The Great Demonstration

If you haven’t read my first post on the subject of smallpox, please do so, as this builds on that post. Find it here.

“A man named Arthur Ward had two children injured through vaccination and refused to submit another one to the operation. A fine was imposed and on 24th November two police officers called for the penalty, or in default to ticket the goods. The husband was out at the market, and the poor woman had no money to pay. The goods downstairs were considered insufficient to cover the amount, and the officers demanded to go upstairs. The woman refused to allow this, and an altercation took place, and harsh language was used by the officers, who threatened to take her husband to prison, terrifying Mrs Ward. At that time she was pregnant, and the shock to the system, and the fright, were of such a character that symptoms ensued which ultimately led to a premature confinement, and on 26th December she gave birth to a still-born child. She never recovered and last week she expired. The doctor who had attended Mrs. Ward said that although he believed in vaccination he did not think it was the duty of any professional man to carry out the laws in the outrageous and brutal manner in which they were enforced.” [1]

“The next landmark in the history of vaccinal legislation is the law of 1867, and this is to this day the law under which all penalties are exacted against unbelievers. This is the vaccination law of England… [1897] [2]

Despite these strict measures taken by the government to ensure a very high vaccination rate, a massive smallpox epidemic hit not only Leicester but all of England and other parts of the world in the early 1870s. The epidemic in Leicester resulted in thousands of smallpox cases and hundreds of deaths, shaking to its core many people’s belief in the protective powers of vaccination.

Doctors reported:

“…as the years continued more parents heard of, saw, or experienced a growing list of complications atrributed to vaccination. The 1871-72 smallpox epidemic gave a vivid example to the townspeople, in that although they had complied with the law, some 3,000 cases occured and of these 358 died, some of them vaccinated according to law.” [3]

“It must strike the reflective observer as rather singular that all the recent smallpox outbreaks have made their appearance among populations where the laws enforcing vaccination have been rigorously and systematically carried out. May I venture to ask whether medical men who have defended and fostered a system of medical procedure which eighty years’ experience has demonstrated a disastrous and humiliating failure ought not to feel honourably bound on public grounds to retrace their steps and confess that vaccination, like other once popular prescriptions of inoculation, bleeding, and mercurization, is a serious and mischievous blunder.” [4]

A swelling wave was developing. Laws were initially passed when the people resisted the vaccines because of negative complications. They then complied with the new laws and still were stricken with deadly smallpox epidemics. This caused even more people to rebel.

The tide rose and rose until “…over 5,000 persons being summoned for refusing to comply with the law at the present moment. …even the disposal of forty-five defendants every week is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the case, and the defaulters and the objectors increase faster than the cases can be dealt with.” [5]

They got bigger than the law could enforce.

It culminated in a huge demonstration in the small town of Leicester, England, drawing “delegates from all parts of the country, while many letters of sympathy were received not only from England, Scotland, and Ireland, but from Jersey, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, and America. Most of the large towns in the kingdom sent banners, the Yorkshire, Irish, and Scotch being very prominent. …the Belgium banner had this inscription in French–“Neither fines nor imprisonment will prevent vaccine being a poison nor the vaccination laws an infamy.” (same as 5)

It was a festive atmosphere with music playing and hundreds of flags and banners displayed with sayings such as “Liberty is our birthright, and liberty we demand,” “Oppressive laws make discontented peoples,” “The mothers of England demand repeal,” “The Three Pillars of Vaccination–Fraud, Force, and Folly,” and “We no longer beg but demand the control of our children.”

“An effigy of Jenner was hung from the gallows and given the “long drop” at intervals as the procession advanced. Those men who had suffered the extreme penalty of imprisonment made a prominent figure, and others, whose goods had been seized, displayed samples of the otherwise rather commonplace utensils to admiring eyes. The obnoxious parliamentary acts were enthusiastically burned. A wagon carrying unvaccinated children bore the motto: “They that are whole need not a physician.

Among other features in the procession were a horse and cow, drawn in wagons and exhibited as sources of vaccination. Both the devices and mottoes were of the most profuse order. One of the devices was an effigy of Jenner inscribed “child-slayer;” a second was a complete funeral cortege, consisting of a coffin on open bier, mourners, etc., and inscribed “another victim of vaccination”… [6]

The large, two-mile-long procession marched around the town for about two hours, receiving enthusiastic cheering at various points along the route. Organizers of the event estimated the number at attendance to have been between 80,000 and 100,000.

