Vaccines and the Forgotten History with Roman Bystrianyk

It wasn’t long ago when infections plagued the Western world. Smallpox, scarlet fever, measles, typhoid, diphtheria, whooping cough, and other diseases were once considered a tragic part of life. Starting in the mid-1800s, there was a steady drop in deaths from these infectious diseases, decreasing by the mid-1900s to very low levels. The elimination of these diseases is one of the most impressive yet unsung public health revolutions in history. In this episode of HealthMade Radio, Dr. Michael Karlfeldt interviews Roman Bystrianyk, the author of “Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History.” Listen in as they trace the history of smallpox and the oldest organized, deliberate intervention in personal immunity in the name of prevention. Can the vaccine be credited for the remarkable mortality rate reduction, or could it be something else? 

Graphs show most of the improving story, as diseases become less infectious and deadly. Approximately 98 percent of this improvement came before the corresponding vaccines were ever available, but that never daunted the enthusiasts from claiming full credit, post hoc, for improved conditions. 

Why did all infectious diseases reduce at the same time in the late 1800s?

  • The 1800s had serious sanitation issues
  • poor quality food
  • overwork citizenship
  • compromised immune systems

In this episode, learn:

  • History Cow Pox & Small Pox and the Vaccine 

Large intervention trials never compared Edward Jenner’s famous cow-pox virus vaccine in 1798, and the sources of its principal viral components were almost entirely uncontrolled from batch to batch. Instead of protecting the public by imposing standards on vaccine manufacture, the British government imposed increasingly stringent penalties on parents for failure to vaccinate their children, imprisoning parents who refused to pay hefty fines for noncompliance.

  • Small Pox Outbreak Related to Vaccination Individuals

During every smallpox outbreak, many fully vaccinated people died and were also seen infecting other victims. Finally, after a particularly severe outbreak of smallpox in 1872, the industrial town of Leicester announced it had had enough. On March 23, 1885, the citizenry held “The Great Demonstration,” making present-day displays of government disapproval appear pale by comparison. Citizens came from all over, including Ireland and Scotland, and everyone marched around Leicester most of the day. The half-million citizens then voted out of power their town government and replaced it with one which created a smallpox safety system. Laws were passed which made vaccination voluntary, established a rapid notification and quarantine system, including specially trained personnel and comfortable quarantine facilities for anyone exposed to the index (initial) case.

  • The City that didn’t allow vaccination and improved their overall health rate and reduced infection rates

The people of Leicester became world-famous for this action, and grand predictions were made of success or failure, as people chose sides as if for a sporting event. Articles in The (London) Times faithfully reported each controversial step, while the New York Times routinely sided with the vaccine enthusiasts, in 1914 calling the people of Leicester fools and predicting horrible outbreaks with massive infant deaths: “Those who openly oppose vaccination . . . are taking a heavy responsibility on their souls.”

In the meantime, the virus itself, as with most of the other thirteen diseases under the influence of better sanitation and nutrition, was becoming more benign. This is clearly demonstrated in the graphs of dropping yearly fatalities, coinciding with falling vaccination rates. In 1912, sixty years after the start of the Leicester rebel experiment, J. T. Biggs wrote “Leicester: Sanitation versus vaccination,” a well-researched summary, quoted by Humphries and Bystrianyk. Not only had the predicted horror of mass death been averted, but the yearly smallpox death toll had dropped to zero for the town’s population. Biggs also concluded that the random smallpox-like infections directly caused by the vaccination survivors had been the primary source of infection of infants and children, so overall health and infection rates improved when vaccination ceased.

So, where is the evidence let alone the proof that vaccines have saved millions of lives? There doesn’t seem to be any such proof. It is also interesting to note that deaths caused by scarlet fever declined like those caused by so-called “vaccine-preventable” diseases, even though no vaccine was used against scarlet fever. 

Additional charts can be found here:


More about Roman Bystrianyk

Roman Bystrianyk co-authored with Suzanne Humphries the book “Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History.” His latest soon-to-be-released book will be on the major planetary environmental challenges we face. He has an extensive background in health and nutrition, a B.S. in engineering, and an M.S. in computer science.

  • Spanish translation of Dissolving Illusions can be purchased HERE.
  • German translation of Dissolving Illusions can be purchased HERE.

Connect with Roman Bystrianyk

Twitter rbystrianyk

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