Germ Theory Extremism In a Post Covid World: Some Feminist & Holistic Health Perspectives
Updated: Jan 28
Below follows a guest post by Emily Garcia. She is a radical feminist and activist.
One of the major reasons I was a lockdown sceptic from the very start is because the idea we are simply passive victims or sitting ducks to environmental pathogens does not tally with my experiences using alternative medicine and naturopathy to treat my chronic illness over a number of years.
Besides balancing and strengthening the healing capacity of a patient’s life force energy through nutritional and other regimental measures, an important part of the holistic system of energy medicine I have used, named Heilkunst, involves trauma release at the energetic level.
The role of trauma or unanticipated isolating events which act as shocks or traumas affecting mental and physical health, isn’t part of the current mainstream discussion around lockdowns. Meanwhile the gov continues to roll out conditions which serve to traumatise society en masse in a myriad of ways. Many traumas are poverty linked. Unemployment and corresponding poverty levels have significantly increased over the past year and look set to rise even higher once the furlough scheme support is withdrawn.
Solid and well publicised research exists which evidences the links between childhood adversity and long term susceptibility to mental and physical illnesses. The Kaiser Permenente’s & US CDC Adverse Childhood Experiences longitudinal study of over 17,000 sample size found striking relationships between the two. One of the key research findings was that: ‘The number of ACEs was strongly associated with adulthood high-risk health behaviours such as smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, promiscuity, and severe obesity, and correlated with ill-health including depression, heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, and shortened lifespan. Compared to an ACE score of zero, having four adverse childhood experiences was associated with a seven-fold (700%) increase in alcoholism, a doubling of risk of being diagnosed with cancer, and a four-fold increase in emphysema; an ACE score above six was associated with a 30-fold (3000%) increase in attempted suicide.’ 1. (See note)
How many children right now are having their Adverse Childhood Experienced scores inflated by the hardships they & their parents are facing right now? We know already that mental health issues are skyrocketing in children and teens and that we’re seeing increased incidences of victimisation by parental abuse.
As a staunch critic of conventional medicine, I would argue that it largely operates according to a misguided paradigm of suppression of symptoms. Although adept in the treatment of physical injuries in emergency situations, it has little to offer in the realm of chronic illness. It is a system of disease management, rather than cure, which offers few explanations as to the root causes of disease, nor any possibility of removing them outright. I would further contend, given that alternative medicine modalities exist both outside of the endorsement of mainstream male aligned institutions, and of corporate profit streams a healthy scepticism of allopathy as a whole is more consistent with radical feminism analysis than the automatic distrust or hostility towards alternative medicine approaches more often in evidence in feminist spaces.
From a feminist perspective, which is truly radical, the dominance of conventional medicine in the West today is inextricably interlinked with structures and functions of male power, stretching back to the days of the witches gynecide. As persuasively laid out in the feminist medical history revisionist text, ‘Nurses, Witches and Midwives,’ many midwives and lay women healers were targeted for torture and murder by the church across Europe from the 1400-1700s. From the late 1800s, in the U.S, medical universities were set up funded by the Rockefeller & Carnegie Foundations. The following decade saw the Carnegie Corporation send Abraham Flexner on a national tour of medical schools with the remit of determining which schools merited funding.
‘The Flexner Report’ published in 1910, was the foundation's ultimatum to American Medicine. In its wake, medical schools closed by the score, including six of America’s eight black medical schools which had been a haven for female students. Medicine was established once and for all as a branch of “higher” learning, accessible only through lengthy and expensive university training. . .doors were slammed shut to black Americans, to the majority of women, and to poor white men. . .In state after state new, tough, licensing laws sealed the doctor’s monopoly on medical practice.’ (Witches, Midwives & Nurses: Deidre English & Barbara Ehrenreich)
The end result of a centuries long battle in the west to wrest health and healing from the jurisdiction of working class women, was a transfer of power and control to the wealthy male doctor class. The elite phallocrats were victorious in their mission and today’s conventional medical system is part of their legacy. Allopathic medicine is a key pillar of our male supremacist system and right now we are witnessing a massive expansion in that sphere of power, thanks, in part, to the proliferation of funding streams through gov & medical bodies by figurehead oligarchs like Bill Gates.
