I think this was a nice idea we had in this country and a nice landscape to experiment with. But I think there comes a time in almost any experimentation or idea, where you have to evaluate it, maybe our time has come. In the context of the real world, not just the American world but all around, we haven’t done too well. We are not a very good advertisement for the idea we represented. If you lose one wheel of the car, you might be able to get to the side of the road, and some freaks can make it on two, but if you lose three, man, you’re in serious trouble. I think we’ve lost three.
–Hunter S. Thompson
Between 1996 and 2003, an Ohio cancer researcher conducted an insightful study on a local Amish community as representing a unique population. Through modern science’s contact with the Amish, these were two very different logic-systems, in total contrast, coming together. It was of a society which has “lost three wheels” looking at the segment which has, as of yet, only lost one. The result was nothing like what was expected.
The researcher viewed the Amish as a pocket of humanity with unique genetic characteristics. She saw DNA potential for creating new medications to treat the rest of America. This particular community of almost ten thousand Amish had intermarried from an original group of about one hundred Amish ancestors.
The researcher speculated that “in-breeding” would have duplicated inherent genetic weaknesses, which would have manifested as common cancers. Her funding was based-upon the idea that links could be drawn between their inherited genetic DNA flaws and their cancers, which could then be mined for new genetic cancer treatments.
What the researcher had discovered in her back yard was an isolated population caught in a time-warp. Thus, a scientific grid from “an advanced” culture was overlaid against another more-primitive, backwards grid. The study went all one direction, for the Amish had little interest in the culture from which the researcher came.
The application of “advanced to backwards” turned up a completely opposite result than expected. Rather than finding a spike in any one of the 24 cancers she was investigating, the researcher found significant cancer reductions across the board. Overall, the Amish experienced 56 percent of the cancer rate compared to their modern day neighbors.
The researcher walked away scratching her head. There was nothing within her logic to explain it and nothing there of value for future research. Her conclusion: To reduce cancer to the level of these Amish, one would need to descend from these same one hundred ancestors and then live the lifestyle of the Amish.
For example, she interpreted the fact that these Amish women experienced zero incidence of cervical cancer by speculating that this could be due to their sexual fidelity, plus perhaps “a protective inherited gene.” The media bought such scientific wisdom, despite the interpretation’s spurious nature, and that was that.
Now it would not matter who the researcher was, for our purposes in particular, because she is merely representative of her own population and their scientific paradigm and quite vulnerable themselves to study.
One additional conclusion to draw from this, could be that, the simple logic of the Amish repelled the simple paradigm of the researcher. We could go further, turn it around, look at the findings from all vantages, to learn as much as possible from such an in-depth 8-year study because one thing, for certain, is that the Amish proved to be a statistical anomaly.
Otherwise, this extensive research fades away into the pages of history like any old ghost town. Insert: tumbleweeds.
Why not give it another look? Go mad with it! Imagine that you are a researcher too, from the future, and we climb into our Google Maps vehicle and hover over the planet Earth looking down. We might observe a ghost town here, a ghost town there, lots of little blinking lights of ghost towns exactly like the Amish, where the cancer rates are low and the medical grant researchers leave it be.
The light bulb in our own mind just might go off. Ah ha! The logic of genetic research itself was never questioned, which led to conclusions unsubstantiated by the study itself, and therefore hiding what’s right in front of our noses. Like the explanation that Amish women had no cervical cancer as “due to their marriage fidelity” stood out as prominent in the public news release, while this conclusion was quite a random guess. It’s equally plausible that the Amish women in the study had no cervical cancer due to their limited contact with plastics or the lack of ammonium hydroxide antibiotic sterilizers in their meat supply or due to the total lack of exposure to microwave oven radiation. Probiotics may have played a role, no?
What happened here, precisely, is that the researcher discovered an overall 44 percent reduction in the cancer rate. And then, she left it on the table. As I mentioned earlier, insert tumbleweeds.
She might have asked within the realm of possibility, “Where ELSE can one find a 44 percent reduction of cancer on the planet? Is there just one place?” She could have stated to the media: “We are now questioning our own logic surrounding cancer research. Our plans include drawing in sociologists, historians, and geographers to help us solve the question as to where recent and rapid increases in modern day cancer are originating.”
She might have concluded, “This is a huge find!”
This could have led to the discovery that other communities on the planet share a similar, lower cancer rate to the Amish. One could then build a 3D graph model linking all other places and times where the cancer rate is found at the same 44 percent cancer reduction-rate of the Amish.
