This story is about the famous 1910 Flexner Report that laid the foundations of the modern medical system, dubbed “Rockefeller medicine.” It is also about the fascinating dynamic that exists between the ego, the plight of a “respectable” scammer, and the trajectory of the world.
Who Was Flexner?
Abraham Flexner was born in 1866 in Louisville, Kentucky. He lived until 1959. For several years, he ran a college prep school in his home town of Louisville. In 1908, Flexner published “The American College: A Criticism,” a book criticizing American college education.
As the official story has it, his book attracted the attention of the Carnegie Foundation, and he was commissioned to write a report on the state of medical education in America and Canada, which led to the creation of “science-based standards” for medical education in America and a closure of a large amount of medical schools, thus restructuring the medical market in America and in the world.
Notably, his brother, Simon Flexner, whose medical education at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine he helped finance, was a medical researcher at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (later renamed to “Rockefeller University”) and its first director, as well as a personal friend and advisor of John D. Rockefeller. Abraham’s daughter Eleanor grew up to become a “pioneer of women’s studies.”
His nephew, Louis Barkhouse Flexner (1902 – 1996), was a founding director of the Mahoney Institute of Neurological Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania and a former editor of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Speaking of “respectable” sciences (and the strange melting pot of evolutionary studies, genetics, eugenics, and molecular biology), starting in 1904, the Carnegie Institution (a privately-funded scientific research organization founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1902) “funded the Station for Experimental Evolution at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, that hosted the federally funded Eugenics Record Office.
With the Carnegie’s financial support, the ERO quickly became the most important center for eugenics research in America.”
(But of course, all the dark overtones are all in the past because since then, the human nature has changed, and the powerful people of the world have finally realized that it’s not nice to try to modify the human race — and left that habit behind!) Phew.
Anyway, back to Flexner. In the words of the most trustworthy authority on medical education in America, the American Association of Medical Colleges (disinformation be dammed), Abraham Flexner, “often called the ‘father’ of modern medical education … was an education specialist who was commissioned by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to assess the state of medical education in the United States and Canada in the early part of the 20th century.
Flexner visited all 155 medical schools existing at the time and issued a detailed report in 1910 — Medical Education in the United States and Canada, also known as the Flexner report — that called for major reforms to medical education, including higher admissions standards for students, adherence to the scientific method in research and practice, and oversight by state licensure boards.”
The Flexner report is a curious read and a reflection of his subjective views on the world — the views of a loyal supporter and a professional beneficiary of the pharmacological school of thought who carried a great distrust of homeopathy, osteopathy, and so on. Here is my tongue-in-cheek summary of the report:
- Currently, there are too many doctors; most are practicing God knows what, and it’s frustrating as hell
- There are waaaay too many medical schools; they are all over the place when it comes to admission standards and educational ways
- Medical schools are regrettably allowed to make money without adhering to what I believe to be correct; it’s unacceptable, and it needs to be changed
- Good medical education should be centered around labs, pharmacology, and modern methods, as opposed to various quackery, such as homeopathy, osteopathy, electrotherapy, etc.
- It is appropriate to emphasize that I am obviously qualified to speak for the population of the United States, the civilized world at large; and even for the African race; the confident tone of my report is proof enough!
Thus, Flexner proposed a total restructuring of the American medical education, and he specifically mentioned that the eradication of “dissidents” is a positive thing. He framed the need to restructure and standardize the medical education as a “public need” (with the Carnegie and Rockefeller interests being the implied guardians of the public needs, without a doubt).
Here are some quotes: On the benefits of standard education and the closing of schools that don’t fit his view:
On pharmadynamics (the study of biochemical and physiologic effect of drugs) and … cocaine:
On the need to be exact (as a matter of wordplay, precision medicine comes to mind):
On medicine as it relates to race (the appallingly insulting nature of his words aside, he also had no idea about how rich and in-depth the traditional African medical science was; a respectable rational man and a Rockefeller ally had no need to think about that):
If we were to summarize the report and say the quiet part out loud, we could say something like: “Let all the things that I don’t understand or control be gone — at last — and let the medical field be shaped after my views, with the financial help and to the financial benefits of my friends! Because I am obviously right!”
On a side note, Flexner’s contempt for “electrical” medicine probably contributed to the disaster of the electromagnetic pollution that we are experiencing today.
The Power of Confident Prejudice: Flexner Report and Modern Medicine
As a result of the Report — that incidentally perfectly served the financial interests of the Rockefellers — new requirements were introduced, and a very large number of medical schools had to get out of the way and close down. The reform especially impacted the schools graduating predominantly African American doctors and the schools teaching what is known today as “alternative medicine.”
According to Wikipedia, “Flexner clearly doubted the scientific validity of all forms of medicine other than that based on scientific research, deeming any approach to medicine that did not advocate the use of treatments such as vaccines to prevent and cure illness as tantamount to quackery and charlatanism.
