Abandon Homoeopathy! – In perusing the editorials in the April, 1910 issue of THE HOMOEOPATHIC RECORDER, the July issue of the Drugless Phlebotomist and a copy of the transactions of the I.H.A., we find three indisputable reasons why every Hahnemannian homoeopath should renounce his faith in “moonshine” and embrace all that is modern and scientific. The following three reasons are incontrovertible and final:.
“The Materia MEdica of the Elder Brother – The editor of the Review of Reviews – credits the following warm stuff concerning the allopathic materia medica to Dr. Spence L. Davis, in the Albany Medical Annals: Born of Ignorance – Begotten by Superstition out of Chicanery – Suckled by Blind Faith, the half- sister of Fanaticism – Wedded to Commercialism, the daughter of Cupidity – The parent of a motley brood of nondescripts whose main virtues consists in their fecundity – this is our present- day materia medica.
“This is respectfully referred to all who have a grouch against our own splendid homoeopathic materia medica”.
“It (medicine) learned from a monk how to use antimony, from a Jesuit how to cure agues, from a friar how to cut for stone, from a soldier how to cure gout, from a sailor how to keep off scurvy, from a postmaster how to sound the Eustachian tube, from a dairy maid how to prevent smallpox and from an old market- woman how to catch the itch insect. It borrowed acupuncture and the moxa from the Japanese heathen, and was taught the use of lobelia by the American savage.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes.
“Today the barn, the sheep-pen and the hog-pen are ransacked for material to appease the aesthetic scientific taste and skill”.
We have often wondered what there was about Allopathy that caused the dominant and ruling element of our school to turn pan therapists. There is no accounting for tastes. There is one redeeming feature, however, in that he who can acquire such tastes can serve both God and Mammon and still be purely godly as witness a former president of the I.H.A. who promised in his report to do so much for Homoeopathy, or was it a misprint? Should it not have been : “To Homoeopathy” Beware of the Greeks (A.M.A.) bearing gifts”?.
In contra-distinction to the above Homoeopathy was conceived in an intelligent, enlightened brain and born of a natural law. As to whether we are intelligent or otherwise is shown by our choice between the two.
A. PULFORD, M.D.
The New Homoeopathy. – Two articles appear in this issue that are of special significance as indicating in a striking manner the present tendencies and status of the homoeopathic school in its efforts to “modernize” homoeopathy. These articles are entitled “The Development of Bodily Resistance,” by Daniel E.S. Coleman, M.D., and “Studies of the Pathogenetic Effects of Drugs – Abrotanum,” by Linn J. Boyd, M.D., both of New York City.
Dr. Colemans article was written and delivered as his presidential address before the International Hahnemannian Association at its annual meeting held last June on board the SS. Lapland. He, speaking in his official and representative capacity, was probably voicing more or less fully the views of at least an electing majority of the members of that hitherto highly conservative organization, since his personal views on the subject had been freely expressed prior to his election.
It should be stated that the title of Dr. Colemans article has been supplied by the editor, as it was without title other than “Presidential Address.” For the greater part the editor has contented himself with italicizing certain words, lines and paragraphs in it which he regards as peculiarly significant, and inserting in parenthesis a few modest interrogation points – all clearly indicated.
His object is not only to call the attention of readers to that which is expressed, but to suggest that there are implications in these statements, and in the article as a whole, that should receive the thoughtful consideration of members of the I.H.A. (and others) who have at heart not only the preservation of homoeopathy in its integrity of spirit and principle, but of that special technique of proving and prescribing medicines upon which it is based.
The editor is among those, in and out of the School, who believe that this technique, invented and applied by Hahnemann as the logical and necessary corollary of the vital-dynamical philosophy which underlies homoeopathy, is his greatest and most original contribution to medicine, co-equal in value and importance with the “Law of similars,” of which Hahnemann, by the way, never pretended to the discoverer.
To eliminate this technique from its practice and substitute the method as well as the remedies of serum and vaccine therapy, is to combine Homoeopathy with Serology – a mating which is nothing other than medical abhorrent to all who believe in medical as well as racial purity and individuality.
The editor feels that Dr. Colemans article clearly evinces a strong tendency and disposition to do that very thing. If that is done the usual results of will follow, and some of them are not pleasant to contemplate.
Criticism of Dr. Colemans article, as well as that of Dr. Boyd which follows it, is intended to be entirely impersonal in spirit, if not quite so in form. The individual is criticized only in his representative capacity.
Dr. Boyd, as head of the Department of Medicine and Homoeopathy in the New York Homoeopathic Medical College and Flower Hospital, New York City, occupies a position of prominence and authority, in which he exercises a powerful influence upon the student body as well as the profession. Any article by him, therefore, revealing his attitude and methods as a teacher upon so vital a subject as drug proving, deserves serious attention.
Dr. Boyds article was accepted for publication and filed by the editor, Dr. Rabe, before he departed for Europe. The acting editor, in releasing it at this time, recalls that he heard the author spoken of by an admiring colleague not long ago as “a modern Hahnemann,” and was duly impressed. Naturally, therefore, when the editor file was turned over to him, he perused this article with special interest, not to say curiosity. He wanted to see just how “a modern Hahnemann” would proceed in meeting the popular demand for “re-proving the material medica.” He has seen, but his curiosity has been only partially satisfied.
In view of the standards and principles which seem to be exemplified by the author in this specimen of his work, he is curious to know what would be the fate of many of our old and tried friends in the materia medica – Carbo veg., Lycopodium, Natrum mur., Silica and Sulphur, or any of the minerals in their pure metallic state, for example – if they were submitted to him incognito to determine in advance whether or not they were worthy of proving and acceptance under the rules and tests by which he appears to be governed.
Failing to kill or disable rabbits and guinea pigs into which they were injected intravenously, or otherwise administered in 5 cc. doses of their lowest fluid dilution (corresponding to the tincture of vegetable drugs), or to excite any definitely toxic symptoms (as they probably would), what would his report recommend?.
Does Dr. Boyd believe and teach that the therapeutic value of drugs depends solely upon their possession of lethal qualities?.
Does he believe and teach that the provings and practice of homoeopathy should be conducted according to serological methods?.
It is an intriguing idea, taken from the pugilistic world, to personify drugs and regard them as “fighters” who must be tested in “elimination bouts” before they are permitted to enter the ring and fight for championship honors. It could be developed quite handily into something pretty in a literary way – drugs the challengers, disease the champion, etc. But drugs in lethal and sub-lethal doses matched against rabbits and guinea pigs seem a pitifully unequal and futile contest, particularly as Dr. Boyd as “referee” seems to ignore the fine points and ethics of “the game” and have an eye only for a “knock-out.” But “modern medicine” is like that.
It belongs spiritually to the Kingdom of Spain, the politest, most dignified and courtly nation in the world, but savage in its typical national sport, delighting in its glory bullfights, with their tortured bulls, disemboweled horses and mangled matadors.
The pomp, pageantry, plumes, gold lace and blaring trumpets, as well as the callous and revolting cruelty of the bull-ring have their likeness in the medical world and its laboratories of today in its contests with disease; but none of these can dazzle the eyes or distract the mind of the discerning from its primitive savagery, cruelty and uselessness.
For useless and unnecessary a large part of it is from the standpoint of the true healing art, or else Hahnemann and his followers were (and are) a troop of ignorant fanatics and homoeopathy a delusion.
It would be difficult to find a better example of useless, unnecessary and misleading experimentation in homoeopathic research than is described in the article under review.