A Bibliographic History of the Health Freedom Movement by Martin J Walker

Taken from Martin J Walker

(thanks to Louise of Zeus Information Service who forwarded this excellent essay)

Growing rapidly over the last twenty five years, the Health
Freedom Movement (HFM) is essentially a movement struggling to give
individuals freedom of choice in treatments and practitioners the
right to practise other than allopathic therapies. At the moment
both these areas are constrained by monopoly interests which deny
choice by using the criteria of professionalism and profit for
dispensing health care. Dominating this system and its denial of
choice are the pharmaceutical companies, some of which have incomes
as big as small nation states and all of which compete ruthlessly
for control of the citizen's body.

Observing the HFM over the first years of the new century, it would
be easy to think that the movement is only about the defence of
vitamins and food supplements.  On rare occasions, it might even
look like the HFM is actually only defending the commercial
production and distribution of vitamins and food supplements. This
is principally because the war which is being waged against vitamin
and food supplement producers by the pharmaceutical companies has
recently taken centre stage with the growing regulatory closeness of
Codex Alimentarius, the international consultation to regulate food
labelling, vitamins and food supplements. Codex most clearly affects
companies which produce medicines, food and food supplements.
However, beneath and beyond these companies are unattached
individuals and groups with an interest in health and the more
personal use of nutritional medicine and supplementation.

not covered by commercial interests but only by interests in health,
have had a double battle over the years because despite many
campaigns, they have had to eke out representation. The
pharmaceutical companies and the associations of established
professional medicine have made great headway, through various
mechanisms, in dividing and setting against each other aspects of
the HFM. Some groups of alternative therapists have for instance
gained professional recognition and these groups have in the main
deserted the battlefield.  But while the pharmaceutical companies
and the medical profession have cleverly let into the mountain
castle, or at least the gatehouse, many fringe treatments such as
reflexology and aromatherapy, they are still determined to turn the
major natural alternatives into road kill on the way up the

If we were to summarise the complete picture of the medical
monopoly, it might involve; first an attempt by professional
allopathic medicine to maintain monopoly control of the diagnosis
and treatment of illness.  Second an attempt by the pharmaceutical
companies to keep monopoly and regulatory control of allopathic
medicines and high tech therapies. Third an attempt by chemical and
pharmaceutical interests to deny environmental and chemically
induced illness and finally an attempt to sever the link between
food, vitamins and other supplements and the treatment or prevention
of illness. Most everything which has happened over the last two
decades has flowed from these four strategic imperatives.

In an attempt to describe the origins and the various departments
of the HFM, I have written the following bibliographic history of
the movement.  This type of overview is important for the strength
of the future movement but also for the development of a theoretical
framework for the movement, something which so far has not been
approached with much gusto.

A History As Long As Organised Medicine

In Britain in 1900, Robert Bell M.D., published his book The
Deputy Physician,
written to help people treat themselves.  He
opened the book with a scathing attack on the profession of doctors.
 Having been a doctor himself for thirty years, Bell felt able to
write that the ranks of the profession were made up 'of a set of
ignorant, avaricious, narrow minded, and selfish men, whose first
care is to their own interests'. He then went on to quote with
relish the French satirist who said, 'there are only two classes of
physician - namely, those who kill their patients and those who
allow them to die'.

The attacks upon doctors began in earnest in the 'modern' period
during the middle of the 19th century when doctors in Europe and
North America organised their professional associations. Open
warfare continued apparently, in Britain at least, until the modern
scientific world came into being following the first world war.

From the 1920s onwards, and coincidentally the beginnings of
radium treatment for cancer, science and pharmaceutical medicine
gained the upper hand and became the centre of a much lauded belief
system, in which the doctor and the social concept of medicine were
rarely questioned publicly. Battles still went on but now they were
more covert and the casualties of this period are only now being
written about because information about them was previously so
thoroughly suppressed.

Then in the 1970s and 1980s, following a growing critical
consciousness, the opening up of society that began in the late
Sixties and the decline in State control of all aspects of
government, a movement critical of allopathic medicine and in favour
of alternatives began to coalesce in earnest. We might characterise
the battle for health freedom which seemed to begin anew at this
time and has continued to the present day, as being a period when
the pharmaceutical and chemical companies in particular have tried
to stamp their hegemony on the world of food and medicine. This is a
time when lab technicians and Chief Executive Officers of
multinational corporations have increasingly come to determine our
health care.

Almost by accident, I was the author in 1993 of one of the most
substantial health freedom books of the contemporary period. It was
not until a year after Dirty Medicine was first published,
however, that I stumbled across Morris Bealle.
Bealle was an American journalist who first wrote on softball and
baseball but later in his life wrote books about the health monopoly
of socialised medicine.  He also launched a magazine called

Capsule News, which reported on the pharmaceutical industry.

Bealle published his own books from Washington D.C. under the
imprint of All America House and he advertised Capsule News
with the slogan 'The All American News Digest for All American
people'. The book which I have of his, House of Rockefeller,
describes in Bealle's words 'how a shoestring was run into 200
billion dollars in two generations'. There are chapters on all the
main monopoly cartels or Trusts of the Rockefeller empire, including
the Drug Trust and the Food Trust. Forty pages of original research
into corporate monopoly. 

