THE CANCER BLACKOUT
An Illuminating, Factual Survey
by M. H. Clutter, D.R.L Wichita, Kansas
|The California Cancer Hearings
Birth Of The Blackout
Cancer In The Nineteenth Century
The Deficiency Approach
Toxins, Serums, Hormones
Koch And Glyoxylide
The Hoxsey Saga
NOTE: While in Kansas City recently, visiting in the office of a friend, who is a well-known physician and surgeon, he reached into his bookcase and brought out a copy of "The Cancer Blackout" by Maurice Natenberg (1959), calling my attention to the fact that the author, Maurice Natenberg, had spoken rather disparagingly of our Magazine and its Founder, Dr. Gerald B. Winrod. But he asked me to take the volume and read it with an open mind.
Upon examining the book, I decided to interview the author personally by telephoning him at his office in Chicago. During our conversation I was convinced that he has documentary proof for very statement made in this revealing volume.
Mr. Natenberg explained that he is of Jewish origin, and appeared greatly surprised, but seemingly pleased, to learn that The Defender had found his work to be praiseworthy.
Through our conversation and exhange of ideas I learned that he was not fully aware of our true position. Upon concluding this most satisfying and pleasant interview, we turned the volume over to our Review Editor for an appraisal.
In our opinion, this unique, candid, factual polemic could be a basis upon which all forces laboring for the relief of suffering humanity might join in a united front against a common and powerful enemy which dogs the steps and ruins the life and work of every man or woman who opens new avenues of cancer research.
One remark of Mr. Natenberg during our talk was, in substance: "If I am able to help, only one cancer sufferer to escape the excruciating and inescapable pain of death caused through treatment by 'orthodox methods,' I have done something worthwhile."
Since the death of Dr. Winrod many have speculated as to why The Defender discontinued its enlightening articles concerning new discoveries in the field of medicine ... articles which dared to present factual evidence of the merits of various "unorthodox" systems of treatment.
Dr. Winrod had studied this subject intensively for years. After his passing, no one on our Staff possessed either the knowledge or aptitude to explore and carry on this important phase of our Christian ministry, dealing with alleviating human suffering by propagating factual information.
At no time in the past have we advised or recommended, nor do we now, any particular system of treatment for physical ailments. But in the name of Christ, who died on the Cross for the healing of humanity (I Peter 2:24), we are impelled to present the facts to our thinking, adult readers who may then decide the issues for themselves.
By the greatest stretch of the imagination, can anyone have a moral right to withhold even the slightest hope from those who face the cruel ordeal of cancer? Again I say, for the sake of suffering humanity, may God help us all in this battle for the triumph of right!
THE AUTHOR, a publisher of medical writings, narrowly missed seeing a woman commit suicide by leaping from the twelfth floor of an office building in Chicago, where a physician had just diagnosed her illness as cancer.
This event so stimulated his curiosity concerning the emotional implications of the disease that he began research into the various controversies surrounding it. He found that "The tactics employed to discredit unorthodox approaches to cancer, as has been almost universal with new discoveries in other fields of medicine, have remained almost the same for two centuries."
Huxley touched the heart of the matter when he said: "Orthodoxy is the Bourbon of the world of thought; it learns not, neither can it forget."
Mr. Natenberg opens his treatise by saying: "Cancer is enshrouded in many mysteries. There are not only the enigmas of pathological processes which have made the problem of cure so baffling but the mysteries of human motivations in cancer controversies. The hidden purposes and machinations which have erupted so often into bitter disputes, investigations, violent conflicts, accusations of fraud, quackery and deliberate falsification of records, have never been adequately studied. That too is an integral component of the cancer problem.
"This work is devoted chiefly to the history of the disputes in cancer which have led to the suppression of important facts and the dissemination of distorted information to the public . . . Facts which conflicted with the interests and opinions of the dictators of the trend, have been continuously subjected to a blackout. The work of many sincere and capable men has been unfairly discredited and ridiculed.
"For centuries there has been an official and dogmatic version of cancer which was dangerous for independent-minded physicians to oppose . . .
"Certainly there is no aspect of the subject that is more vital, that demands more clarification and careful checking, than methods of cure. There is no feature of cancer, however, that is more controversial and subject to fiercer contention and antagonisms, nor more vital to the public or to potential victims of the disease.
"This book is devoted to that feature .. . Wherever possible, information was sought from the discoverers of cancer therapies or their disciples ... in all instances published material was the prime source of information ... It is my hope that every person .. . may find here some information of value . . . also that the men who struggled to originate new approaches to cancer, against the invidious opposition that was too often their lot, may be recognized for their sincerity and respected for their ideals and principles."
