The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

Contrasting the USFDA and Social Skepticism Definitions of ‘Homeopathy’

Any man can be made to appear irrational and vile, if his enemies only are allowed to speak on his behalf.
Homeopathy, as defined by a particular series of strawman fallacies, is a completely ridiculous pseudoscience, yes. The problem is that the United States Food and Drug Administration, the manufacturers of homeopathic product and the industry in general do not define homeopathy by means of these strawman fallacies. Only Social Skepticism does. Why?
As it turns out, the claims from Social Skepticism that homeopathy is defined as employment of extreme dilutions, placebo, metaphysical entities, vital energies or adherence to antiquated science, all reveal themselves upon diligent investigation, to be false.

sleight of hand of misrepresentationThe Ethical Skeptic is forced to ask: Why? (Note: I am not a homeopathy proponent, I believe there should be one standard for OTC medicinals, and efficacy (not safety) approval should come through a qualified consumer review panel – anonymous so that it cannot be corrupted by SSkeptics and Big Pharma – and not have the process left to an overwhelmed FDA, or prejudiced SSkeptic and Big Pharma lobby groups. The most informed researchers are mom’s and dad’s – we just need to harness the power of enough of their ethics and knowledge.  And in today’s data and intelligence technology environment, this can be done. Unfortunately lobbyists, money and Social Skepticism are getting in the way of science.)

In order to give that inquiry justice, that will have to be the subject of another blog article altogether. But I suppose we will find a hint below with respect to the FDA’s 1962 delineation of HPUS qualified substances.  An issue which begs the question, and forces us too examine the all-to-common milieu around SSkeptic definitions, and in particular theirs of ‘homeopathy’:

–  Who Loses? and

–  Who Benefits?

An exercise I command regularly in my advisement services with nations suffering from corruption and oppression. We have already published a blog study (see the graphic below) showing that homeopathic cold remedies sold in drug stores over the counter were exactly the same ingredients and dosages as employed in the big pharma equivalents; so The Ethical Skeptic has suspected that some chicanery was afoot in the Social Skepticism movement regarding homeopathy.  It appears to be a whipping boy subject to further a furtive oligarch agenda.  The definitions below elicit this dishonesty and the specific fallacies involved:

From The Skeptic’s Dictionary, Social Skepticism’s definitions of homeopathy:¹

“…the less you use it, the stronger it gets.” – Phil Plait

“…helping the vital force restore the body to harmony and balance.”

“…involves the appeal to metaphysical entities and processes.”

“…trying to balance “humors” by treating a disorder with its opposite (allos).”

“…generally defined as a system of medical treatment based on the use of minute quantities of remedies…”

“…potency could be affected by vigorous and methodical shaking (succussion).”

“…succussion could release “immaterial and spiritual powers,” thereby making substances more active.”

“Homeopaths refer to “the Law of Infinitesimals”… The law of infinitesimals seems to have been partly derived from his notion that any remedy would cause the patient to get worse before getting better and that one could minimize this negative effect by significantly reducing the size of the dose. Most critics of homeopathy balk at this “law” because it leads to remedies that have been so diluted as to have nary a single molecule of the substance one starts with.”

“…homeopathic remedies work by altering the structure of water, thereby allowing the water to retain a “memory” of the structure of the homeopathic substance that has been diluted out of existence.”

“…homeopathic remedies, if effective, are no more effective than placebos.”

 “…homeopaths believe, …that the [scientific practice of a] placebo-controlled randomised (sic) controlled trial is not a fitting research tool with which to test homeopathy.”

 “…homeopathy claims a special exemption from the rules of logic and science…”

This array of mis-definitions and prejudicial portrayals suffers from not only the fact that they are incorrect – homeopathy, as defined by the professional organizations who regulate and manufacture in that industry (in other words the “authorities” as SSkeptics like to cite), employs standard industry effective ingredients in standard OTC dilutions – but also suffers employment of

6 fatal, non-trivial fallacies in the definition of homeopathy foisted by Social Skepticism

  1. a fallacy of composition in that one historical person or fringe idea is used as rationale to dismiss an entire equivocal subject
  2. a lie of equivocation, in employing a mis-definition to impugn a similarly titled topic ‘homeopathy’
  3. a characterization from a negative premise, in that they presume all users of the term ‘homeopathy’ practice pseudo science or adhere to anti-scientific agendas
  4. a fictus scientia fallacy, wherein one claims that science has tested industry defined homeopathy, when indeed it has only tested SSkeptic defined homeopathy
  5. a scarecrow error, in fabricating completely fictitious, ridiculous or expired beliefs as constituting the claims of a disdained group, in order to discredit the group
  6. an antiquing fallacy, showing its false, hoax based or dubious past inside a set of well known anecdotal cases. Also the instance where a thesis is deemed incorrect because it was commonly held when something else, clearly false, was also commonly held.

