Germs, Infection, Resistance & Immunity

Source: The Hygienic System: Orthopathy by Dr. Herbert M. Shelton. Dr. Shelton was an American alternative medicine advocate, author, pacifist, vegetarian, and supporter of raw foodism and fasting cures, so some of his treatments should not be followed. However, the following chapters from his book are very enlightening.

Dr. Shelton also refers to John Tilden, MD (1851–1940), who wrote the book Toxemia.

Noteable Quotes from this Text

  • Germs, Part 2:
    • … germs live off of dead matter …
    • In the septic tank, sewerage is reduced by them [germs] until it finally passes out pure water in which fish may live.
    • … they [germs] are purifying and beneficial agents.
    • Germs do not, cannot, attack healthy tissue. They are … scavengers, and are busily engaged in reducing dead organic matter to the dust from whence it came.
    • From the stand-point of Natural Science, germs cannot be regarded as the cause of “disease,” for, if they are, we should all be the victims of one or more germs at all times.
    • If bacteria can attack and kill healthy tissues, organs and organisms, then it should not be long before these bacteria shall have destroyed all the higher forms of life and have the world to themselves.
    • If the bungling “scientific” man does not check the flow of healing serum with astringent antiseptics and obstructive dressings, healing will be by first-intention–Nature’s way.
    • When digestion is normal, the bacillus is utilized as food along with the lobster. All of the digestive juices are germicidal and normal digestion digests germs as readily as it does apples or bread.

     

  • Germs, Part 3
    • … [germ] attempts to assist in the removal of undesirable material by liquifying it.
    • Bacterial toxins are metabolic products of bacterial activity, their character being determined by the feeding habits of the patient.
    • The germ is a busy body waiting everywhere for organic matter to give him a job by fertilizing the soil in which he likes to play and work,” says Dr. Weger.
  • Germs, Part 4
    • If in diphtheria, the bacillus is not found, the illness is renamed something else,” says the Encyclopedia Britannica.
  • Germs, Part 6
    • If germs cause “disease” why don’t they produce “disease” in a healthy body?
    • How foolish, then, to look for the “infectious agent” and ignore the circumstances which disarm the body against microbic invasion. It is difficult to understand why a whole profession has gone insane on the subject of germs, to the utter neglect of those states of metabolism and nutrition which when vitiated, constitute the open sesame to germ invasion.”
    • The researchers have falsely and wickedly heralded the fear-engendering story that the world is teeming with a host of vicious microscopical and ultra-microscopical beings against which no amount of integrity is a shield and the ravages of which we can escape only by placing ourselves in bondage–a servitude born of fear–to the man with the squirt gun and hollow needle.
    • An unreasoning way to rid the victim of germs and parasites is to destroy them with germicides and parasiticides. After killing them off what is to be done about the habitat–the patient? The belief that germs can be killed inside the body is untenable, for any chemical that destroys micro-organisms also destroys the body. Even if medical men are still trying to kill “venereal germs” with drugs, the fact still remains that they damage their patients more than they do the germs.
    • Neither the pueumococcus nor the tubercle baccillus can be killed in situ [on site]; but if they could, what of it? To kill or remove an effect leaves the cause as active as before. To kill the germs without removing the liability-engendering morbidity is to leave the body open for further “invasion.” Nothing is really gained.
    • There is much evidence to show that the use of germicides actually lowers resistance to germs. One example will suffice. Carbolic acid kills germs– human blood kills germs. But if carbolic acid is added to blood, it destroys the blood’s defenses so that germs grow more rapidly.
  • Infection
    • Germs do not become toxic until they get into a toxic environment.
    • Infection or sepsis is generated by the decomposition–fermentation and putrefaction–of dead animal and vegetable substances and secretions. We hold to the theory of the Unity of Infection. Infection is due to the absorption of decaying animal or vegetable matter and is always the same in whatever part of the body it takes place.
    • The deadly germ on the hands, lips, drinking cups, hanging straps of street cars– in fact, found anywhere and everywhere–is not deadly until it gets mixed up with man’s deadly, dirty, filthy physical and mental habits.” Germs do not become toxic until they get into a toxic environment.
    • Before a morbid process can evolve, the power of the part or of the body as a whole to generate its own immunizing agents must be broken down or overwhelmed.
  • Resistance & Immunity
    • The whole immunizing theory is a vicious circle, and is annulled by the facts that when people do not live in a manner to enervate and check elimination, they do not become infected; and when infected, if they overcome enervation they rid themselves of infection, and stay rid of it.
    • Malnutrition always causes lowered resistance and it is safe to say that no person ever suffers from “infections” and “contagions” who has been adequately nourished.
    • Some “infections” are said to confer immunity; some make one more susceptible; some confer lasting immunity; others confer immunity for only a limited time; some confer full immunity; others only make future “attacks” less severe. It is doubtful that biologic law is so chaotic as this indicates. I prefer to think there is something wrong with the theory.
    • The theory that “disease” immunizes against itself is very old, having existed in folk-lore for ages. There is not the slightest evidence that it is true, but the medical profession has accepted it and built a very remunerative practice thereon.
    • What is “immunity?” We contend that it is health–that health gives the best immunity against “bacterial diseases.
    • The gist of the whole theory [immunity theory], and both the ancient logical but barbaric and the modern scientific practices based thereon, is that, in order to be immune to “disease,” we must first become “diseased,” or, as it is now taught, have an animal become “diseased” for us–a form of vicarious salvation. Immunity, in this theory, does not depend on health, nor upon the causes of health, but upon “disease” and the causes of “disease.
    • The truth in a nutshell is that the so-called infections are autogenerated (generated by the body itself), and are avoidable by rational living.

Germs, Part 1

The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, March 12, 1924, in an editorial entitled “New Conceptions of Disease and Treatment,” discusses the trend away from bacteriology and the laboratory specialist and toward bio-chemistry and a return to clinical methods and says: “The reason, therefore, of an eclipse or partial eclipse of bacteriology may be found in the belief that this branch of medicine, if it has not come exactly to a blind alley, has at least come to a halt ***. There are signs, more or less vague as yet, that new conceptions of disease are arising, although such views are themselves nebulous. It is thought by some that there is more or less fundamental unity of disease, and that many of the nosological labels attached to them are superfluous and confusing.”

If there is a “fundamental unity of disease,” as we have proclaimed for over a hundred years, there are no specific “diseases” requiring specific germs to cause them. With the recognition of the unity of pathology all ideas of specific causation will die a natural death.

There seems also to be a fundamental unity of bacterial life. The many forms of bacteria known are easily transmuted back and forth into one form or another. It has long been known that so-called “pathogenic bacteria are not organisms with special features, but that each is a member of a group of organisms possessing closely allied characters.” Their characters are not stable and comparatively slight changes in their environment cause modifications in them. The cultural and microscopic character of “pathogenic” and non-pathogenic bacteria of the same group are so similar that differentiating them is often extremely difficult. The “pathogenic” bacteria have “acquired” their “pathogenic” properties “in many instances” to a very slight degree and some of these characters are not permanent. So-called specific germs are “specific” only so long as their food supply is specific.

Prof. J. G. Adami, perhaps the greatest pathologist of his time, issued a book in 1918 under the title, Medical Contributions to the Study of Evolution, in which he advanced the theory that all bacteria change with their environment so that the “most virulent disease-creating microbe,” “fatal to humanity,” may develop into a harmless or perfectly innocuous one and vice-versa, by feeding it upon different food stuffs in different surroundings. He says, “We can take a culture of streptococci so weak that only the most susceptible animals are influenced by it, and so augment the virulence that eventually the 100th or 1000th of a drop of a twelve-hour culture, or even much less than this, may cause the death of strong adults in six hours or less.”

