As for facts, we have a world filled with them, enough we think to justify us in our assertion that Hygiene is superior to all other systems of care ever tried. It has been estimated that man's collective knowledge, the sheer bulk of accumulating facts, doubles every ten years, but facts alone are inadequate to the production of a science. Science, it goes without saying, must have facts, and many of them, but if facts are all that we have, we have no science. Facts may be organized into a science, only if and when the basic law controlling them is found.

The arts of Hygiene are based upon such a science. Hygiene is founded upon biologic law. These laws govern all living things and we are required to obey them or suffer the inevitable consequence of disobedience--disease and early death.

Dr. Shelton has been expounding Hygienic principles since 1919. He did not waste much time trying to educate the practitioners of the various schools of curing, who are steeped in their modalities and drugs. "Our concept of the layman is inadequate," he says. "We are inclined to assume that he knows far less than, in reality, he does know and that he is capable of much less understanding than he actually possesses. This is the reason that we tend to avoid, perhaps too much so, discussions of problems which may be difficult to explain in an elementary manner, and impossible to explain completely--but which might challenge the layman to think a bit more deeply and seek further information. If we take seriously our task of informing intelligent laymen, we will not shrink from the work of leading these men and women into the more abstruce paths of knowledge."

In this book and in all of Dr. Shelton's other writings, he has ardently attempted to reach the minds of laymen by expressing himself in language that everyone understands, but which nevertheless requires some serious thought and sometimes a peek or two into the dictionary.

A difficulty of teaching Hygiene is that newcomers have previously learned myriads of medical fallacies. From kindergarten through college, every year young people are crammed with "health education," which is not much more than advertising of commercial medical schemes. Consequently, people are well brainwashed in medical fallacies and are closed to new truths. In their acquisition of knowledge they have not learned to distinguish between reality and sham--between things that have in them substance and intrinsic value and things that are only fictitious and have at best only a suppositious value. They cannot distinguish between the true and the false, for their childhood acquisition of knowledge was false and they have no basic principles from which to reason. It takes many years to weed their minds of their cultivated fallacies. That which has been learned through misconception and mistutoring must be discarded for a clearer knowledge of the laws of nature. We must learn our relations to the things and conditions about us and how we may use, and not misuse or abuse all things.

If we take into consideration the vast amount of physiological knowledge and systematized thought of Hygienists of the past and present, that now exists in the world, waiting to be learned, if men will only learn it, the ignorance of our leaders is nothing short of startling--the ignorance of the man-in-the-street is appalling. Elbert Hubbard advised: "Go as far as you can see, and when you get there, you'll see farther." Hubbard was an optimist. He seems not to have realized that when we get there, we tend to close our eyes to the distant vista or to turn our backs upon it.

Uncounted millions of people in this civilization of ours live and die without ever understanding where they have been, how they got there, where they are at any given time, or where they are headed. It is, perhaps, not possible to awaken these somnambulists and get them to view the world in which they live. But should we not be able to open the eyes to those who would lead mankind? Should it not be that our teachers, politicians, physicians, theologians, first open their eyes and see? More often than not, however, they are the last to comprehend a true science of life themselves, as they are too obscured by their own particular interests. A highly educated man has been brainwashed in the field of health for a whole lifetime, hence his obfuscation is irremediable.

Tilden once stated that "all positive knowledge must take root in nature and on this foundation social ethics rest." We have a world that is teeming with men and women who are highly educated in negative knowledge, that is, with knowledge that is not made to blend and unite with man and nature. They have a lot of information about a lot of things, but no knowledge about themselves. They know too much and yet have an indifferent education regarding the laws of life. A well educated young woman recently said to me: "I like malted milks. I know they are not good for me, but I don't care." She is a typical product of negative education--an education that is not related to and not blended with human life.

Many fools pass as very wise men solely because they have memorized the contents of numerous textbooks and passed the standard examinations, but they know nothing about the laws of life. One may be an Einstein in mathematics and sick with indigestion. With all his education, he may take an aspirin or an antacid for his discomfort and behave as though it has no cause. He may die at an early age because of such ignorance. This is a waste of 25, 30 or more years of the most valuable, productive and fertile time of an individual's life. His education has not educated him.

Prejudice--that little, snappish, rabid, purblind poodle-dog of old fogyism--is the vilest curse of our physical, intellectual and moral education. Our educational institutions are busy cramming our children's minds with prejudices. In high schools and colleges, where truth should prevail, we find textbooks containing near-truths and candid fallacies, ignorances and superstitions. Hence, prejudices and opposition to truth are rampant, as these always accompany false education and superstition, with all their darkening and debasing influences. Textbooks are written in such a manner that truths are purposely hidden.

There is strong fear of truth in our educational institutions. Were professors to begin teaching certain basic truths, they would immediately lose their job. They fear for their livelihood and stifle their inner urge to speak out. They are intellectual slaves, who can always find masters to tell them how to think and what to say. Those who seek for freedom in earnest will sooner or later make their way out of their dungeons into the light of day. They will develop the courage of the Hygienists and dare to speak the truth, "though the heavens may fall."

Why is there such a fear of truth today? Why is there so evident a desire to turn away from what may be regarded as a controversial subject, particularly if it runs counter to preconceptions and popular doctrines? It has been hammered into us from kindergarten through college, that we must not speak of any subject which might offend anyone. An exciting and fruitful academic argument is frowned upon in society. We must confine our conversation to sports, the weather, or our recent operation. There is a complete lack of ability of the average American to carry on an intelligent conversation. We are all taught to be good listeners. That's all that counts, say all our etiquette books. If we all just listen, who are we going to listen to? On the contrary, there is a great need today to bring out the ability of the child to analyze, criticize and discuss the many and varied issues of our day. A little friendly academic discussion is invigorating and inspires thought.