This section is from the "Impaired Health: Its Cause And Cure" (Volume 1) book, by John H. Tilden. Also available from Amazon: Impaired health its cause and cure: A repudiation of the conventional treatment of disease
Now that we have defined, in as concise a statement as we can, the reason why truth is so slow in delivering humanity out of the bondage of ignorance, we shall try to show why appetite, passion, and license are the slogans that win and keep the majority on the side of ignorance.
As stated before, the first great cause of disease, as interpreted by selfish ignorance, was an offended Deity who sent disease as a punishment. The cure had to be procured through an intermediary who had power, through grace, to change the mind of the Deity. There never has been a time, since man could begin to do anything for himself in the line of interpreting his relationship to nature, or turn his eyes within to interpret law for himself, that there has not been a priest, a doctor, a lawyer, or some other self-opinionated interpreter, to obstruct his vision and mystify his understanding. These obstructionists are there ostensibly for the glory of God and the good of the people.
The criminal type of selfishness is always doing something great and glorious for the dear people, which, when understood, means more shackles of slavery.
Autocracy is another name for theocracy. Both assume the right to impose their conceits on mankind. Autocracy has always been handed down to the people in a capsule of religion. The people have been made to believe that they cannot save themselves without a vice-regent. Governments have been in partnership with God in fooling the people. We have a republican form of government, but the pollen of autocracy has blown over us until much of our democracy is fertilized by imperialism. These are truths that are not understood, because we are blind to our faults and are possessed of a maudlin sentimentality regarding our religion.
In the matter of disease and healing, the people have been treated as serfs. The doctor is a dictator who knows it all, and the people are stupid, dumb, driven cattle, fit for nothing except to be herded together, bucked, and gagged when necessary to force medical opinion down their throats or under their skins.
When I was quite young I looked upon the medical profession as a noble, benevolent, philanthropic institution, to which I desired to belong, that I might do good and feel the thrills which come to a man who can be proud of his work. There are a lot of good men in the profession who have been deluded in the same way, and who are doing their best to right errors; but the knaves predominate.
I soon found that darkness prevailed where I thought light was to be found. I found that professional dignity was more often pomposity, sordid bigotry, and gilded ignorance. But I flattered myself that growing knowledge would do away with professional bigotry, and that good will, liberality, and democracy would prevail. But that belief has proved a pipe-dream of youth. I could not see how far down the roots of selfishness, ignorance, and bigotry went. I have learned since they go too deep for man to remedy. We know now that medical, religious, legal, political, and social bigotry is of imperial origin, and that imperialism has the power and unvarying persistence to convert all knowledge into an autocratic aristocracy, which makes itself the moral, intellectual, and material master of independent, individual thought and action. Czarism and Kaiserism have never been more autocratic, in controlling the people, than the medical profession of the United States is attempting today, and no rule has been founded on more ignorance and bigotry.
The "right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is one of many fundamental, self-evident aphorisms which are beautiful, sentimental, and humane, and which we use in decorating memorials, constitutions, and like instruments that we adopt, resolve, and preamble, while we are receiving a fresh baptism of democracy, and are hysterically ecstatic and flushed with the heat of success in vanquishing the enemies of our freedom--our liberties. But while we are celebrating our right to life and liberty, the medical profession, backed by state law, is herding our children to the vaccinator and serum-injector, and teaching medical opinions in our schools that are as false as the imperialism that makes such an outrage on human rights possible. Would it be possible to have a rational physiology adopted in our schools? Whoever believes it is laboring under a delusion. Can a liberal medical educator lecture in our public schools or before mothers' meetings the second time? Whoever believes it is laboring under a delusion. Could a play in opposition to the teachings of "Damaged Goods" be licensed to go before the people, as that scientific fallacy has been? I do not believe it. And, in the face of this imperialism, we, as a people, are stupid enough to boast of our "right to life, liberty, and the pursuit" of knowledge!
In medical matters, the imperial noose is being insidiously drawn tighter and tighter, under the pretense of protecting the dear people from disease. The plan is well organized. Little by little the rights of the people are being usurped, and the will of the usurper is being enforced.
Unless republican imperialism goes out with the kaiseristic and czaristic imperialism of Europe, which is now, we hope, preparing for its death-throes, we shall have saddled upon us a medical hierarchy, with its pope in the cabinet.
What right has American medical science to imperialistic dominancy? None whatever, unless it can prove its infallibility--which it has not done and which it cannot do. The truth of this assertion I shall endeavor to set forth by showing that modem medical science, as taught and practiced today, is a fallacy, and can never be anything else until it changes its fundamental beliefs on etiology and therapeutics.
What is disease and its cure? I shall attempt to show that disease is not an entity, not an evil spirit, not a willful secession of one or more organs out of the union of organs which go to make up man's body, but simply a derangement of the normal functioning of the body, brought about by physical and mental influences which, when understood, can be avoided or controlled by the individual himself.
This being true, it should be obvious to all that, if the cause of disease can be understood by anyone, prevention and cure are within the reach of anyone--even the most simple-minded. Instead of the theory and practice of medicine being an occult science, mysterious and hard to understand, it should be simply a matter of common sense that is within the grasp of any sane mind, educated or not.
What is health? Certainly not an entity; it is a state of the body in which a feeling of well-being is experienced.
There cannot be perfect health; for that would mean a perfect balancing of the forces within and the forces without; and that cannot occur outside of a vacuum--and life cannot continue in a vacuum.
Health being a state of the body, it varies from good to bad; and bad health is what we call disease.
Any influence of a physical or mental character may be health-building or disease-building; or the influence may be good or bad, depending upon its extent.