The California Cancer Hearings
While preparing this treatise the author had the opportunity to participate in an inquiry into cancer treatments held by the California State Senate's Interim Committee in San Francisco May 6 to 8, 1958. The Committee had been formed to hear further testimony on the defeated Weinberger Bill, which would have empowered a commission to validate various methods for treating cancer and to define spheres of its treatment by non-medically affiliated physicians. This Bill was very important, since not only the life and health of everyone might be involved, but the professional destiny of thousands of practitioners was also in the balance.
The Weinberger Bill was sponsored by the American Cancer Society to "protect the public by illegalizing dangerous and worthless modes of cancer treatment and recognizing only the treatments 'of choice,' currently surgery, X-ray, irradiation and a few chemotherapies."
The recommendations of the American Medical Association, the National Cancer Society, the Sloan-Kettering Institute and similar official bodies would probably determine the sanctioning of cancer therapies, and a physician who did not follow their regulations would be punished by being dropped from membership and blacklisted, thus eliminating unorthodox approaches to cancer and other diseases.
Mr. Natenberg gives a detailed account of witnesses, including himself, who were called before the Committee, and at least intimates that considerable prejudice entered the picture. He was not given time to introduce some of his findings.
He concludes the chapter by saying that "every discoverer of a cancer remedy has encountered a Chinese wall of resistance," which has been the same in every page of recorded cancer history, and that the myth that the discoverer of a cancer cure would be "honored, acclaimed, and practically deified as a savior of the human race," should be changed to "dishonored, denounced and crucified, unless he is a fair haired boy of the dominating oligarchy."
Birth Of The Blackout
To demonstrate the meaning of this statement, he turns in the history of cancer to a meeting of two celebrated London surgeons, which took place on January 5, 1764 ... Mr. Richard Guy and Mr. Thomas Cataker, surgeon to the royal family and to the St. George Hospital.
Their confidential talk on methods of treating cancer closed with decided coolness. Mr. Guy immediately wrote a fascinating, detailed account of the quarrel.
It appears that he had bought a formula which had been the secret of one family for over a century, and had been using it effectively to the exclusion of surgery. This was most humanitarian, since neither anesthesia, asepsis, nor antiseptics were known, and surgery, with its acute suffering and after infections, was most dreadful. Descriptions of medical treatments then in vogue are horrible and nauseating.
But the most interesting facet of the controversy is the pattern set for the future . .. accusation of theft of secret formulas, contumely, derision, character assassination, and deliberate suppression of known cures. Every cancer feud in the two centuries since that of Guy and Gataker has followed essentially the same pattern.
Cancer In The Nineteenth Century
Cancer was not prevalent before the modern era. Conditions of life, poor sanitation, and infectious diseases combined to make a low life expectancy, and cancer had little chance to develop. It is also believed by some that infectious diseases with their attendant fevers provide immunity from cancer, since with their decline the cancer rate has increased.
In 1802 the Society for Investigating the Nature and Cause of Cancer was organized in London. While it did not live long, contemporary organizations still follow its basic approach. The theory of cancer as a disease of the cells developed in the middle of the century. The era of research, however, did not open until the beginning of the twentieth century, although some study of tumors was made earlier. Injury, irritation and infection were thought to be causes of the disease.
During the nineteenth century a few physicians developed remedies which were purported to cure cancer without surgery. These were based on diet and salves, and many testimonials of cures were given each. Among these men are the great English surgeon and teacher, John Abernethy, Dr. William Lambe of London, and Dr. T. T. Blake of New York. The latter published a pamphlet in 1858. " Cancers Cured Without the Use of the Knife." He said, "Any treatment of disease that claims to be in advance of what is known to the profession, however clearly based on scientific principles or uniformly commended by its power to heal, is sure to meet with opposition."
Dr. J. Weldon Fell, from a family of noted physicians and professional men, was a co-founder of the New York Academy of Medicine, and a faculty member of the University of New York. Because of his cancer practice a sinister cloud enveloped his career and caused him to move to London. There he was received courteously by medical men and hospitals.
He published a text on cancer in which was given in detail the formula of his remedy, with instructions as to its use. Yet, in spite of this, his remedy fell into disuse. A Dr. Pattison of London published a similar pamphlet in the same year, which was not accepted, because, said they, "he was not curing cancer but only diseases which simulated it."
The Deficiency Approach
At the beginning of the twentieth century the X-ray and radium were discovered. About the same time a young and brilliant London physician, F. W. Forbes Ross, began his career. He was independent in thought, skeptical and witty, and wrote a book on "Cancer; Its Genesis and Treatment."
