By: Herbert M. Shelton
It has been made abundantly
clear that every drug is a poison
and every dose of every drug
produces disease. A new drug is
simply a new poison and gives
rise to a new disease.
The production of disease by the
prescriptions of physicians is what
is meant by iatrogenic disease.
It is common today to refer to such diseases as "diseases due to medical
progress." They are diseases that the patient would not develop were he not
This simply means that the physician is a foe of his patient and is engaged in
producing disease in him. Many iatrogenic diseases are far worse than the
original trouble for which the physician treats the patient.
Today a physician may truthfully say to a prospective patient: "I cannot cure
your cold, but I can give you hepatitis" or he may say: "I cannot cure your
pimples, but I can give you aplastic anemia."
Leukemia, cancer, spontaneous breaking of the bones, heart disease, asthma
and various other so-called diseases result from the use of drugs.
The production of disease by drugs is no new phenomenon. Indeed, this is
precisely what they were originally administered for. All so-called medicines,
in doses of any size, are poisons. They are used as medicines because they
Both the allopaths and the homeopaths profess to cure disease by producing
disease. To produce disease, whether an opposite or a similar disease, they
had to have disease-causing substances--poisons.
All of the effects of all of their medicines were symptoms of disease. When a
fever patient was treated for a month by a medley of poisons the perplexities
of diagnosis and complication of maladies were enough to confound the
profoundest minds in the medical profession of the entire world.
It was recognized, in the days of Graham and Trall, by medical authorities that
after several doses of any drug had been taken, and more especially after
several doses of several drugs had been administered, it was difficult and
sometimes quite impossible to discriminate between the symptoms produced
by the drugs and those of the disease.
This difficulty becomes quite apparent when it is understood that the only
distinction between a medicine and its therapeutic effects and a poison and its
toxicologic effects is one of quantity.
The dose of a drug that will occasion with one patient what they term
medicinal action may with another patient or with the same patient at another
time occasion what they distinguish as a toxicologic action, while any addition
to the medicinal dose of any drug at any time changes the modus operandi to
that of a poison. The fact is that drugs have no modus operandi and are
poisons in doses of any size.
Physicians spent as much time trying to cure their drug-caused diseases as
they did trying to cure the original maladies of their victims. Indeed, it was
often intimated in medical literature that, after a physician had attended a
patient a few days, his principal effort at each succeeding visit was to
counteract the effects of remedies prescribed at the preceding visit.
If new symptoms of disease clamor for relief and if a physician is a man of
large resources, he will not be in want of a remedy for each symptom as it
arises; for, of the thousands of drug combinations and preparations upon the
shelves of the drug stores, surely one can be found to meet the needs of each
Each new remedy creates new symptoms or aggravates old ones till; finally,
the powers of the patient become exhausted in the fruitless struggle with
drugs. Such a physician, so profound in science, so rich in experience, does
not suffer in his practice, for each of his cures creates new need for his
It may be received as a truism, that in a nation where there are large numbers
of disease-treaters and a large number of hospitals and clinics, there are a sick
Physicians and hospitals flourish only where sickness abounds. If the people
are healthy, the hospitals close and the physicians take in their shingles.
Where there is no disease, the disease-treaters cannot exist.
Today, we do not propose to educate more physicians, nurses, dentists,
psychiatrists, create more specialists and build more hospitals in an effort to
provide health for the people, but as a means of taking care of an increasing
number of sick.
Our research is to find more cures, not to find a way to preserve health.
Medicine has always and does yet rest upon unproved and undemonstrated
suppositions and hypotheses.
Anatomy, physiology, chemistry, etc., are, indeed, expanding sciences; but
the "application of remedies to cure diseases" has always been and still is an
A full knowledge of the human system, an understanding of the real nature of
disease and a recognition of the relations of drugs to the living organism, will
rescue man from the impositions and pretenses of the medical system.
