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"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Health and Disease - 20 Jan 2006
By Mary T. Hoffman

Have you noticed how we are being inundated by TV ads from the pharmaceutical industry? And all those new “diseases”! It seems as though every symptom qualifies as a new “disease” which must be treated with a newly patented medication. Apparently, many people are taken in by all those ads. Public Citizen, in their excellent articles, reports how these ads are increasing sales. The number of people asking their doctors for these meds they have seen advertised has increased dramatically.

And of course magazines, Time and National Geographic to name only two, contain these ads, also.

All of this makes me wonder how much the content of programs or publications has to be carefully “self-censored” so as not to upset the companies who pay for these commercials. Obviously, anything that would cast a negative light on the pharmaceutical industry, or encourage people to wise up and take charge of their health so that they become less and less dependent on their products, would be a “no-no.” It is common for a little wishy-washy “health advice” to be given on TV. Something like “eat a healthy diet and exercise.” That’s not telling you what the “healthy diet” is, of course. (By the way, have you noticed how the language is changing? Lately it has become acceptable to say “healthy” when “healthful” is really meant. My English teachers would disapprove!)

It is shameless the way patients are manipulated through “peer groups.” It seems that every ailment has a “peer group” that keeps these patients loyal to the pharmaceutical company manipulators pulling the strings. It is common knowledge that it is in the best financial interest of the industry to help keep patients with chronic illnesses alive so they can be life-long users of their products. Chronic, managed illness means a steady stream of money for the industry.

It is interesting how many of these patients become complicit to their own detriment. They bear their illness as a status symbol or a badge of honor. One such example is an ad by one of the large pharmaceutical companies. In this TV ad, women who have had breast cancer call each other “sister”, etc. You get the picture!

Frank and I take absolutely no medications, not even aspirin. It is funny how twice a year when we go to the dentist for our semi-annual cleaning and check-up, the dental hygienist asks each of us if anything has changed with our health. She used to ask if we take any medications. The answer has always been “none.” And “no” nothing has changed health-wise, and we believe that this is because we eat a healthful, whole food (unprocessed), vegan diet.

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