by Alfred Russel Wallace
Chapter XVIII in The Wonderfull Century
Vaccination a delusion
— Its Penal Enforcement A Crime
Same year A. R. Wallace published a pamphlet,
with same Title as this Chapter.
See end of this document for Preface. …
Alfred Russell Wallace:
– Land Nationalisation
– The Malay Archipelago,
– Island Life,
– The Geographical Distribution of Animals
* * *.
The present work is not in any sense a history, even on the most limited scale. It may perhaps be termed an appreciation of the Century—of what it has done, and what it has left undone. The attempt has been made to give short, descriptive sketches of those great material and intellectual achievements which especially distinguish the Nineteenth Century from any and all of its predecessors, and to show how fundamental is the change they have effected in our life and civilization. A comparative estimate of the number and importance of these achievements leads to the conclusion that not only is our century superior to any that have gone before it, but that it may be best compared with the whole preceding historical period. It must therefore be held to constitute the beginning of a new era of human progress.
But this is only one side of the shield. Along with these marvellous Successes—perhaps in consequence of them—there have been equally striking Failures, some intellectual, but for the most part moral and social. No impartial appreciation of the century can omit a reference to them; and it is not improbable that, to the historian of the future, they will be considered to be its most striking characteristic. I have therefore given them due prominence. No doubt it will be objected that I have devoted far too much space to them—more than half the volume. But this was inevitable, for the very obvious reason that, whereas the successes are universally admitted and had only to be described, the failures are either ignored or denied, and therefore required to be proved. It was thus necessary to give a tolerably full summary of the evidence in every case in which an allegation of failure has been made. The Vaccination question has been discussed at the greatest length for several reasons. It is the only surgical operation that, in our country, has ever been universally enforced by law. It has been recently inquired into by a Royal Commission, whose Majority Report is directly opposed to the real teaching of the official and national statistics presented in the detailed reports. The operation is, admittedly, the cause of many deaths, and of a large but unknown amount of permanent injury; the only really trustworthy statistics on a large scale prove it to be wholly without effect as a preventive of small-pox; many hundreds of persons are annually punished for refusing to have their children vaccinated; and it will undoubtedly rank as the greatest and most pernicious failure of the century. I claim, that the evidence set forth in this chapter, with the diagrams which illustrate it, demonstrate this conclusion. It is no longer a question of opinion, but of science; and I have the most complete confidence that the result I have arrived at is a statistical, and therefore a mathematical certainty.
Of even greater importance, though less special to the century, is the perennial problem of wealth and poverty. In dealing with this question I have adduced a body of evidence showing that, accompanying our enormous increase of wealth, there has been a corresponding increase of poverty, of insanity, of suicide, and probably even of crime, together with other indications of moral and physical deterioration. To the facts I have set forth I earnestly call the attention of all those who have at heart the progress of true civilization and the welfare of humanity.
A. R. W.
Content of The Wonderful Centuryv(for information)
PART I.— SUCCESSES
I. Modes op Travelling
II. Labour-Saving Machinery
III. The Conveyance of Tnouoirr
XIV Fire and Light
V. New Applications of Light: Photography
VI New Applications of Light: Spectrum Analysis
VII. Theoretical Discoveries in Physics
VIII Minor Applications of Physical Principles
IX The Importance of Dust: a Source of Beauty and Essential to Life
X. A Few of the Great Problems of Chemistry
XI. Astronomy and Cosmic Theories
XII. Geology: the Glacial Epoch, and the Antiquity of Man
XIII. Evolution and Natural Selection
XIV. Popular Discoveries in Physiology
XV. Estimate of Achievements: The Nineteenth as Compared with Earlier Centuries
PART II— FAILURES
XVI. The Neglect op Phrenology
XVII. The Opposition to Hypnotism and Psychical Research
XVIII. Vaccination a Delusion—Its Penal Enforcement a Crime
Appendix—The Causes of the Improvement in the Health of London towards the end op the Eighteenth and Beginning of the Nineteenth Centuries.
