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A new revolutionary situation is rapidly building up to a climax. Within the past 70 years medicine has undergone a vast surface transformation. In America the physio-medical, eclectic and homeopathic schools of drugging have become extinct, their schools and hospitals either having been closed or absorbed by the allopathic school, which alone has survived. Its colleges have been standardized, its hospitals multiplied, enlarged and modernized; its pre-medical requirements for its students have been greatly extended; its courses of study have been lengthened, the curriculum has been greatly expanded; its research institutions have grown by leaps and bounds, and a large share of the wealth of the nation has been put at its disposal. If ever a medical system was provided with opportunities for advancement, improvement and progress, the present medical system has certainly surpassed all others in this respect.
Ceaselessly changing its surface through the ages, but underneath remaining forever the same, medicine resembles the ocean--its surface ever giving rise to small and large waves, so that it is never the same for two seconds, but underneath as changeless as the Sphinx. Today, after 2,500 years of "scientific investigation" and much boasted progress, medicine still rests on the bed-rock of magic and superstition.
For well nigh 3,000 years the medical system has been trying to redeem man from disease by medicating him. It has totally failed and worse, because it has increased rather than diminished the difficulty. There are hundreds of thousands of medical men in the world today; there have been hundreds of thousands from Hippocrates to the present. These men have labored and do now labor incessantly, day and night, to discover new remedies, as well as new ways to apply the old ones. They seek to acquire new skill in the application of their remedies. They wield the many thousands of drug medicines with all the science of their schools and boast of their scientific attainments. Why, then, do they continually lose ground in their war upon disease? Why do diseases continue to increase, to multiply and to become more complicated? Why do degenerative diseases continue to increase?
While reading the frequent boasting of medical men that they have greatly increased the human life span, it would be well for us to think somewhat upon the fact that there has been, coincident with this assumed increased length of life, a great increase in degenerative diseases and a steady lowering of the age at which they develop. Such developments are not consistent with increased length of life. Rather, they indicate, unmistakably, a shortening of the life span. The statistics that are provided us and that seem to indicate an increased life span are misleading in that they deal with averages and not with actual life spans.
In spite of all the advantages that have been afforded the medical system and in spite of all the advances of which it so proudly boasts, the health condition of America today is not only deplorable but growing progressively worse. A world writhing in pain and unable to build hospitals fast enough to house its wrecks must awaken from its somnolence and do an about face if it is to make any headway against the increasing incidence of degenerative diseases that make life all but unbearable.
Today the health of the American people is floundering in a deeper depression than at any time in the past. The crisis affects all sections of the country, all classes, all ages and both sexes. Old-age pensioners clamour loudly for a plan of state medical care, because they are sunk in physical discomfort and weakness and unable to pay the mounting costs of medical care. They are determined to saddle the whole nation with "free" medical care and are pursuing their efforts to accomplish this with the tenacity of idiots.
The period of hate, greed, suffering and infamy that the world is experiencing just now is not a forerunner of the end of the world; but it marks the summation of an age of false thinking, worse acting and stupid compromising with evils that we tolerate because they are profitable to a few. Our condition is rapidly growing so intolerable that we shall be forced to do something about it. The evils of the present will have to be destroyed, root and branch, and a totally new way of life, one based on the eternal and immutable laws of nature, will have to be developed. Nothing in the present that will not fit into the new ways of life as a harmonious integer should be permitted to survive.
The preamble to the Republican platform of 1964 stated that: "The lives of men and nations are undergoing such transformations as history has rarely recorded. The birth of new nations, the impact of new machines, the threat of new weapons, the stirring of new ideas, the ascent into a new dimension of the universe--everywhere the accent falls on the new." Had this preamble added that everywhere except among the old party politicians and the medical world, where the accent is still on the old, the hackneyed, the outmoded, the accent is on the new, it would have been closer to the truth. The platitudenous sameness that characterizes writings and lectures on medicine (in all the schools) is matched only by the old-fashioned platitude and banality of the political speeches of old party candidates. The indestructible devotion to old-fashioned medical fallacy that is seen in all the schools of so-called healing is too obvious to need stressing. The very foundations of the curing systems are, nonetheless, groggy from the impact of Hygienic truth.
