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By Michael H. Brown

Did you ever stop and think of how many chemicals are around you? We brush our teeth with them, eat them with our breakfast, breathe them outside, smell them inside the car (especially if it's new), drink them, eat them in fish, rinse them down the shower (with shampoo), deodorize with them, spray our hair with them, medicate with them, douse our lawns (and creeks) with them, use plastic for everything.

The question we must ask: is this, a synthetic existence, a chemically-laden one, what God intended?

It's an interesting exercise in discernment. We can look around at the cancer and who it is striking and wonder. Ironic it is that once someone gets that disease, the treatment involves mega-doses of pharmaceuticals -- chemicals to treat what may have been caused by chemicals. How much of asthma, how many allergies, how many shortened lives are the result of straying from what God made for us? Try and find food that doesn't have chemical ingredients.

The Vatican has raised alarms about the ecology and Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver recently warned of strange effects in fish (including those that have both male and female reproductive organs).

Back in the 1980s, while researching books on such effects, I ran across children next to toxic dumps with birth defects (one young girl with more than twelve in New York State); chickens born with their wings on backwards (near waste wells in Michigan); children dying in suspicious numbers from leukemia (in a New Jersey neighborhood); and state authorities who were worried about chemicals they had found in the air near mysteriously dead cattle (in Texas) -- synthetic chemicals that were extraordinarily long molecules that were unknown to science, for which they didn't even have a name.

It is why one should be careful about heeding those who downplay such threats as tree-hugging while they have never been out there doing an actual investigation (minimizing environmental concerns -- Godly concerns, not the extremism we see with earth-worshippers -- as they carry the water for global corporations).

We all "benefit," of course, from many chemicals. Who would risk illness without them? How would we treat our water supplies? Who wants to live without air conditioning?

Yet we also have to ask: could there have been a more natural way of devising remedies?  What do such chemicals do to us -- perhaps not acutely, but in small doses over a long period and especially when they mix with each other? Does there not seem to be too much cancer (and at younger ages)? Is this a "chastisement" already around us?

Spiritually and chemically, there are those who may be the human version of the coal-mine canaries -- or should we say, sentinels, suffering to alert us. That's one way we could take the alleged extraordinary phenomenon of those who have what they now call (but used to discount as) "multiple-chemical syndrome" -- a hyper-sensitivity to anything synthetic, including, in some cases, electrical waves and radiation. The simple proximity to tree spraying or new furniture (from which chemicals vaporize) can cause such  people to grow dizzy, lose their voices, or suffer more serious effects.

One of these is Janis Nelson, 72, a housewife in Plymouth, Minnesota, who was going to be an x-ray technician but was derailed from her dreams by environmental sensitivities that have been with her since childhood. During much of her life, she had to wear a cotton mask for protection.

"When I was young I had to drink goat's milk," Janis told us recently. "I was so allergic that I even had eczema in my mouth. It was a childhood of misery. Respiratory problems, trouble with my colon, strep throat, mono, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, pleurisy, breathing attacks. I had different reactions in my body and they didn't know what it was."

It is a controversial area. Many medical experts deny it exists, or say that it's psychological. There is at present no medical consensus concerning the definition or nature of this disorder. For Janis, it played out in front of her. Exposure to a termite treatment in her home when she was pregnant at the age of twenty-five sent her in and out of consciousness with a rash of purple dots. Lawn treatments, smoke from tobacco, and fluids in soft plastic containers were among the many things that, she felt, affected her.

Worse, she was also allergic to the chemical medications. And worse still, no one believed her. No one thought chemicals could do what we now know, at least in higher doses, they can.

"God gave me insights to stay away from a lot of things," says this devout woman. "I couldn't go into a room if someone had perfume on -- my temperature would go high. It was anything with a chemical smell."

Sometimes she was in bed for a month.

She was hospitalized.

She went through life not knowing what would affect her next.

She sees it in both a physical and supernatural context.

"The Lord showed me why this was happening back when I was so sick I was crying and wanted to die in the late 1980s or early 1990s," recalls Janis, who feels she is now being healed of some of her hyper-sensitivities. "I heard interiorly, 'If you trust Me, you are going to live; but you will see many people suffering from what you suffer."

In other words, she felt she was told she was a forerunner, a warning to the rest of us. Is she?

During one episode, she had what seemed like a near-death experience -- dreadfully sick but suddenly slipping out of her body and encountering Jesus. She had been in the hospital for weeks -- her legs paralyzed from medicine.

"He appeared to me and held me in His arms like a child and He rocked me and said, 'I know, My child, I know,' and His gown was so white it would have hurt my eyes," claims Janis. "His robe was just radiant and my head was against it and I cried and cried and looked over and saw the Blessed Mother. She was in white and had her head bowed and hands folded like she was praying in the corner of the bedroom. She was under a picture of the Sacred Heart."

She also saw the evil one during another experience -- and says she was taught that he vanishes when one praises Jesus. Satan can "torture" her, she says she was told, "but he can't take my life." "Praise Me," the Lord taught her.

In this regard -- in the spiritual regard -- we are reminded of the purported "1990 prophecy" -- a locution given to an anonymous person that year, one that contained certain predictions that have since been fulfilled -- which mysteriously referred to "chemical witchcraft" when it stated: "You think of the changes in very simple ways, without realizing the fundamental mistakes of mankind. The very artifice of your societies is false and against the accordance of God's Will. This artifice shall not last. "My greatest nemesis is science, even more so than the media. The science that alters life, the science which creates a counterfeit heaven, the science that toils with the womb and genes, the science that has filled the air with the power of the enemy, the science which creates chemical witchcraft and fouls the earth, the science which seeks to create life but cannot in actuality even sustain it, the science which has denied God."

Might our use or at least overuse of highly toxic compounds and other substances be another reason why the Lord may be ready to purify the earth? It is for us to try and sort out.

But back to the alleged physiological aspect: Janis warns against soft plastic containers (which emit far more chemicals than hard plastic or glass) and insecticides. Just getting around "feels like I'm playing 'Russian roulette,'" she says.

That what she exhibited by way of allergies would manifest later in far more serious ailments among the population, especially cancer, is something for us to ponder (in prayer).

"I was seeing it already but people weren't realizing it," she says about the effect of chemicals all around us -- as well as electronics (she has trouble near devices that emit electromagnetism). "I told people they were suffering from the environment and didn't know it." Especially afflicted: the unborn, who are vulnerable in the womb to toxic exposure that comes through the umbilical cord, causing miscarriages.

It is a pro-life issue. God told us to subdue the earth; He did not tell us to trample underfoot nor to re-create nor to sully His Creation.

We should prepare now for the days ahead, Janis asserts, when there may not be the chemical medications. God, she says, has provided His own remedies -- especially at a spiritual level, if we trust -- which she notes can bring us through anything. In prayer, we can ask the Lord to protect us and our families from harmful effects and to heal us of damage that may already exist without our knowing it. In this way do we start the renewal within our own selves (in the temples of the Holy Spirit, which are bodies are) and look to the future without fear.

[resources: Spiritual warfare books and Tower of Light]

[see also: the 1990 prophecy]

[As a reporter, Michael H. Brown exposed the health effects at Love Canal and has written two books on the subject, Laying Waste: The Poisoning of America (Random House/Pantheon) and The Toxic Cloud (Harper and Row)]

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