Christ Is Lord
The Watchtower Society & Medical Quackery
Unknown to most outside Jehovah's Witnesses
and in many cases JWs
themselves, is their long history of quack medical endorsements which put the health of millions of their followers at risk,
or caused the premature deaths of untold thousands.
The Watchtower Society has even endorsed some of the most notorious medical quacks of
the twentieth century such as Albert Abrams, George Starr White, Charles Betts, Bernarr McFadden and others. They have endorsed
numerous occult, psychic and pseudoscience nostrums and cures, even inventing, promoting and selling quack medical gadgets
to their followers.
The Watchtower sponsored such exotic and bizarre quackery as medical radiesthesia; radionics;
the Radio-Solar Pad (a worthless and perhaps harmful device containing Radium which was worn by no less than "Judge" Rutherford
the Society's second president); Zone therapy; Iridiagnosis; The Biological Blood Wash; The Radio
Disease Killer; The Electronic Radio Biola (invented by a JW); The Grape Cure; Ensign Remedies
and much more.
Anti American Medical Association Stance
The Golden Age Magazine
The Watchtower Society rarely published anything favorable to orthodox or
scientific medicine. This was especially true of The Golden Age magazine (Changed to Consolation in 1937 and to its current name Awake! in 1946). This magazine
by the Society, unlike The Watchtower, was not primarily concerned
with Biblical interpretation and theology. It was a news and information magazine for the general public and JWs.
Numerous articles were published on the subject of health and medicine, documenting their strange views on the subject.
Their view of scientific medicine was extremely critical and condemnatory until the 1960s when they became
more accepting. Here's a typical example from a Golden Age article which extolled the virtues
We do well to bear in mind that among the drugs, serums, vaccines, surgical operations, etc.,
of the medical profession, there is nothing of value save an occasional surgical proceedure. Their so-called "science" grew
out of Egyptian black magic and has not lost its demonological character.... we shall be in a sad plight when we place the
welfare of the race in their hands. 
They not only demonized the medical profession, but the prominant individuals within the movement such as Dr. Morris
Fishbien, the past president of the American Medical Association and former editer of its two periodicals, Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA) and Hygeia. In one Golden Age they
favorably quoted a quack medical journal that said:
The Journal of the A. M. A. is the vilest sheet that passes the United States mail.... Nothing
new and useful in theraputics escapes its unqualified condemnation. Its attacks are generally ad hominem. Its editorial columns
are largely devoted to character assasination.... Its editor [Morris Fishbein] is of the type of Jew that crucified Jesus
Just Say No To Drugs
The Watchtower Society condemned the use of drugs for the most part from Aspirin to
Morphine until fairly recently. Aspirin they said (ironically) caused heart disease and other maladies. 
In one early Golden Age though they claimed that intravenous drug use would be
common during the Millennium and that this would be used by The Christ (the 144,000 and Jesus) to help mankind become perfect,
free of all diseases! 
Many are aware that the Watchtower Society campaigned against vaccinations for decades.
They claimed it was "a direct violation of the everlasting covenant" and Witnesses
were expected not to have one. Vaccines were said to cause all kinds of disease:
Thinking people would rather have smallpox than vaccination, because the latter sows the seed
of syphilis, cancers, escema, erysipelas, scrofula, consumption, even leprosy and many other loathsome affections. Hence the
practice of vaccination is a crime, an outrage and a delusion. 
Vaccinations were useless:
Vaccination has never saved a human life. It does not prevent smallpox. 
In addition to diseases, vaccinations were responsible for the spread of "demonism"
and sexual immorality!  In short, vaccination was a "cruel hoax" on mankind by Satan himself.
 They carried on their crusade for decades after the medical community demonstrated the value of vaccinations in preventing
certain contagious diseases. No one knows what effect this ban on vaccinations had on JWs, but
one assumes many lives were at least put unnecessarily at risk.
