NATIONALISM TODAY interviews militant anti-vivisectionist, Hans Ruesch
The following interview was recently conducted with the famous militant anti-vivisection campaigner, Hans Ruesch. We feel sure that our readers will find his views both fascinating and agreeable and will want to receive his bulletin Civis (P.O. Box 338, London E8 2AL). This interview does not necessarily signify any agreement by Mr Ruesch with the National Front's worldview.
1. Your book Slaughter of the Innocent caused a great deal of controversy when it appeared. Can you give us a little of the background to this affair?
The reason my book caused a stir was because it was the first work to demand an end to all animal experiments not merely on ethical grounds but on medical ones too. The mass of medical evidence refuting the vivisectionist 'case' was condensed into this book, and was all the more effective because the bulk of the information was provided by the researchers themselves. The pro-vivisection lobby got to work immediately when Slaughter appeared as a Bantam Book Original in 1978 in America. All my previous books had been reviewed in the national press - New York Times, Washington Post etc - yet Slaughter received the silent treatment. Even the New York Times Book Review, which reviews all books by established authors, and which had written of previous works, ignored Slaughter despite the fact that Bantam Books is the largest American publishing house.
Of course, I am not suggesting that only my books are subject to a pro-vivisec-tionist conspiracy. Other books which have received this treatment include: Thalidomide and the Power of the Drug Companies published in 1972 in Britain; White Magicians published by Bertelsmann in West Germany; Laetrile Case Histories published in America in 1977; J'accuse by Milly Schar-Manzoli was seized by the Swiss courts in 1982. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
2. The reaction of the pro-vivisection establishment is logical, if nothing else, but what was the reaction of the British anti-vivisection groups?
Surprising, though it might seem, the main anti-vivisection groups in Britain have actually ignored or even condemned my books! For example, Colin Smith, then with the National Anti-Vivisection Society, declared in the bi-monthly Animal Defender that The Naked Empress by Hans Ruesch "does the anti-vivisection movement much harm". This was not unexpected given that when Slaughter appeared in England in 1979 under the Futura Publications imprint, it was stonewalled by all of the AV groups except the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) which furiously denounced it.
The sad fact is that the AV movement in Britain has been hijacked by vivisectors and 'former' vivisectors. Let me give one example. Richard Ryder has become one of the foremost "anti-vivisectionists" in Britain AV circles, despite his vivisectionist past. In his Victims of Science, which brought about his 'transformation' from opponent to supporter of anti-vivisectionism, he doesn't mention the counter-productiveness of animal experiments, nor is there criticism of the massive damage wrought by the Drug Tests. Indeed, in debate at Oxford University in 1979, he questioned my assertion that all animal experiments could be usefully and safely abolished immediately. When I challenged him to give examples of experiments that couldn't be dispensed with, he answered that he couldn't name any off the top of his head; he even refused to research the problem so as to answer my challenge! The fact that Ryder can be hailed as Number 1 anti-vivisector speaks volumes about the state of AV groups in Britain, though I hasten to add the rank and file of such groups are generally sincere people misled by their leaderships. One exception to this bad leadership rule is the Northern Animal Liberation League.
NF members campaigning against one form of cruelty to animals.
3. You maintain repeatedly that vivisection is invalid with respect to the testing of drugs. Could you explain this simply and indicate what alternatives exist?
