Yanking the Overton Window: how YOU can help make homeopathy a celebrity
Just to review: the “Overton Window” is the range of ideas, knowledge and policies which are seen as acceptable in the current climate of public opinion—both well-known and well-established enough that people can talk about them seriously or matter-of-factly, not with eye-rolling or ridicule. To move the Overton Window towards your idea means to transform it from marginal to acceptable.
Currently, homeopathy is a little bit outside the current Canadian Overton Window. Most people don’t know what the word means and many others scoff at the idea. Our mandate at 3CH is to move the Overton Window over so that homeopathy lands well within it by a) introducing people to homeopathy so they know what the word means and b) citing evidence of how effective it is.
The National Post column of Jan. 28 was a good step, as it got a fairly lengthy (by newspaper standards) positive piece about homeopathy into a national media outlet. Likewise the Dr. Oz show of the same date. Two more upcoming media coups for homeopathy, which we’ll tell you about as soon as we can, will also be steps. But every person doesn’t have to break into national media to move that window. There are ways that you can work on it–right in your backyard.
- Talk about it! You are part of the cultural discourse. And word-of-mouth is the most trusted form of publicity. If you are a client who loves the benefits homeopathy has brought you, tell your family, friends, colleagues, club members, etc. If you are a homeopath or health food store owner, hold workshops introducing people to homeopathy and what it can do. (This has the added benefit of increasing your clientele or sales.) Cite the National Post column, or send them to www.extraordinarymedicine.org for evidence or www.homeocentre.ca for homeopathic basics. Lend them your copy of Amy Lansky’s Impossible Cure or Tim Dooley’s Flat Earth Medicine. Sell copies of these and other intro books.
- Write about it! Wherever you live, there are community newspapers that love to get information that they can publish for free. Contact them to run an article about homeopathy. If you copy articles from our website (www.homeocentre.ca ), we are absolutely fine with that, so long as you credit us. Use the four points I use with media* to make a high-impact argument, and add your personal story to really drive it home.
- Post about it! Same as 2) but on the Internet. If you have a blog, blog about it. If someone disses homeopathy, get on their comment section. (We have already proven that we’re really good at this. Keep it up!) Use social media! Facebook it, Tweet it, Reddit, StumbleUpon it… whatever you like to do.
- Communicate to a convertible audience. This is about the good use of your valuable time. You’re wasting it if you spar with homeopathy’s opponents on their forums, or anywhere where you don’t have a large neutral audience watching. Example: I was all over the National Post comment section, spending the better part of a day at it… but when Skeptic North posted a response and invited me to come over to debate, I ignored it completely. Why? Because the Post has thousands of readers who might be open to homeopathy and thus benefit by what I wrote. Skeptic North has a relative handful, and because of its subject material, is highly unlikely to have any readers who will be open to homeopathy and thus benefit. Think in terms of benefiting readers.
- Stay positive. That means, don’t attack or ridicule the other side (no matter how much they deserve it). Always be polite. The most you can get away with is reminding people of the downside of allopathic medicine, and all you have to do is remind people, really, because everyone knows. Neutral audiences–who we are trying to reach–prefer information and inspiration over negativity and mud-slinging.
- And finally…. Join 3CH! Just by signing on as a free member, you’ll receive this newsletter plus our action items. As a Benefactor, Professional or Organizational Affiliate, you’ll contribute financially… plus you’ll help celebritize homeopathy by putting our bumpersticker on your car, posting our “My Health My Choice” poster, etc. No matter how you do it, you will be putting your effort and your dollars where they will be strongest, because you’re part of a collective, strategically-thought-out movement. Click here.
* Four points:
- There is science showing effectiveness, substantiated by scientifically-valid meta-analyses, the Cuban study and a sampling of other studies and websites. Source.
- Homeopathy is not magic but rational, following consistent procedures and principles taught in the schools
- Scientists are currently working on figuring out how it works, substantiated by the existence of the International Journal of High-Dilution Research, and a series of studies re properties of high dilutions, including the one that discovered nanoparticles and the work of Dr. Luc Montagnier. Source.
- Homeopathy has large stature worldwide, substantiated by the fact that it’s regulated in Ontario, the estimated number of patients worldwide, the fact that it’s part of public health system and covered by public insurance in many countries, the popularity of Oscillococcinum and stats on how fast it’s growing worldwide. Source.