The principal reason that Rockefeller enterprises were to become
so important to the development of first the medical monopoly and
then the HFM was that Rockefeller, his allied entrepreneurs and
scientists linked up their 70% ownership of all US pharmaceutical
production with interests in medical research, medical education,
processed food and media. It was this cultural nexus recognised by
Bealle which played an important part in ensuring, to paraphrase
Henry Ford, that the people could have any kind of medicine they
wanted, as long as it was chemical and allopathic.

Books published in England, during the 1950s, such as The
Citizens versus the Doctors,
and the work, for example, of The
Food Education Society, which battled orthodoxy on nutrition, give a
clear indication that following the Second World War there was
opposition to the monopolistic role of the medical profession. This
opposition was less marked than in North America where both the
philosophy of individualism and opposition to the State expending
private personally earned money on 'what is best for the citizen'
were deeply embedded.

Apart from and much better known than Bealle, were a number of
books and writers covering the period from the end of World War
II until the mid-1980s. These books, however subliminally, laid the
foundations for and influenced the emergence of the contemporary HFM.

The Literary Foundations of Health Feedom

Despite what quackbusters are always parroting, the health
freedom movement is not anti-scientific and definitely not
anti-intellectual or irrational. Its foundations we might claim, are
among those who question the uses of science, criticise its linkage
with industry and, in the field of health care, rage against the
bastard motivation it finds in profit. Supporters of the movement
for health against allopathic medicine, are amongst the greatest
humanist writers of the twentieth century.

Ivan Illich, was born in 1926 and after studying philosophy,
religion and then history in Italy and Germany, went to live in
North America in 1951. He became a Pastor in an Irish Puerto
Rican parish of New York City, before eventually moving to Mexico.
Although in the Sixties Illich was to be involved in a number of
Universities and well regarded intellectual projects and despite
writing for numerous well known journals and newspapers, as well as
writing the founding book of Health Freedom, Medical Nemesis,
his voice has always remained that of an intellectual on the fringe.

Always treated with respect because of his immense and
charismatic intellectual imagination and scholarship, his ideas were
so utterly at variance with capitalist consumer society that his
stature remains ghost like.  Illich is to social criticism what
Kafka was to European literature, a strange figure of unquestionable
integrity and infinite gravitas lobbing pointed criticism into
bourgeoise society from the Steppes.

Illich might be considered the founder of any movement against
iatrogenic illness and he did more to publicise the term than any
other writer.  The first sentence of his introduction to Medical
Nemesis; The Expropriation of Health,
reads: 'The medical
establishment has become a major threat to health'. Although his
work is in parts highly intellectual, like many great thinkers it is
also full of pithy truths which lead you to the very heart of the
matter. Published in 1975, in the aftermath of the revolts in the
late Sixties,  Medical Nemesis was the first work to draw
attention to the changing role of the doctor and his descent from
empirically minded healer to pimp for the pharmaceutical companies.

In Medical Nemesis, Illich outlines the fundamental
personal and social arguments for knowing your own body and treating
yourself rather than sacrificing yourself to the religion of
medicine. His later work on the incapacitating nature of the medical
and other professions could still direct our sense of strategy today
twenty five years after it was written.

In describing the struggle in North America between alternative
medicine and the emerging medical profession from the middle of the
nineteenth century, nothing can compare with the third volume of
Harris L. Coulter's
life-time work, Divided Legacy (Science and
Ethics in American Medicine 1800-1914 - the battle between
homeopaths and the AMA).
 Coulter's history of the schisms in
medical thought which he began in 1973, was finished in 1995, with
the fourth volume, an account of Medicine in the Bacteriological Era
1800 to 1911.

Volume III of Divided Legacy gives a definitive account
of attempts by the
to force homeopaths out of the medical profession and criminalise
their practice. This is perhaps the ultimate quackbusting text which
spares no detail in describing how the AMA organised their classic
turf war. Divided Legacy and Coulter's other books such as
Shot in the Dark, his classic work on vaccination written
with Barbara Loe Fisher, show an erudition and scholarship rarely
found in this day and age.

Hans Ruesch
is another towering figure, whose three major books
lay bare the rotten heart of allopathic medicine.  Ruesch was a very
successful author whose best book had been made into a Hollywood
film, before he declared in the late Seventies that he would never
write any form of literature until vivisection had been stopped.
 His three great anti-vivisection books heralded the modern
uncompromising anti-vivisection movement. Slaughter of the
Innocent, The Naked Empress
and 1000 Doctors (and more)
Against Vivisection,
all draw attention to the damage which
vivisection and the animal testing of drugs ultimately do to humans.
 In his examination of the Rockefeller control of both the drug
companies and medical research, Ruesch was one of the first to draw
on Bealle's writing.

Another writer who looked closely at the Rockefeller empire and
IG Farben, while chronicling the suppression of a cancer cure was
Edward G. Griffin
in his extensive book, World without Cancer
- the story of Vitamin B17.
B17, also called
Laetrile was
developed by Dr. Ernst T. Krebs, Jr. in the 1950s and was one of the
first compounds to fall serious victim to the quackbusters in the
early Seventies.  Griffin charts in detail the scare stories about
laetrile-related deaths and the attempted criminalisation of

In 2000, Kenny Ausubel, wrote the book which is presently the
major work on the suppression of a single cancer cure in America.
Ausubel's book, When Healing becomes a Crime, although
focussing on Harry
Hoxsey who
formulated a herbal cure for cancer, covers in interesting detail
the role of the AMA, the FDA and the US medical establishment in
suppressing the cure. Ausubel, an award-winning investigative
journalist and film maker wrote the book at the same time as making
a television documentary about Hoxsey. Despite the fact that there
was little in the way of historical precedent for his book, Ausubel
covers in a novel literary style the most important period of post
war suppression of medical choice in considerable detail.

