Commercial Medicine


I am an incurable idealist and a chronic optimist, but I am not able to shut my eyes to what I see going on around me. I don’t believe in looking always on the "bright side" of things and refusing to examine the darker side. In the human garden there flourish some mighty foul weeds, most of them cunningly disguised, that need to be looked at and destroyed.

Ours is a system of pig-ethics. I do not mean by this merely our love of wallowing, but include also our selfishness, our game of grab and stab. Modem business of all kinds is just such a game, cleverly disguised, though it often is, under a pretense of philanthropy, service and idealism. At the root of business, and supplying its motive power is a sordid commercialism that does not hesitate to trample the most sacred things of life, even life, itself, in the mud and mire to attain its selfish ends. Idealism can make little or no headway in our world until these pig-ethics are destroyed. For our pig-ethics employs idealism, not as a working principle, nor yet as a way of life, hut as a cloak to mask the ulterior motives of the fraud and the cheat.

Some years ago a large drugless sanitarium, located in Battle Creek, offered stock for sale. The heads let it be known that they expected to pay dividends amounting to returns of twenty per cent, upon the investment. Think of this! A professedly humanitarian institution run on the same basis as a steel mill, or a public utilities corporation! Besides providing a fat living for the actual workers in the institution, they could pay large dividends to absentee owners. Does it not look as if the sick, with one foot in the grave, were going to keep the healthy on easy street.

This shameless exploitation of the sick and dying is carried on by every so-called school of healing on earth. Then, when a patient dies, the undertaker comes, with the same commercial motives, the same pig-ethics, and while the grief-stricken wife or husband, mother or son feels that there is nothing that he or she would not do for the beloved deceased, takes a mean advantage of this emotional state and holds them up on a fashionable burial.

In more recent years the shameless exploiters of human life and health, not content with the profits they were deriving from their abuses of the actually sick, have found ways and means to exploit the non-sick as well. As of old, this new form of exploitation hides behind a smoke-screen of altruism; the exploiters are doing it all for the good of humanity, for the public health, for the protection of our children, etc. Medical science is a form of madness from which few medical men ever recover. Backed by commercialism, this madness runs rough-shod over, the life and health of the people.

Few of us ever stop to consider the power of slogans in their effect upon the mob mind. "To Hell with Autocracy," "Down with the Kaiser," "Berlin or Bust," "Make the World safe for Democracy," "Work or fight," "Bonds or’ Bums," or "Bonds or Bread Lines," "Republicans and Prosperity," "Democrats and Disaster," "Save the Children," "Buy a Tag," "There’s a reason," "A Baby in every bottle," etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam, are only a few of the soul stirring slogans that have helped to make this republic what it now is.

We are misled by these cheap slogans and have come to "think" in slogans and act in slogans. The man or woman who has a sincere and intense feeling towards humanity, a feeling that constitutes a religion in itself, and which is too broad and deep to exist in the narrow confines of any creed and too strong to be devoured by the greeds of the time, must look on this spectacle with hatred and disgust.

Huge sums of money are collected to feed and clothe and care for the suffering and needy in foreign lands. What for? So that big business can sell its goods to these needy ones. It is a game of you pay for my goods and I’ll ship them to the hungry in China. Organized charity is a cold, soulless business; a system of exploitation as much as any of our departments of big business.

Religion, whether called by one name or another, whether labeled theism or atheism, is profitably exploited by those who want to keep their hands soft and white. The exploiters in all fields prattle their idiotic platitudes about brotherhood and service, while going through the mechanical motions of their pet religion (?), where they curiously find sanction for it all, while shutting their eyes and ears to the solemn truth that they have humanity nailed to the cross.

I am not as much interested in the adults on this cross as I am in the children. If the adult population of this world allow themselves to be bullied and beaten, deceived and cheated, maimed and killed by the exploiters, they have no one to blame but themselves. They have but to rise in their collective might and these exploiters will desert their positions like rats leaving a sinking ship. Neither are the exploiters as much interested in the adult, except as the one who pays the bills, as they are in the children. We have just about turned our children over to them, body, mind and soul.

The physicians are moving heaven and earth to increase their, incomes, and they insist that there is a steady falling off in" patronage due to the fact that the public, in ever increasing numbers,, is turning to the other and newer schools. Costs of living are mounting, it costs more time and money to acquire a medical education and competition from without their ranks has made them desperate. They have tried, by every foul means—persecution, prosecution, slander, misrepresentation, lies—to destroy competition, but its growth has been steady despite this effort.

