H. J. Bopp, M.D.
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'Great Joy' Publications takes pleasure in offering to the English Speaking Christian public an easily read, concise, lucid and Scriptural work on Homeopathy, for prayerful, spiritual consideration and evaluation.
We desire to thank Dr. H. J. Bopp of Neuchatel, Switzerland, for his permission to translate and publish his original French edition of "L'HOMEOPATHIE". Thanks are also due to Mervyn Kilgore Esq., of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, for his willing and able work of translation.
It is our prayer that 'Homeopathy' will prove, by the grace of God, a blessing to every reader. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are exhorted in the inspired word to "prove all things, hold fast that which is good."
Published by Great Joy Publications - Carryduff
Belfast BT8 8DN
This electronic version has been edited by Rick Miller for Logos Communications Consortium. Most transcription errors have been corrected, British colloquialisms are explained, and several notes to clarify technical points have been added.
Like other ancillary paramedical practices, homeopathy is assuming an increasingly respected position in society, even inside the medical profession. It is a "science" dating from the beginning of the nineteenth century. It has since developed outside yet alongside official medicine. From the beginning of the twentieth century, medicine for its part has made enormous progress in its knowledge of disease through physiology and biochemistry. It has sharply focused on some revolutionary treatments: antibiotics, antituberculars, insulin, vaccines and others. Homeopathy from the time of its originator, Hahnemann, has remained separate from official medicine. J. J. Kent, grand master of American homeopathy (1849-1916) jealously accentuated the division between the two schools: "There is no valid excuse for getting lost amid the dark and misleading paths of the patterns recommended by traditional medicine. There are people incapable of grasping the wisdom of homeopathic doctrines who practise a mongrel homeo-allo-pathic medicine. The homeo therapy of these is moreover just as ineffectually understood and applied as their allopathic". (The Science and Art of Homeopathy pp. 174, 175)
It is staggering to note how, in recent years, the separating line is gradually disappearing. From the homeopathic side, doctors are closing with the official position. Dr. Leeser, for example, a German, is studying and assimilating the recent discoveries in biochemistry for his homeopathic research. From the orthodox side, there is a growing number of doctors, and especially chemists ["pharmacists"], who are attempting to treat their patients by homeopathic means. In France, homeopathy is being taught in faculties of pharmacy. In this country, Switzerland, the number of enrolled homeopathic practitioners stands at 1,500. Doctors in France, Germany and Switzerland have the opportunity regularly to attend courses on this method. In French-speaking areas there is seldom to be found a chemist's shop ["drug store"] which does not have the word "homeopathy" displayed in large writing on the window. People swallowing its pastilles or liquids are evidently growing more numerous.
Certainly homeopaths are right when they condemn the prescription, for commonplace illnesses, of powerful drugs that have sometimes dangerous side effects. Antibiotics, for example, are to be banned for any and every influenzal complaint. It is equally inappropriate to give corticoids for every arthritic pain. Similarly it is undeniable that homeopathy owes its growing success with patients to the fact that it presents itself to many people as a medicine that is both personal and scientific, with a remedy both individual and natural. One often hears of patients running from one doctor to another without finding real help. Faced with a technical and impersonal medical routine, sufferers are drawn to the homeopath, who takes pains with his patient and cures him with treatment "shaped" to his need.
But the Christian, seeking to walk in the light and in obedience to his Lord, must not allow himself to be seduced by every brand of the "in" philosophy and practice, especially when it comes to finding help for his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6 v 19). That is why it is so important to examine the doctrinal origins and basis of homeopathy.
Samuel Hahnemann, the Father of Homeopathy
The word homeopathy is of recent origin, coined at the end of the eighteenth century by the German doctor Samuel Hahnemann, from the Greek homoios - like, common, similar, and pathos - pain, suffering. Homeopathy, therefore, is defined as a therapeutic system of treating patients by means of agents producing a condition kindred to the one being fought.
Hippocrates, born about 460 B.C., had already established two therapeutic principles; opposites and similarities. Galen (138-201 A.D.) used the "opposites" theory to characterise the therapy of his era. This is the basis of classical medicine, allopathy, from the Greek alloios - different and pathos - suffering. The following example explains the principle. If a person is suffering from diarrohea, he is given a preparation to constipate him. For constipation the opposite is prescribed, a substance producing diarrhoea.
ln the Middle Ages Paracelsus, (1493-1541) rejected Galen's ideas and developed the principle of similarities, identical to that of Hippocrates. He devoted himself to mystical research using alchemy, seeking to analize the correspondences between the world of the outside (macrocosm) and the different parts of the human body (microcosm).
