In 1960 a survey was made of the state of homeopathy in England and America. It found that 3/5ths of the graduates from Homeopathic medical colleges in the States were over 60, treat and that in the UK, generic where there was no formal academic training of homeopaths, try 3/5ths were over 50. Homeopaths were a dying breed – and most of them, slowly heading towards apparent extinction, were men. The Second World War had devastated homeopathy around Europe.
The slow decline was not just in Britain, but throughout the whole of Europe.
After every Autumn and Winter will come a Spring. In this article I am proposing that Thomas Maughan and John Damonte were the heralds of that Spring. They were the two teachers who, with their roots in the homeopathy of the past, carried the seed of homeopathy into the new era. If they were the seed of modern, professional homeopathy today, so we are the various branches, buds, leaves, flowers and fruit of that seeding.
In this article I am focusing on Dr Thomas Maughan DSc as a teacher of homeopathy, as a homeopath and as a teacher of the druid spiritual philosophy, which came hand in hand with this resurgence of homeopathy. Thomas Maughan and John Damonte were also two of the forefathers of the Society of Homeopaths as in 1970, along with a dozen or so other homeopaths, they responded, to ‘the difficulties practicing Homeopaths who are not on the Medical Register could encounter if nothing was done to present their case to the Officials of the Ministry of Health who will be implementing the Medicine’s Act.’ Dr Maughan as Chairman and Damonte as Secretary along with Edwin Tomkins, W.Fletcher and John Wilcox formed the committee and on February 21st 1970 at the first EGM the Society of Homeopaths was formed. Thomas Maughan’s handwritten addendum to the first set of rules stated that ‘Full membership shall be open to any practicing homeopath who is not on the General Medical Register and Associate membership shall be open to any layman desirous of supporting the objectives of the Society.’
In May 1973 it was reported that ‘due to the enormous efforts of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists …plus intervention by the International Federation of Practitioners of Natural Therapeutics, the provisions of the Bill are now reasonably favourable to the practitioner of natural therapeutics who prescribes medicine.’ So we were safe for the time being. The SoH went into abeyance and Damonte and Maughan focussed on the teaching.
Dr Maughan had been part of a group of committed homeopaths who had kept homeopathy classes alive in the London region, sometimes during and following WW II. Prior to 1972 he held public homeopathy classes in Notting Hill as well as the Saturday Medical class which Companions of the Druid Order could attend and which were held fortnightly at his home in South London. During 1972 Thomas suffered several heart attacks and the classes were amalgamated and all held at his home in Calton Avenue, Dulwich. Meanwhile John Damonte taught a regular North London class. What has become known as Thomas’s South London Group then became comprised of members of the public new to homeopathy, members of the public who had studied for some time and Companions of the Druid Order who were studying homeopathy along side their druid classes.
The seed being sown by Maughan and Damonte, both members of the Druid Order, was a seed containing the two strands of homeopathy’s double helix: spiritual philosophy and homeopathic philosophy. The druid teachings have come through a long line of esoteric information from Ancient Egypt, through Greek Mysteries, the ancient Hebrew texts, Paracelsus, Swedenborg, Rosicrucian and other hermetic groups.
Jerome Whitney writes: ’The fundamental philosophy of the Order is the same that has inspired the major wisdom philosophies throughout the centuries. The basic concept is that spirit works from within outward into material manifestation…. Consciousness and humanity are evolving and … the way to learn to participate in that evolution is to study and learn from the cycles of nature and the world around us.‘ Who better suited to grasp this dual teaching than people open to spirit and with a group spirit of their own? The young people of the hippy generation.
Mary Titchmarsh told me “ We’d been through love and peace and it was when the hippies were turning towards the spiritual stuff – The Beatles went to India – that Thomas gave some talks at a commune in World’s End in Chelsea”. She visited him with her American macrobiotic teacher a few weeks later and Thomas turned to her after a while and asked “And why are you here?” to which she replied, in the true hippy questing way : “I want to know the truth!” Soon afterward