erson a long time to grasp this theory. Some may even look upon it with a certain amount of derision, some may even think it humorous, but if you will study the subject carefully, study your own body, and do not have too much faith in authorities, depend upon your own mind, you will be compelled to admit the accuracy of these conclusions and when you accept them in their entirety you will have to discard drugs forever. And if these theories are accurate the methods that are being used in all civilized countries in the treatment of disease are actually terrifying. If these theories are true, then millions of human beings have gone to their graves who might just as well be here with us tonight.

The principal reasons for keeping these theories in the background, is because there is but little financial reward to those who advise them. the ordinary medical practitioner who is broad minded enough to use them in his practice, frequently loses his patients. He sometimes loses most of is practice, for his patients are cure too quickly and the time soon coms when they no longer need him. He is not able to keep a patient very long. There is no need of prolonging sickness when these theories are followed. The methods of recovery are entirely too simple to be financially profitable. Take our own institution here, for instance. When a patient comes here and grasps our theories in all their wondrous simplicity (and this is not difficult for we do not try to make them mysterious, we want every patient to understand them), when a patient comes here and possesses himself of the theories we teach, if he is attacked by a complaint of any kind after his return home, he knows how to cure himself. There is no need of coming here every few months to recuperate. A visit to this institution is an education. To most people, in fact, it is a revelation. It gives them different views of life. It teaches them great truths that are worth more than mere money.

There is a vast deal of humbug everywhere in what is often termed science. If a man wants to bamboozle the public, he usually sets froth his theories in intricate statements that he does not understand himself, and nobody else can understand. The average individual noting their intricate character immediately concludes that a man must, indeed, be wonderful to comprehend such deep problems.

Showing the nature of disease, I remember some time ago hearing of a consumptive patient who acquired smallpox. I am of the opinion that it would have been difficult for him to have acquired smallpox if his former disease had been very far advanced. You all know the nature of smallpox. In serious cases it “breaks out” in sores all over the body, which eliminate pus, and when cases are very bad or poorly treated, the disease leaves deep scars all over the body. Now the smallpox in the instance referred to, cured the consumptive patient. In accordance with medical theories, a result of this kind is almost unbelievable; but the explanation of the cure in this case is simple. Impurities that were being eliminated through the lungs in the form of pus, which is quite usual in consumptive cases, were diverted to the surface and eliminated through the running sores which are one of the symptoms of smallpox, and when her recovered from smallpox, his body had been so purified that there was nothing left of his consumption.

Illustrating how the impurities of the body may be diverted from one source of elimination to another, there is a physician of considerable reputation who treats consumptive patients by simply blistering the chest. This blistering process brings about an inflammation on the outside surface of the chest and the impurities or poisons that have been thrown out through the lungs are diverted to the surface for elimination. This theory also proves that disease is nothing more than poisons in the blood, and when poisons are thrown out, the disease is cured. There is but little difference whether disease is acute or chronic in form. The chronic disease is in nearly every case an acute disease that has been made chronic. When you are attacked by the symptoms of an acute disease, and you ignore the causes by taking some drug to divert the symptoms, and if a process of this kind is continued year after year, you are absolutely certain to acquire in the end a chronic disease. To be sure, this chronic disease may be entirely different in character to the acute disease, but nevertheless it has resulted from your habit of preventing the body from curing itself through the aid of the various attacks of the acute disease from which you previously suffered. For you must remember that an acute disease is merely an attempt of the body to cure itself. Drugs are to blame for nearly every chronic disease.

The statement has been made very often that we are a race of semi-invalids, and there is much truth in the charge, but I believe in health of the right kind. Health that is exhilarating, that thrills one with surplus power, that makes one feel that life is something more than the dull, monotonous existence with which most persons seems satisfied. The average individual merely exists. He does not live in every sense of the word, and when the question is propounded, “Is life worth living?” many have good reason for hesitating before making a reply. If you are living in every sense of the word, if you know the meaning of health and strength of the highest degree, if you have been fully, completely developed, you are at times thrilled with the pleasure of mere living. Living then, to you, is beautiful, you are full of strength, you have a surplus supply of vim and energy. You are in complete possession of superior manhood or womanhood. When you possess such a power, an irresistible force presses you onward. Your pleasures come from activity. You are active because you love it. You work because you find pleasure in it, and when you fully accept these theories of life, when you learn the cause of disease, you are filled with self-confidence. There is no need to worry, no mater what disease may attack you. You can be self-composed, you can say to yourself, “I fear no disease, for I am so strong that I cannot be attacked by disease.” When you possess superb health, when your blood contains the elements that maintain the highest degree of physical vigor, disease germs are harmless. You might say that they would be devoured or eliminated from the body as easily as water runs off a duck’s back.

