Homeopathic meds protested during ‘mass overdose’
Published: Sunday, February 6, 2011
Updated: Sunday, February 6, 2011 23:02
Tim Nelms said "goodbye, cruel world," just before he and other members of the West Virginia Skeptics group took an overdose of homeopathic medicine at the Blue Moose Cafe Saturday night.
The event was part of the "10:23 Campaign," a protest movement that began in England in response to outdated homeopathic medicines being covered by the national heath care system.
Twenty-three cities in 10 countries participated in simultaneous protests, according to the campaign's website.
"Our main goal is to show that there's nothing in it," Nelms said.
Members of the group took homeopathic remedies for sleep in pill and liquid form, which were 1 million times the strength of a recommended dose.
"We are doing this as a show of solidarity with our friends in England who are outraged that they have to pay for this stuff. It has no medical basis whatsoever," Nelms said.
The group filmed the protest and plans to post the video on the campaign's website.
Homeopathy, which was created in 1796 by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, is considered a pseudoscience.
Proponents of homeopathy claim that water retains "the spirt" of herbal substances. By diluting herbs in water hundreds of times, homeopaths claim to be increasing their strength.
"One of the common misconceptions with this is that homeopathy and herbal medicine are the same," said
Gerold Turner, member of the group.
Medically, there is no benefit to using homeopathic remedies, and there is no risk involved with taking mass doses.
Turner said the main goal of group is to examine paranormal and supernatural claims with scientific reason.
"We have a book club, a religion of the month club, discussion groups, you name it," said Butch Campione, group member. "We're just trying to promote scientific thought."
The group is affiliated with the Morgantown Coalition of Reason, which seeks to
promote logic over superstition.
It has recently begun to focus on charitable work around the city such as volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and the Bartlett House. It also helped to clean trash along the Rail Trail.
"We do a lot more than just pray for people, I can tell you that," Campione said.
To learn more about the 10:23 Campaign and its mission, visit www.1023.org.uk.