XIX. Militarism— The Curse of Civilization
XX. The Demon of Greed
Chapter XVIII Vaccination A Delusion—Its Penal Enforcement A Crime
To-day in all its dimpled bloom,
The rosy darling crows with glee;
To-morrow in a darkened room
A pallid, wailing infant see,
“Whose every vein from head to heel
Ferments with poison from my steel.
—A. H. Burnt.
Against the body of a healthy man, Parliament has no right of assault whatever, under pretence of the Public Health; nor any the more against the body of a healthy infant.
—Prof. F. V. Newman.
I—Vaccination and small-pox
Among the greatest self-created scourges of civilized humanity are the group of zymotic diseases, or those which arise from infection, and are believed to be due to the agency of minute organisms which rapidly increase in bodies offering favourable conditions, and often cause death. Such diseases are: plague, small-pox, measles, whooping-cough, yellow fever, typhus and enteric fevers, scarlet fever and diphtheria, and cholera. The conditions which especially favour these diseases are foul air and water, decaying organic matter, overcrowding, and other unwholesome surroundings whence they have been termed “filth diseases.” The most terrible and fatal of these—the plague—prevails only where people live under the very worst sanitary conditions as regards ventilation, water supply, and general cleanliness. Till about 260 years ago it was as common in England as small-pox has been during the present century, but a very partial and limited advance in healthy conditions of life entirely abolished it, its place being to some extent taken by small-pox, cholera, and fevers. The exact mode by which all these diseases spread is not known; cholera, diphtheria, and enteric fever are believed to be communicated through the dejecta from the patient contaminating drinking water. The other diseases are spread either by bodily contact or by transmission of germs through the air; but with all of them there must be conditions favouring their reception and increase. Not only are many persons apparently insusceptible through life to some of these diseases, but all the evidence goes to show that, if the whole population of a country lived under thoroughly healthy conditions as regards pure air, pure water, and wholesome food, none of them could ever obtain a footing, and they would die out as completely as the plague and leprosy have died out, though both were once so prevalent in England.
But during the last century there was no such knowledge, and no general belief in the efficacy of simple, healthy conditions of life as the only effectual safeguard against these diseases. Small-pox, although then, as now, an epidemic disease and of very varying degrees of virulence, was much dreaded, because, owing chiefly to improper treatment, it was often fatal, and still more often produced disfigurement or even blindness. When, therefore, the method of inoculation was introduced from the East in the early part of the eighteenth century, it was quickly welcomed, because a mild form of the disease was produced which rarely caused death or disfigurement, though it was believed to be an effectual protection against taking the disease by ordinary infection. It was, however, soon found that the mild small-pox usually produced by inoculation was quite as infectious as the natural disease, and became quite as fatal to persons who caught it. Towards the end of the last century many medical men became so impressed with its danger that they advocated more attention to sanitation and the isolation of patients, because inoculation, though it may have saved individuals, really increased the total deaths from small-pox.
