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Open Letter To Ashoka And To Bill Gates
Re: Solving AIDS In Africa

by Harold Kulungian


Dear Ms. Kidder:

I've decided to add this third installment to my letter, in order to address some further related health issues that are global in scope, and to add substance to my diagnosis of the AIDS Crisis, not only in sub-Saharan Africa, but in the USA and worldwide.

First I should answer the obvious question: "How do you know that your diagnosis, that AIDS is due to a phlegmatic condition caused by the inability to keep one's skin dry in a hot, humid sub-Saharan climate, while wearing non-absorbent synthetic clothes, footwear, bedding, home furnishings?"

The fact that AIDS is not a major problem in Northern Africa and in the Sahara Desert, where the air is dry, is the first clue. Even without wearing any clothes at all--if that was an option--it would be healthier than wearing petroleum-based garments that prevent the dry air from evaporating the moisture off one's skin.

But it is not only a matter of keeping one's skin dry: In order to metabolize our food effectively and completely, we need to conserve our body heat, in a humid climate as well as in a drier climate.

Let me give an example from closer home, what is happening here in the USA, especially among the elderly and among very young children, persons who don't have sufficient physical activity to help them digest their food completely.

Yesterday I was visiting a local nursing home, where a friend is temporarily, after having fallen and broken his pelvis. Two days earlier he had complained that he felt numbness in his foot, on the side where he had undergone surgery on his hip. He was wearing very light-weight polyester pajamas, furnished by the nursing home, in the midst of a New England winter with snow piled up outside his window.

I knew he wasn't dressed adequately, but he insisted he was ok. Apparently his condition worsened, so he telephoned his son to bring him his heavy woolen pants, made in So. Korea, his native land, and his cotton shirt and wool sweater.

Well, when I saw him again 2 days later, now dressed adequately for the season, he was a new man, rapidly on the mend and smiling from ear to ear.

The other person who shares his room is a 91-year old man, who has obviously worked hard at physical labor all his life, is always up, sitting in his chair, but who cannot walk around without fear of falling. Why? What is his problem, I asked myself? He has nothing organically wrong with him, no disease.

Just by casting a glance around his area, I could see the answer, due to my many years of observations of what our artificial lifestyle based on synthetics is doing to people. Beside his TV was a bottle of Planter's Peanuts, almost gone. Evidently Charlie likes peanuts, as who wouldn't, if you had to survive on that skimpy, pasty institutional food, junk food, served by the Nursing Home 3 times daily.

But what was Charlie wearing and sleeping under, to enable him to digest the heavy fat and protein in the peanuts? He wears a green sweatshirt, 50/50 polyester and cotton. His pants are very lightweight polyester, his socks likewise, and his shoes are synthetic junk materials. God knows what quality his underwear is; but his bedding is all synthetic! There is not one item of natural organic material with a cellular structure in his room, with which he can make contact for comfort and transpiration of body wastes through his skin!

So, Charlie's nose is bulbous and red: there's the peanut oil and fat and protein which he cannot efficiently digest by sending it downwards out of his body. The whites of his eyes aren't white, for the same reason: his body is polluted by dietary waste products that he cannot metabolize. So it is a steady process of biological deterioration for any person who is dressed inadequately to digest his food well.

He is one among many millions going the same route, a way of death that has been accelerating for the past half century, since our civilization started converting the material bases of our lives into junk materials that cannot enable the human body to metabolize and transpire its dietary wastes into what surrounds us.

Now I jump from this example of an elderly man who is fed inadequately, clothed inadequately, and bedded amidst polyester sheets and coverlet--to the global health scene in which heart disease is predicted to be the #1 killer worldwide by 2020.

The physiological problem of clothing human beings in petroleum has never been taken any notice of by the medical profession, or by any other social scientists or philosophers. Yet, clearly, this technological revolution in the way people are clothed has been going on at an accelerating pace since the end of World War II. And there is no other comparable revolution in the human way of life since civilization began that can compare with this conversion from organic to inorganic, non-cellular materials as the basis of daily life.

Just walk through the Women's Lingerie department of J. C. PENNEY or any other department store! You find yourself in a sea of petroleum products, hanging enticingly on racks: 100% nylon panties, bras, support garments, pantyhose of 100% petroleum that cover most of a woman's body, together with her other undergarments, none of which can absorb the waste products from her skin and keep it dry and breathing.

