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Hero Worship Is Bad

It should be ob­vious to an­yo­ne that taking the wor­ds of an­yo­ne, in­clu­ding so­meo­ne you like (or even spe­cia­lly so­meo­ne you like) wi­thout skep­ti­cism is a dan­ge­rous pa­th. For exam­ple, you may like Gandhi's phi­lo­so­phy of no­n-­vio­len­ce, or ad­mi­re him for whate­ver rea­so­n.

That is hard­ly an ex­cu­se to take an­y­thing he said as wor­th mu­ch, spe­cia­lly when it's about sub­jec­ts he had ab­so­lu­te­ly no idea abou­t, be­cau­se he had a ten­den­cy to be ab­so­lu­te­ly su­re he knew eve­r­y­thing about eve­r­y­thing.

For exam­ple, did you know he wro­te a book about heal­th? He­re's a quo­te from it:

One ques­tion whi­ch I ha­ve asked myself again and agai­n, in the cour­se of wri­ting this book, is why I of all per­sons should wri­te it. Is the­re any jus­ti­fi­ca­tion at all for one like me, who am no doc­to­r, and who­se kno­w­le­dge of the ma­tters dealt wi­th in the­se pa­ges must be ne­ce­ssa­ri­ly im­per­fec­t, attemp­ting to wri­te a book of this kin­d?

My de­fen­ce is this. The “s­cien­ce” of me­di­ci­ne is itself ba­sed upon im­per­fect kno­w­le­dge, most of it being me­re qua­cke­r­y. But this book, at any ra­te, has been promp­ted by the pu­rest of mo­ti­ve­s. The attempt is he­re ma­de not so mu­ch to show how to cu­re di­sea­ses as to point out the means of pre­ven­ting the­m. And a li­ttle re­flec­tion wi­ll show that the pre­ven­tion of di­sea­se is a com­pa­ra­ti­ve­ly sim­ple ma­tte­r, not re­qui­ring mu­ch spe­cia­list kno­w­le­dge, al­thou­gh it is by no means an ea­sy thing to put the­se prin­ci­ples in­to prac­ti­ce. Our ob­ject has been to show the uni­ty of ori­gin and treat­ment of all di­sea­ses, so that all peo­ple may learn to treat their di­sea­ses the­msel­ves when they do ari­se, as they often do, in spi­te of great ca­re in the ob­ser­van­ce of the laws of heal­th.

Do you no­ti­ce the bait and swi­tch? He kno­ws li­ttle about the ma­tte­r, but he wi­ll wri­te the book an­yway be­cau­se it's rea­lly about the sim­ple sub­ject of di­sea­se pre­ven­tio­n. But rea­ding it "a­ll peo­ple may learn how to treat di­sea­ses the­msel­ve­s". And not just a few di­sea­ses but all di­sea­ses. That pa­ra­gra­ph reeks of fal­se mo­des­ty and sim­ple dis­ho­nes­ty.

But he­y, did you know that he could cu­re the pla­gue?

I ha­ve tried this sin­gle treat­ment [a mud poul­ti­ce] for all va­rie­ties from sim­ple fe­ver up to Bu­bo­nic Pla­gue, wi­th in­va­ria­bly sa­tis­fac­to­ry re­sul­ts.

Of cour­se, in the next sen­ten­ce it sa­ys:

In 1904, the­re was a se­ve­re ou­tbreak of pla­gue among the In­dians in Sou­th Afri­ca. It was so se­ve­re tha­t, out of 23 per­sons that we­re affec­te­d, as many as 21 died wi­thin the spa­ce of 24 hour­s; and of the re­mai­ning two, who we­re re­mo­ved to the hos­pi­ta­l, on­ly one sur­vi­ve­d, and that one was the man to whom was applied the mu­d-­poul­ti­ce.

I won­der what is a re­sult le­ss than sa­tis­fac­to­r­y.