Under these circumstances we can well understand the favourable reception given to an operation which produced a slight, non-infectious disease, which yet was alleged to protect against small-pox as completely as did the inoculated disease itself. This was Vaccination, which arose from the belief of farmers in Gloucestershire and elsewhere that those who had caught cow-pox from cows were free from small-pox for the rest of their lives. Jenner, in 1798, published his Inquiry, giving an account of the facts which, in his opinion, proved this to be the case. But in the light of our present knowledge we see that they are wholly inconclusive. Six of his patients had had cow-pox when young, and were inoculated with small-pox in the usual way from twenty-one to fifty-three years afterwards, and because they did not take the disease, he concluded that the cow-pox had preserved them. But we know that a considerable proportion of persons in middle age are insusceptible to small-pox infection; besides which, even those who most strongly uphold vaccination now admit that its effects die out entirely in a few years—some say four or five, some ten—so that these people who had had cow-pox so long before were certainly not protected by it from taking small-pox. Several other patients were farriers or stable men who were infected by horse-grease, not by cow-pox, and were also said to be insusceptible to small-pox inoculation, though not so completely as those who had had cow-pox. The remainder of Jenner’s cases were six children, from five to eight years old, who were vaccinated, and then inoculated a few weeks or months afterwards. These cases are fallacious from two causes. In the first place, any remnant of the effects of the vaccination (which were sometimes severe), or the existence of scurvy, then very prevalent, or of any other skin-disease, might prevent the test-inoculation from producing any effect. The other cause of uncertainty arises from the fact that this “variolous test” consisted in inoculating with small-pox virus obtained from the last of a series of successive patients in whom the effect produced was a minimum, consisting of very few pustules, sometimes only one, and a very slight amount of fever. The results of this test, whether on a person who had had cow-pox or who had not had it, was usually so slight that it could easily be described by a believer in the influence of the one disease on the other as having “no effect”; and Dr. Creighton declares, after a study of the whole literature of the subject, that the description of the results of the test is almost always loose and general, and that in the few cases where more detail is given the symptoms described are almost the same in the vaccinated as in the unvaccinated. Again, no careful tests were ever made by inoculating at the same time, and in exactly the same way, two groups of persons of similar age, constitution, and health, the one group having been vaccinated the other not, and none of them having had small-pox, and then having the resulting effects carefully described and compared by independent experts. Such “control” experiments would now be required in any case of such importance as this; but it was never done in the early days of vaccination, and it appears never to have been done to this day. The alleged “test” was, it is true, applied in a great number of cases by the early observers, especially by Dr. Woodville, physician to a small-pox hospital; but Dr. Creighton shows reason for believing that the lymph he used was contaminated with small-pox, and that the supposed vaccinations were really inoculations. This lymph was widely spread all over the country, and was supplied to Jenner himself, and we thus have explained the effect of the “vaccination” in preventing the subsequent “inoculation” from producing much effect, since both were really mild forms of small-pox inoculation. This matter is fully explained by Dr. Creighton in his evidence before the Royal Commission, printed in the Second Report. Professor E. M. Crookshank, who has made a special study of cow-pox and other animal diseases and their relation to human small-pox, gives important confirmatory evidence, to be found in the Fourth Report.
This brief statement of the early history of vaccination has been introduced here in order to give what seems to be a probable explanation of the remarkable fact, that a large portion of the medical profession accepted, as proved, that vaccination protected against a subsequent inoculation of small-pox, when in reality there was no such proof, as the subsequent history of small-pox epidemics has shown. The medical and other members of the Royal Commission could not realize the possibility of such a failure to get at the truth. Again and again they asked the witnesses above referred to to explain how it was possible that so many educated specialists could be thus deceived. They overlooked the fact that a century ago was, as regards the majority of the medical profession, a pre-scientific age; and nothing proves this more clearly than the absence of any systematic “control” experiments, and the extreme haste with which some of the heads of the profession expressed their belief in the lifelong protection against small-pox afforded by vaccination, only four years after the discovery had been first announced. This testimony caused Parliament to vote Jenner £10,000 in 1802.
Ample proof now exists of the fallacy of this belief, since vaccination gives no protection (except perhaps for a month or two) as will be shown later on. But there was also no lack of proof in the first ten years of the century; and had it not been for the unscientific haste of the medical witnesses to declare that vaccination protected against small-pox during a whole lifetime—a fact of which they had not and could not possibly have any evidence—this proof of failure would have convinced them and have prevented what is really one of the scandals of the nineteenth century. These early proofs of failure will be now briefly indicated.
