It was a stunt tailor-made for the Internet age: People around the world "overdosed" on homeopathic remedies, and then posted videos of the experience online.
And, naturally, nothing happened to them... supposedly proving that homeopathy is just a big fraud.
After all, if these things were medicines, overdosing should have killed some of these people--or at least made them very sick, right?
It's logical... but it's also wrong.
Most of the treatments used in these videos were, in fact, pretty useless-- because just about all of the "overdosers" used the supposed homeopathic treatments that give the rest of the field a bad name.
These are the store-bought meds you've probably seen in your local supermarkets, and many of them are everything their critics claim them to be-- which is why you should only get your homeopathic remedies from a genuine homeopathic doctor.
But there's also another problem with the overdose stunt: A failure to get sick or die doesn't mean the med is ineffective.
Look at it another way, and it could mean the med is simply exceedingly safe.
Isn't that worth celebrating here in the age of drug side effects?
There's no denying that some of the research on homeopathy is thin and often inconclusive. Studies often end with researchers saying they can't really explain what just happened--but many of them are just as sure that something did, in fact, happen.
It's clear more study is needed--but many researchers are afraid to even look: The quickest way to lose friends, colleagues, jobs, and grant money today is to casually mention that you're studying homeopathic treatments.
And you can almost see why: It's a very easy target. After all, it's hard--maybe impossible--to explain the "active" ingredient, which is highly diluted in water to the point where it's no longer detectable by standard means.
But does that mean it's no longer there?
"I can't say that homeopathy is right in everything," Dr. Luc Montagnier recently said. "What I can say now is that the high dilutions (used in homeopathy) are right. High dilutions of something are not nothing. They are water structures which mimic the original molecules."
Dr. Montagnier is the man who discovered the AIDS virus, which helped him to win a Nobel Prize in 2008.
He recently found evidence proving some of the basic tenets of homeopathy-- and he's been ostracized as a result. He now lives in China, which he says is more open to his research.
But let's get back to those protests, because there's one detail I left out. The ringleader of the stunt, and one of the leading mainstream voices against homeopathy, was magician James Randi.
So you have a magician leading the mainstream... and a Nobel prize winner practically in hiding.
It would be funny--if it wasn't so sad.