Dr. Rosenow, of the Mayo Foundation, performed some work with bacteria that is to the point. His transmutation of the organism of the pneumococcus group is a classic. He succeeded over and over again in bringing about a change from a streptococcus organism to a pneumococcus organism, and back again to a streptococcus; or he could run these around through any one of a number of different strains, or even types, and then bring them back to the type they were before, by following a routine of culture and animal inoculations. It is, therefore, possible to have a streptococcus of one type in an original “focus,” which may produce somewhere else in that same body, perhaps, a pneumococcus or a streptococcus of a different type.

Sir Wm. Power, British Medical Officer of the Local Government Board, was asked before the Royal Commission on Vivisection what he meant by “a definite specific organism.” He replied, “A definite organism which will react always in a certain way to a certain series of culture tests.” When asked what “diseases” are associated with organisms for which such a test has been established, he replied: “I cannot say that we have got to that stage with any one of them.”

Before a convention of the Association of American Physicians, Atlantic City, May 16, 1938, Dr. Hobart A. Reinmann, professor of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, described his observations of the activities of an organism known as micrococcus tetragenus for a period of four years, during which time this germ turned itself into fifteen distinct forms, when its food supply was changed. Allbutt and Rolleton say, “It is thus possible that the pathogenic bacteria have all been derived from non-pathogenic forms.”–System of Medicine, Vol. II, part 2.

Should not such a discovery as this shake the structure of the specificity of the so-called “germ diseases” to its very foundation? There is nothing strange or mysterious in the discovery of these simple truths by the learned germ theorists, but why do they reach no simple or logical conclusion from them? Is it because they are prepossessed with an illogical premise to begin with, and are blinded by the glare of their own spotlight?

When the history of microbes is finally written, it will reveal that the many varieties of bacteria now described are all derived from one or a few basic forms which are changed by changes in their food, temperature, etc. We believe that the countless varieties of practically all the “pathogenic bacteria” of today will finally be traced back to two or three common every-day ancestors. We are fully convinced that the multitude of species and types are but children of one union, sent out into their respective fields of activity to change their forms according to the demands of necessity and environmental dictates; that after their peculiar mission is fulfilled, they disappear, or assume the likeness and individuality of their prepotent sires, by retracing their steps successively by the same paths that were taken into their first field of operation.

We favor the view that the type of “disease” determines the morphology of the germ present and not vice-versa. Also, it is our contention that germs take on a form and character in keeping with the chemistry of their environment and that their supposed “specific” character and toxicity depend on their environment. There is every reason to believe that non-toxic bacteria become toxic in a septic environment [toxic rotting material]. They derive their characteristics of virulence or innocence from their environment. Non-toxic bacteria become toxic in a septic environment and vice versa. For instance, Sir Richard Douglas Powell, a leading English bacteriologist, stated a few years ago, that if tetanus and gas gangrene germs are washed clean and freed from their environment, they are quite harmless. It has been found impossible to “infect” animals with the spirochseta pallida, the supposed cause of “syphilis.” Infection can occur only when virus from a lesion is employed.

A germ is either toxic or it is not, and the fact that the supposed most malignant germs are found devoid of toxicity compels the conclusion that their toxicity is accidental and that its cause must be sought outside of themselves. When toxic germs become non-toxic the cause must be in their environment. When germs that are” ordinarily innocuous suddenly become actively virulent, it must be due to the fact that they have come in contact with an environment that evolves toxicity. “The incidence of contagion or communicability can be explained in this way.”

Germs, Part 2

Bacteria both lose, and at other times gain, a certain degree of virulence and toxicity. Since this is limited by the environment in which they live, it is natural to conclude that it is their environment that confers upon them their toxic nature and powers. But if germs are to be considered the cause of “disease,” they cannot lose their degree of virulence, and at the same time still maintain their power of infecting men in the manner that they are supposed to do–even granting such a thing to be possible.

Dr. Weger says: “Germs–bacteria of all kinds, in whatever disease they may be found–receive their virulence from the state and condition of the tissues themselves. This accounts for the fact that, when they are successfully grown on various culture-media of the same kind, they gradually lose their virulence, until they are altogether inert and fail to reproduce the reactions accredited to the original strain. No one so far as we know, has ever been able to reproduce an infectious disease by taking disease-producing germs from the normal air, and we defy the bacteriologists to prove that they can obtain filth from any other source than from filth itself. This is, indeed, a significant fact. If the germs are endowed with an original virulence and toxicity, they cannot produce disease unless their powers for infecting the body remain a permanent and invariable quantity. Everybody knows that such is not the case. For instance, people know that there are fifty varieties of bacteria in the human mouth.”

It is our advice to leave the poor bacteria alone. Settle once and for all the question of their function and mode of action, admit them to the symbiotic family of life, and leave them to their nefarious, or helpful work, and get after the real causes of their activity.

Germs are saprophytes; that is, they live off dead inorganic matter. They are omnipresent scavengers in Nature’s great laboratory, working over dead organic matter into forms appropriate to the nourishment of growing vegetation. They are essential nitrifying agents in the soil. Without them, neither plant nor animal could long exist and the earth would rapidly become encumbered with dead bodies.

In the septic tank, sewerage is reduced by them until it finally passes out pure water in which fish may live. From both the esthetic and economic viewpoints, they are benefactors. They are friends of higher life. We live in a balanced and inter-dependent world, which is too complex to ever fully understand, but our dependence upon the symbiotic support of germ life is, at least partly, known.

In the body germs break up and consume dead and dying cells and discharges from the tissues. They perform the same function in the body that is ascribed to them everywhere else in nature. Viewed from this angle, they are purifying and beneficial agents. “What a wonderful vista would unfold itself before our eyes,” says Dr. Weger, “were we to base our future germ investigations on the theory that, primarily, pathogenic organisms are our friends and not our enemies.”

Germs do not, cannot, attack healthy tissue. They are saprophytes, scavengers, and are busily engaged in reducing dead organic matter to the dust from whence it came. The mere fact that bacteria accompany a pathological process does not justify us in assuming that the microorganism is the primary factor in causation. If bacteria can attack and kill healthy tissues, organs and organisms, then it should not be long before these bacteria shall have destroyed all the higher forms of life and have the world to themselves.

Microbes are spread throughout nature, are ubiquitious in fact. Human groups swarm with them. They are in the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. We are reared in an environment laden with them. We cannot escape them. We can destroy them only to a limited extent. We must accept them as one of the joys of life. The modern theory of “disease” causation shuts its eyes to the sources of population; and overlooks the fact that natural children and pigs thrive on swill. “Children live in an atmosphere of germs and should be sick all the time if germs cause disease.”

Germ theorists estimate that an average of 14,000 germs pass into the nose in an hour’s breathing. In the subway and in a crowded building, we probably get this many into our noses in a few minutes. Many more are taken in in food and drink. Microbial populations abound throughout nature. Germs, in any location in which they are able to thrive, multiply so rapidly that they would produce more germs in a few days of their own activity than would be taken into the body in a year in the most germ-laden environment. From the stand-point of Natural Science, germs cannot be regarded as the cause of “disease,” for, if they are, we should all be the victims of one or more germs at all times.

The body is built to offer effective resistance to the entrance of germs. The unbroken skin not only prevents the microbes living on its surface from entering the organism, but it is capable of destroying them by means of substances secreted by its glands. The skin joins the mucosa at the nostrils, mouth, eyes, ears, anus, vagina and urethra. This mucous membrane, or internal skin, if unbroken, is impermeable to microbes while its normal secretions are germicidal. So long as the skin which covers man’s body and lines his cavities remains intact, germs have no influence on him; and when the skin is broken, the air and sunshine keep the broken surface dehydrated, and the germs fail to cause fermentation.

The microbe is washed to his destruction by a flood of serum that the powers of life send immediately to every abrasion, tear, or cut in the flesh of the body. If the bungling “scientific” man does not check the flow of healing serum with astringent antiseptics and obstructive dressings, healing will be by first-intention–Nature’s way.

