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Human Errors and
If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the
man who has so much as to be out of danger?
Thomas Huxley (1825-95)
When assessing any situation it should always be remembered that very often things are not always as they may at first seem. "There are more things than meet the eye." To err is human, and conclusions hastily arrived at often turn out to be wrong. The reason that the practice of medicine fails to accomplish its purpose--the elimination of human disease--is that its concepts are based, almost entirely, on false conclusions.
Take the case of an old lady who falls over one day and breaks a hip bone. So? She fell over and broke her hip, isn't that obvious? But hold on a minute--the old lady has osteoporosis, her bones are brittle and weak, so weak in fact that the bone snapped under her weight and that's why she fell over. That's not so obvious. In any case, the bone was weak because it lacked calcium, so she is advised to drink lots of milk and take calcium tablets to strengthen her bones. That seems to make sense, but again, hold on a minute. The lady's diet already has as much calcium in it as anyone else's, so could there be another reason her bones are lacking in it? Yes, there is--the lady's lifelong diet was high in protein, which she had always been told was a good thing, but nobody told her that protein was acid forming in the body and in the amounts commonly consumed so much acid is formed that the body is forced to "borrow" calcium from the bones in order to neutralize it. That's why heavy protein-eaters get osteoporosis as they age, and why most vegetarians do not. Nobody told her either that the calcium from calcium tables does not strengthen the bones and that a lot of it, together with the fat in the milk, only helps to worsen her atherosclerosis which again due to her diet she would undoubtedly have.
It is commonly believed that heredity is a major factor in degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. That it is a major factor seems obvious when you can easily observe how these diseases run in families. But again, things are not always as they seem. just as different countries have different traditional foods, so too are family eating habits, acquired in childhood, passed on within families from generation to generation, and it is mainly by way of these passed on habits that a predisposition to a certain disease continues to run in families, not because of inherited characteristics. In Japan the incidence of stomach cancer is much higher than in the US, not because Japanese are more genetically prone to it than are Americans but because of their traditional highly salted diet. And in the US, colon (bowel) cancer and heart disease are much more common than in Japan, not because Americans are genetically prone to these diseases, but because of their traditional high-protein, high-fat diet. Therefore, a young Japanese who migrates to the US and adopts the American diet will have a very high chance of getting colon cancer and heart disease but a very low chance of getting stomach cancer, regardless of how many of his forebears back in Japan have died of stomach cancer.
But as the Japanese become wealthier and consume more and more meat in their diet, so their death rates from heart disease and colon cancer are gradually increasing.
In disease research there are always red herrings to lead us to wrong conclusions. Take lung cancer for instance. What causes lung cancer? Smoking? Sure, smokers are more prone to lung cancer--or any cancer--than non-smokers, but how is it that the Japanese, who are heavier smokers than Europeans and Americans, have a much lower incidence of lung cancer? Answer: because the traditional Japanese diet is very low in fat and cholesterol, and this answer was proved many years ago in a Chicago study of 876 smokers which showed that smokers with cholesterol levels over 7.1 mmol/l (275 m/%) had a lung cancer rate seven times higher than smokers with levels below 5.8 (225 m/%), and for those smokers with cholesterol levels below 3.9 (150) the lung cancer rate was zero. Same thing with skin cancer. The rate of skin cancer has increased over the years, not because the sun has become hotter, but because of a higher consumption of fat, protein and cholesterol. It is the increased toxemia and reduced blood circulation to the tissues resultant to these dietary errors that render the tissue cells unhealthy and pre-cancerous, whereupon some form of local irritation or injury may trigger them to become cancerous. In the case of lung cancer and skin cancer it is the smoke and sunshine, respectively, that provide the trigger action.
Diabetes is another example of jumping to false conclusions. When in 1889 it was demonstrated in medical experiments that dogs with their pancreas removed immediately displayed the symptoms of diabetes, and when in 1921 it was discovered that the hormone insulin injected into such dogs removed the symptoms, it became clear to the researchers that diabetes was a disease caused by a defective pancreas not producing enough insulin. Since then the standard treatment for diabetes has been the injection of insulin by hypodermic needle. Simple. In this way diabetics can lead fairly normal lives but, although their lives are extended, diabetics are still very prone to blindness and fatal circulatory disorders. If insulin is not the answer to diabetes but only a crutch to keep diabetics going, then what is the answer?