The originator of homeopathy, such as it is taught and practised today, is indisputably Samuel Hahnemann, born in 1755 at Meissen, the son of a china painter. A good student, he had the opportunity to study medicine at Leipzig, Vienna and Erlangen. Later he married a chemist's daughter. His medical practice at Leipzig was a failure and his eleven children lived in terrible poverty. He had a tragic history; of his three sons, one died shortly after birth, another, mentally ill, went off one day for good. Of his eight daughters, one died at birth, another at the age of 30, three others were divorced (a tragic fate for a woman of that day), and yet two other were killed. At 72, Hahnemann lost his wife and, at the age of 80, remarried a Parisian. His last and somewhat sparkling years were spent in Paris until 1843, the year of his death.
But let us get back to the time he spent at Leipzig, where he began to translate scientific material to help feed his family. The book "Substances in Medicine" by the Scottish doctor Cullen, attracted his attention. Interested in the description of the effects of chinchona (Peruvian bark) or quinine, a medicament for malaria, he set about carrying out tests upon himself. He noted that quinine produced on him the same symptoms as of a patient who had contracted malaria. After this discovery, he intensified his tests with other medicaments and eventually formulated the definition of a law; "Similia similibus curantur" or "like heals like". He began to attack official medicine which was guilty of making many mistakes through its use of harsh and limited treatments, such as; opium, purgatives and blood-letting.
In 1810 he published the most important work on homeopathy; "Organ of the Art of Healing". It's in this that he develops his whole doctrine. It also marks a total break with classical, or orthodox medicine. Right up to our own day the "Organ" is the foundation piece for all homeopathic treatment. In 1960, at the Montreux International Congress on Homeopathy, 260 doctors and chemists celebrated the 150th anniversary of the "Organ". The organizer summed up the significance of this treatise with the words: "The Organ is for the homeopath what the Bible is for the Christian. Homeopathy must consider the Organ as the foundation and basis of its therapy" (Dr. Pfister of Clarens). Hahnemann's disciples are encouraged to meditate on this book, paragraph by paragraph, in order to grasp the spirit of it. Dr. J. Kunzli of St. Gall confirms this in his article that appeared in the "Swiss Periodical Journal on Homeopathy" No. 2/1962: "You all know that today we are witnessing a reinstatement and new progressive emergence of homeopathy in many countries. This entire movement will only lead to results on condition that it draws its strength exclusively from the 'Organ'." Further on he quotes C. Hering; "If homeopathy is not applied according to the 'Organ' we'll be remembered only as a caricature in the history of medicine". Kunzli goes on; "A dry, historical and theoretical study will serve no purpose and will bring no help to your patients. You've got to penetrate the spirit of this remarkable book; you must reflect and meditate on all it contains, and the more you study it, the greater will be the profit you'll derive from it." The assertion is made that it's an exceptional book; the president of the international league on homeopathy, a Dr. Gagliardi from Rome said at the Montreux Congress in 1960: "It's futile to reject this or that principle enunciated in the 'Organ'. There remains more than enough to recognize the unfathomable intuition and divinatory spirit of its author". (Swiss Homeopathic Journal No. 4/1960).
Concerning such inspiration, it is interesting to read Hahnemann himself, in his letter to the town clerk of Kothen in 1828: "I have accomplished only what an individual can do with his feeble means, guided by the invisible powers of the Almighty, listening, observing, tuning in to his instructions, paying most earnest heed and religious attention to this inspiration". It is both useful and necessary to study the spiritual orientation of Dr. Hahnemann. We know that he was a member of a lodge of Free Masons. It is significant that he placed on the title page of his 'Organ' the Freemasonry motto "aude sapere" (dare to be wise). Dr. H. Unger gives us a clear description of his spiritual personality: "Like Goethe, Hahnemann embodies the two streams of the classical German genre (kind or style), the pantheistic idealism of nature and the rational idealism of freemasonry". (Swiss Journal of Homeopathy No. 1/1962). We thereby understand the relationship that exists between the spiritual heirs of Goethe, the anthroposophists, and those of Hahnemann, the homeopaths, both having a similar trancendental vision. Later, Hahnemann identified himself with eastern religions, then took Confucius as his model, while rejecting Jesus Christ.
