Published October 15, 2016
Public health officials in the United States today recommend that infants in the U.S. receive four doses of an inactivated,...
— William Wilberforce
The following is the first half of the transcript of an interview with Suzanne Humphries, MD, author of the book Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and The Forgotten History. The interview was conducted by Joseph Mercola, MD. Click here to read the second half of the interview.
(Dr. Mercola—DM, Suzanne Humphries—SH)
DM: Vaccines are one of the most controversial medical therapies, and it’s impossible to make an informed decision unless you know both sides of the story. In the process of knowing those both sides, the historical context is critical. Hi, this is Dr. Mercola, helping you take control of your health. To help us discover and appreciate the historical context, we have with us today Dr. Suzanne Humphries, who is a nephrologist and who has committed a large portion of her medical career to expose this history of vaccinations that you need to be aware of. Welcome and thank you for joining us today, Dr. Humphries.
SH: Thank you, Dr. Mercola.
DM: It would be best I guess for our viewers if we started with you providing us a framework and a perspective of how you first became interested in this area.
SH: Well, it was in 2009 when there were several patients that came into the hospital where I was working. They volunteered to me that they were fine until they had that vaccine. Before that, I was pretty agnostic about vaccination. I had vaccinated my dialysis patients; I, myself, was vaccinated; and I pretty much believed what I was taught in medical school.
And then I started noticing that orders are being given to my patients on the first hospital day often when they had serious diseases—inflammatory diseases, heart attacks, congestive heart failure, and one patient with cancer on chemotherapy. My patients were getting vaccinated on their first hospital day before I even saw them and the order had my name on it. This kind of alerted me that there was something going on that I had not approved of. I complained to the hospital administration about it. It was from there, it was from the resistance that I was met with that kind of ironically led me into the path that I’ve come into.
I had to research vaccination in order to meet all the arguments that I was given—that vaccines are safe and effective; that they can’t possibly be causing that much trouble; and that they have changed the face of disease in the world. Well, later, I ended up agreeing with that, but not for the same reasons that they were saying.
But it turned out that in the medical literature, there was absolutely nothing to support vaccinating an acutely ill person. At some point, they called in an expert to set me straight. The arguments that I got from the experts still were not lining up with science. They were not supporting the paradigm that they were saying. My patients were acutely ill, they had inflammatory diseases, and I didn’t want them vaccinated. I was told that I was confusing the nursing staff by discontinuing vaccines in my patients. That was kind of how it all started.
DM: Thank you for that historical perspective. I’m wondering what motivated you to write your book, Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and The Forgotten History, which really exposes the vast amount of deceptive information that’s really being given about vaccines.
SH: Well, it started with the hostility that I received simply by not agreeing that vaccines were safe and effective, and could be given to virtually anybody regardless of how sick they were. There were arguments tossed at me from on high—that smallpox was eradicated by vaccination, that, polio was eradicated at least in this hemisphere by vaccination, and that pretty much it was God’s gift to mankind. I actually did get that by diffusion through my medical training. I never critically thought about it. I really never had a reason to or I didn’t think I had the reason to.
That research, just to counter the arguments that I was being met with, to justify vaccinating sick patients on their first hospital day, was what got me to start researching smallpox and polio. Even that had actually nothing to do on what was happening in my sphere.
In my research, I was startled that it was completely counter, what I found was completely counter to what I have been told and fought my entire life. I now don’t believe that smallpox vaccines eradicated smallpox. I now don’t believe that polio vaccines eradicated polio. The stories are very twisted, long, and complicated, and the vaccines have changed over time. It’s really easy to kind of throw up smokescreens here and there and kind of make whatever argument one might want to, because people are so ignorant and because the story is so complicated.
DM: Before we go any further, those are some pretty startling accusations. Really, when I first read them in your article at Weston Price, I was really impressed with the arguments there. I’m wondering, for our viewers, if you could summarize them. Because as you mentioned, these are the two strongest arguments that are given to support vaccines—the historical evidence. If you defy or ignore this fact, you’re just a heretic, a lunatic, and an irrational person or professional who needs to be locked up with your license taken away.
Why don’t you at least… I mean, just spend as much time as you like because I think this is a really crucial point. If you could summarize it in a way that the average person can understand it and explain it to their friend or their neighbor, because this is so crucial.
