Sunday, 25 September 2011

John Benneth's Life-Or-Death Challenge

The fellow pictured below will be familiar to anyone who's ever been brave enough to search YouTube for videos on homeopathy.

John Benneth (for it is he) has recently written on his blog:

"Most interesting in all of this is a challenge issued by Roger Barr, an Australian homeopath, who has suggested that to end the argument, skeptics put homeopathy to the test... on themselves..."

John continues,

"Now, MY suggestion for a remedy to challenge sketpics [sic] to try is one I just put to the test. It’s called fluoricum acidum (fl. ac.) i.e. homeopathic fluoride. It just so happens that I decided to put it to the test, on myself..."

The most impressive result of this non-scientific experiment was that John "caved in to" a bottle of whisky. This is hardly a failing unique among humanity but, happily, John has a more interesting test in mind.

"Chlorine’s a whole [other] subject. When it comes into contact with organic matter... it forms [sic] chloroform, which in homeopathic form is noted for inducing in the prover the desire to kill..."

What would happen, John wonders, if the sceptics were to divide themselves into two groups, and if one of the groups were to take homeopathic chlorine?

"...bring the two groups together in a room, LOCK THE DOOR and RUN!"

There's nothing I can add to that - except: challenge accepted!

"Hello John and Roger,

I would like to accept your challenge.

1. I will bet you £10,000 that a homeopathic proving cannot produce in me the symptoms you claim will appear.

2. Therefore, over the course of seven days, I will take one 30C dose of homeopathic chlorine, once a day, at a time you specify.

3. I live near London. You may appoint any person (or persons) to supervise me as I take each dose (or you may supervise me yourself, if you prefer). If you appoint any such persons, it is your responsibility to make the arrangements for them to visit me, at the specified time of day.

4. After each dose, I will sit in a room with a volunteer for one hour. If, on any of these occassions, I attempt to murder the volunteer in cold blood, you win the bet, and I will pay you £10,000. Furthermore, if I succeed in killing the volunteer, I will pay an additional £10,000 towards the unfortunate victim's funeral expenses. Once I have paid up, you are free to notify the police of my heinous crime, so that they can make arrangements for my immediate arrest, trial and imprisonment.

5. However, if I am able to resist my homicidal impulses, you lose the bet, and you must pay me £10,000.

Do we have a deal?"


  1. Awesome. *gets popcorn*

  2. I live in France, where homeopaths are a dime a dozen, so it shouldn't be too difficult to organise something similar here. I suggested getting the press in and having a maximum of media attention.

    Somehow he doesn't want this, seems to think I'm too 'skeptical' for him. Not to mention, like Google+, he seems reassured by what might be a "real name" such as Ron Lewis (if you turn out to be a Deirdre or an Edward he's going to be so upset). I have assured him that I would not hide behind a handle for the benefit of the press. We shall see if that makes him feel happier.

  3. I'm game too. Let me know if they accept he challenge and we can sort out details.

    Obviously for the full effect we should consume 10,000 x strength doses.

  4. This letter would accomplish a number of things. One of these is to 'put your money where your mouth is'. Hope to see the next article soon about the next development - if the challenge is taken.

  5. 204 human studies published in 86 peer-reviewed international medical journals out of which 96+ are FULL TEXT out of which 94 are PDF which can be downloaded at

  6. Hi Dr Nancy,

    How about a little wager, then?

    I'll arrange to have a parcel sent to you containing six homeopathic remedies in a parcel. I'll tell you which remedies are in the parcel, but not which remedy is which.

    All you have to do is to correctly identify all six remedies. Do that, and I pay you $10,000 (US). If you fail to guess all six, you pay me $1,000 (US).

    Should be easy money for you, especially since you insist that "204 human studies published in 86 peer-reviewed international medical journals" support claims for the efficacy of homeopathy.

    Do we have a deal?

  7. That's a good offer Dr Nancy - you can even use chemical analysis techniques. I'll chip in $10,000 of my own to sweeten the deal a bit more.

  8. Don't hold your breath, Paul. If they won't take Randi's million, why would they take my small change?

  9. I gather you haven't had any follow-up either?

    Latest article on this loony's blog is a merry homophobic rant trotting out the old "Randi is a pederast" rubbish.

  10. Hi anarchic teapot,

    No follow-up. I think it's fair to say Benneth is only interested in homeopathic provings and regards any other form of testing as "monkey business". In this case, of course, he is right.

    (I'm quoting from memory here; that may not be what he said.)


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