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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 27, 2010 01:27AM

Repeat Permaculture did not in any way have its actual origins with or any original tie to or inspiration from Anthroposophy/Rudolf Steiner or with Biodynamics.

If interested persons want to get a feel for permaculture writing that is not entangled with Biodynamics or Anthoroposophy, go here


or google the writings of David Holmgren and Bill Mollison and obtain those writings from non Biodynamic/non Anthroposophical sources.

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 27, 2010 01:55AM

"I'm still chewinbg on your mention of biodynamics as a metaphysics -- most of the sources I've tapped on this subject don't discuss it quite that way but I totally get what you mean and think it bears a lot of thought and investigation. "


I really intended to make in all this stuff, which was that there are common principles to all three systems which a lay gardener can easily begin to apply without being an adept, acolyte or initiate of Steiner, Bill Mollison, or any other particular guru of this space.

(Corboy note: Mollison, unlike Steiner, never set up a cosmology of salvation, so cannot be called a guru)

note-I am focusing for the moment on Biodynamic gardening because it derives right from the religion of Rudolf Steiner and the present Anthroposophy movement, in just the same way that Steiner/Waldor schooling does, and that many persons who might otherwise walk away from the whole thing, get their first unknowing exposure to Steinerism via Biodynamics or the Waldorf system.

As Green and sustainable methods of gardening become more and more heavily advertised, a trend has developed to speak of permaculture and Biodynamics in the same breath, as though they are the same. This can lead at best to confusion.

At worst, persons who want to become involved with sustainable gardening and who prefer a non Gnostic belief system might be dismayed later on, to learn that they invested time or money on a method that derives from a belief system they do not share.

Persons who are committed to a vegan life method deserve to be told that Biodynamic methods quite often entail use of extracts derived from animal products.

Here is an article, plus comments that illustrate how important it is that in the years to come that more be done to clarify that Permaculture is not the same as Biodynamics.

This article led to a vigorous dialogue in the comments section.

Names have been omitted here for privacy but can be found on original URL


Permaculture 101 -- getting the most out of small spaces
August 3rd, 2009 7:50 am PT

Hops and fennel sharing close quartersPermaculture, also referred to as Biodynamic or French intensive gardening, is a system of farming or gardening that generates high crop yields from small spaces -- from four times to some reports of 31 times the yields of conventionally-farmed acreage. For those of us gardening in tiny urban or suburban lots, permaculture concepts offer the possibility of genuinely productive food gardening.

Permaculture gardeners see the farm or garden, and the soil, as holistic, living organisms. They mimic relationships found between plants and animals in nature, and adopt an intensive-management approach to plants.

What this means for the backyard gardener is that with a little attention and patience you can grow a lot of food in very little space. It's a subject big enough to fill a number of books, but here's the high-level view:

Soil: Permaculture takes a very active role in soil management. Biodynamic planting beds are usually "double dug" to a two-foot depth to allow a very light, soft soil texture. This allows young plants' tiny roots to grow and thrive with little effort. Organic fertilization methods such as composting and careful use of nitrogen fixing legume crops also maximize nutrients in the soil and keep it from becoming depleted. Mounding also allows more plants per bed, as the curve of the mound adds surface area. It also happens to look pretty, which is not insignificant when trying to build home landscapes.

Plants: Biodynamic gardens do not have neat, monocultural rows of like plants. Instead, almost-touching leaf crowns create a layer of "green mulch" that helps to suppress weeds. Biodynamic gardeners also utilize a layering method -- root crops, leaves, fruits and vines can grow in very close quarters because the "action" is happening at a different level, keeping crowding to a minimum. (Think of wine glasses on a shelf: You can fit twice as many if you turn half of them upside down.)

Beneficial Interplanting: Aside from issues of packing density, biodynamic gardeners know that some plants have speciic beneficial actions upon each other and upon the soil in which they grow. Plant "guilds" that work together include the "Three Sisters" system commonly found in Mexico: corn, beans and squash. Beans add nitrogen to the soil, compensating for the nitrogen-hogging corn. The bean vines twine up the living trellis of the cornstalks, and the squash snakes along the ground in between the rows. Interestingly, this group is as complementary in the kitchen as it is in the garden, with the three crops making up the foundation of a nutritionally complete meal. Companion planting can discourage ravenous insects, encourage pollinizers, promote each other's preferred soil conditions and act as physical supports for one another (more specifics on co-planting will appear in a future article -- stay tuned).

Animals: The modern food chain, in which cattle are raised in feedlots, chickens in battery pens, and row crops in vast multi-acre fields stripped down to one species, is a recent phenomenon. Despite the current widespread belief that separating animals from food crops promotes hygiene and food safety, the preponderance of evidence over our whole history says otherwise. Animals, vegetables, soil and sun are a perfect circuit, feeding, sustaining and yes, even keeping each other clean and healthy. While most East Bay backyard gardeners are unlikely to keep beef cattle in their backyards, it's worth noting that farm animals do have a place in our growing system. Chickens, which are enjoying increasing resurgence in American backyards these days, exert a very reasonable influence on the productivity of a garden. They are compost machines, and turn garden and kitchen scraps into a valuable soil conditioner (not to mention that they pay for their room and board in delicious fresh eggs). They are biologically programed to dig and scratch at the soil, aerating it. And caterpillars and grubs are their version of caviar -- voila, organic pest control.

All too soon, summer veggies will start flagging and it will be time to prep your beds for fall. So stay tuned for more tips on incorportaing biodynamic principles into your space.

