Mr. Johnson advocated what is known as “Natural Hygiene”, a system based on the premise that the human body is governed by natural laws and will remain healthy if these laws are followed. The Natural Hygienist believes that diet, fasting, and other lifestyle measures are all that is necessary to prevent and treat diseases. Mr. Johnson followed these practices for much of his life, maintaining a strict vegetarian diet, a program of daily exercise, and never used processed foods or drugs, including alcohol, tobacco, and coffee. In line with his rational freethought approach, Mr. Johnson only became a proponent of Natural Hygiene after he personally practiced the system for one year, after which he reported enjoying superior health and mental acuity.

Johnson was greatly inspired by the writings of Dr. Herbert Shelton (1895-1985), who revived the Natural Hygiene movement originally started in the 1830s. Dr. Shelton was a true pioneer in this area and inspired many modern day nutritionists, including contemporary physician and best-selling author, Dr. Joel Fuhrman (Eat to Live, 2003). The National Health Association (NHA), known previously as the American Natural Hygiene Society (ANHS), has more information about the influential work of Dr. Shelton on their website. In particular, audio lectures given by Dr. Shelton on a number of Natural Hygiene topics can accessed through this link: Dr. Herbet Shelton Audio Lectures (MP3 format). Additional information about Dr. Shelton's life and work can be found by exploring other links on that webpage. More information about the NHA can be found on their homepage at

Mr. Johnson also believed that Natural Hygiene was actively being suppressed as an alternative by the healthcare industry, food processing firms, and alcohol and tobacco companies, with the help of the government, to preserve their continuing profits. In his view, those uneducated to the Natural Hygiene approach were gullible consumers, blindly purchasing expensive and often unnecessary health services and harmful products without questioning their effectiveness or benefits.


The following publications provide many details on Mr. Johnson’s views about health, including the methods and benefits of Natural Hygiene:

The Views of James Hervey Johnson on Health – this is a comprehensive expose of Mr. Johnson's beliefs and was published in 2000 by the American Natural Hygiene Society (ANHS), now known as the NHA described above, under a grant provided by the James Hervey Johnson Charitable Educational Trust. The book is available as a PDF file or a word document using either of the links below. The book details the roles of diet, exercise, and fasting to maintain and improve health along with additional information about Mr. Johnson and other material that supports his beliefs. The PDF file contains all of the graphics in the original book, whereas the word document contains only the text version of the work.

The Views of James Hervey Johnson on Health (PDF)
    The Views of James Hervey Johnson on Health (Word Document)

“The Natural Hygiene Way of Life: Personal Perspectives" – this is an excerpt from The Views of James Hervey Johnson on Health consisting of writings by Mr. Johnson describing his ideas. It contains the essential approach Mr. Johnson used to maintain his health.

“The Editor's Day” – this article by Mr. Johnson, October 1973, was written just after the death of James Copley, San Diego newspaper publisher, and by comparing lifestyles, he summarizes a number of his views on both health and religion.

“Health” – this article by Mr. Johnson, June 1973, describes the suppression of natural health information and medical and dietary guidelines.

This reading list will be revised from time to time as new material may become available and is posted.






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