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    Satyagraha and Big Pharma

    Lynne McTaggart is a journalist and a fearless champion of holistic science, She is also most notably the author of "The Field," a wonderful book about scientific research into energy medicine, the universe and everything.

    The following article appeared recently on her blog. You can link to it here: 

    What would Gandhi Do?

    Mar 15, 2013

     by Lynne McTaggart

    We live in a time when many systems are falling down, but some of them need a bit of a push to finish the job. I’m thinking here of modern medicine, where we are witnessing the collapse of the current model, but where the old guard fighting as fiercely as possible to keep it propped up.

    In Britain we’ve had disclosure after disclosure recently about the shocking state of most of the country’s hospitals: thousands dying from neglect and incompetence; hospital trusts paying private companies to do fast statistical shuffles to cover up the death rates; doctors and nurses admitting they themselves would not go to their own hospitals.

    Every day around the world, there’s more evidence that the current medical paradigm isn’t working. The British health minister announced the other day that it’s now growing likely that our antibiotics, the mainstay of modern medicine, will soon be defeated by superbugs, and we may no longer be able to treat infections with drugs.

    The rest of the tools of modern medicine fare no better. The vast majority of ‘drug research’ upon which doctors rely for their treatments has been found to be fraudulent, the ghostwritten product of public relations firms, a necessity in the eyes of Big Pharma because the studies simply do not prove that drugs actually work.

    Dying dragon

    One of the problems of a dying system is the size of the blowback —not unlike the savage lashings of a dying dragon. As more of these revelations come to light, so the dragon becomes more ferocious in its own defense – in this instance, against alternative medicine.

    Backed by the pharmaceutical industry and other vested interests, the European Union, the UN’s Codex Alimentarius and the US are busy devising new laws and regulations that would sharply curtail the use of many accepted herbal and homeopathic preparations.

    The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK’s medicines authority, for instance, has begun the process of banning herbal products like echinacea and black cohosh that have been used safely by millions of people over hundreds of years.

    One homeopathic company told me that his organization may no longer sell certain of its comprehensive homeopathic kits containing a large collection of most popular remedies because the MHRA has decreed that the term ‘essential remedies’ printed on the kit constitutes unfounded claims.

    It’s got to the point where numerous parties prompted by vested interests, are attempting to use the Advertising Standards Authority in Britain to stop acupuncturists and other practitioners of alternative medicine, including ancient systems like traditional Chinese Medicine, from making any claims about their work.

    So now we find ourselves in the intolerable situation of not being able to trust the current medical model but being denied access to any other form of health care.

    So what does the ordinary person do in intolerable circumstances? What, I ask myself, would the great spiritual leader Mohandas Gandhi have done about this situation if he were alive today?

    The law needs consensus

    What he would do, I’m convinced, is explain to all the rest of us that the emperor (in this case, the medical authorities and even the law) has no clothes. As Gandhi well understood, the power of any law or leader depends upon a tacit general consensus – a collective willingness to accept the law. We all have to agree that it’s a law worth abiding by. That law or leader loses power over us the moment we collectively refuse to obey.

    ‘I believe that no government can exist for a single moment without the cooperation of the people, willing or forced, and if people suddenly withdraw their cooperation in every detail, the government will come to a standstill,’ Gandhi once said.

    Even the ordinarily implacable former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher understood this in 1990, when she attempted to introduce the Poll Tax in Britain. The protest was so vehement in riots across the country that it contributed to her downfall, and her successor, realizing that the tax would prove to be unenforceable, ultimately chose to abandon it.


    Gandhi developed a philosophy of non-violence he called ‘Satyagraha’, which literally means ‘the force that is generated through adherence to Truth.’ Central to Gandhi’s methods was polite — that is to say, ‘civil’— disobedience, but he realized and ultimately proved how powerful a force this can be.

    We saw this firsthand in my own neighborhood when a cell phone company attempted to erect cell phone towers on my block. My neighborhood began a storm of civil protest, leafleting all the residents, getting petitions signed, writing letters to our council and Parliamentary representatives. We met with the company to let them know we would not tolerate this towers on our own streets. We won. They went away and never came back. A tiny group of us stopped one of the giants of British industry and banded together in the process.
    In Gandhi’s view, non-violent activism should utterly avoid hostile language, damage to property, secrecy or law-breaking for any but unjust laws. But he also believed that unjust laws were made to be broken.

    I’ve come to believe that the laws concerning conventional and alternative medicine are so draconian and unjust that they too are made to be broken. And modern medicine, a system falling down in every way, now needs us to give it a final push.

    How to protest

    Here’s what we must do. 1) flood our lawmakers with letters decrying the situations with the hospitals, the drug companies, the state of drugs, 2) protest these measures against alternative medicine up to the unjust laws about alternative medicine and 3) threaten to collectively vote out anyone who continues to uphold this unjust system in any way.

    That is the most powerful statyagraha of all to any politician – the threat to withdraw your vote.

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