Medical schools that offered training in various disciplines including electromagnetic field therapy, phototherapy, eclectic medicine, physiomedicalism, naturopathy, and homeopathy, were told either to drop these courses from their curriculum or lose their accreditation and underwriting support. A few schools resisted for a time, but eventually most complied with the Report or shut their doors.”
In the spirit of eliminating competition, the fields of holistic medicine that were previously regarded as “normal” in society, became artificially discredited — which cleared the markets for the Rockefeller interests through the promotion of oil-derived medications and Rockefeller education-shaped doctors who felt that they were “smarter” than the so called “quacks” because their professors told them so.
Here’s your market restructuring at work — as it dances to the beat of emotional poverty, good intentions, bad intentions, ignorance, a missionary itch, a very confident tone, and financial controls!
Myopic Views Combined With Confidence Are Trouble
While concepts such as wisdom, humility, and depth, may sound lofty, they matter to us in practical terms. Why? They matter because in principle, there is nothing wrong with practicing “quality control,” especially when it comes to medicine — but it greatly depends on who controls the quality, how, and why — and it matters whether they come from a place of wisdom or from a missionary itch!
Let’s say, Flexner was excited about pharmacology and labs. Fine! If he approached his excitement in a balanced way (and, oh, if he weren’t hired specifically to help restructure the markets and help create “Rockefeller medicine”), he could have said something like, “Hey, I really like this pharmacology thing. Let’s please try to add it to the mix and see how it goes.”
But no! The mind of a missionary is not at peace as long as other, competing views are allowed to be. The missionary tosses and turns all night until all other views are gone. And as far as I am concerned, for practical purposes, it doesn’t matter if the missionary sincerely believes that his ideas are the best thing since sliced bread for humanity — or whether he is plotting to kill all life on Earth. Existentially, yes, it does matter — but for all practical purposes, it sucks either way!
A Scam, Perhaps?
There are different ways to look at the powerful people wrecking our lives. One way is to be intimidated and disgusted, to be shaken to the core by the sheer scale of the destruction they are causing, and to feel abused and wronged. A valid and understandable reaction, without a doubt!
But we can also — while allowing ourselves to acknowledge and grieve the abuse and pray for healing — refuse to be afraid of the abusers and ask ourselves: What if these guys are all but glorified scammers? Wealthy scammers, cruel scammers — yes — but scammers none the less? Trivial scammers with a lot of money? Trivial scammers with a lot of access to the metaphorical fog machines? What if they are that? Let’s look.
John D. Rockefeller’s Father Was a Notorious Professional Scammer
The father of the famous oil monopolist, John D. Rockefeller (born in 1839), William Rockefeller, was a literal snake oil salesman. Here’s from the trustworthy and non-conspiratorial Wikipedia:
“William Avery ‘Devil Bill’ Rockefeller Sr. (November 13, 1810 – May 11, 1906) was an American businessman, lumberman, herbalist, salesman, and con-artist who went by the alias of Dr. William Levingston. He worked as a lumberman and then a traveling salesman who identified himself as a “botanic physician” and sold elixirs.
He was known to buy and sell horses, and was also known at one point to have bought a barge-load of salt in Syracuse. Land speculation was another type of his business, and the selling of elixirs served to keep him with cash and aided in his scouting of land deals. He loaned money to farmers at twelve percent, but tried to lend to farmers who could not pay so as to foreclose and take the farms.”
Per Wikipedia, he was indicted on rape charges, after which he left his first wife allegedly penniless with six children and married another woman in Canada, using a different name, while being still married to his first wife — but not before he fathered two children with a woman who he was fond of before his marriage to his first wife but whom he didn’t marry because she was poorer than his first wife. Here is an interesting James Corbett episode on John D. Rockefeller’s father.
The Rise of John D. Rockefeller: A Very Quick Summary
This topic of John D. Rockefeller’s rise is endless, and for the sake of this article, I am only providing a brief overview, for context. One is left to wonder if his habits developed at least in part in reaction to the trauma of his dad’s betrayal. Did he feel wronged and humiliated? Was he compensating for his humiliation by becoming on the most influential people in the world? Maybe, maybe not, we’ll never know.
As rumor has it, his mother, due to relative poverty, taught him to be extremely thrifty. Allegedly, as a kid, John D. Rockefeller sold chocolates to his classmates, saved money to later lend it with interest, etc. He was always “serious” and rarely smiled.
As an adult, John d. Rockefeller was known for his ruthless elimination of competition and his extreme obsession with cost cutting. His first job, at 16, was of a bookkeeper. From there, he became a successful general merchant. Then in 1863, he built his first oil refinery in Ohio, and eventually, through notoriously ruthless practices, he came on top of all his competition.
“To crush his competitors, Rockefeller would create a shortage of the railroad tank cars that transported oil. He’d then buy up all the barrels on the market so his competitors would have no place to store or ship their oil. He bought up all the available chemicals that were necessary to refine oil.” He was also known for his “rebates.”
