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

In Germany, homeopathy had a free ride for a very long time. In recent years, however, several doctors, pharmacists, scientists, etc. have started opposing the fact that the public has to pay for ineffective treatments such as homeopathics. As a consequence, homeopaths have begun to fight back. The weapons they chose are often not the most subtle. Now they seem to have reached a new low; the Board of the German Central Association of Homeopathic Physicians (DZVhÄ) has sent an open letter to the Board of the German Society of Internal Medicine (DGIM) and to the participating colleagues of the 127th Congress of the DGIM from April 17 – 20, 2021 in an attempt to stop an invited lecture of a critic of homeopathy.

Here is my translation of the letter:

Dear colleagues on the board of the DGIM,

We were very surprised to read that an ENT colleague will speak on homeopathy at the 127th Congress of Internal Medicine. Dr. Lübbers is known up and down the country as a media-active campaigner against homeopathy. His “awakening experience” he had, according to his own account, when he had to fish homeopathic pills out of the ear of a child with otitis, since then he is engaged – no: not for better education, in the mentioned case of the parents or other users – against the method homeopathy (which was certainly not “guilty” of the improper application!).

It has surely not escaped you that in all media again and again only a small handful of self-proclaimed “experts” – all from the clique of the skeptic movement! – are heard on the subject of homeopathy. A single (!) fighter against homeopathy is a physician who completed her training in homeopathy and practices for a time as a homeopath. All the others come from non-medical and other occupational groups. In contrast, there are several thousand medical colleagues throughout Germany who stand on the ground of evidence-based medicine, have learned conventional medicine, implement it in their practices, and have completed a recognized continuing education program in homeopathy.

In the German Central Association of Homeopathic Physicians – the oldest medical professional association in Germany – 146 qualified internists are currently registered as members, in addition to numerous other medical specialists, all of whom are actively practicing medicine.

Question: Why does the German Society for Internal Medicine invite an ENT specialist, of all people, who lectures on homeopathy without any expertise of his own? Why not at least a specialist colleague in internal medicine? Or even a colleague who could report on the subject from her own scientific or practical experience? For example, on the topic of “hyperaldosteronism,” would you also invite a urologist or orthodontist? And if so, why?

Dear Board of Directors of the DGIM: As an honorary board member of the German Central Association of Homeopathic Physicians e.V.. (DZVhÄ) – and a specialist in internal medicine – I am quite sure that we could immediately name several colleagues with sufficient expertise as homeopathically trained and experienced internists, if you are really interested in a solid and correct discourse on the subject of homeopathy. Under the above-mentioned circumstances, there is, of course, rather the suspicion that it should not be about, but rather exclusively against homeopathy.

If it is planned for a later congress, e.g. in 2022, to deal again with the topic of homeopathy in a truly professionally well-founded and possibly even more balanced form: please contact us at any time! As medical colleagues, we are very interested in a fair and unprejudiced professional discourse.

Yours sincerely

Dr. med. Ulf Riker, Internist – Homeopathy – Naturopathy

2nd chairman DZVhÄ / 1st chairman LV Bayern

________________

What are Riker and the DZVhÄ trying to say with this ill-advised, convoluted, and poorly written letter?

Let me try to put his points a little clearer:

  • They are upset that the congress of internists invited a non-homeopath to give a lecture about homeopathy.
  • The person in question, Dr. Lübbers, is an ENT specialist and, like all other German critics of homeopathy (apart from one, Dr. Grams), does not understand homeopathy.
  • There are thousands of physicians who do understand it and are fully trained in homeopathy.
  • They would therefore do a much better job in providing a lecture.
  • So, would the German internists please invite homeopaths for their future meetings?

And what is Riker trying to achieve?

  • It seems quite clear that he aims to prevent criticism of homeopathy.
  • He wishes to replace it with pro-homeopathy propaganda.
  • Essentially he wants to stifle free speech, it seems to me.

To reach these aims, he does not hesitate to embarrass himself by sending and making publicly available a very stupid letter. He also behaves in a most unprofessional fashion and does not mind putting a few untruths on paper.

