Fundamentals of pattern analysis
for classical Chinese medicine (CCM)
part 2

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Pattern analysis vs.
medical diagnosis
Chinese medicine
in crisis
The patterns of
The art, logic, &
mathematics of
pattern analysis
Taking back control
over our health

Fundamentals of pattern analysis
for classical Chinese medicine (CCM)

part 2:
Chinese medicine in crisis

by Roger W. Wicke, Ph.D. (creator of  HerbalThink-TCM
and Director of Rocky Mountain Herbal Institute),

in collaboration with Curt Kruse, M.S.  &  C.S. Cheung, M.D.
rww   rww   rww

2021 Dec 01
(updated 2023 Jan 21)


by the





[[[Click on the link shown at right.
The window that pops up will be used to display links to diagrams, tables, or references throughout this lecture.]]]

    >> Create graphics/references window



I (Roger Wicke) am not a medical doctor, though I do have a PhD in biomedical engineering — MIT, 1980. The information I will be presenting in these lectures

  • is educational and general in nature
  • should not be construed as medical advice
  • is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing, treating, curing, or preventing any disease

Individuals desiring help for specific health problems should seek advice from qualified professionals.


Chinese medicine in crisis:

"TCM" vs.
classical Chinese medicine (CCM)


Why do I use the term "classical Chinese medicine", or CCM, instead of the more familiar term "traditional Chinese Medicine", or TCM? Many people assume these refer to the same thing. However, a growing number of practitioners and scholars now distinguish classical Chinese medicine from TCM, the over-simplified, medicalized, non-holistic version promoted by the Chinese Communist Party, which has become entrenched as the dominant form of Chinese medicine among schools and practitioners worldwide.

By the mid-19th century, Chinese medicine had reached its peak of development and had become a diverse, sophisticated discipline, allowing for a wide range of local variations, degrees of skill, and modes of education from village apprenticeships, scholarly study, all the way to rigorous training and exams that enabled the most highly qualified practitioners to treat the emperor and nobility. It was also inseparable from Daoism, which had been a dominant spiritual tradition in China for several thousand years. During the 19th and 20th centuries, some Chinese medical scholars were becoming increasingly aware of European scientific advances in physiology and anatomy and cautiously began to integrate some of these ideas into the framework of CCM, yet maintaining the integrity and holistic perspectives of CCM and insisting that it remain the dominant form of healthcare. Many authors have outlined this 2,000-year history in admirable detail — e.g., the Introduction of Dan Bensky's Chinese Materia Medica — so I won't repeat any of that here. However, what is missing from almost all textbooks of Chinese medicine is the sordid history of TCM under the Communist Chinese. This latter history is crucial to understand, because it explains the current crisis that afflicts our profession worldwide.

The golden age of classical Chinese medicine ended with the decline of dynastic rule and establishment of the Republic of China in 1911. Sun Yat Sen, the new leader, had been heavily influenced by modern scientific attitudes during his Western education as a youth, and he intended to reform what he perceived as old and backward customs. (Sun graduated from Hong Kong College of Medicine.) For the first time, CCM was eclipsed by Western medicine, its methods suppressed and replaced by the supposedly correct parameters of modern science. Sun proposed legislation that would have severely restricted the practice of CCM by prohibiting advertisements and barring the establishment of schools. Although these draconian laws were ultimately rejected, widespread decline of the profession set in as government policy clearly favored Western-style scientific medicine. The primary factor allowing CCM to continue was widespread support by the population, who were not about to abandon a useful practice that had persisted for many centuries.

This suppression continued under Mao Zedong both before and immediately after the Communist Revolution of 1949. Mao had little respect for Chinese medicine in any form, and he initially intended to transform the medical system to align with Western scientific standards.


    >> Republic, 1911

    >> Reference 2-bHistory of Chinese herbal medicine

However, in 1953 when Mao began to plan for expansion of Chinese-style communism into the Third World, he realized the potential value of Chinese medicine in implementing his ambitions. Under the guise of promoting self-reliance and low-cost healthcare, he intended to use traditional Chinese medicine as a ploy to gain access to Third-World countries. (It soon also became useful as a tool for infiltrating developed nations, like the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe.) Traditional Chinese medicine was rebranded as "TCM" for international marketing purposes, and armies of newly trained TCM physicians were sent into the Third World to provide low-cost healthcare and eventually to establish practitioner training schools throughout the world.

To accomplish these goals, Mao, with the help of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), imposed a number of modifications and restrictions on the new TCM, which were to have a disastrous effect on education and practice worldwide over the next 70 years.

