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Chapter 6: Some Letters from Fasters.: The Fasting Cure by Upton Sinclair from archive.org


Some Letters from Fasters. 

London, Ontario, May 2, 1910. 

Dear Sir, — Your article in a recent 
magazine very greatly interested me. 
My sister, on her way home from a five- 
and-a-half-weeks' visit in Boston and 
New York, where she had been en- 
deavouring to discover the causes of 
her frightful headaches, bought that 
number of the magazine and read your 
experience, with, as you can well 
imagine, a deep interest. In Boston 
she had consulted one of the two phy- 
sicians supposed to head the profes- 
sion (as consultants) in that city. This 
man told her she had Bright' s disease 



and leakage of the heart, and he gave 
her ten years to live — if she was very 
careful. As she has five children 
under twelve years of age, this was a 
sad outlook. She weighed 122 pounds 
when she left — and this was the lowest 
weight since early girlhood — but on 
her return, weighed on the same scales 
in the same clothing, she was only 108 
pounds. She looked very bad, and her 
spirits were at zero. 

Your article appealed to her, and 
she would have unhesitatingly tried 
your remedy, but that she was preg- 
nant, and thought it would probably 
mean the child's death. The Boston 
obstetrician, who was consulted, said, 
if the other doctor's diagnosis was cor- 
rect, the child would have to be taken 
at eight months. 

After reading your experience, I 
said to my sister : " You cannot per- 



haps follow Mr. Sinclair's example, 
but you can approximate to it. If you 
go to your own doctor he will un- 
doubtedly send you to some sanatorium 
where the patients are fairly stuffed. 
Suppose you come over to my place 
each noon and take dinner, having 
eaten only a very light breakfast; then 
rest from two to five, take a long bath 
when you rise, go for a walk from six 
to six-thirty, and then to your own 
home for tea, taking only a shredded 
wheat biscuit for that meal." 

My sister consented, and on Satur- 
day was weighed. On that light diet, 
and in twelve days, she had gained 
fourteen pounds. Her colour is re- 
turning, she does not tire as she did, 
and we are full of hope that she may 

My object in writing was to thank 
you for your frank recital of ills and 



aches and their cure, and to get from 
you the names of the books to which 
you referred. 

Several of my friends have read 
your articles on my recommendation, 
and one at least is seriously consider- 
ing a lengthened fast. Reading the 
article took me back to the * * no-break- 
fast regime," which I followed for 
five years, and then, for no especial 
reason, abandoned. Already I feel 
much better. 

Sincerely and gratefully, 

M. R. T. 

Skowhegan, Maine, May 30, 1910. 

Dear Sir, — I read your article in 
the Cosmopolitan with deep interest, 
and am to-day on my seventh day's 
fast. My sensations thus far are 
exactly like yours. I shall fast until 
hunger returns, if it take a month. 



My age is forty-eight, and I have 
enjoyed the best of health nearly all 
my life. Even now my digestion is all 
right, but for five years or so I have 
been troubled with rheumatism, not 
the painful, swelling sort, but lame 

I tried ** Fletcherism," and for the 
last nine months have done my best to 
live up to his suggestions, but fell 
down, exactly as in your own case. I 
can't tell what to eat, or when I have 
eaten enough. 

Whether this fast of yours does me 
any permanent good or not, my joints 
certainly move better to-day than for 
six months, and I have every confi- 
dence in the theory. The physicians 
here to a man all laugh at me, likewise 
my friends. I had lost ten pounds in 
weight at the end of the sixth day ; I 
lost three the first, two each for the 



next two days, and a pound a day for 
the next three days. 

You speak of an unmistakable appe- 
tite. I could eat, of course, now, 
though I have no appetite, and I am 
wondering how I shall know when a 
real appetite returns. Mrs. W. is as 
keen to try the fasting cure as I, and 
her condition is very like Mrs. Sin- 
clair's, but I thought one member of 
the family was enough for the first try- 
out. Please pardon a total stranger 
for encroaching upon the time of a 
busy man, but in the hunt for health, 
without which life is not worth living, 
one will do things he would not other- 
wise think of. For your information 
I will say that I have attended to my 
office and business every day since my 
fast began, walking to my home and 
back at least three times daily, for the 
exercise; driving a touring-car nights 



and Sunday, for pleasure, exactly as 
though there had been no change in my 
habits. The strangest part of the ex- 
perience is that I feel so well, and ex- 
cept for a slight faintness, feel per- 
fectly well to-day. Say — but I was 
hungry for the first two days ! 

Yours truly, 

Herbert Wentworth. 

Clyde Park, Mont., May 17, 1910. 

