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Found on EXTRAORDINARY MEDICINE The truth about homeopathy is the following claim:

Media Skeptics: A Popcorn Gallery
The skeptical movement is an offshoot of the Communist Party. (Really: see the top two links below.) Its top organizers were hired by pharmaceutical company and medical industry representatives to recruit malcontents in bars to spread hate propaganda against non-conventional medical systems. One of the first such skeptic groups referred to itself as “Skeptics in the Pub”. Not surprisingly, their rants against homeopathy sound like the drunken cacophony of soccer hooligans.

For convenience, the top two links mentioned are:
The Weird Beginnings of Skeptic Confusion and the Philosophy of their Cult Leader
Cultural Dwarfs and Junk Journalism

While this might be read as a question being a bit meta-ish; I am really wondering that despite the whole bunch of big claims working together seems like a conspiracy that seems to not work out all that well, whether there is any truth to the "made (up)" connection of any "communist party" (the second link to the book only always talks about the "Revolutionary Communist Party"?) and either "skeptical movements" (or prominent individuals thereof).

It seems to me that the claimants think this link to communist origins is inherently disqualifying, "obviously"? But this is not intended to go into how this claim is used. – I just want to know if there are indeed any "organisational" links, a kernel of truth in this polemical accusation. "Completely made up" claims often work not as good or even well than twisting the truth. Was there a plan set successfully in motion to create a movement or a not small scale link in personnel between a communist party and a group of skeptics?

Admittedly, on the face of it this claim looks like something of a simple smear campaign. But how should that have worked at all? From a saner perspective this is even more funny: "go forth and destroy capitalism by discrediting their most powerful medicinal system: homeopathy"? These theoretical reasonings are unsatisfactory on their own.


For notability: this made the rounds on Facebook and the originating site also claims to be supported by Canadian Consumers Centre for Homeopathy (3CH), National United Professional Association of Trained Homeopaths (NUPATH), National Center for Homeopathy, Ontario Homeopathic Association, North American Society of Homeopaths, Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century, British Columbia Society of Homeopaths, Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine, British Institute of Homeopathy International, Homeopathic Medical Council of Canada, Ontario College of Homeopathic Medicine
With apparently especially close ties to "Thank you to the National Center for Homeopathy and David Brule for writing help on this page." ––– Notability is hopefully just about the number of people believing an un- or badly referenced claim, not about the personal qualifications of claimants, believers, quality of the claim, consequences of or usage of the claim in question or personal views from either party. If the notability is questioned with "it connects with notability in that smear tactics from the homeopathy community towards skeptics is commonplace." negatively, then isn't it all the more notable?

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    @gerrit Seems to me that the claimants think this is inherently disqualifying, "obviously"? – I just want to know if there are indeed any "organisational" links, a kernel of truth in this polemic accusation. "Completely made up" works often not as good or even well than twisting the truth. – From a sane perspective this is even more funny: "go forth and destroy capitalism by discrediting their most powerful medicinal system: homeopathy"? – LangLangC Jun 10 '18 at 21:05
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    Is this a notable claim? A pro-homeopathy website tries to poison the well by attaching a label with strongly negative connotations onto those that are some of their most effective critics? Not only do I find this not notable, but also a blatantly obvious attempt at smear tactics, to the point of childishness. "well they are all commies anyway". – MichaelK Jun 11 '18 at 6:56
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    Appeal to fear (Organisation X is an offshoot of EVIL organisation y!), conspiracy theories (BIG PHARMA), Ad Hominen (Any position that doesn't agree with us is motivated by hate! They sound like soccer hooligans!) Misrepresentation ("Sceptics in the pub" is really just a social event organised by sceptic societies, not an organisation in its own right)... Just need to squeeze the flat earth in there somehow for me to be able to win at bullshit bingo! – GordonM Jun 11 '18 at 8:56
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    As a general rule, homeopathic truths are so diluted that they have very little to no truth in them... – user43646 Jun 11 '18 at 11:49
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    “Since media skeptics are not researchers, scientists or people with any solid knowledge of any body of medical endeavour” — wow, that website is insane. – Konrad Rudolph Jun 11 '18 at 13:47
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The claim, "The skeptical movement is an offshoot of the Communist Party" is not found in either of the links provided. The first link says, "I know that not all skeptics have these roots." The second link says, "the whole British ‘quackbuster’ operation was being redefined by a group of Liberal peers and members of the late Revolutionary Communist Party" -- so, he is claiming that a pre-existing skeptical movement had some assistance both from the 1980s Liberal party and from the British RCP. The writer is misusing his sources and the claim is false.

Both of these sources are referring to an informal group of British libertarians called the LM group by critics. This group promotes a large number of weird views which can vaguely be called libertarian in terms of their consequences, for example that psychiatry is harmful, that environmentalism is harmful, and that parents should be allowed to spank their children. They started out as Marxists but are no longer communist. Their opposition to homeopathy simply happens to overlap with the opinions of many other kinds of people, including millions of scientists who have never heard of them.

It should be pretty obvious that the "skeptic movement" at large is neither defined by nor adheres to a specific set of political views. There is no barrier to entry for applying skepticism to other people's claims.

Certainly, there has been heavy overlap between promotion of a skeptical worldview and communism in the past -- for example, the League of Militant Atheists. But there has also been plenty of skepticism of the claims of communism!

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    Great answer — except that “SourceWatch” seems to be a questionable source. – Konrad Rudolph Jun 11 '18 at 13:57
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    SourceWatch contains bias, but I think that's ok because I used it to present a viewpoint. The parent organization has won awards for reporting. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_Media_and_Democracy – Avery Jun 11 '18 at 14:10
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    I wouldn’t know. But doing a spot check on subjects that I’m knowledgeable about (GMOs) shows me that they are simply not a reliable source (in particular the articles on that subject contain numerous inaccuracies, falsehoods and what seems like intentionally misleading statements). Maybe they’re better on other subjects but how could I trust that? – Konrad Rudolph Jun 11 '18 at 14:16
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    You could post a question about a claim of theirs that you find dubious? :) – Avery Jun 11 '18 at 15:45
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    It should be noted that the second link also makes extensive use of Implication by Association wrt this subject, which is a logical fallacy. – RBarryYoung Jun 11 '18 at 17:43

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