Anyone who wants academic reflections on the power struggle
between scientific medicine and alternative therapies, might look at
the series of papers and articles which Howard S. Berliner wrote
following his PhD thesis, between 1977 and 1988. Berliner writes at
length about the funding of scientific medicine and the Rockefeller
Foundation. He writes in an easily accessible manner and his
insights into the connections between knowledge, science and finance
are important ingredients in understanding the monopoly power of the
drugs industry.

Thalidomide very pointedly and cruelly drew attention to both the
unregulated power of the drug companies and the non-science of
scientific medicine.  In the mid-Sixties, the Kefauver hearings were
held in America. Begun by Senator Estes Kefauver, the hearings were
intended to expose and then break the monopoly power of the drug
companies.  In 1966, Kefauver published his own book entitled in the
English edition, In a Few Hands: Monopoly Power in America.
A few years later this was followed by perhaps the best book on
Thalidomide, Thalidomide and the Power of the Drug Companies
by Henning and Robert Nilsson Sjostrom. Despite the fact that the
book focuses in detail on thalidomide, it gives one of the best
general views of the corrupt philosophy and bankrupt practices of
the large pharmaceutical companies.  The authors describe how, even
in the face of mounting evidence, the companies responsible for
thalidomide kept dodging the recall of the drug. 

In the 1960s and 70s there was already a growing sense of
resistance against the FDA and the drug companies, following
frequent regulatory attacks on alternatives. In 1970, Omar Garrison
wrote his trail blazing book, The Dictocrats' attack on Health
Foods and Vitamins.
If any one book could be called the
founding book of resistance to Codex it is this one. The head-on
approach against the regulatory agencies was echoed twenty six years
later in Elaine Feuer's brilliant and academically useful book,
Innocent Casualties: The FDA's war against humanity.
Garrison, Feuer shows how the FDA turns the idea of a 'health
protection agency' on it head, working only in favour of vested

At almost the same time as Garrison published his book, Morton
Mintz's book, The Therapeutic Nightmare[1],
later published as By Prescription Only was published in
America.  It was perhaps one of the first books to give an account
of the iatrogenic outcome of many modern medicines.

Although popular books about alternatives and health became
really prominent in the late Eighties and Nineties, one British
writer, a highly regarded Irish journalist, Brian Inglis, began
writing popular historical accounts of alternative medicine in the
late seventies. Throughout the Eighties, Inglis published three
books, The Alternative Health Guide, The Case for Unorthodox
Medicine and Natural Medicine,
each of which, in part, traced
the development of alternative therapies and their battles with

Inglis also had an interest in the paranormal and as a
consequence, he wrote one of the best books to look historically at
the struggle between science and 'irrational' ideas.  In his book
The Hidden Power published in 1986, he writes with insight
about the role of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of
Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) in the ongoing battle between
science and industrial science.  CSICOP was to become the fountain
head of the international skeptics movement which in turn helped to
set up the european health fraud organisations in the late 1980s.

The Contemporary Period

In the late 1980s and early 90s there was a sudden rush of books
and articles about the growing Health Fraud movement[2] in
Britain and North America. This was because a major push was begun
in the mid-80s by the pharmaceutical companies and it was these
beginnings which have led to the present drive for global
regulation. As most of these books made clear, especially Dirty
the forces coalesced from three areas, all of which
had a power base to defend: organised professional allopathic
medicine, the pharmaceutical industry and the multinational food

The principal targets of this assembling army were inexpensive,
non-invasive, low technology, medical practices - herbal,
homeopathic and other 'alternative' treatments, vitamin and food
supplements and small companies which produced these as well
as 'health' and organic foods. From the mid-1980s the movements
against these targets have gathered velocity and impacted with
increasing damage.

Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin, writing for the Vegetarian Times
in August 1991, was one of the very first to write the critical
truth about the American National Council
Against Health Fraud
.  In her intelligent, even heroic article,
The Health Fraud Cops - Are the Quackbusters Consumer Advocates
or Medical MacCarthyites?
she told the full story of the US
health fraud group. Both she and Vegetarian Times paid the price
when the NCAHF immediately filed suit against them. Perhaps in those
early days it was too much to hope that people came running to
support Bloyd-Peshkin and Vegetarian Times but today, in the wake of
the quackbusters' frequent legal humiliations, as a matter of honour
everyone should get hold of a copy of this article and put it up
anywhere visible. Sharon, who now runs a parent/child health
organisation, would rather forget the article and the suit that
followed and modestly claims no accolades for her far sighted

One of the most effective and well researched books which came
out in the early 1990s was written by researcher and activist
P. J. Lisa and called Are You a Target
for Elimination?
 Like myself, Lisa had joined up with a group
which had come under attack - in his case a company which produced
herbs. His first book began to describe the attacks which were
taking place out of public view. In Are you a Target, Lisa
focused on the continuing attempts by quackbusters to destroy
chiropractors. This book was followed up in 1988 with a more
complete analysis in The Great Medical Monopoly Wars. Both
these books by Lisa and his more recent ones, bear all the hallmarks
of good investigative writing and critical scholarship in this
difficult area.  In them he begins to define the Health Fraud
movement in America, to give body to its motivation and to root out
and to expose its funding.  It is principally due to Lisa that we
are able to say that pharmaceutical companies bankrolled the health
fraud movement in America.