The respiratory membranes allow oxygen to pass into the body, but exclude dust and microbes. The digestive membranes permit water and digested foods to enter the body, but resist the penetration of the bacteria that swarm in the digestive tract. Integrity of the respiratory and digestive membranes constitutes ample protection against bacterial invasion.

When health is normal the digestive secretions are sufficient protection against germs and parasites. Germs may cause putrefaction in a meal of lobsters when enervation prevents digestion; but when digestion is normal, the bacillus is utilized as food along with the lobster. All of the digestive juices are germicidal and the normal digestion digests germs as readily as it does apples or bread.

There is no susceptibility on the part of any healthy organ to bacterial injury. All of the body’s healthy secretions and the blood and lymph are antagonistic to bacterial life and activity. It is obvious that, living in a world swarming with microbes, if these cause “disease,” man must possess powerful resistance to them, else he would have perished long ago. Except for this resistance he could not live through infancy.

Germs, Part 3

If germs are powerless against a healthy body the logical preventive is the cultivation of health. If the body manufactures its own antiseptics and antitoxins it should be supplied with the proper elements of sun, air, water, food, exercise, rest, etc., out of which to build these protective potencies instead of being subjected to the present mad-house efforts to produce artificial immunity.

A certain or specific germ is said to cause a certain or “specific disease.” That this is not true is obvious from the fact that the germ is never the cause of “disease.” It may form one of the multiple factors that collectively constitute cause. For, as Pasteur, himself, said: “In a state of health the body is closed against the action of disease germs.” It is a mistake to single out one of the correlated factors that constitute cause and hold it responsible for pathology. Germs alone can no more produce pathology than a seed alone can produce a tree. Just as a seed must have a fertile soil, moisture, air, water, warmth and sunshine, if it is to grow into a tree, so the germ, if it is to add its complicating influence to an evolving pathology, must find certain essential conditions existing in the bodies of those it enters, before it can do the slightest harm. Normal nerve energy and pure blood–in a word, good health–are proof against germs of all kinds.

Tilden says: “Germs, like heat, cold, clothes, food, drink, and every other object in man’s environment, may become a secondary ally of toxemia; but none of the objects or elements in man’s environment can cause disease except as they may enervate the body, and check elimination of toxin, thereby super-saturating the blood with dead body-cells bringing on disease–the only disease, Toxemia.”–Critique, May 1937.

Impaired health provides the suitable soil in which germs thrive and grow. The soil is more important than the germ. Infection and degeneration can set in only when the soil is badly fertilized by inappropriate nutrition. Germs are immanent coagitators–always secondary; a possible reinforcing or contingent cause, but never an exciting or primary cause.

If germs are a cause, they do not constitute the cause of “disease.” If they require an ally, if antecedent conditions are essential to their work, they are, at most, but part of the cause of “disease,” and are never primary; probably they are not even secondary. Germs are assumed to be the cause, but any one element in a chain of causation may as reasonably be singled out as the cause. “The germ is a busy body waiting everywhere for organic matter to give him a job by fertilizing the soil in which he likes to play and work,” says Dr. Weger.

A universal cause comes first; then the ferment in the form of a germ gaining access to the weakened tissues, takes on activity and attempts to assist in the removal of undesirable material by liquifying it. The morbid material generated by this activity is more a byproduct of the disintegrating tissue than a virulent poison resulting from bacterial maliciousness. Germ activity, in this view, is an outside accessory that facilitates the removal of autogenerated filth.

If tissue loses its resistance, and impaired secretions are present, an otherwise harmless germ may thrive and produce poisons. Bacterial toxins are metabolic products of bacterial activity, their character being determined by the feeding habits of the patient. But the germ is never the cause, anymore than the germ associated with diphtheria is the cause of diphtheria. There must be a prepared soil for its propagation, and germs can only be secondary complications of a pre-existing toxemia. At most they may become an auxiliary cause, but not the primary cause. They may complicate when there is a perversion of chemistry.

But the germs of the so-called specific “diseases” never take on specificity until the vitality of the different tissues is lowered and nutrition perverted because of dysemia–the chemistry of the blood fails to supply the essential elements; then germs, previously innocent, take on virulency in keeping with the general enervation and systemic toxemia of the individual.

The Medical Journal and Record, March 17, 1926, says editorially, “Many acute and semi-acute diseases originate in the mouth, nose or throat by inhalation of microbes or germs there present which are excited into activity by causes as yet unknown. *** This seems to be the theory that is gaining in favor, that some unknown cause activates latent germs into activity.” First it is assumed that germs cause “disease,” then when it is found that the presence of germs does not produce “disease,” it is further assumed that another and unknown cause causes the germs to cause “disease,” but never that the unknown cause is the real cause of the pathology.

The best works on bacteriology declare that all the germs of a supposedly specific character are often found in people who do not have, have not had and do not subsequently develop the “disease” which they– the germs–are supposed to produce. Do germs cause infection part of the time and fail to do so the rest of the time? If so, are there some individuals whom they never attack and others whom they never immunize? If germs create “immunity,” as serologists claim, why are there “chronic infections”? “What causes the “chronic infection”?

Sir Wm. Osier says: “The presence of the Klebs-Loeffler bacillus is regarded by bacteriologists as the sole criterion of true diphtheria and as this organism may be associated with all grades of throat affections, from a simple catarrh to a sloughing gangrenous process, it is evident that in many instances there will be a striking discrepancy between the clinical and the bacteriological diagnosis.” Here we have it stated by the very highest medical authority that diphtheria germs may be present in the throats of those who are sick (have simple catarrh and other affections) without producing diphtheria. The Lancet (Dec. 10, 1927) stated that of 772 cases admitted to the Birmingham hospital in all of which the bacteriological report was positive, 391–about 50 percent–showed no clinical evidence of diphtheria. It should be evident that something more than germs is essential to the development of diphtheria.

Pathologists report finding diphtheria germs in from 7 to 15 percent of the throats of healthy persons they examined, while this germ has been found in skin “diseases,” emphysematous Kings, vaccine pustules, puerperal fever, pyorrhea, eczema, leprosy, “rabies,” and other conditions remote from diphtheria. Dr. Hitter demonstrated the diphtheria bacillus in the throats of 127 school children when no diphtheria was present.

What is true of diphtheria germs is true of the germs of tuberculosis, typhoid fever, pneumonia, or any other so-called “disease.” They are found in the mouth, throat, air passages, stomach and intestines of those who do not have, have not had, and do not subsequently develop the “diseases” these germs are supposed to cause.

Germs, Part 4

The hemolytic streptococcus is a micro-organism with the reputation of being a dangerous invader of the human body. It is considered a real menace to health. Observations have verified the fact that this germ is frequently harbored by the well and the sick. Because it is harbored by the well, it is said “unsuspected dissemination becomes a serious possibility.” Fifty percent of normal throats are said to harbor these germs. Ninety percent of normal persons harbor them in their tonsils; in eighty percent of normal persons they are found in the depths of the tonsils; in one hundred percent of normal persons they are found in the crypts of the tonsils. It is remarkable that any of us are alive.

Large numbers of streptococci must be constantly passing into the alimentary tract. Furthermore, these same and other “dangerous types of bacteria” can reach the stomach through the medium of food. But hemolitic streptococci are not found in the, feces. They are even absent from the feces of scarlet fever patients, who almost always harbor large number of these organisms in the throat. What becomes of these hemolitic streptococci? Are they readily destroyed by some protective mechanism in this part of the body? Gastric juice of normal acidity kills streptococci in five minutes. It has also been scientifically proved that hemolytic streptococci do not thrive in a fecal mixture at body temperature. The germ is not, therefore, primarily responsible for enteric disturbances.

“Carriers” are individuals, more or less healthy, who harbor and spread the germs of some “disease.” We are told that every epidemic develops a number of “carriers.” These people, while accused of harboring germs of “disease” do not themselves have the “disease.” They are declared to be immune. Yet if it were possible to prove it, many so-called carriers die in every epidemic. These are the subjects medical writers refer to when they tell about how the “flu” epidemic carried off the strong and robust rather than the more delicate and less robust.

