Friday, October 14, 2016

The Naturocrit Podcast – s02e02d1 [Episode 012d1] - Script & Annotations

here, I provide an annotated script for the first third of the Fourth Part of Season 02 Episode 02 of The Naturocrit Podcast:

001. the Episode 012d1 script and annotations:

Standard Introduction:

Welcome to, as that robot voice says, The Naturocrit Podcast, and thank you for boldly listening.

What ARE we even talking about?

Well, this podcast series is my take on naturopathic medicine, an area I've been studying for about twenty years, including my time in so-called 'scientific nonsectarian naturopathic medical school'.

My approach is a pairing of scientific skepticism and a deep knowledge of naturopathy's intimate details.

In previous episodes of this series, I established that naturopathy is, essentially, a kind of knowledge blending, misrepresentation, and irrationality.

I have termed naturopathy both 'an epistemic conflation falsely posing itself as an epistemic delineation' and 'the naturopathillogical':

the science-exterior is mixed with what is scientific, then that whole muddle is absurdly claimed to be science as an entire category, while particular sectarian science-ejected oath-obligations and -requirements are coded or camouflaged, therein effectively disguising naturopathy's system of beliefs in public view.

Naturopathy's ultimate achievement is a profound erosion of scientific integrity and freedom of belief packaged in the marketing veneers "natural, holistic, integrative and alternative" and improperly embedded in the academic category "science".

Episode Synopsis:

In this three-part Episode 012 Part Four, I'll cover:

the 2016 Bioethics journal paper “Alternative Medicine and the Ethics of Commerce” by MacDonald and Gavura,

an honorary degree CCNM bestowed to ND Smith this year and ND Smith's CAM book from 2002,

the 2002 MCNA naturopathy proponentry paper by NDs Smith and Logan “Naturopathy”,

and the two 2003-2004 Medscape papers by MD Atwood that are critical of naturopathy.

Also, as regards NEASC, I'll:

“answer those two OLD questions formulated by NEASC, from 2004, with the benefit of 12 retrospective years of UB naturopathy and North American naturopathy behavior […]

1. Are students and prospective students given timely, sufficient and accurate information to serve as a basis for their decisions regarding pursuing a degree in naturopathic medicine?

2. Are students in naturopathic medicine provided with adequate academic advising?”

And, as I said in the introduction to this Episode:

“part of my conclusion will be what I'll call 'naturopathy's unethical code of misconduct', which will be a summation of naturopathy's past and current behaviors generalized into 'rules of misbehavior'”

and I'll touch on the phenomenon of 'gaming the system' aka licensed falsehood.

First up, the first third of Part Four:

the 2016 Bioethics paper, the honorary degree, and the 2002 CAM book. 

Main Text:

MacDonald and Gavura:

I've been meaning to find the appropriate place in this Episode to mention a refreshing piece of scholarship regarding CAM and commerce.

Here it is.

Earlier this 2016, Chris MacDonald of the Department of Law and Business at Ryerson University, where he teaches “ethics and critical thinking”, and pharmacist Scott Gavura of the of the blogs Science Based Pharmacy and Science Based Medicine, published the paper “Alternative Medicine and the Ethics of Commerce” [also here; and here] in the journal Bioethics 

[here's the citation: MacDonald, C. and Gavura, S. (2016), Alternative Medicine and the Ethics Of Commerce. Bioethics, 30: 77–84. doi: 10.1111/bioe.12226].

Later, I'll look at ND Smith's bio., who, coincidentally, is also a pharmacist, by the way.

MacDonald and Gavura pose this question:

“is it ethical to produce and market complementary and alternative medicines?”

And they tell us:

“we examine not just the evidence as we see it […but employ] expert consensus […taking CAM commerce into account both] epistemically and ethically.”

Ah, epistemics and ethics:

good stuff.

And they conclude, overall:

“there are significant ethical problems, from the perspective of the ethics of commerce, with the production, advertising and selling of complementary and alternative medicines.”

How do they get to that conclusion?

Well, I'd like to briefly detail that course.

First, we're reminded by the authors:

“it is important to emphasize that complementary and alternative medicines are not just medicines (or supposed medicines) offered and provided for the prevention and treatment of illness. They are also products and services - things offered for sale in the marketplace [...and therefore] this article aims […] to consider CAM from the perspective of commercial ethics [ the sense of] the ethics of selling CAM.”

I, personally, also lump ND education as a product into that area of “marketplace”:

a miseducation racket that I OBVIOUSLY regard as epistemically fraudulent.

Now, I'm of course interested, for this ethics-centric Episode, in such 'CAM commerce ethics' in relation to naturopathy particularly.

Naturopathy DOES market itself as CAM.

In fact, National University of Natural Medicine, the oldest ND-granting school in the AANMC North American consortia, states in “College of Naturopathic Medicine” [2016 archived]:

“holistic or natural medicine [...] is known by many names: alternative medicine, integrative medicine, complementary medicine and others […] our education at NUNM will include the following therapeutic methods […and they include] homeopathy […naturopathy is] an opportunity for optimizing health and treating disease in a patient-centered model of care […] we invite you to learn more about NUNM, our [naturopathy] program, and be on the forefront of today’s healthcare system.”