There are many ways of demonstrating the invalidity of vivisection, but I will cite just one simple example. Anyone who has ever undertaken the care of a household pet knows, either through personal experience or from discussion with a vet, that one should not administer human medicines to animals because it may kill them. What does this mean? Simply that an animal's system reacts differently to that of a human, and that a medicine which benefits the one could harm the other. You can take penicillin to combat disease ― but administer it to the pet guinea pig and you will witness its death. There are a number of real alternatives to the pseudo-science of vivisection, but a controlled media conveys the impression that 'fringe medicine' is the province of cranks and lunatics. Alternatives include homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, holistic medicine, herbalism, chiro-practice and osteopathy. The success stories of this 'fringe medicine' rarely see the light of day in the popular press or in 'orthodox' medical journals, for the simple reason that powerful vested interests are intent upon making money whatever the cost in human and animal suffering. Future issues of my bulletin Civis will explore these alternatives, but I will give one instance of vested interest prevailing over real science. According to the Canadian paper, The Province (June 22nd 1980), a method of testing the cancer causing properties of chemicals was developed by Dr. Hans Stitch of the British Columbia Cancer Research Centre: the method requires just one week, 600 dollars per chemical and no animals, whilst useless vivisection methods need 3 years, 200,000 dollars per chemical and innumerable animals. Why is vivisection still in use?
4. How do you answer those who, whilst deploring animal experiments, assert that it is better that animals suffer rather than humans?
Thalidomide, Methaqualone, Orabilex, Isoproterenol, Stilboestrol, Trilergan, Flaminal, Lraldin, Phenformin, Preludin, Maxiton Debendox, Nembutal, Pronap, Plaxin, Phen-acetin, Salgydal, Optalidon, Marzine, Reser-pine, Mitotane, Isonazid, Clofibrate, Clio-quinol - that is my answer and it is an answer that gets longer with every year. As I've already stated, the theoretical basis of vivisection is invalid, the idea that a drug will affect an animal in exactly the same way that it will affect a human. The effect of a drug on an animals is irrelevant - everytime you take 'an animal tested drug' you are playing the human guinea pig. This is borne out by the fact that in 1978 alone in America 1.5 million people went to hospital thanks to the effects of drugs designed to 'cure' them of something or other; the death rate of such drug abuse is 140,000 annually in the USA. People can only make such comments because they have swallowed pro-vivisection propaganda.
5. In the Naked Empress, you contend that the pharmaceutical companies are out purely for financial gain. Can you cite a clear instance where this is so?
Yes. In August 1978, it was announced that a Tokyo court had found three companies and the Japanese government guilty of selling drugs containing Oxychinol (Clio-quinol), a compound responsible for a new, severe disease of the nervous system called SMON. The firms, Takeda, Ciba-Geigy and Tanabe Seijaku were ordered to pay ￡5 million to the 133 plantiffs.
Oxychinol was sold under 168 brand names in Japan alone and was marketed as a cure for a mild intestinal disorder that you would call 'Spanish tummy'. It was developed by the multi-national corporation Ciba-Geigy and sold under names such as Mexa-form, Intestopan and Sterosan. Unexplained deaths in Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain et al were eventually linked to Oxychinol which had killed 1,000 people in Japan and caused 30,000 to go blind and/ or suffer paralysis. The ritual disclaimers of the manufacturers were blown apart by Dr. Olle Hansson's book The Drug Multinationals and the SMON Scandal published in 1979. He showed that these firms were happy to walk over corpses in their quest for profit. His shocking work revealed that according to Ciba-Geigy's own research protocols, dating back to June 19th 1939, Swiss researchers noted that animals suffered breathing difficulties and violent convulsions upon swallowing Oxychinol and most died in extreme pain.
Despite this, Ciba-Geigy cynically marketed the drug worldwide, merely pointing out in a leaflet that "the drug should not be administered to household pets"! This example not only illustrates the greed of such people, but also that they do not believe in the validity of vivisection themselves, for this animal-tested drug was not safe by their own standards. Although not available any longer in Europe, this poison is still being foisted upon the defenceless of the Third World.
6. The fear of contracting cancer haunts our society, yet we seem to be no nearer finding a solution despite the expenditure on research. Have you any comment on this?
It is hardly surprising that cancer haunts our society, for in the late 70s in Britain alone 120,000 people were dying annually of this disease. It is a fear that has given rise to a multi-million pound industry. The Imperial Cancer Research fund and the Cancer Research Group have been 'seeking' a cure for most of this century: between them they have assets of ￡44,000,000 and an annual outlay of ￡13,000,000, of which only 2% is spent on cancer education and prevention. This is outrageous given that it is known that 85% of all cancer cases are a direct result of exposure to environmental factors, smoking, excessive exposure to sunlight and dangerous factory chemicals.
