Homeopathy and Contagion

Jude-Law-flyposting
Jude Law promoting a natural remedy

 

Homeopathy gets name checked in the new Hollywood movie “Contagion.” Jude Law plays Alan Krumwiede, a freelance web journalist, who gets the jump on a big news story. He is one of the first to realize the world is facing a deadly, fast spreading pandemic.

 

Alan is highly suspicious of the motives of pharmaceutical companies and government agencies. When he himself falls sick he chooses an alternative route, dosing himself with a (fictitious) natural remedy called “Forsythia”on his vlog (video log). After making a rapid online recovery he begins to attract millions of hits, as people desperately try to get information and protect themselves from the virus, which is killing one in four people who contract it within days.

Alan claims “Forsythia” is natural and side effect-free, but he never specifically alludes to Homeopathy. However, at one point an exasperated official who is debating with him says the government would consider using a homeopathic remedy if it could be scientifically proven to work.

Although Alan is not presented as a particularly sympathetic character, profiting as he does from the surge in “Forsythia” sales (and sporting an additional snaggle tooth that does nothing for Jude Law’s natural good looks), nonetheless, he does come across as genuine in his beliefs. He takes personal risks to get his message out to the public and relentlessly exposes government double speak. At one dramatic high point he even catches a high-ranking government spokesman in an outright lie on live TV.

The film, like many recent documentaries captures the Zeitgeist of growing public mistrust of the F.D.A. and the C.D.C.’s cozy relationship with the pharmaceutical and food producing corporations they are supposed to oversee.

Homeopathy does have a long and distinguished history in pandemics and I will be posting more on this very soon, so please check back. Our Deluxe Kit has many excellent flu remedies. If you have used a homeopathic remedy successfully during a flu epidemic, or you have a question, please feel free to leave a comment.

 

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9 Responses to Homeopathy and Contagion

  1. Ryan says:

    Ehh.. You left out the part where he “cured” himself of a disease he never really had.

    • Hi Ryan,
      Good point – Alan gets ill, but it is never clear if he really ever had the killer virus. Government officials say later that his blood work tested negative (presumably for antibodies), but Alan makes it clear he doesn’t believe them. I enjoyed the fact that the characters were all flawed, to some degree, except perhaps (Kate Winslet’s) selfless Dr Erin Mears. I also liked how some aspects of the story were left quite ambiguous, leaving the audience to make their own call.
      M

  2. I too enjoyed the film. But I am also aware that the masses that watch this movie, have no understanding of the word homeopathy! Or even understand vaccines and how they work against our bodies.
    It suggests also that, vaccines are the only way forward. It highlighted to me, that people will accept the RFID chip so so easily, when faced with a disaster of any kind. The young guy arrived and only accepted because he had the wristband! Anyone choosing not to have it would be an outsider, or put into FEMA camps. So beware of what’s happening out there folks, do your own research , and keep healthy.

  3. James says:

    “The film, like many recent documentaries captures the Zeitgeist of growing public mistrust of the F.D.A. and the C.D.C.’s cozy relationship with the pharmaceutical and food producing corporations they are supposed to oversee.”

    I arrived here through a google search on Jude laws character.

    The film was about pretty much the opposite to what you ascertain above. The mistrust is not growing, it is reducing. That’s the whole damn point. Laws character is a snake oil seller peddling his wares as the answer to all the corruption within the mainstream healthcare system. The film makes it patently clear that wild claims made for alternative treatments are made only for the financial gain of the people behind them and that they are potentially devastating to those gullible enough to part with their cash.

    I am sorry but I don’t see how you could have taken any other message from this film. I know this is “homeopathyworld.com”, and as such you maybe defensive on this particular point but you need to exercise a modicum of objectivity, it would reflect better on you that way. I come here without motive, I do feel that it is grossly irresponsible to shun alternative treatments that may possibly offer relief or save lives but that is not the message sent out by this film. Quite the opposite.

