Professor George Vithoulkas is the director of the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy in Alonissos, which he established in 1995. In 1996, he was honored with the Right Livelihood Award (a.k.a the Alternative Nobel Prize) “for his outstanding contribution to the revival of homeopathic knowledge and the training of homeopaths to the highest standards.” He is an Honorary Professor of the Moscow Medical Academy, Professor in the Kiev Medical Academy, Honorary Professor at the University of the Aegean, Greece, Collaborating Professor in Basque Medical University (2001-2004) and Doctor Honoris Causa of “Doctor ViktorBabes” University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Timisoara in Romania.
AS: Welcome to Hpathy Professor Vithoulkas. When you received the Right Livelihood award, you spoke about your disappointment that homeopathy had not been more accepted. How do you feel about the state of homeopathy now?
GV: By the time I was awarded with the RLA in 1996, homeopathy was starting to be practiced in a correct way, as Hahnemann taught it. This was due to my efforts all those past 36 years to bring homeopathy to the status of a real science. These efforts were actually the reason I got this prestigious award that has been called the Alternative Nobel Award. Today, my teachings through the e-learning program have been introduced to several medical universities in the West as a complete course, indicating the respect and appreciation that has been given by these medical institutions for my efforts to explain and to organise the knowledge that was bequeathed to us by the great genius of Samuel Hahnemann. Therefore I should have been happy to see that the goal has started to be accomplished. But the dangers I see from inside and outside enemies is still very great and therefore I am anxious that unless this medical scientific healing method becomes widely accepted by the medical institutions of the West, the danger of its disappearing or going into oblivion is as strong as it had been in1960 when I first started learning this science.
AS: Could you discuss the “inside” enemies
GV: Enemies from inside are those who in their extreme ambition to discover some new idea or system ignore the basic tenets of homeopathy and propose their own fantasies or whims, calling them…modern homeopathy. Such people confuse the patients and the doctors alike, who, after following them for a period of time, realise that all these fanatsies were nonsensical ideas that had no real application in the everyday struggle of the doctors to cure the sick. The problem is that all these people claim to practice homeopathy!
AS: The “outside” enemies you refer to are no longer honest skeptics, but surrogates of the pharmaceutical industry. Those people know that homeopathy saves lives, yet they would destroy it to protect their profits. Are people with such greed and lack of empathy “sick” according to homeopathy? Do they fit a remedy personality?
GV: The outside enemies are (a.) all those who either do not know at all what homeopathy represents or, (b.) those who know enough as to feel threatened that this system of therapy infringes upon their own vested interests. Concerning the second group, you may say that they belong to a category of individuals who are suffering from a universal incurable disease, which is…. greed! There is no remedy for them!
The so-called skeptics belong to either category. If they were really honest it is certain that they could find the truth if they investigated the matter properly. In the long history of homeopathy such sceptics have been recorded by the thousands, who, after investigating the matter in an honest way, changed their opinion in favour of homeopathy in the end.
AS: In 1970, you predicted that allopathic medicine would cause a breakdown of the immune system, resulting in the emergence of new incurable diseases. Ten years later the AIDS epidemic arrived. What led you to that prediction? Has Homeopathy been able to help in that epidemic?
GV: I had understood quite early in my practice, the mechanisms that underlie the problem of excessive use of allopathic drugs. I could see in my patients that such a heavy treatment resulted in a kind of compromise of the immune system. I had seen how an acute febrile condition, if treated with such drugs would result in a compromise of the immune system and as a consequence the organism will manifest a chronic condition. Such an organism, once it was under a chronic disease could no longer develop an acute febrile condition. If such an organism was attacked by antibiotics and vaccinations repeatedly, then I concluded that one day such an organism would develop such a deep pathological condition that it would be untreatable with the then known antibiotics. These were the observations in the first years of my practice that lead me in 1970 to make this statement.
Later on this same idea led me to write a paper published in the medical journal Medical Science Monitor, “The Continuum of a Unified Theory of Diseases”.
Homeopathy can help in AIDS only in the early stages of the disease, which is called the AIDS related syndrome. Once the compromise has advanced to such a degree as to manifest the Kaposi sarcoma or the pneumonia carinii, then homeopathy can do very little or nothing at all.
AS: We’ve published a number of cases from IACH graduates and I’m always impressed with their case taking and case management skills. What is it about IACH’s teaching methods that produces such competent homeopaths?
GV: The taking of a homeopathic case is a complex matter. It involves primarily the knowledge of the materia medica, especially in its essential features and the capacity of the practitioner to see this essence in the symptomatology of the patient. This is done with the help of the repertory to which you must refer all the time during the consultation, looking for the strange, rare and peculiar symptoms in order to be guided. It involves the capacity of the practitioner to observe in a detached way and evaluate the response of the patient. It also requires the ability of the practitioner to establish a deeper contact with the patient as to create a conducive environment so that the patient will speak his real mind and real emotions , his fears, anxieties etc. The whole technique is given in my teachings through the e-learning, where students have the opportunity to observe, in live patients, all the different ways that difficult cases should be handled.
AS: Some homeopaths are using an isopathic approach as a kind of detoxification for patients who became ill from specific allopathic drugs or heavy metals. Do you see a place for this type of prescribing? Does the current polluted environment require that approach?
GV: In a system so precise and so mathematical as classical homeopathy, where the scope is finding a remedy that most closely resembles the symptoms of the patient, such gross methods as detox have no place. These are mechanical and routine prescribing with multiple remedies that cannot have any effect. It is only by chance, that in the group of remedies, there is one remedy that fits the patient’s symptoms and then the practitioner thinks that it is the whole group of remedies that gave the result. Detox is one of the side tracks in homeopathy that have given a bad name to real Hahnemannian homeopathy , and which has been tolerated long enough without criticism and finally has created confusion within our science.
