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Monday, February 7, 2011

Homeopathy Attacked by Big Pharma Supporters

The Daily Bell
Monday, February 07, 2011 – by  Staff Report

Magician James Randi, skeptics launch attack on makers of homeopathic 'drugs'... Magician James Randi, who has devoted the latter part of his career to exposing fraud, scams and charlatans, and a network of skeptics known as the 10:23 Campaign launched a major campaign Saturday against the manufacturers of so-called homeopathic drugs, charging that the companies that sell the drugs are packaging worthless products that are cheating customers out of their money. In an online video, Randi consumed an overdose of homeopathic sleeping pills to demonstrate that they have no effect, and skeptics elsewhere consumed large overdoses of other homeopathic drugs in similar demonstrations. Randi also offered $1 million of his own money to any manufacturer of a homeopathic product who could prove that the product actually worked as claimed, and challenged major retailers like CVS, Rite-Aid and Walgreens to remove the products from their shelves. – LA Times

Dominant Social Theme: Only hard science explains the truth: Vaccines are harmless and those who deny it are engaged in a kind of criminality.

Free-Market Analysis: Big Pharma has apparently found another target: homeopathy. After relentlessly destroying Britain's Dr. Andrew Wakefield for his temerity to suggest that there might be a link between vaccines and autism or other childhood injuries, homeopathy has now come under attack. It is part of larger power-elite dominant social theme having to do with the scientific correctness of Western, surgical medicine and the fuzziness and non-utility of other approaches.

Of course from our point of view (as an alternative "reality-based"news site) this is in itself questionable. Many pharmaceutical companies derive many of their drugs from natural plants, often found in the Amazon. Aspirin is a good example of this. But unlike aspirin, most pharmaceutical solutions seem to have critical and even deadly side effects. This may be the result of simulating nature with chemistry or is simply inherent in the process of concentrating the antidote. What does seem apparent is that many of so-called safe drugs that are said to be both effective and non-detrimental to one's health, turn out to be most toxic over a long time period.

There seems in fact to be a relationship between patent law and drug development, with many drugs exhibiting undeniable side effects only around the time, perhaps, that patents begin to lapse. Thus the profit has been made; penalties and litigation await those who continue to use such drugs in generic form, as complaints reach a critical mass. One could postulate that this sort of mercantilism – in which Big Pharma seems to have created a regulatory system that works consistently to its advantage – might be ripe for investigation.

Yet no investigation occurs! Or not in the mainstream media anyway. Instead, ancient, time-honored remedies come under increasing attack. Magician James Randi, a crisp, no-nonsense fellow with a big, white beard, is convinced that the Western world is suffering from an affliction of ancient remedies. The sicknesses induced by Big Pharma don't disturb him apparently. We wondered if he was on a pharmaceutical payroll, but it's hard to tell from available information.

He seems to be professionally affiliated, however, with one Simon Lehna Singh, MBE, a British author who has specialized in writing about mathematical and scientific topics. According to Wikipedia, "His written works include Fermat's Last Theorem (in the United States titled Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem), The Code Book (about cryptography and its history), Big Bang (about the Big Bang theory and the origins of the universe) and Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial (about complementary and alternative medicine)."

Singh, like Randi and other mainstream debunkers of "alternative" science and health, spend a good deal of time attacking what seems to be effective for some (though not all). They are, of course, entitled to their views; but when one looks judiciously at the way the world works, one is struck by the constant "scientific" attacks on people's free-market choices and little in the way of analysis of the West's increasing governmental mandates when it comes to regulating people's preferences by law (and force).

It doesn't seem to occur to Randi, Singh (nor any other of this sort) that they might wish to investigate this central financial lie of the Modern Age: the price-fixing of central banking. Price fixing never works and price-fixing of money works worst of all. Randi and Singh are all-too-willing to investigate the peripheries of the Western mercantilism but not its beating, bleeding, banking heart that is busily pumping the lifeblood from economies into centralized "private" hands.

But absent central banking and related corporate belief-structures it accommodates, almost anything (of a non-mainstream variety) is fair game. With Randi as well as Singh, one soon comes to the understanding that it is not just homeopathy that is to be debunked; somehow the corollary is that people are, wait for it ... misguided in their concern that vaccines may be harmful to children, especially young ones. (Rand mentions it directly on his web site.) The bottom-line conversation, it seems, is always vaccines. Follow the money and follow the power. It is through mandatory, public vaccination programs that the Anglo-American power elite has the most effective and direct route to controlling people's bodies.

