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Is Homeopathy A Cult

    written by Dr William.E.Thomas MD

Cults - or individuals - want to manipulate people's beliefs to make them dependent and to gain access to their money. As the cult becomes more sophisticated and counts amongst its members influential people from the community, it grows bolder in trying to achieve what is beneficial to it.

Every cult has a founder and leader, a charismatic person who is highly respected. This person usually claims that he or she has been chosen by Providence to reveal or to carry out some special task. There also is a separate part of the leader's message that is known mainly to the initiated, people who get deeply involved with the cult.

There are open and closed cults. A closed cult employs the techniques of isolating its members and bringing them into alternate states of mind. Open cults use various courses, such a personal development courses, to spread their message. Usually there is a reward offered on successful completion of such a course.

Many cults use traditional religion as a basis for their beliefs. There are however cults which have their own rules based on the teachings of the leader or founder. Over the centuries there have been thousands of cults in existence.

How does homeopathy fit into this pattern? The following is Hahnemann's message to the public in his speech at the Gaelic Homeopathic Society in Paris, on the 15th September 1835:

"And you, young men of France, who have not yet attained to the old errors, and are seeking for truth in wakeful nights of work, come to me, because I bring you the truth you have so long sought after, this sublime revelation of an eternal law of nature you, like me, will bless Providence for that immeasurable Good, which has been allowed to descend upon earth by my insignificant efforts, because I was only a feeble instrument of that Power before whom everything should remain humble."[1]

The Chairman of the Society, Dr. Pierre Dufresne introduced Hahnemann's speech, with these words:

"When will there come a noble and far-seeing man, who will re-open the temple of old Aesculapius, who will smash to pieces the dangerous instruments, will close the apothecaries' shops and destroy this hypothetical medicine with its remedies and fasting? What friend of man will preach in the end a new science of healing, since the old one is killing mankind and depopulating districts and countries? Behold! There is the man! He is presiding over your Society. His name impresses me to silence. He is supreme above all praise."[2]

Homeopathy has a founder and traditional leader who is now acknowledged and revered also by the present generation of homeopaths.

Does homeopathy have a popular axiom? The answer is yes - in the Similia Similibus Curentur. This has become the main preoccupation of homeopathy, especially in the later existence of the doctrine. Everyone has been and still is looking for symptoms and forgoes the question of Vital Force, dwindled dilutions and potentizing an imaginary non-existing force. The slogan 'Like Cures Like' is a very old and popular one, and by no means an invention of Dr. Hahnemann. Paracelsus and other scholars in the Middle Ages divided plants and stones into groups, according to their resemblance and colors for treatment, the so-called 'theory of signatures.' The juice of Chelidonium (Celandine) is yellow and must be the cure for bad bile since bile is yellow. Also accordingly, since the meat of the walnut resembles the brain it must be good for the brain. Hahnemann moved on to make the broad generalization that all disease is actively cured by the introduction of a second disease state, similar but stronger than the original illness.

Is there a mystery, unreasonable belief, in homeopathy, revealed to the initiated after further study? Yes - the theory of potentization - dynamization. There lies the real importance of homeopathic drugs.

Can we find financial involvement of subscribers to homeopathy? Nowadays we have many institutions and colleges of homeopathic learning. To get a diploma or a degree in homeopathy, students must attend one of them. In December 1811 Hahnemann wrote:

"A six months' course will be sufficient to enable any intelligent mind to grasp the principles of this most helpful science of healing."[3]

Hahnemann even wrote down ten examination questions, which are of great importance showing us the relevant points of the system and which of them the founder of homeopathy considered of the greatest value in his system of treatment.[4]

The Homeopathic College of Australia (Victorian Campus) offered in 1987 two, four, and six years of evening classes, leading to a Doctorate in Homeopathic Medicine. Classes were conducted at the Art Building, University of Melbourne, the venue suggesting an affiliation with the University. In fact these were only rented rooms, available to anyone for a fee. The syllabus consisted of evening lectures (6 till 9 PM), thirty-four weeks per year, once or twice a week during the school year. The fee - except books - was $2400.00 per year, $14.400.00 for six years (in 1987).[5]

Homeopathy played a prominent role in at least one cult, the Order of the Solar Temple. Fifty-three members of this cult committed mass suicide or were murdered in Switzerland and Canada in October 1994. There was an Australian connection where the cult leaders and some members lived on the Gold Coast in Queensland.[6] The leader of the cult claimed to be a Doctor of Homeopathy. His name was Luc Jouret. Mr.Jouret was born in Kitwit in the Belgian Congo, now Zaire, in 1938. He was once active in left-wing fringe politics as a member of the Walloon Communist Youth between 1965 and 1975. Mr. Jouret flirted with communism, but also joined the New Order of the Temple, a cult founded in 1968 by a French right-wing extremist.[7] Jouret traveled and gave public lectures on homeopathy, in which he talked on 'selfrealization' and recruited members for the cult. Some were enrolled from amongst his patients.[8]

Jouret was a charismatic and persuasive speaker and those who knew him said the homeopathic doctor was a clever man[9] who could easily influence people. When a patient in Switzerland went to him for homeopathic treatment, Jouret told him he was dying of cancer. Month later Jouret claimed to have miraculously cured him. The man and his wife fell for the story and made a donation of $1 million to the cult.[10]

In the final count homeopaths have to believe, put their faith into the existence of a Vital Force and a Healing Power of a dynamized medicine. Neither of these two has ever been demonstrated to the scientific world. Both remain in the sphere of philosophy and mysticism.

Signs Of A Cult

Founder or Leader Dr.Samuel Hahnemann
True Believers and Followers Melanie Hahnemann
Past and Present Practitioners
Popular Slogan Similia Similibus Curentur
Mystery - Irrational Belief Dynamization - Potentization
Pecuniary Interest Selling Medicines
Tuition for a fee

Back to Hahnemann's Homeopathy


Please click on the hyperlinked reference numbers to return to your place in the text.

[1] Haehl, R.: 'Samuel Hahnemann.' - B.Jain Publ., New Delhi 1989. Vol.2. Pp.345-346.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Haehl, R.: 'Samuel Hahnemann.' B. Jain Publ., New Delhi 1989,Vol.1, p.97.

[4] Ibid. Vol. 2, pp.200-201.

[5] Australian Doctor, 14 August 1987 (Advertisement).

[6] The Sun-Herald 9 Oct. 1994; The Sunday Mail 9 Oct. 1994; The Sunday Telegraph 9 Oct. 1994. (Australian daily newspapers).

[7] TIME 17 Oct. 1994, pp.45-46; The Age (Melbourne, Australia, daily newspaper) 8 Oct. 1994.

[8] The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Australia, daily newspaper) 7 Oct. 1994, pp.1 and 11.

[9] The Age, 7 Oct. 1994, pp.1 and 9.

[10] The Courier-Mail, 7 Oct. 1994, pp.1 and 4.

Page last modified 4th March 2002