Gofundme jumpstarts a golden era of snake oil as desperate people raise millions for quack homeopathy cancer "remedies"


#61

90+% of alternative medicine providers are true believers in the stuff they are selling, not con men. (My mother has been drinking deeply of the alternative medicine woo well for over thirty years now, so I have some experience to back this up). Sadly the true believers are not good at telling the difference between people like themselves and the con artists.

My father discovered he had a tumour in the pleura of his lung in December and died the following April - the tumour blocked his esophagus and he starved to death before the cancer had a chance to kill him directly. Just one month before he died, he and my mom used credit cards and a gift from a well to do friend to travel across the country, where they paid $5000 for a magic box that their homeopathist had heard about, which he told them might save his life. It didn’t. The man who sold them the box is a fucking con artist who should not be allowed to practice medicine. The man who referred them to him is a true believer and a highly ethical person.

We’ve needed those things for well over 40 years now if not longer. Forgive me if I think that people who are sick should be able to get what help they can find from sugar pills while we all wait for the medical establishment to get its head out of its ass.


#62

Sigh. Read the link I posted above about the power of the placebo effect. Alternative medicine has so many true believers because in a great many cases it does do something. Sadly those true believers generalize from the times it works well or sort of and proceed to think that it is good for all things, including diseases that will laugh at your sugar pills and kill you anyway if you rely on the placebo effect to treat them.

It’s not just dilution. It’s dilution plus concussion - when mixing the diluted remedy, you’re supposed to bang it hard against something. Concussing while diluting is thought to preserve vibrations of the original substance in the diluted remedy, and the vibrations are what is supposed to provide the efficacy in the diluted sugar pills.

It made as much sense as any other medical theory in the early 1800’s when Samuel Hahnemann was inventing homeopathy by trial and error. Around the same time the predecessors of today’s MDs were prescribing mercurous chloride (and not in homeopathic doses) as a purgative. If you had too much bile or phlegm in you, the solution was to make you shit or vomit a lot, and that would cure you. They didn’t care that the purgatives they were using were incredibly toxic, all they cared about was the strength of the purgative or emetic effect.


#63

In my roving the weird wastes of Youtube, I came across this guy:

There’s a lot of conspiracy videos there, and a lot more right-wing themed videos. But in between all that is a narrative arc of a man’s fight with cancer.

So, he clearly got an aggressive form of cancer. Got some treatment, couldn’t afford the rest of it. Eventually turned to “alternative” products–“Black Salve”. These actually were real cancer remedies once upon a time, but the drawbacks were: only works on topical cancers, and there’s a big risk of horrible disfigurement. So they are not used anymore. But still, they are sold as quack medicines, and lots of people die (or are disfigured) trying to make them work on types of cancers they never were intended to work on in the first place.

Anyways, the tumors on the surface shriveled up and fell off. But it was never going to work out for him in the first place. And at some point, you can see that he realizes it.

Anyways, a good read on the cottage industry behind these “Black Salve” products:

https://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Cancer/eschar.html


#64

Partly inspired by this post & thread: https://eusa-riddled.blogspot.com/2019/01/left-to-die-by-two-good-friends.html


#66

Sadly, it doen’t really matter, because alternative “medicine” fails the same whether it is a con or given by a true believer. The cost isn’t necessarily cheaper when delivered by a true believer, either.

Nope. It may well seem to do something, though. Blood letting seemed to work, too. As did literally blowing smoke up people’s asses. None of those actually treated the organic cause of disease, and neither does alternative medicine, generally speaking.

Pretty much every non-sense alternative medicine, from blood letting to urine “therapy” (drinking piss) has practitioners and patients who will say their clinical experience is that it works. Humans are highly prone to being swayed by in built cognitive biases and we tend to over pattern match, finding convincing patterns and correlation even where there is no genuine causal relationship. Science is the tool we developed to separate what actually is true from what seems to be true. And alternative medicine is all the detritus that hasn’t been proven to be actually true.

Perhaps, but even in the 1800s Homeopathy was trounced as nonsense. Oliver Wendell Homes famously mocked it in 1842 in Homeopathy and Its Kindred Delusions.

And keep in mind that Homeopathy first started with the like cures like nonsense (The “Law” of Similars), where you give a sick person a substance that causes the same symptoms in a healthy person. So, if you are suffering from nausea and vomiting you should take syrup of ipecac. If you have red and itching skin you should rub it with poison oak. You don’t need to be born in the 21st century to see that that is not going to work. So, when that nonsense became too much for even fans of Samuel Hannaman, he invented the idea that the less you give of a substance the more powerful it is as a curative - when what he was actually doing was just giving less poison to his patients, often giving none at all. No wonder it “worked” better.


#67

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