Chapter 12                       Dance With The Devil         By Gunther Schwab                   Written in 1963.

 

WHEN ROLANDE OPENED HER EYES, HER GAZE LIGHTED UPON

a great bunch of roses that stood on a table in her room.

With a feeling of cheerfulness and well-being, she arose,

yet as she did so the whole nightmare character of the situation seemed to confront her.

A sudden, inner paralysis slowed down her move­ments. In the depths of her heart there was,

indeed, another thought – the hope for a little bit of happiness;

but how could there be such a thing in a world that had become subject to devilish powers?

Was there still a way that led anywhere save to a miserable, pitiful death?

 

This was the day of decision; yet for the moment it seemed to matter very little.

Had not everything already been decided?

What significance could the will of an isolated human being have in this world?

She was hardly able to touch her breakfast.

When the loud-speaker summoned her to present herself on an upper floor,

she touched the little linen bag that she wore round her neck with trembling fingers.

Then she obeyed.

The Devil was in excellent spirits.

"This is an important day for my guests," he said, with a grimace.

"A great day perhaps for me, too, if it's going to bring me such excellent assistants."

He looked with a twinkle in his eyes from one to the other.

The engineer returned his gaze and seemed perfectly at ease,

but in the case of Sten and Rolande there seemed to be something that made Satan thoughtful.

He felt that these two were not yet con­vinced and that they certainly

had not yet surrendered to him. He would have to take them in hand.

 

It was the engineer who broke the short silence.

"I confess," he said, "that I'm not very impressed by all that we've heard and seen."

"Indeed," said the Devil, with a sardonic smile, "and why not, if I may ask?"

"For two days the attempt has been made here to prove to us that,

in every corner of the world, the end of mankind has been successfully prepared.

If that were so, one would think that men everywhere would be pining away

and would be visibly approaching extinction.

 But what do we actually see?

Mankind is blooming and thriving; he grows more numerous from day to day,

and the average length of life which in previous centuries (when, as you claim,

life was much healthier), was twenty-two years, is now sixty-eight;

 the net result of all this is that the world is inhabited by increasing numbers of people

who get progressively older and must, therefore, be presumed to be in excellent health."

 

"You're quite right, in regard to length of life, but wrong in the matter of health,

for the higher expectation of life is paid for by a higher expectation of disease

at a progressively younger age. The increased length of life is simply

due to the long battle with disease."

Rolande said: "Well, that's a wonderful achievement on the part of modern medicine."

"The postponement of death has nothing whatever to do with the ennobling of life;

people are economizing in graves but have a deficiency of hospital beds.

If you want to consider that a magnificent achievement —"

"I don't share your views," said the doctor. "Hygiene has made human life a fairer

and a better thing, and has also pro-longed the average duration of life by forty-six years. T

here's no question about that. We doctors should surely be well satisfied."

The Devil smiled.

"And so am I, dear lady.

Hygiene protects those who are prone to disease and makes healthy people

into potential invalids.

In civilized countries, as a result of hygiene and medical progress

you now find that there are no more healthy people."

Rolande was in her element. "Hygiene has most certainly lowered

the incidence of bacterial disease."

"The health of a people is not a question of bacilli.

Being ill begins with a wrong spiritual direction.

But I'd rather wait for my able assistant, Mekus,

who is just on his way here and who will be only too pleased to explain our point of view.

Mean-while, may I just say one thing? I'd like you to think about it.

Disease shows the greatest increase where the economic and sanitary conditions

of life are most highly developed."

 

"For instance, take the case of infantile paralysis."

The voice came from Mekus himself, who was suddenly present in the room,

a tall man, wearing a white coat and spectacles.

The Devil nodded to him.

"Mekus will give us some concrete figures."

The Disease Devil spoke. "Let's take the case of Kenya; in the polio epidemic of 1954,

250 white people per 10,000 con­tracted the disease, but only 60 Asiatics and 12 negroes.