First, Mao authorized a nationwide search for 2,000 highly qualified Western-medicine physicians who were to assist in the evolution of TCM. Only about 10% of this class of 2000 doctors graduated from an accelerated, greatly simplified curriculum. And that 10% had merely a rudimentary understanding of TCM, already purged of concepts not conforming to scientific materialist dogma. Yet many of these graduates, formerly hostile to Chinese medicine, would eventually become administrators of the newly established TCM colleges; they would enforce a standardized curriculum top-heavy with courses in Western medicine and with greatly simplified, abbreviated courses in classical theory.

Experienced traditional doctors were barred from primary healthcare in clinics and hospitals. The next-generation TCM practitioners typically styled their diagnoses entirely in Western terms, sporadically including cookbookish Chinese medical treatment modalities.


    >> The early years of TCM in Communist China

What little remained of the dumbed-down TCM was destroyed during the decade of the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976. Education at all levels suffered, resulting in a generation of ignorant youth without skills who ridiculed erudite learning of all kinds — later to be known as the "Lost Generation". Old master practitioners of Chinese medicine were publicly criticized, humiliated, and physically abused. Some were interned in concentration camps, euphemistically called re-education camps.

Many physicians frantically burned their traditional texts to avoid persecution, others died from grief or physical abuse, and much of the physical legacy of Chinese medicine perished irretrievably.


    >> Cultural Revolution

Scholar-practitioner Heiner Fruehauf has thoroughly documented this history in his 1999 article entitled "Chinese Medicine In Crisis: Science, Politics, and the Making of 'TCM'". According to Fruehauf: "This situation is the primary reason for the woeful plight of Chinese medicine under the TCM system — traditional medicine in mainland China is managed by individuals who for the most part, and often openly, entertain deep-seated suspicions against the field that they are supposed to represent."

My mentor, friend, and colleague C.S. Cheung, M.D. had also communicated to me his own personal experiences during the 1950's and 60's, which corroborate much of what Heiner Fruehauf describes. Dr. Cheung escaped from mainland China toward the end of the Cultural Revolution and eventually made his way to the US, where he taught classical Chinese medicine and published many books and articles on the subject.

We might gain some insight into Mao's role as the duplicitous reformer of TCM — pretending to preserve a cultural treasure while destroying its essence and thoroughly medicalizing it — by scrutinizing his connections to Yale University and its Skull and Bones Society during the decade preceding the Communist Revolution of 1949. Historian Anthony Sutton, in his book American Secret Establishment, documents how intelligence agents acting on behalf of the Anglo-American Establishment and Yale infiltrated many foreign countries with intent to keep them subservient, backward, and under the control of Western banking elites and globalists. Mao's Communist movement suited these goals perfectly. In light of these connections, Mao's thorough defenestration of Chinese medicine to make way for Big Pharma and Rockefeller-style medicine fits quite neatly into the larger historical context. (However, we should also not forget that the suppression of CCM began decades earlier during the era of Sun Yat Sen.) Decades later, China would be allowed to rapidly industrialize, but only after globalist control had been firmly established behind the scenes within China's power hierarchy.


    >> Reference 2-eFruehauf; Mao and Yale

In the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution, CCP apparatchiks attempted to sanctify the "scientific character" of TCM by applying several fashionable theories from Western science, including cybernetics, systems science, and information theory. These are powerful tools in the hands of experts who know their subject matter intimately. However, in the hands of dunderheads, the results often end up at what I call the "Artificial Intelligence Hall of Shame". This absurdity was administered by officials who themselves had scant understanding of anything TCM or CCM — and resulted in a final demolition of the meager traditional concepts that had remained.

Nationwide guidelines were also issued to standardize research of new patent remedies according to Western pharmaceutical standards. Mimicking the glossy, high-tech tone of medical journals in the West, dozens of new journals arose to publish the deluge of articles reporting this research — which many skeptics have suspected of being based on a significant proportion of fabricated data.

Textual research and commentaries on the classics of Chinese medicine no longer received government support or funding. Graduate research projects focused on Chinese medicine theory were no longer to be approved. TCM colleges expanded their curricula to include ever more courses in scientific medicine, physiology, and pathology, and ever fewer courses in traditional theory.

The end result of this glorification of scientism has been an almost total reversion of TCM to the paradigm of Western medicine: "Which remedies should one use for medical disease X?"

Now we come to the crucial point of my explaining all this history: only a tiny percentage of TCM practitioners worldwide perform classical-style pattern analysis of a patient's symptoms, tongue inspection, and detailed pulse palpation — instead relying primarily upon the medical diagnosis to determine clinical strategy. Many do not even look at the tongue or feel the pulse beyond noting the pulse rate. And the primary reason is because the form of TCM promoted by the CCP has infiltrated the vast majority of colleges of Chinese medicine worldwide.


