The Evils of Drug Medication
By: Herbert M. Shelton
In an editorial in the July 1873
issue of The Science of Health,
Dr. Russell T. Trall, M.D. said:
"Disease being an effort of the
vital organism to restore the
normal state, the causes which
necessitate that effort should be
removed, in order that the effort
may be successful."
The superior efficacy of physiological care, that is, care that supplies the
physiological needs of the sick organism, as contrasted with those systems
that ignore physiological needs and tamper with the structures and functions
of the body with chemical and mechanical means, is too evident to have to
dwell at great length upon it.
Before any genuine advancement in the care of the sick can be made, the
killing method of curing disease will have to be abandoned.
Physicians are engaged in "fighting disease" not in removing its causes. They
think of disease as due to germs and viruses and not as the result of ways of
life that conflict with the best interests of the organism.
Even if they think that stress may be involved in the causation of disease, they
are sure that this may be met with gland extracts and that the removal of the
sources of stress is not really essential.
Their drugs and their gland extracts are indulgences that enable their deluded
victims to continue their harmful practices and not be hurt by them.
They treat each so-called disease as though it were a single soldier or a
guerrilla band, ambushed or ensconced in isolated regions of the body, and
charge it with their hypodermic guns, bombard it with their vaccinal canons,
gas it with their antibiotics and seek to destroy it with their atomic bomb-
Viewing disease as an evil entity that has attacked the organism, there is
always a driving effort, on all sides, to make the break-through, to develop a
parry for every possible thrust of disease.
Thus it is that against the most urgent remonstrances of the organic instincts,
the physician forces upon the body of his patients, vile compounds that
should never be taken into the body of man. It cannot be said with any show
of truth that the man is the greatest physician who most violates the laws of
A (1966-7) study made at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore revealed that
five percent of "medical admissions" to the hospital were attributable to some
sort of "drug reaction."
Their report showed that 13 percent of the patients in the hospital had had
"a severe drug reaction while undergoing treatment."
The great majority of these so-called reactions followed the administration of
antibiotics, of which penicillin had been most used. A so-called "drug reaction"
may be anything from a simple skin irritation to death and it is practically
impossible to foretell what "reaction" will occur, so that the patient who takes
drugs always runs a serious risk.
In the United States alone between 200 and 300 patients a year die from what
they call "penicillin reactions" which simply means from penicillin poisoning.
To make matters worse, it is admitted by medical authorities that: "penicillin is
certainly the least toxic of antibiotics." Thus it will be seen that the medical
program of care is one of producing disease and death.
Are the poisons of the physician necessary to save life, or do they destroy
life? Is man so constituted that some certain and irremediable evil must be
produced on him to produce in him some uncertain good?
Is poisoning the sick not contrary to all the requirements of natural law; is it
not abhorrent to the very nature of man, hateful to every living thing?
Mothers, before you consent to poison the life-springs of your precious
darlings, for whom you have suffered and worked, let us assure you that there
is no need for and no good to come out of this poisoning for anyone.
Hygienists have publicly protested for nearly a century and a half against the
monstrous absurdity of attempting to cure disease by agents the natural
effects of which upon living structures are destructive.
Dr. Alcott describes his thoughts at the bedside of a typhoid patient who had
been treated allopathically. After saying that he "saw very clearly" that what
the patient needed most "was rest and sleep" he records his thoughts about
the drugs at the bedside.
"What does all this mean" he asked himself. "Why all this array of war-like
implements? What indication is there of the necessity of alcohol, quinine,
morphine, opium, ipecac, nitre, etc.? He is burning with fever; shall we add fuel
to the fire?"
Dr. Alcott reports that he discontinued the drugging and permitted the patient
to have all the water desired to drink and that immediate improvement
followed. If the sick individual is cared for kindly and in strict accord with the
genuine needs of life under the circumstances, the illness should be of short
duration; however, it is often prolonged and life destroyed by mistaken efforts
The idea that disease can be cured and that it should be cured has enabled
physicians to kill more people than "war, pestilence and famine combined."
We do not deny that the regular practices of bleeding and antiphlogistication,
in dealing with fever patients, were not without apparent successes. But this
did not prove that the stimulations were good per se. It only proved that it is
the least of two evils. We do not hesitate to say that 95 percent of the people
who die in this country each year die needlessly.