Dear Sir, — I was much interested 
in your article in the Cosmopolitan on 
*' Starving for Health's Sake." For 
some time before I read it I had been 
troubled with a coated tongue and a 
nasty, bitter taste in my mouth. When 
I read the article my complaint was 
probably at its worst. I consulted a 
doctor, who gave me some capsules to 
clean out my intestinal canal, so he 
said. I asked him what I could eat 


and he said, " The less you eat the 
better." So I ate nothing for a week. 
Everything connected with my fast for 
that week was just as you described it 
— a ravenous hunger on the second day 
and after that no hunger at all. How- 
ever, the coated tongue was still there, 
and when I next saw the doctor I men- 
tioned your article and said you re- 
commended rectal injections. He said 
he read your article and approved of 
it, and said after a thorough examina- 
tion that I had an impaction of the 
colon. He said he would give me some- 
thing to work on my colon and also 
added that if I fasted long enough the 
impaction would move out of itself. 
He also recommended injections. On 
the 25th day, although the coated 
tongue and nasty taste were still with 
me, I commenced eating again, as 
there was so much work to do on the 



ranch, and I had to do it, as hired help 
was scarce. I drank nothing but tepid 
water and very thin lemonade, slij^htly 
sweetened, during my fast of twenty- 
four days. I dropped from 175 
pounds to 143 pounds. 

It is a week now since I broke my 
fast and I am rapidly gaining weight. 
Yesterday I weighed 152 pounds. 
However, as I said, I still have the 
coated tongue, although not so bad as 
formerly, and when I regain more 
weight, I'm going to begin another 
fast. I am fifty-three years of age, 
and have never used tea, coffee, whisky, 
or tobacco. I want to read up on the 
subject, so that when I begin again, 
I'll know what to do. Your article 
was all the literature I had on the sub- 
ject, and it may have been imcomplete 
in a great many important particulars. 

Respectfully yours, 

Robert Aitkin. 



Chicago, III., May 22, 1910. 

Dear Sir, — I think you will be in- 
terested to learn the experience of my 
wife, who tried your fast, with the 
same results as your wife, over which 
we are very much delighted. 

Allow me to say that it was all done 
on the quiet, and no one knew of it un- 
til it was all over. And then, of 
course, every one thought she was rav- 
ing crazy, but she has since shown her 
friends that it was just the thing to 

In the first place it appealed to her, 
and she went into it with faith. She 
fasted for eleven days, after the 
second day was never hungry at all, 
and really began to take nourishment 
before she was hungry. 

The whole thing came out exactly as 
in your cases and was most interesting. 
She had temperature the first two days 



and ate crushed ice. After that, hot 
or col.d water as desired. The tongue 
was coated very badly and her breath 
very bad. The tongue cleared very 
slowly and was quite discouraging, but 
after a few days was clear again. She 
lost over ten pounds, all of which has 
been regained and more, too, and she is 
gaining all the time. Complexion very 
clear, and the picture of health. Appe- 
tite great, eats everything, no aches or 
pains of any kind, and, best of all, no 
constipation, which was what she tried 
the fast for. She lost no strength to 
speak of and didn't have to take to bed 
at all; in fact, did everything about 
the house as usual. 

Everything has been fine now foi 
three weeks, and if the troubles return, 
she is to fast again and do it right, 
and will take no nourishment until the 
tongue clears. 



She took internal baths nearly every 
day, and was astonished at the 
results when nothing but water was 
being taken. While we don't recom- 
mend it for every one, it certainly has 
been a godsend in this case, and I be- 
lieve because it was done right and 
with faith that it was just the thing 
for her. You certainly have one con- 
vert, and if this interests you, shall be 
pleased to know it. 

Yours very sincerely, 

C. D. F. 

Knoxville, Tenn., June 5, 1910. 
Dear Sir, — I wish to acknowledge 
my indebtedness to you for a restora- 
tion to such health of body and clarity 
of mind as I have not known since my 
sixteenth year, when first I entered the 
high school. That was twenty years 



I read your article, ** Starving for 
Health's Sake," in the Cosmopolitan, 
and, as you may recollect, asked you 
for information as to certain books 
treating of the fast as a cure for 

Instead of answering me fully, you 
referred my case to the Bernarr Mac- 
fadden Institution in Chicago, for 
which I thank you, but I did not go 
there because I had neither time nor 
money for that purpose. 

Through a local book-dealer I 
ordered a copy of '* Fasting, Hydro- 
therapy and Exercise," but after two 
weeks of waiting it failed to arrive, 
so with your Cosmopolitan article as 
my only guide and sum total of know- 
ledge as to the fast, I quit eating on 
May 13 and did not take anything ex- 
cept water until the morning of May 
26. Even then I was not hungry, but 



as I did not care to remain away from 
work any longer I broke the fast on the 
morning of the 26th. I lost thirteen 
pounds in weight, but was never too 
weak not to move around. I worked 
in the office for seven days, and the 
balance of the time remained at home, 
basking in the sunshine and reading 

My health and appetite are in such 
perfect condition I can eat anything 
without fear of ulterior consequences. 

