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Tags faith healers , homeopathy

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Old 29th May 2007, 03:24 PM   #1
SYLVESTER1592
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Arrow Homeopathy, the paranormal and faith healers: the evasion of skeptisism

It seems to me the paranormal and homeopaths are taking their battle to Youtube where skepticism is less fierce.
As a skeptic towards homeopathy and their research, I came across this video on youtube (recently posted) and a related website by a John Benneth and was surprised to finally hear a homeopathy supporter talk about setting up a blinded experiment. To what extent it was blinded and what the set up of the experiment would be, was not immediately clear to me, but I decided to look at his website.

First the video:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


There was no protocol specified. It seems he proposed a protocol to look at the effect of homeopathic solutions. I believe he wanted to see if a difference between homeopathic solutions and the “diluting solution” could be found. He says he has proposed this protocol to James Randi for the million dollar prize. Checking JREF, I quickly found out more and found the posts concerning Mr Benneth under his callsign WWu777 on JREF and Bandershot under Youtube.
Already posting a thread long ago:
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...80&postcount=1
and several more

Furthermore he refers to his website.
Still no protocol. This website lists a number of books and a few articles he claims to provide “evidence” for an effect of homeopathic solutions. I haven’t had the opportunity yet to go through all of it. But found out others in the forum had looked at several references.

I started at the bottom of the list with the most recent references. I looked at the abstract of :
Belon P, Cumps J, Ennis M, Mannaioni PF, Roberfroid M, Sainte-Laudy J, Wiegant FA. Histamine dilutions modulate basophil activation. Inflamm Res. 2004;53(5):181-8
They seem to be after a way to prove an effect. It seems they did a study 5 years earlier, published by the same authors in the same journal. No abstract.
The abstract showed that they used Alcian blue to staining and used flowcytometry to measure the differences. When you know Alcian blue staining, you know that the duration of staining, cell damage, and the amount of staining all influence the specificity of the stain (being a simple histochemical staining method). Furthermore I don’t know what the gate control on the flowcytometer was. I still haven’t got hold of the paper.

To start ticking off all the references he gives to studies in the last century is a tiresome endeavor. I’m not sure if it’s a TiNRAT (They’ll Never Read All This) solution to deal with skeptics.

It also lists this paper from Nature,
Davenas E, Beauvais F, Amara J, Oberbaum M, Robinzon B, Miadonna A, Tedeschi A, Pomeranz B, Fortner P, Belon P, et al. Human basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute antiserum against IgE. Nature. 1988 ;333(6176):816-8.
I think this was the report already checked out by James Randi.

After looking at the posts in JREF years ago, I found out who Benneth was. It seems the homeopaths are now bringing the discussion to Youtube instead of JREF, where they can choose what gets posted and what not and avoid critical review while spreading their message to a wider audience.

Charles J Sibley has chosen a similar strategy. Posting under charliesibz on Youtube. Claiming he’s a “powerful, trance psychic medium” and lashing out at JREF from Youtube. To stay away from skeptics they now have adopted a method to block and remove comments. Sibley admits to it and even posts it in his video:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


He is sure about life after death and his ability to communicate with the dead and will not listen to skeptics.

Even the exposed frauds return to the stage, like Peter Popoff…

Q1: Is there any point in trying to debate or question people who refrain from addressing their own belief system concerning paranormal/unscientific external forces besides exposing the real frauds or does it actually strengthen the resolve of the misguided?…

Q2: Is skepticism without legal action really enough to end the practice of frauds?...

Q3: I have often seen posters claim that JREF is not open for new ideas, but isn’t the fact that JREF discusses these subjects in the first place, evidence to the contrary?...

Sincerely

SYL

Last edited by SYLVESTER1592; 29th May 2007 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 30th May 2007, 01:54 AM   #2
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Oops, apparently WWu777 is Winston Wu, someone different. Sorry. Still don't know who Benneth is though. Benneth is mentioned in JREF though, but I don't know his callsign. My apologies.
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Old 30th May 2007, 02:35 AM   #3
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FYI, Winston was befriended by Benneth some time back, when they both went searching for ghosts in some backwater mining town in northern Nevada. Winston, not being the sharpest knife in the drawer and a fervent believer in ghosts and ghoulies and orbs and so on, didn't realise the Benneth was using him as a front-man for his own nefarious purposes, while simultaneously laughing at him and denigrating him behind his back. Eventually Winston published some highly defamatory stuff here about Randi, having been urged on by Benneth, which initiated a sharp legal response. Winston was rapidly informed of his options (withdraw and piss off, or face ruin). However I understand Randi knew full well that Benneth was behind all this, and I gather the legal eagles had a quiet word to him as well. At least, that is my impression...

