Ebola Virus. It is not an untreatable disease!

Fear not, Ebola victims of Africa, for the homeopaths are coming to save you! Well, I presume they are … after all, they claim to have remedies that will cure the effects of this deadly virus.

Let’s see … Homeopaths Without Borders aren’t going, but they are reaching out “to our counterparts working in Africa to offer our support”. Perhaps they mean Homeopathy for Health in Africa, or Homoopathen Ohne Grenzen, or Homeopathes Sans Frontieres, or Homeopaten Zonder Grenzen Nederland, or Homeopathes Autour Du Monde Suisse, or the All-Nigeria Homeopathic Medical Association, or the Gambia Wellness Foundation, or the Ghana Homeopathy Project, or the Homeopathic Association of South Africa, or the Senya/Tamale Homeopathy Project, or the Abha Light Foundation, or the Swaziland Homeopathy Project?

Hm, looking at their websites, none of these counterparts in Africa seem to have anything to say about Ebola (at time of writing, six months into the epidemic). Well, actually the Swaziland Homeopathy Project do mention it on their Facebook page – they link to an article by English homeopath Steve Scrutton called ‘Ebola Virus – it’s not an untreatable disease!

The general point of Scrutton’s article is to say that the “conventional medical establishment” is not able to treat Ebola, but homeopathy can, and he offers several examples.

One of these is a homeopathic preparation based on the venom of the Six-Eyed Crab Spider. “Click here to see the research undertaken on this remedy in the treatment of Ebola” he says. So I did.

What I found was a paper called ‘Sicarius (Six-Eyed Crab Spider): A homeopathic treatment for Ebola haemorrhagic fever and disseminated intravascular coagulation?‘ that was published in the British Homeopathic Journal in 1999. Note the question-mark at the end there.

Reading the paper revealed that it offered no research whatsoever related to a remedy. It described a study by someone else that looked at the effect of Sicarius venom on rabbits (Newlands, 1982), saw that one of the reported effects of the venom was disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), noted that one of the effects of Ebola is disseminated intravascular coagulation, and concluded that therefore Sicarius venom could be used to treat Ebola.

This follows the rule, in homeopathy, that ‘like cures like‘ – so a little of what causes a symptom, diluted until there is barely a molecule of it left (the water remembers it) will become the treatment. How do homeopaths research this? Usually just by thinking about it for a short while. For instance, hay fever causes the eyes to water; what else causes the eyes to water? Onions! Therefore: homeopathic remedy for hay fever = onions (though you must use its binomial to make it sound scientific, of course, Allium cepa).

This is about as scientific as the Law of Rhymes (which I’ve just invented). What does Ebola rhyme with? Granola! There’s your cure for Ebola right there – a muesli-based cereal. But you don’t need to eat it, just breathe in the air around it – it’s more potent that way, and the further away you are, the more potent it is.

Bearing this Law of Similars in mind, the author of this highly questionable paper, Dr Cornelia Richardson-Boedler, goes on to suggest – amazingly – that the infected blood of an Ebola victim (a “nosode“), and even the Ebola virus itself, should also be considered as possible cures.

But will the homeopathic community, many of whom have echoed Mr Scrutton’s claim, be asked to step in and save the day? “I regret to say that this is unlikely!” laments Scrutton. You see, he explains, Big Pharma will spend millions on developing drugs that won’t be ready for years and are even already using an untested drug which is sure to cause immense harm.

It is, of course, right that these drugs are fully tested, and that does take time. Even so, a vaccine is currently being trialled, and may even see its first use in Africa sometime in 2015.

As for the untested drug, ZMapp, that is being provided for free. And yes, it may do harm, but this is being weighed up against the alternative – almost certain death. As of this writing I’m aware of five people who have received ZMapp – two have survived Ebola (though both gave more credit to “God” than medical science), two have died from the virus, and one, currently in the UK, is still being treated. The available supply is now exhausted.

Homeopaths and their pseudoscientific supporters would be horrified if the drugs suppled by Big Pharma were made publicly available without proper, robust testing, or weren’t subject to the strict safety conditions of organisations such as the MHRA, the EMA or the FDA (not that homeopaths trust them). Yet, apply the same standards to homeopathy and they scream injustice, cry conspiracy, organise petitions, and claim patients’ rights are being infringed.

Still, fear not, homeopaths, even though you have the answer to Africa’s Ebola worries, you will not have to dirty your shoes with the dust of humankind’s birthplace. One of your number, Dr Bill Gray, has come up with a solution – eRemedies. These are short audio files of homeopathic energy that you can play in order to stimulate the body to heal itself. Two are available specifically for Ebola – one to be used as a preventative, and another to listen to if you have been sick for over 48 hours. These are, very generously, free (unlike Dr Gray’s usual fees – $600 for an initial consultation), so, people of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria, get downloading*.

(* Don’t. Please seek proper medical advice.)

