Evil Knievel and Homeopathy

Evil Knievel and Homeopathy

One of the spectacles of my youth was the Evil Knievel rocket motorcycle jump of the Snake River Canyon. He thought he was going to die making the jump but he was a man who had the courage his convictions:

Throughout his career (and later life), he would repeatedly talk about the importance of "keeping his word." He stated that although he knew he may not successfully make a jump or even survive the canyon jump, he followed through with each stunt because he gave his word that he would. Prior to the canyon jump, Knievel stated, "If someone says to you, 'that guy should have never jumped the canyon. You knew if he did, that he'd lose his life and that he was crazy.' Do me a favor. Tell him that you saw me here and regardless of what I was, that you knew me, and that I kept my word."

I watched the jump on ABC's Wide World of Sports and to this day I do not know whether to admire him for following through on his word or think him a fool for not backing out. Probably a bit of both.

So I have mixed feelings about homeopaths (MD's at that), going to West Africa to treat ebola patients with arsenic and snake venom. Homeopathy, referred to as a "controversial technique" is in fact fantastical nonsense that cannot and does not have any efficacy against any illness. Still I have to have a grudging admiration for their trip, even if it is based on the most profound of delusions. I sure hope they do not catch ebola and then rely on their own nostrums for treatment.


The report does suggest that their ethics and word word may be homeopathic.

Dr Moses Massaquoi, head of ebola case management for the Liberian health ministry, confirmed that the homeopaths had gone to Ganta but he said he was unaware that they were homeopaths when they first arrived. 'I didn't know that they were going to do homeopathy,' he said. He said that the homeopaths had been told that they were not to try to practice homeopathy on Ebola patients, but they were allowed to go to the hospital to help out as physicians. 'They said they wouldn't use any homeopathy,' he said.

So they were told not to use homeopathy and evidently agreed to that condition.

We were unable to apply homeopathy on Ebola patients during this mission.

They also made efforts to "erase references to their trips" and delete the web page that refers to the nostrum they hoped to use:

Hydrogenising arsenic the obvious starting point, with serpent venom (the reputation of which in the case of yellow fever or complaints with coagulation problems is no longer useful) with Lachesis and especially Crotalus. In particular we mustn't forget Cantharis which shows a huge number of symptoms of the illness.

So according to this report they tried to erase their alleged therapy, were told not to use homeopathy and agreed not to use homeopathy. So instead they used a loophole to apply

their skills to treat 'very severe' non-Ebola patients.

The Daily Mail article reads as if they used homeopathy for ebola and implies success treating ebola:

In letters and messages seen by Mail Online they revealed that the aim of their mission was to prove that homeopathy could treat Ebola...

A message on its website proclaims the initial visit a success because, it claims, the team's results were so 'impressive' that they were asked to establish a program of homeopathic teaching and treatment at the hospital.

However the medical authorities of Liberia wisely forbid the use of homeopathy and they

were not allowed to enter the ETU’s (Ebola Treatment Units).

and the homeopaths applied their nostrum to other patients, never actually taking care of ebola patients.

Such a waste of scare resources. Six days of training in ebola treatment in Liberia, then reaching the hospital and not being allowed to use their worthless pseudo-medicine on the ebola ward.

Evil might have been impressed by their conviction in going to Liberia, but perhaps not in how they used their nostrum or how they spun their visit.

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Points of Interest 11/14/2014

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