesty. I was in a public gallery packed with Simon Singh’s supporters for the preliminary hearing of the BCA v Simon Singh at the High Court. The BCA had objected to an article Dr Singh penned for The Guardian newspaper, which appeared during ‘Chiropractic Awareness Week’ in April 2008. The article has since been removed from the newspaper’s website but can currently still be viewed here.

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This post is dedicated to the memory of baby Gloria Thomas, who died in May 2002 and whose mother and homeopath father are standing trial in Australia for manslaughter by gross criminal negligence because they failed to get professional help for their child in spite of her “bleeding, crying and malnutrition”.

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Matthias Rath is a German scientist, physician and vitamin pill salesman who went to South Africa — a country where 6.3 million people are HIV positive — and launched a misinformation campaign which claimed, amongst other things, that the life-prolonging antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV patients were, in fact, poisoning them and they should taking his vitamin pills instead.

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In this article I will take a calm and objective look at what the therapy invented 200 years ago by Samuel Hahnemann and known as ‘homeopathy’ is and why it is absolute crap.

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I’ve already said elsewhere that I believe some complementary therapies are potentially useful. What about the rest…do they work?

Well, it depends what we mean by ‘work’. I don’t know who originally came up with the well-worn gag but it bears repeating:

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It’s common to use the abbreviation ‘CAM’ to refer to complementary and alternative therapies and I shall do the same as an occasional alternative to my preferred descriptions, which include ‘quackery’ and ‘bollocks’, even though I don’t really like an umbrella term that lumps potentially useful complementary therapies in with other so-called therapies that are quackery/bollocks.

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My point here is that I have tried ‘alternative medicines’. I have tried herbal, homeopathic and various other ‘remedies’. I therefore do not need to be told to try them. I don’t claim to be an expert but I do speak as a former user.
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