Introducing the Sheila Snow Fraser
Essiac Archive Files
The files are the beginning of what I hope will eventually become a useful reference point for anyone interested in Essiac research. This work will include the scanning of as many of the papers as possible and making digital copies of all the cassette tapes that have not deteriorated beyond use.
There is no quick and easy way to study the archive material. Sheila had a love/hate relationship with Rene Caisse and it would have been easy to edit out her more critical comments and follow the line that she has had to tow since Rene died and the four-herb Essiac formula be came the Essiac formula. But that’s just repapering over the cracks and not helpful to anyone living with cancer.
Sheila collected her archive material before the days of laptop computers and digital Dictaphones. She recorded events and conversations in notebooks, on scrap paper or on tape and then collating her notes intending to produce typed copies that could be used and reused as she followed various lines of research over a period of nearly thirty years.
The papers were continually filed and re-filed according to whatever project she was currently working on. To complicate matters still further, she habitually used any one of three different styles of handwriting as she made notes on her original copies and then sometimes made several copies of these notes.
In preparing the material for publication on line, I have elected to scan the papers as Sheila left them, re-filing where absolutely necessary and taking out unnecessary copies. Those that appear to be replicas usually have an extra sentence included that is worth considering. Where pages are missing, I will be rescanning the files and updating them on line as the papers become available.
The six case history books are copies that Rene Caisse allowed Sheila to zerox and retain for her own use in 1977. While occasional comments appear in Rene’s handwriting, all the underlining and highlighting is Sheila’s work. In her last re-filing prior to moving house, she inserted many of her own notes which I have included.
The Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Centre files are made up of the ‘zeroxed’ copies of some of the letters exchanged between Doctor Chester Stock and Rene Caisse and sent to Sheila by Dr Stock in 1979. He refused to send her copies of all of Rene’s letters on the grounds that some of them were too strongly worded for reproduction. When studying the files it should be remembered that ‘Zerox’ copies are not today’s crisp and pristine photocopies and I have included Sheila’s typed ‘translations’ where possible for easier reading.
As some of the people recorded on tape are still living, it would be ungracious to publish the conversations as a complete archive for the present time. However, most of the tapes have been copied digitally and will be preserved.