On a good day, I get several emails from complete strangers; some are complimentary, others are critical, and others again are just strange. Few are stranger than the exchange I am about to disclose.
The author asked me twice to treat his/her emails with ‘trust and confidence’; after the second email, I nevertheless felt that I should not respect this wish but needed to share this brief exchange with my readers. I have, however, erased all the details that would allow an identification of the author.
INITIAL EMAIL of 18/7/2016
I am responding to you latest post regarding “Informed Consent”. I have decided to do so because my instincts suggest that we may in fact have an empathy in our individual objective to establish an evidence base for complementary medicine. However, I do not have any empathy with many of the contributors to your blog and especially with those that have a desire to “grind homeopathic vets and feed them to the pigs” Given that you moderate the site, I am surprised that you allowed such a post.
As you are aware, I obtained a copy of your book “A Scientist in Wonderland” which I have read with considerable interest and as you know, I have posted extracts on your blog. In this respect I make the following observations:
1. Your early experiences of homeopathy were positive and on this basis I find great difficulty in accepting that you are as anti-homeopathy as you publically state. From my own experience, this is not logical.
2. I am of the opinion that the sad loss of your Hungarian friend and colleague is an influencing factor, particularly as you avoided any mention of him receiving any form of alternative medicine.
3. I can empathise with your frustration at the lack of support from the alternative medicine community, as I have experienced this in my own efforts.
4. I am inclined to accept the possibility that you are using the blog to deliberately provoke the homeopathic community into action from a long standing but understandable state of complacency. (If you know that something works, then why is there a need to prove it).
5. I find difficulty to believe that you are at home surrounded by such closed minded individuals, because, historically, you have always moved on from such situations. However, I am not sure that you know how you can escape from the trap that you now find yourself in. Is this what you want for the rest of your life?
For a variety of reasons, I embarked on this … venture as a means of finding evidence that these therapies do work and have found that the homeopathy community is somewhat less than supportive in my efforts, so I do understand your potential frustration.
I appreciate that my observations are assumption based and may be wishful thinking on my part; however, if my assumptions have validity, please contact me, otherwise ignore this message.
If you do choose to pursue this conversation, then it must take place under the strict condition of TRUST & CONFIDENCE.
MY REPLY of 18/7/2016
thank you for your email. you say you read my memoir; may I suggest you read it again – because the answers to your questions seem to be all in there. your assumptions about me are quite wrong, and I think my book explains why.
THE RESPONSE of 21/7/2016
In Britain we have a saying “Don’t mention the war when speaking to a German”, so out of respect I refrained from mentioning the Nazi regime in my last message; however, as you have made an implied reference to it, I will now comment.
I have some six years of close working experience with a large German organisation … so that I am fully aware of the significant differences between the German and British mentality and approach to life. I am therefore able to appreciate many of the difficulties that you will have encountered when arriving in this country to take up the Exeter post, which by definition was designed to advise the UK alternative therapy community how to do things properly!
The Anglo/Germanic axis is a significant challenge under normal circumstances but for you to arrive in this country and make direct comparisons between alternative medicine and the Third Reich in a country that spearheaded the fight against the Nazi’s at a cost of nearly half a million British lives was a fatal mistake on your part.
Having spent some forty years in and around the alternative health world here in Britain, India and the USA I don’t think your view point can be further from the truth. What amazes me is that you do not moderate Nazi type comments such as “grinding homeopaths and feeding them to pigs” from your blog which is a complete contradiction to your reasoning.
Your blog purports to provide cautionary advice to would be patients choosing alternative health options but your band of followers seem to have no understanding whatsoever as to the importance of respect for others. They seem to believe that from the offset, respect has to be earned, which implies judgement. Any doctor or therapist that starts from this view point when dealing with a patient, should not be treating patients at all. Empathy and respect are key factors in the healing process and those that automatically practice this naturally operate under and accept a moral code of ethics which forms part of all training within the main alternative treatments. The fundamental ethic behind all medicine is “first do no harm”. How can this be achieved if you do not respect the patient, regardless of his views?
At a personal level, I am concerned that your early experiences have distorted your views and unfortunately you have managed to alienate yourself from the very form of healthcare that would best resolve these issues without the need for suppressive drugs.
I suggest that you re-read your book and honestly ask yourself if the “peaceful vantage point” referred to on page 170, in any way measures up to the “peaceful, happy time” you mention on page 36.
I again extend my offer of an exploratory conversation in an atmosphere of “trust and confidence”.
END OF QUOTE
I do not feel like adding any comments just now… perhaps just a few questions:
How is it possible that someone who has obviously read quite a bit of what I have published misunderstands so much of it? Deluded? Demented? Or worse?