AS: Our literature from the 19th and early 20th centuries shows many cancer cases being cured. Is it more difficult to succeed in such cases today? Does it require something more than a classical approach?
GV: It is difficult to answer such a question, as I do not know the complexity of cancer cases 200 years ago. What we know today is that the question “Can homeopathy cure cancer?” is an irrelevant question. Nobody can claim that homeopathy might cure cancer. The reasons are the following: Curing a malignancy depends primarily on the state of the immune system of the specific organism. If there is a good immune system there are some possibilities. If further, there is a clear picture of the individual remedy that is needed, the possibilities increase. If the problem originated from a deep grief, or a strong stress (either psychological or chemical) and this causative factor continues to be in effect, the possibilities decrease. If on the other hand the causation is over and the patient feels that the grief or the problem is over, the possibilities increase. In any case, when we have patients where metastasis has already taken place, the possibilities of a cure with homeopathy are almost nil. Of course I recognise the other methodologies that are applied in such desperate conditions and the results obtained through them, but I am not in a position to evaluate the real effectiveness of such methods.
Because of all these parameters and the complexity of this kind of pathology as we know it today, nobody can say that homeopathy cures cancer, in spite of the fact that we have seen cases of cancer treated successfully by homeopathy. Cancer is today a phenomenon of global dimensions pointing to an entire degradation of human health, a degeneration of the human defences. It has multiple causes (chemical pollution, competitiveness, aggression, anxieties insecurities etc. that through the years have undermined the human organism so today there are almost epidemic dimensions of this disease. Unless we change drastically the way we think and the way we react towards nature, the problem will continue to increase and torture humans at younger and younger ages.
AS: In practicing and promoting homeopathy for many years, what are some of your fondest memories.
GV: In fact what I felt all along these years, treating patients and at the same time trying to infuse the knowledge to my students, was a constant struggle, an effort with heavy responsibilities that did not allow for any relaxation time, neither for many happy moments. But it is also true, that I felt deep satisfaction every time that a difficult case was recovering by such subtle means as the single potentised remedy, that seemed to the whole world a mere nothing, a small package of subtle energy that could bring about such a deep change. It looked to me every time like a small miracle and allowed me every time, a deep sigh of release…but only for a few moments. Such satisfaction will last only a few minutes not even hours and then the next challenge will appear.
Another source of satisfaction also came from students that were relating to me a difficult case that they were treating, and which recovered beautifully. All these happy moments resounded in my soul as almost mystical experiences but I never had time to enjoy them for long. It was like a deep release of breath after a struggle, just to thank God who had bestowed His powerful grace through Hahnemann’s teachings and had allowed us the inspiration to choose the correct remedy, so as to gather courage to continue. Surely it was not only our extreme efforts in studying that brought about such results.
All these events were taking place in the midst of a society that was full of doubt, especially the first years, and that was sometimes even hostile or negative, that did not allow us to celebrate. But over the years, the fact that patients were cured by the thousands gave me the courage and the energy to continue the struggle of treating patients and at the same time teaching students who were always present attending the process. The care and responsibility I felt in teaching the students, according to the lines of the great masters of Hahnemann and Kent, was putting a heavy load on my shoulders, and that did not allow for long moments of happiness.
For almost forty years the only joy was the curing of the sick. What was keeping me going was the love, and I dare say the adoration coming from my students.
After these years of struggle and extreme efforts came the recognition from the various societies in different countries. The first great recognition came in 1996 from Sweden, as the Right Livelihood Award (what was known as the Alternative Nobel Prize). This award gave me satisfaction because after this, the promotion of the teachings were speeded up greatly. Another moment of satisfaction was in 2000, when the President of Hungary awarded me with the Gold Medal of the Hungarian democracy. Both these awards were given for my efforts to uplift the teaching of Homeopathy to a more scientific level and spread the knowledge of Hahnemann. Another moment of some joy was in 2000 when the Minister of Health of India came to Bombay where they nominated me as the Homeopath of the new Millennium. All these distinctions, and many others that came later, instead of producing satisfaction and happiness, brought about a sense of greater responsibility, as if it was dependent on me whether homeopathy would survive or perish in the 21st century.
After these moments of fleeting happiness, there started manifesting a much more practical recognition of my efforts, when several medical universities got interested in the teachings and adopted them in their post graduate courses, while at the same time they nominated me as honorary professor. It was an honor that I had never expected to reach, due to the confrontational subject I was presenting to the world of medicine. These medical universities were for me a great source of inspiration and vision, that the elite of the medical students may be opening their eyes and ears to a different system of therapeutics. For the time being it has been proved that my vision, teaching young medical doctors, was not an easy task. The change in attitudes and in substance of the educational materials proved to be a difficult task for those who had been indoctrinated to think in a conventional way. I came to understand that it was a great sacrifice on their part to incorporate in their medical armamentarium an entirely new approach in therapeutics. Many students became really happy and successful in their practice. Those were the most enthusiastic and dedicated but a lot of others gave it up for a more easy approach.
In conclusion I may say, in answering your question that the joy of having a patient relieved from their suffering with such a mild means as the homeopathic remedy, felt like a blessing for me and also for all those who learned in-depth this science. I feel this is my reward and I also feel this was a blessing.
AS: Thank you for sharing with us today Prof. Vithoulkas, and for your enormous efforts in keeping homeopathy alive and growing all these years. The entire community is indebted to you.