An enticement!

So, naturopathy in the education marketplace markets itself as many things:

alternative, integrative, complementary, natural, holistic, forefront, and patient-centered.

And I enjoy the bullshit:

TODAY homeopathy is hugely science-discredited yet here the trunk of the naturopathy tree is as usual posing it as a useful therapy, “on the forefront.”

Falsehood posed as true is not “patient-centered”, and it's not nice.

Truly, these prophets are facing backward [go Meera Nanda!].

Regarding NUNM's very inclusive “and others”, well, I'm sure naturopathy will hitch its wagon to future marketing labels that benefit it as they develop:

an indicator of naturopathy's nebulosity.

The CAM ethics article states:

“our interest here includes all commercial activities focused on CAM […] for example, manufacturers of all types […and] all kinds of providers [...which would include] a homeopath or a naturopath.”

So there's direct mention of naturopathy, and homeopathy.

And we're told:

“we consider the ethics of producing and selling CAM through the lenses of three specific ethical questions, each of which applies to all commercial transactions.”

So, CAM will not get some kind of special treatment in the paper.

You know, those charitable acts of forgiveness that let CAM nonsense be reversedly called sense.

So, the three lenses are posed:

“first, does selling CAM violate the standards of merchantability [oops, I mispronounced!] - in other words, does selling CAM involve selling something that fails to function as it should? [...aka] offer a product that works - a product that is, in the language of commercial law, 'merchantable' […] second, does selling CAM involve deception? [...aka] only sell products to people who understand their fundamental characteristics, and who are reasonably capable of understanding (either on their own or with suitable professional help) whether that product will meet their needs. This implies a general demand for honesty on the part of sellers, and a refusal to profit from the ignorance of consumers [(oops, I say customers accidentally)...]and finally, does selling CAM do harm to third parties? […does CAM] take reasonable steps to ensure that third parties (those who do not consent to participate in a particular market exchange) are not harmed?”

Basically, regarding the three listed “lenses”, the authors conclude, respectively:

a) regarding “works”:

“as a class, most of the products and services that constitute CAM violate this principle. Indeed, many products considered CAM lack plausibility entirely, as they are often based on prescientific ideas of disease. Empirical testing confirms what a priori plausibility suggests: there is little convincing evidence that the overwhelming majority of CAM has any meaningful medicinal effects, and some CAM, like homeopathy, has no effects at all. Indeed, there are fundamental scientific reasons to expect homeopathy not to work. Similarly, treatments like acupuncture, when tested under carefully controlled circumstances, have been demonstrated to be no more effective than placebo";

b) regarding “deception”:

“we move now to apply Principle 2, which requires 'general honesty, and a refusal to profit from the ignorance of consumers.' Most of the products and services that constitute CAM violate this principle. Most consumers [oops, again!] are under-informed, and do not know whether evidence exists to back the explicit or implicit claims made on behalf of specific CAM products. Consumers generally don't know just how little reason there is to believe in the specific effects offered by purveyors of, for example, homeopathy. Not only do they not know that there's no evidence that homeopathy works, they a) generally don't have the expertise to evaluate the evidence, and they b) don't realize that the claims of homeopathy are fundamentally at odds with basic biology and even physics. Similarly, consumers who purchase the services of an acupuncturist may not be aware that the practice is based entirely on the idea of energy flow along 'meridians' within the body, and that such energy flows have never in fact been shown to exist. In the face of considerable evidence against the efficacy of most forms of CAM, it seems that selling CAM will generally violate the ethical principle under consideration here. To sell something that does not (and indeed in many cases cannot) work, to people who do not understand this fact, is unethical”;

c) regarding “harm to third parties”:

“consider, for example, the issue of homeopathic 'vaccines.' Homeopathic preparations offered as vaccines are in fact physically incapable of functioning as vaccines. Our thorough understanding of how vaccines work establishes this. This not only means that patients 'vaccinated' homeopathically against, for example influenza, receive literally no protection at all; importantly, it also means that third parties in the community receive no protection at all. When it comes to communicable diseases such as influenza and chickenpox, there is a very strong social element to prevention. It is crucial that a high percentage of the population be vaccinated, in order to confer what is known as 'herd immunity.' Failure by individuals to take effective steps to be immunized can thus constitute a public health risk. There can thus be a very significant hazard to third parties when, for example, a homeopath or naturopath recommends and sells a homeopathic 'vaccine' to a patient. Consider also the case of CAM remedies derived from species (such as the rhinoceros) that are being driven extinct because of demand for animal parts based on magical thinking. In such cases, our shared ecological heritage is being diminished by an industry that pursues exotic - and generally useless - ingredients. In such cases, CAM again violates the ethical principle that forbids participants in a commercial transaction from imposing harms on unconsenting third parties.”

