Doctor in the Australian Bushland
Interview with Dr. John Fielder


Where are you located and how long have you been there? Are you in the Australian Outback?

I am located at the provincial city of Cairns, which has a population of 100.000 - in the state of Queensland. I have a clinical practice in Cairns and live in the Ranges behind Cairns at the Clohesy River on my 300 acre organic farm, which I operate as a health retreat cum Hygienic centre. I also am teaching Natural Hygiene - through my Natural Hygiene Course and my books on Natural Hygiene.
Dr. Fielder 2003 I live in the mountains a thousand feet above sea level, approximately one hour's drive from Cairns. It is referred to as "air-conditioned" Cairns. And it is hilly. I live in a valley with a twelve hundred foot mountain range on one side.
No we are not in the "Australian Outback". That is the inland area and we are on the coast. Cairns is mainly a sugar growing area with corn, potatoes and tobacco on the Atherton tablelands, and cattle more inland.

I relocated from Adelaide in South Australia to Cairns Xmas 1966-7 and settled at Redlynch a rural suburb of Cairns and established the Crystal Cascades Natural Health Centre.
In 1970 I relocated to the Clohesy River property, a virgin piece of bushland, with no roads or buildings. Although there is a large percentage of the population indicating a preference for alternative ways, there are very few Hygienists in this area. It is hard for many to relate to the difference in population density of Australia and the US. On a population basis if we have two Hygienists in a given area, in the US you would have twenty.


Were you born in Adelaide? Can you say some more about your family, early diseases, treatments, health search?

Yes, I was born in Adelaide (in 1931). My family were very straight down the line, three veg and meat eaters. And it must be cooked because raw food would make you ill. I have this childhood memory of always wanting to eat the food before it was cooked and being told that I could not do so as it would make me ill.
"Three veg and meat eaters" are those people in Australia who eat potato, green vegetable and a root vegetable, all boiled up, with some form of meat, be it white, red, or whatever.

The first twenty-eight years of my life I was a constant sufferer of bronchitis and migraine, developing arthritis at 18 and asthma at twenty-eight.
The migraine and bronchitis I had from a very early age, in fact I do not recall not being without them. I was taken from Dr to Dr and spent more time at home till I was about nine or ten years of age, than at school. I had major bouts of hallucinating which, until I found out otherwise, I considered as the symptoms of my condition, but later discovered were the effects of the drug medication.

Through an injury, a fall of twelve feet on to my back on concrete I came into contact with Chiropractic, and through Chiropractic, Nature Cure, and through Nature Cure, Natural Hygiene. I tried all the other alternatives, supplements, vitamins, homeopathy etc., and always felt intuitively that they were not the answer.
My search started at the time of the fall. My father was a physiotherapist who realized the limitations of physiotherapy and the benefits of chiropractic and advised that I should seek help this way. Alternative therapies were very much in the realm of the "lunatic" fringe at that time.


Your occupation until about age thirty must have been outside the health field?

Dr. Fielder and Mamiko Prior to becoming involved in this work I had been employed in the tourist industry as a tour guide conducting tours all over Australia. I started out trying to work in offices but soon realized that to have a modicum of health I needed to be out in the fresh air and sunlight, physically active etc. I tried all sorts of jobs, door to door sales, labouring, farm hand, truck driving, drove rigs all over Australia, company representative, manager, until I found the tourist industry which seemed to provide me with a balance of physical activity - as I had a vehicle to maintain and 30 odd tourists to look after in the way of carrying there bags and looking after their other day to day physical needs. And psychological needs, in having to deal with all the problems inherent to playing nursemaid, and be father figure etc., to such a disparate group of people.
Things in Australia at that time were certainly quite primitive alongside what they are today. When travelling from Adelaide to say, Perth or Alice Springs we traveled where there were no formed roads as such, just bush tracks. We sometimes camped out on the side of the road. And it was my job to provide the meals, help set up the tents, drive the coach, conduct a commentary, at these times. Thank goodness for the fact that we usually did stay in some form of hotel.
I loved the work, and was good at it, and the hard work and being outside did give me the best quality of life I can ever recall up till that time. The headaches were less frequent and I had very few attacks of bronchitis as well as finding that the arthritis in my hands gave me very little trouble.

It was not until I stopped this and became more sedentary as I started studying again that I developed the asthma. Fortunately this was for a relatively short period, say a couple of years until I learnt how to deal with it Hygienically. At one period of six months I fasted more than I feasted. I learnt that as soon as I started to sweat that this would break the attack. As soon as I had any indication that an attack was pending, I would put on an overcoat, or stand under a hot shower, anything to make me sweat and let the skin take over and relieve the bronchials.

Frightening - yes - but in the beginning we must do it by faith. As soon as you have experienced it, it no longer is an act of faith, but one of knowledge. And no one can take that away from you.
I had been so close to dying so many times in my life that death had no fear for me. Nor does it. I knew, and know, that if I cannot survive without drugs, I possibly could not with them. These are philosophical questions, we could also refer to them as being academic as who can really say whether we would have died under such and such circumstances. People survive every day under the most bizarre circumstances and against all the so-called odds. And look at the controversy over vaccination, to touch on just one area. The establishment tells us that we need this or that vaccine to survive this or that situation. Yet it is very well documented that this is far from the case, and that in fact vaccinations cause more ills than they supposedly cure.