    • Hi James
      Thanks for your comment. Just to reassure you it was not deleted. All comments are moderated by me before being posted as some people have such strong views on different approaches to health that they use ad hominem attacks or offensive language. After all comments are received I send an automated thank you and then as soon as I get time I reply to and post the comment, provided it is not offensive.
      I have copied your comment so I can address your points carefully.

      Comment:
      “The film, like many recent documentaries captures the Zeitgeist of growing public mistrust of the F.D.A. and the C.D.C.’s cozy relationship with the pharmaceutical and food producing corporations they are supposed to oversee.”

      I arrived here through a google search on Jude laws character.

      The film was about pretty much the opposite to what you ascertain above.

      You will notice I have one other similar comment to yours. I think the film was deliberately left ambiguous. We don’t know if Jude Law’s character ever had the deadly virus, but it seemed clear to me that he believed he had had it and did not trust the government official at the end who said he didn’t. In addition, millions of people distrusted the CDC and went to Alan’s website to get information as they felt they were not being properly informed by the authorities. There have also been a huge number of documentaries recently that explore people’s loss of confidence in the CDC and the FDA including Food Matters, Greater Good, Bryzinski to name just three.

      The mistrust is not growing, it is reducing. That’s the whole damn point. Laws character is a snake oil seller peddling his wares as the answer to all the corruption within the mainstream healthcare system.

      There is a lot of corruption and in my experience this has led to the atmosphere of growing distrust. If the authorities and pharmaceutical companies lie about one thing, then they may lie about many things. For more information on this aspect look at http://www.gwenolsen.com, http://www.thinktwice.com, read the JAMA report that said iatrogenic illness is the 3rd leading cause of death in the US, do a search on Vioxx or other drugs that have been withdrawn after thousands have died, needlessly.

      The film makes it patently clear that wild claims made for alternative treatments are made only for the financial gain of the people behind them and that they are potentially devastating to those gullible enough to part with their cash.

      I agree with you that wild claims made to extort money are deporable, whether they be made by those promoting alternative approaches or by pharmaceuticals. Still I hope you can accept that Alan’s motives did seem ambiguous to me. If it was just about the money why did he put himself at personal risk by going out leafleting cars or going head to head with government spokespeople?

      I am sorry but I don’t see how you could have taken any other message from this film. I know this is “homeopathyworld.com”, and as such you maybe defensive on this particular point but you need to exercise a modicum of objectivity, it would reflect better on you that way.

      I try to be objective, but the truth is we all look at the world through different lenses depending on our experiences and beliefs. I think everyone does this, to some degree.

      I come here without motive, I do feel that it is grossly irresponsible to shun alternative treatments that may possibly offer relief or save lives but that is not the message sent out by this film. Quite the opposite.

      I am happy we agree that we should explore every avenue to help those who are sick or suffering. I guess on the movie we’ll have to agree to disagree. Thanks very much for taking the time to share your thoughts with me, James. I wish you good health and hope you enjoy the upcoming Holidays.

  4. S. Ryan says:

    I must agree with James on this. The movie is not ambiguous at all. Jude Law’s character behaves deplorably at every turn, and even admits openly to having used the situation to make a profit. If he believed so completely in his “cure” and in saving people why did he do nothing for the pregnant editor who arrived on his doorstep begging for his help? And I would hardly characterize going out in full protective gear to shill his snake oil, or appearing on a major media news outlet for publicity to be “courageous”. Not to mention if he believed he had already had the disease and was cured of it why was it necessary for him to wear a containment suit? He would either be immune from his previous illness and baring that he has the magical Forsythia to save him! Of course if you don’t understand how basic immunity and vaccination works it’s a lot easier to make up reasons why he would need to be covered from head to toe in plastic while refusing to get close to her.

    His first awareness of the disease is not that of a prophet, but of a conspiracy theorist. He makes up out of thin air a government cover up to protect the fishing industry, based on no evidence other than a you-tube video of someone becoming violently ill on a bus. “Mercury in the fish caused this” is the conclusion he leaps to. This is not the sign of a thoughtful person with sharpened critical thinking skills. It’s the sign of a person who is so desperate to see conspiracies around every corner that they don’t even try anymore to look for facts. It is far more comforting for some people to believe that magical herbs and natural cures will fix every disease know to humanity than for them to accept that science based medicine is a methodology that like every human endeavor is riddled with human error, ego, corruption and greed, but despite all that it is still the best option we have.