    >> TCM "improvement" via Scientism

The CCP's use of licensing, regulation, and control of educational institutions to "improve" and "modernize" TCM to conform with scientistic dogma is not a new or original strategy. In 2003, I described in detail how these same strategies had been used in the U.S. to infiltrate and erode from within many alternative-complementary health professions, thus neutralizing potential threats to pharmaceutical profits.

Was TCM used by the CCP as its first major test of a plan to eventually infiltrate US academic, cultural, and government institutions? The very first TCM colleges in the U.S. were established during the 1980's in California and other U.S states with large Chinese populations. However, it was only decades later that U.S. government and academic policy-makers began to express alarm over perceived widespread infiltration of colleges and universities by the CCP.

The basic strategic game-plan outlined in this chart takes advantage of the inherent vulnerability of hierarchical systems to subversion by control and corruption at the top levels. The entire strategy can be summarized as follows:

To transform formerly free men and women into subservient apparatchiks, governments decree that one must apply for a license to engage in almost any activity of economic significance, thereby converting rights into privileges by means of deception.

According to common law, true rights cannot be denied; however, by fraudulent means, many are frequently tricked into waiving their rights. The final sections of this lecture explore the spiritual void that may render populations vulnerable to cultural subversion. The counterstrategy to defeat such subversion and deception is the topic of part 5 in this series.


Strategic game-plan for infiltrating/neutralizing competition and weaponizing healthcare. (Overt suppression will be resisted — much more effective to pretend to be allies of alt-health professions like osteopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, then sabotage from within.)

  1. Promote accreditation of professional schools and state licensing by emphasizing the benefits to health professionals: enhanced status, prestige, income.
  2. Promote accreditation/licensing to the public under the guise of enforcing technical and ethical standards, eliminating incompetence, protecting health and safety.
  3. Adhere to the preceding ideals over a period of several decades in order to gain public trust.
  4. Gradually, stealthily introduce dysfunctional educational methods. Emphasize extensive rote memorization. Diminish critical thinking skills, ability to observe and learn from experience, and practical knowledge.
  5. Gradually increase biomedical course requirements (under the guise of modernizing the profession to conform with scientific principles) while diminishing requirements for demonstrating competence in traditional methods. The ultimate goal is to diminish the ability of graduates to identify potential hazards of Big Pharma and its products and methods.
  6. While maintaining the guise of ethics, introduce increasingly authoritarian policies via regulation and licensing standards. Punish dissenters with professional censure and threats of losing one's license to practice. This will erode ethical integrity and produce a generation of mindless order-followers.
  7. Drastically increase tuition at professional schools and burden graduates with huge debts, further diminishing the possibility of individual dissent and rebellion.
  8. Introduce corrupt political agendas (e.g.: political correctness, CRT, wokeness) at all levels of bureaucracy to further weaken ethical integrity and to transform all health professions into political — and/or biological — weapons against the population.
  9. Blackmail, bribe, and/or threaten officials at top levels of the bureaucracy to ensure their cooperation in imposing progressively dysfunctional policies on lower levels. (Or, ideally, implant specially trained and obedient change-agents within top levels of the bureaucracy.)

    >> Reference 2-fInfiltration/subversion of alt-health
    >> Reference 2-f-ccpCCP infiltration of American schools and colleges

In 1991, a group of eminent Chinese physicians issued the following public statement:

In recent years, the unique characteristics of Chinese medicine, its advantages over Western medicine, and its standards of academic excellence have not been developed according to the wishes of the people, but have rather been tossed into a state of severe crisis and chaotic actions. Underneath the bright and cheap glitter at the surface, the essence and the characteristics of Chinese medicine are being metamorphosed and annihilated at a most perturbing rate. The primary expression of this crisis is the Westernization of all guiding principles and methodologies of Chinese medicine. ...

The statement concluded with an impassioned plea for reform and a restoration of classical medicine. In 1999, Heiner Fruehauf published his influential article on the Crisis in TCM, which included the 1991 statement. It was eventually posted widely on the Internet in both German and English. In the following decades, a small number of schools worldwide began to restore the teaching of traditional pattern analysis accompanied by study of classical texts.

