OUR BIOCHEMICAL SOCIETY
by L. Ron Hubbard
We live in a chemical-oriented society.
One would be hard put to find someone in the present-day civilization who is not affected by this fact. Every day the vast majority of the public is subjected to the intake of food preservatives and other chemical poisons, including atmospheric poisons and pesticides. Added to this are the pain pills, tranquillizers, psychiatric and other medical drugs prescribed by doctors. Additionally the widespread use of marijuana, LSD, cocaine and other street drugs contribute heavily to the scene.
These factors are all of the biochemical problem.
BIOCHEMICAL means the interaction of life forms and chemical substances.
BIO- means life, of living things; from the Greek bios, or way of life.
CHEMICAL means of or having to do with chemicals. Chemicals are substances, simple or complex, that are the building blocks of matter.
The human body is composed of certain exact chemicals and chemical compounds, with complex chemical processes going on continuously within it. Some substances, such as nutrients, air and water, are vital to the continuation of these processes and for maintaining the body’s health. Other substances are relatively neutral when entered into the body, causing neither benefit nor damage. Still other substances can wreak havoc, blocking or preventing body functions and making the body ill or even killing it.
TOXIC SUBSTANCES, which fall into this last category, are those that upset the body’s normal chemical balance or interfere with its processes. The term is used to describe drugs, chemicals or any substance shown to be poisonous or harmful to an organism. The word toxic comes from the Greek word toxikon, originally meant as poison in which arrows were dipped.
DETOXIFICATION would be the action of removing a poison or a poisonous effect from something, such as from one’s body.
TOXINS IN ABUNDANCE
An enormous volume of material has been written on the subject of toxic substances, their reported effects and the prospects for their handling. Examples abound in publications and news reports.
The current environment is permeated with life-hostile elements. Drugs, radioactive wastes, pollutants and chemical agents of all types are not only everywhere, but are becoming even more prevalent as time goes on. In fact, they are so commonplace they are almost impossible to avoid.
For example, some of the things put in canned vegetables or soup could be considered toxic. They are preservatives and the action of a preservative is to impede decay. Yet digestion and cellular action are based on decay. In other words, those things might be great for the manufacturer, as they preserve the product, but could be very bad for the consumer. It is not that I am on a food faddism kick or a kick against preservatives. The point is that Man is surrounded by toxins.
This example alone of preservatives in foods illustrates the degree to which one can encounter toxic substances in daily living.
But combine that with the enemies of various countries using widespread drug addiction as a defeatist mechanism and nations vying with each other in the manufacture and testing of nuclear weapons (and so increasing the amount of radioactive material free in the environment). Then add the ready availability of painkillers and sedatives, the increased use of industrial and agricultural chemicals, and toxic substances developed for chemical warfare. In short (and putting it bluntly), this society, at this time, is riddled with toxic substances.
Certain data regarding those substances that pose a threat to individuals and to society at large will bring the biochemical situation more clearly into focus. It is to this situation that the Purification Programme addressed.
Drugs are essentially poisons. The degree to which they are taken determines the effect. A small amount acts as a stimulant (increases activity). A greater amount acts as a sedative (suppresses activity). A larger amount acts as a poison and can kill one dead.
This is true of any drug and each has a different amount at which it gives those results. Caffeine is a drug, so coffee is an example. One hundred cups of coffee would probably kill a person. Ten cups would probably put him to sleep. Two or three cups stimulates. This is a very common drug. It is not very harmful, as it takes so much of it to have an effect. So it is known as a stimulant.
Arsenic is a known poison. Yet a tiny amount of arsenic is a stimulant, a larger dose puts one to sleep and a few grains kill.
The drug scene is planetwide and swimming in blood and human misery.
Research demonstrates that the single most destructive element present in our current culture is drugs.
The acceleration of widespread use of drugs such as LSD, heroin, cocaine, marijuana and the litany of new street drugs all play a part in our debilitated society. Even schoolchildren are shoved on to drugs. And children of drug-taking mothers are born as druggies.
Reportedly some of these drugs can cause brain and nerve damage. Marijuana, for example, so favoured by college students, who are supposed to be getting bright today so they can be the executives of tomorrow, is reported capable of causing brain atrophy.
Research even established that there is such a thing as a “drug personality.” It is artificial and is created by drugs. Drugs can apparently change the attitude of persons from their original personality to one secretly harbouring hostilities and hatreds they do not permit to show on the surface. While this may not hold true in all cases, it does establish a link between drugs and increasing difficulties with crime, failing productivity and the modern breakdown of social and industrial culture.
The devastating physiological effects of drugs are the subject of newspaper headlines routinely. That they also result in a breakdown of mental alertness and ethical fibre is all too obvious.
But vicious and damaging though they are, street drugs are actually only one part of the biochemical problem.
MEDICAL AND PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS
Medical and, most particularly, the long list of psychiatric drugs (Ritalin, Valium, Thorazine and lithium, to name a few) can be every bit as damaging as street drugs. The prevalence of these currently in common use would be quite amazing to one unfamiliar with the problem.
Sedatives are often administered as though they were a panacea for all ills. As early as 1951, many persons had become so accustomed to their daily dosage of sleeping pills or painkillers that they did not consider their “little pills” as drugs.
Too often the attitude is “If I can’t find the cause of the pain, at least I’ll deaden it.” In the case of one who is mentally ill, this might read, “If he can’t be made rational, at least he can be made quiet.”
Unfortunately it is not recognized that a person whose pain has been deadened by a sedative has himself been deadened by the same drug and is much nearer the ultimate pain of death. It should be obvious that the quietest people in the world are the dead.