The Doctrine and Method of Homeopathy
It reads thus: the treatment likely to cure a patient is that one which, tried out in heavy dosage on the healthy person, produces phenomena and disorders similar to those observed in the patient. For example, a patient afflicted with vomiting will be given the substance, NUX VOMICA, in greatly diluted form. Nux vomica is characterised by its emetic effect on a healthy subject. "All homeopathic medicines cure illnesses the symptoms of which they most resemble" (Organ : 26) Hahnemann has formulated a whole doctrine explaining this law. Firstly he considers man as a tripartite being:
"In the state of health, the dynamistic, immaterial, vital energy, animating the material part of the human body, reigns absolutely". (Organ : 9) "A person becomes ill when a diseased agent infiltrates the body and disturbs the vital energy by dynamistic influence". (Organ : 1 1) "It's only when the vital principle is troubled by a diseased element (that is to say by the intrinsic nature of a virus in the form of incorporeal substance) that it emits reactions and symptoms of disease". The principle and consequence of healing are explained by Kent: "A weaker dynamic condition is permanently removed by a stronger, if this latter is like it". (The Science and Art of Homeopathy, p.150). The cure must act upon the vital energy; to achieve this, it must resemble the disease as closely as possible in the totality of its symptoms by being tested on a healthy man.
Pathogenesis is the testing of medicaments on healthy people. Hahnemann tried out 60 substances on himself. Homeopaths have tried out about 1,000 substances: minerals, extract of plants, animal excrement, snake and spider venom, whole ground insects and others.
Homeopathy doesn't seek out organic disease, the lesion of a part of the body. It attempts to find a remedy to correspond exactly to the affected individual. The diagnosis and choice of treatment are carried out on three levels:
Diseases are categorised as acute or chronic. Hahnemann established three major chronic miasmas; psora, syphillis, sycosis.
Later two more miasmas were added:
A. Nebal and L. Vannier have defined basic determinants as:
The treatment, selected according to the principle of similarities is prepared by successive dilutions. These attenuations are obtained by very well defined techniques, and are reckoned in tenths and hundredths.
The starting point of the decimal scale is an original tincture from which one drop is taken and mixed with nine drops of liquid (water). By again mixing one drop of this first dilution with nine drops of liquid the second decimal dilution, indicated by the symbol D2, is obtained.
The centesimal scale involves the mixture of one drop of the original tincture with 99 drops of liquid. One drop of this first centesimal dilution mixed with 99 drops of liquid gives the second centesimal dilution, represented by C2 or Ch3.
The lower dilutions range from D1 to CH5 (the same as D10); the higher from CH6 to CH30 or even as high as CH100 and more.
Scientifically, using the example of the salt NaCl (sodium chloride), it may be proved by a simple calculation that there is no longer likely to be a single molecule left in the dilution after CH12. In the case of organic substances (for example Belladonna), this limit is already reached at CH10 or CH11 (approximately Avogadro's number). Any patient receiving a homeopathic treatment at CH30 should be under no illusions as to its composition. There is no longer any of the named material substance in his pill or liquid whatsoever.
However, such mathematical proof doesn't in the least upset the homeopathic doctors. Their teaching declares that the more diluted the substance, the more active it is. It's not just a question - and this is their secret - of a simple dilution, but of a process known as dynamization or potentialization, produced by repeatedly shaking the mixture between dilutions. Such repeated concussion makes it possible to contact and retain a hidden power in the liquid, its immaterial essence. We'll let the "Organ" explain (No. 16):
Rudolf Steiner, the pioneer of anthroposophy, had the same concepts of this invisible life energy, which he called ethereal substance or the ethereal world. Anthroposophic products, which are generally homeopathic, supposedly contain the same occult force.
There has as yet been no controlled study which proves the efficacy of homeopathic treatment given to any group of patients. The results of a series of scientific studies carried out in Germany have all been very discouraging for Hahnemann's method. Doctor Fritz Donner, the son of a German doctor and homeopath, had dedicated himself to scientific research in order to explain and justify homeopathy. In 1966 he published a paper in which he confesses all the failures and all the errors of homeopathy discovered during his years of work.
