MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

In Germany, homeopathic firms are – as I recently mentioned – starting to panic. Sales figures have, for the first time since decades, declined. This is undoubtedly the work of all those evil sceptics (including, or perhaps foremost?, my evil self!) who are well-organised and even better-funded.

At least, this is what their new PR-man seems to think.

Christian J Becker has been exceedingly active on Twitter provoking everyone who said a word against homeopathy. He is without any doubt the fiercest PR-defender of German homeopathy since Claus Fritzsche. But just like with the late Fritzsche, all those years ago, I am beginning to worry. Is Mr Becker feeling alright? I see increasingly worrying signs and parallels. Might he be drifting into some sort of a psychopathologic episode?

  • Despite being a novice to this field, he seems to think that a substance which had no therapeutic effect to start with – think of Berlin wall – becomes highly active, if you dilute it at a rate of 1:1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000, for instance. Could this be the first sign of a deeper problem developing?
  • He hints at his suspicion that poor old Fritzsche did, in fact, not commit suicide as generally believed and well-documented. No, he seems to think that he was murdered! By whom? Not the evil sceptics, surely?!
  • He seems persuaded that I am some sort of master mind of the growing German opposition to homeopathy. As I obviously know better, I find his persuasion worrying.
  • A further concern, in my view, is Becker‘s assumption about the huge amounts of money that are behind the criticism of homeopathy. As the big money is demonstrably on the other side, i. e. the homeopathic industry, this loss of reality might be an ominous sign.
  • Similarly, Becker believes that the German government has decided to go against homeopathy. As the opposite is (and always has been) the case, one might ask: do his opinions indicate some type of a paranoid trait?
  • Becker thinks, as already mentioned, that those who speak out against homeopathy are all paid by some sinister source. We all receive big cheques and live a life of Reilly because of this lavish support? This theory supposes that we all act against better knowledge and, deep down, we all know that homeopathics diluted at a rate of 1:1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 are effective. More loss of reality?, I ask myself.
  • Becker has a strategy that he proudly admits to: he provokes people on Twitter to a point where they lose their nerve and reply something offensive. Armed with this statement, he then recruits a lawyer* and sues them for libel. He tried his trick recently likening several homeopathy-critics to Roland Freisler, the infamous judge of the Nazi era. Such actionable behaviour could be seen as a sign of a man in serious trouble – has Becker lost so much contact with reality that he does not realise that, in court, his insults would harm him and not his opponent?
  • Or perhaps he misunderstood the prime dogma of homeopathy? ‘Like cures like’ does not mean one can cure criticism with aggression. I am sure that Hahnemann, who knew a fair bit about aggression, never said so.
  • One of the most concerning features of homeopathy’s new defender is that Becker thinks anyone might believe him when he implies that, as a professional PR-man, he does a time-consuming PR-job for free. Yes, he did indicate that he conducts PR for homeopathy for a hobby. Would you find such behaviour normal?

So, should we be worried about the state of mind of homeopathy’s staunch defender? It might be too early to issue a final judgement on this question. But I am the first to admit that the signs are somewhat ominous. The man might need our help! Therefore, let me emphatically and empathetically stress this:

Mr Becker, if you read this – and I suspect you will – please stay calm. I know several good physicians who might be able to help you. And I promise, they will not prescribe a single homeopathic remedy!

*if you are one, please note this article is pure satire!

16 Responses to Should we be worried about the health of this homeopathy-promoting PR-man?

  • I do not speak German, but I see from Google that Herr Becker is a “werbefachmann” for the homeopathic remedy manufacturing industry.
    ‘Werbe = ‘advertising’
    ‘Fach’ = ‘tray’

    So I suppose Herr Becker is a waiter or servant who brings forth advertising for his masters.
    Fair enough.
    I wouldn’t expect him to have any espertise in critical thinking. Nor even to actually believe that which he is promoting!
    He could be a satarist.

    • “Fachmann” in German translates to English “specialist”, but your further conclusion pretty much hits the mark. He prouds himself as “former spokesman of DocMorris pharmacy”.

      No, he definitely has no idea about critical thinking. So there we have a dangerous mixture of ignorance and enthusiasm, which makes him hard to handle. He foams all the time of bringing us to court for any offence he seems to have taken, debunking the organisations that fund our activities, and disclose facts to the public about us, that are obvious to anybody able to use Google. Twisting words and meanings is his expertise, trying to annoy and to provoke angry rersponses that may serve as cause for a libel law-suit.

      So our working group (INH) decided to ignore him, just let him rumble on. After all, even the biggest shitstorm is harmless to you, when you don’t take notice. And sooner or later he will lose interest.

  • Homeopaths have a problem with PR. Whilst frothing at the mouth may play well to enthusiasts, it’s unlikely to impress the general public. It’s very unlikely that the general public has heard of any “skeptics” so attacks aren’t particularly relevant. An obvious reverse comparison would be vaccine advocacy and criticism of Andrew Wakefield – public far more aware of who Wakefield is, especially in the UK.

    Would you want to buy anything from a frothing at the mouth person?

    There is also the problem that homeopathy depends a lot on consumer ignorance of its true nature. Consumer studies seem to indicate that most consumers pick up on homeopathy as being “natural” and without side effects. Consumer education is likely to decrease sales rather than increase them.

    • “Homeopaths have a problem with PR”
      are you sure?
      I think they have a problem with factual information.
      but they like PR that misinforms.

    • It is precisely this disinformation and misinformation about homeopathy that is slightly beginning to crack in Germany; health policy seems to be ready to finally address the question of the role of homeopathy in health care. Many Journalists report about homeopathy in a really other way than years ago. The public debate has come alive in the last two and a half years – and maintains.

      This is what calls people like B. onto the scene. He sees behind it (or wants to see) the conspiracy of a huge skeptic network with immense sources of money behind it – and it is now his obsession to uncover this. One can only wish him a lot of fun with it. We at INH won’t fueling it, as Norbert Aust already explained above. Basically, B. is a confirmation that the educational work, e.g. that of the Information Network Homeopathy (INH), has some effect. Good to know.

  • Becker’s ideas are getting weirder day by day. Now he brings homeopathic critics in connection with the death of Fritzsche (see his website “Who-is-Who der Anti-Homöopathie-Aktivisten: das Netzwerk”).

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