Only six years after the announcement of vaccination, in 1804, Dr. B. Moseley, Physician to Chelsea Hospital, published a small book on the cow-pox, containing many cases of persons who had been properly vaccinated and had afterwards had small-pox; and other cases of severe illness, injury, and even death resulting from vaccination; and these failures were admitted by the Royal Jennerian Society in their Report in 1806. Dr. William Rowley, Physician to the St. Marylebone Infirmary, in a work on “Cow-pox Inoculation” in 1805, which reached a third edition in 1806, gave particulars of 504 cases of small-pox and injury after vaccination, with seventy-five deaths. He says to his brother medical men: “Come and see. I have lately had some of the worst species of malignant small-pox in the Marylebone Infirmary, which many of the faculty have examined and know to have been vaccinated.” For two days he had an exhibition in his Lecture Room of a number of children suffering from terrible eruptions and other diseases after vaccination.
Dr. Squirrel, formerly Resident Apothecary to the Small-pox and Inoculation Hospital, also published in 1805 numerous cases of small-pox, injuries, and death after vaccination.
John Birch, a London surgeon, at first adopted vaccination and corresponded with Jenner, but soon, finding that it did not protect from small-pox and that it also produced serious and sometimes fatal diseases, he became one of its strongest opponents, and published many letters and pamphlets against it up to the time of his death in 1815.
Mr. William Goldson, a surgeon at Portsea, published a pamphlet in 1804, giving many cases in his own experience of small-pox following vaccination. “What made his testimony more important was that he was a believer in vaccination, and sent accounts of some of his cases to Jenner so early as 1802, but no notice was taken of them.
Mr. Thomas Brown, a surgeon of Musselburgh, published in 1809 a volume giving his experiences of the results of vaccination. He had at first accepted and practised it. He also applied the “variolous test” with apparent success, and thereafter went on vaccinating in full confidence that it was protective against small-pox, till 1808, when, during an epidemic, many of his patients caught the disease from two to eight years after vaccination. He gives the details of forty-eight cases, all within his own personal knowledge, and he says he knew of many others. He then again tried the “variolous test,” and found twelve cases in which it entirely failed, the result being exactly as with those who were inoculated without previous vaccination. These cases, with extracts from Brown’s work, were brought before the Royal Commission by Professor Crookshank. (See 4th Report, Q. 11,852.)
Again, Mr. “William Tebb brought before the Commission a paper by Dr. Maclean, in the Medical Observer of 1810, giving 535 cases of small-pox after vaccination, of which 97 were fatal. He also gave 150 cases of diseases from cow-pox, with the names of ten medical men, including two Professors of Anatomy, who had suffered in their own families from vaccination. The following striking passage is quoted:—”Doctrine.—Vaccination or Cow-pox inoculation is a perfect preventive of small-pox during life. (Jenner, etc.) Refutation.—535 cases of small-pox after cow-pox. Doctrine.—Cow-pox renders small-pox milder. It is never fatal. Refutation.—97 deaths from small-pox after cow-pox and from cow-pox diseases.”
The cases here referred to, of failure of vaccination to protect even for a few years, are probably only a small fraction of those that occurred, since only in exceptional cases would a doctor be able to keep his patients in view, and only one doctor here and there would publish his observations. The controversy was carried on with unusual virulence, hence perhaps the reason why the public paid so little attention to it. But unfortunately both the heads of the medical profession and the legislature had committed themselves by recognising the full claims of Jenner at too early a date and in a manner that admitted of no recall. In 1812, as already stated, the House of Commons, on the Report of its Committee, and the evidence of the leading physicians and surgeons of London—a large number of whom declared their belief that cow-pox was a perfect security against small-pox—voted Jenner £10,000. When therefore the flood of evidence poured in, showing that it did not protect, it was already too late to remedy the mischief that had been done, since the profession would not so soon acknowledge its mistake, nor would the legislature admit having hastily voted away the public money without adequate reason. The vaccinators went on vaccinating, the House of Commons gave Jenner £20,000 more in 1807, endowed vaccination with £3,000 a year in 1808, and after providing for free vaccination in 1840, made the operation compulsory in 1853 by a fine, and ordered the Guardians to prosecute in 1867.
