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Abstract

Homeopathy is being attacked by the British media. These attacks draw support from irresponsible and unjustified claims by certain teachers of homeopathy. Such claims include the use of 'dream' and 'imaginative' methods for provings. For prescribing some such teachers attempt to replace the laborious process of matching symptom picture and remedy with spurious theories based on 'signatures', sensations and other methods. Other irresponsible claims have also been made. These "new ideas" risk destroying the principles, theory, and practice of homeopathy.
DEBATE
British media attacks on homeopathy:
Are they justified?
George Vithoulkas*
International Academy of Classical Homeopathy, Alonissos 37005, Greece
Homeopathy is being attacked by the British media. These attacks draw support from ir-
responsible and unjustified claims by certain teachers of homeopathy. Such claims in-
clude the use of ‘dream’ and ‘imaginative’ methods for provings. For prescribing some
such teachers attempt to replace the laborious process of matching symptom picture
and remedy with spurious theories based on ‘signatures’, sensations and other methods.
Other irresponsible claims have also been made. These ‘‘new ideas’’ risk destroying the
principles, theory, and practice of homeopathy. Homeopathy (2008) 97, 103–106.
Keywords: Media; Provings; Dream; Signatures; Sensations;
Delusions; Immunisation; Homeopathy; Homeopathy attacked; Placebo;
Homeopathic Prophylaxis
Introduction
At the time homeopathy is going through the worst attack
ever from the British press, we need to ask ourselves: are
these attacks really justified? The attacks may be serving
opportunism, vested interests or even the hatred of those op-
posed to homeopathy. They may be ill-intentioned and even
malign, however if we are honest, we must accept that they
draw some of their arguments and ammunition from the
ranks of homeopathy because of irresponsibility on our
part. I refer to outrageous statements made by some homeo-
paths and ‘‘modern teachers’’ and their ‘‘new ideas’’ which
are destroying the principles, theory, and practice of real
Hahnemannian homeopathy.
Methodologyof provings
The credibility of the provings (homeopathic pathoge-
netic trials) of homeopathic remedies, the corner stone of
homeopathy, is today being demolished by ‘‘new ideas’’
concerning the ways provings could be conducted. Certain
teachers claim that there is no need for the remedies to be
‘‘proved’’ on humans, but instead the symptoms can simply
be imagined, for instance: ‘It is on the mind level that group
analysis can offer the greatest benefits. Once the central
themes of the component elements are known it will be pos-
sible to deduce the theme of the combination remedy
1
and
The method of group analysis makes it possible to think
about homoeopathy on a new level, an abstract, or even
metaphysical, level. This enables us more or less to predict
the picture of a totally unknown remedy.’
2
One can easily foresee where such absurd ‘‘new ideas’
will lead: hundreds of ‘‘imaginative’’ homeopaths will
‘‘imagine’’ hundreds of different ‘‘provings’’ for the same
remedy! There is nothing wrong in the efforts of some to
attract attention through the invention of new remedies. It
is however not fair, for the sake of those who rely on prov-
ings, that such authors ignore the rules according to which
a correct proving is conducted, in accordance with the Prin-
ciples and Practice applied by Hahnemann.
The methods that many experimenters have followed in
order to ‘‘provide’’ provings for new remedies prove that
they did not follow the directions of Hahnemann ‘.a
new and revolutionary method of provings, that involved
making an entire group of persons take a dose of the rem-
edy, a few days before or even during a seminar, and
then discussing the effects of the dose during the seminar.
They were usually very productive in terms of symptomatol-
ogy, especially in the emotional sphere in the dreams,
which gave an idea of the inner processes of the sub-
stance.I was impressed by the effect that the dose had
on the collective group consciousness, and how, when taken
collectively, the effect of the dose seemed to multiply and be-
come much more prominent than when given on an individ-
ual basis.’
3
.A proving can be conducted with a study
group or at a seminar by having each student take a single
*Correspondence: George Vithoulkas, International Academy of
Classical Homeopathy, Alonissos 37005, Greece. Tel: +30 24240
65142; Fax: +30 24240 65147.