Of every thousand cases of a particular acute disease a certain number, which
can be determined within prescribed limits of deviation from the normal, will
recover with or without treatment of any kind whatsoever.
This fact is true under any and all forms of treatment, of neglect and abuse; it
has always been true. Hence, it is difficult to determine, when a treatment is
employed and a certain percentage of patients recover, what effect if any the
so-called remedy has in restoring health.
The use of the remedy and the recovery of the patient may have been mere
coincidence; the remedy may have actually retarded recovery; it is
conceivable that, in some instances and with some remedies, recovery may
have been helped.
Patients also die under any and all forms of care. The question is both
pertinent and logical: what is the office of the treatment in killing the patient?
Certainly, the death rate in every so-called acute disease is much higher under
some forms of care than under others. When, for example, the death rate in
typhoid fever was 40 percent, the treatment administered was lethal.
When a method of treatment was introduced under which the death rate fell to
12 and eight percent, the question still remained: does the new treatment cure
more cases or does it merely kill fewer?
Obviously, statistical studies cannot supply an answer to this question.
Today, great store is laid by statistical studies; but it is obvious that they give
results without revealing what the results are due to.
When we read of the procedures and discoveries of modern scientific
medicine, whether we read the news accounts or the accounts in the medical
journals, reports and standard texts, one thing stands out above all else:
always there are doubts, misgivings, compromising qualifications, exceptions,
complicating, often dangerous side effects.
There is lacking any clear and demonstrable principle that unifies the whole
and reduces the jumble of uncertainties to certainty. Statistics also share in
this uncertainty and lack of clear principle.
As a consequence, they also lose value. The conflicting views that arise out of
analyses of the same set of statistics by different medical men of equal
authority are enough to demonstrate the unreliability of such statistics.
Firmness is required to prevent officious friends and relatives from meddling
with the life of the patient. For, when one is very sick, as in typhoid or
pneumonia, the powers of the patient are as easily depressed toward death as
toward life, as the most delicately adjusted scales are turned by a fraction of a
grain of weight.
It is the Hygienic view that drugging practices are directly responsible for great
numbers of deaths, which would otherwise not occur. Where they do not
cause death, they greatly retard recovery.
When a strong man in full maturity and vigor becomes suddenly ill and is soon
numbered among the dead, we cannot reconcile this with any principle in the
order of nature that predetermines the results.
Those of our people who attempt to reconcile such occurrences with the
attributes of wisdom, benevolence and unchangeableness with which they
have endowed the Governor of the universe, fail to present us with a
satisfactory answer to our misgivings.
We cannot accept such deaths as the outworkings of a "mysterious
Providence" against which the physician pits his skill and learning.
We can perceive nothing but violated laws asserting their immutability and
exacting their results. It may be and commonly is in such cases that the worst
violations, those really responsible for the death, are committed in the
treatment of the sick man. Treatment kills where; otherwise, the sick would
The newspapers are loud in flaunting to the world the fact that the physicians
struggled valiantly against the disease, that they employed all the resources of
modern medicine, yet the patient died in spite of their heroic efforts.
Editors seem never to suspect that death is most often the result of these very
efforts, that, except for the resources of modern medicine, there would be a
much lower death rate.
The clergy, seeming to take the position that the physicians and their poisons
are the friends of the sick and God their enemy, attribute death to the "will of
The Almighty sends disease upon a man and terminates his existence by
violence in spite of the opposition of his physicians. God is the enemy of his
own work. God killed the patient in spite of the efforts of the physician to
protect him from the decree of the Almighty.
Against such sentiments, which they declared to be most pernicious in their
bearings upon the human mind, the Hygienists vigorously protested.
Dr. Trall said that it is "such talk, such solemn twattle, that misleads and
deceives the world, and makes the great and terrible lessons of wisdom taught
through affliction so nearly lost to us."
What are the remedies employed by physicians? Clearly they are poisons--
other causes of disease. Their alleged remedial effects are the actions of the
body in its struggle to resist and expel the drugs.