If we can rescue mankind from the vile curse of drug taking, if we can make
men see and understand that there is no reason, no excuse, no necessity for
so great an abuse of their splendid organism, and make them see both the
necessity and the reason why drug taking should be discontinued at once
and permanently, we will have saved millions from torture and untimely death.
Many there are who cannot of themselves discontinue their drugging any
more than can the drunkard of himself leave off drink. They experience the
same difficulty the tobacco user has in discontinuing his pipe or the chewer
Without realizing it, they are addicts. Their bodily aches and pains and mental
tortures all drive them back to the source of their misery for evanescent
respite from their so-called (but miscalled) withdrawal symptoms.
They are slaves to their drugs; they are bound hand and foot and need the
help of a kind and sympathetic, withal skilled hand, in breaking their drug
habits and making them free men again.
One who knows and understands their sufferings and their anxious desires
for relief and who, at the same time, knows what slumbering resources are
lying within them, can alone rescue them from their bondage to the
We believe that all Hygienists, past and present, have agreed that the worst
diseases we have to manage, the ones that give the most trouble and offer
least hope of full recovery, are the chronic diseases caused by the drugs
which physicians employ in curing acute diseases.
The early Hygienists thought that it was always unsafe to take a case or to
promise anything after the "drug doctors" had had the patient in hand a few
Thus Susan E. Capen, M.D., a graduate of the College of Hygeo-Therapy, says
of a case, which she rejected:
"She sent for me two days before she died and urged me to take charge of the
case. I confess I had not sufficient courage to do so. Her chest and forearms
were completely covered with blister sores. Her tongue was black and sore,
probably from calomel. She had been charged by her three doctors not to use
cold water for bathing and to keep a bottle of hot water constantly at her feet;
and when I got there she had two hot stones at her sides, with a burning fever,
as you might suppose."
Due to their intrinsically toxic qualities, all drugs, even the least toxic of them,
suppress symptoms, build complications, produce chronic disease and tend
Most of the deaths in acute disease are due to drugging and practically all of
the sequelae that follow acute disease are consequences of the drugging
Many chronic sufferers maintain their suffering by their habitual drugging and
practically all of them shorten their lives in the same way.
It should not be difficult to realize that the poisoning practice is disease
producing and lethal. Every drug is anti-vital or antibiotic and its employment
in the care of the sick is a war upon life.
In the days of heavy quinine dosage in all fevers, frequent cases of temporary
insanity resulted from the quinine poisoning. Quinine also produced head
noises, deafness and serious nerve impairment.
Mercury caused salivation, a loss of teeth, necrosis of the bones and worked
universal havoc in the system.
Arsenic produced dermatitis and optic atrophy, resulting in blindness. The
other heavy metals that were employed--bismuth, potassium, the iodides, gold
salts, etc.--each produced their own characteristic iatrogenic diseases.
Although the body seems to have been better able to defend itself against
most herbal and animal poisons than against mineral poisons and against the
synthetic drugs of the present, quinine was far from being the only vegetable
poison that produced iatrogenic disease.
There is scarcely an alleged remedy given for the treatment of disease but will,
when administered to a healthy person, produce symptoms and morbid
actions precisely like those manifested in disease.
The virus of every poisonous thing and the filth of every filthy thing has
already been grafted onto the drug-medical system and it should not be
difficult for the reader to grasp the fact that these poisons and this filth
That drugs often provide a temporary respite from discomforts and pains is
admitted, but the relief is an illusion and the price one pays for it is great. Too
many people take drugs for temporary relief and evolve, as a direct
consequence, permanent trouble.
When one is seriously ill and has been so for a long time and has been under
drug care during this period, is it not possible that the continued sickness is
due to the fact that the patient is so thoroughly medicated as to have his
system decidedly poisoned and that, in reality, aside from troubles that may
grow out of ill considered and unhealthy habits of life to which he may be
addicted, his illness is the result of drug medication?