Let's take an example: For a test, a certain number of research workers were divided into two groups. One of the groups received silicea C30 (a homeopathic preparation); the other group a trick pill called a placebo (pill or liquid lacking any medicinal properties). After waiting for results, the experimentees were incapable of telling whether they had received the medicine or the placebo. When the group who had received the medicine were informed of it, they were unable to identify it. On the occasion of a second experiment, one of the arbiters, professor H. Rabe, president of the German Homeopathic Society found Silicea-produced symptoms in several of the experimentees. He was satisfied he had proved its efficacy until he discovered he had the wrong group. All those displaying symptoms had received placebos. Dr. Donner's discoveries confirm that homeopathic treatment is incapable of evidencing significant effects. That is the reason why homeopaths are not interested in these experiments and content themselves with their individual successes.
However, those teaching homeopathy would very much like to bring forward a scientific basis to explain the effects of their therapy. They refer to recent discoveries, in which they seek to find resembalance to Hahnemann's theory.
We shall examine three principles of classical medicine which are often used to provide a scientific explanation:
In order to establish the absurdity of homeopathic treatment, let us consult the "Practical Guide to Homeopathy" by J. Hodler. In conformity with the law of similarities, he recommends: calculi renalis 9CH for a patient stricken with stone in the kidneys. And so disappearance of stones and cure are expected by applying a preparation containing a renal calculus reduced and diluted in strength to the order of one over ten to the power of 18 ["1E-18" on a scientific calculator]. This form of treatment becomes dangerous in the case of infectious disease. Thus the same Guide proposes Pyrogenium 7CH, high dilution of a fever-producing substance for Septicaemia. The condition of Septicaemia is a serious one and may terminate in death, should immediate, appropriate, antibiotic treatment not be administered.
The serious treatment of an illness is undertaken by means of drugs, the primary action and secondary effects of which are known; and sometimes by surgical intervention. Present-day medicine, as taught in the universities, speaks only very little about homeopathy. Its basic literature, as well as the scientific periodicals, do not mention it.
For years now people have been talking a lot about psychosomatic illness. By that we are to understand a psychic ["mental"] imbalance which after a considerable time may transform itself into organic illness, such as duodenal ulcer, asthma, pectoral angina and others. In these cases, it has been possible to prove that the patient's trust and faith in his medicine play a very important part. A placebo very often effects a disappearance of symptoms culminating in complete recovery. The use of placebos is often welcomed and adapted in a programme of treatment, whether in hospital, or in the practitioner's study. It is in this area that certain professors concede a role to homeopathic medicine. Let us quote from Professor G. Kuschinsky's book "Lehrbuch der Pharmakologie", a basic work for courses in pharmacology in the German language. After thoroughly studying the effects of homeopathy, he concludes: "homeopathic substances may be admitted in the realm of suggestion, seeing that they possess neither main nor secondary effect."
Professor Schwartz of Strasbourg shares the same opinion in his course on pharmacology: "No study of homeopathy to date would appear to be significant. No experimentation authenticates the theory". However, he leaves the door open when he says that "it does no-one any harm", and "the patient needs a touch of magic". If the French Social Security reimburses homeopathic medicine up to dilution CH9 it isn't by reason of scientific proof of its efficacy, but because the patient seems to need "a little psychotherapy". He wants his own personal miracle, his own private cure.
To find the cure, that's to say, the herb for the original tincture of the preparation, the researchers often have recourse to occult practices such as the pendulum. Dr. A. Voegeli, a famous homeopathic doctor, has confirmed that a very high percentage of homeopaths work with the pendulum. There are groups whose research is carried out during seances, through mediums who seek information from spirits.
The testimony of a person who worked in an important homeopathic laboratory of high standing in France, is very interesting. She told me about the interview she had with the former director and founder of the establishment with a view to her recruitment. After a short introduction, this director asked her which astrological sign she was born under. Satisfied with the knowledge in this field of his future co-worker, he then wished to know whether she was a medium. As this was so, he confided to her the secret of the practices of the place. New treatments were researched there during seances, through the agency of persons having occult powers - mediums, - by which to question spirits. Today the person mentioned is converted and follows Jesus Christ. She separated herself from every occult practice, as well as from homeopathy, used by Satan to blind and to bind people.