Then there is a theory that we have within ourselves the protective germs, and when we are filled with life and health of the highest degree these germs are always fighting for our good, and when they come in contact with the germs of disease, a fearful battle ensues within us. Imagine, if you can, a battle between the germs of health and disease, that some say is going on all the time within us, and if this theory is true, then all we have to do is to maintain that state of vigor which is essential to ensure that strength to the germs of health which will make them victorious and all their battles. There may be a great deal of “guesswork” in these theories, but there is no guessing in the theories of disease that I have propounded. I have proven their accuracy over and over again, thousands of times, and I have in my files thousands of letters that furnish additional proof. The editing of a magazine such as I publish, is a liberal education, and when I receive letters from all over the world, from persons who have experimented with these theories, and when they say, “I have suffered from this and that disease, and I’ve tried every method known to medical science and have failed to secure results, and after trying your simple suggestions I have been able to secure that health and strength that has been denied me for many years,” then there is no question as to the accuracy of one’s conclusions. They have been tried over and over again thousands of times, they have brought results where every known means advocated by the medical fraternity have failed; they are simple, they bring certain results in practically every instance, and it is a case of believing what you see with your own eyes.

Nearly twenty years have elapsed since I first had occasion to try out these fundamental principles. At that time I was considerable of an athlete; I was indulging in all sorts of athletic contests, and though I have been in the habit of eating but two meals a day for nearly twenty-five years, for a while at that period, I had been eating three meals a day, and I follow this habit because I am healthier and stronger on two meals a day than on three. In fact, I might say for the last month I have only eaten one meal daily, and my health and endurance have increased because of the change from two to one meal a day. Going back, however, to the particular occasion to which I refer, I would say that at that time I contracted a cold. I tried to cure it by increasing my exercise. I ran a number of miles and worked in the gymnasium to induce profuse perspiration. I thought I could eliminate the cold in this manner, but it was apparently too deep seated. I gradually grew worse, and I soon noted various symptoms of pneumonia, the knife-like pain in chest, etc., etc. The problem as to the means of cure finally became acute. Though I had never tried fasting before, I concluded to stop eating. I decided that the impurities were being fed by the food that I put into my stomach. In two days I noticed a difference, a slight change for the better, and I was practically cured in four or five days.

Now suppose I had gone to a medical practitioner and described my symptoms, what would have been the result? He would have said, “You go to bed at once! Why you are seriously sick!” I would have followed his advice, I would have been housed up in a room with closed windows for fear of a draft, I might have been fed on milk and whiskey and a lot of other “stuff,” and if I had followed methods of that kind, I would not be here. I am positive of this conclusion because many years ago I had all the symptoms of incipient consumption, and after building the vigorous health that I now enjoy, I became an enthusiast, a crank, as many might call me. When I first began to search for a cure, I tried everything, all kinds of drugs and dopes. I grew worse, slowly but surely, and as a last resort became interested in exercise, nothing but exercise, and as I was simply dying for the need of some activity of this kind, I recovered. I built myself into a strong man, and the more strength I acquired, the more enthusiastic I grew, the more thoroughly I became convinced that drugs were needless, that the pretensions as to their being able to cure disease were the grossest sort of humbug. You may say that I am a little bit prejudiced, and perhaps I am; but if you had been compelled, as I have been, day after day for many years, to read letters from thousands of victims of drugs, you might be prejudiced against the drugging methods. I believe every man and every woman is entitled to superb health. If you have enough vitality to live, you have enough strength to be healthy. Life, if it is worth living at all, is worth living in its highest, noblest sense. If you cannot be a man or a woman in every way, you might just as well get “off the earth.” Take advantage of every opportunity to develop your body, make yourself strong and capable. Do not let those around you dictate to you. This subject, my friends, is inexhaustible. One could lecture night after night for months, and not begin to give all the details that ought to be known by every individual. Every person should study these vastly important questions for himself. Do not depend on others. Remember you are gifted with the God-given power of reasoning. Use it! Stop allowing others to dictate to you. Don’t allow others to domineer over you. When anyone gives you advice, tell him that you are from Missouri, and you want him to show you, and if you go on striving and struggling for these magnificent rewards, you are sure in the end to reap a harvest that will be satisfactory in every way.

Bernarr Macfadden