It was peaceful: “…the exemplary conduct of the many thousands of people who had attended the demonstration showed that they were determined only to use fair and constitutional means to bring about a repeal of the Acts.” (same as 5)

One of the speakers that day said, “Many present had been sufferers under the Acts, and all they asked was that in the future they and their children might be let alone. They lived for something else in this world than to be experimented upon for the stamping out of a particular disease. A large and increasing portion of the public were of opinion that the best way to get rid of smallpox and similar diseases was to use plenty of water, eat good food, live in light and airy houses, and see that the Corporation keep the streets clean and the drains in order. If such details were attended to there was no need to fear smallpox, or any of its kindred; and if they were neglected, neither vaccination nor any other prescription by Act of Parliament could save them.” [7]

Mr W. Stanyon presented a resolution that passed unanimously. “That the Compulsory Vaccination Acts, which make loving and conscientious parents criminals, subjecting them to fines, loss of goods, and imprisonment, propagate disease and inflict death, and under which five thousand of our fellow-townsmen are now being prosecuted, are a disgrace to the Statute Book and ought to be abolished forthwith.” (same as 7)

The demonstration was considered a wonderful success by the people in attendance. These fearless people wanted to make their own decisions for their health and the health of their children and thus fought for self-determination.

The medical profession proclaimed that the Leicester residents would suffer greatly for their decision to turn their backs on vaccination. They prognosticated that this unvaccinated town with its “highly flammable material” would suffer with the “dread disease” that would spread like “wild-fire on a prairie” and decimate the population. [8]

So what happened to Leicester? How did this grand experiment go?

10 years after the demonstration, it was reported that “The last decade has witnessed an extraordinary decrease in vaccination, but nevertheless, the town has enjoyed an almost entire immunity from smallpox, there never having been more than two ro three cases in the town at one time. The method of treatment, in a word, is this–As soon as smallpox breaks out, the medical man and the householder are compelled under penalty to at once report the outbreak to the Corporation. The smallpox van is at once ordered by telephone to make all arrangements, and thus, within a few hours, the sufferer is safely in the hospital. The family and inmates of the house are placed in quarantine in comfortable quarters, and the house thoroughly disinfected. The result is that in every instance the disease has been promptly and completely stamped out at a paltry expense. Under such a system the Corporation have expressed their opinion that vaccination is unnecessary, as they claim to deal with the disease in a more direct and much more efficacious manner. This, and a widespread belief that death and disease have resulted from the operation of vaccination, may be said to be the foundation upon which the existing opposition to the Act rests. (same as 5)

Despite 10 years of success, the dire predictions continued from those who strongly believed in vaccination. “An unvaccinated child is like a bag of gunpowder which might blow up the whole school, and ought not, therefore to be admitted to a school unless he is vaccinated.” (boy if that doesn’t sound familiar)

Despite the prophecies of doom from the medical profession, Leicester remained steadfast. They saw the results with their own eyes and the years continued. Their prophecies never did come to pass, and the more time went by, the more their success became so obvious it was difficult to ignore, even by medical professionals.

In the 1893 smallpox outbreak, the well-vaccinated town of Mold in Flintshire, England, had a death rate 32 times higher than Leicester. “Leicester, with a population under ten years of age, practically unvaccinated, had a smallpox death-rate of 144 per million; whereas Mold, with all births vaccinated for eighteen years previous to the epidemic, had one of 3,614 per million.” [9]

When compared to neighboring towns, the numbers speak for themselves. The death rate from smallpox per hundred thousand in Leicester during the 1892-94 outbreak was 5.7. In Birmingham it was 8.0, Warrington was 10.0, and Middlesbrough was 14.4. Over the years, Leicester’s death rate from smallpox declined even more. In the 1902-1903 outbreak the death rate was 5.3, and by the 1903-1904 outbreak it was down to 1.2.

“Leicester’s smallpox history, and her successful vindication of sanitation as a smallpox prophylactic, will bear the closest scrutiny. Each successive epidemic since vaccination has decreased, with a larger proportion of unvaccinated population, furnishes a still lower death-rate.” [10] (wow. read that last line twice)

The minister of health of Leicester at the time, C. Killick Millard, MD, was a staunch proponent of vaccination until he witnessed the success of Leicester and made a complete turnaround. He refuted the myth that unvaccinated children were at greater risk for contracting smallpox in an epidemic. He also observed that children in general were commonly infected by adults who had been vaccinated. He states, “…since the mildest smallpox is admittedly as contagious as the most severe, vaccinated smallpox is no less dangerous to the community than unvaccinated; therefore there is no reason, and therefore no right, to enforce vaccination by law.” (same as 10)

The year 1948 brought an end to compulsory vaccination in England. By that point, the experiment in Leicester, which had been going on for more than 60 years, proved to be a great success. In 1948, Dr Millard stated:

“…in Leicester during the 62 years since infant vaccination was abandoned there have been only 53 deaths from smallpox, and in the past 40 years only two deaths. Moreover, the experience of Leicester is confirmed, and strongly confirmed, by that of the whole country. Vaccination has been steadily declining ever since the conscience clause was introduced, until now nearly two-thirds of the children born are not vaccinated. Yet smallpox mortality has also declined until now quite negligible.” [11]

“Looking back, it is interesting to consider why medical experts were so mistaken in their prophecies of disaster to come if universal vaccination of infants was abandoned. It was probably due to the belief, then so strongly held, that it was infant vaccination, and that alone, which had brought about the great diminution of smallpox mortality that followed upon an introduction of vaccination. That this was clearly a case of cause and effect was reiterated in every textbook and in every course of lectures on public health. It was hailed, indeed, as the outstanding triumph of preventative medicine. No wonder that medical students accepted it as incontrovertible scientific fact.” (same as 11)

Just in case you missed this, I have to gleefully point it out: “antivaxxers” invented quarantine. At least insofar as it went in accepted methods of the time other than those who followed Biblical principles of quarantine. They had to go against mainstream medicine to put it into practice, and they got a lot of judgment and flack for it. It wasn’t until decades later that they were recognized. [12] Questioning vaccines and even refusing them has never been the unscientific approach. It’s also not the most dangerous approach. Not in history, and certainly not today.