SH: So, you’d like me to talk about smallpox and polio?
DM: Yes. Because I think that’s a foundational component of the arguments that are given for pro- vaccines. If you could really dent that argument or at least put a serious suspicion on it, then I think you have fairly good grounds for refuting more current vaccines, which have virtually none of that going for them, and in many cases, it’s only negatives.
SH: Okay. Well, one of the things that I can say for sure is that every vaccine has a story behind it. Every vaccine had its susceptibility, had its spreading factor. The diseases are all different and the stories behind the vaccines are all different. But when I started with smallpox, which is a disease I really knew nothing about, except that when I was in school, the way they decided if we were immune or not was they lined us all up to see if we had a scar, which was about as unscientific as one can get to look for immunity.
But smallpox vaccine was actually developed long before there was anything at all known about the immune system. Basically it was made by scraping pus off the belly of a cow. Sometimes there was some goat genetic disease in there. There was horsepox mixed in there. There was sometimes human pox mixed in and some glycerin. They would shake it up, they would take kind of a prong, and puncture the skin several times.
DM: Were these any old cows?
SH: In some cases, people were given four or five of these red, these circular vaccines on their body—sometimes the leg or sometimes the arm. What I didn’t realize was that there were many people who died after they were vaccinated. There were many people who developed serious smallpox disease and died after they were vaccinated. The severity of disease was often worse in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated. There are statistics that show that the death rate was higher in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated.
You think of pox disease. Back then, imagine somebody has a breakout in pox. It was very difficult to distinguish whether it was chickenpox, monkeypox, or smallpox. Back then, any kind of pox was considered smallpox even though the vaccine never really had that particular virus in it. Once Edward Jenner, who developed the vaccine, developed it, it didn’t have human smallpox in it; it was always animal pox virus that was put into it. It was the most contaminated vaccine that’s ever been on the market, so contaminated that Dr. Paul Offit didn’t even want to resurrect it during the time when there was a supposed bioterrorism risk.
If you look at a town like Leicester in England, that town was noticing that they had one of the highest vaccination rates in the vaccinated world and their smallpox breakout was higher than ever. The people in the town had a rally. The mayor was there and some of the health officials were there. They all agreed that they were going to stop vaccinating. Vaccination was no longer going to be forced upon the population. That’s what was happening back then. You’re basically put in jail, your furniture was confiscated, or you’re fined if you are not willing to vaccinate your young baby and your family. People protested against this.
The result was quite different from what the predictions were. The predictions were that there was going to be a bonfire of disease set upon the planet and that these people in Leicester were risking the health of the world by not making vaccination mandatory. But what we showed in our book—and we showed the graphs of the disease rates and the death rates—was both of them went down precipitously after the vaccinations were stopped.
That story right there tells you that vaccines were not what made the disease go away; what made the disease go away was isolation and sanitation. In that town, when somebody developed small pox, they would be taken out of the population, asked to be kept at home in a room, and there will be people who will attend to them, usually people who have already had the disease and who were immune. Just simply by doing that was very successful in getting the disease rates to go down.
There was a rumor amongst the dairy maids that when those dairy maids were infected with cowpox, which was a common infection on the udder of the cow, they were not susceptible to smallpox. And really all that was a rumor, because in fact, there were plenty of dairy maids who did develop smallpox after having cowpox. But because of this rumor, Edward Jenner took off with it. He started taking some pus from these cows, scraping it into the cow belly and waiting until there were eruptions. Once there was like a line of pustules, they would basically just kind of take sort of a scraper, take off the pus that would tend to develop there, put it into a tube, and that was your vaccine.
DM: So, he actually injected the cows with the smallpox pustules?
SH: Not smallpox; it was cowpox.
DM: The dairy maids who had the cowpox that got the infection from the cows. They scraped that pus onto the cows…
SH: Cowpox is a cow disease. If there was an uninfected cow, they would just infect the cow. But instead of on the udder, they would infect the belly because it was easier to get a bulk volume of pus off that way.
