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October 10, 2004

'Modern Medicine : the New World Religion' by Olivier Clerc


A presentation of Oliver Clerc's book, published by Personhood Press, California, April 04.

" Ô Lord, I trust you so much that sometimes I call you 'Doctor' ! " says an old lady praying in church, in a famous French cartoon that Olivier Clerc could well have used for the cover of his illuminating essay on medicine and religion. Medicine, this author writes, is in many ways more a religion than a science. Strong hidden religious influences determine along what lines modern medicine is developing, what researches can be made, what theories are called "heretic", as well as the kind of relationships that exist between physicians and patients, or between medicine and the State, etc.

It all started, O. Clerc says, with Louis Pasteur, the French founder of modern day medicine and "Good Shepherd" of medical religion ("pasteur" means "shepherd" in French). Pasteur, a devoted Catholic, strove to prove the religious truths he believed in in the medical field, which led him to twist the theories he "borrowed" from his contemporaries (A. Bchamp, for instance), to ignore relevant facts, and to found modern medicine on four major dogmas that were all proved wrong in the following decades.

As a result, medicine has developed along the same lines as the Christian religion, duplicating its structure, its relationships, its beliefs, taboos and practices, Clerc shows.

Physicians are its priests; the search for health mimics the quest for salvation; the hope of physical immortality (through cryonisation, cloning and genetic manipulation) competes with eternal life; vaccination plays the same initiatory role as baptism; and a universal vaccine is expected to save all mankind from illness, tomorrow, just as the Saviour atoned for the sins of the world.

Today, the medical powers, Clerc continues, have a strong political influence, just as the Catholic Church used to; "charlatans" are prosecuted as were "heretics" in the past; dogmatism in medicine often prevails over an open state of mind regarding "unorthodox" - yet quite relevant - theories.

Finally, Clerc states, present medical behavior and arguments deprive us of our responsibility for our health, just as the religious powers did for centuries with people's spiritual evolution. We are still being manipulated by fears and childish hopes, the author concludes.

Interestingly, Clerc's argument is not accusatory but enlightening. No conspiracy theorist, he does not accuse some hidden Machiavellian medico-pharmaceutical power of abusing people's ignorance and making money on their illnesses, nor does he put his readers in the position of victims. Instead, he highlights the phenomena that have lead to that evolution, unbeknownst to the majority of people. To do so, he uses an interesting metaphor : "Just as the magnetic field of a magnet placed under a sheet of paper controls the way iron filings fall on its surface, revealing the invisible lines of force between the two poles of the magnet, a "religious field" likewise imperceptibly structures and organizes the development of modern medicine." This invisible "religious field", Clerc writes, is made up of all the beliefs of the Christian religion.

Rational and scientific on the surface, our society remains thus deeply religious, he explains. We took away the former "iron filings," the specific collective religious forms, but we did not change the "current of thoughts", the underlying "religious field" which continues to exert the same influence, but through medicine, now.

Therefore, behind the different structures of medicine and the Church of Rome we find the same fundamental concepts, the same relationships, the same characteristics, the same fears, the same hopes and expectations, according to this author. The light that Clerc sheds on this superposition of medicine and religion can bring about a needed new awareness and important changes.

Indeed, as he shows, this substitution of medicine for religion has many unfortunate consequences that we are not clearly aware of. In medical research, it influences what should be looked for and what can be discovered. "Any discovery or theory that is at odds with the over-arching orthodoxy is rejected, and its authors called heretics", Clerc explains. "Entire areas of research, as well as promising new lines of approach, are thus disqualified." We must thus become aware of how religious beliefs and fears surreptitiously influence medicine if we want to be responsible for our own health, and if medicine is to be free from unconscious and limiting influences.

First published in France in 1999, Olivier Clerc's essay received a lot of positive feed-back from the medical field: many physicians and researchers shared with him how his unprecedented outlook on their field of activity helped them better understand what was really going on below the surface. Thanks to Personhood Press, this valuable book is now available to all English-speaking readers.

"Every so often someone comes along and bonks us in the head with a proposition that elucidates something we already know but have not formulated into a whole idea. Your book about the new religion has done that. " Tim Bennett, a reader.

"I want to say to you that your essay is some of the best integrated writing I have seen on consciousness. Authors such as you help many readers connect the dots of their own experience. Your essay furthers my understanding of much more than even medicine. It helps me understand the state of planetary consciousness. Thank you again for this unique and enlightening perspective." Ray Carlson, a reader

"Your book is a major calling into question of several of our essential fears, as well as our more or less conscious search of how to rid ourselves of uncertainty. I can only say that I wholeheartedly agree with what you have said so well. Your development clarifies everything in a way that is most remarkable." Dr Andr Passebecq, pioneer of natural medicines in France and author of over thirty books on naturopathy.

"This is an important book. It is the book of an "honest man", as one might have said in the XVIIIth century. Not only is it written in a language of quality - the first courtesy to the reader, but also the expression of a clear mind - it is also the book of a humanist. It allowed me to structure and clear up several ideas and feelings which seem to me decisive for the future. Who shall read this book will make progress in the knowledge of him(her)self, in bringing up to date some of his (her) regressive temptations. It is an hymn to liberty. Which includes of course responsibility." Jean-Yves Revault, French author of several novels and self-help books.

Click here to order 'Modern Medicine: the New World Religion' by Olivier Clerc


mandato da Robin Good il Sunday October 10 2004
aggiornato il Monday September 25 2006

URL of this article:


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