Having said that, I will admit that they are in good company. Hahnemann was by all accounts a most intolerant and cantankerous chap himself. And during the last 200 years, his followers have given ample evidence that critical thinking has remained an alien concept for them. Consequently, such behavior seems not that unusual for German defenders of homeopathy. In recent times they have:

Quite a track record, wouldn’t you agree?

But, I think, attempting to suppress free speech beats it all and must be a new low in the history of homeopathy.

 

22 Responses to German homeopathy has just reached a new low

  • “The person in question, Dr. Lübbers, is an ENT specialist and, like all other German critics of homeopathy (apart from one, Dr. Grams) [and you and Dr. Aust], does not understand homeopathy.”
    THANK YOU; EDZARD, FOR MENTIONING THIS TRUE STATEMENT!
    It seems as if when you were younger, you could see clearer and LESS DEALED….

    https://homoeopathiewirkt.wordpress.com/2020/01/09/edzard-ernst-and-his-homeopathy/

    • you are welcome, Heinrich.
      I am glad you found this website of a fellow homeopathy fanatic.
      however, you must remember a few things:
      1) the quotes do not provide the full context; it’s better to read the full article.
      2) it does not claim that homeopathy has been proven.
      3) it points out that critics of homeopathy often make avoidable mistakes; a point that I have made also on this blog.
      4) in > 20 years, the evidence has significantly shifted against homeopathy.
      5) and finally, perhaps I have become a little wiser too?

      • So I hope you live a long time and will become even more wise to recognize that “the fellow homeopathy fanatic” is HHH, who is anything but fanatic [and you knows this!] and even proves you right about some things, but maybe like you is a little bit right about some things …
        ..May I note that, on the contrary, evidence significantly shifts towards homeopathy with carefully prepared placebo-controlled studies….

        Homeopathic Treatment as an Add‐On Therapy May Improve Quality of Life and Prolong Survival in Patients with Non‐Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo‐Controlled, Double‐Blind, Three‐Arm, Multicenter Study

        https://theoncologist.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/onco.13548

        • are you having a bad day?
          overdosed on Arnica?
          I don’t understand a word you say.
          is HHH you?
          and what has your case report got to do with evidence?

  • Oh Eddie…are you now calling Prospective, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind three-armed, multicenter studies to be “case reports.” Wow…you are the ultimate spin-master. Do you have your own dictionary too? What degree does one need to get to make up your own reality like you do?

    • not a ‘spin master’ – I made a mistake.
      I thought HH was referring to his only paper in homeopathy as he usually does and did not even open the link.
      in fact, he is referring to the dodgy study by Frass.
      MY APOLOGIES

  • Actually, it is not a “freedom of speech” issue in your post above. Do medical associations allow non-experts to speak on topics? No. How or why this German medical association chooses speakers who are not experts on the subject of their presentation is a professional embarrassment. In which peer review journal has this Dr. Lubber publish on the topic of homeopathy? I’m glad that the homeopaths show respectable standards, as compared with this German medical association that simply allows any speaker to speak on any subject as long as the narrative is supportive of the organization’s worldview. Is that a scientific-based organization or a popularity show?

    • thank you!
      that’s all I wanted – another demonstration of your nearly unlimited lack to comprehend things.

    • thanks, Dana; a perfect demonstration of your incomprehension

    • @Dana Ullman & HHH:
      Homeopaths are the true non-experts on the topic of homeopathy, as they refuse to understand that they are Quite Wrong, and have fallen victim to almost any type of bias imaginable.

      Or to put it differently: having a homeopath deliver a talk at a medical congress would be akin to inviting a young-earth creationist to lecture at a congress on evolutionary biology, or a tabloid’s astrologer to a congress on astronomy.

      I think it is quite important that these critical lectures on homeopathy (and other types of make-believe medicine) take place in real medicine: not only does homeopathy falsely pretend to contribute to people’s health, but quite a lot of people actually believe this – sometimes even properly educated doctors who really should know better. Hopefully, the talk by Dr. Lübbers will stir their critical thinking faculties.