The Watchtower Society also carried on an irrational campaign against aluminum cooking
ware. This was another "demonic" or Satanically inspired curse on mankind that they tried valiantly
to stop. Aluminum cookware was believed by the Society to cause all manner of ailments and disease
from athletes foot to cancer. This campaign was also carried on decades after aluminum cookware was shown to be harmless for
the general population.
Germs vs. Constipation
The Golden Age and its successor Consolation
contained several articles against the germ theory of disease. They believed the medical profession and scientific communities
that held certain germs caused disease were wrong. They believed that the germs associated with certain diseases followed
the arrival of the diseases. Instead of germs causing diseases, they believed diseases caused germs. The diseases themselves
were actually caused by improper diet and constipation! If one had less than two bowel movements a day, one would get any
number of diseases in short order.
Again, long after bacteria and viruses proved to be the cause of some diseases, The Golden
Age was saying that not a single disease was caused by germs, that Pasteur was a "fake"
and that Hydrophobia or Rabies was simply a "mental hoax". For this reason, The
Golden Age and Consolation magazines advised not to drink pasteurized milk, but
to drink it raw to get the benefits of nutrients destroyed during pasteurization.
Since they did not believe bacteria caused food poisoning, they thought it must be the aluminum food was cooked
in. Since viruses and bacteria didn't cause diseases such as smallpox, having a vaccination was viewed as putting "filthy
pus" into ones veins. The real culprit in disease causation was constipation!
The Watchtower Society rejected orthodox medicine until fairly recently.
It has instead promoted "alternative" medical philosophies and procedures much more vigorously.
The Golden Age, Consolation, and Awake!
magazine articles on health were almost exclusively from an anti orthodox and pro alternative medical position. Most
articles written on health in those magazines were written by alternative medical doctors, including Naturopaths, Homeopaths,
Chiropractors and Osteopaths. These alternative systems of healing have completely different ideas on the cause and cure of
diseases and have given rise to numerous quacks and quackeries.
Naturopathy has had a colorful history. Its basic philosophy sounds harmless enough and even intuitive. Disease
is the result of the body breaking down due to improper use and care (diet, etc.). Naturopathy seeks to help the body repair
itself "naturally" once damaged and prevent diseases with such things as proper diet, sleep, rest, fresh air, sunshine, exercise,
and so forth. They help "nature" cure by utilizing or strengthening the so-called "life force" of the person. Naturopaths
have thus traditionally been concerned with nutrition, diet and exercise. In this they have in some ways been ahead of their
time. However, this seemingly benign philosophy and approach has historically been frequently taken to unhealthy extremes
and has laid Naturopaths open to numerous quacks and quackery, which hasn't helped Naturopathic methods become accepted by
Naturopathy spawned and promoted numerous quack cures and treatments, which was thus promoted by the Jehovah's
Witnesses: The Biological Blood Wash; The Grape Cure; Iridiagnosis; Zone Therapy and more. This embracing of quackery
was due to Naturopaths (and JWs) having the tendency to accept anything and everything opposed
to orthodox medicine. MDs used "unnatural" substances (vaccines, serums, drugs, etc.) to cure which
went counter to Naturopathic philosophy of "natural cures". This was the reason for their (and
thus JWs) futile crusades against such things as vaccinations and drugs. 
Many Naturopaths accepted the other major "drugless" schools of medicine such as Osteopathy and Chiropractic. Watchtower doctors were mostly trained in these schools.
Unlike Naturopathy which had no known founder, Osteopathy was founded by Andrew Still, the son of a Methodist missionary.
Still's writings on Osteopathy are filled with religious themes and doctrines of his Methodist/Millerite faith. Still believed
God had inspired Osteopathy. 
