Ethics and Morals, science

Curing the Fear of Werewolves

This is a cure that could kill, on more than one level. That it is careless, sensational, and downright dumb surprises me not at all, but then again… people will fall for it. People have fallen for it. it’s not medicine, but culturally we’ve built up a scorn for medicine and pharmaceuticals, and this is the result…

A homeopathic cure for the fear of werewolves, defiant behavior, and spoiled-brat syndrome (not a Real Thing) using the, um, magic of rabies. I sh*% you not, dear readers.

This is a 4-year-old boy who is suffering from an inability to fall asleep at night, a fear of the dark, of wolves, werewolves, ghosts and zombies and who frequently hides under tables and growls at people. He is overly excitable and has a tendency to defiance. He was normal as a baby, not affected by sleep or temper problems.

There is a history of a dog bit which drew blood. I decided to give a homeopathic remedy made from rabies.

The dog that bit him may have recently been vaccinated with the rabies vaccine or the dog bite in and of itself may have affected the boy with the rabies miasm. Either is possible and the phenomenon is welll-known [sic] in homeopathy.

A bite from an animal, with or without rabies vaccination has the potential to imprint an altered state in the person who was bitten, in some ways similar to a rabies infection. This can include over-excitability, difficulties sleeping, aggression and various fears, especially of dogs or wolves. This child presented a perfect picture of this type of rabies state. Most homeopaths would have easily recognized the remedy required in this case.

Plan: Lyssinum 200CH, 2 pellets. (Please note, this is a homeopathic remedy, prepared by a licensed homeopathic pharmacy in the UK, Helios Homeopathy.)

There’s much, much more at this link, which dives into naturopathy, homeopathy, and the dangers inherent in magical medicine. Because that’s not science. That’s sheer magical thinking, or maybe wishful thinking, if you prefer. The power of the human mind to create placebo effects is amazing, but there is only so far that will take you, and curing rabies, should you manage to get a live virus in that homeopathic remedy, is not one of those places. Science is how we got the actual vaccine against rabies. Because rabies is a nasty, nasty disease, and there is no cure. Why you would even risk giving a child rabies? To get the child to act the way you wanted? Tan his hide and let him be afraid of werewolves! The only good thing about this is that homeopathy is just water, having been diluted from the original substance to a point that there is probably no virus left in it. Still, I wouldn’t risk that on my child, much less someone else’s.

Even leaving the remedy aside, the whole premise of a dog biting the child and somehow passing on some cockamamie conceptual rabies – like the boy was possessed by the Rabies Demon. Which, given what I know of the effects of rabies on a human, probably fits how people saw rabies before the Germ Theory was common knowledge. Rabies causes inflammation of the brain, which leads to delirium, hallucinations, insanity… It’s a bad show.

Since the myths surrounding werewolves may in part stem from humans succumbing to the disease after being bitten by a rabid dog or wolf, using rabies to cure a fear of werewolves is… a myth itself, and potentially a fatal one.


27 thoughts on “Curing the Fear of Werewolves

  1. Wow. Kinda reminds me of when this woman told me the cure for poison ivy was to drink a tea made from poison ivy. Ummm… Not even gonna think about trying that one out.

    1. Gah! That sounds like a recipe for disaster. I’m highly allergic to the stuff, enough that mom wanted me not to eat cashews since they are related. So…. that could kill someone.

      1. My personal favorite was where someone decided to demonstrate the …effectiveness… of homeopathic medications by taking a fatal overdose.

        Seems no matter how many of those expensive little bottles (okay, contents of bottles, geesh…writers…) he consumed, he stayed alive and well. FAIL!!

        [This was a real James Randi moment, tho offhand I can’t find the story again.]

  2. All or mostly water… someone once asked a really great question, concerning the Theory of Operation of Homeopathy: How do homeopaths clean/decontaminate their equipment?

  3. I’m sorry Cedar I’m not going to go read that link. Under their own theories, if i go read it, i will be infected by their STUPID.

  4. I once pointed out to Jerry Pournelle that if fluoride in the water is a carcinogen, the amount in Los Angeles water (800 parts per billion) was, in effect, a homeopathic remedy for cancer, and the natural medicine boosters should welcome the stuff.

    He was amused.

          1. I don’t know about fluoride but I routinely monitor concentrations far, far less than that (like, less than one part per billion). Modern instrumentation is pretty amazing.

          2. Pretty much. In fact, the recommended level in Southern California has actually been lowered to 700 parts per billion.
            Serum levels of 30 parts per billion aren’t uncommon.

            The amount of chlorine in water ranges from 200 parts per billion to a maximum allowable 4000 parts per billion.

            The limits for a lot of constituents are given in parts per billion.
            The maximum level for arsenic is 10 ppb. The maximum for iron is 300.

            1. It is in a lot of homes. In the distribution system, it’s closer to 30 parts per billion, well under the secondary (aesthetics-driven) standard.
              The way to check, of course, is to get a sample from the front hose bib, after running the water for a minute or two. After running it for long enough to clear the supply line, you’re getting a representative sample of what’s in the water main.

            2. yes, and it was bleh. my running joke was ‘Water here has been through up to 600 miles of pipes to get here, and boy does it taste like it’

            3. Thanks for the info, Karl. I am completely clueless about such things. No yardstick by which to compare effective/harmful concentrations.

              Cedar, I am always in awe of the sensitivity of modern instrumentation. As a 7th grader, Alan Sheperd came to our school to give a talk about NASA. He demonstrated how they were able to count micrometeorites. I didn’t believe him. Such meteorites were surely too small to accurately detect.

              He demonstrated it by taking an ordinary salt shaker and pouring a tablespoon or so onto the sensor. It dutifully counted 6,712 grains of salt. (Or whatever. Was a long time ago.) He explained that the sensor was a piezoelectric crystal, and every individual grain of salt hitting it caused that crystal to emit a faint electrical pulse that could easily be inventoried. I was a space fanboi from that moment on.

            4. One of the problems we have in water regulation is that the instruments get more sensitive over time. Some chemicals can be detected in parts per trillion (nanograms per liter). Once we know something’s there, it becomes harder to ignore.

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