Vaccination and the Medical Profession
Before proceeding to adduce the conclusive evidence that now exists of the failure of vaccination, a few preliminary misconceptions must be dealt with. One of these is that, as vaccination is a surgical operation to guard against a special disease, medical men can alone judge of its value. But the fact is the very reverse, for several reasons. In the first place, they are interested parties, not merely in a pecuniary sense, but as affecting the prestige of the whole profession. In no other case should we allow interested persons to decide an important matter. Whether iron ships are safer than wooden ones is not decided by ironmasters or by shipbuilders, but by the experience of sailors and by the statistics of loss. In the administration of medicine or any other remedy for a disease, the conditions are different. The doctor applies the remedy and watches the result, and if he has a large practice he thereby obtains knowledge and experience which no other persons possess. But in the case of vaccination, and especially in the case of public vaccinators, the doctor does not see the result except by accident. Those who get small-pox go to the hospitals, or are treated by other medical men, or may have left the district; and the relation between the vaccination and the attack of small-pox can only be discovered by the accurate registration of all the cases and deaths, with the facts as to vaccination or revaccination. When these facts are accurately registered, to determine what they teach is not the business of a doctor but of a statistician, and there is much evidence to show that doctors are bad statisticians, and have a special faculty for misstating figures. This allegation is so grave and so fundamental to the question at issue, that a few facts must be given in support of it.
The National Vaccine Establishment, supported by Government grants, issued periodical Reports, which were printed by order of the House of Commons; and in successive years we find the following statements:
In 1812, and again in 1818, it is stated that “previous to the discovery of vaccination the average number of deaths by small-pox within the (London) Bills of Mortality was 2,000 annually; whereas in the last year only 751 persons have died of the disease, although the increase of population within the last, ten years has been 133,139.”
The number 2,000 is about the average small-pox deaths of the whole eighteenth century, but those of the last two decades before the publication of Jenner’s Inquiry, were 1,751 and 1,786, showing a decided fall. This, however, may pass. But when we come to the Report for 1826 we find the following: “But when we reflect that before the introduction of vaccination the average number of deaths from small-pox within the Bills of Mortality was annually about 4,000, no stronger argument can reasonably be demanded in favour of the value of this important discovery.”
This monstrous figure was repeated in 1834, apparently quite forgetting the correct figure for the whole century given in 1818, and also the fact that the small-pox deaths recorded in the London Bills of Mortality in any year of the century never reached 4,000. But worse is to come; for in 1836 we have the following statement: “The annual loss of life by small-pox in the Metropolis, and within the Bills of Mortality only, before vaccination was established, exceeded 5,000, whereas in the course of last year only 300 died of the distemper.” And in the Report for 1838 this gross error is repeated; while in the next year (1839) the conclusion is drawn “that 4,000 lives are saved every year in London since vaccination so largely superseded variolation.”
The Board of the National Vaccine Establishment consisted of the President and four Censors of the Royal College of Physicians, and the Master and two senior “Wardens of the College of Surgeons. “We cannot possibly suppose that they knew or believed that they were publishing untruths and grossly deceiving the public. We must, therefore, fall back upon the supposition that they were careless to such an extent as not to find out that they were authorizing successive statements of the same quantity, as inconsistent with each other as 2,000 and 5,000.
The next example is given by Dr. Lettsom, who, in his evidence before the Parliamentary Committee in 1802, calculated the small-pox deaths of Great Britain and Ireland before vaccination at 36,000 annually; by taking 3,000 as the annual mortality in London and multiplying by twelve, because the population was estimated to be twelve times as large. He first takes a number which is much too high, and then assumes that the mortality in the town, village, and country populations was the same as in overcrowded, filthy London! Small-pox was always present in London, while Sir Gilbert Blane tells us that in many parts of the country it was quite unknown for periods of twenty, thirty, or forty years. In 1782 Mr. Connah, a surgeon at Seaford, in Sussex, only knew of one small-pox death in eleven years among a population of 700. Cross, the historian of the Norwich epidemic in 1819, states that previous to 1805 small-pox was little known in this city of 40,000 inhabitants, and was for a time almost extinct; and yet this gross error, of computing the small-pox mortality of the whole country from that of London (and computing it from wrong data) was not only accepted at the time, but has been repeated again and again down to the present day as an ascertained fact!