When a thought of this kind occurs to one who has been brought up in faith in
drugs, he is likely to be both amazed and horrified. The question will naturally
come to his mind: "Do you suppose that one so sorely afflicted as I am can
ever recover without medicines?"--Medicine in this instance being drugs.
The answer to such a question is that it is most certainly probable not only
that such a patient can get well without drugs, but that he cannot get well with
them, that it is safer and surer to care for the sick by other and less harmful
methods. Hygienic care offers such patients their only hope of recovery.
No poor, habitual drunkard is more dependent on his alcoholic liquor for
"strength" than are the great mass of the people on drug poisons for "health."
To live is but another name for "ill health" to be ill is to have to be treated; to be
treated is to take poison; to take poison is to suffer daily tortures for years and
then die prematurely.
Our country is teeming with people who are sick from being drugged and they
have been so drugged--and it is drugged they have been--as to be sick only
from that cause, and they can never again know health but must, until death
puts an end to their miseries, linger out lives of unspeakable wretchedness.
It is a fearful thing to give a man suffering with some slight ailment that would
soon end, a drug that makes him a victim for life. What extraordinary
prerogative does the profession have in its ability to kill according to law.
It would be impossible to determine, with the present habits of the people, how
much of their suffering and disease should be attributed directly to the taking
of drugs, sometimes as medicines, but often as aliment and for pleasure.
It is impossible to stress too much the fact that everything that is not strictly
alimentary and necessary to form and replace tissues must constitute a tax
upon the body and an exciting or disturbing element and to unduly wear the
delicate organs that are forced to carry it and dispose of it. Drugs and
incurable diseases are correlated.
How much of the physical lassitude and inefficiency so much complained of is
the result of the great and undue labor that the body is forced to perform to
protect itself from the damages threatened or produced by the taking of these
substances into the vital domain?
Once we have established tolerance for drugs, their effects are so insidious
that they often elude our notice and the one taking them is convinced that he
is doing himself good by swallowing drugs.
Even in small, but repeated doses, drugs to which tolerance has not been
established often do much harm that escapes our notice. The only test we
usually employ is that of present transient sensations.
If a cigarette, for example, makes us feel better for a brief time, we do not
analyze the matter and realize that we "feel" better because we do not feel so
well--this is to say, we have re-narcotized ourselves so that we are no longer
aware of our true condition.
A transient sensation of well-being (of narcosis) is mistaken for a genuine
feeling of well-being and we go blindly on in our stupidity.
Having failed to perceive the true relations of drugs to physiology, the present
drugging practices, which have descended from the older practices, are the
same in kind, if not in degree. The present-day physician accepts the
poisoning system as a finality.
But he is, nevertheless, concerned over the patient-killing effects of the new
wonder drugs. He talks much of progress, but is forced to recognize that it is
a kind of "progress" that brings anguish and despair to hundreds of
thousands of its victims.
"There is no cure for the common cold. There is no cure for arthritis. Science
has not discovered a cure for Parkinson's disease. We have no cure for
This melancholy refrain is heard and read repeatedly by people who are
suffering and seeking a way to good health. "The cause of arthritis is
unknown. We do not know the cause of gallstones. We have not found the
cause of multiple sclerosis. The cause of migraine is unknown." This is the
second stanza in the same lyric.
"The cause is unknown; no cure has been found. We can give you aspirin to
relieve your headache; we can give you a laxative for your constipation; we can
give you cortisone to relieve you of much of your suffering with arthritis; we
can give you drugs that will 'steady your nerves;' we can give you a sleeping
potion, an analgesic, a sedative, a tranquilizer, a stimulant. We can palliate your
symptoms; we can cut out your organs; but we can do nothing for you that is
of any real or lasting value." This is the third stanza in the melancholy song.