As a result of the fast, I have 
sloughed off all my impedimenta of 
disease. Constipation of ten years* 
standing is gone as if by magic. Piles 
and resulting pruritis of eight years' 
tearing torture are nightmares of the 
past. Bronchitis and eczema of scalp 
have vanished. Asthma, due to ner- 
vous sympathy with the pneumogastric 
nerve, is no more. Catarrhal deaf- 



ness, sore throat, intestinal catarrh, 
and a general neurasthenic condition 
have left me. Work was never so 
pleasant. I cannot get enough of phy- 
sical exercise, it seems; my muscles 
seem to grow stronger as the exercise 
proceeds, and my weight is going up- 
ward about a pound daily. I am now 
three pounds heavier than I was be- 
fore my fast began. 

Life was never so beautiful, hope 
and joy never so green, the future for 
me and humanity's great movement to- 
ward a better day and higher good of 
existence never seemed so reasonable 
and possible of every realization as 
now, in the full possession of physical 
health and mental strength which have 
come back to me. 

Heretofore my work has been 
wrought out in pain. 

I am through with drugs. I gradu- 

185 N 


ated from allopathy long ago, then 
took up homeopathy and have now dis- 
carded it. I have spent over $500 in 
the last ten years trying to get well on 
medicines. These professional quacks 
bled me for a living and knew not how 
to cure me. Your article was written 
in the spirit of wishing to help suffer- 
ing man. It cost me only thirty cents 
to use your method, viz. : six feet of 
rubber tubing to make a siphon to take 
two enemas daily. For that thirty 
cents I obtained relief a million-fold 
more beneficial than from $500 worth 
of medicine. Nay more, from your 
fasting idea I got rid of $500 worth 
of poisoning during ten years of medi- 
cal superstition. 

Sincerely yours, 

H. E. Hoover. 



Northwest Society Archaeological 

Institute of America. 
Washington, University, Seattle, 

Wash., Nov, 5, 1910. 
Editor Cos?nopolitan Magazine. 

Am enclosing clipping which shows 
that prominent men up here in the 
great Northwest are not afraid to try 
out certain methods of fighting disease 
merely because they are thought to be 
•' new " or *' faddy " (tho' in truth 
the fast cure is as old as the Old Testa- 

The value of Professor Colvin's fast 
experience seems to be that he has 
given to the world the best method of 
breaking the fast and getting on to a 
solid-food diet. Upton Sinclair said 
the breaking of the fast is the most 
important part of it, and would be the 
most dangerous were it not for the 
great natural food, milk, which tides 



you over. But he fails to remember 
there are thousands with whom milk 
does not agree, sick or well. 

Shortly after interview noted in en- 
closed clipping from Seattle Times, 
Professor Colvin attempted to begin to 
break the fast with orange juices and 
utterly failed. He then tried milk 
and was made so sick that he had to 
fast for three more days to get into a 
condition to break the fast. He then 
started in with a very light veal broth 
(not soup, nor tea). He soon got so he 
could take a cup of it every hour and a 
half. To get on to solid food he tried 
a few crackers with the broth, but 
found too much soda in the crackers 
and abandoned their use. Finally he 
hit upon the very thing that fitted the 
condition of his body, dry whole-wheat 
bread toasted. This toasted whole- 
wheat bread he had his cook crush 



with a rolling pin into a powder and 
each day mixed more of it with the cup 
of broth. After this he filled the cup 
three-fourths full of this toast powder 
and only poured in as much broth as 
the dust would absorb, making a solid 
gruel, which was very appetizing and 
nourishing (so much so that the pro- 
fessor continues to use it for breakfast 
food though his fast is closed). Now 
to this gruel he added mashed baked 
potato from time to time (more each 
time) until he virtually supplanted the 
toast dust. From this he went to 
baked apple, thence to raw eggs, 
thence to macaroni, thence to pigeon 
squab, and thence to solid earth. 

It seems to me that his discovery of 
the broth-toast-gruel method is a great 
discovery. Especially so for those 
who live in the cities and cannot be 
sure as to the absolute purity of their 


milk. Even when the milk diet can be 
used it does not afford a solution for 
getting off of a liquid diet on to a solid 
food basis. 

In your July number appears a 
letter from Mr. Buel of New York in 
which he says that it would be almost 
criminal to permit any one advanced 
in years to enter upon the dangerous 
folly of the '* fast cure." I am en- 
closing you a clipping from the 
Oregonian, telling of the fasting ex- 
perience of Professor Colvin's friend, 
Rev. J. E. Fitch. Rev. Fitch is 81 
years of age and a year ago took it 
into his head to out-fast Moses. Holy 
Writ says that Moses fasted 40 days, 
and to prove to his congregation that 
one did not have to be superstitious to 
believe some of these Old Testament 
tales, Rev. J. E. Fitch, at the age of 80, 
fasted fifty days ; and instead of losing 



flesh towards the last part of his fast 
actually gained in weight. He is as 
vigorous to-day as he was at 21. 

