Toxic Responses to New Ideas: The nails that stick their heads out get hammered down

Once upon a time some of us (me included!) were perhaps naïve. We thought that if we do something new and beneficial, many people around us would support us full heartedly. Why not? But history has taught us this is not the way how the world operates. Haig & Kay wrote, “a new idea has to fight its way to acceptance. The path may be long and conflicted. The opposition may be intense and torturous.”  It appears that opposition to new ideas is an expected normal, human behavior. In my younger days, I used to visit my scientist friends in Japan. There was one thing that I learned from them, The nails that stick their heads out get hammered down.  So, stick out your neck at your own perils!

Here are some quotes for you to ponder on.

  • New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common ~ John Locke.
  • The man with a new idea is a crank—until the idea succeeds ~ Mark Twain.
  • There is a natural opposition among men to anything they have not thought of themselves ~ Barnes Wallis.
  • New ideas are not only the enemies of old ones, they also appear often in an extremely unacceptable form ~ Carl Jung.
  • An age is called dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it ~ James Michener.
  • Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority ~ Thomas Huxley.
  • Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds ~ Albert Einstein.

History is replete with examples of how brave souls have to endure and suffer the abuse from the Power-that-Be because they stood up and spoke up. Before Galileo many were burnt at the stakes for believing that the world was round! Even Einstein, the Scientist of the 20th Century was not spared. Initially he could not even get into a university as a student. Then after he graduated, he could not find a suitable job – except being a clerk at a patent office. His ideas were very much against the established academic elite.

Let’s look at history again and let me give you three examples in a greater detail. Be reminded, and make no mistake, even today such “battles of the mind” do happen – anywhere.

Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-65) – Austria / Hungary

Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis was born in 1818 in Taban (Budapest) Hungary. He finished schooling at the University of Pest. In 1837 and went on to study law at the University of Vienna. But he switched to medicine due to personal inclination. He received his master’s (Magister) degree in medicine in 1844 with specialization in midwifery. After graduation he took a position in the Vienna General Hospital.

During his job at the hospital, Semmelweis concerned himself with the study of puerperal fever that caused high maternal and neonatal deaths at that time. The Vienna (Austria) General Hospital operated two maternity clinics – the first clinic was where treatment was given by the medical students while the second clinic by midwives. He observed that the death rate in the first clinic was 13.10% –  much higher than the 2.03% death rate in the second clinic.

In Vienna during the 1840’s it was common practice for doctors to go straight from autopsies each morning on women who had died the previous day to delivering babies (and doing pelvic exams) without washing their hands. The doctors and the medical students were infecting their own patients.  Based on his observation, Semmelweiss declared that medical students carried infectious substances on their hands from dissected cadavers to the laboring mothers. A lower death rate in the second clinic, which was operated by midwives, was because they were not involved with autopsies or surgery.

Based on his analysis, Semmelweis  established a simple but revolutionary protocol  in 1847. He insisted that medical students and doctors wash their hands first with chlorinated lime solutions before they treated obstetrical patients.

The application of his method instantly reduced the cases of fatal puerperal fever from 12.24% to 2.38%, while in some months there were no deaths from childbed fever at all. Besides the hands, he initiated using preventive washing for all instruments making contact with the patients which literally removed puerperal fever from the hospital. This was the beginning of an antiseptic era.

Although hugely successful,  Semmelweis’ discovery directly confronted with the beliefs of science and medicine in his time. His colleagues and other medical professionals refused to accept his findings. He was dismissed from the hospital and harassed by the medical community in Vienna, which eventually forced him to move to Budapest. Despite this success, Semmelweis  was rejected and ridiculed by his peers.  Outraged at his rejection by the medical community, he began writing angry open letters to European obstetricians, calling them irresponsible murderers. In 1865 Semmelweise was committed to a mental institution where only 14 days later he died, possibly after being severely beaten by guards.

Unfortunately indeed Semmelweis had to “go mad” in trying to promote something right while many patients died unnecessarily – just because ego and arrogance stood in the way of truth. The outstanding German scientist, Max Planck said, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” Max Planck went on to say, “Science progresses funeral by funeral.”

Today, aseptic procedures are a routine, essential protocol in modern medicine. Semmelweis had to pay with his life to fight for this change.