By 1882, his Standard Oil had a near monopoly on the oil business in the United States. According to history.com, “In 1890, the U.S. Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act, the first federal legislation prohibiting trusts and combinations that restrained trade. Two years later, the Ohio Supreme Court dissolved the Standard Oil Trust; however, the businesses within the trust soon became part of Standard Oil of New Jersey, which functioned as a holding company.
In 1911, after years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Standard Oil of New Jersey was in violation of anti-trust laws and forced it to dismantle (it was broken up into more than 30 individual companies).”
At the time of the breakup. Rockefeller held over 25% of Standard’s stock (per Wikipedia). He and all of the other stockholders received proportionate shares in each of the 34 companies. Over the next 10 years the breakup proved immensely profitable for him. The companies’ combined net worth rose fivefold and Rockefeller’s personal wealth jumped to $900 million.”
Also per Wikipedia, “one of the most effective attacks on Rockefeller and his firm was the 1904 publication of The History of the Standard Oil Company, by Ida Tarbell” [the daughter of Franklin Summer Tarbell, whose company went out of business due to Rockefeller’s ruthless choking of competition’]. “She documented the company’s espionage, price wars, heavy-handed marketing tactics, and courtroom evasions.”
Interestingly, the publication happened around the same time when Rockefeller started really focusing on “philanthropy,” which is not dissimilar how Bill Gates became passionate about philanthropy after his antitrust troubles. Both transformations of a monopolist into a philanthropist magically supported the goal of securing even more control of the markets as well as psychological control, disguised as investing in education, medicine, and so on.
Civilization, Roads, and Progress? Pain and Destruction?
It is interesting how there are polar opposite ways to view “technological progress” of the past century and a half, including the birth of “Rockefeller medicine.” It is almost as if there are two worlds! In one world, the mostly imaginary world, described in the words by the “winners,” the plot is clean and glorious.
Here is a new scientific triumph, a new invention, a new efficient thing that allows a great advancement in cleanliness, and comfort! And here is a hard-working man — perhaps a little eccentric and not without flaws — but a good, hard-working man none the less, who through his selfless work and admirable dedication manages to bring new goodness to our lives. A role model! A win-win! Yay, progress! Yay, public health! Yay, yay!
In the real world though, the hard-working man tends to be emotionally messed up — and progress is built on a large amount of blood and orphans’ tears.
In the case of Rockefeller’s empire, oil development, much like every other method of modern energy production, old or new, is very destructive. Oil sites leave the land lifeless and devastated, spills are murderous, burning oil produces toxins, etc. etc. And of course, the monopolistic “Rockefeller medicine,” making much use of oil products, is not particular medicinal overall, comparing to many other modalities of medicine, that it tries to kill.
And, if we look at the existential aspect of the entire thing, we’ll see that at the very onset of the industrial revolution, believing in its absolute superiority and goodness required one to have an important part of one’s sensory perception “burned out.” Either that, or the industrialists and the financiers just sincerely didn’t care what happens to the world once their profits are made and multiplied.
On a tangent, here is a video that shows the visuals of barren land — with an added allusion (not intended by the makers of the video) to the competition that John D. Rockefeller had with Baku Oil, and the subsequent rumored ties between the Rockefeller interests and Bolshevik Russia (per historian Anthony Sutton, not referred to in the video).
The Mind of a “Disruptor”
Where does the psychological type of a “disruptor” come from? When I think about the proud “disruptor,” I imagine a child who is born into a world that lacks a meaningful connection to nature — a world that focuses on ego and mechanical things.
There is something about the metaphorical mind of a man who looks at nature and sees mostly profits, or who looks at old (“indigenous”) knowledge and sees … well … something to laugh at, like a rude child … who has no understanding of nature and no connection to nature, and who is not interested in developing depth because he is doing just fine without — for now at least. He just never develops the senses to feel what it’s like to be a child, in awe, loved by the universe!
If I were to create a word for this kind of a mindset, my word would be “soulhole” a person with a hole in his soul. He is starved emotionally and in denial of starvation. He is troubled, his spirit is screaming for respect but he doesn’t admit to it, and his hunger in insatiable.
And — lucky us — people with this mindset are currently in charge of the reform we are dealing with today!
Rockefeller Medicine and COVID
Today, we live in a world where the “Rockefeller medicine” is showing its teeth. We live in a world where medical boards, largely shaped by the Flexner Report, are suspending doctors’ licenses for daring go against the establishment lies.
Following in the footsteps of John D. Rockefeller, the self-appointed owners of everything on Earth are attempting to grab even more power and to destroy all remaining competition — in all industries — for good, concentrating everything, from food to medicine to education to finance, in their own hands.
Things are so absurd that it feels like we should be able to just pinch ourselves — and the dream will end. But alas, this is not a dream. We have any challenges ahead — but I pray that all of us, including the poor destructive soulhole, are healed, so that we can finally live in peace. It’s been too long.
About the Author
To find more of Tessa Lena’s work, be sure to check out her bio, Tessa Fights Robots.