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Joseph Higgins



A former Marine, Joe Higgins was a New York City firefighter for 18 years. His father was a firefighter, as were four of his brothers. He trained more than half of the firefighters who were active at the time of WTC attacks.

Mr. Higgins first completed the Hubbard detoxification program in 2002, after months of exposures during the rescue and recovery operations.



I was a firefighter for eighteen years in New York City in one of the busiest fire houses in the city, and we went to a lot of fires, especially during those crack years.

We were the best firefighters on the face of the Earth, so the more fires we went to, the better we got at being firemen, and the more lives we saved. But we had no idea how many days we were taking off our lives.

My father was a firefighter. My four brothers were firefighters. We were all toxin takers, so to speak. We prided ourselves in how much of a beating we could take. You have to do that as a firefighter, because you can’t be the weak link in the chain, or else firefighters die.

Then 9/11 came around. There’s a reason why the firefighters got sick faster than everyone else, because they were taking toxins before 9/11. It was so toxic it screwed a lot of people up, but I think it screwed the firefighters up worse than anyone else that was down there.

9/11 was the icing on the cake, and it wasn’t just the first day or the first three months. The last three months that we were digging people out, the site was no longer a pile – it was a pit. The sand and all the particles were finer. The masks we were wearing were not blocking it. We could taste it in our mouths. We could see the metallic dust in the lights at night.

I ended up with asthma. I had never even had bronchitis in my life and I ended up with two throat surgeries. I had acid reflux and probably an assortment of other things that didn’t even come up on the radar, so to speak. When you’re toxic, it doesn’t just affect you physically, it affects you mentally.

People don’t want to admit the PTSD stuff. It’s there, and people try to brave it out, but the fact of the matter is it’s there to stay unless you get some help.

I was being helped, but I wasn’t so sure I was really being helped, if you know what I mean. Everything was drugs, drugs, drugs. Then, finally, I met this guy Jim Woodworth who introduced me to this program. The first thing that I listened to was that he mentioned a sauna. I grew up with saunas and steam rooms and things like that because I’m an athlete. I had a steam room built in my firehouse years ago. Some of us thought it was a good idea to get the toxins out of our pores and rehydrate.

He told me more about the detoxification program. He asked, “Do you mind if I take a picture of you right now?” I didn’t know how bad I looked, but he took the picture and boy, did I look bad. I didn’t know how bad I looked because no one wanted to say anything to me. I looked like death.

I went through the detoxification program. It was the best thing that I ever did, and to this day my wife says, “That detox program saved your life.” I agree with her.

As I went through the program the emotions started coming back out. About three or four weeks later, I can’t remember the exact amount of time, my sweat was staining towels and I was smelling smoke from fires that I had not gone to in a year. The only people who can smell that smell are firemen.

That’s when I realized that this stuff was so deep in my body that I needed to do this to get it all out. It became my job to try to convince as many people as possible, especially cops and firefighters, especially firefighters, that this [detoxification] is a good thing. They need to do this. In fact, I think every single firefighter should be doing this program.

I don’t know the number of firemen I convinced to do this program, but it was well into the hundreds. You bond with the people that you’re doing it with, and I always loved that. When I run into them, there’s a hug, there’s an embrace, and there’s a genuine love because we went through that together.

What’s been happening since the attacks is that you’re watching dozens and dozens of wonderful servants to New York die. I truly think that if a ton of them did the detox program, we could’ve saved a lot of them. I really do. If there’s something out there that can help people, you must embrace it, you must not throw it to the curb.

For people that are toxic, there’s a way out. There’s a way back to health. That detox program is worth its weight in gold. I think it’s something that should be a standard process offered to people that are ill, or people that have been taking whatever they’ve been taking for years.

I believe that and you can never tell me not to believe it, because I’m living proof of it.