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Dr. Barry Marshall – Australia

Dr. Barry Marshall completed his medical studies in Perth, Australia in 1974. He worked as a resident physician. He and Dr Robin Warren found mysterious bacteria in the stomachs of many patients who suffered from stomach ulcers. This observation led Drs Marshall and Warren to believe that bacteria were the cause of stomach ulcer. This is a direct contradiction of long standing medical dogma – bacteria cannot survive in a strong acidic environment of the human stomach.

Marshall submitted his paper to a gastroenterology conference in his own country, Australia. It was rejected! “Well, they said, “Dear Dr. Marshall, we’re so sorry that we couldn’t accept your abstract. It was such a high standard this year, we had 67 applications and we could only accept 64.” So mine was in the bottom 10 percent. Looking back at it I can say I was pushing it a bit to try and get it accepted, but it’s fun to have the rejection letter after all these years. My boss knew about the conference in Brussels, so he said, “Don’t be down hearted, I still think it’s good. You go to Belgium.” The hospital paid my airfare, and I connected up with some researchers in Belgium, and made phone calls and whatever, and presented it in Belgium.

In September 1983, Marshall presented his findings at an international conference in Brussels, Belgium.  Everyone laughed at his idea. One prominent gastroenterologist dismissed him as a “crazy guy saying crazy things.” Marshall’s idea threatened the status quo.

In an interview, Dr. Marshall said:  It was a campaign, everyone was against me. But I knew I was right, because I actually had done a couple of years’ work at that point. I had a few backers. And when I was criticized by gastroenterologists, I knew that they were mostly making their living doing endoscopies on ulcer patients. So I’m going to show you guys. A few years from now you’ll be saying, “Hey! Where did all those endoscopies go to?” And it will be because I was treating ulcers with antibiotics. 

Do you think there was an economic motive that made some people unwilling to consider this?  Barry Marshall: That’s true. The livelihood of gastroenterologists and many of the drug companies depended on these drugs that were worth billions of dollars, treating millions of people with ulcers.

What did you do at that point? There was I. I had treated a few patients with antibiotics successfully at that point, so I thought I could probably cure it. I was a bit overconfident in retrospect. I wanted to make sure that it did take, because I didn’t know whether I’d have the guts to do this every week. We mixed up a complete flourishing growth of bacteria from a petri dish — we calculated out later that it was a thousand million bacteria — and mixed it up, and I said, “Well, here it goes, down the hatch.” And my lab technician, who was fairly conventional, he was horrified. He was waiting for me to drop dead, but I said, “Well, I’m feeling all right. Okay, let’s press on.” You know, go and do ward rounds. The plan was, a week or so later I was going to have an endoscopy. I already had one at baseline to show I didn’t have any bacteria and I was normal, and a week later I planned to have another endoscopy.  About the fifth or the sixth day I’d wake up at the crack of dawn and say, “I’m going to be sick.” I’d run into the bathroom and I would vomit.  The BBC reported, Barry Marshall turned medical science upside down when he swallowed a dish of dangerous bacteria to prove it caused stomach ulcers. In 2005, Marshall and Robin Warren were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

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Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski – Texas, USA

Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski  was born in the early 1940’s in Poland,  and was trained as both a biochemist and a physician. He’s spent the last 35 years developing and successfully treating cancer patients suffering with some of the most lethal forms of cancer at his clinic in Houston, Texas. Dr. Burzynski discovered the gene-targeted non-toxic peptides and amino acids known as antineoplastons. Antineoplastons are responsible for curing some of the most incurable forms of terminal cancer.

The following account is extracted from Dr. Mercola’s website.

Success Rates of Chemo and Radiation versus Antineoplastons

The film features several remarkable case stories of people who were successfully cured of cancer, but it’s when the clinical trial data of conventional therapies versus antineoplastons are stacked against each other that the benefits of antineoplastons become really obvious:

Radiation or Chemotherapy Only Antineoplastons Only
5 of 54 patients (9 percent)
were cancer free at the end of treatment
5 of 20 (25 percent)
were cancer free at the end of treatment
Toxic side effects No toxic side effects

Dr. Burzynski was so confident in his antineoplastons that he even accepted the most difficult and “hopeless” cases, such as childhood brain tumors. Conventional medicine has little or nothing to offer in these cases, and the side effects can be as horrific as the disease itself, if not more. Furthermore, the best outcome conventional treatment can offer is to slow down the growth of the tumor.