The slogan of Naturopathy, "No surgery, no drugs, no serums" was adopted by all major "drugless" schools of healing
including Osteopathy. Still believed that disease was caused by improper nerve function and blood supply which were in turn
caused by small dislocations of the spinal vertebrae which would pinch, restrict or cut-off nerve and blood supply to the
rest of the body. These dislocations he called "subluxations". By adjusting these subluxations with the hands (massage, etc.),
these could correct the problem and cure the diseases that resulted from them.
In Stills textbook for the first Osteopathy school he founded, he claimed to be able to cure yellow fever, malaria,
diphtheria, rickets, piles, diabetes, dandruff, constipation and obesity by simply manipulating the spinal column to eliminate
Many of the doctors whose articles appeared in Society literature on health from 1919
to the 1960s were Osteopaths. The Society recommended Osteopathic treatment for many ailments into
the 1960s.  Today, Osteopaths have embraced some orthodox practices and now administer anethesia, prescribe drugs and
even perform minor surgery. They have thus dropped to some degree their "no drugs, no serums, no surgery" stand.
Chiropractic medicine was started by Daniel Palmer. It sprang from Osteopathy and originally had the same basic
philosophy: disease is caused by "subluxations" of the vertebrae of the spine pinching or constricting nerves. Chiropractic
"adjustments" of the spine to correct these subluxations will cure many diseases and ailments in the rest of the body. Palmer
believed the "life" or "vital" force of life (which he termed the "innate" force) expressed itself through the central nervous
system, which could be hindered by subluxations. 
Many Watchtower Society writers on health were Chiropractors, including A.G. Eckols
who treated J.F. Rutherfords pneumonia in San Diego which led to the building of Beth-Sarim. 
Chiropractic has evolved as well through the years. It now has two main branches, the "Mixers" and the "Straights".
The straights being of the old school and many are still against vaccinations, drugs, surgery, etc. The mixers (who out number
the straights) now "mix" Chiropractic with an acceptance of orthodox medicine and will refer patients to MDs for many medical
Quack Cures And Food Fads
In rejecting scientifically based medicine and embracing "alternative" philosophies and the anecdotes
and testimonies of laymen, the Watchtower Society has promoted one quackery after the other. Most
of the craziest theories and procedures of Naturopaths, Osteopaths and Chiropractors were also promoted by the Society.
This led to the following endorsements.
Russell and Medicine
Under Russell, their first president, the Watchtower Society didn't publish much on
the subject of health. The Watch Tower magazine was primarily concerned with theology, but when
commenting on medical matters Russell had some strange things to say. In the Jan. 15, 1912, Watch Tower
he announced a cure for appendicitis which he said was caused by "biting worms near the junction
of the transverse colon with the small intestines, low down on the right side of the abdomen." The remedy, he said,
was also good for typhoid fever "which is also a biting worm disease."  This announcement was
carried just below an announcement for "Millennial Beans" which were especially prodigious beans
discovered by a "Sister" in the "truth".
In 1881 Russell wrote in favor of the "Faith Cottage" Pink Cure.  In 1915,
he promoted Dr. Parks' cure for pneumonia which he said "seems to effect a cure every time."
It wasn't until the publication of the news magazine, The Golden Age in 1919, however,
that the Society really let their hair down in terms of explaining their medical views. What they
wrote is eye opening today. The Golden Ages health articles reads like a who's who and a
what's what in twentieth century quackery. If one wants to research the twentieth century opposition to orthodox medicine
and promotion of quackery and early "alternative" medicine, The Golden Age is a good, interesting
and entertaining source.
The Grape Cure
One of the strange cures advocated in The Golden Age included The Grape Cure
which was purported to cure cancer. It was a fasting diet favored by Naturopaths and others consisting solely of grapes. Grapes
for breakfast, grapes for lunch and grapes for dinner for weeks. This was about all that was needed to cure your cancer. The
philosophy and ideas behind it were strange, some would say occultic. The grape cure worked, according to its founder, Johanna
Brandt, because grapes were "magnetic" and pepped up your mind with the sun's healing "vibrations."