This is a skin vaccine. Most vaccines today are intramuscular vaccines. But this one in particular was a multipronged injection into the skin until there was an abscess that would form. That was how the person was deemed to have developed immunity. Even if you read the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) documents today, they don’t really know how long. They estimate that a vaccine might keep you immune for about 10 years. But we really don’t know for sure, because in any vaccine the take rate is going to vary among the population.
The theory was that you would develop some cellular and humoral immunity or antibody immunity. If you were exposed to the actual smallpox, because it was a relative virus of smallpox, the cowpox virus, that you would become immune. But if you look at the medical documents from back then, there were doctors who were very much against this, who started out for it and then they turned against it. That’s what Roman and I looked at—the literature that showed the death rate, disease rate, and the doctors who were against the vaccination.
DM: When they had those vaccines though or at least when certainly Jenner, who developed it, had it, they didn’t know about cellular and humoral immunity. But isn’t the current thought, at least from my review and understanding, that these vaccines don’t produce cellular immunity? And that’s the problem: they produce humoral immunity, and they produce it in an imbalance, in a way that it really distorts your immune system and actually predisposes you to cancer.
SH: Right. Well, the answer to that really depends on what vaccine it is and on what age it’s given. Giving an infant a vaccine, it’s almost all going to be a T helper 2 (Th2)-slanted disposition that you’re going to give them, which is really an unhealthy place to be. If you wait longer, you can generally get more of a Th1. But these are all the adaptive immune system. When you talk about the cellular immune system in general, we’re talking about the immune system that’s already there ready and able to fight disease. That’s the innate immune system.
Vaccines really don’t affect the innate immune system very much. They’re more affecting the adaptive immune system. Some of them do ramp up the cellular immunity. But mostly it’s in order to make the antibody, because cells have to make antibody. They usually do both, but depending on the age and the vaccine. Mostly they’re going to give you the less desirable form of immunity, which is T helper 2 immunity. That’s not always the case. The Bacille de Calmette et Guérin (BCG) vaccine will actually give you more of a Th1. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) will actually make more of a Th1 than the other ones. It’s really different, depending on which vaccines we’re referring to.
DM: Okay. Thank you for explaining that. But that seems to be a challenge for many of the vaccines, this distortion of ratio of immunity between the systems leading to other things.
SH: Right. But the challenge is that it’s too expensive to measure the cellular immune response. The cheap and ready way to do it is to look at antibody. But when it comes to a disease like measles, you can have agammaglobulinemia (which is a disease where you cannot make antibody), and guess what, if you get infected with measles, you’ll respond perfectly and beautifully fine. You recover fine and you have 75 years of immunity that someone without agammalobulinemia has. While they use antibodies to tell you whether you’re immune or not, all that does is give you a picture of what happened. It doesn’t really tell you that you are necessarily immune, because you don’t need that antibody for measles in order to become immune.
DM: That’s a very good point, because traditionally that’s the way immunity is determined. If you want to have an exemption to a vaccine and prove that you already have immune status, you have to do a test that actually measures antibodies, which is the humoral immune system. But nothing is looking at the cellular immune system.
DM: It’s a really imprecise science at best.
SH: It’s not only imprecise; sometimes it’s downright inaccurate. You can have very high antibody levels like numerous case reports of people who have hugely high antibody levels for tetanus or normal antibodies and have gotten some of the worst cases of tetanus. I have papers that show that people without antibody for polio have actually been able to respond to the virus as if they were already immune. The antibody really is a real wrong roadmap to look at to tell what’s really going on. Sometimes there’s correlation, but it’s certainly not a given.
DM: Okay, so we’ve addressed one of the prime arguments that are used to justify the use of the vaccine program. The other one, of course, is polio. I’m wondering if you could expand on that vaccine and some of the historical perspective that’s used to justify the massive vaccinations.
SH: Yes, I can. In fact I spent much more time investigating polio because a) I found it much more interesting and b) it’s something that’s closer to our generation. Most people today are still being vaccinated for polio. And we’re still hearing about disease outbreaks, whereas we have this idea that smallpox has gone away. But if you look at the picture of monkeypox, you’ll see that we’re not really sure that smallpox has really gone away.
But when we look at polio, the story behind polio is absolutely fascinating when you look at the politics that went on researching the vaccine and how scientists were fired if they disagree with the program going on through the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis (NFIP) in the late 1940s and early 1950s. That was the vaccine that Jonas Salk developed.
