Charlatanism: fantasy or dishonesty?


In his Homeopathy: The Undiluted Facts Edzard Ernst delineates between two types of charlatan: the dishonest and the fantasist. I don’t know and have never met Sally Lloyd, a homeopath who charges for her services. Neither do I know whether she actually offers them to people diagnosed with cancer. But if she spews forth the following disgraceful misinformation to anybody daft or desperate enough to ‘consult’ her, there is something seriously amiss.

I found her words disturbing enough during a previous spar, which, despite having predictably blocked me on Twitter, she nevertheless permitted on her blog. Such apparently refreshing receptivity encouraged me (then) to cut her some slack and comment that she came across (relative to the repeat-ignore homeopathy harpies) as a reasonable and decent type. But not long afterwards – perhaps also predictably – she removed our dialogue from public view.

Sally Lloyd block

And now…? Well, any perception of semblance of reasonableness has been dashed. Why? Because she’s (now) of the homeopathy-for-cancer mentality. Not just cementing, were any needed, the opinion that Sally Lloyd is another deluded do-gooding quack – but that she is a potentially dangerous one to boot.

I here quote her recent dross blog post in full and insert my take between her shoddy paragraphs.

Life After Chemo

About Cancer

Cancer is an immune system disease.
We have cancer all the time but ‘cancer’ happens when your immune system can no longer clear and control cancerous cells.
If you use chemo, radiotherapy & steroids to push active cancer into remission your immune system is weakened massively. If you go into remission, what frequently happens is cancer reappears in a number of places and is even harder to fight.’

I was driven to tweet to inquire as to her qualifications to pronounce on cancer so. Though such approach is futile, because, as mentioned, she’s long since blocked me. Does she seriously suggest that, if stricken with cancer, treatments that might check the progression of your disease should be eschewed? Just what thought process is underway here?! You might find these initial over-generalised statements of Sally’s undisturbing. But they piss me off: the language of the pseudo-intellectual ignoramus looking to impress the gullible and promote their precious belief system in concert with their income source. Harsh? Read on…

‘All the natural measures you took during cancer to raise your immune system [alkalising diet, homeopathy, etc.] should be continued long-term to repair your immune system and prevent cancer reappearing. Don’t go into remission and return to your old habits. After chemo it’s imperative to raise your immune system above its pre-chemo condition and to a pre-cancerous state.’

So, who does Sally know who took / has taken such ‘natural measures’? Are these ‘measures’ Sally has recommended to people? Indeed, has she received money for doing so? And just what and where is her basis for stating that homeopathy and an ‘alkalising diet’ (whatever the fuck that means!) raise the immune system? What does raising an immune system mean? And how do such ‘measures’ repair an immune system and prevent cancer reappearing? I’ll wager Sally doesn’t actually know. She merely either believes she knows, or pretends to know. Which leaves open the question as to whether she’s a fantasist charlatan, or a dishonest charlatan? Well, read on….

‘We resolve conditions with homeopathy by raising the immune system to a stage before the problem was triggered and try to keep health at that higher level.
Homeopathy is, therefore, an ideal way to recover from toxic cancer treatments.
The Banerji Homeopathy clinic in India has a really excellent rate of positive outcomes in cancer treatment.’

The reiteration: homeopathy raises the immune system. A more Poe-esque statement not coming from the bent quill of Dana Ullman is hard to imagine. No consideration of cancer as, not just a single disease, but a label encompassing many diseases. Does Sally have ‘remedies’ specific to each cancer type, or does she just recommend a broad-brush immune system elevation? Such an immunity-stimulating property – if actual – would be highly dangerous in the hands of someone posturing as capable of administering to cancer patients. I’m not aware that Sally has any medical qualifications whatsoever, let alone post-graduate training and professional experience in oncology. Yet, she has the neck to state:

Homeopathy is, therefore, an ideal way to recover from toxic cancer treatments.’

Such statements are not merely the pronouncement of deluded fantasists – they are unethical.

‘In the UK, we are legally prevented from claiming that homeopathy can treat cancer so you’ll not hear about it in many places. But homeopathy works by stimulating and strengthening the immune system, enabling it to do its own healing.’