All these facts are scarcely surprising, nor could they be to anyone who has read Hahnemann's "Organ" or the other works of leading homeopaths.
As a matter of fact the vocabulary is esoteric [using mangled, half-Latin names for things which are commonly found in the kitchen] and the ideas are impregnated with oriental philosophies like Hinduism. The predominant strain of pantheism would place God everywhere, in each man, each animal, plant, flower, cell, even in homeopathic medicine.
This paragraph explicitly states that the medicament has become a god. This god to whom Hahnemann constantly refers in all his books, most assuredly does not correspond to Almighty God, who reveals Himself in His Word, the Bible.
Hence we can better understand the interesting passage of the book: "The Science and the Art of Homeopathy" by J.T. Kent:
Generally speaking the truly homeopathic doctor is initiated into this transcendental, spiritualist world. He must have knowledge "of the four states of matter: the solid, liquid, gaseous and radiant states" (Ib. p.98). The author explicitly states that it is necessary to be able to see "with the eyes of the spirit", (Ib, p.120), in order truly to grasp the Hahnemann method.
Furthermore, homeopathy is related to acupuncture, auriculotherapy, iridology and the practice of hypnotists. Now, all these methods are occult or very suspect of such influence. The attempt at debunking and the scientific gloss are not convincing when we study the origins, the theory, the practice and the evidence of today. It would be naive to expect a clear response, a telling disclosure from doctors or chemists who give homeopathic treatment. There are to be sure some honourable and conscientious ones seeking to utilize a homeopathy detached from its obscure practices. Yet the occult influence, by nature hidden, disguised, often dissimulated behind a parascientific theory, does not disappear and does not happen to be rendered harmless by the mere fact of a superficial approach contenting itself simply with denying its existence. HOMEOPATHY IS DANGEROUS! It is quite contrary to the teaching of the Word of God. It willingly favours healing through substances made dynamic, that is to say, charged with occult forces. Homeopathic treatment is the fruit of a philosophy and religion that are at the same time Hinduistic, pantheistic and esoteric.
The Christian's Attitude Towards Homeopathy
The Christian is concerned above all else to please God. The Bible alone is his sole authority, and it clearly warns man of the consequences of certain practices highly treasured by homeopaths.
"Regard not them that have familiar spirits (mediums), neither seek after wizards (spiritists), to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:31)
"And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits (mediums), and after wizards (spiritists), to go a-whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. (Leviticus 20:6).
"A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:27)
"There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth dinivation, or an observer of time, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from thee. (Deuteronomy 18:1O-12).
God considers these sins impurity, spiritual adultery, abomination. His warning is solemn.
"My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff (pendulum) declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone whoring from under their God" (Hosea 4:12)
We earnestly warn against the use of homeopathic medicines including anthroposophic products. Some Christians think that homeopathic treatments in weak dilutions, up to D6, which are reimbursed by the Social Security, are spiritually harmless. Let's remember that these products all equally undergo the process of dynamisation. Contact with immaterial essence, the invisible force of the ethereal world operative in the medicament, sullies the Christian. The occult influence in homeopathy is transmitted to the individual, bringing him consciously or unconsciously under demonic influence. Very often the result is a bond with Satan. A person may be cured of a bodily ailment, but this is replaced by pyschic imbalance. Spiritual life ebbs away. In this very connection it is significant frequently to find nervous depression in families using homeopathic treatments.
Christians must not allow themselves to be seduced by the fact that homeopathy can effect remarkable cures. It's not a question of denying them, even if scientific medicine lacks explanations. The Bible teaches us that Satan, through the agency of men, is capable of performing miracles and healings. "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs ans wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24)
"Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:" (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11)
What must that person do who has come to realize just how much he has exposed himself to occult influence? First of all he must repent and cut himself away from that influence; believe with all his heart, after confessing his sins, in total deliverance through the sacrifice and precious blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross. A chat with Christians who have had experience in this matter is often necessary, especially when psychic or spiritualistic problems arise. The Lord Jesus has come to save and to rescue: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness". (1 John 1:9)
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John ch. 8:36).