Monday, 14 June 2010
"Big Pharma is all around you" - Celebrating WHAW
[To celebrate World Homeopathy Awareness Week, here is a world first - the full transcript of a secret meeting at the Society of Homoepaths at which a new recruit, Neo, is being inducted. He is taken to meet the organisation's most prestigious supporter.]
STRANGE MAN: At last. Welcome.
He waits for Neo to cross the room and then greets him.
STRANGE MAN: As you no doubt have guessed, I am Dr Nancy Malik.
NEO: It's an honor.
NANCY: Please. Come. Spend money.
They sit across from one another in cracked, burgundy leather chairs.
NANCY: I imagine, right now, you must be feeling a bit like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole?
NEO: You could say that.
NANCY: I can see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he is told because he has no regard for science and evidence.
A smile, razor-thin, curls the corner of his lips.
NANCY: Ironically, this is far from the truth. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Can you tell me, Neo, why are you here?
NEO: You're Nancy Malik, you're a legend. Most quacks would die to meet you.
NANCY: Yes. Thank you. But I think we both know there's more to it than that. Do you believe in evidence, Neo?
NANCY: Why not?
NEO: Because I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life.
NANCY: I know exactly what you mean.
Again, that smile that could cut glass.
NANCY: There is another reason, though. Let me tell you why you are here. You are here because you are sick.
NEO: I’m sick?
NANCY: I can help you, Neo, using water, but not as a drink. We use it like it was part of you. What you can do inside water is not normal. I know. I've seen it. What we do is quantum entanglement. Maybe.
NEO: It's magic?
NANCY: Yes it is, Neo. Yes it is. There is no other way to describe what will happen to you.
He leans forward.
NANCY: Homeopaths are trained to reject everything that is rational and logical.
Neo shakes his head.
NANCY: As children, we do not separate the possible from the impossible which is why the younger a mind is the easier it is to free while a mind like yours can be very difficult.
NEO: Free from what?
NANCY: From Big Pharma.
Neo looks at his eyes but only sees a reflection of himself.
NANCY: Do you want to know what it is, Neo?
Neo swallows and nods his head.
NANCY: It's that feeling you have had all your life. Big Pharma is everything that’s wrong with the world. I can’t prove that it does, but, like a splinter in your mind, paying off everyone and driving you to me. But what is it?
The leather creaks as he leans back.
NANCY: Big Pharma is everywhere, it's all around us, here even in this room. You can see its work in the 10:23 campaign and Sense About Science. You feel it when you go to work, or go to church or pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
NEO: What truth?
NANCY: That you are a slave, Neo. That you, like everyone else, was born into bondage... ...that evidence based medicine is a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind.
Outside, the wind batters a loose pane of glass.
NANCY: Unfortunately, we cannot prove how bad Big Pharma is, so you have to choose our remedies yourself.
NANCY: Hold out your hands.
In Neo's right hand, Nancy drops a red pill.
NANCY: This is your last chance. After this, there is no going back.
In his left hand, a blue pill.
NANCY: You take the blue pill and you will see a gradual improvement in your condition in accordance with the well established progress of pathogens as demonstrated by evidence from randomly controlled clinical trials.
The pills in his open hands are reflected in the glasses.
NANCY: You take the red pill and absolutely nothing will happen whatsoever, although if you feel better I will be able to claim it worked.
Neo feels the smooth skin of the capsules, with the moisture growing in his palms.
NANCY: Remember that all I am offering is to make you completely ignorant of the truth. Nothing more.
Neo opens his mouth and swallows the red pill. The Cheshire smile returns.
NANCY: Follow me.
They exit. The sound of ringing cash registers can be heard in the distance.
Written with the highly estimable Martyn Norris, with more than a little tip-o'-the-hat to Crispian Jago.
If anyone knows where I can link to the video, please let me know!