Alcohol is not a mind-altering drug, but it is a biochemical-altering drug. Alcohol doesn’t do anything to the mind; it does something to the nerves. By quickly and rapidly soaking up all the vitamin B1 in the body, it makes the nerves incapable of functioning properly.
Therefore a person can’t coordinate his body. Alcohol in small quantities is a stimulant and in large quantities is a depressant.
The definition of alcoholics individuals who can’t have just one drink. If they have one drink, they have to have another. They are addicted. One of the factors is they have to have a full glass in front of them. If it gets empty, it has to be refilled.
Alcoholics are in a state of total, unrelenting hostility toward everything around them. They will do people in without even mentioning it.
Alcohol is a drug. The degree of alcohol consumption (quantity and frequency) determines whether an individual should be considered a heavy user.
COMMERCIAL PROCESSES AND PRODUCTS
In recent years much research has been done on the potential toxic effects of many of the substances commonly used in various commercial processes and products and to what extent they may find their way into the bodies of this planet’s inhabitants. Following are a few examples of what this research is bringing to light.
Under this heading exist the tens of thousands of chemicals used in manufacturing. Not all such chemicals are toxic, of course. But workers in factories that produce or use such things as pesticides, petroleum products, plastics, detergents and cleaning chemicals, solvents, plated metals, preservatives, drugs, asbestos products, fertilizers, some cosmetics, perfumes, paints, dyes, electrical equipment or any radioactive materials can be exposed, often for extended periods, to toxic materials. Of course, the consumer can be exposed to residual amounts of such chemicals when they use these products.
Pesticides are the most obvious of the toxic substances to which workers in agricultural activities could be exposed. These include insecticides (insect-killing chemicals), herbicides (chemicals to kill unwanted plants, such as weeds) and man-made fertilizers.
Under the heading of herbicides come several that contain a substance called “dioxin,” known to be a highly toxic chemical even in amounts almost too small to detect in the body.
Contact with chemicals used in agriculture can occur in a number of ways. The chemical can be carried on or in the plant itself and so eaten. It can be carried on the wind and breathed in directly by those living or working in agricultural areas. It can even be carried into drinking-water supplies.
FOOD, FOOD ADDITIVES AND PRESERVATIVES
There are substances added to some commercially processed foods that are meant to “enhance” colour or flavour or, as mentioned previously, to keep the food from spoiling. Also becoming more common are various artificial sweeteners used in “diet” soft drinks and other commercially packaged foods. From research on these “enhancers” and “sweeteners” and “preservers,” it appears that many of them are quite toxic. The whole subject of food additives and preservatives has become a matter of concern to many people.
There is another side to this matter of food. Research findings point to the possibility that rancid oils are a health hazard of a magnitude not previously suspected. Oils used in or commercial processing of foods, where they are not fresh, pure and free of rancidity, have been linked, by researchers, with digestive and muscular ills and even cancer.
PERFUMES AND FRAGRANCES
Use of perfumes and fragrances in all sorts of products has become more and more prevalent in recent years. Everything from clothing and laundry detergent, to facial tissue and magazine advertisements, has fragrance added to it. That fragrance is usually a cheap chemical derivative, an extract of coal tar that probably costs about 10 cents for a 50-gallon drum. Findings seem to bear out that these chemicals, floating about in the local supermarket as “fragrances,” are actually toxic and can end up in the food products sold there. Ingesting these chemicals is clearly no aid to digestion.
You’ve no doubt seen in the news that contact with radiation can occur through exposure to nuclear weapons tests (or the radioactive particles they can release into the atmosphere), to nuclear wastes or to some manufacturing processes that use radioactive materials. Further, the increased use of atomic power for electrical supply, without developing proper technology and safeguards in its use, poses a nonmilitary threat. And the deterioration of the upper atmosphere of the planet by pollutants year by year lets more and more solar radiation through to the planetary surface.
In other words, there are many ways one can be exposed to radiation. It’s all over the atmosphere and always has been. There is just more of it now.
Sun worshippers, sunbathers, those who make a career of baking themselves in the sun year after year, expose themselves to radiation. What is the Sun but a ball of radiation? No better example of radiation can be found anywhere than our own Sun. Therefore a sunburn is burn, but not a burn that occurs simply from excessive heat: it is a radiation burn. A certain amount of sunlight is probably essential to the good health of the human body. It is excessive exposure we are talking about here. Even when one does not burn, per se, with extensive daily exposure over long periods of time, one is subjected to the cumulative effects of radiation.
X-rays also expose one to radiation. They are fully as deadly as atomic fission. X-ray does not bring about the big bang; you don’t get a tremendous explosion and no town left. But it does, X-ray by X-ray, bring about a condition of high count in the individual so that if one gets a little bit more X-ray or fallout, one is liable to become ill. A repeated, continuous application of X-ray to a person can bring about anything and everything that atomic fission brings about in its pollution of the atmosphere.
Where there is a radioactive atmosphere, there is also a declining health rate. The more people are exposed to radiation, the less resistance they have and the more effect the radiation has on them. In other words, a buildup occurs in the body, over time, from any of the sources described above. As radiation is cumulative, it follows, then, that this compounds the biochemical problem and presents a barrier of magnitude.
AN ANSWER TO THE BIOCHEMICAL WORLD
In light of all of the above, the Purification Programme is a proffered answer to this biochemical problem. In a society as pervaded with drugs and toxic materials as this one has become, handling accumulations of such materials should be a point of great interest.
The logical questions regarding any procedure that might handle such accumulations would be “Does it work?” “Does it get results?”
These questions are answered by practical experience and through an understanding of the basic discoveries that brought about a procedure to free the individual from the harmful effects of toxic substances.