That was in about 2003 or so... It's been quiet on the Winston front ever since.
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Old 30th May 2007, 04:25 AM   #4
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What do you think of their method of debating on Youtube?
It seems that legal action is the best way to stop frauds even in medicine. It stopped Wu, or Woo...
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Old 30th May 2007, 04:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SYLVESTER1592 View Post
What do you think of their method of debating on Youtube?
It seems that legal action is the best way to stop frauds even in medicine. It stopped Wu, or Woo...
Youtube is global. Which legal precinct would apply if I wanted to sue someone?
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Old 30th May 2007, 05:08 AM   #6
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Good point.
I don't really know. Would the country they practice in apply? I imagine that the patients they treated could be cause for a malpractice suit. Am I wrong about that? In most countries doctors are registered and the practice of medicine is limited to doctors. I figure that if they actually claim they are treating patients, they must in some way be liable, especially when the patient does not improve.
Yes?
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Old 30th May 2007, 05:24 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SYLVESTER1592 View Post
Good point.
I don't really know. Would the country they practice in apply? I imagine that the patients they treated could be cause for a malpractice suit. Am I wrong about that? In most countries doctors are registered and the practice of medicine is limited to doctors. I figure that if they actually claim they are treating patients, they must in some way be liable, especially when the patient does not improve.
Yes?

In the UK at least, there is no legal regulation of homoeopathy. Anyone can practice as a homoeopath. While only registered vets are allowed to treat animals there is no equivalent rule for human patients.
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Old 30th May 2007, 05:39 AM   #8
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When they make a diagnosis. For instance telling a patient they don't have cancer and recommend a "treatment", which has no benefit at all, aren't they liable? Simply by making the diagnosis and giving out health advice regardless of the "treatment"they provide for it.

If they aren't, that seems strange to me. When patients come to them first without a diagnosis... Then they act as a doctor. So then they are liable, right? I believe a similar case was brought to justice in the Netherlands. Eventhough it was hard to get a conviction it stopped further practice by that specific paragnost.

If enough of those cases were argued in court, wouldn't that create a precedent to convict or at least limit paragnosts and homeopaths?
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Old 30th May 2007, 02:46 PM   #9
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Post About histamine dilutions

To add to my OP
I think this is Randi checking the claim of the histamine dilutions.
It was tested and unmasked as bogus. Start looking from 4.53 min.

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Apparently this does not stop the homeopaths from providing it as evidence to their claims. I'm confident the rest of the list is of similar quality, but would gladly be proven wrong

SYL
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Old 14th January 2009, 12:53 PM   #10
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I know this is an old thread, but have recently run acrosss Benneth on Youtube and I have been exchanging PMs with him there. He is under the delusion that Randi's challenge is bogus and is offering his own ($1,000) prize if someone can prove it isn't. I suspect that he's not going to except any real evidence.
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Old 14th January 2009, 02:04 PM   #11
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Just hang in there! ChancesAre™ someone will eventually win the MDC and at that point you should be able to collect from Benneth.
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Old 15th January 2009, 05:58 AM   #12
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Er, that should be accept, not except. Man, I need to pay more attention.
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Old 1st February 2009, 05:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Guy View Post
I know this is an old thread, but have recently run acrosss Benneth on Youtube and I have been exchanging PMs with him there. He is under the delusion that Randi's challenge is bogus and is offering his own ($1,000) prize if someone can prove it isn't. I suspect that he's not going to except any real evidence.
He's free to apply for the challenge, ...

He will be all to willing to explain why he doesn't want to apply, trying to make it look like this is a bogus challenge. Eventhough so far the possibility has always been offered for them to prove objectively that their method works. But objective methods, controls, blinding, randomization and statistical analysis is often a big problem with homeopaths...

His accusation seems to be a red herring though, instead of proving homeopathy works he tries to divert the attention away from the fact that over time, no homeopathic solution has held up as anything else then a placebo after scientific research.

SYL
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Old 2nd February 2009, 02:49 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Guy View Post
I know this is an old thread, but have recently run acrosss Benneth on Youtube and I have been exchanging PMs with him there. He is under the delusion that Randi's challenge is bogus and is offering his own ($1,000) prize if someone can prove it isn't. I suspect that he's not going to except any real evidence.

It's not a question of accepting evidence - it isn't possible to prove a negative like that. I'll give Benneth, oh, 35p if he can prove that his own challenge is not bogus.
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