The physician, so far from counteracting the causes of death, actually
cooperates with them. His drugging is a concealed war upon the human
constitution. The drugs, to which hasty and inconsiderate men so frequently
resort to "aid nature a bit" often cause much more serious disease than that for
which they are administered.
The reigning preference for drugs can be ascribed to but one thing: namely,
ignorance of the laws of life and the conditions upon which life depends.
The complaint frequently made by physicians that the people, in their
ignorance, believe that drugs are necessary to cure disease and, therefore, will
have them, is but an effort to whitewash their practices.
We ask: Who taught the people to believe in the saving potencies of drugs?
Whose business is it to enlighten the people and teach them better?
Medical men are just as much addicted to unphysiological habits as are other
people and are just as prone to disease. They have deliberately abandoned
the sure and simple ways of nature and have created, as a substitute, a highly
complex and ruinous artificial system.
Dr. Trall wrote:
"If all the physicians who become convinced that the whole drug system is
wrong would at once refuse to countenance the wrong, either by word or deed,
the people would sooner or later see their error. It is the business of the true
physician to be a health teacher, not a panderer to depraved appetites and
erroneous opinions. Otherwise his profession, which ought to be ennobling,
sinks to the level of the meanest chicanery and the most mercenary trades."
It is, of course, a mistake to think that the office of the physician has ever been
that of an educator. From the time of Hippocrates to the present, he has been
a disease-treater--a dispenser of drugs.
How can we expect otherwise, as medical colleges are busy teaching the
poisoning practice and nothing else? These carefully standardized and rigidly
controlled colleges are not permitted to teach anything except what is
approved by the medical society.
The young medical graduate is equipped, by his training and clinical
experience and by his internship, to poison and carve the sick and he is
prepared for nothing else.
Where is there a medical college that has a chair in dietetics? Where is there a
medical hospital that feeds anything other than restaurant fare such as may be
obtained in the third and fourth rate restaurants of the country? Where is there
a medically trained dietician who is anything more than a second-rate cook?
Here is a learned profession that for centuries have by prescriptive right, by
statutory authority and by general consent, had the care of the people's health,
and the best that they have found it expedient to do or the best that they have
been able to do, has been greatly to impair that health.
Such is the character of the drugging practice that its apparent successes are
miserable failures. The good drugs seem to do are evils. Drugs only lure to
deceive; whatever of good they may appear to do is evanescent and illusory.
Sooner or later their true effects become manifest.
How does the physician and his poisons cure the sick? Can he provide us
with an explanation that does not involve the admission that, at their assumed
best, his drugs are but "auxiliaries of nature?"
But is he not engaged in constantly trying to force nature to accept as helpers,
in her need, substances the legitimate effects of which upon the human
system are killative? It is confessed by those who manufacture them and by
the men who prescribe them that drugs are poisons.
Poisons kill; that is their nature. This is known to all. To say that a substance
is poisonous is not to awaken a recognition that it has as one of its essential
properties, one that preserves health and life or that restores health to the
The contrary thought is immediately aroused. We associate with poison the
idea of destruction--of disease and death.
Naturally, then, in considering arrangements, which preserve life, no informed
man can include a giver of drugs. It is conceivable, to return to an ancient
conception, that the drug system is the creation of the Angel of Death.
He must "grin horrible a ghastly smile" every time he watches the physician
and nurse at the bedside of the sick.
What a list of nostrums the physician has at his command. What a library of
books a man must study to understand such a dealing out of poisons.
Equipped with a pharmacopeia filled with nostrums and with a lot of
unmeaning, incomprehensible jargon, with mystery as black as night, the
physician goes forth on his mission of mayhem and murder secure in the
knowledge that he has the law, custom, popular credulity and general
ignorance all on his side.
He even dares to flaunt the evidence of the crippling and lethal effects of his
drugs in the public print, knowing that he is not going to be called to account
by a credulous people nor by the authorities who have connived with him to
give him a monopoly of the care of the sick.
The medical school frequently boasts of the number and variety of its remedial
appliances, processes and agents. Few mistakes have been more egregious
than to suppose that medicine's usefulness is in proportion to the number and
variety of its means of treatment.
Its means are not truly remedial and, even if they were, there can be no
conceivable reason for so many thousands of them. Their very number and
variety testify to their ineffectiveness and fallacy.
