So, This Organization Exists

Doctors Without Borders is one of the world’s most selfless and worthwhile charities. But did you know there is a group called Homeopaths Without Borders? Yep, it exists. I wish I was making this up, but I’m not. Because it’s important that the world’s poorest countries have access to completely ineffective medical woo.

Homeopaths Without Borders – North America (HWB-NA) incorporated as a nonprofit humanitarian organization in the United States in 1996. We are an organization that offers both homeopathic treatment and education to foster independence in the use of homeopathic medicine. To date, we have provided service in Cuba, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Haiti…

HWB volunteers provided homeopathic care to 890 people in 2012 in community clinics in Port-au-Prince and rural communities—in some locations, a full two-day walk from the nearest doctor.

Out of curiosity, is throwing salt over the shoulder of 890 people better than throwing salt over the shoulder of 50 people? I imagine their goal is to put candle wax into the ears of millions of impoverished people in the Third World to “cleanse” their bodies of “toxins” and to make sure their “chakras” are “vibrating” faster than their diseases and conditions. And Homeopaths Without Borders sounds so much nicer than Bullshit Salesmen to Poor People.

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  • It would be good to note here that homeopathy is not a general term for psuedoscientific woo. It’s a specific practice, namely the dilution of curative agents in water to the point that the resulting solution is effectively indistinguishable from water, in the belief that this dilution somehow makes the agent more effective.

    Total bullshit, yes, but a particular variety of bullshit.

  • Randomfactor

    In the spirit of dilution, isn’t it better for their patients if they DON’T send any homeopaths to the affected areas?

  • wneroaster

    at least they’ll be passing out really clean water.

  • Ryan Jean

    With HWB having paved the way, Dasani and Arrowhead will be splitting off their charity divisions any day now…

  • lldayo

    So…sort of like spreading religion to the poor. You’ve effectively accomplished nothing.

  • Matt G

    It would be nice if the organization diluted itself down to a tiny fraction of a human being. The world would be very effectively cured of their nonsense.

  • Abby Normal

    Isn’t sending fake doctors to Central America a little like smuggling drugs into Amsterdam?

  • Cuba, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Haiti? Don’t those countries have their own indigenous folk-medicine already? For some reason I have this nagging suspicion their folk-medicine is more effective than HWB’s woo.

    I also have a nagging suspicion that a lot of HWB’s woo may have been derived from primitive third-world folk-medicine in the first place. So why give people watered-down versions of homegrown remedies tthey may already have?

  • Pen

    I suppose you would be even more astonished if you knew how much harm homeopaths have been doing in many poorer countries already? In 2009 there was an outcry over Jeremy Sherr’s activities. I believe he, like several homeopaths was involved in promoting ‘inexpensive’ homeopathic treatment for AIDS, an offer which gets taken up by organisations, governments and individuals who just can’t afford to get raked by the drug companies. A search of more recent stuff suggests they haven’t given up.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Governments around the world probably have the power to shut down the fraudulent homeopathy industry, but I’ve never heard of that happening.

    It’s not like an underground thing over which the Government has no control. The homeopaths are operating just like regular business people, running courses in universities, selling magic water in chemist shops, and opening consulting clinics in the high street.

    Sounds like palms are being greased. (Years ago it was called bribery. Today it’s called lobbying.)

  • Couldn’t a homeopath in California add a few droplets to the Pacific and send “aid” to all the west coast S. American countries? Hell, it should be even more dilute (i.e. more powerful) in the Atlantic for the east coast countries!

  • Ysidro

    They’re actually homeopathic borders. It’s the same thing as being without borders.

  • briandavis

    What does a homeopath in the third world use as a treatment for diarrhea? First you need to find a substance which causes the unwanted symptom. The local water probably suits our needs. Now lets dilute the local water repeatedly with more local water while doing the magic slap between dilutions. They should ship this miracle cure back to the States for sale in sell-out drug stores.

  • ArtK

    @ Gretchen #1

    Thanks to crank magnetism, homeopathy brings in a lot of stuff. IIRC, Orac calls it “The One Woo to Rule Them All.”

  • Ah ha! My organization* isn’t looking so bad now, is it?!


    * Doctors without Barbers.

  • matthewhodson

    @1 (Gretchen)

    Homeopathy is the dilution of causative agents with the belief that an extreme dilution will reverse the effect.

  • Margaret

    So…sort of like spreading religion to the poor. You’ve effectively accomplished nothing.

    accomplished nothing except making the preyed/prayed upon even poorer and the predators richer.

  • Hatchetfish

    Well, if they can work out effective distribution systems, like say piping, for lots of their water, that’s to the good… Local manufacturing plants would be even better…

    Just knock it off with this bullshit that it cures anything but dehydration.

  • Thumper; Atheist mate

    To date, we have provided service in Cuba, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Haiti…

    But those are places that are in desperate need of real fucking medicine you humoungous agenda-pushing fuckwads!

    HWB volunteers provided homeopathic care to 890 people in 2012 in community clinics in Port-au-Prince and rural communities—in some locations, a full two-day walk from the nearest doctor.

    And now, thanks to Homeopaths without Borders, they’re still two days walk from the nearest doctor.

    Jesus fucking wept…

  • Thumper; Atheist mate


  • blf

    As others have noted, in some areas, if they make their magical potions using the local water, they are simply increasing the risk of various water-borne diseases.

    And, for feck’s sake, Cuba? Cuba has a excellent health system, albeit by no means perfect. One problem is a shortage of medicines (thanks, USAlienstan embargo!), so there unfortunately is angle by which these quacks can get their monies: “We have some ‘medicine’…”.

  • shay

    There’s a group called Acupuncturists without Borders, too. Homeopaths aren’t alone in their charitable desire to make non-medical care available to all.

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  • William Coyote

    Good to know there are so many with unflailing trust in the grip of our pharmaceutical mega-corporations.

    Look no further than your own knee-jerk reactions when the pills you take have adverse reactions.

    Never mind the fact that quite a substantial number of those pills were derived from plants and other substances that have been used by humans before Merck was a speck in anyone’s eye.

    Modern medicine can do wonders, and we have come a long way in understanding how various substances work as remedies. But let us now forget that we have been healing outselves for eons and that just because the substance doesn’t come out of a pill bottle doesn’t make it useless.

    Furthermore, I suggest many of you get an understanding of homeopathy. It has very LITTLE to do with water and diluting substances, but using NATURAL substances and methodologies for healing. The same place where some of our most effective drugs and treatments are born.

    I used to think that FreeThinkers were just that, people with open minds who were disgusted with dogma, whether that dogma came from a bishop or a book. Now I know better.

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