THE VACCINATION CONTROVERSY
ALTHOUGH, IN THIS short history of medical protection-selling, we must confine ourselves mainly to its present and maybe future aspects, it would be ungrateful not to remember those great fighters in the past, especially the medical men, including public vaccinators of long experience, who studied the subject honestly, saw right through it and bravely told the truth about the whole repulsive racket, often at great cost to themselves, They began doing this more than a century ago.
Who can dispute the opinion that Dr. Charles Creighton was the greatest of these doctors? His History of Epidemics in Britain, in two volumes, 1891 and 1894, was justly called “the greatest medical work ever written by one man”. Having previously written for the Encycloptedia Britannica, he was asked to contribute the article on vaccination for the Ninth Edition. Its appearance, in 1888, was such a profound shock to the advocates of, and vested interests concerned in, vaccination that Creighton’s article was replaced as soon as possible by what was little more than an advertisement for glycerinated calf lymph written by one of its promoters. Creighton, perhaps the greatest medical mind of the last century, was virtually turned out of his profession.
The fact that such a disgraceful thing was ever allowed to happen appears to have been taken as a precedent, which has been religiously followed by most publishers ever since. Vaccination is big-money business; so is the publication of school text-books. No medical text-book telling the truth about the vaccine industry would ever reach the printers.
In addition to those previously mentioned, who had a lot to lose and little to gain by denouncing the fraud of vaccination, there were many others who were scandalised by it; for example, Alfred Russel Wallace wrote a lot against it and said that he considered this work the most important that he ever did, in spite of his writings on natural selection.
William White wrote a very good book, The Story of a Great Delusion, 1885, the first of the larger works exposing Jenner, but, unfortunately, he made one error in misinterpreting some of Dr. Farr’s statistics; this error is all that a medical student is required to know about the contents of this book of over 600 pages.
Creighton may have been too irritated by Jenner’s style of writing to be quite fair to his essay on the cuckoo, submitted to the Royal Society, but he expressly disclaimed being a naturalist himself; after all, the only important thing about Jenner’s cuckoo, “the bird that laid the vaccination egg”, was that it got Jenner an F.R.S. Apparently, the Royal Society failed to notice that it was the cuckoo that was the genius, and not Jenner. Where Jenner obtained his information about the cuckoo is of no importance whatever, but even the recent big book, Smallpox, by Prof. C. W. Dixon, has to seize the opportunity to justify Jenner’s paper and to dismiss Creighton as an “armchair critic”. Prof. Dixon even calls him a “syphilophobe”. The excuse for implying that he was morbidly afraid of syphilis is presumably that, in his small book, Cowpox and Vaccinal Syphilis, he tried to explain to doctors certain outbreaks of supposed syphilis in recently vaccinated groups of children. His theory was that the trouble had been caused by taking the lymph too late, which, in a series of arm-to-arm vaccinations, had allowed the cowpox to revert to its original virulence, the affinity of cowpox being to the great pox rather than to the smallpox.
Considering that almost nothing has been published about the real nature of cowpox, we may indeed wonder why it is that modern medical dictionaries tell us quite dogmatically that it is “a virus disease of cattle”. Is this definition really true or is it just commercially convenient? Also, what has become of the bacillus of smallpox and also that of influenza, both quite real to Prof. W. M. Crofton? Are they brushed aside as mere minor inconveniences? In short, it is wiser to be sceptical about all opinions about bacteriology in the early part of this century, when little was really known and no one could distinguish between a virus particle and the filterable form of a bacillus. Creighton was obviously a sceptic to the end of his life. Prof. William Bulloch, after Creighton’s death, said, “He was the most learned man I ever knew.” He could speak six or seven European languages fluently and could read many more. Was this all for fun? Did he go to India in a Sedan chair to study leprosy and plague?
Dr. Walter Hadwen, “the terrible Hadwen”, as Shaw called him, is not mentioned in Prof. Dixon’s terse account of the Gloucester smallpox, in 1895-6. Hadwen replied shatteringly and completely to the official Report prepared for the Royal Commission on Vaccination, which, however, was not prepared to wait for it, and ended its seven years of sessions before the Report appeared. The whole outbreak was probably spontaneous and due to blocked sewers and polluted water. If it were not, why did the authorities have to spend thousands in putting these things right? The stinking manholes leading to the sewers may well not have been noticed by the official reporter, because they had been sealed up before he ever got there. Prof. Dixon sneers at the local antis, meaning the phoney ones, of course. We heard of one man who championed the antis’ cause because he edited a local paper and wanted to improve its circulation. He went to Cheltenham and had himself secretly vaccinated. Are dishonest journalists so very rare, however?
One genuine citizen of Gloucester had a wife and children who were never vaccinated; a servant girl, who was living in the house and who had been vaccinated, contracted smallpox, and the father of the family allowed his wife and four children to sit by the girl’s bed and cheer her up. None of them became ill. They were badly brought up and lacked faith in the official propaganda, no doubt. We cannot, of course, recommend this kind of conduct, but Prof. Dixon’s readers may as well have the whole truth, and not just garbled and twisted bits of hostile local gossip, especially if they are asked to pay £6 l0s. 0d. for his book.