The reader may inquire: are there not some good drugs? He should
understand that any valid principle, which will give us one good drug, will give
us a million of them.
Drugs are essentially disease producing when placed in contact with the
tissues of the living organism. It is a fact that has been demonstrated by more
than 2,000 years of medical experience, that every drug that is or has ever
been used in the treatment of the sick will occasion in the healthy individual
symptoms that are identical with the symptoms of disease.
This is to say, drugs make well people sick. It is bad enough to be sick; but
when, in addition to sickness, one is dosed with poisons, he is truly in a
Nothing can be more preposterous than the idea that those things that make
well men sick or that tend to kill when administered to the healthy are proper
things with which to restore health to the sick.
Yet on such nonsense as this the whole healing art--has rested for 2,500
years. May we not, with the utmost propriety, call it the killing art? Has it not
been a stupendous evil?
Indeed, does not the testimony of its most illustrious advocates and teachers
admit that it has been evil from the outset? Is there within the reach of written
memorial another thing so tenaciously held, so persistently defended and
regularly employed, while the reasons for its employment are so diverse and
contradictory, as drugs?
When such substances, the ordinary and inevitable effect of which upon the
healthy organism is to disturb, damage and even to destroy it, are called
remedies, there must be something wrong with the understanding of those
practitioners who make use of such so-called remedies.
When, notwithstanding the combination of all the false, morbid and, not
infrequently, deadly means that are applied to the treatment of the sick, the
sick succeed in surviving and returning to a measure of health, what more
evidence can we ask for than this--that between health and sickness, life and
death, the forces of the organism are on the side of the former?
Drugs are commonly thought to be necessary to healing. But if they are
necessary, why are they not afforded a separate compartment in the
individuality of man? Why are they not desired as food and drink? Why is the
healthy man not made sick or even killed without them? Why is there such a
strong, instinctive repugnance to them? Why are they indignantly rejected by
the body when taken? Why are they causes of so much harm? In science
there is not the slightest show of grounds for identifying drugs with Hygienic
The physiologist knows of no power in the living organism that enables it to
synthesize living tissue or to generate functioning power out of the elements
of drugs, nor of any power, either in the drug or in the body, that enables it to
use drugs to remove disease or to repair damages.
He is well aware that they are only means whereby tissues may be destroyed
or damaged, functions impaired and the body exhausted in a very
unnecessary and wasteful manner.
The evils of drug medication lie in the necessity of the sick patient spending
his strength "casting out devils" instead of employing it in "entertaining
Every drug (poison) administered to the sick requires new and additional
remedial efforts, so that with every new drug there is an additional disease,
resulting in greater waste of functional power.
If disease so radically changed the body as to make a demand for drugs,
enabling the body to make use of them, there would be some excuse for their
But disease makes no radical change in the human organism. What it cannot
use in a state of health it cannot use in a state of disease.
Drugging necessitates a critical squandering of our energies, which must be
concentrated upon the elimination of the drug poison, while the causes of the
disease for which the drugs are given are permitted to corrode the very vitals
of the human constitution.
We are so intent upon finding means for the erasure of the effects of our
modes of living and treatment that we have no energy left for living, as a good,
When poisons are administered to the sick, all the powers of his system are
taxed to a fearful extent in casting them off through the excretory and other
When the patient is dosed with drugs, his digestive system, bowels, liver,
kidneys, nerves--his everything--are in a state of universal revolt. His entire
organism is involved in the effort to resist and expel the poison.
His whole being is outraged by the drug and is up in arms in defense. Is it,
then, any wonder that when he begins to convalesce (if he does),
convalescence is slow, digestion is impaired, excretion is inhibited and he is
weak (exhausted, in fact) and nervous?
If a drug will prostrate the powers of a well man, it will do the same for the
powers of a sick man. If it will reduce a man from strength to weakness, it will
reduce him from weakness to even greater weakness. It is not within the
power of drugs to evolve strength out of weakness.
Their natural and invariable tendency is the reverse of this. If, in the whole
kingdom of nature, a drug can be found which, if given to one in full health,
tends to make one more healthy, one may use it with confidence when ill.
