Oliver Wendell Holmes, the Massachusetts Medical Society, Tinsel Erudition and Pretended Science Redux

images-10As the oldest medical society in the United States the Massachusetts Medical Society can count some of the greatest minds in the history of American medicine as members.  My how far we have fallen.  This same author has previously unintelligibly compared the field of medicine to Barbra Streisand’s face and shamelessly and opportunistically blamed the Boston Marathon bombing on “marijuana withdrawal.”   
The sophomoric mnemonics are neither clever nor illuminating.  Unworthy of  Readers Digest circa 1957, this dumbing down of doctors needs to end.  The very soul and practice  of medicine is being castrated and lobotomized by the same dull and very very blunt instrument. 
How does one reconcile the fact that the very same medical society that publishes the New England Journal of Medicine is allowing this type of tripe and rabble to get past editorial review?  In 1969, through an act of the state legislature, the Massachusetts Medical Society updated its mission to read:
“The purposes of the Massachusetts Medical Society shall be to do all things as may be necessary and appropriate to advance medical knowledge, to develop and maintain the highest professional and ethical standards of medical practice and health care, and to promote medical institutions formed on liberal principles for the health, benefit and welfare of citizens of the commonwealth.”
With a foundation and history built and based on of scholarship and critical thought we need to support the highest levels of science, fact, intelligence and reason.  Stupidity tries but it should not win.  Before the Boston Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge in 1842, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes delivered two long lectures entitled “Homeopathy and Its Kindred Delusions.” He characterized one of its popular practitioners, Dr. Robert Wesselhoeft, as one of those:  
“Emperics [quacks], ignorant barbers, and men of that sort…who announce themselves ready to relinquish all the accumulated treasure of our art, to trifle with life upon the strength of these fantastic theories.” That “pretended science” as Holmes called it, was “a mingled mass of perverse ingenuity, of tinsel erudition, of imbecile credulity, and artful misrepresentation, too often mingled in practice…with heartless and shameless imposition.”
 And Holmes words are as apt and appropriate today as they were in  mid 19th Century Boston!   Probably more so.  It’s no different. No different at all.    Be it homeopathy or 1939 quack spirituality, quackery is quackery is quackery.  Silence is definitely not the answer.
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8 thoughts on “Oliver Wendell Holmes, the Massachusetts Medical Society, Tinsel Erudition and Pretended Science Redux

  1. […] conflicts of interest  must also be addressed. And the blinkered apathy of the masses and willful ignorance of organized medicine needs to end now!   If not the ASAM White Paper on Drug Testing  will come to pass and we will be […]

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  2. […] The crimes are many and they are of significance.  Accountability necessitates both the provision of information and justification for one’s actions.   This group has effectively blocked both of these. With much effort and under threat I have obtained proof of criminal activity with the expectation that the provision of this information would  result in those who should and could do s… […]

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  3. […] The crimes are many and they are of significance.  Accountability necessitates both the provision of information and justification for one’s actions.   This group has effectively blocked both of these. With much effort and under threat I have obtained proof of criminal activity with the expectation that the provision of this information would  result in those who should and could do s… […]

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  4. […] The crimes are many and they are of significance.  Accountability necessitates both the provision of information and justification for one’s actions.   This group has effectively blocked both of these. With much effort and under threat I have obtained proof of criminal activity with the expectation that the provision of this information would  result in those who should and could do s… […]

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  5. I believe that you have nailed it (him) right on the head. That is the individual who sent me to the facility that did its damnest to finish me off. What is ultimately so frightening is that they really befieve their illogical rehab gospel. I have obtained some of my own records and what a revisionist history! Almost funny, Beth

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    • Yes Beth -ultimately organizations are responsible for their members. We need to directly confront the MMS with this – who do they represent? Real doctors or those working for front- groups like Adelman and Sanchez? The facts are not going anywhere and someday they will have to answer – it is our job to make that day come power rather than later. In the interim I did not renew my AMA or MMS membership, I joined AAPS instead and advise others to do the same.

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