But it would seem that vested interests ― drug companies, animal breeding firms, laboratory equipment manufacturers etc ― want to preserve the 'No cure for Cancer' situation. In America Max Gerson developed an inexpensive nutritional approach to curing cancer. In 1946 he was invited to appear before a US Senate inquiry concerned with the prevention and cure of cancer. Gerson presented 5 cancer free patients and their case histories before a Senate committee, and drew a favourable response. The Congressional Committee Report, document 89471, wrote positively of Gerson's approach. The result? The report is gathering dust in the Government Printing Office archives and the curious are informed that 'no copies are left'. Five years later Gerson was systematically prevented from working in any New York hospital. Gerson was no crank, but was described by Albert Schweitzer as "a medical genius".
Naturally, I've developed the reasons for this blackout in the Naked Empress but readers should consider that if a cure was announced tomorrow, it would put thousands of lab technicians and researchers out of a job, cause massive drops in profit for pharmaceutical firms, and put the cancer research funds out of business for good. Many peoples living is dependent upon the dying of others; the power of money should never be underestimated.
7. Much to our surprise the Rockefeller family comes in for a hammering in Naked Empress. Politically, we've always opposed them, but what relevance to they have to the pharmaceutical/vivisection debate?
It is a strange fact that although the Rockefellers have taken a lot of flak in books like Prof. Lundberg's The Rich and The Super Rich and Collier and Horowitz's The Rockefellers, they are rarely exposed with regard to their interests in the drugs world. It is never mentioned that this family has interests in over 200 drug manufacturing firms, that it is the most profitable of all their businesses including oil, and that it all began with Old Bill Rockefeller peddling snake oil and bottled petroleum to the yokels as a cure for cancer and a number of other illnesses.
They are well known for their philanthropy in the medical field, but a closer analysis shows that this 'philanthropy' is entirely bogus. So they give financial donations to medical centres, institutions and hospitals on a large scale: by the 1950s they had given over HALF A BILLION DOLLARS to such agencies, yet such donations are tax deductable (nice!) and they are a means of propagating the drug ideology. Foundations which teach doctors and nurses that drug treatment is the only valid method of curing disease are well-funded but it is significant that no donations whatever have been made to alternative health foundations. The sheer political power of this family in industry and the media is such that ordinary folk are prevented from seeing the obvious truth that the drug ideology is both false and exceedingly dangerous.
8. One unusual topic of discussion in your book is that of organ transplants. Can you say why you oppose them?
It is a well known medical fact that any living organism's innate immunological system will sooner or later reject a foreign organ. To cause an organism to retain such a foreign body for a while, it is necessary to interfere with the life saving, health preserving immunological system, to paralyze it if you like, thereby exposing it to every disease extant, from deadly infections to cancer. The first heart transplant was performed by Christiaan Barnard on Washkansky. According to Malcolm Muggeridge in Human Life Review (1980), Washkansky said “They're killing me. I can't sleep, I can't eat, I can't do anything. They're at me all the time with pins and needles. All day and all night. It's driving me crazy.”
He wasn't an exception as his successor, Dr. Philip Blaiberg, found out. His daughter Jill, in a United Press release, said that after the operation he was a totally different man. She continued "Physically, my father's life was hell after the transplant. He was suffering terribly all the time, but he did not want the world to know this." This is hardly surprising since the body was reacting as any doctor would expect it to. For this reason many respectable heart surgeons, who have performed such transplants, have given them up, denouncing them as folly; the best example being Dr. Michael de Bakey, America's number 1 heart surgeon. Yet this lunacy continues, despite the overwhelming evidence of its futility.
Dr Robert White wants to transplant people's heads ― where will it end? That depends on you and all responsible citizens. The pseudo-science of today must be unmasked if untold human and animal suffering is to be avoided.