The answer has been known for over one hundred years and is easy to understand once all the factors are taken into account. The elevated blood sugar which is the main indicator of diabetes shows that the sugar which the body desperately needs is there in plenty but something is preventing the body using it. Medical training tells doctors that the problem is lack of insulin from a defective pancreas, despite the fact it has long been known that most diabetics produce normal or even greater amounts of insulin. Obviously the answer to the problem lies somewhere else.
Over one hundred years ago, Louis Kuhne of Germany and other perceptive doctors like Charles de Lacy Evans and Emmet Densmore of England and Edward Dewey of the USA* were successfully "curing" diabetics of their problem by dietary means, it being obvious to them that diabetes was mainly a dietary problem. It was no coincidence that with the disappearance of the patients' diabetic symptoms so too did other symptoms of disease disappear. Dr Albert Schweitzer was a diabetic and his wife had tuberculosis. In 1928 both were "cured" of their diseases by Dr Max Gerson using the diet which he had found so effective in curing lupus and cancer. (See The Health Revolution and Improving on Pritikin by Ross Horne.)
*Louis Kuhne, author of The New Science of Healing; Charles de Lacy Evans, author of How to Prolong Life; Emmet Densmore, author of How Nature Cures; Edward Dewey, author of The True Science of Living.
In the 1920s it was discovered that the main factor in preventing the metabolism of blood sugar in the presence of normal insulin was too much fat in the blood, and in 1936 Dr I.M. Rabinowitch of Canada presented 1000 case studies demonstrating this to the Diabetic Association in Boston, whose only action was to ignore them. Other studies showed that fit young athletes could be made diabetic in only two days on a diet loaded with fat and protein and just as quickly normalized when the excess fat and protein were eliminated. Stress and inactivity were exacerbating factors. Only when Nathan Pritikin dug out this information in the 1960s was it put to good use, when Pritikin later demonstrated that eighty per cent of long-term diabetics put on a low-fat diet could be taken off their medication entirely in less than four weeks. Since then, in Australia, tests have demonstrated that diabetic, city-dwelling Aboriginals, when relocated in their tribal lands and resuming their native diet, quickly become completely free of diabetes.
In 1852 Dr A. Coccius published data on the association of "agglutinated" blood with human disease, and in the 1940s Dr Melvin Knisely of the University of Chicago published a series of papers describing the association of "sludged" blood with over fifty common degenerative diseases. Other doctors like Meyer Friedman of San Francisco and Leopold Dintenfas of Sydney have over the last thirty years published similar findings showing "high viscosity" blood to be involved with degenerative diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis. Routine everyday blood tests show that high sedimentation rates (ESR) and high platelet adhesion index (PAI), which reflect high blood viscosity, accompany chronic diseases. Medical journals have published information describing how heart patients maintained for years on digitalis to enhance their blood flow suffer only one tenth the cancer incidence of comparable patients not on digitalis. Observe how patients too ill to eat for a few days rapidly improve, only to deteriorate when their appetite for a "good dinner" returns.
Toxemia, blood sludge, high blood viscosity--if doctors are aware of it at all, their medical training leads them to believe the condition is resultant of the "disease", when in fact it is the other way around--it is the disease. How impure, sludged blood results in the individual symptoms called arthritis, hypertension and so on I have described in detail in my book The Health Revolution, and the proof that the principles of natural health work is contained in the sheaves of letters sent me by grateful people now free of their problems.
By now the reader may suspect that all medical theory is based on false conclusions drawn without complete appraisal of the available evidence, and it is the author's aim to demonstrate this is the case, not only in regard to degenerative and metabolic diseases but also in regard to so-called infectious diseases, including AIDS. The puzzlement of medical scientists struggling today to "defeat" AIDS, hepatitis, leukemia and so on is the same puzzlement that confounded the medical scientists a hundred years ago in their attempts to solve the problem of beriberi, and the puzzlement will continue as long as they continue to repeat the same 100-year-old mistake . . .
