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Who Was Morris Krok?
by David Klein, Ph.D.

From Living Nutrition vol. 20 • 2007
http://www.vibrancemagazine.com
© David Klein, Ph.D.

My friend Morris Krok passed away exactly two years ago as of this writing, in August of 2005. I wanted to write a tribute story about Morris and publish it in Living Nutrition directly following his death, but the words would not come. I was in shock. The man who had written Formula For Long Life and had a small cult-like global following had died of cancer at age 74. Months later, I again intended to write that piece for the next magazine issue, but still the words would not come.

Later on I spoke with Morris’s eldest daughter, Melanie, and through a tearful conversation I gleaned some bits of information which helped me begin to gather my thoughts for this article.

Now, still with unsettled feelings, here is my perspective on Morris’ life and our relationship as impassioned health educators.

To begin with, I’d like to emphasize that Morris’s life was a triumph of heroic proportions: he was extremely ill, a near-goner in his early twenties, as a result of severe malnutrition and incapacitating toxemia.

He endured searing headaches, could not walk upright and could barely function. Yet, he still managed to find his way to health, and for the next four decades he lived in a state of superior fitness and health. And he chose to give back.

His enthusiasm to disseminate the truth about natural healing, helping others to rejuvenation and self-mastery, living their full potential of joyous, euphoric health, drove him to become a legendary force in the natural health field, publishing more books on the fruitarian-fitness approach to health than anyone in history. Morris lived to teach humanity how to live long in glorious health, and this passion was the reason for our common bond as “extreme” health educators.

Why were we so “extreme”? Those, like us, who have suffered and triumphed over extreme physical deterioration consequently must live very “differently”; the bodies of those who have experienced this are far more sensitive than most others, thus, the measures we take in preserving our health may seem extreme to most people. Yet, we must take such measures in order to survive—for us there is no middle road. This is why we are perceived as “health nuts” or “fanatics.” But, our experiences help us to become darned good health teachers!

I offer these words in the hope that others may learn the truth about what we as fragile humans must do to keep healthy every day because, as Morris taught, health can be regained but it takes constant awareness and practice to “keep well.”

In 1987, three years after my health recovery, I moved from upstate New York to the San Francisco Bay Area to take a new job in environmental engineering. That year I attended the big annual natural health expo in San Francisco. I meandered into one room with many vendors’ booths and one caught my eye. On the table I glanced at a number of unique book titles, such as: Fruit the Food and Medicine for Man; Diet, Health and Living on Air; and I Live on Fruit. A banner over the booth read: “Custodian Publishing.” The slender bearded man behind the table watched me and did not speak; he seemed unhappy, and I guessed he was disappointed with the throngs of disinterested people who were parading by his booth over two long days in the sterile building. I understood and didn’t feel up to initiating a conversation, so I regrettably moved on.

Later that year, I attended my first two San Francisco Living Foods Support Group potlucks. At the second meeting, Morris Krok was the speaker. As we ate our meal before his lecture, I recognized him as the man I had noticed at the expo booth. Pleasant yet somewhat shy, he came alive as he delivered an inspiring talk in his thick South African accent on the basics of keeping fit and healthy via a simple raw food diet of fruits, salads and some nuts, plus yoga and other exercises. He also told of his dramatic health recovery in his early 20s. And, as was his habit, he removed his shirt and demonstrated his yogic exercises, including nauli, wherein he flexed his slender belly muscles in a rippling motion. This display of muscle control and the reported benefits of enhanced bowel and digestive organ function were quite impressive.

The tenets of health were touched on, spiced with his own aphorisms. The main key of those tenets was about keeping fit and clean inside, to the end of experiencing natural euphoria, contentment and an “endlessly inspired mind.” He clinched his points as he related the dozen or so 56-mile ultra-marathons he ran in his native country with relative ease, training on a simple diet of mostly fruit. His modest, gentle teaching approach and lofty aspirations drew me in. After his talk, I introduced myself while Morris was enjoying a vegetable salad, and our friendship began.

Morris was born in South Africa of Jewish parents who had emigrated from Russia. There, he and his wife Diana raised six children. He once told me he has a twin brother who owns a pharmaceutical company in South Africa; Morris worked there as the bookkeeper. How ironic! That seemed to explain how Morris was enabled to establish his Custodian Publishing Company (later renamed Essence of Health), print hundreds of thousands of unique health books (on his old-style mechanical printing press) for his mail order catalogue, and keep a huge stock in a warehouse in Fremont, California. Morris and Diana traveled once a year to the Bay Area to visit two of their daughters and a son, all of whom were attending local colleges.