But in the real world, where real professional business is done, it’s the same damn stuff, same damn substrate, same damn dilutions, same damn product – Just costs 15-55% less than the products pushed by the sponsors of Social Skepticism (see below).

homeopathic comparative

And here is why. The United States Food and Drug Administration defines homeopathy² in its jurisdictional provisions under Section CPG 400.400 of its Compliance Policy Guidelines regarding homeopathy

DEFINITIONS:

 The following terms are used in this document and are defined as follows:

us fda homeopathy guidelines 1. Homeopathy: The practice of treating the syndromes and conditions which constitute disease with remedies that have produced similar syndromes and conditions in healthy subjects.

 2. Homeopathic Drug: Any drug labeled as being homeopathic which is listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States (HPUS), an addendum to it, or its supplements. The potencies of homeopathic drugs are specified in terms of dilution, i.e., 1x (1/10 dilution), 2x (1/100 dilution), etc. Homeopathic drug products must contain diluents commonly used in homeopathic pharmaceutics. Drug products containing homeopathic ingredients in combination with non-homeopathic active ingredients are not homeopathic drug products.

According to the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States, a homeopathic drug does not have to involve the principle of dilution at all.³ In fact the seven criteria, recognized by the FDA and the HPUS, which selectively or collectively qualify a drug as being homeopathic are

1) US FDA compliant as safe and effective

2) prepared according to the specifications of the General Pharmacy

3) submitted documentation to USFDA and HPUS

4) drug proving and clinical verification in accordance with modern evolved scientific practices

5) substance was in use prior to 1962 – Note Public Domain Medicinal – ‘Who loses and who benefits?’

6) two adequately controlled double blind clinical studies

7) clinical experience or data documented in the medical literature

Not a single one of these requirements for listing on the HPUS involves or required extreme dilutions, placebo, metaphysical entities, vital energy or adherence to antiquated science.  Imagine that. The FDA and SSkepticism definitions do not match in the least. An all too common occurrence.

Again, I am not a proponent of homeopathy. I buy the product if it is a low cost alternative to the big pharma inflated equivalent. But given the rancor with which Social Skepticism deals with the subject, and the patterns of habitual corruption employed in their opposition, the natural question I then must ask is: Why?


¹  homeopathy, The Skeptic’s Dictionary, October 11 2014; http://skepdic.com/homeo.html. Note that the employment of the definition is shrouded in its recitation offing, yet the contention that this constitutes the definition of homeopathy remains logically clear once the text is removed of antiquing fallacy, misdirection and equivocation prejudice employed in the history of the subject outlined in the reference. In this context the ‘history of the subject’ is employed in a context in which no other definition is offered, and is employed in such a way to discredit the subject as a whole – an invalid form of argument – and thus, substantiates the argument’s employment as a method of tendering a definition.

²  The United States Food and Drug Administration, Inspections Compliance Enforcement and Criminal Investigations Section “CPG Sec. 400.400 Conditions Under Which Homeopathic Drugs May be Marketed,” http://www.fda.gov/iceci/compliancemanuals/compliancepolicyguidancemanual/ucm074360.htm.

³  The HPUS Criteria for Eligibility, http://www.hpus.com/eligibility.php.

October 11, 2014 Posted by | Argument Fallacies, Institutional Mandates, Tradecraft SSkepticism | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stooge Posing – Why Celebrity SSkeptics Debunk Easy Things

Amityville Horror House Seen on Moon by Apollo 15

amityville horror houseSo I caught you with that headline.  Sorry about that, as sadly the story has been officially debunked by prominent skeptics. Social Skeptics and Celebrity SSkeptics use the subjects like Homeopathy, 9/11 Conspiracies and the debunking of ridiculous ideas and brazenly faked ‘hoax evidence’ to bolster their record of debunking success, in an attempt to increase their credibility in and around other subjects which they fearfully disdain or seek to discredit.  This process of self-aggrandizement is called Stooge Posing, and is a key pathway for SSkeptics to establish peer ranking without having to do any science or actually even be a scientist.  At this point in his career Mike Tyson was 37-0.  However, at least 15 of those competitors were easy set-ups, less skilled boxers utilized and paid to bolster his fight record.  This left him susceptible to an entirely unexpected 10th round 30 second KO at the hands of Buster Douglas.

