Honoring nature: The lesson of the Hopewood children

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 by: Michael Ravensthorpe
Tags: Hopewood children, natural living, organic foods

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(NaturalNews) In 1942, the founder of the Natural Health Society of Australia, Leslie Owen Bailey, began a social experiment: He chose to adopt 85 children whose parents were unable to provide for them. The children's residence became the sprawling Hopewood House in New South Wales, and they were raised in accord with the same natural health principles that Bailey promoted through his society. History now recognizes them as the 'Hopewood children,' and their story is a testament to the importance of living a life in harmony with nature.

Despite the initial disadvantage of having no mothers to breastfeed them, most of the adopted children responded well to raw goat's milk as babies and, by the age of two, subsisted on a diet of organic fruits, vegetables, eggs, lentils, rice, oats, and other natural foods. They were encouraged to drink plenty of water (sourced from a local spring), and their desserts were made from coconut, raw honey, dried fruits, and carob. They didn't eat meat, and were never vaccinated.

Even though this was the 1940s, the diets of the Hopewood children were not common in Australia. Throughout the decade, pesticides and herbicides skyrocketed in popularity across the continent, vaccinations against numerous diseases were standard medical procedures, and water from faucets was already contaminated by chemicals. The Hopewood children, in other words, enjoyed a level of naturalness that did not extend to most other Australian children. So, how did this affect their health?

'Little short of miraculous'

Despite numerous visits from child welfare workers who were concerned about the children's unconventional lifestyles and vegetarian diets, every child in Hopewood House demonstrated superior health in all departments. No serious illnesses ever occurred, no medical intervention was ever necessary, and on the rare occasions when children contacted an illness (such as chickenpox), they recovered with unusual speed and without after-effects. Moreover, the children demonstrated no deficiencies in protein, carbohydrates, fats, or minerals.

Numerous professionals took an interest in the Hopewood children and monitored their health. The child psychologist, Zoe Benjamin, marveled at their independent personalities and harmonious co-operation as a group. Two heads of child nutrition at Sydney University, after examining the children's adenoids and tonsils, claimed that they had never seen children so free of medical issues. But the greatest praise came from Dr. N.E. Goldsworthy, the head of the Institute of Dental Research in Sydney. Goldsworthy scrutinized the dental health of the Hopewood children in 1947 and discovered that their teeth had 16 times less decay than those of Australian children of comparable age. In fact, Goldsworthy considered their teeth the healthiest he had ever seen, and wrote that they were 'little short of miraculous.'

Comparisons with the Amish

In many respects, one can draw comparisons between the Hopewood children of the 1940s and the Amish children of today. Like Bailey's adoptees, Amish families reject vaccinations and allopathic drugs, favor organic food, and live in accord with nature. Consequently, Amish children are more immune to allergies, less susceptible to serious diseases, and much healthier than non-Amish children.

The lesson of the Hopewood children is an obvious one, but one that deserves repeated contemplation in an increasingly poisoned world: The only way to achieve real health is to live in the real world. If it was made in a factory, don't eat it. If it was prescribed by a legal drug dealer, don't take it. And if it's plastic, evil-looking, and filled with mercury, you're probably best not injecting it.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world's healthiest foods.

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