But a lack of cures is the minor part of the story. The great flood of side
effects and iatrogenic diseases resulting from drugs has brought the
profession to the point where they can say to the young girl with pimples on
her face: "We cannot cure your acne, but we can give you cancer" to the man
seeking relief from headaches: "We cannot cure your headache, but we can
give you hemorrhages of the stomach." This is the fourth stanza of this
Notwithstanding the hundreds of vaunted cures possessed by the medical
profession and the great volume of supporting statistics they bring forth, the
fearful fact still remains that disease is on the increase and the volume of
crippling and lethal side effects of drugs grows by leaps and bounds.
Surprisingly rapid changes in public opinion may be expected as this evil
continues to multiply.
Physicians have not yet recovered from the trouble, which thalidomide
brought upon them and they will not soon recover from the just alarm, which
this and many of their other drugs have aroused.
But they will continue to reassure the frightened public and they will strive to
inaugurate petty reforms to give the people a false sense of security.
In this latter effort, they will receive valuable assistance from the state, which
by its regulatory provisions, will seek to make the people feel that they are
being duly protected.
It is, nevertheless, true that the thalidomide tragedy, which was of nearly
worldwide proportions and involved many thousands of babies, brought out
into the open drug evils that had long been festering beneath the surface.
For the first time in history the popular press dared to openly discuss the
many evils of the drugging practice. The net result of this publicity of what are
called the side effects of drugs was to frighten the drug-taking public, create a
near panic in the ranks of physicians and make the manufacturers of drugs
anxious about tomorrow. There is fear lest the public lose confidence in
All efforts at setting up tighter controls, at assuring the public that this or that
drug is safe, are intended to reassure a frightened public and to attempt to
give them a false sense of security.
We often have it told to us that drugs can be a blessing or they can be a curse;
they can relieve human suffering or they can produce human suffering.
But we are faced with the obvious fact that their blessings are fictional and
evanescent, while their curses are real and lasting. They are rapidly becoming
a menace to the whole race. When we study what is happening, we realize
that they are becoming a growing threat.
Every big drug corporation in the world is in a mad race to produce more
powerful drugs without any consideration for their effects upon the health and
lives of the people.
The crass commercialism, economic itch and criminal acquisitiveness that
dominates the profession of medicine keeps its practitioners continually
experimenting on their patients with new and novel drugs and operations.
Making great boastful claims for their new and old remedies and discarding
them frequently for newer and more novel "wonders" underscores the lack of
knowledge possessed by the profession.
Yet, no one should think that they are doing all of this ignorantly. They know
exactly what they are doing and why-they are doing it for money. Physicians
who go from ward to ward feeling pulses, looking at tongues and dispensing
poisons are not safe members of society.
There are no drugs that do not produce so-called side effects and it is certain
that the more toxic of them invariably produce iatrogenic disease.
For example, in his researches, Hans Selye demonstrated that animals dosed
with corticoids and sodium salts rapidly developed fatal cardiac necroses
followed by myocarditis.
The physician gives corticoids to a patient suffering with arthritis, which he
knows will not remedy the arthritis and the corticoids produce heart disease in
the patient. Certainly there must be more reliable ways of caring for arthritic
Not long since a study group appointed by the American Medical Association
to study the effects of drugs upon the blood indicted 48 drugs for their definite
blood damaging effects.
Chloromycetin, which they designated the No. 1 culprit, seems to have a
"definite toxic action on the bone marrow" where blood cells are produced.
Among other drugs listed were others of the antibiotics, a number of
tranquilizers, certain sleeping pills, the so-called anti-arthritis and anti-gout
drugs--colchicine, butazolidin, benemid and gold salts--four pain killers,
including phenacetin, so-called anti-diabetes pills, certain so-called kidney
stimulants, the anticoagulant drugs, several anti-epileptic drugs, thyroid drugs
and six different sulfa drugs.
The so-called wonder drug, chloroquine (a synthetic quinine), which is
credited with preventing malaria, was found to produce blindness among its
evil effects. Indeed, the so-called side effects of the new "wonder drugs" are
said to still "plague the physicians."
