The Foundation of the War in Medicine
To understand what is going on in medicine we must look to the past. Consider this article from the North Carolina Museum of History on medicine in the 19th century and before:
Just as common as taking medicine for a fever, from the Middle Ages through the mid-1800s, bloodletting was performed on patients to cure disease.
Bloodletting is the process of withdrawing blood as a treatment. Most people thought they would die anyway and used bloodletting as a last resort. It began when Greek physician Hippocrates claimed that all diseases occur when there is an imbalance of the four body fluids, otherwise known as humors–black bile, blood, phlegm, and yellow bile. His discovery led to bloodletting. When the blood was drawn from the vein it was believed that the disease would flow out with the blood …
The procedure of bloodletting is done by applying either a leech or scarificator that will make the initial puncture. Then, a heated cup is placed over the wound that will take the additional blood. The process is repeated until all the needed blood is taken. It was also common for the doctors to use pointed sticks, knives, or tiny bows and arrows to draw blood. These tools were often difficult to use and could result in too much blood withdrawn from the patient and occasionally causing death.
A famous victim of bloodletting is George Washington. He died from being bled heavily as a treatment for laryngitis.
Toward the end of the time period in which bloodletting was common, leeches began to be used. They were considered less painful and withdrew a reliable amount of blood. The peak use of leeches was in the 1830s. Due to the theory of Francois Broussais many doctors used leeching for symptoms such as laryngitis, mental illness, and obesity. Medicinal leeches were preferred over American leeches, which were said to make too small incisions and to draw less blood than the European species. The use of leeching became so popular that medicinal leeches became an endangered species.
Now suppose that in the 1830s, which was the peak of the use of leeches, the medical community at the time, plus the leech breeders and scarificator makers got together and decided they had a good thing going. Suppose they said that if they abandoned their techniques for newer techniques that their incomes would drop and many jobs would be lost. Those who grew leeches would make fewer profits, those who made the scarificators and other instruments would make fewer profits, the doctors would make less income, and so on. Suppose they all conspired together to suppress all future medical discoveries (made after 1830) in order to maximize their earnings and profits.
Had that happened, we would still be using blood-letting, leeches and scarificators for virtually all diseases. Scientists today would be spending vast amounts of money studying the DNA of the leeches to breed the most efficient leeches. Scientists would be studying the optimum number of leeches to use, and the optimum places on the body to place them for each type of disease. Scientists would be studying the optimum amount of blood to draw. The instrument makers would be designing high precision instruments to make incisions, suctions, and so on and so forth.
The massive dollars they would request from the general public on “research” would yield a very small, but ever-growing amount of progress. A “cure” would always be “just around the corner,” but since their interest was in profits and income, not the health, comfort and survival of their patients, the “cure” would never come. They might also figure out ways to cover up the lack of progress in medicine by using creative statistics. They might develop very clever ways to define “cure rates” in order to hide the fact that there was very little progress being made.
What Has Happened
Well, this “what-if” scenario for the 1830s is exactly what happened in modern medicine in the 1920s. Only instead of stopping progress with bloodletting and leeches, the medical profession decided to stop all medical progress at the stage of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. The original reason for stopping progress was profits. The pharmaceutical industry, the chemical industry and the petroleum industry (many prescription drugs are made from petroleum products and these three industries had cross-ownership) were afraid that new discoveries might lessen their profits. Using the profits of these industries as bait and influence money, the new mentality spread to the leadership of the medical industry, and from there to many other places.
The stagnation of progress in treating cancer continues today because the enormously profitable procedures of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation make many, many billions of dollars every year for the pharmaceutical industry, the chemical industry, the petroleum industry, medical doctors, hospitals, medical equipment makers, T.V. stations (through the advertising of the pharmaceutical companies), radio stations (ditto), major magazines (ditto), the ACS (the American Cancer Society is basically a public relations vehicle for orthodox medicine), etc. etc.
Chemotherapy is an incredibly lucrative business for doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies…..The medical establishment wants everyone to follow the same exact protocol. They don’t want to see the chemotherapy industry go under, and that’s the number one obstacle to any progress in oncology.
Dr Warner, M.D.
In other words, the medical community has gone along with the idea that chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are so profitable, that there will never be any progress in the “war against cancer.” The leaders have intentionally, willingly, knowingly and pro-actively suppressed every possible advance in cancer treatments for over 80 years, dating back to the 1920s. (Note: Salvarsan, the first chemotherapy drug, was discovered by Nobel Prize winner Paul Ehrlich in 1909 and was initially used primarily on syphilis.)
The Ralph Moss Story, by Ralph Moss
In 1974, I began working at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the world's leading cancer treatment hospital. I was an idealistic and eager young science writer, sincerely proud to be part of Sloan Kettering and Nixon's “War On Cancer.” Ever since I was a kid, my main heroes were scientists (with the Brooklyn Dodgers running a close second!) The job at Sloan-Kettering seemed like a dream come true for me. I wanted to be part of the winning team that finally beat cancer.
Within three years, I had risen to the position of Assistant Director of Public Affairs at the Hospital. At the time, I was 34 years old, married to my high-school sweetheart, and we had a daughter and son, then 9 and 7 years old. We had dreams of buying a house and saving for the kids' education, so you can imagine how thrilled we were when I was promoted, with a huge raise, glowing feedback from my bosses, and was told that perks of the job would eventually include reduced tuition for the kids at New York University. Needless to say, we all were really counting on my “bright future” at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. But something soon happened that changed the course of my life forever.