Using antineoplastons, however, Dr. Burzynski has been able to successfully cure many of these otherwise hopeless cases. When comparing FDA-supervised studies of treatments for lethal childhood brainstem gliomas, antineoplastons again comes out as a clear winner:

Chemotherapy Only

Antineoplastons Only

1 of 107 patients (0.9 percent)
were cancer free at end of treatment

11 of 40 patients (27.5 percent)
were cancer free at end of treatment

0 of 107 patients (0 percent)
survived past five years

11 of 40 patients (27.5 percent)
survived past five years

Even more interesting, while some of Dr. Burzynski’s patients did eventually die after the five-year mark, most who did NOT undergo chemotherapy prior to getting antineoplastons have gone on to live normal, healthy lives—yet another indication that in many cases, the conventional treatments are more lethal than the disease itself.

Burzynski’s Troubles Begins…

Word spread, and patients started traveling to his office from out of state.

Suddenly, in 1984, he found out that agents from the Texas board of medical examiners were visiting  patients across the country trying to convince them to file charges against him.

What followed next truly challenges the rational mind.

In 1988, despite not breaking any laws, and having produced more evidence than was required to show that his treatment was effective and that no harm was coming to his patients from the treatment, the Texas medical board charged him with breaking a law that didn’t exist, claiming it was grounds for revoking his medical license.

They didn’t have a case, but kept the charges going by continuing to file slightly amended complaints, until finally, in 1993, the case went to trial. By then, 60 of Dr. Burzynski’s patients had filed a petition for the medical board to stop harassing their doctor—a petition that the board successfully eliminated from the trial by filing a motion to strike it from the record.

The judge ruled in Dr. Burzynski’s favor, confirming that no laws had been broken.

You’d think that would be the end of it. But not so in this case.  Instead of accepting defeat, the Texas medical board filed charges against Dr. Burzynski with the Texas Supreme Court.

The FDA’s Madness

It eventually came to light that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had pressured the Texas medical board to revoke Dr. Burzynski’s medical license—despite the fact that no laws were broken, and his treatment was proven safe and effective.

But WHY?

It’s been stated many times that a crime can be solved simply by following the money, and this case is no exception. The FDA and the pharmaceutical industry had realized that if Dr. Burzynski’s discovery—which he owned the patent for—received a fair review, chemotherapy and radiation would rapidly dwindle into obscurity, effectively crippling the industry. Not only that, but if antineoplastons were approved, billions of dollars of cancer research funds would get funneled over to one single scientist who had exclusive patent rights…

Dr. Richard Crout, Director of the FDA Bureau of Drugs, once wrote in a 1982 newsletter: “I never have and never will approve a new drug to an individual, but only to a large pharmaceutical firm with unlimited finances.”

The Harassment Continues Unabated

The FDA, under the direction of Commissioner Dr. David Kessler, called no fewer than FOUR different grand jury investigations into Dr. Burzynski’s practice, despite the fact that none of the grand juries ever found him to be at fault, and no indictment ever came from any of the investigations.

But the FDA did not let up.

Finally, in 1995, just days after the final grand jury investigation, which also had found no fault, Dr. Burzynski was inexplicably indicted on charges of fraud, and 75 counts of violating federal law. If found guilty, he now faced 290 years in federal prison, and $18.5 million in fines.

Federal Government Spent $60 Million Trying to Bury Dr. Burzynski

This second trial cost American tax payers a whopping $60 million just in legal fees alone—that’s not counting the cost of continually harassing him (including several raids on his office) and his patients over the preceding 11 years. Dr. Burzynski spent $2.2 million on his own defense, $700,000 of which was raised by Dr. Julian Whitaker through requests for donations in his newsletter Health & Healing.

On March 4, 1997, the judge declared it a mistrial, due to a deadlocked jury. However, after stating the government had not presented sufficient evidence in its case, he ordered that Dr. Burzynski be acquitted of 42 of the 75 counts.

But the FDA wasn’t done yet. They took him to court AGAIN!

On May 28, 1997, after three hours of deliberation, the jury came back with their final verdict: Not Guilty.

By now you’re probably thinking that this victory surely must mark the end of the wrongful harassment of Dr. Burzynski.  But no. It got worse.