E-mail: george@vithoulkas.com
Received 25 January 2008; revised 18 February 2008; accepted 18
February 2008
Homeopathy (2008) 97, 103–106
Ó2008 The Faculty of Homeopathy
doi:10.1016/j.homp.2008.02.004, available online at http://www.sciencedirect.com
This document was downloaded for personal use only. Unauthorized distribution is strictly prohibited.
dose a few days before or during the class, then comparing
experiences. These provings often concentrate on dreams
and mental symptoms in an endeavour to uncover the
deeper meaning of the remedy. This method has been prac-
ticed extensively by Ju¨rgen Becker in Germany and adopted
by other contemporary teachers. The idea is to discover the
main unconscious theme of the remedy during the seminar
proving. This is further enhanced by discussing the experi-
ence with the group to air and formulate the central ideas.
The advantage of this method is that it may be a short cut to
an inner essence of the remedy.’
4
At the School of Home-
opathy, where we meet once a month, we have achieved re-
sults in group provings since 1991 using a variety of
stimuli: by using material substance; by holding it; by look-
ing at it; and by meditating upon it. We have achieved re-
sults with potencies from 30C to 200C. We have invoked
group provings by one member holding the concept/image
of a thing in their mind (the sender) while the group has sat
in a period of silence and self-observation (the receivers).
It is common experience amongst provers that certain indi-
viduals (who later reveal cardinal symptoms because of
their affinity to the substance under test) develop symptoms
which subsequently are confirmed as belonging to the prov-
ing before anyone else had takenthe substance.’
5
For me
the meditation proving is often the most convenient and
helpful. It gives results fast and with little effort. The disad-
vantages are that the picture will not be complete and can
be incorrect in parts. But that can also be the case with
other provings. In my experience, meditation provings often
are quite reliable and give the essence of the remedy, more
so than dream provings.’
6
The enthusiasm to ‘‘bring out’’ symptoms has led to
claims that even one dose of a high potency can produce
hundreds of symptoms in a small group of people. ‘The
proving of Coca-Cola was conducted during my San Fran-
cisco seminar in May, 1994. The participants of the seminar
were given one dose of the drug in the 30C potency. They
were instructed to note their symptoms over the next 2
days, whether they took the dose or not.’
7
‘Out of 305
mental symptoms in hydrogen, 61 were produced by the
6th potency (2 provers), 17 by the 9th potency (1 prover),
27 by the 12th potency (3 provers), 3 by the 15th potency
(2 provers), 140 by the 30th potency (3 provers) and 56
by the 200th potency (4 provers).’
8
‘‘The remedy is made
up into a 30C potency.All provers start at approximately
the same time and day by taking one dose.’’
9
Most of these ‘‘experimenters’’ probably had not read
and appreciated that Hahnemann used only material doses
in the provings on which his Materia Medica Pura is based.
Paragraph 32 of the Organon
10
states that all ‘‘substances
can produce symptoms as long as they are taken in large
enough quantities.’’ In the sixth and final edition of the Or-
ganon paragraph 130, he states that only those sensitive to
a substance can have symptoms from a high potency and
this only if they take the remedy every day for several
days.
11
In order to establish symptoms are reliable and are
due to the remedy the experiment has to be repeated several
times. In daily practice we often prescribe the wrong rem-
edy yet ‘‘proving’’ symptoms are seldom seen. This fact
alone shows the scarcity of such ‘‘sensitive persons’’ that
could prove remedies in high potency.
Some have even claimed that there is no need for a real
remedy. You can write the name of the remedy and the po-
tency in a piece of paper, put a glass of water over it and the
potentised remedy is prepared! ‘I had been having my pa-
tients write the remedy and potency on a piece of paper
for years and it works like a charm.Because we are
working with energy and spirit, our INTENT of what we
set out to do is critical to it behaving as we expect it to
behave, i.e., if you write Lachesis 30C on the paper and
the person with the hot flashes stops having them, then
the homeopath must be focused and concentrated in her/
his gathering of this energy.’