The condition named “carrier” is gastro-intestinal decomposition. The germs live and grow in the weakened digestive tract. Impaired secretions permit them to thrive there. When one is enervated, and has his powers of secretion and excretion impaired–when the body’s digestive functions have given out–the body loses protective power and germs develop in the digestive tract and produce decomposition.

The man who has built himself into a seething compost is in line for developing any of the so-called communicable diseases. The condition can be corrected.

Doctors are the worst “carriers”–mental carriers. They spread not germs, but the fear of germs. Fear breaks down resistance–enervates. Enervation permits germs to live and grow.

If a germ is the specific cause of “disease,” it “will always cause “disease”; but if it is found in health and “disease,” which proves that it needs an ally, the germ cannot be regarded as cause. If typhoid, diphtheria, cholera, pneumonia and other so-called “infectious diseases” are solely the result of microbes, and microbes are everywhere, and microbe carriers are in every community, if they are found in people who have not had and do not subsequently develop the “infection” the microbe is supposed to produce, how can we attribute these conditions to microbes? Human groups swarm with tubercle bacilli. They are found in many kinds of food. In spite of this, not every one develops tuberculosis. The robust and vigorous laugh at these little fellows.

The supposed causitive germs of so-called “disease” are not only found in those who do not have the “disease,” but they are frequently missing from those who do have the “disease.” The presence of a cause without its “disease” and the existence of a “disease” without its cause, is the equivalent of effectless causes and causeless effects. Nowhere outside of medical science are such things possible.

“If in diphtheria, the bacillus is not found, the illness is renamed something else,” says the Encyclopedia Britannica. Dr. Beddow Bayly says that the diphtheria bacillus is missing in 14 percent of cases of clinical diphtheria. (London Lancet, Sept. 1898) ; the Report of the Royal Commission on Vivisection (1912) says this germ is absent in 20 percent.

Of such cases, while Sir Wm. Osier reports them to be absent in 28 to 40 percent of cases. A few years ago the British Ministry of Health instructed physicians thus: “The notification of cases of diphtheria under the Infectious Disease Acts, should be limited to persons actually suffering from diphtheria, i.e., those exhibiting clinical signs of the disease, with or without bacterial evidence of its presence.”

During the 1918-19 influenza epidemic the profession was forced to abandon Pfeiffer’s bacillus as the cause of influenza. It was often absent where it should not have been, that is, it was not associated with clinically diagnosed influenza, and it had the additional bad habit of appearing unaccountably in the throats and secretions of healthy persons. Indeed this germ was found in the sputum of 35 percent of 132 normally healthy men examined at Camp Pike.

Walter R. Hadwen, M.D., M.R.O.S., of England, in a lecture at a public meeting in Los Angeles, California, June 16, 1921, quoted Dr. Muthu of the Mendip Hill Sanatorium, who, he said is “perhaps one of the most experienced men in tuberculosis,” in England, as saying, “In fifty percent of his cases he could not find tubercle bacilli at all.” Dr. Hadwen himself declared: “Nobody has ever found a tubercle bacillus in the earliest stages of tuberculosis.” It is stated by good authority that the germs sometimes put in their appearance only after the tuberculosis has existed for two years, and that in some cases they cannot even be found after death. It must be evident that tuberculosis is not due to germs.

Germs are rarely found in cases of the most fatal types of tuberculosis–the so-called hasty or galloping consumption. On the other hand, those cases of tuberculosis in which large quantities of bacilli are found are usually the chronic types and frequently end in recovery.

Strangely enough, the very “diseases”–colds, scarlet fever, measles, chicken pox and small pox, to mention only a few–which afford the most favorable field for study, are just the ones in which the causal organism is unknown.

All efforts to produce so-called “specific diseases” in man by introducing germs into the body have failed. There was the celebrated attempt of Dr. Waite to kill Colonel Peck. Waite fed his victim cultures of all the supposed “disease” producing germs that he could secure, both home grown and imported. These cultures included cultures of the germs of the most “deadly diseases” known, but Colonel Peck seemed to thrive on them. Waite was finally forced to resort to chloroform and a pillow to get his victim out of the way.

Germs, Part 5

Dr. Pettenkofer, professor of bacteriology, at the university of Vienna, reached the conclusion that germs do not cause “disease.” One day, while instructing his class in the bacteriological laboratory, he startled his students by picking up a glass containing millions of living cholera bacilli and swallowed the entire contents before the astonished students. De Kruif says ‘There were enough millions of wriggling comma germs in this tube to infect a regiment, but Pettenkofer only growled through his beard: ‘Now let us see if I get cholera.’ ”

“Mysteriously, nothing happened and the failure of the mad Pettenkofer to come down with cholera remains to this day an enigma without even the beginning of an explanation.”

Dr. Thomas Powell, who died a few years ago in California in his eightieth year, is thought to have taken more germs than any other man. Years ago he challenged his medical colleagues to produce a single “disease” in him by germ inoculation. For years many of the germ theorists did their best to silence this discordant note. Cholera germs, bubonic plague germs and germs of every description were innoculated into his body and fed to him in every kind of food. Again and again they scraped his throat raw and painted it with diphtheria germs. But in all these many efforts, not once did they succeed in producing a single “disease” in him.

In Physical Culture (May 1919) John B. Fraser, M.D., C.M., of Toronto, Canada, describes a series of experiments performed there, from 1911 to 1918, to determine whether or not germs cause “disease.” They spent the first three years in an effort to determine whether the germ appears before or after the “onset” of the “disease.” The verdict was “after the onset.” In 1914 the work of “incorporating fresh vigorous germs in food and drink and then using that food in the ordinary way began. Dr. Fraser says:

“The first experiment made was taking fifty thousand diphtheria germs in water, and after a few days suspense and no sign of the disease it was considered that the danger had passed. ***

“In the second experiment one hundred and fifty thousand diphtheria germs were used in milk, and again no signs of diphtheria appeared.

“In the third experiment over one million diphtheria germs were used in food without producing any sign of the disease.

“In the fourth experiment millions of diphtheria germs were swabbed over the tonsils and soft palate, under the tongue, and in the nostrils and still no evidence of the disease was discernible. As these results were very satisfactory it was decided to test out some other kinds of germs. A series of tests were made with pneumonia germs in which millions of germs were used in milk, water, bread, potatoes, meat, etc., and although persistent efforts were made to coax them to develop absolutely no sign of the disease appeared.

“Another series of experiments were carried out with typhoid germs, especial care being taken to infect distilled water, natural milk (not pasteurized); bread, meat, fish, potatoes, etc., etc., with millions of the most vigorous germs that could be incubated, and but for the knowledge that they had been taken, one would have known nothing about it.

“Another series of tests were made with the dreaded menengitis germs, and as the germs are believed to develop mainly in the mucous membranes of the nostrils, especial pains were taken to swab millions of the germs over the floor and sides of the nostrils, into the turbinated sinuses, over the tonsils, under the tongue, and back of the throat. In addition to these tests other tests were made in food and drink–millions of germs in each case, and yet no trace of the disease appeared.

“The experiments with the tuberculosis germs were carried out in a different way–more time was given between the experiments so as to allow the germs to develop; for clinical evidence has shown that this disease may remain latent, or imperfectly developed for months. Consequently it meant months of watching and waiting before one could be positive that the germs would not develop.

“Here again millions of germs were used in water, milk, and food of various kinds; every variety of food and drink was concerned; and as almost five years have elapsed since the experiment with T.B. began and no evidence of the disease has appeared I think we are justified in the belief that the germs are harmless. In addition to those experiments combinations of germs were used, such as typhoid and pneumonia, menengitis and typhoid, pneumonia and diphtheria, etc., etc., but no evidence of disease followed.