In 1992, James P. Carter, a doctor
from New Orleans, wrote another in the series of exposes against the
cabal which was now being identified as behind the various attacks,
Racketeering in Medicine.  Being a doctor, Carter was keen
on exposing the suppression of non-invasive medical techniques
- particularly chelation therapy, a chemical and vitamin treatment
which helps to clear blocked arteries and is said by some to be an
alternative to heart bypass surgery.  Carter's book was also
groundbreaking in a way because rather than report on the
individuals and organisations who were launching the attacks, he
talked about the therapies which were being suppressed. On
publication, Carter and Hampton Road the book's publishers, were
immediately sued by Stephen Barrett the most prominent 'quackbuster'
in North America.  The case, however, was thrown out of court and
according to Tim Bolen, this case began the demise of Barrett and
the NCAHF.

In 1995 and 1996, over the period of a year, the medical license
of Guylaine Lanctot
MD was challenged by the Quebec College of
Physicians. During the time that she was brought before the
hearings, she published The Medical Mafia which recorded
all the varying objections she had to allopathic medicine.  The book
is a novel mixture of writing and diagramatic pictures. Lanctot
seemes to have been braver than most of us, willing to use a novel
presentation with her novel thoughts. Part of the book deals with
the political role of the World Health Organisation.

The 54 year old mother of four was accused by the Quebec College
of Physicians of, 'misleading the public in her capacity as a doctor
by communicating false, misleading, inciting information which
contravenes scientific medical thinking, without also informing the
general population of opinions which are generally accepted by the
medical community'.  Five of the eight charges brought against her
referred to her opposition to childhood vaccination. By her
opposition to vaccination, she was supposed to have endangered the
health of the population, promoted fear of vaccination and advocated
a view not recognised by the medical profession.

Following a 'guilty' verdict at her long drawn out trial, Lanctot
was barred from practising medicine for the rest of her life and the
tribunal who found her guilty awarded costs to themselves, asking
that she paid the full cost of the hearings against her.  'Over my
dead body!', she apparently said to one newspaper.  Another book was
written about Lanctot's trial, by Joachim Schafer, in The Trial
of The Medical Mafia.
   Schafer sifted through the thousands of
pages of the hearing to analyse the case brought against Lanctot.

The Cancer

One main target for attack at the heart of the Health Fraud
movement has always been alternative cancer treatments. It is
abundantly clear why this should be so because cancer research is a
booming multi-million dollar industry and environmental illnesses
such as chemical sensitivity have to be denied to the last, in the
face of large claims from sufferers[3].  A small
number of writers have pieced together the ways in which the cancer
establishment maintains its censorship over alternative treatments
and stymies preventative work.

Ralph Moss
and Professor Samuel
came at the
problem of censorship from two different perspectives. While Epstein
has tried valiantly to bring the manufacturers of environmental
carcinogens to book, Moss has drawn attention to alternative
treatments which have been censored. Ralph W. Moss, has spent more
than twenty years investigating and writing about cancer issues.
 Formerly the assistant director of public affairs at Memorial
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Moss was a founding advisor to the
National Institutes of Health's Office of Alternative Medicine, and
is presently scientific advisor to the Rosenthal Center of Columbia
University and the University of Texas School of Public Health. In
1997, Moss was chosen as scientific advisor and honorary member of
the German Oncology Society, the first American so honoured in over
20 years.

In both cases, their first significant books, Moss's The
Cancer Industry
and Epstein's The Politics of Cancer,
produced shock waves which tutored a whole generation. Sam Epstein
has carried the torch lit by individuals like Rachel Carsons and the
well known sociologist Edwin H. Sutherland, in writing unambiguously
about the corruption of science in corporations and the corrupt
reach and influence of the chemical and pharmaceutical companies[4].
 Epstein has been exceptional amongst his generation of public
health academics in his constant willingness to name names and write
the reality of corporate liability.  He has been father to a whole
contemporary younger generation of investigative writers who have
followed him in naming both corporations and individuals.

The writer who best reflects the Health Freedom Movement's focus
on consumer choice in the area of cancer, is however, Barry
Lyon. Lyon who has written consistently
about the suppression of cancer treatments since the 1970s has
ploughed a lonely but straight furrow. His books which tell it like
it is, are far from academic texts, written with activists and
sufferers in mind.  Lyon became interested in suppressed cancer
cures after studying Royal Rife. His first book, The Cancer Cure
that Worked
has become a best seller and looks at the life and
times of Rife.  In 1990, aware of the lack of individual choice in
the area of cancer care, Lyon wrote Helping the Cancer Victim:
Patient Rights, Medical Freedom & the Need for New Laws.
short book, is a handbook for those affected by cancer and those
seeing the need for campaigning for legal changes.

