Skepticism

Homeopaths: “We Can Play the Race Card”

Is it possible that homeopaths in the UK have reached a new low? Can you even get lower than, say, selling sugar water to people in need of malaria vaccinations? Maybe!

Today, Sue Trotter of Homeopathy World Community posted a blog entry in which she suggests that she and her cohorts “play the race discrimination card” in order to weasel out of complaints filed against them with the Advertising Standards Authority. She quickly deleted the post, realizing either that A.) homeopathy is actually of German origin, B.) it’s a stupid idea anyway that belittles actual racism, or C.) anyone at the ASA could see this post and realize what they’re up to.

Luckily, some skeptic got a screenshot of it before it was taken down (thanks to @magicthighs for sending it to me). Click it to see it full size.

To catch you up, the skeptics of the UK have been waging an all-out war on homeopaths, reporting them for illegally offering medical advice and communicating with the general public to teach them that the basis of homeopathy is complete and utter bunkum.

Because homeopaths don’t have any scientific evidence to support their claims, they resort to tricks like this. Good job, guys!

I’ve typed a transcript for those who can’t see the image. All typos are original to the post.

+++

[Complaints] About Homeopaths To The UK Advertising Standards Authority
Posted by Sue Trotter on May 12, 2011 at 3:30am in Social Media-Twitter-Questions-Answers-News

Chatting with my husband last night about the complaints by the Advertising Standards Authority here in the UK agans homeopaths, we think we have come up with a plan to put an end to this nonsense. We can play the race discrimination card if we get this right. Please bear with me whilst I explain.

If we can find some British Indians/Pakistanis or Bangladesh’s they can complain to the ASA explaining that homeopathy is a prefered system of medicine in their contries of origin, used to treat a wide range of illnesses. The current wave of complaints against homeopaths would therefore seem to be an attack on their culture and beliefs and therefore discriminatory. (I know homeopathy is not a belief system but many think it is, so why not use that to our advantage.) If we can get figures for the numbers of people using homeopathy as their primary healthcare in India and the rest of the sub-continent, even better!

They can also claim that it is akin to Christians claiming that Hindus and Muslims cannot call their beliefs a religion because it is not Christianity.

If they go on to suggest that the current wave of complaints may have been instigated by someone who has an agenda that is perhaps something other than scientific (just make a suggestion and leave it to them to work out what that agenda might be).

We would need to get a smart lawyer to draft the letter/s but if we could get the ASA to look at this as potential discrimination that may well decide to back off. If we can find someone on the ASA’s complaint list who’s family hail from the Indian sub-continent to complain they are being discriminated against, even better . . . and if the ASA find in their favour but still go for those of us of European Descent we can then go for a different race discrimination angle.

Got to be worth a try….you know how twitchy we are here in the UK at the slightest sniff of racism or other discrimination!

I am not sure how to co-ordinate this so have forwarded to a couple of homeopath groups and see what people think.

Time for homeopathy to stand up for itself !

with love and peace

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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24 Comments

  1. May 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm —

    It’s always nice when your opponents are dumb enough to broadcast their sleazy dishonesty for all the world to see in clear and plain language. This has made my week.

  2. May 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm —

    What I find hilariously ironic is that this woman’s suggestion of ‘playing the race card’ is in itself wholly and utterly offensive.

  3. May 12, 2011 at 12:52 pm —

    Tobacco is pretty ingrained in some Asian cultures. Banning smoking in UK public spaces must be racism!

  4. May 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm —

    “I know homeopathy is not a belief system but many think it is”

    Aww, that is just too cute :)

    • May 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm —

      They either believe it without evidence, in which case it’s a belief system, or they don’t believe it, in which case it’s a scam.

  5. May 12, 2011 at 12:56 pm —

    Very brave of them, conning millions of poor brown people with European quackery to their detriment and then using them as a human shield when it’s asked to “stand up for itself”

  6. May 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm —

    If this is for real, then it’s rather disgusting. There’s a huge race issue here, and it’s not in the “twitchy” UK public at large, it’s in the author. According to Sue, brown people around the world exist to be used for white people’s political gain.

  7. May 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm —

    Thanks!
    I just went to that website and now I’ve got teh ick on me.
    .
    I need a shower.

  8. May 12, 2011 at 1:02 pm —

    This is a stupid statement from a single homeopath so the post title ascribing the statement to homeopaths in general is a bit unfair. Yes, I know, homeopaths in general do have a bad case of ignoritis and it’s always fun to slam the opposition, but bad arguments hurt the credibility of the arguer.

    • May 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm —

      Granted, though to be clear it’s not a single homeopath. It’s this woman, her husband, and at least one of her readers. She has presented this as a plan and sent it to other homeopaths for their buy-in

    • May 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm —

      To be fair, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard a variation of this argument from homeopathy sympathizers.

    • May 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm —

      You can argue this is a single homeopath’s twisted idea and not representative only if the homeopathy community come out in condemnation of it. I won’t hold my breath.

  9. May 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm —

    I saved a copy of the page before it was taken down. Will upload it to a file hosting site shortly

  10. May 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm —

    How long until someone insists that this is a fake to discredit them?

  11. May 12, 2011 at 6:13 pm —

    “with love and peace”

    Oh, that’s hilarious.

  12. May 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm —

    They can play the prejudice card already. It is provably the case that the complaints are all motivated by naked prejudice against charlatans.

  13. May 12, 2011 at 8:09 pm —

    I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to commit an act of violence against another human being so badly in my life. I wouldn’t, because that’s wrong, but gods above and below I would be tempted.

  14. May 13, 2011 at 8:49 am —

    Oh, my, goodness.

  15. May 13, 2011 at 5:59 pm —

    Interesting. I went to that site (*ICK!*) and tried to find anything else posted by Sue Trotter to find out what kind of mind we are dealing with here and it appears she has been purged from the site. She is no longer listed in the members directory. There is all of one forum post by her (not the one in question, but also dated May 2011) and when you try to open it you get a “page not found” message.

  16. May 14, 2011 at 2:23 am —

    “She quickly deleted the post”

    Except that the reply disappeared as well. That’s not a user action that’s Admin.

    Purging her from the whole site is an Admin function as well.

    So, instead of leaving her post up for public refutation or deleting it and citing a rule infringement, as would happen at JREF, they elect to go for cover-up and concealment of weakness in their ranks. It’s so funny that while they accuse the world of being dominated by a Big Pharma conspiracy, they engage in exactly that form of activity themselves, although they can’t do it competently

    Homeopaths’ view of the world as a conspiracy is created by a mirror they hold up to themselves.

  17. May 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm —

    some of those posts are still available via google cache.

  18. May 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm —

    I think it friggin’ hilarious that she uses a blatant hate message to promote her views, and then signs the letter “with love and peace!”

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