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From The Cancer Chronicles #24-#25
Patients hearing about Naessens's remarkable work for the first time often say, "If this were true, my doctor would have told me about it." Scientists ask, "How is it that nobody else has seen this somatid in human blood?"
In fact, many researchers over the years have grasped pieces of this puzzle and have associated these pieces with the origin of cancer. But for complex reasons the news hasn't reached the average physician.
Throughout much of the nineteenth century it was in fact assumed that cancer was caused by a microbe. NCI historian Michael B. Shimkin has written:
"In the early 90s, it appeared to have been a question, not so much as to the infectious origin of cancer, but rather as to which of the many parasites was the real causative agent."
In his classic 1907 textbook, Neoplastic Diseases, James Ewing listed a total of 38 different organisms, including bacteria, cocci, and mycetes found in cancer. Almost no one knew how, if at all, these organisms related to one another.
Partly because of such confusion, and partly due to a growing enthusiasm for radium and x-ray treatments, the whole "cancer microbe" search went out of favor.
In fact, scientists then flip-flopped and it became very bad form to even mention microbes and cancer in the same breath. For decades, this prejudice held up the discovery of cancer-related viruses. Peyton Rous, who discovered the chicken sarcoma virus in 1910, was almost universally derided by his peers. Vindication came only in 1966, when at the age of 87 he received the Nobel prize.
Belief in the bacterial theory persisted, however. In the 1920s, a brave Scotsman, Dr. James Young, recognized that some of the conflicting claims could be the result of pleomorphism. He wrote:
"Some at least of the organismal forms previously obtained from cancer by different workers are in reality isolated alternative phases in the same cancer organism...."
In our own day, Dr. Virginia Livingston-Wheeler led a school of pleomorphic thought, including Drs. Irene Diller and Eleanor Jackson. Livingston called her organism Progenitor crypotocides, i.e., a hidden killer that also brings life. This was very similar to the somatid.
Naessens always credits some of the more prominent West European scientists who have worked in this area. But the three thinkers who bear the closest resemblance to Naessens were a 19th century French professor; a German museum curator; and an eccentric San Diego inventor, known for a `ray-gun' treatment device.
Antoine Béchamp (1816-1908) was a full professor at Montpellier, Strasbourg, and Lille, and an unsuccessful rival of the great Pasteur. His crowning achievement came in 1866 when he identified "microzymas" in the blood. These are almost certainly identical to Naessens's somatids, which is remarkable considering the crudity of the tools with which the older Frenchman had to work.
Béchamp wrote that "the microzymas are the only non-transitory elements of the organism...." Although Naessens is also French, he never heard of Béchamp's microzymas until author Christopher Bird brought the work to his attention in 1981. Then as now, standard scientific texts did not mention Béchamp.
Guenther Enderlein (1862-1968) was curator of the Zoological Museum in Berlin and the author of more than 500 scientific publications. He too saw a "thousand-headed monster" in human blood and believed that a particle, which he called the "protit," represented an essential part of its life cycle.
As one interpreter has put it: "Any severe change or deterioration of the body's internal environment could enable the otherwise non-harmful microbes to evolve through specific states of cyclic development into disease-producing forms..." (Erik Enby).
"Protits" can be seen under a dark-field microscope as tiny shining points. Enderlein called the protit's life cycle the endobiosis complex, made up of 14 (rather than Naessens's 16) stages, and said it was fundamental to many diseases. But Enderlein identified the protit with Mucor racemosus Fresen, a common mold.
Royal Raymond Rife (1888-1971) began his career as a talented tinkerer. In the 1930s, sponsored by a wealthy employer, he invented a unique "Universal Microscope" based on complicated prisms. There is a complete, dispassionate description of this remarkable instrument in the Journal of the Franklin Institute, February, 1944.
Rife also saw strange organisms swimming in the blood. He focused on a tiny "cancer microbe," which refracted purplish-red light. He called this "microbe" BX.Rife also invented the Rife Generator, which, when set to a particular frequency, could allegedly explode cancer cells. People were said to have been cured in this way in the 1930s at the Scripps Clinic.
Rife ran into fierce opposition and died a broken man. Since publication of Barry Lynes's book, The Cancer Cure That Worked! there has been intense interest in reviving Rife's pioneering work.