I am very much in agreement with Dr Shelton that all action of the body is right action - although at times we may not perceive it as such.
One of the hardest factors for us all is to learn to "trust the process, without seeking to control, taking everything as it comes" to paraphrase the words of Gary Zukav in his book "The Seat of the Soul". To intelligently leave alone. And as I said earlier, once you have experienced this process no one can take it from you. It is yours for all time, unless of course you decide to do otherwise. In religious parlance it would then be termed "back-sliding". In the words of the great Persian philosopher Zoroaster, it requires continual vigilance. When people comment on how well I may look, my comment is "Yes, I am working at it, aren't you ?" Not that I am always 100 % all of the time. About once a year at least, I spend time fasting (resting) to recuperate from the effects of my indiscretions, minor though they may well seem to the casual observer. And I expect, and welcome these times to rejuvenate and regenerate my system.


How/when did you discover Natural Hygiene? Did you try other systems? Why did you decide to become a doctor?

I discovered Hygiene through Nature Cure, and I am not referring here to Naturopathy as we know it today. Historically, Nature Cure and Naturopathy were and still are not the same.
In the late 1800's Naturopathy attached itself to the Nature Cure of Priessnitz, Kuhne, Just, etc., who, although they are mainly remembered as hydropathists, were equally Hygienists. It is of interest to note that such leading figures as Dr Russell T. Trall, Dr Joel Shew, Dr James C. Jackson etc., were essentially hydropathists. And if they eventually eschewed much of the hydrotherapy that they had learned, this was very much in the tradition of the Nature Curists (not the Naturopaths) of Europe. I would venture to say that today's Nature Curists use hydrotherapy in preference to the use of medical drugs. And when used in this way with discretion and insight into the needs of the patient is a far lesser evil, if evil it is. In fact as I have observed its use it is extremely useful and beneficial and in line with Hygienic principles.

The first person to enthuse me was the itinerant lecturer Martin Pretorius, a South African by birth,and US citizen by adoption. Pretorius moved to Australia at that time. It appears that he had been involved with a group of people who had endeavoured to set up a community of like minded people and it had collapsed.
He was the best lecturer, as far as a lecturer goes, I have ever had the pleasure to hear. The principles he taught were almost Hygienic. I was greatly disappointed to subsequently hear him advocate the use of many non Hygienic measures.

My next contact in this area was Dr Bernard Jensen. I arranged his first lecture tour to Australia in 1964. Dr Jensen also impressed me as a lecturer, but I could not agree with his philosophy which enabled him to advocate and use many non-Hygienic measures too. Remember that up till this time I was still unaware of Natural Hygiene.

Pretorius was unhygienic in his advocacy of all types of pills and potions with the idea of curing the disease. The same could be said of Jensen. You had to find the right remedy. To put it simply, although, as many others also do, they gave lip service to the self reparative action of the body, but in reality had not divested themselves of the medical paradigm.
It was Trall who said, and I quote from memory, " Nature has not provided remedies for diseases, she has provided penalties. There is no cure but a return to obedience."

By the time I invited Jensen to Adelaide I had, in conjunction with others, established a group which we called the "Natural Health Society" and which by the way is still going. We were all looking for some form of truth in the maze of information and misinformation which was, and still is, being circulated. We all lived in urban areas at that time and used to go to the mountains camping on weekends. Hiking and swapping information and eating the best we knew how. We had over a hundred members at our meetings, which was exceptional for a city the size of Adelaide. Each meeting would commence with what I think you would refer to as a "pot-luck" meal. And then we would have a meeting afterwards with speakers on organic gardening and all the different ideas of alternative healing.


How did you find Nature Cure, through your chiropractor, reading or lecturers?

I discovered Nature Cure through Mr L.O. Bailey.
Through my studies I came across the case of the Hopewood children. These were 85 war-orphans who had been raised by the philanthropy of a Mr L.O. Bailey and whose health history had been written up in the Medical and Dental Journals. I subsequently commenced to correspond with Mr Bailey on the children's health, and other matters of health in general. He in his wisdom and kindness, subsequently explained to me that he was not really trained in that area, and had taken the liberty of passing on my latest letter to their head Naturopath, Kenneth S. Jaffrey. Mr Bailey was by this time a member of the ANHS and a personal friend of Dr Shelton. And it was through Mr Bailey and Kenneth Jaffrey that I first learned of Natural Hygiene.

The Hopewood Story is told in a book by Jack Dun Trop called "A Gift of Love". It should be in the ANHS library. It is now out of print. A synopsis of it is available from the Hopewood Health Centre, Wallacia, NSW, but it is not as good as JDT's book.
The Hopewood children were observed by the medical and dental fraternity of the day and records were kept by them of their overall progress they really being "wards of the state." Mr Bailey was a philanthropist who expanded his businesses to supply the money to enable him to pay for the care of these children. He established a special body to do this, The Youth Welfare Association, and invited other business men to subcribe to the idea.
A number did so, but it was mainly his money that maintained it. Later he established the Hopewood Health Centre.

