Altmed comes little more ridiculous than homeopathy, which is so desperately nonsensical that even hardened New Agers have occasionally been caught hesitating when hearing what it actually is and how it is actually supposed to work. But homeopathy also has the trappings of a cargo cult science, complete with its own educational institutions, degrees, terminology, journals and conferences – made to look as much like science as possible, but by people who wouldn’t be able to distinguish scientific methodology from a word document written in random wingdings characters if their lives depended on it, and it shows.
Linda Nelson is a homeopath, and true to the cargo cult-science trappings, she has a lot of letters to her name: “CHom, NCTMB, is a member of NASH, NCH, AMTA,” none of which ought to inspire confidence any more (but arguably slightly less) than random strings. Nelson “graduated from Homeopathy School of Colorado, which is now Homeopathy School International,” which also makes you slightly less prepared to deal with real suffering than nothing. Nelson is apparently a Classical Homeopathic Practitioner and also a “reiki master” – a degree that usually costs between $600 and $800 by mail but is anyways not a protected title – and is apparently currently affiliated with the Institute of Bioenergetic Medicine (where “bioenergetic” seems to refer to orgone energy, no less); she also teaches Spiritual Awareness classes at Yoga West and Crystal Books.
Among Nelson’s many areas of self-defined expertise is STD, or symptoms of STDs: “These symptoms may not be coming from you and your life experiences, they may be coming from your family history that no one wanted to talk about because it was too embarrassing. We also need to remember two things: Males rarely show symptoms of Chlamydia and Chlamydia is on the rise nationwide. One of the remedies that we have to look at is Chlamydium which is taken from a person who has Chlamydia. Why would we want to put such a horrible disease into our body? The body will kick out the disease that is vibrating at a lower vibration to help balance itself. This is the same theory as vaccinations.” It is not the same theory as vaccinations. What she refers to above – the family history part – is presumably homeopathy’s idea of miasms, which is roughly as silly as the ideas that your illness is caused by hereditary demonic homunculi, just vaguer. If you think a proposal to help you deal with diseases “vibrating at a lower vibration” sounds like a good idea, there is probably little we can do to help, however.
Diagnosis: Ok, so this is not a big fish by any means, but Nelson’s karmic vibrations were apparently vibrating at some unfortunate vibrations today, so she ended up in our Encyclopedia nonetheless. Nothing we can do about that. Blame the miasms.
Hat-tip: Dispatches from the Culture Wars.
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