This movement has steadily grown within Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Europe, and America, though mainland China continues to exert rigid control over its version of TCM, and CCM dissidents there must remain cautious. (TCM herbal patent remedies are an expanding source of worldwide revenue for the CCP, aggressively marketed under the rubric of remedy-for-medical-disease-X, and TCM colleges and their associated accrediting agencies and licensing boards continue to be a convenient tool of the CCP for infiltrating the cultures and governments of foreign nations.) In my own discussions with TCM/CCM professionals and businesses who serve this community, I've noted that those who maintain economic, institutional, or cultural ties with mainland China are likewise reluctant to openly voice their criticism of the status quo.

It is this author's opinion that, rather than wait for institutional and governmental reform to occur, individual practitioners and teachers of CCM must disconnect from corrupt bureaucracies and to rely only on themselves and trusted colleagues to restore the spirit of true CCM. Because herbalists do not require healthcare licenses to practice, this strategy is well-suited to both the problem and the cultural climate of our times.


    >> Renaissance?

[this frame added 2023 Oct 27]

Two common perceptions about TCM among Americans:

  • TCM is mostly about acupuncture.
  • "I tried Chinese herbs, and they did not work for me."

arise as a direct consequence of the disastrous TCM policies of Mao Zedong, who promoted his own version of TCM for the purpose of achieving two primary goals:

  • To slowly, gradually destroy TCM as an effective competitor to the globalist system of Big Pharma and the medical-industrial complex — while pretending to restore and "improve" it based on scientific principles.
  • As a ploy to infiltrate and subvert the culture, educational systems, and governments of foreign countries.

The link at right displays a rough sequence of events, which I believe, in retrospect, were carefully scripted by the CCP in collaboration with officials within various state governments. (The reason I have much personal knowledge of this sequence is because I was not only a student during the 1980's but later knew many TCM professionals who were involved in bureaucracy at all levels: school administrators, accrediting boards, regulatory board officials, NGO's, etc.)

In summary, the overwhelming focus of both the TCM profession and general public on TCM as acupuncture is the primary reason for the woeful state of TCM in the US today. The second reason is the extreme over-simplification and medicalization of TCM according to the Communist Chinese model, which virtually ensured the final destruction of any remnants of true classical Chinese medicine. And this, in a nutshell, is why so many people who have tried Chinese herbs, report "They didn't work for me." It should be obvious that poor training and incompetence of practitioners is largely to blame, all of which were consequences of the CCP's long-term plan for TCM.

After TCM had been successfully destroyed, over the following decades the CCP would follow a similar game plan to infiltrate, subvert, and sabotage academia in the US, even luring some top US professors to perpetrate sedition and treason against their own country. If you understand how TCM was used as the CCP's first test case for infiltrating and subverting US institutions, from colleges and universities to licensing and accrediting boards, you will have a good understanding of the first steps necessary to fix the terribly broken American educational system.


    >> TCM acupuncture vs. herbology in the USA

    >> Reference 2-f-ccpCCP infiltration of American schools and colleges

Fruehauf concludes his article with an outline of the stark differences in philosophy between CCM and TCM, summarized in the table shown here. CCM and TCM are virtual polar opposites in almost every respect.

If one examines the history of science in the West, one will discover eminent scientists who fell at both extremes and at all points in between. Innovators like Nicola Tesla, the electromagnetics wizard, would have been more at home at the Daoist-CCM end of the spectrum — being highly eccentric and mystical, with his visions and extraterrestrial communications; in another incarnation, he might have been a Daoist monk. In contrast, many medical pioneers would be most comfortable in the Confucianist-TCM camp. As with Yin and Yang, disharmony and dysfunction arise when extremes are rigidly enforced and the two polarities kept from interacting. To be fully creative, one also requires receptivity to provide balance.

The diversity and freedom of inquiry so fundamental to a healthy classical Chinese medicine simply cannot thrive in a rigid environment. Our modern hierarchical organizations, government bureaucracies, corporations, and academic institutions are anathema to CCM. And in mainland China, with its extreme persecution of religious minorities, prohibition of freedom of speech, and rigidly imposed political correctness, the consequences have been ruinous. This same deadly intellectual climate now pervades the vast majority of American colleges and universities. That is why I believe attempts to resurrect classical Chinese medicine within such environments will, at best, yield only very limited success. At worst, devious administrators of the profession will disarm critics by publicly extolling the virtues of Chinese medicine while maintaining rigid control and continuing to sabotage it at every turn.

I ask you now to consider the following thought experiment:
suppose that much of our modern world had been substituted with a sophisticated illusion — and that social convention, trade and commerce, economics, government, religion, medicine, education, and media were all being carefully coordinated for the benefit of an elite minority, enabling them to acquire totalitarian control over the vast majority of the world's resources and population. Glitches in this illusion occasionally occurred and could be detected only by those individuals possessing a strong self-awareness and conscience, who closely attended to their own perceptions, intuitions, tenacious logic, and flashes of insight. Such individuals frequently became immune to propaganda and other mind-control techniques.