Following the potluck, Morris sent me a flyer announcing a yoga workshop at his eldest daughter’s home in Fremont. There, I got to know him better, met a few fellow health truth seekers, and was introduced to some unique yogic principles.

Morris also demonstrated some exercises and led a discussion. It was all inspiring. I purchased some more of his books and was glad to have a new wise mentor in my life who, like myself, had climbed a mountain to rejuvenate from a devastating illness and had to work to maintain his health every day.

Morris was an advanced yogi. Among his practices was the “yogic vomit,” using water to clear his stomach of mucus and debris each morning. He derived better digestion and mental clarity this way, he explained. Over the years, many of my friends cringed over this notion and we wondered if his teeth would survive the acid regurgitation. (A few years later, I did notice some missing front teeth.) I enjoyed and learned a lot from his book Hatha Yoga in its Moods Multivarious, which stands as perhaps the only comprehensive treatise on yoga coupled with the purifying benefits of the raw fruitarian diet.

A few times over the next few years, when Morris returned to California, I visited and befriended his family. Lovely people, they were very much into health and fitness, but did not get all jazzed up about health education like Morris did—few do. In fact, health was all that Morris seemed to want to talk about! He did so with a smile and a good sense of humor; I loved every moment of the story-telling and sharing. (Read Morris’s “Raw’s Haw Haw” story in Living Nutrition vol. 9.) We “health nuts” do have an affinity for one another!

During one visit, Morris showed me a letter he had sent to Dr. Herbert M. Shelton regarding the time-honored benefits of yoga. In the reply, Shelton wrote that he saw no possible benefit from holding yogic poses; he dismissed yoga altogether. Morris did not comment, but I think that, like myself, he must have felt dismayed that Dr. Shelton had never experienced the joy of simple yoga. (Dr. Shelton was more into body-building with weights.)

Morris also showed me an astonishing South African newspaper clipping story from around 1958, wherein he proclaimed that fruit is the proper food for humans. That pronouncement created a national uproar!

Around 1990, Morris and I went for a run. I kept up with him for about five minutes until I slowly faded; I could no longer keep up with him. Running as steadily as a diesel locomotive, Morris returned, smiling, 20 minutes after I had stopped. At nearly age 60, his huge leg muscles resembled those of a rugby player, demonstrating that a fruitarian diet is not incompatible with building muscle.

We returned to his daughter’s home and ate some fruit. Morris had a couple of plums, and, later, a few almonds. I never saw him eat more than the tiniest portions, usually mono-meals of fruit. In the early and mid-1990s, his body was always clean, his waist was slender, he was calm, his mind was clear and quick and his vitality high, like any well-conditioned runner.

Popping in a long video of one of the ultra-marathons he ran in South Africa, he pointed out the running techniques of the best; he enjoyed every moment of the pageant. Morris himself never finished near the top, but his reward, which probably exceeded any trophy, was in the experience of the runner’s euphoric high which began about two hours into the race. In this light, an eight-hour run doesn’t seem like such drudgery! He did little long-distance training, ate no food prior to racing, and recovered quickly. Now that is what we call “running on air!”

Morris loved to talk about what a frictionless dynamo the body can be when we live up to our true health potential. He was right. A few years later, when I got into short-distance running each morning, I got a taste of that same natural euphoria.

Afterward, as we were relaxing, Morris took off his left sock and showed me a raw leg ulcer between his calf and ankle, roughly two by three inches in size. It was shallow and looked fresh. The flesh was pinkish with clear and minimal fluid and no bleeding, scabbing or dark encrustation. He commented that it was not painful. For protection, he sometimes applied a small coating of raw honey. I wondered how a runner with a purified body such as his could develop such an ulcer, and assumed it would soon heal. That was the last time I saw Morris with his socks off and he never mentioned the ulcer again.

Over the ensuing years, we corresponded. The letters I received on Morris’s “Academy of Advanced Thought” stationery were a joy to read.

Morris was a book hound—he owned thousands. He told me he was always in the middle of reading about five books. Every night, before he slept, he read. He never stopped unearthing lost booklets and other writings on the essence of health. The lessons he uncovered were all restated in his books and lectures. He searched high and low for morsels of truth and found many obscure stories of healing triumphs via detoxification and adherence to a non-mucus-forming diet of mainly vegan foods. He also found many yogic books on attaining superior health. “The ancient yogis dating back over 5000 years knew it all,” he’d say.

