International Hahnemannian Association

(1880  -  1959)

In the early 1880s, many of the conservative homeopaths organized to form a unified front against what they perceived to be a destructive path set by the liberal majority.

Homeopathy in the decades before saw the relaxing of standards of strict Hahnemannian tenets and the adaptation of a scientific identity that was at odds with pure homeopathy. Conservatives felt that these trends had become the policy of the American Institute of Homoeopathy (AIH) and many of the state and local homeopathic organizations.

During the summer of 1881, the International Hahnemann Association (IHA) was formed. One of the founding members, Dr. C. Pearson of Washington, asserted that in 1874, when the AIH voted to drop the term 'homeopathy' from all requirements for membership, it hastened the destruction of homeopathy. The change allowed anyone to join the AIH, regardless of whether or not they had any training in homeopathy.

In light of this and other events, the purpose of the IHA became clear. The membership felt that homeopathy was headed for extinction on its current course. By 1881, many of the conservative members of the AIH had discussed the need to form a conservative organization in the months before the AIH meeting.

In the afternoon after AIH activities had ended, a group of conservatives met at the local courthouse to launch the IHA. Pearson read a list of resolutions that later became the association's declaration of principles.

The resolutions stated Hahnemann's Organon was the only true guide to therapeutics. They reaffirmed the Hahnemannian laws of similars, single remedy, and minimum dose of the dynamized drug. The IHA resolved that

"...the mixing or alternating of two or more medicines displays on the part of the prescriber the lack of skill [and is] inexcusable and non homeopathic."

They asserted that there were a great number of homeopaths that repudiated and violated these principles and that there had been an effort to unite the homeopathic and allopathic schools. Further stating,

"...that as some self-styled homeopathists [sic] have taken occasion to traduce Hahnemann as a 'fanatic,' 'dishonest,' and 'visionary,' and his teaching as 'not being the standard' of the homeopathy of today,' that we denounce all such as being traitors to our cause, and recreant to its best interests."

They had re-established all of Hahnemann's laws as pure homeopathy without exception. Most importantly, they established Hahnemann as an icon who should never be slandered.

To the liberal homeopaths the IHA appeared regressive, sacrificing scientific progress for an archaic icon. In response, the Hahnemannians claimed that the methods of Hahnemann were tried and proved to be the most effective system of therapeutics if administered properly.

Furthermore, the Hahnemannians did not hold the sciences in high esteem and did not see the need for the sciences in homeopathic training and practice.

Although membership was never greater than 215 members in 1930, the IHA helped pure homoeopathy survive into the 20th century. It ceased operation in 1959 when all of the then current members, all belonging to the American Institute of Homeopathy (AIH), voted to merge with that group.

Information from Encyclopedia Homeopathica:
1. American Homeopath 2001
"On The Cutting Edge Of Extinction: How The Quest For Modernity Led To The Erosion Of Identity In American Homeopathy From 1865-1900", by Craig Repasz

The original members of the IHA were: Adolph Lippe, George Foote, C. Pearson, H.C. Allen, O.P. Baer, P.P. Wells, E.W. Berridge, W.H. Leonard, T.F. Pomeroy, J.P. Mills, Edward Rushmore, T.F. Smith, E.A. Ballard, T.P.Wilson, T. Wilhelm Poulson, and Edward Cranch.

From the Faces of Homeopathy, by Julian Winston