In his younger years Mr Bailey had suffered from ill health himself and had come across the work of Dr William Howard Hay. I do not recall the whole story, but it was through following his teachings that he was able to recover his health. I have just referred to the book by JDT and in it he tells the story of how Mr Bailey first came into contact with what he called Natural Health. It appears that he read a book called "The Fast Way to Health" by a Dr McCoy in 1932 whom he followed until he discovered Dr Hay in 1935. In 1940 he came into contact with the writings and work of a Dr Allan Carroll who had established what was known as the Child Study Association And which I recall as still in operation in the 50's in Sydney. the whole story is to be found in JDT's book, "A Gift of Love".Dr Carroll had died in 1911.
I am unable to find the date of the year in which Mr Bailey discovered Natural Hygiene, but to quote from the book, "... until the end of his life, he held the works of Dr Herbert Shelton, Dr Allan Carroll, Dr Alexis Carrel, and Dr Robert McCarrison, in the highest esteem.


In the meantime I had enrolled at the Naturopathic College of South Australia, studying Naturopathy, Chiropractic and Osteopathy.
Kenneth S. Jaffrey became my first mentor. He introduced me to the teachings of Dr Shelton, C. Leslie Thomson, of the Edinburgh School of Natural Therapeutics which constantly supplied articles for Dr Shelton's Hygienic Review, and Professor Dr E.B.Szekely, of the Rancho La Puerta in Mexico. And although Dr Shelton wrote a number of scathing articles in the Hygienic Review, Dr Szekely based much of his teachings on Hygienic principles and cited as his source Dr Sheltons publications. In due course I commenced to correspond with Dr Shelton, C. Leslie Thomson, and Professor Szekely, so that they in fact became my mentors too.

Kenneth S. Jaffrey was diagnosed with cancer of the liver when in his early twenties. At that time he was told that he had no more than three months to live. He heard of Professor Szekely, who then introduced him to his form of Hygiene which he called, in those days, "Cosmotherapy", and which later became "Biogenic Living", which was largely based upon the principles of Natural Hygiene. Jaffrey was subsequently restored to health and then decided to study under Szekely, to equip himself to practice Nature Cure (as he preferred to call it) professionally. Kenneth Jaffrey died in comfort in his own home, early last year (1998) in his 90th year, having continued to live by the principles of Nature Cure and Natural Hygiene.

C. Leslie Thomson was the son of James C. Thomson who had trained under Dr Henry Lindlahr in Chicago and returned to his native Scotland to establish a practice in Edinburgh. He himself had been invalided out of the army, as I recall, and told to go and put his life in order as he did not have much longer to live.
History records that he did not die, and subsequently went on to live a very productive life. His recovery was via natural methods, hence his subsequent travelling to the USA to study under Lindlahr.
He established the Kingston Clinic and later the Edinburgh School of Natural Therapeutics. Both he and his son Leslie, wrote many books on Nature Cure and published a magazine cum news-letter called Rude Health, extracts from which were frequently published in Dr Shelton's Hygienic Review. The basic premises of their teachings were almost completely in line with those of Natural Hygiene. They differed mostly in their advocacy of the conservative use of hydrotherapy, manipulation, limited use of the fast.

There are about 70 books of Professor Szekely's still being published by his widow.They are mostly on the Essenes and pre-Colombian culture in whom he was vitally interested. And although in many ways he still retained a modicum of his medical bias, he was a brilliant man who led a fascinating life. His resort in California, The Golden Door, is of course very well known. And although he has been badly vilified, and pilloried, the essence of what he has to say is almost pure Natural Hygiene.

There has been, and of course still is, theoretical dissention between the Nature Curists and Natural Hygiene. Dr Shelton could be very caustic at times in the articles that he wrote. And in the letter of the law he was usually quite right in what he wrote. In the essence though, I feel he may have erred.
As can be seen I did not, nor do I always agree with Dr Shelton, which of course is true of the others, Szekely and Thomson. But isn't this the "nature of the beast". In essence, yes, I feel wholly in accord, but in particular points we all have our differences. So be it.

Shelton and the others were my mentors in teaching me how to deal with each and every situation that one is faced with in coping with every imaginable illness and accident in an Hygienic manner without having to resort to the use of drugs. And where surgery is only resorted to in the case of accidents and/or congenital defects etc.


Were there any lectures on Natural Hygiene at the Naturopathic College or the Melbourne College before you? Did you get any NH followers?

In 1963 I graduated in Osteopathy, Chiropractic and Naturopathy from the Naturopathic College of South Australia and commenced training in various clinics specializing in these disciplines as well as physiotherapy. I also commenced part time clinical practice.

Then I commenced full time clinical practice.
I also commenced as lecturer in the History, Philosophy and Practice of Natural Hygiene, Nature Cure, and Biogenic Living, and Physiological Chemistry at the College.

I continued in this capacity until I relocated from Adelaide to Cairns in 1967-68. During those years I was also visiting lecturer in those subjects at the Chiropractic and Osteopathic College in Melbourne, Victoria. The students at the Melbourne College had been exposed to a little of the teachings of Nature Cure, but were totally unaware of those of Natural Hygiene.

Prior to my lecturing at the Naturopathic College there were no lectures in Natural Hygiene. At one stage I was nearly dismissed as my lectures were causing the students to question the relevance of those on homeopathy, vitamin-therapy etc.
I would not have convinced more than about six students at the College to embrace the teachings of Natural Hygiene in all its ramifications. Most students were there to make as much money as they possibly could. I have been informed that " I care not whether it is right or wrong, I care only how much it effects my hip pocket".

In 1968 I interned at the Hopewood Health Centre at Wallacia N.S.W. for a period of two months. I supported myself with my clinical practice which was mainly based upon my training in Osteopathy and Chiropractic. That is, of course until I had the facilities (in Cairns) for people to stay.


