The Hogwarts School of Magic is actually in Australia! They might even teach you how to ‘fly’ a broomstick! – without smoking anything.

The Hogwarts School of Magic is actually in Australia! They might even teach you how to ‘fly’ a broomstick! – without smoking anything.

And we thought that the ‘Hogwarts School of Magic’ only existed on the big screen. But, this type of school is actually real. There are quite a number of them currently operating in Australia, where bright-eyed, impressionable teenagers are taught how to manipulate energy fields in order to banish ‘evil spirits’ (or disease), and how to elevate out of their despondent earthly existence into an enchanted state of eternal health and happiness –  like flying for the first time on a broomstick (or smoking a joint). It will therefore come as no surprise, that the game of Quidditch, from the Harry Potter movies, is indeed being played at some of these modern schools of magic. The Tri-wizard cup was even won by Western Sydney University in 2013.  A real-life fantasy world.

Quidditch game

(Quiddich players ‘flying’ in attack formation on their Nimbus 2000 broomsticks)

But there is a problem!

To run around on a field with a broomstick between your legs is, I guess, okay, and not strange at all. It is good exercise, but you are not suddenly going to take off (at least not without a joint), because ‘strangely’ enough this only happens in the movies (or if you are completely stoned). So, for the rest of it, none of it is real – it is all a hoax. And this is now problematic, because all parents would agree that we want the best education for our children. But this is also where we tend to stop our involvement and we do not always ask the important question of; what is actually being taught at these schools? There are many reasons for this, one of them being that we tend to trust that government will protect us from fraudsters. So, when these schools are government funded and regulated, and especially, when they provide them with a stamp of approval via various accreditation schemes, this is usually enough to put our minds at ease – we  trust the system!

Unfortunately, some of these schools provide government accredited courses in magic. For example; children are being taught to manipulate ‘energy’, yes, without a wand (although I am not always so sure), but with the use of needles, crystals and various herbs such as the screaming mandrake (oh no wait, that was in the movie).

 

Specific examples of these courses include; Bachelor in Chinese medicine, chiropractic and osteopathy at RMIT University, Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy – includes homeopathy) at Endeavour College, Bachelor of traditional Chinese medicine at Western Sydney University and Bachelor of Health Science in traditional Chinese medicine at the University of Technology Sydney. The Southern School of Natural Therapies explains that their accredited course in Chinese Medicine; “is an ancient, holistic form of medicine that connects the mind, body, spirit. Chinese medicine believes that the body is made up of Qi – energy which permeates the whole body and flows through our meridians. Chinese medicine aims to stimulate the meridians, producing effects on different organs and systems within the body to restore balance and harmony” – this is pure magic!

This is what our kids are being taught at these schools, and unfortunately, this is pure fantasy because this ‘energy’, which is at the foundation of all of these pseudoscientific healthcare systems, simply do not exist. But, this ‘energy’ do indeed attract large numbers of students, because all of us are fascinated by magic. Regrettably, those students who actually believe in the magic show, tends to pay a significant amount of money to learn ‘magic’, and once they realise that it’s an elaborate government supported hoax, many simply tend to continue practicing magic. Because, by now, they have incurred a lot of debt, they have lost a lot of time, and they don’t want to be branded a drop-out or loser (sure, there will also be true believers amongst them). Hence, the problem of modern day ‘medical magicians’ will continue to be with us and might even surge, if the government continue to legitimise it via their various accreditation schemes.

And this brings me to accreditation, which is arguably a big part of the problem. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) recently invited submissions for their “Independent Review of Accreditation Systems within the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for health professions”. The ‘Friends of Science in Medicine’ (FSM) organisation did submit a detailed report highlighting their many concerns when accreditation is given to these schools of magic. This report was unfortunately deemed ‘out of scope’ by the COAG Health Council which implies that they are quite happy to continue to mislead students and their parents (and this can destroy families), as well as the patients who are on the receiving end of these completely ineffective magical treatments. Many patients do indeed get hurt and some even die, as was tragically illustrated by a practitioner whose magical ‘Slapping Therapy’ did not cure a 6yo boy from his type-1 diabetes.

