Radionics is a highly controversial field that claims to detect and modulate life force using electronic devices. Patients can be diagnosed and treated without even meeting the practitioner, who uses a radionic "black box" to tune into "vibrational frequencies" from a sample of hair or blood. The device is then used to "broadcast" healing frequencies back to the patient, who may be hundreds of miles away.
The seeds of radionics can be found in radiesthesia, a diagnostic technique employing pendulums or dowsing rods developed by three French priests during the early 1900s. The founding father of radionics was Albert Abrams, an American neurologist (1864–1924) who believed that his machines could, from a sample of blood, hair, or even handwriting, determine a patient's sex, race, financial status, religion, and underlying causes of illness. His therapeutic machines were hermetically sealed and were not sold, only leased on the condition that they never be opened. Investigators who examined the devices around the time of Abrams' death found nothing inside to which they could attribute potential medical benefit. The principles of distance healing were developed by a U.S. chiropractor, Ruth Drown, during the 1930s. Drown also maintained that her devices could produce x-ray-like images of a patient's condition, based solely on a blood sample. A scientific committee that examined these images in 1950 detected no recognizable anatomic structures in them, and concluded they were simply "fog patterns."
For legal reasons, most radionics practitioners and manufacturers of radionics equipment are cautious of making public pronouncements about specific health
Radionics advocates believe that underlying causes of diseases emit radio-like frequencies that can be detected by their equipment. A bundle of hair or a card containing a few dried drops of blood is placed into a receptacle in the machine. This "witness" is then analyzed using either a moving pendulum or a detector pad on which changes in surface tension are noted. In this way, areas of "resonance" are detected. Treatment may employ both appropriate frequencies generated by the machine, as well as the extra-sensory abilities of the healer. During the 1990s, computerized "adaptive biofeedback-type" devices were developed, allegedly capable of monitoring and responding "every 200 millionths of a second" to changes in the patient's body. Radionic treatment may be supplemented by homeopathic remedies, color therapy, and herbal extracts.
Patients need to understand that the claims of radionics are highly controversial and, in some cases, grandiose. One radionics organization based in Canada not only offers certification in 18 healing-related fields, but also advertises its willingness to advise on such diverse subjects as gambling, animal breeding, management consulting, gardening, financial investments, engineering, prospecting, and archeology. This institute claims that radionics has been proven "in hundreds of controlled studies over the past 80 years," but refuses to divulge the names of its graduates "given the controversial nature of radionics." Furthermore, this group will not correspond with any potential client until an initial fee of at least $300 has been paid in U.S. currency. Another manufacturer of radionics-type equipment claims the ability "to enter the mind of any person on this planet" and to "compel them to do your will." It is particularly important to carefully read the literature offered by radionics practitioners, which often contains revealing disclaimers. A medical opinion should be sought in all cases of serious illness.
Radionic therapy is non-invasive and has no known side effects.
Research & general acceptance
Most physicians dismiss radionics as quackery, arguing that any observed benefits are caused only by placebo effect. In the United States, medical devices must be approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and a 1998 district court decision in Minnesota determined that the sale of an unapproved radionics "black box" device violated state laws against deceptive trade practices and consumer fraud. The sale of such equipment to terminally ill patients constituted "health quackery at its worst," said Hubert Humphrey III, the state's attorney general. "This deplorable conduct aimed at vulnerable, desperate consumers is health fraud in its darkest form and will not be tolerated in Minnesota," Humphrey said. Radionics advocates, on the other hand, say they suffer from systematic government oppression.
Training & certification
Home-study courses and/or certification in radionics are offered by institutions in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In some cases these institutes also market radionics equipment.
The Radionic Association. Berlin House, Goose Green, Deddington, Oxford England OX5 4SZ.