It will improve the health of the sick with irresistible effect. It will restore his
exhausted powers, purify his fouled tissues, improve his impaired secretions,
accelerate his slackened circulation and restore him to that soundness of
physical body that belongs to health.
If, in health, it will contribute to his strength and beauty, in disease it will do the
same. To believe in the necessity of drugs, we must first admit or demonstrate
that they are useful in effecting some necessary result in a state of health.
We must then regard them as Hygienic materials. We must believe that their
habitual use by a person in perfect health would be not only beneficial but
Drugs simply produce a series of complications--drug diseases. Hence, the
more a physician medicates a family, the more they demand to be drugged.
After he has had the management of a case for a year or two, he seemingly
becomes an indispensable necessity to existence. Seldom does such a case
pass through the day, never, perhaps, a week, without discovering a new ache
or pain requiring another visit to the physician and another drug. If the
physician has 100 such patients, he is set up for life.
It is just the opposite of this with the Hygienist. When he cares for a fever
patient, Hygienically, the patient is left perfectly whole and if he should later
become sick again, he knows how to care for himself. He does not need to call
in the Hygienist.
How common is the practice of dosing patients whose sickness is mild with
poisons that make the condition worse. The more drugs taken the worse the
condition becomes. Many are killed outright by the practice.
Others, who would have speedily recovered with a little intelligent nursing,
have their illnesses greatly prolonged and their suffering intensified.
Many infants and children are sacrificed to the drugging practice, while a great
army of adults are drugged to within an inch of that river over which there is no
Drug medication is a self-sustaining institution; when a drugging physician
gets into a family, health departs. If his drugs seem to cure, they actually
complicate the condition of the patient--hence, the more he drugs a family, the
greater grows the apparent need for drugging.
Drugs are inherently noxious, large numbers of them being very virulent. So-
called medical science treats the sick with poisons that are more virulent than
those that are responsible for their illnesses.
Commonly, the more grave the symptoms, the more heroic the means
employed with which to treat them. As all of his alleged remedies are poisons,
one of the important studies of the medical student is toxicology, the science
or study of poisons.
He must learn the so-called toxic actions of every drug that he is to give to his
patients. As all of his drugs occasion effects other than those he seeks to
produce, he must also study their so-called side effects or untoward actions.
He must be forever on guard against giving what is called an overdose; he
must watch for symptoms of poisoning and sensitivity and discontinue the
drug if and when these occur.
He is well aware that his drugs are disease producing, that they are not useful
in a state of health and that they are fraught with danger in a state of disease.
It is only under the sway of false teachings and false training, when wrong
ideas of the way, the manner and means of living have been ingrained in man's
mind, that he can contemplate with complacency or approval the drugging
practice or any other practice of treating the sick which enjoins the
employment of substances and procedures the natural and inevitable effect of
which, if taken into or applied to the healthy organism, is to kill or to tend to
A man whose instincts have been subverted and whose intelligence has been
obfuscated may accept poisons for the cure of disease, but otherwise, he will
reject such substances as vigorously as a two-days-old infant will reject forty-
proof brandy as food.
If drugs cure the sick, the more drugs administered, the more cures should
follow; but such is not the case. We see evidence on every hand that as drugs
multiply, diseases also increase.
In the first place, drugs do not truly relieve a single malady; they paralyze and
irritate the whole frame, but they remove no causes and they provide none of
the essentials of health.
A temporary excitement (stimulation ) may bring temporary fictional relief from
symptoms, but such a strained exertion results, in its very nature, in a
consequent and commensurate depression.
Poison is exhaustive of the forces of life and destructive of living tissue and it
is the worse kind of folly to imagine that such substances can be health
How great is that army of cure-mongers and disease-treaters that regularly
take advantage of the general longing of the masses, even its educated
contingent, for something mysterious and incomprehensible, and who must
have a "sign" or a statistic, however fraudulent and inaccurate, and fill their
pockets with money thus obtained.
Their cures change rapidly, but their modes of operation continue to revolve
about this love of money.
Everyone must be conscious of the constant changes which medicine
undergoes, changes, which are assumed to represent progress, improvement
and increased effectiveness.