I agree with the authors' general conclusion, which I'll repeat:

“there are significant ethical problems, from the perspective of the ethics of commerce, with the production, advertising and selling of complementary and alternative medicines”,

aka with the CAM INDUSTRY, which includes CAM academic commerce.

I think, from this Episode alone, you can find many NDs and ND institutions, of that CAM industry, that fall into each and / or all of the three categories.

That is why it's so easy to call CAM 'sCAM', supposed complementary and alternative medicine:

not truly complementary if QUITE contradictory,

not truly alternative if so bad as an OTHER choice,

not truly medicine since NOT effective.

Now, as the fates have decreed, as the stars have aligned, for this Episode, I must say 'opportunity knocks' or 'coincidence abounds.'

Here's another PERFECT ND as an example:

let me highlight ND Zeff's ABJECT 'naturopathic homeopathic pseudo-vaccination' proponentry, just out this September 2016!

Let's apply this MacDonald-Gavura paper's contents.

I guess it pays to write my Episode slowly over months, and let naturopathy incriminate itself!

I briefly posted at The Naturocrit Blog on 09-15-2016, “ND Zeff in NDNR 09-2016: Homeopathic Nosodes Are Better Than Vaccines” [here's another proponent ND, 2016 archived].

I wrote:

“Zeff, J.L. (ND NCNM), who 'along with [ND] Pamela Snider is the author of the modern definition of naturopathic medicine', writes in 'Vaccines for Seniors' in Naturopathic Doctor News and Review [...and this is Zeff writing, I must emphasize] 'let us explore some of the literature on the subject […] so, there are 'naturopathic' alternatives to the vaccines, which are cheaper, effective, and carry no risk of harm. Why would anyone want to use vaccines, with their expense and potential for harm, when one could use these simple, effective, inexpensive, and harmless methods? [...] the vaccine may, in fact, increase the risk of death from the flu, increase the risk of contracting the flu rather than reducing the risk, and increase the risk of having a worse case of the flu […] here is what I recommend [...] specifically, I recommend the use of homeopathic nosodes and specific remedies to stimulate immunity, as opposed to vaccines. I have found them to be effective, and they are harmless - there is absolutely no potential for harm. I usually use the 200C potency, though there is new literature out of India suggesting that a 30C potency may be better [...] for shingles, specifically, I use Rhus tox homeopathically, as well as Herpes zoster nosode, 30C or 200C, as a preventive [...] the primary method I used to help restore and stabilize her platelet count was the homeopathic nosode of TDaP (200C)'."

I've got that in paper, sent via USPS directly from the publisher.

By the way, a web site search of NDNR for "nosode" returns several entries.

There's the 2012 article by ND Lemke, a Bastyr graduate, Homeopathy for PANDAS” [2016 archived], with that acronym meaning “pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections".

The ND tells us there:

“I specialize in the homeopathic treatment of children’s chronic illnesses [doesn't the Geneva Convention prevent that?...and] the Streptococcus nosode has been proven and is well described in materia medica […] isopathic preparations of specific Streptococcus strains [… a more] natural approach.”

She has a page at her practice “Homeopathy FAQ” [2016 archived] which states:

“nosodes are homeopathic remedies made from specific diseases or diseased tissues, and many of the major ones correspond closely to the 'miasms' [...they] address miasmatic disease layers [which she describes on the page as 'layers of underlying disease causes, which can be pushed deeper and made more serious through improper treatment, but can also be cured through proper treatment with homeopathy, resulting in improvements in health over successive generation'...] the most common nosodes include carcinosinum, tuberculinum, psorinum, syphilinum, and medorrhinum [...] these nosodes are generally only available to practitioners, and most of them cannot be found over the counter [...] in many ways they are no different than all other homeopathic remedies – they are proven on healthy patients and known to address a complex set of symptoms.”


Another NDNR article [2016 archived] by another ND mentions the use of a rabies nosode.

My comment in that post was:

“magic beans, unicorn tears, and flying carpets are not effective and not preventative. This is CRAZY.”


a violation of those three lenses of “works”, “deception”, and “harm to third parties” because such naturopathic pseudo-vaccination doesn't work; and to pose their efficacy is deception; and of course, public health is greatly harmed when fake science-ejected dumb-ass pseudopharmacy for contagious disease becomes a “primary method” as opposed to what modern medical science offers.

Served to me on a platter by naturopathy.

NDNR, by the way, states in “About” [2016 archived], about itself:

“on a monthly basis, NDNR covers the practice of naturopathic medicine and includes the products and services that natural medicine physicians use and prescribe. The content consists of articles written by practicing NDs for practicing NDs. Contributors also include the presidents of the accredited naturopathic universities, university department chairs, and leading doctors. Every issue theme covers pertinent case studies, clinical pearls and discussions on the usage of nutraceuticals, botanicals, IV and injection therapies, homeopathy and other naturopathic modalities.”

Because such homeopathy bullshit is perpetually wed to naturopathy, and its commerce.