Christopher Bird, well known for his
book about the secret life of plants, also got involved in
questioning the cancer establishment when he was the first person to
recover one of Rife's microscopes. In 1996, Bird wrote the superb Trials
of Gaston Naessens.
book is excellent, on the spot reportage, enhanced by his
description of arriving in town for the trial with his typewriter
and returning to his hotel room every evening after the hearing to
bash out his notes which formed the basis of the book. Naessens was
an experienced laboratory scientist and doctor who built a
microscope similar to Rife's.  Over a long period of scientific
investigation he discovered the life cycle of a micro organism which
was present in people who contracted cancer. He developed a
treatment which damaged the organism and began to prescribe it,
hence his prosecution by the Canadian medical profession.

Two other therapeutic approaches which have come under constant
attack over the last decade, are those of Dr. Hulda Clark and
Dr. Max
Gerson. Max Gerson was a German Doctor
who fled to North America in the 1930s.  Having worked on diabetes,
mainly from a nutritional perspective, he turned his nutritional
ideas to cancer. Like Rife and a number of other highly qualified
practitioners who developed treatments for cancer, Gerson
consistently wrote up his cases as well as presenting cases and
trials of his work to sceptical allopathic doctors. Unfortunately
these attempts at bridge building got nowhere simply because his
treatments did not involve chemical drugs which could be bought and
patented by the pharmaceutical companies.

Gerson set up an Institute to perpetuate his work and the
publication of his writings. In 1958, he published A Cancer
Therapy, Results of Fifty cases.
Since his death a number of
people have written books based on their own cures using his
treatment, most particularly Beata Bishop in A Time to Heal:
Triumph over Cancer, the Therapy of the Future.

Gerson's work has re-emerged in the last thirty years in Britain.
Aspects of the treatment were at the heart of the philosophy adopted
by the Bristol Cancer Help Centre[5] which was
mercilessly attacked by the cancer research charities and aligned
quackbusters in 1991[6].  Then in 2002,
Michael Gearin-Tosh, a lecturer at
Oxford University wrote his exceptional book, Living Proof: A
Medical Mutiny.
This book emerges in a very modest but self
assured manner as one of the best pieces of literature on a self
cancer cure and it stressed with great power the necessity and the
problems of being free to make one's own treatment choices.  Gearin-Tosh
waited almost seven years after curing himself of cancer, to
validate his cure before publishing his story. His cure, which
depended in large part on Gerson's therapy, stirred considerable
controversy in the British media, with members of the British 'quackbusters'
crawling out from the woodwork and throwing epithets at Gearin-Tosh
and those who have taken his side, including Prince Charles.  Gearin-Tosh
died in July 2005.

In America, the NCAHF and other quackbusters, have until recently
been much more energetic, making continuous attempts to shut down
the clinics of Dr. Hulda Clark. Clark has suffered a series of
depredations, beginning with her arrest in 1999.  This was followed
by attempts to shut down her clinics and actions brought against
people using her treatments or technology.  Clark has written a
number of best selling books in which she outlines her case for
cancer being cured with detoxification and electromagnetic fields.  Quackbusters'
lack of success and even humiliation in courts, has not stopped
these particular 'quackbusting' activities crossing the Channel,
where naturopath Roy MacKinnon stood trial in Wales earlier this
year for selling Clark's therapies to a cancer patient. At
MacKinnon's trial the judge who threw the case out, expressed
surprise that anyone could be brought to court having made a claim
to cure cancer, when the prosecution did not have a shred
of evidence to support the charge.  

By the mid-1990s, attacks upon cancer therapists, were well
reflected in the writings of activists and advocates, people who did
not see it as their sole purpose to write. The attacks on Hulda
Clark have been defended by Tim Bolen, now America's foremost anti-quackbuster.
Bolen provides intelligence and legal advice for defendants and puts
up to the minute news about the increasingly failing court actions
against alternative therapists on his Quackwatch website.

Dissidents break the AIDS Monopoly

The critique of the whole phenomena of AIDS, by gay men and
others, could be said to represent the first wholesale grass roots
addition to the Health Freedom Movement. In that this movement came
immediately into collision with doctors, governments and the
pharmaceutical companies over the concept of freedom of treatment
choices, it represented quite an unusual aspect of Health Freedom
because it was, in the main, organised by those on the ground who
were threatened by illness. From the early setting up of treatment
groups in America, which brought in and dispensed unlicensed
treatments, to the activists in London who attacked the
Wellcome Foundation and
organised against AZT, there
developed a substantial critique of suppression, containment and
forced treatment.

Information about this aspect of the Health Freedom Movement can
be found on the website AIDS MYTH, which presents critical texts,
analysis and ongoing discussion for both scientists and lay people
of all the aspects of the AIDS phenomena. The London organisation
Continuum which produced a magazine of the same name ran for almost
ten years, consistently reporting on pharmaceutical company spin and
the suppression of science in this area.  A number of books look at
the medical and scientific conflicts in this area, include those by
John Laurence, Neville Hodgkinson, Joan Shenton, Gary
Nulland Serge Lang.