Your Mr. Buel spoke of fast^rs as 
cranks and faddists and intimated 
that your solid citizen would not thus 
be led astray. Professor Colvin is not 
a crank but one of our best citizens, 
being well known both in this country 
and Europe, and spoken of as the 
probable president of the Pan-Ameri- 
can University to be located in Porto 

Very respectfully, 

Thos. F. Murphy. 

210 Merriman Ave., 
ASHEVILLE, N. C, 9/11/10. 
Mr. Upton Sinclair, 
Arden, Del. 
Dear Sir, — After fasting for ten 


days I went off for ten days. Then on 
for seventeen days, during which time 
I got rid of a long list of troubles, ex- 
cept a cough, for which I underwent 
examination by a specialist. I found 
I had tuberculosis. The entire upper 
right lobe of my lung and about half of 
the left upper lung being affected. 
Now I am up here making a very rapid 
recovery. I consider that the fasts I 
took were the best things that could 
have happened for me, since they 
eliminated a bunch of troubles that are 
nearly always present with tubercu- 
losis, such as indigestion, sort throat, 
rheumatism, etc. All of these left me, 
and I never felt better in my life than 
since fasting. I do not believe that 
such a rapid recovery as I am making 
could be possible had I not fasted. 
Fasting did not cure the tuberculosis, 
but it gave me an excellent stomach, 




with which to fight it, and tuberculosis 
will always give way to a good 
stomach. I did not know I had tuber- 
culosis when I started fasting, but I 
now know, since learning more about 
the disease, that I had the trouble in 
an active state more than nine months 
before I fasted. My cough got very 
tame during the fast and very nearly 
disappeared, but returned as I in- 
creased the amount of food I took 
after breaking the fast,, but at no time 
did it get as bad as it was previous to 
the fast. I weighed 172 lbs. in May, 
when I began my fasting and dropped 
to 148 lbs., and now weigh 180 lbs. and 
never felt better in my life. Have but 
a slight spot of the tuberculosis affec- 
tion left in my right lung. 

While I would not recommend 
others affected with tuberculosis to 

fast, I would ask that if you have any 



letters from consumptives who have 
fasted I would appreciate a copy. 
Roland A. Wilson. 

New Zealand, Sept. 10, 1910. 
Dear Mr. Sinclair, — Your article 
" The Truth about Fasting " in 
August Physical Culture to hand this 
week has much interested me. The 
questions you ask at end of article will, 
I hope, receive many replies, and give 
much information regarding the fast- 
ing cure. I, personally, can supply a 
considerable amount of just such in- 
formation as you require, but the fact 
that I am a druggist in business pre- 
cludes the giving of such for publica- 
tion until drugs and I part company. 
Let me explain. A little under four 
years ago I came upon a copy of Phy- 
sical Culture. It interested me and 



I followed up the reading by sub- 
scribing, and obtaining various books 
— Dewey's, Hazzard's, Carrington's, 
Desmond's, Bales', Bell's and others. I 
became quite convinced that about 99 
per cent, of usual medical treatment 
was wrong, and, in fact, actually detri- 
mental, and often death-dealing to 
those who were in search of health. 
More and more I felt that I was 
doing a big injustice to those who 
applied to me for help, and 
an accessory in bad practice by the 
dispensing of physicians' prescrip- 
tions. Yet I know that, like myself, 
the great bulk of the doctors and 
chemists were acting innocently and 
even conscientiously when recommend- 
ing drugs and practising the accepted 
drug and surgical treatments. The 
belief that drugs cure disease is so 
deeply rooted in the average human 



mind, and the teachings in medical 
and druggists' colleges so universal, 
and even thorough, that doctors and 
druggists can hardly be blamed for 
holding to their mother-loves. 

However, I had an open mind, and a 
desire to hand out a square deal, and 
decided to make a practical test of the 
new .teachings that had come my way. 