Unfortunately, these changes continue to revolve around the same old
fallacies, so that no genuine progress is ever made.
If their principles inclined them away from drugging and in the direction of
Natural Hygiene, there might be some hope for them; but they incline them in
the opposite direction. Don't be fooled by the popularity of a new drug or a
new operation. Fashions in treatment come and go like fashions in women's
The most fashionable drugs and operations soon become passe. The
ephemeral popularity of new drugs depends on no peculiar or even
demonstrated common merit, but upon the skill with which its imaginary
virtues are puffed by every device of publicity and advertising.
Physicians are busily engaged in establishing the myth that they are capable
of weighing the probable harm of a drug against its possible benefits in a
given case, thus determining the wisdom of giving or withholding the drug.
They possess no such power of discrimination. Indeed, for the most part, they
are engaged in administering their drugs, not in withholding them. They know,
even if they disregard this fact in practice, that their drugs are always
They also know that the "possible benefits" of their drugs are only
Physicians have cultivated the myth that they know how to give drugs,
whereas the layman is unacquainted with the intricacies of medical science,
hence does not know how to employ them.
Neither the character nor the intent of one administering a substance
determines its relation to the organism. A malefactor with murderous intent
may administer a poison to a man; a most benevolent individual with the best
of intentions may administer the same size dose of the same poison to the
same individual--the effect or the result will be the same in either case.
To take poisons under the direction of a physician does not alter the relation of
the poison to the body. Whether taken in large doses or small, it remains a
poison and the effects are those of poisoning. Poisoning is never
constructive in its effects or its results.
If the activities of the living organism are governed by law, when it is in intimate
relations with foreign substances of any kind or quality, we may be certain that
the law recognizes no differences between a poison when administered by a
physician and the same poison when administered by a malefactor with
Whatever the principle that presides over the organic structures and protects
them with an eternal vigilance, it is no respecter of persons, but treats every
intruder within her secret domains as unworthy of a place therein and
promptly rejects it.
Medical students, studying in their materia medica what are designated the
properties of all the poisons of the three kingdoms of nature and firmly
believing everything they read of the medicinal properties of herbs, minerals
and synthetics, must be lost in wonder and admiration at their astonishing
qualities and powers and at the great array of cures with which physicians are
No one ever hints to them that the alleged medicinal properties of drugs are
their poisonous qualities--that the so-called cathartic property of a drug is due
to its poisonous quality, that the so-called emetic property of a drug is due to
its poisonous quality, that the so-called diuretic property of a drug is due to its
poisonous quality, that the so-called narcotic property of a drug is due to its
poisonous quality, that the so-called stimulant property of a drug is due to its
How little true claim do physicians have for the confidence of the people. A
physician boasts of his success in practice and he is only boasting, without
knowing it, that he did not give enough poison to his patients to kill all of
His doses were not large enough or frequent enough to prevent the body's
recuperative powers from asserting their superiority and supremacy, in spite
of the brakes supplied by the physician to her wheels, to accomplish her end.
The physician may pound his chest and cry in a loud voice: "What a great man
am I" but his assumed greatness is an illusion. It is not customary for
individual physicians to openly behave in this manner, but the profession as a
whole is constantly crying out about its greatness.
The drugging practice has not the shadow of scientific principle for its basis;
but its practitioners have been accustomed so long to blindly groping their
way in uncertainty and experimentation, without system or consistency, that
they fail to perceive the deplorable state of their alleged science.
What was at first a conviction has long since been demonstrated to be a
certainty--that the entire drug system is essentially, intrinsically and
Medical colleges turn out new physicians fast enough and pharmaceutical
firms pour out a sufficient flood of new and old drugs to very rapidly lessen the
amount of disease among our people, if the drugging practice were based on
But we do not see a lessening of disease; instead, diseases multiply endlessly
and will continue to do so unless the drugging system is overthrown.
No man can watch the newspapers for a number of years without being struck
by the great number of promises that medical researchers make that are never
The never-ending stream of new drugs that are announced in the press, as
offering hope to the sick, only to disappear from the drug stores in a short time
indicates, as few things do, the utter confusion of the medical mind.
A new drug is produced; it enjoys a brief period of newspaper glory and
passes unnoticed to the land of shades, only to be followed by another new
drug, which goes through the same experience.
