Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Gandhi’s Anti-Vaccine Views Ring True A Century Later

Almost one century ago, Gandhi published a book where he deconstructed the dangers and lack of effectiveness of vaccines and the agendas surrounding them.  His voice rings true now more than ever.

The internet meme below has been subject of a good bit of controversy. Not only is Gandhi taking what many today consider an extreme ‘anti-vaxxer’ stance, but some have questioned whether or not he ever made this statement, or statements like it.


The truth is that this quote only scratches the surface of Gandhi’s biting critique of the dangers, inefficacy, and malfeasance associated with the vaccination campaigns of his time. Gandhi, of course, is history’s most celebrated anti-imperialist, having almost single-handedly set into motion India’s independence from British colonial rule. He was extremely sensitive to Western forms of control and oppression, and was able to apply his intellect to the manner in which the Western medical establishment was coercing millions of Indians to succumb to the unhealthy practice of smallpox and plague vaccination

The relevant chapters from his book A Guide to Health are republished below, but we have summarized some of the key points he makes so you can get a quick sense for how remarkably relevant his views on the topic are still today, and perhaps entice you to read the entire chapter thereafter.

Key points:
  • The nature of diseases like smallpox have been misconceived. While smallpox has a contagious component, vaccinated individuals can become infected, and non-vaccinated individuals remain immune, disproving Jenner’s original theory that vaccination equates to bona fide immunity.
  • Vaccination is a unsanitary practice. By injecting the ‘filth’ of a diseased cow and smallpox patient into the body of a healthy individual one inevitably makes them sicker, possibly producing new infections, ultimately resulting in a greater disease burden.
  • The route of administration of the vaccine — injection— harbors special dangers versus natural (oral) exposures to infection.
  • Fear of disease drives people to vaccinate against commonsense and rationality.
  • Vaccination is unethical and immoral because of the manner in which the vaccine is produced (through the great suffering of poisoned animals)
  • The income generated through vaccination is the driving reason why the medical profession does not wish to identify aforementioned problems in safety and efficacy.
  • Conscientious objectors should be willing to stand their ground with courage and face persecution and penalties.
  • Those objecting for medical reasons should aspire towards mastery of the subject such that they will be able to win others towards their perspective.
  • Sanitation, hygiene, fresh air, water, and clean food are essential for preventing infection and/or helping those infected to recover.
Feel free to share our meme with some of Gandhi’s most salient quotes on the problems with vaccinology:..