What naturopaths say to each other when they think no one’s listening « Science-Based Medicine

*Mexikaresistance Note: A lot of this pseudoscience and quackery has firmly entrenched itself in modern Mexikayotl. Part of the objective of Yankwik Mexikayotl is to purge such nonsense from our movement. This article is a fascinating look into what “naturopaths” believe.


Regular readers might have gathered from reading this blog that we are not particularly fond of naturopaths. Actually, naturopaths themselves might be perfectly nice people; rather it’s naturopathy we don’t like, mainly because it is a cornucopia of quackery based on prescientific vitalism mixed with a Chinese restaurant menu “one from column A, two from column B” approach to picking quackery and pseudoscience to apply to patients. Indeed, Scott Gavura features as an excellent recurring series “Naturopathy vs. Science,” which has included editions such as the Facts Edition, Prenatal Vitamins, Vaccination Edition, Allergy Edition, and, of course, the Infertility Edition. Of course, as I’ve pointed out, any “discipline” that counts homeopathy as an integral part of it, as naturopathy does to the point of requiring many hours of homeopathy instruction in naturopathy school and including it as part of its licensing examination, cannot ever be considered to be science-based, and this blog is, after all, Science-based Medicine. Not surprisingly, we oppose any licensing or expansion of the scope of practice of naturopaths, because, as we’ve explained time and time again, naturopathy is pseudoscience and quackery

.A couple of weeks ago, over at my not-so-super-secret other blog, I was “celebrating” if you will Naturopathy Week. During that week, one of my readers brought to my attention something that, more than anything else, shows the truth of the quote with which I started this post and another similar quote by J.C. Watts that goes, “Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking.” I’m referring to the contents of a subreddit posted by a user going by the ‘nym “Naturowhat,” Read what naturopaths say to one another. Conclusion: manipulative, poorly trained, and a threat to public health. Now, I’m not a big fan of Reddit, largely because I can’t figure out how to find things easily, and I hate the sheer ugly and user hostile format of it. However, beggars can’t be choosers; so Reddit it was to examine what naturopaths say to each other when they think no one is looking. I hadn’t planned to comment on this again, but Jann Bellamy thought that our readers would be interested, and who am I to question Jann’s judgment, particularly on a weekend when I was deep into grant writing?

Into the belly of the beast at least, as much as I can go

This particular subreddit makes its interesting tidbits available in various ways. Originally, when it was posted two months ago, there were links to a .zip file with a bunch of .txt files representing a private Yahoo! Group named Naturopathic Chat a.k.a. NatChat. It’s a discussion group in which naturopaths basically let their hair down and discuss…well, everything. In particular, they discuss patients, treatments, and naturopathy. The file is in dBase3 format and, according to the person who tried to upload it, zipped to 62 MB. Ultimately, an anonymous reader pointed me to a copy of the database online containing the entire archive for the NatChat Yahoo! Group. Unfortunately, I have not been able to figure out how to access the actual messages easily using a Macintosh app or, more importantly, to search the database efficiently. So, for the most part, I will be discussing what I found in the subreddit, although I’ve supplemented what some of you might have seen before elsewhere with a couple of examples from the database that are not, as far as I know, online anywhere other than in the database. It’s instructive indeed to peruse them, particularly if you’re sympathetic to claims of naturopaths.

Naturopaths, as regular readers know and as we’ve discussed since the very beginning of this blog, like to claim that they are well-trained to be primary care health providers, a delusion that leads them to try to get states to change their laws to given them that privilege, along with prescribing rights. Across the river from where I live, Ontario made the mistake of granting naturopaths prescribing rights, with an unintended consequence, namely that they can’t find enough pharmacists to test their knowledge of drugs and prescribing. Meanwhile, they lobby states for increased scope of practice and Medicare for reimbursement for their services. Never mind that they regularly demonstrate themselves to be grossly unprepared for the role of primary care practitioner, which is not surprising given their lack of training and how steeped they are in pseudoscience. So little of what’s on that subreddit will likely be a surprise to regular readers here.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE: What naturopaths say to each other when they think no one’s listening « Science-Based Medicine.

About Kurly Tlapoyawa (1010 Articles)

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