MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

I have been challenged by homeopaths! Not again you might think, but this one is quite interesting.

Some time ago, I gave an interview in which I stated that, for a while, I had assumed homeopaths to be just a little over-enthusiastic but, over the years, I have come to the conclusion that many of them are lying outright (the interview is in German, and I used the term “luegen wie gedruckt”). Predictably, this has prompted fierce opposition from homeopaths who objected to my claim and demand proof of this statement.

So, here I will try to provide some evidence – only SOME because there is far too much for a short post of this nature. To get started, I quickly googled ‘homeopathy’ and, impressively, the very first site already provided me with the following quotes:

Homeopathy is extremely effective.

Homeopathy is completely safe.

Homeopathy is natural.

Homeopathy is holistic.

None of these statements is true; and if they are not true, they must be lies (defined as “an untrue or deceptive statement deliberately used to mislead“)! Yes, I don’t mean errors, I do mean deliberate lies.

In fact, if we want to find proof for my statement ‘MANY HOMEOPATHS LIE OUTRIGHT’, we are spoilt for choice. For instance, any homeopath who mis-quoted the so-called ‘Swiss report’ on homeopathy as being an official document of the Swiss government even when its true nature had been disclosed over and over again, was clearly telling lies; and Dana Ullman must be the undisputed champion in this respect.

But there is more – much, much more! Homeopaths who promote their placebos as a cure of AIDS or cancer or any other serious disease are not just lying, they are endangering the health of millions. If anyone wants to read about individual homeopaths or organisations that have issued lies, I recommend reading this site which provides plenty of names and interesting links.

I think, I can stop here – but I do invite readers to post their own examples of ‘homeopathic lies’ in the comments below.

Sorry homeopaths, but you did ask for it!

116 Responses to Many homeopaths lie outright!

  • Time to be honest. The honest approach is always to be cautious unless there is replicable and convincing evidence with a clear understanding of why something works, not just that it does. Homeopathy might have some credibility if its advocates said something like – “we believe this works, we don’t know why but we think you should try it.” Then it is down to belief systems as is a lot of marketing and its buyer beware. Trading standards really ought to stop people marketing stuff as fact when there clearly are no facts just beliefs. Presenting beliefs as if they are facts is lies, plain and simple.

    • I think that Homeopaths do say “we believe this works, we don’t know why but we think you should try it.”

      Furthermore, some researchers say that there is evidence that homeopathy might be effective for specific conditions , including some Cohrane reviews.

      Claiming that high quality sources which state that homeopathy might be effective DO NOT EXIST is lying – see wikipedia for instance where they “inform” readers that every one who conducted research and produced systematic reviews on homeopathy that it is just placebo. ( They ( in wikipedia) just edit out from their citations reviews which do not agree with homeopathy = placebo)

      People can examine these reviews ( there are all available online ) compare them with Dr. Ernst beliefs and/or reviews and decide for themselves.

      • yes, there is even a systematic review of systematic reviews [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12492603]; it concludes that: “the best clinical evidence for homeopathy available to date does not warrant positive recommendations for its use in clinical practice.

        • This is written by the same author – you, Dr. Ernst. I just said that other authors don’t concur with you.

          Note:
          [Not mentioning them is venues( like wikipedia) where the reader supposes to form an well rounded view about the research in homeopathy is kind of …lying- ( I don’t mean your blog – of course you have to use it to promote your views- which is correct.]

          • do you find anything wrong with my review, other than that I wrote it?

          • If you’ve got a problem with wikipedia’s description of homeopathy you should discuss your problem at wikipedia, not here.
            I agree, homeopaths do believe their stuff works, unfortunately the outcome of trials is of no concern to them. Negative outcome? – The trial must have been wrong! Or perhaps homeopathy just cannot be tested in scientific trials!
            Positive outcome? – There you have it, Hahnemann was right with everything!
            Of course, neither of these are valid conclusions.
            It’s true, there are some trials that suggest some conditionsmight benefit from homeopathic treatment (not homeopathic “remedies” so at the very least “high” potencies should be chucked).
            It takes more than one swallow to make a summer, however. Repeat those trials, show that the effect can be reproduced consistently and then make a claim (“patients with condition x can benefit from homeopathic treatment”), not the other way around. In the same vein, if something is shown not to work (like arnica for muscle soreness) stop using and recommending it.

      • As I have previously said some things work without science being able to explain why at this time.