Below you will find the Executive Summary of FSMs submission (with permission), and here you can find the full submission.  But the question remains; why do the government continue to bestow undue credibility and continue to legitimise ‘medical magic’ by providing accreditation to these courses in Australia?

“Executive Summary

Accreditation is antecedent to, and inextricably bound together with, practitioner registration. This submission raises concerns about registered alternative medicine (AltMed) practitioners, accusing the present accreditation system of failing to protect the public through its legitimising poor quality, belief-based, rather than evidence-based, education and on-going training of chiropractors, osteopaths and Chinese medicine/acupuncturists.

FSM is aware that some higher education institutes and continuing professional development courses give credibility to pseudoscience. Examples of pseudoscience include chiropractic (subluxation theory, Kinesiology, Retained Neonatal Reflex and Webster Technique, osteopathy (Osteopathy of the Cranial Field and Visceral Manipulation) and Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture and the teaching of “Qi”, energy blockages that cause disease, as a fact).

FSM also remains concerned with the accreditation process supervised by AHPRA and its Boards.

FSM alleges that:

A. the training of registered AltMed practitioners:

  1. is of low quality;
  2. is based on pseudo-scientific concepts that reject germ theory as the cause of disease;
  3. teach invalid diagnostic technique;
  4. includes potentially dangerous interventions, continued in the ongoing training of practitioners;
  5. wastes considerable public funding allocated to universities which teach these unscientific courses; and
  6. compromises our universities’ reputation within Australia and internationally.

B. thousands of false and misleading claims on AltMed websites breach the National Law. This report demonstrates that registered AltMed practitioners:

  1. are poorly trained;
  2. are not competent to treat patients;
  3. delay correct diagnosis and evidence-based therapies thereby allowing progression of disorders;
  4. may cause harm;
  5. waste millions of health dollars;
  6. undermine the efforts of evidence-based practitioners in their communities;
  7. do not, in respect of exaggerated claims and advertising, behave in an ethical manner;
  8. create considerable confusion for patients with chronic ailments; and
  9. focus their ongoing training on building their practices rather than on the needs of patients.
  10. This report also raises concerns about pseudoscience-based courses, that may attract VET-help fees, such as reflexology, homeopathy, aromatherapy and reiki, that are advertised on Government websites.

C. Government websites are providing undeserved credibility for discredited AltMed.

Underserved credibility is given to discredited AltMed courses including Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Homeopathy, Naturopathy and Reiki that may attract VET-help fees and are advertised on Government training websites.

Using acupuncture as an example, along with valid research findings, informed opinions and advice from medical experts, this report investigates the teachings in one high-profile accredited course and the impact and costs of this intervention on health care. While this report focuses on acupuncture, the same concerns can be extrapolated to other domains of pseudo-science, which is in both accredited university and continuing professional development courses. It also recommends that the scope of practice of AltMed practitioners should be limited to what they can advertise, to further protect patients from invalid diagnosis and belief-based interventions.

While ALL unregistered AltMed practitioners are NOT practicing any form of evidence-based medicine, (reflexology, iridology etc), there are thousands of registered practitioners, bound by the National Law to practice care that is evidence-based, who are practicing pseudoscience. The scope of the recent NHMRC review of natural therapies EXCLUDED interventions offered by registered practitioners on the basis that consumer protection was available through the AHPRA scheme.

This report highlights the millions of health dollars wasted by the Government funding of AltMed teachings and practices. Nearly $220 million was spent on acupuncture, chiropractic and osteopathy through Medicare from July 2011 to June 2016.

AltMed practitioners, who reject evidence-based medicine and over-service patient with placebo interventions are not the ‘right people’ to address patient needs, now and in the future.”

32 thoughts on “The Hogwarts School of Magic is actually in Australia! They might even teach you how to ‘fly’ a broomstick! – without smoking anything.