No matter how high the hopes raised, no matter how great the promises made,
none of medicine's cures remain cures for very long. Medicine tries so hard to
find cures but turns up only false cures.
So long as they continue to live, those who suffer with incurable disease
continue to run after the new medicines; when one nostrum fails, they go after
a new one with the same eagerness with which they took up the old one.
For the people will continue to run after new nostrums as fast as they are
made or discovered, until they fully understand that the healing principle
exists in the living organism and nowhere else and that every drug ever used
always was and always will be a hindrance instead of a help to the healing
The people must learn that the drugging practice is the arch foe of the sick.
Let us not be fooled. Physicians are well aware that their professed
knowledge of the "science of medicine" is all equal to a cipher. They have no
science. They cannot tell us of the modus operandi of a single drug. They
have no correct definition of disease.
Yet they utter sounds, after the manner of a certain biped that paddles in our
pools, whenever they find that someone knows them and can fathom the
shallow depths of their wisdom.
They have cried "quack" so long and so loudly that it is now accepted as a
term belonging exclusively to them. We congratulate them upon their happy
choice of a title.
The specious plea in defense of the employment of certain drugs that, "if they
do no good, they can at least do no harm" is palpably false.
Whatever involves an expenditure of organic forces, whether a drug or a
Hygienic agent, must of necessity be positively injurious if it fails to do good.
There can be no neutral ground that can be occupied by either drugs or
Hygienic materials and conditions. In using them or in resisting and expelling
them, the forces of life are expended and if there is nothing inherent in them
that provides remuneration, they are to be condemned and rejected as
enemies of life and health.
It is upon the basis of this principle that food becomes an enemy under those
conditions of the organism in which it cannot be used, that exercise becomes
harmful when rest is the great need, etc., etc.
If Hygienic materials are harmful when they are not usable or needed, should
not drugs, which are never usable, also prove harmful "if they do no good?"
It has long been known (it was much stressed by Dr. Trall) that there is no way
to tell in advance of its administration what effects will follow a drug in any
As a simple example: a dose of castor oil may be given as a cathartic and it
may be expelled by vomiting instead. Nor is it possible, by any scientific
method, to predict with accuracy what side effects will develop in any
Effects may differ in the same individual at different times and under different
conditions. The sex of the patient is a factor in determining this.
A report comes from the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore that studies
made during a two-year period established the fact that women are more
susceptible to adverse reactions to drugs than men. Studies have also shown
that drug reactions may be complicated by some foods, such as cheese and,
also, by previous medication.
The whole matter is so complicated that, even if drugs had any value, the
physician would be forever working in the dark.
Giving drugs to the sick is a great charlatanry, the sheerest empiricism, the
veriest folly, and should be classed as the most outrageous knavery and the
most audacious crime listed on crime's calendar.
If the men who prescribe drugs were as intelligent as they are deluded, they
would long since have ceased poisoning their patients.
As for the recipients, no suicide that was ever buried could compare with drug
taking, did the people but know how surely they are killing themselves.
It may be questioned whether all drugs are more or less cumulative, but it is
certain that all strong ones are. It is well known to medical men that many
drugs are expelled with great difficulty and only slowly, so that, if they are
taken regularly, they tend to accumulate in the body.
The heavy metals, like bismuth and mercury, are excreted with great difficulty
and there is a tendency of the body to deposit them in the bones.
Poisons that are not expelled must be taken out of the general circulation and
deposited where they will do least harm.
If a substance is harmful, as all drugs are, why take it into the body? Why think
that because it does not produce instantaneous death, we may take it with
impunity? Why not refrain from burdening the body with it? Why not give the
body the best opportunity to maintain high-level health?
If we are content to suffer, if we want to watch ourselves go down year after
year, then we will give no attention to the way in which we feed and care for
ourselves; but if health is worth having, it is worth the simple effort that is
required to refrain from habitually abusing the body by habits that are foreign
to the elemental needs of life. Why do we blindly adhere to a system inherited
from the Dark Ages?