And in “NDNR Staff” [2016 archived] we're told:

“[NDNR's] advisory board [...includes] sitting Presidents of North American State / Provincial Naturopathic Associations [...and] sitting Presidents of Naturopathic Medical Colleges in North America.”

That's Canada and the US:

because this racket is international, from the schools outward bullshit reigns supreme in the naturopathy marketplace.

It begins academically, and blossoms clinically.


quite the international educational and clinical RACKET, and since in partnership with the North American States and Provinces that permit it, quite the political RACKET as well.

And naturopathy congratulates itself as its licensed falsehood marches on, for example there's:

CCNM's Lauding of Proponentry Paper Co-Author ND Smith:

An academic accolade was recently bestowed upon ND Smith this 2016, an honorary degree by his alma mater CCNM.

“Toronto, Ontario – May 26, 2016 – Dr. Michael Smith, B. Pharm. [...] ND, was the recipient of this year’s honorary degree today at the 36th convocation of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM); recognizing his significant contributions to the advancement of naturopathic medicine and natural health product regulation in Canada and around the world.”

So, the ND is lauded for:

“his significant contributions to the advancement of naturopathic medicine.”

Please keep in mind this context, as we'll see:

ND Smith co-wrote that 2002 MCNA paper that broadly categorizes naturopathy as science.

The Smith and Logan paper specifically speaks of:

“naturopathic cooperation with all other branches of medical science".

And clearly that categorical label is false since, minimally, one of the most important therapies within naturopathy is PERPETUALLY homeopathy and there are the beliefs that naturopathy requires including, also minimally and PERPETUALLY, vitalism and supernaturalism, when you decode what's so often coded.

Abject pseudoscience and violations of freedom of conscience are accolade-able???

Degrading scientific integrity 'advances naturopathy'?

Yes, apparently, fitting very well within naturopathy's reversal of values, successfully promoting naturopathy's bogosities at the expense of scientific integrity gets you lauded in Naturopathyland.

So, ND Smith is also a pharmacist, as B. Pharm., with the credential MRPharmS in addition to his ND.

And historically speaking, “nature cure” and homeopathy were actually fused together to create naturopathy.

So it is SO STRANGE that ND Smith would falsely label homeopathy, vitalism and supernaturalism as science by way of labeling naturopathy categorically as science, which is truly fringe sectarian pseudoscience in activity, since his background in pharmacy is MAINSTREAM preponderant science.

Currently, by the way, Wikipedia states that pharmacy is a science, that naturopathy and its homeopathy are pseudosciences, and that “naturopaths are often opposed to mainstream medicine and take an antivaccinationist stance."


I'm not denying that naturopathy has absorbed some science in part in places within itself, but naturopathy is not categorically / through-and-through science as that Smith and Logan categorical label leads one to falsely believe.

If you mix wine and mud, just because there's some wine in there doesn't make the whole thing wine and all of a sudden potable.

Instead, it's contaminated and spoiled.

That “science” categorical label wasn't true then, when Smith and Logan wrote their 2002 paper 14 years ago, and it isn't true now.

I dream something will be done about this 'medical literature falsehood' because I'm actually embarrassed for the entirety of academia knowing something so patently false has been left to persist.

It's an affront to reason and scholarship:

the Emperor has been naked for SO LONG.

There's a biography of Smith at the organization “Natural Medicines” [2016 archived] on a page titled “Editorial Board”.

It reads:

“Michael Smith, MRPharmS, ND.”

The root “homeop” is on that page at least 15 times.

So, ND Smith carries the credentials MRPharmS which is “Member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society”.

It mentions Smith wrote the 2002 book “Herbs to Homeopathy” which also repeats those credentials on its cover.

I own that 2002 book, and I've OCR'd it for easy searching.

The book was published by Prentice Hall Canada with ISBNs 013029327X and 9780130293275.

Now, though the title of the book is rather narrow, "Herbs to Homeopathy", it's full title is "Herbs to Homeopathy: Selecting the Best Complementary and Alternative Therapies."

I'm not sure why 'herbs to homeopathy' was selected as the narrow title for a broad book, for a broad time capsule of the sCAMs naturopathy promoted around that year of publication.

That year 2002 is also the same year the MCNA paper was published.

So we may have contradictions between the two, yes we may.

I'm going to limit my references from the book, and truly the book deserves an episode all to itself.

I'll take from the CAM chapter, the naturopathy chapter, the homeopathy chapter, and a few other smaller sections.

In the introductory CAM chapter, we're told by ND Smith:

"complementary and alternative medicine is a group of diverse therapies generally practiced outside of mainstream or conventional medicine [...] complementary and alternative medicine is a fascinating subject with many facets and intriguing aspects. It is also highly politicized, with many provocative half-truths and suppositions [oops, I accidentally say superstitions!] raised by people who lack an understanding of the subject itself [...] there are many myths and misconceptions circulating about complementary and alternative medicine. For an informed understanding of CAM, keep these points in mind [...] a therapy considered CAM at one stage may be absorbed into conventional health care after it has been scientifically shown to be effective."