It is estimated that 1.3 million Americans are made sick by the drugs they take
to make them well. This estimate is far short of the actual number that are
made sick by drugs and covers only those cases that are made sick enough
that the physician recognizes the drug as cause. The fact is that it is
impossible to take a drug without being made sick.
When the thalidomide tragedy frightened the drug world, there followed a few
years of intensive testing of drugs in an effort to determine what other drugs
would cripple and deform the unborn.
So many drugs were found to damage the unborn that many physicians went
so far as to advise pregnant mothers to avoid all drugs. Others urged what
they called a minimum of medicine during pregnancy.
So great and so extensive are the damages produced by drugs that the time
must be close at hand when public recognition of this fact will compel the
discontinuance of all drugging.
Facts about the harmfulness and futility of the drugging practice coming from
the highest medical sources have a force, which cannot be resisted. By their
own showing, we are on the right side and shall ultimately and inevitably drive
them from their field.
Theirs is a confession that speaks no less eloquently for the integrity of the
men who make it than for the superiority of Hygiene as a way of life. It is true
that medical spokesmen make no mention of Hygiene, but after they have
completed their confession about drugs, there is nothing else left.
The people are fearful and ready and cannot be quieted by the most powerful
opiate. They are asking: "What of the morning?" The profession must answer
or die as a profession.
If they answer truly, it must be in condemnation of themselves. If they answer
falsely, the people will surely find it out, for they have been fed on falsehoods
until they have nausea and are ready to spew them out.
Nothing but the plain wholesome truth will be accepted when once the great
engine of thought is awakened and the fires of reason propel the machinery.
One of the facts that has recently come to light is highlighted by an article in
the British Medical Journal, March 13, 1965, which says:
"Phenacetin has been used continuously in treatment for almost 80 years, and
is contained in many proprietary preparations ... The association of phenacetin
with renal (kidney) damage was not disclosed until the 1950's and the reports
emphasized several features common to the cases . . .
Clinically these patients usually presented features of acute or chronic renal
failure, and at necropsy the kidneys might be normal or reduced in size, and
showed papillary necrosis."
Again: "Questions are now being asked whether phenacetin needs to be
retained in the doctor's armamentarium . . ." and it says that:
"At present it would seem wise not to prescribe analgesic drug mixtures
containing phenacetin as a long-term measure to patients with diabetes or
disease of the renal tract. Patients in whom renal damage associated with
phenacetin intake is recognized clinically may improve considerably if the drug
is stopped completely."
That a drug may be extensively used for many years by the best men in the
profession before its evil effects are discovered, as was the case with aspirin
and phenacetin, can be due to only one thing: namely, the blindness of the
profession that grows out of its faith in the beneficence of poisons.
The physician, who cannot tell that his drugs are producing ill effects upon his
patient until serious, perhaps fatal consequences evolve, has no business
Like the man who cannot tell the time of day until he hears the clock strike,
hence has no need for a watch, such a physician has no need for a
Many times have we received long letters from husbands detailing the
diseases with which their wives suffered over the years, the operations they
have had, the physicians they have consulted and the drugs they have taken.
The letter would tell us of how much benefit the wife has derived from the
application of Hygiene to her case. But the husband is usually puzzled. Why
should she still have any ailment at all, now that Hygienic attention has been
applied to her?
No person ever entirely recovers from so much drugging; few can suffer so
long even without drugs and not evolve irreversible changes; the results of
surgery cannot be removed.
Hygiene may keep such a person alive and comparatively well and
comfortable, but he or she is not going to evolve full health (even where this is
possible, more time is required than is usually given) and both he and she
should be happy that so much progress has been made.
Is it to be thought that one can submit to constant poisoning for years and
then wipe out every vestige of its effects?
Excerpt From: Man's Pristine Way Of Life 1968
By: Herbert M. Shelton
Article: Iatrogenic Diseases
Complete Book Free Online: Man's Pristine Way Of Life