I see the ‘new normals’ we are forced to live under as the suppressive allopathic approach taken to a further degree. As with vaccination, we must attempt to eliminate (in the majority of cases- mild or moderate and temporary) symptoms in a preventative capacity. The weakly evidenced theory of ‘asymptomatic transmission’ provides a convenient rationale for controlling the behaviour of the non sick along with the symptomatic.
I use the term ‘Germ Theory Extremism’ to describe this attitude to life and health. For those unfamiliar with Germ Theory, simply put, it is that certain diseases are caused by specific germs or infectious agents. Its counterpart is terrain theory which posits that it is the internal environment of an individual which determines their state of health, and that pathogens can be handled by a terrain which is healthy, without causing illness.
In Germ Theory’s fundamentalist form, it equates to science and immunology denialism, because the only way we can keep from becoming sick is to attempt to avoid any exposure whatsoever to germs (or viruses.) Not only is this a false premise, a strong adherence to Germ Theory Extremism cripples the devotees ability to live a full, meaningful and connected life. And because it is becoming invisibilised due to its nouveau hegemony, I think it needs to be named and recognised as an ideology, and one which is superstitious in character, rather than founded in rational empiricism. In fact, as other lockdown critics have pointed out, it has become a kind of doomsday cult or new state religion. It serves the political function of naturalising statism, or even tyranny. Civil liberties must be sacrificed for the greater good. Free movement, free assembly, independent thought and speech, indeed any actions at all performed without deference to the tenets of Germ Theory Extremism, are the very means by which germs, or viruses, are spread. Oppressing people into compliance is necessary for the safety of all.
Is there another historical example of (what effectively amounts to) a totalitarian coup, in which the dangerous dismantling of citizen rights and freedoms was so successfully sold as being about safety and health? Perhaps that’s part of why this one has so far met with so little resistance.
2nd wave feminist philosopher Mary Daly wrote about the concept of ‘patriarchal reversals,’ that is culturally accepted beliefs, which invert the natural order, beginning with the idea that the male, rather than female, is the original and default sex. I would place the gaslighting inversion of the criminalisation of normal modes of human behaviour as ‘staying safe,’ in this category of patriarchal reversals. Daly also developed the concept of ‘biophilia’ as: ‘the Original Lust for Life that is at the core of all Elemental E-mo- tion; Pure Lust which is the Nemesis of patrarichy, the Necrophilic State."
I think Germ Theory Extremism is the polar opposite to biophilia: it is biophobic. We can see its necrophiliac effects suffocating expressions of life in the empty streets & shuttered community centres of ‘lockdown/ house arrest 3.0’. Whilst so many are obsessively preoccupied with dodging the grim reaper, the world we live in is starting to feel like a giant morgue.
Beyond a tunnel vision focus on avoidance of death and/or suffering on a ventilator in intensive care, there seems to be a collective lack of vision or imagination for what being healthy or leading a healthful life may involve.
Can we sustain vibrant health at the levels of soma, psyche, soul and spirit without the means to meet our basic material needs, the ability to socially connect, to enjoy physical human contact, art, music, dance and culture, to have goals, hopes and dreams to work towards and to feel a certain degree of self determination over our own lives?
As a final reflection to leave readers with, I will close with this quote by Dr Samuel Hahnemann, father of homeopathy. In it Hahnemann encapsulates a definition of health beyond the absence of a negative, (uncomfortable or debilitating symptoms) which I hope the coming decade will see many more of us infected with the will and wisdom to strive for.
‘In the healthy human state, the spirit-like Living Power (Autocracy) enlivening the material body (organism) as Dynamis holds sway unrestrictedly and keeps all of its parts in admirable, harmonious, vital operation in both feelings and functions, so that our indwelling rational spirit can freely avail itself of this living healthy instrument for the higher purposes of our existence.”
By Emily Garcia
 Felitti, Vincent J; Anda, Robert F; et al. (May 1998). "Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study". American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 14(4): 245–258. doi:10.1016/S0749-3797(98)00017-8. PMID 9635069.
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