I just found this really great article that cut close to home. It’s about the tricks people use to con others into thinking they’ve got some great new alternative healing method. I hate to admit it, but over the years I’ve definitely been taken in by some of the tricks the author lists here. Looking back, I was particularly susceptible to Number 3 (Add a dash of pseudo-science) and Number 4 (Don’t forget a dose of ancient wisdom).
I thought I got off to a good start on explaining how to avoid scams in my post on alternative medicine, but this article really takes the cake.
Q: Your treatment can cause considerable harm; do you find that responsible?
A: Harm? Do you know what you are talking about? Obviously not! Every year, hundreds of thousands die because of the medicine they received from mainstream doctors. This is what I call harm!
Q: Experts say that your treatment is not biologically plausible, what is your response?
A: There are many things science does not yet understand and many things that it will never understand. In any case, there are other ways of knowing, and science is but one of them.
Yup… I fell for this line of thinking repeatedly between the ages of 19 and 23.
If you are considering trying a new form of alternative medicine, I suggest reading this article first. If the person pushing this method gives you too many of the talking points Ernst lists, stay clear!