One such time we find lower cancer rates is right here in America. The 1930s represent an entire culture roughly matching the current cancer rate of the Amish. What we find in the 1930s are ordinary people living a similar rural lifestyle with their own horses, cows, goats, chickens and gardens. What the Amish represent is maybe not as much genetics, as a people with limited EXPOSURE to the 21st Century and to the multiplicity of changes which have occurred in culture and lifestyle of the general United States since 1930.
If we pinpointed “the 1930s population in America” as matching the cancer rate of today’s Amish, now we can investigate forward from then till now, looking harder at culture and lifestyle with a critical eye. We should be able to draw a pencil line between the cancer rates of the general American population in the 1930s with the general cancer rate of the American population of today — and find a consistent and alarming upswing.
The curve moves from an Amish-type lifestyle to an expansion of many product and service corporations providing for a “non-Amish” lifestyle, with a corresponding growth in cancer rates of the average American to double, triple and quadruple.
If we take a Polaroid snapshot of the Amish lifestyle today and take a snapshot of the 1930s American lifestyle and these non-military/industrial photos closely match, BINGO. Now we can connect to all other points worldwide on the grid where the cancer rate is, or has been, at a 56 percent rate of current U.S. cancer levels. Taking a snapshot of the culture and lifestyle of these low-cancer points, each picture may appear coincidently exactly like the Amish culture.
But before drawing our own spurious conclusions, we could test the hypothesis.
Let’s take a snapshot of a single location, someplace today which mirrors the Amish by a similar rate of cancer, say: a small village in China. What if such rural, isolated folks moved to the United States? What should happen, then, is that these people from the population of a 44 percent lower rate of cancer, show an increase in their rate of cancer to match the same rate of their new culture and lifestyle occurring in America.
In another way, the researcher who studied the cancer rate of the Amish in microcosm, could have found examples of Amish families who had left the community, matching the same genetics, and noted whether their cancer rate increased as they adopted the lifestyles of modern culture. There’s the comparison to observe: traditional Amish still isolated in the past, to their various relatives who left the faith and adopted modern ways.
We could say, well that’s a shame, because that would be valuable information, and she could have looked for that, if she’d had another six months of funding. Yet, what we discover, is that OTHER researchers have already looked at this, studying other populations coming from regions/nations with lower cancer rates and have ALREADY noted that their cancer rates rapidly increase to match the higher rates of cancer currently present in America.
Thus, location may trump DNA, as one looks beyond DNA factors for cancer-causes.
In other words, our imaginary 3D graph model works. When the genetics are shuffled as people move about the planet, the cancer rate changes, too. What’s more constant are places, not ancestors.
The problem with this new model is that the money is all on the side of contemporary research. The money is all contained within the logic of the genetic approach, tied to cancer treatments.
If the assumptions and directives of medical research are essentially treatment-based, then we can observe the researchers in this paradigm to be less generally observant themselves when it comes to geography and history. That is, looking for the cure as residing outside of genetic factors, technology, medicine and such.
So now, we can overlay a grid mapping the money invested in cancer research over the planetary grid of little blinking lights where “the cancer rate is at least 44 percent lower.” What we observe in doing this, is that all of the giant globs of money are centralized where the cancer rate is the highest. The money is being spent in all the same places where the illness is being created.
This may provide an explanation as to why the researcher abandoned her 8-year study of the Amish. The study crossed out of the boundary where the money was contained, when the discovery was, that there was no profit to be made outside of itself.
This analysis might stop here and everybody goes back to the drawing board. There’s still no cure for cancer in this story!
There’s all this frustration and impatience around the lack of a cure, and if we add “the frustration with not finding the causes of cancer” to the grid, we find it centralized amidst the populations who are suffering from cancer the worst. Thus, it could be illuminating to turn UP the volume to see where THESE people reside: the mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers with a cancer diagnosis today.
If there are pockets of humans all over the planet with a 44 percent lower rate of cancer today, are there pockets of people with a 44 percent HIGHER rate of cancer? Yes, there are towns and regions in America way above the norm. So we can add those places to the 3D map represented as “extremes of geography.”
This gets rather touchy, so let’s swing it the other way and ask: Are there places or times where the cancer rate dips even lower than, or better than, a level of 56 percent to normal U.S. cancer rates? If so, add those to the general map we’ve created.
If we return to the 1930s, we find a researcher then who had noted, within the general culture of the 1930s (possessing itself a roughly 44 percent lower rate of cancer), that there appeared to be even LOWER rates of disease on the planet and he set out to investigate. Dr. Weston Price found peoples, cultures, villages and tribes who possessed a zero rate of cancer, which he documented and photographed. If we place these peoples on our 3D grid, now our model of “places and times” is complete.
Let’s look at it.