Needless to say, there are many stories of unfortunate individuals who tried this "cure" and died
of cancer. How many of those included Jehovah's Witnesses who followed The
Golden Ages endorsement is anybody's guess. 
The Golden Age also promoted iridology or iridiagnosis. This is a medical theory
and practice of diagnosing illnesses in the body by the appearance of the iris. Many "drugless" schools adopted this such
as Naturopathy and Chiropractic (some to this day). As may be expected, no scientific evidence exists as to the general diagnostic
value of the appearance of the iris, and most iridiagnosticians disagree amongst themselves what colors, specks and streaks
mean what in a persons eye. Nevertheless, it is experiencing something of a comeback in New Age/Alternative medical circles.
The Watchtower vigorously promoted "zone therapy" (now called Reflexology) into the
1960s. This is another strange belief and procedure for diagnosing and even curing diseases and ailments. It states that extremities
of the body such as fingers and toes control or at least represent and influence different "zones" or areas of the body. By
manipulating a person's toes (by placing rubber bands on certain toes in certain places for example) one can alleviate pain,
ailments and even diseases elsewhere in the body. Again, since this was a "natural" or "drugless" therapy many Naturopaths,
Osteopaths, Chiropractors and thus JWs relied on this method for treatment. 
The Watchtower Society for decades was heavily involved in various forms of what has
come to be called "medical radiesthesia." This is an occult philosophy that unknown and invisible rays, waves and "vibrations"
can be used to diagnose and cure diseases. The most well known example of this is Radionics or the ERA.
As documented before in this Journal, the Society for decades promoted the electronic
reactions of Abrams or the ERA after scientific investigations found little to be said in favor of it.  A "radionic" machine
is used to diagnose and cure patients sometimes at a distance from a handwriting sample, picture, blood sample or other personal
item of the patient. One JW doctor even invented an ERA gadget and sold it to JWs
in The Golden Age. This medical procedure is now viewed by the Watchtower Society
as "spiritism". 
The Golden Age promoted the medical use of Radium, a radioactive element which
is still used occasionally to destroy cancer cells as a form of radiation therapy. The Society's promotion
of Radium went well beyond its use in destroying cancerous cells. The Golden Age even advertised
The Radio-Solar Pad for sale. The Society's second president, J.F. Rutherford wore the belt to
help his pneumonia on the advice of his doctor, J.W. Coolidge in the early 1920's. The Golden Age
printed an article on this by Coolidge, followed by an endorsement by the "Judge."  An ad for the device
was included in several subsequent Golden Age issues.
The Golden Age even pointed out that apparently "honest"
demons, speaking through mediums or Ouija Boards, were saying that in discovering Radium, mankind was getting close to the
"secret" of life. The fact that "lying spirits" as they called them
said this didn't raise any red flags because, they said, "even liars will sometimes tell the truth."
After Radium "poisonings" from its radioactivity were widely reported in the popular press, the Society
ended their endorsement of such things as the RadioSolar Pad, despite its backing by "honest" liars.
Strange Medical Statements
The Golden Age and other Society publications
were so full of bizarre material on health that it's hard to believe. Here's a sampling of some of their statements which
may give you an idea:
If the organs [of your body] are diseased, heal them by correcting your diet. Avoid the use
of aluminum cooking utensils and alum baking powders as they are injurious to your health, poisoning your blood stream...
Sleep on the right side or flat on your back, with the head toward the north so as to get benefit of the earths magnetic currents.
Avoid serum inoculations as they pollute the blood stream with their filthy pus.... Stop chewing gum, as you need the saliva
for your food. 
But the dog-rabies-vaccine imposition is the latest.... Rabies! When it has been shown conclusively
that there is no such thing as rabies! 
The earlier in the forenoon you take the sun bath, the greater will be the beneficial effect,
because you get more of the ultra-violet rays, which are healing. 
It has never been proven that a single disease is due to germs. 