Now ponder the following questions:

  • Are such individuals, who have become immune to propaganda and deception, more likely to lean toward the Daoist-CCM polarity or the Confucianist-TCM polarity?
    [[[Sources of authority, Scope of inquiry, Professional ideal]]]
  • When all institutions of a nation have become corrupted, from which polarity are solutions to the crisis and reforms most like to arise?
  • Could any totalitarian power tolerate the continued existence of such individuals? Would they not be a continual threat to such power?
  • Can you begin to recognize the insidiousness of pretending to support the Daoist-CCM philosophy, while covertly sabotaging it at every opportunity — a wolf in sheep's clothing? And why all totalitarian governments attempt to either destroy religion or to infiltrate and subvert it to their own ends?

    >> CCM vs. TCM — Daoism vs. Confucianism

The past decade has witnessed worldwide crises that may rival World War II in magnitude and long-term impact, including endemic corruption and crimes against humanity perpetrated by governments, corporations, academia, legal and health professionals, and religious organizations. Self-professing Satanists have infiltrated all levels of society, especially Hollywood and the media; their influence is no longer hidden, their symbols and rituals publicly displayed. The so-called COVID pandemic and its associated bio-weapons have become the focus of international legal tribunals, in order to address rampant, widespread violations of the Nuremberg Code.

This worldwide crisis was long ago predicted by Hindu and Buddhist teachings and known as the Kali Yuga — and by the Christian Bible as the Apocalypse. This table outlines how the Hindu Mahabharata describes the Kali Yuga. ·· Anyone paying attention to news and world events knows that these ancient texts were not merely delusional.

Attributes of the Kali Yuga,
summarized from the Hindu Mahabharata.
Avarice and wrath will become common.
Diminish with each passing day:   religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, tolerance, mercy, physical strength and memory.
Lust deemed socially acceptable; sexual intercourse the central goal of life.
Sin increases exponentially; virtue fades and ceases to flourish.
People commit murder without remorse.
Widespread addiction to intoxicating drinks & drugs.
Gurus no longer respected, their students attempt to injure them, their teachings insulted.
Weather and environment continually degrade; frequent, unpredictable rainfalls; earthquakes common; diseases proliferate.
Fake ideologies spread throughout the world.
The powerful will dominate the poor.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (Christian Standard Bible)
16  The Lord hates six things; in fact, seven are detestable to him:
17  arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
18  a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil,
19  a lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers.

The idea that humans are easily trapped in a world of illusion and error generated by an evil or misguided demiurge is a fundamental notion among Gnostic Christians. Vedic philosophers, Hindus, and Buddhists believe that the soul is easily misled by maya (illusion) into being trapped within the material world by a mistaken identification of the soul with the material body. The Daoists did not believe that the material world was necessarily an illusion, and thus placed more importance on the body's physical health, as did the early Gnostics. However, all these religions and philosophies share the belief that humans are easily influenced by deception and illusion and that each individual should strive to break free of these. Can you now understand why Marxist-Communists insist that all religion is poison, if their power is dependent upon generating illusions via deception and propaganda?

The Chinese word Dao is often translated as "The Way". The early Gnostic Christians did not refer to themselves as Christians; instead, they called themselves followers of The Way. Is this merely coincidence? Historians of Gnosticism claim to have archeological evidence that Yeshua (often referred to as "Jesus") travelled throughout South Asia for over a decade to acquire knowledge from other philosophers and wise men — all this during the so-called missing years, ages 12 to 30, of Yeshua's life that are entirely absent from mention in the New Testament. Many ancient books included in the Gnostic Bible were later declared heretical by the early Catholics at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.; virtually all modern versions of the Christian Bible follow the Nicene decrees and exclude these books. Some of those books contained ideas remarkably similar to Daoist philosophy, and a few of those ideas are listed in the table here.

I realize these ideas may seem controversial to some. I'm not a dogmatist, consistent with the Daoist principle of multiple paths to enlightenment. In the next and final parts of this series, I'll show you how classical Chinese medicine, when practiced in harmony with its Daoist roots, provides us with a powerful, sensitive analysis technique and bullshit detector in the realm of modern healthcare — something that could become a useful forensics tool in this era of questionable diagnostic tests, medical fraud, slow poisoning by pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and toxic consumer products.


    >> Daoism vs. Gnosticism

    >> Reference 2-lDaoist-Gnostic links


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