Bizarre claims of a Homeopath!

I read Cecils’ column on homeopathy, at

After reading it, I started cruising the net looking at what these quacks really claim. I found one site that is rather bizarre, the claims that this homeopath makes in her personal “bio” are outlandish, to say the least. I thought I would offer it here for discussion.

For instance, the woman (who calls herself “Dr” Alva Irish) claims that in the area of Texas where she grew up, a person can push a pipe into the ground, attach it to a heater, light it and heat their home for free. She then states that obviously, this alleged home-heating method is “bad for anyone”.

In an erratic swerve of logic, Irish then uses the first claim (of the free gas thing in Texas) to state that as a result, she became a homeopath. Next, she seems to state that since (because?) she’s used homeopathics since age 13, she and her husband were poisoned with carbon monoxide. Gee, if that’s what happens when you mess with homeopathy, I think I’ll steer clear! :slight_smile:

There are more strange claims, the rest are on her “bio” at

It gets weirder. A web search for this homeopath turned up the following additional claims that she :

  1. is directly related to Sacajawea
  2. has inside info on UFO’s
  3. has numerous incurable fatal illnesses
  4. while dying of the above, she earned a Phd, and three Doctorates from “Universal Life University”.
  5. That the herb St. John’s Wort is a cure for puncture wounds, but that it “causes depression in all who don’t have puncture wounds”
  6. That she personally cured former President Clinton of a “throat disorder”
  7. Is a member of MENSA

Are all homeopaths this kooky?

N.B. This thread is a continuation of the previous thread

Any comments on this homeopath’s site?

Are all homeopaths this kooky? I would guess not, but I don’t know a lot of them so I can’t tell for sure. But I do wonder one thing - since she ha(s)(d) porphyria, and is interested in St. John’s Wort as a cure for puncture wounds, could she be ( :eek: ) a vampire?

Well, maybe she’s not a total kook, because I’ve heard that “you could push a gas pipe into the ground and hook it up to a heater” factoid/Urban Legend before.

Here’s an account of the Spindletop gusher.

And there’s this:

So it’s not totally kooky.

And re porphyria:

It doesn’t sound too farfetched to believe that following a strict diet which happens to include homeopathic remedies would help some people’s porphyria, which either will or will not get better by itself–therapy involves mainly pain relief while you wait for the attack to subside. And “pain” is mainly in your head, as anybody who’s ever gone through Lamaze courses knows (“it’s not a pain, it’s a contraction…”)

So, I’m not a particular supporter of homeopathy, but this one at least doesn’t sound like a total kook.

I’ve heard worse, believe me. :rolleyes:

But what I do quibble with is the fact that she’s making diagnoses over the Web, at $225 a pop.

Nice work if you can get it. :rolleyes:

Yeah, but how is this “bad for anyone”? If I recall my history correctly, Spindletop was quite good for a lot of people. Fortunes were made.

Also, I don’t follow how the free gas incidents led to her becoming a homeopath, which led to the CO2 poisoning thing. It just doesn’t follow.

I admit it’s difficult to parse, snifter, but here’s my understanding of the (very poorly written) page.

Texas is dependent on petroleum products, (the “push a pipe…” comment was merely hyperbole) and the pervasivenese of petroleum and natural gas in the environment in Texas causes many peope health problems (it’s “bad for anyone”).

Because of this unhealthy environment, Dr. Irish was interested in health from an early age. This led to her interest in homeopathy.

I don’t think she’s saying homeopathy caused her carbon monoxide poisoning. I think she’s saying she got CO poisoning because Texas is “bad for anyone,” but then homeopathy made her better.

All right, that’s all I could take; someone else will have to parse the rest of the page.

Since the last thread was closed, I’ll repost an edited version of my comments from it here, if that’s OK with Arnold.

Snifter, you’ve provided a reference to a page where a lady claims she suffered from porphyria and angioedema (but she misspelled it). Then she started taking homeopathic remedies, and didn’t die! Further, the expert body called the Social Security Administration apparently ended her disability status for these conditions.

What do I think? I had never heard of porphyria or angioedema, so I did a Google search. Porphyria is a real but rare disease, but it seems to have been embraced by the Multiple Chemical Sensitivity crowd as well as the Gulf War Syndrome crowd, which doesn’t give that diagnosis too much credibility (MCS and GWS are regarded as psychosomatic conditions by most experts). She provides hints that someone diagnosed her with MCS, which destroys and credibility she had left. Angioedema is the swelling of the skin as a result of allergic reactions, and according to WebMD “may be uncomfortable but it generally is harmless and resolves itself in a few days.”

I think she was misdiagnosed with porphyria, and her angioedema got better. I’m sure that Ms. Irish sincerely believes that the homeopathic remedies cured her.

That’s funny. What I’ve heard about St. John’s Wort is it is supposed to be a natural anti-depressant. At least according to the Alt Med crowd.

I think what’s most interesting about Ms Irish’s page is that it gives us insight into the thought processes of people who indulge in, or are hoodwinked by quackery.

Either Irish is extremely gullible and actually believes this homeopathy bunk, or she knows it’s quackery and is just profiting from gullible people. However, an analysis of her writing on the bio page suggests that Irish really does believe in homeopathy. The reason I think that is that she demonstrates a clear inabliity to think logically. She lacks critical thinking skills, which are necessary for people to assess the validity of information presented to them. Children lack these skills as well, which is why we must teach them not to believe everything they see on TV. Most people don’t develop critical thinking and logical reasoning skills until about the mid-teens. Some, obviously, never develop them at all.

There is also an obvious paranoia evident in Irish’s thought processes, she seems hostile and suspicious of modern medicine and also seems to have repeatedly self-diagnosed herself with fatal illnesses (she certainly looks healthy judging by her photo on the site).

I can see now why trying to show some of the quacks and their victims the fallacy of homeopathy doesn’t work. They lack the ability to follow and understand a logical argument. Some are also paranoid, so when they are presented with hard facts which challenge their beliefs, they retreat to accusations of conspiracies against them and their beliefs.

Well, as discussed in an earlier thread, homeopathy is essentially harmless, since the “remedies” are just plain water. However, I wonder how many people with serious illnesses delay getting medical care for their conditions because they’ve been hoodwinked by the claims of these homeopaths? Also, I imagine that these “remedies” don’t come cheap, there are undoubtedly homeopaths out there who are raking in a fortune selling little bottles of tap water to the gullible.

So, according to a homeopath’s logic, St. John’s wort won’t work for depression unless the patient stabs himself with something? :slight_smile:

No, no, the whole point of homeopathy is that you take a little bit of something, and it cures whatever it normally causes in the usual doses.

So, if you take only a little bit of St. John’s wort, it’ll cause you to get puncture wounds.

My God, the woman’s developed a depression vaccine!

Actually, though, if it weren’t for the “alt med” crowd, St. John’s Wort would never have been tested as a treatment for depression. It’s in trials in Europe:
and shows some promise. Sometimes even kooks get a hit.

You’ve forgotten the most important trick to homeopathy: thinking backwards. If St. John’s Wort is an antidepressant in normal pharmaceutical doses, it will cause depression in homeopathic doses. All substances reverse their affects when diluted out of existance.

If you can’t invert your thinking like this, you’ll never make a good homeopath or homeopathic patient. Good for you.

Arggh!! In the midst of my ironic/sarcastic comments up there, I committed on of my own pet peeves. That’s ‘effects’, not ‘affects’. Arggh, I say, arrgh!!

Gaudere’s Law should not affect irony.