 

Let's take Roumania; in 1955-6, they had a polio epidemic there,

a thing which has never happened before, and its chief incidence was in the industrial centres

where 60 per cent of all cases were registered,

although only 27 per cent of the total population lives there."

"We've developed an excellent serum," said Rolande.

"An excellent poison, whose danger hasn't yet been appre­ciated by man."

"You may say what you like. This poison, as you call it,

immunizes 75 per cent of all who are injected."

"Only when the injections are continued; in other words,

 you are battling against the symptoms and not the cause."

"We know that all too well," laughed the Boss.

 

Rolande: "Tuberculosis is today no longer a lethal disease at all.

Mekus: "But there are relatively few cures.

People go on being sick, and keeping sick people alive is another of the achievements

of modern hygiene. In 1938, 1945 and 1954 respectively,

there were in Hamburg 26, 28 and 42 infectious cases of tuberculosis per 10,000 inhabitants."

Rolande: "We've got the better of infant mortality."

Mekus: "Which means that children who are constitutionally weaker remain alive,

and later, as invalids, become a burden to the public.

If epidemics are prevented from working themselves out and from eliminating sickly people

the whole picture of humanity will undergo a change for the worse.

Where a person who has actually already been condemned to death is saved

by the tricks of the medicine-man, then all you have done is to preserve for humanity a creature

who will continue to lead a sort of sham life as a permanent patient."

 

"I can only regard such views as inhuman and devilish and I reject them utterly.

Medicine has glorious achievements to its credit; that is a fact that nothing in the world can alter."

Mekus turned towards the girl; his attitude was friendly.

"How is it then that the number of sick persons and of diseases increases along

with the number of doctors?

People praise the great achievements of medicine, the wonderful new possibilities

of diagnosis and of certain specific therapies, but what they actually do is to celebrate

sham victories over individual symp­toms.

What they completely overlook is that the health of civilized nations is heading for ruin."

Rolande cried, "Medicine is alert; it inquires, it researches, it discovers, it advances !

Where there are failures, people should remember that scientific developments must be judged

by the final product and not by what happens on the way."

The rest nodded their approval – this young doctor was very much alive to the situation.

 

The Devil answered her: "Research may do what it can,

it will never master today's increasing morbidity."

Mekus put a question to the doctor.

"You speak of progress and the development of modern medicine,

but where in the civilized world is there a single nation, a single country – yes,

even, a town or a district – which is truly healthy, which can get along without a doctor,

a dentist and a hospital? What, in a word, madame doctor,

do you visualize under the concept 'Health'?"

 

"In my view, everybody should be accounted healthy who feels himself free from

any disability or disease; anybody in whom a doctor cannot find any morbid symptoms."

"Nothing is more significant for the present diseased state of the civilized world

than such a pitiful definition. It proves, even if you may dispute it in your own case,

that my department can claim a clear success.

I have already given you an insight into my method of work.

I see to it that through my agents, medicine today has developed

a completely misleading conception of health – or rather,

it has never really got down to thinking about health at all."

 

Rolande: "He who fights disease must first of all study disease."

"A road that leads nowhere ! What you should do is to seek a completely healthy man

in healthy surroundings, and make him the object of scientific study."

Sten asked: "Where would you find him?"

"There's no longer any such person because medicine has failed to discover him."

"There are, unfortunately, the reservations, Mekus," the Devil interrupted.

"Yes," Mekus agreed, "in very distant and lonely parts of the world where progress,

prosperity and the blessings of technical achievement and of medicine have not yet penetrated;

but there'll soon be none of those left."

 

"In my view," said Rolande, "mankind is healthy or, at any rate,

a great deal healthier than he was in previous centuries."

Mekus said, "What about the tiredness,' the continual petty sicknesses,

the lack of any power of resistance to disease, of general malaise and nervousness,

sleeplessness, loss of appetite, inactivity of the bowel and all the other disabilities

of normal human life which primitive people have never heard of?

Do you call that health?