He had quickly lost faith in orthodox cancer remedies, including radium and X-ray, and started his research in cancer from the beginning. He arrived at the theory that it is caused by a deficiency of some vital biochemical element and identified potassium salts as the missing one.
Mr. Natenberg reports: "He insisted that these salts were increasingly being processed out of foods; that there was deficiency in foods because the soil was being depleted of essential minerals; and that in cooking vegetables and meats, even more of these precious salts were lost. As a result, food ingested was seriously deficient in needed elements . . .
"The Ross therapy was aimed at correcting the general well-being of the cancer patient ... by improving the dietary intake . . . None of his ideas and principles has become obsolete. The degeneration of processed foods and the addition of carcinogenic chemical preervatives and adulterants is greater today than it was fifty years ago. Cancer is also more prevalent, consistently confirming the correctness of the Ross approach.
"It is significant that practically every cancer therapist who abandoned surgery and irradiation recognized the curative value of proper diet. It is also true that the 'official school' regarded such thinking with deeper and deeper aversion. To stress the nutritional approach to cancer eventually became the surest way to become branded as a quack. Dr. Ross suffered some of that anathema, although he was a mild heretic, as heretics in diet go." His career was terminated abruptly by his death at the age of forty-six.
Dr. Robert Bell, also of London, is another example of the treatment accorded the independent thinker. He was a man of great integrity, supreme skill and high standing in medicine. Yet his "career affirms the evidence that the fate of the cancer heretic, regardless of his qualifications and past achievements, whether he be the recipient of high medical honors or without medical qualifications of any kind, is equally unpleasant. The inevitable results have been accusations of quackery, followed by ostracism."
In the United States Dr. Bell's warm friend, Dr. Lucius Duncan Bulkley, also had made distinguished contributions to medicine during a long and honorable career. He was strongly opposed to surgery in cancer, and advocated diet in treatment. This opposition led to the same results.
In summing up his work the author says: "Dr. Bulkley died in 1928. He left a monument to his distinguished career in a treasure of sage, honest and penetrating observations. His nutritional approach to the cure of cancer and his opposition to surgery, biopsies and pure animal experimentation appear to be as valid as ever and deserve renewed interest in the light of current trends."
Dr. Charles O. Ozias, of Nevada, Missouri, became famous for his cancer cures around the turn of the century.
He built his own hospital in Kansas City, and in 1922 offered to disclose the results of his treatment to the American Medical Association, provided these results were published in the official AMA journals.
One hundred patients were to be treated free of charge to secure proof of the efficacy of his method. The offer was not accepted, but persecution began, which bankrupted him and put him out of his hospital. He retired, embittered, to his home and his formula may have died with him.
Toxins, Serums, Hormones
Dr. W. B. Coley of New York employed fever incitants in 1891 with a degree of success in the treatment of cancer. Although his work was not as bitterly opposed as were many others, neither did he receive encouragement. His theory that the disease is caused by a microbe or virus was strongly supported by clinical evidence. Research in this medium is continued today by the New York Cancer Institute.
Great controversy developed in the 1930's over the Coffey-Humber extract, which was derived from the adrenal cortex of sheep. This remedy had liberal financial backing and was endorsed by influential interests, for Dr. Walter B. Coffey was chief surgeon and Director of the Southern Pacific Railroad Hospital in San Francisco from 1926 to 1938. He died six years later. His work was opposed before his death by powerful interests, ignored and rejected without a fair clinical and scientific test.
Says Mr. Natenberg: "Regardless of its merits, the remedy was never scientifically investigated by its opponents . . . Even a negative finding based on sound scientific evidence would be valuable as a safeguard against similar experiments in the future. Whether or not the Coffey-Humber extract had alleviative powers, or at least was helpful in relieving pain and eliminating the need for narcotics, is still a mystery."
Dr. Thomas J. Glover of Toronto made research into the virus theory of cancer, and developed a serum from the blood of horses. The opposition stated that cancer is not caused by a virus, and the battle was on. Associated with others, he continued research but their impressive results have never been recognized, in spite of the fact that the work appears to have been a great scientific achievement.
The author states, "In the battles over cancer, the war that raged against Dr. William Frederick Koch is an epic in ruthless ferocity ... His background is hardly that of a charlatan."
He possesses three degrees from the University of Michigan and an M.D. from Detroit College of Medicine. He was professor in Detroit Medical College and taught several years at the University of Michigan. He was highly lauded by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1913 for his work in endocrinology, and six years later branded as a faker by the same Journal. The moment he claimed to have found a help for cancer he became a marked man.