Easy kills are for lion cubs and lyin’ people; SSkeptics grow fat on such prey.  Homeopathy at its purest core (not the broader use of the term), useful only in pseudoscience topic bashing, offers merit badge points which increase the Cabal Member’s status and perceived gravitas.  Since they do not plan to perform any actual effort at researching other targeted and unwelcome topics which they seek to disarm, nor do they hold any position of research accordingly, SSkeptics plan to rely upon critical personal peer status to realize their effortlessly attained office.    Once a SSkeptic has established a peer review standing, then that SSkeptic has garnered credibility in applying such authority on other and all targeted topics in the future – a goal best accomplished with as little investigative effort as possible.

James Randi when he hype-swallows one single bottle of sugar pills, is not incorrect on the point he is making. But the fact is that this leverages this easy kill of Homeopathy into celebrity, successfully promoting his entire cosmological religion.

In the end for many other Social Skeptics it is neither about consumer health nor science at all.  It is about crafting oligopoly institutional power, plain and simple.  A dishonest ruse.  Stooge Posing and Deskeption.

Why Debunk Easy Things?

  • Very little work involved
  • Implies that SSkeptics are correct about other more scary topics
  • Comforts those who are afraid and angry
  • Plenty of Fake-Hoax material to draw from
  • Does not threaten corporate sponsors/increases their power
  • Allows for quick gang cohesion
  • Provides for a good laugh and entertains the Cabal
  • Keeps things in the anecdotal deniability zone of comfort
  • Message conveys to an audience you presume is dumb
  • Bolsters my record/gravitas for use on more difficult subjects
  • Tenders the facade idea that I am protecting the Public at Large
  • Get automatic invites to university speaking engagements
  • Makes me money
  • Makes me famous

SSkeptics are skeptical when it is to their advantage to be a bully in the social order; but flee from their activist positions if the skepticism runs counter to anything supported by the Cabal.  This is NOT skepticism.

“At best, belief in provably false things like homeopathy (notice the context shift here dear reader to ‘provably false things’ – the real subject) is a colossal waste of money, and at worst belief in homeopathy can kill you. That’s why skeptics are fighting the practice of homeopathy all over the world, from the UK to Australia.” – Bad Astronomy (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/05/17/british-medical-association-homeopathy-is-witchcraft/).

Yes, and SSkeptics ‘all over the world’ are all about improving the efficacy of our health information and practices.  That is why they are there in the trenches supporting cutting edge research and compliance in every lab and in every pharma company (rolling eyes).  That is why they are there at Monsanto in St. Louis, questioning the wisdom of genetically modifying corn and wheat without sufficient pre-study.  Yes, skeptical champions of our health they are.  They were out there fighting for the introduction of the PrevPack, and the eradication of H. Pylori (a1). Yes sir, right there, fighting for science and the human health the entirety of the 35 years after its proven efficacy.  Yes, they are there fighting for the inclusion of Levo-triiodithyronine (T3) in the treatment of hypo-thyroid and showing the connection of food allergens to Diabetes.   Yes, they are there in the face of the water company execs who allow per-chlorate and fluorine concentrations in our water which are damaging our endocrine systems. Yes, they are there at the forefront of science methodology being applied to food allergies, as we hit record levels of wheat allergies in US health history.   They are right there in the trenches, addressing the 20:1 increases in alimentary tract cancers. and mapping out the confidence intervals on potential causation.  At worst, participation with the practices of SSkeptics can kill you.  You and a billion other people.  But we will start saving lives with the topic of Homeopathy, no sense assailing bigger, more critical and really challenging subjects. Let’s start with small victories.  Let’s start with Stooge Posed setups.

Key Social Skeptic indicator:  When social prominence and reputation as a debunker come before ethical issues of health or data

The malicious part of this resides not in the fact that the SSkeptic above is technically incorrect – they are not.  Rather the deception resides in the fact that no SSkeptics only use the subject of Homeopathy as a prop up and easy patsy, for advancement of their own social status benefit.  They then discard the merit badge carton on the ground like an emptied McDonald’s burger bag.

An easy hate.  An easy kill. Easy pat answers.  Easy way to get notoriety in the Cabal.  Homeopathy bashing is easy, like a thoughtless one-liner.  But being correct, is not the same as being right.  This is Deskeption, plain and simple.

February 29, 2012 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda, Argument Fallacies, Social Disdain | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Anti-Homeopathy Propaganda Proves False

I heard the Social Skeptic Cabal screaming about how all Homeopathic medicines consist of only infinitesimally diluted placebo formulations.  So I decided to check out their assertions. What I found did not match what they claimed to me. 