"To keep up your pretence of general health, you must make use of a trick;

from decade to decade you must go on pretending that certain symptoms

of sickness are not symptoms of sickness at all. In other words,

you are continually lowering the norm of health; you are sick and will not admit it;

you deceive yourselves because that's the only way that you can make life tolerable.

 

The man with decaying teeth is still accounted healthy,

the man with bad eyesight or with weak feet, the man with stomach and intestinal trouble,

is still considered a healthy man if he has no other obvious disabilities.

Rheumatic complaints, all kinds of allergies, all kinds of disturbances in blood circulation

are treated as though they were normal for healthy man,

the only criterion being that they don't call for immediate medical treat­ment.

Thus there is created an ever-broadening twilight zone in which not even the doctor

can say any longer where health stops and sickness begins.

This new conception of health —"

Mekus seemed lost in thought for a moment.

He searched in his brief-case and pulled out some papers.

 

"In the United States," he said, "for every 100 pregnancies, there are 25 still-births;

of these, 15 show severe malformation; of the 75 remain­ing live births, 37 per cent,

that is to say, 27.7 individuals, show disabilities of various kinds in the first fifteen years of life,

so we get the result that out of 100 pregnancies, 52 children either do not enter life at all,

or become a burden to the community.

The whole work and responsibility for public and private life rests on the residual 48 per cent,

of 24 men and 24 women, but of the 24 men, according to official figures,

60 per cent are unfit for military service. In New York,

a city with exceptionally fine arrangements for the safeguarding of public health,

700,000 people are sick every day. In 1925, 900 million dollars was spent for the treatment

of 8 million rheumatics, without effect­ing any diminution in the numbers

suffering from that disease.

 

Two and a half million Americans are under continual treat­ment because of chronic sickness,

heart trouble, arterio-sclerosis, rheumatism, nervous trouble and so on.

One million are incur­ables."

The Devil thudded. "Well, how do you like that?" he asked.

The Disease Devil continued: "Sixty per cent of all Americans suffer from heart

and circulation trouble; the number of the mentally sick who have been committed

to institutions rose between 1931 and 1951 by 60 per cent.

The number of per­manent inmates rose correspondingly; in 1900,

every tenth hospital bed was occupied by someone suffering from nervous trouble

or mental illness; in 1950, it was every second hospital bed that was so occupied.

This progress is certainly most grati­fying. In Europe things are much the same.

 

In 1944, there were two districts in Germany in which almost all the young people were healthy;

today in the very best districts hardly more than 60 per cent of the young people are truly healthy,

and yet, since 1914, the number of doctors in Germany has multiplied three-fold.

In the whole civilized world, chronic diseases have in-creased to such an enormous

extent that neither doctors nor hospitals are sufficient to take the load."

The Devil: "Excellent ! Excellent!"

Mekus continued: "I make it my business to ensure the early death of potential leaders

and a premature unfitness for work in all professions.

Even ten years ago, the age at which there was the greatest incidence of heart failure was 58.

Today, already, it is 50. The excessive mortality of those who bear responsibility

between the ages of 50–65 is 50 per cent.

 

In 75 per cent of all who are actively employed permanent illness occurs twelve years

before the age when it had previously been expected, 4 to 5 per cent of all mankind

are permanently sick and so are a burden to the community.

In order to conceal this alarming development from the public,

my agents chatter indefatigably about the rising standard of health and people believe them."

"And I say," insisted Rolande, "that medicine cannot be held responsible for any of this.

If there really are so many diseases, medicine is more necessary and is in point of fact

more effective than ever. As a doctor, I must believe that and do my best to bring it about."

"You forget one thing," said the Devil. "When I want to advance any particular cause, I make it pay.

 

Are you going to tell me that there are no medical men who would not rather embark on a long

if questionable course of treatment, with medicines, injections, radiation and all the rest of it,

than take the necessary steps to prevent a disease?"

"I protest against the implied slur on my profession," cried Rolande angrily.

"There are scoundrels in all walks of life, but they're in a minority in medicine

and all decent doctors despise them."

"Even if what you say were true, the integrity of doctors could not change the existing situation.

