bobh at ioa.com
Thu Mar 2 11:49:00 PST 2000
Dear fellow Nutritionist travelers on spaceship Earth...
During the last two days of the life of this nation's first President,
George Washington, he went for a horseback ride and caught a cold. As his
fever rose he went to bed and a series of the best physicians of highest
reputation were called, midst all proper concern and hand wringing, of
In keeping with the conventional wisdom of his day in the field of medicine,
and certainly following the orthodoxy of the times, he was bled...numerous
times until about 8 pints of his vital fluids were removed. He then died.
Of course, experts of later times, with a more advanced orthodoxy, have said
that the bleeding contributed to his demise as much as the cold, perhaps
When Louis Pasteur first treated rabies with a vaccine, he was soundly
ridiculed by the orthodox thinkers of his day...until repeated success
slowly validated his approach. His germ theory of medicine is now the
orthodox foundation of allopathic medicine, and major financially large
institutions are built around it, keeping this semi-outdated orthodoxy
firmly in control.
However, fellow Frenchman Claude Bernard had an ongoing debate with Pasteur
saying that germs are simply predators like sharks and wolves. They largely
only feed on the sick and feeble, and survival depends upon a healthy
constitution, which depends on sound nutrition, which depends on fertile
soil. Pasteur is reported to have conceded on his deathbed, "Bernard was
right; the soil is everything." And, today, the "Bernard theory" is
becoming a more sound orthodoxy as organic farming and fresh food nutrition
Many folks know the story of Europe's Dr. Semmelweiss of 150 years ago who
went insane due to self condemnation in failing to convince the arrogant
doctors of his times that it was vital to wash one's hands between examining
a cadaver and assisting in the birth of a child. The then extant orthodox
mindset stated that if there were germs, they were too small to account for
anything. New mothers died by the scores.
We have communicated recently about FDA approvals of this or that - under
the hidden pressures of vested interests, discussions about organic vs.
commercial food, and similar matters, and must realize that in our own times
we hold and venerate orthodox views that literally contribute to our ill
health and deaths much as did the bleeding of venerable Mr. Washington.
When such orthodox beliefs contribute to our ill health they are toxic, and
I Christen them with a new name: TOXORTHODOXY. It twists the tongue a bit,
but has a nice ring to it after you say it a few times. Try it. You'll
smile and like it. There is a lot of it around. We need to recognize it.
I postulate that every orthodoxy in every field contains a cesspool portion
of toxorthodoxy. It takes an open mind, objective investigating, a healthy
suspicion of old and new information and beliefs, a humble recognition that
all we know is still very little, a common sense suspicion of who funded the
study, and a stout heart to discern and apply new truths. Leaders do it.
It is easy and safe to live within any orthodoxy, to receive & bask in peer
recognition and approval, to relax and go with the general flow, to avoid
the pain of ridicule - confrontation - ostracism, to be promoted from within
as the truest of true believers, to avoid the hard work of thorough
thinking. Followers are like this no matter how high they may rise in their
profession, becoming the best of the worst.
Each of us is repeatedly faced with the same moral question: Do we go with
the common (orthodox) flow or seek to find and do what is ever better and
Robert (Bob) F. Heltman
Presenting New products to mail order catalogs & e-commerce Internet sites
across the USA and in Canada"
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