12
Or that you do not even need to give the remedy, you just
have to think about it and the patient is cured! ‘I was taught
intent was everything. And, of course, we see a patient in the
midst of our case taking suddenly begin to get better once
we think of the remedy for them.at least I do.’
12
With
such statements how is it possible to defend against the
idea that homeopathy is nothing but ‘‘placebo’’ effect?
Selecting the remedy
The second important issue raised by this storm of ‘‘mod-
ernisation’’ is distortion of the essential methodology
through which the remedy is chosen. Some ‘‘modern
teachers’’ claim to have found ways to cut short the labori-
ous work required to find the remedy that matches with the
symptoms of the patient. They suggest, for instance: finding
the delusions of each person and prescribe accordingly. ‘I
also realized the importance of the section on delusions, be-
cause a delusion is a false perception of reality, and disease
too is a false perception of the present. The whole mental
state of a person is an expression of this false perception
(delusion).’ ‘Cure is the restoration of health. It is achieved
when man becomes aware of his false perception of reality.
This is made possible through exposing him to his delusion.
This is the basis of the Law of similars on which Homoeo-
pathy is founded.’
13
In other words, they guide the naive
and credulous student to locate a delusion in each patient!
Others suggest prescribing only according to mental
symptoms ‘To repeat, let me point out that we prescribe
on the symptoms of the mind (leaving aside all the other
symptoms relating to the popularly known physical level
of the body) and in turn get a stimulus in the automatic sys-
tem, which is responsible for keeping the system of Assimi-
lation and Elimination efficient.’
14
Even though many
patients suffer only physical symptoms and don’t necessar-
ily have psychological symptoms, let alone delusions.
Within this wave of spurious theory and oversimplifica-
tion, others suggest grouping patients according to some
‘‘common’’ characteristics, ignoring the principle of
uniqueness of each organism.
15
They teach, for example,
that the student should explore whether if the patient has
similarities with an animal, or plant, or mineral, and accord-
ingly look into the corresponding group of remedies to find
the similimum.
16
This is essentially the old idea of ‘‘signa-
tures’’ abandoned as useless hundreds of years ago, now
Are media attacks justified?
G Vithoulkas
104
Homeopathy
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presented as an enlightened modern solution for easily find-
ing the indicated remedy. In reality what is suggested is the
abandonment of the process of finding the correct remedy
through repertorisation and searching the materia medica.
Hahnemann’s opinion about these ideas was very clear:
.I shall spare the ordinary medical school the humilia-
tion of reminding it of the folly of those ancient physicians
who, determining the medicinal powers of crude drugs from
their signature.’
17
The failure of this method is one of the
main reasons why Hahnemann sought a more logical way
of curing people and why he developed homeopathy.
Subsequently another point of view has manifested: that
each patient corresponds to one and only homeopathic rem-
edy, the ‘‘core’’ remedy which has to be found, else the pa-
tient would not be cured, ignoring the fact that in deep
miasmatic diseases, as are the most of cases today, a series
of homeopathic remedies prescribed in sequence, at long in-
tervals, are necessary in order to accomplish a cure. ‘It is my
experience that if you find the remedy that is really at the
deepest level, they will do very well on it for many years.
Usually at the end of that time they are so healthy they don’t
need any other remedy. Otherwise, you will just get a partial
effect, but you have not really got it. As Hahnemann said,
you are zigzagging towards cure and I can’t do that very
often, it makes me dizzy!.If you go the depth of the
person, you see the main switch, which in one flick makes
all the individual bulbs light up.’
18
When we prescribe
the remedy to a patient on the basis of the Primary Psoric
Hypothesis, with the precise Themes and Guiding Motives,
we must expect that cure will manifest as a quantum leap.’