Why did you relocate to Cairns? Did you have any contacts there? Was your intention to have a hygienic institution?

My relocation to Cairns was to establish a Hygienic institution as I could see that it was not possible to do so in or near Adelaide. I came to Cairns sight unseen. An act of faith it could be said.
Our move from Adelaide to Cairns occurred over the period of Xmas, New Year, 1967-8. My wife, myself and family of six children, the youngest of which was six weeks old, left Adelaide with our car and caravan on a three thousand mile trek from one end of Australia to almost the other on the day before Xmas. We traveled relatively slowly to give the children the opportunity to experience the journey both as a holiday and as an educational experience.

We arrived in Cairns towards the end of January and spent the next three months living in a van park. At this stage a very kind couple who had an eleven acre banana plantation and a very large house nearby offered to allow us to occupy the unused section of their house, as well as access to a part of the farm for the growing of tropical fruits organically. As they were also in the process of renovating the house and cleaning up the property, which they had only recently purchased - the house being in a somewhat dilapidated condition having stood empty for some years, and the farm a veritable rubbish dump from previous tenants - we became involved in its regeneration.

Within a year or so the house was renovated sufficiently enough for us to utilize a couple of rooms for people requiring in-patient care, as in the supervision of fasting etc. We had cleaned up enough of the farm to enable us to plant it up with tropical fruits and in particular papayas, which were almost our staple food. I say almost, as we were not and I am not fruitarians, although I have certainly lived as such for a number of years, but have concluded that it is not the ultimate in nutrition.
This experience led me to similar conclusions to those of Dr Gian-Cursio although I was unaware of them at the time. It was not until I visited Dr Stanley Bass' website that I learnt of this.


What was your experience as a fruitarian - that made you conclude it is not the ultimate in nutrition? With yourself or others?

My experience with fruitarianism was both with myself and many others. The climate here in the tropics is very conducive to living only on fruit, nuts, seeds etc. The first three years appear to be very good, with the next two a plateau, and then it is all down hill. I have been in contact with many people who have had the same experience, or similar. That is of course if they are strict with their diet and don't cheat. And some who were just that , they didn't make it, they died.
I have seen couples who just could not conceive until such time as they added some form of animal product to their diet. And if they continued this way the children were normal. But if they discontinued the animal product as soon as they conceived the child was born brain damaged.
The number of brain damaged children due to the vegan diet I would consider to have been around 3%, that is three in every 100 births. And there should not have been any. These people were not exposed to chemicals, or any other factor that I could find. And they definitely were not involved in the use of social drugs.

The addition of the animal product refers to a vegan diet which includes vegetables and not only fruit. The animal product could be either raw or cooked. It is my own personal belief that if we were able to follow this whole cycle through and observe all its ramifications, as with Pottenger and his cats, we would find that the animal product would produce far superior results if it were raw.

I have observed children who have not grown from the age of nine months for the next two years because the parents adopted a fruitarian regimen, and so fed the child. The non-growth of the children was, and is, common where the children are fed exclusively on fruit.

No I am not in favour of fruitarianism.


Can you tell more about life on the piece of bushland outside Cairns?

In 1970 I relocated to a farm of 300 acres of virgin open forest country which when I purchased it had no road access, buildings or trees other than the native ones. My wife and family continued to live in Cairns and eventually went our separate ways. The farm was a part of a nearly one thousand acre property which was purchased in conjunction with two other friends and subdivided in to three separate farms. From the outset, and even till this day, we still co-operate in any venture for the care and development of our respective farms that we possibly can. We built roads and cleared land to enable us to live.

For the first two years I lived in a caravan and on occasion had three people fasting in the caravan as well as living in it myself. I developed a large vegetable garden and spent sometimes 3 and 4 hours a day carrying buckets of water by hand from the river to maintain it. That is until a kind friend took pity on me and gave me an old pump with a motor to drive it. Most of my patients had little money, so there was no money to spare. And those who could afford to pay more would not settle for what they called our "primitive" conditions.


Then I experienced an incident, which appeared that it may well be the end of it all. When helping a friend to build with timber which had been treated for termites I inadvertently was poisoned. This incapacitated me for the next eight months. I used only Hygienic methods for my restoration and they were eminently successful. As you can see, I didn't die and was restored to full health.

Some two years later I had the experience of rolling a tractor on top of myself and crushing two thoracic vertebra. Hygienic methods over the next six months enabled full restoration of mobility, if not complete healing. Subsequent events have shown certain residual damage is still evident.
The following year I experienced a further tractor accident impaling my left foot. This was also treated effectively Hygienically without any subsequent repercussions evident. This time it only required three months of invalidism. After this last experience I consciously decided that I would not have any further accidents, and I haven't.

The periods that I mentioned when I was incapacitated I was unable to work. I had to live on my savings, and on occasion the goodwill of my friends.
I treated myself by fasting as required and able, eating only raw foods when eating, sunbathing (not baking), spending most of the day outside in the fresh air, bathing in the river, and exercising as was appropriate and I was able.
At one stage, this was when I was dealing with the poisons, I spent 13 weeks on grapes and when the grapes ran out, four weeks on pears. During this period I also found myself experiencing deep depression, which I believe is a symptom of poisoning, especially as I had never experienced it previously. To maintain my sanity, whenever I felt this way I would crawl down to the river and sit listening to it until such time as I felt better. And no, I don't feel that way these days.

