James Flory's MEMORY-HOLED BOOK REVIEWS

The Majority is Always Wrong.

Month: April, 2012

THE ESSIAC REPORT by Richard Thomas

This is an account of an early 20th-century Canadian nurse who stumbled onto an old Ojibwa Indian herbal cure for cancer. This nurse, Rene Cassie, (note: “Essiac” is an anagram of her own last name) had opened a clinic in Canada for many years, successfully treating and often curing many Canadians of cancer. She was eventually hounded out of Canada by the allopathic medical establishment there. She would go on to form an important research relationship with the eminent American doctor, Dr. Charles Brusch, with whom she conducted many impressive clinical studies of the healing herbal concoction over many years. Brusch later developed a serious case of cancer, and he would go on to use the herbal tea recipe to heal himself of it. Needless to say, the allopathic medical establishment in the U.S. wasn’t anymore receptive to an efficient, economical, and all natural therapy/cure for cancer than was the Canadian establishment. To make matters worse, Rene Caisse was for a time duped by a salesman/con-artist working for a semi-legitimate corporation into further testing and marketing her herbal product with them, and when the true nature of this corporation became known to allopathic medical establishments, these then saw their opportunity to besmirch the Essiac product along with the corporation. Caisse, a lone individual, had apparently tried many times to have the medical establishment see the merit of her herbal formula, but the profiteering (which is why she kept her formula a secret from them) and oppressive and obtuse nature of the overlords of medical officialdom always spurned her best efforts at actual healing and caring for people, and they sought to silence her and to condemn her in the monetarily swayable major media.

At long last, after many years, and after Caisse finally died in the 1970s and had by then given up control of the formula over to Dr. Brusch and talkshow host/health advocate Elaine Alexander, Alexander apparently had the idea of simply eschewing all attempts to enlighten the arthritic skulls inhabiting the halls of the medical establishments, and instead marketing the herbal formula as an herbal detoxifying tea without any anti-cancer claims–rather, she would rely on “word of mouth” for that to spread.
And it apparently did, but not enough, because until I read this book, I certainly had never heard about this. But now that I have, I certainly am intrigued!

The actual account of the history of Rene Caisse and Essiac only takes up about one-half of this book; the rest of the book is taken up with copies of official letters between Caisse, Brusch, Alexander, and others involved in the history, and with testimonials of people who have benefited from the formula.

Note: Having now become apprised of this history, I just did a cursory check, and there are other books about this. At least one of those books deals in part with adding small amounts of the very important (so I have now read) cancer-killing herb bloodroot to the Essiac formula, which this book does not address at all.

Rating: Δ Δ Δ Δ
4/2012

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STRANGE ANGEL: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons by George Pendle

This book gives an account of the life of John “Jack” Parsons, the 1930s Pasadena rocketry pioneer and Crowleyan Black Magick occultist. The author is a very competent writer, and that, combined with the extraordinarily peculiar life of Parsons as subject matter, makes this a most entertaining read. The story begins, and ends, with the enigmatic, explosive death of Parsons, and that occurence itself is mysterious and intriguing; but the stuff in between, what this man Parsons actually did during his life, balancing the pioneering of scientific rocket propellants for his vocation, and the pursuance of secret societal witchcraft for his avocation, is exquisitely strange and fascinating, albeit deeply disturbing. Pendle does an excellent job of delving into Parson’s childhood, important events of his family background, his boyhood surroundings in Pasadena and early 20th century Los Angeles—indeed, this book could be recommendable just for the mostly forgotten, and always unusual, L.A. history it discusses.

I am not sure that all of the information presented in this book, especially that of Parsons’ and Crowley’s OTO secret society, is all true and accurate. Many times the author emphasizes how feeble and poorly organized was the OTO. This reader is not so sure about that. However, that’s a whole other area of research that I’m not sure I want to partake in. I am also not sure if all the information presented about Parsons here is all true and accurate: This is the only book about Parsons I have ever read. And though I am aware of others out there, I don’t feel compelled to read anymore about this. Personality-wise, Parsons seemed to have been equal, competing parts sophistication and naivete, arrogance and insecurity–always with an overriding boyishness.

I can understand why someone would want to, though. This is really weird, arcane stuff this rocket scientist got himself into. He was one of the pioneers of American rocket science, and yet he is largely forgotten or ignored by mainstream historians. It’s a bizarre, compelling story. In his pursuit of hedonism, Parsons anticipated the later Hippy Movement of the 1960s. Also particularly noteworthy is the fateful history that occurred between Parsons and masterful con-artist L. Ron Hubbard.

Again, on the whole, this is quite an entertaining read. Could it stand as a very reliable reference source for a study of Parsons life? Probably, but this reader is not in a position to declare that with any certitude at this time.

Rating: Δ Δ Δ Δ
4/2012