Quite likely there is some connection between the violation of human blood [vaccines] and the
spread of demonism.... 
Milk is the greatest curative food known. 
The Electronic Radio Biola
I HAVE named this new discovery, which I believe will be epochal in the history of the treatment
of disease, and which I am exclusively announcing in THE GOLDEN AGE prior to its general publication elsewhere, The Electronic
Radio Biola, which means life renewed by radio waves or electrons. The Biola automatically diagnoses and treats diseases by
the use of the electronic vibrations. The diagnosis is 100 percent correct, rendering better service in this respect than
the most experienced diagnostician.... THE principle of operation of the Biola is the collection... of the disease vibrations....
the fluid containing the same waves or vibrations enters the body, meets the disease waves and destroys them.... This is a
great step forward, marking the Biola as the most valuable treatment apparatus obtainable today, and well worthy of notice
in the columns of a magazine like THE GOLDEN AGE... 
All human ailments have their start in the intestines. 
HOW many people know, I wonder, of the curative properties of olive oil. The word "cure" is
a strong term.... I personally know of more than one being relieved of liver trouble, and even cured of gall stones, by the
use of olive oil.... A friend who for years has suffered pain in the region of the appendix was entirely relieved by the oil
Cigarettes and Mental Instability:
....Enfeebled constitutions, inherited from fashionable mothers, cannot stand up under tobacco...
AspirinThe Menace of Heart Disease 
Serum Led to Desire to Kill:
At Los Angeles a youth of 20 years was caught in the act of choking a woman of 75. Arrested,
and suspected of three murders, he claims the urge to kill came as a result of serum inoculations... 
Even years ago it was known by some people that the use of pacifiers by babies is one of the
chief causes of diseased and enlarged tonsils and adenoid growths, which results from the suction. 
Lemons and Kerosene:
A subscriber.... finds a drop or two of kerosene excellent for quickly cleaning sinks and bathtubs;
it cuts the dirt immediately and leaves no odor; and when applied to cuts the cuts heal sooner. Try it. 
The Watchtower Society's "bloodguilt"
No one knows how much unnecessary illness and death resulted among the Jehovah's
Witnesses from this endorsement of quackery and useless cures and remedies. Despite this though, The
Watchtower Society still claims to be God's organization on earth, His sole "channel of communication"
through whom alone the truth is dispensed to mankind. All other religions are false, soon to be destroyed by God at Armageddon.
They claim that all these religions, especially the churches of "Christendom", are "bloodguilty"
before God as their leaders promoted such things as wars which resulted in the untimely deaths of millions. They advise all
who will listen to forsake all these religions because of this bloodguilt. As they have said:
According to the Bible, when we deliberately put someones life unnecessarily in danger, we could
become bloodguilty. (Compare 1 Chronicles 11:17-19.) Christian parents would not want to incur bloodguilt by risking their
daughters lives in this way [female circumcision]. 
Avoid bloodguilt from (1) eating blood [blood transfusions], (2) sharing in bloodguilty organizations...
The Scriptures show that if we are part of any organization that is bloodguilty before God, we must
sever our ties with it if we do not want to share in its sins. (Rev. 18;4, 24: Mic. 4:3) 
As in most other cases from their theology to prophetic date setting, the Watchtower
Society's condemnatory words directed at others condemns themselves. May many JWs have the
courage to forsake organizations that have put the lives of their followers at risk such as the Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society.
References and Notes:
1. The Golden Age, Aug. 5, 1931, p. 727.
2. The Golden Age, September 26, 1934, p. 807.
3. The Golden Age, Feb. 27, 1935, pp. 343, 344; The Golden
Age, Sept. 23, 1936, p. 822; Consolation, Oct. 5, 1938, p. 7.