You may be wondering as to why I had to crawl to the river from the poisoning episode. When the poisoning occurred I was handling treated timber, that is timber treated for termites, and a piece grazed my right thigh opening a wound which bled, but not too badly, and which at the time I took no notice of. The next day my thigh was so badly swollen that I could not walk, and subsequently the wound developed a head similar to a very large carbuncle which oozed puss and blood. This did not heal for eight months.

In 1980 after a rather traumatic family time and experience I developed a pre-cancerous condition of the lower jaw on the site of a dental x-ray of twenty years previously. As it was the only dental x-ray that I have ever had, there is no question as to where etc. An ulcer developed on the lower jaw inside the mouth and oozed pus and blood almost continuously for the next seven years when it healed. Only Hygienic methods were used.


Can you say more about how you treated yourself with hygienic methods?

One of the steps I took at that time was to eliminate all grain foods, and all cooked foods. Prior to that I would eat bread baked by myself from grains, which I ground myself from organically grown grains, as well as brown rice, and baked potatoes. My experience has led me to believe in the superiority of an all raw diet as well as the simplicity of it against even small amounts of cooked foods.

According to my studies, leprosy did not appear until such time as man commenced to introduce grains. Tooth deacy also became more prevalent.
Bircher - Benner said at one point that he had found that only healthy people could digest cooked foods and that only as long as they did not constitute more than 50% of the diet. That ill people required to consume 100% raw to recover. The study of Pottenger and his cats. The experience of Dr Kristine Nolfi of Denmark. And that of Dr Abramowski of Mildura, Victoria, Australia. These were some of the people who convinced me of the benefits of such a regimen. Upon experiencing the results I needed no further proof.

The bottom line was, and is, that I have found it so much easier to maintain a 100% raw food diet than to eat even a modicum of cooked food. I am not attracted to cooked food at all. On the very odd occasion that I may have tasted any cooked food it has always smelt attractive and been tasteless, as well as leaving a very foul after taste.

With all the research I have carried out, in conjunction with my own experience, both personally and clinically, it has been shown, and everyone agrees that whatever food we eat, it is best consumed in its whole raw state to achieve fullness of life, health and healing.


What do you think of the idea of eating raw meat, like Aajonus Vonderplanitz recommends?

In the transcript that you sent me of Aajonus, he quotes a number of scientific sources to back up his dietary claims. (Ed. note: from a M2M interview. Read it here.) Two of the people quoted were, not to my personal knowledge, meat eaters. They were Dr Gordon Latto, who died last year and whom I knew personally, and Dr Bircher-Benner. Now it is possible that he was referring to their advocacy of raw food and not to meat eating as such.
- Did some further checking on Dr Bircher-Benner and meat eating. In his book, Childrens Diet Book, pp 24, he writes against the use of meat. And again in Incurable Disease, pp 92. Also in Food Science for All, pp 132.

In all my years of clinical practice I have as yet to meet some-one who has thrived on a high protein diet, whether it be meat, or from other sources. But of course I cannot comment on the eating of raw meat as I have not had that experience.

My body does not tolerate such things as raw egg yolks, but it will a natural yoghurt. The thought of raw meat is not attractive (except possibly bone marrow). My liver churns at the thought of fat, but this may well have to do that it was always eaten cooked in the past. I have not eaten any form of meat since embracing Hygiene, and as that is nearly forty years ago, this may well have dulled the memory. Needless to say, I can still recall the pain.

I find this type of discussion and thought stimulating and thought-provoking as long as we can keep our perspective in-so-far as being willing to accept that we will have our differences of opinion according to our own individual knowledge and experience. And to see the good and benefits in such a situation. For as I observe it we will never have all of the answers.

Veganism, fruitarianism, breatharianism or such like are all grand experiments, as we have no historical record of any group of people living such a lifestyle for decades, and over many generations. Mahatma Gandhi endeavoured for many years to be a vegan, but had to admit, that at least as far as he was concerned, he did not feel able to achieve it. You may read all about it in his autobigraphy "My Search For Truth".
- Breatharianism is being proposed by a woman in Australia at the moment, although on closer examination she does not live only on air, only a minimum of food. It has been quite to the fore in the press as two or three people have died. She claims they did not follow the instructions correctly. And this may well have been so too.

We do have a large body of people living as vegetarians vs vegans, fruitarians etc., when we consider the Seventh Day Adventists and the peoples of India. Regarding the Seventh Day Adventists, there is quite an accumulation of evidence that has been amassed over the years as to the efficacy as to their way of life. Of course there are some who would consider that they may have only changed the nature of the diseases that they suffer from and not that they are in reality in better overall health. And considering the types of food that they currently use and advocate as their meat substitutes, this may well be true too.
It is interesting to note how far they have moved away from the original teachings of Kellogg and White. Kellogg as you may well be aware was originally taught by Dr. Trall, but later repudiated or down played this as he endeavoured to become accepted by the "regular" medico's.

In some ways I believe that we need to modify our thinking in line with our increasing knowledge, but in many aspects we also need to go back, to re-investigate our roots, as we tend often to lose sight of the basic truths and tenets becoming "blinded" by so-called science. We forget that science is not an absolute truth in itself but is really only the search for truth, and only represents the state of our knowledge, or even belief system at this moment in time.