        • That may well be so, but that doesn’t change the lack of any good evidence that homeopathy does what is claimed for it by its disciples.

        • And, Marie – usually – the people making use of such unexplained things are, understandably, interested in learning more about the phenomenon: If it’s really there or not; when it works, when it doesn’t – when it is more or less effective, in order to understand it better, apply it more effectively, and maybe to even understand what the underlying mechanism is.

          Or, as is the case in homeopathy, the practitioners/believers take the exact opposite tack, and adopt methods exactly resembling those you would follow if you wanted to deliberately *avoid* knowing if the thing worked or not — *avoid* really investigating it — so that you could just keep believing it did.

          This is also understandable, given the utter lack of good evidence for homeopathy, and the nature of belief.

      • @George:

        People can examine these reviews…

        No, they can’t, because you haven’t cited any. You’ve just claimed that “other authors don’t concur” without even naming them, let alone citing any publications that support your position.

        What systematic reviews have concluded that homoeopathy works?

  • One snide bit of dissembling that many of these people are prone to is citing papers as being supportive of homeopathy when, in fact, they are exactly the opposite; presumably they don’t think anyone will actually check (they usually don’t provide a link to enable easy verification), but will just parrot the citation on in a positive manner. A case in point is a BMJ article I was referred to in a recent gish-gallop by a homeopathist; serendipitiously, it was the first one I chose to check: Use of ultramolecular potencies of allergen to treat asthmatic people allergic to house dust mite: double blind randomized controlled clinical trial.. The conclusion was “Homoeopathic immunotherapy is not effective in the treatment of patients with asthma.“.

  • Hi Tententerre,
    Dana Ullman recently linked to a “meta-analysis” in a quack journal which was clearly more aimed at trying to debunk the 2005 Lancet meta-analysis by Shang et al. In reality it was a poor attempt at a hatchet job, but even that review basically concluded that the vast majority of trials were if poor quality, making it difficult to draw conclusions. When the worthlessness of this article was pointed out to Ullman on Twittter he retorted – rather childishly, and (as it turned out) rather foolishly – by saying that the BMJ and Lancet had published the results of homeopathy trials included in that review which therefore had to be of high quality and showed that homeopathy works. Oh dear! Shame, then, that I had to point out that the last time the BMJ published the results of a homeopathy trial was 2002 and the Lancet last published a trial of homeopathy was 1986! The BMJ paper was the one you named in your comment. It was a negative trial, showing no benefit for homeopathy. One of the authors was George Lewith…..
    Despite this, Ullman tried to claim this as a paper showing that homeopathy “works” as there were differences between the study groups. Oh dear, again! Is this an inability to understand scientific methodology or just plain dishonesty?

  • Wow Mr Ernst, what a sad and bitter view you have on life!

    Homeopathy ‘ not natural’ ? I suggest that you back up this statement. It has been around for over 300 years, and I have personal experience of the validity of it’s results. It would appear that you are a very closed minded individual. I myself am a Reiki Practitioner, and yes, as you have suggested in previous posts, the terminology is Reiki Master. This is not from an ego base, but a tradition which originated in Japan.

    I welcome you to come along and attend a therapy session with me. I have had outstanding results with clients, or are you too chicken for that? I suggest that you put your money where your mouth is.

    • Homeopathy has not been around for 300 years!!!
      it is not natural because it uses all sorts of non-natural substances, including ‘BERLIN WALL’, for example. also the endless dilutions are arguably not a natural process.
      experience is not evidence!
      sorry, but you are indisputably wrong.

      • I suggest if that Marie does not acknowledge her error now, that indeed she must join the liars.

        • It is your opinion that I have made an error, and you are entitled to that opinion. This does not give you the right to brand such people liars.

          • Marie, as soon as evidence is presented that shows you’re wrong, saying you’re wrong isn’t opinion but fact. You even acknowledged your mistakes a few days ago, so why claim that’s nothing but an opinion now?
            People who know they make untrue claims are usually called liars. Andy Lewis doesn’t call those people liars because you were wrong but because they themselves lie when they claim that homeopathy is “extremely effective”, “completely safe”, “natural” and “holistic”.

