By: Herbert M. Shelton
Hygienic Review September 1973
Men and institutions are springing
up here and there that are called
Hygienic that do not deserve the
name, because they are not faithful
to the principles of Hygiene.
They do not yield themselves gratefully and in
full conformity to it. They do not believe in
Hygiene strongly enough to live by it. We demonstrate our fealty to a principle
by living by it, not by doing lip service to it.
When we are controlled by a principle and do not try to warp it to suit our
financial interests, we pursue a course of action that is the exact opposite of
that pursued by these men.
If we are possessed by a principle, we follow it to its ultimate end; we do not
try to use it merely for our convenience.
I do not deny the right of these men and institutions to the designation
Hygienic from any low, base, mean or sordid motive, while they believe in the
curative powers of their drugs and treatment or administer them in their
practice, but for the reason that I am bound to give my supreme loyalty to that
great and fundamental truth that recovery of health corresponds and
coincides with the law of creation or, if you prefer, the law of evolution.
This means, simply, that the processes by which we recover health are the
same processes by which we came into being; that the materials, which may
be legitimately employed in recovery of health, are identical with those by
which health is built and preserved in the first place.
Only those materials and influences, which are useful in the preservation of
health, are useful in the restoration of health. To this principle Hygienists
make but one exception: namely, constructive surgery, as employed in
wounds, broken bones, accidents, dislocations, etc.
I cannot consent to demean so glorious a truth as that which underlies the
Hygienic System by approving of those who connect its practice with the
drugs of the physician or the various modalities of the drugless practitioners.
These practitioners unwittingly, perhaps, constitute a class of "go-betweens".
They take for their motto the old Latin aphorism, "Medio tutissimus ibis".
Translated into English, this means: "The safest road is the middle road."
They take this road, when not impelled by baser motives, because they are
afraid of "extremes". "Truth lies between extremes" they often repeat. This is
a poor job, pitiful sophism.
When it was first declared that the earth is round and revolves on its axis and
goes around the sun, this new idea was contrary to the older idea that the
earth is flat, stationary and the center of things, with the sun, moon and stars
going around it.
These were the two extremes: how could a middle ground "between these two
extremes" have been found as a resting place for truth? All revolutions, and
Hygiene is a revolution, have been beset by this same conservatism, this same
They have been besieged from all four sides by those who would ostensibly
preserve from ruin the new idea. These would-be friends of the revolution,
these conservators and conservatives have always constituted, not the
vanguard of the revolution, but advance-agents of the counter-revolution.
Their influence has always been to retard and to even wipe out the gains
made. Truth is always extreme; truth is never on the fence; it never faces both
It is in the heart of this conservative spirit that the egg is formed which hatches
treason. Truth is not between two extremes, but is one extreme or the other. It
is not between a flat earth or a round earth, but is one or the other.
Whether we can see it, feel it or know it, this is true: Truth is always an
extremist. Instead of fearing it, from all considerations of caution, of
self-respect, of self-preservation and of success, we must accept the truth in
its entirety and reject all that falls outside that truth.
Applied to Hygiene, we must be as radical as the principles that underlie it. Its
practitioners, to entitle them to the name, should, both in their lives and
practices, conform to its principles as earnestly and truthfully, as sincerely and
unremittingly, as undoubtingly and uncompromisingly as do the devotees of
any other established science and art.
Just as one is not a Christian who mixes his Christianity with demonism, so
one is not a Hygienist who mixes his Hygiene with the therapeutic modalities
of the drugless schools or with the poisons of the drug schools.
The few Hygienists who are now in the vanguard of Hygienic work have
sedulously labored to keep for the people, the great truths which belong to
them, and to keep these vital truths above ground to the end that they may see
them, and seeing them, can appreciate them.
We have surrendered to principles of such magnitude, of such glory, of such
strength and life, that they will revolutionize the lives of all who accept them
and live by them and we shall not compromise these glorious principles by
subordinating them to or mingling them with the fallacies and wrong practices
of the schools of curing.
For years we have followed the straight and narrow path of Hygiene. Where
the truths of Hygiene have led, thither have we gone. Trustingly, confidently,
humbly, have we followed and we have not been disappointed. Hygiene has
never let us down.
