Confessions of a Former Fake Doctor in ‘Skeptical Inquirer’


For Immediate Release: February 12, 2020
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
press@centerforinquiry.org - (207) 358-9785

“Six years ago, I was a quack.” 

In the latest issue of Skeptical Inquirer, Britt Hermes tells of her previous life as a licensed “naturopathic doctor.” She exposes the lies and self-deception of the alternative-medicine industry and describes how her courage put her in legal jeopardy.

Trained in naturopathy, a system that relies on pseudoscientific treatments such as homeopathy, herbalism, hydrotherapy, and chiropractic manipulation, Hermes earned accreditation to practice primary care medicine in many states, despite having no actual training in real medicine. But during her time in naturopathic practice, she found herself “forced to confront the reality that patients whom I had come to deeply care about were being cheated out of money and duped.”

“I concluded that naturopathic medicine is a scam,” she writes. “I was a fake doctor.”

Also in this issue: Michael Mann, the climatologist who introduced the famous “hockey stick” chart describing the alarming acceleration of global warming and suffered innumerable attacks from climate change deniers, offers a prescription for hope in his essay, “How to Win the New Climate War.” 

“It is easy to become overwhelmed by the scale of the challenge ahead of us,” writes Mann. “We must understand, though, that the forces of denial and delay are feeding on our anxiety and fear and using it against us to build a fortress of resistance. So we must be brave and find the strength to fight on, channeling that fear and anxiety into motivation and action.”

Plus: Skeptical Inquirer Editor Kendrick Frazier recaps the wildly successful skeptics’ conference CSICon 2019; Eric Wojciechowski looks how the U.S. military dealt with reports of flying saucers in 1947; Stuart Vyse considers whether atheists are sadder than religious believers; and much more.

Skeptical Inquirer is available in both print and digital subscriptions.

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at centerforinquiry.org.