Health Education vs. Treatment
By: Herbert M. Shelton
Hygienic Review April 1973
More than three million people in
this country are incapacitated by
illness every day. Great numbers
of these are cared for in hospitals.
New hospitals are continually
being built and older ones are
We are always preparing to care for an increasing number of sick people; all
the while the story goes out that "preventive medicine" is such a howling
It is obvious, however, that the art of keeping well is not well understood and
that knowledge of how to stay well is not spreading very fast.
The great amount of sickness observed among those who are closest
adherents of the schools of so-called healing reveals that they are not
receiving the right kind of health education.
If our people knew how to keep well we could do with fewer rather than more
institutions for the care of the sick.
But if we look at the living habits of the practitioners of the various schools of
so-called healing, we shall soon discover that they are not doing any better in
preventing disease in themselves and in the members of their families than are
the supposedly more ignorant laymen.
Not only do we see a great amount of sickness, both acute and chronic,
among medical men and the members of their families, with relatively early
passing of most medical men, among osteopaths and their families, among
chiropractors and their families, among naturopaths and their families; but
when we observe the manner in which these men and their families live, we
see that they do not, on the whole, live any better than their patients.
The great majority of medical men, osteopaths, chiropractors and naturopaths
smoke or use tobacco in some other form. Great numbers of the members of
these professions drink alcoholic liquors. A sizable percentage of them are
addicted to other drugs. Most of them use tea and coffee and drink soda
Go into their homes and watch them eat and you soon discover that they eat,
for the most part, a conventional fare prepared in the conventional manner and
combined as indiscriminately and haphazardly as the foods of the laity are
Note that they are fat and plethoric or skinny, just as are the people in general.
They use "antacids" after eating and take laxatives or enemas and colonic
irrigations as much as their patients.
The members of their families are not examples of good health and their length
of life is often much less than that of the lay folk.
In the medical profession we often see the paradox of a cancer specialist
dying of cancer, a heart specialist dying of heart disease, a tubercular
specialist with tuberculosis, an asthma specialist with asthma, an allergist with
hay fever, an alienist becoming insane, a gastro-enterologist with peptic ulcer,
a genito-urinary specialist dying of cancer of the prostate.
When the specialists do not know enough about the causes and
patho-genesis of the diseases in which they specialize to present the
evolution of these diseases in themselves, how can they prevent or remedy
them in other people?
Have we not a situation in which the ancient advice, "physician, heal thyself" is
apropos? If a heart specialist dies of heart disease in his forties, what can he
know of the cause and prevention, not to say the cure of heart disease?
If a cancer specialist dies of cancer at a comparatively early age, how much
can the public depend upon early diagnosis and treatment?
Is it not patently obvious to everyone, when such facts are considered, that
the schools of so-called healing taken collectively, are helpless in the face of
the mounting incidence of chronic disease?
Whether they remove organs or administer antibiotics, pull legs and twist and
contort the patient, bake and boil and electrocute the patient, give herbs,
peddle vitamins, or in other ways treat symptoms and ignore causes, their
approaches to the problems of sickness are superficial, irrational and illusory.
Therapeutics is tremendously overworked and, as carried out today, amounts
to a stupendous confusion.
Although the allopathic profession is continually boasting of its monopoly of
medical science, it is a curing system that merely palliates and pretends to
cure without removing cause.
They boast of their great institutions of research and of the mighty work that is
being done in these. But the intelligent observer, watching the results of this
research over a period of several years, soon discovers that these mountains
labor and bring forth only a mouse a dead one, a stillbirth.
They provide more treatment for the sick, but no better health. They devise
newer and often more novel techniques of treatment, but the sick continue to
suffer and die as of yore. Medicine makes great progress, but it is progress in
the dealing art, not in the healing art.
The belief in diseases and cures stands as an effective barrier to a true
education in healthful living. The medical profession is not teaching the
people how to live. In fact, as already pointed out, it does not know how to
The same is true of the other schools of so-called healing. They are all busily
engaged in treating the effects of wrong life and ignoring the cause. The
medical profession has opposed every effort at improvement in living.
The only prevention they have fostered is that of immunization by means of
vaccines and serums.
True, after the people have adopted something that they opposed and it has
proved to possess genuine merit, they have championed it, called it their own
and the short memories of the people forget their original opposition. Thus
they are today receiving credit for innovations that they had nothing to do
with, except to oppose.
Our schools and colleges are not teaching the people how to live. Our school
textbooks are carefully censored. Not a line, not a word can vary from
There is no possibility of a new and revolutionary truth reaching the school
child or the older scholar by way of the educational institution. The teachers
and instructors are also kept closeted behind the iron curtain that prevents all
variant ideas from filtering into them and that prevents them from giving
expression to an idea that is not "sound."
The mind is thus enclosed in a carapace, which, unlike that of the lobster,
turtle or crab, cannot be shed, as the mind grows larger. Mental fixation is the
inevitable result of this process of intellectual canning.
To whom does the teaching profession turn when it wants a new textbook?
Does it turn to the man who knows; to the man who has broken society's
mental fetters and blazed new trails? It does not.
