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The James Randi
Reply from George
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The facts about an ingenious
that wasn't completed due to tricks of Mr
Mr Randi declared in his website that whoever could prove the validity of the action of a
homeopathically potentized remedy beyond the Avogadro number would
one million $ as a prize.
Mr Vithoulkas challenged this statement and with
this idea a new experiment was conceived that would prove that the
highly potentized remedies could actually have a biological effect
upon the human organism.
The experiment was simple: An individualized remedy
would be given to a number of patients in a double blind fashion and
half of the patients would receive placebo the other half would get
the real remedy. The Greek Homeopathic physicians that would
participate in taking of the cases and prescribing the remedies
should point out in the end of the experiment the ones that they had
got the real remedy.
The protocol was structured by a group of
internationally known scientists and the experiment had to take
place in one of the hospitals in Athens.
What follows is the real story (with facts in
correspondence that transpired) of how through several "tricks",
Mr.Randi refused to go through the experiment and rescued his
We sent the following statement to Mr. Randi in
order to be posted to his website but he refused to post it.
INTRODUCTION: This is a retraction
statement against the erroneous piece of information published on
JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) website concerning the supposedly "withdrawal of Homeopaths" from an
experiment (agreed upon between JREF and the Greek homeopathic team
of medical doctors) that was devised in order to prove that there is
a biological effect on human organism from the ultra high dilutions
of homeopathic remedies, beyond the Avogadro number.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE EVENTS:
- The group of homeopaths led by Prof. George
Vithoulkas contracted an agreement with JREF on 2003, with the
objective of matching a ``challenge'' posed by JREF, in order to
carry out a scientific experiment that proves that the human
organism responds to homeopathic ultra dilutions, and claim the 1
million USD challenge prize offered by JREF.
- On 2003, a team of ``skeptics'' was set up, to
represent the JREF side in the scientific experiment that would
follow. The group of skeptics and the group of homeopaths led by
Prof. George Vithoulkas have been conducting preparatory work
continuously since then.
- A protocol was drawn up with the title: Do
homeopathic remedies have a recognizable biological effect on the
- The venue for the experiment was to be a Greek
hospital. Eventually, after several contacts with several hospitals,
the municipality hospital "ELPIS" in Athens, Greece had agreed to
host the experiment. The pharmacist that would provide the
homeopathic remedies for the experiment -Mr. Korres Pharmacy-, was
also found and the agreement was finalized on 12.10.2005. At that
time Ms. Althea Katz, representative of Mr. Alec Gindis (he was one
of the representatives of Mr. Randi) visited the Greek municipality
hospital in Athens and discussed all the details about the
- In 26.10.2005, Mr. Alec Gindis informed Prof.
Vithoulkas by e-mail that the finances for the experiment were not
yet raised and therefore the experiment could not start in spite of
the fact that everything else was ready.
- In 17.8.2006, we received a signed agreement from
Mr. Randi in which he stated that he was satisfied with the
suggested protocol and he waived the claim of a preliminary test.
- As we waited for the finances to be raised, in
order to start with the experiment, in 2.2.2006, we were informed
that Mr. Randi had a health problem. When Mr. Gindis asked him to
assign a representative in order to deal with all the procedures for
the starting of the experiment, Mr. Randi refused to do so. As a
result of his refusal the experiment was delayed so much until a new
Mayor was elected in Athens who replaced the authorities of the
ELPIS hospital, something that we had anticipated and repeatedly
stressed to the sceptics long ago. The new Mayor Dr. Kaklamanis, a
conventional medical doctor was indifferent if not hostile to the
project. We had repeatedly warned the sceptics that if the
experiment did not start the latest in the beginning of 2006, the
new Mayor will change the key persons in the hospital -the president
of the hospital and also the chairman of the scientific committee-
and the new people most probably would not respect the decision of
the previous scientific committee.
At this crucial time in the beginning of 2006 that
the experiment had to start, Mr. Randi declared that he was sick and
that his rehabilitation was ...going to last from the beginning of
February till July! But this was the crucial period that the
experiment should have started in order not to be affected by the
new authorities of the hospital.
It is characteristic of the urgency from the
exchange of e-mails and more especially the e-mail Mr. Gindis wrote
to Mr. Randi: I want to underline, though, that your participation
is critical As you can imagine, the homeopaths are very concerned
about your health. In their eyes you failed them by getting sick
right when they just about put it all together.
In 7.4.2006 Mr. Gindis wrote to Mr. Randi in order
to signal to him that the homeopathic team was ready to start: All
in all, I am impressed that he (Prof. Vithoulkas) managed to put
together such a team, find a sponsoring hospital and find a way to
recruit patients with advertising efforts and costs carried by the
hospital and participating homeopaths. But instead Randi suspended
all activities of the experiment attributing it to his supposedly
state of health!
Mr. Randi knew very well that this period was
crucial for us to start the experiment and we had made this urgency
explicit by sending several e-mails urging them that it was
necessary to go ahead immediately. But Mr. Randi needed ...six
months "to recover" denying to assign a collaborator. As expected,
in Autumn of 2006 a new Mayor Dr. Kaklamanis M.D. was elected in
For us, all this extended period of recovery was
obviously an excuse for not starting the experiment.
After the election of the new Mayor, a new chairman
for the scientific committee and a new president of the hospital
Immediately we started pressing them to respect the
decision of the previous scientific committee or to decide -in a new
meeting- in favour of the experiment.
The interesting thing was that on 16.5.2008, Mr.
Randi -thinking most probably that we could never succeed in getting
a second permission- suddenly became very gallant and wrote: In any
case, it may not be necessary for me to actually be present in
person for these tests. I am prepared to assign security and
protocol duties to Alec Gindis and to Mr. Gabor, so they can act in
my behalf. But in the mean time and as early as March 2008 was
already putting up in his website a text claiming that the "Greek
homeopaths have withdrawn from the experiment ...as expected"!!
