As predicted last week, Prince Charles Charity has closed amid claims of fraud, money laundering and misuse of charity status.
Their statement reads.
30 April 2010
The Trustees of The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health have decided to close the charity. Whilst the closure has been planned for many months and is part of an agreed strategy, the Trustees have brought forward the closure timetable as a result of a fraud investigation at the charity.
The Trustees feel that The Foundation has achieved its key objective of promoting the use of integrated health. Since The Foundation was set up in 1993, integrated health has become part of the mainstream healthcare agenda, with over half a million patients using complementary therapies each year, alongside conventional medicine.
From 2000-2007, at the request of the Department of Health, The Foundation ran a regulation programme which resulted in the creation, in 2008, of an independent self-regulatory body for complementary therapy, called the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council.
On 1st April 2010, the Secretary of State for Health announced plans to introduce statutory regulation for herbalists and to consider the equivalent for acupuncture.
The Trustees believe that the best way of promoting integrated healthcare in the future is through the networks of specialist practitioners which the charity has helped to establish.
These networks have brought together specialists and proponents of integrated healthcare, such as doctors, nurses, clinicians, consultants, scientists and students.
It is laughable that they claim their “key objective of promoting the use of integrated health” has succeeded. Their initiatives to create new regulatory bodies for quackery, University courses in nonsense and increased use of magic medicine in the NHS have all failed.
The fact that the charity were planning a big conference in July would suggest that this has not indeed been planned for ‘many months’. Recent arrests and the inability for the charity to submit accounts to the Charity Commissioner would suggest a more forced closure. It is inconceivable that Prince Charles would abandon his support for homeopathy if his hand was not being forced.
The concept of Integrated Medicine is a trojan horse. Strip away the cosy rhetoric of caring for the “whole person” and what you find is a payload of quackery, pseudo-medicine and anti-scientific nonsense. The FIH has been notorious for promoting absurd treatments including homeopathy, reiki and acupuncture despite the evidence overwhelming suggesting these are useless treatments.
As such, the FIH has been a menace to the public understanding of science and its role in healthcare. It will not be missed by all those who care about science, reason and good health.
It is also a little delicious irony that they issued a rather spiteful news item last month suggesting that “Professor Ernst damaged by FIH”. This follows the news that Ernst’s rather wonderful research group in Exeter is struggling to find funds. The Exeter group was one of the few non partisan research centres in the world that provided unbiased and quality reviews of alternative medicine. As such, he was hated by the proponents of pseudo-medicine, such as Charles and FIH. And now, Ernst has outlived his supposed nemesis.
What is a Toad Eater?
from Michael Quinion:
We have to go back to British market and fairground quack doctors of the seventeenth century and earlier for the origin of this one. It was common for such men to have an assistant to do the dirty work, often somebody young or half-witted or otherwise under the boss’s thumb. As part of their sales pitch, such fake medical men sometimes made their assistants eat (or more usually, pretend to eat) a toad.
The common European toad was commonly regarded as poisonous, as the warty glands on its skin secrete a rather nasty milky fluid when the animal is threatened (friends who are into natural history report they’ve handled toads many times and never had any trouble, but then they’ve not actually tried eating one alive; I’m told a dead one isn’t poisonous, provided you strip the skin off first, but the experiment is not to be recommended). The quack doctor would use his nostrums to make an apparently miraculous cure on his assistant and so enhance his reputation and his sales.
As a result, toad-eater came to be a nickname for a servile assistant to a showman. By the following century it had generalised into a term for any fawning flatterer or sycophant, and by the nineteenth century was often shortened to toady.