The­re are ob­vious mi­sun­ders­tan­dings of ba­sic fac­ts, su­ch as how res­pi­ra­tion wo­rks 1 what the sto­ma­ch does 2 and even how many bo­nes the­re are in a hu­man ches­t, and the­re are, of cour­se, things that are just weird:

Co­coa is fu­lly as har­m­ful as co­ffee, and it con­tains a poi­son whi­ch dea­dens the per­cep­tions of the ski­n.

Even ha­bi­tual co­ffee-­dri­nkers wi­ll be una­ble to per­cei­ve any di­ffe­ren­ce in tas­te be­tween co­ffee and this subs­ti­tu­te. Good and we­ll-­si­fted wheat is put in­to a fr­yin­g-­pan over the fi­re and we­ll frie­d, un­til it has tur­ned com­ple­te­ly re­d, and be­gun to grow da­rk in co­lou­r. Then it is po­w­de­red just like co­ffee. A spoon of the po­w­der is then put in­to a cu­p, and boi­ling wa­ter pou­red on to it. Pre­fe­ra­bly keep the thing over the fi­re for a mi­nu­te, and add mi­lk and su­ga­r, if ne­ce­ssar­y, and you get a de­li­cious dri­nk, whi­ch is mu­ch chea­per and heal­thier than co­ffee. Tho­se who want to save the­msel­ves the trou­ble of pre­pa­ring this po­w­der may get their su­pply from the Satya­gra­ha As­h­ra­m, Ah­me­da­ba­d.

The first cla­ss, whi­ch is the lar­ges­t, con­sis­ts of tho­se who, whe­ther by pre­fe­ren­ce or out of ne­ce­s­si­ty, li­ve on an ex­clu­si­ve ve­ge­ta­ble die­t. Un­der this di­vi­sion co­me the best part of In­dia, a lar­ge por­tion of Eu­ro­pe, and Chi­na and Ja­pan. The sta­ple diet of the Ita­lians is ma­ca­ro­ni, of the Irish po­ta­to, of the Sco­tch oat­mea­l, and of the Chi­ne­se and Ja­pa­ne­se ri­ce. 3

Wheat is the best of all the ce­real­s. Man can li­ve on wheat alo­ne, for in it we ha­ve in due pro­por­tion all the ele­men­ts of nu­tri­tio­n. Many kin­ds of edi­bles can be ma­de of whea­t, and they can all be ea­si­ly di­ges­te­d. 4 [...] man can re­tain his stren­gth by li­ving on me­re wheat boi­led in wa­te­r.

And fi­na­ll­y, the­re are the bi­ts whi­ch are not just wron­g, but al­so ab­so­lu­te­ly fu­cking dan­ge­rous.

Did you know he sa­ys sma­ll­pox is not con­ta­gious, and is rea­lly a di­ges­ti­ve tract con­di­tio­n?

[S­ma­ll­po­x] is cau­s­e­d, just like other di­sea­ses, by the blood ge­tting im­pu­re owing to so­me di­sor­der of the bo­wel­s; and the poi­son that ac­cu­mu­la­tes in the sys­tem is ex­pe­lled in the form of sma­ll-­po­x. If this view is co­rrec­t, then the­re is ab­so­lu­te­ly no need to be afraid of sma­ll-­po­x. If it we­re rea­lly a con­ta­gious di­sea­se, eve­r­yo­ne should ca­tch it by me­re­ly tou­ching the pa­tien­t; but this is not alwa­ys the ca­se. [...] This has gi­ven ri­se to the su­pers­ti­tion that it is a con­ta­gious di­sea­se, and hen­ce to the attempt to mis­lead the peo­ple in­to the be­lief that vac­ci­na­tion is an effec­ti­ve means of pre­ven­ting it.

Oh, vac­ci­na­tio­n! You see, this book was pu­blis­hed in 1921. By 1921, sma­ll­pox was al­ready di­sappea­ring in Eu­ro­pe be­cau­se vac­cio­na­tion wo­rked. And sma­ll­pox vac­ci­na­tion had wo­rked for de­ca­des. He ei­ther knew no­thing about how effec­ti­ve it wa­s, or did not ca­re.

