One of two things is true. The drug system is either right or wrong. If right, the Hygienic System is wrong. The issue is plain. There is no middle ground. The two systems are essentially antagonistic; they cannot coexist. They admit of no compromise. One must destroy the other or be destroyed by it. All attempts that have been made to teach both systems in the same school have been, as Trall pointed out, "unmitigated farces." And, as he further said in the Science of Health, May 1875, "the fact that one or the other system cannot survive a critical examination is what the advocates of both systems are beginning to see."

Present Hygiene and let other systems alone is advice we are frequently given. We may do things offensively or defensively; we may overthrow error or we may establish truth. Whichever of these ways of doing things we may prefer, it seems best to employ both ways. We may prefer to establish truth; we may not like to be always attacking error; we may think that if the truth is made plain enough, error automatically retreats. We wish that this were so; unfortunately, the human mind is capable of harboring, at one and the same time, the most contradictory notions. It becomes necessary, therefore, to demolish error before truth can be fully established. We have nothing to do with individuals, but we recognize it as a duty to expose fallacy and to denounce error and we cannot withhold our criticisms because these errors and fallacies are popular.

Peradventure, some of our readers may imagine that we would better act our part by simply telling what we know of our own side of the question at issue between Hygiene and scientific empiricism, leaving the medical side to take care of itself. There could be no greater mistake. The people have generally been educated in foolish whims and groundless theories; they are steeped in allopathic sophistries; hence, before we can teach them the sublime truths of Natural Hygiene and expect these to be understood, we must enable them to give a reason why they should abandon the teachings of the medical system, as well as for the adoption of the new faith as found in nature's Hygienic scheme.

The question is an old one: is the cause of truth and science promoted by criticism of medical systems and their alleged medicines? In reply to this question, it may be said, in the words of Trall, that "error must be exposed before it can be corrected." It is all very well to feed milk to babies, but those of older growth and especially those who have dealt with the "doses of death" and have "drawn floods of the vital liquid" need something stronger than moral suasion. To build a new house on a solid and enduring foundation, it is necessary first to remove all the rubbish of the old one. To raise a flower garden, it is essential that we eradicate the weeds.

A system may be judged in the light of its principles or in the light of its illustrators. The principles upon which it is founded may be sound or otherwise; its theories and its teachings may be logical and well based, or they may be illusions. On the other hand, we may judge the system by what it does, by its accomplishments. Perhaps the wisest means of judging a system is by looking at both its principles and its achievements.

The Hygienic System is opposed to all other systems that now or in the past have sought popular approval. Let us, at this time at least, ignore all the other systems except the regular or self-styled scientific medical system. Hygienists oppose the drug-medical system because we believe it to be false. It has no scientific basis. It is in opposition to nature. It is at war with life. It is disastrous in practice. Let us draw a few contrasts between this system and the Hygienic System.

1. Medicine teaches that disease is inevitable; Hygiene teaches that health is man's normal state.

2. Medicine teaches that disease is a destructive process; Hygiene teaches that disease is a remedial effort.

3. Medicine teaches that diseases are to be cured; Hygiene teaches that they are to be permitted to accomplish their remedial work. In the Science of Health, July 1873, Trall said: "The broad and distinct issue between the Hygienic System and all other systems is simply this: The drug system endeavors to cure disease. The Hygienic System endeavors to cure patients." Medicine has always pictured this process of cure as something so intricate that only the initiated could understand it and they have taken great pains to keep alive this delusion, lest the people assert their right to investigate the matter and thus reveal the fallacies and inconsistencies of the system.

4. Medicine teaches that poisons are the proper things with which to cure disease; Hygiene teaches that the normal things of life are the proper substances and influences with which to build health. Believing, as they do, in the curability of disease and this by drug administration, if physicians condescend to consider Hygiene, they think of it as something to place beside their most virulent and deadly poisons and to be administered together. Failure is then blamed upon Hygiene, not upon the poisons.

We know that some who posed as Hygienists have declared that drugs are not wholly useless, that a "little medicine" now and then will do good, that drugs may sometimes save life, etc. But, have these ever really given Hygiene a full trial; have they ever made a full study of the relations of drugs to the living organism? It would break a fundamental law of nature for a drug to have a beneficial effect.

5. Medicine teaches that drugs act on the body; Hygiene teaches that the living organism acts on the drugs.

6. Medicine teaches that drugs cure disease; Hygiene teaches that drugs occasion disease. (To make this more clear: Hygiene teaches that the administration of every new drug requires new and additional remedial efforts to free the body of the poison--with every drug there is a new disease. The physician cures--or attempts to do so--by producing "iatrogenic disease.") A sick man is given a substance (drug) which results, as is known from experiment and experience, in impairment of function and destruction of structure, and if and when he recovers from his illness, his recovery is credited to the drug and not to the restorative operations of the body. The drug cured him. This is tantamount to the proposition that an agent that is known to be destructive occasions a restoration of health.

7. Physicians used to bleed, blister, puke and purge; now they inject, transfuse, cut and vaccinate to cure disease; Hygiene supplies food, air, water, sunshine, activity, rest, sleep and cleanliness--in a word, physiological wants. There is a radical difference between the Hygienic System which saves and the drug system which kills, but some cannot understand this difference. They think of the two systems as merely two different, perhaps opposing systems of treating disease.