The saleslady in J. C. Penney tells me that the nylon bras sell more than the part cotton or wholly cotton bras, because "women find that they fit better." Nylon being free-flowing petroleum, it takes the shape of the body readily. But that means that women cannot transpire through their skin in the entire lower half, and more, of their body.

Thus their dietary waste products can find no way out of their pores; so the mucus must rise and become deposited in the breasts, where it eventually hardens into cancerous deposits, because it cannot be excreted from the breasts either, not into nylon bras. The statistics on breast cancer in the USA doubled in a ten year period, 1965-75, after American women had switched over to synthetic hose and undergarments. The correlation is right there, since it takes a good ten years or more of unhealthy lifestyle to develop tumors.

If we look in the pages of National Geographic magazine, we see the Western-made junk shoes and clothing being worn from the jungles of Africa to the mountains of Tibet. Indeed, the professional mountaineers who climb Mt. Everest are now doing so in polyester clothes, mittens and even synthetic shoes! If they have to spend the night on the mountain without getting back to their heated tents, they are doomed! Their hands and feet become frostbitten and have to be amputated. Or they simply die out in the cold. In former years, wearing wool, fur, and leather, they could survive an overnight without the heated shelter of a tent. No longer. Yet they insist that the revolution to lightweight synthetics is "progress".

So everywhere we look, we see the new ideology that man-made materials are lighter weight and superior to natural materials--we see that false belief taking a heavy toll of human lives all around the planet. The other topic I want to address is: "What should philanthropy be doing to alleviate the sickness, suffering, and needless deaths due to inadequate clothing?" In the U.S. all our uniformed personnel are dressed in synthetic clothes: the military, the police, postal workers, firemen, airline pilots and stewardesses, and every sort of blue-collar worker is dressed in petroleum clothing.

Is it any wonder that ordinary people no longer have the energy to perform their duties up to par, and that standards in every walk of life--education, art, athletics, morals, mental and sexual functioning--everywhere the standards are being dumbed down relentlessly. They have to be--because people just cannot perform even minimally while wearing junk clothes, footwear, undergarments, etc.

When I travel, I always take a woolen blanket and cotton sheets with me, because they have long disappeared from public facilities and private homes as well.

So we come to the huge moral issue which the MEDICAL REVOLUTION TO INTERNAL HYGIENE would have to face. Could ASHOKA, could the BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION, announce--on the basis of scientific experiments--that our modern lifestyle, based on nonabsorbent synthetic materials, is the biggest enemy of health?

Could Bill Gates, instead of giving 100 million dollars for drug research--which would do absolutely nothing to solve the unhygienic conditions that produce AIDS--give 100 million to import 100% cotton, linen, and woolen garments, blankets, etc. into the sub-Saharan countries where AIDS is taking the heaviest toll in the heat and humidity which is so favorable to propagation of the virus?

The cottage industries whereby the Africans formerly wove their own garments would need to be rebuilt and fostered. The African governments would need to promulgate laws forbidding the importation of Western-made synthetic clothes and bedding. And that is exactly the true statesman's responsibility, according to Rudolph Virchow (1821-1902), the greatest German doctor of the 19th century.

Virchow was repeatedly called upon by the German government to investigate the latest outbreaks of epidemic diseases. What he wrote famously is that true statesmanship is in seeing how the way of life of one's people has been altered, causing these epidemic diseases, so that it can be put right, to restore the health of the population.

Well, the technological changes of the past century have destroyed the natural bases of a healthy life--natural food, natural clothing, natural building materials and home furnishings. Can these be put right again? Economically, for the civilization as a whole, undoubtedly not. How could the economy be converted from unnatural back to natural materials? Could enough cotton, wool, linen, leather, wood, etc. be produced again as it was formerly when those materials were the indispensable bases of life?

The answer is: Civilization most likely cannot be turned back to the natural way of life. Which means that the steady deterioration of health and happiness for entire peoples cannot be arrested, but perhaps only slowed somewhat by public education that impugns our unhealthy synthetic, artificial way of life.

But individuals, families, and even entire communities can learn how to take responsibility for their health, and extricate themselves from our modern pathogenic lifestyle.

In closing, I send you the Web site of the Macrobiotic community, which calls itself "IONIA", after the ancient community in Asis Minor of that name. Please look at the children and adults pictured there on the land in Kasilof, Alaska 99610, tel. (907) 262-2824. This Macrobiotic community represents a beautiful inspiration of hard work, which has created what can only be marveled at: http://www.ionia.org.


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