It cannot be too strongly emphasized that today the medical profession is confronted with obstacles and with problems which are insurmountable and insoluble. American physicians and their spokesmen have solid grounds for the fright and desperation which they frequently express. Increased mass sickness, the explosive developments of the so-called side effects of their new drugs, the growing number of iatrogenic diseases or what they call "diseases due to medical progress," the growing public distrust of their poisoning practices and the deadly menace of their wonder drugs--all this, and much more, constitutes an endless nightmare for all who would preserve the criminal system of poisoning the sick because they are sick. Doomed by the toxic evolution of its practices and soon to be outlawed by the enlightened opinion of mankind, physicians have every reason to stay awake at night and ponder the coming judgment.
The contemporary problems of side effects and iatrogenic diseases have forced a re-examination of the drugging practice. The spectre that haunts the drug industry is not the "quackery" that they are continually harping about, but the evils that flow unmistakably from the use of their own procedures. It hangs over them like an unexorcised ghost. They are always conscious of it. Just now the situation is hopefully chaotic; for as chaos always precedes creation, so will the present agitation, fear, uncertainty, perplexity, conflict of opinion and grand stirring up of the long-dormant brain of the people lead to something constructive.
Numerous surveys made by leading medical men themselves have revealed that there is a definite danger involved in entering a hospital. The mayhem in the hospitals is matched by the fact that 15 to 20 percent of the inmates of these institutions are suffering with drug-induced diseases. Hospitalization itself is declared to have produced a "noxious event" for no less than 20 percent of all patients who enter these institutions, and one in ten of all hospital deaths is authoritatively declared to be, in whole or in part, the result of hospital care.
Are These Our Doctors? by Evelyn Barkins, The Doctors' Dilemmas by Louis Lesagna, M.D., The Therapueutic Nightmare by Morton Mintz and The Doctors by Martin L. Gross are but a few of the many books that have been published within recent years discussing the evils and shortcomings of present-day medical and surgical practices. Many magazine articles and newspaper columns have also been devoted to this subject. It is generally agreed both by the lay writers and the physicians who have written on the subject that physicians are poorly educated and poorly equipped for the work they pretend to be doing. In addition to these writings there have been congressional investigations, such as those conducted by Kefauver and Humphrey, which have shown the inadequacies and evils of present-day practice. These exposures have led to the passage of laws and to many suggestions of means and measures that should be taken to improve medical practice. It hardly needs to be said that what has been done and what has been suggested to be done are but reform measures designed to sweet-scent an institution that should be destroyed root and branch.
It is fundamentally false and historically unsupported to assume that any number of petty reforms of an existing institution can result in its transmutation into something radically different. The fact is that the more an institution reforms the more it remains the same. Reforms do not merely spread out a revolution over a longer period of time; they forestall the revolution and preserve the thing that it is sought to get rid of. Revolution is not reform concentrated in a shorter time; rather, it is a basic or radical change that obliterates the old and ushers in the new.
The writers of the aforementioned books and books like them, whether laymen or reputed scientists, professing to take a hard look at the prevailing medical system, manage to ignore the long-evident symptoms of its fatal illness. Nothing in the harsh realities of the past half century shakes their faith that medicine remains basically a sound system, which can be reformed into a beneficial system of practice by sufficient tinkering with the surface phenomena. Burdened with their unwarranted belief in the basic soundness of the medical system, they inevitably see the ills which they are unable to blink, with self-deceiving optimism and sterilely occupy themselves with senseless proposals for improving a medical system that is hopelessly doomed. Even the unmistakably grave problems of mounting crippling and lethal side effects and a continuing heavy creation of drugs that add to these fail to dishearten them because they simply refuse to believe that they are grave. They see these effects as mere technical problems and think that they can be handled without radical change in the methods of practice or in the fundamentals upon which the practice rests. Is it their fault if contrary developments insist on belying their cheerful analysis?