19
Sensations and delusions
Another recent idea that, I am afraid, will prolong the
confusion of students is that of the projection by the practi-
tioner of a supposedly underlying ‘‘context’’ of the ‘‘sensa-
tions’’ of the patient, to something beyond their meaning
and reality. ‘Another key component of this system has to
do with becoming attuned to the patient’s sensations. There
is a certain energy in precise sensation(s) having to do with
both the chief complaint and the general state of the patient,
which has enormous significance. Dr. Sankaran has termed
these as the vital sensations. Vital sensations are not merely
physical symptoms or emotions, but rather the common sen-
sations that connect the mind and the body. Indeed the vital
level is deeper than the mind or the body; it is at the center
point of the diseased state. These are non human specific
phenomena i.e. not exclusive to the domain of only human
beings and thus take us directly to the source of the remedy
itself.’
20
Projecting the ‘‘sensations’’ of the patient is a slippery
path for a homeopath to take because these ‘‘projections’’
are not recorded in the materia medica, and every practi-
tioner will be tempted to find another underlying ‘‘context’’
in the feelings of the patient. The fact is that we have to
match the patient’s symptoms to the remedy proving symp-
toms and for such a work we have both tools and rules.
The rest is mere conjecture that allows the ridiculing of
homeopathy as has appeared recently in the British press.
These extreme ideas create confusion in the minds of unin-
formed students and at the same time gave ammunition to
the foes of homeopathy.
Dangerous ideas
Other still more dangerous ‘‘new ideas’’ have also sur-
faced; for instance, the homeopathic version of vaccination.
This originated from a misunderstanding of the idea of Hah-
nemann that Belladonna, for instance, could act therapeuti-
cally during an epidemic of scarlet fever, not as a preventive
but because it was the ‘‘genius’’ of that epidemic and acted
curatively at the beginning of the infection. This observa-
tion was taken to mean that we can give someone a remedy
today and it will protect him/her from a prospective epi-
demic which might break out a year or two later.
21
Other ideas followed that only fanatics of a religious sect
could adopt: like ‘‘homeopathy can cure everything even all
forms of cancer or AIDS’’
22
or even worse ‘‘potentise mu-
sical tunes,
23
or the light of Venus or the moon
24
and give it
as a remedy!’’ Then some homeopaths, misled by such
ideas, claim to have found a cure for AIDS like a musical
tune played by a CD ‘Healing Downloads are a form of ho-
listic self-healing based upon resonance for a wide range of
illnesses and diseases. They are based on a breakthrough
that came about while applying a neglected part of homeop-
athy to the treatment of AIDS and Malaria in Africa. We dis-
covered a new way of healing based on time-tested
homeopathic principles and practices but with a new
form of delivery.’
25
And they call such nonsense classical
homeopathy!
With all these irrational and arbitrary ‘‘new ideas’’ the
‘‘modern teachers’’ are defaming homeopathy and demol-
ishing the corner stones that constitute its scientific edifice.
So it is not without reason that scientists reacted badly, that
the media launched a war against homeopathy and the
opponents of homeopathy are at this moment celebrating.
Conclusion
The attacks of the British media have influenced the per-
ception of whole homeopathy all over the world. I foresee
that this will continue and irrespective of the obvious vested
interests they serve. But the sad reality is that they are not
without justification. The great edifice of scientific credence
in homeopathy that was built with so much labour in so
many years by so many committed people is now crumbling
as we, the homeopathic community, are providing the argu-
ments that homeopathy is not a science. Real knowledge is
interspersed with confusion and misinformation, hard work
is replaced by projection; and self-interest is presented as al-
truistic teaching.
However this is life: where there is light, there are also
shadows. There are today enough sane homeopaths who
can turn the craziness, disorder and confusion into order
and sanity, but they must speak out. This journal should
be part of such a proactive movement defending the essence
and substance of the theories and principles bequeathed to
us by Samuel Hahnemann.
Are media attacks justified?
G Vithoulkas
105
Homeopathy
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Are media attacks justified?
