The imaginary brain tumour they tried to cure with homoeopathy

Last month I visited The Healthy Life in Devizes, Wiltshire and told the woman behind the counter that I suffered from persistent headaches that bordered on migraines for three or four days at a time that often made me nauseous. I told the woman that nothing I bought from a chemist touched the pain and that I wasn’t able to sleep because of it and was constantly having to take time off of work and that I sometimes feel immense pressure behind my eyes. Continue reading The imaginary brain tumour they tried to cure with homoeopathy

Can prayer cure illness?

 

In the studio pre-broadcast
In the studio pre-broadcast

If you happen to watch BBC1’s The Big Questions on a Sunday morning then you might have spotted me among the guests this morning. I was invited onto the show to debate the question ‘Can prayer cure illness?’ because of my involvement in the ASA complaint against Healing on the Streets in Bath. I was joined in the ‘no’ camp by Kevin Friery of Hampshire Skeptics, and I owe him huge thanks for helping calm my nerves about my first live TV experience. I also think he deserves credit for the comment he made about praying for traffic lights to stay green! Continue reading Can prayer cure illness?

Offensive adverts vs. misleading adverts

Some people seem shocked that I don’t agree with the recent decision to not run the ‘gay cure’ advert on London buses because I made a complaint about the Christian groups ‘Healing on the Streets‘ and an advert they were handing out. Let me explain why very briefly…

The ‘gay cure’ advert is offensive and horrid, but we all have a right to be offensive but not to have our offence catered to. Remember the recent controversy over the Jesus and Mo cartoon being used by Atheist groups on University Campuses and how most of us non-believers were outraged that one group could use their offence to this to censor the other group? Remember being angry that Rhys Morgan could be threatened by his school with expulsion if he didn’t remove the offensive cartoon from his personal blog? Well, those atheists and skeptics who were angry in those instances but protested the ‘gay cure’ ad and are happy that the ‘gay cure’ advert has been blocked are being hypocritical.

The ‘Healing on the Streets’ advert was different because the claims were found by the ASA to be misleading and in breach of CAP codes, and as a result, they were told not to use those adverts anymore. That wasn’t an issue of censorship because they are still allowed to do what they do, they’re just not allowed to make specific health-based claims on the adverts.

Hopefully, the adverts for the ‘gay cure’ weren’t rejected because of social pressure by those who were offended. Hopefully, they would have been rejected anyway because they breach CAP codes or are misleading (i.e. being gay isn’t an illness), but if not and they were blocked because people were offended, that’s just a shame.