For more info: Permaculture and biodynamics resources.
Slideshow: High yields in close quarters


Comments (17)

by X 1 year ago
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Biodynamics is not the same as permaculture, and as for it generating 4 to 31 x the yields of conventional farming, that's just plain wrong.

by X 1 year ago
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Hey X , thanks for that very helpful clarification. Permaculture, Biodynamics and French Intensive method cropping do have distinctions but I'd be happy to point you to a host of resources that use them pretty much interchangably. As for the yield numbers, readers might want to know more about *your* sources so they can understand why the ones I've read are so wrong. Can you provide some links? Thanks a ton! Or a 31st of a ton, anyway. And thanks for reading.

by X 1 year ago
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I'd just like to know whether Simon works for Safeway or United Trucking. Anyway, I wouldn't care if the yield was X 1. The effect on the garden is beautiful to the eye and to the soul. The effect on children who do the harvesting is not quantifable at all.

by X 1 year ago
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Great post and clarifications if anyone would like to find a great permaculture resource site check out the various links and post at (omitted for privacy) great job fellow examiner X.

by X 1 year ago
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Very nice X . I'm glad you are putting this out there. However I have a few clarifications I think you will find useful.

First, what you are referring to as biodynamics is actually called the bio-intensive method (or Grow Bio-intensive). It is a term coined by John Jeavons of Ecology Action. Check out their site for more information on the subject:

Secondly, biodynamics is something developed by the Austrian philosopher, Rudolf Steiner in the early 1900's. Biodynamics is primarily a study and practice in the realm of metaphysics, esotericism, astronomy, and the study of the universe -- applied to natural farming and gardening practices.

Lastly, permaculture is a design philosophy or system, meaning one uses permaculture, but does not do it. For example, gardening may be applied in a permaculture design, but is not on its own "permaculture". There are thousands of more examples. For a comprehensive guide:

by X my 1 year ago
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X , thank you so much for that -- sometimes in a brief span of a couple hundred words I don't do the world's awesomest job of hair-splitting, and I unfairly conflate related but separate terms. I will follow this up with some more specifics and will take care to observe the distinctions you note. Your clarifications are suave and meaningful. More to come!

by X 1 year ago
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As for the yields, those numbers are certainly in reach, depending on the experience of the grower and quality of the soil. And no matter what, it will always be more efficient than conventional farming, hands down.

by X 1 year ago
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Just one more comment, haha. You should check out what is known as Edible Forest Gardening, or Agroforestry. It is a system of growing (mainly) food, using trees, shurbs, and perennial herbs. Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier have written two outstanding books on the subject: and a man named Martin Crawford of the UK is doing some amazing work in the field. Check out these links as well, I'm sure you'll enjoy:
& do check out this BBC Documentary, A Farm for the Future:


by X 1 year ago

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X , that rules, thank you and I will check it out. I have read up on so called agroforestry a little but not that much. I'm still chewinbg on your mention of biodynamics as a metaphysics -- most of the sources I've tapped on this subject don't discuss it quite that way but I totally get what you mean and think it bears a lot of thought and investigation. This is so cool. do you have an ag background?

by PR 1 year ago
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Hi X . Great article. I have just come across your work for the first time and like the vibe of all your work. I have featured your article on which is a food gardeners network with over 1400 members. I'm sure they will like your work too. Looking forward to reading more. Kind regards, X.

by X1 year ago
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X -- thank you so much! I'm on my way to check out your site too. The kind words mean a lot and so does the linkup. -- best, amy

by KS 1 year ago
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Thanks for choosing to write about Permaculture! Permaculture Design is by no means interchangeable with Biointensive or Biodynamic practices which are two distinct practices not the same as you state. You confuse biointensive double digging practices with Biodynamic Rudolpf Steiner Practices and Permaculture practices through out the article.

Please write another article because it is propogating the myth and story that is Permaculture is simply a gardening technique. Permaculture is a whole systems design science that was inspired by the sustainable agriculture but is much much larger. Some of its gardening and food production common techniques may include biodynamic and/or biointensive practices but are not limited to are even necessarily included at all. Please take a permaculture course so you can understand what it really is before writing artilces that have titles like Permaculture 101.. Very, very misleading. Please do more research and fact checking.

by X1 year ago
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X-- yes, I have gotten several notes to this effect and intend to write several additional articles highlighting the distinctions. There are MANY resources online and in print that use the terms interchangeably, and I understand that there are distinctions in practice and philosophy when you get deeply into it. I am constrained from getting that deep in a single article but I apologize if I have misled. There will be more to come, I promise.

by X1 year ago
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X-- I've pos
ted a follow-up that tries (i hope to your satisfaction) to define the terms which, I agree with you, were not sufficiently clarified here. I don't really feel my fact-checking or research were at issue (I've read quite a bit about these ideas from a wide variety of sources), but I think I must have done an unusually poor job of representing the point I really intended to make in all this stuff, which was that there are common principles to all three systems which a lay gardener can easily begin to apply without being an adept, acolyte or initiate of Steiner, Bill Mollison, or any other particular guru of this space. Your comments were articulate and fair -- I appreciate you taking the time to write them. Hope I've done a little to rectify any potential misunderstandings.

by X 1 year ago
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I actually don't have an ag background, but have self-educated myself on these subjects and started putting them into practice. I'm just scratching the surface, all of this is quite a rabbit hole. But experimentation is the best teacher, hands down. If you are DOING anything related to these subjects, you are way ahead of those still caught up in the words. And certainly much of permaculture is about seeing relationships, which you are obviously doing.

by X1 year ago
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X -- BINGO, and thank you for coming back and replying. I think the posters who were concerned about my conflation of terms had a point -- I should have been clearer about the distinctions before holding forth on why they're the same. Yes, it is a rabbit hole, and yes, it's all about practice and experimentation. Thanks again, so much, for your very meaningful remarks.

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 27, 2010 02:01AM

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 16, 2010 07:46AM

'Holistic Dentistry'

A modern critique of Weston A Price's research methodology--it appears that Dr Price had good intentions, but began his world survey and travels with a predetermined agenda. This left him vulnerable to what research design terms 'confirmation bias'.

(quote)h. John E. Dodes, D.D.S., an expert on dental quackery, has remarked that "wellness" is "something for which quacks can get paid when there is nothing wrong with the patient.

