Over on ‘SPECTATOR HEALTH’, we have an interesting discussion (again) about homeopathy. The comments so far were not short of personal attacks but this one by someone who called himself (courageously) ‘Larry M’ took the biscuit. It is so characteristic of deluded homeopathy apologists that I simply have to share it with you:
Ernst grew up with homeopathy , saw how well it worked , and chose to become a so-called expert in alternative medicine . To his surprise, he met with professional disapproval . Being the weak ego-driven person that he is , he saw an opportunity to still come out on top. He sold his soul in exchange for the notoriety that he now receives for being the crotchety old homeopathy hater that he has become . As with all homeopathy haters, his fundamentalist zeal  is evidence of his secret self-loathing  and fear that his true beliefs will be found out . It’s no different than the evangelical preacher who rails against gays only to be eventually found out to be a closeted gay .
There is not much that makes me speechless these days, but this comment almost did. There is someone who clearly does not even know me and he takes it upon himself to interpret and re-invent my past, my motives and my actions at will. How deluded is that?
After re-reading the comment, I began to see the funny side of it, had a giggle and decided to add a few elements of truth in the form of this blog-post. So I took the liberty to insert some reference numbers into Larry’s text which refer to my brief points below.
- This is at least partly true; our family doctor was a prominent homeopath. Whenever one of us was truly ill, he employed conventional treatments.
- I was impressed as a young physician working in a homeopathic hospital to see that patients improved on homeopathy – even though, at medical school, I had been told that the remedies were pure placebos. This contradiction fascinated me, and I began to do some own research into the subject.
- I did not ‘choose’, I had a genuine interest; and I don’t think that I am a ‘so called’ expert – after 2 decades of research and hundreds of papers, this attribute seems a trifle unfitting.
- The disapproval came from the homeopathy fans who were irritated that someone had the audacity to undertake a truly CRITICAL assessment of their treatments and actions.
- The amateur psychology here speaks for itself, I think.
- Yes, I am no spring chicken! But I am not a ‘hater’ of anything – I try to create progress by convincing people that it is prudent to go for treatments that are evidence-based and avoid those that do not generate more good than harm.
- This attitude is not a ‘fundamental zeal’, it is the only responsible way forward.
- This made me laugh out loud! Nothing could be further from the truth.
- My ‘true belief’ is that patients deserve the best treatments available. I have no fear of being ‘found out’; on the contrary, during my career I stood up to several challenges of influential people who tried to trip me up.
- This is hilarious – does Larry not feel how pompously ridiculous and ridiculously pompous he truly is?
This might be all too trivial, if such personal attacks were not an almost daily event. The best I can do with them, I have concluded, is to expose them for what they are and demonstrate how dangerously deluded the advocates of quackery really are. In this way, I can perhaps minimize the harm these people do to public health and medical progress.