“During the years 1914-15-16-17-18 over one hundred and fifty experiments were carried out carefully and scientifically and yet absolutely no signs of disease followed.”

The London Lancet Medical Journal of Canada (June, 1916) records some of the same or similar experiments by a medical man and six others which covered a period of two and one-half years, and, in which cultures of the germs of various “diseases” particularly those of diphtheria, pneumonia and typhoid were used in all kinds of foods and under the most favorable circumstances. The germs were administered in doses ranging from fifty thousand to one million and five hundred thousand without producing a single evidence of “disease.” A number of experiments were made in the Naval Detention camps during the influenza epidemic of 1918-19 to transmit the “disease” from the sick to the well. Several such experiments were made on sixty-eight volunteers from the U. S. Naval Detention Training Camp on Deer Island.

Several groups of volunteers were inoculated with pure cultures of Pfeiffer’s bacillus; with the secretions of the upper respiratory passages, and with blood taken from “typical influenza” cases. About thirty of the men had the germs sprayed and swabbed in the nose and throat. The Public Health Report, sums up the results in these words: “In no instance was an attack of influenza produced in any one of the subjects.”

Ten other men were carried to the bedside of ten new cases of influenza and spent forty-five minutes with them. Each well man had ten sick men to cough in his face. With what results? “None of these volunteers developed any symptoms of influenza following the experiment.”

Some similar experiments conducted in San Francisco are described in another article. Here one group of ten men were given emulsifying cultures of Pfeiffer’s bacillus with no results during seven days of observation. Other groups of men, in all forty, were given emulsions of the secretions from the upper respiratory passages of patients in the active stages of influenza. These emulsions were sent into the nose by a medicine dropper and by an atomizer. The results are described in these words: “In every case the results were negative, so far as the reproduction of influenza is concerned. The men were all observed for seven days after inoculation.”

Germs, Part 6

Similar experiments with the same negative results were carried out in Philadelphia, at Camp Pike, and at other places. Surely such results or lack of results do not speak well for the germ theory in general nor for the idea in particular that the mucous membranes of lungs, intestines, etc., are particularly susceptible to germ invasion. Rather, we would say, they completely negative the whole theory. They show, at least, that germs alone cannot cause the “diseases” which they are supposed to cause. Dr. M. Beddow Bayly, M.R.U.S., L.R.C.P., writing in the London Medical World, June 1928, says: I am prepared to maintain, with scientifically established facts, that in no single instance has it been conclusively proved that any microorganism is the specific cause of a disease.”

In more than sixty years of intensive forming of the germ idea, there is not one “disease” that has been proved to be of germ origin, and not one can be cured according to the germ theory. Unless a germ will cause a disease every time it infects the body, it is not a cause. A cause must be constant and specific in its influence, or it is not a cause. “Germs are omnipresent–this is one of the fundamental truths Pasteur or his contemporary, Bechamp, discovered; but he and his followers appear to have overlooked the fact that germs fail to have a specific influence all the time.”

Investigations in the bacteriological laboratory throw no light on the conditions in the body which permit the germs to grow or which prevent them from growing. They tell us of a few germs, which, it is claimed, are the active agents in “disease,” but they tell us nothing of the conditions which permit these agents to become active. They grow in those conditions and only in those conditions of life which give rise to such complaints as indigestion, catarrh, etc.

The view I would put before the reader is that “disease” is caused, not by the germ, but by the state of the body that allows the germ to flourish. And this condition of the organism or any part of it which renders possible the growth of the germ therein is the much sought for “filterable virus.” It is the outgrowth of violations of the laws of life and is no chance or haphazard condition.

Dr. Tilden says: “The state of the body immediately preceding the appearance of germs is, therefore, the important one and determines the possibility of infection or disease. In fact, it is the necessary factor without which disease could never appear–germs or no germs. These latter are merely adventitious–secondary. It is, indeed, difficult to understand why a whole profession, as in recent years, has gone insane on the subject of bugs, to the utter neglect of those states of metabolism and nutrition which, when vitiated, constitute the universal cause of all disease.”

Dr. Paul Carton, long the head of one of the largest sanitoria in France, for tubercular patients, declares in his Consumption Doomed, p. 19: “In tuberculosis the soil is practically everything *** one becomes tubercular by enfeebling one’s organism, and the only means of getting rid of the bacillus, once it is fairly engrafted, is the heightening of the spontaneous resisting power. In a word Koch’s bacillus is not much more than a saprophyte, a moss, a parasite which fastens upon failing organisms and seals the fate of those already falling into ruin.” So-called tubercular germs are common enough that all of us are exposed to them many times during our life time. Not the germ, but “susceptibility” to the germ is what counts in producing tuberculosis. If one is not “susceptible” the germs die out; otherwise they persist.

Medical men and bacteriologists are practically a unit in declaring that germs cannot secure a foothold in a healthy body, but that a “nidus” or “suitable soil” is essential to their genesis. They do no harm in a body that is in a normally healthy condition. Unless there is a condition of the body varying from health, germs can do nothing. If germs cause “disease” why don’t they produce “disease” in a healthy body? Why must the body already be diseased and its resistance low before they can produce “disease”? Do they cause “infection” part of the time and fail to do so the rest of the time? The normal body is capable of destroying all germs and parasites. The tubercle bacillus and the pneumococcus are not exceptions to this rule. The regular profession believes that the blood can be immunized. Normal blood does not need it, and the process lowers its resistance; and the victim of low resistance–toxemia–is further deteriorated by such treatment.

 

How foolish, then, to look for the “infectious agent” and ignore the circumstances which disarm the body against microbic invasion. It is difficult to understand why a whole profession has gone insane on the subject of germs, to the utter neglect of those states of metabolism and nutrition which when vitiated, constitute the open sesame to germ invasion.

Resistance is broken down when any habit of body and mind is practiced continually to excess, and without sufficient rest to keep the nerve energy at the normal standard. Restore resistance by rest and a corrected mode of living, and elimination follows; after which man is immune to the ubiquitious germ.

The researchers have falsely and wickedly heralded the fear-engendering story that the world is teeming with a host of vicious microscopical and ultra-microscopical beings against which no amount of integrity is a shield and the ravages of which we can escape only by placing ourselves in bondage–a servitude born of fear–to the man with the squirt gun and hollow needle. So-called research has supplied the world of men with unnecessary occasions for fear and has done this deliberately in order to cause them to abandon self-help and self-reliance and place their trust in a half-baked mere hope of a science.

An unreasoning way to rid the victim of germs and parasites is to destroy them with germicides and parasiticides. After killing them off what is to be done about the habitat–the patient? The belief that germs can be killed inside the body is untenable, for any chemical that destroys micro-organisms also destroys the body. Even if medical men are still trying to kill “venereal germs” with drugs, the fact still remains that they damage their patients more than they do the germs.

Neither the pueumococcus nor the tubercle baccillus can be killed in situ [on site]; but if they could, what of it? To kill or remove an effect leaves the cause as active as before. To kill the germs without removing the liability-engendering morbidity is to leave the body open for further “invasion.” Nothing is really gained.

There is much evidence to show that the use of germicides actually lowers resistance to germs. One example will suffice. Carbolic acid kills germs– human blood kills germs. But if carbolic acid is added to blood, it destroys the blood’s defenses so that germs grow more rapidly. The famous “gold cure” for tuberculosis was shown to behave in the same manner. The sick organism is better off “without these “aids.”

Even if the germicides were successful they would be futile, for, mere destruction of alleged “pathogenic organisms” is no adequate safeguard of health and unless the intrinsic morbidity is removed by remedial measures, other organisms and other symptoms will soon supplant those artificially suppressed. A few minutes reflection will reveal the physical impossibility of reaching all the germs, actual and prospective, with poisons, or of “curing” and preventing “diseases” by the injection of all manner of serums for alleged “immunization” against the legions of “infective diseases” that our general morbidity engenders.