4. The Golden Age, March 17, 1920, p. 808.
5. The Golden Age, May 1, 1929, p. 502.
6. The Golden Age, Feb. 4, 1931, p. 294.
7. The Golden Age, Feb. 4, 1931, p. 293.
8. Consolation, May 31, 1939, p. 3.
9. See "Naturopathy and its Professors," (Chapter IX) in Morris Fishbien, Fads and Quackery in Healing,
(NewYork: Covici, Friede, Publishers), 1932, pp. 117-139 which lists some of the various quack promotions and ideas in Naturopathy
up to 1932. See further, Dr. Robert A. Wood, "The Case for Naturopathy" and Joseph D. Wasserburg, M.D., "The Case Against
Naturopathy,"American Merury, May, 1950, pp. 542-556; Martin Gardner, Fads and Fallicies In The Name of Science
(New York: Dover Publications), 1957, pp. 195-198.
10. Gardner, pp. 199-201.
11. Gardner, p. 200.
12. Arthur D. Hildreth, "Osteopathic Treatment of Insanity," The Golden Age,
Oct. 26, 1932, pp. 53-4; "Osteopathy Fights for Your Health," Awake!, May 8, 1949, pp. 13-15; "What is Osteopathy?", Awake!, Dec. 8, 1961, pp. 20-23.
13. Jack Raso, "Alternative" Healthcare A Comprehensive Guide, (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books), 1993,
14. The Golden Age, April 27, 1921, p. 437.
15. Raso, pp. 147-8.
16. Watch Tower Reprints, p. 4963.
17. Reprints, p. 226.
18. Reprints, p. 5691.
19. Johanna Brandt, The Grape Cure, 1928.
20. Hugh Burroughs, "Iridology" in Alternative Healing (LaMesa, CA.: Halcyon Publishing); Raso, p. 197;
Gardner, p. 193; Kurt Butler, "Iridology" in A Consumers Guide to "Alternative Medicine"(Buffalo, NY.: Prometheus Books),
1992, pp. 196-198.
21. Butler, pp. 103-4; Gardner, pp. 193-5; Awake!,
Sept. 22, 1951, pp. 27-28.
22. Ken Raines, "The ERA Ouija Board, part 1", JW Research, Winter, 1995, pp. 7-15; JW Research Journal,
Spring, 1996, pp. 4-20.
23. Ken Raines, "Quack Cures and Radionic Ouija Boards", JW Research Journal, Spring, 1996, pp.21-25.
24. J.W. Coolidge, "Life and the Life-Giver", The Golden Age, June 23, 1920,
pp. 606-7; J.F. Rutherford, "Comments on the Foregoing", The Golden Age,
June 23, 1920, p. 607.
25. The Golden Age, Jan. 19, 1921, p. 239; The Golden
Age, May 11, 1921, p. 480, etc.
26. C.J. Woodworth, "Radium Earths Most Valuable Substance", The Golden Age,
Feb. 2, 1921, p. 260.
27. The Golden Age, Nov. 12, 1929, p. 107.
28. The Golden Age, Jan. 1, 1923, p. 214.
29. The Golden Age, Sept. 13, 1933, p. 777.
30. The Golden Age, Jan. 16, 1924, p. 250.
31. The Golden Age, Feb. 4, 1931, p. 293.
32. The Golden Age, Dec. 8, 1920, p. 146.
33. The Golden Age, April 22, 1925, p. 454.(Ad for the Electronic Radio Biola
is on page 479.)
34. The Golden Age, Nov. 28, 1928, p. 133.
35. The Golden Age, July 5, 1935, p. 632.
36. The Golden Age, Oct. 25, 1933, p. 57.
37. The Golden Age, Sept. 23, 1936, p. 822.
38. Consolation, Dec. 1, 1937, p. 12.
39. The Golden Age, Nov. 26, 1919, p. 153.
40. Consolation, Dec. 1, 1931, p. 12.
41. Awake!, June 22, 1985, p. 27.
42. The Watchtower, June 15, 1978, p. 25.
43. United in Worship of the Only True God, 1983, p. 155.