Interesting that ND Smith accuses those OUTSIDE of CAM as raising "half-truths", when CAM WITHIN itself is such an artificial and 'fake' category full of "myths and misconceptions."

So, I'd argue that CAM itself is full of "myths and misconceptions", and therefore we're talking about 'myths and misconceptions about myths and misconceptions'.

Now, if ND Smith is being accurate, then to have an "informed understanding" of CAM is to understand that CAM isn't within mainstream medicine because it lacks scientific support.

That's an interesting epistemic distinction.

We're also told about "allopathic medicine", quite mixed-up-edly:

"if complementary medicine goes by many different names, does the same apply to mainstream medicine like the kind practiced in North America? I was recently confronted by a doctor who wanted to know what an allopath was. She had heard the term used, but was unsure what it meant [...] I told her that she was an allopath, and that 'allopathic medicine' was a term used by CAM practitioners to describe the form of health care used in countries such as Canada and the United States. Allopathy is treatment based on opposing the symptoms; for instance, anti-inflammatory drugs are used to decrease inflammation, and analgesics are used to kill pain. However, many conventional medical methods are not allopathic in nature, but are quite holistic and help support the body. And ironically a number of CAM treatments, such as herbal painkillers, can legitimately be considered allopathic."


What's important to know is that allopathic was invented as a label by homeopathy's founder, Hahnemann, to describe the not scientific preponderant medicine of his day, and that today's medicine isn't allopathic, it is based upon rigorous scientific vetting.

I think ND Smith points out how useless the label is, how nebulous he sees its usage.

As for the vitalism at the heart of so much CAM, ND Smith writes:

"whether it is the importance of qi in traditional Chinese medicine or the importance of vital force in homeopathy, belief systems that differ from [...what] currently operates in the mainstream or dominant health-care system are allowed for."

Yes, beliefs are ALLOWED for:

that was vitalism being termed a BELIEF system of a kind.

Sounds sectarian to me.

Now, we know that vitalism is essential to naturopathy, so here we basically have naturopathy claimed to be a belief system.

And I'd argue that the preponderant "mainstream or dominant" medical approach isn't a belief system because, as so many U.S. federal lawsuits have shown, science isn't a belief system like basically religion, that's why creationism isn't allowed to be taught in publicly funded biology classrooms.

Science is not a belief system like, basically, religions.

So, the take away from ND Smith about CAM is that it can't pass scientific muster, and it's loaded with beliefs. 

The naturopathy chapter, which is "Chapter 6: Naturopathic Medicine or Naturopathy", states, and I'm not kidding I'm directly quoting:

"naturopathy is difficult to describe."

That's in a naturopath's own words.

So, that's in direct contradiction to naturopathy's typical "distinct" label.

ND Smith says:

"even the terms used [as in terminology within naturopathy] varies quite significantly."

I second that.

He says he's referring to North American naturopathy in the chapter, which he terms:

"an eclectic profession that combines different complementary therapies [...these] many different types of complementary medicine [...] the eclectic nature of the practice of naturopathy [...] an eclectic approach"

with one of the goals being "promoting the effective elimination of toxins."

He terms naturopaths "the general practitioners of complementary and alternative health care."

Naturopathy includes homeopathy and Smith states "in some jurisdictions naturopathic physicians can also practice traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture."

Now, with CAM admitted as not being able to pass scientific muster, now we're told naturopathy is within CAM, and there's mention of the Toxin Bogeyman.

The root "homeop" actually occurs in the book at least 305 times, and "detoxific" 3 times.

The root "scien" is in the chapter at least 6 times.

We're told such things as:

"practitioners must complete a four-year graduate program at one of the five institutions approved by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) [...] naturopathic medical education provided by these institutions is similar in some ways to education at a conventional medical school, covering the basic and clinical sciences."

So, just because some parts of naturopathy are science, it doesn't make the CAM parts so:

that would be a kind of 'superstitious contagion association'.

And I argue that science as defined by naturopathy is a lot less rigorous than typical college and university science standards, so watch out how they use 'science as the sword of their sectarianisms'.

Now, Smith additionally states another 'quite at-odds with his paper's broad science label upon naturopathy' statement.

You get the feeling the naturopath within him is quite at odds with the pharmacist within him.

He writes:

"while many naturopathic practitioners claim that the integrated approach works, there is little scientific evidence to support this assertion [...and] while a number of the therapies used by naturopathic practitioners are supported to some extent by animal studies, few have been investigated using humans in rigorous scientific trials."

So, how then is naturopathy, as that paper states and we'll see, "a branch of medical science" without, essentially, SCIENCE?

So, at the time NDs Smith and Logan were labeling CAM subset naturopathy “science”, ND Smith was admitting otherwise in a publication in the same year.