Historical Perspective
Much of "holistic dentistry" is rooted in the activities of Weston A. Price, D.D.S. (1870-1948), a dentist who maintained that sugar causes not only tooth decay but physical, mental, moral, and social decay as well. Price made a whirlwind tour of primitive areas, examined the natives superficially, and jumped to simplistic conclusions. While extolling their health, he ignored their short life expectancy and high rates of infant mortality, endemic diseases, and malnutrition. While praising their diets for not producing cavities, he ignored the fact that malnourished people don't usually get many cavities.

Price knew that when primitive people were exposed to "modern" civilization they developed dental trouble and higher rates of various diseases, but he failed to realize why. Most were used to "feast or famine" eating. When large amounts of sweets were suddenly made available, they overindulged. Ignorant of the value of balancing their diets, they also ingested too much fatty and salty food. Their problems were not caused by eating "civilized" food but by abusing it. In addition to dietary excesses, the increased disease rates were due to: (a) exposure to unfamiliar germs, to which they were not resistant; (b) the drastic change in their way of life as they gave up strenuous physical activities such as hunting; and (c) alcohol abuse.

Price also performed poorly designed studies that led him to conclude that teeth treated with root canal therapy leaked bacteria or bacterial toxins into the body, causing arthritis and many other diseases. This "focal infection" theory led to needless extraction of millions of endodontically treated teeth until well-designed studies, conducted during the 1930s, demonstrated that the theory was not valid [1,2].

Melvin Page, D.D.S. (1894-1983), one of Price's disciples, coined the phrase "balancing body chemistry" and considered tooth decay an "outstanding example of systemic chemical imbalances." Page ran afoul of the Federal Trade Commission by marketing a mineral supplement with false claims that widespread mineral deficiencies were an underlying cause of goiter, heart trouble, tuberculosis, diabetes, anemia, high and low blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, rheumatism, neuritis, arthritis, kidney and bladder trouble, frequent colds, nervousness, constipation, acidosis, pyorrhea, overweight, underweight, cataracts, and cancer. Page also claimed that milk was "unnatural" and was the underlying cause of colds, sinus infections, colitis, and cancer.

The human body contains many chemicals, ranging from water and simple charged particles (ions) to complex organic molecules. The amounts vary within limits. Some are in solution and others are not. Legitimate medical practitioners may refer to a specific chemical or a balance between a few chemicals that can be measured. But the idea that "body chemistry" goes in and out of balance is a quack concept.




"Beyond nutrition, Weston Price was also notoriously known for having advocated the large scale removal of all root canals for being a source of infections. His root canal infection theory led to the needless extraction of hundreds of thousands of root canals until well-designed research studies, conducted during the 1930s, demonstrated that his theory was wrong."


and a quotation from Wikipedia

"It may need to be wikified to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Tagged since October 2010.

Weston A. Price (Born: Weston Andrew Valleau Price)[1](Newburgh, Ontario September 6, 1870–Santa Monica, CA; January 23, 1948) was a prominent dentist known primarily for his theories on the relationship between nutrition, dental health, and physical health. He founded the Research Institute of the National Dental Association, which later became the Research Section of the American Dental Association, and served as its chair from 1914-1928.[2][3][4] He also invented a type of pyrometer furnace used in baking dental porcelain.

Price was outspoken on the relationship between endodontic therapy and pulpless teeth and broader systemic disease, ideas derived from focal infection theory, and held that dental health - and consequently physical health - were heavily influenced by nutritional factors. These theories fell out of favor in the 1930s and are not currently considered viable in the dental or medical communities.[5]

Early years
Born in Newburgh, Ontario, Canada on September 6, 1870 Price graduated from the dental college of the University of Michigan in 1893 and began to practice in Grand Forks, North Dakota but later moved to Cleveland, Ohio that same year.[6]

[edit] Research
[edit] Technology development
Price conducted various research efforts to develop technological solutions to dental diseases. He invented and improved the pyrometer dental furnace for the manufacture of porcelain inlays that included the fusion of metal and porcelain. Price also researched improvements in producing dental skiagraphs in the early 1900s and developed special instruments for studying the effect of x-rays on cancer. Much of this work was presented at various professional societies in which he had membership.[1][7] His work with radiographs include pioneering a new radiological technique for studying teeth as well as using radiographs to analyze endodontically treated teeth [8] though his 1904 paralleling and bisecting angle techniques would not be become popular until the work of Dr. Gordon Fitzgerald of the University of California in the late 1940s.[9][10]

[edit] Nutrition
Beginning in 1894 Price started to consider diet as the primary cause factor of tooth decay and was attracted to calcium metabolism when he became an active student of nutrition.[6] In the early 1930s, Price's research suggested "vitamin B" and mineral salts were important dietary components to prevent caries.[11]

In 1939 Price published Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,[12] a book that details a series of ethnographic nutritional studies performed by him across diverse cultures, including the Lötschental in Switzerland, Native Americans, Polynesians, Pygmies, and Aborigines, among many others.[13] The photographic material and notes collection in this research "included over 15000 original photographs, 4000 lantern slides (about half of which are hand colored) and a library of strip film lectures."[6]

In the book , Price claimed that various diseases endemic to Western cultures of the 1920s and 30s - from dental caries to tuberculosis - were rarely present in non-Western cultures. He argued that as non-Western groups abandoned indigenous diets and adopted Western patterns of living they also showed increases in typically Western diseases, and concluded that Western methods of commercially preparing and storing foods stripped away vitamins and minerals necessary to prevent these diseases. His claims extended from physical degradation to moral degradation as well.[14]