 

For doctors are no longer specialists in health, they are specialists in a disease

and it is by disease that they live."

A cold fury seized upon Rolande; she rose from her chair, her eyes blazing with anger.

"I protest, I protest!" she cried. "I protest against this insult to my profession !

The medical pro­fession is the guardian of the highest values of mankind and its members

are continually demonstrating them by their example."

Mekus: "There's no profession that's so open to temptation to betray those values.

Many members of it are actually my servants, though many unfortunately are still my enemies.

It is to counteract these that I have created the new medicine men.

 

The parting of the ways dates from Pasteur.

Along one road go the physicians who are conscious of their great responsibility;

it is these whom I speak of as my enemies. Along the other march the medicine men and,

let me assure you, they are in excellent heart."

"I think I see what you mean," said the girl, and a thoughtful expression came over her face.

"During the twentieth century, I have fostered a medical system which on the surface seems

to be scientifically exact, but in reality is one-sided and dogmatic."

 

Rolande agreed. "But without scientifically exact research,

man would be unable to make headway against the various infectious diseases which threaten him."

"All that suits us well. An inborn resistance to disease is one of the vital functions of a healthy body.

If it's no longer called upon to perform that function, it becomes incapable of doing so,

and when catastrophe comes, which makes it impossible for the doctor to be available on call,

man is lost."

The Devil laughed. "I see quite a lot of such catastrophes ahead."

"What kind of catastrophes?"

"Oh, degeneration; new, hitherto unknown, and incurable diseases; economic want,

a decay of intelligence —"

"Yes," the Disease Devil added, "then will begin the great universal dying:

mankind's final, stupendous kicking of the bucket, an event which in his presumed wisdom man

has been working for generations to bring about. Naturally,

we'll give him all the moral support we can, and look forward to a funeral with billions of corpses."

 

"Unfortunately, we've not quite reached that happy stage," said the Devil,

with real melancholy in his voice.

"But I've done a lot towards it," said Mekus, "by inventing the medicine man I've virtually killed

the doctors stone dead. I've liquidated the whole art of healing. By the introduction of a scientific drill,

I've destroyed the true healer's instinct.

I caused those who are concerned about disease to be crushed by the weight of analytic erudition,

and so destroyed their contact with life. They can now become medicine men,

but they can no longer become physicians.

The numerical relation between the two has changed to the disadvantage of the physician.

In the end, we'll have nothing but specialists and dilettantes. Both are blind to the wholeness of life."

 

But Sten was not quite satisfied. "You're mistaken," he said,

"if you think that people are altogether unaware of all this.

There are many who have become sceptical of your therapeutic nihilism."

"I simply decry them as mystics and hopelessly impractical cranks."

"Modern forms of therapy are often extremely effective and -"

Mekus smiled. "And the patients are greatly impressed by their momentary success.

What they don't know is their delayed effects.

Measured by the impressive and expensive nature of the whole hospital apparatus,

the therapeutic successes are really very modest indeed. With the increase of morbidity,

they will become steadily less. Also, in the long-run they can have unex­pected and exceedingly unwelcome consequences."

 

Once more, Rolande was quite overpowered by her anger.

"You make my blood boil," she said, "by your cynicism and by the way you distort everything.

You know very well that there are thousands of doctors who are unselfishly prepared to save life

at any time of the day or night. You know there are surgeons who, with blessed hands,

perform miracles; you know that there are nurses who are the very pick of womanhood,

who devote themselves to human suffering for a beggarly pittance or, if they happen to be nuns,

for no payment at all. Not the Devil himself will ever succeed in diminishing the grandeur of such lives."

With a bored expression, and half-closed eyes, the Medicine Fiend waited for the end of Rolande's outburst.

Now, ignoring what had been said, he continued his narration.

