Monday, August 19, 2019

Cure for Appendicitis

It is being claimed that Russell taught that appendicitis is caused by biting worms in the colon. The obvious reason for this claim is to make it appear that Russell was some kind of quack who should not be taken seriously. Russell, himself, however never claimed to have any special knowledge of appendicitis or any other disease. 

As far as appendicitis pain, there was an article in the Watch Tower of January 1, 1912, page 26, entitled "Cure for Appendicitis". We don't know that Russell himself wrote it; it was probably given to him from one of his associates, possibly a doctor, and he simply had it printed in the magazine. It is probable that in 1912,  much of the work at the Watch Tower Society was handled by others, although Russell sought to approve everything that appeared in the Watch Tower, he himself stated, "We try to be careful about every word that goes into the Watch Tower, but we do not claim to be infallible; we are doing the best we can." -- What Pastor Russell Said, page 57.

 The article does not state that appendicitis itself is caused by "biting worms", but rather that the pain from appendicitis is caused by "biting worms". We cannot say exactly what is meant by "biting worms" in the article, but bacteria itself could be described as "worms", and we suppose the infections caused by bacteria could be described as from biting worms.

Nevertheless, there is research that speaks of parasitic pinworms that have been found in the appendix with appendicitis. Sanotin was indeed used even by some doctors in the days of Russell to bring relief to patients suffering from appendicitis pain, as it does expel such parasites, thus bringing relief to the patient suffering from pain caused by those worms.

Regardless, the short article was simply a suggestion; it was not presented as being dogma, infallible, without error, etc. Nor did the article represent an authoritarian organization such as Rutherford created after Russell died. If it had appeared in one of the home advice magazines of that day, more than likely no one today would be writing evil of those authors. But because it was printed by the magazine that Russell edited, it is being presented as though it was some kind of official doctrine that was being promulgated by someone. Russell, however, never assumed any such authority, not for himself, nor for the Watch Tower Society of his day.

We should also note that the information was passed gratis; Russell was not getting rich in having this information published.

The article may be found online at:

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