    • Before you spout such idiotic and provably wrong nonsense as you have in this comment, I suggest you firstly do a little basic research. Like finding out who Samuel Hahnemann (inventor of homeopathy) was. I don’t think he had access to a time machine.
      Next, you might care to find out who Professor Ernst is, reading about his background and about his many years of research into so-called “complementary and alternative medicines”. Or perhaps look up the work of the NCCAM in the USA. Perhaps you should learn a little basic (secondary school level) science?
      As a “reiki master” can you explain how it is that “sham” reiki given by untrained people has been shown in scientific studies to be equally as ineffective as “real” reiki given by “reiki masters”? If you really think that you are providing a useful service by practicing reiki, them the first person you are deceiving is yourself. Go learn what a placebo is and the definition of regression towards the mean.

    • Marie said:

      Wow Mr Ernst, what a sad and bitter view you have on life!

      No, a realistic one.

      Homeopathy ‘ not natural’ ? I suggest that you back up this statement.

      He just has, but perhaps you can say why you think diluting any substance out of existence and banging it about a bit is ‘natural’?

      It has been around for over 300 years

      No. Hahnemann made it up just a little over 200 years ago, but it’s age counts for nothing I’m afraid. If you don’t understand why, look up the logical fallacy of Appeal to Antiquity / Tradition.

      I have personal experience of the validity of it’s results.Ah. Personal experience. There are a very large number of reasons why we should not implicitly trust our personal experience. This is a good introduction to the problems of bias: Experimenter’s bias. This is why we need to test homeopathy, etc as independently as possible. And when we do, they turn out to be no more than placebo.

      It would appear that you are a very closed minded individual.

      On the contrary, Prof Ernst has a very open mind and he will change it on being presented with good scientific evidence. What would make you change your mind about homeopathy?

      I myself am a Reiki Practitioner

      Ah.

      I welcome you to come along and attend a therapy session with me. I have had outstanding results with clients, or are you too chicken for that?

      I’m sure we can all do without the personal insults. However, to understand why such a proposal is sheer nonsense and would provide no benefit at all, see my previous link on bias.

      I suggest that you put your money where your mouth is.

      As always, follow the money…

    • Many have put their money where their mouths are. Challenges to prove various parts of homeopathy have been made with amounts up to one million dollars. Strange how they are never attempted. One would almost think the homeopaths know they will fail.

      • you are both ignorant and a liar. Randi is a liar and an arch manipulator. His 1million doesn’t exist. He sabotaged the Vithoulkas experiments in an incredibly in your face way cause he shit himself when he smelt defeat

        • we all know what he did – and think it was fair and correct. could it be that the liar, fraud + son of a bitch is you?

        • His 1million doesn’t exist.

          I’m sure you can back up this claim with solid evidence?

        • Easy to take up a challenge when you have nothing to lose, huh? Try a better contest, if homeopathy fails, then you pay 1 million dollars. It is very easy to make up stories and insults for a challenge where you only have something to win and nothing to lose. Randi was rather kind with charlatans, in fact.

          Enough crap with homeopathy. It’s sad enough as it is, people gulping sugar and actually believing it helps… science shouldn’t take it so easy on such delusional claims.

  • I apologise – a typo on my part! Homeopathy has been around for over 200 years.

    Some practitioners may use the Berlin Wall, I don’t dispute that, though not reputable ones I would wager.

    Experience IS evidence. The fact that you have such blinkered views says far more about you than me.

    I notice that you have made no mention of taking me up on the offer of a therapy session.

    Scared you may be proved wrong?

    • Marie said:

      I apologise – a typo on my part! Homeopathy has been around for over 200 years.

      Yes, and please see again my link to the appeal from antiquity fallacy.

      Some practitioners may use the Berlin Wall, I don’t dispute that, though not reputable ones I would wager.

      The No True Scotsman fallacy.

      Experience IS evidence.

      Yes anecdotes are evidence, but just not the level of evidence you seem to believe they are – did you read that article I linked to?

      The fact that you have such blinkered views says far more about you than me.

      No, it shows that you are not aware of the biases I have now mentioned several times. You need to open your mind to science.

      I notice that you have made no mention of taking me up on the offer of a therapy session.

      I did. Do you understand why it would be a pointless exercise? And no, it’s to do with the exact opposite of having a closed mind.

      Scared you may be proved wrong?

      I am always open to changing my mind. The same, it would seem, does not apply to you.

    • I don’t see why you find fault in using the ‘Berlin Wall’ for homeopathic remedies, nor why you would label someone as not being reputable for using it. Any substances, or combinations thereof, can be used to make a homeopathic remedy. Of a homeopathic remedy derived from the ‘Berlin Wall’ would of course needs to be proven via what is know as a ‘homeopathic pathogenetic trial’ to find its ‘drug picture’, without which it would be useless.