From my own experience I would agree with Aajonus when he says that parasites are really beneficial. Dr Henry Lindlahr held a similar view.

A very good site to visit regarding raw food, including raw meat, is that of Anopsology also known as Instinctotherapy. This is to do with the work of Guy-Claude Burger at the Chateau Montreme in France. They advocate eating one food at a time too, which was a concept that I had utilised many years prior to coming in contact with Anopsology. I spent about a week at their Chateau about three years ago, and prior to that members of their community had visited us at the farm. We found much in common, as I have already mentioned.


Why did you start the Academy of Natural Living - was there a need for teaching hygiene to your patients? Who are your students? How does it compare to TC Fry's course?

In 1993 I established the Academy of Natural Living, a teaching arm to promulgate the teachings of Natural Hygiene, supported by those of Nature Cure and Biogenic Living which have almost the same origin, and if not exactly the same, a very similar philosophy.
I started the Academy because I could, and still can see, the possibility of this knowledge being lost. My students till now have come from those who have been under my care at some time previously.

Although we could say that the farm and clinic are basically for the teaching of the principles of Hygiene, in the real world they do not constitute an institution whose prime aim is education. And the prime aim of the Academy is to educate people in the principles of Hygienic living.
The course describes the similarities and differences of the different disciplines. It also allows each discipline speak for itself, so that the student is then able to compare the philosophies of each.

The course now, and that which I have previously taught is based upon the teachings of the early and more contemporary teachings of Hygiene and Nature Cure, realising that it was from these same sources that Professor Szekely drew his inpiration also. And yes, the students are encouraged to read and debate on the widest possible issues.

The course is based upon the real world and real life issues and may be used for purely personal education in the principles of Hygiene for every day living. Or, if the student so wishes, they may intern with us for more in-depth training, which we believe will enable them to function on a clinical level.
It is my own personal belief that everyone would benefit from taking the course.

I have a copy of T C Fry's course, and from my observation the research material that I have used has a much wider basis than his. I would estimate that his course has about half the material that is in that of the Academy.
T C Fry's course has much of very valuable in formation in it. In my very humble opinion though, we need a much wider and complete picture to achieve the level of competence required. This is what we are endeavouring to achieve at the Academy.

As mentioned at an earlier stage I would like to see the different schools combine their efforts and energies to enable this to be much more complete than I/we can supply with our rather meagre resources. I/we feel so strongly about the necessity of at least starting such a venture, that we have based it upon the Chinese philosophy, "the commencement of a thousand mile journey is the first step".


Was the response good to your radio program? Are there other hygienists/hygienic doctors in your area? Do Australian hygienic doctors cooperate/have some organization?

In 1995 I developed and presented the Natural Health Show on local radio 4CCR-FM. This program is designed to disseminate the teachings of Natural Hygiene The response to the radio program is good in-so-far as people are listening, but overall it appears that they are mostly the converted. Really though, who knows. We do not have any way of truly assessing it, and it has not brought people to the farm that I know of.

Hygienists are rare in Australia. Dr Burton (in N.S.W.) is the only other Hygienic doctor I know in Australia except for Dr Doug Evans at Hopewood.
No we do not have a (professional) organization. There is an Australian Natural Hygiene Society controlled by Dr Burton.

Around 1995 I joined the ANHS (I think, memory isn't always precise as I am sure you are more than aware).
In 1998 I was accepted into membership of the Incorporated Society of Registered Naturopaths (ISRN) in the UK - they having come to realize that we must look at things on a global basis these days. The ISRN was established by the graduates of the Edinburgh School of Natural Therapeutics, and one of its past members was Dr Sidhwa. This same year I was also accepted into membership of the International Association of Hygienic Physicians (IAHP) in the US.


How did you go about getting people to fast and eat veggies raw? Wasn't this a new concept in the Cairns area? Do people follow your advice generally? Were low-income families easier to reach than middle-class ones?

Although the concepts which we believe in are radical to some people even today, at the time of my arrival in Cairns they were even more so. Fortunately, I had been preceded by two other people from the late 1930's who had also used and advocated the fast. These had both retired, so I continued in their shoes, so to speak. Of course in reality I almost had to start from scratch, and it was by word of mouth that I gradually built up my clientile, many of whom are still with me.

Because we live in such a beautiful area and climate, anyone who believes in this way of life tends to gravitate here. Today, most gravitate to the Naturopaths before they arrive at my doorstep. And it really has always been that way. We are the last resort.

Generally speaking, the seriously ill are the best at following your advice.
I would say that low income families are easier to reach than the middle class, although this is changing too.


Did you have any persecution problems ever?

Yes I have had my share of persecution problems. I believe though that they have been minimized by the fact that it is readily observable - that when results are possible, that they are attained. And when they prove to be unobtainable, that it is quite obvious that all that could be done was done. Also it has been accepted to some degree that we do have the right to reject medical intervention.

One thing that I believe that has stood me in good stead is the fact that I have on a number of occasions taken people out of the hospital, at their request. Against all the best medical advice which said they would most likely die if they did not continue the medical way. And they didn't die.

On other occasions I have had clients who had been on medication for many years, for heart condition, kidney condition, high blood pressure etc. and been visiting a leading specialist in their particular area, and who then embraced Hygiene and recovered. They have returned to their specialist who has asked them to go into hospital to undergo a series of tests. And they have done so, and the specialist has been astounded, but not able to understand.

