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File 5 - Article 12 Previous Index Next
Author: Peter Fenton
Title: The times they are a changing - Bob Dylan

The mail shot of 04.01.06 identifies 3 inter-related areas of current concern namely (1) entropy (2) features of KNC and (3) practitioner recruitment.

Entropy: we might justifiably query whether the 'drift to oblivion' mentioned is reflective of members' apathy (the 80/20 law), or an inescapable process of natural entropy. All in ISRN executive positions have felt the metaphorical 'pulse-beat' of the Society progressively weaken - the closing of Kingston Clinic (1988) marking a significant downturn. If organisations or individuals must adapt to change or decline, this re-definition is certainly constrained by several fundamental features of the system. But what form could it take? Old wine in new bottles? Compromise? Or a vibrant re-presentation consistent with the 'spirit of the age'?

Features of KNC: the ISRN in its published writings consistently emphasises several fundamental principles viz (1) the body as self-healer (2) health-care equals self-care (3) non-suppression/rational symptom response (4) intelligent leaving alone (5) adequate tissue nutrition/purification and (6) environmental influences on body chemistry.

Re (6) James Thomson - from personal experience - warned prophetically (1947) of the dangers of subtle radiation in an article entitled 'Our expanding atomic stupidity - subtitled the unknown is happening'; equally the dangers of water fluoridation were being highlighted a decade later in 'Unfit for Drinking' *

Naturopathic organisations have agonised for 150 years over nomenclature the term 'vitalism' probably most accurately reflecting what we are about viz life and the maximising of its potential. A further qualification emerged via the first of several atypical questions following an evening lecture to MIND on depression viz 'what is the moral content of NC?' - the intuitive response: non-violence (ahimsa) reflected in farming, food processing/preparation, birth, health-care, purity of water/air/light, economics, alternative energy production, animal welfare (vivisection ) and (for some) pacifism.

But in education the ISRN's breadth of vision has been its Achilles heel: the requirement to become well-versed in so many personal and environmental areas of concern impossible in the short-term.

Practitioner recruitment: non-recruitment is inseparable from the public demand for overt symbolism and instant cure, also the constraints set by Clause 14(a) of the Bye-laws re remedy prescription. But there is so much accumulated experience and knowledge within the ISRN which should be available to posterity, and could be expressed in published writings, via the internet, and education of small groups of interested students.

Parallels with naturopathic philosophy are evident in Iyengar yoga, Rogerian counselling (PCC), Social Credit, Schauberger's alternative energy and other ideas, and those of certain esoteric religious disciplines.


  1. Rude Health No.1 Vol 10 July 1947
    Thought for the Day (same issue): Genius and Stupidity.
    It is not enough to create ingenious works. If they bring about pain, illness, mayhem and gradation, they prove stupidity in their creator. Genius and stupidity are not incompatibles. Professor Charles Richet (L'Homme Stupide).
  2. Rude Health No.1 Vol 20 July 1958