 

"The medicine men prolong the misery of disease. Indeed, they ensure that it will never disappear,

because their treatment of symptoms nearly always worsens the basic condition and becomes

the cause of yet further diseases; for they look upon illness as an isolated phenomenon which

has its origin in the human body. They do not understand that its roots are to be found all around them,

in their whole environment – in the air, in the water, in the soil – and that the field where they must really

do battle with death is in man's superstitious reverence for chemistry, and technology,

in his greed of gain, his maniac tendency to self assertion,

his faith in progress and a rising standard of life.

Besides, the purely mechanical procedures of the overcrowded consulting room,

where each patient can obtain no more than a minute or two of the doctor's time,

are them-selves temptations that induce the doctor to operate a kind of sham therapy by tablet,

injection and hurriedly scribbled pre­scription,

to the neglect of the little of the true healing tradition that still remains.

 

All this has led to a vast enlargement of the pharmaceutical industry;

for every so-called disease there are now a hundred infallible little cures on hand,

and daily a new selection of the very latest wonder drugs is strewn on the medicine man's table,

so that he is continually tempted to pre-scribe something new

and to increase the number of his pre­scriptions."

"And not one of these wretched little cures is actually reli­able," added the Devil,

 "though we keep the industry busy enough by continually producing new strains

of dangerous bacteria."

 

"The number of people who actually die from taking these drugs is steadily rising," said Mekus.

"You'd scarcely believe how large is the number of those that have contracted

serious organic disease by the continual swallowing of tablets, and suffer from various forms

of poisoning as a result of such indulgence.

The really excellent thing about all this, is that most people are completely ignorant of the real origins

of their disease. The habit of swallowing medicines has become in itself a new kind of disease;

in the civilized world it has risen by 110 per cent since 1950.

 

"Every fourth civilized man suffers from sleeplessness; the use of soporifics is rising

at the same rate as the cars on the road. Large quantities of pseudo-cures are sold without any kind

of medical control, day in, day out. Denmark, with 4 million inhabitants,

swallow 150 million tablets of aspirin in every year, and an equal number of other headache tablets.

It also buys nearly 10 tons of sleeping pills.

In the German therapeutic week of 1952, over 100,000 different drugs were listed;

barely a third of these required prescriptions.

The population of West Ger­many consumes 2,200,000 tablets a day, that's 800 millions a year,

of which 350 million are analgesics; 125 million are aspirins,

145 million soporifics and 180 millions laxatives."

T

he Devil: "Splendid ! Now I'm confident that the morbid condition will be maintained."

"All these specifics, even when they produce the desired result, have injurious secondary effects.

The symptoms of poisoning that ensue are looked on as new forms of disease,

which can again be counteracted with new forms of `happy pills'.

A true diagnosis, it seems, is impossible, because there are a hundred different poisons

working together."

"But you say nothing of the successes which do undoubtedly occur in these cases,"

said the girl.

"Well, why should I? You say nothing about the failures – or rather,

the disastrous delayed consequences, do you?

Aspirin, a comparatively primitive form of medicine, produces temporarily a misleading picture

of mass well-being, but in the end it attacks the very roots of life.

Every new therapy brings its own new pathology; new drugs produce new diseases.

 

`By and large, there are three things that result from the con­tinuous uncontrolled taking

of pharmaceutical preparations. A habit is formed, which ultimately becomes a positive craving;

there is organic damage; and, finally, there is the danger that the use of such drugs prevents

the new disease – say cancer – from being recognized immediately it appears.

"Many of these so-called cures, if they are used over a long period of time,

produce damage to the blood-forming bone-marrow; a great part of the allergy diseases,

among which we must reckon asthma and migraine, are produced by this.

 

Insulin treatment is liable to produce vascular diseases and also eye diseases which sometimes

end with definite blindness; it can affect the kidneys and the heart,

and is liable to end up by inducing apoplexy and gangrene.

Penicillin and Cortisone cause the natural powers of resistance to be weakened.

I do my utmost to broadcast the merits of these particular drugs and to dwell

on the immediate success they sometimes achieve, saying nothing about the fact

that the success does not last.

"Man doesn't know the total function of life, nor that of his own body.