The profession is honeycombed with graft and corruption and thoroughly imbued with the spirit of commercialism. Commercial surgery, compulsory medicine, lying propaganda, fear and every foul means of drumming up trade are employed to increase their incomes. The Journal of the American Medical Association, Nov. 4, 1922, prints and address by Dr. W. S. Rankin. Sec. of the North Carolina State Board of Health in which he says:

"Last year we inoculated 70,000 persons against typhoid fever and 1,000 children between six and twelve years of age against diphtheria. The county Commissioner paid the local practitioners 25 cents for each complete inoculation, and that was $20,000 which went to the profession last year which otherwise would not have been received. The work of the medical profession with the State Board of Health does not stop when the $20,000 is paid. It goes on. In the dispensaries which were conducted in Union County, North Carolina, with 35,000 people, the physicians vaccinated 10,000 people in a campaign of five weeks. That was $2,500 paid to twenty physicians—only $125 each, but think of the effect on the business of the profession in keeping up that work. It goes on."

Does the last statement refer to the business the physician will receive from those who are made sick by vaccination? At least, he emphasizes the doctor’s business and the increased income to him through state medicine,

In a paper entitled Medical Practice and Public Health, read before King’s County (N. Y.) Medical Society, March, 16, 1926 the Hon. Louis I. Harris Dr. P. H., M. D., Commissioner of Health of the City of New York, said: "In school work we have felt rather self-satisfied and smug. During the last eighteen years, the health department has conducted the examination of children, generally without any competition from or by the medical profession. This indicates a lack of understanding by family physicians of the glorious apportunity for service which they are missing. It is no new thing that I mention. You have heard it time and again. When we, in the health department send home a physical examination blank, a very simple and rudimentary one at that, and ask the parent to take the child to a physician to be examined, then, assuming that the parent follows our instructions, the physician fails to capitalize the opportunity." (Italics mine.)

The reader will readily see that the Board of Health is here trying to build business for the physicians, and Harris tells these physicians that what he is saying to them has been told to them time and again. But they don’t seem to be so enthusiastic about it. Evidently not all physicians are as unscrupulous as the political medicos in the Boards of Health.

Mather Pfeiffenberger, M.D., president of the Illinois State Medical Society, in a speech before the annual Conference, Illinois Health Officers, Springfield, III., Dec. 3-4, 1926, said: "Prevention practiced to the uttermost will create more work for the physician and not diminish it, for the full time health officer will be educating his community constantly. There will be more vaccination, more immunizing, more consulting and use of the physician. His services will be increased many fold.

"I am informed that epidemic and endemic infections cause only 12 per cent of all deaths and that this percentage is declining very rapidly. Only 15 per cent of all children would ever get diphtheria, even under epidemic conditions, while 100 per cent are prospects for toxin-antitoxin. The percentage who would ever get smallpox, under present time conditions, is even less; but 100 per cent are prospects for vaccination. Scarlet fever will soon come in for its 100 per cent also, as it may for measles, judging from the reports on that disease. Typhoid fever is disappearing, due to sanitation, but vaccination should be used when the individual travels into unknown territory and countries." Thus another medical leader tells physicians how to increase their incomes by exploiting the children and non-sick adults.

Guy L. Kiefer, M.D., Commissioner of Health of Michigan, says in the Journal of the Michigan State Medical Society, Aug. 1928:

"In this state there are 100,000 people born annually. They are practically all susceptible to diphtheria from the moment they are born. They are highly susceptible from the age of six months until they are immunized. If these infants were all immunized, and for this service the physicians receive from $5.00 to $10.00 per case, the net income would be from $500,000 to $1,000,000. Michigan has 5,000 cases of diphtheria annually. If the physicians received for their services, exclusive of all other costs, an average of $50.00 per case the income from this source would be $250,000. The increase in physicians income from diphtheria would be from one-quarter to three-quarters of a million dollars, if we would immunize all children against this disease soon after they are six months of age, instead of waiting until they are stricken with the disease and then treating them.

"Some maternity hospitals are vaccinating with vaccine virus all babies born in their institutions. Babies under ten days old very seldom have any general reaction and the immunity usually lasts for the whole life-time of the individual. It is estimated that one-third of all the births in this state occur in hospitals. If all hospitals were to establish this rule as part of their regular procedure, it would mean an addition of 30,000 immunized people in the state each year and an additional income of at least $60,000 to the physicians or hospitals.

"When the 100,000 people born every year in Michigan are vaccinated against smallpox at birth, the income to the physicians would approximate $200,000. The 500 cases of smallpox that occur every year, treated at an average of $50,000 per case, bring physicians $25,000. Thus the physicians, by adopting the practice of vaccination at birth, would increase their income by nearly $200,000.