In cases of an accident or emergency I refer to medical institutions. Generally speaking we don't have the facilities, nor are we trained in emergency surgical procedures to deal with such situations. Simple injuries and fractures, yes, but not the more complex situations.


Are you a vegetarian? Still all-raw? Some eggs - dairy? Goats? What do you eat in a day typically? What can you grow on the farm? Do your grown-up children still eat hygienically?

Yes, I am a raw food ovo-lacto-vegetarian. That means I would eat eggs if I felt I needed to (raw) and I do eat raw goats yoghurt twice a week.

My daily regimen:
  • Brunch: 11.30 - 12.00 Two or three types of fresh raw fruit in season. Staple is papaya which I eat every day except in the mango season. All fruit, except on odd occasions is tropical as I live in the tropics. I also eat, usually, 3 to 4 ounces of ground sunflower, sesame, pumpkin seeds and almonds. A handful of raisins.

  • Dinner: 5.00 to 6.00 pm A raw vegetable salad picked from the garden, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuces, nasturtuium leaves, chives and avocado. I often blend all the ingredients except the cucumber which I chop into a bowl and pour the blended ingredients over it.

I don't often use juices except for some occasions I feel the need to spend a few days juicing. This may occur when I may feel that in spite of it all I am still eating too much, yet do not feel the need to fast completely.

Avocados are well tolerated by my body in the cooler months, but as soon as it warms up I must cease, or minimise their use to no more than a quarter of an avocado a day at the most. This also is dependant upon the humidity. If it is high, then less avocado is tolerated - than when it is low.
Perhaps the point that I am sharing with you is the individuality of our own personal requirements which also changes according to the prevailing conditions as well, as our genetic backgound or make-up. Also that I feel I really know so little with respect to all there is to know - there are so many factors and variables to consider.

We can grow wide range of tropical fruits, and in the winter time the usual vegetables. In the summer (the wet) it is too hot and the rain too heavy to do so. We then use greens suitable to the tropics and which will grow in the wet.

Although I would say that the majority of my children live much better lives than the average, and know what to do in case of illness - they do stray quite a long way from being Hygienic most of the time. As teenagers, I always felt that they did very well considering the pressures of society.


Are pesticides/genetic-engineering/irradiation a large problem, can organic vegetables be found for ordinary Australians, can milk be bought raw and organic in the stores? Have there been changes over time - is it easier now to be a vegetarian?

Yes I do think vegetarianism is more acceptable now than previously. Young teenagers are choosing to become vegetarians and their parents are accepting it without too much opposition.

We are well situated in our own valley away from all other commercial farms not to be worried by pesticides. And so far, luckily the ugly head of genetically engineered crops and seeds etc. has not bothered us.
Milk cannot be bought raw in Australia. You either need to have your own animals or know someone who has.

I wish to make it quite clear that I am not advocating the eating of meat as such, but do say that if anyone chooses to eat it, than they should only do so raw for maximum health and minimum harm.

I am not sure if I have made it quite plain also that I do not advocate the use of dairy products (milk) in its sweet form, only in its soured clabbered or cultured form. Generally speaking I would say that sweet milk is for the young of the species only, and if it is to be utilized by the adults than it should be in the forms mentioned where it is partially digested.

As you well know a large percentage of the world's population is lactose intolerant. The souring, that is the pre-digesting of the milk overcomes this problem, as long, of course, as the milk is raw. When it is heated (cooked) this then presents other problems, causing the protein factors to become less available, destruction of vitamins etc.

In the past meat was never eaten fresh either. It was always "hung" until it ripened.This enables a certain amount of predigestion to occur too.

To ensure that I could get milk which was fresh, clean, and in the form I required, I kept my own goats for over 30 years. Animals are like children, an on-going day to day responsibility. As I can now obtain supplies locally I am happy to free of that reponsibility.


What do you think of current ideas among many hygienic doctors that a 100% raw diet is "unrealistic" and that drugs are useful in certain situations? What is your view on food combining and/or Sequential Eating as proposed by Dr. Stanley Bass?

These are the things we need to address. They are the questions in every-one's minds. And they need to be answered. Not only by myself, but everyone who is involved in any way. If we are to find that "truth" that Dr Shelton spoke of we must all be willing to stand up and be counted.
A part of the question is, is there such a thing as The Truth, the Ultimate Truth? And if so, is what each of us, in our own individual way at this moment in time seeing, "our truth". That which is our truth to which we have evolved due to our own personal experiences, genetics, biology, perception, etc., as we travel along our path to the Ultimate Truth. Am I waxing too philosophical. So be it.

Food combining is a very contentious issue amongst Hygienists, and a very interesting one at that.
I believe there is some truth in the traditional way as expounded by Shelton, as well as that by Bass. I don't feel they are wholly right, nor wholly wrong. I believe we must all find out what is right in these principles for ourselves. My good friend Dr. Goldberg I think would refer to it as our "Biochemical Individuality". My experience has been that what my body tells me to combine today, it will reject tomorrow as totally inappropriate. It is a moment by moment, day by day, ever changing vista, according to the biochemical needs of our own individual, unique organism.


If somebody came to you with migraine (since you have first-hand knowledge) - what would you recommend? Do you agree with Bircher-Benner's migraine book on uric acid in the blood? Are there specifically Australian health problems?