‘… its own healing.’ ?!? Ah, that balmy, nebulous word ‘healing’. But is not Sally here suggesting that homeopathy is effective treatment for cancer? Although her awareness of legal prevention suggests familiarity with The Cancer Act, 1939, I nevertheless tweeted Sally to question her knowledge of the reasons why ´In the UK, we are legally prevented from claiming that homeopathy can treat cancer…´. And on the 6th of January I posted comment under the post on her website:

Sally comments

(My perfectly reasonable comment languished ‘awaiting moderation’… until the 21st when, much to my surprise, she replied… with a deflection, coupled with the ‘open mind’ line. In case you’re unfamiliar with this tack, it’s a fallacious ad hominem resort insinuating that the challenger is of closed mind, unwilling to countenance any consideration of the touted merits of whichever nonsense is being promoted.) 

And again, the lazy, un-evidenced reiteration:

‘… homeopathy works by stimulating and strengthening the immune system… ‘

I challenge Sally to provide any modicum of evidence to back-up such a weak, flimsy, vague, ignorance-appealing statement.

‘Cancer is becoming commonplace as people’s immune systems get weaker and it’s caused by generations of suppressive conventional medicine [steroids, antibiotics, vaccines, drugs, recreational drugs, more drugs for the drug side effects] and ever-increasing exposure to toxins in our food & environment.
Start now. Clean up your lifestyle and have homeopathic treatment to help you detox and keep you clean and fit.’

Now Sally steers her irresponsible screed along an anti-medicine – including anti-vaccination – course. If you fail to register the quack-giveaway that is the nugatory word ‘detox’, then you are probably unreachable.

We are So Used to Being Sick, We think Fevers are only for Kids!
It’s really uncommon for me to meet a European or American adult who can raise a high fever to overcome a viral infection. Most have chronic diseases and little susceptibility to acute infectious diseases at all. Their immune systems are too weak to mount a significant response (fever) to bog standard viruses like flu or to quickly eliminate flu without secondary infections.’

It’s not that Sally now confuses me with such ill-thought through drivel; it’s that she confuses herself. I wonder that, even if she did bother to proof-read her words, she is incapable of spotting the hypocrisy and contradictions. Most European and American adults have chronic diseases? Eh?! Or most that she anecdotally meets? She deplores their ability to resist acute infectious diseases? Eh?! But then claims their immune systems are too weak to respond to them? Eh?! So, they get ill… but not properly ill? Is that it? And flu is a ‘bog standard’ virus’ [sic]. Eh?! Flu kills people, Sally!

‘When I examine a child’s medical history I always see evidence of a drop in the immune system at every vaccine date. We know that vaccinated children have more infections and more chronic diseases compared to unvaccinated children. Vaccines work by damaging the immune system. They add aluminium to vaccines to suppress the immune system which would otherwise quickly clear the disease material that’s been injected. If the aluminium remains in the body it continues to suppress the immune system. Aluminium is also injected in the presence of polysorbate 80. Polysorbate 80 is used with some chemo treatments in brain tumours to open the blood-brain barrier. Aluminium + open blood-brain barrier.’

So, whereas adults have little susceptibility to infections, vaccinated children get more infections? Are the adults she discusses those who were not vaccinated as a child? But doesn’t she blame their common chronic diseases (in part) on the vaccinations they would have had as children? Sally, you’re not a doctor. You therefore do not have access to children’s medical records. What is the evidence you claim to ‘always see’? How is this ‘drop in the immune system’ you claim to perceive evaluated? How do you come by the self-certainty of your statement on vaccinated children? ‘Vaccines work by damaging the immune system.’ Utter bollocks! And here the anti-vax bent becomes writ large: ‘They’ being the evil vaccine manufacturers, here accused of spiking their products to deliberately damage immune systems… make that children‘s immune systems. Sally now tries to impress with her chemical/pharmacological knowledge, but is just too vague to be convincing. No matter, her anti-vax brethren will lap up this stuff.

‘I’m frequently seeing children who have never had a fever and don’t get acute infectious diseases [which are necessary for maturing the immune system] either because they are too weak or they are vaccinated and there are not the opportunities.’

