“I believed I was a real doctor.” So said Britt Hermes, a former naturopathic doctor who later came to recognize naturopathic medicine as a fraud, and now dedicates her efforts toward exposing its nonsense.
But before we even get to the case Hermes makes against naturopathy today, one has to grapple with the fact that this pseudoscientific practice had Britt Hermes, who is obviously incredibly intelligent and deeply empathetic, convinced of its power. She believed she was a real doctor. If she can fall for it, even if temporarily, our work really is cut out for us.
And she was rather hard on herself. Early on, she displayed a biographical blurb of credentials from her naturopathic days, and she mocked them. That can’t be easy. It’s one thing for an accomplished physician to deride the false claims of alt-med, but for someone who used to be devoted to it to then stand before an audience of skeptics and eviscerate her former life takes some pretty substantial guts.
And in case you thought that a naturopath was primarily concerned with herbs and being gluten-free or something, Hermes has news for you. Take, for example, the work being done on “plants and planets” in an “astrological system of medicine.” Or perhaps “the ancient art of bleeding,” where one can cure herpes by bleeding one’s knees. This isn’t some benign hippie health food concern. This is Theodoric of York stuff.
So, a tip of the hat to she who once called herself “Dr. Britt.” She’s doing a hell of a lot of good for people’s health now.