The Persistent Question of Vaccination | Part 3
Part 3 of 3
Sussanna Czeranko, ND
All acute diseases are natural processes … the result of Nature’s healing, cleansing efforts, which run a certain well-defined, orderly and natural course.
Every child’s disease is nature’s effort to cleanse the body.
Dr. C. S. Frischkorn2
Not all doctors shared the dream of compulsory universal vaccination practice. Peebles, an MD who had traveled extensively in Turkey, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, India, China, Europe, Mexico and the Pacific Islands, saw firsthand the wretched effects of vaccination among the poor and powerless. “It is sanitation, diet, pure air, calmness of mind, confidence, and cleanliness that modify the smallpox; all of which modifiers are infinitely cheaper, safer and in every way preferable to cow-pox poison, which if it does not kill, often marks, maims and sows the seed of future eczema, tumors, ulcers, carbuncles, cancers, and leprosy.”3(p8)
A Viennese contemporary of Peebles, Fodor states, “I consider it an unjustifiable cruelty to compel persons who believe vaccination to be harmful and unnecessary to have it performed as long as security against harm cannot be guaranteed.”4(p596) Opponents to vaccination argued that “if vaccination protected the vaccinated, they would have no occasion to fear infection. While, if vaccination does not protect the vaccinated from taking small pox from the unvaccinated, it is a monstrous fraud on human credulity.”5(p467) To be forced to get vaccinated was a huge violation of liberties as expressed by Hodge when he stated, “vaccination became a question of public policy when the first laws for its enforcement were enacted, and so long as people are taxed to support it, they have the common right of investigation.”5(p467)
No place was the infallibility of vaccination more evident than within the American military. “Reports of the United States marine hospital service from December 28, 1899 to 1900 show that there were 11,448 cases of smallpox among a body of picked men in the army and navy where it was obligatory that they should all be vaccinated and revaccinated regularly.”6(p210) All members of the army and navy were vaccinated and repeatedly revaccinated “as systematically as drills at a well regulated post.” 6(p210) Between 1897 – 1902, the American soldiers stationed in the Philippines were vaccinated repeatedly, and during these 5 years “there were 737 cases of smallpox with 261 deaths, a mortality of over 35%, double the mortality that took place before the days of vaccination when the sanitary conditions were vile and the people ignorant of hygiene.”6(p210)
Another naturopathic pioneer, Lindlahr, pointed out that “naturopathy holds that germs, bacteria and parasites are products of disease rather than its cause.”7(p130) He argued that “germs of themselves cannot create disease – if they could, humanity would soon be extinct. Disease germs are present everywhere, on the food we eat, in the water we drink, in the air and dust we breathe, and on the money we handle.”7(p130) From his perspective, diseases like smallpox can happen “when the necessary conditions for [their] growth and propagation – namely lowered vitality, and their own congenial morbid soil – they multiply very rapidly and develop all the symptoms of that particular germ disease.”7(p131)
Doctors who offered their infectious patients alternative healthcare in this climate were often ridiculed for their water cure and ‘crazy fanaticism’. Lust was quick to remind his contemporaries, though, that “strange to say, ‘the quacks’ lost only 1 to 2% of their typhoid patients, while the ‘regulars’ continued to lose 50 to 60%.”8(p599)
A major challenge in the early decades of the 20th century which points out the value of this alternative approach was ‘influenza’. Rather than vaccination to combat influenza cases, the early naturopaths recommended treatment which involved “rest in bed, plenty of fresh air, absolutely no food except fruit juices, cool sponge baths and alternate full sheet packs and trunk packs.”9(p865) They directed that at the beginning of the treatment the bowels should be emptied, using enemas if necessary along with light abdominal massage. If the headache was very severe, they could use cold compresses to the head and apply a throat pack. The full sheet packs constituted the mainstay of the treatment plan.
Full sheet packs were applied by dipping a sheet in cold water and enveloping the entire body with the exception of the head. According to Harvard’s instructions, “the patient is then wrapped in several layers of blanket and allowed to remain thus until a good reaction is secured. This will reduce the temperature by causing skin action (perspiration), but should not be pushed too far. If the temperature is 103F before the pack is applied, remove it when the temperature falls to 101F, which may take anywhere from one-half hour to an hour and a half. Sponge the patient, cover him warmly and allow him to rest for a half hour to an hour, then apply a trunk pack. For this, a piece of linen is dipped into cold water, and applied around the trunk of the body, and a piece of blanket is wrapped securely around it several times. This pack may be left on a longer time than the other. Your temperature is your indicator. If within an hour or two after the body pack is removed the temperature rises again, revert to your full sheet pack. Continue this procedure until all symptoms have abated and the patient begins to convalesce. Do not resort to feeding until the temperature has remained normal for at least a day. Then begin with fruit, milk and gruels.”9(pp865,866)
A further admonition, reported by Frischkorn,2 was “do not tempt the child’s appetite while ill or you will create an unnatural desire for food … remember a fast is better than too much food.”2(p12) In like fashion, Lindlahr, in explaining the treatment of his own son who had contracted smallpox “which consisted of absolute fasting and cold water applications,” described how “the child was kept day and night in the wet packs – in strips of linen dipped in cold water of natural temperature. These were changed when hot and dry. In addition to this he received the indicated high potency homeopathic remedies. There was hardly a spot on his body unaffected by sores and boils.”1(p257) The disease ran its course within 10 days leaving only a few marks on his son’s body.
