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(The Psychology of Idealistic Diets--continued, Part B)

The attractions and pitfalls of purist
black-and-white dietary philosophies

I take it, then, you have some other observations to introduce before we proceed further?

Yes. Let's back up at this point and set the context for why people get into Natural Hygiene or any other dietary system in the first place.

PROBLEM #1: Confusion and contradiction in the marketplace of dietary ideas and research. I think most of us have experienced before we got into Natural Hygiene how confusing the dietary world is these days. Everyone has something different to say and even the scientific studies on nutrition seem to contradict themselves every few years. About the only things anyone seems to agree on right now are that lots of fresh fruits and vegetables are good, and too much fat in the diet is bad--and some people don't even agree about the details of the latter. On most every other topic there is divisive controversy. Most people are confused. There is nothing that leads to a good argument like food these days. Of course, maybe it's always been that way, but in any event, confusion and contradiction about diet are rampant and have been for a long time.

PROBLEM #2: Feeling powerless over microbes, genetics, or out-of-control authoritarian health-care. Another part of the psychological climate to look at here is that with the dominant/submissive doctor/patient relationship that has dominated the Western medical approach for decades if not centuries, people don't feel in control of their health. They feel at the mercy of unknown forces--not only doctors, but microbes, inherited genetics, and so forth.

PROBLEM #3: Thoughtful non-authoritarianism vs. mere reactionary rebellion.

Okay, this gives us some insights into what psychological factors are appealing to people about a dietary system like Natural Hygiene. However, people also usually get into health foods because of specific health problems. Why Hygiene and not some other system?

Well, this is something I have done a lot of thinking about, including thinking back to why I personally was attracted to Hygiene, and I've also observed what people new to the M2M talk about. And I don't think it would be exaggerating too much to say that it is the paradigm of "detoxification" that captures people's imaginations and satisfies their sense of logic. It powerfully addresses the three psychological desires we talked about above, by:

Other unconscious needs also met. Psychologically, all of this serves a lot of unconscious needs by giving people a sense of identity, villains to fight against, Gentiles to convert to the cause, and so forth. One can even be a martyr and a prophet not recognized in their own country (family) during holiday gatherings where they are ostracized for refusing to partake in heathen rituals like turkey-eating. And of course, as I have personally experienced first-handedly, there are the heretics such as myself who are upbraided for having abandoned the cause, or the backsliders who are pitied in their weakness. It's a complete psychological package that people often get a lot more mileage out of than they realize.


(Success/Failure Rates of Vegan Diets in Natural Hygiene)

Return to beginning of interviews



GO TO PART 1 - Setting the Record Straight on Humanity's Prehistoric Diet and Ape Diets

GO TO PART 2 - Fire and Cooking in Human Evolution

GO TO PART 3 - The Psychology of Idealistic Diets / Successes & Failures of Vegetarian Diets

Back to Frank Talk by Long-Time Insiders

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