We do not care a peanut for the medical profession. It is the people that we seek to reach and convince. The profession is so securely wrapped up in its "official ignorance" and so determined to preserve itself from reproach that it is blind to simple truths that any intelligent person can understand. The people are glad to read the message of Hygiene and learn of the fountain of health of which it treats.
In the words of Trall: "We aim to be radically right, to teach exact truth, to expose and condemn everything that is false and erroneous, hence our exclusiveness." A truth cannot be killed. Her champions may be imprisoned, tortured and put to death; but truth will forever be triumphant. Acceptance of a new truth may be impeded; it may be delayed; but it cannot be prevented. We ask the reader to listen candidly to what we say in the coming pages and to give our statements that measure of reflection which their intrinsic importance and your suffering condition would seem to demand.
We know there are people who have grown up from infancy in the faith in drugs and who have resorted to them regularly for palliation and who have been sedulously taught to look to poisonous and destroying substances as their only recourse when sick, to whom what we say in this book will seem nonsense. All that we ask of the reader is that he enter into his studies of Hygiene with integrity, with intelligent zeal, with devotion and consecration to truth, with courage born of an unshakable confidence in the laws of life. Let a man thoroughly understand himself or the laws that govern his being and nothing can stand in his way of becoming a Natural Hygienist. If people were honest with themselves, nothing would stand in their way of investigating the principles of nature and their genuine relations to the things in their environment. They would not depend upon their physicians and their mysterious "remedies."
Let us not be misled by the popular sophistry: these things relate to the body only, the others are for the glorious mind and for the immortal spirit. This deprecation of the marvelous body ill becomes intelligent beings. The mind and spirit are dependent upon the body. Altogether too many people assume a fondness for science and talk learnedly of the laws of nature, especially such as are at a distance and do not infringe upon ourselves, but shy away from many a physiological truth.
We never argue for ignorance in any other department of human knowledge. We never argue for the neglect of mathematics, or language, or painting, or poetry or sculpture. But it should be obvious that, important as are these branches of knowledge, a knowledge of the science of life, of the science of man, is of infinitely greater importance. Let us know the laws of grammar and those of mathematics; but, first of all, let us study the laws of life.
Our land is filled with sick people. A voice of sorrow, a wail of anguish and despair comes to us from every quarter--from town and country, from rude cabins and nobler tenements--it comes beseeching help and none can supply that help but Hygienists. How much longer, then, shall we hesitate to adopt a system that is laid in the principles of nature?
The spectacular changes in the human condition that will result from the full development of the possibilities that man's technological advances have made possible stagger the imagination. If the whole of mankind were organized (socially) to completely harness the technological revolution and to develop, without waste, the earth's natural resources, the radical transformation in the condition of human life would transcend any change that has yet occurred in the history of the race. It is the work of the Hygienic movement to bring a full realization of this possibility to the people of the world.
What is the real objective of the Hygienic movement? What constitutes its soul or its life? What does it signify to humanity? How much meaning has it? What are the truths that underlie it--what is it that it seeks to bring into being? Is it to play a mere auxiliary part to the terrible system of drug medication (poisoning), which has become, world over, an overshadowing curse? The answer to these questions is that Hygiene must destroy, root and branch, the whole drug system and give to the people a system of mind-body care that is based on the laws of nature. In this work there can be no truce between falsehood and truth, between revolutionary intrepidity and sneaking, reformistic compromise. We are forced to attack and demolish a system that is as false as it is old. The work we are called upon to perform will tax our energies and resources to the fullest extent. But we do not for a moment permit ourselves to doubt that we shall prove equal to our task and that we shall pursue single-mindedly and with continued determination and whole-souled dedication the work that lies ahead. Formerly, we were too obscure to be noticed; now the eyes of every disciple of Hippocrates are upon us.
We must succeed. Ours is the continuing task of carrying to the suffering millions the message of health by healthful living, of teaching them how to free themselves and all humanity from disease and transform this poison-soaked world into the glorious paradise it is capable of becoming and that modern physiological knowledge and Hygienic means make absolutely possible. For if we fail--if, for any reason at all, the Hygienic program fails of acceptance--all else fails.