In a speech in Parliament in defence of vaccination, Sir Lyon Play fair gave 4,000 per million as the average London death-rate by small-pox before vaccination—a number nearly double that of the last twenty years of the century, which alone affords a fair comparison. But far more amazing is the statement by the late Dr. W. B. Carpenter, in a letter to the Spectator of April, 1881, that “a hundred years ago the small-pox mortality of London alone, with its then population of under a million, was often greater in a six months’ epidemic than that of the twenty millions of England and Wales now is in any whole year.” The facts, well known to every enquirer, are,—that the very highest small-pox mortality in the last century in a year was 3,992 in 1772, while in 1871 it was 7,912 in London, or more than double; and in the same year, in England and “Wales, it was 23,000, This amazing and almost incredible misstatement was pointed out and acknowledged privately, but never withdrawn publicly!
The late Mr. Ernest Hart, a medical man, editor of the British Medical Journal, and a great authority on sanitation, in his work entitled The Truth about Vaccination, surpassed even Dr. Carpenter in the monstrosity of his errors. At page 35 of the first edition (1880), he stated that in the forty years 1728-57 and 1771-80, the average annual small-pox mortality of London was about 18,000 per million living. The actual average mortality, from the tables given in the Second Report of the Royal Commission, page 290, was a little over 2,000, the worst periods having been chosen; and taking the lowest estimates of the population at the time, the mortality per million would have been under 3,000. This great authority, therefore, has multiplied the real number by six! In a later edition this statement is omitted; but in the first edition it was no mere misprint, for it was triumphantly dwelt upon over a whole page and compared with modern rates of mortality.
Yet one more official misstatement. About the year 1884 the National Health Society, with the approval of the Local Government Board, issued a tract entitled Facts concerning Vaccination for Heads of Families, in which appeared the statement, “Before the introduction of vaccination, small-pox killed 40,000 persons yearly in this country.” “We have already shown that Dr. Lettsom’s figure, 36,000, was utterly unfounded, and probably three or four times greater than the truth. Here we have a semi-official and widely-distributed statement even more remote from the truth. In later issues of the same tract this particular statement is withdrawn, and a different but equally erroneous one substituted. Thus: “Before its discovery (vaccination) the mortality from small-pox in London was forty times greater than it is now.” This is an altogether vague and misleading statement. If it means that in some years of the last century it was forty times greater than in some years of this century, it is misleading, because even within the last thirty years some years have a mortality not only forty but eighty and even 200 times as great as others. (In 1875 there were ten deaths per million, while in 1871 there were 2,420 deaths per million.) If it means on an average of say twenty years, it is false. For the twenty years 1869-98 the mortality was about 300 per million, while for the last twenty years before the discovery of vaccination it was about 2,000 per million, or less than seven times as much instead of forty times!
This same tract is full of other equally gross misstatements. It tells us, in large, black type, “With due care in the performance of the operation, no risk of any injurious effects from it need be feared.” The Registrar-General himself shows us that this is false, in his Report for 1895, Table 17, p. lii.:
Cow-pox and other effects of Vaccination
An average of 52 children officially murdered every year, and officially acknowledged, is termed “alleged injury,” which need not be feared! And these cruel falsehoods are spread broadcast over the country, and the tract bears upon its title-page—”Revised by the Local Government Board, and issued with their sanction.”
