Sometimes, Faithful Acowlytes, teh stoopid in the world overreaches itself and becomes just plain criminal. Today, as Exhibit 1, I give you:

Homeopaths Without Borders.

No, dear friends, this is not some kind of Tetherd Cow parody of the worthy and quite awesome Médecins Sans Frontières, although it’s so fuckin’ unbelievable that it’s hard to accept that it’s anything but a cruel prank. Yes, you understood it correctly: these are homeopaths who model themselves on Doctors Without Borders1 and travel to poor countries like Haiti to spread useless superstitious nonsense based on the brainless ‘medical’ intuitions of an 18th century German village doctor. This, to my mind, is a tragedy of vast proportions.

Volunteers Sally Tamplin, Holly Manoogian and Alyssa Wostrel traveled to Port-au-Prince on May 23 and returned home on June 3, participating in the longest, most intense undertaking in that country by HWB. Responding to requests by charitable groups in Haiti, the volunteers worked not only in the capital but also traveled to sites in the countryside. Their ten-day schedule was a whirlwind of compassionate homeopathic intervention.

Intervention? What – they were visiting sick Haitians with poor access to medical care and substituting no medical care at all? Yeah, that’s what I call intervention, alright, although I fail to see where the compassion comes in.

When I see the pictures of middle-class white women (they are mostly women, it seems) on this site smiling and hugging little black kids, it makes me furious. I know they are probably all just misguided and good-intentioned and even believe that what they are doing is helpful, but I just want to point something out here: people in places like Haiti who are in desperate need of good medical care look at these healthy, rich Americans and trust them to be bringing that same standard of health to their own country. These borderless homeopaths, however, didn’t come by the possession of their good health via superstitious nonsense. They are healthy solely because of science; science that improved their knowledge of nutrition; science that gave them a good understanding of hygiene; science that made childbirth relatively safe; science that gave them immunity against polio and measles and smallpox and tuberculosis;2 science that allows their society to understand insect-borne diseases and keep them under control. And let’s be clear here: there is NO science in homeopathy. None. When one of these homeopaths contracts a serious infection back home in their own wealthy country, they don’t treat it with some silly sugar water potion. If they do, they die. These privileged people have become so ignorant of the powerful scientific basis upon which their standards of health are built, that it has become completely transparent to them. They apparently think they are healthy just because.

As I contemplate this situation, though, I strangely begin to find myself in agreement with one of the basic notions of homeopathy. According to homeopathic beliefs the more dilute a homeopathic remedy is, the more powerful its effects – as I’m sure you already know. I propose, then, that Homeopaths Without Borders act on this basic tenet of their practice. Let’s say one homeopath leaves Haiti- surely the positive effect of Homeopaths Without Borders on the Haitian people increases. If a few more leave, the beneficial effects become stronger still. And if we really ultra-dilute the pool and ALL homeopaths leave Haiti, then I think you’d agree that they would be doing the most good they could possibly do.

Let’s see if they can fault the logic in that argument…

  1. Although they make it VERY clear on their site that they are in no way affiliated with that organization. One speculates that you don’t put a notice like that on your front page unless someone compels you to do so… []
  2. Although science is losing that battle somewhat as TB rapidly evolves to become resistant to antibiotics. []