Chapter 8 — Case histories I've observed
Over the past 12 years, I've had the opportunity to witness countless cases of recovery from disease, in my repeated sojourns to Pawling Manor and in my travel in the United States and Canada. The healing power of the body is so remarkable that if I had not actually seen
some of these recoveries, I probably would not have believed it. I could write a book on case histories, but there are some being written now and I only want to present a few cases that stand out in my mind as most dramatic sc you can appreciate the body's tremendous potential and ability to achieve normalcy.
My first roommate at Pawling Manor in 1964 was a gentleman (let's call him L. P.) of 68 years of age. He had come there a chronically ill man who had been through the usual medical treatments. He was obese, had an enlarged prostate, and Bright's disease (a kidney) disease in which there is high blood pressure plus albumin in the urine). He fasted 52 days (just drank water),during which time his weight came down, his blood pressure lowered, his prostate problem cleared, and he was able to urinate normally and without albumin. He felt marvelous and looked younger than his age at the termination of the fast. I remember near the termination of his fast that he began throwing up bile. It was black bile. This was a crisis (as I explained back in the ninth day of my fast) that sometimes occurs during a fast and it was allowing the body to eliminate some of its deep-seated "junk" of many years accumulation. When the vomiting phase passed, there was marked improvement. To show me how much weight he lost, L. P. put his entire body into one pant leg of his trousers. After a number of weeks on the vegetarian diet, L. P. went home a happy man.
Shortly after L. P. went home, I acquired another roommate. He was a young man who was virtually blind in one eye and was partially blind but rapidly losing the sight in the other eye. Doctors didn't know why this was happening or how to stop it, so J. G. had nothing to lose by trying a fast. He fasted three weeks and was put on a completely raw vegetarian diet. The blind eye did not respond, but the other eye improved just enough so he could read, which he could not do previously. His body was only able to repair that which was not irreversible, which wasn't too much, but at least there was some improvement and J. G. left there with a way of life that would allow him to improve his general health and that of his family.
There's an elderly man I've met several times at Pawling. He is in fine health and has no problems, but he comes up every year for several weeks. He fasts one week and eats a strict vegetarian diet the next week. This is M. F.'s insurance premium he pays to stay in good health. It recharges his battery, so to speak.
J. D. is a young man I met my first and second year at the Manor. The first time he was there because of a nephritis (kidney disease) and kidney stones. He refused medical treatment because surgery was recommended and he did not want to be cut open and all that goes with it. He fasted about 40 days and during the last few days he was urinating into filter paper. His body had broken down the stones and they were passing as gravel into the filter paper and they could be seen. The nephritis cleared and after three weeks on a strict vegetarian diet of mostly raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts, he went home. I saw him again the following year. He said-he had no more problems with the kidney, but now he had some large varicose veins and a large clot at the inner side of the knee where the great saphenous vein makes its turn. You see, J. D. was a carpenter who squatted most of the day and the constant pressure caused the vein problem. He fasted three weeks, during which time I watched and palpated the veins and clot. The varicose veins gradually returned to normal and the clot disappeared; however, we must remember two things. First is that if J. D. returns to squatting again, then the same causative factors are operating again, and second, he responded well because the valves in the veins were competent. If the valves were incompetent and of no use, then the results would not have been good.
J. DA wife had a most dramatic experience several years previously. She was diagnosed as having a fibroid tumor of the uterus and was advised to have a hysterectomy. She refused surgery because she wanted to keep her organs intact, if possible. Her fast was about 30 days' duration. She later returned to her gynecologist; who, after a pelvic examination, saw no evidence of the fibroid tumor and was frankly amazed.
Another of my roommates was a man who was seventyish, had high blood pressure, and was obese. J. S. also had arthritis (generalized) and a locked hip joint. His pain was almost constant, particularly in the joints of his hands, and he had lived for years on large daily doses of Bufferin. J. S. had been fasting four or five days when one morning I was startled out of a sound sleep by his yelling. After the cobwebs cleared from my head, I asked what was wrong and he said he was fine. It was just that he was so elated because this was the first time in years that he had not taken Bufferin for so long and not had pain. In fact, he quickly flexed and extended his wrists and fingers to demonstrate the freedom of motion, which had not been present for a long time. J. S. fasted four weeks and followed a very careful, basically raw, vegetarian diet. His weight and blood pressure came down, his generalized joint pain subsided and his joints were able to function more freely. His locked hip joint remained locked, but he had just a little more motion in it, which made it easier for him to ambulate. His hip was also free of pain. The reason it remained locked is that there is a certain amount of irreversibility. Once a joint has eroded, there's not much chance for a return to normal.
I've seen people who wanted to give up smoking, but all attempts failed. After about a ten day to two week fast, the habit was broken. When they tried to smoke, they became nauseated and ill. Some became violently sick. Through the fast, their bodies had become clean and it didn't take much internal pollution to cause these reactions. There is one important fact: You must sincerely and without a doubt want to quit smoking.