I started by carefully selecting my 
patients — those who I believed had a 
fair amount of intelligence, and whose 
ailments had supplied them with a 
fairly long course of pain, worry and 
expense. Being a druggist in busi- 
ness, it would have been a very foolish 
thing for me to have wholly condemned 
drugs. And that is one reason why I 
selected chronics for a start — I was 
able to use the argument that as drugs 
had had a long and faithful trial, and 
had proven valueless in curing, a fast 



of nine or ten days would be, at least, 
worth a trial. My first case was a 
lady about thirty-five years of age. 
Complaint, badly swollen, highly in- 
flamed and ulcerated leg, extending 
from two inches below knee to one inch 
above ankle, and more than half way 
around. She proved a good patient. 
The leg had been bad with more or less 
severity for fourteen years, and had 
been treated by several doctors, drug- 
gists, and others. She started on an 
immediate fast. Within twenty-four 
hours after fast commenced, the in- 
flammation decreased; by the end of 
the fourth day it had entirely sub- 
sided, and by the end of the eighth day 
not a vestige of the trouble remained. 
This fast took place over two years ago 
— she has held reasonably well to the 
simple foods I advised, and so far 
there has been no return of the ail- 



nient. Her general health has very 
considerably improved. 

Since then I have treated, perhaps, 
fifty cases by fasting, and many others 
by simple dieting. Many complete 
cures have been effected that ordinary 
medical methods had entirely failed to 
benefit. My list comprises many ail- 
ments, ranging from one to forty-five 
years in evidence, while the patients 
themselves have ranged in age from 
one year to eighty-five years. 


Hastings, Mich., Sept. 11, 1910. 
Editor, the Cosmopolitan. 

Every reader of your magazine owes 
you a vote of thanks for the Upton 
Sinclair article on fasting. 

Mr. Sinclair said, ' ' There are three 
dangers attending the fast." In my 



case there were four — the danger of 
being sent to the Insane Asylum. 

All my neighbours and relations had 
the utmost contempt for what they 
termed " my craziness." But not- 
withstanding all this, I fasted four- 
teen days, and stomach trouble, heart 
trouble, kidney trouble, chronic 
catarrh, and rheumatism, which for 
years had made life a burden, are no 
more. I do not have to tell my friends, 
at this date, that it was a success, they 
know it. My family physician has 
since said that it was probably the best 
thing I ever did in my life. 

I consider myself greatly indebted 
to you for furnishing me so efficient a 
remedy, free of cost. 

Gratefully yours, 
Mrs. E. L. Raymond. 



Upton Sinclair. 

Dear Sir, — Yes, you may use my 
name in connection with my experi- 

As I did not take a complete fast 
the first time, I began again Sept 4th, 
and fasted thirteen days, when natural 
hunger returned. Had none of the 
unpleasant experiences of the first 
fast. Was able to be on my feet and 
work more than at any time in years. 

Chronic rheumatism had caused 
sinewy swelling of my knee joints, that 
in turn had caused numbness of the 
feet and lower limbs, making it impos- 
sible for me to be on my feet. What I 
have suffered with them from jar of 
people walking across the room, or 
brushing against them, cannot be told. 
The first fast removed all the pain and 
soreness. The last fast has brought 
them down to normal or nearly so. I 



am confident that I shall soon be able 
to walk any reasonable distance. 

You are certainly entitled to a place 
among the public benefactors of the 
age for giving to the people the know- 
ledge you had gained bv the fast. 
Gratefully yours, 

Mrs. E. L. Raymond. 

20 Bowdoin St., Boston, Mass. 
Aug. 1, 1910. 
Dear Sir, — I have just read with 
much interest your article in Physical 
Culture and am minded to send you a 
brief account of my experience, which 
has been in some respects more full 
than your own. In speaking thus, I 
refer to the fact that my fasts, though 
not of so long duration as many re- 
ported, were complete in this : that my 
blood and tissue had cleaned up, my 

mouth was sweet, tongue moist, and 
201 o 


there were plenty of the digestive 
fluids and a call for good plain whole- 
some food, which was slowly eaten and 
perfectly digested, and my appetite 
perfectly satisfied with a very moder- 
ate amount. 

I suffered severely from indigestion 
and rheumatism, and made up my 
mind to try the effect of complete ab- 
stinence from food till I was better. I 
was familiar with the writings of Dr. 
Dewey and was well convinced that he 
was correct in his views. I was in my 
office the morning of Jan. 1st, and the 
bookkeeper remarked as to how ill I 
looked. Seven days after that (the 
first seven days of my fast) I was in 
again, and he spoke of my greatly im- 
proved appearance, said I looked very 
much better. He did not know nor did 
I tell him the reason for the improve- 
ment. On the 12th day — the first after 



I had broken the fast — he said I looked 
much better, which was also true, but 
when I gave him an explanation of the 
reason, he would not believe in it at all. 
In none of the four fasts which I 
have taken have I set any time limit or 
taken it as a stunt at all, but only have 
been guided by^ conditions as they 
developed. In no instance have I 
failed, and in no case was food a 
temptation to me until natural hunger 
returned. It seems to me an error to 
attempt to gauge the length of the 
fast. We ought to be governed by 
nature's direction. A " wise dog " 
knows when he needs to fast, and fasts 
till he wants food. It seems to me 
when we get to that point of wisdom, 
to know as much as the dog, we will 
know enough to go by intelligent needs 
instead of the clock. 
My experience is not in accord with 



the view expressed in your article as 
regards weakness of stomach and lack 
of peristalsis after fasting. It is my 
experience that after a complete fast 
any plain food desired can be taken 
without harm. I do not favour im- 
prudence, of course, but I do not think 
that there is any good reason for being 
compelled to take fluid foods unless one 
desires to. My longest fast was nine- 
teen days. 