What we see is America about the year 1900 with a low cancer mortality rate of 4.5 percent. Extending geographically beyond the regions of civilization, the cancer rate drops to as low as zero. In the year 1900, the cancer rate EVERYWHERE across the planet is below the current Amish cancer rate today (which we know is 44 percent lower). Factoring “time,” the cancer mortality rate in America rose from 4.5 percent (1:20) in 1900 to about 25 percent (1:4) by 1980. Then from 1980 to 2015, it has continued to grow, to a rate of 33 percent (1:3) cancer mortality, and still rising with the trend.
Certain doctors treating cancer since the 1970s, like breast cancer, testify that their practices have mushroomed with new patients from then till now and the ages are trending younger, even to children. The “war on cancer” was declared in 1971 and the first ever walk for cancer was held in 1984, as the mystery and epidemic has intensified. During the 1930s in America, cancer was just not that prevalent to march against it.
The highest rates of cancer today appear to be around Midwestern lake areas and waste dumps receiving or draining water run-off from various chemical sources, whether from manufacturing, energy-production/mining, or mono-culture GMO farming, and also along high density power-line grids and close proximity to cell phone towers. In some towns, pharmaceutical intake is so high that drug residue can be measured as it recycles back into the tap water – steroids, hormones, antidepressants, pain killers and sleeping pills.
Not so with the rural Amish.
Mapping where the money has been spent and invested on cancer cures, in the year 1900 within the United States, no statistically relevant monies were spent on cancer research or health care, nor in the 1930s, virtually nothing, until we reach 1960. At this relatively modernized juncture when John F. Kennedy was President, the average American was spending $143 per YEAR on medical expenditures or less than $15 per month. (Comparable to today’s dollars at about $100 per month.)
One can’t understand the trends of health care, without also including the money on the map connected to it. That money clusters around high disease rates. Per capita health care expense grew from virtually $0/year in 1930 to about $500 per month spent by the average American in 2005, then to $1,000 per month by 2014 or about one quarter of the total U.S. Gross National Product.
The average profit margin in pharmaceutical development is 600 percent. At the high end, a single band-aid will sell for $20 and chemotherapy for the price of a life’s savings. All this is relevant to “finding the cure,” pink ribbons and all that, which is to ignore the general petri dish of culture, geography, and industry as pertinent factors which may be fueling illness, or maybe not.
Now our imaginary 3D map discussion is over and the Amish might be curious to know that some basic health assumptions are wrong where the concentrations of money are highest. These bright dots of investment include biotech, agriculture, ranching, grocery, chemical manufacturing and energy, medicine and research, pharmacy, media, and government, all in ever-increasing overlap and riding the same profit-tsunami crashing across the American landscape and GNP.
Meanwhile, the Amish aren’t curious at all to know what’s blinking on the map. Now, non-Amish Americans barely appreciate their own ignorance of the high odds today that they or their loved ones might receive a positive cancer diagnosis during their lifetime (80-percent), or diabetes, or autism, or an autoimmune disorder based on culture, not genetics. Americans may benefit to study the situation for themselves, by making their own 3D model of health care in America, and then place themselves on the map between the little dots of Starbucks and Cracker Barrels, the one selling scalding hot fluid poured into plastic-lined paper cups laced with bovine growth hormone and aspartame, while the other, microwaved factory-farmed pork-in-beans for those on the go, the latter being a simulation of the Amish-style, however, lacking said, actual substance.
Meanwhile, outside factors include one’s basic exposures to the 21st Century economy and whether one grows their own lunch, or not.
If one has no time to grow their own lunch, one can, at the very least, shop with the Amish. Or shop with those like the Amish, who may likewise experience an overall 44-percent reduction in cancer. The rest of the populations pretty much have lost three wheels when it comes to their health care and cancer treatment options. For those who have spent a lifetime eating within the military-industrial complex, the trick is also learning how to undo all of that cumulative sludge extracted from a diet of reconstituted petroleum slathered across the map.
The statistical/geographical model we have just invented shows that, in terms of better health, the strategy is to reach from where the money is, to where the money isn’t. The cure for cancer, so elusive since war was declared on it in 1971, the Amish themselves discovered, in most cases, by not getting it all. Their cure rate for cervical cancer, in this model, would be 100 percent.
This concludes our review of one cancer researcher’s project. The missing strategy then, for Americans to take action upon, is to reach from where the cancer is, to where the cancer isn’t. Because a little applied sociology and old time religion teaches us: Mother Nature is elitist, not where the research money is, but where the money isn’t.
Or, to quote Hunter S. Thompson, not for his example, but for his insight: The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to those who can see it coming and jump aside.