This is the speech given by David Bourke at the Ireland Conference on January 7, 2017.
In 2017, most of us believe that we are in total control of just about everything in our lives, with almost limitless choice available to us in virtually every area of interest. We walk into a supermarket to be met by a dazzing array of colourful packages of tasty inexpensive food which enables us, we are led to believe, to feed our families well, and in style.
Depending on our vocational choices, we can drive a Ford Ka - or a top of the range BMW.
We can take holidays two or three times a year if we can get the time. And again, depending on our vocational choices, this is easy for some of us, and impossible for some of us. But we're told, if we work hard, we can climb right to the top of the tree and enable such lavish choices in our own lives.
In health care, too, we have choices. If we have health insurance, or the means to pay out of our own wallets, we can opt to stay in hospitals that are more like four-star hotels, and engage the country's top doctors and surgeons,
If we're not well-padded, the state's national health service will take care of us, and we can take pot luck with the medics assigned to us by the system.
Everywhere we turn, an endless vista of choice stretches to the horizon. All of them are available to some, and some of them are available to all.
We could be here all day talking about our world of choices, but let's just concentrate on the few we've touched on so far.
Most of believe that we live in the best of all possible worlds. And most of would agree that our lives are far better than the lives our great-great-grandmothers and grandfathers led.
Most of us believe that we've beaten all the killer diseases like smallpox and the plague, polio and tuberculosis, tetanus and rabies. Science has brought us the modern miracles of microwave dinners so we no longer have to slave over a hot oven. TV brings us the news and events from all over the globe, and we're entertained and enthralled by sports, comedy, and drama, courtesy of its bright and colourful window on the world.
But is this REALLY the best of all possible worlds? A life spent in an office cublcle pushing pieces of paper across our desks and computer files across the world. And at the end of it, a gold watch, ironically just when our time here is drawing to a close.
Let's try a little thought exercise. We'll imagine we have a time machine, and we'll use it to travel back to the time of our great-great-grandparents to see how they lived.
First thing we notice is - no supermarkets. No butchers. No greengrocers. No fast-food outlets. The few shops that exist sell only luxury items like tea, sugar, and spices, imported on sailing ships from the far corners of the Earth at great expense, and so affordable on a regular basis only to the well-off.
But this doesn't matter to our forebears. Because they grow all their own vegetables, and raise their own animals. They don't get to eat meat every day - but they know how to prepare organ meats, bones, and scrag-ends to make tasty nutritional meals, and they do manage to get the odd sirloin steak or leg of lamb on special occasions.
They don't have anywhere near the same amount of food choices as we do.
In those days, the car had yet to be dreamed up. But almost every family has a horse or a donkey, and a cart for family transport. Those four-legged friends are used only for longer journeys, not to visit friends who live over the hill, and they not only help us to get from place to place quickly, they also help to bring in the harvests, and till the field, or fields if we work hard enough, and clever enough.
No, our great-great-grandparents don't have the choices we have today. But they still have transport that's a lot more useful and versatile in their daily lives than ours is.
Back then, holidays as we know them today are unknown. The Industrial Revolution has yet to take hold, so the vast majority work the land. And Nature doesn't take holidays, so those who live by it don't either. But they have religious holidays, and holidays that date back to pagan times, where people gather together in celebration and community.
The choice between a fortnight in Florida, 10 days in the Bahamas, or skiing in the Swiss Alps would have been meaningless to people back then.
When people get sick or injured, there are no hospitals or medical facilities of any kind. Although there are herbalists and natural doctors, these require a fee that the majority can't afford to pay.
We imagine that they must all have lived short lives in a horrible world of unrelenting pain and suffering. But if they did, where did seven billion human beings come from?
The truth is that they are healthier than we are today. They grow their own food (and eat the RIGHT food), they work hard six days a week, and sometimes seven in harvest and planting seasons. The fields and barns are their gyms. No membership required.
Because they live so close to the land, and the things that the land produce, they have a vast store of knowledge about which herbs, foods, and minerals are useful to cure various illnesses, and this knowledge is passed down from mother to daughter. Yes, the healers were women. Healing is a skill as common as the ability to cook or sew.
Only the nobility and the merchants can afford doctors, whose most common treatment is blood-letting - with all its attendant dangers of infection and anaemia, to which many of the rich succumb.
Our great-great-grandparents don't NEED doctoring. If more expertise is required, they simply consult with each other, and take steps accordingly.
The news from Japan or Russia might intrigue them, but it is useless to them. Far more useful is news from the neighbouring villages. They have their sporting occasions, and travelling performers come to their fairs.
They rise at dawn, work in the fields, then sleep at sunset. Their lives are utterly in tune ?like clockwork ?with the rhythms of the Earth. So to believe they were unhealthy is to believe a lie. A lie that enables a bigger lie ?that mankind is healthier today than we've ever been.
