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Antoine Béchamp -v- Louis Pasteur

Is the West’s almost complete acceptance of Pasteur’s ‘germ theory’ damaging our economy and our health and driving us mad?

Throughout all the hysteria over corona virus, hardly any scientific voice has been raised to question the Pasteurian theory of disease that has been the dominant narrative in the West for the last hundred and fifty years. Not only is there astonishing unanimity among the ‘experts’ over ‘the science’, but any attempt to question it is either suppressed or ridiculed. All those advising various governments only have one point of reference – Louis Pasteur.

Pasteur’s ‘germ’ theory is that microorganisms – pathogens – are liable to attack anybody at any time irrespective of whether or not the individual is in good health and takes care of himself. Pasteur discounted this and said that to protect us from harmful organisms they must be destroyed or we must be kept away from them.

But there is another way of looking at it which makes a good deal of sense and seems to accord with the reality of living. Throughout the nineteenth century Pasteur’s great rival was Antoine Béchamp. Béchamp contended that microorganisms, Pasteur’s ‘germs’, are not so much the cause of illness and disease as its result. Béchamp held that what he called ‘microzymas’ of the body, which he found to be the ultimate units of life, present throughout the cells of the body, both maintain its life (metabolic) and aid in its disintegration (catabolic) if it is injured or dies. These microorganisms are capable of changing themselves into different kinds of pathogens when their normal functions and conditions of life are disturbed. This happens in disease and in the decay that follows death.

Béchamp accepted that external microorganisms may contribute to illness and decomposition, but that was only half the story. The destructive and morbid influence of these is in addition to that already faced by an organism’s internal microorganisms which have the power to initiate decay or maintain health. A healthy body is protected against infection and illness unless something goes wrong with it to cause it to succumb. This is the crucial distinction from germ theory. If it were otherwise we would have no protection against the myriad pathogens and microorganisms that assail us throughout our lives. Béchamp showed that bacteria also develop internally in an organism without any external influence by using the example of a bruised apple whose internal cells started to rot without its skin being broken.

This ‘holistic’ view lays the responsibility for his own health squarely upon the individual, who must take measures to protect himself from illness. This is in stark contrast to the prevailing modern approach in the West that makes a person a victim to be saved by medical science and drugs. It is one of the reasons why the medical profession is largely ignorant of nutrition and there is almost no concern in Britain and the US over the quality of food served in hospitals. Germ theory ignores or denies the benefit to the health of the patient from proper cooking and eating well.

Pasteur’s theory suggests that the body is simply a collection of inert chemicals, and therefore after death there ought to be nothing living in it. When it was pointed out to him that there was life in dead organisms, he was forced to the erroneous conclusion that it resulted from pathogenic invasion from without, even when the organism was isolated from any source of contact. Either he understood, but would not admit, or he simply could not fathom, that microorganisms are inherent in all life on the planet – all of which are composed of and have developed from living microzymas.

The people of the broadly Protestant countries in the West seem to be those most attracted by Pasteur’s germ theory. The medical establishment in Britain and North America, in particular, talks about ‘waging war’ on viruses and diseases, ‘battling’ against illness and so on. And this attitude has been eagerly exploited by the pharmaceutical industry to make vast profits from medicalising the population by frightening them that its products are necessary to keep them free of illness. It is hard to understand why a theory that has delivered so many people into the hands of the medical profession and kept them there, should have gained such widespread acceptance.

Over the decades the Pasteurian approach has not gone unchallenged. There has always been an undercurrent of alternative health treatment that promoted Béchamp’s ideas even if its practitioners didn’t quite know where they came from. Osteopaths, chiropractors, homeopaths, herbalists and so on, whose aim is to make the body healthy to protect itself from disease, have made great strides to shake off the criticism of conventional doctors that their treatment is little more than witchcraft. People are beginning to grasp that what we eat affects our health and our immune system. The trouble is that big food manufacturers and the pharmaceutical industry are aware of this and have started to cater to the mood but not to the need behind it.

At the bottom of all this lies Pasteur’s superficial research which, tragically, was preferred over Béchamp’s profound, often mystical and subtle understanding of the workings of life and pathology. Even now, those who dare to question the prevailing narrative based on Pasteur’s germ theory are attacked as being ‘germ theory denialists’ even though most of Pasteur’s theories were plagiarized from Béchamp’s early research work. The irony is that towards the end of his life, Pasteur himself doubted the germ theory and is supposed to have declared on his deathbed that Béchamp was right all along: ‘The terrain is everything.’

It is not too much of an exaggeration to say that Pasteur’s influence on Western scientists and our clueless politicians has turned out to be such a disaster for our economy and our society.

By Philip Walling

Having been a farmer and practised as a barrister, I am now a writer with two books published so far: Counting Sheep (2014) and Till the Cows Come Home (2018).

I am interested in everything to do with the countryside, rural history, humanity and the way we live now.

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