Taking the “e” out of homeopathy

It’s been a rough week. No, it hasn’t been rough here on the blog; personally I think I’ve managed to serve up heaping’ helpings of the usual expected Insolence–and then some–if I do say so myself. Rather, it’s been a bit rough at the old job. Ah, well, it can’t all be sweetness and light. Fortunately, there’s always some woo to lighten the mood. In this case, it came from, of all places, P.Z. Myers, who took a break from writing about biology, cephalopods, and atheism and led me to some quackery I hadn’t seen before. Well, not exactly. It’s definitely quackery that I’ve seen before many, many times. It’s just that I haven’t seen it applied in this…unusual manner before. Meet Bund Katholischer Ärzte (the Association of Catholic Doctors in Germany). Now, the website is in German (as you probably figured out if you clicked the link), but fortunately the almighty Google Translate can provide an English version that is readable, if full of strange sentence constructions that only add to the air of looniness of the text. For instance, Bund Katholischer Ärzte has a problem with homosexuality:

Dear colleague,

Doctor and visitors, because of the increased interest and current questions about “curing homosexuality” would like to Catholic Medical Association BKÄ information from a medical-theological point of view give.

It is not about outing or intolerance, but a medically-Catholic contribution to this ancient theme.

Oh, goody. Bund Katholischer Ärzte thinks it can “cure” homosexuality (whatever that would mean). So you know right from the start that they’re not exactly proceeding from the reality-based world. But it gets worse than that. How do you think Bund Katholischer Ärzte wants to cure homosexuality? What are its proposed treatments? Easy. It’s homeopathy:

The homeopathy treatment has the following structure:

The therapeutic approach is short:
“Detoxification” and “constitution therapy”

1) Homeopathic first consultation (90 minutes)

2) Basic treatment:
– Detoxification (of old diseases, using nosodes)
– REJECTION (Sulphur)

3) “series of …”
Old, not healed consequences of (psychological) injury concern.

4) Special treatment of the actual evil,
Gift of the ‘Simile’ constitutional therapy

Ah, yes. It’s The One Quackery To Rule Them All, One Quackery To Bind Them, One Quackery To Bring Them All and in the darkness fleece them. (Apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien.) So, what do the Catholic doctors say about homeopathy? What can it do, other than function as some sort of magical, mystical gay-be-gone? Well, in a radio interview, we learn:

1) Does homeopathy for women?
Yes, homeopathy works for all people, even in animals and plants.
Homosexual inclinations can be treated with WOMEN as well as in men.

Good to know that it’s all equal opportunity quackery.

2) Homeopathy for “abuse by clergy?”
Yes, homeopathy can in all people (not just priests!) Are applied, sexual abuse operate and do seek help.

3) Homeopathy for pedophilia?

Even better to know that all you have to do to cure a pedophile of his harmful attraction to children is to give him water. Homeopathy is, after all, water. One wonders, however, how to apply the homeopathic principle of “like cures like” in this case. What would be the remedy that the homeopath would dilute into nonexistence? It would have to be “like,” which means it would have to be something that causes pedophile-like urges. I shudder to think what that might be.

I’d also be curious what would be the basis of homeopathic remedies for homosexuality? How does one find the “like” in “like cures like” for that? Start out with ground-up Queen or Village People CDs, perhaps? Gay porn, maybe? I just don’t know. If anyone has an idea, please enlighten me in the comments: What sort of substance would fulfill the principle of “like cures like” and therefore, when diluted to nonexistence in a 30C dilution, be able to “cure” homosexuality? How would you “prove” it in a homeopathic proving? Would we look for a tingling sensation down below? Again, I just don’t know. As for the homeopathic cure for pedophilia, I really, really, really don’t want to know what that might be. In fact, I shudder in disgust just thinking about the concept.

Whatever it is, we’re assured that it’s really all about the science, maaan:

Q: On what scientific basis do you recommend the listed “therapeutic possibilities of homosexuality”?

1) Medically-psychotherapeutic, philosophical and theological literature,
2) the minority views of psychotherapists.
3) teaching of the Catholic Church, the Holy Scripture,
4) Samuel Hahnemann, homeopathy;

Well, at least they admit that it’s a minority view of psychotherapists that homosexuality can be cured. Still, it is rather amusing that the Catholic doctors threw in the teaching of the Holy Church and the Holy Scripture as part of the “scientific basis” of their treating homosexuality. Since when is the teaching of the Holy Church and the Holy Scripture science? I’m also amused at how these Catholic doctors lump medical and psychotherapeutic modalities together with the philosophical and theological literature. Of course, I can’t make up my mind which woo is the woo-iest, homeopathy or lumping Catholic teachings together with science. Hmmmm. That’s a tough one. And I was raised Catholic.

Of course, the bottom line is the question: Does it work? Does homeopathy rid those poor suffering homosexuals of the gay? Let’s see what the Catholic Doctors themselves say:

4) Have you already own success with homeopathy for homosexuality had?
No, because so far no one has this desire in me to herangtreten.

But I hear from former homosexuals who are happy to have been freed from their addiction.

I am convinced that the homeopathic way of healing is a serious and ultimately beneficial.

So, basically, no one’s approached this guy asking him to use homeopathy to rid himself of the dreaded gay, but he’s still “convinced” that the homeopathic way of healing is beneficial. Now it all makes sense. Homeopathy is a lot like religion; evidence is not necessary for belief.

More about this story here.