39 Rue Singer, Paris, France. 
Dear Sir, — I read your article in 
the May Cosmopolitan and was very 
much impressed with the ideas you 
advocated. I had for twenty years 
been troubled with constipation, which 
caused colds and grippe, besides mak- 
ing me very sluggish. Being a singer 
and teacher, these things were great 



handicaps on my work, so after read- 
ing your article I decided to try it. I 
was in Paris studying singing with 
Oscar Seagle and Jean de Reszke, and 
of course I needed to be at my very best 
all the time, but I wasn't. I couldn't 
keep from taking cold, which always 
knocked me out of a week or two of 
work. So when my teachers went away 
for their vacation, I decided to start 
the fast, and on July 31 I did so. 
Being a coffee ** toper," it made it very 
hard for me to give up my breakfast 
cup of strong black coffee, but I did it 
and the first three or four days I nearly 
lost my mind. Never experienced any- 
thing in my life that required so much 
will power. However, I stuck to it, 
but I was very hungry and had a split- 
ting headache for four days, after 
which it got a little better. Then 
about the fifth day, as my hunger be- 



gan to leave me, I began to break out 
as if I had measles — this kept up for 
five or six days. To add to that, my 
mouth and throat became inflamed and 
very sore, and that didn't cure up until 
about the twelfth day of the fast. I 
was exceedingly miserable all these 
days, but I realized how much I needed 
something of the kind to get the terri- 
ble poison out of my system, so I just 
held on and drank much water, and 
walked in the sunshine all I could. 
My tongue had a thick coat on it and I 
had a terrible bilious taste in my 
mouth for twelve days. I believed it 
would take about twenty days to fix 
me up just right, so I was going ahead 
when I suddenly decided to make a 
hurried business trip back to Texas; 
so on the fourteenth day I sailed from 
Cherbourg without having broken my 



I carried a dozen oranges on board 
with nie to make sure. When I began 
to breathe the salt air I got hungry, so 
on the fifteenth day I began to eat 
oranges and kept it up for a day and a 
half and then tried to get some milk, 
but could get none that was good, and 
most of what I got was of the con- 
densed variety. I did the best I could 
for four days, when my system rebelled 
and became clogged up and I took an- 
other cold as usual. So I decided not 
to eat another mouthful on that ship, 
and I kept the fast up until I got to Ft. 
Worth. Then I went at the matter 
according to your instructions, and the 
results were perfect. I took up 
oranges for two days, then went on the 
milk diet for two days, then began on 
the boiled wheat. The results have 
been highly satisfactory. Going from 
a cold climate like Paris into a veri- 



table inferno like Texas in summer 
made it very hard on me, but the wheat 
diet did everything for me and gave me 
unusual strength and vigour even in 
that hot climate where vigour doesn't 
abound much in hot weather. All my 
troubles seemed to disappear. I had 
not sung a tone since I began the first 
fast in Paris, so I began to practise 
again, and I never realized such a 
change in anything. Everything went 
so easy and all my friends said that 
they never saw such improvement in a 
human voice. I have never even 
desired to taste coffee, I am living on 
wheat, nuts, all kinds of fruit and 
vegetables, and the result is everything 
you said it would be. I have com- 
pleted my business in Texas and will 
start back to Paris to-day. I am pre- 
paring myself for the journey this 
time. I have a large '* thermos " 



bottle which I have filled with wheat 
and will carry plenty of fruit and 

I thank you very much for your in- 
formation along the line of health. 
You have been a great blessing to me, 
and I am sure you have been also to 
thousands of others. 

Andrew Hemphill. 

Omaha, Neb. 

Dear Mr. Sinclair, — I was so fas- 
cinated with the story of your fast 
that I immediately made the experi- 
ment for myself, abstaining entirely 
from food of any kind for five days. 

I had no particular ailment which 
seemed to need the fast cure, but felt 
impelled to do a little investigating on 
my own account. 

I kept a diary in which I recorded 



each day's experience, including loss 
in weight, effect of cold bath, amount 
of exercise taken, etc. Without going 
into details, I can simply say I was 
astonished by the results. While in 
one respect my experience differed 
from yours, in that the desire for food 
did not entirely cease at any time, 1 
was surprised to find how easily it 
could be controlled after the first day. 
Since the fast I have kept on drinking 
large quantities of pure water — re- 
sulting in a gain in weight of twelve 
pounds, increased digestive powers 
and a wonderfully improved appetite. 
I am frank to say I was never so 
pleased with, nor so greatly benefited 
by anything ever previously extracted 
from a magazine article. 