G Vithoulkas
106
Homeopathy
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CONFUTACIÓN de la validez metódica de los ensayos controlados aleatorizados a doble ciego para la evaluación de la efectividad de los tratamientos médicos individualizados en disfunciones homeorrésicas crónicas. Joaquim Nabona, MD Resumen La supuesta validez metódica de los ensayos controlados aleatorizados a doble ciego (ECADCs) para la evaluación de la efectividad de los tratamientos médicos individualizados en disfunciones homeorrésicas crónicas es confutable a la luz de la simplicidad inherente al Principio sempiterno de la similitud, el fundamento fontanal del arte y de la ciencia, sobre la cual se alza el método científico medicinal sanativo, denominado Homeopatía. Dado que la Homeopatía pura, toda simple, trata cada caso de disfunción homeorrésica de manera máximamente individualizada, su efectividad terapéutica no puede ser evaluada estadísticamente por medio de ensayos controlados aleatorizados a doble ciego. Palabras clave Certeza; ensayos controlados aleatorizados; eficiencia; homeorresis; individualización; método; significación clínica; simplicidad. Abstract The supposed methodical validity of double-blind, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to assess the effectiveness of individualized medical treatments for chronic homeorhetic dysfunctions can be confuted in the light of the inherent simplicity in the everlasting Principle of similitude, the primary source of arts and of science, upon which the healing medical scientific method, called Homeopathy, stands. Since quite simple, pure Homeopathy treats each case of homeorhetic dysfunction in the most minute individualized way, its therapeutical effectivennes cannot be statistically assessed through double-bind randomized controlled trails. Introducción El fenómeno ubicuo y universal de la analogía juega un papel decisivo, no suficientemente reconocido, en todos los ámbitos del conocimento, en las ciencias y en los métodos para aproximarse a sus respectivos objetos de conocimiento. El fenómeno de la analogía, así como el del razonamiento analógico 51,52, 101,116 , tiene un fundamento 1,4,10,31,122 , cuya didáctica, desdichadamente, aún se neglige en la educación universitaria, en general, y en la educación y formación biomédica, en particular 31, 119,141,149. En este contexto, la via metódica del paradigma biomédico hegemónico para la evaluación de la efectividad de cualquier tratamiento médico, el ensayo controlado aleatorizado a doble ciego (ECADC), es fruto de esta negligencia epistémica. De esta deficiencia didáctica 119 se desprende también el relato que "no hay evidencia científica para la homeopatía", que "niega la base científica de la homeopatía" 124 , y también • Introducción. • Sección A. La simplicidad inherente al Principio sempiterno de la similitud como Argumento. • Sección B. Los ensayos controlados aleatorizados a doble ciego y la evaluación de la efectividad de los tratamientos médicos individualizados en disfunciones homeorrésicas crónicas. • Discusión. • Conclusión. • Referencias.
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Resumen El tópico que "la homeopatía es pseudociencia" y el relato que "no hay evidencia científica para la homeopatía" son confutables a la luz de la simplicidad inherente al Principio de la similitud, el fundamento fontanal del método científico medicinal sanativo impulsado desde 1796 por el Dr. S. Hahnemann. Abstract Topics on homeopathy such as "it is pseudoscience" or "it does not exist evidence for homeopathy" can be confuted in the light of the inherent simplicity in the Principle of similitude, the primary source of the healing medical scientific method boosted from 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, M.D. Palabras claves casos individuales únicos, curación cierta, eficiencia, homeorresis, método científico, significación clínica, simplicidad.
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Topics on homeopathy such as "it is pseudoscience" or "it does not exist evidence for homeopathy" can be confuted in the light of the inherent simplicity in the Principle of similitude, the primary source of the healing medical scientific method boosted from 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, M.D.
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Buy Article Permissions and Reprints Summary As in any other science new developments to further improve homeopathy are regularly presented. Sensation homeopathy as developed by Rajan Sankaran and his colleagues seems to be a development that is there to stay. This is underlined by a growing number of homeopaths that have come to master it. This article presents an overview of the method by its initiator. Key words Sensation homeopathy - Vital sensation - Miasms - Kingdoms - Levels of experience - Case taking - Integration of methods
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