Of all the episodes of alternative cancer treatment suppression by the medical establishment, none is more dramatic and long lasting than Harry Hoxsey’s. Harry’s constant conflicts covered almost 50 years of the 20th Century, while he defended what has proven to be a highly effective alternative treatment.
Hoxsey was flamboyant and put himself into the public eye and ear energetically and often. The medical establishment, cancer industries, and cooperating government agencies responded viciously. His USA operations were closed down in 1960, but his legacy continues as the Bio-Medical Center in Tijuana, Mexico. His clinic was the first alternative cancer clinic to flee into a less politically hostile medical environment. Others have since followed.
The Hoxsey Treatment
There are two cancer curing herbal formulas used in the Hoxsey treatment. One is external, and it consists of a red paste made with bloodroot, the active anti tumor ingredient, mixed with zinc chloride and antimony sulfide. This paste is applied directly onto skin cancer tumors.
An almost identical version of the Hoxsey external paste has a history of successful applications on skin cancers as far back as 1850 in England, by a Dr. Fell, who evidently got the bloodroot ingredient from Lake Superior Native Americans by way of European doctors traveling in America. In 1949 and again in the 1960’s, there were other American doctors who used the same paste successfully in the States.
The internal tonic consists of Red Clover blossom, Licorice root, Buckthorn bark, Burdock root, Stillingia root, Poke root, Barberry root, Oregon Grape root, Cascara Sagrada bark, Prickly Ash bark, Wild Indigo root and Sea Kelp. The Sea Kelp may have been added more recently to the original formula. A supplementation of potassium iodide was included in addition to the tonic.
Richard Walters wrote in his Options: The Alternative Cancer Therapy Book, “According to eminent botanist James Duke, Ph.D., of the United States Department of Agriculture, all of the Hoxsey herbs have known anticancer properties. Furthermore, Duke noted, the Hoxsey herbs have long been used by Native American healers to treat cancer, and traveling European doctors picked up the knowledge and took it home with them to treat patients.”
A diet is included in the Hoxsey treatment that excludes pork, bleached white flour products, alcohol, sugar, sodas, and excess salt. In the clinic, patients eat together and mingle freely among themselves. The atmosphere is cordial and friendly, the type of positive attitude that encourages healing, sometimes even in and of itself.
Communication among staff and patients is open. Humor and positive attitudes are encouraged. When Hoxsey was in charge, he would personally greet and encourage patients to instill a positive attitude. So a good diet and the right energy for healing is part of the treatment, in addition to the herbal remedies.
There was and still is a one time fee, which enables patients to return as often as needed while receiving the tonics as long as needed. In 2005 at the Mexico Bio-Medical Center, the one time fee was around $3500 to $5000. Compare that to the cost of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, doctor fees, and hospital stays for the average cancer patient!
Hoxsey never turned anyone down for lack of funds. He had become successful as an oil man in Texas, and he didn’t need the money. Yet claims that Hoxsey was a con man out to exploit people anxious for a cure was a chronic AMA tactic. One of Hoxsey’s cured patients commented that her conventional doctor had warned, “He’s gonna just take all your money!” To this, she replied, “But that’s impossible. You already have!”
Journalist James Burke observed Hoxsey taking people who had traveled to his clinic in Dallas and personally handling all their travel and living expenses while charging them nothing if they had no money. Burke was originally sent by Esquire magazine in 1939 to expose Harry Hoxsey as a quack and a fraud.
After witnessing so many patients recover, the manner in which they were treated, and the generosity Hoxsey displayed for cancer victims low on cash, Burke submitted an article titled “The Quack Who Cures Cancer” to the magazine. It didn’t get printed! After WW II, James Burke volunteered his journalistic services to Hoxsey as a press agent.
All the medical establishment’s reports on Hoxsey’s treatments were and still are negative and dismissive. And these reports are the ones that get published and circulated among the medical journals and released to the mass media.
What doesn’t get circulated in journals or mass media, however, is that several independent doctors, free of association or institutional restraints, conducted their own investigations and concluded that the Hoxsey therapy was more effective at curing cancer than the “conventional methods,” and without side effects. Additionally, there are many Hoxsey cured patient testimonials.
The Hoxsey History
Harry Hoxsey was not a medical practitioner. But he was the young son of a rural Illinois veterinarian who used an herbal tonic and salve on animals, mostly horses, and then secretly on humans with cancer. He found the formulas very successful. Though young Harry never got past the 8th grade, he assisted his father and understood the family formula his dad used and how to use and apply it to others.
As Hoxsey’s father lay dying in bed, he told his son to use the family name for the formula, and to ensure its integrity. He also told Harry not to use the family formula primarily for monetary gain, but to allow its use for as many cancer victims as possible. In 1922, Harry Hoxsey started his first clinic in Taylorville, Illinois. He was hounded and arrested often for practicing medicine without a license.
He went to Chicago around 1924 to meet with the head of the AMA and editor of the AMA Medical Journal, Dr. Morris Fishbein, to prove the efficacy of his treatment. He was given access to a Chicago policeman, Sgt. Thomas Manix, whose cancer prognosis was terminal. Using both the ointment and tonic, the policeman was completely cured. This is a documented medical fact. and Manix lived another 10 years.
Fishbein and associates were impressed, and they offered to buy the formulas from Hoxsey. But Hoxsey disagreed with the terms. There was no guarantee that everyone would be able to have access to the formula, and Hoxsey would be completely out of the loop with no control. So Hoxsey refused to hand over the formulas. That was the beginning of their war, as the medical establishment began its campaign to destroy Hoxsey. Of course, the AMA claimed no such offer was ever made.