At that time, you really only… Anybody could make a diagnosis of polio. If you went to the hospital, any doctor could make the diagnosis with the clinical diagnosis based upon having two physical examinations that had one or more muscle groups with paralysis within 24 hours. Okay, so, there are a lot of viruses that do that. But back then, anything that did that was called polio. Then the vaccine was developed. That’s a whole different story. I wrote 70 pages on this whole polio history in the book.
But when the vaccine was developed, there was a little problem. There were some Swedish scientists that were trying to tell the U.S. scientists that the formaldehyde inactivation wasn’t going to work the way they had planned. Those scientists were ignored. It turned out that they were correct. That live poliovirus, which was put in an injectable vaccine, sometimes, could look like it was killed right after it was made, but sometimes it’s resurrected actually in the vial while it was on the shelf.
What happened in essence is that the formaldehyde did not kill off all the polioviruses in these vaccines, and then they went and injected them. What we ended up with were more people who developed paralysis from the vaccine than would have developed it from a wild, normal natural poliovirus. Something had to be done. There were several adjustments that were made in order to give the idea that the vaccine was doing what the American public, who had invested enormous amounts of money and years into believing in this vaccine. We had to make it look like it was working.
What they did is they changed the diagnostic criteria for diagnosing polio. It used to be two examinations within 24 hours. They changed that to two examinations within 60 days. Mind you that most people recovered within 60 days. All those people who were formerly called polio were no longer categorized as polio because they recovered from their paralysis within that time. It’s things like that were done.
And then there was testing. Before, there was no testing done on the blood or on the stool. But after the vaccine came along, there was an epidemic in Michigan. I believe it was 1958. About 2,000 people were diagnosed with polio. They decided, because they were vaccinating and they couldn’t believe that they would have all this polio, to do some serologic testing. They found that it was actually the vast minority. I think it was about a quarter of those people, who actually had any evidence of infection with the poliovirus and interestingly, they found no virus at all—Coxsackie virus, ECHO (enteric cytopathic human orphan) virus, or other enteroviruses—that can cause the same syndrome.
Just simply by doing the diagnostic testing and changing the diagnostic criteria, the rates of polio plummeted whether or not there was ever a vaccine. These were the kind of things that were going on back then.
One of the questions I had to answer myself was, well, if that’s true, why aren’t we seeing the shrunken and shriveled limbs anymore? Why do we see these older people walking around with this one leg shorter than the other? Because this was still one of my arguments, you know. I had to answer my own questions. It wasn’t just that I was answering other people’s, because I also believed in these vaccines at one point.
It turns out that if a child had come into the hospital with a limb that was contracted, which is what would often happen during this period of time, they would immediately be taken into surgery. They would go into surgery crying and they would come out of surgery crying, because it was a very painful disease. The limb would be put in a cast or splinted for somewhere between maybe 6 months and up to 2 years. Now, if you do that to anybody, especially somebody who’s growing, you’re going to cause limb atrophy. Between the barbaric surgeries and the tendon transplants and the way these acute issues were treated, that’s why we saw a lot of these limbs turning out the way they did.
And then there was a nurse from Australia. Her name’s Sister Elizabeth Kenny. That was a term for a nurse, “sister.” She was one of the first physiotherapists out actually. She developed the method to treat these children that was highly successful. She hated the splinting. She said it was completely the wrong thing to do and she pretty much humiliated the orthopedic surgery population throughout the globe with what she was doing. She wasn’t very nice about it all the time.
But she was actually invited to Minnesota. They started a clinic and she ran the clinic. She was very successful not only in turning around the disasters from the orthopedic surgeons, but in treating people acutely. They didn’t end up with these shrunken and shriveled limbs. But today, anywhere you go where they’re promoting polio vaccines, they’ll always show you these kids who were in casts. But that shouldn’t be done to a child who has polio. That’s how you end up with some of the pathologies, by immobilizing that way.
DM: That’s fascinating.
SH: There’s more. I mean, I could go on, but…
Note. This interview was reprinted with permission. It was originally published on Dr. Mercola’s website at www.mercola.com as part of the article “The Forgotten History of Vaccinations You Need to Be Aware Of.”