All efforts to solve these "current problems" are miserly efforts to make the old system work or at least to produce less harm. The most that such writings can do is to alert the cure-mongers to the defects of their schemes, which defects, at best, they can only alleviate, but never eliminate. Such books aid and abet the prolongation of the very evils which they reveal. Their authors waste their time in such work; the great goal for which they profess to be aiming cannot be reached by the work they are doing.
It is plain to any student of medical "history" that today humanity stands at a fork in the road. Inevitably and always the curing schemes run into a blind alley from which they cannot escape. The medical system is now marking time in such a blind alley. Anxious to preserve the fundamentals of their evil system, they seek by reform to modify some of its worst evils. Medical reforms and regulations, such as those that grew out of the Kefauver investigation, would preserve the system of poisoning, but would eliminate or try to eliminate some of the poisons used, or reduce the size of the doses, decrease their frequency or substitute milder for more drastic drugs, etc. Like all reformers, those who would save the medical system seek to eliminate effects without removing causes; they are like the physician who applies a corn plaster to a toe while leaving the ill-fitting shoe to produce more friction. Like all reformers, they are always inconsistent, self-contradictory and uncertain about where they are going. They proclaim against an evil, but are content to attack isolated evils instead of seeking to destroy the whole system of which the isolated evil is but a minor feature. Only those remain consistent whose principles are sound. If the revolution is not to be a still-born thing--if it ever reaches the dignity of a revolution, sweeping into it men of all ranks, the poor and the rich, the illiterate and the man of education--it must rest upon a bed-rock of great principles.
In general, those who dislike and oppose valid reforms and urgently needed revolutions have been those who are well off in the existing order of things. Although they have persuaded themselves that their opposition to and dislike of change proceeds from conservative principles and their love of that order which is "heaven's first law," the true explanation of their opposition to any change in the existing order is that they fear the loss of their special privileges, unique advantages and lucrative practices. They have developed a fine taste for the preservation of their own interests. If a valid reform begins or a revolution breaks out, how can they tell where it will end? They are not opposed to change because of any desire to see others wretched, destitute, sick and unhappy, but merely because they fear that any radical change might make matters worse for themselves. The general has its exceptions, but still it is the rule that the comfortable, full-fed and amply provided for are not likely to carry the torch of social, Hygienic and medical reform and revolution. This is the work of those who see and, perhaps, feel where the shoe pinches and supplies fail.
The suggestions made by popular writers on medical evils for correction of these evils are but petty reforms that the true revolutionist will shun. They are pitfalls to catch the unwary. The crocodile tears that were shed by Kefauver and Humphrey over the people damaged and killed by drugs were as phony as a three dollar bill. They were sham tears designed to make the poor victims of the faith in poisons think that something was being done for them. In the future these victims are to be safeguarded. All of this was meant to encourage the illusion among drug takers that the medical profession and the government are friends of the sick, and that in these lie their real hope for the future. But, looked at from the vantage point of the Hygienist, all of this effort to pull the wool over the eyes of the people was but evidence of the contempt in which the physicians, drug manufacturers and politicians hold the people, and expect them to accept as real all the crocodile tears shed by the agents of exploitation.
What is not generally realized, even among Hygienists, is the rapidity with which the crisis in the drugging business is coming to a climax. To the flood of wonder drugs, their effects in causing a whole catalogue of disastrous side effects, and the contempt the people have brought upon themselves by their past credulity and apathy, we are indebted for the creation of a situation essential for the spread of fear and distrust, even open rebellion, in which the profession of medicine is going to be fatally wounded, if not destroyed. The perfidy of the people has inspired the contempt for them shown in the efforts of the Kefauver committee, the Humphrey committee and the press, to channel and dissipate the popular fear and distrust. These efforts have been, perhaps, more successful than we know; but they have not, thereby, succeeded in destroying the causes of this distrust and fear.