As the tract bears no date, I cannot tell whether it is still issued; but it was in circulation up to the time when the Commission was sitting, and it is simply disgraceful that a Government Department should ever have given its official sanction to such a tissue of misrepresentations and palpable false statements. For these 785 deaths in fifteen years, and 390 in the preceding twenty-two years (classed as from crysipelas after vaccination), no one has been punished, and no compensation or even official apology has been given to the thousand sorrowing families. And we may be sure that these acknowledged deaths are only a small portion of what have really occurred, since the numbers have increased considerably in the later period, during which more attention has been given to such deaths and more inquests held. It is certain that for every such death acknowledged by the medical man concerned, many are concealed under the easy method of stating some of the later symptoms as the cause of death. Thus, Mr. Henry May, Medical Officer of Health, candidly states as follows: “In certificates given by us voluntarily, and to which the public have access, it is scarcely to be expected that a medical man will give opinions which may tell against or reflect upon himself in any way. In such cases he will most likely tell the truth, but not the whole truth, and assign some prominent symptom of the disease as the cause of death. As instances of cases which may tell against the medical man himself, I will mention erysipelas from vaccination, and puerperal fever. A death from the first cause occurred not long ago in my practice; and although I had not vaccinated the child, yet, in my desire to preserve vaccination from reproach, I omitted all mention of it from my certificate of death.” (See Birmingham Medical Review, Vol III. pp. 34, 3B.) That such suppressio veri is no new thing, but has been going on during the whole period of vaccination, is rendered probable by a statement in the Medical Observer of 1810, by Dr. Maclean. He says: “Very few deaths from cow-pox appear in the Bills of Mortality, owing to the means which have been used to suppress a knowledge of them. Neither were deaths, diseases, and failures transmitted in great abundance from the country, not because they did not happen, but because some practitioners were interested in not seeing them, and others who did see them were afraid of announcing what they knew.”
As an example of the number of cases occurring all over the country, Mr. Charles Fox, a medical man residing at Cardiff, has published fifty-six cases of illness following vaccination, of which seventeen resulted in death (E. “W. Allen, 1800). In only two of these, where he himself gave the certificate, was vaccination mentioned. All of these cases were examined by himself personally. Among those who survived, several were permanently injured in health, and some were crippled for life; while in most of such cases the inflammation and eruptions are so painful, and the sufferings of the children so great and so prolonged, that the mother endures continuous mental torture, lasting for weeks, months, or even years. And if one medical man can record such a mass of injury and disease in which vaccination was the palpable starting-point and certainly a contributory cause, what must he the total mass of unrecorded suffering throughout the whole country? Considering this and other evidence, together with the admitted and very natural concealment by the doctors concerned, “to save vaccination from reproach,” the estimate of Mr. Alfred Milnes, a statistician who has paid special attention to the subject, that the officially admitted deaths must be at least multiplied by twelve to obtain the real deaths from vaccination, we shall arrive at the terrible number of over 600 children and adults killed annually by this compulsory operation; while, judging from the proportion of permanent injury, twenty-eight in Mr. Fox’s fifty-six cases, with seventeen deaths, about 1,000 persons annually must suffer from it throughout their lives! As confirmatory of even this large amount, the testimony of Mr. Davidson, Medical Officer of Health for Congleton, and formerly a Public Vaccinator, is important. He began an inquiry into the alleged injurious effects of vaccination, without believing that they were serious. The outcome of his investigation was startling to him. In his Annual Report for 1893, he says: “In the investigation of a single vaccination period, the fact was revealed that in quite fifty per cent, of all vaccinated in that period (about seventy), the results were abnormal, and, in a large number of these very grave injuries had been inflicted. That the results of the practice are the same elsewhere as in Congleton I have no reason to doubt, for judging from what I have seen of his method of vaccinating, our Public Vaccinator is as careful as it seems possible for a Public Vaccinator to be,”
This evidence of Mr. Davidson is especially important, because it reveals the fact that, as I stated some pages back, neither Public Vaccinators nor ordinary medical men usually know anything of the injurious effects of vaccination, except in such individual cases as may occur in their practice, while all around them there may be a mass of evil results which, when systematically investigated, proves as unexpected as it is startling in its amount.
