Homeopathy: There’s nothing in it

Remember Voltron? There were all these separate entities that worked on their own and then they would come together a form one big-ass robot which would then go off and kick some ass? Do you run a local skeptical or science group? Wanna become a big-ass robot and kick some alt-med ass? Here’s your chance. Voltron

The 10:23 campaign was started by a local skeptics group in Merseyside in the UK. I don’t even know where Merseyside is. But last year, they decided to try to stage an event where they would do a public homeopathic overdose. They put the word out to other local groups in the UK and the idea gained so much momentum that by the end of it, over 400 skeptics across the UK all ‘overdosed’ on homeopathic remedies.

This year, they are bringing the campaign stateside. We have about 15 groups around the US that are interested in putting something together. On February 5, 2011, at 10:23 a.m. local time, we’ll all get together and speak out against this pseudoscience. Form blazing sword bitches!

I’ve been helping coordinate the US groups, and we’ve also got a lot of support from the JREF. They are providing tips and ideas for how to organize an event, ways to contact and deal with media and other great resources for local groups to take this idea and make it their own.

In the U.S., we have a couple of extra challenges. Because homeopathy isn’t regulated in the same way here that it is in the U.K., a lot of groups have expressed concerns with staging an overdose. There’s the possibility that a group could end up with something that actually has an active ingredient in it. So, in Atlanta, we’ve decided to hold back on the overdose and do a demonstration and presentation instead.

If you’re in a local group and you think you can put an event together, even if it’s a small one, you should do it. Even a small event at the local level makes for a more powerful message at the national level.

Here’s the link to sign up to get updates from the JREF . Also, find out more here.

Still not convinced? The skeptics over at CFI-Vancouver staged an overdose event and look at the results they got!


Maria D'Souza grew up in different countries around the world, including Hong Kong, Trinidad, and Kenya and it shows. She currently lives in the Bay Area and has an unhealthy affection for science fiction, Neil Gaiman and all things Muppet.

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  1. I’m glad to hear the US groups will do the homeopathy demonstration too. But you’re right, the differences in regulation of homeopathic “medicine” could be a problem. It might be good to run chemical analysis on those pills first, just to make sure there’s no whacky stuff in there. Some of the people making those medicines are entirely out of touch with reality.

  2. “There’s the possibility that a group could end up with something that actually has an active ingredient in it.”

    It really drives the point home that in the UK, homeopathy is required by law not to work.

  3. Homeopathy has it’s place, right alongside crystal therapy, aroma therapy, gloop therapy, splodge therapy and all those other therapies that are not therapeutic. How can it still be taken seriously, seriously.
    I liked the comment in the video, “..where you’re gonna get injured, if you take this instead of real medicine.”
    ” What harm can it do?”.. right there, you have it.

  4. sometimes I think people are just looking for the magic pill around the corner instead of just living a life of moderation. They want to believe that one pill, easy to swallow, will take the place of living a healthy lifestyle which actually takes work. Not everything can be “healed”. Somethings have to be endured with grace.

  5. I AM SO doing this! Anyone want to join me in Los Angeles/ Hollywood area? Feb 5th. My place. I will make cookies AND I will film it. Tweet at @SurlyAmy if you want to participate!

  6. Woo 10:23 in the US ftw!

    If you’re not in the US, check out all of the other places we’ve coerced into joining the campaign. Like Canada. And Australia. And Freakin’ Antarctica:

    Thanks to everyone who’s getting involved, can’t wait to add you to the map!


  7. Great article, but….”I don’t even know where Merseyside is…”. Erm… No reason you should know where everywhere is but it’s faintly possible you could have Googled it.

  8. This is great! My husband took part in the demonstration on Merseyside, (North west England) early last year and it sparked off a lot of media interest includng the BBC. I didn’t take part cos I wsn’t well enough, But wanted to :O(

  9. Sorry for biting… it followed a little run of reading “gosh, look what I don’t know and isn’t that amusingly cute of me” comments in various places , so I missed the subtlety on this occasion :-)

  10. I’m a little confused. I realize this is a world-wide event (timezones and all), but is it supposed to be Saturday Feb 5, or Sunday Feb 6 at 10:23 AM? Or does it matter? The 10:23 web site is vague, Maria’s post says Sunday the 6th, but both Amy’s LA event and the Atlanta event seem to be on the 5th. What if we OD on homeopathy both days and something really bad happens :-( :-(

  11. A groups of skeptics in Vancouver did their “overdose” in front of a hospital just in case an active ingredient had somehow slipped into the homeopathic products they took. You can see their action on CBC’s investigation of homeopathy, Cure or Con?

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