Human physiology is complex and what works for some people – healthwise anyway – may not work for others. Additionally, there is plenty of evidence that Western powers-that-be have repressed potential, efficient power sources and health cures for cancer and certain other deadly diseases. Randi, for instance seems to lump acupuncture in with homeopathy, though there is certainly more "scientific" evidence that acupuncture can be proven effective, even if researchers are still not quite sure how.

And when it comes to vaccines directly, we would argue (as we have) that there is plenty of evidence that this process is indeed dangerous to some. There is no treatment in the world, in fact, that does not have some sort of side effect SOME of the time for some individuals. Only in the case of vaccines, we are informed, are side-effects suspended. Of course this doesn't explain why, say, the East Coast Amish who don't drive cars and don't vaccinate with the feverish industry of the rest of America apparently have a LOWER rate of autism than average.

Just to make sure of this we Googled "pro-vacciner" and Harvard graduate Lisa Jo Rudy who investigated the Amish and came to the following conclusion in an article entitled: "Do The Amish Vaccinate? Indeed They Do, AND Their Autism Rates May be Lower." It is meant to be a debunking piece, however toward the middle of the article we come to the following statement: "Just to check for myself, I called [a vaccination] clinic and chatted with a community liaison named Rebecca. Rebecca, who grew up among the Amish, confirms that about 70% of the Amish in Lancaster County do, indeed, vaccinate. She also confirms that the rate of autism seems to be lower among the Amish than among the general population."

We couldn't help but be amused by this statement, which seems to contradict the general thrust of the article. Yes, Ms. Jo Rudy declares, the Amish vaccinate less than the general population and thus suffer from fewer cases of autism. She also notes the following: "Dr. Kevin Strauss, MD, a pediatrician at a local, Amish vaccination clinic sees plenty of Amish children showing symptoms of autism ... [But] Strauss says he doesn't see "idiopathic autism" at the clinic, which he defines as children with average or above average IQs who display autistic behavior. ‘My personal experience is we don't see a lot of Amish children with idiopathic autism. It doesn't mean they don't exist, only that we aren't seeing them at the clinic.'"

This article and its conclusions seem to present three conclusions: One, that Amish vaccinate less and thus autism is less prevalent; two; that what may be termed "classic" or idopathic autism is virtually non-existent; and, three, that a Harvard education provides one with the facility to present two contradictory opinions as conclusive proof of a single argument – which is invalidated by the very evidence being presented! Oh, well.

We would like to conclude this article by offering good wishes to Randi and Singh (and others) in their quest to debunk various forms of natural and alternative healing. We would like to ... but we won't. There is already a preponderance of "group think" in Western medicine, health care and science (not to mention economics). Much of this is entered into voluntarily but there is a certain fear-factor. This subtle – and increasingly not-so-subtle – intimidation by Western powers-that-be is certainly in evidence in the overwhelming attacks on Wakefield and his professional reputation. Wakefield is meant to be a cautionary tale. Randi, Singh and others are the vanguard of the new, improved surgical narrative of Western medicine.

There is much wisdom in ancient medicinal treatments; and even homeopathy seems to work for some; though its workings, such as they are, remain mysterious. Science and medicine have no explanations for even the most basic building blocks of our mysterious world, let alone the universe around us. The human mind cannot encompass infinity, yet there are those who will explain with perfect confidence the unacceptable limning of marketplace lies and the eternal truth of the establishment belief structure.

Conclusion: This sort of behavior has always struck us as arrogant rather than investigative; there seems to us little to be gained from affirming what is already accepted and much to be gained from examining the seeming inexplicable. The one approach is complacent, the other challenging. In fact, we would argue that more human advancements come from the latter approach than the former. And this: There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

1 comment:

  1. There is such a lack of coherent reasoning in this column I am almost overwhelmed by its absurdity.

    Firstly, science knows the difference between herbs and supplements, and uses the former for their medically active ingredients. What the 10:20 Campaign were using were the supplements with no scientifically measurable medical ingredients. You don't seem to understand the difference.

    As for your comments on vaccines, anecdotal stories need to be proven before they can be accepted. Your standard attack on "Big Pharma" without evidence is reprehensible. Give some facts would you?

    As for Wakefield, he destroyed his own credibility by faking his study, as has been proven by checking the stories of those he used in his study. Just look it up, would you?

    My conclusion is that you lack credibility by spewing the standard homeopathic line, as always, without any kind of proof whatsoever. Your philosophy is flawed.