In the consciousness of our great duty to the people of the world and to posterity, in the knowledge that we are right in all essentials, in everything that matters, and that mankind must ultimately accept Hygienic principles and practices, in the certainty that no other program will or can serve the well and the sick and the cause of humanity at large in this critical hour, and in the full realization that in the rightness of our principles lies our strength and drawing our fortitude and stamina, our resolution and our irresistable determination from this realization, we must not falter in our work.
As Hygienists we have much to do. Great responsibilities rest upon us. Hygiene comes as a savior of the race. If we are to fulfill our obligations, we must be teachers of the people. We must dispel the darkness of ignorance and superstition with the glorious sunlight of truth; we must spread a true knowledge of the laws which govern our being. As Hygienists, we battle against darkness and ignorance, superstition and time-honored errors, venerable follies and false fashions, pernicious customs and depraved appetites. But we do not spend our whole time in the ungracious task of lecturing to people continually upon "the error of their ways." Ours is a positive program that offers the people, as a substitute for the wrong ways of life, ways that are in strict accord with the laws of life. For their present weakness, suffering and premature death, we offer them strength, health and length of life. Beyond the present scene of strife, beyond the clash of opinions and the conflict of systems, we see a glorious prospect: we see humanity redeemed from physical transgressions; a world brought back from thousands of years of wandering, to truth and nature; a people recognizing and obeying the laws of being, conforming in all their ways to these laws, living in the uniform enjoyment of health, that great first-parent of earthly bliss, and dying as the children of men were born to die, of a green old age.
Unlike other systems, Hygiene does not seek to veil its simple truths under mysterious and incomprehensible terms. It has nothing to conceal. It is open, clear, honorable, comprehensible. Its doctrines, theories, processes and laws invite criticism and court discussion. Understandability demands the use of language that is known to the people. comprehensibility is shut out by a jargon of foreign language terms and phrases. The snail's pace of medical progress is nowhere more confirmed than by the tenacity with which it clings to the use of unmeaning technicalities.
It is, indeed, no small task to undertake to eradicate from the human mind the accumulated fallacies of 3,000 years, to convince the people of the utter fallacy of the popular system, to explode all the false theories, to clear the ground of the rubbish of ages and build up a new, a different, a true way of caring for the sick. But this work must be done. How soon it will be achieved will depend wholly upon the efforts of our co-workers. The Hygienic movement is doing nobly for humanity in the work of enlightenment and has enlisted a glorious army for the cause of truth and health.
We affirm that the fundamental theories of the medical profession are false and absurd and that its practices are injurious. The basic dogmas of medicine have come down to us both uninvestigated, unexplained and almost unquestioned, from the Dark Ages, when they originated. Even to this hour they burden all the standard works on physiology, pathology, pharmacology, materia medica and therapeutics.
The drug system of medical practice is hoary with age and has upon its skirts the blood of myriads of victims. It is lofty in its pretensions and domineering in its demeanor. These lofty pretensions shall be examined and this insolence shall, perhaps, be well treated with the consideration it merits. Its leading advocates are learned men, but so have been the advocates of many false systems and theories that have been fatal to truth and destructive to the welfare of humanity. False theories, those specious and plausible, are the more dangerous in proportion to the difficulty of stripping them of their disguise and exposing them in their naked ugliness to the gaze of the outraged and diseased world. Among medicine's pretended means of cure are about all the destructive means and agents known to chemists.
What is called modern medical science is a tilting yard for so many contentious theories that its pages have become almost impossible to read through the cloud of dust. Every medical journal we pick up contains a greater or lesser number of original fallacies or new editions of old ones. The fallacies of medicine are like the sands of the seashore--added to by every incoming wave. It would take more than a single generation to enumerate them. The medical science of today is like an ever-revolving chain, each link of which is a fallacy of greater or lesser dimension, which appears today to disappear tomorrow, to reappear the next day, to again disappear and reappear times without number.
Because man has many false evaluations of himself, because he is ignorant of the laws of his own being and, instead of looking to nature for enlightenment, has pursued strange gods and become a worshipper of idols, he is a victim of his own folly. The principles of nature embody all truth; their proper arrangements into systems constitute all science; and art is but the application of these truths, these principles, to new uses in producing desired results.