This blog talks about interrelations of homeopathy and holistic ways of healing with the world beyond medicine, with spirituality, science and politics. The homeopathic way of thinking and questioning about problems, crises and solutions is extended to encompass more than issues of individual health. During two hundred years of work with crises and suffering we have developed a holistic way of looking at contexts and a specific way of listening, which may prove to be very helpful in collective contexts as well. In a loose series of articles I wish to show this by different current issues. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)). You may distribute and reproduce it in accordance with the license terms.
(Not being a native speaker I apologize for any mistakes and appreciate any kind of amendment.) .
Jörg Wichmann, November 2017
Of the holistic healing methods it is homeopathy that recently is in the focus of being publicly discredited. Long disproved or utterly senseless arguments shall try to undermine a popular and effective way of healing. In Germany the midwives have nearly lost the free exertion of their profession because of a tenfold increase in their liability insurance fees and the situation in Britain is. Persons who utter their concerns regarding the current vaccination politics are publicly villainized. Could all this be connected? It is. And the question is, who’s next? – To understand this, we need to extend our perspective first.
Divide et impera! (lat.) Divide and rule! was the motto that the Roman Empire used for hundreds of years to successfully subjugate peoples outnumbering them by far. And this maxim still works in different contexts and different times, as long as the subjugated don’t see through it and let themselves be manipulated.
During the last years we are experiencing setbacks in many areas where emancipatory movements all over the world had already gained larger spaces of freedom: now autocratic regimes are spreading where democracies had already been on the move (Turkey, Hungary, Poland etc); cold war and rearmament are replacing constructive efforts for peace; the energy transition and high climate targets are dumped; social achievements and securities of the twentieth century are suspended again; freedom and liberal spaces in social life, personal life style and health care as well as holistic and alternative movements and healing methods are replaced by new and old fundamentalisms; the formerly free press is owned by a few corporations and is becoming uncritical and streamlined, communal property is privatized; and so on.
All of these developments are perceived as isolated and different groups are trying to prevent them or slow them down, but they don’t see each other while so doing. Survival under the rising pressure of work and time leaves hardly any space or energy to engage yourself, much less to do so in more than one movement. Therefore the power moves into the hands of well paid politicians and lobbyists, who haven’t got anything else to care for and who are doing their own thing, which they don’t wish to share with the public that is becoming ever more frustrated. The more we know about all this the larger grow frustration and paralysis, and impulses to action are drowned in helplessness. The older among us may still remember a sticker from the 70s which said: “Millions say, alone I cannot do anything.” This is still the point. If we as homeopaths fear for our existence and social legitimacy, then we should become active for our case and stand up for ourselves. Certainly so. But if we can’t see that the peace movement, the Anti-TTIP movement, the climate change activists, the women activists, the worker’s movements, the nature preservation, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, LobbyControl etc, that all these, all of us are fighting for the same cause, for a liberal, democratic, healthier, more peaceful, just and joyous world, then we have no chance at all. Not us and none of the other groups if they stay isolated.
Even though each of us is moving within their own framework and watches the world through their own glasses, we still breath the same air, depend on the same water and are living on this one planet.
Ok, but what does all this mean for homeopathy?
My use of the phrase “Divide et impera” implies that I am assuming a purpose here and not just a development that happens to be unfortunate for us. And of course there is a purpose behind. We are watching several groups and persons campaigning against homeopathy with considerable investment in finances and time (several specialized websites, public actions, wide engagement in social media and press, commissioned hacker attacks on our websites). Nobody takes such an effort just because he feels irritated by some ideological opponents or quacks. Behind all this there is a purpose and a well calculated and financed concept. We find similar concepts on the political and national level for instance in the history of the cold war, which papers are now accessible and published, where the CIA has destabilized other states systematically and for decades by manipulating public opinion and directing revolts even to coups and the replacement of foreign governments by more obedient ones. Fortunately we are not bothered by campaigns of the same calibre and not with national services, but the procedures and structures are more or less the same: You pick one opponent first who seems most vulnerable, isolate him from his natural surroundings, create internal disputes and make him look ridiculous, stupid or dangerous to the public.
Trying to dissipate, disempower and destroy the alternative and emancipatory movements that had grown a lot since the 70s, the political left was . Conveniently the ecological movement has reduced itself during the establishing of the green parties in the mainstream to friendly pleas and bio labelling. But still there was a growing trend to alternative and holistic healing methods and a growing criticism against chemical and technological medicine, the enormous political potential of which (nothing is as important to people as their own health) has been totally underestimated by the exponents of alternative medicine, but it has been clearly seen by the corporations behind the school medicine. As in many cases their think-tanks are a step ahead of us.
The reason that homeopathy was hit first is simply that it is obviously vulnerable because of its use of potentized substances which under a superficial view seem to contradict common sense. And the attacks have two simultaneous effects: The method is publicly ridiculed, and a wedge is driven between the followers of homeopathy, the one group of whom avoids the pressure by going more scientific and the other group by insisting more on their holistic tradition.
The representatives of related methods and other sympathizers keep quiet for self preservation and will not show open or public solidarity with homeopathy, not to drown together with it. But they are not aware that they will be the next in line, once homeopathy is done with. Should the campaign against homeopathy prove to be a success, this will not be the end of the action but the kick-off for further similar campaigns against other undesired alternative projects, methods and concepts in medicine, agriculture, education, in social and economic life. – Where I am unable to break a bundle of rods, I just need to separate them and break one after the other easily. Divide et impera, a simple and old strategy, that will work again and again, as long as its victims fall for it and loose their solidarity.
Even if homeopathy is the main purpose of your life and your most important concern, you will have to open up for your social and political surroundings and to think and feel for everyone else’s concerns as well. Homeopathy will never be saved as isolated.
Even if you regard homeopathy as a somewhat weird unorthodox treatment and prefer to use different healing methods, you will have to become aware, that it is not homeopathy that is at stake in these public campaigns, but our freedom as citizens to decide on our lives and our bodies ourselves. If homeopathy takes damage today, maybe tomorrow the blow will fall on that area of life that is essential for you.
We don‘t want any privileges or advantages. We just want to be able to live our lives freely and self responsibly in solidarity with the difficulties of our neighbours, and to support them in the way that seems best to us. – But we cannot cope with that alone!
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