I thi­nk the pro­blem he­re is, un­sur­pri­sin­gl­y, that to so­meo­ne wi­th Gandhi's ba­ck­ground vac­ci­na­tion was evil and just could­n't be ac­cep­ted as so­me­thing po­si­ti­ve.

Vac­ci­na­tion is a bar­ba­rous prac­ti­ce, and it is one of the most fa­tal of all the de­lu­sions cu­rrent in our ti­me, not to be found even among the so­-­ca­lled sava­ge ra­ces of the worl­d.


Mo­reo­ve­r, vac­ci­na­tion is a ve­ry dir­ty pro­ce­ss, for the se­rum whi­ch is in­tro­du­ced in­to the hu­man body in­clu­des not on­ly that of the co­w, but al­so of the ac­tual sma­ll-­pox pa­tien­t. An ave­ra­ge man would even vo­mit at the me­re si­ght of this stu­ff. If the hand ha­ppens to tou­ch it, it is alwa­ys was­hed wi­th soa­p. The me­re su­gges­tion of tas­ting it fi­lls us wi­th in­dig­na­tion and dis­gus­t. But how few of tho­se who get the­msel­ves vac­ci­nated rea­li­se that they are in effect ea­ting this fil­thy stu­ff!


As has been we­ll sai­d, co­war­ds die a li­ving dea­th, and our cra­ze for vac­ci­na­tion is so­le­ly due to the fear of dea­th or dis­fi­gu­re­ment by sma­ll-­po­x. 5


I can­not al­so help fee­ling that vac­ci­na­tion is a vio­la­tion of the dic­ta­tes of re­li­gion and mo­ra­li­ty. The dri­nking of the blood of even dead ani­mals is looked upon wi­th ho­rror even by ha­bi­tual mea­t-ea­ter­s. Ye­t, what is vac­ci­na­tion but the taking in of the poi­so­ned blood of an in­no­cent li­ving ani­ma­l? Be­tter far we­re it for Go­d-­fea­ring men that they should a thou­sand ti­mes be­co­me the vic­ti­ms of sma­ll-­pox and even die a te­rri­ble dea­th than that they should be guil­ty of su­ch an act of sa­cri­le­ge.

And the­re you ha­ve it, the cla­s­si­cal mo­ral ari­th­me­tic of the re­li­gious: it is be­tter for your son to die in ho­rri­ble su­ffe­ring or be dis­fi­gu­red than for a drop of cow se­rum to be in­jec­ted in hi­m. Ho­w's that for no­n-­vio­len­t?

Fu­ck that shi­t, Gandhi. Fu­ck that shi­t.


"The ox­y­gen of the air whi­ch we inha­le pu­ri­fies this blood and is as­si­mi­lated in­to it, whi­le the ni­tro­gen ab­sorbs the poi­so­nous ma­tter and is brea­thed ou­t." -- Gandhi


"If the sto­ma­ch cea­ses to wo­rk even for a sin­gle mo­men­t, the who­le body would co­llap­se." -- Gandhi


My grea­t-­gran­dpa­ren­ts ca­me to Ar­gen­ti­na from Ita­ly a few de­ca­des be­fo­re this book was pu­blis­he­d. If so­meo­ne ca­lled them ve­ge­ta­rian­s, they would pro­ba­bly sma­ck you in the head wi­th pros­ciu­tto.


Ex­cep­t, of cour­se, by tho­se who can not di­gest whea­t.


He­ll yeah!

Lucio / 2013-09-16 03:38:

I think i once read Gandhi saying something along the lines of "non-violence if for courageous people, if you don't have the courage for that, better to use violence than do nothing."

Roberto Alsina / 2013-09-16 03:41:

I suspect he may have said "it is for men of good a righteous path that cake be had and also the cake be eaten".

