This section is from the "Nature Cure: Philosophy and Practice Based on the Unity of Disease and Cure" book, by Henry Lindlahr.
The pernicious aftereffects of vaccination upon the system are similar to those of the various serum and antitoxin treatments.
Jenner, an English barber and chiropodist, is usually credited with the discovery of vaccination. The doubtful honor, however, belongs in reality to an old Circassian woman who, according to the historian Le Duc, in the year 1672 startled Constantinople with the announcement that the Virgin Mary had revealed to her an unfailing preventive against the smallpox.
Her specific was inoculation with the genuine smallpox virus. But even with her the idea was not an original one, because the principle of isopathy (curing a disease with its own disease products) was explicitly taught a hundred years before that by Paracelsus, the great genius of the Renaissance of learning of the Middle Ages. But even he was only voicing the secret teachings of ancient folklore, sympathy healing and magic dating back to the Druids and Seers of ancient Britain and Germany.
The Circassian seeress cut a cross in the flesh of people and inoculated this wound with the smallpox virus. Together with this she prescribed prayer, abstinence from meat and fasting for forty days.
As at that time smallpox was a terrible and widespread scourge, the practice of inoculation was carried all over Europe. At first the operation was performed by women and laymen; but when vaccination became popular and people were willing to pay for it, the doctors began to incorporate it into their regular practice.
Popular superstitions run a very similar course to epidemics. They have a period of inception, of virulence and of abatement. As germs and bacteria become inactive and die a natural death in their own poisonous excreta, so popular superstitions die as a natural result of their own falsities and exaggerations.
It soon became evident that inoculation with the virus did not prevent smallpox, but, on the contrary, frequently caused it; and therefore the practice gradually fell into disuse, only to be revived by Jenner about one hundred years later in a modified form. He substituted cowpox virus for smallpox virus.
Modern allopathy, in applying the isopathic principle, gives large and poisonous doses of virus, lymph, serums and antitoxins, while homeopathy, as did ancient mysticism, applies the isopathic remedies in highly diluted and triturated doses only.
From England vaccination gradually spread over the civilized world and during the nineteenth century the smallpox disease (variola) constantly diminished in virulence and frequency until today it has become of comparatively rare occurrence.
"Therefore vaccination has exterminated smallpox," say the disciples of Jenner.
Is that really so? Is vaccination actually a preventive of smallpox? This seems very doubtful when the advocates of vaccination themselves do not believe it. "What," I hear them say, "we do not believe in our own theory?" Evidently you do not, my friends. If you believe that vaccination protects you against smallpox, why are you afraid of catching it from those who are not vaccinated? If you are thoroughly protected, as you claim to be, how can you catch the disease from those who are not protected? Why do you not allow the other fellow to have his fill of smallpox and then enjoy a good laugh on him? The fact of the matter is you know full well that you are not safe, that you can catch the disease just as readily as the unprotected.
German statistics are more reliable than those of any other country. In the years of 1870-71 smallpox was rampant in the Fatherland. Over 1,000,000 persons had the disease, and 120,000 died. Ninety-six percent of these had been vaccinated and only four percent had not been protected. Most of the victims were vaccinated, once at least, shortly before they took the disease.
In 1888 Bismarck sent an address to the governments of all the German states in which it was admitted that numerous eczematous diseases, even those of an epidemic nature, were directly attributable to vaccination and that the origin and cure of smallpox were still unsolved problems.
In this message to the various legislatures the great statesman said: "The hopes placed in the efficacy of the cowpox virus as a preventive of smallpox have proved entirely deceptive."