The schools of curing are all devoid of fixed principles. The intricacies and
complexities of the systems are as unstable as quicksand and as changeable
as the wind. The theory of today is supplanted by that of tomorrow the
practice of today gives way to a new one tomorrow.
Practices that are greatly in vogue in one generation are strongly condemned
by the succeeding. All is chaos; all is confusion; all is uncertainty; all is rapid
Doubt envelops all their theories and distrust surrounds all their modalities.
We cannot afford to mingle the eternal certainties of Hygiene with the
evanescent fallacies of the schools of curing.
We know that law and order rule in the biological realm and we base our
practices on the unchanging principles of nature. These are our authorities
and they are supreme.
The laws of nature are greater than the greatest men of all the schools of
curing. We study the human organism from the point of view of natural law
and (normal) need, and we have faith in the normal means of life.
We stand in this matter, as it were, where we can summon the mighty forces of
organic existence, to the aid of the sick and to the aid of the well, for whoever
corresponds in his work and activity to the course of law, by so doing secures
the force and strength of that law to himself.
If the practitioners of the schools of curing cannot comprehend the simple
principles that underlie Hygiene, if they cannot know the superior
effectiveness of the normal elements of healthy existence; if they continue to
scout nature and adopt art, if they reject the glorious truths of Hygiene and
continue to hug their therapeutic delusions, we cannot stop them, but we must
keep the fair name of Hygiene free from contamination with any admixtures.
If they take the "wisdom of man" as it has accumulated through the ages, and
attempt to guide themselves by it, we take the principles of nature, as they
were at the beginning, and conform to them.
They seem unable to understand that a true art of care, both of the well and the
sick, must be marked by simplicity of means. They cannot comprehend the
simple and fundamental fact that to the extent that the practitioner adjusts
himself and his charge to the employment only of those means which are
established in nature for the uses of the living organism, will his strength and
Men who do not have an unswerving confidence in the foundation-principles
of Hygiene, a confidence that knows no abatement, that deepens with time and
experience, and that teaches them that healing is the prerogative of the living
organism, such men are not fit to bear the name Hygienist. They may be good
men, honest, truthful, sincere; they are not Hygienists.
Do I assert that Hygiene has reached maturity; that we are now in possession
of all the knowledge of principles and of the application of means to ends that
we shall ever have? By no means. Beyond our present knowledge lies an
arcanum, the greatness of which will astound the sharpest and the dullest
What we know is but a sand-grain of the sum-total, which is yet to be known
upon this vast subject. But the fact that there is yet much to be learned does
not justify us in abandoning what we do know of the fallacies and hurtful
practices of the schools of curing.
Our knowledge is to be extended and increased, not by a search in the fields
of fallacy, but by a more intensive cultivation of the truths that now belong to
us. Let us dig a little deeper, analyze a little more, separate the truth from the
dross to an ever-greater degree, but let us not soil our hands and our work by
digging in the muck of therapeutic fallacies.
Let us all be loyal to the principles and practices of Hygiene and seek to
extend these. Let us honor our system and proclaim it from the housetops.
Under no temptation let us swerve. Let those who have faith in poisons use
them, but let us not consent to the addition of any part of the poisoning
practice to Hygiene.
Let those who trust in the curative virtues of electricity, water applications,
baking and freezing, manipulations and adjustings, etc., have these to their
heart's content, but let us not admit such practices and the false theories upon
which they are predicated into Hygiene.
It is not needful that we should speak harshly, either of practitioners of these
various curing systems or of their devotees, but we must keep before the
people the fact that the Hygienist gives no drugs, employs no treatments and
does no manipulating; that he has a much better way, a way that is found in
the natural order and will not pass away with the passing of the present
generation of disease-treaters.
What a glorious work we have to do.
If we can educate the people to the extent that they can realize the
harmfulness of drugs and treatments and the helpfulness of the normal
elements of health, we shall have worked the mightiest revolution that has
ever taken place in human existence.
We must demand more Hygiene, not less. Those practitioners who, posing as
Hygienists, merely employ some Hygiene as a weak adjunct to their
therapeutic modalities should be made to realize that they are damaging a
system to which they render homage, and are retarding the progress of a
revolution that will, when it is finished, sweep all such into oblivion.
By: Herbert M. Shelton
Article: Hygienic Purity