It gets its texts from men and women who are guaranteed incapables;
individuals who never had an original idea in their lives. This is the, reason that
the teaching profession is doing nothing to free the world from its religious,
medical, legal, economic, financial and political superstitions.
The "home fires" of orthodoxy must be kept burning and all hetero-doxical
ideas must be kept from the students. This is not altogether the fault of the
teachers, but of the powers that hold the whip hand over their heads.
No better example of this slavery of the educational system to the
superstitions that exist around us can be found than in the high school and
college texts of biology.
Biology has, from its origin, sucked the teats of the medical profession; much
of their intellectual pap has been drawn from this source. The biologist does
not know anything about the subject of medicine. He derives all of his "facts"
and opinions from the profession.
What he thinks and does not think is a subject of no importance, for he is
intellectually enslaved by the pill rollers. His textbooks are crammed with
paragraphs and pages about pathogenic bacteria, viruses, antibodies, allergy,
serums, vaccines, immunization, curing, etc.
He will discuss the antibiotics with an air of authority and, when these have
passed to the limbo reserved for the cures that pass in the night, he will revise
his texts and discuss with an equal authority the newer cures that have
replaced the antibiotics. He is but a phonograph talking out what has been
talked into his head. It is no laughing matter that he so often plays on a
The physiological juggernauts that cloud, suppress, pervert and distort the
minds of young and old of our age are everywhere and, so fully convinced are
we that the "authorities" know what they are talking about and doing, we dare
not question the prevailing fashions in thought.
The psychologists have taught us that intelligence is the ability to adjust
ourselves, which is merely another term for the old tyranny that demanded
conformity. The nonconformist is as deadly to the powers that be in our era as
in any past era.
We have a large standing army of physicians and surgeons and we have
another large army of Ph.D.'s engaged in "research" and these men are all
thinking, planning and coordinating their work, exchanging ideas and
knowledge, not only among themselves, but with similar armies abroad; but
where are the results?
They are still carrying on in the same old way searching for entitative diseases
or entitative causes, searching for cures and immunizers removing
appendices, excising tonsils, poisoning the sick, vaccinating the well, ignoring
the cause of disease and trying to cure disease without removing its cause.
After many years devoted to a wholesale slaughter of the tonsils they have no
more idea today about what causes tonsil enlargement than they had thirty
Every year they remove thousands upon thousands of the reproductive
organs of women and not one of them can explain the cause of a fibroid tumor
or a cancer.
Indeed, with all their searching and researching, they have not yet discovered
the cause of the common cold.
Their only conception of cause is that germs and viruses cause all disease.
They are cutting out cancers the same as they did fifty years ago; they follow
the operation with X-rays and radium as they have been doing for years and
the undertaker is still completing the job for them as he has been doing for
They are "researching" for everything except truth. The pathologist spends a
lifetime studying the endpoints of pathological processes and ends with no
more knowledge of cause than when he started.
Cause is not to be found in the morgue, but he will never grasp this simple
We have a great army of invalids and semi-invalids who are going from
specialist to specialist, from hospital to hospital, from sanitarium to sanitarium,
from one health resort to another, from climate to climate, from the seashore to
the mountains, or vice versa, seeking, ever seeking for health.
They go from one school of curing to another. School of curing, but they
never find health. They spend time and money in their search for health, but
all in vein.
What is wrong? If the drugs and operations and sea bathing and sunshine
and mountain air and different climates and the great specialists and the
famous hospitals and clinics and sanitariums and the practitioners of the
different schools of curing cannot cure them, what is the reason?
If "modern scientific medicine" with all of its great wealth of cures-its old drugs,
its miracle drugs, its antibiotics, its gland extracts, vitamins, X-rays, radium
rays, operations, etc. fails them and they turn to the lesser schools of curing,
and these also fail them, what shall they do?
The answers to all of these questions are simple ones. These people are not
getting well for the reason that the causes of their illnesses are not being
Enervating habits are being permitted to sap their functioning power.
Enervating treatments are adding their share to the depleting influences to
which they are subjected.
The consequence is that they remain toxemic. They continue to eat in a
manner to maintain a constant and seething mass of putridity in their digestive
They do not need to change climate. They do not need to go to the mountains
or to the seashore. They need to change their modes of living.
They can get well as soon as they cease to build disease. When they learn a
correct way of life and conform to it, they can have health. Until then, they are
destined to go on suffering and chasing cures until the undertaker relieves
them of the necessity of further chasing.
What then, is their greatest need? Knowledge, they need to be taught the
simple, wholesome ways of life that build and maintain vigorous health.
Health schools and not hospitals, health teachers and not symptom-treaters
these are the needs of the people.
If they will substitute an orderly and lawful way of life for the treatment of
disease, obedience to the laws of life for plans of immunization, knowledge for
superstition, they may substitute health for disease.
We need a more radical approach to the problems that confront the sick and
less superficial and enervating palliation. Let us get at the root of the troubles
that afflict mankind and cease trying to cure effects without removing causes.
By: Herbert M. Shelton
Article: Health Education vs. Treatment