"The 1939 foreword to the book, written by physical anthropologist Earnest A. Hooton, lauded Price's work for confirming previous research that dental caries were less prevalent in "savages" and attempting to establish the etiology for this difference. In 1940, a review in the Canadian Medical Association Journal called the book "a masterpiece of research", comparing Price's impact on nutrition to that of Ivan Pavlov in digestion. In 1950, a review in the journal The Laryngoscope went as far as to say that "Dr. Price might well be called "The Charles Darwin of Nutrition" while describing Price's documentation of his global travel and research in a book.[15] However, other reviews at the time were less sympathetic with a review in the Scientific Monthly noting some of his conclusion went "much farther than the observations warrant," criticizing Price's controversial conclusions about morality as "not justified by the evidence presented" and downplaying the significance of his dietary findings.[14] Likewise, a review in the Journal of the American Medical Association also disagreed with the significance of this nutritional research, noting Price was "observant but not wholly unbiased" and that his approach was "evangelistic rather than scientific."[16]

"A 1981 editorial by William T. Jarvis published in Nutrition Today, was more critical, identifying Price's work as a classic example of the "myth of the healthy savage," which holds that individuals who live in more technologically primitive conditions lead healthier lives than those who live in more modern societies. The review noted that Price's work was limited by a lack of quantitative analysis of the nutrition of the diets studied and the overlooking of alternative explanations for his observations including malnutrition leading to the lack of caries in primitive societies and overindulgence of the Western diet, rather than the diet itself, as cause for poorer health. The review makes the assertion that Price had a preconceived positive notion about the health of "primitive" people, which led to data of questionable value and conclusions that ignored important problems known to afflict their societies, such as periodontal disease.[17]

[edit] Endodontics and focal infection
Price performed extensive research on pulpless and endodontically treated teeth in support of the theory of focal infection, which at that time held that systemic conditions including complexion, intestinal disorders, anemia among others could be explained by infections in the mouth and that infected teeth should be thus be treated by dental extraction to limit the risk of more general illness. His research, based on case reports and animal studies performed on rabbits, claimed to show dramatic improvements after the extraction of teeth with non-vital pulps. Price's research fit into a wider body of testimonials in the dental literature of the 1920s, which led to the widespread acceptance of the practice of extracting, rather than endodontically treating, infected teeth.[5]

By the 1930s, the theory of focal infection began to be reexamined, and new research shed doubt on the results of previous studies. One researcher in 1940 noted "practically every investigation dealing with the pulpless teeth made prior to 1936 is invalid in the light of recent studies" and that the research of Price and others suffered from technical limitations and questionable interpretations of the garnered results.[18] Three years after Price died a special review issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association confirmed the shift of standard of care from extraction back to endodontical dentistry.[19] In terms of more modern research, Price's studies lacked proper control groups, used excessive doses of bacteria, and had bacterial contamination during teeth extraction, leading to experimental biases.[5]

[edit] Legacy
Originally known as the Weston A. Price Memorial Foundation, the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation (PPNF) was established in 1952 as a non-profit organization that serves as the guardian for the archived material from the research of Weston A. Price and medical doctor Francis M. Pottenger, Jr..

More recently the Weston A. Price Foundation was co-founded in 1999 by Sally Fallon and nutritionist Mary G. Enig to disseminate the research of Dr. Weston A. Price. This foundation has been criticized by health advocates, such as Stephen Barrett of the Quackwatch website, on grounds that the core assumptions of Price's original work are incorrect and contrary to contemporary medical understanding.[20] The Foundation has written a rebuttal to Barrett's claims.[21]

A review has noted that his work on primitive diets is still widely sourced by dentists who emphasize nutrition despite the shortcomings of this work.[17] Price's nutritional health theories are not the only parts of his research works that have been controversially resurrected in recent years. Despite the mainstream rejection of focal infection theory in relation to endodontics, some publications,[5] including an anti-root canal book called Root Canal Cover up,[22] have resurrected Price's outdated research on focal infection and endodontic therapy in ways that might suggest his findings are new and promising to an uninformed patient.[5
"(A biography of active reference links (November, 15th 2010) follows