  • Paul – I never said he had!

    Your ‘Ah’ comment when I mentioned Reiki speaks volumes.

    Your comments suggest that you are as close minded as is Dr Ernst.

    Maybe, if you saw some of the results of my practice, you would be less scathing. I have had clients come to me and told me nothing of their condition, only for me to ‘ know’ things that there is no logical way I could have.
    This IS no rationality about some of the wonders of life, I suggest that the medical community wakes up to this fact.
    However, great that you and others have risen to the bait! 😉

    • Marie,
      I am just as inclined to believe the scientific evidence as Professor Ernst. I am not in the least bit closed-minded, but neither am I gullible enough to believe in concepts with no basis in reality, such as homeopathy and reiki. Your inability to understand science troubles me, but I don’t expect to be able to influence you to open your mind to understanding what is meant by evidence-based medicine, placebo effect, regression towards the mean, confirmation bias etc.

      • This morning I stumbled upon a link I had recently saved from somewhere for later reading. I seem to recall picking it up on this discussion board?
        Anyway, it is an archived webpage with a very interesting analysis by one Barry Beyerstein (more details at the bottom of the page):
        http://web.archive.org/web/20050329093720/http://www.sram.org/0302/bias.html

        It explains rather well the mysterious phenomena that make people believe that inert treatments work and cause purportedly sensible persons, even educated health professionals, against all reason to fall prey for nonsensual, inert practices like Reiki, Bowen, Homeopathy etc.
        I am happy for the excuse to disseminate this link as it has certainly helped me understand these things better.

        I guess the essay would be wasted on a zealot of Marie’s caliber but let us hope she will at least attempt to read it.

  • Again Paul, if you were sensitive enough to the energies, then you would understand that Reiki is not a sham.

    I challenge you to prove a ‘false negative’ and resent your slanderous remarks.

    • Marie said:

      Again Paul, if you were sensitive enough to the energies, then you would understand that Reiki is not a sham.

      Please provide robust, independent evidence for this ‘energy’ and how it can be sensed.

      I challenge you to prove a ‘false negative’ and resent your slanderous remarks.

      I see you have not refuted anything Paul said and that your knowledge of defamation is as lacking as your knowledge of science.

      • Actually, I initially trained in General Nursing so do have a medical background.

        I have never said that a session of reiki from myself would change ‘all the (in your own humble opinion) higher quality, more robust, less biased evidence that it is ineffective.’

        I have suggested that a person who is willing to be open to admitting that there are some things in this world which can improve the human condition and have positive health benefits could benefit from such an experience.

        • “Actually, I initially trained in General Nursing so do have a medical background.”

          Aaahhh, a nurse. You are a nurse, therefore you do not have a “medical background”. Doctors (real ones, not chiros and other charlatans) have a medical background.

          • “Aaahhh, a nurse. You are a nurse, therefore you do not have a “medical background”. Doctors (real ones, not chiros and other charlatans) have a medical background.”

            Actually Marie said she *trained as a general nurse*- no mention of successfully completing that training or remaining on the nursing register! Reiki-fiddling is an easier option I suppose.

          • Doctors (real ones, not chiros and other charlatans) have a medical background.

            It can be confusing. I live in a country/province (Canada/Ontario) where the title ‘doctor’ is legally used by several professions, including some charlatans. Democracy is a Good Thing, but it also leads to absurdities such as these when the voter and her/his representatives have had no education worth having or have chosen to ignore it in favour of wish-thinking if they did.

    • “Sensitive to the energies” – oh dear!!! What utter hogwash! Where is your evidence that these energies exist? Answer is – they don’t. Completely undetectable by any measurement technique. Non-existent. I notice that you haven’t answered my challenge to you to explain why “sham reiki” is equally as worthless in scientific studies as so-called “real reiki”. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21531671/
      http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/reiki.html
      http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/manualhealingandphysicaltouch/reiki
      http://www.skepticblog.org/2011/10/17/reiki-doesnt-work-either/
      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Reiki
      As for slander, where do think what I have said is in any way slanderous? Please note that the truth can never be slanderous or libellous.

      • Actually, I initially trained in General Nursing so do have a medical background.

        I have never said that a session of reiki from myself would change ‘all the (in your own humble opinion) higher quality, more robust, less biased evidence that it is ineffective.’