Theft and Patent Infringement

In October 1991—while the Texas medical board kept filing amended complaints against him in an effort to revoke his license, due to pressure from the FDA—the National Cancer Institute (NCI) had conducted a site visit to Dr. Burzynski’s clinic, and verified that “anti-tumor activity was documented by the use of antineoplastons.”

As it turns out, a mere 17 days after this visit, the United States of America as represented by “The Department of Health and Human Services,” filed a patent for antineoplastons AS2-1… one of the two antineoplastons Dr. Burzynski had already patented.

The inventor listed?

“Dr. Dvorit Samid,” Dr. Burzynski’s former research consultant. The patent states:

“The invention described herein may be manufactured, used and licensed by or for the government, for governmental purposes, without the payment to us of any royalties thereon.”

Over the next four years, while the witch hunt to put Dr. Burzynski behind bars was in full swing, the US Government filed 10 more patents antineoplastons.

In November of 1995, a month into Dr. Burzynski’s trial, where he faced 290 years in prison, the US Patent office approved the first US Government patent for antineoplastons.  Between 1995 and 2000, the US Patent office approved all 11 copycat patents on antineoplastons AS2-1….

By now your head is probably spinning, so let’s recap.

Dr. Burzynski developed a cancer treatment that surpassed all other treatments on the market, and the FDA, the pharmaceutical industry, and the National Cancer Institute all knew it. They also knew he was the sole owner of the patents for this therapy, and these two facts combined, threatened the entire paradigm of the cancer industry.

So they tried to copy his invention using a single non-patented ingredient. It failed. The next step was to steal the whole thing right from under him. There was just one problem. They knew they couldn’t use the stolen patents as long as Dr. Burzynski walked free and had the ability to defend his rights to them… So they concocted 75 fraudulent charges to tuck him away in jail for the rest of his life.

Fortunately for us, they failed in that too.

Dr. Whitaker sums it up nicely when he says: “How can the US Patent office be corrupted to the point they issue patents for a medical treatment that’s already been patented and issue them to someone who had nothing to do with their discovery or use?  And how can the Patent office then assign these fraudulent patents to some of the most powerful institutions in the American government?  And, imagine, all of this was done while these same agencies were spending millions of taxpayer dollars trying to put Dr. Burzynski in jail, so he could not fight the criminal theft of his discovery!”

This whole sordid story is retold in a movie – click here,

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Note: My wife and I had a wonderful opportunity to meet Dr. Burzynski and his wife (also a doctor) when we visited Houston, Texas, some years ago.

Why the Violent Opposition to New Ideas?

Do the above stories make sense?  Let there be no illusions, this “battle of the mind” is going on anywhere – even at CA Care. And it is going to go on for as long as the Homo sapiens are human beings. Why? The following could be one of the reasons.

1.       It is a human nature

This webpage reads as follow,

“Every new theory encounters opposition and rejection at first. The adherents of the old, accepted doctrine object to the new theory, refuse it recognition, and declare it to be mistaken. Years, even decades, must pass before it succeeds in supplanting the old one. A new generation must grow up before its victory is decisive. To understand this one must remember that most men are accessible to new ideas only in their youth. With the progress of age the ability to welcome them diminishes, and the knowledge acquired earlier turns into dogma. In addition to this inner resistance, there is also the opposition that develops out of regard for external considerations. A man’s prestige suffers when he sees himself obliged to admit that for a long time he has supported a theory that is now recognized as mistaken. His vanity is affected when he must concede that others have found the better theory that he himself was unable to find. And in the course of time the authority of the public institutions of compulsion and coercion, i.e., of state, church, and political parties, has somehow become very much involved with the old theory. These powers, by their very nature unfriendly to every change, now oppose the new theory precisely because it is new.”

2.       There is such thing as a day light robbery by the Power-That-Be

Dr. Julian Whitaker (in The Introduction to Politics of Healing) wrote, “Virtually every scientific discovery over the ages has met a wall of resistance. The authority figures first recognize and acknowledge that value of the discovery. Next, they try to separate the innovator from his discovery, to essentially steal it … with a profit motive in mind. Finally, without fail, they pursue a no-holds-barred course to destroy the discoverer.  A good example of this is what they did to Dr. Burzynski.