Gimpy At It Again!!

Posted on January 25, 2009. Filed under: Gimpy At It Again!! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It seems that “Gimpy” and his gang of anti-homeopathic bloggers are on another rampage. This time the focus of their vicious attacks is one of the world’s most revered homeopaths, Jeremy Sherr. Here is a letter from Jeremy in response to their mindless, wretched and inane accusations:

 

 My homoeopathic friends,
 
In the past few days the Tanzanian AIDS project and I have become the target of the “anti homoeopathy” attackers in the UK.  They have posted on both my blog, the “gimpyblog”
http://gimpyblog.wordpress.com/  and others with inflammatory speculation and erroneous conclusions about the Homoeopathy AIDS project. 
 
We would like to bring this to the attention of the larger homoeopathic community.  As many of you know, there has been an ongoing campaign to discredit and annihilate homoeopathy in the UK by posting false information and unfounded and inflammatory opinions. Their battlefield has now expanded to Tanzania. 
 
In the attacks on the Tanzanian AIDS project they took parts of my blog and previous interviews from my website archives and contrived a story in order to further their desire to malign homoeopathy.  They allege that I am persuading patients to use homoeopathy in place of ARVs, which is totally untrue. They claim that any research of homoeopathy is unethical as there is no proof that homoeopathy works.  They even went so far as to claim that my treating AIDS patients in Tanzania with homoeopathy will lead to mass murder.  These accusations are not only malicious, they are libelous.
Their tactics were not confined to regurgitation their thoughts online.  One follower even phoned a UK organization that supports the AIDS project and also contacted UK and Tanzanian government officials, claiming that there was an ‘unethical’ project taking place.
 
I am urging the global homoeopathic community to rise up in solidarity.
 
This is a tiny but dedicated faction who uses the internet blogs and the media to amplify their spurious attacks.
 
They have stated that they are determined to kill homoeopathy. 
 
They have had negative impact on the availability of homoeopathy in the UK and are responsible for the closing of homoeopathy hospitals and clinics as a direct consequence of their campaign.

Here are some ways to show your support for the work of all homoeopaths worldwide and for the Tanzanian AIDS clinic. 
 
1. MEET THEM ON THEIR OWN GROUND: Flood their blogs http://gimpyblog.wordpress.com/  with posts on the benefits of homeopathy, using examples of your own experiences.  They can argue endlessly about the theory, but what do they say to the hundreds of thousands of people who have had improved health?
 
2. USE THE INTERNET TO AMPLIFY HOMOEOPATHY’S VOICE.
Go to my blog and post your supportive comments on 
http://www.jeremysjournalfromafrica.blogspot.com
Let anyone visiting the blog see the overwhelming support for this project and homoeopathy in general.  To learn more about the project, see my website 
http://www.dynamis.edu
 
3. PUT A STOP TO THESE ATTACKS.  Homoeopathy is our beloved profession, our mission in life. Respond vigorously to any attempts to intimidate practitioners or to denigrate your passion to bring our gentle healing to others, wherever they may live. 
 
Meanwhile, I am returning to Tanzania to continue treating AIDS patients.  In my first six weeks I have treated 100 AIDS patients with very promising results.  We have a clinic administrator in the north where a high percent of the people have AIDS and where there are very few medical institutions. The situation is worse than I could ever have imagined, worse than anything shown on television or written in books. The patients are eager to use homoeopathy and I am eager to help them.

I and my colleagues are fully committed to establishing a treatment, teaching and research center in Tanzania.  This is homoeopathy’s chance to shine.  Please join us!

 

 

 

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11 Responses to “Gimpy At It Again!!”

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Oh dear. Why would the owner of a blog purporting to advance the interests of good science, such as this one, be willing to help such a villainous huxter as Sherr?

Surely you can see the harm he is visiting on those poor victims in Tanzania. Surely you can hear the desperation in the tone of his letter, as of one who knows he is doing something wrong, and is seeking outside validation for it.

Could you address the actual complaint about Sherr’s behaviour: that he is conducting trials of unproven medications on Tanzanian AIDS patients without having obtained ethical approvals normally required to conduct drugs research? Let’s just assume for the sake of argument that homeopathy generally works and is a tremendously effective system of medicine etc. Even assuming all that, do you think it is alright to conduct trials on 3rd world patients without official approval and ethical review?

By the way, I find it odd that Jeremy’s saying “To learn more about the project, see my website http://www.dynamis.edu“, because the pages on dynamis.edu about Jeremy’s AIDS project in Africa were deleted last week, shortly after people drew attention to them. I’ve written to Dynamis to ask why the pages have disappeared, but received no reply.

“They can argue endlessly about the theory, but what do they say to the hundreds of thousands of people who have had improved health?”

Probably the same we say to the hundreds and thousands of people who have experienced positive results from placebos in controlled trials, or felt better after being touched by a faith-healer: People are gullible and the mind-body relationship is powerful, so beware what you pay for. The problem is that rural Tanzania is a difficult place to reach people to warn them, while at the same time being fertile ground for any sort of quackery.