        I have suggested that a person who is willing to be open to admitting that there are some things in this world which can improve the human condition and have positive health benefits could benefit from such an experience.

  • In reply to your question, I would change my mind about homeopathy if I had not had such a conclusive experience of it being effective. As is Acupuncture and many many other modalities which the medical profession will, I know, eventually be forced to recognise.

    • and I have the experience that smoking does not cause lung cancer: my grandmother smoked 40 cigarettes per day for as long as I can think – and she never had lung cancer!

  • In some individuals, no, it doesn’t. In others who never smoked a cigarette in their life, they died of lung cancer. I rest my case

    • I don’t think you have a case.

      • That is your prerogative, and I leave you with that. I don’t think that you are being fair. I have seen the results in my clients with my own eyes. It is just very biased of you to be so closed, and I hope that in the future you will be more open. People and statistics do not lie. You do not seem open to meet for me to prove this to you.

        • we all see many things “with our own eyes” which are not true (we see that the earth is flat, that the sun revolves around it, for instance). progress is being made when we doubt our observations, particularly in health care, and try to rationalise them. this is what it means to be OPEN. you are just clinging to a dogma without even attempting to look a little deeper.
          and I would certainly meet you, but I don’t think you are close to Brittany where I currently live.

    • Maria said:

      In some individuals, no, it doesn’t. In others who never smoked a cigarette in their life, they died of lung cancer. I rest my case

      What case?

  • Some things cannot be scientifically proved! They just ARE.

    • perhaps, but whether reiki or homeopathy are more than a placebo can be scientifically tested. in fact, these tests have been done, and the most reliable of them demonstrate that they are placebos. you are a placebo-therapists!

  • I would also, in Samuel Hahnemanns defence refute that he ‘made up’ his claims. Alan, shame on you.

  • Oh dear! What a good job for you that people cannot sue from beyond the grave. It is your OPINION that his claims were made up. You have no conclusive proof whatsoever.

    • Marie said:

      Oh dear! What a good job for you that people cannot sue from beyond the grave. It is your OPINION that his claims were made up. You have no conclusive proof whatsoever.

      You make the claims, you provide the evidence.

      PS You still don’t understand defamation law.

  • Again, I welcome you to come and lay on my couch to disprove that Reiki is a sham.
    You probably will not do this, but let the world know that I made this offer. The fact that you ignore this speaks volumes!

    • no, no, no! in health care it is the one who makes a health claim ( e.g. reiki is more than a placebo) who has to come up with the proof. until the proof is on the table, reiki has to be considered UNPROVEN.

  • Science and figures can be manipulated, and this is exactly what you are doing

  • So, like I said, come for Reiki and give a validation as to your biased claims

  • No? How wrong are you!

  • Ok, this is a personal request for you to back up your claims that Reiki etc. is ‘quackery’ .

    What are you so scared of?

    • how about this one “the value of reiki remains unproven” (conclusions of our systematic review [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18410352] the 1st author of which is a reiki master)?

  • So take me up on my offer and disprove it then 🙂

    • Marie

      You really do need go are read some stuff about critical thinking, science and bias. It’ll stand you in good stead for any discussion.

      • Thank you, I am quite well informed.

        • marie said:

          Thank you, I am quite well informed.

          About the belief system that is reiki, perhaps, but certainly not about science and evidence, as aptly demonstrated by your continued insistence that a session of reiki from you would somehow change all the higher quality, more robust, less biased evidence that it is ineffective.

        • “Thank you, I am quite well informed.”

          I chanced upon this by accident. I find it hard to comprehend that someone can be so stupid and still be able to wipe their bum. Marie (sic – she has a problem with capitalisation) uses every logical fallacy and relativism as easily as breathing without realising how utterly wrong and dopey it is.

    • I’ve had reiki from a so-called “master” (how pretentious can you get?). It was very nice and relaxing. So is a nice massage that doesn’t have the flim-flam overlay.

  • I shall take that as a no then, and rest my case. Conclusively. Thank you for your debate, Mr Ernst, but it would appear that this time, you bow down to experience. Thank you most gracefully for this.

    • marie

      If you took the time to read up on some of the things I suggested, you might realise just how extremely silly and pointless your suggestion is.

    • @Marie
      James Randi is waiting eagerly for you to collect the million dollar prize, but only after you have proven inconclusively that Reiki works beyond the soothing effects of a theatrical massage performance. If you think you can convince Edzard, then you will have no problem convincing Mr. Randi that the life force (is that the correct term?) actually exists and can even be manipulated for a good cause.

