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.
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:
- Made the results of the largest investigation into homeopathy disappear because its results were devastatingly negative.
- Went to Liberia to cure Ebola with homeopathy.
- Published lots of untruths and exaggerations.
- Hired a journalist to systematically defame me and other critics.
- Likened critics to Roland Freisler, the infamous judge of the Nazi era.
- Threatened critics with legal action.
- Started a media campaign to promote homeopathy.
- Published libelous statements about me.
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.