I inspire in him the presumptuous belief that he knows all about these things;

this leads him to ever bolder ex­periments, of the ultimate results of which,

he is, of course, ignorant. Why, he doesn't really know the effects of synthetic-ally produced

hormones and vitamins !

"Personally, I'm entirely convinced that the misuse of drugs is a reason for the spread of cancer.

It's been definitely proved that a number of chemical substances are carcinogenous

and almost all the so-called cures are based on derivatives of coal tar.

People attach great importance to the destruction of disease germs and forget that

in the Creator's plan, bacteria have a definite part to play.

The skin and the mucous membrane of man are peopled by innumerable micro-organisms

which, in their life-preserving function, are almost like yet another organ of the body.

If they're destroyed, that organ ceases to work."

 

"Excellent ! " said the Devil. "And what have you done to encourage this?"

"Has it ever struck you, my friends, that the preparations which are supposed to make men healthy

are made in the same factories as those which we know are poisoning the soil,

poison­ing plants, food and man? To destroy man's self-reliance, his sense of responsibility

for himself and his will to health, I have made a superb invention:

the Health Services in the various countries. I make men believe that their health

is no longer their own concern, and this has wonderful results. Whoever is actually paid for being ill,

whoever that is to say, gets a doctor's certificate and money without work,

will be only too glad when illness comes."

 

"You have a strange twisted way of looking at things, Mr. Mekus," said Rolande.

"Being ill is a misfortune, and free help is a modest compensation for that misfortune.

After all, every-body has paid into the fund which keeps him going in the event of illness."

"Quite true! And the very fact that he's paid in makes him want to get something out of it,

and he can only get something out of it if he's ill. That's how I cultivate an inner vulnerability to disease.

 And aren't there a great many people who take out a great deal more than they've ever put in?"

"Only if their illness is very serious indeed. We should surely not grudge such poor people the benefits

due to them from their insurance; they certainly don't cancel out the disadvantages of being seriously ill."

Mekus: "Still, it means that a number of healthy people have got to pay for a single individual

who happens to be ill."

Rolande: "If anyone is lucky enough to enjoy good health, he should be only too glad

to come to the aid of his fellow men who have been struck down by disease. T

hat's the ethical prin­ciple behind social insurance."

"You might equally well say that such schemes force a man who's had sufficient sense

of responsibility to lead a sober and natural life and has so preserved his health,

to pay for one who has thoughtlessly and wantonly destroyed it."

 

Rolande: "As usual, you distort things.

I suppose you think that if a man has the misfortune to be ill,

he should be left to die in the street?

Before there was social insurance that was very often more or less what did happen;

people who hadn't got the money to pay the doctor were left to rot,

and that wasn't so long ago, either."

"You mean people who hadn't got the money for the medicine man !

The true physician was always ready to help the sick without payment."

It was Sten who spoke.

 

Mekus: "Whatever you may say, in the final analysis people who are not insured get well

more quickly than those who are insured. Even in the case of wounds and accidents,

those people who have really no time to be ill, and have got to pay for their illnesses themselves,

get well more quickly than the others. For the neurotic, social health insurance is a positive danger.

"But let me return to the main subject of my report. In order to weaken the organism's power

of resistance at the earliest possible moment, I introduced the compulsory inoculation

of all children, even before they were weaned. I thus add to the damage already done

by civilization and make them even less able to resist the attacks of disease."

As a doctor, Rolande could not let this attack on an orthodox doctrine of medicine

to go unanswered.

 

"You know very well," she said, "that there are a number of virus diseases which confront us

with a very simple alternative: inoculation or death."

"I see a simple alternative, too, but it's different to yours. Mine is `Live healthily, or be inoculated'.

There is no third possibility. It was I who tried to make vaccination compulsory for every citizen,

because I knew that the vaccine was a poison: it's played a big part in worsening

the constitutional condition of entire nations. After vaccination children often have a strik­ing

set-back in their mental development."

"That's fine, Mekus," muttered the Devil. "Fine!"

"The latent diseases are often simply not recognized by the medicine men.