Price, Weston A. (1914) Some contributions to dental and medical science. Dental Summary, 34:253
Price, Weston A. (1915) "Are Endamebae Important Factors in The Etiology Of Pyorrhea Alveolaris? A Study of Their Habits" The Journal of the National Dental Association Vol. 2, No. 2, pg 143-165
Price, Weston A. (1923) Dental Infections, Oral and Systemic. Cleveland, Penton,
Price, Weston A. (1925) "Dental Infection and related Degenerative Diseases" J Am Med Assoc 1925;84(4):254-261.
Price, Weston A. (1929) Calcium and Phosphorus Utilization in Health and Disease. 1. The Role of the Activators for Calcium and Phosphorus Metabolism. 2. The Nature and Source of Calcium and Phosphorus Activators.—Cert. Milk, Oct., Nov., Dec., 1929 and Dom. Dent. J., Oct., Nov., 1929. (Bulletin 102.)
Price, Weston A. (1930) "Seasonal Variations in Butter-fat Vitamins and their Relation to Seasonal Morbidity, Including Dental Caries and Disturbed Calcifications"; Journal American Dental Association, Vol. 17, May, Bulletin 103)
Price, Weston A. (1930) "Some Contributing Factors to the Degenerative Diseases, with Special Consideration of the Role of Dental Focal Infections and Seasonal Tides in Defensive Vitamins"; Oct., Nov., Dental Cosmos, Bulletin 107.
Price, Weston A. (1931) "New Light on the Control of Dental Caries and the Degenerative Diseases." Journal American Dental Association 18, 1189
Price, Weston A. (1931) "A New View of Health and Disease Based on the Rise and Fall in the Levels of Life with Cycles in Vitamin Tides"; American Journal of Public Health, June, Bulletin 111.
Price, Weston A. (1932) "Control of Dental Caries and Some Associated Degenerative Processes Through Reinforcement of the Diet with Special Activators" Journal American Dental Association Aug., 19, 1339–1369
Price, Weston A. (1932) "Evidence of a need for fluorine in optimum amounts for plant and animal growth, and bone and tooth development, with thresholds for injury", J. dent. Res. 12 545;
Price, Weston A. (1933) "Additional Light on the Etiology and Nutritional Control of Dental Caries with its Application to each District showing Immunity and Susceptibility." Journal American Dental Association 20, 1648
Price, Weston A. (1936) "Eskimo and Indian field studies in Alaska and Canada" Journal American Dental Association, 23:417
Price, Weston A. (1939) Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects . Paul B. Hoeber, Inc; Medical Book Department of Harper & Brothers.
[edit] See also
Dentistry portal
Thomas L. Cleave
Robert Corruccini
Albert Howard
Robert McCarrison
Michael Pollan
[edit] References
[edit] Notes
1.^ a b History of Denistry in Cleveland, Ohio pp 44-56
2.^ "Weston A Price" New York Times Jan 24, 1948
3.^ (1925) The Nebraska state medical journal, Volume 10, Issue 6; pg 205
4.^ (1928) British journal of dental science Volumes 72-73; Page 101
5.^ a b c d e Baumgartner, J. Craig; Siqueira, Jose F.; Sedgley, Christine M.; Kishen, Anil, "7", Ingle's Endodontics (6 ed.), PMPH-USA, pp. 221–222, ISBN 978-1-55009-333-9
6.^ a b c ((1948) Dental items of interest, Volume 70; pg 426)
7.^ Medical Record, A Weekly Journal of Medicine and Surgery - (Dec 1903, Volume 64, page 982)
8.^ {Walton, Richard E., "15", Ingle's Endodontics (6 ed.), PMPH-USA, pp. 554, ISBN 978-1-55009-333-9
9.^ Karjodkar (2006), Textbook of Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology (1 ed.), Jaypee Brothers, Medical Publishers, pp. 6, ISBN 8180618544
10.^ Langland, Olaf E.; Francis H. Sippy (1973) Textbook of dental radiography
11.^ Bodecker, Charles F. (1934) "Metabolic Disturbance in Relation to the Teeth" Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine September; 10(9): 553–573
12.^ Price, Weston A. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects 1939. Paul B. Hoeber, Inc; Medical Book Department of Harper & Brothers.
13.^ Nutrition and Dental Caries - A Survey of the Literature of Dental Caries (page 429)
14.^ a b Vaughn, Warrent T. 1940. "Effects of Dietary Deficiencies". The Scientific Monthly, 50(5):463-464
15.^ Jones, Isaac H.; et al. (December 1950). "Nutrition and the eye, ear, nose and throat (with excerpts from the literature.)". The Laryngoscope 60 (12): 1210–1216. doi:10.1288/00005537-195012000-00004.
16.^ "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects". J Am Med Assoc 114 (26): 2589. 29 June 1940.
17.^ a b Jarvis, William T. (Mar/Apr 1981). "The myth of the healthy savage". Nutr Today (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins) 16 (2): 14–15, 18, 21–22.
18.^ Grossman, Louis (1940), "2", Root Canal Therapy, Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, pp. 16–17
19.^ "An Evaluation of the Effect of Dental Focal Infection on Health" JADA 42:609-697 June 1951
20.^ Stephen Barrett, M.D. "Stay Away from 'Holistic Dentistry'". Quackwatch. []. Retrieved 2007-02-11.
21.^ The Right Price (scroll down screen or search on section titled "Stephen Barrett")
22.^ Baumgartner JC, Bakland LK, Sugita EI (2002) (PDF), Endodontics, Chapter 3: Microbiology of endodontics and asepsis in endodontic practice, Hamilton, Ontario: BC Becker, pp. 63–94, [], retrieved 2009-11-27
[edit] Sources
Weston Andrew Price, Forewords by Earnest Hooton, Granville Knight, and Abram Hoffer (2004). Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (6th edition ed.). Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation. ISBN 0916764087.
Price, Weston A. Dental Infections, Oral and Systemic & the Degenerative Diseases, Vol. 1 & 2 (1923).
[edit] External links
Dietary Carbohydrates and Dental-Systemic Diseases - Journal of Dental Research
In depth review of Weston A. Price's book "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration"
Review of Weston A. Price's book "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration"
The first 21 chapters of "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration", with illustrations and photographs

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 26, 2010 11:56PM

The true nature of Steiner (Waldorf) education. Mystical barmpottery at taxpayers’ expense. Part 1


(excerpts from article)


The pedagogy of Waldorf schools is informed by Steiner’s esoteric scheme of karma and reincarnation. The child ‘incarnates’ in 7 year cycles: the ‘etheric’ body is born at 7, the astral body at 14 and the ‘ego’ or the individuality that returns from past lives, at 21. Abstract reasoning is discouraged too early (before 14) because it interferes with the anthroposophical – spiritual – vision of human development. If parents are surprised at this information, or believe it to be a charming metaphor, we know that Steiner advised his teachers to be coy:


"[W]e have to remember that an institution like the Independent Waldorf School with its anthroposophical character, has goals that, of course, coincide with anthroposophical desires. At the moment, though, if that connection were made official, people would break the Waldorf School’s neck."
Rudolf Steiner, Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner (Anthroposophic Press, 1998) p. 115



As Anthroposophy is an esoteric movement with an ‘inner circle’, it is not surprising that the undeclared hierarchy of Steiner schools includes practicing anthroposophists as well as some teachers making attempts to work assiduously for the benefit of their classes, trying even to ignore Anthroposophy. The turnover of the latter type of teacher is high. For those who imagine they will ‘take the good bits & ignore the rest’ of Steiner in any possible UK Free Schools, there are indications in this document
[] (url may or may not work-Corboy)from the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, directed at the many ‘Waldorf inspired’ initiatives budding in the States, that without Anthroposophy there is no Steiner Waldorf. Readers are instructed that essential to the "art" of teaching is: "an openness to reckon with the unseen spiritual realities which live behind the physical world and developing the perceptivity to experience what this reality is."
In addition, those concerned can buy a copy of the most recent (2007) edition of The Class Teachers’ Handbook’ by Kevin Avison, available from the bookshop of the UK Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship:


"…without active recall the teacher cannot claim to be including the spiritual world, the activity of the night, in the lesson. Recall time is the moment in the lesson when what is beginning to individualise itself in the child through their unconscious communication with the hierarchies (especially the Angels, Archangels and Archai – see for example, The Hierarchies as the Source of Action Speech and Thought, April 28, 1023 – GA224) during sleep can express itself."
In the same Handbook, Avison advises teachers

: "anything indicating what the class might have learnt or covered in Morning Lesson should be ‘lost’ before you leave the school,"
Many have taken him seriously, since the ‘loss’ of notes is a complaint made repeatedly by Waldorf parents all over the world.

