I have seen a lot of uneducated people here on the internet promoting dangerous woo that has the potential of doing real harm. Everything from suggesting that cancer sufferers should try Ozone therapy, to promoting the idea that HIV can’t be transmitted through heterosexual sex. But unbelievably, I have found something that makes these two examples pale in comparison. One so brain numbingly stupid and unbelievably dangerous that even the morons at Natural News, who originally published the offending material, are worried about the repercussions if anyone were to follow its advice. They have since removed the blog post, saying that it “seemed to recommend a highly questionable method related to Ebola prevention” . You know it’s bad when even Natural News says that your woo is “highly questionable”.
The blog post was written by Kjetill (Ken) Oftedal, and was titled “Treating Ebola with Homeopathy” which, unfortunately, in this day and age is nothing new. Sadly, with the spread of Ebola in Western Africa, the internet has been saturated with miracle cures that go against “orthodox western medicine” and conspiracy theories that question the very existence of the virus. Even the Daily Mail got in on the action when they published an article almost praising the bravery of homeopaths who travelled to West Aftica. However, what stands Kjetill’s blog posts apart from all others is – and prepare yourself for this – that it recommends that you require an ebola sample in order to make your homeopathic remedy.
Homeopathy, for those who don’t know, is a pseudoscience created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann. It’s based on the idea that “like cures like” whereby substances that will cause similar symptoms to a disease in healthy people will cure sick people suffering from that disease. For example, if you are suffering from hayfever and you have runny eyes, you should take a homeopathic remedy made from onions, because they too also make your eyes runny. Homeopaths then take this one step further into the realms of the surreal by diluting their “remedy” past the point where there would even be a single molecule of the original substance. By doing this, they also beleve that their concoctions are made more potent, because water has memory and somehow can remember the active ingredient, but forget everything else it has come into contact with. They then place a single drop of this magic water into a sugar pill and give them to the sick.
Ebola kills between 25-90% of those infected – usually from low blood pressure due to fluid loss. Thankfully, it’s difficult to transmit and can only spread by direct contact with bodily fluids from a person who has developed symptoms. This is why containment is so important and why Kjetill’s blog post is so dangerous. Not only does he advocate collecting a sample from an infected person showing symptoms, but he then recommends that his readers physically work with the sample to make a homeopathic solution and then drink it! If anyone were to follow Kjetill’s instructions, there is a real chance that they could end up infecting themselves and any others that they give their remedy to.
I feel, at the end of the day, I need to give Kjetill an award for creating simultaneously the most idiotic and dangerous thing I have ever read – and I have read Liam Scheff’s book! I hereby award him the Loggins award for outstanding achievement in making the internet a much more dangerous place.