"He believed that germs also produce toxins which are incompletely removed, thus subscribing in part to the virus theory of cancer and leading quite naturally to his belief that the solution to the cancer problem lay in securing more active catalysts to stimulate the body's capacity to oxidize toxins .. .
"According to Koch, his preparation starts a chain reaction in which toxins are converted into antitoxins by the addition of molecules which alter their composition. It was also his belief that the cancer germ or virus becomes virulent when poisoned by the toxins in the system.
"This highly ingenious reasoning, although based on authentic physiology and chemistry, appears a bit too magical ... However, opponents to his theory have formulated no scientific arguments to refute it. Without any investigation, they have always been peremptorily dismissed as nonsense."
And so, "The career of William Koch, who now lives in Brazil, is indeed a tragedy. If his theories are scientifically unsound, they can be scientifically demolished. If his clinical claims are false, a fair test would disprove them. Instead, he was driven out of practice by the concerted and relentless prosecution of medical societies and government bodies.
"The Koch case proves once again that no scientific standards for testing cancer exist and that the fate of an independent cancer therapist, regardless of his scientific training and qualifications, is inevitably the same. The competent and incompetent alike, the quack and the dedicated healer, the fraudulent and the genuine are damned equally, without the slightest attempt to award them a fair hearing."
The Hoxsey Saga
Harry M. Hoxsey has waged a life-and-death struggle with the American Medical Association for almost forty years. Mr. Natenberg says: "He has been fined, jailed, and prosecuted more times than any other man in the history of cancer. He has fought back tooth and nail; matched his cunning and ruthless opponents with equal cunning, craft, and resourcefulness; and used every influence and force he could muster in his dog-eat-dog struggle."
His formulas are a family secret inherited from his great-grandfather, and are of vegetable origin. Throughout his stormy career the same pattern of opposition has been followed, until he has been forced to withdraw from treating cancer personally.
Attempts are being made to carry on his work in Missouri, Texas, Pennsylvania, and California. Mr. Natenberg was not impressed with the personality of Dr. Hoxsey as seen in a personal interview, but feels that he should have had fair and scientific investigation and proof of the value of his treatment.
He concludes, "If the Hoxsey clinics eventually are closed, the last chapter will have been written in the most unusual and fantastic story in the history of cancer, if not in the history of healing."
Dr. John E. Gregory of Pasadena, California spent more than a quarter of a million dollars of his own money and invested years of his time in research to develop an antibiotic remedy — only to meet the usual haughty rejection without fair scientific investigation.
The Lincoln Bacteriophages were discovered by Dr. Robert E. Lincoln of Medford, Massachusetts. Attempting to use his method for the benefit of suffering humanity, he included cancer among the "incurable" diseases being cured. Immediately he became involved in controversy, and the inevitable black pall enveloped his work.
The Beard-Krebs Approach, while successful in numerous cases, has not been pushed. Lay remedies have been developed in two instances by people not trained in scientific investigation, but who seem to have hit on successful methods of treating cancer. Yet favorable evidence was ignored and only unfavorable indications accepted by investigators. Other methods of cancer treatment have been formulated and used with success by Drs. Gerson, Revici and Wachtel — and all encountered the usual blackout.
Mr. Natenberg concludes his "history of suppressed and denied cancer remedies with the most grotesque case of all — the Krebiozen affair. This controversy repeats every feature of every cancer dispute that has been reviewed, but on a far greater and more fantastic scale."
Every independent researcher has met with contumely, intrigue and condemnation, possibly because of some unexplained psychological manifestation not completely understood. Many of these have been highly eminent in their profession, yet previous reputation means nothing.
Such was Dr. Andrew C. Ivy, who occupied distinguished medical, educational and governmental positions. But when he espoused a formula for cancer, he became a pariah, tumbling headlong into the mire of disgrace.
Krebiozen was the discovery of a Yugoslav biochemist. The story of the Gargantuan struggle of powerful interests to obtain control is almost unbelievable.
The author's evaluation of Dr. Ivy's personal integrity, courage, and fairness, as well an his outstanding ability as a scientist, is a noble tribute to his own honesty.
The result of this research study of "The Cancer Blackout" by Mr. Natenberg demonstrates the inhumanity of a great profession, whose members are sworn to devote their lives to the healing of human bodies. We believe the vast majority are truly dedicated to this sublime purpose, yet are compelled to link themselves to an organization which has become a hydra-headed menace to independent thinking.
Thoughtful persons everywhere, regardless of race, color, or creed, should rise up in arms against this monstrous thing — not next year, not next month, not next week, nor even tomorrow ... but today!