when a homeopath goes full mental jacket
You probably don’t remember homeopath John Benneth, mentioned here for his pretty stunning ignorance of middle school physics when trying to explain how his magic water works, and known on a several popular medical blogs for his unhinged rants on YouTube in which he takes Godwin’s Law to new heights (or would lows be more appropriate in this case?), and uses slavery as a metaphor for what happens to alt med frauds like himself. Apparently, there’s a sinister cabal of doctors who are burning homeopaths in gas chambers by the millions just for being homeopaths, or legally keeping them as slaves. Yeah, I know, I don’t get his raving either, but methinks the man needs a sedative because he’s quite unwell. Lately, he’s been listening to more voices in his head and decided to publish a tract about how every single problem in the U.S. could be solved simply by applying the right sugar pills sprinkled with water containing half an atom of some herb or minerals selected using 19th century pseudoscience, even pedophilia and child abuse. Now, you may ask yourself if a blogger like me is really about to pick on someone who’s quite clearly a lunatic, and the answer is yes.
Even woo-meister, professional idiot and conspiracy theorist Mike Adams may have found his match with this fellow, who’s so woefully and appaulingly uneducated, he thinks water will get 135,000 kids to stop taking guns to schools because they’re afraid of school gangs, shootings, and being bullied, and end serious racial discrimination in the justice system while ending domestic abuse for millions of women. Hold on, you might say, this may well be a big Poe. And as nice as it would be to find out that Benneth only wanted to parody just how conspiracy-obsessed and scientifically ignorant too many homeopaths are, he’s been at this for a while and shows every intent of being deadly serious. Even those whose support his talks admit that he’s horridly deficient in popular science topics, much any less high level scientific research, and resort to the good, old well-we-need-to-hear-more-opinions defense, apparently even if those opinions are coming from a loon who trumpets that he’s found proof that Big Pharma and the WHO want to tax the internet to get rich. Answers to any requests for evidence or sources tend to be met with more incoherent rambling, the type you’d probably expect from a random drunk sitting at an intersection and shouting at invisible people across the street.
Sure that was harsh, but we’re talking about a man who spews blithering nonsense and whose proof for just about any assertion he makes is simply stating something to be true, then resorting to conspiracy theories to explain why he’s unable to define basic terms like radiation and energy. That’s just sad. Appealing to a grand, far-reaching conspiracy to support your allegations in lieu of tangible proof is the adult version of saying that a dog ate your homework. It just doesn’t fly. And not only that but it’s infuriatingly annoying. As someone working with computers, I wouldn’t even dream of trying to lecture doctors or biologists because they know their fields much better than I do. But not Benneth and other self-aggrandizing cranks like him. No, they march right in to teach everyone how modern science has everything wrong and how your inability to see some babbling fool’s wisdom hidden somewhere in an impenetrable layer of vacuous technobabble means that you’re working for the nefarious agents of Big Whatever without an instant of hesitation. Truly the victims of the Dunning-Kruger effect, they’re absolutely incapable of telling where their competence ends, and for Benneth, that’s trying to do something other than incoherently and indignantly ramble about Big Pharma.
Having leveled enough ridicule at cranks, I can expect that fans of homeopathy or just those who’ll often prefer tone over substance and find themselves terribly offended at me declining to hold back in my opinion, will say that I haven’t really addressed his claims with science and thus, have no right to ridicule him the way I do. And while I can see how this would be a valid criticism, how am I supposed to counter an assertion that taking an obscure homeopathic remedy will end the racial biases in American courts or curtail unemployment? Where is there a scientific claim or a description of a mechanism for how this is supposed to happen? There isn’t so much as a shred of anything scientific for me to rebut, not even the typical science buzzword salad I could take apart and analyze, as I did with his explanation for how homeopathy is supposed to work in general. Trying to counter nothing but the foaming-at-the-mouth ranting of a very angry lunatic and his categorical proclamations so utterly devoid of logic or sense, one wonders how he could commit them to written form in all seriousness, is a fool’s errand at best, and simply aggravating at worst. Skeptics are limited by facts. Cranks are limited by their imagination. They can spew a hundred bits of nonsense in the time it takes us to refute just one, and the ravings of John Benneth about homeopathy’s ability to fix anything, anywhere, are a prime example of that.