Sterilization, vaccines, serums and chemical preservatives have caused too much neglect of natural preservation, which alone can insure health and strength to the individual and to the race.

Infection

The word infection is bandied about by doctors of high and low degree and by laymen as though it were of settled meaning. The word is an old one and is used now with a different meaning than it had a hundred years ago. Medical authors now define it to mean the “invasion of the body” by germs and parasites.

Historically and psychologically the words “possession” and “infection” represent only different rationalizations for the same superstition; for identical delusional processes, and deluding morbid etiological valuations. The imaginative spirit invasion of the older priests and physicians has become the hypothetical invasion of the body by germs, which now cause “disease.” The witches and wizards of old are now exorcisers of germs, bacteria.

Hygienists apply the term to the introduction of decomposing organic matter into the organism. Tilden puts it thus: “all infections–all types of infectious diseases are from one source: protein decomposition. Putrescence means decay of protein. The infective product is the same in grease, foot-and-mouth disease, smallpox, diphtheria, scarlet fever, typhoid fever, and syphilis. Septic infection covers the field, and means putrescence–protein decomposition. The type depends upon the environment and the tissue involved.”

The idea of specific infection has no place in a rational philosophy of cause. So-called specific infection is septic infection. Sepsis is the only infecting agent in all the so-called specific diseases. Sepsis arises from decomposition. All secretions, excretions and exudations are non-toxic until they decompose, whereupon they become toxic.

There is no apparent difference in the effects of infection, whether that infection comes from an infected wound, a wound of the womb in childbirth, or abortion, ulceration, an ulcer in typhoid, etc. The only apparent differences are those of degree, and this depends on the condition of the patient, and the amount of septic matter absorbed. Whatever the part that may be played by germs, the constitutional effect is always the same.

The supposition that there are specific diseases caused by specific infections arises from the fact that every organ or tissue in the body lends its own individuality to “disease” processes. We do not expect to find identical symptoms in “disease” of two totally different parts of the organism. “Disease” of the lungs would present symptoms which differ from some of the symptoms of “disease” of the liver or bowels. However, inflammation is always the same in whatever organ or part it is located. And any inflammation in any part of the organism will, if great enough, occasion systemic sympathy–fever and general nutritive disturbances.

So-called specific infections are limited in their operations to particular parts of the body, and when these parts are barred against their action, there is no development of the supposed specific “disease.” Where the parts are susceptible to the action of the infectious matter, the effect or injury that will be produced by a given amount of virus of a definite virulence or toxicity, will depend on the vitality of the parts, and the circumstances under which it acts. Some men are naturally and habitually invulnerable to infection, while others are proof against its action at one time and liable to be affected by it at another. Resistance depends on an abundance of nerve force and normal secretions.

A simple infection arises from any injury or non-toxic irritation. This quickly heals, if the cause is removed. However, such an infection can easily be forced to take on sepsis if the cause is not removed and strict cleanliness observed. A thickening of the mucous membrane and ulceration will result. After this has taken place, if the exudate cannot drain away fully and freely, it will undergo decomposition, resulting in local septic infection. If drainage is not established there is then a possibility of systemic septicemia.

Infection or sepsis is generated by the decomposition–fermentation and putrefaction–of dead animal and vegetable substances and secretions. We hold to the theory of the Unity of Infection. Infection is due to the absorption of decaying animal or vegetable matter and is always the same in whatever part of the body it takes place. A specific infection is not more nor less than a septic infection. Contact with putrescent discharge is essential. This is primarily a skin infection and does not menace life. However, should blood infection be forced, then life is endangered.

The differences in the various septic substances, that is the differing degrees of toxicity, are derived from the chemistry of the substances from which they are derived and the stages of decomposition in which they are found. As an example of the unity of infection, smallpox vaccination serves admirably. It is sterilized pus, that is, pus which has had all germ life therein destroyed, yet it is admitted by its advocates to be frequently responsible for general vaccinia, cellulitis, septicemia, urticaria, erysipelas, so-called syphilis, tuberculosis, lock-jaw, menengitis, sleeping sickness, and many other conditions. Yet it is always septic pus from a cow.

It requires positive contact with, and absorption of septic or putrescent matter to result in infection. Medical men define infection as the invasion of the body by disease germs. But, as Tilden declares: “It should not be forgotten that unobstructed free drainage from wounds, ulcers, canals, ducts, keeps them aseptic (non-poisonous). The deadly germ on the hands, lips, drinking cups, hanging straps of street cars– in fact, found anywhere and everywhere–is not deadly until it gets mixed up with man’s deadly, dirty, filthy physical and mental habits.” Germs do not become toxic until they get into a toxic environment.

Sepsis in the intestines may give rise to cholera infantum, typhoid fever, pneumonia, diphtheria, menengitis, inflammation of the brain, peritonitis, appendicitis, or other infections, all depending on the virulence (chemistry) of the toxins present and the systemic and organic resistance offered to it. Intestinal toxemia is correctly considered as an infection. So, also, is organic toxemia and vaccine and serum poisoning. The phenomena of anaphylaxis, which follow serum injections, may manifest in a very extensive variety of “diseases,” ranging from aching in the joints with slight fever, to tetanus, convulsions and immediate death. Usually several forms of “disease” are present together as a result of serum inoculation.

The conservative power of the body limits all infections, as long as possible, to the lymphatic glands. These glands possess more immunizing power than ordinary tissue. “The spread” of all infections is along the lymphatic channels; but where lymphatic restraint is broken or overwhelmed, all the fluids of the body become infected and death may follow quickly. The lymph nodes in the groin, for instance, arrest so-called venereal infection and hold it up long enough to neutralize and destroy it. If the amount of infection is great and the immunizing power of the glands is inadequate, suppuration follows and a heavy pus discharge carries the infection out of the body. If toxin infection in the lungs is great enough to cause suppuration of the lymphatic glands in these, the resulting “disease” is called tuberculosis.

Our view is that local infections–tonsillitis, rheumatism, chorea (St. Vitus dance), and heart “diseases,”–all spring from a common root and soil; and that root is enervation, and the soil is toxemia, to which is superadded intestinal putrescence. These “diseases” may be consecutive; one may follow the other in point of time in any conceivable order, and so be mistaken for cause; but one is not the cause of the other. They represent concomitant and successive developments out of a common cause.

Before a morbid process can evolve, the power of the part or of the body as a whole to generate its own immunizing agents must be broken down or overwhelmed. The reason two people similarly infected do not suffer alike, is that the one is more enervated and toxemic than the other and hence has less resistance; less self-immunizing power. Immunizing power has nothing to do with muscular strength. One patient has a mass of putrefying food stuff in his intestine and has diarrhea. Another has a similar mass and develops typhoid. In. the first, the powers of resistance were sufficient to resist infection, and the decaying matter was expelled. In the second there was low resistance which permitted infection.

Sepsis is often generated in the intestine, in the uterus, under a tight prepuce, etc. Lack of drainage, uncleanliness, etc., account for this. The disease resulting therefrom will depend upon the structures involved. Its severity will depend on the amount of septic matter absorbed, the condition of the patient and the aid or interference that the organism is given.

In septic infection, if proper drainage is established and the exudate washed away–this is, if cleanliness is observed–the primary infection will end within a few days. However, if drainage and cleanliness are neglected, reinfection will take place. General septic infection may follow.

The healthy individual, and by this we mean one who possesses real health, not merely one who conforms to the conventional health standard, easily resists infection where it is not so great as to completely overpower the organism at once.

When toxemia has brought about a chemical change in the tissues of the body–when a favorable habitat is produced by enervation and toxemia–germs, which are omnipresent, become an auxiliary cause, but never a primary one. Add to the state of nerve depletion and toxemia an intestinal decomposition that is in keeping, and you have a walking cesspool too vile for the ubiquitious germ to respect. Checked secretion produces infection, just as checked excretion produced toxemia.

