Julian Winston31 May 1941–12 June 2005
29 December 2017 (online)
Julian Winston, the editor of Homeopathy Today (USA), the magazine of the National Center for Homeopathy (USA) for 21 years, passed away after long battle with prostate cancer. Julian was not simply an editor of America's leading homeopathic magazine, he was also a leading lay historian of homeopathy and an ardent defender of classical homeopathy. Homeopathy Today was published every month for the first 20 of his 21 years tenure as editor. Only in the past year has it been published alternate months. Ultimately, he wrote over 200 editorials, and in addition, occasional book reviews, conference reports, and travelogues of his journeys all over the homeopathic world.
Julian Winston first knocked on my door in 1981 when he did his across-the-country 6-month tour of ‘everything homeopathic.’ He wanted to find out what was happening in the world of homeopathy in the US and Canada and to meet and greet the people who were involved in it. Ultimately, he wrote about his road trip in an excellent report on the state of American homeopathy at the time (it is available at his website, www.JulianWinston.com, under ‘Some Notes and Observations’). I had finally found someone who was as passionate about homeopathy as I was (which was quite rare in those days). And because he and I had a special passion for homeopathic history, we talked a mile-a-minute about historical minutiae… and even better, because we had both met many of the homeopaths of the day, we shared some wonderful gossip too.
Julian was the leading contemporary chronicler of homeopathy… it was therefore no surprise when he became editor of Homeopathy Today. His style of history was to write about the people who have been a part of homeopathy. His book, The Faces of Homeopathy (1999), is classically ‘Julian.’ It is an impressive sourcebook, not only because it is full of many classic and rarely told stories about the homeopaths discussed in the book but also because it is full of photos of great past and present homeopaths as well as many special photos and drawings that are an integral part of homeopathic history. And typically ‘Julian,’ he also debunks numerous ‘myths’ about homeopathy, including what really happened when Hering did his proving of Lachesis.
Julian's second book was The Heritage of Homeopathic Literature: An Abbreviated Bibliography and Commentary (2001). The last comprehensive bibliography of homeopathic books in the English Language was Homœopathic Bibliography written by T L Bradford in 1892. When Julian sent me a copy of the manuscript for this book and requested feedback and possibly a back-cover quote, I wrote:
This book is, without doubt, the most comprehensive review of the homeopathic literature ever published. If you want to know what homeopathic books or journals have been published in English and if you want to know something about them, this is the book to get. No other person could have written such a comprehensive book other than Julian Winston. And best of all, you can be confident that he has double and triple checked every fact. Anyone and everyone who is serious about homeopathy should have this book, and once you have it, you will realize the veritable treasure trove of homeopathic literature that exists.
In 2003, Julian compiled a CD-ROM called American Homoeopaths: 1825–1963—A Somewhat Complete Database of 25,000 Names. No one has come close to creating a list of virtually every graduate of a homeopathic school during this era, and although this list is probably complete, Julian was humble enough to not call it such.
Julian Winston was one of the founders of the virtual organization, the Homeopathic Anti-Defamation League, and was always extremely active in responding to misinformation and ignorance about homeopathy in the media and on the internet. His editorials in ‘Homeopathy Today’ regularly made reference to the mis-use of the word ‘homeopathy’ in the press, and similarly, he was vigilant in his reporting on the various factual errors in whatever was said (or overlooked) by the media. Julian was also vigilant, even hyper-vigilant, about the mis-use of the word ‘homeopathy’ by those who were advocates for homeopathy. He was concerned about people who promoted various non-classical approaches to homeopathy. He was concerned about those who used homeopathic medicines in unconventional ways and who declared that Hahnemann would have done the same if he lived today. He was concerned about homeopathic combination remedies and new techniques that claimed to make homeopathic practice ‘easy.’ He was concerned about new developments in homeopathy that had not yet undergone adequate testing for long-term efficacy.
Julian was concerned about anything homeopathic that wasn’t clearly of the Hahnemannian school of thought and practice. And whether you agreed with him or not (and I, for one, did not always agree with him), I think that we all (or at least most of us) agree that classical homeopathy needs someone to advocate it, someone to clarify and differentiate it from others forms of homeopathy…and classical homeopathy, someone to help separate wheat from the chaff. This differentiation and separation process does not necessarily mean that only the wheat (classical homeopathy) is important or that the chaff (non-classical methods) are of no value. Julian simply wanted to avoid being sloppy, and he wanted us to not put all types of homeopathy into one big breadbasket as though it was the same.
Julian was similarly a stickler for the facts. He regularly corrected journalists or homeopaths who mis-stated dates, places, or people's names in reference to homeopathic history, and God help the person if he or she mis-spelled the homeopath's name. Once again, he didn’t like sloppy writing or thinking. No one can replace Julian. It will take several people to do all that he has done and was doing. And even then, it’ll not be enough…for who of us can and will go through the historical records of homeopathic medical schools from 1825 to 1963 to list every known graduate…who amongst us will list and describe every published book and journal on homeopathy in the English language…who amongst us live and breath homeopathy and work to defend it and promote in every breath. It’ll take a village to do all of this.