It is impossible to review all the old books, papers and reported speeches on this controversy. The modern reader has to be content with a brief summary of it all, and he must make up his own mind as to which kind of evidence he can accept as genuine. On the one hand, we have statistics compiled behind closed doors by medical wags who knew what the bosses wanted and who had been brought up on the vivisectors’ slogan, “The end justifies the means”. Were they not on the side of the angels? Why shouldn’t they lie like hell?
These people have to be a little more astute today than the wags of the last century who proved such wonderful things that we can only laugh at them (such as, for example, a case mortality of 71 per cent among the unvaccinated, and one of only 1.3 per cent among the vaccinated cases). When we know’ that, before the cowpoxing ever began, the smallpox case mortality was only about 18 per cent in England, we know what to think about the miracles performed by vaccination in the glorious days of the Victorian era—or, should we say, by statistics?
On the other hand, we have the example of the brilliant minority of really honest men who risk their own professional advancement by fearlessly telling the truth as they see it with their own eyes—men of long experience and of the highest integrity. Their testimony, as might be expected, flatly contradicts and exposes everything that was claimed by Jenner and his prosperous followers.
The late Major Reginald Austin, of the Royal Indian Army Medical Corps, was one such man. No one who knew him could possibly doubt his word for a moment. When the writer showed him some official figures about smallpox in the Army in India, Major Austin’s exact words (with emphasis) were these: —
“Why do you take the slightest notice of their statistics? You don’t know the people who compile them. I do: I’ve seen them at it. They are all the most unconscionable LIARS!”
After 20 years in India and Burma, treating the Army men and the followers, Major Austin knew what he was talking about and meant what he said. Of course, he did not publish such things about his professional colleagues, but he did tell them what he thought of them. Presumably they replied by calling him a crank and giving him that reputation. That is the usual official routine.
Carlo Ruata, Professor of Materia Medica, at the University of Perugia, was obviously another fearless champion of the truth; and it is very important to remember that all such men make themselves personally responsible for what they say and write; they do not hide in the herd and quote figures for which no one would dare to admit personal responsibility.
In a letter to the New York Medical Journal, published 22nd July 1899, Prof. Ruata wrote a shattering rebuke to Dr. Joseph M. Mathews, who, in his Presidential Address to the American Medical Association, had called the antivaccinationists “mad” and “misguided”. The letter is too long to quote in full, but he deals with the smallpox in Calabria, Sardinia and Sicily during the epidemic of 1887-9.
After showing that Italy was about the most vaccinated country in the world (the Army call-up showed that 98.5 per cent of the men had been vaccinated already, and they were then revaccinated), he shows that smallpox deaths were exactly divided between the sexes before the call-up age of 20, but that afterwards the revaccinated men were hit much more than the women. He gives a lot of figures from the worst places hit by the epidemic. The gem of his collection was: Vittoria, Sicily, population 2,600: deaths from smallpox 2,100! And he adds:
“Can you cite anything worse before the invention of vaccination? And the population of these villages is perfectly vaccinated, as I have proved already; …..I obtained from the local authorities a declaration that vaccination has been performed twice a year in the most satisfactory manner for many years past.”
Incidentally, it is interesting to note that the lymph used in Italy at that time was the animal lymph such as was afterwards adopted by the British Government to replace arm-to-arm vaccination. The excuse for the change was that animal lymph could not transmit syphilis, leprosy or other human diseases. The real, commercial reason was, of course, that animal lymph has to be purchased from the firm’s which produce it, instead of being obtained by private arrangement with doctors, vaccinifers, etc.
WHAT IS THE PRESENT POSITION?
We have no space here in which to pay tribute to all the people who have been fighting for truth and justice, not only in Britain but all over the world. Unlike the World Health Organisation, the National Anti-Vaccination League is not subsidised. It has no multilingual secretariat, and it cannot hope to support such a thing by voluntary contributions from that very small percentage of the public which really cares even twopence for the truth about anything (the so-called “cranks”).
The high-minded Victorians who supported our cause made the tragic mistake of thinking that, when we had “knocked the bottom out of a grotesque superstition”, as Creighton put it, the battle was almost over, and very few of them made any attempt to endow the League with substantial capital or even permanent headquarters. These honest people could hardly have foreseen such horrible, costly follies as two World Wars and the atombomb—or that the Jenner-Pasteur business would become an enorinoasly wealthy international protection-selling racket, which, in spite of its universal failure, has the power to monopolise the Press and the Radio almost completely, to use large sums of public and “charity” money to advertise its abominable wares and even to capitalise their manufacture, which inflicts cruelty upon countless millions of animals every year. The optimism of the Victorians was tragic, but only an extreme pessimist could have imagined what was to follow.