      What are you waiting for?!!

      And by the way, since you are in such good contact with the transcendentally hidden parts of our world. Please can you tell us, does Santa Claus exist? There’s a bunch of evidence saying that he does.

  • Reiki is NOT a theatrical massage, it is a hands-off theatrical practice that “works” irrespective of the distance between practitioner and client; it also “works” equally well in treating animal pet health problems. By “works” I mean this theatrical practice is irrefutably efficacious in obtaining income from human clients; I do not mean to imply that it is medically efficacious for humans or other animals.

    I particularly like this description of reiki:
    http://www.skepdic.com/reiki.html

    Reiki is an efficacious business modality, it is not an efficacious health modality (beyond placebo) and, much worse than a placebo, it far too often results in serious harm because the practitioners are neither qualified nor encouraged to detect serious health conditions that should be referred to a MD (or a vet in the case of animals). The role of a Reiki Master is to convince their clients to pay them for courses to ascend the levels of mastery:

    “… Both branches commonly have a three-tiered hierarchy of degrees, usually referred to as the First, Second, and Master/Teacher level, all of which are associated with different skills and techniques.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reiki

    Reiki is uncannily similar to pyramid schemes, multi-level marketing, and Ponzi schemes. Reiki has not yet become an unsustainable pyramid scheme: it is still growing in popularity (before its final demise) because the bottom tiers of the pyramid are far from being fully milked.

    If the commentator Marie does not agree with the above then she has only to prove her case via the JREF, get awarded one million dollars, and establish reiki as an efficacious treatment. It really is a very simple case of: “Put up or shut up”.

    • Pete,

      Reiki is not a Ponzi scheme. It is a form of Energy which does have the ability to heal, (not cure) people.

      As a Reiki Practitioner, I am unable to fund travel to California to take part in a dubious experiment which would involve me having to undertake a test which no one has ever passed before I could demonstrate the efficacy of Reiki. May be if you would ‘put up’ the funding then I would shut up’ and go.

      I have treated a client distantly and they had the ‘best nights sleep’ for years. The same afternoon, they were passing kidney stones.’ No doubt you will say that this is not related to the Reiki.

      I have treated a client I had never met, who was cynical about the therapy again, distantly. I knew absolutely nothing about their health – it was done as a ‘relaxation technique.’ At the end of the session, I called and asked them what was the pain in their left shoulder? It was an old rugby injury.

      I have had an 18 year old girl – let us use terms which you will respect, and call her Ms A to protect her anonymity. Her mother told her to tell me nothing, other than she was fatigued and suffering from ME. With no information at all coming from the girl, at the end of the session, I asked her what was wrong with her throat, and did she have pain in her kidneys?

      Ms A then asked her mother to return to the room, where she informed me that her daughter had been diagnosed with an under active thyroid, and prescribed medication. As her symptoms worsened, each visit to her GP or the hospital resulted in blood tests, bewilderment that they couldn’t do more except prescribe more and more medication.

      The previous day she had then been told that her kidneys were starting to fail. Coincidence? I think not. This minor was taking more than 20 tablets a day. A lot for her kidneys to cope with, wouldn’t you think?

      • marie said

        It is a form of Energy which does have the ability to heal, (not cure) people.

        Please explain what you mean by this. And explain the difference between ‘heal’ and ‘cure’.

        I am unable to fund travel to California

        No need. It’s entirely possible that a test could be arranged for the UK.

        to take part in a dubious experiment

        Well, since you would have to agree to the protocol beforehand, there’s no reason for it to be dubious, is there?

        which would involve me having to undertake a test which no one has ever passed before I could demonstrate the efficacy of Reiki.

        No. The test would be for the claims you make for reiki. People have never passed the test so far because they were unable to do what they claimed they could do.

        May be if you would ‘put up’ the funding then I would shut up’ and go.

        We’re not the ones making the claims for reiki, are we?
        But if it was to work that way round, I will make claims about my magic fairy dust curing all ills – can you provide some financial assistance for me to go to the US to have my claims tested?

        • By the way Randi’s prize and the whole concept and process is not so trustworthy-
          Here.
          http://www.vithoulkas.com/en/research/clinical-trial-randi.html

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzcpOa4rl78

        • Many thanks for your insightful comments, Alan.