Speaking of otherwise, regarding naturopathy's vitalistic premise, ND Smith tells us:

"naturopathic medicine is often referred to as vitalistic, in that the body is assumed
to be more than the sum of its parts. The individual is more than a mishmash of
enzymes, hormones and cells conveniently contained within a waterproof vessel."

Now, we could get into ideas in biology about emergent properties that are physical characteristics due to the complex interaction of smaller parts that don't each contain those properties, without invoking invisible-magical inhabiting forces, but that's not what Smith gets at.

There is a dualism implied, not just such emergent complexity:

t hat "more" thing.

He states, regarding "the body":

"it is a dynamic entity with an innate intelligence and healing ability."

If you are familiar with the various synonyms for vital force across CAM, then you'll be reminded that in homeopathy the vital force is often called "dynamis", similar to that 'dynamic entity', and in chiropractic "innate intelligence."

That vital force of whatever name is not considered an emergent property from physical structure, within CAMs, from let's say DNA outwards in terms of biology, but an entity inhabiting that biological material, causing healing.

That is a dualism, most analogous to what most people are familiar with, spirit.

But in biology, the science that deals with life, humans ARE essentially "a mishmash of
enzymes, hormones and cells conveniently contained within a waterproof vessel" but I'd argue we are the result of a huge amount of evolutionary process over a vast amount of time, and quite amazing in terms of our biology.

ND Smith can't apparently NOT denigrate the physical nature of life that has been determined by science.

As for activities stemming from naturopathy's vitalistic beliefs, ND Smith writes regarding the first naturopathic principle he lists:

"the primary role of the naturopathic practitioner is to promote the innate healing ability of the patient [...] vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature [...] the body has an innate ability to heal itself [...] the healing process [...] a concept fundamental to naturopathy is the healing power of nature, and that the body has an innate healing ability [...this is the] foundation of the profession."

So, activities centered around affecting an intelligent figmentation mistakenly / superstitiously posed as inhabiting one's biology is the heart of naturopathy.

No wonder this CAM cannot pass scientific muster.

And this is not intelligent even if they say their figmentation is; it's like caveman-level insight.

Now, in that paragraph about VMN-HPN, Smith writes:

"this principle is based on [...] belief."


true that.

He also mentions "causes can be multifaceted, affecting the body, mind and spirit."

So there's that supernaturalism that's woven into naturopathy.

Now, he takes liberty with the name of the 5th naturopathic principle, which is usually "treat the whole person" terming it instead taking a "holistic approach."

Under that, we're told:

"naturopathic medicine is practiced with the assumption that health, or the lack of it, is not an isolated incident in a person's life. The approach must be individualized for each person, and must consider all the symptoms and causes."

I haven't seen this anywhere else.

Well, that's rather reasonable, but usually holistic is 'body, mind, spirit' as opposed to 'something more mainstream, secular, comprehensive and biopsychosocial without overt supernaturalism foisted upon the patient'.

Also in the chapter, ND Smith undercuts his own weird principle's "holistic" definition when he states there's:

"a growing dichotomy in the profession, with one group holding and basing their practice on
the traditional holistic principles, and another following more scientific beliefs."

I think that's a different use of holistic:

one containing what can't be within science as in supernatural.

And again, "scientific beliefs" is a false equation.

Science is not a belief system in the manner that supernatural-holistic-vitalistic is.

Obviously, holistic is like the word natural:


ND Smith mentions "NPLEX", and also mentions as the second naturopathic principle:

"the role of the practitioner as educator is key to any effective treatment protocol."

It is NPLEX that falsely labels homeopathy a "clinical science."

So, in terms of the "educator" naturopath, it's also key to not be wrong about things or you'll merely spread dumbassedness in your miseducating.

That's a kind of harm, yet ND Smith mentions as naturopathy's third principle "first do no harm."

And though mired in 19th century discarded biological assumptions, we're told:

"naturopathic medicine is a dynamic and evolving profession."


why not first embrace modern science's parameters and restrictions, and particularly why not embrace modern biology first and foremost?

Instead, naturopathy is an endarkenment as opposed to an enlightenment.

Now, here's the homeopathy chapter, a chapter by our ND and pharmacist.

That's quite the collision, as I've said.

It's actually a bigger chapter than the naturopathy chapter, would you believe!

We're told:

"even the most open-minded doctors and pharmacists can find themselves paralyzed by the mention of homeopathy."


Nonsense is paralyzing?


"it is very easy to get caught up in the controversy of homeopathy. The absence of a precise explanation of how it works and the lack of good scientific evidence showing that it does work have led to a lot of myths about homeopathy."

That's a really WEIRD statement.

If homeopathy has no scientific support, then there isn't a controversy, because it doesn't work.

That it can work is a myth, actually, if you are Bayesian.

Yet, ND Smith perpetuates that myth stating:

"the truth is that nobody really knows just how homeopathy works [...] the current scientific research shows that homeopathy as a discipline is significantly more effective than the placebo effect [...] results from clinical trials suggest that homeopathy may be effective in the
treatment of a number of conditions [...] while there are many theories about how homeopathy works, nobody knows for sure.  Homeopathy is not working simply as a placebo."