And when it comes to AIDS, quackery, wishful thinking and big-pharma conspiracy theories, please come to my home country of South Africa and talk to the families of the more than 300 000 people who died when they were denied ARVs because quacks like Matthias Rath managed to convince the government of his nutriwoo. Only after that are you allowed to have any kind of say about Africa, AIDS and unproven alternative medicine.

I won’t even _start_ on the sickening lack of ethics of someone who proudly stated that he is willing to conduct trials/experiments on terminally ill patients who are likely to be superstitious and lack any kind of scientific education to judge for themselves the probable efficacy of what the white man who calls himself ‘doctor’ is doing to them.

Why are you not capable of any self-critique?

I think the answer is here:
“Homoeopathy is our beloved profession, our mission in life.”

It demonstrates a religious fervour that is blinkered in its approach. I’m pretty sure that no amount of evidence would convince you homeopathy doesn’t work, as you are using it as a faith system.

Please address the complaints rather than bluff and bolster in the style of St Paul.

I don’t think the suggestion is that “any research of homoeopathy is unethical” (sic). Rather the concerns were that Mr Sherr stated that if he failed to gain ethical approval, he would proceed without it. This is unethical behaviour, and is the central point.
If you are in favour of unethical behaviour in conducting research in developing countries, please do flood the skeptic blogs with this point of view. But stick to this key point. Anecdotes about personal health are not reliable evidence: indeed research in health care is essentially all about rising above the level of anecdote. Please read and reflect upon the skeptical blogs themselves, and respond rationally and thoughfully to the significant challenges you may encounter there.

Is it not reasonable for, in such a serious matter as AIDS treatment, people to check claimed references?

As it turns out, it seems that several groups / organisations that Mr Sherr has being claiming as supporters of his trial have either never heard of it, or aren’t backing it in any way, shape or form.

I call that dishonest.

This is a profoundly upsetting blogpost. My criticisms about ethics have not even being mentioned, let alone answered. If the homeopath community unite and attack me rather than answering my criticism then they will demonstrate, beyond reasonable doubt, that they are not capable of debate and not deserving of a voice in discussions on regulation.

I’ve written about homeopathy on many occasions on my blog. I’ve discussed the unwillingness of practitioners, organisations and advocates to meaningfully discuss the evidence regarding homeopathy or criticism of their ethics (the Society of Homeopaths have some history here – people may remember their symposium on “the role of homeopathy in treating HIV/AIDS” or them breaking their own code of ethics, as covered by the excellent Gimpyblog). Jeremy Sherr has cropped up on a couple of occasions – first when he appeared on a website supporting a bizarre video being made to promote the idea that homeopathy may be a cure for autism. Now, I’ve written about Sherr again. The proposed research plan was poorly conceived and had no adequate control group. It is considered unethical to give placebo treatment in Aids patients, and some people believe that a trial of an implausible remedy that lacks good evidence of any benefit over placebo and which is being given to patients who are not receiving ARV treatment would therefore also be unethical. Sherr responded with a rant about the “Pharmaceutical Inquisition [...] squawking away in a hysterical frenzy”. All that had happened was that bloggers had commented on the shockingly poor design of Jeremy’s proposed trial. To call this a “Pharmaceutical Inquisition” was, as a response, hysterical rather than measured and was an inaccurate characterisation of the comments. Your referring to the comments on Sherr’s blog as “vicious” is, frankly, laughable. Instead of you and Sherr making up childish insults for people who disagree with his ideas or wrongly referring to the criticism as “vicious” when it is clearly nothing of the sort, wouldn’t it be better to engage in serious discussion? After all, we are talking about Aids here – not something trivial.

It is remarkable the amount of time that these people put into criticizing this person and every little nuance of what is being said by homeopaths. Amazing. I’ve written on my blog: http://elephantsandmice.wordpress.com about the sick and obsessive nature for these people who have had little to do with homeopathy or homeopaths except in some obsessional mentally sick way.

As well, what I also find remarkable is that they are so uncritical of regular medicine’s ethics and its foray into killing in third world countries. When someone mentioned a vaccine study on gimpy’s blog, that has killed 14 plus children , one of these skeptics claimed the deaths were coincidental even though the drug company, Glaxo Smith actually admitted to Associated Press that they were a direct result of the study. They claimed that because the current vaccine causes more deaths it is OK to kill children in their study.

They don’t complain about the ethics of drug companies but somehow gossip about potential problems as if they have already happened. The deaths in South America are real- the deaths by a homeopath are a figment of their hysteria.

AN Whitehead – the famous British mathematician said

Nothing is more curious than the self satisfied dogmatism with which mankind cherishes the delusion of its existing mode of knowledge…Skeptics and Believers are all alike at this moment scientists and skeptics are the leading do dogmatists.

ADVANCE IN DETAILS IS ADMITTED FUNDAMENTAL NOVELTY IS BANNED.

Homeopathy is a novelty to the Tanzanians, as it is to all those who have not experienced its benefit on their health.

Tony nothing modern about Homeopathy, 200 years, plus claims of 2000 years of history. Its seems dogmatic to me that nothing about Homeopathy has changed. Whilst science and modern medicine changes every day, new drugs, new techniques old ideas abandoned. If Homeopathy worked it would be accepted, in the mean time Homeopaths dogmatically cling onto old ideas.


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