He had his favorites. Many times he chirped about a book by Tony Officer about his triumph over disease via drinking lemon juice and water, titled Why Grow Old? For the edification of all, he re-published the expired copyright out-of-print gems that he discovered. Some of the most important ones to me were Fruitarian Diet and Physical Rejuvenation and Fruit Can Heal You (both by Dr. O. L. M. Abramowski) and Yoga Gave Me Superior Health (by Theos Bernard; formerly titled Heaven Lies Within Us). Of all the books in my possession, the one I treasure the most is a beautiful original hardcover version of Essie Honiball’s classic, I Live on Fruit, which Morris gave me as a gift. I subsequently enjoyed some wonderful correspondence with Ms. Honiball, who is also a South African.

Of all of the gold nuggets Morris mined, my favorite passage comes from Theos Bernard’s book, regarding the author’s experience after a yoga intensive:“Never have I known such deep and abiding joy, such thrills of ecstasy, such richness of living, as filled me then. I was conscious of every minute aspect of life. My body seemed to be glowing in harmony with all nature. I had a sense of awareness far beyond anything I can describe. It came from my soul’s contact with the Universal Flow of Life. My entire body vibrated to the rhythm of Nature.”

Morris wrote nine books and several booklets (see the other side box) in his inimitable folksy writing style. His prose was always raw and unedited, but he got his points across beautifully. When I began publishing newsletters and this magazine, he permitted me to edit his writings as needed. Of all of Morris’s books, I hold that Fruit the Food and Medicine for Man is his best. Morris said he regretted using that title, thinking the “medicine” connotation was misleading. His books which are still available can be obtained from Nelson’s Books and his daughter Susan Krok. Everyone in my circle of impassioned health lovers highly reveres Morris’s books, and I think at least any three of them are “essential reading.”

Morris was always talking about self-improvement and writing catchy advertising slogans to draw people in. His messages were always light and inspirational, never condemning. I never heard him utter a negative word or opinion about anyone. Morris knew he created his own reality, that positivity is the way to peace, and that negativity and turmoil undermine health. Morris’s main theme was feeling the euphoric joy of living in a truly healthy body. This is rarely experienced. It’s a warm, ecstatic “high” wherein the heart opens wide and, with eyes gleaming with tears of happiness, we may give an “aaaahhh” as we melt in bliss and bask in feelings of sharing love with all of Creation. In this state, he taught, pure inspiration bubbles up from within and the mind overflows with creative ideas; every breath and muscular movement is a sensual pleasure as delightful waves of energy course through our entire body, massaging the nervous system, and we brim with unstoppable energy, aglow in peace and contentment. This is nothing less than the experience of natural, vibrant health. Morris had that for a long time and he wanted to share the secrets. And he did, in his own inimitable way. (Read his “Experiences in Euphoria and Higher Consciousness” article in Living Nutrition vol. 7.)

Once when we were conversing about the occasional inconvenience of traveling accommodations, Morris shared that it didn’t matter where he was, because he felt great in his body all the time and, with that, his experience was always joyful. Indeed, our body is our temple—and it can be most luxurious to dwell in!

Morris lived to embody the exuberant best of the human spirit. He believed that humans were meant to be in love with life, live in harmony with Nature, feel wonderful and live up to their ultimate potential all the time. He kept fit with yoga of the body and mind and ate a fruit-based diet so he could wake up early, charged with inspired energy and pure passion. His pleasure was to arise before the crack of dawn and write down his new ideas to inspire others onward toward complete rejuvenation of mind-body-spirit. On this path, it’s only natural. That’s my way, too!

In 1992, while living in Sebastopol, I was laid off from my engineering job. I decided to give up that career and build one in Natural Hygiene education. Morris gently urged me to start a “Run For Life” group, as he had, teaching his “Cleanse- Lean” and “Euphorbics” fitness programs. He also offered to set me up to distribute his books. I accepted and created my first business, “The Natural Health Library,” a mail order catalog of Morris’ publications (which I continued up until I began this magazine). Morris gave me all of his mail referrals and bookstore customers. I enjoyed filling orders and corresponding with health truth-seekers from around the world.