One comment


Many thanks for posting this excellent piece. It is clear, if one reads the Steiner archives, that the Steiner-Waldorf-Anthroposophical vision is not rooted in rational thought. Though claiming to represent a system of understanding equal to the rigours of science, Anthroposophy is in fact a dangerous religious cult.

Hiding behind a New-age façade, Anthroposophical organisations have attracted a substantial following by using their commercial income and bogus ‘green’ credentials to expand their operations into an enormous number of organisations and businesses. As someone who supports strong state secularism, I fully respect the right for such religious organisations to exist but I also expect such organisations to be honest and transparent about their beliefs, their intensions, their modes of operation and their personnel, whether paid or voluntary.

The reason that transparency is important is that a great many community groups and organisations have a real impact on the lives of those living within their sphere of influence. Like most religions, Anthroposophy has a set of irrational beliefs and not all advocates believe in a literal interpretation of the texts. But unlike most religions, those aspects of Anthroposophical texts that advocate nonsensical, illegal or unethical modes of relating to the community are mostly hidden from view and, as far as the Anthroposophical command structure is concerned, not up for discussion in the public arena.

One of the consequences of that policy, of Anthroposophy hiding its true purpose from all but their specially chosen initiates, is that many people join and contribute to seemingly benign organisations that are in fact intent on subverting the efforts of the contributors to the expansion of the Anthroposophical world view; a world view that is steeped in racism and eugenics.

Readers interested in how covert Anthroposophical organisations operate at the local level might well be interested in my experiences with a small environmental organisation here in Devon called Buck the Trend and the extent to which the Steiner machine has infiltrated the Green Party and the Transition Town Movement. As someone who has been a campaigner for environmental and social justice causes for over 30 years, it is sad indeed to see that rationalism and sound science are no longer welcome currencies within the environmental movement unless sanctioned by the racist mystical madness of Anthroposophy.

Best wishes,


Another comment


Thanks for your well-considered comment.

I don’t think anyone would disagree that “we must support the right to diversity in ideas” Everyone must be free to think whatever they want, even if it does involve belief in gnomes. The problem, as always, is that one person’s freedom is another person’s restriction. If a small number of parents manipulate the system such that the only state school close to where you live is a Steiner school, that system wiil be imposed on many people who don’t want it.

There are more practical consequences too. The anti-vaccination attitude of Steiner schools, and of true-believing Steiner parents, endangers not only their own children, but all others in the area. My own son was endangered by the fact that I live in a area with unusually low vaccination rate, in part as a result (according to my GP) of a large Steiner school nearby. I wonder what your opinion is about that?

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 29, 2011 09:20AM

Steinerists dont like vaccinations.

There are consequences--others who do not want anything to do with Steinerism can be infected.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011Pertussis closes Waldorf-based private school in VA
A whooping cough outbreak hitting more than half (23 of 45) their pupils has led to the closure of that small private school for a week. The local Health Care Director unambiguously stated that lack of vaccinations caused this outbreak and that the children who were affected were unvaccinated (7 adult contacts also got the disease).

This outbreak is demonstrating two things - disease outbreaks happen in "pockets" of unvaccinated children, and, those "pockets" are often found in Waldorf/Steiner oriented institutions (for a comprehensive critical introduction into Anthroposophy, read the three part series on DC's Improbable Science blog). Indeed, the last whooping cough outbreak I personally saw was in the Steiner Kindi in two streets down from where we lived in Germany. The daycare director interpreted the outbreak as "the children seeking disease, because they needed a break" and proposed to close the Kindi for three weeks (a plan curbed by the working moms whose children attending the facility had been vaccinated and were just fine). What a break that was, with several children needing a 3 week residential rehab to learn how to breathe normally again... I'd rather pay money for a break than health, but that may be just me.

Similarly, quite impressive measles outbreaks in (mostly German speaking) countries have started in Steiner schools and Kindergartens and were sometimes specifically centered around Anthroposophical doctors with an anti-vaccine vaccine-critical outlook. Steiner himself deemed rashy diseases, like measles and Scarlet fever, which in his life time each killed a large percentage of the annual birth cohort, important for the development of proper karma and the shedding of bad miasms (don't ask - read link above, it is weirder than you think and weirder than you would expect any contemporary parent to believe and doctor to peddle).

The good news is that school and parents are complying with the suggested quarantine and/or treatment measures to limit transmission. Hopefully, some of them will research the "crunchy, holistic" philosophy behind their school and their vaccine refusal a bit more carefully, too.
Posted by Catherina at 6:51 AM 8 comments:
phildr said...
How tragic. I hope none of the affected children had infant siblings, who are very much at risk of death from pertussis.

April 6, 2011 11:08 AM
Anonymous said...
This isn't tragic: it's entirely preventable. This is faith-based belief in action. And it is not benign. Respecting the rights of others to exercise their ignorance (I don't believe vaccinations are worth the risk to my child) by putting all of us at unnecessary greater risk can (and does) cause irreparable harm to the health and welfare of others for the luxury of some to exercise their own stupidity.

April 7, 2011 9:07 AM
jre said...
When Seth Mnookin linked to the Roanoke Times article, I read the whole thing expecting some reference to Blue Mountain as a Waldorf School. In fact, the word "Waldorf" is conspicuous by its absence in the newspaper article. A minute's Googling, however, turns up the connection -- points to you!

More generally, isn't it revealing that nowadays when you read the words "pertussis" and "school" in close proximity, you can be reasonably sure that "Waldorf" is not far behind?