Tweeting while conscious

While idly browsing tweets this morning, this one appeared from New Age vessel of consciousness and Ig Nobel Prize winner, Deepak Chopra …

As long as there is no scientific explanation for the biological basis of consciousness militant atheism seems an irrational position”

So if science can’t explain consciousness from a biological point of view, then the only rational explanation is that a god exists (if he’s bringing in atheism, then it can only be tied to the existence, or not, of a deity).

But this is surely a false dichotomy – if there is not yet a scientific explanation of biological consciousness then atheism remains a perfectly rational option, perhaps even the only rational option. If you’re positing something else, which science does not back up, then you’re presenting a god of the gaps argument. You’re perfectly allowed to believe that thing, whatever it is (deities, quantum foam, the dream-dust from other dimensions), but until there’s evidence, it remains an unscientific idea born of imagination.

As all his Twitter replies, so far, had been agreeing with his great wisdom, I decided to grace him with my thoughts …

@DeepakChopra science hasn’t explained everything – doesn’t mean it won’t one day. You’re filling gaps with woo. How are atheists militant?”

He didn’t like that …

@FelisUncia Any explanation in science will come from consciousness. Science is an activity in consciousness.”

“Crying ‘Woo’ is the last refuge of the intellectually challenged @FelisUncia

“Militant atheist is term used by @RichardDawkins to describe himself & those of his tribe @FelisUncia

Like a naughty schoolboy, I decided to answer back. To the first one …

@DeepakChopra Well, science is an activity of conscious people.”

… and to his second one …

@DeepakChopra A great line, but merely saying it doesn’t make it true. Let’s give it a longer name: pseudoscience.”

Another Twitter user, tyDi, joined in …

@DeepakChopra @FelisUncia We can call it ‘making scientific claims without evidence’ if you like Deepak? ‘Woo’ just sounds cooler.”

Prompting this gem from Deepak …

‘Evidence’ is a species specific mode of observation in human consciousness which eludes scientific explanation. @tyDi @FelisUncia

By now Deepak had blocked me, but I was subject to notifications of dozens of his followers (a cluster of yogis, herbalists, spiritualists, beauticians, therapists, healers and ‘moms’) favouriting and retweeting his answers, especially the pithy ‘crying woo’ line.

As I said in my tweet, calling someone names (‘intellectually challenged’ – one of his favourite insults – and his intentionally provocative ‘militant atheist’) does nothing to provide an answer. It’s the kind of thing that happens all the time with conspiracy theorists – after two or three rebuttals to questions, they resort to calling you ‘indoctrinated’ and the conversation ends.

As for the idea that evidence is species-specific, this has to be the funniest thing he wrote, and the whole tweet is typical of the convoluted language he uses to sound scientific. Every term he types needs to be defined before you can move on, and he almost certainly has a different meaning from the one you (or the majority of scientists) might have. Jerry Coyne has dubbed the great guru Deepity Chopra.

The scientific method is geared towards ejecting such notions as personal observation – introducing randomisation, blind control groups and repeatability in order to get as objective a result as possible. Deepak seems to reject this, and everything becomes true as long as it is observed by the individual (or ‘consciousness’). If it’s real for you then it’s real, and if it’s real then perhaps you even created it. Anecdote becomes just as valuable as any robust clinical trial.

Deepak is a master of utilising scientific terms and bits and pieces of quantum theory to tie into his grand idea of higher consciousness. But all he has, in the end, is impressive-sounding speculation. He’s just another person who can’t believe that evolution is almost certainly the process that created the astounding human brain; another puddle amazed that he’s lying in a hole that fits him just perfectly.

Extra: This is my favourite debate that features Deepak Chopra – see him dismantled atom by atom by Sam Harris, Michael Shermer, and a real quantum physicist (at the end).

Is it Ebola or is it psychological warfare?

Jon Rappoport is an ex-journalist who discovered and promoted HIV denialism in the late 1980s, and then fell into the whole New World Order / We’re All Living in the Matrix fruit bowl. He’s the founder of No More Fake News and co-conspirator, if you will, of big NWO-busting names such as Alex Jones and David Icke.

I was recently sent a blog post written by Rappoport called Is it Ebola or is it psychological warfare? The gist of the piece is that Ebola is merely a propaganda operation created to induce fear, thus making us compliant for all sorts of unspecified population control mechanisms.

I guess, apparently, it didn’t quite work with AIDS or SARS, so they’re trying again with Ebola. The New World Order chaps really aren’t very good at this are they? If they really wanted to reduce and control the population, why not just use something that is actually vastly globally deadly? I’m just one of the sheeple, but might I suggest something that affects human fertility by the millions? But no, they have to spend billions on wearing us down, one at a time, with Ebola, autism, chemtrails, fluoride, vaccines and, um, reality television. The big kill-off  is always approaching, but never arrives.

Rappoport claims to have studied logic extensively in college, but this skill seems to have been zapped (by HAARP, I expect), possibly sometime around 1987 when, as he claims, “… a thought popped into my head. AIDS. I bet there’s something about that whole thing that’s pretty weird”. Seems logical.

