John Bunyan Campbell

From Kook Science

John Bunyan Campbell
John Bunyan Campbell - portrait, c. 1896.jpg

Born 9 September 1820(1820-09-09)
Little Pine Creek, Lycoming Co., Pennsylvania
Died 19 January 1908 (87)
Citronelle, Mobile Co., Alabama

John Bunyan Campbell (September 9, 1820 - January 19, 1908) was an American minister and inventor, noted principally as the promoter and "discoverer" of Vitapathy, his "religious scientific system of health and life for body and soul," as promulgated through his American Health College at Fairmount, Cincinnati, Ohio. In his later years, after retiring to Alabama, Campbell claimed to have devised a system of wireless telegraphy that predated Marconi.

Selected Bibliography

Selected Patents

  • US606887. Campbell, J. B. Electric Extraction of Poisons. 5 July 1898, filed 5 Oct. 1896. "The herein-described method of extracting poisons from the human body, consisting in providing the negative electrode of an electric battery with interchangeable receivers of animal, vegetable or mineral substance, to extract a poison from the body of a nature or kind corresponding with or to the negative electrode employed, as set forth."


Press Coverage

  • "Bogus Doctor Factory", Champaign Daily Gazette (Champaign, IL): 2, 21 Nov. 1883, 

    CINCINNATI, O., Nov. 21. — A bogus diploma factory has been discovered here. It is located in North Fairmout, a city suburb, on the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton railroad, just beyond Brighton station. The diploma factory is called the "American Health college," and professes to teach the "vitapathic" system of practice. Its proprietor and manager writes himself "Prof. John Bunyan Campbell, M.D.V.D.," and those receiving diplomas from his gracious hand are not only authorized to practice medicine anywhere in the United States, but are also made ministers of the gospel. Dr. Campbell does not comply with the state laws, in that he sells to whomsoever will buy his printed questions and answer for the sum of $100 which fits the student to practice, and if the student wants one of his "grand diplomas," which fits him both to practice medicine and preach the gospel, he can get it by paying $50. The county prosecuting attorney has taken the case in hand, and the matter will be brought before the grand jury at once.

  • "Says He Antedates Marconi", Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, AL): 2, 6 Mar. 1903, 

    Prof. John Bunyan Campbell, M.V.D., founder of the vitapathic system of practice and author of its books and builder and donor of its college, a man of upward of eighty years, is in Mobile today, en route to Baldwin County on a visit. Professor Campbell is now resident of Citronelle. This morning he made the statement that he was the originator of wireless telegraphy. During the Civil War he was a surgeon in the Federal army, and while in Kentucky, he claims, he put his system to practical use for his commanding officer, successfully. Asked why he did not follow up on his discovery and obtain patents, the elderly gentleman replied that, at the close of the war, he devoted his time to his chosen life study — medicine, and now enjoys his old age in ease as a result. Professor [Campbell] is a fluent conversationalist and, despite his age, gets about easily and is hale and hearty, weighing over 200 pounds. He was a soldier in the Mexican war and has followed his chosen profession fifty-nine years, having graduated when quite a young man. He is much pleased with Mobile and Mobile County and says he will make his home at Citronelle.