Public Domain medicinals, ones we can all use at low cost or to start a business of our own, kill celebrity SSkeptic big pharma sponsors’ profits, and thwart social oligopolistic agendas.  One need not block the use of such remedies, rather simply block the channels which bring them to market shelves in volume efficiently.  Homeopathic channels are one such mechanism.  This same game is being played out in non-GMO foods and in nutricuticals as well.  Same tactics, same fake skepticism, same players, same net outcomes.  Client oligopolies in action.

 IMG_1213Not a big user or proponent of Homeopathic remedies myself, nonetheless I remain skeptical of the actions & motivations behind the marketing push by the anti-homeopathy flash crowd.  Plurality remains on this subject, or in other words, the ‘jury is still out.’  The more James Randi yells, the less I consider him credible.  The more I look into the facts, the more I begin to question what is behind this movement.

There are MUCH better arenas demanding skepticism in health and medicine; much better and more effective channels of research avail themselves to one who wants to apply the disciplines of skeptical thought in order to save lives.  But no, crushing small companies seems to be fair sport for the self-appointed elite.  Could their motivation be money from big drug and pharma targeting monopolistic control of all drug channels?  There is ample precedent for this in industry inside of consumer goods and especially pharmaceuticals, so I naturally watch for such corruption.   Yes, the establishment of a horizontal monopoly/oligopoly (sole control of channels rather than control of markets) is socialistic, and constitutes corruption. Elitist corruption begins with an agenda and continues through a sleight of hand distraction to a state where lack of competitive accountability produces inflation and reduces quality of life for us all.  Corruption and inflation go hand in hand, and you will see a case example regarding the pricing of big drug and pharma medicinals versus the cost effective Umcka OTC (which claims on the box to be Homeopathic) remedy below.  I do not know however the true motivation on the part of the anti-homeopathy movement, but I have doubts that it is about human lives.

The Scientific Method demands evidence of the highest integrity from entities which purport to represent science, to back up their inflammatory and extraordinary claims.  Good intentions are not enough to validate your pulpit, because what I see in Homeopathy is NOT what they (SSkeptics) tell me Homeopathy is. This bothers me.  Misleading people is not an acceptable action in science, even if the ‘scientist’ declares their intent to be honorable because the agenda partially involves a warning about bad practices and dangers. Moreover, on other issues, SSkeptics prove time and again that they cannot be trusted.  Their top objective is typically constituted by an agenda and not science; lacking any semblance of individual thought or dissent within highly pluralistic subjects.  So why would the case of Homeopathy be any different? What they told me Homeopathy is, sounded very bad indeed.  But what I saw in this brief look-see conflicted with what the Cabal has been shouting at me.

If homeopathy is only promoting sugar pills, then yes, this is unethical.  But right now the only placebo I have been given has been by James Randi.  Now my skeptic hackles have been raised.

Testing SSkeptic Claims

deskmen

Bookshelves!! We have to be smart with Bookshelves!!

I took a look at one Homeopathic medicine (photo above) I have in my cabinet.  I was not even aware that it was Homeopathic when I bought it for a cold last year. But here is the summary of ingredients and the equivalent dose versus established big drug and pharma company drug equivalents.  Most of the ingredients as I research them prove to be common ancient treatments, two are deadly toxic in high dose – and the dilutions in this preparation are the SAME dilutions as are used in the big drug and pharma equivalent name brands.  So I would NOT recommend James Randi down a whole box of this stuff, as he has a habit of doing.  Two of these toxins at these solute ratios would poison him. The SSkeptic Cabal has instructed me that Homeopathy is constituted by three things (Mandatory Bookshelves : See Apologists – they love to be filmed in front of bookshelves):

  1. (STUFF) – low active levels of toxic antagonist agents which are targeted to produce a counter effect to their macro indications, and
  2. (DOSAGE) – dilution of active beneficial agents to levels where no molecules of the original agent any longer exist in the formulaic tincture;
  3. (SUBSTRATE) – all this deposited onto sugar cubes.

But what I found, with this homeopathic remedy, was that none of the Cabal’s contentions were correct. This remedy was actually significant in dose, and employing industry standard medicinals, commonly used for colds.  Its substrate was the EXACT SAME THING used by Merck, Glaxo, Roche, Novartis, etc.  James Randi was not correct. Why all the acerbic mis-characterizations then?

It’s the 1. SAME DAMN STUFF, 2. SAME DAMN DOSAGE, 3. SAME DAMN COMPOUNDING SUBSTRATE, as the big drug and pharma companies employ.