R. E. Wheeler. 



760 Penobscot B'ld'g, Detroit, 

Oct. 19, 1910. 
Dear Mr. Sinclair, — Complying 
with your suggestion, will hurriedly 
and briefly group my experiences 
through a fast which I took largely 
because of your persuasive article on 
that subject. I absorbed the informa- 
tion you gave as well as I could, and 
having been a great sufferer for over 
twenty years with stomach and bowel 
troubles, began a fast which I con- 
tinued for nearly eleven days, adhering 
scrupulously to the program outlined 
by you, in so far as I could practically 
do so, except I took only one bath 
(tepid) daily before retiring and 
omitted the enemas after the fifth day. 
Am fifty-seven years of age, power- 
fully built and athletic in habit and 
practice. Normal weight around two 
hundred pounds, height six feet one 



and one-half inches. Various causes 
reduced my weight some four years 
ago to about one hundred and eighty- 
five pounds, and almost constant non- 
assimilation of foods prevented my 
regaining normal weight. Weight an 
hour previous to my last lunch prior to 
the fast, one hundred and eighty-six 
pounds; lost fourteen pounds during 
the fast, eight of which fell off me the 
first three days. My indigestion had 
for years been accompanied by distress- 
ing, persistent constipation. This did 
not yield until the afternoon of fourth 
day of fast, when my entire intestinal 
functions seemed to become normal, 
and although I had taken no food, 
solid or liquid, no fruit juices, coffee, 
tea or milk, absolutely nothing in fast 
except Detroit River water, hot or 
cold, as fancy suggested, after the 
fourth day the bowels inclined to move- 



ment at least twice during each 
twenty-four hours. Lost strength 
gradually throughout fast, but looked 
after essentials in my office from six 
down to three hours the last day. I 
had no pronounced desire for food 
from first to last. Tongue remained 
heavily furred throughout the fast, 
breath offensive, even to myself. I sat 
at table at breakfast and evening 
meals, serving same, but using only a 
cup or two of hot water as my portion. 
Voice lost resonancy and timbre, and I 
finally felt so enervated that I broke 
the fast — juice of an orange first even- 
ing, and of five oranges the second 
day; of six oranges the third day, 
during which I also sipped a quart of 
rich milk, hot. Fourth day ate six 
oranges, two quarts milk, slice of old 
bread and about three-fourths pound 
juicy steak, after which I soon be- 



gan to eat more than the usual quan- 
tity of wholesome food. For over four 
months had no indigestion, bowels 
regular and normal. 

I am hoping to see my way clear to 
fast again soon, for am needing a brace 
physically. ... I owe you grate- 
ful thanks for inciting me to under- 
take the remedy. 

With best wishes for your continued 
success, usefulness and happiness. 

M. E. Hall. 

In my discussion of the question of 
what to eat, I have referred to the 
meat diet, and also to the raw-food 
diet. By way of throwing further 
light upon the problem, I reprint here 
two letters, one by a follower of Dr. 
Salisbury, and the other by a man 
whom I was instrumental in starting 



upon raw food. The latter article is 
reprinted from Physical Culture, by 
courtesy of Mr. Bernarr Macfadden. 
The reader may find it difficult to 
understand how two people can have 
had such apparently contradictory ex- 
periences. I myself, however, have no 
doubt of the literal truth of their state- 
ments, for I know dozens of people 
who are thriving upon each of these 
diets. It is to me only a further proof 
of the fact that our knowledge of this 
subject is as yet in its infancy, and 
that all one can do is to experiment, 
and find out what system best agrees 
with his own orgginism. 

504 West Second St., 
Los Angeles, Cal., July 28, 1910. 

Dear Sir, — As you say in the 
August Physical Culture that you 



would like to hear the experiences of 
fasters, I will tell you of mine. In 
1889-1890 I was very sick with catarrh 
of the stomach and bowels, which 
developed into consumption of the 
bowels accompanied by inflammatory 
rheumatism. On May 1st, 1890, I 
went to the office of Dr. James H. 
Salisbury and treated with him for one 
year. During the first nine months I 
ate nothing but Salisbury steaks, be- 
ginning with one ounce per meal and 
increasing gradually as I could assimi- 
late it to one pound per meal, and 
drank a pint of hot water an hour and 
a half before meals and at bedtime. 
Salisbury steak, as you probably know, 
is beef pulp — round steak with all fat 
and fibres removed. I dropped weight 
rapidly, going from 140 pounds to 90 
pounds as this loss was diseased flesh. 
I then gained as rapidly on beef alone 