While Hoxsey’s crude sales persona was used to easily portray him as a con artist, the real issue was over power and control to obtain workable cancer cures for monetary gain, or to hide them away in order to maintain the cancer industry’s medical monopoly of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy .
In 1936, Hoxsey established the largest independent clinic in the country in Dallas, Texas. There he was confronted with yet another enemy, the Assistant District Attorney, Al Templeton. Hoxsey was arrested 100 times in two years. Each time he bailed himself out with the large amount of cash he carried just for those occasions. Charges were always dropped as no one would testify against Hoxsey. Too many patients were happy with the treatment.
Al Templeton continued harassing Hoxsey until his brother, Mike Templeton, whose cancer was considered incurable by conventional medicine, sneaked to the clinic to receive Hoxsey’s treatments. He was cured. Al properly credited his brother’s cure to Hoxsey’s treatment, and he actually had a change of heart. The Assistant DA then became Hoxsey’s lawyer, and soon he was elected as a district judge. Hoxsey then had friends in high places, locally.
But his biggest problems came on a national level since he had the large clinic in Dallas and several other smaller ones in different states. In 1949, Morris Fishbein wrote a hit piece on Hoxsey that was featured in the Hearst papers’ Sunday Magazine, available to 20 million readers. The title was “Blood Money,” and it was full of the character assassination bile that Fishbein had spewed endlessly in JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) over the previous years.
Prior to this, Hoxsey relied on appealing to the public by radio, film, and with public demonstrations. He had also published a book, You Don’t Have to Die. Though Hoxsey’s personae made him an easy target of criticism from the mainstream media, he was widely accepted by the general public. And by then he had some supporters in government and in the medical profession as well.
So this time Hoxsey counter attacked directly and named names. He sued the Hearst Newspaper empire and Morris Fishbein and the AMA Journal for slander and libel, and surprisingly, he won! The award was only two dollars. Supposedly, the judge declared there was no monetary damage, since Hoxsey had successfully used the AMA persecution to promote his treatments and products. But the ruling was that Hearst and Fishbein were guilty of libel and slander. Hoxsey had paraded over 50 cured cancer patients into the courtroom, along with testimony from other supporters.
More important than the award was Fishbein’s embarrassment. The trail revealed that Fishbein had flunked anatomy in college, and he had never practiced medicine! Fishbein also admitted that the external salve Hoxsey used was actually effective. This after years of propagandizing the salve as worthless and dangerous. So despite the measly two dollar award, it was a stunning victory for Hoxsey. And it got even better.
The Supreme Court upheld the decision, ruling that the AMA had used restrictive trade techniques. The ensuing publicity aroused a public outcry against the AMA in the early 1950’s. The AMA was considered by many as nothing better than a trade union that would not tolerate competition.
Even Congress upheld that viewpoint in 1953, when the Fitzgerald report determined that the Hoxsey treatment and twelve other alternative treatments were actively conspired against by organized medicine. Morris Fishbein was forced to resign from his long tenure as head of the AMA. But these victories were not enough for Hoxsey.
He stubbornly lobbied for congressional hearings on the efficacy of his treatments, and insisted that the medical authorities investigate and do their own research. Even after an independent panel of physicians with more of a nutritional and herbal focus asserted the validity of Hoxsey’s treatment, a panel of surgeons and radiologists dismissed their verdict. The reason the AMA gave for declining further investigation was they didn’t want to raise false hopes. Interesting logic!
So as usual, whenever Hoxsey raised the stakes on his battles with the medical establishment, a backlash was sure to come. This time, the AMA got another alphabet soup to do their bidding, the FDA. The FDA pursued a long campaign of harassing not only Hoxsey, but also his patients who were receiving tonics mailed to their homes. Finally, the FDA closed and padlocked all 17 of Hoxsey’s clinics on the same day in 1960. Hoxsey was beaten and retreated.
But he recovered and came up with a plan. He urged his head nurse, Mildred Nelson RN, to relocate to a facility being prepared in Tijuana, MX. Ironically, Nurse Nelson was once very skeptical of Hoxsey until his Dallas clinic cured both her parents of cancer. He insisted that she change the name because the Hoxsey name was too much of a target, and that she head the facility while he remained in Dallas for his oil business.
The Legacy Lives
She reluctantly named the new clinic Bio-Medical Center, and started running the new facility in 1963. It remains there to this day, but the treatment is still considered as Hoxsey’s by many who have been cured or whose lives have been prolonged without agonizing side effects. The fee structure is the same as before, with a one time lifetime fee, requiring 30 percent down payment.
The story of Harry Hoxsey and his cancer treatments could be made into a Hollywood screen epic. There are even more fascinating details, dramatic events, and anecdotal testimonies. Of course, these days Hollywood wouldn’t release or distribute an accurate fictional account of Hoxsey’s successes, nor could Hollywood focus on the cancer industry’s unfair and vicious attacks in order to protect their vast, assorted revenue sources.
Largely because of his character and personality, Hoxsey’s story is probably the most dramatic in the annals of the cancer industry’s efforts to suppress any alternative real cure for cancer. In lieu of a drama based on real life events, there is an excellent full length documentary, How Healing Becomes a Crime, which was produced in 1987 and is now available for viewing free on line.
Free online video – How Healing Becomes a Crime
Healing Cancer – The Hoxsey Therapy
Richard Walters on Hoxsey (Excerpted from Options: The Alternative Cancer Therapy Book) http://www.healthy.net/scr/Article….
Cancer Cure Foundation
The Hoxsey Story from Peter Chowka