  • The “critics of homeopathy” complaining of “censorship”, when they are identified by organizing hate campaigns in the media and social networks to remove the status of homeopathic medicine, withdraw university training courses and close hospitals as they did in the UK. But this does not end here, “Lübbers” says that he became critical of homeopathy from which he removed a few white globules from a child’s ears that were mistakenly put by parents. The same story manipulated by the media, a type with no relevance that suddenly became critical of homeopathy, the next day or week is famous not stand out in the field in which he says to be an expert, not for providing evidence, but by writing any idiocy on Twitter that are liked by most of the same accounts of hate whenever you’re out there. A hundred likes? No, thousands of likes to try to make a trend and create a smokescreen by pretending that there is a “consensus against”, only that this so-called consensus is actually an ad populum fallacy based on the noise made by a few hypocrites and non-experts who receive the applause of much of the media who are interested in selling the same news that “there is no evidence” or that “contradicts physics and chemistry”. I have reviewed a lot of the activity of these homeopathy haters on Twitter, and they are mostly the same, before riding on the war against astrologers, before against environmentalists, now suspiciously aligned with the transgender movement. This is very strange because the foundations of critics of homeopathy are that moral relativism and postmodernism are pseudophilosophy, but they suddenly adopt “the spectrum of sexes “because it sells and because they do not dare to question it at the risk of being crossed out as intolerants or “transphobes”. This is perhaps because in general most of the critics of homeopathy are gay, Randi was, fanatical atheists (except some fanatical Catholics), pro-nuclear, pro-pesticides and pro-pedophiles (Who doesn’t remember when James Randi solicited sex from teenagers?). Removing all this, these critics of homeopathy claim to be challengers to the status quo, but they are quite the opposite. If Boiron announces that it will fund a clinical trial, haters on Twitter will do their best to get the trial carried out or if it succeeds they will send letters and threats to the journals to have them withdrawn, but if a company with a long criminal history like Pfizer announces that its vaccine has a 90% efficacy, homeopathy critics applaud like seals getting a bite. It is becoming increasingly clear to me that critics of homeopathy are a farce and a simple astroturfing campaign, luckily there are still people able to realize the deception and that even with it, there are scientists who do not let themselves be frightened by the hoolingans stalkers.

    • hope you feel better now. yet it might still be a good idea to get some professional help, don’t you think?

      • Of course, now I must be a “madman” for saying things that anyone can check on the Internet. Can you tell me if I lied that James Randi was gay? can you tell me if I lied by saying that most of the critics of the homepage concentrate on Twitter and say stupidity to receive a thousand likes? can you tell me if I lied by saying that all the hate groups you promote are now riding on transgender activism? can you explain to me why most of those profiles carry the gay and transgender flag and go “he/him”, “she/her”? But of course, while homeopathy has clinical studies of excellent methodological quality, transgender activists have under their belt studies of poor methodological quality, many uncontrolled, but as is politically correct critics of homeopathy applaud as seals on Twitter covering up more and more different types of hoaxes. It sounds a lot like the farce that pro-Monsanto activists once did by applauding low-quality studies that said glyphosate was harmless. Sure, Boiron and multinationals like Heel must be the bad guys, but when it comes to the business of selling pesticides and chemicals to transgender people, homeopathy critics see it well. Anyone who breaks out of this circle of fakers is immediately suspected of not being well.

    • We have this thing in the UK called “evidence-based practice” and an organisation (NICE) which handily reviews evidence and issues guidance for clinicians: NICE found no (as in none, nada, zip, zilch) evidence to support use of homeopathy in the NHS. That isn’t censorship, just deciding what tax payer money can be spent on. Most of us find NICE guidelines very helpful, both as clinicians and as patients.

      Folk are still at liberty to use private homeopaths and spend trheir own money on that, should they so wish.

  • Nothing new under the sun. When German forensic pathologist Dr. Otto Prokop (1921-2009) wrote and spoke systematically against homeopathy, he was denunciated (a.o.) as an “autistic theoretician”. When Czech anatomist (and due to ban at the university during communistic era also general practitioner) prof.Jiří Heřt (1928-2014) won award for lifetime achievement of Czech Medical Chamber, homeopaths sent formal protest to the Chamber simply because he was member of Czech Skeptics’ Club Sisyfos and criticized homeopathy.

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