And now I come to the most important of all; when we talk of illness and the medicine man,

we must never forget our beloved, wonderful, and most excellent friend, cancer."

 

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Murduscatu appeared beside Mekus.

He stood silently gazing into space; neither Mekus, nor the Devil himself took much notice of him;

they seemed to be quite prepared for his appearance. After a moment or two, Mekus continued :

"You've heard how we foster cancer.

It lurks everywhere, in all things, in all manner of substances; in every drink we take,

in every bit of nourishment – and mankind does not know it, or simply will not believe it."

"What really is the cause of cancer?"

 

"Cancer arises from a lack of oxygen in the cells; the oxygen requirements of the body

must be met by breathing and food. We have lowered the oxygen content of the air

and of all our foods by adding chemical substances; we have also, thanks to the mass invasion

of poisons into our bodies weakened the activity of the enzymes which govern

the breathing of cells.

As a result of this, there is an oxygen deficiency in the organism as a whole and

with this the necessary preconditions for cancer are created.

The injured cells begin an abnormal process of division and start to riot;

the cancerous growth is born."

"That seems clear and logical enough," said Groot. "Has nobody ever recognized this fact?"

"Nobody has so far," Mekus said, with a note of triumph in his voice.

"He's lying," came the grumbling voice of Murduscatu and all looked towards him.

 

"Professor Otto Warburg, the Director of the Max-Planck Institute for Cell Physiology in Berlin,

has showed beyond all possibility of disproof that cancer arises through damage

to the breathing process of the cells due to a lack of oxygen."

Mekus said, "But thanks to the Devil, mankind has com­pletely ignored this truth.

My success on the cancer sectors will not be impaired by such indiscretions

on the part of a handful of people who are too clever by half.

My agents have been directed in no circumstances to allow the spreading

of the view that cancer is the final stage of a long pathological development,

the origin of which is to be found in the poisoning of man's whole environment.

 

That's why doctors still tend to look on cancer as a local phenomenon and seek

to heal it by local treat­ment."

"Seek to heal it?" said Rolande, again very much the doctor.

"Surgery and irradiation have achieved excellent results.

There is no doubt whatever about that."

"An operation can temporarily get rid of a local growth.

The part that's been operated on is, for a short time, immune to cancer,

but that does not apply to the organism as a whole. If the patient survives,

he has as much chance of having a malig­nant tumour as one who hasn't been operated

on at all. In order to lull men into a false sense of security,

I have created a special sub-section for cancer propaganda.

 I do a regular trade in optimism, so that man will be insulated from all real knowledge of this matter

and will be under no pressure to change his way of life. I lull him to sleep,

so that he is unconscious of the peril."

 

Murduscatu interrupted: "Tall talk! Your plot has been dis­covered and the success

of your work is now in danger. The International Cancer Congress of 1951–2 found that 82 per cent

of those treated for cancer died within a period of six months to five years;

16 per cent of those treated died later; also of cancer.

Only 2 per cent of those treated were cured by surgical means.

"The latest American statistics show that orthodox medicine failed to cure the following percentages

of cases: 96 per cent of stomach and intestinal cases; 65 per cent cancer of the breast;

86 per cent cancer of the large intestine; 85 per cent cancer of the womb.

The patients in these cases died within five years after the commencement of treatment.

Many researchers are saying today that it's best not to treat cancer at all.

What is coming over your department that they can permit such views to be uttered?

And that's not all.

There's a growing volume of opinion that cancer should be combated at the point where we,

the Devil's servants, create it.

 

A world revolution in the way of life is being planned,

which may actually lead people back to true health.

The object is to remove the poisons from life and that would mean the end of our

whole Disease Department. What has the Department head to say to that?"

The Devil interrupted. "Murduscatu knows that such a com­plete conversion is quite impossible.

We don't want to waste our time with Utopias."

Mekus bowed. "Thank you, Boss. May I be allowed to say that I couldn't agree more?