The important question is: why Mr. Randi delayed the
starting of the experiment by the moment everything was in place in
2006, claiming that he...would be recovering for six months and that
nobody else could replace him, while the next time, when he thought
that we could never succeed in obtaining a second permission from
the ELPIS hospital, he became so gallant as to assign a
He was so sure that we will not succeed in getting a
second permission from the hospital that in 16.5.2008 Mr. Randi sent
us a... notarized statement saying:
I intend to go through with the proposed test of the
claims of homeopathy, as previously discussed in exchanges between
George Vithoulkas and myself. This stance has not changed, and it
will not change. !!! See his new statement later on (17.10.2008)
when he knew already that we had the permission!!
- In the end of July of 2008, after a lot of
efforts, we obtained for a second time the permission to conduct the
proposed homeopathic experiment at the ELPIS hospital.
- On 2nd and 3rd September of 2008, there was a
final meeting in the International Academy of Classical homeopathy
in Alonissos to discuss last details of the experiment. In the
meeting were present the representative of Randi, Mr. Hrasko Gabor,
Ms Althea Katz (representative of Mr. Alec Gindis), Dr. Menachem
Oberbaum, principal investigator of the experiment and Prof. George
Vithoulkas. They discussed for two days all the details about the
experiment and the discussion was taped officially and also some of
it videoed by a professional camera man from Israel.
- A FEW DAYS LATER (during
September 2008) WE RECEIVED INFORMATION FROM USA THAT IN
RANDIS WEBSITE WAS APPEARING (since March 2008) A
TEXT (under a title ANOTHER WITHDRAWAL) SAYING IN
EFFECT THAT THE GREEK HOMEOPATHS HAVE WITHDRAWN FROM THE
document was stated that a major test of homeopathy in Greece has
met the expected fate, being abandoned by the homeopathy
This information infuriated the group of homeopaths
led by Prof. George Vithoulkas and a lot of damage was caused to him
as was accused for been associated with such unreliable people.
But the most outrageous event happened on
17.10.2008, when we actually received an "ultimatum" from Mr. Randi
by which he was changing all the previous agreements refusing to go
ahead with the experiment as planned.
Here is what he wrote:
Forget all previous correspondence exchanged on the
subject. What appears here is the current status. First, we require
that George Vithoulkas submit a regular, properly-filled-out
application and submit it just as we require everyone to do. After
that has been received, well go ahead as with any regular applicant-
with the arrangements, including the requirement for the preliminary
Here you can see his whole statement with some
remarks from us in red:
To All Concerned:
The brouhaha that began
as a comprehensive homeopathy test In Greece, has been consuming far
too much of my time and attention, and of my colleagues, as well.
Forget all previous correspondence exchanged on the subject. What
appears HERE is the current status.
Randi asked from us to forget all previous correspondence after we
discovered the false, slanderous and deceptive posting at his
website JREF with the title: Another Withdrawal.
Were starting anew. Bear in mind that WE are
offering the million-dollar prize, and WE will control the
parameters, in line with the rules of the challenge which are
available to everyone. There will be no more exceptions, which I had
unwisely granted to certain persons in order to be more
accommodating; they have always chosen to be difficult, capricious,
and arrogant as a result of this courtesy. No more. First, we
require that George Vithoulkas submit a regular, properly-filled-out
application, and submit it just as we require EVERYONE to do. After
that has been received, well go ahead as with any regular applicant
with the arrangements, including the requirement for the preliminary
Mr. Randi changed the terms of
agreement when he saw that everything was ready for starting the
experiment. While his representatives were discussing with Prof.
George Vithoulkas in Alonissos (September 2008), he was publicizing
to his website that the Greek homeopaths had withdrawn!!!
Since Im not personally handling the challenge
applications, Im not aware of how many places George Vithoulkas has
tried for a venue, but I know that his own country turned him down,
as well as some others. Second, well require that Mr. Vithoulkas
obtain a venue and all the necessary facilities for conducting a
double-blind, correct, acceptable protocol, before we will go ahead
following the receipt of the application.
Mr. Randi pretends that he ignores the
fact that we had already the permission and the facilities for a
second time though we had informed the skeptics.
The protocol used by the Royal Society/BBC tests in
the UK based on Jacques Benvenistes design, and carefully supervised
by the homeopathic community there would be acceptable for this set
Mr. Randi wants to change even the
terms of protocol that took years to be contracted!!
Dont contact me personally on this matter. Ill not
entertain any arguments or pleas. It will be handled by Alison
Smith, working with others on our staff.
Actually Mr. Randi is dismissing his
previous collaborators, Mr. Alec Gindis and Mr. Hrasko Gabor!!!
These 300 words constitute my entire commentary on
It was clear now for a second time that when
everything was in place in order to start the experiment, Mr. Randi
didnt wish to go ahead and found ridiculous excuses for withdrawing.
Consequently, as a least compensation, for
the moral damage caused to Greek homeopaths and to the homeopathic
community in general, we demand:
1. The apologies from Mr. Randi personally posted at
2. The retraction of the text Another Withdrawal
from all sites.
3. This document to be posted in the same place in
the website of JREF where the "withdrawal statement" was posted.
4. A legal, notarized statement retracting the last
statement of 17.10.2008 that has cancelled all Mr. Randis previous
If Mr. Randi fulfils all these
conditions we will continue as planned. If these
conditions are not fulfilled within a month, we will consider that
Mr. Randi has withdrawn from the experiment. In any case,
we will go ahead and complete the experiment without Mr. Randi, only
with the help of sceptics Mr. Alec Gindis and Mr Hrasko Gabor who
really care in seen this experiment finally