April 8, 2011 6:08 PM
jre said...
Please excuse my telegraphic style. I meant to ssy "Extra bonus points to Just the Vax for correctly calling out the Waldorf schools as vaccine-refusal enablers."

The first time I heard of this problem, it was through Arthur Allen's excellent article on Boulder's Shining Mountain Waldorf School. I still don't know if the naming is a coincidence, or if "Mountain" names are a Waldorf theme. What I do know is that Boulder still has a high rate of pertussis, and that the Steiner organization refuses to accept any responsibility for its schools serving as foci of infection.

April 11, 2011 3:21 PM
Catherina said...
another reminder: 100 measles cases in Ghent, Belgium are mostly infants too young to be vaccinated and pupils of anthroposophical schools []

April 12, 2011 8:53 AM
Anonymous said...
proud to be crunchy

April 19, 2011 4:33 PM
Chris said...
I am also crunchy, but I know and respect science. So my family is vaccinated.

April 19, 2011 9:23 PM
Catherina said...
Anon - crunchy is perfectly alright, but I prefer crunchy and healthy to crunchy and coughing your lungs out for 8 weeks (and yes, anthroposophically raised unvaccinated children *will* do that when they catch pertussis). Don't you like your kids healthy?

April 20, 2011 4:44 AM

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Measles outbreak in Switzerland: update
There is no treatment for measles and complications include pneumonia and encephalitis.

Bern, Switzerland and Vaud, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Swiss federal health authorities late Thursday issued an alert about the measles outbreak in Vaud this week, reminding people that the virus causes serious illness and vaccinations are the only protection against the potentially deadly disease. Fifty new cases have been declared in Switzerland since the start of 2009, half of them this week alone, in Vaud – the number of cases seen in a total year when there is not an epidemic. [Ed. note: see "Measles outbreak unprecedented," GL, 5 February]. Four new schools were affected Thursday when brothers and sisters of the 17 students with measles from the Rudolf Steiner school in Crissier also fell ill.Children and teenagers who have not been vaccinated and who have had contact with anyone with measles must by law be sent home for three weeks.

Bern noted that since November 2006 Switzerland has seen 3,400 cases of measles, with one death last week in Geneva, 250 hospitalizations and 500 complications that included 143 cases of pneumonia and 8 cases of encephalitis. Six people have died in Europe from measles in recent years. There is no treatment for the disease.

Ninety-three percent of those treated for measles in Switzerland were not fully vaccinated. The government recommends two vaccinations, at 12 months with a followup at 15-24 months. One concern is young people who received the initial vaccination but not the followup. Health authorities recommends vaccinations for anyone born after 1963 who is not vaccinated and who has not had measles.

Bern notes that measles has been eradicated in North and South America as well as in Finland. Switzerland is the hardest hit country in Europe, with its three-year-old epidemic and the only way to eradicate the disease is to achieve a 95% vaccination coverage for young children. Nationwide, the coverage is currently 86%.

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 29, 2011 09:27AM

As for Steiners belief that vaccine preventable illnesses are needed for proper childhood development:

One of my uncles was nearly crippled by polio. Later in life, he developed painful post polio sydrome--very serious business because he was a carpenter and for him this was disabling.

One of my aunts had scarlet fever and it weakened one of her eye muscles. Later, she needed corrective surgery.

In the bad old days before vaccination prevention and antibiotics, thousands were left with damaged hearts following strep/scarlet fever infections, thousands were crippled or killed by polio, and by pneumonia following measles.

We had several adults who got ill with whooping cough in our neighorhood and they reported being ill and convalescent for months, following propert DX and antibiotic treatment. If anyone with a contagious or communicable disease comes near anyone immune compromised (as in pregnant, or HIV+ or who is getting chemotherapy for cancer or Hep C) this can be a disastrous encounter for the immune compromised person.

Your right to cultivate so called Steinerian karma stops when it hampers health and safety for others who dont share that belief system.

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: dwest ()
Date: June 30, 2011 02:10PM

My grandmother walked with a limp from polio. Although I grew up when most vaccinations were given, I suffer from a heart murmur due to asymptomatic strep that was caught by my dentist who noticed my discolored throat (I didn't have any other symptoms at that time).

Many of the parents that are against vaccinations don't know what these epidemics are like, as they were born after these illnesses were nearly eradicated. I agree with you Corboy, 110%. I can't imagine putting society at risk due to Steinerian Karma beliefs. Talk about selfish!

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 30, 2011 11:04PM

Here, here.

We are seeing a general attitude problem here. Steinerists have it, but what makes their group worth looking it is the secretiveness and that they have an ideology and social network that supports a stance toward medicine that not only affects their kids but that can affect those of us who dont want to get sick.

But these days way too many people with little kids think only of their families. They think of themselves as parents and dont think beyond in terms of the welfare of non family members, too. THe maintream respect for medicine and direct memories of its actual victories has been lost.

Some Examples:

The guy who cuts what is left of my hair has a general purpose salon. He gets men, women, and moms of little kids bring the kids in for haircuts.

Mike said that more than once, he has had parents bring in little kids with louse nits in their hair.

"They want me to Get Ride of the Problem. Mike said "But these parents wont tell me the child has lice nits. And sent home from school. So they want me to get rid of the problem, but dont tell me the problem is lice and the kid has 'em. They dont want to think ahead that I could pick up lice, that the hair clippings from their child could contaminate the shop, and other clients who come in might pick up headlice. If that happens, Health Department would shut me down.I could have my reputation ruined.

"All from someone's selfish carelessness in not thinking beyond themselves.'

'So what do you do?'

"I check everyone who comes in and if they have nits, I boot them out and yell at the parent for not telling me what their kid has.'

Must mention that Mike has his hair salon in what is considered a 'good/yuppie'

Thats the behavior when someone fails to think beyond their own household and concern themselves with the well being of the larger public.

These 'lousy' parents are not necessarily Steinerian.