          Marie used the phrase “the ability to heal, (not cure) people”: I think the most accurate medical transliteration would be “the ability to soothe (not cure) people”.

          A claimed ability to heal, in the context of all 21st Century health practitioners, literally means: to cure; to treat successfully. This process is very far removed from just soothing a paying client. In the UK, medical advice is provided by the NHS; soothing “health advice” is provided by the plethora of quacks — let the buyer beware!

        • Wow! You use Fairy Dust?

          How does the phrase go again remind me… ‘Physician Heal Thyself,’ or ‘Physician Cure Thyself’ ?

          The test IS NOT available in the UK, I suggest that you do more thorough research on other facts as well as Complimentary, (not Alternative) therapies

          • Wow! You use magic hand waving?

            How does the phrase go again remind me… ‘Provide the evidence’.

            marie said:

            The test IS NOT available in the UK

            ‘Psychic’ Sally Morgan didn’t bother to turn up for her challenge, but everything was set up for her to take the first step in the JREF Million-Dollar Challenge. That was in Liverpool, UK.

            I suggest that you do more thorough research on other facts as well as Complimentary, (not Alternative) therapies

            It’s complementary.

            But what are your criteria to distinguish between ‘complementary’ and ‘alternative’?

        • They have not been able to demonstrate the claims for what they do because they do not past the protocol test!

          That means that they are never given the opportunity to do what they say… the whole list of rules imposed by the organisation are biased, unfair in dubious to say the very least.

      • @Marie
        I was going to ridicule your perseverance with some derogatory remarks about you being a sure champion for the JREF million or something to that effect.

        Then I realized that hiding behind the pseudonym is a person who is seriously deluded and in need of some help.

        Your latest accounts of your healing and clairvoyance victories indeed may sound impressive but are only run of the mill examples of misunderstanding and self delusion. They are very easily explained and understood.

        Firstly, have you ever passed a kidney stone yourself? I guess not. I haven’t myself either thank God, but I have had scores of patients passing stones in my ER and they sure sleep better than ever after the excruciating pain subsides, no reiki involved there.

        Secondly your clairvoyant readings are simply a commonplace example of (in your case subconscious) cold reading. Imagination, thirst for confirmation of your beliefs and your Reiki indoctrination is at play, leading you to believe that the information is given to you by transcendental powers when it in reality is not. If you do not realize soon how “transcendental temptation” is leading you on in an accelerating spiral of self-delusion you may end up being laughed out of the room when you are publicly proven wrong by someone like James Randi. There are some very unflattering examples of this in videos on the YouTube for example.

        What I am telling you about subconscious cold reading is recounted in this wikipedia sub-chapter, which I strongly urge you to read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_reading#Subconscious_cold_reading Read the whole chapter on cold reading while you are at it.

        Perhaps one day you will come to realize all this yourself just as Karla McLaren did but for now my clairvoyant alter ego tells me you will just want to lash out in another furious attempt at convincing us of (your) supernatural provess and tell us more tales in defense of your hard earned Reiki powers.

        Just out of curiosity. How much do the different Reiki degrees cost these days? I hear the prices have been going down.

  • If you read carefully you will see that Randi sent a notarized statement to Vithoulkas agreeing with the protocol;

    Vithoulkas got permission twice from a public hospital to conduct the experiment and James Randi backed out his challenge…once he was sick for …6 months.. ( denying to assign a collaborator) and the second time he did not keep his promise again and wanted to change the protocol he had agreed with two years ago.

    These are the facts.

    Even if you believe that homeopathy is just water- you can easily see who is unreliable — unless you belong to a movement ( you know all the -isms like rational skepticism ) which make difficult for everyone to logically examine and accept the possible wrongs of her/his views and want to square everything to her/his own beliefs.

    • This is what you find on the Vithoulkas Website.
      Is there some reference to this matter on the JREF-Website? Honestly, I do not know, but it would be interesting, if there was any – and what his says.

      • It’s difficult to understand the full sequence of events, but there are these:

        George Vithoulkas Homeopathy Challenge – Starting Anew

        A Correction

        This is also interesting:

        George Vithoulkas Makes a Fool of Himself

      • Here‘s Randi’s side of the story.
        The tl;dr is that the protocol both parties agreed upon still stands, and unlike “normal” applicants, Vithoulkas isn’t required to succeed in a pre-test to prove his claim is worthy of the million dollar challenge, but Vitoulkas needs to fill in the application form to make it official.