The fast, followed by a natural hygienic way of living, will give the body the best chance for survival. This applies to everyone who says goodbye to their former living habits, particularly the "fatties"-the obese. They probably have more chronic illness, more debilitating and degenerative diseases, more liver, kidney, diabetic, stroke and heart problems, etc., than anyone else. This does not preclude a shorter life span. The obese probably benefit more than anyone from the Natural Hygiene way of life. The weight will stay down, the blood pressure will stay down, the organs are given a chance to improve, and general health will markedly improve, giving the body the only real and sound chance for an increased life span free of disease.
Mrs. E. B. suffered for years with ileitis (similar to colitis but involving the lower end of the small intestine). It was quite debilitating and made life quite miserable since it necessitated her always being near a lavatory. She was weak, generally run-down, and didn't have that "spark." She spent most of her time at home. Eventually, part of the small intestine closed off (obstruction), which was not only extremely painful but a threat to life. Surgery was performed on E. B., consisting of the cutting out of one and one-half feet of intestine and joining the cut ends with the same length of plastic tubing. Actually, the problem was not corrected because only the end result of a pathological process was removed. Cause was not removed, nor were any requisites of life supplied. So is it any wonder that several years later another obstruction occurred and surgical removal of another section of intestine was advised. By this time E. B. was aware of Natural Hygiene and decided to get involved. She went to a hygienic institution and fasted for four weeks. During the fast, improvement was evident. The discomfort and the obstruction disappeared. She was guided very carefully onto a vegetarian diet. Subsequent long and short fasts have been taken each year, elevating her to higher levels of health to the point where she enjoys life again and looks forward to going out and socializing. She is eating foods her doctors said she could not handle, but are the doctors interested in her case? Are they curious about her progress? No! The severe diarrhea eventually eased and bowel action improved toward normalcy, although because of severe damage in the intestine from years of abuse under medical care and because of the length of plastic tubing that substitutes for part of the intestine, there are periodic ups and downs. But these little annoyances are trivial compared to the new lease on life achieved.
I've seen cases of so-called allergy disappear after a fast and in many cases after only a change in diet with the observance of proper combining of foods (which will be explained and clarified later). People who were supposed to be allergic to tomatoes or strawberries, pollen, wool, dust, animal danders, etc., have become free of these so-called sensitivities, which means merely that their bodies are functioning at an optimum level of health. I recall two women. One was "allergic" to tomatoes and the other was allergic to rabbit fur. Now I doubt if this will make world-shattering history, but after fasting and being put on the proper diet of natural foods, the one woman ate several tomatoes with no ill effects and the other woman had a hat made of rabbit fur and suffered no ill effects.
Asthma is another problem, which responds almost dramatically to a fast and to a vegetarian diet. Many asthmatics experience crises during the fast, such as varying degrees of asthmatic attacks, but when they understand that they are temporary they are not as frightened as they might have been. These crises readily pass and then the individual finds it difficult to believe the new freedom with which he can breathe. Once the body eliminates its internal toxic load and becomes clean via the fast, then it's all downhill. Some people, for one reason or another, can't or don't want to fast and they watch their diet, food combinations, emotions, etc. They also obtain a nice response, but it is usually slower than if they-had fasted. Of course, there are many other factors in allergy and asthma, not the least of which are the intake of such things as coffee, chocolate, white flour and white sugar products, denatured-processed-preservedand-embalmed foods, meat, milk, drugs and medicines, wheat, eggs, food additives . . . the list is an endless array of most of the constitutents of conventional or "normal" living.
I have seen cases of diabetes and its antithesis, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), both benefit from a properly supervised fast. In some of the cases of diabetes, the people were actually able to give up insulin. In other cases, the insulin could be minimized. The big factor in the improvement of health was the changeover from the refined, denatured, and chemicalized diet to the natural before coming to Pawling Manor. He had a myocardial infarction (death of an area of heart muscle), an aortic aneurysm ( thinning and weakening with a slight ballooning out of a part of the wall of the main artery coming out of the heart; there is an ever-present danger of this area rupturing, with internal bleeding leading to death very quickly), and was overweight with high blood pressure. His doctors advised him to give up his work, to stay as much as possible in his third-floor apartment, which had no elevator, and to take various "heart" medicines. He began living the life of a hermit and in constant fear. Someone told him of a better way-Natural Hygiene-and sketchily familiarized him with it. J. F. decided to give it a try and went to the Manor in the fall of 1964, my first time there also. I was in the fourth week of my fast when he arrived. He really did not know what to expect and had built up a fear. It was for this reason he was not put on a fast right away, but on a strictly raw vegetarian diet-fruits, vegetables, and small amounts of nuts or about ten days to two weeks, until he learned more of what he was to experience and had overcome his unfounded but understandable fear. It was during this time Dr. Gross advised J. F. to pay me a visit to see a person in the fourth week of a fast so some confidence could be developed. J. F. was surprised to see me looking and feeling as well as I did. He asked me many questions concerning my fast and I reassured him. When I first saw J. F. he had a gray, ashen complexion. I've seen this type of complexion in many heart cases. The simple act of getting out of a chair and walking across the room caused fatigue and labored breathing. During this feeding cycle I watched him improve to the degree that his complexion became normal, his weight and blood pressure dropped markedly, and he was able to take walks without the fatigue and strain previously encountered. J. F. was then put on a fast which turned out to be of four weeks' duration. At its termination he was fed very strictly on a raw vegetarian diet for about two weeks and then put on another fast for two weeks. He did not take any medication during his entire stay or after leaving. Some time later he returned to his cardiologist for an examination. The doctor was in a state of disbelief when he found no evidence of the infarct (as explained previously) and no evidence of the aneurysm, even on x-ray study. J. F.'s weight and blood pressure was maintained within normal limits. All of this happened without the use of drugs. J. F. returned to his job, which required him to travel extensively. He also conquered the stairs at his third-floor apartment. But the important point, is that instead of vegetating as he was instructed by his doctors, and living in constant fear, he was now able to grab a chunk of precious life and hold onto it.