        1. If I may ask. Where do you draw the line? For example; is it okay for you to take a 6yo to a ‘slapping therapist’ to cure diabetes? (he unfortunately died) Or, in my case, is it okay to keep quiet when the University of Johannesburg prescribes water as a malaria prophylaxis to my own 6yo son? So where do you draw the line? When is it dangerous quackery and when isn’t it?

          Like

  1. An interesting perspective you have on life. Could it be that the millions of people that use complementary medicine are wrong and you are right? Could it be the millions of doctors who practise natural medicine worldwide are wrong and also charlatans?? Perhaps you do not have access to proper medical databases where you will find a myriad of current research on complementary medicine. Perhaps some of the CAM techniques are more traditional but doesn’t mean they do not work unless they are redefined into the modern scientific framework. Perhaps another way of looking at traditional ways of doing things is a better way than modern science. Not saying it is, but perhaps? It was interesting to see the lack of understanding you have with CAM which may even show up as ignorance. Nonetheless you have started looking into it as you definitely seem to be interested in it. The CAM industry is not trying to take over from orthodox medicine but to complement it and give people the best possible heathcare choices using both systems. Moving forward isn’t about using one or the other but about integrating the two systems into one just like the rest of the world. The question is…why would anyone want to go against giving people the best possible health service??

    Like

    1. It is about making use of peoples desperation in order to make money – it is always about money. As soon as a complementary medicine works (and it is very easy to test) it will be taken up by mainstream medicine.Unfortunately, many CAMs have been tested and it was shown not to work and yet some people continue to sell it! Slapping yourself is definitely not going to cure any disease, giving water to children as a prophylaxis against malaria is, in my view, criminal. And that is what this industry is – it is a criminal empire.

      I have written about the striking similarities between the CAM industry and the mafia – I would love to know what you think of it!

      https://frankvanderkooy.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/the-st-valentines-day-massacre-led-to-the-demise-of-al-capone-will-the-fda-finding-on-the-death-of-ten-infants-do-the-same-for-the-cam-empire-part-1/

      https://frankvanderkooy.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/all-i-do-is-satisfy-a-public-demand-al-capone-and-the-cam-empire-part-2-the-similar-political-and-regulatory-connections/

      Like

      1. complementary medicine works – vitamin therapy naturopathy, orthomolecular medicine – been around for a very long time – lots of articles about it in med journals back decades and shitloads of testimonials but you know closed minds won’t look at it as valid because people using it and getting value from it is not scientific – i don’t give a rats as long s it works and it does. i saw what peer reviewed medicine did for my mother – cholesterol and blood pressure meds made her sicker – the lipitor accelerated brain deterioration and wrecked her liver (both noted on the insert) Vitamins work full stop.

        Like

    2. “Could it be that the millions of people that use complementary medicine are wrong and you are right?“ Indeed it could – in the same way that millions of people believe in astrology – but are wrong about its potential.

      The author isn`t alone in opposing pseudoscience – he`s supported by millions of scientists and clinicians around the world.

      Pre-scientific views of how the body works are no longer valid – we can directly visualise and measure things now.

      Like

      1. Is that how science has solved the problem of chronic pain, particularly back pain? By visualising and measuring? There is still much that we all have to learn. This is not an argument against the use of the scientific method, or a defence of ancient (and prescientific) systems, simply an acknowledgement that even with “visualising and measuring” science does occasionally fall short. Explain then why visualising the spine with MRIs fails to tell us why people have chronic pain? Majority of asymptomatic people have very abnormal looking backs on imaging. Spinal surgery fails to fix chronic pain. Etc. And then opioids are prescribed – even though the science there is weak for any long term effect, and I daresay they kill more patients than this blogger insists that CAMs do. Let’s not fall into scientism here. Science requires an objective view – and it is clear to all who read this that there is absolutely no objectivity happening here! Such irony and dare I say sour grapes on the part of the “author”.