A properly cared for body is fully resistant to internal and external germs; but infection can develop in those of full health, if injuries do not drain well. When the enervated and toxemic have the infection of intestinal putrescence added, we have so-called germ invasion. Children who develop menengitis, or any of the other so-called contagious diseases, must be autotoxemic from improper food and improper care of the body; and, to bring about an epidemic, there must be an atmospheric state– domestic, civic, or general–that intensifies the already large stock of enervation.

A leading medical authority declares “disease is contagious and some people will be sick in spite of their best efforts to stay well.” We answer: “Not if they have any real knowledge of how.”

Many people who are apparently healthy are in reality “living sepulchers”–so completely enervated and so thoroughly toxemic that it requires just a little added enervating influence–cold, heat, the mental depression of bad news, a heavy meal, the shock of a slight operation–to send them pell-mell into eternity. Popularly and professionally, if a man appears well and feels well, this is enough. No matter if he is on the brink of the grave, his most vital organs so impaired and deficient in vital power that as soon as they begin to falter the whole system is broken up and life becomes extinct.

What have germs to do under such circumstances as these? The people who die in this manner are usually the apparently healthy–the “pictures of health”–those big feeders with wonderful appetites, with full red faces, well-rounded abdomens, and excessive weight and who are commonly thought to be in the “pink” of condition.

The cause of this sudden death is not in having been attacked nor overwhelmed by virulent germs, or by germs in large quantity, but is due to living a life of bad habits in such a way, and by transgressing every physiological law to such an extent, that their resistance has been reduced to a minimum. They die because they have destroyed their power to live.

Resistance & Immunity

Man is adapted to his environment; is coordinated with and adjusted to the universe and the cosmic rhythms. Only when his organism is impaired, from wrong living, do the natural elements of his environment– heat, cold, dampness, dryness, pollen, germs, parasites, etc.–become foes of life. For instance, weather changes that have no appreciable effect upon the strong and robust, occasion all manner of disagreeable symptoms and increase the severity of already existing ones in the sick and those of low resistance.

The normal body easily adjusts itself to these changes, the impaired body fails to adjust itself. Man, no more than the lower animals, should be the helpless victim of his natural environment. That delicacy which like the house plant, is injured by every breath of air, and that rottenness of constitution which is the effect of indolence, intemperance and debauchery, lay the foundation for the numerous pathologies and premature deaths.

All experienced physicians have seen tuberculosis, diabetes, rheumatism, Bright’s “disease,” and other so-called “diseases” follow prostration from profound toxemia (crisis), injuries, and shocks of various kinds. The meaning of this is that a toxemic subject has had his remaining resistance reduced below the protecting point. As a result whatever organ (or organs) is predisposed by habit, occupation, or diathesis, will give down.

Resistance may be defined as that physiological and chemical condition of the body, particularly of its fluids and secretions, which enables it to successfully resist and counteract unfavorable influences acting upon it from without. Resistance varies with individuals, and with the varying conditions of the same individual. Between “complete immunity” and “extreme susceptibility” there are all degrees of resistance. “Immunity” and “susceptibility” are, therefore, only relative terms.

Resistance may also be defined as the possession of sufficient energy to carry on the functions of life adequately under conditions and circumstances that demand added nervous expenditure. So long as, through the practice of right habits, the state of resistance is maintained at a high standard, temporary adverse influences will not check elimination enough to produce toxemia, provided too much food is not ingested. A well person cannot be sick. But, when we become enervated, weak, and organic functioning is impaired, elimination is imperfect and resistance– power to stay well–is lost.

What about germs? When energy is abundant they are harmless. When energy is low the organs fail to secrete the enzymes that “immunize” and make us proof against the ever-present bacteria. Only then are microbes able to thrive in the body. Health is the great immunizer.

In wounds, nature prepares her defenses if there is time–she walls off the septic pool by organized infiltrations or exudates to prevent absorption of the decomposition.

Increased toxicity produces a general kataphylaxis, or “defense rupture.” Toxins lower resistance to all unfavorable influences. When the body is enervated from any cause, elimination is checked; then if to the wrong life that brought on the weakened state, are added the evil influences of filth, decomposition, overcrowding, fear, etc., resistance will be brought so low that environmental influences, which once failed to make an impression, are able to add the one last straw that breaks the camel’s back.

The failure of organic resistance is the immediate cause of “infection,” otherwise the least contact with microbes would suffice to produce “infection.” To be pronouncedly liable to “infection” is to be always perilously near “infection” and the incidence of “infection” is only too likely to follow in the wake of liability. Instead of scaring us about the dangers of “infection,” doctors would be better employed if they taught us how to live so that even if our neighbors are not clean there is little or no risk to us.

The inherent integrity of the organism is its own best safeguard. Liability to “infection” is in keeping with degeneration. When germs invade any living organism it is a sign the organism is enervated and its chemistry is perverted. How foolish to look for the “infectious agent” and ignore the circumstances which disarm the body against microbic invasion.

The “soil” is more important than the germ. The factors that create the nidus for germ activity are the primary antecedents of the “disease.” These should be given first consideration. Medical investigators tell us that mice fed on a deficient diet and then inoculated with “virulent bacteria” give a mortality of approximately fifty percent; whereas, adequately nourished mice inoculated with the same culture give a mortality of only ten percent Resistance to “respiratory infections” is markedly less and anaphylactic reactions more severe in animals on a deficient diet. Malnutrition always causes lowered resistance and it is safe to say that no person ever suffers from “infections” and “contagions” who has been adequately nourished.

The respective potencies of the physiological means of defense are derived from the environment–from food, air, water, sunshine. The defensive power of the epithelial tissues is dependent upon proper nutrition. Infection and degeneration can only set in where the soil is badly fertilized by inappropriate nutrition. Only those who are weakened by unwholesome living, poor nutrition and faulty emotional conduct can become a prey to “bad germs.”

Infection, whether parasitical or bacterial, is not a matter of accident, but of “soil.” Bad “soil” conditions are due to bad behavior–all bad actions producing bad reactions upon the body. An organism that has degenerated into a mere bouillon culture has brought itself to this state by its own transgressions.

The development of “infection” does not depend upon the chance meeting of man and microbe. This meeting is constant, but generally without result. Microbes, even the most “dangerous,” are with us always, yet infection is uncommon. When the tissues lose their resistance, and abnormal secretions are present, will not a harmless germ thrive and produce poisons? But that germ will never be the cause any more than the germ associated with diphtheria is the cause of diphtheria. The prepared soil must precede the germ’s propagation and germs can only be secondary complications of a pre-existing toxemia. Constitutional toxemia is the ever-present condition that permits “pathogenic” organisms to gain a, foothold in the body.

Man’s resistance can be increased or diminished by any and all factors that increase or diminish his stock of nerve energy, or that increase or diminish his load of toxemia. His mode of living and the treatment he receives are both either enervating, hence toxemia-building, or energy conserving, hence blood purifying.

Sir Almroth Wright declared that “the cure of bacterial infections depends neither on the storage of fat nor upon bronzing of the skin, nor yet upon the breathing of fresh air (sea-coast air, pine-wood air, mountain air, or upon warm southern air), but only upon the destruction of the invading bacteria by the anti-bacterial substance in the body.”

Granting that he is right, where does the “anti-bacterial substance” come from? How does it get into the body; or how does the body produce it? Upon what conditions of food, air, rest, exercise, sunshine, etc., does the abundance or lack of abundance of this “antibacterial substance” depend? How may it be increased? How is it decreased? Does it just jump into us in the dark, or does it depend upon conditions that are under our voluntary control?

Immunity primarily means freedom or exemption from a penalty or consequence. Immunity in this sense amounts to a suspension of the law of cause and effect. The consequences of any act, right or wrong, are inherent in and concurrent with the act. There is no way by which one can be exempt from them. Every abuse of the mind and body administers its own penalties. “Men are punished by their sins, not for their sins.”