Beriberi is a disease characterized by weakness, nervous disorders, a swollen liver, weight loss, paralysis and impaired heart action. Until well into the 20th Century beriberi caused untold loss of life mainly in Asia and the East Indies, where rice forms the basis of the traditional diet. In 1878 Pasteur had announced his germ theory of disease, and so convincingly did he present it that it quickly found acceptance in the French Academy of Science and in a short time became part of established medical dogma around the world. From this time on, medical research became almost entirely directed into identifying which germ caused which disease so that a vaccine could be manufactured to defeat the germ and cure the disease. It was at this very time the Dutch government was concerned about the enormous death toll from beriberi in their colonies, and the Japanese navy was likewise concerned about the heavy losses of seamen from the same cause, and great efforts were being made to identify the germ responsible. However, in Java in 1887 it was discovered by a young physician, Christiaan Eijkman, that beriberi was not caused by a germ at all but by a diet deficiency correctable by eating unpolished rice instead of polished rice, and in Japan at the same time a naval physician, Kanehiro Takaki, made the same discovery. The problem of beriberi was solved, except for one thing--nobody took any notice because the medical establishment decreed a germ was responsible and a germ must be found.
Unfortunately for Eijkman (and a lot of other people), his superior, Professor Pekalharing, had already in 1887 discovered a germ he claimed caused beriberi, which he called the "bacillus beriberi"; there were other similar claims as well. To quote researcher James Le Fanu: "Glockner identified an amoeba, Thaardo a haematozoan, Pereira a spherical micro-organism, Durham a looped streptococcus, Taylor a spirillum, Winkler a staphylococcus, and Dangerfield an aerobic micrococcus." In addition, in 1901 Van de Scheer reported a virus, and in 1903 Maurex discovered a "fungus". Each of these researchers was convinced the germ they had found was the cause of beriberi, and every one of them was mistaken.
It was Casimer Funk in 1911 who extracted the mysterious factor from rice bran that prevented beriberi, but for many more years the death toll continued in Asia and the Philippines and as late as 1925, thirty-eight years after Kanehiro Takaki's discovery, beriberi was still causing 15,000 deaths per year in Japan. The concept of deficiency diseases was eventually accepted in medical circles in about 1929, and it was in 1934 that chemist R.R. Williams of the USA isolated Funk's X factor from rice bran and called it thiamine, or vitamin B<FONTSIZE=21.
The same story can be told about scurvy, the disease that destroyed thousands of seafarers until authorities realized that Captain Cook was right in feeding his men lime juice and green vegetables. And the same story is that of the disease rickets, shown by French physician Armand Trousseau to be preventable by taking fish liver oil. For many years after these discoveries it was still thought in medical circles that the diseases were attributable to germs.
Some diseases of dietary origin are caused by an effect similar to outright poisoning. Gluten in wheat severely affects some people and no doubt in some degree is harmful to everybody, but the chemical make up of corn is worse. Pellagra is a disease common among people whose diet is based heavily on corn and corn products, and is characterized by soreness of the mouth and tongue, inflammation of the digestive tract, diarrhea, mental disturbances and discoloration of the skin. As far back as 1735 it was known in Europe that pellagra resulted from a diet mainly of corn, and yet in 1914 the death rate from pellagra among the poverty-stricken sharecroppers in south-eastern USA, who were dependent on corn for food, reached 1000 per month with the medical profession continuing to insist the disease was caused by germs. It was only in 1916 when Dr Joseph Goldberger of the US Public Health Service injected himself with a solution made from the scabs of pellagra patients, with no subsequent ill effects, that the germ theory was finally ruled out--that is, for pellagra. It has been shown since then that corn is not only deficient in many nutritional aspects, but at the same time contains an unidentified substance toxic in the body.
The germ theory is a deficient theory because it only seems to work part of the time while for most of the time it doesn't hold at all, whether either germs or viruses are the objects of suspicion. There are many different viruses associated with the common cold,* but not everyone exposed to them gets a cold. There is a germ associated with tuberculosis, but few people exposed to it get tuberculosis. There are a number of different bacteria associated with cholera,** but not everybody exposed to them gets cholera. There are viruses associated with hepatitis, germs and viruses associated with venereal diseases and so on, but not everyone contacting these germs and viruses gets the disease they are supposed to. Some do, some don't.
*Tests in which cold viruses have been inserted directly into the nasal passages of volunteer subjects showed that colds could be passed from one person to another, depending on the fitness of the recipient. In one test with twelve volunteers, 33-1/3 per cent developed colds, in another with thirty-six subjects, 42 per cent developed colds, and in a group of thirty-six students, only 2.8 per cent developed colds.
**Susceptibility to cholera (see Chapter 5) varies widely and is markedly influenced by predisposing factors such as low gastric acidity, pre-existing gastro-intestinal disorders and alcoholism.