THE ONLY DIFFERENCE? = $8.29 for this medicine, versus $20.99 for the the Big 6 Pharma equivalent – and why? Through an ingredient’s listing on the HPUS, this allows us to manufacture drugs in the public domain more cost effectively (from the FDA guidance on Homeopathic Drugs):

2. Homeopathic Drug: Any drug labeled as being homeopathic which is listed in the *Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States (HPUS), an addendum to it, or its supplements. The potencies of homeopathic drugs are specified in terms of dilution, i.e., 1x (1/10 dilution), 2x (1/100 dilution), etc. Homeopathic drug products must contain diluents commonly used in homeopathic pharmaceutics. Drug products containing homeopathic ingredients in combination with non-homeopathic active ingredients are not homeopathic drug products.

So you can buy these remedies more cost effectively, if you can find the public domain remedy on the shelf, if it has not been removed by cartel activists.  The issue resides in the active agents employed, and the revenue stream which can be derived from them.  All of these remedies in the Homeopathic product have been used effectively in the public domain since antiquity, but for some reason fell out of favor versus patented private revenue alternatives.  Curse that public domain! – it frees people from inflation, control by big socialism, and allows the manufacturing to be done in the domestic footprint, not overseas; and we cannot tolerate any of this under a social approach to medicine! The issue is that, in the public domain, we ALL own these drugs, and are free to use them and compete with business in a free enterprise capital economy.  Control of the channels, enforced by funded academic ‘skeptics’ establishes inflation, kills business, enslaves and creates social structure domination in an economy.  Oligopolies/monopolies  are indistinguishable from socialism.

Just as the music industry attempted to blame Napster and downloading for its monopolistic revenue loss, when in fact the revenue loss was from the unanticipated impact of new employment of permanent media (digital files rather than cassettes and vinyl) rather than perishable media (we no longer had to buy the same songs over and over and over again – and the execs in the industry did not truly understand their business revenue model); we have a case here of an industry seeking to deflect the competitive impact of free market remedies on their horizontal oligopolistic channel control.  This remains the lead hypothesis, a. because it can be falsified, and b. the alternative, “homeopathy is evil,” is not even a true hypothesis under the scientific method.  And I just falsified it, in one, my first, anecdote.  I would suspect that, as I go down the aisle in my local drugstore, every single one of the Homeopathic remedies represents the same situation.  HPUS listed drugs being sold at lower cost than their big pharma equivalent and NOT hypo-solutes – as Social Skepticism contends.

Comparison of Homeopathic OTC Purchase to Big Drug Equivalent Dose/Dilution

The ‘science’ studies I have read on Homeopathy, which generally just turn out to be history recitations, and exact duplicates of each other, seem to get all wound up in the notation, as if the notation was evil itself.  Just because homeopathy uses a different notation, does not mean that a woo factor should be masked around it, as classic ppm or ml notation can be used to calculate ridiculously small solute ratios just as in homeopathy; there is nothing particularly insidious about X, C, and M style notations.

So what gives here?  Now the Cabal wants Walgreen’s to stop selling this OTC remedy.  I will buy one of the big drug names for $20.99 next year I guess.  I am scratching my head. Why the misinformation? Science is about evidence, falsifiable hypothesis testing, credibility and established trust; not propaganda and hype.

Leading Indications

Pseudoscience is the deceptive act of claiming to use or represent the Scientific Method or Science in attaining conclusions, when in fact such contentions are false.  Pseudoscience is not a set of beliefs nor an undesirable topic of credulity, contrary to what SSkeptics claim; rather, is an action constituted by errant methodology and pretense.

In my opinion, the Social Skeptic Cabal is using the equivocation over the definition of what is deemed “Homeopathic” as an avenue of opportunity to condemn one extreme definition of Homeopathy and port this condemnation onto the broader public definition of the term, in order to suppress sales of certain medicinals.

Short Term Conclusion:  Hypothesis A is the lead candidate.  Pseudoscience in action targeting support of oligopolistic drug interests, allied with a SSkeptic social party agenda – Misrepresentation of a knowledge base and the methods used in researching it – passed off as science, by people claiming to BE science, when in fact, no science and no scientific method was used in the process.  Gang, let’s get going with at least ONE case of research like I have done here above.  But let’s gather actual data and 97% or greater confidence intervals across a Sample (s) of 6% or more on the industry current Federal SKU base (S), not history lessons on 100 years ago and scare taunts about Homeopathy being witchcraft.  For this extraordinary claim (all homeopathy is inactive sugar pills), the onus is on YOU to provide more integrity in your science.

February 23, 2011 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda, Argument Fallacies, Institutional Mandates, Social Disdain | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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