        • Ah! Thanks, Vicky – that’s much better than what I could find.

          So, Randi is still waiting for Vithoulkas to fill in the application form? I wonder why he seems so reluctant?

          • As I said – if you belong to a movement you dont allow to yourself revisions.

            Who could trust Randi——— a man who has changed his mind and position several times? Who is unreliable ?

            Here you go :These are his words( with Vithoulkas comments).

            We’re starting anew. Bear in mind that WE are offering the million-dollar prize, and WE will control the parameters, in line with the rules of the challenge – which are available to everyone. There will be no more exceptions, which I had – unwisely – granted to certain persons in order to be more accommodating; they have always chosen to be difficult, capricious, and arrogant as a result of this courtesy. No more.

            First, we require that George Vithoulkas submit a regular, properly-filled-out application, and submit it – just as we require EVERYONE to do. After that has been received, we’ll go ahead – as with any regular applicant – with the arrangements, including the requirement for the preliminary stage.

            “Mr. Randi changed the terms of agreement when he saw that everything was ready for starting the experiment.”

            “While his representatives were discussing with Prof. George Vithoulkas in Alonissos (September 2008), he was publicizing to his website that the Greek homeopaths had withdrawn!!! ”

            Since I’m not personally handling the challenge applications, I’m not aware of how many places George Vithoulkas has tried for a venue, but I know that his own country turned him down, as well as some others. Second, we’ll require that Mr. Vithoulkas obtain a venue and all the necessary facilities for conducting a double-blind, correct, acceptable protocol, before we will go ahead – following the receipt of the application.”

            “Mr. Randi pretends that he ignores the fact that we had already the permission and the facilities for a second time though we had informed the “skeptics”.”

            The protocol used by the Royal Society/BBC tests in the UK – based on Jacques Benveniste’s design, and carefully supervised by the homeopathic community there – would be acceptable for this set of tests.

            “Mr. Randi wants to change even the terms of protocol that took years to be contracted!!”

            If this is not the definition of being unreliable I dont know what it is.

          • There seems to be four steps in the whole process:

            1. Application
            2. Protocol development
            3. Preliminary Test
            4. Formal Test

            For some reason, they made an exception for Vithoulkas and skipped the requirement for preliminary test.

            Looks like they did have a protocol, but the ball’s in Vithoulkas’ court because he has still to fill in the application form. It wouldn’t really seem to be that difficult – it only asks for one page of information.

            Do you think he might have had a problem filling in section that says: Description of the claim to be demonstrated (250 words or less)?

            Does he know what it is he claims he can do?

            So, when will he fill in the form? Any arguments about the venue seem rather secondary if he won’t even fill the form in.

          • @Alan Henness
            I’m amazed by that, too – it cannot be too complicated to fill in the application.

  • Yes – it is amazing how easy is to file an application …sure..

    Vythoulkas arranged everything – with a special group of MDs trained
    also in homeopathy , he found a public – Randi agreed in
    written to start the experiment and he denied to start or even to
    assign a collaborator – for 6 months. After that – the hospital board was
    replaced ..and a new process had to start again ( obtain permission, finances etc)

    The second time all the above happened again ( public hospital ,
    finances, MDs ) and while waiting for the experiment to start Randi finally ……. a collaborator – and the same time advertised that Vithoulkas had withdrawn; furthermore he refused to go
    with the protocol he had agreed with – demanding to start all over
    with a different protocol – and …file an application…..

    Yes Randi is really reliable – it’s crystal clear.

    it is very easy to fill an application – and easier for Randi to sign and
    take back his signature twice…..Very reliable person.

    • Why hasn’t he filled in the application form?

      • Because Randi had waived this requirement in written – and then he started playing games with the (already agreed ) protocol after delaying for 6 months.

        • Randi says he’s waiting for the application form: why hasn’t Vithoulkas filled it in?

          • One must be a fool to want to go through for the 3rd time the process – arranging to find a public hospital, raising the finances, finding Mds and new sponsors – when the randi organization keeps changing the terms , the agreed protocols ,demanding applications when it had waived them or refusing to start the experiment when everything was ready – they have done it twice so far —-

            It is obvious to everybody that something is wrong with the Randi organization – unless you are a believer ( Randi believer I mean) …

          • “obvious to everyone”???
            only if your full name is George Everyone.

  • Isn’t obvious to you that someone who does not to honor his signature is unreliable and/or untrustworthy ?

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