Now, our anti-vax homeopath further confuses and contradicts herself: vaccinated children’s immune systems are, according to her statements above, ‘damaged’. Which, one would predict, would render a child more prone to infectious diseases, no? But now, she says this weakness prevents such diseases. Is this acceptance that vaccination works? Or that a strong immune system facilitates infection? What is going on here?! Is she allowing that vaccines prevent disease, but in so doing they inflict immune system damage – and/or hinder immune system maturity – that then renders the vaccinated more prone to cancer? It is difficult to understand the thought process underway here, particularly as she doesn’t pick back up on the initial cancer theme. Because she doesn’t actually know what she is talking about. Instead, Sally steers towards what she apparently considers her main specialisation – children and autism:

‘I’m also seeing children who’ve been directly injured by vaccines and have descended into severe autistic states.’

No you aren’t, Sally.

‘I’ve seen children who regressed into autism after antibiotics and I see children who’ve been clearly suppressed from eczema to asthma and then to psychosis by the continual use of steroids.’

No you haven’t, Sally. No, you don’t.

To clarify, I’m not saying that Sally doesn’t see children. She does – and charges for doing so. I’m rejecting her claims for the causes of the conditions the children she sees – and purports to treat – present with. And again wondering as to her medical, immunological, paediatric (and, don’t forget, oncological) qualifications, training and experience. But why bother justifying yourself when you can cheaply resort to some good old ‘Either/Or’ false equivalence fallacy:

‘Conventional medicine is the 3rd cause of death in the USA. Only a fraction of deaths and injuries are reported. Many deaths and injuries happen after time has passed. We all know at least someone who died or was injured as a result of drug side effects or medical treatments.’

‘We all know… ‘? Do we?!

‘Conventional medicine is driving down the health of all populations.
Now, only 5% of our patients are in the upper levels of health.
200 years ago, in Samuel Hahnemann’s time … whilst he was railing against conventional treatments that killed faster than they cured … 95% were in the upper levels despite poverty and poor sanitation. Our health should have improved with improved sanitation & availability of food. Yet, it has plummeted, particularly since the advent of vaccines.’

‘Conventional medicine is driving down the health of all populations.’ Utter bollocks! Note how Sally writes ‘our patients’, in the expectation that the dolts who gravitate to her would never question her language: that she isn’t actually a qualified doctor, and so doesn’t have ‘patients’. (Though that is how she likes to term her clients:Sally - 'patient') And just where does she get her 5% and 95% statistics from? From the ether she breathes? She reveres Hahnemann (as is her wont), who, it must be said, deserved some credit in his time. But then comes a twist. Propagandists for (so-called) ‘Complementary and Alternative Medicine’ frequently claim that the undeniable increase in survival and longevity ought not to be credited to modern medicine; rather, they and their apologists often attribute (along with whichever CAM nonsense they’re promoting) such progression to sanitation and improved hygiene and nutrition. Yet here, because Sally has backed herself into a modernity-denialist corner, she goes full hypocrite. It suits her stance to claim that her quacking brethren are wrong. Not merely mis-crediting or denying progression in health improvements (due to whatever factors); rather, she claims regression.

‘We look back on C19th medicine as a dark age and yet we have so many more treatments that are both more barbaric and more lethal and we blindly trust.’

‘We’? Sally is communicating to those likely to nod at her words. You’ll note, if you follow such activity, that the Sallys of this world like to present themselves as decent people. And you’ll hear their excusers try to placate your protests with, “(S)he means well.” Ah, the paving of the road to hell… So, I now re-tie the slack I previously cut Sally. I wonder whether she has gotten so up her own ass with her autism angle that she feels she can ‘graduate’ to the more solidly complex matter of cancer. If so, she exhibits colossal, irresponsible arrogance! Rather than come across as reasonable, she is full-cant anti-science loon. Moreover – and this is where it gets more objectionable – she charges for her baseless services. And, in being afforded platform by Steemit, is even accruing virtual pocket money for penning such utterly deluded – and potentially dangerous – tosh.

Fantasist or dishonest? Deduce your own opinion. Regardless, recognise the pattern: whenever someone quacks “boost/stimulate the immune system”… steer clear.


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