and this was good hard flesh. During 
the next three months he allowed me a 
slice of toasted bread at two meals 
daily in addition to the meat. For 
the past twenty years I have eaten 
meat three times a day with other 
foods, consequently have not needed a 
physician in that time. I have foolish 
spells occasionally and indulge in 
fruit, vegetables and cereals, and 
destroy the proper ratio, viz. : 2/3 of 
meat to 1/3 of other foods, then I be- 
gin to get out of shape and this brings 
me to my fasting experiences — about 
eight of them in the last seventeen 
years and lasting from five to fifteen 
days according to the time it took for 
my tongue to clear off. I find that the 
more hot water I drink the quicker it 
clears ; during the last fast three years 
ago I drank one quart every two hours 
through the day. I got my stomach so 

217 p 


clean that the water tasted sweet — ^this 
is the test of a clean stomach. 

Fasts have benefited me and I re- 
commend them, as few people will live 
on beef till their blood gets pure ; that 
an exclusive diet of beef will make 
pure blood I saw demonstrated in New 
York at Dr. Salisbury's by micro- 
scopic tests of my own blood and that 
of others. When you are in this con- 
dition you can expose yourself as much 
as you like without danger of taking 
cold. If people suffering with stomach 
and intestinal troubles, Bright' s 
disease, diabetes, rheumatism, sciatica, 
or tuberculosis, would eat nothing but 
beef pulp and drink hot water be- 
fore meals they would be cured in nine 
cases out of ten, as this was Dr. Salis- 
bury's average of cures when they 
stuck to the treatment. I acknow- 
ledge that one gets rid of a lot of 



diseased tissue while fasting, but not 
more rapidly than on the beef diet, and 
the latter has the advantage that one 
is making good blood all the time. I 
consider that you are doing a great 
work in recommending the fast cure, 
and agree with you that Hamburg 
steak is not the best food to break a 
fast with, as it contains 1/4 to 1/3 of 
fat and *' animal fat is a lower form 
of organization, in fact is often a pro- 
cess of degeneration." I have seen 
several Salisbury patients have slight 
bilious attacks from eating over-fat 
beef, but they quickly recovered by eat- 
ing leaner beef. Beef pulp is the best 
thing to eat after a fast as it is ab- 
sorbed quickly into the circulation and 
I never saw a patient whose stomach 
was too weak to digest it in small 
quantities, well broiled. I believe in 
dry foods, well masticated — no slops. 



Dr. Salisbury said to me ** a man 
whose food is beef can live in a hole in 
the ground and be healthy." His last 
words to me were, " Stick to beef and 
liot water the rest of your life and 
nothing but old age will kill you bar- 
ring accident." I asked him how 
long he had lived on this diet, he re- 
plied, '* thirty years." — " Do you ex- 
pect to die of old age?" " Sure." 
He died August 23rd, 1905, at the age 
of eighty-two from the result of an 
accident. He was a most scientific 
and successful practitioner; but nearly 
all physicians, aside from those he 
cured, called his treatment a farce and 
a delusion because his teachings if 
generally followed would put the 
majority of them out of business. One 
New York doctor told me while I was 
on the diet " unless you give up beef 

and hot water you will not live five 


years — ^you will wear your kidneys 
out." I replied, ** you doctors say I 
am going to die anyway, so I might as 
w^ell die clean." I immediately in- 
creased my hot water from one pint to 
one quart before each meal and have 
kept it up ever since. When I began 
drinking hot water I had a slight kid- 
ney and bladder trouble; this has dis- 
appeared; the constant flushing has 
strengthened these organs — I am now 

Cold water before meals is better 
than none, but is not as good as hot 
water, as the latter does not chill the 
stomach or gripe one, and acts as a 
tonic on the internal organs; is more 
quickly absorbed and starts perspira- 
tion, causing the skin to share with the 
kidneys the work of eliminating waste 
matter. If a person is not very sick 
he can eat his round steak (after re- 
moving the fat) ground without re- 



moving the fibre. For a regular Salis- 
bury steak leave the knife loose and 
clean the grinder frequently. 

You have a large gontract in trying 
to force medical men to recognize the 
fast cure. They even told me, * ' while 
we think you are honest, you are mis- 
taken; you did not see Dr. Salisbury 
perform the cures you think you saw." 
The Doctor considered me one of his 
star patients ; he said I was as far gone 
as any man he ever saw cured by the 
treatment, and that he would rather 
have three cases of tuberculosis of the 
lungs than one like mine, my disease 
being in the last stage. 

You can do as you like with this 
letter. I write simply to strengthen 
you. Persist, you are on the right 
track at last. You are no ** shallow 
sensationalist." I like your writings. 
Very sincerely, 

Jas. Y. Anthony. 

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