This brief exposition of medical and official misstatements of facts and figures, always in favour of vaccination, might have been largely increased; but it is already sufficient to demonstrate the position I take, which is, that in this matter of Official and Compulsory Vaccination, both doctors and Government officials, however highly placed, however eminent, however honourable, are yet utterly untrustworthy. Beginning in the early years of the century, and continuing to our own times, we find the most gross and palpable blunders in figures— but always on the side of vaccination—and, on the testimony of medical men themselves, a more or less continuous perversion of the official records of vaccinal injury “in order to save vaccination from reproach.” Let this always be remembered in any discussion of the question. The facts and figures of the medical profession, and of Government officials, in regard to the question of vaccination, must never be accepted without verification. And when we consider that these misstatements, and concealments, and denials of injury, have been going on throughout the whole of the century; that penal legislation has been founded on them; that homes of the poor have been broken up; that thousands have been harried by police and magistrates, have been imprisoned and treated in every way as felons; and that, at the rate now officially admitted, a thousand children have been certainly killed by vaccination during the last twenty years, and an unknown but probably much larger number injured for life, we are driven to the conclusion that those responsible for these reckless misstatements and their terrible results have, thoughtlessly and ignorantly, but none the less certainly, been guilty of a crime against liberty, against health, and against humanity, which will, before many years have passed, be universally hold to be one of the foulest blots on the civilization of the nineteenth century.
II—Much of the Evidence for Vaccination is Worthless
“We will now proceed to discuss the alleged value of vaccination, by means of the best and widest statistical evidence at our command; and in doing so we shall be able to show that the medical experts, who have been trusted by the Government and by the general public, are no less deficient in their power of drawing accurate conclusions from the official statistics of vaccination and small-pox mortality than they have been shown to be in their capacity for recording facts and quoting figures with precision and correctness.
… To be continued …
Preface to Essay titled
Vaccination a Delusion
Its penal Enforcement a Crime:
Proved by the official evidence in the reports of the
published same year:
This Essay has been written for the purpose of influencing Parliament, and securing the speedy abolition of the unjust, cruel, and pernicious Vaccination laws. For this purpose it has been necessary to speak plainly of the ignorance and incompetence displayed by the Royal Commission, proofs of which I give from their “Final Report” and the evidence they have collected and printed.
I most solemnly urge upon our Legislators that this is a question not only of the liberties of Englishmen, but one affecting the lives of their children, and the health of the whole community; and that they will be individually responsible if they do not inquire into this matter for themselves— not accept the statements or opinions of others.
In order that they may do this with a minimum expenditure of time and labour, I have put before them the essential facts in almost every case taken from the Reports of the Royal Commission or of the Registrar-General, and with references to page, question, or paragraph, so that they can themselves verify every statement I make. I thus abundantly prove, first, that in all previous legislation they have been misled by facts and figures that are untrue and by promises that have been all unfulfilled; and that similar misstatements have characterised the whole official advocacy of Vaccination from the time of Jenner down to this day. I claim, therefore, that all official statements as to Vaccination are untrustworthy.
I then show that all the statistics of small-pox mortality, whether of London; of England, Scotland, and Ireland; of the best vaccinated Continental States; of unvaccinated Leicester; or of the revaccinated Army and Navy, without any exception, prove the absolute inutility of Vaccination; and I feel confident that every unprejudiced person who will carefully read these few pages, and will verify such of my statements as seem to them most incredible, will be compelled to come to the same conclusion.
I appeal from the medical and official apologists of Vaccination to the intelligence and common sense of my fellow-countrymen, and I urge them to insist upon the immediate abolition of all legislation en-forcing or supporting this useless and dangerous operation.