Sunday, December 05, 2004

The fundamentalist mindset

Bloodrage pointed out an interesting quote to me the other day:

It can no longer be denied that the GREAT cause of sickness is disobedience to natural law - wrong habits of living. A very large proportion of diseases from which mankind suffers is IMMEDIATELY PREVENTABLE. There is nothing arbitrary or accidental about the incidence of disease. We are sick simply in proportion to the extent of infringement of natural law. Sickness is the natural consequence of disobedience. We are excused by ignorance or incredulity no more than by neglect. Turn from wrong habits of living, comply with the law, and consequences of deflection disappear.

(Original emphasis)

No, it's not a submission on the Civil Union Bill - it's the opening paragraph of Dr Ulric Williams' Hints on Healthy Living, a cookbook published in Wanganui in 1934. A cookbook. It's quite revealing of the fundamentalist mindset that they regard any deviation from their chosen worldview, no matter how trivial, as disobediance to "natural law" which will be punished by a vengeful god.


I have just read the biography of Dr Ulric Wiliams, written by Brenda Simpson, available in PDF version at

I haven't been able to see an original copy of the book you quote from, however, I think you will find that Dr Williams was referring to diet. He advocated healthy food, and said a lot of illness was caused by eating the wrong sorts of food. If you read his biography, you will find that he was a very generous and kind person, treating most patients for free, and doing his best to encourage (and sometimes shock) his patients into eating more healthily.

There are so many other better examples of fundamentalism in the world, it is sad that you chose this ambuguous quote from a doctor that was so loving and caring.

Posted by Anonymous : 5/03/2006 11:24:00 PM

I have been reading this book and it has got to be the best book I have ever read. Many nowdays try to blur truth, but when it hits you in the face truth is truth, it is black and white. This man (Ulric Williams) was a good man, his desire was to help and heal. It is a shame that many will attack truth to try to discredit it but at the end of the day you got to look at the fruit of your life-have you got it together or not? People who are bitter, resentful, angry, uncaring, spiteful, jealous, or carry any of this sort of baggage and go around spreading their poison shouldn't be listened too, unless the audience wishes to lead the same unfulfilling life.

Posted by Anonymous : 3/12/2007 10:34:00 PM