In the mid-1990s, a small band of my longtime raw health educator friends—”kindred souls,” as Morris would put it—got together with Morris for a little walk in the hills of the South Bay. We all aspired to maintain the loftiest heights of true health and had already been initiated via mystical highs and consciousness expansion from fasting, exercise and fruitarian living. It was a gift to share this with Morris and hear his wisdom teachings. He held court, exuding his expansive awareness; he seemed like a great sage, communicating much in few words. We each shared our most euphoric, life-changing experiences. It was a day we’ll never forget and I hope to enjoy many more like it.

Also in the mid-1990s, Morris came to my home in Sebastopol and gave another unforgettably inspiring talk to a spiritual group, the Daist Free Communion. We were sought out by their leader, Da Free John, who was intent on inspiring his community to go fruitarian.

Also around 1995, Morris gave his most memorable lecture and yoga demonstration at a San Francisco LiFE potluck meeting. Some 75 rawfooders were enchanted by Morris’s scintillating presentation in an airy penthouse room in San Francisco. I was called on stage to assist with the yoga demo. Roe Gallo attended—it was wonderful to meet her for the first time. The vibe in the air was electric, everyone was abuzz with glee, the food was astonishing and I had a strong sense that a great leader had just catalyzed a quantum leap for the raw health movement.

Morris loved to share, but he never preached and he never wanted to be known as a guru. Loudly and clearly, he always declared that it is incumbent upon each one of us to become our own health guru—to throw out the books and teachers, follow our inner wisdom and think for ourselves. All of the answers reside within, and that wisdom is accessed via a disciplined fitness program, including practices promoting internal purification and natural living.

Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of health seekers sought him out, and Morris passed on the wisdom of the sages before him. He did it all because, like myself and many other health educators, he wanted to create a world of health, happiness and harmony where everyone has access to the right information about rejuvenation and healthful living, so that they can experience the pure, high state of health that is our natural state of being. Morris inspired legions to become natural health educators.

In 1999 Morris e-mailed me a long autobiographical document he had written: “Commemorating 50 Years of Research Since 1948 in the Quest for Understanding–Life’s Most Transforming Teachings.” A few years later he e-mailed me another long one: his “50-year History.” I assumed he desired that I keep the information available, which is my intent.

In 2001, Morris, his wife and youngest daughter, Susan, attended our “Raw Passion” seminar in Felton, California. He appeared in good health and high spirits, but his vitality had faded a bit, as is to be expected when we are almost 70. We shared some delightful moments and it was great to see him.

A year or two later, a friend sent me a photo of Morris, taken at Caravan of Dreams restaurant in New York City, where he gave a lecture. He looked frail and tired. I guessed it was from the traveling. (New York City visits drain me, too!) In the late 1990s he mentioned that he had been yielding here and there to some cooked food (bread, etc.) temptations. Someone who attended the talk reported he said that at the moment he was eating a diet of just fruit. I’d never heard that he ate exclusively fruit; however, it would not be surprising if he did so for varying periods of time.

I did not receive any replies to my correspondence from Morris over the next few years. Then, in July of 2005 I received an e-mail entitled “Long Journey.” Morris briefly explained that his leg was cancerous, it had not healed via fasting, and had been amputated above the knee. He said he refused medicines and chemotherapy, but (I assume after a long ordeal) he submitted to some radiation treatment, which did not help. He attributed his condition to the constitutional weakening he had suffered in his earlier days of severe illness. It was very hard to hear all this—I was stunned.

A month later, someone informed me via e-mail that Morris had died at age 74 in South Africa. I was devastated and really felt for his family. I wondered if it was the leg ulcer I’d seen all those years ago that had become cancerous.

A year went by and I phoned Melanie. It was painful for both of us. I learned that I was correct in my suspicions about the ulcer, and that the cancer had spread. She also said that her father was brave to the end. He stayed with the raw diet throughout the ordeal (except when fasting), fasted on water near the end, refused pain killers and exhibited an incredibly strong will. He passed away at home.

The urge to play post-mortem detective will entice many to draw their own conclusions about Morris’s death. I won’t play that role because we simply do not have enough information on the cause (or causes) of Morris’ cancer—it could be dietary, environmental, lifestyle, constitutional weakening, simple aging, any and all of the above, or something else.