"We have taken diphtheria and smallpox as examples of the economic advantage of immunization, but the same conditions apply to other diseases and to other public health measures.

"With the persistent educational work by the physicians and the Michigan Department of Health, these immunization programs will succeed in reducing the number of these preventable diseases and increasing the earning of the physicians who actively sponsor this modern type of practice." (Italics mine.)

In the Brooklyn Times, March 21, 1929, Health Commissioner Wynne, New York, is reported to have said in an address to the Optometrical Club: "Here is the answer (to the physician’s economic problem). Let them take in 20 children an hour, one hour a day, 3 days a week at a charge of $5 for each anti-diphtheria inoculation. That will bring a revenue worth while to the doctor."

Mr. Osborne, Health Officer of East Orange, N. J., in an address reported in the Journal of the Medical Society of New Jersey, September, 1929, points out that the physician would receive several times more by inoculating children than by treating cases of the disease.

In an editorial, Jan. 1930, the American Journal of Public Health, points out in dollars and cents how much money physicians would receive from inoculating babies and adds: "There are of course four times as many preschool children as babies, and ten times as many school children. The opportunity for increasing practice by carrying on immunization among the preschool and school populations in the physician’s clientele offers an almost unlimited field."

Dr. Vander Veer says, in a discussion reported in the Journal of Medical Society of New Jersey, February, 1930: "Dr. Wynne, Health Officer of New York City - gave me a clue to the subject of economics in which he said that we doctors had been going along the same old lines and had not created any new business, so I finally evolved this as a slogan in New York State: We cannot get away from the lay organizations, therefore we will lie down with them and ask them to provide means for carrying on the health programs and we are going to benefit ultimately from the periodic health examinations by an increased income. As a concrete example, take a town of 3,000, if only 200 come to us for examination at $3.00 each that would be $600 that would accrue to be divided among the doctors; if 100 came for examination at $25.00 each there would be $2,500 to be divided.

Vander Veer gives more statistics about the fees they would receive and then says: "That is the thing that strikes home to our doctors in New York State." Thus the reader will see that I am right in saying that physicians are using the various lay organizations, Parent-Teacher Associations, etc., to build business for them. The Red Cross has long been a tool of these men.

In the early part of 1930 one of my readers sent me a news clipping from the Cincinnati Times Star, headed Health Work Aids Doctors. It said "thousands are sent to physicians as result." The whole article is as follows: "Are ‘socialized’ health agencies preventative and curative, bringing lean times and reducing the number of physicians and other private health workers?

"Do public clinics, public hospitals and public health departments affect the income of physicians, surgeons and dentists?

"These questions, presented Saturday to Health Director William H. Peters, brought the declaration that in his judgment the only effect was that practitioners had to modify their activities.

"Dr. Peters pointed out that when Cincinnati purified its water there was an almost entire elimination of thousands of cases of typhoid fever and other water-carried diseases, treatment of which gave an immense revenue to physicians, nurses and others.

"On the other hand Dr. Peters said the medical inspection of schools by publicly employed district physicians aided private practice. Thus the inspectors discover defects in children, which are reported to parents and thousands then take their children to the family physician or a specialist.

"The public drives for the immunization of children against diphtheria brought a great revenue to private practitioners. There were about 35,000 children treated and of this number about fifty-four per cent by private practitioners, or about 19,000. At $5 a treatment the revenue would be $95,000. Annually there are about 7,500 children to be so treated. This work gives a revenue far in excess of what the treatment of the disease yielded, said Dr. Peters.

"So he said, the agitation for annual general physical examination in his opinion, has resulted in thousands of persons resorting to their physicians, surgeons and dentists to be examined.

"Dr. Peters said it was requisite for physicians and other health practitioners to ‘reconcile themselves to the age.’ He said more should go in for preventative medicine and all should recognize how public health activity stimulated persons to mind their physical and mental condition and thus helped the private practitioner.

"Dr. Peters said it was true there were some physicians in this community who complained of the ‘inroads’ that ‘socialized’ medicine was making on their incomes and that there were perhaps some who actually were affected. He declared that there were compensations that in the mass more than canceled such instances."

This accounts for the growing interest on the part of physicians and health boards and serum and vaccine makers and dentists, in so-called health education. They are bent on increasing the business of the physicians and dentists and the sale of more vaccines and serums.

Inspecting the school children increases the work of physicians. It is done the country over. Not merely the school child, but the pre-school child now comes in for this form of exploitation. Here in San Antonio, for instance, The Parent-Teacher Association sponsors medical examinations of the pre-school child. Tonsil operations and other operations, eye-glasses, serums and vaccines and other forms of vandalism and poisoning follow these examinations and the physicians of the city are enriched in purse.

