SIMILE is the newsletter of ‘The Faculty of Homeopathy’ which is the professional organisation of doctor homeopaths in the UK. Readers of this blog might know about SIMILE because I once published a post about it. Two years ago, the late Dr Peter Fisher (then the Queen’s homeopath) used SIMILE to re-publish a serious lie about me:
A prepublication draft [of the Smallwood report] was circulated for comment with prominent warnings that it was confidential and not to be shared more widely (I can personally vouch for this, since I was one of those asked to comment). Regrettably, Prof Ernst did precisely this, leaking it to The Times who used it as the basis of their lead story. The editor of The Lancet, Richard Horton, certainly no friend of homeopathy, promptly denounced Ernst for having “broken every professional code of scientific behaviour”.
Sir Michael Peat, the Prince of Wales’ Principal Private Secretary, wrote to the vice chancellor of Exeter University protesting at the leak, and the university conducted an investigation. Ernst’s position became untenable, funding for his department dried up and he took early retirement. Thirteen years later he remains sore; in his latest book More Harm than Good? he attacks the Prince of Wales as “foolish and immoral”.
At the time, I complained and SIMILE (not Fisher) apologised unreservedly.
The current (May 2020) issue of SIMILE carries the following article. I find it quite humorous and therefore take the liberty of copying it here for you:
Every year in Austria a sceptic group called the Society for the Scientific Investigation of Parasciences (GWUP) announces the winner of the Golden Board in Front of the Head Award for what they deem as “unscientific nonsense”. Their award frequently goes to a representative of Austria’s homeopathy community.
However, it now appears Austrian homeopaths have turned the tables on their antagonists by bestowing the 2019 Award for pseudoscience to the GWUP.
But what seems on the surface to be a light hearted tit-for-tat gesture is in truth an attempt to raise questions about who these sceptic groups represent and their real aims.
The Austrian Society of Medical Homeopathy and the Veterinary Society for Homeopathy justify the award on the grounds that the GWUP is trying to agitate against complementary medicine and homeopathy without disclosing their true motives and donors. They say that under the guise of science and purported “scientific truths” these “all-knowing” activists, many of whom are without any medical qualifications, deliberately misrepresent scientific studies that support the efficacy of homeopathy beyond placebo.
The homeopaths accuse the sceptic group of fanatical and aggressive lobbying and media work to discredit proven methods of complementary medicine, which are successfully used by a large number of people around the world. Their aim, claim the homeopaths, is to position complementary medicine in an “esoteric, frivolous corner, to curtail plurality and freedom of choice in healthcare, and to hinder progress towards inclusive medicine”.
As we can see, SIMILE learnt an important lesson: they now tell lies in a way that does no loner put them in the firing line. Instead they report then as said by someone else:
- GWUP is trying to agitate against complementary medicine and homeopathy without disclosing their true motives and donors = lie No 1
- under the guise of science and purported “scientific truths” these “all-knowing” activists, many of whom are without any medical qualifications, deliberately misrepresent scientific studies that support the efficacy of homeopathy beyond placebo = lie No 2
- fanatical and aggressive lobbying and media work to discredit proven methods of complementary medicine = lie No 3
- position complementary medicine in an “esoteric, frivolous corner, to curtail plurality and freedom of choice in healthcare, and to hinder progress towards inclusive medicine” = lie No 4
You have managed to find a way which enables you to promote untruth and shelter yourselves from considering criticism. You have, in other words, continued the age-old homeopathic tradition of effectively avoiding critical thinking.