Journalists and Activists as Good Writers

In the contemporary period, more and more is being written both
about the activities of the pharmaceutical companies and Quackbuster
activists, the suppression of alternative therapies and the terrible
cost of iatrogenesis. There has yet to be any kind of overall view
of the Health Freedom movement in a book.  One of the principal
reasons for this is that there is now the involvement of a large
number of journalists and activists who write short texts and not

One of the best writers in the field, who manages to pull
together contemporary politics and the denial of freedom, is Eve
Hillary an American health activist and writer living in Australia.
Hillary's populist but still academically sound style, is
reminiscent of the great Janet Malcolm. Journalists who show a
commitment to the Health Freedom Movement are thin on the ground in
Britain, partially because of the British Journalists' forced
commitment to 'balance' and 'fair play'. This commitment ensures
that the pharmaceutical companies and doctors who pimp their drugs
always have to be given equal, if not greater space, than the
victims of iatrogenesis or those denied treatment choices. One
journalist who has linked up with the Alliance for Natural Health is
Rose Shepherd - a long piece by her
can be read on their site.  More recently she has had a cover story
in the July 31, Sunday Times Magazine, entitled Death of the Magic
Bullet.  This long article set to become a classic, looks
exclusively at adverse reactions to drugs. Shepherd is a committed
anti-vivisectionist and has also written a number of novels.

In France, Sylvie Simon brings a
lifetime's experience to her philosophical writing about the power
and mystique of the Medical profession.  Sylvie Simon is a novelist
and journalist. She has written books on the paranormal and
esotericism. For the last eight years, she has been fighting
disinformation in the fields of health care and ecology. She has
published many essays about the latest scandals in France, including
blood contamination, mad cow disease, asbestos poisoning, growth
hormones and vaccination.

Articulation within the area of health freedom is made slightly
easier for French writers because they at least have a tradition of
philosophical writing. Their major writers, like Foucault, Satre
have been activists as well. Michel Foucault wrote extensively about
the balance of historical power inside closed institutions like
mental asylums, prisons and hospitals. In The Birth of the
he traces the development of a place where people are
treated which is separate from the home and which becomes the
breeding ground for all kinds of professionals who assume power over
the individual's health.

Another French person, who has recently loudly declaimed his
birthright following his treatment at the hands of the French State
and the Order of Doctors, is Loic Le
. Loic is one of those rare stars of the Health Freedom
movement, a brilliant scientist and a consistent activist who has
served terms of imprisonment in France and Switzerland, after
manufacturing and selling organic silica as a treatment for a number
of conditions. Le Ribault's talents are prodigious and over the last
six years he has produced some three books about his experiences as
well as a novel. His most impressive work is The Cost of a
a self published account of his cases, campaigns and
fight to the death with the French judiciary.

In Britain, a prolific writer who has made full use of the
internet and speaking tours, is Philip Day.
Day also has a constant output of books about medicine and the
suppression of alternatives. His crusading is similar to that of
Vernon Coleman who has been self publicising his battle against
vivisection and medical misrule in Britain for the last twenty

America has produced a large number of writers and journalists
who have been aligned with the major Health Freedom Organisations
over the years. One of the most prolific of these was
Michael Culbert who died in October 2004.  Culbert was a founder-President
of the International Council for Health Freedom and was before he
died, Chairman of the Committee for Freedom of Choice in Medicine,
Inc. and Editor of its newsletter. As a long time health freedom
activist, he was the former award-winning California newspaper
Editor of the Berkeley Daily Gazette and was co-author of more than
20 books, in the areas of Alternative Medicine, medical politics and

Culbert had a plainly political approach to Health Freedom
questions, as is witnessed by the following quote:  'The solution to
all this, of course, is not scientific. It is political. If people
have to take to the streets to secure what should be their
birthright - freedom of choice in medicine, against the tyrannical
concentration of economic and vested interests, then they will.'

As was bound to happen perhaps the main locale of contemporary
Health Freedom activists is the internet and an ongoing selection of
reflections and exhortations on all the issues to do with Health
Freedom can now be found on a number of sites. One of the best of
these sites is that of John Hammell, a
larger than life, truly radical activist who has also put up on the
net amongst his prolific work on Codex, an engaging essay Why I
am a Health Freedom Activist.
In the novelistic essay, Hammell
talks about his 'cuckoo's nest' experiences in a long stay mental

Sepp Hasslberger who with a daughter also runs a small publishing
company producing alternative health titles, has a site which is
always up to the minute in reporting different Health Freedom
Issues. His writing about complex issues on the site is, like the
very best journalism, lucid, clear and easy to read. Emma Holister,
a brilliant artist, and occasional writer, attached to the British
based Alliance for Natural Health has recently updated her Health
Freedom site at Candida International to include her paintings and
references to other Health Freedom writers. 

The Rath Foundation site carries the campaign of Professor
Rath, a German scientist.
In 1987, when he was 32, Rath discovered the connection between
vitamin C deficiency and a new risk factor for heart disease. After
publication of his research findings, Rath accepted an invitation to
join two-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling and in 1990 he went to
the United States to become the first Director of Cardiovascular
Research at the Linus Pauling Institute in Palo Alto, California.
Today Dr. Rath heads a research and development institute in
nutritional and Cellular Medicine.  He spends much of his time
fighting against EU regulations and Codex. Rath is perhaps one of
the dynamos of the Health Freedom Movement, combining information
with the massive organization of protests.

Philosophical approaches to Health Freedom

There is clearly a difference in the British, if not the
'European' mind (if such an animal exists) and that of most North
Americans.  While North Americans tend to see the usurption of
healing by the pharmaceutical companies and the professional
physician entirely in terms of market forces, the European mind
raises a more complex spectre of the integrated professional power
of doctors, their organizations and the drift towards high
technology science.  