        Like

        1. Are you a chiropractor? Never mind.
          Indeed, there are many conditions for which there are no solution at the moment and hence every dollar at Unis should be spend on trying to find evidence-based solutions for these hard-to-treat conditions. This is called progress, something that doesn’t occur in believe-based CAMistry. To now go and promote CAMs which already have been shown NOT to work is most definitely not the way to go, unless you are in the business of selling this stuff. This, in my view, is criminal behaviour.

          Like

          1. Agree completely. Promoting magic water is criminal.

            Not sure how it’s the same as other therapies that are in conventional clinical guidelines. Interesting what Opioid lover has posted. You make the mistake of never bothering to look at the evidence or certainly not without an incredible dose of bias. That is not a scientific approach.

            And no, I am not a chiropractor.

            Like

          2. I have just searched the University website and the websitr of this NICM you speak of. I can find no evidence of any research on “rhino horn”‘or “magic water” or promotion of the same.

            It is clear you are getting a number of things very mixed up.

            Like

          3. Well, that was a quick search – but they do tend to hide it. I hope that you know that with magic water I refer to highly diluted Homeopathic remedies.

            You will find all the evidence regarding rhino horn in the links of this article here: https://frankvanderkooy.com/2016/08/18/rhino-horn-as-lifesaving-medicine-do-the-nicm-really-believe-this-the-things-people-do-for-10-million-bucks

            And for Homeopathy here (I can send you a lot more if you want):
            https://frankvanderkooy.com/2016/02/26/homeopathy-why-does-the-national-institute-of-complementary-medicine-continue-to-defend-it/

            Like

  2. Ignorance and a keyboard = this piece of unremarkable rubbish. When expressing such a strong opinion on something you clearly know little about it pays to do your research so you can support your ideas with credible, empirical evidence. There is plenty of research with quantitative data to support the efficacy of complementary alternative medicine so may I recommend you use google scholar to find some of these and save yourself the public embarrassment next time.

    Like

    1. Well, I have about 20 years of research experience where I investigated thousands of different herbs for activity, toxicity, bioavailability etc – this includes the chemistry, pharmacology, in vitro, in vivo testing etc. This is usually called knowledge/experience and not ignorance. Ignorance (and delusion) are better suited for those people with very little scientific experience and who just ‘believe’ in the healing powers of all kinds of CAMs, even when it was scientifically shown that many, simply do not work. These people will continue to earn money out of selling water as medicine to sick children – and no amount of science will change their minds and this, in my view, is criminal.

      Like

  3. If I understand correctly; you admit that you are intentionally selling ineffective CAMs (water as medicine) to sick children and thereby causing the deaths of many. But because there are problems in other fields of science (pharmaceutical sciences) it gives you the right to continue with your sinister practice – your argument doesn’t really make sense, or does it in your world?
    This blog is about pseudoscientific CAMs and not the problems in other fields of science

    Like

      1. The biggest killer? Seriously? Show us the science in that statement? That’s incredible. More than malaria and cancer “etc” combined?

        And perhaps no University will hire you now because you spend your time slandering another? Just food for thought there! Plus your failure to quote actual science in your wild statements.

        Like

      2. so medicine doesn’t scam people at all – no? biggest fricking scam of the lot fucks bodies induces secondary cancers with chemo (carcinogenic on its own) and devastates the body with radiation and still with all the billions thrown at it cant get it right – 2.7% success rate with chemo – not actually a success at all – cut poison and burn – biggest snake oil of the lot and there are successful treatments out there being stifled because of the billion $ industry the poor patients support. they need customers, not cures like medicine in general – doesn’t cure, masks symptoms – customers for life

        Like

        1. Usually I do not approve comments that contains swearing, but because you are so funny, I will allow it this time.

          I have written an article on vit’s and supplements. Google “Importing TCM into Australia but what do we send back? Supplements

          Like

    1. Please send the full-text.
      This Blog is about CAMs. And again, if you refer to problems in other fields it simply means that you are acknowledging that CAMs are indeed ineffective and dangerous – and that you couldn’t care less about it. This strange reasoning now somehow gives you the right to continue to sell water as medicine to children – it is a very weird argument.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s