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  Invisible Enemy Faye Hueston  
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Many years ago while living in London, I became unaccountably ill. A mysterious process seemed to be at work within my body, undermining the vigorous health I had enjoyed for most of my life. This slow, imperceptible slide into infirmity alarmed me, for I was ill-prepared for sickness.

Raised as a Christian Scientist by my adoptive mother, I grew up in a Hollywood home that was affluent, pious, and teetotal. Believing illness to be a mere mental "belief," we saw no doctors, nor were there any medicines in our medicine cabinets. The only cure for a headache or a heart attack was prayer.

My adoptive father did not share our religion, although he respected it because of his deep mistrust of doctors—those "quacks" he never saw. While the connection between our faith and our genes may have been merely fortuitous, my parents, my adoptive brother, and I rejoiced in excellent health.

In 1963, my first serious illness brought me close to death. Saved at the eleventh hour by a doctor with antibiotics, and disillusioned with God and Mary Baker Eddy—both of whom I felt had let me down—I left the church. What I did not know was that my body still harbored the seeds of a future struggle—seeds that would not germinate for the next sixteen years.

I do not deny that spiritual healing is possible or that symptoms can, on occasion, be psychosomatically induced. My story, however, concerns a more prevalent situation in which prayer proves ineffectual and symptoms thought to be psychosomatic in origin, when correctly diagnosed, are found to have an environmental cause. Although my experience occurred some forty-odd years ago, it is even more relevant today.

As invasive chemicals multiply with great complexity in the world, they bring new and graver challenges for human health and survival. We are faced with an increasingly drug- and technology-oriented medical profession that is ill-equipped to deal with the subtle nature of environmental illness. One has only to consider the levels of pollution in our food, in our water, and in the very air we breathe, to realize the harm we are inflicting—not only on this planet, but on ourselves.

During the years when my health was declining and no one could tell me why, I thought I must be the only person on earth so strangely afflicted. Yet reason told me this couldn't be true; I was neither sinful enough nor saintly enough to have been singled out for some exotic torment. After the cause of my condition was found to be pesticide poisoning, I was led to the nutritional therapy that ultimately restored me to health.

Throughout this trial I was keeping a diary. Begun for the purpose of recording my dreams, some of which had proved to be precognitive, it became instead a record of the symptoms, setbacks, and occasional triumphs that accompanied my long and often discouraging search for a cure.

The following pages are a chronicle distilled from that journey.

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