The holocaust never happened. Hitler loved Jews and respected Jewish culture. The photographic evidence of the camps, including the bodies and atrocities, were all fakes designed by the State of Israel to generate international sympathy.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an effective treatment for numerous medical conditions. Acupuncture has been around for centuries and is widely practiced in China and elsewhere. Science has proven its efficacy in controlled experiments.
With any luck, that first statement should generate dozens of hits from watchdog groups berating me for spreading the vile lie of Holocaust denial.
The second statement, or words perilously close to that effect, has appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, a previously-prestigious medical publication now revealed to be no better than the National Enquirer or any other sleazy tabloid, fit only for lining bird cages and wrapping week-old fish. Thanks to this wonderful article by Harriet Hall, it turns out that the first reference to “needling” in Chinese medical literature is from 90 B.C., although it doesn’t refer to acupuncture. It’s talking about lancing abscesses and bloodletting. The technology required to make sufficiently thin needles didn’t even exist until 400 years ago.The Chinese government tried to ban acupuncture several times around the turn of the twentieth century. The actual term “Traditional Chinese Medicine” was coined by Mao Tse Dung in the 1960s! (Go read Hall’s article linked above. It’s awesome.)
So riddle me this, campers: Why (and how) do science denialists get away with these outrageous lies?
Not just on their websites and to their minions where anything goes, but even the mainstream media regularly assumes that “TCM” is “ancient.” All you have to do is go to the source: China. (I already wrote about this.) Come to think of it, if acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine were really so wonderfully efficacious for so many disorders, wouldn’t people in China be using it instead of attacking, beating, and sometimes killing doctors for failing to heal their loved ones with “conventional” medicine?
Acupuncture is a con, pure and simple. Originally perpetuated by Mao in the Communist era, renounced by Chinese physicians in 1980, it persists in affluent cultures as the refuge of quacks making a quick buck by relieving the naive of their hard-earned dollars.
Where’s the outrage? Newspapers that wouldn’t be caught dead promoting Holocaust denialism have no qualms about continuing to report the falsehood of acupuncture’s antiquity. Even the august Dr. Steven Novella fell for it in this post from 2007. (Just because something’s old doesn’t make it right/better. True, but acupuncture isn’t even old.)
Why isn’t every media mention of “traditional Chinese medicine’s 4,000-year-old medical techniques” met with the same howls of rage at perpetuating a lie as the historical revisionism that Holocaust denial is? I’d like to see letters to the editor loudly correcting the misperception of the antiquity of acupuncture every time it’s mentioned. All a lie requires to continue is for the truth to keep silent.
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Dinosaur*