Lucio / 2013-09-16 03:39:

I think i once read Gandhi saying something along the lines of "non-violence is for courageous people, if you don't have the courage for that, better to use violence than do nothing."

gour_atmarama / 2013-09-21 07:40:


it's not that I'm admirer of Gandhi who was wrong in so many things, but if you take time to read some book about Ayurvedic medicine you *might* get some background for some of his ideas which may sound totally wrong. :-)

Moreover, having a doctor in my own house (wife), I e.g. know something about the uselessness of most of vaccinations which is admitted even in the medical circles, but it's not (yet) known to the more general population due to being too big business of pharmaceutical lobby including WHO/UNICEF etc. ;)

Our small 17 months daughter was not vaccinated and was not ill even for a single day having strong immune system which would be destroyed by so many vaccinations put in the bodies of other children in the neighborhood being ill every so often.

The point is that the so called science is also often not a source of trustworthy information being bribed in so many ways by $$$s. ;)

Roberto Alsina / 2013-09-21 12:51:

Your child is still protected by the herd immunity of her peers who have been vaccinated. Being old enough to have seen friends and brothers suffer through the many diseases my son and his friends have never seen (measles, whooping cough, dyphteria, etc) parents who don't vaccinate are endangering not only their own kids but others.

Disease statistics show that once vaccination goes below a certain threshold, those diseases come back, and regardless of the vaccination oponents theories, their kids will get sick. And so will those of parents who have done the right thing and vaccinated theirs (although luckily in lower rates).

Have you ever seen someone suffering from the effects of polio? I have. It's *not* something I want to come back. Have you ever seen someone suffering smallpox? I have not, but I have seen pictures, and it's *not* something I want to see in real life.

What anti-vaccine advocates never seem to address is *why* if vaccines are so bad there are so many fewer cases of smallpox, rubeola, chickenpox, measles, etc. correlating with vaccination? While correlation doesn't imply causation, here the link is fairly undeniable.

Why, if vaccination is bad, has smallpox and polio disappeared?

Please get informed from as many sources as you can and vaccinate your daughter. You will not only help her be healthier, but you will be doing your share to make every other kid in your community healthier too.

In any case, I hope she's never sick a day in her life from now on, too.

gour_atmarama / 2013-09-21 21:36:

> Why, if vaccination is bad, has smallpox and polio disappeared?

There are many reports, here is the one of the top Google hits: http://www.vaccinationcounc...

Another question, if vaccinations is good why is e.g. TBC increasing?

I won't give you any evidence - Google is full of them. ;)

Roberto Alsina / 2013-09-21 21:54:

Do you know what Viera Schneiber is not? A doctor in medicine. Do you know what else she is not? An epidemiologist. She's a PhD indeed. In geology.

She misquotes and misunderstands inmunology and epidemiology papers for a living. She apparenly claims broken bones and skull fractures are caused by vaccination (and misattributed to SIDS)

That "international vaccination council" is mostly a collection of cranks who are not only not right, but usually are not even wrong.

But it's ok. I don't expect I can convince you. So, feel free to post a last comment and then I'll close the thread. Deal?

gour_atmarama / 2013-09-22 05:28:

> But it's ok. I don't expect I can convince you. So, feel free to post a last comment and then I'll close the thread. Deal?


My wife *is* MD and as part of ongoing education she is going to different conferences, lectures etc. given my experts from the field and those experts are admitting that e.g. for TBC from which people are vaccinated for quite long time, the official medicine, according to their statistics, does not know whether the vaccination is at all effective, how it works, whether it works etc. and they are puzzled that TBC is in increase despite of it.

That why it is not at all astonishing that e.g. in the most developed countries within EU, the vaccination is NO longer obligatory as in some less developed countries.

If you wonder why it is so, I'm leaving up to you to e.g. do your research about e.g. vaccination & Bill Gates. ;)

Logically, vaccination means to slow down your program frantically expecting some kind of error to happen instead of using appropriate exceptions handlers to handle *specific* error condition only *when* it really happens. :-)

Roberto Alsina / 2013-09-22 13:26:

I am trying really hard to be a better person. That includes not engaging in perennial arguments with those I disagree with, and nitpicking and debating to death every misguided thing they say or write.

It's hard.

Have a nice day, I am closing the comments here.

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