Now this is back in 2002, and I really don't believe even then that this claim of 'greater than placebo' was warranted.

It would have won a Nobel Prize.

And I must say this to ND Smith:

you just said it doesn't WORK in terms of what science tells us, 

then, you just said that it does WORK,

 and you claim naturopathy is within CAM as science in your paper broadly,

while in your book you state CAM itself has no scientific support or it wouldn't be CAM, broadly.

In fact, he writes:

"perhaps the homeopathic remedy is a prop and the practitioner's advice and support are the most significant aspects of the therapy."

So again I feel like there's a torn nature to ND and pharmacist Smith.

Ah, a parlor trick, but science:

a needless muddle of CRAZY!

Also mentioned, by ND Smith, is the:

"Homeopathic Association of Naturopathic Physicians [...whose] graduates of this program can use the designation Diploma of the Homeopathic Association of Naturopathic Physicians (DHANP)."

And I have to wonder if ND Smith is an industry hack.

We're told:

"commercial homeopathic remedies are made to very high standards [...] manufacturing guidelines are set down in homeopathic pharmacopoeias [...] they are all very precise [...] this quality assurance."

How do you make a 'falsely claimed as effective empty remedy' to "very high standards" and of "quality"?

In fact, as regards that emptiness, we're told, with homeopathy's dilution extravaganza aka "the more dilute the remedy, the deeper its action and more potent its effect" which is termed "paradoxical":

"the 12CH dilution is particularly important since this dilution is below a level called Avogadro's Number, which means that the remedy is so dilute it probably doesn't contain any product whatsoever."

And of course, were would we be without vitalism to save the day in terms of that product's emptiness.

ND Smith writes:

"the main theory accepted by most classical homeopaths [that's the homeopathy taught in naturopathy schools, by the way] is based on the energetic nature of homeopathy. As with many other forms of complementary and alternative therapy, the individual is considered to be more than a gelatinous mass contained within a waterproof skin. The presence of a non-physical life force is seen as an important factor of health and well-being. In traditional Chinese medicine it is called qi, in ayurvedic medicine it is referred to as prahna [his spelling, often instead 'prana']. In homeopathy, this life energy is called the vital force. The symptoms suffered by the patient are considered to be an expression of the individual's vital force trying to fight the illness. This is why homeopathy is often referred to as working on a non-physical or energetic level. A homeopathic remedy is believed by many practitioners to act on all levels of the patient - physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual. The preparation of the individual remedy, with the stages of succussion or potentization, is considered by many to give the remedy the ability to work on this energetic level."

Ah, the pseudoscientific use of the term "energy" for the unmeasurable, and that denigration of the physical nature of life:

them sectarian articles of faith, and them sectarian rituals.

Speaking of rituals, and just to highlight naturopathy's 'anything goes' mentality, let me highlight what ND Smith wrote about reflexology and reiki, two very nonsensical supposed therapies, very naked but not admitted to be exactly that.

The first, reflexology, is based on manipulating imaginary anatomy, the second reiki, is based on manipulating imaginary healing energy.

ND Smith writes regarding reflexology:

"the basic tenet of reflexology is that there are points on the soles and tops of the feet (and possibly the hands) associated with specific parts of the body. These reflex points are so specific that the foot can be mapped to show which areas are associated with particular body parts. For example, the ball of the foot is associated with the lungs, and the arch of the foot with the liver. Reflexologists claim [...] by massaging specific areas or reflex points on the foot, they can affect the function of the associated body parts [...] practitioners of reflexology maintain that it is effective in treating a number of conditions, including premenstrual syndrome, constipation and eczema. And there is a growing body of clinical trials that do support the effectiveness of reflexology."


Again, somebody tell the Nobel committee.

I never heard of such.

It would have been revolutionary.

He also writes:

"it is also suggested that the massage process releases toxins stored in the tissues of the feet."

I did not know the tissues of the feet were reservoirs for toxins, unnamed toxins, bad toxins.

And we're told:

"while there have been a number of cases of the actual condition temporarily worsening after a reflexology treatment, the main problem is one of tenderness around the reflex points."

But there aren't such points, just as there aren't acupoints, in the actual science called anatomy.

But through a naturopath you can get some of this huge woo, because ND Smith writes:

"while reflexology is not licensed in Canada or the United States, it is practiced by lay practitioners - reflexologists - as well as by other members of the healthcare team, including massage therapists, TCM practitioners and naturopathic doctors."

Again, because anything goes and reflexology fits right in with naturopathy's other figmentations.

And regarding reiki, we're told:

"reiki shares a common theme with other forms of traditional medicines in that it is based on the existence of a universal life force that permeates all things, in this case called ki."

So that's the Japanese analog to the Chinese life force, qi or chi.

He tells us:

"the aim of reiki is to restore effective contact with this universal life force and so restore health on both physical and spiritual levels. The reiki practitioner acts almost as a conduit, channeling ki into the patient. This is done primarily by the therapist placing his or her hands on or over certain parts of the patient's body."