    Whether or not he is a complete charlatan, or in fact a true believer is in some respects beyond the point. He is not a person who cares to challenge his personal belief system with pesky facts and science. It is more important to him to expose the human frailties of an official who told the woman he loved to get out of a dangerous situation (the Big Lie that you reference in your article) than it is to help a dying pregnant woman who is literally on his doorstep begging him for help. He does nothing in the entire movie to help the situation, but continues to fear monger, and peddle snake oil in order to make profit and later threatens to encourage people to avoid medical treatment that might actually save their lives. What is sad is this fictional character is not uncommon on the internet these days in the form of snake oil salesmen pushing their alternative medicines for large healthy fees.

    Corruption in the pharmaceutical industry does not prove that homeopathy or any other alternative medicine actually works. The only thing that proves that is rigorous, repeatable, scientific testing.

    • Thanks for taking the time to post, I have copied your reply so I can address some of the points you make. Points that I have already answered earlier, in response to James’ post, are not addressed to avoid repetition.
      I must agree with James on this. The movie is not ambiguous at all. Jude Law’s character behaves deplorably at every turn, and even admits openly to having used the situation to make a profit. If he believed so completely in his “cure” and in saving people why did he do nothing for the pregnant editor who arrived on his doorstep begging for his help? And I would hardly characterize going out in full protective gear to shill his snake oil, or appearing on a major media news outlet for publicity to be “courageous”. Not to mention if he believed he had already had the disease and was cured of it why was it necessary for him to wear a containment suit? He would either be immune from his previous illness and baring that he has the magical Forsythia to save him! Of course if you don’t understand how basic immunity and vaccination works it’s a lot easier to make up reasons why he would need to be covered from head to toe in plastic while refusing to get close to her.

      His first awareness of the disease is not that of a prophet, but of a conspiracy theorist. He makes up out of thin air a government cover up to protect the fishing industry, based on no evidence other than a you-tube video of someone becoming violently ill on a bus. “Mercury in the fish caused this” is the conclusion he leaps to. This is not the sign of a thoughtful person with sharpened critical thinking skills. It’s the sign of a person who is so desperate to see conspiracies around every corner that they don’t even try anymore to look for facts. It is far more comforting for some people to believe that magical herbs and natural cures will fix every disease know to humanity than for them to accept that science based medicine is a methodology that like every human endeavor is riddled with human error, ego, corruption and greed, but despite all that it is still the best option we have.

      Pharmaceutical medicine is particularly riddled with corruption and greed and if it is the best option we have then we are all in trouble as this overview outlines: http://web.me.com/stevescrutton/Failure_ConMed/Apdx._Banned,_withdrawn_pharmacological_drugs.html

      Whether or not he is a complete charlatan, or in fact a true believer is in some respects beyond the point. He is not a person who cares to challenge his personal belief system with pesky facts and science. It is more important to him to expose the human frailties of an official who told the woman he loved to get out of a dangerous situation (the Big Lie that you reference in your article) than it is to help a dying pregnant woman who is literally on his doorstep begging him for help. He does nothing in the entire movie to help the situation, but continues to fear monger, and peddle snake oil in order to make profit and later threatens to encourage people to avoid medical treatment that might actually save their lives. What is sad is this fictional character is not uncommon on the internet these days in the form of snake oil salesmen pushing their alternative medicines for large healthy fees.

      Corruption in the pharmaceutical industry does not prove that homeopathy or any other alternative medicine actually works. The only thing that proves that is rigorous, repeatable, scientific testing.

      I agree – a good review of the evidence for Homeopathy can be found here http://www.homeopathic.com/Articles/Homeopathic_research/Scientific_Evidence_for_Homeopathic_Medicine.html

  5. Julie says:

    You mention that Forsythia is a “fictitious” natural remedy. But I believe forsythia is a widely known herb used for flu and colds. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forsythia

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