Conservative Libertarians, like Bealle, in both Britain and North
America have probably been able to see the philosophical picture
more clearly than left-leaning libertarians like myself. This is
because the individualist tradition has played a considerable part
in conservative thinking.  While those who lean to the left,
especially in England, have had first to dismantle the idea of
socialised medicine. This later, of course is only half the battle
because we all have an obligation to formulate a detailed and
contemporary system which can take its place, something which few
Health Freedom Activists, European or American have done[7].  

Many North Americans seem to shy away from criticising certain
aspects of capitalism, a sport which has (Soviet communism aside) a
long and reputable history in Europe. And while many Americans have
recently looked to Europe as the breeding ground for intolerance and
Nationalist authority, they often forget that no country in the
world has had more oppressive regulatory or professional medical
bodies than the AMA and the FDA. The very heart of the intolerant
quackbuster body is quintessentially American, having grown from the
seed laid down by the American Council Against Health Fraud and its
friends in CSICOP, the Committee for
the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal.

While much American writing about Health Freedom speaks on behalf
of 'real Americans' against controlling bureaucracies, some
Americans are adept at dodging the issue of what being a real
American implies. While many Europeans see the Rockefeller spectre
with its rampant accumulation of wealth as primarily American
phenomena, Health Freedom Americans seem to think of something
closer to the pioneering spirit of libertarian cooperation as the
source of an American identity.

British commentators often make class an issue, suggesting that
while we are all British, some wield more power and have more deeply
hidden agendas. The North American psyche, even that which belongs
to Health Freedom activists, often seems unable to come to terms
with the fact that their society is divided along lines inscribed by
corporate power.

This lack of introspection on behalf of many Americans has come
to the fore dramatically during the development of Codex. Seemingly
unable to blame fellow Americans as well as Europeans for the
campaign against vitamins, supplements and alternative therapies,
some US writers blame the 'European Nazi mind frame'. Historically,
this association between German scientists, pharmaceutical companies
and Codex is accurate and needs researching.  However, any observer
can see that American hierarchies of power have been deeply involved
in the same agenda for decades. An agenda which is now and has been
in the past ambitious to rob the citizens of all the Americas,
and more recently of debilitated ex-communist countries like Poland,
of their individual health choices.

It is obviously tempting for all writers to look beyond the
straightforward facts of the battles to regulate alternative
therapists, vitamin supplements and food. Once people enter the
world of the censorship and suppression of inexpensive and non
invasive treatments and cures, there is clearly a need for them to
consider the origins and motivations of individuals and
organisations involved.  We live in a time of conspiracy theories,
principally because there are so many conspiracies but also because
the opening of the contemporary world of information has led to
greater record and speculation about what is, and has, actually gone
on in the world.

Expressing a completely personal opinion, I have to say that I
have the same approach to Health Freedom activists writing about
conspiracies as I have to footballers talking about their football
- great players are sometimes shown to be hopelessly stupid the
minute they open their mouths.  The problem with many of the
overarching theories that circulate in the Health Freedom Movement,
is that they suffer from a poverty of real or thorough research.
Consequently, even such well documented issues as IG Farben, the
part Rockefeller owned German based chemical cartel, becomes the
subject of esoteric speculation.

In the midst of this confusion of ideas it is suggested that the
Nazis are behind the European Union, that the CIA is actually
responsible for it, that the English still run America, that the
Americans run Britain. The Health Freedom Movement is in fact
populated by the most diverse political thinkers and this is one of
the great strengths of the movement - as long as it focuses on
Health Freedom and not on the secret post war history of the world.
After all there are enough conspiracies within medicine itself still
to be properly documented to keep many a conspiracy
theorist happy.

Personally, I feel that it would augur better for the movement in
the long run to stick to a well researched economic analysis in
which powerful corporations, government agencies, world trade blocs
and individuals, work to gain control of production, exchange and
distribution of healthcare in its various forms.  Such basic
economic argument gives adequate room for accounts of dirty tricks
and the involvement of groups like the Bilderberg and the
Trilateral. This work has to be done with exacting research not
runaway or unevidenced theories.  To play out conspiracy theories
beyond your immediate national community and its economic plots, can
be debilitating for potential activists, who see a battle with the
totality of the New World Order as clearly beyond their

The movement also needs to spend much more time on considering
its plan for the future, it has to develop an overall social
philosophy for health care. I for one, am not in the Health Freedom
Movement only to protect the economic designs of small
supplement producing companies.  If we really do want a healthier
world where health is generated by the individual and then by
community organisation, we have to work through our ideas for this
world. The Health Freedom Movement must develop both a theoretical
model and an active campaign with realisable objectives based in the

Postscript: Writers and their writing

Morris Bealle
House of Rockefeller
(1959). The Drugs Story (1949
-1976). Medical Mussolini (1939)

Howard S. Berliner The Holistic Alternative
to Scientific Medicine: History and Analysis.
Journal of Health Services, 10(2) 1980. Scientific Medicine
Since Flexner.
In Salmon, J. Warren (ed) Alternative
medicine: Popular and policy perspectives.
Tavistock (1985).
Philanthropic Foundations and Scientific Medicine.
Unpublished doctoral thesis, Baltimore: John Hopkins University

Christopher Bird The Persecution and trial
of Gaston Naessans

Beata Bishop A Time to Heal: Triumph over

Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin The Health Fraud Cops:
Are the quackbusters consumer advocates or medical MacCarthyites?