Cancer occurs for a reason. It is not the root cause of disease or death; rather, it is a last-stage effect of the cause (or causes) of disease. These disease factors inhibit the body’s ability to detoxify and perform other vital functions required for keeping our organism in a state of normal health. Since the teachings of Dr. John Tilden in the latter part of the 19th century, Natural Hygiene has taught this physiological progression, called “The Seven Stages of Disease”:

1. Enervation; 2. Toxemia, or Toxicosis; 3. Irritation; 4. Inflammation; 5. Ulceration; 6. Induration; 7. Cancer.

It may well be that for over 40 years Morris did all that was humanly possible to keep healthy. I think we should appreciate his passion for making the world a healthier place, and do our best to keep well in every regard; this was Morris’s wish for us all.

Morris was a fountain of enthusiasm for life. He lived to help everyone find the keys to health ecstasy. His spirit was awesome and his books are treasure chests which will forever inspire a multitude of health seekers on to new heights.

Here are Morris’s final words from his 1999 “Quest for Understanding”:

“Pursuing this quest has been such great fun that I always felt that I was on a journey to Wonderland. It is as if I have been born with a golden spoon; wonderful truths followed me unceasingly of their own accord. At the same time, I was held in awe and humbled by the insights that have emanated from the mind of man throughout the ages.

“There is no better way to end this than with this poem by Bhai Vir Singh, the Sikh poet:

“I made my mind a beggar’s bowl,
I begged the bread of learning from door to door,
Filled it with crumbs from the Houses of Learning,
Crammed it full.
It was heavy.
I was proud—a man of learning.
I strove to walk in the clouds,
But stumbled on the earth.
Then I sought the guru,
Placed my bowl before him—an offering.
‘Dirt’, he cried, ‘Dirt,’
Turned it upside down,
Threw the crumbs away,
Scrubbed it with sand,
Rinsed it with water,
Cleansed it of the filth of learning.”

* * *

Morris Krok Publications

In-print Books by Morris Krok
Only available from Susan Krok

  • Conquest of Disease
  • Fruit the Food and Medicine for Man (very limited stock)
  • Golden Path to Rejuvenation
  • Diary of a Health and Truth Seeker
  • Diet Health & Living on Air
  • Formula for Long Life-Kindred Soul
  • Kindred Soul
  • Science of Natural Healing

In-print Books by Other AuthorsA Doctor’s raw Food Cure (Fruitarian Diet and Physical Rejuvenation) (Abramowski)

  • Béchamp or Pasteur? (Hume)
  • Fast Way to Health (Brown)
  • Grape Cure (Brandt)
  • I Live on Fruit (Honiball)
  • Sunfood Way to Health (Semple)

Out-of-print books by Morris Krok

  • Amazing New Health System - Inner Clean Way
  • Cream of Yoga
  • Health Truths Eternal
  • Hatha Yoga in its Moods Multivarious
  • Hatha Yoga - the Vibrant Science of Life

Out-of-print books by other authors which
were published by Morris Krok

  • Fruit Can Heal You (Abramowski)
  • Gardening Without Digging (Guest)
  • Healing Exercise (Long)
  • My Healing Secret (Chaitow)
  • Yoga Gave Me Superior Health (Heaven Lies Within Us) (Bernard)

* * *

Words of Wisdom from Morris Krok

Cleanse the stomach for an ever-inspired mind.

Health cannot be stored—it must be earned every day of your life.

Man makes the greatest error when he thinks that the sun-ripened foods provided by nature can be improved by cooking and refining.

Nothing is more important than eating when actual hunger is present and in between meals while
the stomach is empty, to perform stomach cleansing with water, coupled with rhythmic breathing.

Miracles, the yogis taught, are wrought on an empty stomach. At this time we will be inspired
by sublime thoughts as purified, well-oxygenated blood flows to the lungs, brain and spine. The lungs in particular require that their billions of air sacs, alveoli, be totally free of all effete material for one to experience euphoria
.”

There is no greater therapeutic aid than the combination of rest, fresh air, sunshine, non-vigorous
exercises, abstaining from solid food and drinking the purest water obtainable or diluted fruit juice to cleanse the internal structures of the large quantity of thick, salty slime that has accumulated in our systems from infancy. The magic wand of life is to wash away these deposits by replacing all harmful foods with plenty of light, water and non-mucousforming foods, thus placing oneself on Nature’s operating table.

Eating too many concentrated raw foods, such as avocados, nuts, dates, raisins and cereals, drains our energy. Concentrated raw foods, such as nuts and cereals, can result in the build-up of excessive uric acid in the system, contributing to stiff joints and achy muscles. Conversely, we have endless energy and no chronic pain when we live on a few glasses of water or juice and some fresh fruit.”

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