Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History
Suzanne Humphries & Roman Bystrianyk, 2015.
This book was meant to question, even refute the general belief that vaccines have been the greatest factor in relieving humanity of a swath of contagious diseases. We cannot say that Humphries and Bystrianyk have been wholly successful in their endeavor. They have taken on a huge task: two independent investigators attempting to pull down a wall of what most consider to be “accepted science” in one book. Many commentators would immediately conclude that such a stance is discredited out of hand.
They would say, “You have no proof. You are talking out of ignorance.” But then, these authors counter with their studied version of facts accumulated over the generations. They also suggest that “the science” involved in vaccinology is far from complete and convincing, correct and pure.
The beginnings of their book cover the history of contagious diseases in the West and early efforts to inoculate or vaccinate humans against them. They suggest that dirty cities of past centuries were ripe for contagion, that the worst diseases passed away largely because of clean water, sewers, better food, and modern living conditions.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “Great cities are great sores.” Until the 20th century, Paris was a city of 85,000 cesspools. Many others were similarly loaded with filth which could readily provide fodder for contagion.
The latter pages of this book focus on the philosophy and physiology of immunity and vaccines. They quote Garry Fathman, MD, professor of immunology and rheumatology and associate professor of the Institute for Immunology, Transplantation and infection, who said, “the immune systems remains a black box … It’s staggeringly complex, comprising at least 15 interacting cell types …”
Humphries and Bystrianyk conclude that “we can’t even be sure how to tell when the immune system’s not working right, let alone why not, because we don’t have good metrics of what a healthy immune system looks like…. The more scientists learn about the immune system, the more they realize their profound lack of understanding.”
In the midst of an unfathomable complexity, vaccinologists do know that the immune system responds with more than just antibody. But because markers of cell-mediated immunity are elusive, antibodies found in the blood outside of the cells have become the measure of whether or not a person is immune.
The writers suggest that the reliance on antibody testing is fallacious, since “the antibody part of immunity is not at all necessary for the natural recovery of measles” and other infectious ills.
Simply put, vaccinology “has been hampered by an incomplete understanding of protective immunity …”
“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance –
it is the illusion of knowledge.”
But once vaccines came into vogue, physicians and politicians took control. Propaganda became mixed with changing scientific facts and public policy. “Fear sets in when risks are broadcast, people hand over responsibility and decision making.”
Faith in vaccines became gospel and those without the faith were denigrated. “The reality … is that vaccinology, as portrayed to the public today, amounts to writing religion on the back of ignorance.”
The writers of this small tome move step by step through the history of contagious ills (smallpox, measles, whooping cough, polio, etc.) and the production of vaccines which they fostered. They share many telling stories and data points in the likes of:
• More people died of smallpox in the 20 years after the strict compulsory laws in the mid 1800s in the United Kingdom than in the 20 years before.
• In the late 1800s, there were outbreaks of smallpox in Bavaria in the highly vaccinated (95 percent rate).
• Likewise, there was also a high rate of mortality in highly vaccinated Prussia in the same period.
• The community of Leicester in the United Kingdom balked at vaccination despite fines and imprisonment in the 1880s. Its overall child mortality declined after 1885 even while vaccination plummeted. The success of the “Leicester experiment” was never publicized.
• Technology – field drainage, flush toilets, water purification, pasteurization, etc. were the key to reducing contagions.
• “By the middle of the 20th century, except for the 1918 influenza pandemic, death from infectious disease in Western industrialized countries was no longer a major component of mortality statistics.”
• “It is estimated that at most 3.5 percent of the total decline in mortality since 1900 could be ascribed to medical measures introduced for the diseases considered here.”
The fundamental tenet of this book is that “accepted science” which has generated public policy regarding vaccinated should be studied and reviewed by impartial investigators. Propaganda rather than truth has reined because fear, conflict of interest, political purposes, etc. All these reasons suggest that vaccinators rather than vaccine deniers may one day – however distant – be themselves discredited.
Finally, we should add that this book by different-thinking is not the only one on the market. There hardly an abundance of such literature, but there are a number of other texts which address the situation and problem in various ways. We think there is room for many more until the medical community dares to take on the subject with disinterested but honest interest.
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1) Is Nature Mechanical?
2) Is the Total Amount of Matter and Energy (in the Universe) Always the Same?
3) Are the Laws of Nature Fixed?
4) Is Matter Unconscious?
5) Is Nature Purposeless?
6) Is All Biological Inheritance Material?
7) Are Memories Stored as Material Traces?
8) Are Minds Confined to Brains?
9) Are Psychic Phenomena Illusory?
10) Is Mechanistic Medicine the Only Kind that Really Works?
These are titles for the first 10 chapters and the outline for Sheldrake's recent book.
Passing over the Questions even quickly, you can readily guess that Dr. Sheldrake concludes all the answers to be a resounding NO.
The writer is neither creationist nor a religionist of any sort. He sees the Science model as limited and falling short in answering important questions. Rupert has his own way to address all of the questions, and ideas on howto broaden science by using free thought and modest experiments.
Scientists are humans like the rest of us. Flawed, political, desirous of acclaim, etc. Thus, they are imperfect and subject to error.
Science is a relatively new discipline and has only begun to explore lesser and greater universes. We live on a small planet, in a modest-sized system and in one of billions of galaxies. We also have small brains - even scientists - and limited experience even on this planet.
Sheldrake’s New Science of Life, written 1981, was greeted with suggestions for “book burning.”
But, his basic premises regarding morphic fields and resonance persist. He uses them repeatedly as very plausible means to explain many of the questions listed above.
I recommend the book, but the reader needs to have the fortitude to read through details of many scientific studies and the debate on scientific thought.
For a general view of the book and Sheldrake, the researcher and maverick, you may wish to read the article linked below.
If not, it may be simply worth your understanding that not all scientists follow the usual party line and believe that the 10 Questions should be answered YES.
The title of this book in England is The Science Delusion.
Sheldrake has other less weighty books that may appeal to general readers -
such as Dogs That Know When Their Owners are Coming Home.
His website is http://sheldrake.org