But the Steinerists have an elaborate pseudoscientific ideology to give added support to this selfishness--a pattern of selfishness that affects those of us who DONT FRICKING WANT TO GET SICK.

The best thing a reader can do is go out and get a test to see what he or she is currently immune to, and what they need immune boosters for.

This saved my ass. I needed re-immunization for chickenpox and for whooping cough.

Others are being lax, so those of us who are adult have to be more alert.

I forgot to mention an adult aquaintance of mine. Because of him, I ran and got the chickenpox vaccine the second it was available in the US.

Here is what happened to this man and his household.

In the early 1990s, prior to an effective chickenpox vaccine, X told us a tale of woe.

He had not been with us for a month and then re-appeared. We asked where he'd been.

Looking haunted, X told us he had not had chickenpox in childhood. So he had contracted adult chickenpox from a client of his--he was a social worker.

X was miserably and dangerously sick for two weeks. He had ferocious headaches and avoided hospitalization only because his lover was there, took two weeks off from work to look after X. (Which meant that two people--X and his caregiver--could not work for 2 weeks. Serious economic disruption along with the misery of adult chickenpox)

X's love was available for home nursing because he had had chickenpox as a kid.

I will spare you the description of X's misery except to say that in addition to almost landing in the the hospital and praying his headaches were not the onset of meningitis, X spent the adult chickenpox ordeal living naked or just in underpants, because clothes were intolerable. He had to sleep with mittens so he wouldnt scratch himself in his sleep, and when the itching was at its worst, slept one night in a tub of water and oatmeal.

Karma, OK?

Well, X recovered (lucky) and after his first day back at work (no doubt his absence meant that his coworkers had to work extra time covering for him--additional stress on already stressed out social workers)

...X came home to see his lover staring at his own hands. And muttering 'But I was sure I had chickenpox as a kid"

The poor guy it turns out, either didnt have childhood chickenpox, or his immunity wore off.

Upshot was, X took two weeks more off of work because his lover got sick from the virus, contracted while nursing X--and that meant two weeks off of work for the two of them.

This friends is the impact when people take immunization so much for granted that they buy into theories that its a ghastly intrusion into personal liberty and a disruption to childhood development.

When I was a kid, I grew up reading books by Paul deKruif, who wrote from vivid experience gained in the 1920s and 1930s. He described legions of people who had damaged hearts from strep infections, and wh lived in fear of winter weather. In his chapters on the research done on Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, he described how deadly dangerous some areas of the country were, and how several members of the research team were killed by the disease before it was found.

And let us not forget rabies. It is one of the most horrible ways a warm blooded creature can die.

It was the first disease to be preventable through vaccination. And even now, tens of thousands die from it in parts of the world where one cannot reach a treatment station.

And it is not only a horror for the victim, but for his or her family and the caregivers who witness it.

People who have recently arrived from areas of the world where vaccine preventable illnesses run rife are quite glad to avail themselves of the opportunity to obtain immunization.

Its the long time affluent residents of First World counties who have not witnessed the impact (such a cold word) of immunization preventable disease who have the option of being, in the words of a Russian refugee, 'crazy on full stomachs'.

And a scientific/medical safety net that gave them the health that they take for granted.

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Re: Anthroposophy, a Secret Religion?
Posted by: yasmin ()
Date: July 01, 2011 07:45PM

Its funny how different a story can be depending upon your perspective.
Even with the story about the nits..If the parents are truly bringing in children they know have nits into someones' salon that is indeed reprehensible. (And strange; over the counter treatment is cheap and much less embarrassing..)It also seems possible that the parents do not know the kids have nits. Nits can pass around schools and attach themselves to clean hair pretty easily, and if a parent has not seen an infestation before, it can be hard to identify..
To be honest, it reads more like the hairdresser gets off on publicly humiliatiing children.
Maybe he doesn't , but one wonders how many of the kids are in tears when they leave his store?

I definitely agree that adults who are healthy should keep up their immunizations.It is amazing how many adults who talk in horror about unvaccinated babies; yet have never bothered to update their own immunity status. Apparently"herd immunity"as a concept does not apply to them. And many vaccines including the one for pertussis are listed as only lasting for about 15 years. A good thing for any adult to talk with their doctor about.
Of course, in the U.S., the majority of adults are massively under immunized by todays' standard.Anyone vaccinated before the 80s had about 5 vaccines total by the age of 5.The CDC schedule now includes ( counting boosters and combo vaccines) 72 vaccines by the age of 5, starting with one (Hepatitis B) on the day of birth.
Of course, there have been no safety studies on what happens when you combine multiple vaccines repeatedly. Some would say the generation being raised now is the study.Coincidentally, there are massive amounts of children now in special ed.The new generation are now aging out, with many more to come, but already the waiting lists for institutional care in some places for these young adults is more than five years.
(By the way, and interestingly, it is not safe to give animals unlimited vaccinations; vets have noticed that as they increase the number of vaccines, a subset of animals will start to be unable to handle it. they even have a term for it; Vaccinosis).

Of course for a mother ( X) , who is desperately holding her sixteen year old child, trying to prevent him from beating his head into the wall, a young teenager who can't speak , just moans, still wears diapers, and likes to spread his faeces on the wall; it is probably hard to get too worked up about two weeks off work for healthy adults who did not bother to keep their immunization status up.Of course the one thing about these vaccine injured children; they are indeed vaccinated, so they are not contagious.

Again, it does depend on your perspective,. For those who remember the horrendous epidemics of polio, vaccines are rightly considered a life saver. Who would want their child, or someone elses child, paralysed for life? And thank heavens for modern medicine, with antibiotics and other innovations which have treated and saved so many lives.
Yet I have to wonder; a moral conundrum for all; if the first child was yours, and you watched the child regress from speaking to throwing seizures etc, never to speak again, on the same that the child got their dtp vaccine; would you vaccinate the next child or not? To whom do you owe your first duty? A "herd" who does not bother to keep themselves vaccinated, or your child, ensuring that they are able to speak?

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