Reprinted with the permission of Homeopathic Links, Volume 19, Summer 2006 (This review refers to the 6th edition). Reviewed by Kaare Troelsen, Denmark.
If there is one topic that can really provoke (classical) homeopaths into fits of passionate argument it's Homoeoprophylaxis (HP). The resistance against even entertaining the idea of the possibility of HP by many intelligent homeopathic practitioners and teachers bears resemblance to the medical profession's total unwillingness to actually look at the evidence, when it comes to complementary medicine.
I recommend this thought-provoking book to anybody who thinks they possess the open mind we always demand from the society surrounding us.
This 6th edition is the result of a 15-year-long HP research programme done by Dr Golden. The effects of HP on the receptivity towards specific diseases and also, importantly, the long-term effects on general health have been analysed.
The first part of the book describes the diseases in question. The second part takes a critical look at HP and normal vaccination using historical evidence and analysing statistics thoroughly. Since the reviews of research done on HP are mainly by Golden himself there is a potential problem, but I see that Golden, as a scientist, is able to take a fairly critical attitude towards his own work. The third part compares the risks and benefits of disease prevention options (HP and Vaccination).
In the first section Golden describes the diseases normally vaccinated against, the pathology, disease picture, occurrence, risk groups and treatment possibilities. While clearly acknowledging the role of food supplements and nutrition in disease prevention and the role of homeopathic constitutional treatment, Golden concludes that specific disease prevention is necessary.
Part Two addresses the main question in this book: What are the risks and benefits of vaccination and HP?
First Golden discusses the general problems and benefits from vaccination: the usual very interesting-and worrying information, about links with autism, chronic damage and disease, lack of proper research, blatant manipulation of statistics, 'slow-virus disease', etc. At the same time he makes positive comments where relevant.
After this section Golden examines the specific vaccinations and the respective risks and protection rates, again both very interesting and alarming. Trials of many vaccines show quite a high effectiveness, but these results should be treated with care, since other results show much lower effectiveness. Side effects do often not show in double-blind tests but only surface after many years. This part of the book is packed full of good information with source details and appendices to support the details. Good reading for anybody who wants to know more about vaccination and will not rely on hugely biased brochures provided by the pharmaceutical industry.
The argument against vaccination and the need for an alternative is something many homeopaths agree with, but now we come to the crux of the matter: what about a homeopathic alternative, apart from acute and constitutional treatment?
Arguments against HP are normally based on theory, philosophy and interpretations of Organon and similar works. Golden has made huge effort to examine HP, both to find an alternative to vaccination but also to demonstrate to doctors and fellow homeopaths that this alternative works.
Golden starts by quoting Hahnemann, Boenninghausen, Burnett, Kent, Close and others, all writing in favour of using HP and telling about their experiences in this field.
Later Golden presents the results of his research in relation to safety, short-term reaction, effectiveness, long-term effects on general health, occurrence of other diseases not given HP for etc. The scope in time and aspects is impressive; nothing like this has ever been done for vaccination.
The results are equally impressive - Golden shows an effectiveness of between 80 and 100%, mostly lying above 90%, few, mild and short-lasting reactions, positive effects on long-term health and a definite reduction in the chance of getting asthma, eczema, allergies. Golden goes into great detail in explaining the statistical findings in the HP program demonstrated with ample use of tables and diagrams. There is no doubt that the matter has been well researched and analysed.
Golden's HP programme described in the book uses high potencies (200C-10M) of the disease nosodes and other disease-specific remedies, each given at long intervals over several years. In this way proving symptoms can be avoided which are more likely to happen when daily low potencies are given, as some homeopaths advocate in HP against epidemics while travelling.
Golden also takes his time to comment on the criticisms of HP by other homeopaths, which gives us a hint of the resistance he has been, and is still, subjected to from within the homeopathic community.
If vaccination is as inefficient and damaging as many of us believe and if there is a safe and more efficient alternative, why will the health authorities not use it? This is a question most of us have ready-made answers for: rigid thinking, lobbyism by medical companies, limitations of the 'scientific perception' etc.
But why will most homeopaths not use HP or even consider it? Are we afraid to take that responsibility? Maybe it is easier to say: We oppose vaccination but offer no alternative. What if this field could really bring homeopathy into the forefront, give it much-needed visibility and highlight its potential in the world today. I believe that we all need to give this topic some serious thought. Read Golden's book: even an attempt to disprove his findings will bring awareness.