As to the present, we are aware of the efforts of those in other countries—France, for example, where M. Lemaire and M. Hoffet, whose son was killed by BCG vaccine, have been leading a brave fight to get compulsion taken out of the whole vaccine trade. There are many French doctors who would make all vaccinations illegal. There is no doubt that they soon would be if free discussion on the Radio were possible; at present it is simply not allowed. Only the feeblest pretence at fair play for both sides has ever been made in Britain, the opponents of vaccination being granted only a very few minutes in a year—with luck, and then without being given any warning or allowed time for adequate preparation. There is invariably a very long interval between one such concession and the next. The anti will be lucky to get from two to five minutes in which to demolish a mountain of lies which have been piling up for a century. His broadcast will probably be made from a provincial station, lest the heart of the British Commonwealth should die from shock, He will be up against maybe half-a-dozen opponents, each of whom will be given exactly the same time as he on the air, just to ensure scrupulous fairness. Furthermore, if the programme is filmed and so can be edited, his most telling facts and figures will be cut out by one of the anonymous broadcasting house-surgeons. If, in spite of all this, he manages to get any real information to the listeners, the scandal has to be given several months to blow over.
Even that excellent broadcaster, Bernard Shaw, we recall, had to be cut off in a hurry when, in an interview, he was casually referring to Jenner and Pasteur as if they were mere mortals. Shaw really studied the vaccination controversy and said many trenchant things about it, but his writings are still available and so need not be quoted here.
In modern times, the one person who did more than anyone else to restore our right to choose whether or not we should be poisoned with commercial inoculations was the late Miss Lily Loat. The fact that she received no obituary notices whatever from our national newspapers was the highest compliment they could pay her. The only radio tribute to her great work was an oblique smear in a Granada TV serial. It showed two police officers looking with horror under a blanket at the corpse of an old woman recluse who had died of smallpox and who was said to have been a notoriously eccentric crank. Later in the episode, the junior officer remarks that at one time she had “actually started a league for the abolition of compulsory vaccination”; his Chief Inspector replies: “Oh, so it caught up with her!”
We need hardly say that the original society was for the Abolition of Compulsory Vaccination and that it became the N.A.V.L. in 1896, or that Miss Loat was inseparably identified with it for about 50 years. Incidentally, she did not die of smallpox.
Probably, mothers will be telling their children for years to come that is what happened to the founder of the League. It was God’s will—they saw it on the TV. Such is the kind of publicity we get from the ignorant and unscrupulous powers-that-be. A printed protest sent to them received no reply.
The late Dr. Killick Millard, who wrote so much against mass vaccination, told the writer that he admired Miss Loat so much that he hoped to survive her so that he could write her biography, but that was not to be. What would he have said about that typical TV tribute to her work— the only one of any kind from the Radio?
Miss Loat was not herself a doctor, but there are many medical members of the League and she always had the benefit of their help and advice. The doctor who might have been the Chief Medical Adviser to the Ministry of Truth was the late Dr. M. Beddow Bayly. He did so much work, writing books, pamphlets and leaflets against vaccination and other allied rackets, that he left little for others to do. His opponents could not answer him, because, as he used to say with a gleeful chuckle, he hardly ever quoted any evidence against them except what they had themselves said or written. His works are still available to the serious student, and they are very valuable for their wealth of information and quotations.
The average person, however, cannot be expected to want to be dragged backwards through the whole history of the controversy, or through Hansard. Nevertheless, the experience would reveal that the mainstay of the vaccine tyranny has always been the conceit, credulity and intolerance of people in high places. We well remember the tumult in the House, in November 1942, when one M.P. who had obviously read Dr. Beddow Bayly’s big booklet on diptheria “immunization”, as the minister of Health to hold an inquiry into its safety and its efficacy, and to appoint a committee upon which both sides should be represented. His arrest was at once demanded by an indignant medical M.P. for “causing the deaths of innumerable children through this agitation”.
In Parliament such idiocies can be answered at once by any M.P. with a brain, but protests to the Press or the Radio bosses can be suppressed. One advertising agency actually sent out a circular letter to its members warning them not to accept advertisements for Dr. Bayly’s booklet. One of these members was also a member of the N.A.V.L., and so we were able at once to advertise this piece of backstairs thuggery without charge. Another example of this criminal conspiracy to stifle the truth was that, when Dorothy Lamour, Mickey Rooney and Orson Welles had been made seriously ill by inoculations, we tried to get small advertisements into several popular film papers, simply offering to inform travelling film artists as to their legal rights on the subject; all these papers refused to insert them. Incidentally, the papers no longer exist.
As Dr. John Rowan Wilson tells us, however, in Margin of Safety, “The Anti-Vaccinationists are still in existence, though their influence now is negligible”. If this is so, the world has at least the right to know why—and the duty to do something about it. We can assure the world that the blood-poisoners are also still in existence and, even though they no longer dare to use real vaccines, their corrupting influence on public health and public life is extremely costly; the world can no longer afford their rapacious rule (see Dr. Wilson’s book).
The worst threat to human welfare is monopolised Radio. The most infectious disease in the world is insanity, and the Radio is the principal carrier of it. Its evil power spreads so far and so fast that something more than the slow, cumbersome and expensive laws of libel is absolutely essential for its control. The Radio lie gets a 12,500 miles start. This is infinitely worse than the proverbial 12 hours. The truth never overtakes it, because it never gets started at all.