Prince Charles is visiting Germany. According to the British press, he will say (or, by now, probably has said):

“… Our countries and our people have been through so much together… As we look towards the future, I can only hope that we can also pledge to redouble our commitment to each other and to the ties between us… For some of us, of course, these connections are particularly personal…

And right he is!

Charles is Britain’s staunchest supporter of and meddler in SCAM, while the Germans seem to be the most prolific innovators of SCAM.

Just think of

  • von Bingen, Hildegard – inventor of a form of herbal medicine;
  • Hahnemann, Samuel – inventor of homeopathy;
  • Hamer, Ryke Geerd – inventor of New German Medicine;
  • Huneke, Ferdinand – inventor of neural therapy;
  • Kneipp, Sebastian – co-inventor of naturopathy;
  • Mesmer, Anton – inventor of hypnotherapy;
  • Morlell, Franz – inventor of bioresonance;
  • Reckeweg, Hans -inventor of homotoxicology;
  • Schimmel, Helmut – co-inventor of the Vega test;
  • Schulz, Heinrich – inventor of autogenic training;
  • Steiner, Rudlof – inventor of anthroposophical medicine;
  • Voll, Reinhold – inventor of a form of electroacupuncture;
  • Wegman, Ita – co-inventor of anthroposophical medicine.

Why did I compile this list?

Actually, I am not quite sure. But now that it is in front of me, a few thoughts go through my mind:

  1. Germany seems to be the promised land for quacks; in addition to the list above, think of the Heilpraktiker or the German alternative cancer clinics.
  2. On this blog, we have discussed most of these SCAMs, yet the list gave me several ideas for future posts;
  3. With only three exceptions, these SCAMs are fairly recent. They were invented when conventional medicine was already making big strides towards progress. There was no need for them. Why then were they invented?
  4. Almost all of these treatments were the brainchild of a single person. Could this be a hallmark for quackery?
  5. With only two exceptions, the inventors were male. Is the innovation of SCAM a male prerogative?
  6. With just one or two exceptions, these SCAMs are ineffective, useless and superfluous. Not attributes, of course, that would link them to Charles!


7 Responses to Prince Charles is visiting Germany

  • “von Bingen, Hildegard – inventor of a form of herbal medicine”
    St. Hildegard lived 800 years ago at a time when herbal medicine (which was combined with prayer and the use of healing stones) was probably the most effective and least harmful form of treatment available, and continued to be until evidence-based medicine came along comparatively recently. She was a remarkable woman and I don’t really think she belongs in your list. I haven’t read her works ‘Causa et cura’ and ‘Physica’ and I don’t know whether they form the basis of any current system of medicine, but I believe they were a comprehensive account of the state of knowledge at that time.

    Her documenting of her visions is of medical interest as a description of a typical migraine aura with fortification spectra (I have experienced these myself and I have to say they are rather odd).

    I would also recommend listening to some of her music.

    Hahnemann himself was also of his time, though he doesn’t seem to have been a very critical thinker. At least he provided a safer alternative to blood-letting and purging. However, times have changed.

    I really don’t know what to make of Rudolf Steiner, who seems to have been completely barmy, particularly with regard to anthroposophic medicine. Steiner schools have had a lot of criticism thought this isn’t an area I know very much about. I have one friend who was educated this way and she is a very balanced individual, though her academic attainment doesn’t match her intelligence.

    I have also come across him through biodynamic viticulture, as my step-son was for over ten years the winemaker at a biodynamic winery (Seresin Estate). He admitted that he wasn’t always able to follow Steiner’s principles to the letter (the harvest takes three weeks so only the best grapes can be picked according to the phases of the moon) but they did do a lot of composting, and would bury a cow’s horn full of dung at the corner of the vinyards. For whatever reason they made some of the best wine in New Zealand, though I hesitate to recommend it now since the proprietor took it upon himself to replace the entire workforce last year and the wine has suffered as a result of the loss of local knowledge (this affected previous vintages that had not yet been bottled, not just the more recent ones). The only other biodynamic wineries I know also produce exceptional wine (Coyam in Chile and Querciabella in Tuscany). I have heard some strange explanations of what is going on (“if the moon can raise tides in something as large as the sea, think what it might do to a fragile grapevine”) though I think careful attention to the state of the grapes probably has more to do with it. (Tides, of course, are caused by the differences in strength of the sun’s and moon’s gravitational fields across distances of thousands of kilometres, though the phases of the moon are used by a number of species for coordinating processes such as spawning. Indeed, Hildegard von Bingen also had something to say about this.)

  • Edzard, your broad brush slur against ‘the Germans’ is highly offensive, and I hope that you will realise that your passion to condemn alternative medicine has exceeded itself here.

    In regard to my case analysis offer that you did not respond you, George Vithoulkas’ company is offering prescribers an opportunity to submit a case report and get some free credit on use of their IT repertory.

    This is something that could help you to improve your homeopathy skills by getting expert feedback on your prescribing method (which you believe did not work).

    Dear practitioner,

    We are very happy to announce that for the first time, the 74th LMHI -2019 in Sorrento, Italy, 25th to 28th of September, will be introducing a Session on improving the Quality of Clinical Case Reporting in their program.

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    Further development of Vithoulkas Compass will benefit from analysing high quality case material. For this reason, we are actively supporting the LMHI 2019, facilitating the submission of Case Reports by repertorising the case in your VC account and then using our “Send” function in Vithoulkas Compass to send it to the “LIGA2019” user account.

    To this effect, we will be delighted to offer ALL our participants/users 50 credits.

    The parallel session on Clinical Case Reporting at the LMHI 2019 aims to share interesting clinical cases, to illustrate the hallmarks of high Quality Clinical Case Reports, as well as explain how we can further improve Homeopathy based on clinical case material.

    We believe that your contribution to this Conference session will be beneficial for your colleagues who can learn from your work and experience as a homeopath. Apart from that, you will of course benefit yourself from the feedback received on your work.

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    • I have come to the conclusion that you cannot read or understand simple texts nor comprehend satire.
      which passage exactly is a slur against the Germans?

      • Strange obsession you have with ‘quackery’ – a non-medical, non-scientific slang word that has no specific meaning. I assume therefore that Hippocrates is the greatest ‘quack’ of all time – famous for his timeless quote: “First, do no harm” If he was a ‘quack’ then why do medical Doctors quote him in their hippocratic oath? Academics often use the phrase “evidence based”. This phrase also has been used and abused frequently in mainstream medicine – evidence is NOT necessarily proof of anything. Evidence is often produced in a court of Law, but it’s worthless if it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

        • 1) quackery is not slang; Medline returns > 1800 articles on it. this is the most recent of them:
          2) ‘first do no harm’ does not originate from the Hippocratic oath []
          3) medical and legal evidence have entirely different standards

        • I should add that the Hippocratic oath also contains such things as undertaking “not to cut for the stone”, which specifically referred to lithotomy (surgical removal of a bladder stone) which was quite a hazardous operation until the advent of anaesthesia, sterilisation and modern surgical techniques (though survived by Pepys, who used to carry his stone in his pocket afterwards, and Marin Marais, who wrote a piece of music about it). By extension it is interpreted to exclude surgery of all kinds.

          The Hippocratic Oath is not something that doctors in the UK have taken for a long time. I don’t know about elsewhere.

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