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Editorial
by Miriam Knight
Miriam Knight

Among the dozens of emails I get each day, this one struck a warning note that is particularly pertinent to the readers and advertisers in Community ConneXion.

The e-mail refers to bill HB 591 currently before the state legislature in Florida. Its effect is to provide a broad interpretation of licensing laws that would legally charge as a 3rd degree Felony the unlicensed practice of any forms of natural healing and naturopathy.

The practice of "naturopathy" is currently defined in Florida Statutes as, "... the use and practice of psychological, mechanical, and material health services to aid in purifying, cleansing, and normalizing human tissues for the preservation or restoration of health, according to the fundamental principles of anatomy, physiology, and applied psychology, as may be required.Ē The Bill has broad powers of interpretation and allows the state to consider any natural practice they deem naturopathic in nature to come within its parameters.

In parallel, legislation is being proposed in seven more states by the AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association), to make hands on healing a practice of massage. Five states have passed this ruling in the past several months. Only two states have rejected it - primarily as a result of pressure from the public and concerned citizens of many states, not just the state in which the action was taking place.

While these bills may seem innocuous enough on the surface, it is the thin end of the wedge. Ostensibly intended to prevent charlatans and poorly trained practitioners from harming or victimizing a gullible public, their real effect will be to censor and bring all forms of non-allopathic healing, including alternative and complementary, under government control. Anyone with any understanding of the dealings of the FDA does not need neon lights to realize the implications of this.

The insidious aspect of all this is that the powers that be are getting us to do this to ourselves. The AMTA initiative is a case in point. By using the carrot of exclusive legitimacy and control, the government is playing off one group of practitioners against another so that we are creating sticks for our own backs. The result will be the criminality of any mode of healing that is not approved and licensed. This will include many therapies that are truly effective and donít have debilitating side effects, but donít enrich the corporations.

It is imperative that we understand the mechanics of what is happening and realize that securing the status of one or another professional organization will be at the expense of our freedom of choice and lay the foundations for the criminalization of many of the therapies and services you read about here today.

To learn more about practical steps you can take, you may wish to call the Coalition for Natural Health at 1- 800-586-4264. They are a non-profit watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. that fights for our right to retain our constitutional privileges.

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