Side effects, iatrogenic diseases and drug-induced deaths may be said to be a kind of catalyst which is reducing the complicated thesis of the healing question to its essence--shall the sick be poisoned? In this combination of pathological phenomena he the potentials of a mass awakening and, provided we Hygienists do our work well and with sufficient energy, a revolution in the world of so-called healing.
The end is, or should be, an eventual non-poisoned world and the present medical system must be destroyed by whatever methods are necessary and effective if the human race is to survive. The administration of poisons, being imminently logical from the viewpoint of the medical man, will not be attacked by him. This attack will have to be mounted and intensified by a growing army of informed Hygienists. Whatever else they were, the pioneer Hygienists should be called moral and physical heroes and we should be willing and ready to receive from them whatever is valid for us today in the light of their struggles and achievements, their errors and victories.
Changing the medical system will not by itself change human behavior. Life in the present jungle has left some corruption on all and time will be required to eradicate every vestige of our unnatural and anti-natural modes of behavior. The Hygienic revolution can produce its own frustrations if those taking part in it forget what their goal is and do not assiduously set about changing themselves.
However limited their long-run effectiveness, those representing the persistent Hygienic strain in America have honored their people by their example of non-cowardice and serious thought about our revolutionary goals. Their example should serve to remind us that one quality is as supremely important today as it was yesterday: to have tested convictions and act upon them without equivocation or compromise.
Why a revolution? Has the world not gotten along very well on the basis on which it is now established? Must we undergo a radical change to enjoy the blessings of health and vigor? Why should we abandon the certainties of the present for something the outcome of which we do not know? Shall we take a chance that it will be better than what we now have? These are not idle questions to those of us who wish to see the insane practices of medicine replaced by a sane Hygienic milieu in which no man or woman would be compelled to live contrary to the laws of being. Then only can the people be led to permit the living organism to do its own healing work.
Questions such as these may also be running through the minds of many people today, as they view with apprehension and alarm the growing evils of drugs. Fearful of the new drugs and realizing that the old ones were abandoned because they were failures, they sense that something in the way of a change is needed; but they are likely to think that, perhaps, some petty reform will make things work. But a better understanding of the functioning and the imperatives of the biological system serves to confirm what ages of experience have already taught us-namely, that no petty reform of the drugging system will suffice.
The fact is that the world has not gotten along well for ages on the present basis. Confining our remarks to medicine, the medical system is but two and a half millenniums old. At its origin, it was a system of mild drugging that, while it restored no health, offered less obstruction to the healing processes that belong to life. Not until after the close of the Dark Ages did the practice of drug medication become popular. From that time to this, it has grown in deadliness--in toxicity. The record of its past is nothing of which any medical man can be justly proud.
Why a revolution? Because the medical system is a false and fatal system. Its foundation is laid in error and its practices are the outgrowths of false conceptions. There are no genuine certainties connected with it, save that of evil. We know that all of its drugs are poisonous; all of its vaccines and serums are hurtful; all of its surgical procedures are damaging; all of its rays and other means of caring for the sick are harmful. It is not a source of health and vigor. No possible reform of such a system can do other than perpetuate a system of error. A real revolution is urgently needed. Reforms are dangerous in that they serve as bait; they serve to lure the people away from basic issues and tempt them to be satisfied with petty reforms.
The Hygienic revolution is a great revolution. It touches more interests than any revolution since the agrarian revolution that occurred before the dawn of history. Think this not an extravagant statement. It is true. The Hygienic revolution combats greater evils, contemplates greater benefits and will result in more ultimate good than any social, political, religious or medical change in the habits, opinions, thoughts and actions of mankind that has come within the knowledge, either by experience or by reading, of my readers.
