Homeopaths are launching a new film about homeopathy. As you can see from the trailer above, this is a film that sets out to ‘educate and promote’ homeopathy to the world. It is conspiratorial in tone and credulous in its presentation and shows disgusting quackery being sold to parents of children with autism.
I have not been able to see the whole film yet – but the trailer clearly shows its misleading intent. Even the title is misleading. Homeopathy is a magic ritual masquerading as medicine. Most notably, the remedies do not contain any actual active ingredients – they are just sugar pills or water/ethanol mixtures. Any ingredients are diluted to the point where no original material can remain. “Just One Drop” should in reality be called “Not Even One Drop”. The trailers shows some of the magic ritual being enacted in the first ten seconds as the ‘remedy’ is repeatedly struck against a leather bound book – most often a Bible – as the inventor of this nonsense prescribed.
The film is made by Laurel Chiten – a filmmaker who says she believes she is telling a ‘David and Goliath’ story. Inherent in the homeopath mindset is the idea that they are suppressed by ‘Big Pharma’ and maligned by a dominant medical modality. Utter nonsense, of course but it looks like this film follows this well-trodden conspiratorial path. Chiten has previously made a film about alien abduction – so she is familiar with the world of barmpottery.
The blurb on its promotional web site make clear the credulous stance of the film,
Just One Drop tells a no-holds-barred look at the most controversial form of medicine ever invented. Homeopathy treats the entire person, not just the disease. It’s a specific form of medicine that uses minute doses of a highly diluted substance that stimulates the body to cure itself. It is these tiny doses that causes the most controversy. Researchers believe there is a release of energy in water that becomes mysteriously dynamic. Others think it’s purely psychological or worse, a form of deception or quackery. Yet millions claim homeopathy cures even though there is not yet a satisfying scientific explanation. It remains a mystery.
‘Treating the entire person, not just the disease’ is part of the meaningless mythology of homeopaths that is routinely trotted out. Any credible critique of homeopathy would not accept that as undisputed fact. Homeopathy does not ‘stimulate the body to cure itself’ since no cure can be demonstrated. There are not ‘tiny doses’ – homeopathy is ‘no doses’. Only propagandists and buffoons think homeopathy is ‘a release of energy’. This is pure pseudoscience without a scrap of evidence or rationale. There is not yet ‘a satisfying scientific explanation’ because there is nothing that needs to be explained. Until such time as homeopathy can produce consist and coherent evidence there is nothing to explain.
Now, of course, homeopaths have a right to make a film and to screen it. But this film should be recognised for what it is: propaganda. It sets out with a mission to “give homeopathy a voice, a voice that continues to be misinterpreted and misrepresented.” This is inspite of the fact that the overwhelming scientific consensus is that homeopathy is a placebo treatment that cannot treat any condition. This consensus is based on homeopathy’s claims that are thoroughly implausible and contradict the well established results of physics, chemistry and biology, and the lack of convincing and coherent evidence from the large number of clinical trials that have been conducted. Homeopathy is a pre-scientific view of medicine based on magical thinking – it has no role in the treatment of evidence. As propaganda, this film misleads people. If people were to take their claims seriously and treat illness that really should be treated by a doctor, they could be harmed.
Despite the placebo nature of homeopathy, it can still be deadly. Homeopaths have grandiose views of their capabilities and have no hesitation in treating people with serious and deadly condition. If a person were to use homeopathy in lieu of real effective medicine, they could die. Homeopaths in the UK support and promote ‘missionary’ homeopaths who travel to developing countries to set up clinics to treat HIV and malaria and to work in disaster zone. These practices are lethal. The PR group that is hosting the premier, 4Homeopathy, is associated with groups that support homeopathy clinics in Africa treating deadly disease.
Incredibly, the premier of the film is at the London West End Curzon Cinema. This film was supposed to also be the host of the dreadful Andrew Wakefield quack film about vaccines and autism – VAXXED. The Curzon saw sense and dropped the film. It is amazing that they have not reviewed their procedures about what sort of private screenings they show. Any due diligence on this film would have raised serious questions about the ethics of screening such a film.
There are many planned screenings of this film in the UK and around the world. Each screening appears to be managed by local homeopathy groups and many are in their own facilities or ‘village hall’ type set ups. Great. It is a shame though that some commercial cinemas seek to profit from this deadly nonsense. Along with the Curzon, the Komedia Cinema in Brighton is hosting the film and a follow up ‘Q&A’ with the film maker.
Homeopathy thrives because society shrugs and tolerates quackery. We do not think about the consequences on individual lives of misleading claims and ineffective treatments. We treat homeopathy as an eccentric hobby rather than a menace. Quackery like homeopathy should be as socially unacceptable as drink driving. There are consequences to irrational beliefs and commercial organisations should decide whether they too will turn a blind eye or take a stance and stand up for evidence, reason and proper informed choice in healthcare.