Put your hand in the fire, you are burned and you cannot be immunized against burning. Alcohol inflicts its own consequences. So does overeating. Excesses and dissipations of all kinds do likewise. To the effects of these things there is no immunity.

It may be urged that immunization against causes of this nature is not claimed; only immunization against bacteria, or their toxins. To this I answer that it is no more possible to immunize the body against bacterial poisons than it is to immunize it to painter’s colic, tobacco, opium, caffeine, arsenic and other poisons. Immunity to painter’s colic cannot be produced by inoculating a man with white lead. Immunity to delirium tremens cannot be produced by inoculations with alcohol.

No amount of treatment to any injury can have any possible influence in preventing another injury. In the same way, no amount of treatment of poisoning will prevent another poisoning. If poisoning comes from sausage, cheese, fish, olives, canned foods, etc., the cause must be discovered and avoided. Prevention must come from an improved technique in food preservation, rather than from efforts to immunize the consumers of spoiled foods with vaccines and serums made from each variety of ptomaine. Who is so devoid of reason that he cannot see that the way to avoid poisoning is to avoid the poisons? Immunization schemes are basically false.

Tolerance for bacterial poisons can be established, as can tolerance for alcohol or opium; but in the first case, as in the latter, the body pays for this tolerance with enervation and lowered resistance to poisons in general. Tolerance to bacterial toxins, as to other poisons, means lowered resistance–physiological depravity. It is, therefore, no more desirable than alcoholic toleration.

Some “infections” are said to confer immunity; some make one more susceptible; some confer lasting immunity; others confer immunity for only a limited time; some confer full immunity; others only make future “attacks” less severe. It is doubtful that biologic law is so chaotic as this indicates. I prefer to think there is something wrong with the theory.

The theory that “disease” immunizes against itself is very old, having existed in folk-lore for ages. There is not the slightest evidence that it is true, but the medical profession has accepted it and built a very remunerative practice thereon. A brief glance at the facts will suffice to show how false it is.

One may have hundreds of colds during a life time. No number of colds builds immunity. Cases are on record of individuals having had pneumonia as many as fifteen to fifty times. One may have la grippe or influenza a number of times. The same is true of typhoid fever, malaria, etc. Tuberculosis does not confer immunity. Indeed medical authorities say that influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis seem to make one more susceptible.

Nathan Oppenheim, M.I)., in his Medical Diseases of Childhood, says of the difficulties of understanding “susceptibility,” while dealing with smallpox vaccination: “Equally inexplicable are such susceptible cases as the remarkable one of Albutt, where there were three successful vaccinations, each one of which was followed within a comparatively short time by an attack of variola.” This case is by no means an isolated one. Cases are recorded of individuals having had smallpox as many as five times, both with and without vaccination.

Ziusser in his Infection and Resistance, says second “attacks” of diptheria occur in 0.9 percent of cases. Quain’s Dictionary of Medicine (1902) says: “One attack of diphtheria confers no prolonged immunity upon its subject. Even during convalescence the patient has been known to develop the disease afresh, and this may be repeated more than once,” while Goodell and Washburn, in A Manual of Infectious Diseases, state: “It is uncertain how far one attack of this disease (diphtheria) protects against a second. Certainly relapses and second attacks are not very rare.”

Standard medical authors list the following “diseases” in which “no lasting immunity is conferred by one attack”: Gonorrhea, pneumonia, influenza, glanders, dengue fever, dysentery, leprosy, sleeping sickness, menengitis, Rocky mountain spotted fever, rheumatism, croup, tonsillitis and colds. Zinsser says of “infectious diseases in which one attack conveys lasting immunity”: Plague, typhoid–second “attack” rare–about 2.4 percent (Churchman) ; cholera, smallpox–second “attack” very rare; chicken pox–second “attack” very rare; measles–second “attack” uncommon, but less rare than scarlatina, yellow fever., typhus fever; syphilis–reinfection rare, though more common than formerly supposed; mumps–second “attack” rare (Krans) ; poliomyelitis. Malaria, syphilis and tuberculosis are said to present “immunological problems” that are not yet clear.

Zinsser says: “Thucylides, in the second book of his account of the Peloponnesian wars, in describing the plague at Athens, notes the apparent safety from reinfection of those who had recovered, suggesting the possibility of their being immune against disease in general.” If this idea were true, then all attention to sanitation and hygiene represents both wasted and misdirected effort. We need, rather, to cultivate the plague to prevent “disease” in general.

The immunity superstition is much older than this. Zinsser tells us that the phenomenon of “immunity” conferred by one “attack” of a “disease” was not “only observed but put to practical utilization by the ancients of China and India. Thus the practice of inoculating children with smallpox material from the active pustules of patients, or making them sleep in beds or wear the shirts of sufferers was a dangerous practice but logical.” He adds: “Such methods, though barbaric and eventually unjustified by the high mortality incident upon them, were {actually brought to Europe and for a time practiced in European countries.”

The gist of the whole theory, and both the ancient logical but barbaric and the modern scientific practices based thereon, is that, in order to be immune to “disease,” we must first become “diseased,” or, as it is now taught, have an animal become “diseased” for us–a form of vicarious salvation. Immunity, in this theory, does not depend on health, nor upon the causes of health, but upon “disease” and the causes of “disease.” The theory reverses the whole order of nature. Health is preserved by first getting sick. You become immune to the cause of a “disease” by having the “disease.” Or else, you introduce the cause into the body of an animal and then appropriate his “acquired immunity” to yourself and thus save yourself.

The Hygienic theory is that we avoid “disease” by avoiding its causes; that we preserve health by supplying the body with healthful conditions. There is no immunity that does not come of a high degree of health and the elements upon which health depends. There is no immunity that is born of the products of the suffering of animals. We are assured that some are immune to germ invasion. For instance, there are thousands who ignore the presence of the so-called malarial and filarial mosquitoes. These are said to possess immunity. Immunity is a mere term. To say that one individual possesses greater resistance than another is merely to say that the one is more healthy than the other, and if we do not go beyond this and determine why one is more healthy than the other, we are simply begging the whole question.

What is “immunity?” We contend that it is health–that health gives the best immunity against “bacterial diseases.” “Infection,” whether parasitical or bacterial, is not a matter of accident but of “soil.” Bad “soil” conditions resulting from bad behavior (all bad actions produce bad reactions) determine the germs pathogenically. “A normal human being is invulnerable to germ influence; indeed germs are kept innocuous by normalcy,’ says Tilden.

Sereologists experiment with “make-shift” immunities and tamper with old established bonds sacred to integrity and norm-immunity. “Makeshift immunity” is one that is unattended by a concomitant reduction of liability. Sereologists say to us: “Live as you please, eat any offal or putrid carcass to which your carnivorous taste may incline you, practice any vicious habits to which your cultivated cravings may lead you, violate any and all the laws of your being, dissipate and go to excess as you will, we will wring from the bodies of our animal victims, in the laboratory, serums to immunize you against the necessary consequences of your misconduct.”

They ask us to abnegate genuine hopes of achieving wholeness for a fictitious promise of “magic”–of vicarious salvation. They omit to mention that the serums, the production of which is a lucrative business, are most likely to result in a whole long train of evils of their own, which are often more lasting than their promised benefits are supposed to be.

We are justified in assuming that with an occurrence of “infection” the body ‘is forced to reorganize its means of defense. A “make-shift” defense is hastily thrown up. Whether we have a “makeshift” immunity or a norm-immunity must depend upon how we order our life thereafter.

Tilden correctly declares. “The whole immunizing theory is a vicious circle, and is annulled by the facts that when people do not live in a manner to enervate and check elimination, they do not become infected; and when infected, if they overcome enervation they rid themselves of infection, and stay rid of it. And a stronger attack on the citadel of germ delusion is the fact that when children are given proper care, and a normal health standard is maintained, they are not susceptible to infection. The truth in a nutshell is that the so-called infections are autogenerated (generated by the body itself), and are avoidable by rational living.”