When you ask for a blanket recommendation for migraine, asthma or arthritis, on the one hand I could say to you go away and live Hygienically. Sounds almost like "Go thou and sin no more". And I would like to think it was as simple as that. But we are complex beings. And a part of being an Hygienic doctor I believe is knowing where to start and where to place the emphasis. In migraine, the food is not being digested, and is putrefying producing the condition that Bircher-Benner refers to. The symptoms. The next question we need to ask is why is the food not being digested. Is it because of overwork, overeating, wrong eating, worrying and so on. We need to deal with the cause and unless we do this all the fasting in the world is not going to overcome the problem.

No I don't think there are specifically Australian problems. We all tend to suffer similar effects from similar causes.


Do you have different types of diets for different patients? What was your longest fast? How do you break a fast?

Most of the people I see need to jump right into a whole raw food diet as soon as possible, for they have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana skin. And I find it does not matter a great deal what you say in-so-far as the fact that people will only be as strict as they are willing to be. That of course is part of our function - to be able to find how far people will go without pushing them over the edge. Some of us are stubborn, and others only too willing.

The longest fast I have ever conducted was 120 days. That was in my much younger and less experienced days. Today I would not approach it in the same way. In fact I do not feel that elective fasting is in our best interests. My preference is to fast when the body dictates that it should occur, by loss of appetite etc.

Except when it is not tolerated I break the fast with diluted orange juice.


It sounds like a very hard life, I suppose a settlers life you have had. If such a life is very common out there - perhaps accidents is the most common problem? What is unique (problems, illnesses) in your area?

What I have done is rare and rather unusual in Australia today. Most people live the normal urban life as it is to be found in most of the Western Societies today.

About the harshness, or hardness of life as it appeared to be, I always felt that my way of life was what a lot of people pay big money for to experience. And then only for short periods of time. Whereas here was I being fortunate enough to live it every day of the week. I would much sooner face the challenges of this type of lifestyle that the struggle for survival that most people experience in the concrete jungle and the corporate lifestyle. And unfortunately our whole competitive paradigm exacerbates what could, so I believe, be a beautiful and harmonious experience.

You asked if there were any particular conditions that I saw most of. I have given this much thought, and stress would be the most prevalent in today's day and age. Overall I have, and still do, see every imaginable condition as my practice is very much like a GP's. All the childhood complaints, allergies, heart, lung, kidney etc., with a few broken limbs, pregnancies and such like thrown in.
Chronic Fatigue syndrome is very common at the moment, and tropical ulcers were rife a little while ago, prostate and gangrene are not uncommon, the former more so than the latter, thank goodness.

It has been my contention that either Hygiene is a true alternative in all those circumstances not requiring the services of a good surgeon and in many emergencies, but not all - or it is not an alternative. The biggest problem we have to contend with is fear. Fear brought about through lack of adequate knowledge on how to deal with these situations, and insufficient trained personnel to do so. Who, of all the Hygienic doctors we know, would be capable of fulfilling that role ?

It is my aim to try and provide that type of training through the Academy. To achieve this though will require more than the meager resources that I can muster. In this way I would like to see all those purporting to teach Hygiene to combine their resources. Cooperate!!

I once saw an English film based upon the theme that "any fool can see that cooperation is better than competition". We still have as yet to learn this lesson so it would appear.

As I believe I have mentioned, I am very fortunate to have the help, support, and reciprocity of the ISRN which runs a post-graduate course in Naturopathy ( Nature Cure - not the usual pill-popping), and other professionals, such as Dr Goldberg, Dr Sidhwa, Dr Evans at Hopewood, Dr O'Connor (a psychologist), Dr Bondeson (a medical practitioner) - to name a few.

What do you recommend for dog food? Raw meat and blended lettuce, like Dr. Bass?

I have kept dogs for many years and have always had healthy dogs. They were always fed raw meat and grated vegetables. I always made sure they were not overfed and that they had lots of exercise. At least one third of their diet should be vegetables. As with us human animals, they need fresh air, sunlight and exercise as well as raw food to keep well. And no, if the least we do is add blended lettuce I would consider this a very positive step. In the course I have prepared a section on the keeping and care of domesticated animals.

Other than my own experience I have contact with a number of veterinarians as well as dog-breeders who have found this to be true also. In fact the veterinarians recommend that dogs which have cancer should be fed two thirds vegetables and one third meat. And with cats it is two thirds meat and one third vegetables.

The vegetables used are those which we as humans would normally eat in their raw state. Or should I say "can", as so many do not realise that there very few, if any of the foods which we normally cook, that could not be eaten raw. I must add a warning though, rhubarb, cassava (manioc) and a number of other tropical root vegetables are highly poisonous. Except for rhubarb, the others are traditionally washed and sometimes pounded and continually washed prior to being cooked to remove these poisons.
Our dogs have always eaten most of the fruits which we do too.
If the dogs have not been brought up with this type of food it some times necessary to mince it all up together for them.

Visit Dr. John Fielder's website - with his health retreat Clohesy River Health Farm
and his course in Natural Hygiene Academy of Natural Living

What does this part of Australia look like? Visit Tropical Tableland Promotion Bureau

Other links of interest:
M2M newsletter
Aajonus Vonderplanitz
Doctor Stanley Bass' website
Doctor Paul Goldberg's website
Bones and Raw Foods Webring - sites about dog-food


The interview was made 11/99


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