A big part of my job as Assistant Director of Public Affairs was to write press releases for the media about cancer news and to write the in-hospital newsletter. I also handled calls from the press and public about cancer issues. So I was just doing a normal day's work – or so I thought-when I began interviewing an esteemed scientist at the Hospital for a newsletter article I was working on. It turned out that the scientist, Dr.Kanematsu Sugiura, had repeatedly gotten positive results shrinking tumors in mice studies with a natural substance called amygdalin (You may have heard of it as “laetrile”.) Excitedly (and naively!) I told my “discovery” of Sugiura's work to the Public Affairs Director and other superiors, and laid out my plans for an article about it. Then I got the shock of my life.
They insisted that I stop working on this story immediately and never pick it up again. Why? They said that Dr. Sugiura's work was invalid and totally meaningless. But I had seen the results with my own eyes! And I knew Dr. Sugiura was a true scientist and an ethical person. Then my bosses gave me the order that I'll never forget: They told me to lie. Instead of the story I had been planning to write, they ordered me to write an article and press releases for all the major news stations emphatically stating that all amygdalin studies were negative and that the substance was worthless for cancer treatment. I protested and tried to reason with them, but it fell on deaf ears.
I will never forget how I felt on the subway ride home that day. My head was spinning with a mixture of strong feelings- confusion, shock, disappointment, fear for my own livelihood and my family's future, and behind it all, an intense need to know why this cover-up was happening. After long talks with my wife and parents (who were stunned, as you can imagine) I decided to put off writing any amygdalin press releases as long as I could while I discreetly looked into the whole thing some more on my own time. Everyone at the office seemed happy just to drop the whole thing, and we got busy with other less controversial projects.
So in the next few months, I was able to do my own investigating to answer the big question I couldn't let go of: Who were these people I worked for and why would they want to suppress positive results in cancer research? My files grew thick as I uncovered more and more fascinating – and disturbing – facts. I had never given any thought to the politics of cancer before. Now I was putting together the pieces as I learned that:
- The people on Sloan-Kettering's Board of Directors were a “Who's Who” of investors in petrochemical and other polluting industries. In other words, the hospital was being run by people who made their wealth by investing in the worst cancer-causing things on the planet.
- CEOs of top pharmaceutical companies that produced cancer drugs also dominated the Board. They had an obvious vested interest in promoting chemotherapy and undermining natural therapies.
- The Chairman and the President of Bristol-Myers Squibb, the world's leading producer of chemotherapy, held high positions on MSKCC's Board.
- Of the nine members of the Hospital's powerful Institutional Policy Committee, seven had ties to the pharmaceutical industry
- The Hospital itself invested in the stock of these same drug companies.
- Directors of the biggest tobacco companies in the U.S., Phillip Morris and RJR Nabisco, held places of honor on the Board.
Six Board Directors also served on the Boards of The New York Times, CBS, Warner Communications, Readers Digest, and other media giants.
Not surprisingly, profits from chemotherapy drugs were skyrocketing and the media glowingly promoted every new drug as a “breakthrough” in cancer. I kept all my notes in my filing cabinet at work. I had no idea what I would ever do with them. I just knew that I had to get to the bottom of it, for myself.
Meanwhile, the public's interest in laetrile refused to go away. A lot of people were going across the border to Mexican clinics to get the stuff and my secretary's phone was ringing off the hook with people wanting to know what Sloan-Kettering thought of its value. I was once again told to give out the news that the studies had all been negative.
At home, I called my family together for a meeting. With their support, I decided I couldn't lie on behalf of the Hospital. In November of 1977, I stood up at a press conference and blew the whistle on Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's suppression of positive results with amygdalin. It felt like jumping off the highest diving board, but I had no doubt I was doing the right thing. I was fired the next day for “failing to carry out his most basic responsibilities” as the Hospital described it to the New York Times. In other words, failing to lie to the American people.
When I tried to pick up my things in my office, I found my files had been padlocked and two armed Hospital guards escorted me from the premises.
Luckily for all of us, I have a very smart wife who all along had been making copies of my research notes and had put a complete extra set of files in a safe place. Those notes turned into my first book, The Cancer Industry, which is still in print (in an updated version) and available in bookstores.
That dramatic day, when I stood up in front of the packed press conference and told the truth, was the beginning of a journey I never could have predicted. I was launched on a mission that I'm still on today – helping cancer patients find the truth about the best cancer treatments.
Well, we weren't able to buy a home until years later, the kids went to colleges on scholarships and loans, and my wife took on a demanding full-time job to help us get by. But in retrospect, my experiences as an insider in “the cancer industry” were among the best things ever to happen to me. My values were put to the test and I had to really examine what was important in my life. It is because of this difficult experience at Sloan-Kettering that I found a truly meaningful direction for my professional life, rather than just climbing Sloan-Kettering's career ladder and losing my soul in the process.”
Ralph Moss, author
The story of Ralph Moss, which is really the story of Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura, is just the tip of the iceberg. Numerous alternative cancer researchers have been rewarded for their discoveries with jail, being driven out of the country, loss of license, harassment, and many other things. This war is not for the weak at heart.
Copyright (c) 2003 R. Webster Kehr, all rights reserved