As things are, people listen eagerly to all the wiseacres who tell them that everyone

over the age of 45 could keep clear of lung cancer if he had an X-ray examina­tion

every six months and if every tumour on the lung was immediately operated upon.

 

Of course, the truth is that people who are operated on for cancer of the lung never

 live more than another eighteen months at the most after the operation;

the six-monthly X-ray examination would only produce a mass of further cancerous growths,

though these and all that followed them would be fine-business for our medicine men."

Mekus's remarks seemed to worry Groot particularly.

"From what you say," he said, "I gather that radiation therapy for cancer is a pure swindle."

"That's quite correct. Radiation interferes with the breathing of the cells.

It may be able temporarily to slow down the growth of a tumour, but while doing this,

it necessarily affects tissue in the immediate neighbourhood of the tumour and leads

to a cancerous degeneration of normal cells.

 

What radiation does is to lower the body's general power of resistance and prepare the way

for secondary growths. Except for skin cancer, radiation has never brought about an improvement

in the patient's condi­tion, let alone cured him.

As against this, it often causes burns and a worsening of the general condition that ends

with the patient's death; in some cases, it is certain beyond any doubt that operations and radiation

bring about a rioting of cancerous growth.

Many deaths of cancer patients are directly due to the operation."

"I'm almost satisfied," said the Boss. "I'm convinced that almost all the diseases known

to us can be made to disappear by a simple and healthy way of life. All departments will,

there-fore, direct their efforts towards making the spread of such a way of life impossible,

while those who advocate it will be visited with the curse of ridicule.

 

Still," he added, "there's one thing I want to warn you about, and that's the Nature healers;

see that they don't upset your apple cart."

"In nearly all countries, for all practical purposes, the law has gagged and bound them," said Mekus.

"I myself managed to upset a plan for the creation of a Chair of Nature Healing.

A suggestion made in West Germany that there should be special health teaching

as part of the school curriculum, was brought to nothing because of pressure from above.

My medicine men have erected a water-tight wall round themselves which stops any mere layman,

or anybody hostile to their interests, from influencing them in any way.

The Austrian Chamber of Physicians are petitioning the government to use every means

of combating the nature healer, who was actually damaging the medical profession

to quite an appreciable extent. In Germany, too, the medicine men are doing their utmost

to ensure the forcible suppression of nature healing by the govern-ment.

 

I might add that all the practical knowledge of healing,

acquired and tested by man over thousands of years – that is to say,

nine-tenths of all the old intuitive knowledge of such matters – has been thrown overboard

as worthless and out-of-date”

"Be a good chap, will you," said the Boss, "and try and finish soon now."

"In conclusion then, I may say that, thanks to the work of my Department and the concentrated

efforts of the medicine men, the general decline of health can no longer be arrested

and is increasing to a most gratifying degree."

 

"Long live progress," laughed the Devil.

"Never, in the history of man, has such a perilous state of affairs existed as it does today.

For the high incidence of disease and the mounting costs of medical care we can thank nobody

but the medicine man and the grossly inflated Health Services.

The result of this must necessarily be that the inferior types to be found in all sections of society

will come increasingly to the fore and will exercise a growing influence.

This must result inevitably from the negative selection that has for centuries been practised

by medicine. The intensity of this process is cumula­tive and mankind cannot possibly survive it."

It was Rolande who spoke. "I'm sure," she said, "that the mistakes which medicine has made

will be recognized by the profession and will be put right."

 

Mekus smiled. "Medicine has contrived to manoeuvre itself into the very heart of a world-wide crisis;

it has done this through its own mechanization, short-sightedness, and the narrowing of thought

which has taken place under the guise of scientific exactitude. In the end, this will be fatal

for medicine itself. At the moment, the doctrines of official medicine stand arrayed against

all that might help towards the saving of life."

"All false doctrines ultimately die."

"False doctrines in science take fifty years before they're re‑placed by true one,

because not only the old professors, but their students must first die."

Sten said, “Then mankind will recover after fifty years.”

“then it will be too late,” said the Boss.

 

 

 

 

*   *   *   *   *   *