“It’s time to try facts instead of scare tactics”, he says, before revealing that Ebola has only given us 456 confirmed deaths (as of 25 July) whereas seasonal flu kills between 250,000-500,000 people every year. And that’s the proof that Ebola is being blown out of all proportion by the World Health Organisation and the ‘mainstream media’, apparently leading to only one conclusion: a population compliance operation.

Well, let’s regain some of that logic that Mr Rappoport appears to have mislaid, and apply it on his behalf.

Yes, Ebola deaths are very low compared to flu. But, unchecked, Ebola has a fatality rate of 90%, and even with treatment and early diagnosis it can be about 50% at best. Influenza, on the other hand, does not usually kill. For the majority of healthy people it takes the form of a very heavy and unpleasant cold for about a week.

But the genie is out of the bottle with flu – it’s out there, spreading and affecting us, every year, on a global level. Ebola is, at the moment, relatively contained and localised, and with emergency measures (hence, perhaps, the perceived ‘scare tactics’) it can be beaten down to nothing, as it has been before. Ebola is unlikely to take a hold in the frankly more sanitised and technologically richer ‘First World’, but if Ebola did reach the level of annual flu infection, we might be seeing somewhere in the region of 500 million deaths per annum.

At the moment you cannot inoculate against Ebola (and no, homeopaths, rattlesnake venom diluted to nothing will not work), whereas there are a number of influenza vaccines available that are effective in the majority of cases.

It’s funny, mainstream medicine deniers usually say that flu is not dangerous – you just need a robust immune system and to avoid vaccines (manufactured by the evil Cabal, intended to ruin your health). Rappoport is one of these people. He has written more than one blog post in which he casts doubt on the CDC’s influenza mortality numbers, claiming the estimated 36,000 deaths from influenza in the US (in 2001) is a lie, and the actual number is most likely about 18 (making Ebola over 900 times more deadly than the flu once you’ve adjusted for population size over one year). It seems he likes to change his ‘facts’ to suit his agenda.

(Note: Rappoport gets his 18 flu deaths from vaccine critic Peter Doshi. See a good take down of Doshi’s flawed theory here.)

Rappoport believes that if the immune system is strong then “a germ doesn’t stand a chance of causing serious illness”. This reveals his lack of knowledge where Ebola is concerned. If you’ve got a healthy immune system then one of the first things it does when a virus attacks is to release tetherin, a protein that inhibits retrovirus infection. Unfortunately, Ebola disables tetherin, allowing it to continue its spread from cell to cell. It actually uses the body’s immune cells to travel to other parts of the body and infect them.

He doesn’t really believe the Ebola virus is to blame anyway – in another piece he seems to suggest it’s actually antibiotics, or pesticides, or vaccines, or chemical pollution, all acting on an already depleted (by the Cabal, of course) immune system.

So who’s really using scare tactics here? Nearly all of the official, mainstream, scientific sources I’ve read on Ebola, while stating that this is an unprecedented outbreak and that urgent measures are required, also give out the calm facts: Ebola is not an airborne virus, survival rates are vastly improved with medical attention, it can be beaten with good hygiene practice, and it is highly unlikely to take hold in ‘the West’.

The conspiracists, on the other hand, and as usual, are pouring out the fear and paranoia – Ebola is psychological operation designed, created and implemented by the authorities; they’re destroying your immune system so almost anything can kill you; they’re coming to get you; don’t trust anyone!

Here’s a few conspiracy-flavoured headlines: Cure for Ebola They Don’t Want You To Know About; Ebola May Have Already Crossed Border; US Govt Admits To Ebola Attack; Why Did the US Government Patent the Ebola Virus in 2009?; What Are US Biowar Researchers Doing in the Ebola Zone?; 25 Critical Facts About This Ebola Outbreak That Every American Needs To Know; The US Is Quietly Establishing Ebola Quarantine Centers; Timeline Says Atlanta Ebola Patient A PsyOp Hoax; Ebola Bodily Fluids readily Airborne Weaponizable; etc., etc. Feeling afraid yet?

(Edit: I just had to add a link to this video of conspiracy commentator Christopher Greene getting more and more panicky throughout one of his pieces on Ebola. If the virus is psychological warfare, he’s fallen for it hook, line and sinker. Also, he doesn’t seem to know what inoculation means.)

Misinformation and pseudoscience on Ebola, such as that promoted on Rappoport’s blog, are a real contributing factor to the spread of this deadly virus. Many African citizens believe that Ebola is a Western plot to kill them off and this has led to violent mobs gathering and vital treatment centres being evacuated. Some don’t trust the official health centres and turn to witch doctors for help.

On his website, Jon Rappoport offers a coaching program called Imagination Work – “using imagination to fully grasp what is desired in life”. I think this might offer a clue as to where his theories on Ebola come from – there doesn’t appear to be any actual evidence behind his claims, but his imagination certainly seems to be working overtime.