When the germ theory was first promulgated, Robert Koch (1843-1910), * the famous bacteriologist of the 19th Century, laid down a set of rules called Koch's Postulates which had to be met in order to prove a certain germ caused a certain disease. The postulates were:
*Robert Koch discovered the germ associated with anthrax in cattle, and the germs held responsible for tuberculosis and cholera in humans.
But when these rules were rigidly applied it was apparent that the germ theory was inconsistent, as we have seen, so the third postulate was changed to saying the germ had to produce the original disease in a susceptible new host.
With the addition of the single word "susceptible" the entire concept of the germ theory is changed. The accent is taken away from the germ and placed on the word susceptibility, not only susceptibility of the second host but also that of the first host-in other words, for a germ to cause a disease in anybody, at any time, it can only do so if the person is susceptible. Thus Koch agreed with his friend Pasteur who, before he died, admitted that "Bernard was right, the germ is nothing, the milieu is everything. "
So having come to agreement that germs and viruses pose a threat only to susceptible subjects, it remains only to clarify what susceptible means. Susceptibility is a condition of lowered health and vitality which exists when the homeostasis of the body becomes disharmonised due to undesirable changes in the milieu interieur . As the milieu interieur changes rapidly for better or worse according to what is eaten and many other factors, so susceptibility may vary or be chronic, which explains why some sick people go 'in and out of remission' and why some remain chronic.
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From all of the past errors in medical thinking, what good, if any, has eventuated? Not much. The medical establishment is not even aware it may be on the wrong track, and that is the biggest error of all. Medical thinking is still disease/cure oriented instead of lifestyle/health oriented. Medical researchers, bankrupt of results, still deliver promises only: "imminent breakthroughs", "exciting new prospects", "in less than ten years", etc, while others, weary of being confused by viruses, now seek to track down the "defective genes" that "cause the immune system to turn against itself". And so on. The show goes on, it is a flop, and the tickets are expensive.
Whereas the purpose of this chapter has been to highlight some of the gross errors in thinking upon which current medical practice is still based, the reason for doing this is to instil in the minds of everyone the deepest suspicion of all forms of medical treatment and all statements and claims issued from the entrenched medical establishment, the members of which, by and large, are as deluded by their own mumbo jumbo as those they feed it to in good faith.
The worst part of the tragedy is not that people die long before their appointed potential span is up, but that so many suffer so much mental and physical distress before they do so. Life is not meant to be like that, but it will always be so while we wallow in ignorance.
The reader will no doubt have found some of the foregoing disclosures surprising, even hard to believe, but others equally surprising are yet to follow, which all put together prove one thing at least: which is, in the words of Dr William Roe of New Zealand from his book Science in Medical Practise (1984):
"No more than a superficial acquaintance with anthropology, ethnology, or history is required for it to become apparent that the need to indulge in fantasy is deeply ingrained in man. Indeed it seems the most distinctive (and perhaps the most dangerous) characteristic of that species of the genus Homo we conceitedly label Sapiens is not his wisdom but his reluctance to admit ignorance. Rather than do so, he is prone to posit an hypothesis and, all too frequently in the absence of supporting evidence, comes to believe it. Thus are myths created."
The myth of germs and viruses as primary disease agents has existed now for over 100 years. Viruses now take the spotlight. Billions of dollars have been spent trying to annihilate them before they annihilate us! The common cold, herpes, hepatitis, glandular fever, AIDS--all defy medical science. The hepatitis C virus is the latest one to gain the distinction of "deadly". Who is at risk from "deadly" hepatitis C? Why, none other than intravenous drug users, people who have had blood transfusions, renal dialysis patients and--wait for it--male homosexuals! These are the sort of people who get AIDS: their immune systems are low, they are susceptible people.
When will the penny drop? The reason modern medicine cannot "cure" viral diseases is that they are not caused by viruses. The viruses are there all right but, in the words of Dr Richard Ablin (see Chapter 8), "they may turn out to be passengers on an already sinking ship".
The same confusion that confounded medical research in the past still exists today about viruses and their association with hepatitis, herpes, the common cold and various other symptoms contained in the AIDS problem. These so-called agents of disease are, like the, germs of cholera, tuberculosis and beriberi, certainly to be found in sick people but they are no more the direct cause of the disease than flies are the cause of garbage. So is explained how various microbes and viruses are often detectable living acquiescently in the blood of healthy people, even newborn babies, whose future health will be determined not by the whims of the microbes, but by how well or badly the people treat their own bodies along the way.