The essential difference between their lives and ours is control.
They control their own health with deep knowledge about the food they put into their bodies, and through what they do every day that keeps them fit and strong.
As time went on, the world changed. The Industrial Revolution didn't altogether denude the countryside of people to come and work in factories. It did, however, solve the problem of property succession in larger agrarian families. It also brought us expansion of cities, to house workers required by the merchants. And cities brought diseases, and violence.
This is when life expectancy started to drop. People born and raised in cities lost the knowledge of healing their forebears had. They had to hand over control of their health to a third party in exchange for money.
However, by that time, homeopathy was becoming established, so many were actually helped successfully when they became ill.
Fast-forward to 1851 and the first ever World Fair held at Crystal Palace, London, and billed as the "Great Exhibition of the World of Industry of All Nations." From then until the Chicago World Fair from 1933 to 1934, these events were almost exclusively about industry and, above all, the science that enabled and drove it.
Scientists came to be regarded with awe, as little gods, and their every word was golden. If a scientist said that such and such a thing was true, then by golly you better believe it. And if a doctor said that smoking cigarettes was good for your lungs, then it must be true.
Because doctors and scientists have no reason to lie, do they? And so, piece by piece, we handed control over our own well-being to solemn-looking men in white coats who assured us that their way was the scientific way, and thus the only right way.
To this day, the vast majority of us have no control whatsoever over our health. We know little or nothing about how our bodies work, or how proper nutrition works, or why it's so vital. Incidentally, most doctors are not educated about nutrition's role in health - as little as two hours?undergraduate instruction is provided in most medical schools. And one of the doctors leading the UN's global Codex Alimentarius program has stated that nutrition has nothing to do with health. The UN ?leading us all into a brighter future?
As a result, in large parts of the world, and Europe is one, it's no longer possible (because it's illegal) to buy or import vitamins or minerals in the therapeutic doses required for health.
Allopathic medicine has now become embedded, a part of every state and government. The result is that it's illegal for a doctor to cure cancer using anything but chemotherapy or radiation.
Treating illness has now become "my way or the highway." Yet despite the grandiose claims of modern medicine, western man is today more unhealthy than ever. Cancer rates have soared into the stratosphere, with one in every three expected to contract it in their lifetimes. Our children, who should be bursting with vitality and health, are sickening with diseases unknown to our forebears, and many of them are routinely dosed with toxic psychotropic drugs, and receive insane numbers of vaccinarions. By 2025, one out of every two male children will develop autism, according to Dr. Stephanie Seneff at MIT.
Childhood daydreaming and boisterousness has now been relabelled ADD and ADHD.
Despite all its glittering promises, modern medicine has delivered only a few genuine successes, and far too many failures. But what can we do about this? Who can we turn to? If doctors cannot help us, who will make us well again?
There's only one person on Earth who knows everything there is to know about you.
That person is YOU.
But, you say, I don't know anything about medicine. Well, most doctors are not actually that far ahead of you because they spend most of their training learning about drugs rather than health and well-being, and certainly not nutrition.
Yet this health and nutrition knowledge is freely available to all of us, on the internet, in books, and in videos. Apples of knowledge are there waiting for us, free for the plucking.
The only price is a little time harvesting.
Is knowing all the comings and goings of the fictional characters of Albert Square going to help your liver problem? What about following Liverpool's football season? Or Netflix binging on the latest vampire romance or hospital drama?
You know the answer to that. Your time IS your life. Frittering it away on things that are meaningless and have no lasting value is foolish indeed.
Without your health, life is misery and suffering. Some of you here today, and some of you watching this presentation, are altogether too painfully aware of that.
We cannot go back to the days of our great-great-grandparents unless the nature of our whole society changes radically. But what we CAN do is to use the tools of genuine 21st century science to help us restore our health, and that of our children, and then maintain it.
The Spooky team believe that we design and build the best tools on Earth to do this. Because we sell everything at manufacturing cost, Spooky systems are affordable for every home.
So we give you the tools, and we help you learn how to use them. The one thing we cannot do for you is to research your own illness - necessarily, this is YOUR responsibility, to yourself, and to your family. And all that it takes is a little of your time.
By bringing Spooky into your life, you take back what your great-great-parents had that made them so fit and strong - control over your own health and well-being.
Personally, I don't have any religious beliefs. But I DO have very strong spiritual beliefs. I believe that I will one day stand before my Maker and account for what I did with my life.
And I would like to be able to tell Him, or Her, that I did MY very best to nurture and take care of the miraculous body that He designed to carry my soul, which belongs ultimately to Him, because it is a spark from the Divine Fire of Creation.
Most of our glittering choices today are truly meaningless, and valueless. This one is not. Take control.