Vegetarian Times August 1991.

Tim Bolen


Penny Brohn Gentle Giants: The powerful
story of one woman's unconventional struggle against breast cancer.


James P. Carter Racketeering in Medicine:
The suppression of alternatives

Dr. Hulda Clark  The Prevention of All
(2004) The Cure For All Cancers

Harris L. Coulter
With Barbara Loe Fisher,

Shot in the Dark : Vaccination, Social Violence and Criminality.
19th Century Influences in Allopathic Therapeutics. Homeopathic
Science and Modern Medicine . Divided Legacy: A History of the
Schism in Medical Thought Volume I - IV

Michael Culbert Freedom from Cancer, The
Amazing Story of Laetrile. AIDS: Hope, Hoax & Hoopla
Medical Armageddon

Samuel Epstein

The Politics of Cancer (1978) The Politics of Cancer

Elaine Feuer Innocent Casualties: The FDA's
War against Humanity

Michel Foucault  Discipline and Punish: The
birth of the prison
(1975) The birth of the clinic

Omar V. Garrison The Dictocrats' attack on
Health Foods and Vitamins

Michael Gearin-Tosh
Living Proof: A Medical Mutiny (2002)

Max Gerson  A
Cancer Therapy: Results of Fifty Cases
(1958 - )

Edward G. Griffin
World Without Cancer: The story of vitamin B17 (1974)

John Hammell

Josef Hasslberger Health Supreme.


Henning and Robert Nilsson Sjostrom
Thalidomide and the Power of the Drug Companies

Eve Hillary Health Betrayal - Staying away
from the Sickness Industry
(2003) Children of a Toxic

Neville Hodgkinson AIDS: The Failure of
Contemporary Science

Emma Hollister


Ivan Illich Limits to Medicine.  Medical
Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health (1976) Estes Kefauver In a Few
Hands: Monopoly power in America (1966)

Guylaine Lanctot 
The Medical Mafia: How to get out of it alive and take back our
health and wealth

Serge Lang Challenges (1998)

P. J. Lisa  Are You a Target for
Elimination?  An inside look at the AMA conspiracy against
chiropractic and the wholistic healing arts
(1984). The
Great Medical Monopoly Wars

Barry Lyon The Cancer Cure that worked:
Fifty years of suppression
(1987) Helping the Cancer Victim
(1990) The Cancer Conspiracy: Betrayal, collusion and the
suppression of alternative cancer treatments

Morton Mintz  By Prescription Only
(1967) Originally published as The Therapeutic Nightmare

Ralph Moss  The
Cancer Industry

Gary Null AIDS:
A Second Opinion

Mathias Rath

Heart (2001)

Hans Ruesch
Slaughter of the Innocent (1978) Naked Empress
(1982) 1000 Doctors (and many more) Against Vivisection

Loic Le Ribault The Cost of a Discovery
(2003) Le Prix d'une decouverte: lettre a mon juge (1998)

Joachim Schafer
The Trial of The Medical Mafia (1998)

Joan Shenton Positively False: Exposing the
myths around HIV and AIDS

Sylvie Simon
La Dictature  M├ędico-scientifique, The Medical and
Scientific Dictatorship
(1997) Vaccination, l'Overdose.
Vaccines, Already at Overdose,
(1999) Exercice Illegal de
la guerison.  Healing, An Illegal Practice,
Ed. Marco Pietteur

Edwin H. Sutherland White Collar Crime: The
Uncut Version

Martin J Walker Dirty Medicine: Science, big
business and the assault on natural health care
(1993).  Loic
le Ribault's Resistance: The creation of a treatment for arthritis
and the persecution of its author France's foremost forensic
(1998).  SKEWED: Psychiatric hegemony and the
manufacture of mental illness in multiple chemical sensitivity, Gulf
war syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome


[1] Another book entitled The Therapeutic
Nightmare: the battle over the world's most controversial sleeping
was published in 1999 by John Abraham and Julie Sheppard.

[2] I actually dont agree with the appellation
Quackbusters because it seems to reduce the whole phenomena to a
cartoon representation.

[3] In Dirty Medicine I show how the
ACAHF is related to both CSICOP (The Committee for the Scientific
Claims of the Paranormal) and the American Council on Science and
Health (ACSH). This later organisation is very important because its
defence of the chemical companies slots neatly into ACAHF arguments,
denying the cause of environmental illness.

[4] Slightly off the Health Freedom Movement
beaten track but in the same vein, is John Braithwaite's book,
Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry.
Routledge &
Kegan Paul, England. 1984.

[5] The Centre was started by Penny Brohnn and
others. Penny wrote two books about making free choices in cancer
 therapies. Gentle Giants and The Bristol Experience

[6] Although this attack almost destroyed the
Bristol Cancer Help Centre, it led to the first patients'
campaigning group which campaigned entirely against the bogus
research which was published to try and destroy Bristol. The women
who organised their campaign wrote up the experience in Fighting

[7] In his book Medicine for the New Man,
the Greek homeopathic doctor, Dr. George Vithoulkas, suggests a
token system which gives every consumer the right to draw on
therapies of their own choice up to the value of their tokens.

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