Medical inspection of school children is a means of boosting business for physicians. The inspected children are brow-beaten abused, bullied and "ragged" to have their tonsils removed and toxin anti-toxin inoculated into them, by the incompetents who are placed on the school board. These physicians do nothing useful; but do much to injure the physical and mental health of children, besides greatly annoying parents and teachers. But the practice will not end until parents kill it.

A few years ago, the Bronx County Medical Society, through one of its Bulletins, expressed its resentment against the extent to which the toxin-antitoxin campaign had been pushed in New York City. Health Commissioner Wynne, in the Weekly Bulletin of New York City Department of Health, of July 19, replied that "The plan followed by the Dept. of Health should evoke nothing but commendation. It provides a simple, inxepensive, effective and entirely ethical method whereby the general practitioner can secure additional practice." Such is the altruism of these great public spirited physicians on the Boards of Hell (th).

Wm. A. Rohlf, M.D., President-elect of the Iowa State Medical Society, said in his official address at a meeting of that body a few years ago: "Allow me to quote from a letter received from Dr. Steel-smith: ‘For the five year period preceding the State Department’s Education toward diphtheria immunization, namely, the five years preceding 1923, there occurred in Iowa more than three thousand cases of diphtheria each year. Many of these cases were not seen by any medical practitioner, but the average revenue as computed by statisticians signifies that the physicians of the state of Iowa received in cash approximately $20 per case for the treatment and cure of diphtheria for each of the five years preceding that state-wide anti-diphtheria program. This would result in physicians of the state receiving approximately $60,000 for such work each year incidental to diphtheria.

"‘Now in comparison to that, allow me to suggest that there are approximately 44,000 children born each year in Iowa. For the sake of figures, we will say that the average price for immunization would be $3 per child. If the physicians would interest themselves in preventative medicine and see to it that every child is treated before he is a year of age they would see clearly that from such practice the physicians of the state of Iowa would receive $132,000 a year, or twice as much as you and I received years ago for treatment of cases."

Rohlf adds: "There is still much to do in the way of bringing about ideal conditions through vaccination and immunization, The role of local infection has opened up other avenues for our activities.

We should be personally interested, and, as physicians, assist in the examination and’ treatment of school children."

These men plan ways of doubling their incomes and come to the public with the plea that they are sincerely interested in the health and welfare of our children and that they put over their income-increasing programs for the health of our babies and for the welfare of the school children. They are as cold-blooded as any class of criminals on the whole earth. Indeed, I know of no other class of criminals who live by crippling, maiming and killing babies and children.

It is asserted that there are 1,454 formally organized state and local tuberculosis associations in the United States. The organizations affiliated with the National Tuberculosis Association spent in 1928 at least $6,196,376.98, the major portion of which was secured through the sale of Christmas seals. All of this begging by Tuberculosis Associations is to create jobs for physicians. Their work is admitted to have no influence on tuberculosis.

A Red Cross officer said to the victims of the Mississippi Flood, as reported in the Savannah (Ga.) News, June, 14, 1927: "From now on your meal tickets are canceled until you can show your vaccination scar." A similar order was given by this same disreputable organization in a later flood in New England.

People give freely of their money and goods to help the victims of calamities, and the medically controlled Red Cross uses that money to buy serums and vaccines, and pay incompetent physicians and uses the plight of the victims as a club, to make them submit to medication they do not need and do not want. The Red Cross can never have a penny of the author’s money and I shall use all of my influence to prevent others from donating to its system of graft.

The so-called "mental hygiene" movement, which seeks to become a regular part of our public schools, is a commercial move, composed of the usual surgical and serum methods. The movement has among its heads several men who have been convicted of crimes in their care of the insane and men who are notorious for their extreme cruelties to animals in vivisection work. This is an extremely dangerous move and should not be permitted to touch the children of this country, who are surely suffering enough, at the hands of the medical moloch.

Of the same unholy and commercial character as the tuberculosis society and the Red Cross are the Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, the Society for the Prevention and Control of Cancer, the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund, the Arthritis Society, the Heart Association, the society to aid Crippled Children and similar panhandling organizations that regularly rattle the cup on the streets and in the press of the country. These various organizations collect many millions of dollars yearly from a generous and well meaning, but uninformed people, spend the major portion of the money in fat salaries and overhead or administration costs, spending much of it to pay for cruel and futile experiments on animals (research) and precious little of it for the purposes for which it is given. Like all organized charity, these things are soulless rackets.

Chapter 1--Vaccinia

Chapter 2--Serum Poisoning

[Vaccination]  [Herbert Shelton]