Important side note here: “In contrast to what vaccine enthusiasts say today, overall child mortality declined after 1885 while vaccination rates plummeted (see graph below). It’s important to note that the death rate for children of all ages did not begin to change until around 1880. Decades of strict vaccination laws did absolutely nothing to improve the overall life expectancy of children in all age groups.” (Dissolving Illusions)

Slide 9

In 1972, the WHO actually implemented the Leicester Method when it became plain to them that vaccination didn’t reliably protect. Yugoslavia experienced a smallpox epidemic beginning in February of 1972. The index case was a recently vaccinated Yugoslavian who picked up the disease while traveling through Iraq. He had been vaccinated December of 1971. The WHO’s own report states:

“In the age group 20 and over, 92 patients had previously been vaccinated while 21 were unvaccinated. The relatively large number of previously vaccinated cases among those over seven years of age indicates a substantial decrease in post-vaccinal immunity following primary vaccination…” [13]

They quickly started a vaccination campaign, vaccinating 18 million citizens. Vaccination had to continue through the end of April because so many of the vaccinations were considered unsuccessful and had to be repeated (we all wonder how many of them “didn’t take” over the 200 years prior to this).

As more and more people died, vaccinated and revaccinated, the Leicester Method was also carried out, and all cases quickly quarantined. “Contacts were placed in special quarantine facilities. There were also quarantine facilities set up in individual houses, as well as in whole villages, as was the case with Danjane and Ratkovac and some other villages.” (same as 13)

After that, the epidemic was rapidly extinguished. Vaccination, although obviously ineffective, had to be implemented if the history of vaccine success was to be upheld. But what really stopped the epidemic was the use of the Leicester Method.

As I mentioned in my last post, the military is the only group of people subjected to this vaccine now, but in 2002, the CIA announced that a dead Russian scientist had supposedly provided lethal stocks of smallpox to terrorists in Iraq. President Bush wanted to recommend nationwide vaccination. The doctors on the front lines who were slated to be the first to receive the vaccine were handed a 63 page dossier detailing the dangers of preliminary trials showing an increase in myocarditis, pericarditis, angina, and heart attack. [14] Sadly, no one in the 1800s was given this kind of informed consent.

So while the media was busy fearmongering the public, the most experienced smallpox virologist, Dr Thomas Mack was telling the ACIP at the CDC that “Smallpox was on its way out prior to mass vaccination and to do another worldwide vaccination campaign would cause immeasurable suffering.” He stated that a smallpox was unlikely, that ordinary public health measures would control any epidemic, and that mass vaccination was not the key to control. He also stated that the public would need to receive informed consent that stated the possible risks outweighed any potential benefits. [15]

Here are a few paraphrased quotes from the paper above: “Smallpox was eradicated because its chain of transmission is inherently vulnerable. The spread is restrictive because it is only contagious at the point when the rash is present and the patient is really sick. It is not easily aerosolized, and quarantine has always worked well.”

Given that this is the case, I don’t understand why our military is still given this vaccine.

In conclusion, it is difficult for me not to question if the smallpox vaccines actually prolonged the disease instead of shortening its duration. I don’t say this lightly. Is it possible to come to any other conclusion, given the facts? Leicester and its success (while the vaccinated towns around them died and suffered so much more in comparison), along with the fact that when a vaccine was there to shoulder the prevention of disease, the town officials had an easier time ignoring the sewage in the streets, but the opposite happened when the town decided to choose health, it’s fair to question if the vaccine aided the spread of even more diseases than just smallpox. The vaccine caused cases of smallpox a high percentage of the time and was ineffective the rest of the time. There are still stories of our military men contracting smallpox from the vaccine. Of course, these stories don’t get any air time, but here and there, you’ll see an article. [16] (You can bet this happens way more often than we hear about, and they can blame the tattoo all they want, he wouldn’t have gotten smallpox 4 days after being vaccinated, if he wouldn’t have been vaccinated in the first place.)

  2. (p. 557)
  3. (p. 330)
  4. Leicester Mercury, July 3, 1884
  5. “Anti-Vaccination Demonstrations at Leicester,” The Times, March 24, 1885
  6. “A Demonstration Against Vaccination,” Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, April 16, 1885, p. 380.
  7. (p. 117)
  8. B. O. Flower, “Fallacious Assumptions Advanced by Advocates of National and State Medical Legislation,” Twentieth Century Magazine, vol. IV, no. 24, September 1911, p. 537.

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