Shall I say:

woo, woo - hoo.

ND Smith assures:

"in recent years, there has been a lot of interest in scientific research of reiki.  One study investigating its use for heart disease is currently under way at the University of Michigan."

As the song goes:

ting-tang walla walla bing bang.

That's insane, might as well expand the study to welding via reiki, rock blasting via reiki, and flying via reiki.

Those are just as plausible as changing heart tissue via reiki.

The spool of gullibility in Naturopathyland is wound with an endless supply of line, and yet ND Smith will falsely tell is naturopathy is "science", as in bounded, in his co-authored 2002 paper.

Now, being that this is an ethics episode, I found the current RPS Code of Ethics [2016 archived] at, which states that a member must:

“be honest and trustworthy […] ensure you do not abuse your professional position or exploit the vulnerability or lack of knowledge of others.”

Oh my!

Doesn't this relate back to what MacDonald and Gavura pointed out with their principle:

'you can't be ethical in the marketplace if you are being deceptive by preying on peoples' ignorance'?

So, the ethics of being an RPharmS, IMHO, is in direct conflict with the activity called naturopathy.

Now the CCNM Alumni Magazine “Mind Body Spirit” for Summer 2016 [2016 archived] [also here, archived here] -- which seems to exist to promote, in a very glossy way, the idea that CCNM ND graduates are very successfully practicing -- featured the convocation that lauded ND Smith.

Such a public celebration of such a Naked Emperor!

There's a picture of Smith between CCNM's Board of Governors Chair, an ND, and CCNM's President, the non-ND I mentioned in the just previous part of this Episode as having stated [2016 archived]:

“naturopathic medicine is founded on the principle of healing through the co-operative power of nature. It involves harnessing science to unleash this healing power”.

That's the misimpression 'science subset naturopathy's vitalism' specifically, coded.

The caption of the picture reads, as background:

“the many careers of Dr. Michael Smith, ND [...a] class of 1995 graduate [...include] faculty member [...and] associate dean of research [at CCNM...and serving on] the Natural Health Products Directorate [...of] Health Canada […and serving on] the World Health Organization's […] Expert Advisory Panel on Traditional and Complementary Medicine.”

And there's a partial transcript of ND Smith's speech.

Much of it for me comes across as quite accidentally ironic.

ND Smith states:

“'one of the best pieces of advice I ever heard from a colleague was if you want to to be heard, deliver information in five bullet points or less. Point #1, relish what the future holds [...] 'you have brains in your head you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.' - Dr. Seuss.”

Really, the Naked Emperor quotes Dr. Seuss:

with all of CCNM's ND apparatus and CCNM new graduate NDs to that apparatus quite impressed with his attire.

Of course, I have to wonder:

if you categorically falsely label naturopathy “science”, do you HAVE any brains in your head?

Or more appropriately:

how does that ND apparatus so skillfully mindfuck these once apparently healthy brains?

ND Smith tells the crowd:

“you have just completed a rigorous educational and training program in a breadth of interventions that exists in no other health-care discipline.”

Well, there is something unique about naturopathy but not in a good way in terms of its breadth:

since anything goes.

And though not scientifically rigorous obviously, there's the idea of naturopathy being rigorous but in a sectarian way:

the rigors of conforming to 'dumb-assed irrational impossibilities'.

That sounds needlessly rigorous, torturous.

And here the irony is so sadly not appreciated, ND Smith tells us:

“point #4: defend against dogma; it doesn't matter from where it comes […] 'when dogma enters the brain, all intellectual activity ceases' - Robert Anton Wilson.”


like the dogma of what's essentially naturopathic, perpetually clung to though science has advanced and demolished such activities and ideas?

I'll call this pseudointellectualism.

And in the midst of this 'pseudoscience education extravaganza', ND Smith states:

“if I were asked what one thing I have achieved so far in my career, I hope that in some small way I have supported the question of informed choice […] often your most important role will be in helping people navigate their options and to come to a decision […] with your help they can make the right choice [...] an informed choice.”

But nowhere, as I've said before, is naturopathy truly being honest and stating:

beware, we are 'an unethical sectarian pseudoscience'!

So, I'll term this pseudoinformed consent, pseudoinformed choice.

We're also told:

“finally and maybe most importantly [point] #5: 'no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. '- Aesop. Never underestimate the power of respect, humility and kindness.”

In sum, I'll term this pseudocompassion.

And ND Smith warns:

“you will face both criticisms from across the health care, science and increasingly philosophical spectrum.”

And that's interesting:

you have the preponderance of medical science, the preponderance of all of science, and the preponderance of thinking about thinking, metacognition and such, epistemology, ethics and so on.

I wonder why these ND graduates will face criticism?

And he concludes:

“thank you for this wonderful honor.”

And I wonder what's so wonderful here.

This has been the first third, of Part Four, of Episode 012.

Thank you for boldly listening.
Post a Comment