More than two-thousand years ago Hippocrates was the first physician to issue a word of caution about the over-use of medicines. Hippocrates invoked an oath to “first do no harm” before doctors reach for the latest nostrum.
In 1976 Austrian philosopher and Catholic priest Ivan Illich, in his book Medical Nemesis, launched what was then considered “the gravest health hazard we face today: our medical system.”
Illich was unforgiving. The first sentence in his text reads: “The medical establishment has become a major threat to health.” His second sentence: “The disabling impact of professional control over medicine has reached the proportions of an epidemic.” Readers needn’t have read another sentence but to obtain the details.
Illich went on to say: “The public has been alerted to the perplexity and uncertainty of the best among its hygienic caretakers…. the pioneers of yesterday’s so-called breakthroughs warn their patients against the dangers of the miracle cures they have only just invented.”
Illich didn’t suggest the public panic over this revelation but rather that public discussion ensue. Illich thought “the layman and not the physician has the potential perspective and effective power to stop the current iatrogenic (physician-caused) epidemic.”
Illich concluded that the misdirection of modern medicine “can be reversed only through a recovery of the will to self-care among the laity, and through the legal, political and institutional recognition of the right to care, which imposes limited upon the professional monopoly of physicians.”
That self-care revolution never happened. Ivan Illich’s urgent plea for the public to back away from “cut, burn and poison” medicine was not heeded. The practice of medicine has become more complex and more beyond the reach of the laity to understand it. Just run to the doctor for what ails you is the order of the day.
Confessions of a medical heretic
Then in 1979 came Dr. Robert S. Mendesohn’s memorable text: Confessions Of A Medical Heretic.”
It took a lot for Dr. Mendelsohn to become a medical heretic. He says he failed to be suspicious of oxygen therapy for prematurely born infants even when 90% of all low birth-weight infants became partially or totally blind (in less advanced hospitals where oxygen therapy was not practiced, the incident of blindness among preemies was ~10%).
He dutifully prescribed Terramycin for respiratory infections which was said to produce no side effects until it was realized this antibiotic did little for this type of infection and left thousands of children with yellow-green teeth and tetracycline deposits in their bones.
Dr. Mendelsohn confessed to his belief in the irradiation of tonsils under the mistaken assumption doses of radiation used were harmless. A decade later thyroid tumors were cropping up among those irradiated patients.
Over time Dr. Mendelsohn became a full-blown medical heretic. He said: “Despite all the super technology and elite bedside manner that’s supposed to make you feel about as well cared for as an astronaut on the way to the moon, the greatest danger to your health is the doctor who practices modern medicine.”
Mendelsohn went on to boldly say “that more than ninety percent of modern medicine could disappear from the face of the earth – doctors, hospitals, drugs and equipment – and the effect on our health would be immediate and beneficial.”
How prophetic Dr. Mendelsohn was. His words are so descriptive of the present predicament.
“If you make the mistake of going to the doctor with a cold or the flu, he’s liable to give you antibiotics, which are not only powerless against colds and flu but which leave you more likely to come down with worse problems.”
“If your child is a little too peppy for his teacher to handle, your doctor may go too far and turn him into a drug dependent.”
“”If you’re foolish enough to make that yearly visit for a routine examination… the doctor’s very presence could raise your blood pressure enough so that you won’t go home empty handed. Another life ‘saved’ by antihypertensive drugs. Another sex life down the drain, since more impotence is caused by drug therapy than by psychological problems.”
Dr. Mendelson launched a war against modern medicine and said “you can tell when you’re winning this war when you influence those closest to you.”
That war has been lost. Most people who embrace natural medicine and shun doctors are outcasts in their own families.
Other books followed that cited the ongoing horrors of modern medicine:
1988: Medicine on Trial, by Charles B. Inlander
1988: Worse Than The Disease, by Diana B. Dutton
1992: Racketeering in Medicine, by James P. Carter MD
1993: Making Medicine, Making Money, by Donald Drake & Marian Uhlman
1994: Bitter Medicine, by Jane Kassler MD
1994: Why I Left Orthodox Medicine, by Derrick Lonsdale MD
2007: Overtreated, by Shannon Brownlee
2008: Overdosed America, John Abramson MD
2010: Overdiagnosed, H. Gilbert Welch MD
The result: only more caskets were being sold.
Does the written word make an impact any longer?
Does the written word change the course of humanity? Certainly the Bible has. Martin Luther’s 95 Theses did. But none of the texts cited above made even a dent in the “progress” of modern medicine’s assault against humanity.
A few years back someone cited these facts about book reading:
- One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives. …
- 58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
- 42% of college graduates never read another book.
- 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
- 70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
The pervasiveness of electronic methods of communication and the dissemination of propaganda and distorted reality of television has changed the course of history itself.
For example: “Television news” said the Gulf of Tonkin happened (no, there was any North Vietnam boat that shot at a US Navy ship), but off to war America went against a tiny nation the size of the State of Georgia and a population of just 16 million against a country of 200 million with advanced military weapons. Vietnam won.
The news media helped to fabricate the public’s perception of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Investigators who dared to stray into what really went occurred on that November day in 1963 suddenly died.
And so too, American news media, whose boards of directors are often laced with executives of pharmaceutical and health insurance companies and hospital chains, continues to almost copy word-for-word press releases issued by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, Food & Drug Administration that serve as a front for the racketeering going on in medicine today.
For example, the 2009 flu epidemic was never an epidemic. It was all fabricated by the Centers for Disease Control to help sell flu vaccines.
Belittle the competition
A secondary agenda is to use the news media to demean and belittle any competition posed by healthy diets or dietary supplements. Why promote a low-carbohydrate diet when the next prescription diet pill garners millions of advertising dollars for TV networks?
A spate of recent news reports are now scaring Americans away from vitamin and herbal supplements at a time when millions of Americans suffer from conditions that are simply nutrient deficiencies. It is an orchestrated effort against self-care.
CODEX, a regulatory body assembled by the United Nations and the World Health Organization, has just voted to water down vitamin requirements in foods, thus ensuring a certain level of disease to treat.
We need diseases to create jobs
Government sees the medical industry as a source of jobs as the population ages. Why cure or prevent any chronic age-related diseases when a certain level of disease is needed to maintain jobs? Health care costs are not deemed to be an expense but rather an industry that contributes to the Gross Domestic Product. In reality, it is a $3 trillion drag on the economy that has not produced greater life expectancy (US life expectancy ranks 27th out of 34 countries deemed to be economic peers). Life expectancy in some US counties is no better than some third-world countries.
The masses have little choice because they have no money. An estimated 53% of American workers make no more than $30,000 a year and the growth in part-time jobs is soaring above full-time employment. A $30,000 annual salary may have been adequate in 1980 but due to inflation one would have to make $85,000 to have the same purchasing power today. The people have no money to make choices outside those served up by the health insurance/ physician/ Big Pharma/ hospital chain cabal. Fascist (industry-controlled) medicine prevails.
For now, it’s every man for himself.