Recently I received a long distance telephone call from a Mrs. M.D. concerning her husband who was hospitalized with colitis. The doctors did not know quite what to do at this point and Mrs. D. was extremely worried and frightened. I couldn't tell her what to do. I could only tell her about my case, what had happened and what fasting and the natural way of life had to offer. The decision had to be made by her and her husband. No one else could make it for them. A number of weeks lapsed and then I received correspondence from Mrs. D. from which I'd like to quote portions: "Well, D was transferred fromB hospital to a Natural Hygiene retreat. Needless to say, I can't express in words how much your information and guidance helped me in making the decision to strongly influence my husband with regard to a change. I sincerely felt, call it an inner feeling, that had D remained in the hospital, he would have died-or per haps even worse had a colostomy or colectomy or such. In my heart, I felt D should have gone to a hygienic institution at the beginning. I should have followed that feeling. It was a correct one. The doctor told me I was psychotic. D -'s family was against me and I was afraid to do anything for fear that what I'd decide might be wrong. But one thing I forgot to trust in-and that is my love for D-. After talking to you, Dr. Goldstein, I felt you had reinforced my first thoughts and what I wanted to do was the only logical and sensible thing to do. Thank you for helping me to help my husband."
Another letter came two months later and in part went: "We are so pleased with D 's results. He has no colostomy, no drug poisoning with its many `sicknesses' and no multiple bowel movements. I feel that you were able to help us arrive at a sensible and very pleasant end result through fasting."
These are not just isolated letters that I receive. These are only a few of the many dozens received from people all over the country and from all walks of life who allowed the seeds of knowledge I planted in their minds to sprout, take root and grow. It is not my purpose here to print an endless assortment of letters, but rather to give you an idea of how people are thinking. Of course there are cases that don't, or can't, recover because the damage has gone beyond the body's ability to recuperate, but in many cases of terminal illness such as intractable lung cancer, fasting has permitted the unfortunate individual to die in peace without becoming a narcotics addict.
While undertaking my third fast at the Manor (this one of five weeks' duration) in 1966, I met a most remarkable woman. We arrived and began our fasts on the same day, but we didn't meet until several days later. She had multiple sclerosis and had run the gamut of medical treatments. When her doctors finally gave up on her, M. R. could only walk about ten minutes and then had to lie down due to weakness. Although her doctors gave up, she did not. She knew there must be a way to beat this terrible affliction. M. R. discovered Natural Hygiene and made a decision to go away to fast and alter her entireway of life. It was a difficult fast for her, but she and I Ibroke our fasts on the same day five weeks later. M - spent most of the time in bed resting, but she would occasionally sit out in the sun for short periods. After a carefully broken fast and two weeks on a strictly raw vegetarian diet, she was able to walk for 20 minutes that's double what she was able to do previously. I kept in touch with M after leaving the Manor and followed her remarkable progress. Soon she could put in a half day of work, though she was quite tired. Her endurance increased as time went on-and so did her level of health. She was taking no drugs. I received a Christmas card from M in 1968, two years after her first fast and her adoption of the vegetarian diet and hygienic way of living. I'll try to break down her letter to me, since M was from Canada but bilingual (on the French side). She said she had taken subsequent fasts since 1966. "I really think I will get rid of this M. S. sickness. I went to Montreal Expo '67 every night, came back at 12 at night, and worked the next day. Never tired; always in good shape. I feel like 15. Jack, I tell you it is so good to be alive. I'll never again be unhappy. Nothing upsets me. I have to stop and think that I am an M. S. case. Though I can't but little run yet, I jumped 20 to 25 times in the air with a rope. The doctors say I have a remission and it will start again but I laugh at that. It is all they can say. 1-tell them how is it .1 have my remission when I want to? I educate others, for I know many M. S. cases." I received another Christmas card in 1969. To quote in part, M says, "As far as my health is concerned, I'm almost cured, though the hardship of life doesn't help. But I am almost cured after four fasts and an adequate hygienic way of living. It's wonderful to be alive again.
"I have more energy. Never, never tired. I feel great, wonderful. I'm always happy and nothing will darken my future. I found everything when I found the way to walk again. I walk and walk for hours. I feel I am eternal and I'll never be sick again." What else can I add at this point? Anything said now would just be anticlimax.