Commentary: A Tale of Two Frenchmen
Given 28-Nov-20; 11 minutes
A while back, I stressed how deeply entrenched Satan’s lies had become worldwide, lies which poison peoples’ minds against God ["Whoever Loves and Practices a Lie"]. Today, I want to look at a lie we have not talked much about in the past, but one which the current medical situation has placed front and center: Germ Theory. What is Germ Theory?
To understand it and the role Germ Theory has played in the development of modern medicine, we need to focus our attention on the tale of two Frenchmen who were rivals in the last half of the 1800s. Louis Pasteur and Antoine Béchamp. Pasteur’s views on microbiology led to the rooting of Germ Theory in modern medicine—I mean, to this very day. Conversely, Béchamp’s view is virtually forgotten except by practitioners of some forms of alternative medicine.
Now, understand, both Pasteur and Béchamp believed that microbes—they were called animalcules in their day—existed. That was plain. While they did not understand the concept of virus back then, they, using microscopes, could see bacteria. Even today’s hard-core Germ Theory Deniers usually grant that germs and viruses exist. None buys the centuries-old theory that disease is the result of “spontaneous generation,” as it used to be called. And, to give credit where credit is due, Pasteur was instrumental in disproving that ancient misconception. Disease just does not come out of nowhere, a curse causeless. Rather, the paramount question posed by Pasteur’s and Béchamp’s opposing theories devolves to this: How do you best deal with those microbes which are bad bugs, or pathogens? It becomes a matter of approach, and that approach is based on a perspective, namely, a view of the world of little creatures.
Essentially, Pasteur saw every microbe as an enemy of the body, or at least potentially so. In the end, he concluded that the human body is a sitting duck in this midst of packs, swarms, of ill-intentioned creatures. One writer says he viewed the body as
… sterile, vulnerable to attack by external pathogens. … [This] rationale suggests that in order to be truly well, we need to kill all the bugs and do whatever we can to avoid contact with said bugs in the first place. This [thinking became] the framework for modern medicine: antibiotics, vaccines, sterilization, all tools we are familiar with. This mindset places ALL the emphasis on the bug but says nothing of the terrain into which it’s introduced.
Pasteur believed that people were well-advised to “fear the germ” as one fears a powerful enemy. To him, the prevention of disease required the construction, at all costs, of all sorts of barriers and defenses, metaphorical walls to keep germs out. These so-called defenses are the tools we today associate with medicine: Defenses like pasteurization, sterilization, face masks, social distancing (of well people, not just sick ones), irradiation, chemicals like Clorox and mouthwashes, pesticides, antibiotics, vaccines, heavy metal preservatives like mercury in vaccines.
By way of contrast, let us look at the way Béchamp saw things. To distinguish his views from those of Pasteur, people have dubbed his idea the “Terrain Theory.” The concept of biological terrain is basic to Béchamp’s thinking. It may help you to think of it as the immune system, a more modern conceptualization of the terrain. Béchamp saw the body as a terrain loaded with microbes of every ilk, some of which are just plain beneficial, like the ones necessary for digestion. He did not advocate fearing microbes or getting rid of them wholesale. One modern Béchamp supporter notes that, “[T]here are at least 10 times as many bacterial cells found on our skin and in our digestive system than [there are] … cells in the body.” Another even goes so far as to overstate the matter (and, brethren, this is an overstatement—please understand that): “We are germs and germs are us.” Metaphorically, we could say that a terrain might be rugged, infested with rats and snakes, covered with jagged rocks, not very hospitable to life, like the Plain of Jordan after God overthrew the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Or, the terrain might be well-watered, not given to extreme temperatures, covered with rich humus which has produced lush vegetation. Like the garden of God, or perhaps like the Plain of Jordan “before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.”
You get the picture. If the environment, the terrain, is healthy, the opportunity for bad microbes (that is, pathogens) to cause tissue damage is low. If the environment, that is, the condition of the body, is unhealthy, microbes may find fertile ground to do their dirty work, resulting in its becoming ever-increasingly unhealthy. As another Béchamp supporter puts it, “Disease is built by unhealthy conditions”—not germs, but conditions, either inside the body or outside. So, the problem of an inadequate terrain feeds on itself, as in a vicious circle. Pretty soon, people are in the situation many find themselves in today, their bodies being more like the plain of Jordan after God destroyed Sodom than the Garden of Eden.
Béchamp believed that the answer to preventing disease was to “treat the patient, not the infection.” This sounds very close to Mr. Armstrong’s complaint that modern medicine treats the symptom rather than cures the ailment. To Béchamp, the prevention of disease equates to the creation of health through proper nutrition, drinking good water, getting right exercise, as well as proper sleep and hygiene. That is why the relatively few and sidelined adherents of Béchamp’s thinking today stress proper nutrition as a key to remaining healthy.
The bottom line appears to be this: While Pasteur’s Germ Theory may provide some realistic framework for dealing with some ailments, Béchamp’s Terrain Theory provides a decidedly more adequate model for understanding and treating disease. As far as I can see, Pasteur’s advice, that we should “fear the germ,” is actually only a manifestation of his own victim mentality. Far wiser it is that we fear a weakened immune system, a debilitated terrain, an environment that is bad. It makes no sense to me that God, who deemed His creation “very good,” would create man as a sitting duck just waiting to be besieged by myriads of invisible and malicious animalcules. Nor is there any Scriptural indication or even inference in the curses which God laid upon Adam and Eve that He modified their biology, turning them into hapless and hopeless targets for destruction at the minuscule hands of microbes.
Modern medical scientists and practitioners have seriously marginalized Béchamp—to the detriment of everyone’s quality of life. His recommendations, springing from his belief that the terrain is everything, receive short shrift at the hands of those whose idea of best medical practices include injecting poison into the body or destroying tissue willy-nilly with radioactive agents. Yet, the so-called progress against massive diseases such as cancer speaks for itself: Billions spent on research, multiple billions on treatment, and the disease still rages, essentially unabated. In a word, Pasteur’s ideas simply do not work! The prolonged failure to remediate the current medical emergency using Pasteur’s ideas testifies to that fact. His ideas simply don't work. Yet, those ideas continue to underlie virtually everything in modern medicine’s best practices bag of tricks, from chemotherapy to face masks to sugar-laden toothpaste—all untempered mortar which fails to keep the wall standing when the flooding rains come.