Drug treatment is only symptomatic. If anti-coagulation drugs can prevent
blood clotting and tranquilizers can reduce blood pressure, they constitute
only symptomatic treatment. They remove no causes and as soon as their
administration is discontinued, the patient's condition lapses back into the
He finds that he must either continue the treatment indefinitely or else suffer
the continuance of high blood pressure and the danger of recurrent clotting.
In the long run, which is the worse evil: the dangers associated with blood
clotting and high blood pressure or those associated with drug taking?
It is true, in this instance, as in all others, that the temporary "relief" of
symptoms that is gained from taking drugs must be paid for with a greater
impairment of health. The international flow of drugs is merely a big business
from which huge profits are derived, but no health grows out of it.
There is a popular medical notion that the more dangerous the condition of the
patient, the more powerful the medication required. We can conceive of no
more monstrous idea than that the more critical the case, the more poisonous
the drugs that should be used to cure it.
As a general rule, the more virulent the poison, the better the remedy. This
medical notion accounts for the wonderful virtues ascribed to deadly poisons.
Drugs present us with another evil, that of addiction. There are many drugs to
which drug takers become addicted and from which they have the greatest
difficulty in extricating themselves.
When a man has become so addicted to tobacco, alcohol or other drug, that
he can no longer control himself, his only means of self-help consists in
keeping far away from the drug, and even this he finds difficult to do.
If he once boasted that he could take it or leave it, the boast has become
empty. His great and fatal mistake was that, when he could do so, he did not
let it alone. He forged the chains of habit by repeatedly taking the drug.
Our people are addicted to narcotics, tranquilizers, pep-up pills, sleeping
potions, and other drugs too numerous to mention. Their addictions to
tobacco and alcohol are old ones, but our people would benefit more from
closing the druggeries than from closing the groggeries.
Writing in an editorial in the Journal, October 1861, dealing with liquor in the
Army, Trall said:
"As we predicted, the alcoholic rebel has already proved a more destructive
enemy to the Federal Army than have the Confederate rebels. A correspondent
of the Tribune informs us that the forces under Beauregarde and Johnson at
Manassas were not allowed to touch intoxicating liquors and that their officers
set the example of strict temperance by wholly abstaining from the use of it
How discreditably for us this contrasted with the fact of free liquor drinking in
the armies of the Union. Who knows, who will ever know to what extent the
disaster and rout of the Federal armies at Bull Run was attributable to the super-
enemy that steals away the brains, waxes the eyes, distorts the mental
perceptions and overthrows reasoning powers?
Officers have been accused of being grossly intoxicated and unable, in
consequence, to attend to their regiments and duties. The newspapers have
teemed with, complaints of the drinking habits of the soldiers and the
rowdyism, insubordination and casualties consequent thereon.
Commanders have been obliged to resort to extreme measures to prevent the
utter demoralization of the men under their control and it has been a common
topic of remark, by the reporters in and around Washington, that the rum-
sellers were driving a brisk trade with the soldiers.
When the Seventy-Ninth Regiment rebelled, liquor, if not the cause, was the
chief difficulty and curse attending the revolt. Many of those who mutinied
were in a state of partial or complete intoxication."
The movies have always pictured alcohol as "liquid courage" but the facts of
history indicate that alcohol is liquid confusion and, if anything, liquid
Certainly, a soldier who is drunk is a poor marksman and a poor marcher. In
his confused state of mind, he is also poor at carrying out orders.
Hygienists are not interested in producing good soldiers, but they are deeply
interested in producing and maintaining the health of the young men of the
nation and in maintaining clarity of thought in them.
When we consider, first, that the medical profession teaches that alcohol is a
beneficial substance and, second, that the multitude are governed in their
thinking and acting by the opinions of the learned, we cannot be condemned
for saying that the "sordid spirit of the liquor traffic is less of an obstacle in the
way of temperance reform than are the false theories and consequent
erroneous practices of the medical profession."
When the temperance people and physicians learn that alcohol and its
conferrers are intrinsically bad, and not only relatively so, humanity will have
taken a great step forward. Must men forever be brayed in a mortar with a
pestle and learn nothing?
By: Herbert M. Shelton
Excerpt From: Man's Pristine Way Of Life 1968
Article: The Evils of Drug Medication
Complete Book Free Online: Man's Pristine Way Of Life