The Age of Quackery

30th March, 2008 16

In my last post I discussed how Hopi Ear Candles has nothing to do with the American Hopi tribe and was a technique that had only been scalding ear drums since the Eighties. Quackery likes to sell itself on its ancient roots and traditional heritage. But, by the looks of it, most quackery techniques have much more modern roots. Someone emailed me to ask if I could expand on this, [read more…]

Hopi Ear Candling – Removing the Grey Goo Between Your Ears

27th March, 2008 183

Quacks like to tell us that their healing arts are thousands of years old and based on ancient principles that have withstood the test of time. Like most things in their advertising spiel, it is a canard and does not bear any resemblance to the truth. Reiki, Reflexology, Osteopathy and Chiropractic are around a hundred years old. Homeopathy is about 200 years old and even acupuncture as we know it [read more…]

The Vets Who Make People Feel Better

22nd March, 2008 43

Some years ago, a well meaning but utterly deluded friend gave me a book entitled Natural Remedies For Your Cat by Christopher Day. It is a slightly disturbing tome that appears to recommend homeopathic remedies for pretty much everything – from fleas to gunshot wounds. Rational cat lovers might find this book pretty disturbing. In many ways, it is a classic homeopathy text. It sees homeopathy as verging on the [read more…]

The Society of Homeopaths: One Year On

20th March, 2008 1

Here are the stated aims of the Society of Homeopaths for 2007 and set out at the start of the year… The Society of Homeopaths’ Aims and Objectives for 2007 By the 1st January 2008, it is envisaged that The Society will have passed on its regulatory function to an independent new regulatory and registration body, to be known as the Council of Registered Homeopaths (CoRH). This will allow The [read more…]

Very Soon, Falsely Using the Title ‘Dr’ Will Land You in a New Heap of Doo Doo

14th March, 2008 11

If you are worried about the activities of an alternative medicine practitioner, there is not an easy way to find the right authority who might look into it. The Advertising Standards Authority are very effective at investigating complex matters, but can only really rap knuckles and leave traders to carry on pretty much unharmed. Often, the only damage is an ASA ruling placed well down in the Google result list. [read more…]

Betting on Quackery

10th March, 2008 8

On the eve of the Cheltenham Festival, the race organisers are battling to repair the storm damage after ferocious winds have been bashing the West of England. Cheltenham is one of the biggest events in the racing calendar and for one of the most famous jockeys, Tony McCoy, a little storm damage has been the least of his problems. McCoy fractured two vertebrae in a fall two months ago and [read more…]

Las Mariposas Clinic: Costa Del Quackery

8th March, 2008 86

Watching the antics of quacks is funny and I hope some of that humour comes across on this blog. Sometimes, however, humour just appears to be so misplaced. Las Mariposas Clinic, in Torremolinos, Malaga, Spain, is a clinic that offers homeopathic and nutritional cures for cancer. They promise, “Unique methods that induce the natural remission of cancer and other illnesses” Nothing about this is likely to be funny. The clinic [read more…]

Life’s 4 Living: Audiokinetron and Lumatron Nonsense

4th March, 2008 9

A bit of a ding dong has started up over at HolfordWatch after they questioned some of the activities of a charity called Life’s 4 Living. There is now a huge red banner on their homepage that proclaims the following: There has recently been a vicious, sustained and unprovoked attack on this charity.Over the next few days life’s 4 living will refute each and every allegation in this spurious attack. [read more…]

Hawley Harvey Crippen and Homeopathy

3rd March, 2008 15

Hawley Harvey Crippen (1863-1910) was an American homeopath who was born to Andresee Skinner and Myron Augustus Crippen. He trained as a homeopath and joined a homeopathic pharmaceutical company. In 1910, he emigrated with his second wife, Cora Turner , to England where he was unable to practice as a Doctor as the authorities would not recognise his credentials. Turner was a music hall singer who openly had affairs. The [read more…]

Should Cochrane Call for More Research Into Homeopathy?

1st March, 2008 14

The Cochrane Collaboration is an independent network of volunteers, funded only by donations, that collate systematic reviews of the evidence base for healthcare interventions. You can go online and view for yourself the current best thinking on how effective various treatments are. It is an important resource. (And you can help making it free throughout the EU by signing here.)Cochrane does not just cover conventional treatments, but also reviews alternative [read more…]