• Kathryn Watkins

Smallpox Statistics

Updated: Mar 15, 2021

The Masonic Observer of the 14th January, 1922:

“The Philippines have experienced three smallpox epidemics since the United States first took over the Islands, the first in 1905–6, the second in 1907–8, and the third and worst, the recent epidemic of 1918–1919. Before 1905 (with no systematic general vaccination) the case mortality was about 10%. In the 1905–6 epidemic, with vaccination well started, the case mortality ranged from 25% to 50% in different parts of the Islands. During the epidemic of 1918–19, with the Philippines supposedly almost universally immunised against smallpox by vaccination, the case mortality averaged over 65%.

These figures can be verified by reference to the Report of the Philippine Health Service for 1919, p.78. These figures are accompanied by the statement that “the mortality is hardly explainable”. To anyone but a Philippine Medical Health Commissioner, it is plainly the result of vaccination.

Not only has smallpox become more deadly in the Philippines, but, in addition: ‘The statistics of the Philippine Health Service show that there has been a steady increase in recent years in cases of preventable diseases, especially typhoid, malaria and tuberculosis.’

(Quoted from the 1921 Report of the Special Mission on Investigation to the Philippine Islands, of which General Leonard Wood was head.)”

Going more into detail in an earlier issue (10th December, 1921), The Masonic Observer writes:

“The highest percentage of mortality, 65.3%, was in Manila, the most thoroughly vaccinated place in the Philippines; the lowest percentage of mortality, 11.4%, was in Mindanao, where, owing to the religious beliefs of the inhabitants, vaccination had not been practised as much as in most other parts of the islands. To the everlasting shame of the misnamed ‘Health’ Service, vaccination has been forced on Mindanao since 1918, despite this proof that their people were safer without it, and, as a result, smallpox mortality increased to above 25% in 1920. In view of the fact that sanitary engineers had probably done more in Manila to clean up the city and make it healthy than in any other part of the islands there is every reason to believe that excessive vaccination actually brought on the smallpox epidemic, in spite of the sanitary measures taken

to promote health.”

Again, from the issue of the 17th December, 1921:

“Think of it – less than 11 million population in the Philippines and 107,981 cases of smallpox with the awful toll of 59,741 deaths in 1918 and 1919. Bear in mind that, in all human probability, the inhabitants of the Philippines are as thoroughly vaccinated and revaccinated as any people in the world. Systematic vaccination started in the Philippines in 1905 and has continued ever since. It is certain that over ten million vaccinations for smallpox were performed in the Philippines from 1905 to 1917, and very probable that the vaccinations numbered even as many as fifteen million during that time.

This can be verified by reference to reports of the Philippine Health Service.”

Turning to those reports, we find evidence that the facts must have been even worse. In letters to the Secretary of Public Instruction, Dr. V. de Jesus (the Director of Health) states that in 1918 and 1919 there were in the Philippines 112,549 cases of smallpox with 60,855 deaths.The Chief of the Division of Sanitation in the Provinces gives yet higher figures for the year 1919, increasing the total for the two years to 145,317 cases and 63,434 deaths.

So the facts pronounce firmly against Jenner and Pasteur. Yet, basing his theories upon a practice already discredited by those who had given it close and impartial scientific study, Pasteur proceeded to inaugurate a system of preventive medicine focused on what he proclaimed to be the ravages of airborne microbes. The attenuated doses which, according to his theory, were to prevent natural diseases did due honour to Edward Jenner by being called vaccines."

From "Bechamp or Pasteur"



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