Kneipp himself declared, in connection to water cure to combat disease, “I want to say that [bathing in warm water] is the first crime that parents can commit against their children.”10(p158) Father Sebastian Kneipp’s advice for mothers who wanted their children to be fresh, healthy and strong, not only physically but also mentally, was often met with disdain. Kneipp counseled mothers to “guard your children from weakness and harden them, so that they become strong and can resist any disease” by bathing their babies in cold water and never using warm bathing water.10(p158) Glowing testimonials from mothers who adapted Kneipp’s ‘hardening’ methods with cold water were published in Benedict Lust’s journal.10
Lust, an ardent follower of Kneipp, used the cold water treatments of Kneipp to treat diphtheria without losing a single case. “[He] packed the children under treatment in a shirt soaked in cold salt water, and repeated this until sufficient transpiration began to show. By causing a strong secretion of sweat [Lust] generally observed a gradual falling off of the fever. Continuing the treatment, [he] applied ablutions or short immersions in cold water. … For 20 to 30 minutes, vinegar water compresses were applied to the throat. [He used] decoctions of Foenum Graecum shavegrass or oakbark, as a gargling solution. In the cases of very young infants … teaspoonfuls of the decoctions were given internally. The nutrition … small quantities of water-gruel and German unfermented wine … and lemonade to quench the patient’s thirst.”11(p193,194)
Advice for measles again followed similar prescriptions as those of Kneipp and Lust. As soon as a child was perceived to have the measles, “administrating a total wrap with water temperatures of 20 to 25 F that can be alternated with partial wraps of the trunk and neck. The patient lies down during the wrap for 1 to 2 hours. Red light has also been used for the measles with most favourable results.”12
As we have seen, the story of vaccination began with smallpox and today every childhood disease has a corresponding vaccine that continues to be compulsory for school children. The preparations have more stringent manufacturing practices, and accompanying the advent of microscopy and lab procedures, the vaccines are no longer living. The ambiguity of the actual process and content is still with us. For example, thimerosal (a mercury delimitative) is added to vaccines as a preservative, and a controversy has ensued about its strong links to autism. At the same time that the United States’ Department of Health and Human Services proudly proclaims, “The global eradication of smallpox in 1977 ranks as one of the greatest triumphs in medicine,” compulsory smallpox vaccination of military personnel endures.13 Meanwhile, studies report on the strange diseases encountered by that same American military.14,15
The concern is that the proposed new vaccines to be used for the projected pandemic of N1H1 will utilize two adjuvants (MF-59 and ASO3) which, according to Infectious Disease News, have never been used in any vaccine licensed in the United States.16 “The use of squalene-based adjuvants is probably the issue that [is] likely to get the most amount of attention” since squalene has been linked to auto-immune diseases in Gulf War veterns.14
Medical doctors and naturopathic doctors banded together and took a stand against vaccinations. Vaccinations became an issue that galvanized each faction. The vaccinationists became politicized, rich and kept their patients in ignorance. The anti-vaccinationists educated their communities and practiced with nature’s laws. The naturopathic profession has yet to clarify or even unify its position on the issue in the closing days of the first decade of the new century. We may well as a profession find ourselves nodding in agreement with Hodge, who stated in 1911, “ the amazing fact that it has been possible to force the vaccination atrocity upon the unconsenting world for more than a century is almost incomprehensible.”17(p431)
Dr Sussanna Czeranko, ND, BBE, is a licensed naturopath in Ontario and Oregon. She is currently a faculty member at NCNM conducting historical research in its rare books room. She is applying these studies to the creation and delivery of an ongoing curriculum centered on nature cure, including balneotherapy and Buteyko, a Russian breathing therapy.
1. Lindlahr H. The anti-vaccination crusade. Herald of Health and Naturopath. 1910;15(5):257-259.
2. Frischkorn CS. Drugless treatment of babies’ ills, eczema, coughs and colds, mastoiditis, infantile paralysis and the general group of children’s diseases. Nature’s Path. 1927;3(1):10-12.
3. Peebles JM. Vaccination, a Curse and a Menace to Personal Liberty: With Statistics Showing its Dangers and Criminality. 10th ed. Los Angeles, CA: Peebles Publishing Company; 1913.
4. Oidtmann H. Opinions on vaccination in Germany. Herald of Health and Naturopath. 1910;15(10):593-597.
5. Hodge JW. Vaccination villainous – it’s compulsion a crime. Herald of Health and Naturopath. 1910;15(8):465-467.
6. Rinn JF. Does vaccination grant immunity from or lessen the severity of small pox? Herald of Health and Naturopath. 1911;16(4):205-211.
7. Lindlahr H. The anti-vaccination crusade. Herald of Health and Naturopath. 1910;15(3):129-131.
8. Lust B. Catching up. Herald of Health and Naturopath. 1910;15(10):597-599.
9. Harvard WF. Editorial. Herald of Health and Naturopath. 1918;23(11):865-7.
10. Kneipp S. How to harden children. Herald of Health and Naturopath. 1904;6(7):158.
11. Lust B. Syphilis. Herald of Health and Naturopath. 1910;15(4):193-195.
12. Herrmann S. The measles. Herald of Health and Naturopath. 1911;16(2):161-163.
13. Smallpox: 30th Anniversary of Global Eradication. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/SmallpoxEradication/. Updated October 1, 2007. Accessed September 29, 2009.
14. Asa PB, et al. Antibodies to squalene in Gulf War syndrome. Exp Mol Pathol. 2000;68(1):55-64.
15. Asa PB, et al. Antibodies to squalene in recipients of anthrax vaccine. Exp Mol Pathol. 2002;73(1):19-27.
16. Blazek N. Influenza A H1N1 vaccine trials underway. Infectious Disease News Web site. http://www.infectiousdiseasenews.com/article/42081.aspx#. July 24, 2009. Accessed September 30, 2009.
17. Hodge JW. Enjoining the vaccinationists. Herald of Health and Naturopath. 1911;16(7):431.