I fear that few of us look at it in its legitimate bearings. We discern not its destiny. We comprehend not the grand, gradual and mighty changes which it is producing and is yet to produce in the aims and conditions of the family of mankind. If, to the great mass of the population of the world, it is still viewed as a humbug, those who understand it most view it more favorably and expect more of it. But many of these think that it is not much superior as a means of restoring health to drugs and surgery. Others think it preferable to all the medical means, but suppose its value to lie chiefly in its applicability to states of disease.
We must learn to see Hygiene in a much broader light. Its real significance lies not alone in the efficacy with which it enables the body to restore its health, but also in its fitness for use by the body in maintaining the healthy state. It is a program that reaches back to the very roots of being for its sanctions.
We view the progress of Natural Hygiene, with the science and philosophy on which it is founded, as being the necessary foundation of all revolutions and reforms that will truly benefit mankind. The first object of a sick man is health and he can do nothing that is very effective in bettering his condition in other ways until he has freed himself of suffering and weakness. This is equally true with a sick world--its primary need is health. With health will come vigor, clear-sightedness and a capacity for change, for valid reform and revolution.
Give the world health and you provide it with a capacity for every kind of physical, moral, social and economic improvement. When a man has pursued a Hygienic course to the attainment of full health, he finds that his moral ailments have been purged from him. So will it be with the whole world, when the universal adoption of Natural Hygiene has restored man to that pristine soundness and primeval vigor that he knew when the race was young. Hygiene is the best and the only means of renovating society.
The whole secret of the revolution which we are aiding lies precisely in the transition from merely quantitative changes to qualitative ones in the ways of caring for both the well and the sick. It will represent a transition from one phase of body care to another and radically different one. Whoever chooses the path of reform as a substitute for revolution does not choose a peaceful and slower path to the same end, but chooses different ends altogether. For this reason we must vigorously resist all reformist trends and expose all reform movements. We must meet reformism, not merely with the negative principle of anti-reformism, but with positive revolutionary goals and with revolutionary means. We must not be fooled by any opportunistic principle which is false and always leads to failure.
To the accusation that we betray the needs of the present by placing our hope in some far-away revolution, we reply that nothing short of a real revolution will suffice. No petty reform will do more than leave the old system intact and functioning. It will lend it a renewed lease on life, but will not serve the people. Any apparent immediate gain of reform will be wiped out within weeks after it is gained. History records that reforms are highly useful in appeasing discontent, but they add little to the genuine welfare of the people.
The Hygienic movement of the present provides the only center of organized resistance to the theories and practices of the dominant school of medicine. It is the fate of all such movements, no matter in what field, to attract every manner of reformist and opportunist element and if these are not resisted, the movement is inevitably weakened. This calls for a ceaseless stand and struggle against all reformist tendencies. For, all past experience in all fields has shown that, if such resistance is not continued, a revolutionary movement tends to degenerate into a mere party of reform with many romantic ideas, but no fundamental approach to the problems that confront society. Our struggle against reformism must be unremitting. We cannot repudiate the revolutionary principles for which we stand and proclaim mere reformist aims.
We have to contend, not only with the false theories and fatal practices of the medical profession, but with the lingering vestiges of the other schools of medicine, as these are embodied in popular thought. Under such a situation, the possibility of tactical and eventually strategical errors are multiplied many times. If we do not understand the reformist elements that will force their way into our movement and effectively resist these, we will be transformed into a mere collection of antagonistic movements, each trying to save itself by converting the Hygienic movement into an outright reform movement.
The present prospects for a militant Hygiene are far from dark. But we must fully realize that if we are to take every advantage of the opportunities now presented to us, all of us must exert ourselves to our utmost capacities, energies and resources. We cannot, we dare not permit trivia and personalities to dominate our thinking and our acting in this time of crisis. He who thinks that the forces of organized medicine and the drug industry are too strong for us to overcome or who foolishly believes that the physicians themselves will change and do the work for us, is useless and spent. His own folly and inaction doom him and he thereby invites doom for the Hygienic movement, despite all of his protestations of loyalty to the principles and practices of Hygiene.
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